Monday, October 26, 2015

Keep on Swimming

Date: October 26, 2015
Week: 70 Otavalo, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Blas/ Lima, Peru
Colton's Address:
Quito Ecuador North Mission
Francisco Robles E-4 151 Av Amazonas
Edificio Iglesia de Jesucristo
Quito, Ecuador
Email Address:
A pic from last week!
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Dear Everyone,
I am feeling good but I don't really know what to write about this week. We were able to hear from President Richardson this week who talked about the power and authority that we have as missionaries, and the blessings that are promised to us according to our own obedience. I figured for this letter I could do a little review of how I feel about where I am so far in the mission and a little more specifics of my everyday life:

My mission is good. I mean it's a mish. Just feels long sometimes but then there's other times where I just want to do it forever. I guess you could say I have changed a little bit. Physically speaking, I have lost about 25 lbs so I really don't have Chucky (name my mom gave my stomach) anymore. The other missionaries don't believe me when I say I was fat. Now they just think I'm weak.... I really need to work on my beach bod. My tan obviously went away. It's sad...I miss being dark.  Now I'm just super white.

...If we are speaking spiritually, I feel closer to my Heavenly Father. I see His hand in my life even though it may appear it isn't there. I still can be immature sometimes but I also feel mature. I make jokes and people laugh but I'm also more aware of my surroundings, people, and their feelings. I honestly love my mission and appreciate the things it has taught me about being a human being and a Son of God.

I get lots of questions about the bugs. We have fleas in the bed. They gave us a spray to get 'em out but I still haven't sprayed down my bed. If it rains there are mosquitos but it hasn't been raining often yet. As y'all know about the mouse we killed but I am pretty sure there is a rat now because the poop that has been left behind is a little bigger than the last.

As for the people go, well I am with the indigenous (not sure how to spell that) right now so they all speak Quichua. They get drunk a little more often than others and they don't progress in the gospel easily. But they are people so you have to go out there and it give it your all everyday. We have church in Quichua so I don`t listen but I can honestly say that the gospel must be true. We speak different languages and live different cultures but we all live the same priciples and practice the same doctrine. It's just weird for me to comprehend that. We honestly do nothing differently from San Antonio, TX to Agato, Otavalo, Ecuador.

My favorite thing about the mish certainly wouldn't be the food.... I'd say my favorite thing is getting to know new people every few months. I love it. I have so many friends that I have left behind and even though I had just met them I feel that I knew them before this life. My favorite moment is having a weird dejavu feeling and knowing that this isn't the first time I am talking with someone. Things just click and it's awesome.

As I think about it coming to an end, there are days where I look back and can't believe the steps I have taken to get to this point.  Then I look ahead and see how close I am to the finish line. There is no experience like it. I know that right now I might want to be at my house with my family but then I remember the family that I will be leaving behind here in Ecuador. It just reminds me that I have eternity to be with my family but I only have two years to be with my family in Ecuador. That's what motivates me to keep on swimming.

I am sorry for not writing a great letter but there just wasn't much going on. This week we have transfers. I probably won't be with Elder Blas again or may be I will, who knows. He has been one of my favorite companions. I will never forget everything he has taught me and if I don't see him again in this life I guess I will in the next.
Watch this video:

Well I am sorry for the tear jerker. It got me too. Don't know about y'all. I talk about facing our trails with God and to not try and do it by ourselves. How can we face our trials with God?
Mosiah 2:17 "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."
By serving others we automatically cancel out our pride and we are easily able to see the way out. Let us remember who we all are, and face the trails that we shall surely see in the future with trust in Him and the will to serve others. This I know to be true, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Elder Kimball

Bailey- Stopped recieving letters from you?
Clay- How's school? Hope you celebrated Back to the Future day!
Lexi- Love you and hope you are loving school
Leah- Love you and hope your loving your sisters
Bella- Love you and hope you are being obedient
Collins- Happy Halloween!
Capri- Happy First Halloween!
Mom- You act like I have seen the movie Grease before! Thanks for the package...I had just bought a toothbrush and toothpaste....
Dad- Really do appreciate your missionary efforts! We have success when we invite....
Elder Kimball
P.S. Sorry I don't have pictures this week,  There is something going on with my camera.  Also President Richardson called Elder blas and I out in zone conference and asked everyone who has heard of Agato before. And everyone rose their hands, and then he was like we all know about the fame Agato has as a sector that no one gets baptized in, and then he told them that we were baptizing every transfer. Felt good to be recognized, but then again would have been nice to just let it go unnotice... I am humbled by our success in this area.

