A missionary leaves her family for a short time, so that those she teaches may be with their families forever!”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Quite a week!

Hello all!!

I love getting all your letters and hearing about the things you are doing. I'm so glad that you got to spend so much time with Ari and Ava (her new cousins after her uncle got married). I miss those girls a ton, I miss you too. A lot, but only when I think about it. Usually I'm too busy to remember that I'm not at home.

We have been focusing on getting to know the members here. Last week our focus was the Primary. We even offered to sub for all the Primary teachers. It'll be interesting. We even offered to sub for Seminary.
It's all going to be learning experiences.

We had a ton of awesome things happen this week. First we have been teaching a part member family for about a week now. It started out that we had gone by to meet them because we were trying to meet all the members, and the husband is not a member. So we went back again to visit and asked if he wanted to take the lessons. He said "not yet" we said that we'd take it and love to keep visiting them every once in a while because they are really fun to talk to. A few days later the wife texted us and said that he wants to take the lessons. So now we are teaching him, and he has come to church the last three weeks. He is a really interesting guy. Super fun to talk to, very smart, and does his research. We're really excited to talk to him and teach him the lessons. I'm not sure if he'll get baptized, but this is the first time he's ever consented to listen to the lessons, and he's been offered a lot. I have high hopes though. I think we can get him there.

Speaking of which, we have a baptism this Saturday!!!!!! Not the lady I talked about before, but a sixteen year old kid, T. He's pretty awesome. We found T in our area book, and went to meet him our first week. He really wanted to go back to church because he hadn't got to go in a while, so we got him a ride that first week. Ever since then we've been wanting to get him to baptism, but we weren't sure how to get him a reliable ride to church. So we finally got that all worked out, and then we had to figure out a way to talk to him and set up a baptismal date with his parents involved. Both of them are deaf so that had been a big barrier this whole time. But we asked a deaf member in our ward to come with us. Her name is Bronzie, and she totally rocked it. She is really good at reading lips and communicating with hearing people. So she was able to talk to his mom and help us set a date for him. It was awesome.

Bronzie is one of the coolest people I have ever met. She says that she is the missionary mom out here. It's really kind of true. She has been so fun to get to know. We rode up with her to talk to T and then when we came back we couldn't find our keys!! We searched all over the car, her driveway and her house. Her husband got out this big flashlight and was shining it all over the ground and under the cars and in them. It was crazy, and late. It even got to around 10 before we decided to go all the way back to Memphis to find them. Bronzie was so willing to take us, and we were so stressed out because we were supposed to be home an hour ago. We found them right as we got there and we were able to get home by quarter to eleven. We were so tired that we went straight to bed and did daily planning in the morning. It was a crazy evening.

We have been back to Bronzie's house pretty a ton since because she had T at her house for stake conference this weekend and we needed to go through the baptismal interview questions with him. We had to explain a lot of things about he questions so that he understood them, and her testimony during that was so incredible, it really helped him to understand because she explained everything in ASL. I think it helped him because he grew up with ASL parents. Then she has us over for dinner on Sunday. She is teaching us a lot of
sign, I'm just trying to remember all that we learn. She is so cool.

During our stake conference all the missionaries in our district had a ton of people there. It was so cool. We were getting a new stake presidency, and the area seventy that was here for that gave an incredible talk on the Book of Mormon. It was so good. Reminded me a lot of the way Elder Holland talks. But a little bit nicer though. Our bishop got called as the new first counselor in the stake presidency. So now we are about to get a new bishop in our ward. That will be an interesting experience.

We had zone conference this week. There were some really good talks. President Wakolo was sick, but he gave an inspiring talk anyway. It was just so sad to see him feeling so bad. He is such a big strong happy man. It was hard to see him so quiet and tired. His talk was great nonetheless. He talked about teaching and learning, and how they are like to two sides of a ten dollar bill. Neither one without the other. They come hand in hand.

I saw Elder Gram Carmen at the zone conference! We graduated from high school together. All four years at Maeser we spent there. It was really cool to see him and say hi. I didn't get to get a picture because I had to go to a training meeting for the new missionaries right after the zone conference. But we'll get one next time. It was really fun to see him though. Weird too though. I haven't seen him since graduation. Crazy how God works though, it was fun to talk about Maeser a bit.

It was a crazy busy week, but I enjoyed it all. I'm learning, and I'm pushing myself to talk more and get to know people. I'm getting better. One thing we all have to do is memorize all the doctrinal points in lesson three of preach my gospel, and have a Bible and Book of Mormon scripture for all of them. I've got a lot of the points down, but I'm still trying to find and memorize the scriptures. It's been so fun. I love the ward. I love the work. I love the gospel. I love the Lord. And I love all of you, thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Love you!!!

*If you want Sister Beckstrand's mailing or email address, contact Mom B, or if you have her old phone number call that-but not during school hours please-her brother will answer it and tell you how to contact her mom.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

One Month Gone!

