Monday, December 28, 2015

I felt the Christmas Spirit SO strongly!

 Dear family,

This week was great. I felt the Christmas Spirit SO strongly! I had such a huge family this year. I missed being home and having traditions, but my mission family is a couple hundred people big, and we all took care of each other. What a great day! I also had my ward family, Noveleta ward for the win!  It was great. People took care of us, and loved us and then we got to enjoy dinner as a District. I loved every moment this week.

I love being here on my mission. I really do. I love the Philippines! It's hard, sometimes. It's hard because I am starting to miss the SMELL of American food. I'm sure I miss the taste as well, but nothing cooking here SMELLS like home, or the USA or anything. So smell is super important to me obviously haha.

I enjoyed my Christmas dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant here, John and Jerry's Tapsihan. SO BRUN MASARAP! delicious I love my companion, my house mates, my District! It's all so great. 

Heavenly Father knows me so well. He knows all of us so well! I can really feel His tender mercies, or the little things He cares about, all over me. I feel like He knows how we felt, being separated on Christmas, and so blesses us with the little things, to make the big things seem brighter. 

I am remembering what one of my MTC President's said, he said there are no bad wards! There are no bad areas! There's just the way you feel about them, and how hard you work.

BE POSITIVE.  I'm learning why that's important. The situation is in the eye of the beholder, and so it's important to view things with a positive spin. Smile. You are a child of God. You don't think He knows you personally? You don't think He hasn't sat up with you when you've cried? Or reached out in love when you were mad? If you think He ignores His children, then you need to reevaluate yourself, and say a prayer. I know God knows me and I KNOW He knows you. Keep your chin up. Try a little harder this week. Do THAT much more... for someone else. Forget yourself for 5 seconds and notice that there's more to life than your own problems. 

I love you all! I miss you lots! Have A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! My prayer is that we will all resolve and follow through to serve another more than ourselves this year. And to love our Savior even more.

I love you

Sister Zimmerman 

Happy New Year!

Teal's first baptism! Dan is 16, & was baptized on Saturday.
She shared about this day in another email.

After the baptism

Sister Dacalap, Teal, Elders Pascual (District leader) & Fangufangu

Teal's entire mission!  The Cavite Mission Christmas party.
I swiped this off the mission blog (thanks Pres & Sis Tye)
Can you spot Teal???

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

There was a Typhoon, I started to regret not filling my 72 hour kit more

Hey family!

Shorter email today, because this week was extra standardish! JOKE.  There was a Typhoon this week and it was CRAZY raining! It rained and rained and rained and rained, and then the river down the street from my house started to get really, really full. And then they started blaring alarms and people started barricading their houses and driveways. I started to regret not filling my 72 hour kit more as the roads started to flood. This was a more scary day for me. BUT good news, I'm more uphill, kind of, from the river and my 2 story apartment is on a slight hill, and so our street only flooded to about ankle length. The main road that we walk down was waist high and moving powerfully.  The next day, many many people were shoveling the mud that was EVERYWHERE from off the road. It looks hecka nasty. Everything is dirtier and cleaner at the same time.  On one hand, it no longer smells of excrement everywhere, on the other, everything is covered in sticky mud. SO, no worries. I only got worried for a minute, then I went and lay down on my bed and read General Conference and it was fine. As it started to flood, we realized we were out of food, so we quickly went to all the little  'in house shops' of our neighbors and bought a ton of rice. Heavenly Father protected us. AND we had electricity the WHOLE time. Tender mercies and blessings! The rain didn't cool it off. Now it feels humid.  The same kind of humid like when you are walking around Animal Kingdom in Disney World during Summer. I'm sweating pounds everyday guys! 

I am so excited for Christmas! I'm enjoying it now. I miss home, family and ESPECIALLY CHRISTMAS MOVIES! When I come home, even though it'll be March, I'm watching ALL the Christmas movies. 

This Christmas is special as I focus on giving instead of getting. I love it. I don't get much of anything this year. No physical Christmas. BUT I get a lot, by giving my all. This Christmas, even though you are all at home and happy with that, remember to be like the Savior and turn OUTWARD. Don't look in, and think about how life is unfair, hard or doesn't make sense for YOU. Look outward, turn outward, and see others first. I'm learning that this week. I'm focusing on that. I'm seeing others first, and thinking of them first. 

