Saturday, September 26, 2015

We weren't called to preach in Inggles

Hello family and friend outside the MTC!

My weeks are the same every week, which can become boring if you let it.  If you are feeling the Spirit, and letting Him teach you, then you  shouldn't be getting bored.  I have gotten bored a couple times, but really I am too busy learning to get that bored.

This week was grammar crazy. So was last week, but this week was a more difficult level of Tagalog grammar.  We teach our teachers nearly everyday, and they act like an investigator that they actually taught in the Philippines.  Brother Glen is Jay-Jay and Sister Brock is Lydia.  I do not like to teach Sister Brock.  As a person, I love her.  She's super sweet.  She's a little will-o-wisp of a person with thin blonde hair.  She's short and tiny and never speaks above a whisper. She's SO sweet.  But her teaching is ROUGH.  She demands a lot, which is great.  But I have a hard time understanding her.  And teaching her as Lydia is hard because Lydia is a rough investigator.  Brother Glen is who I am more comfortable with.  We taught Him yesterday and I didn't use any notes or Tagalog language guides (which is basically a book that gives you full sentences to say in a lesson) and it was the best lesson ever.  We really got to focus on Jay-Jay and help him with his needs.  Later, when Brother Glen was our teacher again, he said that it was really cool, as a teacher, to see us do that, and that it was the best lesson we have ever given.  He told me that I totally crushed it, and that I did really great. I was SO happy!  It was a really big accomplishment for me and my kasama because we went off just the Tagalog we know, which isn't a lot, and we were able to clearly teach and focus on needs of that person.

I am learning a lot about how to teach here.  And then I am reminded that I am not the teacher, the Spirit is.  Coming out on a mission is the greatest thing I have done in my entire life.  I cry a lot.  A couple times a week.  Sometimes it's out of frustration, sometimes it's because I miss my family (A LOT), sometimes I just feel the Spirit so strongly. For example, my very first time teaching (remember that, last year? LOL), I remember I bore my testimony in Tagalog, aloud, for the first time and I really meant it.  I felt such a power, that I can't even describe it.  I felt a STRONG confirmation that I am speaking the language God wanted me to be speaking. Brother Glen said that we weren't called to preach in Inggles (English), we are called to preach in Tagalog, and that is where our power lies.  I am SO ready to teach!  It's hard. Oh man, is it. But I love it.  It's the kind of hard that instead of making me want to give up, roll over and do something EASY, it makes me want to keep going.  I know something so sweet is waiting for me at the end of this hardship.  I don't know specifically what it is, but I know it will be great.

So, funny language story now. ​ You say things backwards, yeah it's crazy. If you want to say "I know" Alam ko you are saying "know I".  It's literally how Yoda talks. Also, my teachers said that the Ewaks in Star Wars are speaking Tagalog.  They are apparently just saying 'I'm going to kill you' over and over LOL Something like that.  Weird huh?

I'll try and send pictures next week.  My camera sucks, so I don't use it because it makes me mad, but I'll actually take pictures this week and send them.  

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!  Send me real mail.  When I get mail all the week long and it makes me happy.  So far, only Auntie Liz and Mommy love me enough.  So, they are basically my favorite people haha :-)

I love you all.  I miss you.  It's so hard to be apart, but I am 100% sure in the knowledge that our family relationships and friendships will be SO MUCH STRONGER because of it.  I am so very very sure of it.

Have a great week, and I love you lots!

Love.
Sister Teal Zimmerman 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fed With a Fire Hose

Hey everyone!  It's been a crazy week. SO HARD! But I am having such a blast here.  I really really love the MTC! It's so fun!  I am learning SO MUCH!  You are forced to learn so much so quickly. My Branch President here in the MTC says the we get fed with a fire hose here.. and oh boy it is so true.  You get language thrown at you from day one. I have been teaching Tagalog ONLY since my second day and now I teach 1-3 times daily in Tagalog only.

So,yeah the MTC is hard. But that's not the only point of it.  It's not meant to just stress you out and make you feel scared.  It makes you stretch. Stretching can be uncomfortable, and feel weird, but it's truly for your benefit. 

If you are thinking about serving a mission, DO IT.  It's worth it. I know it, and it's only been 2 and a half weeks! I love being a missionary.  This is the greatest decision I have ever made, and I know that it's blessing me now and will bless me for the rest of my life. I love Jesus Christ.  I love Him, and I know He lives.  This church is true guys.  It really is.  I know it is because it holds the plan of happiness for God's children, and guess what, you're one of God's children.  I know that this is the ONLY true church, that God loves me and that He loves you.  I know that following the pattern of living that Jesus Christ lived will only bring happiness, peace and fulfillment. I thank my Heavenly Father for letting me come here! He helps me everyday that I am here! I can feel the blessings flowing freely in my life!  

