Monday, March 30, 2015

Birthday Bash

Date: March 30, 2015
Week: 40 Lago Agrio, Ecuador
Companions: Elder Palomino & Elder Castillo
My 19th birthday
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015
I am now 19 years old. What a shame! It was so much fun saying 18 and seeing the people's faces when I said it. I guess 19 isn't so bad. I did alot of stuff this past week. First off, Elder Castillo went to Quito on my birthday so that was lame. Elder Palomino and I worked hard and I was able to keep him obedient. Elder Valentine was also with us for a little bit and it was awesome to speak English. We figured out that when I speak English I can be a little mean. HA! Well I don't have much time to write today but my birthday was awesome. It didn´t really feel like my birthday because I am used to roller skating parties and chocolate cake.
My tiny birthday cake
Lago Agrio Ecuador March 2015

Noche de hogar with the Branch
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Still playing small earthquake large earthquake with the branch
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

I am excitied for General Conference this week and Elder Castillo left to Quito again..... The dude leaves to Quito like everyweek!  It´s freaking nuts!  I want to go to Quito!!  Well, anyways we had a family night with the whole branch the day of my birthday and it was super sick.  We had a spiritual part from the Relief Society and then we played some games.  We played a game called Temblor y Terimoto (in English it translates to little earthquake and big earthquake, kind lame but yah I`m over it)  and then we ate some food and the members remembered my birthday and all sang Feliz Cumpleaños.  It was super sick.  I`m really grateful to be in this branch the people here are so awesome and take really good care of me.
Visiting the border of Ecuador & Colombia
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

The highest point in Lago Agrio
Ecuador, March 2015
After having been called to serve en Quito, Ecuador for over a year now, I have learned many things. I love being out here in the mission and I know that what I am doing is the Lord's work. There is no place that I would rather be. Some months before I recieved my mission call I wasn´t sure if this is what I wanted to do, but after a sincere prayer that I had with my Father in Heaven I knew that this what I needed to do. There are days where I don't want to get up in the morning, but there also days where I am already on the floor kneeling. I feel myself changing everyday. A change that I am grateful for everyday. I feel the Saviors love everyday and I love being a servant of Him and helping others come unto Him. I know that I am a child of God, and am grateful for the opportunity to come here to earth and to learn and progress and this live so that one day I can live with him and my family for eternity. I know these things are true and say them in the name of Jesusn Christ, Amen.
With love and appreciation (for the birthday wishes)
Elder Kimball
Bienvenidos a Colombia!
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

The river that separates Colombia and Ecuador
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

This is my look of where I´m serving face...
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

P.S I'll try and write better next week
Bailey- Take my advice
Clay- Pay attention during priesthood session
Lexi- Thanks for writing me finally!
Leah- Thank for your notes that you sent of the General Women's Meeting. Elder Ironing (Eyring) would be proud.
Bella- When are your going to score in soccer?
Collins- Can´t wait to see your little baby sibling right? (Editors Note: Colton is still just guessing and spreading rumors.)
Mother- Thanks for the scrap book pages, they didn´t make me cry at all. I noticed I have written you alot of apology this past few years.
Dad! Keep being a good ward mission leader. And think about me during Priesthood Session.

Your 19 year old brother and son,
Headed back to the jungle of Ecuador
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

In the Jungle
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Elder Kimbolito

Date: March 23, 2015
Week: 39 Lago Agrio, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Castillo/Chile & Elder Palomino/Peru
My companions and I after riding in a torrential downpour!
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

"Hola, Buenos días, somos misioneros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, soy Elder Kimball, como Kimbolito pero sin -ito y el es un miembro."

Missionaries always have so many differents ways of introducing themselves as representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think I found my way that has become quite useful this past week. The name name Kimball really isn't all that hard to say, but some people just don't get it until I learned of an Ecuadorian pastry that is eaten alot here named Kimbolito. The people can easily say that, so I quickly teach them how to say my name by relating it to a name that they already know.

I also now refer to my companion as just a member of the church because in all reality most of the time he really is just that. I went on splits with about four different members this past week just because I can, and my old sector is still bringing in the goods. I had 3 converts, 4 less actives and 8 investigators come to church and that's just from my sector alone. Elder Castillo helped me organize some visits with the members and I just got to work. Now I don´t want to brag but this was probably the most successful week I ever had and I didn't even have a companion.
Me eating a sweet tamale with my member companion Hermano Santin.
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015
Closer look at my sweet tamale
Lago Agrio Ecuador, March 2015
I have been working with the Jurado Family, who Elder Del Aguila visited one time, and I decided to visit them again with Hermano Santin. We went and the husband, Wilson, and the wife, Rosio, were there and we talked about the Plan of Salvation. I wanted to put them on date for baptism but they aren't married. However, they came to church and I have been meeting with them consistently with my companion, Hermano Santin.