Hello all !!!

How are you doing? Congratulations to Jacob and Sarah. Is it fun having the little girls there? I bet it is. I'm sorry my letter won't be very long today, I don't have much time. I really love getting all your letters. The wedding sounds like it was a lot of fun, Mom...
It's so crazy to think that I've already been out a month (as of Saturday). I didn't even realize until Elder Claridge (my DL) said something about it yesterday. And I'm halfway through my first transfer. I had my first exchanges this week with the Sister Training Leaders. It was really fun, I met a lot of really neat people in their area, and I learned a lot. We still have only one baptismal date, but I think we'll have another by tonight.

We have had such a great time getting to know the people here. They really are the best. I haven't had much southern food yet, but I did have fried catfish. It was an interesting experience. That's all I've had though. 
We made cookies yesterday with the last of my chocolate rocks. So we have chocolate rock cookies. They're very good.

It really has been super fun out here. I learn so much. But there is so much to read and learn that I don't feel like I have enough time to do it all. I'm just glad I have all 18 months to get through a lot of the things I want to. I started reading the Book of Mormon and marking the things in PMG pg 114. I think all of you should try to do that in your own spare time. Just get a fresh copy and go through it. It is so cool. It also gets pretty addicting. Good luck!

Dad, have y'all started the missionary bingo? I want to hear how it goes for you, the kids in our ward love it and love bringing it out to show us when we come over for dinner. 

Mom, I love getting the spiritual thoughts from the meetings you go to, they sound so good. One thing a family does every time we go to eat at their house is tell us one thing that we learned that day, he says that if the spirit does not teach us something every day, then we have to fix something. I'm still working on that. 

Good luck to all of you in the things you are doing. I miss you so much, but it is so worth it. Boys, get out here as soon as you can. This is such a learning and growing opportunity, and it is so worth it. I don't even know the half of it yet, but I know that this is the best place for me to be right now. Good luck at work, in school, with your friends, and at home. Every moment counts, and make it all worth it. I love you all!!

Love, Kimber
This is Phil, we found him on the side of the road and Sister Hirschi
really wanted him. He didn't fit into our trunk and barely in out back
I got home late last night, so this is a day late, sorry. With my brother's wedding, I totally missed her first month mark! I remember that being a big deal when I was a missionary! Who'da thunk it would already be one down?

Monday, February 8, 2016

White Washing and Loving It

Uggh, what's that? Never mind, I don't want to know!

Cousin Annie's friend from South Jordan?

Zone Conference, I think - fellow missionaries are some of the best friends you ever have!
Hi everyone!! I loved reading about all your adventures. Good luck Uncle Jacob and Aunt Sarah!! (Her uncle gets married this week. At least Kimberly got to know Aunt Sarah and be friends with her before she left!) And Samuel ... congrats on getting asked to Sweethearts'. That's awesome. It sounds so fun there with all the family over, cousins and Grandma and Grandpa. It's so cool that all those things are happening. And all that cool stuff Samuel is doing in school. Enjoy every moment of it all. And good thing Samuel and Jason's (dance) shoes fit now. New shoes are always fun, especially for dance.
For the ASL stuff, don't worry about it. We talked to the mission president, and he said to just focus on the English work. The ASL sisters still have this area, the just have a much larger area now. I still would like the dictionary, but there is a really nice lady in our ward who will help us learn it.
Sister Hirschi is from Washington state, Tri Cities area she says. Not sure where that is, but it's the east side.
It has been so fun here. I have met so many new people this last week that my brain sometimes feels like overload, but it's all good. Lots of wonderful people. Everyone is so nice, and we totally have the best ward. We have a car, and because we are whitewashing* this area we get lost a ton, but we get to meet more people that way. Yesterday we parked the car and went walking for about three hours and we met a ton of new people. We even ran into a member of our ward. It was really fun, but super exhausting. My feet were not happy with me after that. It's a good thing I wore my walking shoes. 
We have been working with a recent convert, Eva, and her son Bryan. They both came to church yesterday. We did not expect him to come, but it was awesome to have both of them there. 
We have also been working with a lady from Micronesia. She has talked to missionaries in the past, and I gave her the baptismal challenge! She wants to be baptized!! But she has to work things out with her husband first. I really hope that she can get baptized. She bore a beautiful testimony on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She knows it's true, and she really really wants to be baptized. We hope she will come to church soon, she almost did yesterday, but she was not able to. 

