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)