Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 2

So the 4 of us (the 4 of us hermanas that live together and are in the same ward) had to give talks yesterday. but oh my gosh i played the piano in sacrament and it was worse than my worst recitals when id forget my song completely and start over, because i couldnt start over clearly. so yea it was wretched but people were still impressed? either they were just trying to be nice or only heard me pang out the first and last few notes with confidence? i dont know. but since i had the strong prompting last week that i should play (since nobody plays they just play a cd player into a mike), i knew i had to redeem myself this time. even though it seriously was one of my top ten embarrassing moments. my companion said the best part was when i played the last note of the last song with enthusiasm, like "hey i know that one." but anyway people were still appreciative and they asked me to play again next week. its not like i can practice or anything! i know i just need to have an insane amount of faith haha. it was like when Peter walked on water and once he realized he could do it he freaked out and started to sink. totally was me. i would be in the middle of a good line and think hey ive got it and then id forget what song it was or something terrible like that. WELL. but my comp wrote me a cute little note saying how talented i was and how lucky she was to have me. how cute. but really im a horrible pianist. 

Enough about me though. christmas was the best day ever. it was another normal proselyting day and we taught members and investigators. ok the Balboa family. their dad is the first counselor in the bishopric and an awesome guy. anyways theres 5 kids 11 and under and theyre so loud and adorable. the youngest 2 are 5 and 6 and they always fight over who gets to pray when we visit them. imagine a little 5 yr old boy praying in perfect spanish for everything he is grateful for. heartwrenching!! but i took over that snow in a can that you sent me mom and they were craazy about it!!! it worked pretty well but they were all just fascinated that i had snow in a can with american writing all over it. they made me a list of spanish words to look up and define that are must-know words. i have lots of random pics bc the 6 year old ailine, took my camera and wouldnt stop. so cute. we went over there when the power went out when we were in the middle of one of our scariest streets, and they were playing games with candles. it was bingo with words and they said okay youre going to call out the words bc you need to practice your spanish. p.s. this is all bc i told them to always correct me. so we are crowded around this little table and ailine whispers to me across the table and points at me saying "me cae bien" which translates to "you fall well with me." basically like i love you or we´'re tight ya know. SO CUTE. she reminds me of trinity pilimai a bit. with gorgeous long dark hair. 

So we mostly visit less actives because theres TONS. one little cute old lady thinks when the bishops out of town theres no church. aaaand were pretty sure she doesnt know the difference between a chapel and a temple no matter how many times we try to explain. so everyone here has incredible faith, even if they arent members. they recognize that everything in their lives is from God and Jesus Christ and love them so much, BUT dont come to church. i never realized how heartbreaking it would be to visit a less active and become close friends and see them multiple times a week and have them say theyll be at church but theyre not. i just havent figured out why people wouldnt want to keep the commandments when theyre promised infinite blessings. the other day i was just thinking this, how lucky are we to have commandments!! ways to actually show our heavenly father how much love we have back for Him! AND to make us ten times more happy! so thats one thing i need to figure out, why you wouldnt do all in your power to live happily and on top of it receive and incredible amount of blessings. i have wayyyy more to say but im running out of time. oh also since i dont wear makeup (except sundays when i should be presentable) people are always fascinated by my "amarillo pestañas" or yellow eyelashes. they just make me close my eyes so they can observe hahaha.

ALSO last thing we have a reference, Marcos, and he owns a little boutique. so we went to visit him for the first main lesson cuz he says he will always listen to the word of God and we ended up teaching the entire plan of salvation lesson with little pictures spread out on his counter. and i dont know WHY i asked him to be baptized (ha yea i do) but it happened and he said yes and i was blown away. so was my comp so thats cool, she says shes proud of me. so im okay guys haha just need to study more spanish and more everything!! 

Everyday wake up and do something more. love you all with all my heart! everyone reading this!
con todo mi amor, 
hermana zimmerman!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 1

Monday Dec. 23, 2013

okay family, (immediate and extended and ward and friend family),

seriously do not even know where to begin, but why would anyone ever deny the chance to serve a mission. all you need is faith. not faith in yourself, just faith in the Lord!!! faith that you and your companion will be best friends even though the only thing she can say in english is "your are the best missionary" and faith that the lord can put the correct words into your mouth even though you have no idea what your investigator has just said. 

My companion Sister Romero

Right now we are serving in Deportiva 1. there are two, and hermana lowe and hermana lopez are covering the other side of Deportiva, (2). so the 4 of us live together in this cute little disgusting apartment, but its ours! i feel safe wherever i am, but my biggest scare was last night when we were walking in the depths of this alley around 8, creepy random groups of people, and then we were all alone on one street to a members home and i feel my companion grab my elbow and say "muerte" meaning dead and i look and theres this guy sprawled out completely ´passed out. my heart skipped a lot of beats. he never moved. not sure if he was dead or just passed out.  Our area is huge, and on wednesday, my first real missionary day, we walked at least 75 blocks.

