Monday, July 29, 2013

Jewish People???

Dear Friends and Family,
Role playing a lesson with Sonja! Sis. Newell drew a realistic picture of her!

Did I tell you about Sonja last week? I'm pretty sure I did. Her son just got home from the Philippines Tacloban Mission and he came here to visit this week. He's really nice, still a little awkward from the mission... But nice! We had a lesson with Sonja and he was able to come and it was great! He really helped with the lesson and I'm sure Sonja loved having him there. While he was here, he also did a fireside for his family that is in this part of the country. It's interesting because none of them are members. He spoke last night and it went really well. He gave a few Book of Mormons to them and I'm excited! They don't really all live in Kokomo, so if they do get taught, I won't be the one teaching them unless they actually do live here. But I'm excited! He's still so focused on missionary work, it's so funny. When he prayed, he prayed that "the sisters would get lots of referrals and teach many people" which is great! Something we need! It's just also funny. We are preparing Sonja to be baptized on August 17! That's so soon! I'm excited, she loves to learn about the gospel.
The missionaries in our ward with Elder Drew Richmond, Sonja's son the RM. Just got home from the Philippines a few weeks ago. He's going to UVU for school when he goes back to Utah

We also have Betty Hornbuckle getting baptized on August 10, two baptisms in a row! It's awesome! She is so ready. She quit smoking almost a week and a half ago and she is still going strong! We are so excited for her and the progress she's made. We call her every day to make sure she's still doing well and she's always just so happy. She's glowing! And she's so proud of herself. She's been smoking for 50 years and she was just able to quit cold turkey. She knows that Christ is helping her!

I met another investigator in this area for the first time. Her name is Cheryl. She's a very interesting lady. She's pretty much a hippie. She's awesome, and she really really loves people. She hasn't come to church or read the Book of Mormon though, I guess she just doesn't like the idea of organized religion. After we taught her, she brought out a little "angel harp" that she uses when she gives people massages (that's her job) but she let us play it! It was fun! She has some really interesting experiences, it's fun to listen to her.

The investigator that just showed up to church last week isn't working out like we had hoped. She is still meeting with us, but we aren't sure if she's meeting with us for the right reasons. Her and her fiance lie a lot about their lives and we aren't sure what the truth is. So we're just holding out to see what happens.

Bob is a great guy! He is an investigator with a few family issues. He wants so badly to follow Christ! But he just isn't willing to make commitment. He hasn't come to church yet, but he reads the Bible and the Book of Mormon every night. He wants to strengthen his faith, that's all he wants. I wish he would come to church, because that's the best place to strengthen faith! He's awesome though, he has this long handlebar mustache and everything. It's awesome.

We got three new investigators this week! We have appointments with each of them coming up and I'm so excited! I love it when we go finding and we actually FIND people!
Kimberly Drive! Love it!

The other day, this lady saw us walking down the street and she came up to us and asked if we were in school. We told her we aren't currently, we were missionaries. But then she went on and on about how we reminded her of Charlie's Angels. I've never actually seen Charlie's Angels, but she said it over and over... And she was talking about Elvis and Farrah Fawcett.... It was a strange conversation, I didn't really know how to respond to her.

Oh! We were knocking on doors a couple days ago and this one man answered the door. It was my turn to start, so I heard the door open and this man looks at us and gives us the WEIRDEST look as if we were aliens on his doorstep. So I told him who we were and asked if he had faith in Christ and he said "No. My people are the people who put Him on the cross. Without my people, your people wouldn't be able to celebrate Christmas." And he shut the door. We all walked away and laughed, it was just the strangest experience! We think maybe he's Jewish... We aren't really sure though.
Thanks for all the letters and emails!  I love hearing from you!
Love,  Sister Kim

Monday, July 22, 2013

Aruba... Jamaica...

Dear Friends and Family,

I got transferred to Kokomo!

(Think... Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take you to Bermuda Bahama come on pretty mama. Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go down to the Kokomo...)

5036 S Webster St Apt C
Kokomo, IN 46902

My new companionS are Sister McDowell from Gilbert, AZ. We really bond since I've been to Gilbert. She's been to Seranos, so we get along! Haha! And she loves to run, which is great! I can live with that, I think.

