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

May 13 2013 Letter

Hello Family!!! Guess what?? I am 21 and can go on a mission now!!! Yay!!!! Just kidding! I already am! Bet you didn´t know huh?

 This week was very hard in Reñaca. Our numbers were not what they should be. That is not for lake of trying. We want to share the gospel but there were a lot of people that were just not resceptive. We saw a lot of families break, but more than that, they didn´t want to be healed. This is very sad for me. I dont like that the numbers are low because I know that each number represents a soul, a soul that needs to come unto Christ. Because of all of this, I have done a lot of reflecting this week. I looked at my purpose written in preach my gospel. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. That is all I can do, invite. If they do not accept the invitation, I cannot change that, but I can have patience and invite again. This is the hardest thing I have ever done emotionally. I hurts to see people reject something that they do not even know they are missing or to be so strong willed as to not even take the time to notice that they are missing it. I have learned this week that I really do love this people because I feel pain when they hurt and I am sad when they are sad. I reread this week Ether 12:27 that promises that our weaknesses will be turned into strengths if we can come unto Christ humbly and admit our weaknesses. There is a line in the song Savior Redeemer of My Soul that says "Overrule mine acts to serve thine ends...Chasten my soul, till I shall be, in perfect harmony with me and fit me for the life above." This has been my prayer this week. That I might be chastened until I am in perfect harmony with the Savior. I am a representative of the Savior of the world and as such I need to act as he would act. This has been my prayer this week, to act as the Lord would act and truely be a representative of Christ. I am here to serve his Children, so that is what I am going to do, with all the excitement of my soul!

I just copied and pasted my letter to my mission pres this week so that yall would have something to read as well as something to look at. Also, I am teaching and English class for anyone that wants to come!! We have gotten a few new investigators out of it and I love teaching it. The missionaries that dont know english are attending as well and so are the members. It is super fun. 

I love you alll!


May 6 2013 letter

This week was super hard for my companion. A lot happened with our investigators. A lot of families are broken or in the process of breaking and it hurts a lot to see it. One family has been together for more than 20 years and finally got married about 7 months ago so that they could be baptised. A few weeks ago, they started their temple prep. Now, as of a few days ago, the husband has decided that he doesnt want to be with his wife for eternity so he took off his ring and wants a seperation. We are also teaching a lot of other families that are seperating, seperated, or have just decided to only live together and have children and raise them together but dont want to be in love or married. It is so weird. We have heard a lot of stories this week and seen a lot of pain. I also got attached by a drunk guy and the German, the father of Lautoro the boy who was baptised last week, had to tackle the guy and literally hold him back while we ran away. Last night, there where also all the evangelicals in the street yelling and preaching amens and such at all the houses. It was all super dramatic and all that stuff. 

My comp is having a hard time. Her mission is up in 3 months and she is having a hard time focusing. Last night, we just sat down in our study area and had a super long talk. There is a scripture in Ether 12 that says that those who have faith in Christ can have hope for a better world. We decided that is what we need to do. He need to bring hope to the world. We are here to change the bad that we see, not feel sorry for it. We are here to heal the broken families and to heal the hurt. We are here as representives as christ and as christ did, our hearts hurt when we see the pain and the sufferings but it also rejoices when we see change and feel the light of christ come into a home. Yes we might be rejected 42 times in about three hours (yep I counted) and yes there is hurt and saddness here, but it will be better. It will. We are here to make that change happen so that is what we will do. If we dont have hope in the world or for the future, who will? Time to rise and shine!!! 

from Megan: In talking to Katie for mother's day, she explained more on the "attack." A drunk grabbed her arm and wouldn't let go, leaning in close. Don't worry, she's fine! and PS, I am not correcting her would take forever!! :)

April 29 2013 Letter

Yesterday we had two baptisms. They were the first two baptisms in Reñaca in years and years and years. There are literally only two members in the whole town and one inactive member. It is madness that we almost doubled that in one day. There is a lot of work to do.

