Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 6

yesterday we had 6 of our investigators come to church. just about died. my comp said shes never seen that happen before. shes about to hit her 6 month mark, and its almost my 3 month mark. it feels like more! but it also feels like i just got here! a little about hermana romero, she was only baptized 3 years ago. and shes such a powerhouse. she knows so much and is so strong! sometimes a bit sassy but she knows it and just stay quiet till she cools down. or tick her off till she laughs. either or, depends on my mood. we work so well together. sometimes i wish i didnt cut my hair because hers is the same length mine was and we,d be that much cooler but its okay. im recovering. 

so our investigators all think that our church is true and think the book of mormon is true because we say its true. they say well i know its true cuz youre good people and the mormons are good people. but they need to gain their own testimonies and we are trying to figure out how to really help people understand the commitment of baptism. its getting better though, we have 6 baptismal dates coming up and lots of investigators. so many that its hard to visit them all and we stress out because we dont walk fast enough and our area is huge and we want to meet with all of them everyday and help them individually with as much time as they need. but thats not how it works. so theres one thing i have to learn quickly. we get better everyday and we know we are doing our best, but we have got to work harder. 

p.s. members are so important. it made me ridiculously happy when we brought the de la cruz family to church, a mom and her 16 yr old alexander and 8 yr old edgar. we found them bc they live in their grandmas old house, and the missionaries taught her about 6 yrs ago. incredible how the Lord works huh. and all of the members came up one by one to meet them. and like all the young men came up and introduced themself to alexander and some primary kids came up to edgar and told him theyd show him where to go and they all loved it. then for the 3rd hour everyone in the ward watched a 45 minute long video on how to clean the building with detail, buutttt all was still well. yay for miracles!! every simple thing is a miracle.

this taxi driver was talking to us and asked us if we,ve seen any miracles. we asked what his version of a miracles is and he said something hes never seen or experienced before. so i told him what a miracle it is that we got into his taxi and then we got out cuz we were home and he was a bit crazy and yea. everyday is a miracle, the little things are all incredible blessings to us. 

fam i want you to read 2 nephi 2. its powerful. well the whole book is incredibly powerful but yea. read together more than just on sunday. 

love you all immensely. i have so much to say. t so many experiences daily that i cant even describe!! love you all 

hermana z


Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 5

SO one of the best feelings ever is when a less active family or an investigator decides to come to church, and yesterday we had both. my companion elbowed me in the middle of the first hour and i turned around and saw Yuri and her whole family walk in, even her husband whos always been a bit indifferent. i seriously wanted to cry i was so happy for them that they had the strength to get there. its hard for people cuz its so early and hardly anyone has cars so they all walk and have kids and i cant imagine how difficult it is. but they were there. and the 4 of us hermanas had to sing a musical number in sacrament. the theme was temples so we all sang i love to see the temple (acapella cuz im the pianist, still horrible btw) parts in english and parts in spanish. so awesome! so our investigator that showed was manuel.

Manuel is about 60 years old and we visit him nearly everyday. he looooves talking about "the palabra" or word of God, well so does everyone. but he lives with his sister and brother and dad, basically everyone lives with family members. he was married a long time ago but now hes just solo. he,s in a wheelchair and lacks a foot from knee down. SO everytime we visit he wont let us leave until we have cookies and soda with him or something. lately hes been cooking for us which is adorable. we are his hermanitas. and he loves learning and has been trying to impelement all the commandments into his life and he agreed to come to church with us on his crutches, but only if it wasnt raining cuz it was super cloudy the night before. its a big deal because he is super shy about his foot and he wanted to wait for his prosthetic, but he felt like he should come with us. so of course we prayed our little hearts out that it wouldnt rain and manuel would be ready for church in the morning. thank goodness it was a gorgeous sunny morning!!!! so we picked him up and he sat in the front row with us (by the piano) which was a big part of his reason for coming, to see us sing and me play. its a good way to get people to come to church, to witness my lack of talent. oh goodness its bad. one of the hardest parts of my mission right now, having to play the piano with no practice time and not wanting to burden the bishop as you can imagine. manuel says he knows the church is true but he doesnt believe in joseph smith cuz hes white... soo we still have work to do. the church wouldnt even be here without him! he said if he was a mexican he,d believe in him. a little frustrating as you can imagine haha. 