Hermana Guillen lives in the far end of this little alley with her husband, daughter, neice and nieces boyfriend, and her other daughter lives right next door with her two kids. hermana guillen is the only active member and was baptized 3 years ago. when we got there her husband bolted and we havent seen him since. but she made us food and these cute little 3 and 5 year old were sitting with me. but when we ate we ate alone. nobody else had food. i whispered to my companion asking if i could share, but she said i couldnt. so i really had no idea what to do except mirror my companions every move.  The members are so good to us. hermana guillen feeds us every single wednesday and she is so humble and kind, about 4'10 and always happy. right now we are focusing on reactivating her 23 yr old daughter and her husband. everyone is SO nice i just cant understand why they wont go to church or keep commandments! they have all the right answers!!! we are also teaching her 13 yr old niece Ana and her 23 yr old boyfriend, not members. but theyre 3 months pregnant and i know theyre scared out of their minds. last night after i hugged Ana when we first got there she starting crying and didnt stop. her bf is usually quiet but he talked a lot last night. one of the most frustrating things is when i cant understand people, and he mumbles and speaks quietly. but i have come to learn that it doesnt matter if i understand them it only matters that heavenly father knows their needs and can put into my mouth exactly what i need to say. i was sitting their quietly thinking about ana and her little growing body with another inside of her and my companion turns to me and asks if i have something to say. i said no, but she said no say what youre thinking. i said well im just thinking about Ana and then i just started crying. i was trying to stay composed, but its the 3rd time this week ive cried in a lesson. i told her how i felt and what i was inspired to say, and they looked so confused that a white girl would come into their home and cry over their discouragement. it is so easy for me to love these people. i want the best for all of them. and im always so excited to visit them, even if we walk hundreds of blocks.

I love you all so much. thank you mom and dad for everything you have given me. i am so undeserving of all my many blessings, im trying to make up for the deserving part. thank you for always loving me and always going to church, and always being nice to the missionaries. i am honored when people even offer me a glass of water. i didnt realize how much it would mean to me to have someone call their house my house and tell me to stop by whenever and have whatever i need. i am so ridiculously blessed to be entrusted with these people and be responsible for helpíng them!!!! oh also, an 18 yr old girl Aranza came to church with us yesterday!! and she agreed to be baptized last thursday!! im so happy for her she looooves to learn and is going through her parents divorce. so many great people here. 

p.s. family when you read scriptures i want you to pray beforehand. and pray with a question or problem or any concern in each of your minds. then have something to take notes while you read. i promise you that wherever you are reading, if you invite the spirit, your question or concern will be answered. and write down your feelings!!!!! try it and tell me how it goes :))) people that know a little english always want to speak to me in english or want me to teach them. i taught my comp how to pray in english last night!! her accent is so thick its adorable.

con amor,
hermana zimmerman

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm in Mexico!

On Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:46 AM

MOM IM IN MEXICO. you would never believe everything thats happened already. but im safe and everything went well and i have never seen my hair do the things its been doing!!!!!! my mission president and his wife are SO GREAT and they have 2 gorgeous daughters that are 14 and 16 and they are the sweetest and i always ask them to help me learn spanish better. everyone here thinks that my spanish is way good which is surprising!! but that just means that i have lots more important things to work on. my president is hilarious i wish i could call you write now and tell you everything thats happened. everything is green and its humid and i looooove this weather!! even tho my hair is out of control just like all the otro hermanas. last night they drove us to an apartment where 8 elders live and had us stay there and kicked the elders out. havent met my companion yet, later today perhaps. he says he hasnt even decided exactly where we will go. all the food here is SOOOO GOOODDD IM IN HEAVEN i knew id love the food!! anyway the apartment was little and sketchy but way cool and this morning they made us walk back to the mission home in the rain. 3 blocks. with my little carryon and holding my blue blanket and my heavy sidebag. it was probably hilarious to everyone that saw us. then this morning we had a bunch of pictures taken then walked another few blocks to breakfast at a place called vips. the president said ¨´we are going to vips because you are all vips´ but he said its vips rather than vee eye pee. hes hilarious. IM SO HAPPY AND EVERYONES NICE. the elders are all freaked cuz they say that havent seen american women for so long. 

Que Bendicion

Que Bendicion
December 11, 2013


im so high strung right now im so happy!!! i have less than a week left in the mtc! it becomes more and more real to me every day. yesterday especially since we were in las vegas all day. surprise! we woke up at 4 am yesterday, flew out at 9, sat around with a service missionary for literally 3 hours while he talked at us about mexico, then went to the consulate to get our visas. then had a flight at 5 pm to come back to the mtc!! showed up at our apartment at exactly 9:30 when we were supposed to be. que bendicion. and it was such a long exhausting day. the church is incredible for being able to coordinate that all so well. basically to explain, we had to make an appearance at the consulate, get our pictures for our visa and fingerprints, and that was that. the actual process took literally less than 2 minutes per person. BUT going out into the real world was the best part! everyone looked at us differently and some were extra nice and others were pretty short with us. did i mention putting my nametag on is the BEST part of my day? i am sooo lucky oh my goodness i cant even fully explain how much of an incredible experience this is. so when they got all angry at us for wearing them through security it felt so sad taking it off it was wierd. no wonder returned missionaries are so sad about coming home. parting with that is the worst!!

so yesterday we were approached by so many cute people. a woman came and shook all our hands at the terminal and she started crying. she said that she was about to go pick up her son after finishing his mission in Guatemala. we were asking her questions but she couldnt even talk about it without getting incredibly emotional so i told everyone to let her be haha. poor thing how exciting. she said she jokes with everyone that shes going out there cuz they have to drag him home he doesnt want to leave! then we were on the tram and we gave up seats for this little old chinese lady and her daughter. she got all happy and smiley and stared at us (10 hermanas and 1 elder) and started talking to her daughter in chinese. the daughter told us she said we were all very beautiful. how cute!! i wished i had a chinese book of mormon or something haha. hermana weaver told her she liked her hat and she replied (after it was translated) "china!!" all smiley still. hermana weaver said "yo tambien!" which im not sure if it was an offensive comment but it was in spanish and yea whatever but still so funny hahaha we were all like oh my clothes are from china too! anyway moving on..