I love you all!  I love the work, it's kicking my butt, but I'm remembering to put others first, TURN OUTWARD THIS WEEK! It's not about you, and it never should be! This week especially it's about remembering Jesus Christ. It's about remembering family.  Merry Christmas!!

Love you!!
Sister Zimmerman

Monday, December 14, 2015

That's how I grow!

Dear family,
Kamusta po kayo!? Magandang umaga po sa inyo! How are you!? Good morning to you!

Life is great here in the Philippines. Last night, in our tricycle ride, I was riding down a street I ride down a lot, and I was thinking to myself, WOW, I LOVE it here. It just hit me and I felt all warm inside. This is such a fun time for me. I love being here!

This weekend was Stake Conference. It was really interesting to hear the counsel for the wards here. Oh course it's the same doctrine, but the counsel was different for them, culturally. The Stake President is really cool.

This week I really loved reading Preach my Gospel. Last week I focused on the Book of Mormon (and I still am) but this week I searched the missionary lessons for truths and I am finding marami! lots! I love teaching these lessons. They are so simple and beautiful. As my mission progresses, I find it easy to teach these lessons because they make so much sense. It makes sense that God is real to me, and it makes sense that we are His children and so on and so on. I'm not brainwashed, it just makes sense. It's smart.

Recognizing that I am weak, and not super good at everything like I thought, I am finding myself more capable of doing the work. It's hard. It is SO hard. But at the same time, wonderful. The world would have you think that because something is mahirap hard that it's not worth doing, or it's the wrong thing to do. You shouldn't want to do something because it's hard. But that's how we grow. That's how I grow! Don't stop growing.

Love you all,
Have a great week!

Sister Zimmerman

Around Noveleta

At Church

Monday, December 7, 2015

I see miracles. I see heartache.

Dear Family,

Sometimes the days are long. It's hot. I'm tired all the time. Sometimes, the dust kicked up in my eyes bugs more than it should.  Sometimes I miss A/C A LOT. 

But then I forget about it when I see someones ENTIRE LIFE become easier, better and more amazing because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

No joke.

I see miracles.  I see heartache. I see things that absolutely disgust me and scare the living daylights out of me. I see stuff that is super illegal in the United States, that no one seems to care about here. It makes me sad. There are a lot of victims here. And absolutely no one cares. And what can I do? Not a lot. But I am not hopeless. There is also a lot of good.  The kindness of the MAJORITY of the people is amazing to me.  Yes, there is a real evil here. But isn't that everywhere? The majority are the sweetest and kindest people I have ever met. Even when they shut the door in my face or completely blow us off, they do it with a smile. :-)

I am happy to be here and to labor. And I have said it before, but I love being a missionary. I don't even feel like I am giving up my time. I see my Heavenly Father and the work He is doing on my life everyday, and the work He is accomplishing in others through me. Our investigator Niljun prayed about the Book of Mormon, and he knows he needs to read it. He got an answer, but hasn't shared exactly how he feels yet. But it's positive. Our investigator Felizardo is still smoking. He was lying to us. He looked me in the eyes and lied. It was hard. But we finally helped him to realize that first, we already knew and second, lying wasn't going to get him to the waters of baptism. He wants to baptized so badly!

We have many investigators. I don't have time to explain each. But they are wonderful people, prepared for the gospel.

I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that God is my literal Father in Heaven, and I am His daughter.  I know all people are children of God. I know Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God by the power of God to act in the name of God. We call that the Priesthood. And Joseph Smith was called and given the same Priesthood as prophets such as Noah, Moses, & Abraham. All of them.

Remember that God loves you. Remember that this life isn't everything that will ever happen to you. I teach this everyday, and I know it's true. When you die, and one day we all will, you will not cease to exist. You came from somewhere. You are here on the earth for a purpose. And you are going somewhere after you die.  We need to be humble. Humble yourselves and remember that your current problems or life challenges are not your purpose. They happen, but it's not what you should center your entire existence on. I heard a saying once "Life sucks, and then you die." Is that really true? NO!   Don't let Satan trick you into thinking that the hard things in life are what will always and forever be for you. Look up. Be humble. SAY A PRAYER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.  Life can be easy, and be wonderful. 