Lautoro is the taller boy in the pictures. He is 15 and lives in an environment that is not good. His sister smokes weed and deals it from the house. We have been there are more than one occasion when people have come and purchased weed with all their secret calls and whistles and words and stuff. I think they think they are being sneaky but everyone knows what is going on. It still isnt good though. Lautoro´s mother abandoned him and his family when he was a baby so he lives with his sister and his father and his two nephews-cousins. I called them that because his uncle is the father of his sister´s children but the sister and the uncle have no blood relation. It is his father´s brother and his sister has a different Dad. Anyway, that is how it is. Is Dad is practically always drunk but that also makes him always welcoming to us. He and his two little nephews (one is 3 years and the other is 8 months) are caught in the middle of all this maddness. He wants to be a professional soccer player so he doesnt do anything to harm his body. He was already living the word of wisdom and the law of chastity before we found him because is so serious about playing professionally that he doesnt want to ruin his chances with girls or anything like that lol. He was very prepared to here the gospel. He is very special to me. We found him on my first day. It was an amazing experience to see the complete process and change in someone from the before to the during and then his baptism yesterday. It was a definite blessing. None of his family are in the picture because noone came to support. Not a single one of his friends or his family or anything. 

The family that is in the picture is the Fredes family. Diego (the other boy who was baptized) is a member of their family and they are trying very hard to make Laurtoro part of they family. They live about two blocks from him so it works out pretty well. Diego is ten. He is Manuel Frede´s girlfriend´s son. Manuel is marrying his mother and they wanted to be taught the gospel since the rest of the family is mormon. They accepted it with open arms and Diego´s mom (the one with the baby) will be baptized too as soon as she marries Manuel. The missionaries found them the week before I got here. What a blessing to be a part of this family´s story. They are incredible and have made the missionaries a part of their family as well. They all love to sing but cant carry a tune. FHE´s with them are a blast. 

I dont really have time right now to right more but know that I love you all!! Your letters and thoughts are a huge strength to me. It is amazing to know that I have so many people at home supporting me. I really am here representing all of you. I am here in your name. It is the Zimmerman name that I wear on my name tag. Not Katie. I am here for you. 

Hermana Zimmerman 

PS. Our apartment is infested with fleas. If anyone has any tricks for preventing bites or ridding the house of them I would greatly appreciate it. I have 48 bites on my right arm alone. It is getting a tad bit annoying. I love you all!!!! 

April 22 2013 Letter

This week has been super eye opening for me. I love being totally immersed in a new culture and learning all of their habits and ways. It is also quite a dose of reality to see life in this part of the world. The other day, we were in the street going to catch a bus to head home from Almuerzo when a woman came running up to us with a small child. She asked if we were Mormons and then asked us to put her name in the temple as well as her mother´s. She looked very very tired and like she hadnt had the opportunity to shower in weeks. Both she and the child, who turned out to be her nephew, looked hungry and exhausted. They had no light in their eyes. Her shoes had holes and are not going to last very much longer. There clothes were dirty didnt fight right. She explained to us that she and her family had lost everything (she didnt say how) and that they were now living in a house that didnt ever merit the word. It has no door, no windows, and no floor. Every night they freeze and have to use each other to try and stay warm. They have no money and currently no hope of finding a job (the reason for which I do not know). She was 26 and the huge job of caring for her entire family including aunts and uncles and everyone had fallen to her. She was sobbing the entire time she was talking to us. It wasnt hard to tell that she had no hope of a future for herself or her the child which she now considers to be her´s. She told us that they had no food and didnt know what she was going to fill this boys belly with that day. All this had happened to her and all she was asking from us was to pray for her. She never once asked or money or help or anything. Just hope and love and prayers. 

My companion comes from a similar situation. She once lived in a house just like that one when her father abandoned her family. Her family is very poor. She is 25 and out here on a mission because she worked for years and years to earn enough money to be here. This mission is something she truely treasures because she has worked so hard to be here. She was able to relate to and comfort this woman in the street where I was not. She looked her straight in the eyes and told her that she was prepared before this life with the strength she would need to get through this time. God knew what she would have to go through and he prepared her to be able to face it. She told her to have faith and hope and turn to God. When my companion told the woman this, she immediately stopped crying and got this amazing look of courage and stength on her face. She thanked us. Took the boy by the hand and walked away with determination in her step. 

