Monday, December 30, 2013

New Transfer. New Year. Same Companion. Same Area.

Dear Friends and Family,

We went caroling as a district last Monday! It was pretty much freezing, but it's totally okay because it was so fun! Also, I learned how to do the cool snappy thing that all the Elders do all the time. You probably have no idea what that means. Maybe I will make a video of it and send it or something... Because it's awesome!

Christmas Eve was awesome! I totally thought that I had lost my camera after our District Meeting though, so I was freaking out while we were at the Mangelson's (one of my favorite families in the ward). But it all worked out because the other sisters found it on the table at home. So I got to enjoy my Christmas Eve worry free! We had so much fun playing games! We played this game called Wacky Sixes, which was AWESOME! It was so stressful because it's a really fast paced game that you really have to pay attention to. Then we had a ping pong tournament, a snowball fight, and we played Apples to Apples. It was awesome! So we were told that we could call home for ONE MINUTE on Christmas Eve to set up our phone calls for Christmas day. So I called home, expecting a quick phone call. But no. I talked to everyone for 10 minutes.... Oh my goodness, I'm so apostate. But guess what, I did get some missionary work done thanks to my lovely grandma! So hey, it was a productive phone call at least!!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!! I certainly did! We hung out with the Elders in the morning and I got to Skype my family in the afternoon. It was kind of lame because Skype wasn't working very well. But at least I got to see them all in the Indiana swag I sent them!  So I had my first phone call. You know what that means? One more to go! Isn't that weird! I am getting so old. 

On Christmas morning I opened all my presents right before studies. It was so fun, I love opening presents! I got some really cute stuff! A few scarves, some clothes, a calendar... And my favorite..... Foot scrub and foot cream. You know you're a missionary when foot scrub and foot cream are your favorite presents. (Shoutout to Chris! You really know what a missionary needs!) And my mommy even sewed me a blankie! Cutest thing ever! It had all these Sister Missionaries on it! I loved it.... I will treasure that blankie the rest of my mission. Thanks mom! That's true love, right there!

After we all opened presents the Elders came over and brought us Ding Dongs. Then they shot us with these cute little baby sized nerf guns that their families had sent them. They have been loving pranking us this week. They have this giant plastic statue of a Joseph from a nativity that is missing it's face and we've been passing it from Elders to Sisters in the most creative ways we can imagine. It's been fun!

Later that day we played Curses and Apples to Apples with the Tenney family. SO fun! Good memories always come from playing Curses and Apples to Apples!

It was a pretty slow week, everyone's been out of town. Hopefully things will pick up again after the New Year. We've been practicing personal contacting and honestly... I am a little rusty! I hate that I haven't done it much, but this is a hard area to find people in, so we have to get creative to even find people that are outside. But it was good for me to do it again and it was good for Sister Oskins to practice :)

We stopped by Sister Janczak's house. She is actually living in the Franklin ward with her daughter for school because she wanted to play softball and it's just a really competitive school here. But her husband is here. They come for the holidays and long breaks, though, so I thought we could stop by! And she updated me on a lot of things that are happening down in Franklin. The biggest thing is probably that they're creating a new ward there! That's so exciting! The Church really is growing! I love that! And all the people I taught are doing well, especially Heidi. So yay!

April and Jalen got baptized and it was a beautiful program! I will send some pictures. For the baptism, Sister Oskins and I stood inside the font at the top of the stairs. I loved the view. It's always so special to see people that I taught be baptized! I love being a missionary!

I'm  not being transferred and neither is Sister Oskins. Looks like I'm going to be here for at least another 6 weeks! But I love Fishers. The ward members are GREAT! I love them all, so I'm excited I get to stay in the "bubble" a little longer!

Love, Sister Kimberly

Monday, December 23, 2013

It.... Doesn't Look Like Christmas Anymore!

Dear Friends and Family,

So.... It rained this week. And one day we woke up and ALL the snow was gone. Not even a little left. So I guess we won't be having a white Christmas this year! But I hear it's nice and snowy out West! Just so you know... You can keep it!

