Tuesday, March 7, 2017

7 Things I Learned

Hey everyone!

This will be my last post on this blog! I am ending it here! Making this the final entry to say.

I AM HOME! I made it all the way back to my family.  Despite trial, despite joy.  Everyone says it, but really a mission goes by in the blink of an eye.  Somedays it felt like my weeks were never going to end and were endlessly dragging on and never going to come to a close. Somedays felt like my time was FLYING and I felt almost cheated out of my time in the mission.

Overall I can say that my mission was the best 18 months of my life SO FAR.
I recently read somewhere that we shouldn't think of going home from missions as "dying" like so many missionaries do. It's not the end of the only good times in our lives.  I read that we should remember that it is just a springboard that is there to help us continue doing what we are supposed to be doing.

I learned so much on mission. More than I could ever write in one post. More than I could ever really express. But I hope to always remember these things.  Because I feel like I came home a different person.  So even though I cannot really express it all, I'll share a list of 7 things I have learned, and how it applied in mission life and how I think it applies now that I am done.

1. Just because it is different, does not mean it is wrong. 

If your family sees something in a different way, that doesn't mean they are wrong. Or your friends, or your missionary companion.  My companions often saw things differently from me. I wanted to go left, they wanted to straight. Then we both decide to choose the right ;-) In all seriousness, I learned that I don't always HAVE to be right.  I learned that my way is not the only way. Other people see things in the context of their own understanding and experience and it takes a mature companion to see that, respect that and allow others the chance to make decisions. Another persons ideas are not incorrect or dumb to them. So if I disagreed, I still wanted to listen. Because their idea makes sense to them, even if it doesn't to me.

2.  Learning to be a good leader is learning to be a good follower.

This goes along with the first thing I learned. Let your companion make some decisions day to day sometimes- and don't complain and THEN follow them. Just do it happily. Same thing goes with family, spouse and friends.  It's just about being humble.  This principle helped me to avoid a lot of potential fights or contention with my companions.  Oh, and don't boss people around.  If your companion refuses to follow you, then pray and choose the better part. Choose to seek help from your leaders, and talk it out.

3.  There is better help found in my scriptures than on Google.

If I have a question or seriously need help, I felt better when I SERIOUSLY searched the scriptures. Looking on the internet for lasting happiness and peace (like those 21 Ways to Be Happier! blog posts) was never a lasting thing for me. Searching my scriptures gave me a LOT more comfort and it lasted a LOT longer.

4.  Kneeling prayers are better.

Sitting or laying down in bed lacks power.  Its a simple act, but saying a simple prayer while kneeling next to your bed helped me a)stay awake and b)feel the Spirit.

5.  Don't think you know everything, because you actually know nothing.

I entered the mission field thinking 'ay man I got this! This is easy!' The MTC helps a lot guys but it does not at all prepare you for most of what you'll experience because your mission experience is unique to YOU and YOUR trainer. Be thou humble and the Lord will lead you... ;-)
That was my experience. And it was very humbling. I know that will definately help me a lot in the future- I realize now how much I need to rely on the Lord in situations where I am completely new or  struggling.


6.  Speak up, speak out, share how you feel.

I learned how to communicate better. Especially from my last companion in the mission field. She taught me how to better speak my heart.  I learned that keeping problems bottled up inside and not sharing things that bothered me, or personal growth struggles, or contention or whatever IS NOT HEALTHY and WILL NOT GO AWAY.  The best possible feeling in the world is when you open up to your companion and share everything calmly, lovingly, and with the Spirit. The Holy Ghost will guide your words and help you to fix every problem.


7.  Happiness really is a choice.

Depression is a real thing, but for people who are not affect by the clinical form of this, happiness is a choice. Latter-day Saints have the best reasons to smile every. day. And so I learned on my mission that even on days when it was HOT and people yelled at us or threw stuff at us or shut us out of their homes and neighborhoods, I could still smile. I could still be happy.
Even when I lived with people I did not enjoy, I could still be happy. Heavenly Father blesses us with joy when we desire it.




So there is more but those are some of the big ones. I am so grateful that I served my mission. It strengthened my testimony, but strengthened my soul, my heart. It taught me so much about life and myself. It most importantly taught me about Jesus Christ. About HIS life and His ministry. Because of what I have experienced in the Philippines, I cannot deny the Living Christ. That Jesus is the Christ. That He lives, and He is always there. I cannot deny my living and loving Heavenly Father. I found them when I was serving.
I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  It is the only way to be happy.
I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is  the only true and living Church of Christ. I know it and believe it with all my heart.  This is Christ's church.

