Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 5th!

What a week it has been!  Last Monday we picked up a new investigator which was very exciting!  Her name is Jessica and we have another appointment with her tonight.  She has already agreed to all the lessons and is showing a lot of promise.  She wants to know this is all true so it is great to see.

The rest of my week has been kinda slow.  We have been majorly cleaning up the ward directory and it is just so bad.  We have found 50 new addresses for people and 2 dead people...  That's how neglected the directory is here.  Hopefully after we clean it up, the clerks will keep it clean.  But oh well!

This week I am singing at our zone conference.  There will be 2 other zones plus mine there.  The Mission President and his wife and his counselors will be there.  Lots of people and I am only slightly freaking out about singing in front of all of them.  I am excitedly scared for this opportunity.  Hopefully all goes well!

Well sorry if this email is short, but know that I love you guys!  Keep the faith and know that the Lord will always provide for us if we trust in Him.  Don't do anything that would cause the Spirit to leave you.  Keep strong and know that the Lord will be there for us when we need him.


July 22, 2013

Hello everyone!
Sorry it's been so long since I've had time to address my mission for public eyes!  I'm just loving the work and enjoying every minute that I can.  Boy do I have stories to tell though.  Maybe even too many.  So we shall start with some
On Monday- July 8th, I got to go to Six Flags New England!  It was so much fun.  We got permission and everything and a member actually used their season pass to get us a free ticket.  It was so much fun.  We went with our Zone Leaders and it was like being a normal person again, yet I hated that feeling.  I enjoyed it a lot don't get me wrong, but when you are set apart as a missionary, you feel and do stuff different from what you are use to.  But we had a blast and I'm so glad I got to go!
On July 17th, the day before my birthday, my companion and I got in a car accident.  No one was hurt, but we basically totaled our car.  We were heading through an intersection with a green light when a girl ran a red and we t-boned her in the side.  Her car was dented on the side and our entire front smashed together like an accordion.  No bueno.  So we didn't have a car for the rest of the day.  Our Zone Leaders had to come pick us up to take us to transfer meeting the next day.  So our area is just doomed with accidents about every 6 months.  6 months ago, the Elders in Pittsfield had gotten in another accident and now this one.  I feel bad for the Elders who will be here in 6 months.  Hahaha
Being away from home on your birthday is a bittersweet experience.  I missed my family and all that stuff, but I mean, my fellow missionaries in the field are my family as well.  That's the great thing, you are never alone out here.  I got lots of birthday texts from everyone in the mission and my family and friends sent me lots of neat gifts.  Thank you all for the warm birthday greetings.
To everyone who is reading this, know that I love you all and that missionary work is a fantastic work and you have the potential to do it in your own areas.  Thank you for all the support and know that Heavenly Father is there to support you as well.
I'll write more stories next week but until then stay strong!  Alma 37: 36-37
Elder Kimbell

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Elder Kimbell and Elder Bartlett Win The Race!

Austin's mom recieved an email from one of the members this past week that said:

Tonight your boys won TWO competitions. They came in first on SPUD CAR DESIGN (winning a Mr. Potato Head Doll) AND they won first place in the SPUD RACES. We are very proud of them, as you should be. The competition was fierce. Ten SPUD RACERS entered with dreams of capturing the checkered flag in the First Annual Pittsfield Ward Spud Races, but the missionaries coasted to the winner's circle with their Boston Massachusetts Temple Spud Car. They also took home some really good baked goods in the Young Women's Camp Fund Raiser Cake Auction. It was a great night. Thank you for letting your sons serve. They are awesome.

We are VERY impressed by their Temple car they made!

Weeks 8 and 9 In The Field!

**We talked to Austin on Mother's day! He is doing SO amazing! He sends everyone his love!**

This week has been quite a learning experience.  Our car had to be taken in for repairs this entire past week.  We thought we would get it back on Friday, but they found some more internal damage and had to keep it over the weekend to fix.  So me and Elder Bartlett have been riding our bikes all around Pittsfield!  It's been quite tiring.  I had a lot of learning experiences though.  I learned that God answers prayers.  I would not have had the strength to go 20+ miles on Saturday if I didn't have the Lord's strength with me.  I learned that I'm really out of shape and need to work on that.  ;)  I learned that SPF 100 really does work, because I used some, didn't get sunburnt.  Elder Bartlett didn't use any (him being asain and all) and he got sunburnt on his arms.  It's gone now, but it was pretty funny.  I have learned a lot more while riding those bikes, but it has been a great time.  I am thankful for that.  We get to pick up our car in about an hour, so I'm pretty excited about that.

