Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm Still Afraid of Dogs

June 24, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,

It has been brought to my attention that my family has decided to get a dog. And you know what? Indiana is FULL of dogs. Everyone has a dog. Big ones.  Little ones.  All kinds.  Most people have more than one! And I'm still not used to it!  So... Maybe I don't want to go home. Ever. Maybe they did that so I wouldn't come home?

We don't really have any baptisms in our area yet, I was on an exchange when I taught the man that's getting baptized. But we do have an update about him, he had his interview yesterday and he passed! So it's still on for Saturday.

We've been out of the area most of the week. My companion and I haven't had much of a chance to do anything in our area this week. We went to Wabash and Huntington for an exchange, and Sister Wahlin had a meeting so we went down to the mission home and I went with sisters serving in Zionsville. Most of the days we did have without exchanges, were filled with meetings and planning. But we did have an awesome experience! We were walking down the street and this lady passed us and said she “sees us everywhere”. She didn't stop though, so we kept going. We turned the corner and saw this guy, early 20s, fixing his car. We did stop to chat with him a little bit. It was going okay, but the lady came back and stopped me in the middle of the conversation and asked where the church was! I was so shocked, but I gave her the address and our phone number and the time church started. I didn't get a chance to say anything else, but she told me her name was Kristy. We were really hoping she'd show up at church today, she did say she was looking for a "home" because they hadn't found a church yet. She didn't come this week, but there's still hope! We won't give up!

We had a couple of appointments with investigators, but they both got cancelled; one of them because Sue ended up leaving town earlier than expected. That was sad, because we were ready to commit her to a baptismal date. And we had to go to Wabash one night and have us both stay there because I wasn't able to drive quite in time. And then I guess we had an appointment with a man named Sequoro, I've never met him, they talked to him while we were exchanging, but Sister Wahlin scheduled that for a day that we didn't end up being there. 

Next week will be better! We have some awesome goals and plans to get there!

I have to speak in church next Sunday. I guess every fifth Sunday, this ward does a "Missionary Sacrament Meeting" and so I get to speak about missionary work. I think I'm going to talk about how to do missionary work without being a full time missionary, because we really want to get our ward involved with a lot of the things we're doing. And also, they are the best resource for finding people to teach. So, if you're reading this, you can be a missionary too! Do it! It's awesome!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tornados = Mosquitos

Dear Friends and Family,

Crazy week! My companion is a Sister Training Leader, which pretty much means that we get to go on splits with all of the girls in two zones. That means ten splits this month! We went on two this week. I was in a city called Peru (yeah! Peru! Almost like South America! No, actually not) and another little city called Wabash. I really liked Wabash, it was the cutest little city. I'm staying in the Indiana mission when the split happens, but both Peru and Wabash are going to be in the Ohio mission.

Last Wednesday there were a bunch of tornado warnings going out. I happened to be in Peru that night, and I heard that the weather was worse in Warsaw, so I guess I'm lucky. It was so cool though! There was SO much lightning! Like there was never a moment of dark, because it kept lightninging and lightninging! It was AWESOME! Unless you're scared of lightning, good thing I'm not I guess! But it got really windy for a minute, but it didn't last too long.

It rained a lot in Warsaw that night and the lightning was closer there so it was a little more scary there. But everyone was fine, and none of the "tornadoes" ever touched the ground. I guess in Wabash they actually had tornado sirens go off. Ah!

But everyone's good. When I was in Wabash, I got to teach a man named Bob who is set to get baptized on June 29. I don't think I'm going to be able to attend his baptism, but it's still exciting! He's 67 and he fought in the Vietnam War. He had a lot of cool stories! He didn't have any teeth at all and he had been smoking for 55 years. He's trying so hard to quit! They already had to push his baptism back a week because he smoked. But it's amazing how much he wants to be baptized!

There are a lot of people here that seem to want to talk to us about the flaws in our beliefs. Not really bible bashing, but people just telling us why it is that we can't have prophets today or tell us about the prophecies of Joseph Smith that never happened or something. It's hard, a lot of people here are really educated about the Bible. One of the people I taught down in Wabash had a Master's in Theology, so he knows a lot, but a lot of these people let their previous knowledge get in the way of them learning more!