LAST WEDNESDAY after i was already done emailing hermana riedelbach and i were at main campus to have dentist check-ups and apparently we both have weak mouths. interesting little old man with gold teeth let us know that. anyway so we were just walking around and by the main entrance getting directions and there was a woman sitting on the couches reading. she looked up and saw us and wanted to know if she could ask us a question. we of course said sure and she asked us if we believe in the bible. turns out shes an investigator living with her sister, and her sister doesnt like it when the missionaries come to her house so she comes and sits at the mtc and asks the missionaries her questions. what courage that is!! going right to the source!! we told her all about how the book of mormon and bible go hand in hand and asked her about her own beliefs and her life and she was so happy and interested and loved when we explained to her what we were doing and why it was so important to us. she didnt want a book of mormon bc she didnt wana upset her sister, but still, we were so glad to answer her questions and would have talked to her all day if we could have! i started asking every companionship that walked by us while we were talking where they were going on their missions and where they were from so she could see how diverse it all is. she was so surprised. anyway i hope she comes back and gets more of the correct info she is looking for!! 

i didnt tell you much about thanksgiving, but we watched a video about mormon helping hands and i thought about brandon geurts and sariah and amanda north and their clubs at school!! they have to watch a mormon helping hands video about cleaning up new york city after the hurricane. its incredibly inspiring. everyone HAS to go on and find the videos they have. theyre so incredible and uplifting. on sunday a couple of us were in our classroom watching videos and sobbing because we were so touched. GO WATCH the video mountains to climb. id already seen it before and i was like dangit i know im gona cry and ive already seen this!! and are SUCH great websites and they literally have every bit of info anyone could ever need. 

SARIAH - you know that blue flower with quotes on it that i put on your wall? well it means something!! look up the talk by elder uchtdorf called Forget Me Not. its so good!! 

everyone else i have a challenge for you!! when you are taking notes in church or at a fireside or devotional, draw a line in the middle of the paper. on one side write things the speaker said that you like, on the other side write things that you like that the spirit says to you. theyll be completely different but both awesome. 

this week for scriptures you should read alma 26. it reminds me of how all my friends and i will be when we get home from our missions and glory in the work of the Lord and all of the incredible opportunities that he has blessed us with. sometimes we dont know what we are going to say to people that we know we have the opportunity to help, but if we rely on the spirit which we are blessed to have with us, the holy ghost will be able to tell us all things we should say. everyone needs and can benefit from this gospel. i see miracles every day. this is THE true church of Jesus Christ, and we have an incredibly beautiful message of hope and happiness to share with so many. 

OH YEA BY THE WAY I HAD TO GIVE A TALK IN CHURCH ON SUNDAY. they choose 2 people out of the congregation on the spot so we all had to have one prepared. so first they say hermana riedelbach and i was like okay good i can relax, then they said followed by hermana zimmerman and i froze. great! hahah but it was fine and people said they liked what i said and it made sense. probably an 8 minute talk in spanish. yay! 

food for thought from President Monson, "the world would be much better if we could give the gift of understanding." in every aspect.

I LOVE YOU ALL AND IM COLD BUT ITS OKAY. ill be in Mexico so very soon!! apparently all the missionaries in our mission have been so excited for us to come and theyre all well aware that theyre getting american girls on monday!

oh yea another thing i heard that i liked, from the old service missionary guy that talked at us. he said "dont date a man that couldnt be called as a bishop right now." ....i was sitting there thinking what is he talking about?! but of course he explained that that would probably not happen, but set standards high because youre worth it. **cough cough my teenage sisters/all girls of the Orange stake** thats all!!! :) he may have been referring to when i come home, but still, watch yourselves. 

con todo mi amor!

hermana zimmerman

P.S. hermana weaver called me Zim-mormon. cant believe nobody else came up with that all my years of being made fun of. hasta luego!!! sorry this is so long

i have another hilarious story. our villahermosa elders are in the same district as elder bake. they told us the other day that bake's companion and one of the others, elder jeppsen, decided one night to cut up their sheets and make dress shirts. I DIED. they sat up until 1 am sewing dress shirts hahahah. then they wore them to a service acitivity and one of the employees was like "hey are those the sheets we gave you?!" i honestly dont understand elders sometimes but theyre all freaking hilarious. okay bye :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mi Mejor Familia

Dec. 4, 2103

mi mejor familia

so yesterday it snowed a good 8 inches. woke up to it snowing, and it didnt stop all day long. till like 9 pm. luckily i still have Bake's coat and it saves my life! the elder bake thats here always makes fun of me cuz he says brandon got that coat when he was like 15, he thinks its hilarious. whatever tho it keeps me warm!! i see him at least once everyday and it makes me so happy! i cannot believe it! i have made tons of awesome friends here that i could easily be friends with forever, people i just start talking to at random. then we see each other like everyday so yea i consider everyone my best friends. love it. but i do not like this snow. its ridiculous. 