I love you all.
I miss you all.
I miss being homing and seeing everyone. But I'm working hard and serving as many people as I can. It's going great. I love you!
Have a great week!

Sister Zimmerman 

Teal & and Remcee, her new investigator.  She is "22 and super cute and super sweet"

The Villarente family with Teal & Sis Dacalcap at church.
The little girls love Teal & run to her when they see her &
 cling to her & follow her around.  They are the sweetest!

New housemate! Sis Devi was transferred,
now Sis Tau from Tonga is Sis Manzano new kassama

Sis Decalcap on THE BRIDGE! "I hate this bridge. A rickety wooden foot bridge
 to cross the currently dry river."
The river bed.  Nasty!  (see the garbage just thrown/falling off the wall on the right)
"The rickety wooden bridge. Scary as heck man! It sways back and forth and
 bounces up and down IT'S TERRIFYING!"

One of the roads she walks down often.
(apparently less scary than THE BRIDGE lol) 

Monday, November 30, 2015

If you don't have one, get one. All your Mormon friends have one!

Happy Thanksgiving!... JOKE.
Walang Nothing Thanksgiving. Except everyone knows about it here, and they were talking about it being Thanksgiving. I got SUPER bummed out. Because.. I LOVE THANKSGIVING. I love the food, I love the movies, I love the little Hallmark holiday aspect. It's literally the greatest thing ever.  But what I did was walk down dusty roads, and have people shut the door in my face. I didn't feel grateful! It got dark,  I felt sick. My companion said we should buy a cake (they have a cute bakery here called Goldilocks) and I said fine. We walked all the way to the bakery, it was closed. At this point, I felt like crying.  The only thing open that we had time to stop at was 7/11.  I bought expensive American snacks (a can of MUG root-beer and a bag of Cheetos) for my Thanksgiving dinner. It's now 9:00pm and we have to get home like, NOW. So we walk home, and I cry a little. My companion hugs me. I feel so very UNGRATEFUL, and homesick.  We go home, and finish planning for the next day. Sister Devi and Sister Manzano hug me because I'm super crying at this point.  We finishing planning, and I go to get dressed for bed when  Sister Devi comes in and blindfolds me, and my companion takes my camera and they take me down the stairs to find... THANKSGIVING FEAST! Sister Devi is from Fiji, but her family is Indian. She COOKED and Sister Manzano COOKED Fijian and Filipino food, and lit candles, and turned the lights off and prepared for me.  They wrote a sign,  HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY SISTER ZIMMERMAN!

My thanksgiving

The food they cooked takes a long time to make, and it was the sweetest thing ever! Of course it made me feel so close to my kabahays (house mates) but also to my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Don't you think He was aware of me in my situation? I felt terrible. I was just going to go to sleep early.  But instead, He blessed me with wonderful friends, loving friends, who would do such a thing for me. I really seriously love my mission! I love being a missionary! And I cannot believe another month has passed by.  My time here is soooo short, and goes by so quick.  

Thanksgiving moon 

I love it.  Felizardo Molina has stopped smoking and is now getting baptized on December 26.  We have another baptisim scheduled for Dec 19, an 18yr old named Dan. We have SO MANY INVESTIGATORS, it's so many, oh my goodness. We don't have enough time to teach all these people. They are all truly prepared to hear the gospel.

Have a wonderful week!  BE POSITIVE, is what I want to share.  You believe in God, right? You know He is real, and He is your father, right?  Then stop complaining that life is hard. I do it all the time, I know it's not helpful. It will not help you progress.  And just trust Heavenly Father! He knows YOU perfectly. And if you don't have faith, if you don't know God, or know He is your father, then get on your knees and ask Him yourself. Search the Book of Mormon. If you don't have one, get one. All your Mormon friends have one, the missionaries have A LOT. They'll give it away for free. But stop being dumb and thinking life is SO HARD and this is SO HARD and what can I possibly do to make my life easier, better, happier? Turn to the REAL God, the REAL HEAVENLY FATHER, the REAL Plan of Happiness, and start to serve those around you. God is not some made up character. This church is not lead by some crazy old white man. God is real. He calls Prophets today to teach and guide us BY HEAVENLY FATHER'S authority and power. God is not dead, He's not ignoring us, He's not forgetful. YOU are the one who forgets, YOU are the one who ignores. PRAY. PRAY EVERYDAY, and as an authorized servant of the Lord Jesus Christ I testify and promise you that as you DO this you WILL become happier, and life WILL become easier. I am NOT here in the Philippines wasting my time on some fictitious Restoration of the true church of Jesus Christ. I am not wasting my time on some fake Lord and Father. This is REAL. This is REAL LIFE. You are LITERALLY a  CHILD OF GOD. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. If you want to be happier, talk to the missionaries.  They really can help you.

