Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 26, 2015 - 18 Month Mark

Yesterday I hit the 18 month mark on mission. I have been serving as a full time set apart missonary for 18 months. What a blessing, and I am so grateful I have the opportunity to serve just a few weeks extra. Just to make sure if I didn't accomplish something I was supposed to accomplish I can get it done.

In preparing to come home I am going to write every convert a letter because I really plan to stay in contact with all of them. That is where facebook comes in handy and emails. I just found out that one of them hadn't been going to church in Tahiti and I became really worried.

This week was really interesting. The good thing about being on a little Island is that we can see our efforts affecting the people at a population level. It is really good to see people being more unified and loving. The bad side is that you really become firsthand witnesses of Satans power and how he tries to stop people from entering and becoming clean in Christ's gospel.

Sunday is always the most spiritual day for us. The talks are always very spiritual and there have been more and more people coming to church. At first when we got here there were around 35 and now there are around 55 to 60. It has been so touching. The spirit was strong yesterday as usual but afterward sitting in relief society across the hall I heard banging of chairs and yelling and i looked over with my companion and there was Firmin ( a young adult in our ward) with blood all over his white shirt dripping everywhere in the chapel and another young adult was behing held back by the preisthood leaders. It was so scary and honestly because of my relationship with everyone I feel very responsable for everything that happens.

Turns out Firmin had been really offended by something two young adults had said and he chose to let his anger out in preisthood meeting by punching one and kicking the other to the ground. He had brought his mouth guard with him with the intention to fight. He is also a little sick and is very sensitive but in defending himself the other one had hit firmin on the head with a chair and broke the skin. It was so evil. I felt so dirty and I cried while cleaning up the blood.

Then later another couple we teach and are planning on getting married fought and got separated. Agnes the girl was desperate and Julio was supposed to get baptized in March but it seemed really serious when they separated. Needless to say I felt really overwhelmed and found myself many times pleading with Heavenly Father to help us fight Satan. I felt peaceful knowing that Heavenly Father will always win.

What is the moral of the story? This is the true church. There is no other church which is true. This is the Lords kingdom on the earth. It can be found even here on this little Island, and with the truth there comes opposition. Moana the father of Mahuta is getting baptized this saturday, and another little boy turning eight is getting baptized Monday. Moana had his interview and passed but is having serious withdrawls from not smoking. He is really suffering, but the we are marching on and surrounding him with support.

I know he can make it but he neeeds every prayer he can get. I love their family so much and would be ready to give anything for them to be sealed in the temple. I know Moana is just at the beginnig of his jouney accepting the gospel. I have seen the biggest miracle in his change in heart. he still has lots of imperfections like us all but he is really so much happier. Please pray for him.

Sorry for the length but I am trying hard to leave this sector the best I can. I love Takapoto. I love the gospel and I love Jesus Christ.
Love Soeur Kimball

January 19, 2015 - Mahuta Family Interested

Sometimes I feel like on my mission people serve me more than I serve people, which is not really normal. My companion had similar feelings and this week we really tried to serve a lot, and it went really well. People sometimes treat us like princesses. One mami when she saw us working with her grandson to dry the coconuts almost had a panick attack. She said " missionaries are meant for praying not for working". I feel she needs a little instruciton about what missionary work is really.

Exactly one week ago Mahuta was baptized. It was such a miracle. My companion and I tried to make everything as spiritual as possible. The baptism was last minute and so we spent two hours going around the whole island and inviting everyone we knew.Tthe turn out was really good, and when he bore his testimony everyone cried. I can't believe how prepared he was for the gospel.

He came here to live with his dad and we talked to him about Jesus Christ and he said we could come and talk to him. The turning point was when he started reading the Book of Mormon and knew it was true. The light that entered his life really assured him that it was true. I remember us talking a lot to him about faith and about how to nourish his faith. He got kicked out of his house for getting baptized. His mom told him she wouldn't accept him anymore. I really can't believe the sacrifices he made to follow our Savior. I don't think I could have done it.

