Colton, now known as Elder Kimball, was called to serve in the Ecuador Quito North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been called to serve for a period of two years and commenced this task on June 18th 2014. He reported to the Mexico City MTC on a Wednesday and didn't have his first P-day, or preparation day, until June 26th. It was a long 8 days waiting for him to have a p-day since that is the only day of the week a missionary can write home, do laundry, shop and get most temporal things done. Every other day of the week he spends studying the Spanish language and learning how to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Once he leaves the Missionary Training Center, also called the CCM in Mexico, he will fly down to Quito to start teaching the people in that region. Here is his first letter. Enjoy!!
Mommy! Daddy! Bailey! Clay! Lexi! Leah! Bella! COLLINS!
Okay so I had to wait 8 days to write this email! My P-day is on Thursday!!! Longest week of my life! My first day was surprisingly easy in the CCM. I checked in and recieved my coveted name tag. For the first three hours of my mission I was with another missionary and his companion. Their names were Elder Smoot and Elder Siggurd. The only thing they taught me was where the comedor was. So, so far my mission experience was little. At around 5ish, the other missionaries showed up and having only spent 4 hoours in the CCM, I pretended to be experienced. I finally found mi compañero at dinner. His name is Elder Bell. He is awesome. He is from Sandy Utah. When I met Elder Bell, he had already lost his name tag. (Notice how that there is no authority figure helping new missionaries find their companions and rooms.) Elder Bell and I went back and unpacked in our room because I was not allowed to be in my room and unpack for the last 5 hours. We met Elder Sok and Elder Dayton who are in our district and our room mates. The rest of the day was free time so we took a nap.
Thursday morning there was nothing on the schedule untill like 10 am. So thus far I have had more free time on the mission then I have had at EFY. All day thursday we had new missionary meetings. We met the CCM mission president, Presidente Pratt. Thursday night, we met our zone. Our zone has 30 missionaries in it and our district has 12 missionaries in it. We played some games with our zone which was alot of fun. Our zone is the same as our branch so we met our branch president. Presidente Suaste is really awesome. He served his mission in Riverside California. I'd say he is like 40 yrs old. After meeting our zone and branch, we split back into our districts and Presidente Suaste got to know our district since we were the only new district in a zone of 3 districts. Presidente Suaste said that if we ever need help we can ask our district leader. I made the mistake of asking who are district leader was? He smiled back at me and said its funny you ask, Elder Kimball, because its you. He handed me a whole bunch of papers and then left. And just like that I became District Leader. I was now going to serve 11 other missionaries and half of them were older than me, but who the Lord calls, he qualifies.
|Colton with his companion, Elder Bell, at the Centro De Capacitacion Misional aka CCM or MTC|
Friday morning I had a leadership meeting in which Elder Bell had to attend with me. The leadership meeting explained nothing about being a district leader. All they taught me was that since I was a leader I would serve others they wouldn't serve me. So I left that meeting knowing nothing of what I was supposed to do. We then met our teacher for Spanish and the gospel. This is when we first started Spanish. We were taught how to introduce ourselves and that's it. The teacher, Hermano Salvador, would only speak in Spanish when teaching. So we were learning a new language in the new language. After he would speak, I would tell everyone what he said since I am the only one that knows basic Spanish.
We have Gym everyday. We have this thing called TALL everyday. Tall is just a language app from the Church and its on the computer. I have to sit on a raised computer desk behind everyone because we are only allowed to be on TALL. We were on the computers for an hour and then we were taken to the Tomas S. Monson building in which we then were told we would teach our first investigator, Betty. Elder Bell and I wrote out an entire script in spanish of what we were going to say. That was a bad idea. We taught the lesson and not the investigator.
Saturday morning we had this thing called MTC orientation and then we studied language and The Book of Mormon with Maestro Salvador. We taught Jorge in the afternoon but we were supposed to teach Betty again but she was sick. This time teaching I did not write anything down. It was AMAZING. The Lord was speaking through the Spirit through Elder Bell and I in Spanish.
|Colton with two of his teachers on Colton's P-day|
|Colton with his companion, Elder Bell (far left) and his other roommates and his teacher on P-day|
I'm running out of time so I can explain as much that as happened. Sunday. I met Elder Preston and Elder Sales. They are the zone leaders. They are leaving. Anyways, they left and the craziest thing happened! Elder Bell and I are now the zone leaders for the next 6 weeks. I can't believe how strong the spirit is here.
I wish I had more time to write you guys! Send me photos of the fam because I have none! Also I love you guys so much. You have prepared me for the mission. A mission will be more than you will ever be able to handle. That's why you have the Spirit of the Lord with you, because you can't do it by yourself. I love you and please email me. I will respond next Thursday! We got a new district so Elder Bell and I meet them tonight.
Dad you have been an unbelievable example to me. You remember that time at Philmont when Ethan left the trashbag and You made me go back 5 miles and get it. I now understand why it is good to do hard things because without all those small lessons you taught me I wouldn't be doing this right now. I know this is where I need to be. I love you guys.
Clay work hard in football. I never worked hard and that is why I never was any good, but after only serving a week in the CCM I know hard things are a necessary part of life. Bella! I love you so much my little princess. Be a good example to Collins. She is going to need you throughout her entire life. Leah, you are the hardest worker I know. I know that you can serve a mission because you can tackle hard things with ease. Collins, I know I don't know you but when Sister Jones showed me pictures of you last week right before my lesson I was a mess. So thank you for bringing your spirit all the way to Mexico. Lexi, I wish I could have brought you with me and had you to wash my clothes and iron my stuff. You would have been so awesome to have with me. Bailey, keep up the hard work and always remember you are a daughter of God. He loves you, and he will bless you if you love and serve others. Mom, I love you so much! You are a true example of Christ. Stop crying everynight about me;) I love you guys and can't wait till next Thursday! Send me packages! I'm getting hungry for american food.
Love your brother/son,
Editors Note: Colton reported to the MTC on June 18, 2014 and his new baby sister Collins was born 48 hours later on June 20th. This was a complete surprise since Collins came 32 days early. Colton will not meet his new baby sister for two years but we all feel very happy knowing he is where he needs to be doing what he's supposed to be doing. I'm also attaching his pre-mission photo shoot that we had taken by the talented Melissa Schoenhardt of Moxie Shots in Provo Utah. Here is the link to his photos: