This Is It!

Dear Family and Friends, 

I can’t believe this is the last group email that I will be writing as a full time missionary.  It honestly doesn’t feel real.  I feel like this “going home” business is all a joke, haha.  I just feel like I will be a missionary forever.
Javon Benjamin was baptized this last Saturday and it was one of the sweetest baptisms I have ever been a part of.  Javon is 9 and SUPER shy, it’s so hard to get him to smile. But he had the biggest smile on his face the whole baptism.  He even got up and bore his testimony!  His sister Louanna and Brother Benjamin gave the talks on Baptism and the Holy Ghost!  I have been working with this family since December of 2016 so it just made my heart so happy to see how much they have grown as a family in the Gospel.  I can’t even describe how much I have grown to love them and how much they have strengthened my testimony.
This week the Julian family committed to baptism on November 18th!  At first, only Andrea committed, in fact when we asked her, she looked to heaven and screamed “YES FATHER” at the top of her lungs HAHA.  But Tamara said that she didn’t know yet…she said, “I can’t say yay or nay yet.”  but that she would pray about it.  The next day we stopped by to check in on them and Tamara ran to us, and said, “I got my answer.. it was a YAY.” and then gave us all a big hug.  It was so sweet 🙂  They are the most converted investigators I have ever taught.  They have come to church every week since we met them, they read the whole Gospel Principles book in 3 days and are in Alma in their Book of Mormon reading.  They also are my favorite because they have a fruit stand and give me free fruit all the time. 😇  For real, they are family.  They mean so much to me.
I couldn’t have asked for a better last week in the mission field. I feel so good about the way I will be leaving this area.  I’ve been here for a year of my mission and being able to watch it grow into what it is now has been incredible.  It’s all thanks to the Lord.  I have never seen His hand in my life so much until my mission.  As a missionary, you see miracles, big and small, every single day.  Being an instrument in God’s hands for His children here in Trinidad has been the most humbling experience.  The people of Trinidad have taught me so much.  When you completely put yourself aside and just focus on those around you, that’s when you REALLY find yourself and come to know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  As I have come to KNOW my Father in Heaven, I have found myself.  I have found true joy.  I have found peace.  I know the Gospel is true.  I know that Christ did die for us, so that we can overcome our weaknesses, our struggles, our set backs, and return to live with God, as eternal families.  I am truly so grateful for the mercy and grace that Christ provides us in our lives.  I have come to know how to apply His atonement in my life as I have studied the Book of Mormon and applied it’s teaching to my life and the life of those I have had the opportunity to teach.  I will never be able to put into words how much I love this Gospel and how much I have loved being a representative of my Savior and to wear His name on my chest every day.
Thank you all so much for all the support that I have received on my mission.  I don’t think I can even explain how much it’s meant to me.  SO THANK YOU.
I love you all so much.. and I will see you all in a couple days 🙂
Love,

Sister Kimball 

IMG_1153BENJAMIN FAMILY
IMG_1152My gnarly missionary tan line from contacting in the HOT sun all week. 😇 I will miss that.
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Week 80!

HELLO EVERYONE!

SO much happened this week so I will just get right into it.

I have some exciting news!  I got a transfer call this week.  Yes, a transfer call for my last week in the field, haha.  There is a sister here in our ward named Yorel Gould who has been waiting to head out on her mission to Jamaica.  Over this last transfer she has come out teaching with us almost everyday.  Well, she has finally been medically cleared to go on her mission (she was recovering from two shoulder surgeries).  But now she has to visa wait here in Trinidad, so guess who is going to train her… Sister Pacheco and I! 🙂  I am so excited!  Out of the 4 people that I have trained on my mission, 3 have been Trini’s.  And this will be my third Trini-hispanic trio!  It’s going to be so fun.

This week we had a fly-in Mission Leader Conference, which is always super fun.  They only happen 3 times a year because it’s really expensive to fly everyone into Trinidad.  So when they do happen… it’s a two and a half day long meeting.  It’s a long couple of days, but fly-in MLCs are amazing because:  A) Sister Egbert’s food.  B) We get to sleep at the mission home and hang out with the Egbert’s and C) The spirit is so strong as we all come together to discuss how we can help the mission to grow and become better.  I am going to miss MLCs so much!

