Monday, July 8, 2013

July 1 2013 Letter

From Megan: Phew! We are finally caught up to the latest and greatest from our missionary!! I am waiting on her letter from today...

I entiled this email "in a flash" for two reasons. One I completed four months in the mission field this week. How crazy is that! also i will be writing this in email in a flash because my time is running short. this week has been a week of miracles. I dont know for sure that I saved Marco (thats his name) from committng suicide. I dont know if he was that close but I know we made a difference. the miracle is that we found him again!!! we were knocking doors and a family invited us in. We were sitting around the table talking and discussing the bible when the door to one of the roos opened and out walked Marco!! he had found  job the very same day that we had talked to him and is now staying in his fathers house which just so happens to be in our sector! his family are jehovah's witnesses but he doesnt agree with their beliefs. We will see where this goes but I dont believe in coincidences.

Also this week, we began to teach a boy named David. he is 16 and a friend of a member. We taught him the first lesson on friday and gave him a book of mormon and invited him to be baptized. He accepted!! Sunday, when we got to church, he was sitting outside the chapel waiting for us! He had arrived early to make sure that he kept his commitment to attend. In the period from friday to sunday, he had read Alma 32 and begun to read the BoM from the beginning and is now on page 30-something!!! How crazy is that!!!! He has all the right desires to learn more and find out for himself and more importantly than that, he is acting!! that is the hardest part but when the desires are right, the acting is easy.

I love you all very very very much!! The transfer ends this week and I will be getting a new companion. I know that because we had a problem with one of the young men in the ward and she has to leave. We will see what the Lord has in store!!

I promise that the next letter will be longer. I had some leaderish things I had to do this week.
¡¡¡Estoy enviando mucho cariño a cada uno de ustedes!! y muchos muchos abrasos!*
Hermana Zimmerman

*Spanish translation (provided by Mom/Coral): "I am sending lots of love to each one of you!!  And lots and lots of hugs!"

June 24 2013 Letter

Hey all!! Winter started this week so I decided that it wouldnt be weird if I listened to Christmas music. I cant even imagine listening to Christmas music in the middle of Summer but I am going to have to do it so there ya go. 

Time is flying so quickly. The next cambio(transfer) is July 3. I cant believe it is that time again already. Im not sure what will happen this time but we will see. 

This is literally the hardest thing I have ever done. It is so hard to go day to day and to watch door aftr door close in your face. The other day, an evangelical woman came out of her house and began to yell at us about how wrong we are and how we were going to be comdemned and the book of mormon was of the devil. I asked her if she had ever read it. She said yes and then continued to rail on it. Nothing she said was true. People believe the strangest things about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and none of it is true. That is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome, false beliefs. When people think that they know our religion better than we do and think they can convince us of something that they know nothing about, something that we are certified but Prophet of God to preach to them. We continued to try and reason with the woman but seeing that nothing we could say would change her mind (she was telling us how we worship the prophets of the old testament as well as Joseph Smith.that´s a new one) I looked at her and said. ¨Maam, we respect your beliefs. Here is our phone number, when you respect ours call us and we can talk again. Have  wonderful day." and turned to walk away, she yelled after us " God is with you!! Bless your efforts!!!" weirdest thing ever. Sometimes I think people just want to yell at someone so they pick the two gringas walking down the street in skirts. Oh well. 

The other day, we were walking past a park. I noticed a man sitting on a bench and had the impression to talk to him but didnt follow it. We passed him and continued on to look for a less active member that we didnt know. After we realised that she wasnt at home, I again had the impression to return and talk to the man. I approached him and extended my hand and said ¨"Hello Brother, how are you?" "Bad" he replied. He had tears in his eyes as he explained to us that he had been sitting in the park for three hours trying to decide what to do with his life. He had come on hard times and didnt know what to do with his. Life, he didnt have a job or a future. He had a baby daughter but was in the middle of a custidy battle for her and without a job didnt have a prayer of getting her. He was super depressed. He had no light in his eyes and was stooped over crying. I looked him right in the eyes, which made him sit up straighter (when people realize you take them seriously it gives them selfesteeem) and told him that there was a way to better his life. We talked for about an 45 minutes about what he could do to better his life, the employment center of the church that he could visit, and how spiritual progression and the atonement were the reason for this life. At the end of the conversation, his eyes were dry. He stood up with determination, with his head held high, and with a book of mormon in his hand, headed off to look for a job. The change in his countance was amazing. The literal change of light in his face was amazing. It felt so good to accomplish our purpose, to bring the light of Christ into the life of someone who really needed it. I was reminded that always in the scriptures, missionaries are refered to as the instruments and never the music in the hands of the Lord. That´s is what I am here to be. The instrument and never the music. It´s moments like that the make all the yelling little of lady´s worth it. 

