Monday, February 24, 2014

Nine Month Birthday, Hump Day



Dear Friends and Family,

You read that right, both Sister Jones and I celebrated our 9 month birthday this week! Hump Day is technically on February 27, but it's close! To celebrate, we went on a date! We were going to go to Olive Garden, but we got there and it was pretty busy because it was a Saturday. So we left and went to a little Chinese buffet instead. We got there and were getting ready to pay and a member of the ward ran up and paid for both of us! It was so nice of him! We sat by their family and talked a lot about missions and stuff. They were telling us about their daughter that's considering a mission. I know we were supposed to be there for them! It's funny how things work out like that. We are going to try Olive Garden again on Wednesday instead, because we still really want to go there!



We invited one of the Less Active women in our ward to be a Visiting Teacher this week. It was Sister Jones' idea, and I thought it was genius! We've been reading The Power of Everyday Missionaries (you all need to read it too) and it talks about how people need to feel NEEDED to be more open to the Church, so we felt Visiting Teaching was a good place to start for this Less Active because she is so willing to serve. she really wants to help people, and we definitely have a need for more visiting teachers in this world! I don't know if the Relief Society president agrees, but I still think it's a great idea! Whatever happens is ultimately up to the RS president, though.

Last Monday we texted President and told him to have a happy President's Day. I don't know what he thought, but we thought we were pretty funny!

Zone Conference was this week and it was really good! We found out we can go to the temple once every 6 months on our missions! We have to get rides from members, but I am so excited about this! I haven't been in 9 months! 

We taught a former investigator named Erica about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her to baptism. She said she's already been baptized. Everyone's been saying that lately. I don't know if I ever committed anyone to baptism that said no before here, but the last couple of weeks there have been a lot of people that said no, they've already been baptized. But oh well, we can work with that, I guess! She said she'd pray about April 19, but then set a return appointment for 2 weeks away! No one is going to progress if we only see them every 2 weeks!

Sister Jones and I went to Young Women's this week and they were having a daddy daughter date. Since neither of us have our daddies here, we were each others date! I guess we went on a lot of dates this week! But it was fun, the Young Women are my favorite people to hang out with!

We stopped by a Less Active this week and she told us we couldn't share a message because she didn't want anyone trying to get her back to church. Totally understandable! But then she was saying that she thought the Church would be more harmful to her kids than not going. That was confusing because she had all sorts of Joseph Smith books and Jesus pictures and pictures of the temple all over her house. Kind of strange, and a little awkward, but hey, that's what we get! #missionaryprobs

Roxanne! I love her so much! We found her tracting and talked to her about the Piano Guys, I think I told you about her last week? We went back this week and her lesson went great, she is so nice! From the things she said, I think she's Pentecostal though. I guess it's fine, so was Leah Ann and she got baptized! But we committed her to baptism, she said she was already baptized in Jesus' name, so she was good. But she took the Book of Mormon and loved the idea of finding more truth! So that's a good step in the right direction!
We got a new investigator from the IU sisters this week! She is sooo sweet and has such a desire to learn and to be baptized! She is living with her boyfriend and is going to get married in August or September, so it's going to be a while till she can actually be baptized, but I'm excited to teach her!

One of the people we are teaching has been asking us to help her with things nearly every day. The other day she had us help her take a giant box of millions of rats to the pet store. It was so gross!! But there's no way she could've done it on her own, so it was good. Just gross. I did NOT want to touch those rats, so I avoided that part! But then I saw the CUTEST dog at the pet store. It was only cute because it was in a cage and not on me, but it was a baby Porkie (I guess a Pomeranian Yorkie) and I loved it! So fluffy and cute and little! Aww.... But I DO NOT want one! Just so we're clear.