I wasn’t able to actually get to work in our area until Thursday because of MLC, but we saw many miracles this last weekend!  Mostly with the Julian family.😊  This week we taught them the Plan of Salvation.  (Well, more like they taught us. We gave them the POS tract and they studied and memorized the whole thing so they knew the Plan of Salvation like the back of their hand before we even taught them)  And they are in love with it!  Yorel, or Sister Gould made a poster with the plan of salvation all drawn out and they hung it up in their tiny little living room.😊  It’s been pretty amazing and such a testimony builder to me to watch the Gospel heal this little family.  They were really dysfunctional when we first met them, but as they have read the Book of Mormon together as a family, (we have been teaching them for 2 weeks and they are almost in Alma) we have been able to see them coming closer together.  You can see the peace and happiness in them.  Even their neighbors keep asking them why they look different lately!  The Gospel really does change people.

Funny story with them from this last week:  Andrea is a fire cracker and she has a TEMPER! And this week she heard some of our investigators who are younger guys talking about us inappropriately (they were meeting with us for the wrong intentions) and they left their copies of the Book of Mormon out in the rain.  So she literally beat the whole group of boys up HAHAHA.  And when she told us about it she said, “THEY ARE NOT GOIN TO DA CHOLESTROL KINGDOM!” HAHAHA

The next cool experience we had was finding Brother Bobby.  We were walking past a board house that one of our old investigators, who we hadn’t seen in weeks, lived in, but I saw Brother Bobby standing inside and I didn’t’ recognize him so we went over and talked to him.  Turns out that Brian, the old investigator actually had passed away and now Brother Bobby is living in his house.  We taught Brian just once, we sat on his stairs and taught him a short lesson about God.  Well, I guess that Brother Bobby was actually underneath the house when we taught Brian.  Bobby lost his house a couple weeks ago so Brian let him sleep on a mattress under his house. (His house in only 5×5 feet so there wasn’t enough room for the both of them inside.)  Brother Bobby said that when we were teaching Brian he was listening the whole time and he felt something different.  He actually has been reading in Brian’s Book of Mormon for the last few weeks.  He told us that when he reads it he feels peace which is something he hasn’t’ had in a long time.  He has had a really hard life.  His wife and kids left him and went to the states and he lost his house.  A few years ago, he actually tried to commit suicide by lighting himself on fire.  It’s taken 27 surgeries for him to be able to have enough mobility to walk on his own.   But when he reads the Book of Mormon he says he feels God’s love for the first time in his life and he is actually grateful that God spared his life.  He feels like he now has a purpose.  Brother Bobby is the most humble person I have ever met and just in the first few visits we have made with him, he has taught me so much.

I know the Gospel is true.  And one thing that I feel like I have been taught over and over again during the last few weeks is that the Gospel truly does change lives.  That’s why missionaries do what we do.  To help people find that happiness that everyone deserves.

Love you all!  Help someone in need this week. 😊

Love,

Sister Kimball

 

Pictures:

IMG_1077MLC.  All the Sister Training Leaders throughout the mission.

IMG_1084SISTA TUI

IMG_1100Andrea and Tamara 🙂 (The Julian Fam)

IMG_1116Had sports day today.

IMG_1099The Julian family’s fruit stand always has a copy of the BOM there 🙂

 

