Saturday, December 18, 2010

San Francisco her we come=)

What a week! Easily the most tiring of them all so far, but totally worth is. The majority of the week was just MTC life as usual. (We sleep, eat, and study - everyday.)  But Tuesday...was (mostly) awesome! Elder Andrus, Soeur Woodruff and I had to fly to San Francisco to sign for out French visas as the consulate. Such a welcome break from the normal everyday schedule we've been living.

We had to be up by 4:30 am, hopped on the buses with all of the missionaries leaving for the field and drove up to the airport. We pulled into the airport around 6:30. Shortly after checking in, we met up with a future sister missionary who has been called to New Caledonia. Since she needed to sign her visa as well, church travel arranged for her to go with the three of us. As for Sister Latu...she's a flipping doll! Seriously, she is going to make the most amazing missionary!

Our flight was scheduled to take off at 8:30, but just about as soon as we found our gate and sat down, our flight was cancelled. Change of plans: our flight was rescheduled for 11:10. Only problem with that...our appointment at the consulate was at 11:30. But a few frantic phone calls later, we got our appointment moved to 2:00 in the afternoon. Sister Latu, Elder Andrus, and Soeur Woodruff weren't thrilled about the extra time we had to wait in the airport, but personally, I loved it! Were it not for that time, I wouldn't have been able to spend nearly as long on the phone with you two (mom and dad.)

Having taken multiple flights out of SLC, this wasn't that new of an experience, but I realized, I haven't done so during the day. The valley is dang gorgeous from 30,000 feet!

In San Francisco, we met up with out driver for the day: Edger. I love that man. He's adorable. It's a long story, so I'll have to send you a tape about all the details of our drive. He took us to the consulate, but they were still on their lunch break. So, following suit, we went to find somewhere to eat. After two weeks of MTC food, we were thrilled to be able to eat in the real world. Edgar pulled over near a whole bunch of different restaurants. Not really caring what we ate, we just went into the nearest one. It was this super cute bakery called "Pan de Mie." They had the most amazing sandwiches! When we went up to order, we couldn't help but notice the super strong French accent of the owner. So I asked him where he was from.  "Paris" What are the odds?! ha ha ha.

Oh and San Francisco, I am FULLY in love with! Mom, it's like New York's little sister, but way greener! I LOVE it. We are absolutely going to have to go at some point when I get home! No battle. And irrelevant though it may be, there are pelicans absolutely everywhere.

Once we took care of the visa situation, we stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge before heading back to the airport. How cool is that? I'm going on a mission to Paris, but I going to see the Golden Gate Bridge!  Egder was worried that we would be able to really see it due to the fog that had moved in. But, awesome sauce, the fog just made it cooler! (Did wonders for my hair though ha ha ha.)

Second flight of the day: San Francisco to Phoenix. Delayed by 30 minutes.

Third flight of the day: Phoenix to Salt Lake City, the one of all three flights that actually left on time.

We got back into SLC at 10:55. Our driver was about 20 minutes late. So...we finally got back to the MTC after midnight. Longest day of my life. ha ha ha =)

There are SO many more details about that trip I'll either record and send to you or just write you later today.

Other good news of the week: I saw Nate again and actually called him Elder Hansen! Improvement! ;)

Once again, I hate this 30 minute time limit. It's just crazy! So until next week...

Love you,

Saturday, December 11, 2010


As I mentioned last week in the email, I told you I was going to write a physical letter, which I did.  However, it took almost every spare minute I had at night all week long before they turned the lights out to finish it.  But the majority of my week is in that letter.  So to avoid being super repetitive, I'm not going to try and type all of it up too.  (You can't comprehend how stressful emailing can be until you have a giant red number in the top corner of your screen counting down the seconds you have left!=P)

However, I do have good news.  Last week (December 1-4) was pretty difficult to survive, but I did my best to not sound terrible in the e-mail I sent.  But this week...I really am okay!=)  Everyone kept telling us it would get better and because there is a God, it did! So Soeur Woodruff and I may actually be able to do this now!  Yay!

We even get a full P-Day today (compared to the half P-Day from last week).  So our district is going to the temple to do a session this afternoon.  Even more exciting than that, we made the decision to eat lunch in the cafeteria in the temple.  I can't even explain how excited we are for that.  Ha ha ha-the food here is pretty hard to stomach after about the first meal.  The one good thing it has brought about: we are all SUPER psyched to be able to cook our own food once we get out of her.  ha ha ha!

Sunda'ys around here are awesome.  Since it was fast Sunday this week, we had Mission Conference.  We went to our Zone Sacrament meeting and then an hour later all the missionaries in the MTC came together for what is essentially MTC Stake Conference.  The Spirit was incredible there! =] And then we got to watch a movie that night.  Totally the best day of the week. 

Tuesday night firesides are a close rival to the awesomeness of Sundays.  W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy and his wife spoke to us this week.  Wow!! They are amazing people.  I'll have to tell you more about them in the next letter I write.