I've been listening to a lot of music lately.  I miss music, but whenever we walk into a public place that is playing the radio, I realize that even though I hear the same songs that I listened to back home, they have a different feeling for me now.  Listening to good music really does make a difference.  So just be cautious of the feelings you get when you are listening to music, each of you!

Still trying to get over the fact that I just "saw" you guys yesterday!  What a blessing that was.  You all looked great and Lucy is just a doll!  I'm happy that you guys are all doing well.

This email probably will be a shorter one just because we caught up yesterday.  I've attached my baptism picture for you to see.  That's Fianna for ya!  She's an awesome lady and we are so happy for her decision.

After emails today Elder Bartlett and I are going to the Norman Rockwell Museum.  It's a big art museum and it's supposedly one that if you are in the Pittsfield area, let alone in the Berkshire county at all you have to go see this museum atleast once.  We get free passes from the library here to all the museums in the county if we ask a few days in advance so it's really cool!  So that will be exciting.

Elder Austin Kimbell

Elder Kimbell doing some service for some of the members by doing a little demolition to their house

Elder Kimbell and Elder Bartlett riding their bikes

Fianna's baptism day! Yay we are so happy for her and her decision to be baptized!

7 Weeks Out!

Hello Family!
It's been quite the interesting past few days.  Some ups and downs, but still doing good!
I'm a little sad to say that Feanna's baptism didn't happen yesterday.  There was a small bump in her interview.  Nothing to worry about, she's not even worried.  So the baptism will just be a little postponed is all!
We had to take our car in to get fixed today.  Before I got out into the field, the past Elders had gotten into a wreck and the whole passenger side door was busted and everything.  The insurances were debating it out and actually resolved it a month ago, but the mission just got the news about it.  So this week Elder Bartlett and I are on bikes.  It should be an interesting time.  We rode our bikes to the library today and I about died.  I didn't realize how out of shape I am.  Haha, but it will should be an interesting week.
 We had exchanges this past weekend with our District Leader.  I love Elder Sutherland.  Me and him stayed in Pittsfield and Elder Bartlett went with Elder Boren to Greenfield.  Elder Sutherland helped me a lot with things on my mind.  So it was a great weekend to say the least!  We got a lot of work done and Elder Sutherland was very impressed at how organized I was for it being my first exchange all by myself in my own area where he didn't know anything. 
I love you all so much, send me a postcard from Hawaii if you remember.  Enjoy the family time because there are so many who don't have this wonderful chance to share with others.  I know you are all doing well and I am proud of each of you.  Keep the faith and remember that Through Christ We Can. 
Hope you guys have fun these upcoming weeks!
Elder Austin Kimbell

6 weeks down!

So glad to hear you are all doing great!   This week is transfer week and so with the transfer meeting tomorrow, they make P-Day on Wednesday to give missionaries time to back right before they go to the meeting.  Me and Elder Bartlett are staying in Pittsfield together so I'm pretty happy about that.  Next transfer though should be interesting.  Elder Bartlett will most likely go somewhere else and I will train.  That should be a fun story to tell when it comes.  But the work is great and I couldn't be doing any better!

Feanna, our investigator, is getting baptized this upcoming Sunday, the 28th after church.  She asked a member to baptize her and she said she was going to have either me or Elder Bartlett confirm her.  She hadn't decided at the time, but I don't care either way.  Just seeing her come into this church and be baptized is the greatest thing!  She has come so far and it is finally time that she does this.  I will send pictures of us at the baptism next week.    

