Monday, January 27, 2014

Polar Vortex

Dear Friends and Family,

I don't really know why it's called a Polar Vortex, but.... It's pretty dang cold out here in the Midwest. Or maybe it's just Indiana. Who knows... I sure don't. But I do know that I am freezing!

Taking a picture of Sister Ingram taking a picture of Sister Oskins taking a picture. 
Inception! :)

It was a pretty good week!! I got to train at District meeting and it was probably the best training I've ever given! I wasn't nervous or anything. I didn't even prepare a TON because I didn't have a lot of time, but I did make cute little handouts for everyone to help them all follow up with their commitments! And I feel like it went really well! So yay! I'm getting better!

We found a possible service opportunity, we stopped at this little gallery because Sister Oskins thought they might need help with something. They didn't, but there was a lady there who is on some board for the Town of Fishers dealing with art or something and I guess they might be looking for volunteers. We will see what happens! So we had a little time before dinner and so we stopped by April's to see how she was doing. It was good to see her, I feel like it's been a long time since I've seen her! She had these cool little window markers that they used when they were stuck inside because of the cold to draw on their window, so I asked and drew something too! It was a fun idea! So we set up a time when we could come teach them Family Home Evening and we went to dinner. The member feeding us that night invited Becky over for dinner and it was so fun! We ate together and then we taught her a lesson. It was so good, probably one of my favorite lessons I've ever taught. It felt exactly the way that I used to imagine lessons before I came on my mission. She is on a spiritual journey and I'm excited that we get to be here to help her through it! She's praying a lot and we are sending her scripture texts every day to help her read the Book of Mormon. So things are going well for her! Becky brought us flowers too! So we could have a hint of spring in our dreary winter-y lives!

I made chicken salad sandwiches this week! Isn't it a miracle?! Well, if you know me at all, you will know that that is a miracle. And it was good too! 

We met with a Less Active this week as well, and it's so hard when we meet with her. She always talks as if she knows everything going on in the ward so it SOUNDS like she's active, but I know she hasn't been to church in quite a while. It's just funny that way, and I don't know how to help her come back if she already thinks she's active. But oh well, we will continue to work with her the best we can!

There was a RS activity this week about women's health and depression. It was really good. One of the women in the ward just finished her Master's in some kind of psychology field, so she got together with another person working on her Master's and they made this presentation. It was good, and I think the women that came got a lot out of it! I know I learned a lot. Especially the difference between self-esteem and self-worth. Self-esteem is changing and it is given to us by the world's standards, but self-worth is constant, it never changes, and we have self worth because God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us! 

We taught Jaclyn and FINALLY made it through the First Vision and the rest of the Restoration lesson! Jaclyn is amazing, she has such a desire to come to know that this is true. We felt we needed to commit her to baptism because we had never done that. I was able to do that, and she said definitely if she came to know the Church was true! Baptismal commitments are my favorite things to do on my mission! Because this is the only time in my life when I'm going to be able to invite people to make covenants with God and be baptized! I love the Spirit I feel when I invite someone. And I know Jaclyn felt it too.

Speaking of baptismal commitments... I got to invite someone else to be baptized this week! We were delivering these newsletters to Less Active members in the ward, but one of the people on the list was an active member. We dropped by anyway and met someone at her house. Actually, she is living there with her new husband right now. This member is renting one of her rooms to a young couple for a while and when we came they were sitting together watching TV. So we chatted with Sister Honea and Alex for a while. Then we asked if we could share a message. We ended up sharing the Restoration to Alex and had Sister Honea share her experience coming to know this Church was true. She seemed really interested! And the Spirit was really strong! I have high hopes for her! I asked her if she would be baptized and... She said yes too!! :) We had a good week!

No one got to go to Church yesterday though. I don't know why, but it got cancelled. They said it was because it was supposed to be FREEZING cold, but yesterday was actually warmer than I've felt in weeks. The car said it was 40 degrees. That's warm compared to the single digits!! I don't know what they're thinking, but oh well I guess. Not much we can do about it. There's always next week.

I am excited for all of our investigators right now! They are all doing so well! I love them! 