I also have been working with the Pogo Family. Hermana Lillian, the mom, Hna. Melissa y Hna. Isamar, the daughters. We put them all on date for the 18th of April but turns out Lillian isn´t married so she can´t get baptized that day but both she and Isamar attended church so Isamar is a progressing investigator.
Pretending to cook at the branch cookout.
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Just fooling around...
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

As for less actives, I did a bunch of contacting and some assignments for my branch president, Elder Castillo, to find some less actives because with Del Aguila we had zero. I found Emilio Zamora contacting in a taxi I took and turns out he is a member that lives in my sector but hasn´t been to church in a while. He came to church this past Sunday and he loved it.

Elder Castillo assigned me to find the Garcia Gordon Family and also Jesus Cortes. I went out looking in the middle of the jungle and I found Familia Garcia Gordon. They came to church! Also Jesus Cortes is a 17-year-old kid that hasn't been to church since last general conference and he is literally impossible to find. I went with a 18-year-old kid named Carlos Lopez in my branch because he knows Jesus. We went out looking. He said he thought he remembered the street of where Jesus lived. We walked about 3kms into the Jungle and I decided to say a prayer remembering all the experiences I have had with prayer in finding people. We finished with the prayer and walked about 5 minutes more and we spot Jesus! Wow what a grand moment it was! Carlos couldn´t believe it and now he wants to serve a mission more than ever.

Everything is good with Elder Palomino and Castillo. Palomino reminds me of someone from a movie but I just can't remember who. But basically Elder Palomino is a good guy just doesn't want to work. He sort of looks Indian but he is from Peru but I think its funnier to picture him as a girl Indian kid. Elder Castillo is 27 and real serious, but knows when to joke around. He thinks I have a bunch of money but I tell him that I don't! Come on man, we get $120 of support here in the Orient! He also says I eat alot when I don't even eat that much! He just likes to tease... I guess I deserve it after all those years with my bro and sisters. He is from Chile. He was baptized when he was 20 and he goes home in July. Palomino goes home in May. And I go home in....Ha just kidding, ¡No Importa!
I hope President gives me a chance to open my sector back up but even he doesn´t I am leaving a pretty good Legado.

Well I guess its my birthday this week and I can´t believe it. Oooo how time has passed! If we take a look at a year ago I was just getting off restriction from spending too much money on ITunes and had my mission call and wore a Buzz Lightyear shirt to my 18th birthday party. Thank you past Colton for being so cool and a rebel but not too rebel where you couldn´t go on a mission. Let's just keep to speeding on the highway (105 mph) and washing trashcans!

Well I love you all and I appreciate the birthday wishes. In the past I have always had friend birthday parties on even years, and family birthday parties on odd years, I guess I forgot that my 19th and 20th birthday parties will be celebrated with my "other" family here in Ecuador (John 10:16).

Con Amor,
Elder Kimbolito

Bailey! Have fun at Prom! Love you!
Clay- Enjoy middle school bro!
Lexi- You really never write me!
Leah- Keep practicing soccer :}
Bella! Keep being pretty!
Collins- Enjoy being the youngest, not for long.... (Spoiler alert)
Editors Note:  This is pure speculation on Colton's part since he knows we want to round the family off with an even number of kids!
Mom! Stop sending me your emails last second and then sending me a second email remembering to wish me a Happy Birthday.
Dad! Well BYU stinks but who cares right! I love you dad and I really have taken your advice and gotten to work!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Toca la Madera o Trio (Knock on Wood, a Trio)

Date: March 16, 2015
Week: 38 Lago Agrio
Companion: Elder Castillo

Elder Bell, Valentine, and Kimball
Lago Agrio, March 2015
Dear Folks,
I have never had the chance to write to you guys about cambios intermezzos (intermediate changes) because until yesterday I thought they didn´t exist. Funniest thing is that yesterday, Elder Valentine, Cajahuaman, Del Aguila, and I were all talking about the mission.  We started talking about Cambios Intermedios, in which I then said that I don't believe in them. Elder Del Aguila quickly told me to "Toca la madera" or knock on wood, and then the irony of it all was when Elder Valentine told us that today was the day for the cambios intermedios. My day proceeded on and yesterday night we learned that Elder Del Aguila was headed to Quito and they were combining my sector with the Zone leaders sector. Elder Santos who was Branch President went to Otavalo and I am now companions with Elder Castillo who became Zone Leader and Branch President. We will also be recieving Elder Palomino who was the companion of Elder Bell in Coca. So I will now be in a trio with the branch President and a missionary who tends to be disobedient and is close to finishing his mission.