And Sister Newell from Washington state. She was actually called to Belo Horizante Brazil, but she hasn't gotten her visa yet. So you know what that means? We do language study with her every morning. So... I'm pretty much going to be fluent in Portuguese 6 weeks from now. #nobigdeal #itsprettycool

Kokomo is great! We have an investigator who is currently set to be baptized on August 10. As long as she can quit smoking, she will be ready! Betty Hornbuckle, she is so great. I guess they found her just by tracting. That's awesome! Tracting works, I guess. Another investigator we have is Sonja Rohn. I HAVE to tell you this story. Sister Newell and her last companion were tracting a street, just knocking on all the doors, with no success. They were about ready to quit, but they knocked on Sonja's door. She was so excited to see them, she pulled them into her house and was like "You're LDS right??" They were so confused, this never happens. No one knows the term LDS and no one just lets you in like that. She didn't even tell them her name, but went off and grabbed her iPad. She showed them all these pictures of her son. He was on a MISSION! What?? She's not a member. Her ex husband moved to Utah after he married an LDS woman and was converted and as a result so were her children. Her son, Drew, actually came home from the Philippines last week and Sonja has decided to learn the gospel. What an awesome blessing. He's been praying for this for TEN YEARS! I can't imagine how excited he is. He's actually coming to Kokomo later this week and will do a fireside thing with his farewell talk for the family he has here. I'm excited to meet him. He's excited to sit in on a lesson with his mom. It's exciting. I love it. And Sonja is so ready, we asked her to pray about a day that she would want to be baptized. Awesome!

Yesterday, we had church, it was great. We were greeting everyone, especially since Sister McDowell and I are new here and in walks these two people in street clothes. After sacrament we went up to talk to them. Obviously. It turns out Randy was recently baptized (in March) and his fiance Rosie isn't a member. They've been away for a long time, but they are back for now and Rosie wants to take the lessons too! A new investigator was just dropped right into our laps. #talkaboutmiracles The work truly is hastening!

Betty has two dogs, both little ones, but they both jumped up on me and were climbing all over me and I FREAKED out. I promise you, I really am afraid of dogs. Maybe that's why I'm here, everyone and their dog has a dog!

Our AC went out in our apartment. And it was AWFUL. It was so hot and so humid and I just couldn't sleep. Luckily, it was fixed the next day. But it was so hard to live with. We went to study at the church in the morning because it was too hot to focus on anything, especially the gospel.

My new area is great! I love it!
Kim and Sister Bambrough at the Warsaw Fair

Sister Newell, Kim, McDowell in Kokomo, IN

Keep calm and go to the TEMPLE! I wish I could!
No temple in Indiana... yet!
Love, Sister Kim

Monday, July 15, 2013

Transfer #2

Dear Friends and Family

Today is the very first day of my second transfer on the mission! I will be here for 13 transfers, so I'm 1/13 done! Crazy, huh?

It was a good week. We had 2 exchanges to finish the transfer and they went really well. I'm really good at having lessons with people and talking to everyone apparently. A lesson means we talk to someone and teach them a gospel principle and say a prayer at the end. This means we say a lot of prayers on doorsteps and porches and yards. But our average is 4 or 5 and this week we had 9. And all of them were on exchanges. It's fun, cause when we exchange I have to run the area since the other Sister doesn't know anything about the people or the area. It's fun!

We had a lesson earlier this week with Chris again. She's so great. She's sweet and I love her 2 year old son. He's so cute! His name is Clint. Tressa, a lady in the ward that we brought to some lessons with her, invited her to her daughters baptism that was this Sunday after church. They are REALLY good friends now! That's great! I'm sure they would keep in touch whether she gets baptized or not. So she'll always have that connection with the Church. Chris is pretty lonely and loves when we bring people to see her. But anyway, she came to the baptism and it was AWESOME! She hasn't come to church yet, she says it's too early and it's hard to get Clint ready for it. But she came to a baptism! She loved it, she wanted to clap after Maggie was baptized. And then when they confirmed her and she received the gift of the Holy Ghost...  Ah! She loved it! And it was so cool. I was sitting right next to her and the closing song was I Love to See the Temple. She didn't know the song, obviously, but she still was singing it. And I was like, Yes! Chris! You are going to the temple someday! That would be so awesome! But maybe we should get her baptized first...

Otherwise, it's been a pretty slow week. There have been a lot of people not home. It's just ridiculous. I don't like tracting much, but especially when nobody's home.

The last day of transfers the Assistants call the companionships that are being changed. I didn't think anything would change because I'm sill in "training" which lasts 2 transfers. But I was wrong. We got a call... And....

I'm leaving.

I'm really surprised. I thought if anyone was leaving it would be Sis. Wahlin. She's been in this area since February. Four transfers now, but with this next one, it will be five. That's a long time to be in an area!