last night for our devotional was supposed to be elder ballard, but because of weather he couldnt make it. so they call up Elder Bruce Hafen, never had heard of him, but they called him at 4:30 that afternoon asking if he could sub for elder ballard!! could you imagine?!?! umm yea ill come up with something for a couple thousand missionaries. but when they said it was someone different i was so excited and intruiged bc that means this guy was supposed to talk to us and someone needed to hear his message. and it was incredible. the spirit was sooo undeniable throughout the whole meeting. he said he was friends with elder holland since he was 3 years old and they went to each others birthday parties and everything. how cool. but he said he remembers elder holland being so hesitant about serving a mission because he would have to leave a girl behind. he almost didnt go. could you imagine if he had decided not to?? of course he doesnt regret a single second of his mission, and neither do i already. he talked about how on our missions, we grow up in the Savior and come to know God through our extremities. there will undoubtedly be hard times, so when they come ill be ready to accept them and know that i have been prepared for them. 

i dont have much time today and i have so much i could say, but nothing else major has happened!! spanish is coming along, i teach 1 to 2 15 minute lessons in spanish everyday to our investigators, and it gets tough. but everyday i am stronger and every hour i become a better version of myself. missions dont change you, they just make us more of who we really are. i love that. this is not about me. im not here to get what i want, im here to help others get what they want and what they need. que bendicion. i havent had a single doubt about the fact that i am EXACTLY where i am meant to be and meeting the people i need to meet. i love the mtc. its a dedicated place of love and diligence, and everyone is suffering through their own trials. you never know what a person is going through! its so difficult sometimes to put your own frustrations behind you and be there for everyone else. one of my very best friends here, hermana mcgary, just left last week. she went home. and i had NO idea she was leaving until the morning she left and she didnt show up to breakfast or any of her meetings. she had been having her own internal battle most of the time she was here, but she had been praying and fasting and attending the temple to know what she should do. and her answer was she was needed at home. i am proud of her for being able to be so in tune with the spirit that she felt that being at home was most important. so i cant wait to hear from her about the things she will be able to accomplish and people she will be able to influence. and its okay.

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Zimmerman

                                                                                   We wear Pink on Wednesdays

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mas Cambiar

So usually we go to the temple wednesday morning, but since its closed they want us to go hang at main campus or find something to do like that. so me and my hermanas decided to go eat breakfast at main campus, which is way better bc the cafeteria is huge and they have so many options. anyway, after me and my companion run for the bus, turns out we are the only hermanas and theres all elders on this public bus going to their zone leader meeting. I LOOK ACROSS FROM ME AND IM SITTING FACING AN ELDER BAKE. im getting chills right now still. ITS THE LITTLE BROTHER OF ELDER BRANDON  BAKE. im like OH MY GOSH are you from idaho and hes like umm yea. and i just went off about how i know his brother and i have his jacket and he served in my ward and this elder bake says oh yes i think ive seen a picture of you! OH MY GOSH FAMILY. best day ever. hes going to the same mission as Katie Sundberg!!! hes 18, just graduated high school, and hes the next bake in line. I WAS FREAKIN OUT. bet the whole bus hated me. anyway, his companion also knows kaelin and other friends of mine from byu! seriously its such a small world in the church. i need to find him again and get a picture with him!! but this has made my whole week even better, which is always impossible!!

sidenote, can you get me kaelin and christians mailing address?? also i broke my camera sooooo help haha. 

grandma sent me cookies!!!! finally haha. like 2 dozen of them and i was so happy. she wrapped them in this big box with a ridiculous amount of heavy duty bubble wrap. let her know they got here safely hahaha. ALSO the lawrence family wrote me! i could just cry of happiness they are the cutest best family. camille and peter drew me pictures and camille "wrote" 'hi jordy. where do you live? love camille.' I DIED. so dang cute i miss their little faces. 

so i watched the most incredible video of one of elder Bednars messages to the mtc one christmas a few years ago called character of christ. it changed my life. if you want more detail about some of the stories he told, please send me a letter. they were incredible and everyone who has listened to this has said its life changing. but you cant find it bc we can only watch it in the mtc or something. anyway i received SO much revelation from elder bednars talk. it was mostly about possessing the characteristics of Christ in all that we do and are. im reading through my journal right now about what i wrote. annette bradley gave me the perfect little journal for sundays and devotionals, so i use it every sunday and tuesday evening to write revelation and all the good things. love it. he said we need to get out of the way and realize that this is NOT about us. I committed and volunteered myself to leave my past behind and let the Lord use me however necessary. its not about what i want, its about doing what ive been counseled to do in order to acheive what the Lord wants for His children. que bendicion!!!!! nobody forced me to be here at all. this is my choice. 

going off that, last night we had an absolutely incredible devotional with Michael John Teh of the 70. he was so funny and his wife and him were adorable and he said so many incredible things. he talked about how incredible the YOUTH are (i want people to see this is about the youth) and how everything they are doing and learning is preparing them for their whole lives and their opportunity to someday serve missions. "duty to god builds faith in pre-missionaries. the entire curriculum of teaching in sunday school has been altered. teachers are speaking less and less while youth bear testimony to each other and teach each other. family history is completely technological and designed for this day." everything points to the Lord hastening His work daily. he also said that "we were not content in serving in our wards and stakes alone, but to go out and do more; evidence of the atonement being used to CHANGE us.
 gosh so many great things i cant even write them all, nor do i have time. i also started thinking to myself what if the prophet was my teacher? in all my classes here at the mtc or in sunday school back in young womens. how differently would i act? how much more motivated would i be to show him how much i care to be here? i can do so much more to better prepare myself for what i have been called to do, and i am constantly (gently) reminded of my weaknesses by the holy ghost. 

