Monday, March 21, 2016

Easter Traditions

Dear family,

Magandang araw sa inyo lahat!  Good day to you all!

I have very little time again. Today we have a district activity and we have permission to watch DISNEY MOVIES! I think we might even get to watch Hotel Translvania 2.  I don't know, but I can hope!!

So, Mom you were asking about Easter celebrations over here. Oh. My. Gosh.  There are giant, creepy, life-size saints on giant parade floats everywhere. CREEPY.  The saints creep me out, they have real, donated, human hair and creepy eyes that often have blood dripping.  Especially this black saint with long hair, carrying a gold cross.  He's bleeding, but he's not supposed to be Christ.  I'm not sure who he represents. It's really loud here.  All the churches are playing weird moaning music.  It's someone singing a prayer and it sounds like moaning.  Creepy.  I don't like it.  Yesterday was Palm Sunday and so everyone was walking around with palm leaves and sticks and pictures of saints.  Then the Catholic Church (the really big local one) started ringing it's bells and playing loud music.  This week is called Holy Week.  Apparently everything is going to shut down and stayed closed Thursday-Sunday.   So I have to stock the house with food.  I am really excited to celebrate Easter, but I don't know whats going to happen.  Probably nothing.  Is it this Sunday?  I don't even know when it is.  Easter is mostly a religious thing here, and not a family, dinner, and candy thing.  Maybe we will eat.  I might end up just inviting ourselves over to bishop's house. No one feeds us unless we invite ourselves. Haha  Once we do they are happy to have us. I think they believe the missionaries are doing their own thing and have plans and so they don't ask us...except no does and we are hungry! Hahaha  Anyway, I'm going to miss ham, potatoes and everything else. I miss American food. 

As I am watching the local traditions celebrating the life of Christ and I think of my own family traditions and the teachings of our Church I think of what a beautiful message the gospel is and specifically Easter.  It is a time for us to remember all that Jesus has done for us and how very much He loves us. Each of us individually! Because of Him we will all live again. Because of Him we can live eternally with our families. Because of Him! What can be greater? Family is forever! What a marvelous gift we have because of Him.  Like Elder Holland said, because Christ walked that long, lonely, path alone....we don't have to. He will not leave us. May we have the continued courage to stand with Him "at all times and in all places" because it is my testimony that this gospel, His gospel, is true.  That Jesus Christ lives!  He offered Himself as a sacrifice for all mankind and best and most glorious of all He rose again on the 3rd day!  All the blessings we have are because of Him and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have the chance to be a missionary, a representative of Christ and to share His gospel with the beautiful people here in the Philippines. I truly love being here! 

I'm excited about General Conference coming up, but we get everything a week later here. I'm not sure why.  So even though Women's Conference is this weekend I won't see it until next weekend while you are watching the main conference.  Then the following weekend we will get to watch the General Conference sessions. 

I lost the cord to my camera so I don't have any pictures this week. I'll buy another at the big super mall (they literally have EVERYTHING) and then send you pictures next week.

I am feeling better this week, just tired and sore, but I am out working again so I'm happy.  Thank you everyone for your prayers! 

Ingot palagi! MAHAL KITA LAHAT  Always take care! LOVE YOU ALL

Love Sister Zimmerman

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