I know the Lord is with me. I know his hand is in his work and thus I know that it will guide me. He wouldnt leave a work as important as the salvation of souls to someone as weak and incapable as me. This is his work and his glory. He is here with me. I can feel it. His sacrifice makes it all possible. One day, we will return to live with him again. I pray that I might be able to bring a few souls with me back into his presence. Thank you for your love and prayers on my behalf and for my companion and all the people we are working with. I see the fruits of those miracles everyday because I see miracles everyday. I love you all very much!!! 

Hermana Zimmerman

June 18 2013 Letter

from Megan: We didn't hear from Katie on the normal Monday, causing some concern, but here is the explanation!

Querida familia!!
My hands are frozen right now and it hurts a little bit to type because they are so cold. People lie. It is not warm and sunny here all the time. It is freezing and cold and there are days when we dont see the sun. Yesterday it got down to 0 degrees celcius (i think that is 32 farenheit). It was so cold!!!! but we have two heaters in our aparment so we are super toasty at night. It is awesome.

I got a surprise this week!! Birthday cards!! thank you thank you thank you!!!! They were all so sweet and cute. I loved it!! It was a great little bit of home to recieve. Thank you are all the well wishes and the prayers and support that I know you are all giving to me and my family as well. I love you all!!!

I am writing today (tuesday) because we had a zone conference yesterday and have our Pday today. The conference was amazing!! It is so good to all get together and find strength in one another and our efforts. We talked more about faith and miracles and courage. After the conference, we went out to work. We had so much excitement we could hardly stand it!! within half an hour, we had placed a baptismal date with a new investigator. And the rest of the day was just as awesome!!! at the end of the day, we didnt want to go home because we were having so much fun!! it was awesome!! I am already part of the council. We started doing that three months ago. As a leader, I am learning more from them than they are from me. The Lord truely calls those who need the most work to the callings in which they can learn.

I need you help with an investigator. Her name is Priscila. She is living with a member who is less active. She has a daughter and he has a son and three weeks ago she gave birth to their first son together. She has been take the lessons since 2011. The first time she took the lessons was with an Elder Roylance from Oregon (no idea if we are related). She knew in the first lesson that the church was true and that she needed to be baptized. The problem was that Rodrigo (her casi-husband) was married to someone else. This is a huge problem in Chile because divorces are long and expensive. It took two years to get the divorce. They got it last month. But now, they arent doing anything!! They have been waiting so long for the divorce that they hve just become accustomed to living together and now dont see why that have to have a peice of paper to make what they are already living official. She still knows the church is true. She bears her testimony everytime we visit. but she doesnt understand why she has to be married in order to be baptized. I have tried everything I can think of to try and explain it to her and I am out of ideas. I have taught all the doctrine I know of. We even set a goal with them to enter the temple together as a family and the last time we were there she prayed that they might be able to accomplish their goal. But, they still arent acting. By that I mean reading, praying when we arent their, building their faith and testimmonies, or attending church. I dont know what to do. HELP!!!
 I love you all!!!
Hermana Zimmerman

June 10 2013 Letter

This week was the hardest and the best by far. Last week in your metter, mom, you told me that Rachel Fine had Strep throat. This sparked something in my mind and I had the impression that I should be checked for strep throat. I did not however obey the prompting. The next day. I lost my voice. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and guess what?? I had strep throat. I lost my voice for 4 days and was ordered not to leave my house because I was contaigous. We were in the apartment for 2 days and were board out of our minds soooo... we learned to cook and finished the entirety of the first text book of the english missionary language course that my companion has to do to learn english in the field. When we finally began prostylting again, i still did not have a voice and my companion with all of her 3 weeks of experience had to do every contact and every lesson. She grew immensely. On the last day without a voice (thursday) President called me and officially extended the assignment to be the sister leader person ( i still dont know what it is officially called) and that I was expected to be in leadership council of the misson the next morning at 9:30. I accepted with what voice I had and prayed that I would have a voice the next day. I woke up the next morning with a very high pithed voice but, a voice!! I could talk!! We were in the training until 6:30 that night. It was a very long day. My companion was paired with the companion of another leader and set back to our area to the work for the day without me. She is learning very fast. The council was all about faith and miracles as well as other mission specific stuff but I those are the two things that stuck out to me. I realized that I have a lack of faith. I dont always believe that people are being prepared for us and I am used and numb now to rejection. When I got back to my area and my companion, we talked about it and decided to fast for more faith and passion for the work and love for the people. I rememebered a line in my partiarachal blessing that talks about the importance of loving the people. We did our fast and started working with more faith. (faith=belief+iniciative). Last night...we placed out first baptismal date with one of our investiagators and began teaching the rest of his family!! It was a miracle and we feel amazing. The truth is that this work is centered on love and an increase of love, both for the people and for the gospel. One of the doubts of our investigator (carlos) is that he smokes. I asked him why he smokes and he started in on this long reponse about smoking causes the same chemical resposes in the body as a feeling of love. When he finished I looked and him and said " then it sounds to me like you need more love in your life, not tabacco". He was silent for a minute and then said "yeah. I guess youre right. I could have the same feeling with more love." He is 20 and is familt is very close so we are working with the family to build that relationship up. It was an amazing week and a very hard week. But we continue and we will continue still!!!
 I love you all very much. Thank you for your prayers and love my way. I love you!!