This experience made me stop and think like I never had before. What if I lost everything? What if every person in my family lost everything and it fell to me to take care of them all without money or food? I tried to imagine myself in her shoes, walking around the streets of a big city with Cooper (the boy was about his age) trying all I can to feed him and to find work that was enough to feed my family. Would I turn to God? Would I have the strength to actually do it or would I just sit down on a curb and cry? I don´t know. I don´t know but I know that this woman didn´t sit down and cry. She got up and kept going everyday. The entire time she was talking to us, I didn´t say one word. I just kept looking at the little boy´s face. He never smiled once. 

When we got back to our apartment I sat and stared out the window for a very long time. I felt so ashamed of myself that I have ever complained about anything. I felt so selfish for never truely appreciating what I have been blessed with. I, all of us, have truely been blessed with the lives we have. We know where our next meal is coming from. We have a bed. We have a front door!! and windows!! How blessed we are. My companion could tell that I was being very pensive so she asked what was wrong. I told her and she, someone who has come from a similar situation and will return to it again in September, told me that I was giving people the biggest gift of all. I was giving them the gospel. I was giving them love and hope and light and faith. In that moment I wanted to give everyone in this country a home and food and a bed but she changed my perspective to something that is a lot more realistic. I dont have all the money in the world to change it but the amount of faith I have never runs out. I can share that with every single person and still have enough for myself. That in itself is a blessing. 
So that is what I am going to do, I going to bring light to houses without windows. I am going to bring smiles to faces with frowns. I am going to fill the souls of people who have empty bellies and I am going to make the world a better place, one ounce of hope at a time. Pray for me that I might do a good Job. 

I love you all!! I have some many more stories but not sufficient time or money in which to do it (These things are timed by the peso) so I will just have to tell you all about them when I get home. Much love is coming your way from the southern half of the world!! 


April 15 2013 Letter

My companions name is Hermana Pereira, she is from Paraguay and she is the best thing that ever happened to missionary work. She is absolutely amazing. Her ability to connect to the people just blows me away. She can take any subject and relate it to the gospel or how the gospel can make any situation better. I am her second trainee and she calls me Mija which means my daughter. The trainee she had before was also American but was only here for about three months. Her boyfriend proposed to her in a letter so she left to go back to the US to get married. Because of this, she never really learned to speak English very well. The first two questions everyone asks me are Do you have a boyfriend? and Do you speak Spanish? When my companion found out she would be training another American, she got super super sad and frustrated. She wanted a companion that could speak with her so that she wouldnt feel alone in lessons. At first, she was kind of hesitant towards me but now that she has realized that I can speak Spanish, she has warmed up to me a lot. We now have tons of fun together and love being companions. I teach here English and she teaches me Spanish. She doesnt speak any English and president told her that she has to learn this transfer because I am her companion and can help her. 

Our area is called Reñaca and is a suburb of Viña del Mar. I live three blocks from the ocean and see it every day. It is absolutely beautiful here!! Our whole area is hills because the Andes literally start at the ocean and just go up from there. The whole country is one giant mountain range, literally. My legs are getting in super good shape. Here, the people speak Canstiano which is a break off language of Spanish. It is super hard to understand but every day gets better. I can understand the people pretty well and am getting better in my ability to speak back. Reñaca is the wealthiest area in the entire mission but that isnt saying much. Its so odd. Many of the houses are made of plywood and tarps and then you go inside and there is a huge plasma TV with surround sound and a brand new mazda or something in the driveway. I dont understand it. I love it though. Some of the houses are super nice and huge and after the style of the US but most are simple and modest. Air conditioning and heating dont exist here which makes our apartment super interesting at night. It gets super cold at night (by that i mean like 50 degrees) and then super warm during the day (75). It is two rooms but all the space we need. Screens in the windows dont exist here either because there arent that many bugs. I was super surprised actually but I havent seen hardly any and none in our apartment. Dogs here are like cats in Oakridge. They are literally everywhere. Im not talking small dogs either. They come up to my knees or thighs at least. They are beautiful too. They look like german sheppards or something. They follow us everywhere and are super gentle and sweet. I love it. Cows roam the streets too. Its the weirest thing to be walking down the road and have to pass a cow. Machismo is alive and well!! This is the idea that the man is pretty much the ruler of all. Men down here walk around in packs and make it a point to assert their dominance. Many whistle at us or try to say something sweet in English or call me their amor but I just brush them off. I dont know if some of them have ever experienced that. Its kind of fun to give them a reality check. Because of the way men are down here, the women are different too. The purpose of women in this country is to bear the mens babies. They all, and in mean ALL, wear high heels, even if they are 60 or 70 something. The idea is either to attract a man or to look like a prize on the arm of your man to make him look better. That is how they think and that is how they dress. In the street, if a guy is with a girl and sees someone looking at her, he will immediately grab her and start making out hard core to show that she is his property. It gets super awkward sometimes. I just want to hit them all across the face with a law of chastity pamphlet and say DONT YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF GOD AND DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS!!! I guess that is why I am here though huh so I better get to work!! Everyone double takes when they see me. For many reasons as I am sure that you can imagine but mostly because I am huge, white, blonde with blue eyes (according to their standards), and wearing a name tag. All this makes for one huge double take. Some of the people we have met here have never seen someone as white as I am or as talk as I am. When we are teaching investigators or in a short lesson where a prayer is appropriate, they all want me to pray so they can listen to my accent. It is kind of embarassing but entertaining at the same time. Every time I start to talk, they all light up, smile big, and listen intently so they can hear my accent. 