by the way our bishop is spectacular. dad he always asks about you "hows your family! hows the bishop!" always haha. and yesterday he bore his own testimony after the talks, and it was perfect. he was talking about how we as members arent responsible for other members actions and how they use their time and which commandments they have issues with. honestly who are we to judge. the only reason people come to church on sunday is to learn and progress! if everyone there was perfect what would be the point!? he said "if someone doesnt pay their tithing theyre not gona cut the lights." so think about that haha. basically, it is never our place to judge people because they dont understand a commandment as well as we do or have had an experience with a commandment as we have. it doesnt affect us and our obedience to them. when people go to church, its an act of faith and shows that they are simply TRYING to be better. theyre not there to be judged or feel excluded, its a personal experience with personal revelation. I hopé that makes sense, because its a big deal and everyone should try to understand it. 

okay so last night we went to visit a couple old ladies and their neighbor was over and was immediately intruiged by us. she said she had never heard of the church or even the term mormons. we started sharing simple principles and she just kept saying "wow!! really!?" and she was so excited and amazed at the information. and we sang a hymn for her (sidenote we sing for everyone. its normal. i think) and she kept saying wow after and we asked her how she felt and she said she couldnt even explain it and that it was something she had never felt and it was in her whole body. how perfect. i explained to her that it was the holy ghost, who can testify to us when things are true and good in our lives. she was soooo happy and was asking us questions and had us write down all the scripture references we used. then she kept saying how blessed she was to have God send us to her. oh AND she ran home to get her cellphone because she wanted a picture with us hahaha. so we are going back to teach her tonight! she said she was catholic but she wasnt learning anything so she left for a christian church. 

BACK to the fact that its all about learning. learning new things about ourselves and the church is a possibility daily. i was reading talks from conference this morning and it just made my whole day alot better. ive also been reading a book "our heritage" about the church and joseph smith its incredible. you guys would really like it. joseph smith was awesome i want to meet him so bad! hes my hero! im happy. really really happy. i trip alll the time. my companion thinks i might have a problem. i twisted my ankle stepping off the curb today and hobbled across the street with our groceries. so thats cool. always twisting my ankle, what a blessing its not broken cuz im so clumsy. p.s. MOM you know my gray pearl necklace with the ribbon intertwined in the pearls? well the ladies in the ward keep taking it from me cuz they wana make one. so it was a young womens activity, and now the whole relief society is gona make them on saturday. so funny! pearls are a big thing here. just a big pearl earring or necklace or any color. 

This church is life, a new life everyday and a new way to enjoy the life youve been given. its being so sure about one thing, that everything else falls into place. i love you all. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 4

my lovely family

i miss you all dearly. i miss how much i can laugh with all of you. the other day we were teaching a member family about the blessings they have received as a result of being born into the church and how now they can bless others lives. Aylen (the 6 year old balboa girl) was so confused. she freaked out and said "wait we were born in the church?!" it was so funny i dont know why but i laughed so hard. 

but ill tell you more about Villahermosa! Im right in the heart of it. we are in the villahermosa stake, Deportiva ward. there are two huge halves to deportiva, so theres us 4 hermanas. luckily we all live together. but we are a 2 minute walk from the stake center and mission office, sadly about a half hour walk from our own chapel, 20 minute walk from our area. so thats cool. haha we are looking for another place to live thats closer but its unlikely. the stake president is in our ward!! and hes the coolest. he served his mission here and met his wife (taught his wife/brought her back to church) and then came back later and married her. pretty cool. and we eat with them every thursday! what a cool blessing! his wife is hilarious, like shes just all over the place and so nice. and then hes laid back and cool and has zillions of awesome stories to tell. makes me think of president goodman and how lucky we are to be close with their family and have them in our ward! 

okay the weather. its pretty dang hot. basically ive already experienced some of the hottest days as california summers, but everytime we meet someone they ask how im enjoying the weather because in may and april its gona be scorching. i cant even imagine it. i dont know exactly how close to the equator we are but im pretty sure we live right on it. and since im in the (colonized) rainforest, theres always random downpours. like the heaviest rain ive seen. and we just casually walk in it because it dries when it hits us cuz the humidity is so strong as well. its great really. 

okay mosquitos are my worst nightmare. no literally i have dreams of swarms of them attacking me. no bueno. its a joke. so thats one of the worst things, just the constant annoyance of itching and new ones and im getting pretty good at killing them on the spot. my comp showed me her legs one of the first days i was here and shes got scars all over her ankles. all she said was "bienvenidos a la mision." sweet. but its no big deal! i just relate it to the gospel when we are teaching and people feel bad for me. all the ladies feel so horrible for me and start rubbing some sort of cream on my ankles. theyre all my moms. haha ill get over it soon, just getting accustomed to everything! but i love it here really. the trees are incredible. they break up sidewalks all over. houses are all different vibrant colors and people change them all the time. from like orange to turquoise. super cool! theres also alot of unclaimed dogs all over. with broken legs and tumors and just sad little things i feel terrible for them. 