Everyone was staring at us in the pet store though. Probably because we were two girls in skirts and wearing name tags pushing a lady in a wheel chair carrying a giant tub of rats and I was holding the leash of a little 2 year old girl. But hey, I looked good that day, so it was fine!
I got to experience a little bit of campus life! We were down by IU and there were lots and lots of people out because it was warm that day (FINALLY) and everyone was going to school! So we talked to some of them and they were way more open to talk than the older people we talk to every day. And they had different views about religion and God. It was really interesting! Too bad they were all YSAs and teaching them is not our job. Oh well! It was fun #campuslife 

We met a Turkish lady yesterday that really wants us to come stop by sometime for tea! Haha! I'm excited, I don't know if she'll let us teach her, but it'll be fun to talk to her! And then Margaret really wanted help again with something, so we went there and she had a friend there named Hector. She really wanted us to teach him the Restoration, so we did! It was good! He was interested, but then wouldn't give us his contact info. Bummer! But it was definitely good for Margaret to be able to share her testimony with him! And it was good for him because now he has a Book of Mormon and will be able to read it! At the end, we invited him to pray. He didn't want to, so instead I started the prayer, everyone said one thing they were thankful for, and then I ended. I'm proud of myself, it was a pretty good idea, and it got him to pray without being put way on the spot! 
It's been a good week! Thursday is Hump Day, so.... Yay! Half way there! That reminds me of a song.... "Ohhhhh we're half way there. Ohhh! Livin' on a Prayer!" I think that's an appropriate missionary song! Right? We pretty much live on prayers! 

Love you all!
Love, Sister Kimberly

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bloomington, IN: Highland



Dear Friends and Family,

We spent a couple of days before Transfers with Sister Hain because her companion was going home. Sister Hain is so cool! She converted to the church while she was in college and I love her story. She's totally herself and definitely hasn't become a robot missionary! 

It's great! We helped a member with "The Dress Room". She's the Stake YW President and she has a room full of prom dresses that they make modest so that girls came borrow them for free and wear them to dances. It was so fun, and there were lots of pretty dresses. If you know me, you know that's totally my thing! 

We had a crazy day on Tuesday, all these things happened and we didn't get a whole lot done, but it was fun! This guy called saying he had a flower delivery for me and I wasn't home. It was super awkward, but he figured it out and left them in the office to the apartments we lived in. I'm grateful, because I really wanted my Valentine's flowers, but I was leaving the next day! They're pretty! 



Flower Delivery

And so... Transfers happened! I am now serving in Bloomington in the Highland ward with Sister Jones, who actually came out with me! So that's pretty fun! We have been getting along super well! I love it, we're almost the same person, actually. Kind of weird, but great! 


Sister Jones and I on #SelfieSundays

We have had so many miracles together already! It's been amazing! I can't believe how much we've done in the last 5 days. We do service where they serve food to people who don't have a lot of money, and it was great! One of the guys volunteering with us was talking to us and said he's been trying to learn more about God, so we set an appointment with him. It fell through because of weather, but I think he has a sincere desire! After service, we were going to take some of the food home so that we could eat it for lunch and this lady came and asked if there was any more. We gave her ours and she was so grateful! She told us that she'd lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and after that she was flown to Salt Lake where everyone was really welcoming and kind to her. She said she stayed there two years. It was awesome, I hope we can see her again sometime! 

Then we went and called one of our investigators to try and set up an appointment. She wasn't too happy and said she wasn't interested. We hung up and she called back to give us a referral. How funny! I think he might try to convert us, but hey, it's a referral and we will take it!



 Happy Valentine's Day
 
Valentine's Day was a blast! We had a #LoveLockdown themed District meeting (our district leader is the best) and there were Valentine's decorations and candy... So fun! It snowed that day, so that was a bummer, but it's okay, we were still super productive and we didn't get in a car accident!

We got a couple new investigators too! It's been so fun here, because I get to knock on doors again! Most people have been really nice and a little awkward. But we found this lady named Roxanne. She is so cool! At first she was telling us about how she went to a church and we just kept talking to her. It started getting cold inside and there was a 4 month old baby there, so she let us in. Her grandkids' names are Harmony and Cadence, so we started talking about music. She brought up that she loves the Piano Guys... And hey! What a coincedence, they're Mormon! And she loves Lindsey Sterling! Another Mormon! So we talked about that. I told her about Alex Boye and Lindsey Sterling on mormon.org, so we're going back next week to see if she watched them! She's cool, hopefully we can figure out how to teach her the gospel!