The work out here is great!  It's been a little frustrating this past weekend.  We were in our apartment on Saturday when our carbon monoxide alarm went off.  We went outside and in the end had to drive an hour that night to the Greenfield Elders apartment and spent the night.  We woke up early and drove back to Pittsfield so we could be at church.  Tried to call the fire department to come check it out but they weren't in on a Sunday (which is shocking out here because everything is open on sunday).  So we again that night had to drive to Greenfield and spend the night.  We went back Monday and our landlord was back in town and he checked it out.  Turns out our alarm is broken and it was a false alarm the entire time.  So we spent so many miles driving for a false alarm.  It was ridiculous!  But oh well, it was good to finally sleep on a bed that night rather than on some couch cushions on the floor.

Elder Austin Kimbell

5th Week Out in Pittsfield MA!

**A little bit of background information you probably need to know before you read this weeks letter was that Austin's grandpa who he  was very close to had passed away.  His Grandpa had been suffering from Alzheimer's for quite a few years. Austin had the opportunity to say goodbye to his grandpa before he left for his mission knowing that he probably wouldn't have the opportunity to see his grandpa again in this life. As you can imagine loosing a loved one can be painful and difficult even with the wonderful knowledge of knowing that families are sealed together forever.  Austin's parents were able to call Austin and tell him the news.  We are so proud of how Austin handled the loss of his Grandpa.  We know his grandpa is also extremely proud of him.  Although Austin was not able to be at his grandpa's funeral, he was made an honorary pallbearer and we felt Austin's spirit very strongly.  As if this wasn't enough of a trial, the bombings at The Boston Marathon were also this week.  All the missionaries serving in Massachusetts had a missionary trip to the Boston Temple that same morning.  We had heard from Austin's mission president that all the missionaries were safe and accounted for, but that some of the missionaries had gone to celebrate at the marathon after the temple and were very shaken by what they saw.  We are extremely blessed that Austin had left to go home before the bombings had happened .  We pray for all the missionaries and all those families who were involved in the attack.**

It has been such an interesting past week.  Not too much had happened last monday and tuesday.  Just usual stuff.  On wednesday I went on exchanges with one of my ZL's.  I went with Elder Stradley to Ludlow (His area) and Elder Langford stayed with Elder Bartlett in Pittsfield.  I learned a lot of things from Elder Sradley and had a lot of fun.  I helped some people out in his area that him and Elder Langford hadn't been able to do before and he was very grateful for that.    :)  

On Thursday we came back to Pittsfield and were having our district meeting with the Greenfield elders.  Since we had just been on exchanges with the ZL's, they were there too.  5 mins before the meeting ended our phone went off.  I ignored it, but saw it was Sis. Packard and knew immediately it was a good phone call.  The meeting ended and I called Sis. Packard back.  She told me there had been a tragedy, that I had permission to call home, and that she was sorry.  I told the group (who was walking to our cars to head to lunch) that there was a problem and that I needed to call home.  They left me alone and I went into a classroom and called you guys.  I heard the news and as you remember I started crying, but it wasn't really tears of sadness (though there was some) it was more tears of happiness because grandpa was finally at peace.  It was great to hear your guys voices and I'll be honest, I didn't have a time limit on the phone with you guys or anything.  I could have talked longer, but I honestly couldn't.  Hearing that news and hearing your guys voices just made me miss home too much and I couldn't do that to myself.  So I forced myself to end the call earlier than planned because I couldn't do that to myself.  I'm sorry for that, but you have to understand, being a missionary away from home is tough work.  It can drain ya.  I loved talking to you guys, and I can't wait until mother's day!  Anywho, so I hung up from you guys, wiped the tears from my face and left the classroom.  Down the hall was Elder Bartlett, waiting for me.  I walked up to him and he just hugged me.  I forced myself not to cry, because I didn't want to cry anymore.  After like 5 mins, he finally pulled away and he had tears running down his face for me.  We walked out to the foyer of the church and the Greenfield elders and the ZL's were waiting there.  Trying to make it not so depressing, I said, "Well I'm hungry, lets go eat."  As happy as I could make it sound.  Then Elder Boren came and gave me a hug, and soon after everyone had come into this group hug for me.  None of them asked what had happened or anything, they only said that they loved me.  Little to say, I started to cry again because I knew I was surrounded by people who loved me, just like my family back home.  It was truly a blessing to me.  We went to lunch and the rest of the day I was a little sad for Grandpa and that I couldn't be there to comfort you guys either, but I had this renewed strength (undoubtedly from Grandpa).  We had to give a blessing to a man in our ward that night and he asked me to do it for him.  I was kinda shocked because as the new guy, most the people we have given blessings to have asked Elder Bartlett to say it because they know him better.  But I gave it to him, and felt like there were extra hands on my back, telling me what to say.  It was a truly amazing experience.  I know that Grandpa is happy now and is now actively attending to all of us.

