Friday, May 31, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm loving it here, but the days are really long. It's not just that we're busy, but we're doing the same things over and over. It's been kind of rough having three of us in a companionship because we have too many things that we want to talk to our investigators about, but they don't always fit together the way they need to.

We got our flight plans last Friday afternoon, I am leaving Tuesday morning on a Delta flight at around 7:30 and there will be a 30 min. layover in ATL. (I would expect a call before 7:30 am since there won't really be time in ATL) I'm super excited, but also really nervous. Like I said, the days are long and we do the same things over and over. It's like wake up, go to the classroom and study, go to breakfast, go study, go to lunch, class for 4 hours, dinner, class for 3 hours, and go to bed.

Yesterday, we had what was called In-Field Orientation ALL DAY though. It was good, we learned about planning and goal setting and member work. Just the stuff that we don't really learn here, but we will need for when we leave. It's been cool, I've met people from all over! In my district, there are 2 people from Oregon, 1 from Alaska. The other day, I met 2 boys from Australia. Oh! And we taught another "investigator" from Madagascar! Cool, huh! She was so nice! She was really a member, but I still loved teaching her and getting to know her! And yesterday, one of the people that was teaching us was FROM Paris, France! And yesterday I also met one girl from Brazil and one from Honduras. There are so many! Last week, it wasn't too crowded around here, but after this Wednesday, there are so many missionaries!

I've had some ups and downs here, but I bet that's pretty normal. The food still isn't that good, but not too bad either. But since we really just study and have class all day there's not a ton to say.

Yay for SM! (Scripture Mastery)  (Side note from Mom... as a family we decided to memorize all the BofM scripture mastery this year.  I added candy motivation and this is what she's referring to. Our goal is 2 a month and we've all done one and all but Jeff have done the second one for May.  Apparently he's getting his candy fix somewhere else!)

Thanks for DearEldering me all the time, it's nice. When you sent that letter from the school about the Dean's List though, one of the girls in my district was laughing SO HARD. Hahaha I didn't really want to hear from James Morales ;) And then you didn't even say that was awesome or anything! What the heck! Hahaha

Looks like Darrin's wedding was pretty and "Cutie" was beautiful! How is Vicki? Good?

Sorry about Sue's dad, glad you took Susan to the thing. She had fun? Did Valerie go? She's kind of friends with her, right? I can't think of anything I need. All I left was my nail polish and my bobby pins, neither are super essential. Oh and pens, but I can get those too. It's hard, I barely even have time to write in my journal at all. Gotta do laundry today and start packing to leave!

Love, Sister Kimberly

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thank Goodness it's Friday

Dear Friends and Family

So I guess Pday in the MTC for me is on Friday. We've been so crazy busy. Always, always doing stuff. And when people say that every meal is like another day, they aren't lying. We've learned a lot though. We talk SO MUCH about "our purpose" as missionaries that I memorized it just by hearing it so much all the time. My purpose is to: Invite others to come unto Christ and His restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." So pretty much my purpose is Article of Faith #4!

So after I got out of the car, I got all my missionary stuff, went to my room and set down my suitcases, and went to a classroom where my new district was. I have 2 companions, though. They're Sister Bambrough and Sister Ruoho (pronounced Bambro and Rojo like red in Spanish.) I really do like them! They are both from Utah and going to Indiana as well. So I'm in a tripanionship or a trio or a threesome or whatever you want to call it. We have 2 other roommates in our room. Sister Metcalf and Sister Redd, they are both going to Virginia, Richmond. So 5 in our room. I think there were going to be 6, but one of the girls didn't show up. We're sad about that.

The days here are so long, but it is so beautiful! I love it outside! There are pretty flowers and everyone's so happy all the time. Yesterday we went to the gym and I even ran a whole mile! 10 times around the track. Super duper short track and I HATE that, but it's better than not running. My comps aren't into that or I'd try to get them run with me outside. We have 2 teachers and I like them a lot. Yesterday, we "met" an "investigator" that our teacher is going to play and we are going to teach him! His name is Bobby and we just learned a little bit about him. Now we're studying and preparing to teach him a lesson. I'm so excited! The Spirit here is so different. While we were talking about what we wanted to teach Bobby, I just felt EXCITED! Like I just wanted to talk to him right then. That's how I know that we are going to teach him things he needs to hear.

On my first day, there was a sister who told us that this tree smelled like cream soda. We didn't believe her, but we all smelled it and it really did smell like it! I don't even know how that happens #sillytree

The food isn't too terrible. Definitely not the best. But there's always something that I can eat. Plus, they bring out food around dinner just in carts outside. Last night there was Subway that we could just have! #Eatfresh and some left over cookies from lunch. I've been having a hard time eating in the mornings though. Breakfast never has agreed with me.  Yesterday I tried to eat a breakfast burrito. Probably not the best plan, but hey. Anyway, that didn't work out, so this morning I had a bagel and fruit. Much, much better!

Today has been Pday, and we had to get up EARLY, EARLY! What in the world? Like I was thinking it would make the most sense if we got to sleep in for Pday (we can't) but now we have to get up earlier! To CLEAN or something ridiculous like that. I guess. Oh well, it's done. And now we get to wake up a little later tomorrow.

Our schedules are crazy busy though. There's like no time to just sit down and do nothing. We spend a lot of time sitting and listening and bearing our testimonies and all that jazz. We're nearly never ever in our room except at night though. And earlier we spent some time sitting today writing letters to friends and family. But there hasn't been much. Mostly we are out in the classroom or at the cafeteria or another classroom....

There's lots and lots to do!

Mom, I got your DearElders yesterday, I know Sister Blacker, she lives in the room right next to me. I told her about dad knowing her dad and serving in the same mission as him, she said she'd write him and ask him. Do you think he'd know who he was now? And then I got the package today, thank you! If you happen to send one anytime soon, I left my nail polish home. I just need light pink and gray, Natalie should know how to help. I sent a letter yesterday so you should get it tomorrow. Woohoo! #youvegotmail

Anyway. Love you all!

Sister Kimberly

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy and Sad, All at the Same Time!

Sister Kim is now a full time missionary and the duties of blogging have been left to Mom. 

Wow, what a day!  Funny how the official missionary slept in while the rest of the family was up and ready to go!  I guess she figured one last day to sleep in for a while...

Two bags, both full and within a few pounds of the limit.  She may have to wear six outfits through the airport to empty out poundage for the flight.

As of now her flight leaves June 4.  I'll post more as I learn more.

We didn't have to be to the MTC until 12:45 p.m.,  so we sent to brunch on our way.  Connor was obviously not too upset to eat...

Last family picture for a while.

Got to Provo about a half hour early so stopped at Sub Zero.  We were all stuffed from brunch, so managed about half of the ice cream (we all know ice cream just melts into the cracks). 

At the MTC.  It was crowded!  We're trying to turn left into the MTC.  The lineup are cars full of crying mothers and nervous missionaries. 

Cattle call...  They have missionaries at every stop to grab your nervous kid and whisk them off before you can change your mind.  My pictures don't do it justice, but there are numbers every car length apart and wrap all around the building.

This is the "Host" missionary who will take my sweet Kimberly for the day and show her the ropes at the MTC.  The host missionary is heading to Hong Kong once her MTC time is up.  She was sweet.  It was amazing seeing all the youth leaving their families to go share their belief in Christ and eternal hope with others.  There is hope for our future if these youth are any indication of the leaders of tomorrow.  I almost couldn't even say goodbye because I was too busy trying to get a grip on my own emotions.  Wow...  new respect for veteran Missionary Moms!  Contemplating changing religions before Connor gets old enough to go... jk

The curb line wrapped all the way around the building!  Amazing how smoothly everything ran with so many cars, luggage, parents trying to drive with tear filled eyes.  Lucky we're alive!  LOL  I was pretty limited in the opportunities for taking pictures since I couldn't see.  I think I must have allergies ;)  The pictures don't really show the full extent of the lineup of cars and missionaries greeting and leaving.  It was amazing!  The whole process from pulling up to the curb, unloading luggage and leaving was about 5 minutes.  Now my baby is gone on an adventure without me!  I'm going to miss her a ton!