Other than that, when we tracted, we happened to knock the doors of all these college boys and they were all watching the IU vs. Purdue game. I assume that's a lot like the BYU vs. UofU game, so it was pretty important :) Too bad IU was losing.

Church was fun! It's funny because the church building here is the EXACT same layout as the church I go to at home! Haha! So it's a little weird, but it's cool. This ward is AWESOME! It's the perfect mix of what I loved about Fishers and what I loved about Hoosiertown (aka Warsaw, Kokomo, and Franklin)

Anyways, it's been a good week. I love being a missionary!  Thanks for all the love and support you give through letters and emails :)

Love, Sister Kimberly

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day



Dear Friends and Family,

So.... Valentine's day is this week and.... I don't have a Valentine. Surprise, surprise! But guess what! I do have a lot of people that I love! And I've learned a lot about love on my mission, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts with y'all! 

(Oh yeah, I'm getting transferred this week, and if I go down south, I might have to learn how to start saying y'all)

Love so... I think love is a little bit scary. Seriously, there's a lot of risk involved. And I'm a missionary, so I'm not even talking about the cheesy, romantic kind of love. I'm talking, like, the way I love my investigators and the way I love my companions. That love is a little risky too! 

Last week, we had the opportunity to attend a funeral for a young, 12-year old boy. (It really was an opportunity. It gave many people in this community a good first impression of the Church.) Plus! That's when I started thinking about love. I read in True to the Faith under Physical Death during one of my personal studies before the funeral because I wanted to learn about it! It's a pretty long description, but ONE sentence stuck out to me. It said something like:

"The only way to take sorrow out of 
death is to take love out of life." 

And that was so profound to me. Sister Gil and I talked about it for quite a long time. As we were talking I realized something very very cool. I think love is part of our purpose here on earth. If you asked a Mormon to tell you what the purpose of life is, they would probably say something like, "to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32) or to have joy (2 Nephi 2:25) or to become like Christ, or to go through trials, or to have families, or to get a body... But I've never heard before that our purpose is to learn how to love. But I think it is! I think love has everything to do with our life here. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost love us perfectly, and we want to become like them, so doesn't it make sense that we need to learn to love like they do?

I mean, yeah, yeah, I'm sure we had some idea of what love is in the premortal life, but I don't know that we REALLY knew what it was or how to love. Love takes work! And life takes work. We needed to experience how to love people, and earth was the perfect place for us to do it!

But anyways, yeah, that's enough lovey dovey stuff. A lot happened this week!

We were out personal contacting and we met this lady named Beth. She was out smoking (just like in Hoosier town) and we have to talk to everyone, so obviously we went up to her to talk! She was super awkward and told us that she had other things to do on Sunday, like watch football. Hahaha! I don't know why, but I thought that was so funny. But I asked her how the Super Bowl went and... I think she was rooting for the Broncos. I don't even know, I always choose the team with the best colors and the best uniforms. Seriously. I don't get sports at all. But to each their own, right!

But yeah, it was awkward. And we tried a little more personal contacting later in the week, and it just was super awkward every time. But hey! It's okay, being a missionary is just awkward always.

Then there was a snow storm. Again. Boo!

But the next day a big training meeting that President was going to have got cancelled for the weather, but they had ordered a ton of food for everyone, so because we are close, we got invited to go to the Mission Office for lunch. It was so much fun! We spent an hour and a half there talking with the other missionaries and eating these giant Subway sandwiches. It was awesome! I want to do it again sometime, but.... It probably won't happen. That was my once in a lifetime opportunity! We enjoyed it.



We went to Buffalo Wild Wings one more time before transfers and I loved it. We always have so much fun there. And it's bad, we go there so much that the waiter cleared off "our booth" for us and let us sit there. We have a booth. And a waiter who knows us and our orders. It was fun, though, it was almost like we were in How I Met Your Mother. We even took (or tried to take) a HIMYM picture with all of us. There are only 4 of us, but I'm Lily, Sister Oskins is Marshall, Sister Odermott is Ted, and Sister Gil is Robyn. We're missing Barney, but that's alright, no biggie. It's still hilarious. It's also hilarious how Marshall-like Sister Oskins is! She's so gullible and goofy! It's awesome, I love it!