I love you all, and send love and prayers your way!

Have a great week.

Sister Zimmerman 

Monday, November 23, 2015

No one reacts the way I expect, it's not in their culture.

Dearest family and friends,

I miss you all so much!  At this point, it no longer pains too bad, but I miss you all.
I am so glad to be here in the Philippines! My week was great.  I found out something awful this week about someone here that we work with. I won't write about it, but please send prayers of peace and comfort.  I'm working on it with my companion to act as the Lord's healing hands and sometimes I don't want to see or know what it is that is broken, but I am learning a lot from these experiences.

It can be hard, because life is so different here. No one reacts the way I expect them to because.. well, it's not in their culture. Luckily, I love my companion, Sister Dacalcap (the picture below is us in a tricycle, our only time to take pictures).

I love my companion because even though we both come from very different backgrounds, and our cultures and reactions are so different, she accepts me and works with me. 

Good news!!! Felizardo Molina, our GOLDEN investigator, has stopped smoking!!! Today is his 3rd day without smoking.  HOW AWESOME!? I've prayed over him and his problem and sought lessons and scriptures that would bless him and now we are finally seeing a end to this journey and a beginning to a better one! How great shall be your joy... totoo. Alam ko na ito simbahan totoo at si Jesucristo pagmamahal lahat mga tao. true. I know that this Church is true and that Jesus Christ loves all people  It's the greatest blessing sa buhay. of life

I am having the greatest time. I love being here. It's hot. All the time. Alam ko. Pero, I know. but I'm okay with it. All is well and I'm happy.

I miss home, and I miss DRIVING.  There are certain people, places and things that I took for granted that I truly miss, but every time I think of home, I think of what I would be doing, and honestly... I'd rather be here. Not working, not going to school, not dating. Not right now.   It's so very mahirap difficult. So brun. (?? in French it's brown...couldn't translate this one...anyone else?) But worth every tear, and stress filled moment.

Peace, be still, the Savior said.  We follow Christ in all the ways we can, di ba? right? So follow His commandment this week to be peaceful.  

I love you all and miss you lots!

Have a great week, and remember... be peaceful.

Sister Zimmerman 

Teal's companion at their apartment
Their home is considered REALLY nice that the wealthy live in. They have running water, a flush toilet and electricity.

Living Room of their apartment-no AC I'd sit in front of the fan too

Their kitchen-only a cooktop and slow cooker

Their water filter system-all fruits and veggies
have to be washed in a bleach/water solution before eating

Monday, November 16, 2015

Like, seriously, JUST COME TO CHURCH!

Dear family,

I cannot believe another week has already gone by.  My mission is already flying by! I have been here in Noveleta for a month! That's almost my entire MTC time! And it felt like nothing! Like it just flew by!

My companion and I are finding about 20 people a week to teach. We have only 4 progressing investigators though.  Progressing means they keep commitments and and let us return to teach. That's not too perfect but it's a start. I love these people.  I am so frustrated with them sometimes. Like, seriously, JUST COME TO CHURCH!  I don't care if you are offended, you need to come to church! And they don't.  Everyone is offended here. Someone said something, or the Bishop didn't do this or whatever. Get over it. They complain to us, like I can punish the people or something. We listen, and then share scriptures about not getting offended. They usually get their feathers ruffled, but then they love us anyway. I am kinda amazed at how often I feel like I need to shake these people up a little.  I have to ask hard questions a lot, and require an answer.  My Comp and I are never mean, always smiling, always kissing and hugging our friends here, because they really are our friends, but we have to ask questions that they don't always want to answer, but it's so important that they do.  We felt a great sense of success this week.  We worked out butts off. It was great. I loved it.

