Monday, April 15, 2013

1 month down in the big MA!

Oh I don't even know where to begin right now!  I guess I'll start off by saying that conference was so amazing!  They told me that as a missionary, conference becomes such a powerful spiritual uplifting time!  Well let's just say that I experienced something that Moses experienced after the burning bush and being in God's presence.  After the last session of conference, we went back to our apartment to eat dinner and I basically passed out on the couch.  I was so drained physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually!  It was the weirdest feeling but I literally just collapsed on the couch and didn't get up!  Conference was so great!  Did you hear how like 3 speakers talked about the Boston/New England mission?  Ya I'm famous now ;D.  Elder Holland's talk was by far my favorite!  Such a powerful message about standing for what you believe.  I love how he said, "Don't back off the ground you have already won."  Keep fighting and keep moving forward family!  Christ is ALWAYS on our side!

I'm really excited for next P-Day.  Anytime during the mission that there is a holiday on a Monday, the temple opens just for our mission!  Not all the areas get to go do a session, but next week for pioneer day, my area is one of the few that gets to go!  I finally get to go into the beautiful Boston Temple!  I am so excited!  Even better, I'm taking a family name!  Back home, I had remembered that I had reserved a name for me to do and now I get to finally do him!  Such an exciting time for our family!  

You had mentioned some time ago about my pioneer ancestors?  If you still have that stuff, I'd love to hear about them!  Setting up a family history class here in Pittsfield as an assignment from our bishop and it would be cool to share a story about my ancestors!  

 Also have they gotten my plaque yet in the church?  How is the ward doing by the way?  My ward is so tiny compared to Utah!  I had to help do the sacrament here and Elder Bartlett laughed at me because I was breaking the bread into such tiny pieces.  Let's just say it's a very different sized ward here :).

I'm doing great out here!    It's finally sinking in that I CAN do this for 2 years, even if it will be hard.  I

I'M GOING TO BE A FAMOUS PERSON ON TV!!  Haha there is a member in our ward that has his own tv station and he invited us to his studio one day.  We went and he had us be the cameramen!  He's giving us a copy of the show and in the credits it will have me down as the camera guy!  His show is he plays guitar and sings all these older songs for past historical events.  It's actually pretty cool.  After the show, he asked us if either of us sang.  I said I did, as did Elder Bartlett and he asked, "how would you like to be on the show?"  I immediately said yes, and so did Elder Bartlett.  He said he would even ask us what our name tags were about, so that we could briefly talk about the church on tv!  But ya, it won't happen until around May, but I'm still going to be singing on TV!!!  I'll get a copy of it to so I can send it to you guys when it happens :D

The people out here are great.  We're having a little trouble trying to find new investigators, so keep that in you prayers, as well as our current investigator, Feanna.  She's doing really well and believes in this church, it's just now taking that step to be baptized.  I know she will take that step, it's just a matter of when.  But otherwise the area is doing great!  It's finally warming up here too!  It's about 60 today.  After emails me and Elder Bartlett were going to go play tennis.  It's just a great time to be out on a mission!

Well I need to get going.  We have lots to do this week.  I get to go on exchanges with the ZL's this week.  That should be fun.  I like my ZL's a lot so it should be interesting!  I hope you are all doing well and keep up the spirit!  It is a great day to be alive!  Share everyone my love and thank you for all you guys do for me!

Loves, Elder Austin Kimbell

Sunday, April 7, 2013

3rd Week In The Lord's Vineyard

I love you guys so much!  It's great to hear from you all and know what's going on in your lives!  My life is pretty good!  It's been a busy week and a slow one.  Elder Bartlett had a stomach bug on Thursday so we were inside all day and without a tv or games to really play, it gets boring being inside.  We were inside most of Friday to except for dinner because we had a dinner appointment but then we went home afterwards again.  I caught up on some sleep that I didn't really need, but that's basically all I could do!

 In MA, there are four seasons, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Mud.  Haha it's now become mud season and it really is.  There is mud everywhere!  I'm having to walk through mud just to get to the front door of people's houses!  It's crazy!  But the snow has stopped coming and it's now becoming sunny but muddy.  It's great t-shirt weather!