My life will never be the same. I can never go back to who I was and what I used to do because I have changed into someone better. That is the purpose in our lives after all, to grow and change and become better.
Thank you for reading my blog and sending my emails! I appreciated it so much. I loved sharing my journey and life with you here.  I enjoyed writing this email to home each week to share. I wish all of you the very best always!

Love you all always!

Love,
Sister Teal Zimmerman



NEW BLOG!
I have started a NEW BLOG that I will update regularly as a new returned missionary "RM".
Check it out guys!

Life After the Mission


It says Cavite RM Zimmerman ;-)







Thursday, February 23, 2017

My last email

Dear family,

Only one picture today. Next week na lang!

OH OH OH I go to the Temple TOMORROW because the Temple is closed on the Tuesday they were planning to take us. SO I GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE TOMORROW AND I WILL TAKE PICTURES AND SHOW YOU IN PERSON IN ONLY A FEW DAYS.

I am super excited for the baptism this weekend. I prayed so hard to have at least ONE MORE in the mission. I rememeber saying to Sister Miranda, my last companion, that I really wanted one on the 25th of February .. and look! It happened. How awesome! Heavenly Father really hears and answers prayers. 

Have a wonderful week!  I love you all!  I will see most of you next week. Enjoy the ending of February. Pray for me to travel safely on the way back!  It's a long flight.  Just pray I won't die or get sick. 

Love you! 

Love,
Sister Zimmerman 

Sisters Makihele,  Zimmerman & Gabalfin

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2 Weeks!

Hey family,

This week was great. It feels so crazy right now! I cannot believe how fast these last few weeks have gone by! I cannot wait to see you all!

This week was great because we taught our baptismal candidate. We are so blessed to be baptizing someone on the 25th of February. I cannot wait! The 25th is my last Saturday in the field. How crazy! And wonderful.

I don't have a lot to say this week other than I know God lives. I love my Heavenly Father, and I know He lives. I know His plan for us all is sure. It is 100% sure, and has no clause, no failure or imperfection. We can from this God. This Father. He sent us here, to learn and grow. To test us to see if we would always choose Him even when we cannot see the kingdoms and glory He wants to bless us with.  Life is hard, I know that is true. But I also know it is short. 

My testimony is that God lives. Again and again, I will share that testimony. He Lives! I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His church.


I love you all, and I cannot wait to hold you and love you in person.

Take care always

Love,
Sister SUPERMAN <3

Pictures of Valentines day- YAY! We had chocolate shakes
 for lunch and pizza for dinner- YUM 



Thursday, February 9, 2017

PICTURES PA MORE

Dear family,

A short email today!

 I had a wonderful week. Last Thursday we went to Tagaytay and saw amazing fog! haha It was just like in San Francisco. Cold! And fog! But we got to travel up the mountainside in a tricycle. It was magical. haha

I am having a really good time! Me and Sister Makihele are teaching up a storm! We have so many people to talk to and people to find! We are loving life. 

My days are dwindling down and becoming fast paced. I feel like it was just pday, and now we are already here again emailing you! I am so excited to see you all again! If you have any tips for me on the long flight ahead, shoot away! I hate long plane rides...

Love you all! Till next week again... <3

Love,
Sister Zimmerman 


All these selfies are in the tricylcle as we traveled up the mountain side. The trike had no window, no walls. It was just the little roof and then a bench. It was raining so we got wet, traveling up to Tagaytay! Crazy fun!! We laughed SO HARD! 


Sister Makihele & Sister Zimmerman



 Me and my companion,Sister Makihele and then one of the Elders from Pakistan. We were on a bus coming back from our district activity. 

 My companion braided my hair- Tongan style=SUPER TIGHT

 It looks better on her ;D haha

Kids of our investigators. They are so kind!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hey, Hey, It's Sister Z

Mabuhay! Kamusta po kayo? Mga pagmamahal kapatid, mahal ko kayo!
ay, baka mali ang Tagalog ko... Welcome! How are you? With love brothers, I love you all! Is maybe my Tagalog wrong... 
hehe

I am doing great. I feel so excited to see you all in a few weeks. I have only 3 pdays left after today to write to you. It is so very fast. I am realizing how grateful I truly am for all of my experiences here. The time to serve as a missionary is the greatest opportunity that I have ever accepted? or done? How do I even explain myself... I do not know. But this I do know that Jesus Christ lives. And my testimony is sure. The trials and the pain of separation, anxiety, and loneliness are all part of what I have experienced and overcome. I know now for myself that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know it. I feel it. I'm not brainwashed or forced. It just comes naturally to me, to testify. Because of all the things I have experienced, I feel it truly qualifies me to say that. But anyone, in any part of their life can feel and experience the love of our Savior, and then testify.

I am so glad I came on my mission. I don't regret it at all. I have a few weeks left. A handful of days. And I will just enjoy them and continue to adore this precious time that I have been given. Today will be a great day. I am so excited to keep working. 