Not a lot to report this week. We just worked. Lots. And it was fabulous. I miss you all, and I miss the USA! I just miss familiar. Also, I found out today that I am the only white person in Noveleta, which is why I get stared at so much.  Anyway, I miss you all! 

Sister Zimmerman 

Teal & Sister Decalcap's decorated front door
Teal's zone.
(Missions are broken up into Zones, Zones into Districts, Districts into an Area)
Teal & Joyce a recent convert to the church. She is 17.

Teal with Joana & Christina (13 & 17) Christina recently joined the church.
Joanna's sister is a member, but she is not. 

Noveleta Ward at the ward Family Home Evening.
That's almost the whole ward! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

It's crazy, it's loud, it smells like so many not nice things, I love it!

Dear pamilya,

I miss you all so much! I love you.

Philippines! It's crazy, it's loud, it smells like so many not nice things. I love it. LOL  I had a great week.  A little bit rough, but really good. We teach all day, everyday.  Because I teach the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the First Vision and the story of Joseph Smith so much, I have been surprised how much my testimony of theses things and people has grown.  Halimbawa, Alam ko na si Joseph Smith totoo propeta tinatawag ng Diyos.  "For example, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God are true."  I know Joseph Smith truly was called by God, and he really is a prophet! This isn't some made up story that we share to make people feel good.  It isn't some great big lie that we, as idiots, all believe. It's true. It's real.  It's a fact that is just as undeniable by me as the fact that the world is round and the sun sets and rises.  It just... is.  God doesn't change. He's our Father. He loves us.  Why would he call prophets only during biblical times and then just leave us to wander around confused? How do you know what's true and what's not? Pray about it! God is our literal Father. Our Daddy.  Why would any Father withhold truth that would help his children learn? Answer: He wouldn't. I know, through personal answers from God, that Joseph Smith is a real and true prophet. He did restore the Gospel. He really did translate the Book of Mormon.  It just is.  Katotohanan.  Reality.

Sometimes it's hard, because I know this is true, and a good amount of people use their agency to reject it.  That's their choice.  I feel so responsible for all the people here.  Someone (I don't remember who) told me that my assigned area is literally Heavenly Father giving me responsibility over these specific children of His. I love it, and also am overwhelmed by it.  

I tried really hard to respond as Christ would respond this week.  Just being Christlike and remembering that Jesus Christ never asks WHY.  Why did you do that!? That's gross, wrong, evil whatever... he always opened His arms and accepted THEM. Not their wrong doings, but he accepted them. And forgave them. He let them go clean.

So  I worked to not ask WHY when people told me how they failed to keep commitments that week. I worked to accept and love them anyway, tell them that it was wrong, and give them a new direction.

I think I already said this, but I did not think about or even realize that I would be playing a role in other peoples repentance. It didn't even cross my mind. With our investigator, the one with the smoking addiction, we have be helping him overcome that the last several weeks. At one point I thought to myself and later told my companion "What are we doing!? I am a 19 year old kid, helping a 50+ year old man overcome smoking! And I'M holding him accountable? What is this? He asks me for advice, and seeks OUR counsel!? What is going on? How does a 19 year old American girl help a 50+ year old Filippino man overcome an adiction!?" I was shocked.  I was shocked by my own calling! But I was reminded of the fact that a true Prophet of God, someone I sustain as a prophet, seer and revelator, called me.  He called me to the Philippines. That's not a joke, or a fake call.  It's real.  God wants me. There is great power in that knowledge.

Even if it was a crazy week, filled with dissapointments, it was also so great.  I loved it.

I miss you all.  I miss home. But I love it here! And I am so grateful for this chance to be here. I love you!

Sister Teal Zimms

Teal & Sister Dacalcap riding inside a tricycle (motorcycle with a side car)

View from inside the trike looking out-she says it's scary fast!

Family home evening with a family in their 1 room house

Sister Havili from Tonga & Teal, they were companions for the day in Cavite City while on missionary splits

Monday, November 2, 2015

All Saint's Day festivities

​Magandang umaga po! Kamusta po kayo? Good morning! How are you?