On Tuesday we had to run to the Post Office to send our Christmas packages home to our families. There were so many miracles involved in this package-sending thing! First of all, everything fit inside! Well, not everything... But all the stuff for Christmas and a few more things I've been needing to send home. And I got it all taped up. Then we went to the Post Office where the line was about forever long. So we stood at the back right behind this older couple. The older lady looked back at me and she started staring at my nametag. It seemed like she was looking at it for 5 minutes! And then she touched it and said "I like your...." And kind of trailed off. It was weird. But anyways, after that, I offered to help her with her packages, like a good little missionary, but she declined. Bummer. So then I stood in line some MORE! And when I was pretty much at the front of the line, this man behind me touched my shoulder and said, "excuse me..." And when on to tell me that he couldn't help but notice my CTR ring. He asked what it said, so I told him it said CTR, and he asked what it meant. So then I got the hint! This was a missionary moment! So I went on to tell him that I'm a Mormon and that we use the acronym CTR to stand for Choose the Right just to remind us to follow God and do the right things in life. After that, we had this great conversation! He asked if I was from Indiana, I told him I was from Utah, he asked if I was here on a mission, I told him yes and I loved it. It was great! Unfortunately, we had to stop talking because it was my turn to send my package. But isn't that cool! I've heard all kinds of stories about people noticing CTR rings and other Mormon stuff, but it's never happened to me! Until now :)

We showed April the MormonMessage about Stephanie. If you haven't seen it, here's a link (Don't worry, we're allowed onto the Mormon Channel!) It's my FAVORITE MormonMessage. It is SO GOOD! Watch it! I promise, you will love it! April loved it! Stephanie and April remind me of each other a lot.

We went to the home of one of the women in the ward whose husband isn't exactly active in the church. We go there every once in a while just to check up and make sure she's doing well, but her husband came in in the middle of our conversation. He was so nice and we talked to him for a long time! And then the Sister invited us to stay for dinner because we didn't have anyone feeding us. So we talked with him some more. Not about the Church, but about other things. And we also talked with their 13 year old daughter for a long time. And I love her! She is going to be a perfect fellowshipper for a 13 year old recent convert that just moved into our ward from the 2nd ward! It was so COOL!

One of the Elders in the 2nd ward had a seizure the other day. It was so scary, we were going over to the gym to exercise and the Sisters ran out of the gym and said there was an ambulance over by the Elders apartment. So we walked over there, and the gurney was right in front of their door. We had a hunch it was Elder Madsen because he's diabetic and this happened once about four months ago. But we weren't sure what was going on. We stood outside of their apartment and said a prayer and soon enough the other three Elders came out and told us that he had had a seizure, but that he was fine now. It was scary!! Ambulances aren't a good sign. BUT! He's fine now, so all is well!

We always have so much fun with the Elders. We are just the best missionaries this ward could have! I love it! People feed us together a lot and we seriously bring the party! We had so much fun at a member's house this week. Elder Cronin was talking about how he's a robot... And I said some funny stuff..... We were all laughing so hard by the end!

We had our Christmas mission conference and I loved it! So much fun! I love seeing all my missionary friends... We had spiritual stuff, of course. And then we ate and played cheese-y Christmas games! And we had a talent show. Missionaries are AWESOME! In case you didn't know! At the end, the Assistants got up and were rapping while another Elder beat boxed. They were rapping about Purdue and IU and which one was better. And then they had another Elder come up and do parkour. It was so cool! Elder Callison tried dancing. He wasn't that good at it, but that's okay. It was funny! Hahaha and it turns out Purdue won the battle. And we got this CD that an RM in one of the wards made. It is such a good CD and it has the cutest little shoutouts from family on it. My mommy even recorded one! So, here's a shoutout to you, Mom! I love you! I can't wait to see you on Christmas! 

April passed her interview! That was good! And the most awesome family got baptized on Saturday! The Akhauri family, they are from India and the 2nd ward Sisters have been working with them since July. It has been so long, but the entire family finally made it to baptism. And guess what else! They're moving into our ward next week. I am so excited! I love them! There were SO many people at their baptism. Lots of missionaries, friends, ward members.... It was such a touching experience.

Sister Tenney had us over and made us Cafe Rio pork yesterday. I love it when people do that for me! It's my favorite. I don't know what I'd do without it. Probably go crazy with withdrawals or something silly like that. And then we went CAROLING! I love Christmas on the mission. Maybe I can sneak into caroling with missionaries when I get home because that was the best thing of my life! I loved it! It wasn't too cold, because it isn't snowy. And there were a lot of us AND we got some members of our ward to play the trombones and saxophone for us. It was a full on band! So cool! We even got a potential out of it and told this lady we would come sing for her. Seriously, this was one of my favorite experiences! 

Well! It's almost Christmas! I hope you're all having a good holiday! I love you! And remember: Keep Christ in Christmas! He is the reason for the season! 

(Sorry I got a little cheese-y on you there. But you get the idea! Christ is important, and it's easy to forget about Him through all the crazy hustle and bustle of the holidays. But try to remember what you're celebrating!) 

Love, Sister Kimberly

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa Claus is Coming to Town...