Have a wonderful week,

I have 3 more emails for you from the field. 

Cherish every moment of your life. It goes so fast!

Love,
Sister Zimmerman


Sister Makihele & Sister Zimmerman both celebrated their birthdays 

The January birthday cake

Sisters Zimmerman & Makihele



Thursday, January 26, 2017

It's the Final Count Down!

Dear family,

The time is far spent and there are 4 weeks remaining! #NOTTRUNKY

But I am so excited to see you all soon! 

This week was great. I got to know my companion, Sister Makihele, and we got to know our area! It was such a blessing to get to know the area so fast! Heavenly Father is blessing us so much! I love my new companion, she is so hyper and wonderful and a great blessing to me.

We are working towards many new goals this week to make this week wonderful and amazing. As it comes to the end of my mission, I feel the excitement of going home, the push to get the work done and labor all the way! I love the Philippines so much. 

As each day passes, I get a little sadder because I know how much I truly will miss this beautiful country. I love it here.

I love you all! I cannot wait to see you! 4 weeks left!

Love,
Sister Zimmerman 


Sister Zimmerman

Sister Makihele

My companion is great! 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Last Transfer!

HEY EVERYONE!!!!!

This is the start of a fresh new transfer. My LAST transfer! And I transferred to a new area! And so did my new companion! That's right- we are SHOT GUNNING! (both missionaries are new to the area) WHOO! My companion is Sister Makihele, she is from Tonga! I am so excited to be in this new area! I transferred within the same city I was already living in, Dasmarinas Cavite. I'm even still in the same stake! My old area is so close.. but I am so happy! I don't have to really adjust because it's basically just across the street. That being said, it's still hard as a missionary because we don't know who we should be teaching!

I am happy as can be. And I cannot believe this is my last transfer. Words cannot even express myself right now.

It's crazy! But I know the church is true! I love my mission! I love, love, love my life right now! Going home... no! haha

Love you all! See ya around!


~Sister Zimmerman 

Sister Zimmerman & Sister Makihele

Transfer day at the mission home
(photo credit Elder & Sister Broadbent)

​​

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hey Howdy Hey I'm in Manila

Hi family!

I had a good week. 


Thats all.



Just kidding! But seriously, I don't know what to say sometimes in my emails. Of course I have very sacred and special experiences, but I don't share them all. I actually had a great trial this week. It caused me stress and tears. But this was also one of the most effective weeks I have had in a month. With many lessons taught and people contacted. It was wonderful. There is a purpose in every trial, and I am grateful for my broader perspective. Because of my mission, I can now see in perspective how bad things happen to good people ALL THE TIME and it doesn't last forever. Sometimes trials are long, but not forever. That much I now understand in my soon to be 21 years!

My birthday is Friday! 21 years young! Whoo hoo! Another birthday in the mission. And now I am excited to enjoy this birthday here, and then see my family again March 1st! #nottrunky 
:D Part of the trunky feeling comes when you go to Manila to get x-rayed. It means you are an outgoing missionary. How fun! haha

I love you all! I saw the Temple for the first time in 15 months. It's across the street from where I got my x-ray. I MISS IT. Soon... soon... 

Have a greater week! Keep on keeping on, keep your chin up. And if you aren't happy, repent today.

LOVE YOU 

Love,
Sister Zimmerman 




Sister Zimmerman at the Manila Temple



Manila Temple  
Sister Miranda & Sister Zimmerman 

Riding to Manila 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year

​HEY EVERYONE HAPPY NEW YEAR.  I didn't take any pictures because I am lame and lazy. 
Basta (just because...it's just like that), New Years was boring but great because everyday should be great and dandy! We had to go home early a bunch because it's dangerous to be out past 6pm during New Years DAW (it is said) and so we go home... and study and have fun that way. ^.^

I am so excited today because I received my flight plans to come home. NOT TRUNKY! But I am so excited to see all of you again! Christmas video call just made me realize how much I miss and love my family, and now just a few short weeks away from actually seeing them!! Whoo! It's exciting! 

I am so excited to start 2017. I can not believe I have been here in the Philippines for 16 months! It just blows my mind. Heavenly Father has truly gifted me with so much and gifted me this time. A time of struggle and hardship but also of joy and encouragement and fun and learning. I LOVE being a missionary. I don't suppose I can come home and visit and then just come back and be a missionary again? I would love that.

Happy New Year!  I'll see you all THIS YEAR. In just a few weeks. Keep being obedient and loving the Lord. He'll give us everything we need.


Love,
Sister Z 

Here are some pictures Teal sent last week that didn't get posted to the blog:




photo credit Str Speirs