The work is alive and well here and the spirit of the Lord is with us. We had 7 investigators in church yesterday and last week, had 4 baptisms scheduled for the week from saturday. We have to postpone two of them because they werent able to come to church. This is a miracle in this area. There are 2 members in the whole of Reñaca. This makes it very difficult but people know who we are and who we represent and everyone here believes in Christ and has some kind of religious background. Tracting is very hard here but literally everthing is inside a five foot high fence. Because this area is so wealthy, they have the money to build fences around everything so they do. You dont knock on doors here. You go up to the fence and yell AHLOW!! and they someone comes to the window and yells DIGAME or QUIEN ES!! and then you answer and begin talking. Its kind of fun. Because it is so hard to tract with all the fences, most of our work is done in the street while we are walking to and from appointments. I actually love this part a lot. I love to meet new people and learn about their lives and their problems and then to be able to tell them that their is a way that they can know for themselves how to improve their lives is an amazing feeling. The people are super receptive and love to talk about themselves and what they believe. They are amazing and I love them. 

Mom, dont worry, I will NOT be driving here. The mission doesnt use cars and that is for good reason. Yall think Utah and California is bad, you should come here!! Its nuts!! They drive like there are no laws and no lines on the road. If you want to be on the other side of the street but you are in the wrong lane, you go there. If you want to stop in a two lane road, you simply stop and put of your hazards and everyone else just makes two smaller lanes around you with about 3 inches of clearence between you. We use busses and collectivos(taxis) for transportantion. The buses slow down just enough for you to hop onto the bottom step and then hit the gas. You better be holding on or you will fly off! Then the driver takes your money and gives you change with one hand and stears with the other while you try and keep your balance long enough to find a seat if there is one. There are literally bars in the buses so everyone, including the driver can hold on while he floors it around corners. It is madness!! I thought I was going to die my first day in the collectivo too but I didnt and all is well. The food is super different but not bad. Just super bland. I dont mind it though and my body didnt have any problem adjusting. I sleep super well too. I know you all dont want to know that but Im sure Mom does so I am just letting you know that I am happy and healthy and well. I love you all so much and miss you but I am happy and am excited to be doing the Lords work!! There really is so much joy in this work. It is incredible.

Hermana Zimmerman

Hermana Z's lame sister tries to make up time

Hey y'all, this is Megan, Katie's sister. I have been out of internet contact, which is reason #1 why I haven't updated. Reason #2 is that I am just plain lame. There, that's out there. So here we go with a series of posts in updating...

First off, Katie is doing well! She is now a Sister "Zone Leader." I am not sure how many companions she has had, I get all confused. But she is totally loving it! She thinks in Spanish now, so deciphering her letters can be fun.
Right to Left: Hna Martinez (Katie's new companion) from Spain, Katie, Hna Pereira (first companion) and her new companion (Don't know the name!)

 The view from her apartment in Renaca

 Hma Pereira (first companion)

 Not quite sure where this is, but it's beautiful!

 The burgers... Huge, and slathered in Guac.

