Monday, June 30, 2014

Tornados are Boring

Dear Friends and Family,

I don't know if you heard, but my mom sure did! The rumors are true, there was a tornado this week in Plainfield, IN. So here's how that went down:

It was pretty rainy, and Sister Olsen and I were inside having a lunch break. The tornado sirens went off, but there was literally no wind at all. In fact, there was less wind than usual. It's pretty much normal here to have at least a slight wind all the time. But not that day. Not when the sirens were going off. Then they turned off. Then they turned on again, still no wind. We were told to stay inside for a while, but that's about the extent of it all. We got a call from one of the Assistants checking up on us, he said he heard a tornado touched down in Plainfield. We didn't think so, especially because of the lack of wind. We didn't even find out that really happened until that night, the Elders told us about it. So... No adventure for us! I think it only hit maybe two houses, which isn't that bad compared to Kokomo last fall!

We had a lot of other miracles this week, though! We had a day or two where we didn't have a lot of teaching appointments or anything, so it appeared that we had a few "less productive" days. Nope! Those days turned out to be the most productive. We found a lot of great people that I'm so excited about!

We had a cool experience this week while teaching The First Vision. We found a couple of women walking with their kids at the beginning of the week, and we went back to their apartment to teach them the next day. They were getting ready to leave, taking their kids swimming, but we caught them just in time. So we taught a really quick Restoration lesson. And after saying the First Vision, we asked if they believed that could be true, that God and Jesus Christ could appear to someone. That was a turning point! Tracy, one of the women, said she's had a recent experience while her grandpa was dying that made her think that God could appear to people. So cool! I know the Spirit was there super strong!

We got to attend a baptism for one of the 8 year-olds in the ward. It was fun! And a member that was there gave us a referral. I guess she stopped to pick up some random woman on the street who seemed to be in a lot of distress. She had a quick conversation about the church, and told her she'd send the missionaries. So we went and met her. She's great! But her life is the saddest. She's been living in a motel for a long, long time. I'm hoping to be able to help her feel like God loves her, I think she's kind of lost that faith over time. Especially because she feels like she's never had her prayers answered.

We had a lot of appointments fall through and cancel this week. I hate when that happens, but that's the life of a missionary! We still had a pretty great week, we taught more lessons than we have in a long time in this area! And we found a lot of great, new people! 
Oh. And we got talking to this couple on some of the thousands of walking/biking/running trails here, in Plainfield. I don't even remember their names, but they were going on and on and on about how Christ has saved them and how they don't need any works to be saved. "I preach Christ and Christ crucified!" They kept saying. That's great and all, but it reminds me of something Brad Wilcox responded after his born-again Christian friends asked him if he was saved by grace,

"Then I ask them a question that perhaps they have not fully considered: “Have you been changed by grace?” They are so excited about being saved that maybe they are not thinking enough about what comes next. They are so happy the debt is paid that they may not have considered why the debt existed in the first place."

And that's exactly what it was like talking to this couple. So that was cool to see a real-life application of this principle that Brother Wilcox taught.

 S' Francis, - That's me!!

Sister Olsen and I are best friends. So that helps a lot, especially through the hard days. We are basically the same person. We pretty much led the same life before the mission. So I love it! :) 

We are a dynamite companionship, I swear. We are going to do a lot of good together!!

Love, Sister Kimberly

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sunburned Soul Sistas

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been a really good week. Except it has been, like, a million degrees outside. But other than that, it's good! I prefer +1000 degrees over -1000 degrees. 

For Connor...

Sister Bulman is gone. I'm excited for her to see more and experience more of missionary work! The Elders in our ward both were transferred. We were supposed to play Risk last week with me, but they forgot! And now we can't. I'm so upset :( I guess I'll get over it. I'm not very good at Risk anyway. I remember playing once, and the guys I was playing with were all CHEATERS. Of course, I'm not bitter anymore....

The Tuesday before Transfers is called Jack Tuesday. Jack means disobedient. I heard it was because some Elders have taken that day as another Preparation day. And that's not okay! But I still like to pretend I celebrate Jack Tuesday. (Just so you know, there was a man sitting across from me as I was typing this with a hat that said Jack on it. So... That was funny.) So we taught a lot of lessons! But for lunch we went with the Elders to Buffalo Wild Wings. It was fun. But too loud. They turned the sound WAYYY up because of the World Cup or something dumb. But other than that, we had so many things to do. So many things that there was no time to be jack!

 #sunburnedsoulsistas Can you tell? It's pretty bad.

I got to meet my new baby missionary this week! Sister Olsen makes me so happy. I love her so much already. Except for that she makes me run FAR in the mornings. I guess that's good for my diet, but what she doesn't realize is that the farthest I've run in the last year was probably half a mile. Because either I felt sick, or my companions hate running, or we just didn't have time, or it was too dark and President said we couldn't go out in the dark. I know, it's all excuses. But that's what happened! So it's hard. But we've been running no less than a mile in the mornings the last couple days. And that first mile has always been the hardest for me. I'm sure it'll all come back!

The new Elders in our ward are solid! They're going to do great things! They're training too. The new Elder is from Colorado and he has the craziest stories to tell. I have no idea who lives in Colorado, but apparently a bunch of crazy people.

Sister Olsen's first real day as a missionary was awesome. Full of miracles! We found some really cool people to teach. Two investigators in three doors knocked. Crazy, I swear. (If you knock on 1 door, you get 1 investigator BUT if you knock on 2 doors, you get 2 investigators. BUT if you knock on 3 doors you get 3 investigators - - kid history reference. I hope someone gets it. Please!) Everyone was so nice!! And I was like, Sister Olsen... This almost never happens. Don't worry, she's experienced some rejection now, too.

This old lady named Edna is SUPER Catholic, but she invited us inside and told us about her kids. Then she asked if we were married and asked if we had boyfriends. Then she told us she wouldn't mind having us as daughter-in-laws. Haha! Oh man, that was funny.

A member asked us to color for her, she needed some things colored for a talk she is giving at Girls' Camp this week. That was probably the best service I've ever done for anyone. And Sister Olsen loves little kid stuff, so she was all for it too!!

Coloring! The Elders joined in too! Of course I chose Captain America 

We had an awesome lesson with Jane this week. She told us she would quit smoking by Labor Day because it's going to be a big labor getting there. That pushes her baptismal date back to September 20, but I guess oh well! Whatever works! As long as she does it.

We did a huge service project on Saturday. And I will be the first to tell you that Saturday was probably the hottest day we've had all year! We were helping out with some PBS Kids in the Park thing, it was really fun! We helped with line control for kids to see some characters. We were working for Cookie Monster and Maya and Miguel. It was fun. There were a lot of happy kids. But there were also a lot of traumatized kids. Those costumes can be kind of scary! :) We were out in the sun for 5 hours. Needless to see, Sister Olsen and I got sunburned. She's a redhead, so she has an excuse. I don't know what mine is. All I know is we are lobsters.

We met some Hoosiers yesterday who aren't active members. And they were the first ones I've ever heard admit that it was LAZINESS that keeps them from coming to church. At least someone sees it! Because that's probably why most of the people here don't come. Hoosiers. It's just a lazy culture.

Sister Olsen and I are getting along so well. Maybe we'll play a piano duet for you and send it. Maybe. If I can figure it out. She's a Piano Pedagogy major and... I'm not quite that good. And I'm going to get so skinny over the next 12 weeks. Love it!

And I love you!
Sister Kimberly