Dear Friends and Family,

I am loving Christmas time as a missionary! I mean, it's always great, but now it's just even more great! Christmas music is so fun, and I love seeing all the lights... The snow here is terrible though. It's not even snow, it's more like a slushie out there. WAYYY wet! I hate it. But hey, it's okay though, because Indiana isn't like Utah. In Utah it just gets really cold and then it never gets warmer for what feels like 6 months, but soon, the snow is all going to melt and it's going to rain on Friday! I can live with that!

Me! With all the snow outside the apartment!

We went to visit one of the Less Actives in the ward this week. My favorite one, in fact, because she has the CUTEST daughters in the entire world! But when we got there, they let us in and the first thing they said was... Sorry for the mess, we're MOVING! I am so sad! I really wanted to teach their daughters. But instead, we had to just share a quick message about Christmas and we set a day and time to come back to help them clean up and help them get ready. So we went back and did that a few days later. It was cute, though, Amayah, their 9-year old daughter gave me one of those rubber band bracelets before I left. I loved it! I was the one that taught them how to make them! So cute! 

We got a new investigator this week, too! He's a former investigator that no one's been able to get in contact with, but we just happened to be walking up to his apartment right when a guy came out. I never had met him before, but I asked if he was Jhabriel (Ja-breel) and it was him! So we talked with him for a minute, but it was FREEZING outside! So we didn't talk too long. Hopefully he will be there for our appointment this week and we don't lose him again, he is so solid!

We went to try this Mexican place that Elder Baker told me was a lot like Costa Vida. I got so excited, so of course we HAD to go try it! It's called Qdoba and... It was nothing like Costa Vida. Bummer. It was good, just not quite good enough. 

 Elder Cronin made a cake with a few pieces of vanilla frosting for me 

because I don't like chocolate frosting!

We went over to teach April on Wednesday this week and the coolest thing ever happened. Right after we got there, we heard a knock at the door. I just thought it was the Elders, because they were going to come and teach April's son, Jalen, while we taught April. But then this woman came up the stairs. Her name is Teresa and she's been working with April and Jonah a little bit. So I asked if April had given a Book of Mormon to her friend that came to her wedding, and she had already had one. Then she started talking about how she shared a book with Teresa. But after talking for a minute we realized she'd only given her a Restoration pamphlet, not the Book of Mormon, so she just took it and gave it to Teresa. So Sister Oskins and I told Teresa a little bit about it and about the Church. Then we taught April and Jonah a little about family home evening, like we had originally planned. And it was so perfect because Teresa's job is to work with families and make them more functional and unified. She was so interested she asked April for a paper so she could take notes. And Jonah was sharing Moroni 10:3-5 with her and bearing his testimony. The only bad thing is she lives outside of our area and our mission. But we referred her on to the missionaries in her area! She's great, I love her!

We met up with the Elders on Thursday and made a cute little candy poster board for our Ward Mission Leader. It was fun, reminded me of my mom because she used to make those. It said things like "Even though we don't get a PAYDAY, we love working with you" "You're the REESE'S this is the best area in the mission" It was cute, I was proud of it!

We got to go over to the Akhauri's apartment, an Indian (like from India) family that is getting baptized this Saturday in the 2nd ward and then moving into our ward right after Christmas. It was so fun to get to know them. I love that family already, the only downside about being there was that my clothes all smelled like Indian food after, and I don't really like that smell.

Our ward Christmas party was this week. It was fun! A lot of people showed up, even a few nonmembers. There was one that I got to talk to. Her name is Toshiko and she lives next door to a member that's been trying to get her to learn the gospel forever! She just feels like she's too old to change. Hopefully she'll let us teach her though! She said we could come over and see her sometime! Then after the ward party, the Elders hid behind our car and ambushed us with snowballs! It was fun, but so cold! But not too bad, our Elders aren't very good at aiming ;) But don't worry, we ambushed the Elders once too... No way are we just going to let them attack us!

Our planned attack on the Elders when they came to our door, 
we just threw them out at them :) 
They never saw it coming.

Yesterday at dinner we got to spend some time with the kids in the family. We were told to go downstairs and play ping pong while dinner was finishing up. So we did, and then they had these cute soft white balls with faces. They were fake snowballs! So we spent half an hour running around throwing them at each other. It was so fun! (Mom, we need some fake snowballs) And we didn't even get too cold to play. I liked that way better than real snowball fights.

This next week is going to be hard for us. Everyone's going to be so busy with Christmas stuff and family gatherings... No one is going to have time to meet with us until after the holidays! But it's okay, it'll be fun too!

I love being a missionary!

Love, Sister Kimberly