But nope. It's me. I'm leaving and I have no idea where. I'm a little sad... There are things I wanted to be here for and people I'm really going to miss from the ward. Especially the Ward Mission Leader and his wife, Brother and Sister Haas. But it's okay because I'm also really excited to meet some new people and see a new area!

I'm excited!
Love, Sister Kim  
At the Fair

Sisters with Bro and Sis Openshaw
The Openshaw's are moving to Gilbert AZ so watch for them Shelley!

p.s. I love letters!  ;)  All letters sent to the mission home will be forwarded to my new area. 
Sister Kimberly Francis
Indiana, Indianapolis
1980 E 116th St Ste 200
Carmel, IN 46032

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Fourth of July and goal is to not gain weight!

Dear Friends and Family,

It was a good week. Seemed short! We had an appointment with one of our investigators that we can never get appointments with. She's a single mom and she's SO busy. She always seems to be overwhelmed with something. But we had brought a member over to a lesson with her and she loved her! Sister Nichols invited her to dinner on the third with us. Then we were able to have a lesson with her! It was great! She actually was focused! She does have some concerns about prophets and authority, but we will work that out. I'm just excited we were able to teach her!

Last Pday we went to Goshen, which is where we meet for District Meeting. A Spanish branch meets in the building there. It's actually a warehouse and they just turned the inside into a church. It's so funny going there! I don't remember if I told you, but it seems kind of sketchy with all these guys in suits walking in there.

We met our new Mission President! President Cleveland. He's kind of famous. We went and he spoke to us and we were able to all have a chance to talk to him a little bit after. He's great! He's a lot overwhelmed, but he has some awesome plans! He wants to start a mission blog. He talked a lot about how soon we're going to be able to start using the Facebook thing. He still doesn't know when, but he said 3-6 months.

On the 4th, we went to a family's house. Their kids are older and were all there having a BBQ, but the couple wasn't involved, I guess they didn't know it was happening? So we got lasagna. On the 4th. It was good, but I don't think I've EVER had lasagna on the 4th of July. We had to be inside by 6 that night, so we did our Weekly Planning from 6-9. Yeah, weekly planning takes 3 hours every week. We do that on Thursday mornings usually. We did see some fireworks from the windows! I love the smell of fireworks though, and I couldn't smell them. I guess it's okay though, because I did get to see them.

We're working on getting a family history class during the week at our church building. It's something that's being talked about more and more, but we don't have a family history center here! The closest one is over an hour away. But it's something we want! We don't know how we're going to do it yet, but we will get something so we can get members and nonmembers there to learn about it.

Everyone has been giving us SO. Much. Food. Oh my word. So much. They send all the deserts home with us. Especially the bishop's wife. Every time we are there, she sends us home with all the desserts she has. And then MOM sent us a huge box of cookies. Ugh. I did NOT want to gain 15 pounds in my first transfer here!

... My pants still fit, I wore them a couple weeks ago to help a nonmember with her organic garden. And my skirts are still fitting. But really. It's ridiculous. And yesterday was fast Sunday. Which is fine, but with all that sugar staring at me all day, it was a struggle!

We went to a Less Active's house on Saturday. Her name is Jessica and she hasn't been to a church at all in 15 years. She said 2 Sundays ago, she went to a different church. It doesn't seem like I'd be excited about that, but I was! I'm glad she's TRYING! She feels like she'd be overwhelmed at our church, because of all the rules. She went to the other church, but she still referred to the LDS Church as "our" church and "my" church. I hope that she will soon be willing to learn about it again and try it! It would be so good for her!

Yesterday, we found Sue! She's an investigator that's been out of town for a couple of weeks. She said she hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon, but she still wants to meet. She wants to read, though! She was spending a lot of time out of town with family though. We will meet with her again on Thursday! Yay!

Tomorrow, we are going to meet with some NEW investigators we have. I think I told you about them before. They are the Catholic family that we met. The couple's names are Polo and Sarah. Polo is really interested in the Book of Mormon. I think he just wants to LEARN not CONVERT, but that's where it starts! He's hispanic and as he was reading the BoM, he had some concern with God cursing the Lamanites with "skin of blackness". I've heard about that a lot here, it's hard to explain to people. He said he feels bad just that GOD would say dark skin is a curse, or that He would curse someone with something he was born with. That's not what it is! But it's hard to explain to people that don't understand. Anyway, we will work on him. We're going to talk about the Apostasy because he's Catholic, and that's where the concerns really start. Without the Apostasy, we don't need a restoration. But there was an Apostasy which led to the Restoration!