...We also have an investigator called T_, and he has already had all the lessons. He even had a baptismal date last year, but something happened to make it fall through. Our biggest challenge with him is getting him rides to church. So we are going to work with him and try to get him a more permanent means of getting to church. Hopefully his parents will be able to. He is such an awesome kid. ...
It was a slower week, we tried to meet more people, but nobody opens their doors, so we are making slow progress in our area book. Saturday was supposed to be full of people we had appointments for, but every meeting fell through. But Sweet is the Work, and it was a fun day anyway. We also parked that day and walked around. 
We had zone conference this seek, and I ran into a friend of (cousin) Annie's from South Jordan. It was really fun. Did I tell you? I also ran into one of her friends in the MTC. So I have pictures with both of them to send to her. But one of them is on my camera, which I still haven't figured out how to get those picture to send to y'all. I'm not sure what to do there. But I'm gonna start taking picture more on my iPad so I can get them to you.
The longer I am out here, the more I love it. I'm so excited for all you boys to experience this. It is such a learning experience. Plus it's fun to be out here loving the people and learning to live on your own and learning of yourself and how to take care of yourself. The more I think about it the more there is to learn and grow through. It's incredible. Just throw yourself into the work and forget everything else. And it will all come.

Love Kimber

*If we're understanding the term "white washing" it seems to be that they are the first "English speaking" missionaries in that area, so it's almost like opening a new area.  Neither companion has worked the area yet, so they are both new there, but Sis Herschi has five months experience as a missionary, so they aren't without experience - just in the area. So they are both working very hard, learning together. What a marvelous experience to have in your first area.

Another email came a few minutes later with a pic and this note:

My ward is doing this awesome missionary bingo, and I think you all
should do it. We seriously have the coolest ward. Also try to go out
with the missionaries, they love it. 

Kimberly's dad figured out that her mission consists of five stakes, TOTAL. Our smallish Utah city has more stakes than that within it's boundaries! Whew.

Monday, February 1, 2016

First Area, First PDay, First Email!

Hey, it's good to get your letters. My address is ... Southaven, MS*
The humidity is not that bad, it's not even that cold, the felt coat is doing fine....
So my companion, Sister Hirschi is the same age as me, born 3 months later. She is really fun. She knows a lot too, I know I can learn a ton from her. It's pretty cool that you ran into someone from my mission. I still don't know a lot of people. I have a lot to learn still. I got a slight cold this past couple days, and so my brain is pretty fried by now. We did a lot of cleaning today, our apartment had a big mess in the corners of supplies for the mission, so we sorted through all that just barely. 
Yesterday we had an investigator.come to church! How awesome is that? His name is T__, and last year he was taught all the lessons and even had a baptismal date, but we don't know why, but that never happened. So we are going to get that set up for him. The ward here is really nice. They had a big fifth Sunday meeting yesterday third hour about the ward doing more missionary work. It was really cool. 
It turns out that we are whitewashing my first area. And it used to be an ASL area, so Sister Hirschi and I are going to have to learn it. It's a good thing I already know a little. Sister Hirschi knows nothing about it, but she is going at it in a way that makes me think that she will pass me up pretty soon. The only way I can stay ahead of her in by answering all her questions about it. I'm starting to remember a lot as we review stuff. 
Our apartment is huge. Two bed, two bath. We have to share a room, but we each have our own closet and bathroom. It's really big. Our kitchen is also pretty roomy, and we have a bit of a dining room, and our living room is quite spacious. There isn't much furniture, but we don't need it. We're never here to notice. 
Most of our time is spent trying to figure out our area, meeting with the members, strengthening our relationship with them. They are all very nice. They love to feed us. It's really fun to go meet all the members out here. There are a lot of people here for the optometry school that is in Memphis. It's so common that anyone who is a young family here from the west you can almost always guess that and you'd be right. 
Ok, I'm not sure what else to say, but if you write back before my time is up I may be able answer more things for you. (See below for some of that back and forth conversation!)
I just learned that I can read you letters during any down time I have during the week, I just can't reply. So go ahead and send more, just don't expect nearly as much in return :P
Love, Kimber
Sent from my iPad
Follow up emails for a few minutes:
Sent from your ipad! I was wondering about that... 
Hahaha, yea I got an iPad. It's pretty confusing trying to figure out all the apple software ;p
Is sister h a greenie too?
No, she's been out five months
That's a relief. My first comp was from my same MTC batch, it was crazy. I'm sorry you have had a cold. Thanks for the best letter! Praying for you! Love you, Mom
Ps any chance you could send more postum?
Hey, by the way, could you send me my ASL dictionary? It should be on my book case, I'm thinking bottom shelf

First email finally came - it was about 3:30 in the afternoon, AFTER I had left work. So much for watching email all day! I was in the carpool line picking up her brothers, and I thought to check my cell phone...there it was! Good thing, because then I was able to email back and forth with her for a few minutes.  Now that I'm at home, her dad is checking the area where she lives, counting the numerous churches in the area, noting how big the ward area is, etc. FUN! 
*If you want her mailing or email address, contact Mom B, or if you have her old phone number call that-but not during school hours please-her brother will answer it and tell you how to contact her mom.