Monday, October 19, 2015

'Bout Time

Date: October 19, 2015
Week: 69 Otavalo, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Blas/ Lima, Peru
Colton's Address:
Quito Ecuador North Mission
Francisco Robles E-4 151 Av Amazonas
Edificio Iglesia de Jesucristo
Quito, Ecuador
Email Address:

Helped a member baptize his daughter
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
Well it's about time that Jorge was baptized. What a journey!? I feel like one day when I come back to read these letters it'll just be me going back and forth saying Jorge got baptized. What's good is that he got baptized and his wife came to support him. She may not have wanted to be in a picture with a gringo but hey... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!
Jorge and his wife
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
Jorge and I at his baptism!  Finally!!
Otavalo Ecuador October 2015

So things were starting to get pretty good in the week by Wednesday! Jorge passed his interview with flying colors so that was really exciting! He said he was nervous, but I need he would be fine. On Wednesday my companion and I were actually able to find matching Coke bottles that say "BFF" on them. Elder Blas didn't understand at first but once he firgured it out we had to take a pic. Elder Blas is probably one of my favorite companions. We get along great! He has his moments but so do I, so I guess its alright!
Suit Sundays
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Elder Blas and I are BFF's
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
Friday, we had divisions and I actually left Agato for once! It was weird being in a new sector for a little while but it was awesome to make so many new friends in the other ward. We were able to help a father work up the courage to baptize his daughter so that was really neat.
Great to see this brother baptize his daughter
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Filling up the font
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Why do I look like a giant next to my companion?
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
Saturday We had the baptism! So that was amazing! Jorge and his wife were having second thoughts that day so Elder Blas and I got pretty scared, but we had the idea to say a prayer and all was well! Jorge was able to be baptized with full support from his wife and the ward came with full support with cakes and treats!

The week was honestly a fun one and I couldn't believe the miracles we witnessed. Jorge is now preparing for the priesthood! The bishop and ward just have a spirit of missionary work now, we feel like we can still keep having success. But as I will forever, praise the Lord and not myself. I know that He was with us in every lesson and with every step helping us be instruments in his hand. I know that the Lord is with us every step of the way. Through tough times and happy ones. A friend sent me this poem and I feel that everyone of us either need it now or at some point in our lives:

Footprints in the Sand
"One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."
Lil' solo pic
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Horses in the street!
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
Well there's not much I can say after that....I know the Lord loves each and everyone of us. Sometimes we may feel that He is not there but He is. He wants us to learn and progress and if He takes every problem away we will learn nothing. I love my Savior and will always remember His sacrifice. Please remember that although you may feel alone He is with you. What could you do to feel closer to Him?

Con mucho cariño, El Elder Kimball

Bailey- Live up it up it's your Senior year!
Clay- Way to get a forced tackle! Looking great on the wake surf.
Lexi- I hope you are loving going to the lake and playing soccer! Your life is a blessed one!
Leah- Basically everything I said to Lexi but glad to hear you wakeboard and have tube wars.
Bella- I love you and miss you a ton. You look so big!
Collins- Chubby whubby!
Capri- Hope Collins can lend you some weight....
Mom- I love you and hope you are counting you many blessings
Dad- Glad to hear about your missionary work. Isn't awesome to see the Lords hand work on people? Love ya
Elder Kimball
This is what you get when you ask for your food to go.
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Disgusting insects they served us
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Still in Shock

Date: October 12, 2015
Week: 68 Otavalo, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Blas/ Lima, Peru
Colton's Address:
Quito Ecuador North Mission
Francisco Robles E-4 151 Av Amazonas
Edificio Iglesia de Jesucristo
Quito, Ecuador
Email Address:
Trying to get a good pic with these little Otavalans
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
Cute little Otavalan girl
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Well let me start this letter off by saying I am in shock and let me tell you why:
So this past week was great. President Richardson sent me a letter basically saying to find my reason why I am still in Agato. So that was a little scary... My Zone Leader, Elder James came and did divisions with me in Agato. (Has anyone else noticed that I never leave the sector on divisions?) Elder James and I were having great divisions and I had a feeling to go and visit Jorge Mafla. So we decided to go and see how he was.