Hope you all had a good week, too! I love you all!

Love, Sister Kimberly

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Soy misionera de La Iglesia de Jesuchristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been a Good Week! A ton has happened this week! So, let's get started:

We had interviews with President this week. I always get so nervous for those, but I don't really know why! Then after that, we went to B Dubs, like we always do (that's why I'm getting fat, probably) and we had THE nicest waitress on earth! She sat and talked to us for a while, it was great! Of course, we left a card for her! I love when we're out doing normal things that I used to do at home and we get to share the gospel! Those are sometimes the things that make me the happiest! :)

A Senior couple just got home from their mission in the Philippines. The Sister served as the head psychologist person over all the missions in the Philippines and she was there during the typhoon that just recently hit there. She told us stories and things that happened to missionaries that were never released in the news, it was crazy! So now, I'm just grateful I'm here in safe little Fishers, IN :) It's nice and cozy here!

We had what's called a Specialized Training. That's a training President does for a specific group of people. This transfer he did one for trainers and trainees, so we went and it was AWESOME! We got to do this role play at the end where one companionship would teach one point in the Restoration to Sister Cleveland. And then we would switch. The second to last one was the Spanish missionaries role playing together in Spanish and Sister Gil was the only one that knew what was going on! Except we all speak the language of the Spirit, so we got that part of it! It was awesome, though, and Sister Gil said they did REALLY well. They were talking about how the Book of Mormon is physical evidence that you can hold in your hands that God loves you. Powerful stuff!

And then after that, he had all four of us Fishers sisters role play together too. Fishers 2 were the missionaries and we were replacing the "investigators". So I got to role play as Sister Cleveland! It was awesome, except that I hate being the investigator more than I hate being the missionary. I try to get into the role of a nonmember and what they would think/feel if they were listening to these missionaries, but I've never been there so I don't know what that's like! So I don't know if I'm very good at it. But it was probably the BEST role play I have ever done. Sister Gil even said she felt like she was really teaching a real investigator (so maybe I didn't do too bad after all). It was awesome! And I'm pretty sure everyone else in the room thought it was awesome too!

Sister Oskins got the flu, though. It was gross. She was throwing up nonstop for, like, four days straight. It was awful. Sister Gil wasn't feeling very good either and threw up a few times too, so Sister Odermott and I went on an exchange so we could both get some work done in our areas. It was fun, I love exchanges! We taught Jaclyn and invited her to let us give her a church tour! It was a pretty good lesson, and hopefully we'll be able to help her start feeling the Spirit and wanting to come to church!!!! I'm so excited for her!

Sister Gil got a Vocal Point CD from her mom this week. So it's pretty much been heaven. Minus the throwing up. I think Sister Oskins wanted me to be all cuddly and like with her all the time, but I don't think she understands that I have a pretty weak stomach and I would probably throw up too. Just the sound of it was making me queasy enough! Gross.

We didn't miss District Meeting, though! Sister Oskins said she was feeling better, so that's good. Except then, after dinner, she threw up again. I felt terrible for her. That would not be fun ever, but especially on a mission! But we had fun. That night I convinced Sister Oskins that I was born in Japan and that I had dual citizenship until I was 18. She believed me 100% and then I said... Actually.... I was born in Utah ;) She's just a little gullible!

Spanish! I want to learn it! The Fishers 2 sisters had a baptism of a man who only speaks Spanish! And we went, because we invited one of our members to go introduce herself to him because she's from Mexico. It was awesome! They did a bilingual service, so during all the talks, the speaker would stop every couple of sentences and say what they said in English. It was a little awkward, but also awesome. Then, they confirmed him right there after the baptism and I couldn't really understand it, because it was Spanish. It was like, every time I figured out what they were saying and translated it to English they had already moved on and said something else! But I think I felt the Spirit the strongest in that blessing than any other blessing I've ever heard! And then Sister Gil told me a few things they said and... It was! It was a powerful blessing! In the middle, while we waited for him to change into dry clothes, they showed Spanish MormonMessages, so when we get iPads, I'm going to watch them over and over and over and I WILL learn Spanish! :) That probably won't happen, but it was a funny thought anyway.