Not all is lost...
My District
Lago Agrio, March 2015

"Don't urinate here" is what the wall says so of course we had to take a pic pretending we were!
Lago Agrio, March 2015

Well not all is lost folks, president called me and told me that I would have an assignment. I have to keep the stress level of Elder Castillo down and keep my eye on Elder Palomino. He told me that I was senior companion to Elder Palomino but also Junior Companion to Elder Castillo. Like that's not confusing..... but don´t get me wrong I am super excited to work with Elder Castillo because he has lots of experience and he is a great leader.

What else?
Well there isn´t that much else to say. Richard asked Elder Del Aguila to baptize him but we all know how that turned out. We still have to visit my sector for the people that have dates for baptisms and I am hoping to keep working with Richard. I gave a talk yesterday in church. Of course the subject was on missionary work. Too Easy! Before Elder Del Aguila left he passed two English tests so so far my English tutor track record looks real nice. Also we now have the smallest zone in the mission with eleven missionaries. Six in Coca, and five here in Lago Agrio.
My last moments with Elder Del Aguila
Lago Agrio, March 2015
As for Getting Spiritual....
As for getting spiritual, the other day I was feeling real down on myself and Elder Del Aguila helped me out by telling me of another missionary's experience:
This was told at a missionary's farewell before he left to serve the Lord for two years. "Brothers and Sisters, as many of you know for the past couple weeks I had been waiting for my mission call to see where I would be serving the Lord for the next two years. Before I recieved my call I had a dream in which I was in the pre earth life. I was surrounded by light and I was there with another person. I had never seen this person before but I knew he was my friend. We were both waiting to recieve our earthly calling in which we would recieve a body and come to earth to be tried and tested. We were both extremely excited and couldn't wait.

I recieved a letter and I told my friend to read it. He read "You will be born into the gospel and into a country that allows you to fully live the gospel. You will be given everything that you might need and your family will support you in all that you do. You will have the chance to serve a mission in which you will help others come unto the Savior." I was so happy to see all the blessings that I was going to have and then my friend recieved his letter. He asked me to read it saying "You will be born into a country that will be misguided with a torn government. You will not be born into the gospel. You will be born into Ecuador." My friend then told me with tears in his eyes to come find him. I then promised him that I would find him. I will find him."

I know why I was born with all the blessings that I have and I know why I was called and have chosen to serve a mission for 2 years. I made a promise and maybe not just one but many promises that I would find them. I told my friend "Te encontraré" (I will find you).  I know that this gospel is true and it is the only way for us to return to our Heavenly Father. I know the Book of Mormon is true and provides us with the fulness of the gospel in today's world. I know we are guided by a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I have been blessed with the knowledge of eternal families and now I am helping others come to know this gospel truth. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Kimball
Did I mention it rains a lot here?
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

It's been raining the past three days! No real drainage here.
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Bailey, Your Junior year is almost over and then you are a Senior!
Clay, Love you bro and I expect a video of you saying all the names of the current BYU basketball team by memory and I guess a scripture also.....
Lexi, You ready for swimteam to start?  I know how much you love it!
Leah,  How's club soccer been? Still planning on serving a mission?
Bella, I guess you can serve a mission if you want to also.
Collins, What up cute baby? I heard you were a star out there in Cali
Mom,  I am safe here in the Ecuadorian Jungle! Have no fear. How's that cooking class you signed up for? I always wondered who Clay got the phase thing from?
Dad, Just to inform you that no I don´t have birthday plans because we arn´t allowed to have activites during the month of March.... but it's all good. Hope BYU does good this week we will need some prayers answered!

Your Missionary, Elder Kimball

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Staying Alive

Date: March 9, 2015
Week: 37, Lago Agrio
Companion: Elder Del Aguila/Peru
It's a Jungle out there!
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Dear People,
Have no fear because I am still alive. No, I did not have a near death experience this week, but I just thought that I would let all yall know that after a bit of time in the mission I am still alive.