We met a Catholic family this week, they were really nice. The mother answered the door and we talked for a little bit and she said her husband had read a little bit about the BOM, we asked if he'd ever read it and she didn't know, so she went to get him and they ended up inviting us in! We went in and he just asked if we had an extra one because he never had read it. So I gave it to him! That was cool! He had a lot of questions about the deeper doctrine of the Church that we don't really fully understand ourselves like about God having a God and how we can become gods. But we also talked a lot about praying to know if it's true and how important that is. So by the end, we committed him to read the BOM and pray to know if it's true. Then we had a prayer! It was cool, I've never said a prayer like the Catholics before, it was different, but we were still able to feel the Spirit!

I still haven't even really met many of my investigators. I was gone when we had an appointment with Sue, and I was sad because we were going to set a baptismal date for her. That didn't end up happening though, and I think we're going to do that this Wednesday! Exciting, huh! She smokes too, she'd have to quit that before she could get baptized. In fact, it seems like everyone in Indiana smokes. Literally. It all reminds me of hotels in Vegas, because I've never smelt this much smoke at one time! Yuck!
We bounced on a bouncy house yesterday. I enjoyed that!
The mosquitos here are CRAZY. And they HURT! In Utah it never hurt when they bit me, just itched after, but it hurts! Yesterday, we had the most amazing thing happen. There were swarms of mosquitos attacking us and we were not having any success talking to anybody, and we were on our way home. We ran into this black lady outside and we said hello and asked what she was doing and she was just like "Praising the Lord!" And we were all like, us too! And she's so excited! She asked if we had anything to give her, and we said we were missionaries that invite people to strengthen their relationships with Christ. So instead of giving her anything, she gave us her name, number, and address. Can you say MIRACLE?

Love, Sister Kimberly

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Finally, P Day

Dear Friends and Family,

I have so much to say! My flight was good, I sat by a ton of missionaries though. Didn't even get to practice my skills. Ha ha! We landed in Atlanta and had to run to the next flight because it was boarding by the time we landed. So there were, like, 10 missionaries sprinting through the Atlanta airport. That must've been a funny sight!

We made it to Indiana fine though, with all of us. Miracle! President Collins and his wife were waiting at the airport and we all grabbed our luggage. Mine was easy to spot, bright blue suitcases! Then we went over to the mission office so they could get some of our information. Afterward, we went to a stake center and had dinner with all of us and a welcome testimony meeting. The sisters ended up spending the night in the mission home and the elders went to other missionary apartments in the area. It was a big sleepover with almost 20 girls! Wow! Showering was an adventure.

In the morning we had transfer meeting. It was President and Sister Collins' last one because President and Sister Cleveland are taking over. And the mission is splitting! Big changes! I was sitting there waiting to be called, because wherever I went for my first area determined if I would stay in Indiana or be in Ohio. I was the first called from the new group and I was called to Warsaw, Indiana! (It's in the South Bend Zone, there aren't sisters in South Bend though. Tell Slabaugh) It's so strange here, it's almost like Utah because there are churches ALL OVER. Literally. ALL OVER. But they aren't our churches, haha, just a bunch of different kinds. And everyone here is religious. They're all pretty active too. So it's hard to talk to people, since they all have their own beliefs already. There are lots of country roads all over, lots of cornfields. I love the farmhouses, they are beautiful! And there are a ton of lakes in this area. So there are big, pretty lakehouses too!

My "mom" or trainer is Sister Alyssa Wahlin. She's 24, graduated from USU in engineering. She doesn't look any older than me though. She's been here a year now and I'm her second "daughter". We are in the same apartment with Sis. Bambrough from the MTC and Sis O'Brien. They are covering half of our area. It's fun!

We currently have one progressing investigator named Sue, we haven't had any lessons with her yet, but we did stop by and see her to invite her to church. She said she'd think about it, but she had an offer from someone to buy a lot of her taxidermy stuff, and she really needs the money. I'm sad, I wish she would've come.

Other than that, we've done a lot of tracting. It's like

"Knock knock." "Who's there?" "The sister missionaries" Except it's not a joke, ha ha! It's kind of scary, but fortunately, everyone here is pretty dang nice. No one's even slammed their door on me! They all even dress like Mormons. I don't even see many tank tops or short shorts or anything! Everyone's pretty conservative.