It feels so weird to speak English now, and even weirder to share my testimony in English because I only do it in Tagalog now. I am TERRIBLE at spelling now!  I used to be good, but now Tagalog has messed with my English so much, that I have no idea whats going on ever haha  I have had to really rely on the Lord for that and many other purposes.  It's very humbling.  I can't do much, but with the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, I can literally do anything.  I will learn Tagalog.  I don't how, but someway, somehow, Heavenly Father has it planned out for me and I know I will have all kinds of heavenly help.

Thank you to those who have written me!  I have to say, I would really love if people sent postcards or letters when I'm in the MTC because it's dang hard to find time to write emails in the 1 hour I have.  (Mom here...I think what she is trying to say is she has more time to write snail mail than to reply to email)
Love you all! Write to me! I love it. I'm starting to become known as the Sister that gets all the mail.  Everyone thinks I have lots of boyfriends back home, and I have no reason to tell them otherwise ;-)

Stay safe, remember God loves you even when you don't love Him (even though you should) and that the Gospel is true.

Love,
Sister Zimmerman  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hey guys!

How weird to say hey guys. We aren't allowed to say dude, guys, girl, etc. Only Hey Elders! Or Hey Sisters! I'm constantly called Sister.  Excuse me Sister, and After you Sister!  It's interesting. I'm already used to wearing my name tag.  I love it.  The Missionary Training Center is difficult, but I really love it. Tagalog is really hard.  This week we talked about Mag Verbs and I Verbs which is confusing, but it's basically how you make a conjugation. Then we talked about Basic Tagalog Sentence structure.  The structure is Verb, Actor, Object and Location. So saying  The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored would be Restored Jesus Christ the Gospel.  It's confusing. I'm really loving the MTC though.

I love my companion and district. It's hard because we study ALL DAY EVERY DAY.
My testimony that Ama sa Langit loves His missionaries is growing really strongly. I feel the Spirit everyday, and I feel Diyos influence often.  It's an incredibly weird but wonderful feeling here. We all feel like we are on some alien planet because.. well.. it's strange. The MTC is a really special place where we can learn and grow together, in a safe yet uncomfortable atmosphere.
I love you all! Have a great week!  Send me mail! Dear Elder, MTC Delivery, etc.  It makes my days brighter and I get those everyday if you send them. They print them out and bring them to my classroom.

I love you! I think of you guys all the time. It's not distracting, but more comforting. I love knowing that even though I feel cut off and I'm struggling, I have this huge wonderful support system.
I miss my fat cat and snuggly dog. They don't support me, but I miss them haha

I love you! 

Love,
 Sister Zimmerman



Saturday, September 5, 2015

At the MTC (Missionary Training Center)

Dearest pamilya,

My first few days in the MTC have already passed!  It's Saturday morning, but I feel like I've been here for weeks and weeks.  Each day feels like it flys by, but lasts an eternity.

My first day, I was rushed around to every where, given at least 25 pounds in books and study materials.  Afterwards, I dropped off my luggage in my residence, and then my host dropped me off in class.  No one told me that our teacher would ONLY speak Tagalog!  But he does.  He teaches in Tagalog, answers questions in Tagalog, and only says a word or two in Inggles to give us clues as to what he is saying.  It was SUPER overwhelming.  Something is happening every hour, and I always have somewhere to be, or something to do.

It's hard.  It's very hard. When I would read missionaries emails, and they would say it was hard, I would think "Oh come on, stop complaining!" But I have been humbled.  I now KNOW how hard it is.  But I now know how wonderful and fun it is as well. After I got dropped into a Tagalog speaking only class, where you have to ask in Tagalog if you can speak Inggles, I was introduced to my companion Sister Seuryrnck (said like Sir-rink).  She's super awesome!  I love her already.  She wants to stay on task and be perpekto obedient missionaries, which I what I want as well.  Because selective obedience brings selective blessings.

Yesterday, we taught our first investigator!  Only, we were only allowed to teach in Tagalog. THAT was so HARD!  It is so frustrating because I couldn't understand her, except for paano, which means how.  So I knew she was asking, How? But I couldn't understand how to reply.  I said pananampaletya (faith), and Jesucristo (Jesus Christ) and a few other words, but it was difficult.  It was a really great learning experience though.  Sister Seuryrnck and I really felt the Spirit, and we learned a lot from that experience.

I am really enjoying the MTC.  Everyone is in the same boat, and we all support each other.  There are 6 Elder's and then me and my Comp in my District, and we have the best district in the WORLD.  The Elder's are goofy, but SUPER focused, and they are already really good at Tagalog.  I'm learning to really appreciate the Priesthood here.  Theses Elder's are amazing, and they are like brothers to me.

I really love being out on my mission.  The language is hard, but it's also really fun.
I can't wait to get to the Philippines!

Love, 

Sister Zimmerman