In short, his whole family has gotten motivated from this experience. His dad Moana is an ami we have been working with for a really long time but he struggles with his cigarettes. He recieved a blessing this week and his faith has also grown. There is no other way except praying with ferveur and reading the scriptures and coming to church to nourish ones faith, but I learned to much about how one persons example can help soften the heart of many people. I am so proud of Mahuta for his faithfulness to God. He will be such a good misionnary.

I don't like thinking about it because I don't have that much time left. It makes me want to do everything I can to learn and grow these last few weeks. I want to reach my potential and have more courage to explain to others what they must do.
Thank you so much for your love.
Soeur Kimball

January 12, 2015 - Mahuta's Baptism

How can I sum up all of this weeks events in one letter? I don't think I can.
Thank you for all of your prayers in my behalf and of Takapotos behalf. This week my testimony have been reconfirmed that the Lord always hears our prayers and ANSWERS them. Always. And how many fervent prayers have I given this week? I hope enough. The commandement that God has given us is to pray often in all things so that He may bless and guide us.

In exactly one hour from now Mahuta will be getting baptized in the ocean just across from the church. I am sitll in shock. No one expected it. The Lord has been so merciful;

If you don't remember Mahuta is this 17 year old boy who we talked to sitting in front of his house one month ago. He had never taken lessons and he had been to church as a little kid with his aunt a couple of times, but he said he liked to hear stories about Jesus Christ and that would be fine if we met with him. Sometimes I tend to be a little impulsive in talking to people and yesterday I asked him what his first impression of us was for him and he said that he didnt really know what to say because he was kind of scared haha.

After teaching him and getting support from his friends that were members he really started to understand. He is one of those chosen spirits of our Heavenly Father. He is observant and really smart. And completely ready to accept the gospel.

He wanted to be baptized since two weeks ago but needed autorization for his parents who are not members.
It is kind of too long to explain but Mahuta was completely rejected by his mom and his grandpa to be baptized. I can't believe the sacrifices he made. He will no longer be returning to see his mom. She completely rejected him after telling him that he could get baptized but after she would never accept him again.
But nothing discouraged him. He kept praying and reading every day, and after so many prayers and fasts. It finally went through. I still am not really sure how, but Heavenly Father is so merciful. I feel that sometimes that is the test to believe in His mercy, because sometimes He seems so harsh and punishing but in reality He is just love. I know all He does is for our benefit, even to give His son Jesus Christ .

Without Jesus Christ we would have no hope to return to Heavenly Father and His gospel in its fulness is the only way we can recieve hope and be purified of our wrongs. Miracles continue. What are miracles? Really just manifestations of Gods power and his love for us.
Love Soeur Kimball

December 15, 2014 - New Companion

Thank you for all your love and support. This Christmas we will feel just a little bit lonely because almost all of our members took a two week trip to the temple in Tahiti. I am so proud of them. Many of them will be getting their endowement and there is a family that is getting sealed, so in that regard I am very happy, but I will miss them, especially Boban; President Maa. and Pierre.

These three priesthood holders come with us to almost every lesson every day. They do missionary work with us. I know this is really dumb but we call ourselves the power rangers of Takapoto. Haha. I am not sure if I know what is funny and what is not anymore, but I have learned so much from them. They all have such powerful testimonies and we have had so many spiritual experiences together. I will send you a picture of all of us next week. They even wanted to do morning exercizes with us at 6 30 so we all ran the length of the runway of the airport together. It was so funny and my new companion was so confused. Things happen here that would happen nowhere else.

I have to tell you this week was a week of miracles. I have really been using this time that is left on my mission to really warn people about the importance to act now. We tell people during lessons the best time to do these things and change their life was two weeks ago. We have a lot of potential here and I know Heavenly Father has helped us find his chosen people that are ready to accept the gospel.

As you know I am with a new companion who I am training here. She is the sweetest and so funny. She reminds me of Ashley and she really is ready to work. She kind of got a little scared because this week we talked a lot of Tahitian and she didn't understand what was happening, but I know the Lord put her here for a specific reason. I am not sure if I could handle being here for the first transfer of my mission, but she is really a faith filled sister.