He was really excited to see us and asked if we would be able to share something. Well we were able to share something with him and he was receiving everything well when finally I was impressed to ask if he knew the church was true. He told me that he believed so. I then asked him. How he thought he believed he could come closer to God? He told me how he wanted to keep going to church and that that would help him. I then asked... how do you believe you can promise to God that you will keep His commandments? And then probably one of the greatest moments in my mission happened. He realized what he needed to do and all he said was "Me toca hacer un convenio". (I need to make a covenant.)
Where we get our clothes laundered.
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

After all these months I asked myself why? Why did God need Hermano Jorge to wait so long to finally decide to be baptized? I thought that I was doing something wrong. That maybe I had failed with my dear friend Jorge Mafla but then I read in Mosiah 7:
 3 And it came to pass that on the morrow they started to go up, having with them one Ammon, he being a strong and mighty man, and a descendant of Zarahemla; and he was also their leader.
 4 And now, they knew not the course they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi; therefore they wandered many days in the wilderness, even forty days did they wander.
At this point I was wondering why the Lord made them wander for so long. They did nothing wrong. They were with Ammon who is a rightous man. I kept reading:
7 And behold, they met the king of the people who were in the land of Nephi, and in the land of Shilom; and they were surrounded by the king’s guard, and were taken, and were bound, and were committed to prison.
8 And it came to pass when they had been in prison two days they were again brought before the king, and their bands were loosed; and they stood before the king, and were permitted, or rather commanded, that they should answer the questions which he should ask them.
Well dang they got thrown in prison...WHY!? They did nothing wrong they were just following orders and now they are going to get bossed around by this king fool. Well I went on:
10 And now, I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards without the gate?
11 And now, for this cause have I suffered that ye should be preserved, that I might inquire of you, or else I should have caused that my guards should have put you to death. Ye are permitted to speak.
Well at least he gave them permission to speak. Alright Ammon lets see what you have to say? I am sure you are furious after so many days of walking and being thrown in prison for absolutly nothing!
12 And now, when Ammon saw that he was permitted to speak, he went forth and bowed himself before the king; and rising again he said: O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness;
Well I closed the book and just thought. Why? Ammon you just got done walking around for no reason and God is no where to be found and yet you thank the king for allowing you to speak and thank God  for delivering you out of bondage. Like what...
When I hide the corn she gave me in my backpack and she brings out more...
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Well I took Ammon's advice and President Richardson's by being thankful in times of trial. I know that if I hadn't had done so Hermano Jorge would not be planning to be baptized this Saturday. I was literally guided by the Spirit that I can't remember or recount all the things that were said that day.

Jorge asked if a Saturday he could be baptized. My jaw dropped and I quickly tried to remember the date of next Saturday. We asked him if the 17th would be alright and the rest is history. He attended church the next day and he gave a tearfilled testimony during one of the classes. I know that even through trails and times of confusion we must trust in God and be thankful for the time he gives us to learn. I don't know what else can be clearer than this...
33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.

Friends and Family, I know that this is the true church. We all go through hard times. We all wander in the wilderness for 40 days and look up to God asking "Where art thou?"But if we put are trust in Him, we will be delivered out of bondage. Jorge Mafla will be baptized this Saturday and we will literally be seeing the hand of God working here in Agato. All the while I am still in shock...
Elder Kimball
Walking the streets of Otavalo
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Bailey- I love you more than you know and hope you are making right choices!
Clay- Looks like you are having fun and I hope you are being an example of Christ in school.
Lexi- You told me to write you a long letter and so I will try to put as many words as I can in this little letter. Just kidding! I love you sweetie and I am sorry mom forgot the sunscreen when you went to the lake today. Your life sounds so hard!
Leah- That stinks your team still hasn't won! Totally forgot about your birthday coming up! Crazy how fast time flies!
Bella- Looks like you had fun with your cousins! How's school going? Hope you are being nice to the other kids!
Collins- Just keep sleeping in that carseat! You live the life of an actual princess...
Capri- Welcome to the fam! Your first lake trip of many many more!
Mom- I hope you are fine at home! Keep being the great mom that you are and I wish you didn't miss me so much;)
Dad- Thanks for the letter...(obvious sarcasm) I love ya dad and hope you travel safe this week. You really need to find where Jimmer will be attending chruch. Please send a Jimmer Spurs jersey....Love ya!
Elder Kimball

Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference as a Waiki

Date: October 5, 2015
Week: 67 Otavalo, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Blas/ Lima, Peru
Colton's Address:
Quito Ecuador North Mission
Francisco Robles E-4 151 Av Amazonas
Edificio Iglesia de Jesucristo
Quito, Ecuador
Email Address:
Pretty funny companion. Only he would agree to come with me dressed as a Waiki.
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015
What a great week we were able to have with the opportunity to listen to apostles and prophets of God. I'll start from the beginning of last week to fill everyone in on the work.