i see adam christiansen (dont know how to spell) a few times a week!!! he serves my food at the cafeteria!!!!!!! and i see tyler albertson randomly, hes the gym coach and they rotate through main and west campus. then i keep seeing random friends from byui it seriously makes me so happy. i love familiar faces!! mom - have you figured out how to link this to facebook so my friends can see it/elder bake can know i saw his little brother?!?! i love everyone SO much and i pray for everyone individually. i feel so bad for poor josh grover!!! thank you for telling me about him, i pray for him as well, what a blessing to have just one more prayer right? cant hurt haha. poor thing!!! i miss the youth of our ward and the stake! theyre so great and such incredible examples to me!!! p.s. mom i bought a cheap ctr ring, one of the old ones that turns your finger green. thats where im thankful for clear nail polish if you catch my drift. but it says HLJ, Haz Lo Justo. (ps thats spanish) i love letters! use dear elder it costs nothing and i get letters that day!!!! in my hand!!! coolest blessing. ill be sending more pictures. Hasta luego!!!

con amor,
hermana zimmerman.

pppppssss. if its not too much trouble could someone print out my friends letters on their blogs so i have time to actually read them! thanks. mucho amor. 

My zone.  The best people EVER!!!!

     All six of us will be serving in Villahermosa.  We will be the first non-native sisters to serve in the area.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013




so the most stressful hour of my life was definitely my email time last week. i had so many people to respond to and soooo much that i wanted to say it was ridiculous. i literarlly was completely red in the face. which reminds me, those that remember how red my face got in high school or whenever i was embarrassed, i have learned that i get completely red in the face when i feel the spirit strongly. which is almost all the time. i break out in this heat rash and i get flushed and overheated i mean whats that all about!! whenever i focus on anything for a long time, same thing. omg mom thank you for all the packages and letters and such. OH MY DUKES LETTER. no joke i bawled. but that was so gross. the dog hair you put in the envelope was sticking out and i did not want to open it. i dont know why thinking about him makes me so sad!!! i was sobbing when i saw his cute little picture!!! the other hermanas thought it was a joke and i just really dont know what happened to me hahaha but thanks for the pictures of him. sho cute. also aunt jackie sent me disney princess tattoos. SO classic. im planning to respond to letters today. 

so last wednesday after i emailed, i had some major experiences. we are allowed to walk to different places nearby on preparation day, so we were about to cross a street with some other sisters and elders including our zone leaders, and we hear this loud crash up on the next intersection. we were walking towards it RIGHT after it had happened, and there was a lexus upside down on its windshield, and a young mom in shock and tears holding a baby with a torn up van. our elders ran up to see what was happening and i was trying to console the girl who had apparently run a red light and was just freaking out. another hermana from my district asked if she wanted a blessing (pretty sure she has to ask first, but it was too late cuz she was prompted) and the girl said yes she would. so our 18 year old scrawny 6´4 adorbable zone leader was about to perform his first priesthood blessing of comfort. so the 5 elders walked a little ways away into the nearby parking lot and gave her a blessing. all 18 years old just out of high school. i am constantly amazed at the faith and abilities of them. we could feel the spirit so strong even from a distance. what a blessing that we got there right in time to console her without witnessing the crash for ourselves. OH then after the blessing a man ran up to us and said the driver of the upside down car was an 83 year old man, he had been thrown into the passenger seat, yet walked away with just a scratch on his head. if thats not a miracles i dont know what is. major experience for us, and the Lord was able to use us in the correct time. 

okay so I GOT TO SEE BRETT. we were both searching for each other on sunday night (west campus only goes up to main on tuesday nights and every other sunday for devotionals) and he ended up walking right by me and shook my hand. how sad. he said i was the first familiar face he had seen and it gave him comfort and i just wanted to hear all about his first few days!!!!! im so proud of him and his decision to be here!! then last night at devo we got to sit next to each other!!!! how crazy right, and katie sundberg sat in front of us. i just wanted to send out a picture to everyone right then and there haha. 

today we are supposed to get 6 new sisters and 8 new elders in our zone, basically doubling it completely. im so excited to meet them all!!! ALSO i like the food here. i eat a lotttt. people say they dont like it but it doewsnt bother me haha. i feel like we are always eating and i am ALWAYS so full. my companion and i are getting along really well. her spanish is progressing so quickly! i just keep praying that she will have increased faith in herself and faith in the abilities of the Lord to help her in the time she will need it. once a week we go to TRC, which basically is where people volunteer to be mock investigators that we have to teach. we were sooo nervous. the trainers say that it doesnt matter if its a fake investigator or not, EVERYONE needs to be invited to come unto Christ, even the missionaries. so basically our decision was to get to know the people and then ask them if there was anything we could help them with or ways that we could help them increase their faith. oh, by the way, entirely in spanish. so first we taught this little old couple who have served tons of missions in mexico. the husband kept speaking in english cuz he felt bad we couldnt understand him (my companion) and his wife would get all frustrated it was adorable haha. she´d say ¨mi amor, espanol por favor, obediencia es muy importante.¨ and then he´d apologize, in english. so funny. hermana riedelbach was able to say so much in spanish i actually got emotional because i was so proud of her. but in the second lesson that night we asked this little old funny lady if there was anything she was looking for, but she wanted to hear why we decided to serve a mission. i went first and luckily she told us she could understand spanglish bc my explanation was so broken. but when hermana riedelbach told hers she started to get so emotional we both ended up sobbing because the spirit in the room was so. strong. then it wasnt until that point that i realized our stories are so similar. her dad served a mission, but hasnt gone to church because he was offended or something a few years ago, which makes me so sad, so hna. riedelbach felt like it was up to her to be an example to all of her siblings. PLUS she was hoping that her decision would touch her dad and that maybe someday he would be able to go back to the temple with her siblings. she is the first of her siblings to serve a mission as well. i am the first on either side of my family so we both are doing our best to succeed. we KNOW with all of our hearts that this is exactly where we need to be no matter what. she is facing all of her greatest fears by being here, but her answer from Heavenly Father was that this was the path she needed to take. p.s. crying with someone brings you a lot closer to them haha. 

