Monday, May 23, 2016

This is it!

Date: May 23, 2016
Week: 99 Iñaquito, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Nielson/ Parma, Idaho
Colton's Address:
Quito Ecuador North Mission
Francisco Robles E-4 151 Av Amazonas
Edificio Iglesia de Jesucristo
Quito Ecuador

Me on the runway
 Iñaquito, Ecuador May 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this is it. I'm not sure they will give us time to write next week so it may just be better to make this the final letter, but with that being said, it ain't over until the fat lady sings!

This past week was just too great, but then at the same time, just too surreal. For the first time ever, Elder Nielsen and I had 7 for 7 mamitas! (women who cook their lunches) WaHoo! We literally left lunch one day so full that we felt we were about to vomit. Let me tell you that there is nothing better than eating ecuadorian food and then getting on ecuadorian public bus transportation. Talk about the definition of sick...

Last Thursday, I gave my last district training. It wasn't anything special. Just normal missionary business! We were just really focused on Vladimir all week. There is way too much opposition before someone's baptism! He runs a milk truck for his job and unfortunately he got robbed last week. Three armed men came to his truck and freaking knocked him out and took his cellphone and some money. The blessing was that they didn't take most of the money that Vladimir had hid under his seat, and that he made it home safe to his family!

 And since he got robbed he had to make up for the lost money and work overtime so we were not able to visit in the night like before! Then his old church (Comunidad de Fe) found out he was getting baptized and they started spilling all these lies into his head...Good thing freaking Vladimir was strong enough to fight off all the oppoisition this past week! So Saturday finally arrives! Elder Nielsen and I get everything all ready.......

......but then we start to fill the font at 4 and the baptism is at 7. By my calculations, the font should be filled by then with just the perfect amount of hot water. Well no that's not what happened. Elder Nielsen and I show up at 6 and the font got to the first line up...great. Well we start thinking what to do and we just grab buckets and go to the tank and start bucketing water from that to the baptismal font. We got it filled up sufficiently at about 7:30.  Good thing we were on ecuadorian time (everyone shows up at like 8). It was a great service.
Vladamir and his family at his baptism.  President and Sister Richardson were able to attend
 Iñaquito, Ecuador May 2016

All ready for Vladamirs baptism
 Iñaquito, Ecuador May 2016
President Richardson and Sister Richardson also came! A bunch of other missionaries showed up with investigators and we were able to do a special musical number of "He Sent His Son". The Spirit was defintely felt, and Vladimir bore his testimony. He said that he never he imagined joining the church, but that he had truly felt the Spirit, he knows that the Book of Mormon is true, and that the Church is true.

Once again I find myself dumbfounded to try and describe my feelings of seeing a miracle such as that. There was so much against us. Elder Nielsen and I find ourselves in a sector where they hadn't baptized in almost a year and a half. The members try to be good misionaries but are unsure of themselves. Our sector is the biggest proselyting area in the mission and we sometimes don't have lunch. Let me tell ya, and Elder Nielsen can atest to this, that with so many things to be frustrated about it's hard to keep having hope.

 I remember getting to the sector and being a little disappointed that I would be finishing my mission in Quito. I asked Elder Nielsen if we had any investigators with potencial. He laughed and said "No!",  but then after a few seconds of thought and my very disappointed face motivating him he said, "Well there is this one family". "Then we will be focusing on them" I said. Turns out that family was reactivated and the husband/father was baptized to bless the future generations in his family! I love the Familia Guamaninga! and I know that they will continue strong in the gospel!
A few shots outside with Familia Guamaninga
 Iñaquito, Ecuador May 2016

This is probably my last baptism on the mission
 Iñaquito, Ecuador May 2016

Well two or so years ago, I embarked on this (what it seemed like then) never ending journey. Getting to the CCM and meeting my companion and thinking what I had I signed up for?...Finally getting to the mission field and being sent to the front lines to battle Satan in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. It is a beautiful city, but there was so much sin for this momma's boy to take. Good thing my trainer was there to show me the ropes, but I still missed my parents and siblings.