I don't know if you can see it, but I have a giant bruise on my knee. I think it's from all this praying I do. Prayer Bruises. It happens.

The Fourth of July!

Independence Day!


Love, Sister Kim

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Taste of Dryer Sheets!

Dear Friends and Family,

It's been a good week. A lot better, actually, than last week because we actually got to spend time in our area!

We found a new investigator, we're going to see her tonight. She's not super solid, and she said she'd have to ask her dad what he thought cause he's her preacher or something so.... We aren't really sure if that's going to happen. Her name is Amanda though, and she's really nice! She has at least one teenage daughter, but she looks pretty young.

It's been raining a LOT here. I think every night. I don't know why. Last year they had a drought, so maybe it's just making up for the lack of water last year? The corn is getting pretty tall though! My umbrella broke yesterday! I was just carrying it, and swinging it around, and the umbrella part came off the stick! How does that even happen? I'm sad, it was a cute umbrella. I kind of want a yellow one though (hint... hint...)

I'm still scared of the dogs, I don't really know if that'll go away. Ever. I mean, I've been here around hundreds of dogs, and I still get nervous around them. (So maybe try not to get too attached to this one. Just sayin')

Lots of changes this week! We got a new mission president. President Cleveland. We haven't met him yet, we get to do that tomorrow and I'm SUPER excited! Our mission also split, so every single one of the girls that I've exchanged with so far are no longer in my mission and I won't get to see them again.

On an exchange last week, Sister Farr and I were in Huntington and we found this guy. He was sitting on his porch smoking. I secretly like that, because it gets people outside and it's a lot easier to talk to them that way rather than knocking on their doors. You know? Anyway, he was smoking and they just had a return appointment with him yesterday and she let me know that it went REALLY well and that he was super prepared. Ah! I hope he and his family will get baptized! I don't know if I'd ever hear about it though, because they're now in the Ohio Mission. That's sad, but he was awesome.

We haven't had contact with any of our investigators really. They are all either out of town or busy with family in town. We're hoping we'll be able to contact them all after the 4th, it's just hard because it's the summer and everyone is taking time off from everything. Which is great, but the gospel is better! We did see one investigator named Chris. She's a single mom, her son is 2 and she works a lot and she's really really busy. We have a hard time visiting with her, which makes it hard to teach. It was awesome though, because we took a member with us and they got along so well. The member invited her to have dinner with her and us on Wednesday night. She cancels appointments a lot, but we're hoping she will actually make this one and we'll actually get to MOVE FORWARD with our teaching. I feel like she would really grasp the gospel if we could just teach it to her!

Yesterday, we met this man named Justin. He had the most incredible story. He wasn't exactly a very good guy before. But about a year ago he got run over by a tractor (do not ask me how that happens, he didn't tell us and I have no idea). He said he died a few times in the hospital and every doctor he has talked to says he shouldn't be alive. How amazing! What's even cooler is he had read the Book of Mormon before his accident and while he was in the hospital thinking he was going to die he thought of the story of Alma the younger and how he was a bad guy and then he felt so horrible and he completely turned his life around. How awesome! The thing is, he isn't really interested in learning about our church. I don't know why, I think if I had that experience with the Book of Mormon, I would want to at least give it a chance. But we'll figure it out.

Yesterday at church, we had a less active couple come to church. My companion has been here since February and has never seen them there. They fed us and we taught them on Saturday night, so maybe that had something to do with it. Oh! I spoke in church yesterday! About missionary work. Our ward, I guess, does a "missionary Sunday" every 5th Sunday of the month. It went well. There was probably 1/3 of the amount of people that were at my farewell there. So it definitely wasn't as intimidating.

There are 4 sister missionaries in Warsaw and we all share an apartment. One of the other sisters is Sister Bambrough, one of my MTC companions. She got a package from her sister in Ohio the other day with the most delicious foods in it. So we were all excited, there were these cake cookies in there, some of my favorites. So we all ate them and they tasted like dryer sheets! It was GROSS. She put dryer sheets in the package because they help with mosquitoes. Too bad they also made every delicious candy and cookie in there taste like them. I wouldn't suggest trying it, it was gross and the taste just got stuck in the back of my throat. Ew. Don't worry, we'll make some more though!
 This is what Indiana looks like. These clouds are the closest we get to mountains here.

Sister Wahlin is standing in an ankle deep puddle in the rain!


Love,  Sister Kim

I forgot. On our way to zone training there's this little town called Bremen and they have the cutest little fire hydrants. They're painted like all sorts of people! Like Woody and Buzz Lightyear and Mr. Potato Head and Superman... It's awesome!