Week 78 ~ The Priesthood is Real

Dear Family,

Honestly this transfer has been wayyyyy too fast!  This last week is a giant blur and I feel like it was yesterday that I was emailing you all so I am having a hard time thinking of what to write about this week so please excuse this email if it super scatter brained haha.
Well firstly, Wow, conference was amazing!  I love how so many of the talks were about losing yourself in the service of others.  Over my mission I have studied my patriarchal blessing a lot and the theme throughout my whole blessing is about how service will play a huge role in my life and it will be a special blessing.  On my mission I have come to really understand why.  Losing yourself in service and completely forgetting yourself is truly how we can find joy in this life.  Not only does it help you to find joy, but it helps you to find yourself and to find God.  I am so grateful that I have been given the gift of a mission to lose myself in His work.  It’s been the greatest blessing in my life.
In between the sessions of conference the ward brought a ridiculous amount of curry and roti so that was a BLESSING. 😇
The Julian family (the family I talked about in my last email) is doing AMAZING.  They are so special to me.  I remember at the beginning of my mission someone once told me that there are people that we promised in the life before this that we would find them and bring them the restored gospel.  The Julian family is the family I made that promise to.  We all feel like we are long lost family.  I am so grateful that I was able to find them before my mission ends.  Although it would have been amazing to find them earlier!  Last appointment with them they started crying when I told them I was leaving soon which made me cry so it ended up being a tear fest hahaha.  I love them so much.  We had a cool experience with them this week when we took a priesthood holder, Brother Ramotaur, to give their house a blessing and each one of them blessings.  Dark magic is very real and very common here in the Caribbean and they had some bad experiences with it so they asked for blessings.  When Brother Ramotaur finished with the blessing on the house, the whole place just felt so different.  It was so much lighter.  When he gave them individual blessings they all just cried and said they felt like a weight was lifted off their shoulders. The priesthood is so real, and I am so grateful that through the restoration of the Gospel we are able to have the blessing of the priesthood within our homes and families.  I am so grateful that I had the blessings from growing up with a worthy priesthood holder…my dad 🙂
Other exciting news of the week is that Javon Benjamin (Brother Benjamin’s child) will be getting baptized before I leave!!  Brother Benjamin is the rasta man that was baptized about a year ago.  We have been working hard with getting his whole family to join and now I will be able to watch the last one get baptized before I go.  I love that family 🙂
Gotta run…Love you all.

Sister Kimball 

Week 77 ~ The Bright Orange Board House

Hey Everyone!

This past week has been one of the most amazing weeks thus far of my mission.  We have seen so many miracles.
Last Sunday, Sister Pacheco and I were walking down the street and we met a mom and her 9 year old daughter.  Their names are Andrea (the mom) and Amena (daughter). We sat and talked to them for a bit and they seemed really awesome.  We gave them a tract and set a return appointment for the following Tuesday.
Fast forward to Monday evening…We had a member named Yorel, who is preparing to go on a mission, out teaching with us for the evening…so us 3 were walking through the bush to go check one of our investigators because our appointment had fallen through.  While we were walking, Amena just popped up out of nowhere and said, “Are you looking for my mom?”  We told her we were actually going to look for her neighbor and she said, “Well she isn’t home, but you can come see my mommy!  Follow me.”  Haha, so we followed her through the bush to the most humble, little, bright orange board house.  She went and told her mom that we were there so she asked us to hold on for a few minutes because she was cooking.  So we are thinking, “Oh man, the mom is clearly busy and Amena just kinda set her up…she’s gonna be vexed!” (Mad)  We patiently waited outside and talked to Amena’s grandpa who is like a 100 year old rasta man, he’s super cool.  His name is David.  Then Andrea called out, “Come in nah!”  When we walked into their home, which was lit by candle light because they have no electricity, Andrea said, “WOW!  He sent me THREE angles tonight!!”  We sat down and had the most powerful lesson that I’ve had my entire mission about God the Father.  I think the fact that we were out in the Bush so it was quiet, and the place was lit by candle light made it a very good environment for the Spirit to be. But not just that, this family is the elect FOR SURE.
We visited them again on Thursday evening.  When we got there, Andrea was a mess.  She is going through so much right now and just really needs help.  During that lesson she told us that Monday evening she had got to the point that she was just ready to give up.  So she decided to kneel down and beg God for help.  When she got off her knees, we were standing outside her window with Amena.  She told us how she firmly believes that we are her angels sent from God.  The Spirit again, was SO STRONG.
But it gets better.  THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!!!  It’s such a struggle getting people to come to church here.  But they decided to surprise us, and it was Amena’s birthday and she wanted to come to church for her birthday 🙂  In relief society Andrea got up to introduce herself and she said, “I don’t visit churches… ever. But Jesus Christ has me here today and I am not quite sure why.  But I know that these Angels were sent to me for a reason.” and then she just started crying.  Everyone in the church basically flocked to her after 3rd hour and just took her in.  It honestly looked like she was coming home.  It was one the the most powerful moments of my mission and I am so grateful that I get to be one of Andrea’s Angles ❤
God truly is aware of each one of us and our needs.  All we need to do is cry out to Him, and He will answer.  That’s what Andrea taught me this week.
Love,
Sister Kimball
IMG_1000An investigator, Denecia.  (The fact that I got a picture with a Trini that is SMILING for a picture, is monumental)
IMG_1004IMG_1001IMG_1003.JPG Just trying to document Trinidad as much as I can:)
DSCN1850[1]Sister Pacheco and Amena:)