 The Hermana's (Katie towers over everyone!)

The first baptism in Renaca in many years!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Email, YAY!

Hermana Zimmerman now has permission to email anyone! She still only has 30 min to email while in the MTC, but will have 2 hours once she is in Chile. If you would like to email her, her address is 

She would still like real letters too! 

Here is an excerpt or two from her latest letter:

Dear Family,
I have news!! First, I cut my hair!! I now have a pixie cut!! My hair is so short. I look like Julie Andrews. I cut it mostly because I want a hair cut that I can just get up and go with and also because I have always wanted one but certain people at home/everyone hated the idea. Now, none of you can stop me!! Muahahaha!! just kidding, but now really. I really like it and don't worry, it will all be grown out by the time I come home. Secondly, it was announced this week that missionaries are now allowed to e-mail anyone they want!!! So please pass around this email address after April 8th. Technically you can all e-mail me now but I still only have a half hour of e-mail time while in the MTC. As soon as I get to the field I will have two whole hours just to email so it would be better if we still stuck to letters until April 8th. Also that doesnt mean that I dont want letters because getting mail is like the best thing of all time! 

Spiritually this week has been incredible. I can feel the spirit so strongly and with me every day. This place is amazing! You can just look at someone here and be so overcome by their spirit that you can't help but cry. there is truely no other feeling like being a missionary and I am honored and humbled that I have the opportunity to be a part of this great work. I have been studying the Holy Ghost a lot lately and his role as the third member of the Godhead. I have never truely understood the extent of his power and influence and as I study more and more, I don't think I ever will because he is power is so extensive and great. I never realized the role he played in the actual act of the atonement and I would invite you all to give that more study and thought. We have also been studying a lot about Doctrine/Principle/Application format and I love it! It is such a good way both to learn and to teach and can be applied to any aspect of life. It is explained in David A. Bendar's bookIncrease In Learning.I haven't read it because it is not part of the Missionary Library but the is the book we were taught from and I would also encourage you all to read it. It literally changed my out look on life and my mission and how to teach. I know that seems dramatic but let me give you an example. I was very very bored during the devotional on tuesday night and had totally tuned out of the talk when I decided to do a DPA on life. this is what I came up with...
The Doctrine of Life
Doctrine(WHY): Progression-the doctrine of life is progression. This is the reason WHY we are here. We are not here to return to our heavenly father again. If that was the reason of life then there would be no reason for life because we were already living with him. Why would we want to go through all of this just to get right back to where we started? That doesn't make much sense. For this reason, I discovered that the doctrine of life is to progress to a point that is better that the one we were at before. Isn't that the goal of everything we do in life anyway; to be better than we were before and to keep growing and progressing?
Principle(WHAT): The Plan of Salvation- this part if simple the WHAT of the subject you are studying. The WHAT of life is the Plan of Salvation. This is literally the map of life and how life is to be accomplished.
Application(HOW): The Atonement-This is the application because this is HOW we use the What of the Plan of Salvation to obtain the WHY of progression. This is the center and key stone of it all. The Atonement is what makes it all possible. And how to de use the Atonement? Through baptism and the reception of the Holy Ghost who is our access to the Atonement of Christ. That is the role of the Holy Ghost. He is our communicator with Christ. It is only through him that we can be forgiven of our sins by the use of repentence.
I hope that all makes sense and that you can all see how this connects to each other. I am kind of on a DPA craze right now and have been DPAing everything is sight. It is a lot of fun and a fantastic way to learn.
I can feel the strength of the Lord behind me as I am out here. I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing in my life and that this is the Lord's will. I hope you can all feel and see the blessings that I hope are coming to you as I work out here. I love you all. Remember the it is not enough to know, feel, or even do, but we must also be. Be whatever it is you are going to be the very best you can. Write me!!!!! and I love you all!!!
Hermama Zimmerman

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Please Write!

Please write to Hermana Zimmerman!

Hermana Katrina Zimmerman 
Chile Vina del Mar Mission 
Provo MTC 
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

My Chilean address

Hermana Katrina Zimmerman
4 Norte 1112
Vina del Mar, Chile 

Katie's first letter from the CCM!