A member made us this pan of jello and brought out cookie cutters so we could cut the jello into shapes. I was excited about the fun shapes, but not so excited about the jello. So I cut myself a "K" for Kimberly, of course! And I ate, like, a quarter of this tiny K and decided that I wasn't just making it up, I really don't like jello. When no one was looking, I whispered to Sister Oskins to eat it for me. Turns out, she doesn't like it either! Hahaha! So I still ate it! But cutting out shapes was seriously fun!

We had a zone meeting and I was asked to play piano for it. They told me the songs, but then changed them to ones that I don't know, so I was messing up all over the  place. I was so embarrassed. They changed it back, but I was already too embarrassed I couldn't play anything right! Dang it! Oh well, I guess! Fake it till you make it, that's what Sister Wahlin always said.



Jaclyn is doing so well! We didn't teach a lot of people this week, due to some weird circumstances, but we did teach her! And she is doing so good! She had a lot of trials this week, with some personal matters and she fell in her bathroom and scraped her face up pretty bad on the tile and cracked her ribs.... Oh my goodness, she looked pretty beat up! But we had prayed about setting a date with her, so we did. And.... She said yes, she would pray about it! And I am SO EXCITED! That was a huge miracle, and I know that as she prays about that, with the idea that she is going to be baptized, she will definitely get an answers! I told her the story about how I had to make a decision about my mission before God answered me too.It's funny how the decision to go on a mission is similar to the decision to join the Church. Both are really really hard and really scary, huge, life changing decisions. It requires changing yourself and lots of dedication. In both cases, there's tons of new lingo and new "commandments", new people, new culture.... But I think it's that way so that missionaries can be empathetic toward the changes the people we teach are making!

Stake Conference was this weekend in this stake and.... It was my first stake conference ever, I'm pretty sure...

And it was awesome! President Cleveland spoke and the entire conference was focused on missionary work. We did a giant role play with close to 700 people, biggest role play in the world! And it was awesome. The stake president did a demo role play at the beginning with one of the Assistants and it was hilarious. They pretended they were walking on a trail and the President stopped and talked to this random person. They talked a little and then he told him that he was over a big group of people at church and that he'd decided to cancel church for thousands of people for the weather and asked what he thought about that. The Assistant was so snotty, but funny, he said "that depends, was it the Sunday we got lots of snow, or the Sunday we got no snow" because if you read my past emails, the President cancelled church one sunday when there were 15 inches of snow and one sunday where it was 45 degrees and all the snow was melting and everyone complained. Hahah! Maybe you had to be there, but it was awesome!

The second session of Stake Conference was really good too. Everyone in the stake is super pumped about sharing the gospel now, because the stake presidency gave them all this commitment (just like we do!) to help the stake hasten the work. I would invite you all to take the challenge too, because it's totally possible and will help you focus your efforts!

1. Pray daily to be an instrument in the Lord's hands
2. Have one gospel conversation every week
3. Extend one invitation every month (could be FHE, church, activity, baptism, etc. Anything really!)

I love this idea, because it's a specific, realistic goal that stretches us! Perfect goal setting! 

We went to Why I Believe with a senior couple that works in the office, the Hodges. I love them so much! I love that we had the opportunity to do that. And you know what else happened at Why I Believe?! Heidi sent a video of her testimony and they played it! It was sooooo gooood! I almost cried! I love that woman, I miss her a lot! It was such a good surprise!

And now... It looks like I'm being transferred, moving on to bigger and better things, I guess! I'm nervous, but also excited. Transfer #7, here I come!

Love, Sister Kimberly

Monday, February 3, 2014

#thelifeofamissionary



Dear Friends and Family,



I made queso this week! It was a little burned and not nearly as good as Sarah's, but... I did it! 
That's a miracle!




Mission life is crazy. It's up and down all the time. One day you think it's going to be a great week because you have tons of appointments and even some progressing investigators. Then the next day everyone texts or calls to cancel. And then.... It all turns out okay because you pray to Heavenly Father to help you know what you're supposed to do instead since obviously your plans weren't good enough.