This week was a week of work. Elder Del Aguila and I worked hard and even got to see some fruits of our labprs. We found Richard this past week and he now has a baptismal date for the 28th of March. He is beyond excited for his baptism and he came to church1 Fingers crossed, or should I say arms crossed for him. We also had a few hours to contact this past week and found the Bone Ordoñez Family. The mother was sick but then we offered her a blessing and she faithfully accepted. By the end of the week she was checked out of the hospital and the doctors could not find anything wrong with her. She and her family then decided to attend church with us. We still have to verify if she and her husband are married and then we will make a baptismal date.
Elder Del Aguila and I
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

This past Thursday we had Zone Conference in which I got to see Elder Bell again. He is currently serving as a DL all the way in Coca. Elder Del Aguila is the missionary that trained Elder Bell so that's pretty cool. Friday I had divisions with Elder Valentine. He is my DL and a really good missionary. It was good to get to know him and learn from different missionaries.
A blue dog in the street
Lago Agrio, Ecuador 2015

The church
Lago Agrio, March 2015
I also recieved a package from my parents this past week. It contained a belt that I had been wanting but turns out the belt is too small. I had said I had been losing weight but maybe not... but then again the belt doesn't even fit my companion. Money here literally burns its way out of my pocket. Everything here is really expensive and the mission here gives us more money but my daily breakfast isn't as big as it was.

The people here sort of speak a different Spanish because most of them are from Colombia. I can definitely tell when someone is from Colombia or Ecuador though. As you can see, my house is pretty humble. We try to keep it clean but the thing tends to smell bad sometimes. Its sort of like a hot fish smell.... I know its disgusting. Elder Del Aguila isn't that clean but I seem to be doing my part as in terms of cleanliness.
Our kitchen
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Our study area
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Our bedroom
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

I try to shower twice a day because the afternoon sweat shower I take doesn't seem to be helping. Yes its hot but I love it. I compained about it in Esmeraldas but now that I have had my fairshare of "cold" in Quito and I love being out here. President called me the other day and he asked how I'm doing. I said I was doing well and I love it out here. He told me all though it may be hot and hard I just got to keep working. In which I then said I love the heat President. He thought it was pretty funny. He calls all the missionaries after a few weeks out here just to encourage them and let them know he still loves them eventhough he sent them out here. Yes the work is pretty hard here but I love it.

The people here are open to hear what we have to say its just hard to get them to progress. We expected to contact 20 people a week compared to the 100 we had to do in Quito. It's because our first or second contact will always let us in so then we lose that hour of contacting because we are now teaching.

Well although most of you have been waiting for me to get some sort of Leadership position. I am proud to say I got made the English tutor of our district. Ha! Not really a leadership position at all. I don´t really do anything just teach English for 15 minutes during our district meetings. Out of the 100 something latino missionaries that have passed lesson 1 in english, there are 4 who have done nothing, and what do you know... one of them is my companion. Elder Del Aguila finishes his mission in May and he has yet to do one of the English lessons so my goal is to get him to do one. It's not that he's lazy it's just he is afraid to take the test. I am hoping to help him out since I guess it's now my responsibility.

Well, that's my week this week, if there are any unanswered questions that you guys are dying to have answered ust send me an email and I will try to include the answers in next weeks email.
Elder Kimball!
Me in the jungle, what can I say?
Lago Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Bailey- How are ya doing in Cali? Sort of looks like you are a Cali girl now with your blonde hair. I hope all is well in high school. Remember the only thing that matters in high school are your grades. (Something I am now realizing after most of my friends have forgotten about me and don't write me) Keep being awesome sis!
Clay- Hows orchestra been? Something I regret is not taking my violin out here that would of been cool to keep playing! I hope Cali has been treating you well. Keep being a BYU sports fanatic!
Lexi- I haven't heard from you in a while. Miss you sister!
Leah- Thanks for writing me and sending me all of those wonderful pre-teen girl pics. Its weird to see you and Lexi growing up. Seems like yesterday I dropped one of you on your head....
Bella- You are beautiful! Be safe in California! and don´t forget about your brother!
Collins- Most of the emails people send me say your sister is the most cutest baby in the world. Thanks for getting people to write me with your prettiness!
Mother- Thanks for the package! It really brightened my week. I am now a 100 % sure that you could not last being in here. Theres alot of bugs here and I have yet to see a Marriott. I love ya mom and appriciate everything you have done for me.
Trent- Hey Dad, well your email was disappointing this week because it had about 2 lines in it. I hope BYU is still doing well. I have seen that you haven´t been watching the games as much since I have been gone. I hope you still love the Cougs. Have fun in California dad and thanks for always taking the fam on fun trips!
Your son, Elder Kimball

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's a Jungle Out There!