one thing i have been working on is forgetting myself. even though i thought i had done that, ive realized that its very difficult. even dwelling on my own weaknesses is something i shouldnt do. i need to study for other people and learn the lessons for other people, without focusing on things i cant too. instead i need to focus on what i CAN do, and trust that the Lord will turn all my cants into cans. we are here to focus on the needs of our investigators, not talk at them about the gospel. but rather find out what they are struggling with or uncertain about, and tell them exactly which aspect of this gospel can hep them. this church is for EVERYONE on the earth. people on earth chose to come here, rather than live in darkness and despair. they just need to be reminded of the plan that our Heavenly Father has created for them. i am so dissapointed in myself for not telling every single one of my friends about the greatness of this church and the greatness of the Book of Mormon. how selfish of me. my teacher was talking about how someday we will be so sad if we didnt have the chance to tell people we love about the glory and love they can experience, theyll say ´you knew about this!! and you didnt tell me!!¨ so tell people about what you know. tell them why you are so happy and hopeful about things. you already know where you are headed and what path you wish to take, so help someone else along! ill share my journal entry from last night

´Today i got agitated alot, not sure why persay. But at least i know i can overcome that. thank goodness my companion and i are getting along. i think it makes me a lot happier slash feel closer to her when we are open with each other. but 19 year old girls can get annoying. (((((sorry just realizing this))))) tonight we had a devotional at main campus and it was all about the plan of salvation and how if we decide which degree of glory we want to spend eternity in, all the rest of our decisions will be a lot easier. NOTHING should ever stop us from achieving that degree of paradise and happiness, i know that i will NEVER allow myself to fall away from this church and this gospel and i cant ever turn my back on the Savior after all that He has done for me. I was thinking earlier tonight that this is my religion. and my entire life is made to fit around this chruch, and i couldnt be happier. its my life and my pride, everything that i am and everything i want to be is a result of this gospel. i will NEVER turn my back on it and always will stand up for it. tonight we taught gabriella, and athiest bio student. i think we did alright. hermana riedelbachs testimony is so strong. she always says such profound things with the little spanish that she knows, but i can only imagine what sort of things she could bring to the lesson when she gets further along. she has come so far and im so proud of her. i really do love her. she is so nice to everyone and she is striving to be the best example she can for her family and expecially her inactive father. we are so similar in that way, kind of serving to help others along and hoping someone else can benefit from our testimony. i am grateful for Brett and his example to me of diligence and strength in his decision to be here. i am grateful for honesty. without it there is so much tension! in all things. i am grateful for my branch presidency. i always luck out with my bishoprics. they are golden people with such great experiences and advice. i am so lucky.´

so theres my week in a nutshell. theres SO much i have left out but i am out of time. i love you all so much and my testimony grows immensely every single day. i got letters from jenny donahoo! and brother hobson. so sweet. i hope everyone is good at home and staying warm. utah is so cold but so pretty.  till next week!!!!! te amo much

con amor,
hermana zimmerman

p.s. i was doing sealings today and there was a brother warren in the same room with us that looked just like uncle matthew. i was proxy for a daughter being sealed to her parents. i asked if he had slc relatives but he didnt. yet it was still REALLY cool to see that and be able to have my thoughts focused on uncle matthew. love the temple. love this church. love you all

                                                                    These four Elders all just left for Argentina
                                                                              Running in to Brett Barbour

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Better than Disneyland

Better Than Disneyland

MOM. im having such an incredible time i have been wanting to email you every single day because i seriously have enough to talk about everyday to fill an entire letter. my first day, in class all the teacher did was talk in spanish the entire time. i learned how to pray in spanish on wednesday, testify in spanish on thursday, then teach someone an entire 30 minute lesson only in spanish. no joke. 

OKAY so when i got here i was so excited i was wondering why dad was hugging me so hard and not letting go and i had to keep reminding myself that i wouldnt be seeing him for a long time but i was just so excited and ready to get started! lo siento padre. basically all of the teachers that teach here are recently returned missionaries. our spanish teacher just got home this january from costa rica. how cool is that! he has an incredibly strong testimony and we have been learning so fast. 

p.s. im going to tell you every little detail i can bc mom i know you like to hear about EVERYTHING so if anyone else sees this theyll have to bear with me. 

so my companion is Hermana Riedelbach!!! the girl i met in september and drove up to rexburg with!!! i couldnt  believe it. when i saw her name i freaked out because i already know her so well!!! that was definitely divinely predetermined!! our district consists of 6 girls, all going to Villahermosa and we all live in a 3 bedroom ONE BATHROOM ONE SINK apartment. usually a district has boys and girls, but our branch president said he hasnt seen one of just girls in two years. our branch is made up of our zone. so about 6 districts. you have class and basically do EVERYTHING with your district, so im with these girls all the time. i feel like ive known them my whole life!!