Be good, do good, remember who you are. return with honor. 
No, Katie is not a giant, this is just a really small woman! The shortest woman she has found so far.

June 3 2013 Letter

This has been good and awful. Monday and Tuesday we had a good old fashioned south american rain storm. Houses were washed away, the streets turned to rivers and the sky was black for 48 hours. BUT we were in the streets working just the same!! Not one person accepted us into their home to teach. At the end of the day, we were soaked to the skin with water flowing down our faces but!! we were happy to be doing the work we were doing. We were singing the streets with smiles on our faces. 

The next two days, wednesday and thursday, we helped a family move. My companion and I along with one other sister in the ward and one priesthood brother were the only ones that showed up to help. The elders were there for a grand total of 30 minutes (they had a lot of appointments but did what they could). As a result, my companion and I moved the beds, the fridge, the stove, and just about everthing else. The sister who was moving ended up pay her neighbors to help us move the heaviest things. We were exhausted at the end of both days but still had to climb the 85 steps to our apartment (we live of the 7th floor and dont have an elevator) change our clothes and go back out into the streets to work. That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to make myself do. The next day, friday, the rain came back. We were so exhausted but still went out in the rain to work. Needless to say, I am now sick. I was in bed almost all day saturday but got up and went to church and worked all day yesterday. I do not have a voice today and all the pains of a cold and the flu are still here but I have my strength sooooo I am still working. My companion on the other hand is in perfect health!! She has all the light and fire of the work so I am not going to hold her back. I recieved a blessing from the bishop in which he told me that I would be given the power to do the work to which I was called so that is what I will do. 

We have some very wonderful people that we are teaching right now. One man, Carlos, contacted us! It was our first day so we were in the street knocking doors. We saw a man standing outside his house talking on his phone. We didnt want to interrupt him so we passed by and knocked the next door. We finished the street and he was still on his phone so we went to the next street. A few minutes later, he came up to us and asked us what we were doing. We told him that we were looking for people to teah about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He looked and us and said "Why didnt you talk to ME?" It kind of took me by surprise and I have been thinking about it a lot since then. Who are we to choose who we talk to? All are God`s chilren and all need to learn what we have to teach so why do who choose who we talk to my making up some excuse or other in our heads about why we shouldnt? I think people think missionaries are fearless and that sharing the gospel comes easily for us. It doesnt. It is still the scariest thing in the world to walk up to someone and say esensially "hey! i want to talk to you about god!" okay. not exactly that but pretty close. Its weird and awkward but we do it anyway because we know the value of the message we bring. The gospel is literally eternity changing. More than just life changing. I am honor and humbled to be able to have the chance to dedicate an entire year and a half of my life to helping others change theirs. 
Thank you for your prayers and love!!! I love you all and pray for you always!! 

Les quiero mushisimo!!
Hermana Zimmerman

May 27 2013 Letter

Hi all!! So here is what happened this week. One, I cant think in English anymore so there are going to be a lot of errors in this letter and I dont care. two. I am not in Reñaca. Three, I am not with Hermana Periera. Four, I am a Sister "zone leader". Five, THE LORD KNOWS SOMETHING I DONT!!!
So I was in the shower on wednesday morning minding my own business and all that when Hermana Periera starts pounding on the door and says that the phone is for me. She was in the other room packing her bags because we had made the mistake of assuming what the Lord wanted of us. she was alomost done. All her things were packed when the phone call came. She open the door of the bathroom, I turned off the water, she handed me the phone and one of the assistants asked me to train a newbie straight from the MTC. This was just a comfirmation and not surprizing at all. I accepted, handed the phone back, turned the water back on, and Hermana Periera returned to packing her bags. Two seconds later she was back in the bathroom and I was back on the phone with the other assistant offering his congratulations on my assignment. I said thank you and went back to my shower. I was in the midst of washing my hair and thinking about my new comp when hna periera again pounded on the door and told me to turn the water off because the zone leaders wanted to talk to us both together. I did, and they told us that she would be staying in Reñaca and training again and that I would be opening a new sector with my newbie and needed to be at the stake center with all my things in three hours. I went back to my shower and began to cry. I finished my shower, still crying, threw everything in to my suitcases while Hna, Periera unpacked and then we got empanadas to feel better. We called the family fredes and old them waht was about to happen. Brother fredes came and got us and all my stuff and took us to their house where they fed us, gave me a present, all cried together, and told me that evrything would be alright. I was scared out of my mind. Brother Fredes gave me a blessing of comfort and strenght and told me in the blessing that I needed to use music to teach the people in my new area (which I still did not know the name of or location). They hugged me one last time and then drove us to the stake center. The minute we were at the stake center. I knew everything was going to be alright. I just got a feel. I knew the Lord was with me and that all would be okay.