Sister Zimmerman, her kasama Sister Dacalcap, Sister Devi from Fiji & Sister Manzano

This last week was a lot of things.  I was feeling really out of place, and a little scared and overwhelmed when I first got here.  Last week was rough.  But this week I tried really hard to forget how much I miss home and family, and forget about all the things I want and do the things the LORD wants.  He wants me to be happy, but He also wants me here right now. I had to learn that both of those things can and are the same. It was difficult to learn, but I am getting there.  I still love being here, and I love the Philippines.  It really is such a cool place to live and be!  There's SO many people!  Last night I wanted to see the All Saint's Day festivities so my kasama (companion) took me to the graveyard and I got to see!  I didn't take any pictures because it felt really disrespectful to do that, but it was literally a HUGE graveyard that reminded me of a neighborhood.  Remember the colorful houses in the movie Edward Scissorhands?  That's what it's like. Except with a bunch of concrete coffins and mausoleums.  They light candles at the graves of all their ancestors and  then just chill out and have a BBQ right there.  Eating food, talking with the people in the next "house".  It's like a concert because they also have SUPER loud music playing.  It was awesome.

Scene from the movie Edward Scissorhands

We taught a lot of lessons this week.  One gentleman in particular, Tatay Molina (Tatay means father, but you call everyone who is older Tatay or Nanay and then their last name. Nanay is mother.) Tatay Molina wants to be baptized, and has accepted almost everything we teach.  He is a perfect investigator, except he has a smoking problem.  We text him everyday, and check up on his progress.  We teach him a lot as well! I feel like we are helping him overcome his addiction because he no longer is looking so discouraged and upset. But he says he is determined and ready to stop... tomorrow. And still smokes 2 sticks a day. (They call them sticks here). It's frustrating.  We haven't given up on him yet, and I know the Lord is working on him. So I continue to pray for him because I know he can do this. He wants to follow Jesus Christ so badly and wants to be baptized! And his whole family will be baptized as well, but they won't unless/until Tatay is baptized first. I don't know why.

Sister Dacalcap, Teal's kasama

At a member's home

I have truly been growing so much closer to my Heavenly Father.  Imagine this: You are in a foreign country. You don't speak the language. You are put in an apartment with 2 Philippina's and 1 Fijian.  They speak broken English. You don't understand the currency. It's loud, everywhere. The smells are nasty. You smell fish, excrement, and rot everywhere and it's overpowering. You don't know a single soul for at least 50 miles.  You understand NOTHING. That's how I felt last week. I cried a couple times. It was hard.  BUT.  A HUGE STOPPING BUT: I knew someone who was going to hear me no matter where I was. Someone who knew me perfectly! My Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I had that hit me like a ton of bricks because I feeling so sorry for myself that I forgot to remember the God who is my purpose for even being here.  I felt SO much better after I prayed. I really truly felt like Heavenly Father was standing or kneeling next me and had His arm around me. It was really a special moment. I've felt that a lot this past week.  Like He has His arm around me, and is pushing me forward, but also supporting me upward.  *Mom note: She doesn't mention it here, but I know it would add to my stress if I was in her shoes...there is no shower in her apartment, she is lucky she has a toilet most people don't have one...but no shower would make me cry.  They have a bucket and a ladle. So next time you take a hot shower or throw your clothes in the washing machine think of Teal and send a little prayer her way, this is a big adjustment.*

I love my Heavenly Father so much. I know He loves us so much, and takes care of us! He wants us to be happy! He trusts me, and wants me to help Him make His other children happy! The people here in the Philippines are ready for the gospel. Not all accept right now. Some people laugh at us and what we share, but I know Heavenly Father still loves them and so we share and leave.  But always do we love these people. I love them because God loves them. and because I love them.

The gospel is true! Jesus loves you!
Have a safe and WONDERFUL week!

I love you family! 
With her house mates

Sister Teal 

Monday, October 26, 2015

I get stared at a lot

Dear Family and friends,

I arrived in the Philippines on SATURDAY, so I have been here for a week and a day.  I arrived in my mission field on WEDNESDAY, and it has been crazy ever since.  I got to the Cavite mission office early in the morning and then we had more classes! We were instructed on more practical side of things like money, bills, food and clean water.  Then we went across the street to the ward building and went upstairs (they are all 2 story ward buildings) and I met my new companion! Her name is Sister Dacalcap! She's a Philipina which has made everything so much easier.  She is so very sweet and helpful.  I also really love my house mates. They are so sweet! Sister Marano is Philipina and Sister Devi is from Fiji. There is a really interesting blend of people here.  From all over the world.