Week 76 ~ Heart Breaks & Miracles

Dear Family,                                                                                                       September 18, 2017

At the beginning of this transfer I prayed to Heavenly Father to slow time down for me, but I think He is speeding it up!  This week has been a blur and I feel like I was just barely emailing you all.  I can’t even explain how weird time is on a mission…it just goes so fast:(
We had a really interesting week though.  Full of sad moments and happy miracles!  The one that was the saddest was that one of our most progressing investigators dropped us. Apparently he was just meeting with us because he was in love with me hahahah RUDE.  He totally played us. The struggle of being white with blonde hair and blue eyes in the Caribbean is SO REAL.  But after awhile he felt guilty and so he told us, “I am not interested in Mormonism, I was just interested in Sister Kimball.”  It was one of the saddest and most awkward moments of my mission.  But oh well, I guess he was not the elect, even though he was REALLY good at acting like it!
After that we were feeling kinda down because we had just thought he had so much potential and we had really grown to care about him.  But then Heavenly Father cheered us up with a miracle 🙂  We were walking down this road, going back to our car after a lesson. It was getting dark and it was not a good place to be in the dark so we were walking fast and then all the sudden we heard someone behind us, chasing us down.  I was about ready to go all Usain Bolt, but then we heard, “EXCUSE ME, WAIT! ” So we turned around and it was an investigator that we had met last week and had an amazing lesson with, but then after that we weren’t able to get a hold of her.  She is only 17 and the nicest teenager I have ever met in Trinidad haha.  She saw us from way down the road and literally chased us down and asked us to come teach her.  SHE CHASED US.  That has never happened on my whole mission. Lol, usually we are the one chasing people down.  So we went and taught her about the Restoration and at the end she said, “It’s different.  But it’s good, I can feel it.”  Honestly she is the best and that experience made our whole week!
I’ve seen a pattern on my mission where if we have a hard day of rejection or have a heart breaking drop with an investigator, God ALWAYS makes it up to us.  IF we keep working hard.  It would be easy to say “We aren’t having luck today, lets go home.” but when we work through those tough days, we always see a miracle soon after.  It’s gotten to the point that when we have a hard day, I actually am happy because then I know a miracle will be coming soon.  God is so good.  And I am so grateful for my mission and all that it’s taught me and continues to teach me.  I don’t know who I would be without the privilege of being a missionary and representing Jesus Christ every day.
Love you all!

Sister Kimberley… yes, people still call me Sister Kimberley

IMG_0984.JPGIMG_0987

Week 75 ~ Last Zone Conference

Dear Family,                                                                                                            September 12, 2017