We went to this place called Conner Prairie yesterday since we didn't have to email. It was pretty lame. And then we went to the church, but the missionaries that were usually there were at the zoo, so that was lame. So instead we went to Plato's Closet and.... It was awesome! It was probably the best Plato's Closet I've ever been to, it had the CUTEST clothes. And I would've bought a lot of them if I wasn't a missionary! I did get a skirt though. A long pink one. And next week I will try to get a blazer. It was awesome! I thought it would be a bust, because it's hard to find good things there, but it wasn't! They had SO much stuff! I loved it! Definitely going back next week!

We got to teach FHE to a family yesterday. I'm excited for when I get to teach family home evening to my own family! And not just when I'm older (you better watch out Francis family. We WILL do FHE!) It's important! So if you aren't doing it, I would strongly suggest you start. Make it fun! It doesn't have to be all preachy and religious. Just have fun!

Love, Sister Kimberly

Remember: The Church is true, the Book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball! (Courtesy of Madi Bair)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Not Much to Say

Dear Friends and Family,
So here's the deal... I just emailed last Wednesday and we haven't gotten much done since then because of doctor appointments and other things.... So... I was thinking about what I wanted to share with all of you this week and I decided... I'm going to tell you all about the things I've been studying! Since I never really get to do that!

But that doesn't mean this is going to be boring. Keep reading, my studies are cool!

I was reading a little about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the things we have to do to get to heaven, meaning have faith, repent, be baptized and keep covenants, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. And I ran across this scripture. 2 Nephi 9:23. It says "and he commanded all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God."

What does it mean to have PERFECT FAITH?!

Now turn to Alma 32:21 "And now as I said concerning faith - faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things..."
The definition of faith is that it's not perfect!

So then I did what I always do when I want an answer to something that's going to take a lot of thought and pondering... I whipped out my handy dandy sticky notes to put on my wall!

What does it mean to have perfect faith?!

Needless to say, I studied it for quite a long time. I studied faith a lot!

And as we all know, faith leads to action!
The first conclusion I came up with was that maybe having perfect faith means that we can act on our faith perfectly. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that no one ever acts on their faith perfectly. Everyone in this whole world is a hypocrite. Not because they want to be, but because we are human!
But eventually, I did learn a little about what I think perfect faith is....

I'm not going to tell you.
Because I want you to find out what having perfect faith means to you! So there's your commitment.
Will you study to learn what perfect faith means in your life? And then will also write me a letter or email and tell me what you learned?

I know that as you do it, you will learn how you can strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ. It's so interesting, because my whole life, I always thought I just needed to have faith and then I was set. But as I've learned about what it means to endure to the end, I've learned that we have to continue to strengthen it! But sometimes, it's hard to know how to do it. Sometimes it FEELS like you've reached your limit of faith and you can't possibly find more. But it always comes. And as you study about how to have perfect faith, you will learn and understand more fully HOW you can do that personally!
I've also been studying a little bit about the what, why, how, and feelings of worship! It's been so cool! I studied this story, I think it's in the beginning of Alma 32 where these poor people are thrown out of their churches because they aren't dressed well enough. And so they're worried because they aren't allowed to worship God! And Alma tells them that they can worship anywhere.
So it got me thinking, how can I worship God in my life?
In True to the Faith it talks about how worshiping God means serving Him and taking part in his ordinances. It means covenanting with Him and praying to Him. It means aligning your will with His.
Mostly I was thinking about the feeling of worship. And I imagined the feelings that I have when I'm at church, particularly the feeling I have when I'm partaking of the sacrament. I love that feeling. When I take the sacrament I am repenting of the things I've done that drew me away from God during that week. I don't know how to describe what I feel at that time, but I do know that that's what I call worship. So something I'm striving to do is learn how I can worship daily, not just when I'm at church or praying, but also when I am out doing my thing every day! Because that is how I will understand more who God is and how I can be like Him!

Anyways, sorry for the rant about spiritual stuff. But hey, I don't preach to you people very often, so this won't kill you!

Remember to send me what you learn about perfect faith!
Love you all!

Love, Sister Kimberly