Here is a portion of Hermana Zimmerman's first letter from the CCM (Centre de Cultivicasion Missional or something like that.) PS, I took the liberty of correcting her spelling, haha!

"This week has been amazing but it seems so much longer than a week. My leave date for the mission field is April 8th and because I don't need a visa, that date is for sure. There atmosphere here is just incredible. I feel like I have special powers or something for remembering things. I am learning so much about the gospel and language. The first few days were really hard because I was focusing so much on speaking Spanish, adjusting to having a companion (who turned 19 last week), and realizing that I would be under the direction of both a district leader and a zone leader who are both 18. I feel so old here!! It's a good thing though. I have a lot of opportunities to teach and guide. The Spanish was very difficult at first. I could understand everything I was hearing but I couldn't talk back well enough for me to have the confidence to open my mouth. most of the people here just speak in infinitives and with horrible grammar but I can't let myself do that. Eventually, I realized that I am not here to learn Spanish. I am here to learn how to teach the gospel. I am also not here for me. This is not my mission. I am here for the Lord and to do his work. Este es mi proposito. Mom, you were totally right about my mouth being sore for the first few days! Spanish is such a different way of talking! I am used to it now though. My dreams have even started being in Spanish! I lay have awake all night trying to translate them!
I am tired all the time. 8 hours is a lot of sleep a night and more than I have ever gotten before in my life but getting up at 6:30 am and being in class all day until 9:30 at night doesn't help the situation. They push you hard here. That is the best way to learn though. On day 3, we taught our first discussion in Spanish. My companion and I were scared out of minds! It went well though and we got a baptismal commitment! My district consists on four elders and six hermanas. We are the only intermediate district in the whole CCM because did away with intermediate districts the week we got here but then realized that we all speak too well to be intermediates so they bumped us up anyway. All the other beginning districts are afraid to talk with us because they know we already know the language. We are also the first district in our zone and I think the CCM where the Hermanas out number the Elders! It is a pretty cool title to have. Things are way crowed here now that the age has changed. There are six of us living in a dorm built for four. We all share closets and it is a little hard to move around in but we manage. It is pretty fun in the morning when six different alarm clocks all got off at 6:30 but you all know me and that I probably wouldn't get up if not for all those alarms. It's pretty funny. We all lay in bed until the sixth one goes off and then we get up. My P-days are on Thursdays which is why I have be able to write until now. I am glad it is today though because we are all running out of clothes!
The lessons and devotionals here are incredible. It feels like this place is just saturated with the spirit. It is present all the time. Because of this, when you can recognize the spirit's presence, you know you are really experiencing something special.  I have never felt the spirit as strongly and as frequently as I do here. it is truly a treat to be here. My companion's name is Hermana Mckay (a distant relative of David O.) and as I mentioned earlier, she turned 19 on Feb. 18. She has only attended one semester of college and is still getting her legs under her. She is a joy though. She has so much passion and excitement for the gospel that she wants to tell everyone all about it right away!! She has such a strong testimony. Here at the CCM, there is a leadership position that is called the "coordinating sister" (essentially the female version of a Zone leader) and on day 2, Hermana Mckay was asked to fill this position for our zone!! She was so worried and scared and I couldn't blame her but she is excited now and grows a little more confident every day. It is fun to watch her change and mature. She has come a long way even in just a week. This last Sunday, the MTC Branches 66 and 67 were formed. Can you believe that! 67 branches in one square block! 800 missionaries reported on my day alone. By June, they are expecting to house 8,000 missionaries here. It is just insane. Everyone used to complain about how strict the schedule is but now we are all realizing how important it is. If we don't follow it, everything gets backed up because the cafeteria, gym, mail room, and other facilities can only handle so many people for so long. Everything has to be done on a very strict clock here or it would all implode!"

Sus missionaria favorita,
Hermana Zimmerman

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some pictures of Viña del Mar for your viewing enjoyment:)



Hi everyone!! I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Viña del Mar, Chile. I will be serving for 18 months. While I am gone, my sister will be maintaining this blog and keeping it updated with my letters and pictures. Even though you will all be able to see everything that is going on with me on here, I would still love to get letters from all of you!! Please write me and keep me updated about your lives. See you all in a year and a half!

Much love,
Hermana Zimmerman