We had one of those up and down roller coaster kind of weeks this week! Last Monday we ended up going to a funeral for a boy that died in another ward. We helped usher and it was very sad. There were a lot of nonmembers there because everyone in the Town of Fishers knew about it! 

And if you were going to ask if I was comfortable at this funeral. No. I'm terrified of dead bodies. But hey! You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes... 

They cancel school ALL THE TIME here! I don't understand it at all. If it's 10 degrees in the morning they will decide to have a two hour delay. No, not -10, +10 degrees means a two hour delay. So pretty much the entire month of January everyone in school has been able to sleep in for two extra hours.... I wish I had that sweet deal! Apparently the buses don't start when it's too cold outside. I just find that funny because when I was in school, (I know I'm doing that whole, "back when I was a kid" thing, I'm old, I get it) it was cold like that every day, and I'm pretty sure the bus still came to pick us up.

But oh well. 

Package-ception

We found another Chick Fil-A!


We visited with a potential that I love this week! Her name is Toshiko and she's from Japan. She's 80 and she LOVES to talk about everything! When we came in she was watching Dr. Phil, so I knew we would get along just fine! She just talked and talked about how she wants to go back to Japan. It's funny because she thinks she's too old to be baptized and to learn about the Church, but she is really healthy and she remembers a lot! So... We're going to work on her :) When we left, she bowed. It was a little awkward, I was like... Ah! What do I do, do I bow too? So I kind of half way bowed back... Awkward! That culture difference might've been hard for me. Maybe that's why I'm in Indiana, not Japan.

We were able to practice teaching the Restoration to a Less Active this week. And Sister Oskins did really well! She did pretty much all of the talking! She's getting good at teaching, I love seeing her grow like that!

But then we had a bunch of appointments fall through, that was a bummer. But we bounced back, don't worry!

We had a miracle this week! We stopped by to try one of our investigators that we lost contact with and she wasn't there! But you know who was? A nice lady named Angelica who was taking care of our investigator's daughter while she's in the hospital. We talked to her for a while about the Book of Mormon and how it's the history of the Native Americans. She was really interested, so we gave her one and got her address to follow up and see if she did it! I love when we accidentally find people!

We ate at this members home and they have the cutest daughter ever! She's a year and a half and she would just walk around with her fist up in the air because she wanted everyone to give her a fist bump. High fives aren't good enough for her though, if you try to high five her she will move your fingers into a fist anyway. And one time she got hurt by bumping her head and her dad picked her up and then she stuck her fist out again. It was so stinking cute!
Becky cancelled our lesson this week, but it was okay because we had some time and she said we could come over for a minute. We visited with her and talked about some of the scriptures she's read and concerns she's had. It was good! Even though it wasn't a planned lesson, I'm sure she got a lot out of it! She invited us to go to her church sometime and we invited her to come to ours again. I'm excited, I hope we really can go to her church sometime, I've always wanted to do that!

We went on an exchange this week and it was awesome! We taught a former investigator, Sister Dewald, and she was so nice! According to her teaching record and everything she said, she knows the Church is true, but she doesn't want to be baptized because she thinks she's too old. We can work with that though, especially if she has a testimony! So it looks like we found a new gator!

We also taught Alex. And I love her! SO much! We invited her to be baptized on February 22 (Hump day!) and.... She's moving back to Michigan! MAN! I was so excited for this one! But we still set the date and I'm going to make sure the missionaries in her area go talk to her SOON! Because she is so ready and she NEEDS the gospel! I love her a lot!

We taught April and Jonah and the Elders came there to give them a blessing and Elder Havertz was doing the first one and... The power went out right  in the middle of it! Creepy! Haha! It was actually kind of cool. Then we whipped out the candles and the Elders gave the other two blessings.

I  heard the groundhog saw his shadow and I think that means 6 more weeks of winter. There's supposed to be a REALLY bad snow storm again tomorrow or something. At least that's what everyone says. Do I believe them? Not sure... But we'll find out!

Love, Sister Kimberly