Everyday, IS HOT. No Air Con in any buildings, so I sweat lahat araw, every araw (all day, every day).  It's fine.  Everyone has electric fans here, which makes the greatest difference! I bought am umbrella as well which also helps.  When you send me a care package, if you ever do, PLEASE SEND LEMON BUG SPRAY! The one Dad has.  They don't have it here. In fact, I have yet to see bug spray.  I bought a bug repellent lotion stuff that kind of works.  Anyway it looks like I have chicken pox on my legs because I am being eaten by mosquitoes.

We ride tricycles everywhere, which I don't have a picture of because I have yet to talk a lot of pictures. But they are essentially just a motorcycle with a little carriage on the side.  I don't ride jeepney's that often.

My first area here is Novelta! Sister Dacalcap and I are Noveleta area A.  We are in Novelta ward. The other 2 sisters are Noveleta B and are also in our ward. 

I get stared at a lot. We walk down the street and everyone stares.  I haven't seen another white person here yet.  I saw them in Manilla, but not here.  It's totally fine, I love these people, but they do stare.  They call me beautiful and say I look like a barbie doll.  But that also I am fat. Hindi ko alam.  I don't take it personally.  It's strange. (*note* According to Scott's Philippine coworkers being "fat" means you are an affluent-you have enough money to buy food, clothes etc. and when his coworkers go home their family call them "fat like an American" too)  

I like teaching. It's hard, but I like it.  It's harder to focus because I don't know what everyones saying but  when I really take time to listen, and hear them and help them, it's a really cool experience.  On Saturday, Sister Dacalcap and I were tracting and we stopped and talked to this woman who agreed to hear our message.  More of her family came out and joined us.  After reviewing the Restoration lesson, we asked them to baptized and all 3 of them said yes.  COOLEST MOMENT EVER.

It is hard to see the extreme poverty here.  These people have absolutely nothing, but what the create with what they have is amazing.  They make the most of everything.  It's not much, but it's something.   And they are so kind and willing to share.  Truly, all of them are prepared to hear the gospel.  They already have developed many Christlike attributes, now they just need the keys and way.

I miss you all so much! It's so hard to be away from you.  But my period to be here is very short.  I don't have a lot of time to share and serve here, so I have to make the most of it! I've already been out for almost 2 months! It'll be 2 months on November 2!  THAT is scary! 16 months left! So much to learn and do and so little time. 

I love you all!  I miss you!
Have a great week!

Sister Zimmerman 

*Note from Mom*

In a separate email she responded about the typhoon and with a typical Florida attitude she said it was just like a hurricane; wind and rain, rain, rain. So that's Teal...her mission is so much more exciting and cool (3 people she taught want to be baptized her FIRST WEEK) it was not even worth the mention.  :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Here is What I Know-She is on an Adventure!

This is Teal's Mom.  A lot of people have been asking me if I have heard from her yet and I understand their concern so let me see if I can help ease everyone's nerves.  So, here is what I do know.

She did arrive in the Manila MTC in the very early hours Saturday, essentially the middle of the night. They got to sleep in, had a rice, meat & veggie dish for breakfast which she said was an odd breakfast but very yummy.  She was very excited to be at the Manila MTC and told me how much she loved it already and how nice everyone was. This was from a quick email she sent me on Saturday.

I also know from her previous schedule that the beginning of this week the plan was for her and the others to take care/finalize immigration etc and training and by Wednesday she would be heading to Cavite, her mission.

Now, we all know that Sunday a typhoon rolled across Luzon and changed a lot of plans. Did that changed Teal's plans? I don't know.  From the news reports I've read it sounds like most of the the severe damage was north of Manila, but does that mean that the government offices were open for immigration and visa? Or do they just take this in stride and keep on keeping on? Or was the flooding in Manila bad enough that it closed down? (One report I read said that the streets were closed to all but military and heavy equipment)  I do know that I lot of local people have been evacuated and so the government is focused on shelter, water & food.  I'm also willing to bet that power and internet are spotty or non-exsistant and not as high on the priority list as shelter, water, and food. 