Later being packaged up with the old pieces of who I was once and being sent to Quito. With whatever remained of the unwanted pieces of the old me were probably thrown out there. Probably having two of the most difficult companions on my mission back to back it was defintely hard. Never before had I wanted to go home so badly. But never before had I learned so much about who I really was. Not finding much success in that first sector in Quito really affected my mentality. The painful growing process continued as I took my journey into the jungles of Ecuador. I finally decided to look at what pieces God left me to work with and assemble them together. I finally finished the puzzle and realized that I was missing alot of pieces. So I decided to work with what I had.

I learned to love a place hidden humbly in Ecuador. I had found my success and what I had thought would fill in the missing pieces of who Lord wanted this boy to become I was sent to what I thought once again was a prison of a sector, but this time I decided to approach it with a different kind of mentality. Instead of being a creation of the circumstances, I decided to be a creator of the circumstances. Instead of trying to find excuses of why not to do something, I decided to just do it. And slowly, I felt my Heavenly Father guiding me piece by piece.

 I arrived in Quito again to face my old foe. Being guided by the Spirit more than ever, I began to see miracle after miracle. I was able to train a great missionary in Elder Moreira. And still being giving the pieces by my Father, but I even began to take out other pieces of who I wanted to become and align more of my vision of who I wanted to be, with who God expected me to be.

Then I was called to finish my work here in Iñaquito. I haven't been more happy than I have been in my mission. I know that God speaks through His prophets. And that by one of His anointed, I was called to serve in the Ecuador Quito North Mission. I'll never forget these moments. I know that the mission has changed me but it hasn't given me all the pieces. I'm not done here. The Lord still has so much for all of us. We are supposed to live through the eternities and we can't do that without His help. I know that throughtout this life I will make mistakes, and I'll mess up, but thanks for the things I have learned on the mission, I can keep moving forward. I will remember this short amount of time forever but its is now time for me to make this short amout of time change the rest of my time into the eternities.

So this is it, my friends and family. You did it! You did it with me. You actually cared about me enough to read about my well being for almost two years. I thank you for reading these letters and I hope that there is something in them that can be used later. I love and appreciate your patience and your examples. Even if I do not know you as well as I'd like, know that your Heavenly Father does. I've learned that more than ever on my mission! He knows us and loves us!

To my Parents, Y'all know you are the best. Thanks for always being there for me. Thanks for raising me in this gospel and teaching me the principles and ordinances of it early in my youth. Thanks for always being examples of Christ. Thanks for loving me when there were so many reasons to hate(choke,punch,disown,slap,spank, so many words I could put right here.) me. Thanks for seeing my potential and helping me try and reach it every day. I love you both and whoever runs to me first, I'll hug.

To my Siblings, Choose wisely when following your older brother. Know that he made dumb decisions too, but always tried to become better. Thanks for helping me need to be a true example to you guys. Thanks for not hating me after teasing you to your limits. Thanks for writing me ever so often in the mission. And last but not least thanks for always making your brother feel special. I love you all, and you all are my number one most missed.

To my future self, I hope you are doing well and that you have remembered "the best two years" as "The Best Two Years". Read these letters ever so often so at least someone remembers how great you once were! Haha just kidding. Keep remembering who you are, and always try to become better and better each day. Thank Mom and Dad for raising you right and for giving you the opportunities to succed. Never feel down. Always try your best and trust in the Lord and you will become who he wants you to be. Be the man, that we both know you should become! I love you.

En fin, se que mi Salvador vive. Se que nos ama muchísimo. A veces, pensamos que estamos solos en esta prueba que se llama "vida" pero él está con nosotros. Se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. Se que Tomás S. Monson es un profeta de Dios. Se que todos somos hijos de Dios, si somos estadounidense, africano, o ecuatoriano, todos somos hijos de Él. Oro que todos podemos perseverar hasta el fin. Amo a mi Padre y mi Redentor y esto dejo en su sagrado nombre, amen.

Con muchísimo amor and one last time,

Elder Kimball

1 comment:

  1. Elder Kimball, you are an amazing young man! Thank you, for your gracious attitude in severing our Heavenly Father and he's Son Jesus Christ! May you and your wonderful family be blessed now and through out eternity, Love, you guy's!
    Sister Castellanos ��