so my companion. shes 5'9 and her family LITERALLY lives a block away, she can vaguely see her backyard from a classroom winow. OH YEA im not even at the main campus mtc!! i live at west campus, where all the spanish speaking missionaries are. everyone walks around saying hi and how are you, except in spanish of course. mi companera said its better than Disneyland, bc this is literally the happiest place on earth. everyone is so excited. so our classroom is in an apartment at the old raintree byu housing complex. they honestly kicked out a bunch of students, so now basically this whole area serves as our mtc, then we live in our apartment across the street. so our classroom is in an old bedroom!!!!! ridiculous. they put desks in there and theres still the sliding closet mirror doors and its just so crazy how they got this all together. SO MY COMPANION has never taken spanish in her life, instead she has a background of 4 YEARS in sign language. soooooo were on completely different pages. i understood everything the teacher was saying to us thank goodness. but its so hard to form my thoughts into spanish!!! knowing what you want to say without having the words to say it is extremely stressful.

SO THEN in our first lesson, its with this girl Samantha who speaks no english, AND NEITHER DOES MY COMPANION so i taught her the entire time, then made my companion say the closing prayer, even though she read it out of our handbook! she told me after that she felt so bad but she forgot her own name and all english right when the investigator opened the door. HOW COOL though that Heavenly Father blessed me with her!!! im forced to learn humility, patience, obedience, and so much more. he gave me her so i would be a better teacher and be more patient, and now im able to help her whenever she needs. she sometimes gets discouraged and has informed me that she has adhd, so im like ALRIGHT I NEED THE SPIRIT FOR THIS ONE. 

all of the girls in my district have incredilbe voices. the classes around us say that they stop class completely when we sing our opening hymn for our little class bc they want to listen. last night L. Tom Perry came to the mtc to speak!!!! we sang Redeemer of Israel and i was in the choir for him!!!! on tv, hopefully you can find that footage somewhere. but im in the front row so whatever. really cool experience. right when any general authority walks into the room i immediately have tears in my eyes. the first day we got here all the new missionaries sang the army of helaman and they changed the words to "we are now the army of helaman" and that was the first time i really broke down and cried. the other time was when i started talking about Duke because i miss him a lot. i honestly started crying when we were all talking about our dogs yesterday. im a freak!!! and i know if i start crying i wont be able to stop because this has been the most influential spiritual uplifting week of my whole life and i have enough memories from these 7 days to last a lifetime!!

one hermana in my district Hermana Weaver is the movie quote QUEEN. shes totally my kind of girl. she brings up the most RANDOM quotes and songs from olllllddd disney movies and cartoons and yesterday thumbelina and im like where did you come from!?!?? and im the only one that understands. shes SO funny. yesterday she clogged the toilet by our classroom and we were all quietly studying and she ran in saying "ayudame ayudame!!!!" which means help in spanish, fyi. and i ran out to see the the toilet was FLOODING the whole bathroom, like a broken fire hydrant. i threw one leg up on the side of the bathtub and tried to plunge it hahahah but that didnt work so we ran out the elders in the next room. luckily she hadnt gone to the bathroom yet so it wasnt a total mess, still SO FUNNY that for some reason in this dire situation she felt the need to yell at us in spanish for help. im laughing just thinking about it right now. plus the way she tells stories makes everything 10000 times better. 

another hermana is hermana armknecht (armconnect) and she is 6'2 with the loudest most beautiufl voice, and she just turned 19, just graduated in 2013. crazy. 

my companion has already gotten 3 packages and 5 letters and ive gotten nothing. except i did get 18 emails, most in my zone helloooo. so thanks guys. SEND ME LETTERS. THEYRE MUCH BETTER THAN WAITING A WEEK FOR EMAIL. and apparently dear elder is the easiest way to reach me right now bc the letter will get there that day. i have had so many spiritual experiences and learn so much about myself every day. the first day we were observing a lesson and i was feeling bad for myself bc i dont have any major trials to be able to understand another persons trials, but then i realized that i DO have the answers. THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. i know all the answers to obtain perfect happiness! thats why i am so blessed, bc i have always grown up with a loving family and a deep undersstanding of where i have come from and where i am going. IM SO BLESSED. i miss duke the most though. and i miss hugging people. i remember my last hugs to everyone and that makes me feel better. 

i see Ty Whitaker like everyday!!! AND katie sundberg!!! shes so close to me always!!! along with my friend elder yitref and a kid named elder henderson that knows my friend Joel Clark.

LOVE YOU ALL. my zone has so many 18 year olds and freshly 19 year olds and theyre such babies in my mind!!! they joke around all the time and think theyre so funny but im just like okay give em a couple years and theyll straighten out. elders are the BEST they are all so funny and say the most ridiculous things. i have so much more to say, but write me a tangible lettter and THEN ill give you a deeper low down. LOVE YOU ALL!!!! PRAY AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN. its so cute to see everyone bless their own food in the cafeteria. I PRAY LIKE 30 TIMES A DAY. ok i overexaggerated but i cant count right now bc i have 2 minutes left. TE AMO MUCH


Hermana Zimmerman

                                         Jordy is wearing my dress that I wore to Brad's baptism 20 years ago!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Farewell Talk

Good morning everyone. I cannot tell you enough how much I have been looking forward to being with you today. This sacrament meeting is just another big step in this major process that I am currently involved in, but yet another opportunity that I love and I am blessed to receive.