She might very well be out there doing service work helping to clear, clean, feed, or serve in some way.  Whatever she is doing I'm sure she will have a "tale or two to tell" when she does get back online. From the very beginning of her deciding to serve a mission I've pictured her as Bilbo running with her mission call in her hand saying "I'm going on an adventure!" 

And as one last bit of comfort...the Manila MTC is a nice sturdy building.  It's not a grass hut on the beach or something.  They are prepared for this type of weather, they are prepared to take care of large groups of people.  Here is a link and they have a picture gallery on the page.  Take a look, it will make you feel better if you have a worried "mom" heart like me.

Teal's next Pday is Monday and I bet I'll be posting something from her by then.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"That was the coolest thing ever!"

Kamusta mga pamilya at friend!

I have had SUCH an amazing week!  Last Sunday we had a special devotional and guess who came!?  BYU Vocal Point!  It was so awesome!  Youtube Vocal Point-Nearer My God To Thee
They sang that song and several others and it was so good! I felt the Spirit so strong, plus got to enjoy some cute guys singing beautiful hymns.  A great Sunday.  Tuesday evening we had devotional again and it was Linda K. Burton who is the General Relief Society President and her talk was amazing! But even more so was the MTC Choir (Which I am in!!) and we sang an arrangement of Sweet Hour of Prayer.  THAT brought SUCH an amazing spirit to the whole evening.  I almost cried over it.

SATURDAY- TODAY.  I have SUCH A COOL STORY IT LITERALLY MAKES ME SMILE SO MUCH!   About 30 mins ago, my companion and I were walking out of the Provo UT Temple and we saw this group of young adults who were sitting outside the Temple on the steps, just talking.  My kasama and I had a REALLY strong prompting to go talk to them, and so we both stopped and shook their hands and got to know them.  They were really surprised that we had stopped because "we look so scary!" referring to their numerous tattoos.  We told them that we didn't think they were scary and introduced ourselves.  We then asked them if they were members and they said no, we asked if they were familiar with our church, and they said they had grown up here.  We then asked if they had any questions that we could answer about us and they all got a little awkward and then this one young man named Russell said that he had a question about pre-earth life and agency.  We got to help him understand that and we explained agency and individual worth (because he struggled with that). He then started asking us about prayer, and said he thought it was selfish to have to depend on something divine to help you with every little thing. He said it was just like depending on your parents to give you everything, and he said he thinks you should work and try for yourself.  Then I looked at him and asked him if he had ever prayed and given gratitude, and expressed feelings of thanks.  He said he was atheist, but that he thought gratitude was important in general and that he expresses it in meditation. Anyway, there was a lot more to this whole exchange, but I am running out of email time.  It was such a cool experience! We committed them to pray tonight, and we taught them how.  And then we prayed with them, and thanked God for them and thanked Him for the opportunity to speak with His wonderful sons and daughter. They all said they would pray tonight, and really try. It was a really cool experience.  They were giggling at us, and kinda making fun, but they seemed to have legit questions and were serious in their responses.  As we walked away we heard Russell say "That was the coolest thing ever!" and we smiled and kept going. It was such an amazing thing.  I felt the Spirit, and if I felt it, they had to as well.

I LOVE being a missionary for the Lord.  I know the church is true! I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that all of you are children of God, and that He knows you personally, by name, and cares about you.

Being a missionary is the single greatest experience of my life thus far, and I know it's only going to get better.  I love Jesus Christ.  I love my God, Heavenly Father.  I love the prophet, Thomas S. Monson.   I know with all my heart that I am doing the Lord's work, and that is why I am feeling successful.

Have a great week!  PRAY OFTEN! EVERYDAY!  Read the Book of Mormon.  Do those simple things, and I promise you will feel an increase of love and peace and happiness in your daily lives.

The next time you hear from me, I will be in the Philippines.  I have 5 days in the Manila MTC, and then I am OUT in the field! Not literally a field, but my mission area.  Which could be field but I kinda doubt it.  I love you all!

See you in the Philippines!

Sister Zimmerman

Teal & Vanessa (a friend from her YSA branch) at the MTC

Trying on her Kasama's glasses