Well we are still working with Jorge. We were actually to going to set a baptismal date with him but he chickened out by the end of the week... again. This has now been the fourth time that Jorge has told me that he still wants to wait. It's really hard with his wife not supporting him in his decision and it discourages him everytime. He tells us everytime that he knows the church is true, and he wants to keep attending, but he wants to be baptized with his wife and she is still against it. We will keep working with him because honestly he is a great guy and he just needs a little push to follow Christ and be baptized.
Guinea Pigs
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Carne...not guinea pig carne
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

We were able to find a new investigator, Jefferson Remache. He is 15 years old and he lives by himself in front of the church. He is really mature and is interested in the church. We have an appointment with him today and hopefully we can set a date with him soon. We are hopeing to contact him daily to continue gaining his trust.

There is really not much else going on here in Agato. We were able to have an invasion where the whole zone came to my sector and contacted it for two hours to help us out. We have a few appoinments with people this week so we will see who is interested.

As for conference it was a blast! I bought some of the traditional sandles that they use here and Waiki lent me a poncho so Elder Blas and I were able to attend conference as waikis. We were the only elders to do it so we definitely stood out. I was able to watch it English. Some sessions I was able to watch using the internet and others we were only able to listen to. We stuffed into a small secretary office with about 10 or 12 gringos watching the conference. Brought back memories from the orient because Elder Valentine was there! I was able to take some notes on each speaker so here they are:

Saturday Morning
Dieter F. Uchtdorf- "Exaltation is our goal, dicipleship is our journey" I really like Elder Uchtdorf's talk on being a true disciple of Christ.

M. Russell Ballard- I actually missed some of this talk but I do rememeber when he told us that when we partake of the sacrament, we reconfirm our love for the Savior.

Richard J. Maynes- Well I really like his analysis of Lamonis father in the Book of Mormon. How at first Lamonis father was only willing to give up half his kingdom for his life but when he was taught the gospel he desired to give up all of his possessions.

Neill F. Marriott- She sounded like she was from the South. Her family motto was "It will all work out" even through times of trails.

Larry R. Lawrence- This was one of my favorites from the conference. He talked alot about the Spirit being an HONEST companion. It shows us our weaknesses but also our strengths.

Francisco J. Viñas- He focused on the partaking of the sacrament and how its is necessary to repent so that we may be worthy to partake of it.

Quentin L. Cook- When he talked about our self control being like a muscle, I found that interesting. How we must work out and continally use it to make it stronger.
Otavalo, Ecuado October 2015

Elders Quorum Activity
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Saturday Afternoon
Well they obviously called the three new apostles so that was really neat!
Robert D. Hales- This was an amazing talk. New favorite apostle right here!
"Straighten up and fly right"
"If you never drink alcohol, you will never be an alcoholic."
"Pay tithing and you will be able to save money"
"We don't marry perfection, we marry potential"
"Reach up, not across"

Jeffrey R. Holland- As always Elder Holland brought his A-game....
Christ's love for us can be compared to a mother's love.
"Maternal love is divine"

Bradley D. Foster- The story of Pablo was really interesting. The importance of a parent giving counsel to their children.

Hugo Montoya- 
1) Go the second mile
3) Express feelings of compassion to others
4) The atonement is key

Vern P. Stanfill- "We choose how the darkness that surrounds us influences us."

James B. Martino- He was able to explain to us how to recieve answers.

Priesthood Session
Neil L. Anderson- 
"To obey is better than to sacrifice"
"The future is bright as your faith"

Randall K. Bennett
1) Take steps towards Christ
2) Willing act with Faith
3) Counter the natural man

Dieter F. Uchtdorf- I didn't quite understand "getting flamed". I assume it means getting burned. We must make the choices, not GOD.

Henry B. Eyring- "Any calling requires divine help"

Thomas S. Monson- He talked alot about addictions as plagues.He told us to avoid anything that deprives happiness.
Elder Goff was a little jealous to not be dressed like a Waiki
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Sunday Morning
Thomas S. Monson- "Faith and doubt cannot exist at the sometime"

Testimonies of New Apostles

Ronald A. Rasband- I totally knew he would be one!

Gary E. Stevenson- He gets called Tuesday and he's  an apostle Sunday. Imagine the email he writes to his missionary son today. "O and bytheway, I got called to be an apostle"

Dale G. Renlund

Russell M. Nelson- I really liked his story about performing heart surgery and wife just says "Are you done crying now?" The importance of women is great. I mean what did God create last....