My address is

Sister Kimberly Francis
334 G Chamberlin Dr.
Warsaw, IN 46580

Love, Sister Kimberly

PS Have fun in Disneyland! Get me something cool! Wish I was there!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

Kimberly is now in the land of the Hoosiers!


She left the MTC really early this morning for a 7:30 a.m. flight with a bunch of others going out on the same flight.  She had a layover in Atlanta for 40 minutes or so, so we were a little worried about them finding their way to the other flight in Atlanta since that is just a big airport with a train to different gates, etc.  If they got lost and had to find their way back, they would have missed the connection.  Apparently they made it!

We are lucky enough to have a neighbor who works for Delta (the airline she flew out on), who was at work at that time and was able to go greet her at the airport and give her a travel treat bag and his phone.  It turned out the lines for the bank of phones was full of missionaries trying to call home, so this was awesome for us to have him there!  Thanks Dwayne!  Instead of having her rushed to call and have a line of anxious missionaries wanting to call home too behind her, we got to talk to her for about 45 min. 

It was early enough that Natalie and Connor had not left for school yet, so they got to talk to her too. 

She sounded great!  She admitted she was a little nervous to go, but excited too.  We got to hear a little more about her companions (she has two).  She loves them both.  She did say there were a few cute Elders too, not that she was looking... lol.  She'll be sad to leave those two companions once she gets assigned to a new "trainer" in IN.  She says they are super awesome and they have a lot of fun together.   
We were worried about her 50 lb limit on the luggage and she squeaked by with one at 46 lbs and the other at 49!.  She better not acquire anything new in 18 months!  She'll have to ditch something if she wants to bring home a Notre Dame hoodie or Indy 500 souvenir.

She was feeling much better and the bug or whatever she had was gone, so she was pretty happy about that. 

She was very thankful for all those who have written to her.  She says it helps her feel connected to those she left behind and she looks forward to more.  She's hoping to have a little more letter writing time herself now that the major classroom training is done so she can write too.

She didn't have much time for running in the MTC, but they did play a lot of four square as a district.  She hadn't played that since elementary school!  They also played volleyball.  She didn't brag about her skills, so I guess that's a indication of how well she did at that.

It was great to hear her voice!  Letters and emails are great, but it's hard to get a feel for what's behind what they aren't saying.  It made me so happy and relieved to hear she sounded happy and ready to serve.  She didn't seem homesick at all, so that's good (or is it?).

She said she had sent a letter and included a camera memory card with pictures on it, so once I get it, I'll post some pictures.

It was a little funny... One sister missionary was assigned to be the "group leader" for the travelling part of the journey.  She was a little frazzled.  About 20 min before boarding, she comes up to Kimberly and asks her where the guy went that gave her the phone and how she was going to give it back to him.  She thought a total stranger had given it to her and then disappeared... lol  No, he just went back to work for a bit so she could talk for a while.  She kept asking Kimberly where they guy was and does she know what he looks like... heck yeah, been hanging out with him for years!  It was cute.

We got a call at 9:30 p.m. from the mission president's wife, Sister Collins.  She made a brief call to all parents to let them know their children arrived safely and gave us some emergency phone numbers and brief info. 

Kimberly's P day will be on Mondays, so we won't hear from her until next Monday.  We won't know where she will be serving or her new address until then.  Until we get that address, any mail can go to the mission home and they will forward it to her.

The Indiana mission is being split and the eastern half of Indiana is being merged into a new Cincinnati Ohio mission.  Kim tells us if her first assignment is in the area that remains with the Indianapolis mission, she will stay in that mission.  If she's assigned to the part that splits off in July, she most likely will go to the new mission.  So I guess we'll wait and see which mission she will be in.  She'd like to stay in the Indiana mission, but I guess it doesn't really matter where you serve, just that you are willing to serve and I'm glad she is.

My good friend Mike is visiting his family in Indiana this week and I talked to him tonight.  He said he ordered up a gorgeous day for her arrival and had plenty of sunshine and beautiful weather.  So Indiana is probably having a great first impression on her!

So glad all went well and happy we got to chat for so long.  It was a great start to the day!