While she is in the MTC, the easiest way to write her is through  It's a free site and you can write an email, which they will print and deliver to the missionary mailbox the next day at the MTC free of charge.  Once she leaves for Indiana, it's convenient, but a little different.  I'll post that info when it's closer.  Kim would love to hear from everyone especially as she adjusts to being in a new environment.  At the site, you can send packages and stuff too, but they are pretty expensive, I think.  If you are inclined to send a package, it might be cheaper to just mail it.  While she will be limited to sending emails/mail only on her P-day (see below), she can receive mail daily in the MTC.
On the site, you click the tab that says "write a letter", then select "Provo MTC" at the top of the list of places.  It then asks you to fill in delivery info. 
Sister Kimberly Francis
MTC Box #302
Mission Code: IN-IND
Estimated MTC Departure Date: 0604
The correspondence from the MTC asked that we are not send perishable foods.  Cookies are fine if wrapped well and won't spoil, but it can take up to 24 hours for them to deliver packages, so no pizza deliveries or foods that need to be delivered right away.   I've heard that the BYU bookstore will deliver cinnamon rolls or cookies and deliver them same day, I haven't checked that out yet, so not sure how that works. 
If you would like to write an "old fashioned" letter (which she would love too), you can send it to:
Sister Kimberly Ann Francis
MTC Mailbox #302
IN-IND 0604
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT  84604-1793
I'll keep her blog updated with weekly emails that she sends and with information and pictures as I get them.  She won't be able to communicate with us until her "P" day.  (For those who don't know what that is, it's a "Preparation" day which is their "day off" from missionary duties to do laundry, write letters, site see, etc.  We won't know what day that will be for her while she's in the MTC until we receive an email and then we know that is the day.  The day will change possibly once she goes to Indiana.

Monday, May 20, 2013

So Long, Farewell

I gave my farewell talk yesterday and I'm leaving for the MTC on Wednesday! We're getting down to the end!

And I can NOT WAIT!

So I thought I'd share my talk with you, but just little excerpts because it was long:

We are each given the ability to receive revelation for ourselves that can guide and direct us through life. We can get revelation for all kinds of things. Revelation of spiritual knowledge can come to us as we read scriptures and pray to gain a testimony or direction for our lives.
            There is a MormonMessage on the MormonChannel on YouTube called Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation by Elder David A Bednar where he addresses personal revelation.
            It is a 3 part message where he teaches us about the Light of Christ and what light is. In this third part, he explains how revelation can come to us in two different patterns:
            The first pattern is receiving revelation all at once, like turning on a light in a room. It goes from darkness to instantly illuminated. 
            The second pattern of receiving revelation happens more gradually, like the rising sun. You can see the light on the horizon, but never all at once, rather it illuminates the world little by little. 
            A scripture that illustrates this pattern is D&C 42:61. That verse also shows us just how important personal revelation is, in my scriptures, next to this verse I have written ‘The most essential and important thing that one must learn in order to enter into the Celestial Kingdom is to receive personal revelation.’
            Elder Bednar says that “sometimes receiving inspiration is like a foggy day. There’s enough light that you can tell it’s not darkness anymore… but… you can see just enough to take a few steps into the cloudiness.”
            Revelation is dependent upon faith and our willingness because we have to have faith and an honest desire to receive revelation, but then we also have to have faith and desire to act upon the revelation when we do receive it.        
Prophets are defined in D&C 21:1-2. We are given prophets because God loves us. He wants us all to know the truth, so He reveals the truths necessary for our salvation through prophets and apostles.
            Prophets do many things for us, including warning us of the sins of the world and inviting us to repentance. They also testify and are witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world. They are servants of God. D&C 1:38.
            We are commanded to follow the prophets and we are lucky enough to be able to hear the word of God from a living prophet today every six months in General Conference. Additionally, the technology we have today allows us to read, listen to, or watch General Conference talks from 1971 until today anytime that we want to on
            My favorite part of General Conference is how it can touch everyone individually. No matter who you are, there is something for you to get out of listening to our prophets and apostles, whether you’re old or young, parent or child, man or woman. Prophets receive revelation for the whole world, not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
           The most recent revelation by a prophet that touched my life in a big was was announced by President Monson in the Oct 2012 Conference. He announced that I could serve a mission at the age of nineteen rather than waiting until I turned 21. This came at a time when I had been trying to decide what direction to take in my life. It seemed to be an answer to my prayers at the time. In fact, I had told a friend of mine just 2 weeks before that I would definitely go on a mission if I could've gone when I was 19. I turned 19 just a month after and a few weeks later I received my own revelation that this is what I should do. It seems a lot like Elder Bednar's description of stepping into the cloudiness, but I have faith that I will be directed as I act on my answer.

I know that all the things I have said are true. President Monson is a true, living prophet of God today. Joseph Smith was also a prophet and he did restore the fulness of the gospel of Christ to the world. I know that the Church is true.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

And because I'm leaving, I want to keep in touch! My addresses will be kept up to date in the new 'Write Me!' tab at the top of this blog, and also on the sidebar. On top of that, I will keep you all in touch with the things that I will be doing. The easiest way to receive these updates is to go over to the right side of the page and find where you can add your email address. By doing that, you will receive email updates every week! So take a minute to do that!
Okay great! I hope you added your email! Now I just have to pack and I'll be ready to go!