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

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