 A few hours later, we met our new companions!! Her name is Hermana Martínez and she is from Spain!!! so...she looks like a gringa but speaks literally perfect spanish. She is almost as tall as I am and super beautiful. She is 19 and was in the CCM in Chile for 12 days before arriving in the mission field. She was even more scared than I was. Late that night, we got to our new area Achupillas, Mirador B. It is on the other side of the hill from Reñaca and I can see my old area when we are in the hills. It is super tiny. It takes about 10 minutes to walk all of it. That night we made lists of all the MA and FI in the ward and the next day we went out for about three hours with the young womens leader and met a bunch of people in the ward. We are getting used to this place. The ward is awesome and suuuuper young! Tons of kids and young couples. Its pretty cool. We are recieving a tons of references too because there are a lot of single mothers here and the elders couldnt teach them because they cant be along with someone of the opposite sex (same with us). So the work is progressing. There is also a set of Elders in the ward and they are our zone leaders, we were talking to them the other day and they asked me if I had recieved my call from the Mission President yet. I said no and they looked very scared. They werent supposed to say anything. I knew then what was going to happen. The horrible thing is, that he still hasnt called to tell me that I am going to be a sister leader!! Everyone else knows but he still hasnt called ME!!! this morning, I called one of the assistants to talk about the key indicators when he realized it was me, he turned to the president who was in the back ground and asked if all the leaders had been called yet. President saud " no. she doesnt know. I still need to talk to her." I think they thought I couldnt hear but he still didnt say anything to me!! So offically, it hasnt happened yet. Six weeks in the mission and this is what is happening. Man am I in for an adventure!!!!! Here we go!!!  I know God is with me and that this is his work. I am excited to do what he needs me to do. 
I love you all very very much!! please pray for me!!!
Hermana Superman  

May 20 2013 Letter

This week has been a rollercoaster. We found a lot of good people in Reñaca but I am scared to death because I feel as if their salvation is in my hands because I won´t have my companion after wednesday. I dont know what to do with myself. I dont know I am ready to train. I think I could do it in English but Spanish is a whole other story. I feel like Nephi. I feel as though I am standing before an Ocean I know nothing about and the Lord has told me to build a ship (also something I know nothing about because I have never before seen an ocean) and to sail across it will all my families lives in my hands. That´s what this feels like. But, also like Nephi, I know that the Lord will never command me to do something without providing a way for me to do it. So, I will go and do. I am so glad that the Lord knows more than I do. 

My companion and I are super super sad that we wont be together after this week. We still dont know for sure what is going to happen but we are both pretty positive that we wont be together. If by some crazy something we are, we will both be very happy. Either way we will be happy but I will be very happy to have her help. She is the best and I will miss her a lot. 

This week, we taught an older couple named Mario and Elizabeth. Mario is an alcoholic and has been for years. His kids have begged and pleaded with him to stop but he hasnt done it. He likes to drink too much. It is a medicine for him. He has a lot of pain, both spiritually and physically and the alcohol numbs it enough to that he can function but it has gotten to the point that it is tearing his family apart. In their first lesson, we were impressed to teach about the atonement and the power of Christ to turn out weaknesses into strengths. He has not had a drink since that day. In the next lesson, we taught the word of wisdom and he and Elizabeth both commited to live it. He has held true to that commitment. That experience has been amazing for me. When we talk to him now his eyes are clear and he can think straight and speak well. He is happier and has such a bigger light in his eyes. He is amazing and I feel so blessed to witness that change in him first hand. 

In other news, the office hasnt paid our electricity bill for two or three months now so they cut our power this morning. It´s kind of the worst thing ever but thats okay. We will survive until it comes back on. It has started to get really cold at night and now without our heater we will be bundled up like burritos but oh well. Thus is life. We get to take cold showers and eat none perishable food until the bill get paids. Its kind of like camping indoors except we cant build a fire and dont have any flashlights. Its an adventure!!!!!!!!

Hermana Zimmerman