Wednesday we or course, got all new missionaries.  I was thinking of Aubrey Kirkham and Nate Hansen, knowing they would both be reporting on the 8th, but knowing that Aubrey wouldn't be in Provo, I just assumed the same for Nate.  Happily I was wrong.=]  I ran into him in gym yesterday!  I flipping love that kid.  However, it was more than strange not to hug him and to call him Elder Hansen- kind of failed at that more than once.  Ha ha ha. 

This cute new sister who's going Armenian speaking, stuck with me through our whole gym time just venting her feelings about being here.  As hard as last week was for me, I'm glad it happened.  Had it not, I couldn't have honestly told her how much better it would get.

As I said, I don't want to get too repetitive, and while I'm sure I've forgotten about all kinds of stories to tell you, 30 minutes goes by crazy fast around here!  So, until next week (or whenever my letter shows up).



Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I don't have long to write, but thought I'd drop a quick not to y'all.  This week has been an...interesting roller coaster.  All the stress of the last 13 weeks about how I'd be able to handle the MTC was finally alleviated on Wednesday.  However, once I got into class, I learned how terrified I am of French.  Holy flip, I have a long way to go.  Our teacher spent the entire time with us speaking purely French ( not exactly a surprise, but overwelming all the same).  To make the situation even more intimidating, it seems like everyone in our district is already fluent.  Luckily my companion and I are about in the same place.  So we should hopefully be able to work through this learning adventure together pretty equally.

Other than French, all thoughout the day, my companion and I kept thinking, "Hey, I think I may actually be able to do this."  We were absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, still in shock and just trying to get where we needed to be, but felt better than either of us expected to.

Unfortunately, Thursday was a bit harder.  It's hard to explain, but all day long I was just dying every time I thought about the fact that I have 18 months of this.  The work wasn't any harder the second day, but emotionally and mentally it was night and day from Wednesday.  I did everything I could to look at the positive side, but nothing helped more than as we were getting ready for bed, I explained how I was feeling to my companion only to learn that she was feeling exactly the same as I was.  It was such a blessing to know that I wasn't alone in that state of mind.  Soeur Woodruff has been such a blessing.  Only three days in, but every time I've felt as though I may be out of the norm, she's been in the exact same place.

It's hard not to get discouraged about the language.  We get new French missionaries every three weeks.  So we can have three separate set of missionaries at a time (We are here for nine weeks).  But the most recent group to come in had no sisters.  And the group before that had ten.  But for our district, Soeur Woodruff and myself are the only sisters.  So when we go back to our residences in the evening, all the sisters are speaking perfect (seemingly) French.  And then it jumps to Soeur Woodruff and me.  So we can't see any levels of progression.  We can only hope that somehow we'll be able to get anywhere near where they are now.

I love our district! Our elders are just the bomb.  However, it seems weird to me that we have more internationals than my companion or I expected we would.  We have on elder from Idaho Falls, another from Centerville and Soeur Woodruff is from West Jordan.  Other than the four of us, everyone else is an international.  Elder Bennallack and Elder McLean are both from Australia.  Elder Wolfart is Swiss and Elder Humphry is from England.  They are absolutely hilarious.  As stressful and crazy as these days get, just being around the elders brightens our day.  We never stop laughing with them.=)

Love you,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kim with Sister Gantsolomon and Sister Gould.  They have been wonderful friends and a great support to Kim.

Our family  on November 30, 2010, the night Kim was set apart. The next few pictures were also taken right before Kim was set apart at the Stake Center and show those who were there to support Kim and be a part of this very special experience.

Our family with Ken and Grandpa and Grandma Bjork 

Kim with Sherry Hymas and Alan and Marilyn Manwill

The Stake Presidency (Presidents Stan Child, David Mendenhall, Lynn Morton) and Kimberly 

Kim with her cousin Alisha and her husband Chris

We're at the MTC just minutes before Kim is about to enter. 
We're trying to put on our best faces.

There's one proud dad with his daughter

It's come to that time.
 Good byes aren't easy that's for sure, but Kim's doing the right thing
at the right time and we're so grateful for her example.

The cute elders that are her escorts.

And there she goes. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The adventure has begun!!!

Today at about 1:15 pm, Kim entered the MTC to begin an eighteen month LDS mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the France, Paris Mission. 

What a wonderful privilege it has been to be with her as she has prepared for this mission.  A few months ago, Kimberly had no intention of serving a mission, but through a number of very significant noncoincidental experiences and answers to prayers, she is on her way to serving the Lord and the people of France.

Over the next eighteen months, Kim has asked that we post her letters and pictures to keep friends and loved ones updated  on how things are going.  So we'll do our best and hope you enjoy the ride with us in sharing this wonderful experience with Kimberly.

In addition and as a side note, we would like to thank everyone who has had such a profound impact upon Kim and the rest of us in the family.  We are so honored and blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive and loving extended family and friends.  Thank you so very much.  Words are inadequate in expressing our love and gratitude to you.