Date: March 2, 2015
Week: 36 Lago Agrio
Companion: Elder Del Aguila/ Peru
Me in the Jungle
Lake Agrio Ecuador, March 2015

Well... after one week here in the Ecuadorian Jungle, its safe to say its a jungle out there. Elder Del Aguila is from Iquitos, Peru. It's also a Jungle there. I was looking on the map and if you just go down one of the Amazon Rivers, you can get to his city. He has like 2 months left in his mission.

The Jungle is sweet. In my mission  we have two cities in the Orient (that's what we call the jungle here), Coca, and Lago Agrio. We are a zone of twelve missionaries, six in Coca, and six in Lago Agrio. I got to visit Coca this past Thursday for our zone meeting. Coca is about a two-hour bus ride away so it takes alot of travel time. Turns out that Elder Bell is there as a District leader.

Our Zone is odd because there is one zone leader in Coca and one zone leader in Lago Agrio, but our Zone leader is the only Branch President in the mission. Our branch has like 50 people and the missionaries basically run the branch. Elder Del Aguila is in charge of the Elders Quorum.
My comp, Elder Del Aguilo
Lake Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Beautiful sunset here
Lake Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

The weather here is good. It's hot but also really humid. I sweat alot and want to go jump into one of the rivers. As in river I mean rain puddles we have in the streets. It rains alot and I get soaked but its actually refreshing. My house smells bad but it's all good because I have two fans instead of just one. The people here alot more open than the people in Quito. We don't have to contact alot because usually our first contact will let us in. The food is of course rice and chicken but the rice is alot more savory. Slides down the throat with a little bit more ease. We eat a bunch so I don't buy food for the house cause we don't need it.

We wake up at 6:00 every morning and play soccer with our district for an hour. President only comes here every three months for interviews and he just came so looks like I won't see President for a while. The missionaries usually stay longer in the Orient so I could be here for a while. My sector is the biggest in the mission which means we have alot of ground to cover. Basically we have all the way to Quito. So Elder Del Aguila and I could easily step into the jungle and be lost forever. I love being here because its such a great experience! I never thought my mission would be filled with so many different places, but so far I've got the coast, city and jungle under my belt.
A turtle we saw on the street
Lake Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

La Pila Bautismal
Lake Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Happy Birthday to Aaron
Lake Agrio, Ecuador March 2015

Sorry for such a plain and boring email this week.  I'll try and do a lot more cool stuff so that my email is filled with fun adventurous stories next week. If I had a story to tell this week it would be meeting one of the recent converts here. He actually was baptized by Elder Bustillo because Elder Bustillo served here in the same sector. The converts name is Fernando. He got in a motorcycle accident a couple years back so he can't walk real well or talk. He always has to repeat stuff when he says stuff to me. He is 21 and is really cool.

We did a service projct with him this week in which we dug a hole to put some cables in to help him out. He teases a whole bunch of people and especially the missionaries. He is the only member in his family so we are hoping to work with the family.

Well folks I hope you are still reading these emails. Just know there is an Elder Kimball out there living in the Ecuadorian Jungles!

Bailey- What up! Enjoy Spring Break this next week! I hope all is well in Seminary and you have been going everyday. Waking up for seminary has probably helped me the most in my mission in terms of waking up.
Clay- I heard you and Bailey are getting along! Wow what a difference it makes to take out the antagonizer. Keep working hard in school. You doing track?
Lexi- I bet you were the one babysitting instead of Nana!
Leah- How's club been going? Haven't heard from you in a while
Bella- Way to get baptized! Wow you sure are growing up! Next thing you know you will be serving a mission!
Collins- I hope you get better! You sure are a cute girl!
Mom- Well I survived week one here in the Jungle. I don't know if you would want to visit here. It's pretty hot and I am not sure if there are any Ecuadorian Jungle massages..... By the way, I can only use my debit card to take out money because they don't use cards here to pay for stuff......
Dad- Well go Cougars! Surprised they pulled off a big win this season. I hope they got to the NCAA tourney. The jungle is cool here. All those scout camps and Guatemalan service projects probably prepared me the most for the mission especially the 50 mile canoe trip. Just to remind me that I can do hard stuff every once in a while.

Elder Kimball