Gregory A. Schwitzer- "True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men"

Henry B. Eyring- I really like what my Nana said about this talk:
"Just listened to President Eyrings' talk about the 40 men who were rescued by an Elder's Quorum president who was sitting in the back of a stake conference meeting (wearing a pair of battered boots.) After the meeting President Eyring met with him and asked him how he did it. And he told him how he was friends with each one and just stayed with them. He said eventually they needed help and he would help them and guide them toward the gospel. The story was much more detailed but it reminded me so much of your Granddad Collins.
There was a guy in our ward for years whose wife was at every meeting but he seldom came except for Christmas or something special, but eventually Granddad got to know him. This guy rode a big Harley, had a big pick/ up, had a newly restored roadster and had been in the Navy. He shaved his head bald and rolled up his short sleeved shirt to show his muscles... spent sometime at the gym. He was just a bit rough around the edges but a devoted family man...although his kids all stopped going to church by the time they got into their teens.
Anyway, Granddad happened to run into Jim in town when he was in his roadster. After talking for awhile he approached Jim about coming back to church but Jim wasn't too interested. He told him it was too long and he liked to ride his motorcycle and roadster on his days off. Dad told him he hated seeing his wife sitting alone in sacrament meeting Sunday after Sunday and laid a bit of a guilt trip on him. Then he somehow got him to agree to coming back to sacrament because of his wife. And Jim agreed.  Well, he started coming and, of course, Granddad always made sure he bumped into him and then Granddad started talking about going to his Priesthood meeting but Jim didn't think he could do it. Too many meetings! Well, that didn't discourage Granddad he made him a deal. He said if Jim would agree to go to Priesthood he would go out and ride around with Jim during Sunday School in his pick up or roadster.  And so that is what they did. I don't know how many times they did it but after a month or two maybe, Jim agreed he needed to be in church. This all happened not long before Granddad passed away in 2004. So you can imagine my surprise when a couple of years ago I went back to our old ward and sat down behind Jim and his wife. It had been about 8 years and Jim  was still active all that time.
Granddad was like the guy in the battered boots...he just knew how to talk to and love someone back into activity.
Sorry.just remembering Granddad tonight and what a wonderful human being he was.
He sure loved you. He thought you were something else. He told me all the time how special you are.  He must be so proud of you right now. I am sure he knows exactly where you are and what you are doing. Probably had visited you more than you know.  He couldn't be more proud. Missionary work was "where it is at". That was all from my Nana.
El Mexicano (Elder Morales) y yo
Otavalo, Ecuador October 2015

Sunday Afternoon
D. Todd Christofferson-
"The gospel is structured in a way that it can be established among diverse cultures and nations." From the mountains of Ecuador to the City of San Antonio!

Devin G. Durrant- I will definitly be ponderizing for the next 20 years. I also like when he just randomly told everyone to save money each week.

Von G. Keetch- "Don't be too critical of the barrier, it is the only thing keeping you from being devoured"

Carole M. Stephens- Stubborn 3 year old was able to realize that she must keep the commandments because the person giving them loved her. "If you love me keep my commandments"
Alan D. Hancey

Kim B. Clark- "Simple obedience brings the Spirit into our lives"

Koichi Aoyagi (Mr. Miyagi)- We suffer for our own personal growth as we learn physically and spiritually.

David A. Bednar- "When you cannot do what you have always done, you do what matters most" when quoting Elder Hales.

Well conference was a success and I encourage all to keep listening to and studying this talks for the next six months!

Elder Kimball!

Bailey- Great job in your play!
Clay- Glad to hear how great you are doing football! Much better than I was when I was your age.
Lexi- Keep working hard in soccer! You are the tallest girl out there!
Leah- Keep practicing soccer! I mean you do have a 24/7 partner to practice with. Hint:Lexi
Bella- I heard you are being really obedient and are growing into a young beautiful girl!
Collins- Just keep swimming! Just keep screaming! That's your job. Remind these parents what it means to be a parent!
Capri! Keep putting on weight! I suggest rice for every meal!
Mom! I love you and I really believe that most of the talks were directed towards you and our family I hope we can apply them!
Dad! Just one more PH session without me! I hope Aldacos was good!
Love your son and missionary,
Elder Kimball
P.S Love you Aunt Chelsey! I may or may not have suggest your name as a baby name to an Otavalan family! :P:)