I’ve realized that in this mission, I hardly ever can write an email without saying this week was CHAOS… and this week was the same…pure CHAOS.  This past week was week one of the transfer and so we had some incoming sisters stay with us in our apartment… so we had 5 sisters in our area.  Good thing we have such a high number of investigators right now that we were able to divide and conquer.  I would drop a companionship somewhere and then take the other sister with me to go teach another investigator.  haha it was crazy, but so fun!  We also had some time to contact so we were power finding and found some really cool souls.  I then took the sisters up to the airport early in the morning.
Then the next day I went back up north with Sister Tui for the skype MLC that we have every transfer.  It was really good because we were able to discuss a lot of ways to help the mission to grow and see more success.  Sister Tui and I and the AP’s taught about talking with everyone and having faith to find.
Then the next day was Zone Conference so again, we left for the other side of the island at 6am because Trini traffic is the WORST!!  This zone conference was a bit different because… it was my last zone conference.  Sister Tui and I taught again and had one of the best ZC lessons!  And then after our lessons we gave our departing testimonies.  It was really strange for me because I have sent so many companions home and watched them go through this process, and giving their departing testimonies.  I feel like I blinked and then it was my turn.  I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to be a missionary here in Trinidad.  I can’t believe how fast the time flies.  I feel like if I blink again it will be a month from now and I will be on my way home.  It doesn’t even feel real because I just feel like this is my life now, and I will always be a missionary.  I am trying my best to prepare myself and accept that it’s ending, but the thought of leaving these people really does just make my heart so sad! 🌴
This week we have been teaching someone named Stephon. He is a really cool investigator, but oh my goodness, teaching him is an emotional roller coaster haha! He has had a lot of interaction with missionaries in the past, but never really took them on. Sister Tui actually met him and taught him once over a year ago when we started her mission in this area.  Well, Sister Skinner and her were on an exchange a couple weeks ago and then ran into Stephon and the spirit brought back to her remembrance his name! (She isn’t too good with names so it was definitely the spirit. lol) So she looked at him and said, “Hey it’s Stephon right?” and he was amazed that she remembered his name.  We have been able to teach him almost every day this week.  He told us about how a couple years ago he was really frustrated because he wants to know the truth because he is confused by all the different religions so he went out into the bush and basically cried out to God for guidance.  The next day elders showed up at his door.  I wanted to shake the guy and say “YOU DIDNT TAKE THAT AS AN ANSWER!?!” hahah and then not only that, every time he starts studying another religion, Mormon missionaries show up at his door.  He really is searching, he just needs help recognizing the answers.  Two nights ago we had a WONDERFUL lesson with him, answering a lot of questions he has about the priesthood and prophets.  At the end we all knelt down to pray and he said one of the most beautiful and sincere prayers I have ever heard in my life and then he started sniffling so he ended the prayers, gets up and says, “Im not crying, I have the cold.” and hurried and walked in HAHAHA OK STEPHON… Tryin to be all macho. 🙄 SO yeah that lesson was amazing, but then last night we had showed up and he had got into a ton of anti material, and that’s why it’s been an emotional roller coaster with him. But even though he was so upset last night, we testified and ended with the spirit and he said he still wants us to come back and help him understand these things.  We have our work cut out for us, but I have faith 🙂 God is a God of miracles.  And we need one with him!  So please keep Stephone in your prayers.
I have a new companion! SISTER PACHECO.  She is the BEST!  I love her so much. She is one of the most Christ like people I have ever met.  I am so happy she is killing me.  God is good and He blesses His missionaries 🙂
The gospel is true!  Never take it for granted, there are hundreds who are searching for the truth, but we are lucky enough to have it!  Share it and live it.
Love you all.

Sister Kimball

IMG_0938.JPG
Contact area post tropical storm. ↑↓
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IMG_0945.JPGHow am I not 300 pounds… hahaha
IMG_0952.JPG…And then there were 4.  When Sister Tui and I got here there were 18 sisters.

Week 74 ~ Hardened Heart :/

Dear Fam,

This week I have to write my “Return with Honor” which is a Q&A for missionaries going home soon so I don’t have much time today so this will be just a few quick updates:
We had transfer calls this week!  I am getting a new companion!  I will have a sister named Sister Pacheco, she’s from mexico and she’s suuuuper chill, but hard working so I am excited.  All I asked Heavenly Father for my last transfer call was a chill companion so my prayers were answered 🙂  I am sad to see see Sister Montenegro go (she was transfered to Bonaire) and Sister Skinner goes to another area (but in the same district:) But I am excited for the change.  Sister Skinner was actually my longest companion!  I had her for a full two transfers!  It was so fun to train her and watch her grow so much!  She taught me a lot.  And I am going to miss being with a Trini.
We have some really solid investigators right now.  One is named Brother Gordon.  He is so cool!  Whenever we leave a chapter to read for him he reads the chapter and then keeps reading so he reads like 5 chapters by the time we see him again!  When we asked him if he wanted to know if the Book of Mormon is true he said, “Well that’s why I am reading it!” We had a really good lesson with him on the Atonement this week, and we had some members come out with us which is awesome (fellowship is key).  The spirit was seriously so strong the whole lesson and then at the end, his Jamaican friend that sat in and listened piped up right after we invited him to be baptized and said, “So do you invite others to follow Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith?” …. spirit, gone.  I was so mad! haha  Especially because the whole lesson was on the Atonement and Joseph Smith wasn’t mentioned once in that lesson.  I wanted to punch the guy, but I am a representative of Jesus Christ so I refrained, but if I wasn’t wearing this tag… I probably would have. haha, jk.  But really, this guy was so hardened.  But in the end, it actually ended up being a blessing because Brother Gordon stood up for us and the Church.  And then the members we took with us were able to bear amazing testimony and basically tell the guy he didn’t know what he was talking about…in a nice way.  So we ended up leaving with the spirit.  Brother Gordon is on date for October 7th so keep him in your prayers!
I won’t be emailing next Monday because we have zone conference, but my pday will be moved to Tuesday!
Love you all!  Have a great week and serve those around you 🙂

Sister McKae Kimball

Pics:
The parrot bit me….