Friday was a pretty average day again.  Not to much, just appointments as usual.  On Saturday we went up to the Greenhalgh's (pronounced Green ouch).  Ian who is 15 wanted us to come up and do studies with him on saturday mornings to help him in his preparing for a mission.  He is a great guy and we actually ended up going on splits with him and his dad.  Elder Bartlett and Bro. Greenhalgh went together up to North Adams and I went with Ian in Williamstown which is only 5 mins away.  It was a great experience to go out with Ian.  He had a lot of good questions he wanted to ask me and he was exactly like me growing up so it was great to get to know him better.  We beat Elder Bartlett back to their house where we were having lunch.  I was starting to talk to Sis. Greenhalgh and I told her about her timing with sending the picture to you guys of me and Elder Bartlett.  She said though before I even told her what had happened that as soon as she typed in your email address she had this feeling come over her that who ever was on the receiving end needed to hear and see what she was going to send.  She didn't know why, but she felt that.  Crazy right?  She had this feeling, sends the email, and you got it at just the right time.  The Lord works in mysterious ways that are unbelievable!  Such a blessing for sure.

Sunday was a little bad.  I woke up and just felt really sick.  My head hurt and my stomach as well.  So we went to sacrament and we ended up having to just go back to our apartment  after that because I just didn't feel good.  So I slept most the day and Elder Bartlett fixed some of the drawers in our kitchen that were broken.  

On Monday we had to wake up at 3 am to get ready and leave for the temple.  I never realized how blessed we are back home to be 5 mins away from a temple, let alone 30 mins to get to the draper temple and probably around an hour in EITHER direction to go to either the Salt Lake or Mt. Timpanogos temples.  But we left at 4 and drove for 2 and half hours to get to the Boston Temple.  Such a beautiful temple for sure.  The Celestrial room was GORGEOUS!  I still think the our temple was prettier, but this was just huge and spacious.  They didn't have this big chandeleir in the center, but they had this wall basically of these beautiful windows and were simply stunning.  It was also really cool because I got to do a Korean name for Elder Bartlett's family!  (The family member I had hasn't gotten his Inititories done yet).  But his mom sent two names and he asked if I could do one of them.  It was a really neat experience.

After the temple we went to the get some lunch with our zone.  We went to Harvard Square and went to this little mexican restaurant place.  It was a lot of fun, especially since we were hearing all these cheers from the Boston marathon and it was really cool to be down there and be a part of it all.  We then went a little out of the town and went to this park and played some soccer and ultimate frisbee.  Playing soccer again was so much fun!  Though I hurt myself and can barely walk today.  I barely get into my car with our crying out in pain.  I've been rubbing deep blue on it though and last night had the heating pad on it.  So it's a tad better today, but I now have a limp.  But we had been playing from about 1-3.  At 3 were taking this big zone picture and after wards we heard all these sirens going off and we wondered what was going on, but to be honest, hearing sirens isn't that uncommon so we didn't think much of it.  Me and Elder Bartlett had started our way home when we get a text from Sis. Packard asking for our parent's emails so she could email them that we were safe.  We didn't understand what was going on.  A little while later we got another general text from Sis. Packard saying that all boston and cambridge missionaries were to go back to their apartment and stayed there the rest of the day.  We knew then that something had happened.  So we called our ZL's and they told us about the bombs in Boston.  They gave us permission to listen to the news feed on the radio and basically listened all the way home.  It is so sad to hear about.  Even crazier was that we were only a couple blocks away eating lunch about 2 and a half hours before they went off.  It is a sad event, but as you can see, i'm alive and safe.  But pray for the families who were involved in the accident.  It truly is a sad thing to happen on such a happy day for the marathon.

Well that's kinda been my past week.  I'm doing good and staying happy!  

Loves,  Elder Austin Kimbell   

Elder Kimbell and Elder Bartlett in front of The Boston Temple the morning of The Boston Marathon bombings.