i was reading a profile the other day and this lady said she had her family memorize scriptures together. then when their kids got into fights she,d make em recite one about love or something. so i think you should implement that. also one of the balboa grandkids, 14 year old named Lehi, we were at their house the other day for lunch and he told us everyone in his class has to give about an hour report on their religion. how scary would that be. THEN they have 10 minutes for questions! we were giving him all the details we could to help him out. but man thats a big opportunity.

 its illegal here as well to talk about religion in school but its not enforced at all.

my advice this week is to know that its okay to have hard days, that just means youre learning. every trial we have is an opportunity to take advantage of it and look to Heavenly Father for the strength we need. the Book of Mormon literally changes lives. when people read it they have a desire to change and be better. and its so possible with faith. its so simple yet so diffficult! i dont think we can ever understand the true importance until after this life! love you all. be an example everywhere you are. pray always!! always always always. and be nice to each other and my mom. and read D/C 121. hasta luego loves!

hermana zimmerman

my picture of the week. drenched hermana romero and i. lifes rough but always good. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 3, Two Months

well two major stories for you family. i dont have much time today but oh my goodness. oh and today is my 2 month mark, WHAT HAPPENED.

first of all we met the ward mission leader. turns out he served his mission in anaheim, in the tustin 5th ward and in the tustin ranch branch!!! at one point he said he served in a ward where brad lockhart was the bishop! he said he loved every minute of it and i freaked out saying oh my goodness thats my home those are my péople!!! THEN he asks me if i know Anthony Kuo. i was so surprised and said yes oh my gosh hes one of my really good friends!!! then his eyes filled with tears and he said oh my goodness he was my convert.  CRAZY. then i started to get emotional cuz he was so excited and i thought of my wonderful stake. and i told him not to worry, anthony is the strongest member i know and the most involved of the singles ward. ridiculous right, i still cant get over it. it was back in like 2007 he said. 

second incredible story. dad especially.
so the Balboa family is a family of 5 brothers, 3 of them live in our ward boundaries and their mom is the ward chorister. one of the brothers lives with her, the other 2 live below her in other little apartments. so we were at her house visiting with them one night and she was telling us about her mission, back when the mission boundaries covered completely different states. sometimes shed go without food, one time for 2 whole days because its hard to get money to the missionaries when theyre all so spread out like that. BUT turns out she was the first sister missionary ever from Tabasco as well as the 5TH MEMBER ever in Tabasco!! she started telling us about her uncle who brought the church from america and i stopped her in her tracks and said "did he learn it in prison!?" and she said yep and he brought it back here and started it up! DAD her uncle was the guy from the article i found before i came out on my mission!!!! i started getting emotional because it was such a huge deal to me!! she said he just barely died a year ago!! man i would have loved to meet him. shes 75 and BOTH her parents are still alive, her dad is 102 and her mom is 96 and theyre perfectly healthy and lively. how crazy! plus shes hilarious. yesterday in church she was waiting for the intro from me to one of the songs and i just hit the last note and she waited a couple seconds longer then looked back at me and said "thats it?" and i looked at her yep thats it and she laughed a hearty laugh like oh you stupid funny girl bless your heart then turned back around and started leading again. it was so funny. dad i want you to meet all these people you would love them and they have the most incredible stories ever. 

I cannot even tell you how much i have learned this week. every day!!

a quote i love that perfectly describes everything:
"A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. Those who do not make the sacrifice cannot enjoy this faith, because men are dependent upon this sacrifice all in order to obtain this faith." -Jospeh Smith
(you can give Kay Goodman credit for that one. shes a fantastic lady)

okay i cannot believe how fast my time goes. but that quote describes all! sacrifice is the foundation of all things good and worthwhile. also my companion and i have been talking alot about following the spirit with more precision. some people have a really hard time deciphering between whether the spirit is telling them something or whether its from their own minds, but it doesnt matter. the spirit works with our minds and our experiences. every experience and trial we have ever had builds up to a specific moment where the spirit can grab that memory from your mind and use it to help another person or to help´yourself. never ever let a prompting that goes unfollowed haunt you. follow it with courage in the Lord. you dont have to be a missionary to have that opportunity. love you all 

hermana zimmerman