Tomorrow we have to drive all the way out to Boston for a "return and report" meeting.  All the new missionaries have to go back to the mission president and report how were doing so far for being out 3 or 4 weeks now.  So that will be a long drive tomorrow and then we get to come back and have a dinner appointment, so it's really not that bad :)  We're getting a lot of things accomplished in our area.  Really cleaning up the ward directory and finding those less actives and seeing what we can do to help them come back.  We've had a lot of neat lessons that the spirit has been so powerful you just have to follow it's promptings!  We've had a lot of success and expect to continue to see more of it! 

Well there sadly isn't too much to report on this week.  I tried to make a little video to send you guys, but the video is to big to attach... I might try to get on my old gmail account to see if that will work, otherwise I will just send the SD card home soon for you guys to have my pictures.  I love you guys with all of my heart.  Thank you for all the packages and letters and emails and love you guys send me.  I pray for you guys each night and know that the Lord is watching out for you guys so I don't need to worry.  Whenever any of you feel down, just stop, think of me smiling at you (because I truly am so proud of all of you!), and know that you are being blessed for the choices you are making.  Heavenly Father knows all the answers, we just need to ask Him for help and He will come to our aid.  This Church is so true and I thank my Father in Heaven for parents who raised me in this glorious Church.  I can't wait to see you all when I get home, but I have a few things I have to take care of first! ;)

Austin with his mission president and the mission president's wife

Austin in front of the Mission President's house

Austin with some of the other elders at the airport!

Second Week in Mission Field

Like I've mentioned in a few letters, my job in this area is really helping the less active members to come back to church.  We had our first real church meetings yesterday since the week before was stake conference.  Our ward is basically as big as one of the side benches and half of the other side of benches back home.  It's really small.  The Bishop kinda surprised me and made me give the opening prayer in sacrament.  So I can now say that I've given a prayer in sacrament meeting.  I'm sure after Easter and Conference that I'll have to talk in sacrament, but I'll be ready then!  Me and Elder Bartlett also had to teach the gospel principle class on scriptures.  It went very well and I even had a Heaven inspired thought come to me that I want to share.  Why do you think they put Joseph Smith's History in the scriptures that we give to everyone and for everyone to read, rather then in it's own book and sell separately?  The answer is that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of this last dispensation and by thus being so, everyone can read about how this gospel is still on this earth this day and hasn't been taken off, as it has been shown in the Bible and such.  Hope that makes sense.  It made sense when I said and thought it was a very good point!

The members out here are so loving!  I even made a little friend on Saturday!  His name is Dante and he's 5 years old.  He acts just like me when I was a kid and we just connected.  We had gone to their house to do some service and then have dinner with them.  He just hung out with us as we worked and we played together.  He just made me so happy and gave me strength to keep staying out here!  I sadly don't have a picture of him yet, but I will and I will send it to ya when I can.  Plus his sister, Fiona, looks and act just like Carly did when she was little!  It threw me for a loop!  But it was a nice little connection!  The other members are very kind as I've mentioned.  All last week we got fed dinner everynight, we pretty much do this week too except I think Thursday, but it's still all great food, though I haven't had fish or clam chowder yet.  ;)  I've done lots of service too from feeding the homeless, to chopping wood, to pick up a horse pen of their... droppings.  Haha, it's all been great stuff and fun memories.

I laugh now about Utah weather.  Dad mentioned how you guys had 6" of snow sometime ago.  Well here in Massachusetts, the snow will stop then go then stop then go then finally stop.  All of it sticks and its HUGE snowflakes!  I'm pretty sure after our first storm here we had like 3 feet of snow.  Last Tuesday it was snowing so bad we actually had to stay in our apartment because the roads were bad.  The next morning there was like 5 feet of snow.  So we have lots of snow, but it's oddly not that cold outside in all honest.  Definitely warmer than what Utah was, plus it's a lot fresher air out here!  No pollution plus lots of trees!  Pretty great out here!  I love it and can't wait to come back sometime after my mission and show you guys all the great stuff out here!

I want you all to know that I'm really happy out here and couldn't have asked for a better place to serve.  I'm pretty sure if I had to learn a different language, I would have died by now.  Such a blessing to be able to speak English here.  I know that Christ looks out for all of us and I know that He is watching over you as I pray for you and then I don't have to worry about you guys.  So don't worry about me either, focus on what you need to back home and just put me on the back burner. ;)  TCIC (Through Christ I Can)  That's kinda a motto me and my friend, Sister Daniel, send back and forth to each other in our letters.  I really liked it when she sent it to me.

Well I love you all and hope you are all doing great!