So, my name is Jordy Zimmerman, for those of you who do not know me. Please bear with me whether you do or do not. (smile). And just nearly 4 months ago I was called of God to serve a full time mission of 18 months for the church of jesus Christ of latter-day saints. I will soon be teaching the sweet people of Villahermosa Mexico and I couldn’t be happier. I'm sure few of you have heard of it, I hadn’t when I read the letter from the presidency, but Villahermosa is a small part of the state of Tabasco, way down at the bottom of Mexico in the base of the gulf.  The internet has told me that it has an extremely tropical climate, with a 91% humidity and temperatures that rarely drop below the 60s. Rainfall is always expected with an average of a 60% chance of precipitation daily, and I should be prepared for every fruit imaginable in countless variety. Some “air conditioned” restaurants were an option.
-Grijalva and carrizal rivers confluence

Friends of mine that have been to surrounding areas have told me that I should be prepared to eat things I never could have imagined (good or bad..) and that the heat will consume me. They have also told me that iguanas, tarantulas, and especially mosquitoes will be common visitors, but the people will be loving and accepting of me with open arms and a desire to learn more about the messages of happiness and hope I will be bringing to them. However, as I will be in a group of the first American sister missionaries ever to serve in my area, it will be a completely new experience for everyone, not just me. All in all, I already don’t want to come home!

D. Todd Christofferson, april 2011 gen conf
“President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”
Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:
“I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.
“And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …
“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”

This story relates to every life in this room. We are constantly “cut down.” At times we feel entirely adequate for a position we must hold or a title we feel we should be given. Yet without humility, we are nothing. The most important way that I know of growth, is to be afflicted and proceed to endure the affliction in order to reap the rewards of its outcome. There is no escaping trials, no matter the perfection we feel we have attained. Trials or hardships come in every way imaginable, both big and small, but they are a gift to us. In disguise of course. Heavenly Father sees us for what we can become. He sees the good in everyone and knows that it takes certain people to bring that good out of them. Luckily our main goal is to return back to his presence.

No matter the mistakes we have made, or the extent to which they have been taken, we are blessed to have a way to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. It is through the Atonement of our literal savior, Jesus Christ.  John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” Jesus atoned for our sins, each and every sin that you or I have made. He took on every single pain that you specifically have felt out of his LOVE. And now we never need to feel alone because when no one else seems to understand, HE does. All of these acts are acts of love and selflessness. You are not meant to feel chastised and ridiculed when your shortcomings are brought to light, but gently reminded that there is a way to regain the possibility of eternal life. None of us are perfect, not even our loving prophet President Thomas S. Monson. God knew that we would make mistakes and knew that we would feel guilty for even the smallest of mistakes. The atonement is real. The blessings that we can gain from utilizing the atonement are many. If we would only pray to God often and accept our guilt and our faults, He is there and ready to take all of the pain, guilt, and suffering away. If there is anything eating away at you or hurting your relationship with others or with your Heavenly Father, I challenge each of you to pray with sincerity to God, with real intent, and that pain will be removed from your heart and you will KNOW what the next step to take will be. I PROMISE. It is an act that can’t ever fail.
-Testimony of prayer, define sincere.

So, we have a Heavenly Father that loves us without end, who gave us his only begotten son Jesus Christ out of love, who allowed his own suffering to pay for our sins because of love, and there is yet another gift. The gift of the Holy Ghost.

The spirit of God can dwell within us, on a daily basis, in whatever we do. When people say that they feel the spirit, or feel of His presence, it is a direct conviction from God that the things you are hearing are in fact true. The holy ghost is still and small, something so soft that can only be felt if we are patient and reverent and obedient. It testifies to me daily that this gospel is true. It is not only a part of me, but I am a part of it. We are one. I’d like to believe that people who know me and love me, will realize that they know God and feel his love. I have made such a point to be worthy and pure so that I can be the mouthpiece in the work of the Lord. So that other people will feel of His love.
-sister missionaries,
 “talk to them, see how you feel”

 I strive to do that every day. I do my best to see people not as they are or define them by their faults, but to see them through the eyes of God, or see who and what they can become.
-story of woman and handicapped son, parking spot

I have had the most incredible opportunity to serve as an ordinance worker in the Newport Beach Temple for the past 2 months, and it is the most gratifying thing I could have imagined. The temple is a house of the Lord. You must be obedient and faithful to enter such a holy house. One of my privileges is to always make people feel welcome and feel as though they are at home. It is a place of refuge and of reflection. I get to spend time with some of the most devout and divine people that I have ever met. And I have found that it is the best preparation for serving a full time mission. While I am showing people the love of God while they are in His temple, it will be my responsibility to take that love to the people of Villahermosa. Some have never even heard of God, and some just want to have a better relationship with Him. I will be serving as a representative of the Lord. I am there solely to open my mouth and use my knowledge of things I have studied and learned all my life to aid the Lord as he speaks and influences through me. It is not a vacation or a time for me to find myself, yet I know that as I continue to seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost in order to teach people to recognize God’s hand in their lives, I will most definitely find myself through Him, just as we all can. I truly believe that forgetting ourselves is the only way to find ourselves.

President Hinckley, the former prophet of the church, once said:
“Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. . . . Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Quite a simple suggestion to obtain true happiness. We need to always recognize God’s hand in our lives. The smallest coincidence is not a coincidence. It is a small miracle.

Missionary – someone who leaves their family for a time so that others may be with theirs for eternity
-representing not only the lord, but my family, this ward, this stake, this church community, and every member that wishes they could be in my place.
Things that are worth it are never easy, never quick, and never something that you haven’t had a thought to back out on. But they are so worth it.