We have this investigator that is an alcoholic and he drinks every day. We had been teaching lessons with him for a while in Tahitian and all of a sudden he stopped drinking. He said he didn't know where the desire came from but he just stopped. We had already taught him the word of wisdom but he had acted on his faith in that moment, and since he has really been progressing but he just didn't understand the difference between the LDS church and his church. So we invited him and showed him examples of how he needed to recieve a confirmation that all the things we were teaching him are true. I didn't know he had really understood because sometimes he doesn't seem to capture what we want him to do.

Sunday we were supposed to get an investigator to come with us to church and she said she wasn't ready because she couldn't wash her clothes so coming back to the church we saw him going to his church and invited him to come to the chapel after, so he came and we were able to find out that our invitation had really affected him and now he has become an honest seeker. I was so happy because I know Heavenly Father had blessed us because of our prayers and our fasts. He is one step closer to being baptized. Please pray he will recognize the answer to his prayers.

I also gave a talk this week about the parents role in teaching their children and raising future missionaries. I shared a lot of experiences of all that my parents have taught me and it made me cry too. I just want to thank you for always showing me the best example.

So there is my week and I know I will have adventurs to share with you for next week. I love you and I know the most important responsability we have is to uplift and help those who are around us. I love you all so much.
Love Soeur Kimball
Merry CHristmas!

December 1, 2014 - Power of Priesthood

Sister Moli, my companion, was transfered. She is going back to Tahiti in Faaa, and I am staying here, and guess what? I am training a new missionary that is getting here. I will be training for my last two transfers on the mission and so that means that I am finishing my mission in TAKAPOTO. Woohoo. I was so excited to know for sure that I will finish here. That means I will have been here for over a third of my mission, but I am not complaining.

Sometimes it is a little hard to teach people because almost everyone believes everything we tell them. I think almost 100 percent of everyone we have given the first lesson believes that Joseph Smith really saw God and Jesus Christ. They just have a really hard time putting the pieces together and understanding how knowing this can affect them, and that is our job.

We had some really incredible experiences this week. I have really been working on my teaching but it is hard. Sometimes I feel like I ask bad questions but the best way to know that you are teaching by the spirit is that when you teach you are learning at the same time. It was like that for me yesterday. We taught Erena this cute lady who doesnt have any support from her boyfriend that she lives with. She is a member of the Reorgranized Church and so it is hard to teach her but she really is needs the gospel. She has had a lot of trials. I really felt love and compassion as we taught her yesterday. It was so hard because we taught her about faith and the importance to ask God to know if everything we had taught her was true. It was so good but afterward she said she wanted to stop the lessons because she would be too busy. We were heartbroken. It is just so hard to see investigators feeling the spirit and then reject the message. Pray for her.

We had another really incredible experience with the Priesthood this week too. I and my companion did an activity in the branch about the Priesthood and invited the investigators. We didn't have a super good turnout but it was ok. Afterwards our new convert Pierre was playing soccer and hit his foot really hard and so it started bleeding. We were putting bandaids and stuff on his foot and at the end I had stood up to go put away our scriptures in our backpacks but when I looked around my companion was bent down and was crying. Someone had kicked the soccer ball really really hard and it had hit her and knocked the wind out of her and it reminded her of her accident when she got hit by a car in Tahiti so it became pretty traumatizing for her. It was pretty late at night but I felt the impression that I needed to call to have a blessing for her. Our DMB and the counselor in the branch presidency came to give the blessing. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had here. The room in the chapel was so filled with the spirit and peace. I was just sitting there crying.
Why did Heavenly Father let all of this happen? It was all really unexpected but it was to help us see the Priesthood in action. So that our testimonies could be confirmed about what we had taught that night. He showed us that Priesthood power is real and the things we teach are real. It was a very neat learning experience and I will ever be so grateful for the peace we can feel by knowing the Lord operates through his servants today to bless us and lead us.

soeur Kimball