Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 18:

Good morning everyone!

This has been another beautiful week in Minnesota! If the weather was like this all year around, it'd be perfect for me! Never getting about 65, but still sunny, sounds good! My companion, Sister Bone, on the other hand, disagrees. She loves the sun and the heat. She has been going crazy, wanting it to be summer already. Since it is so beautiful, we want to be outside all the time! This is perfect tracting weather! Everyone is outside playing, walking their dogs, riding their bikes, and going for runs. But no such luck for us. My knee has been causing me quite some pain lately so on Wednesday I finally went to the doctor for it. They said I should be walking half as much as I do now or I will be causing permanent damage to my knee... And we haven't even walking that much since it is winter and we drive! Yet even just that is "too much." Cool. I have to wrap my knee each day so I cannot move it and wear a brace. So I walk with a limp.. It's lots of fun. I am suppose to use crutches, but I don't have any and have not been able to track any down yet. It has been slow, since we have no investigators and can't really find any with my problems. I feel like I am wasting time and being disobedient, but there is not much else we can do. President knows and he just says to take it easy and do what I can without pushing myself. So we have been doing a lot of les active and recent convert work, which is fun. Slow nonetheless. 

On Friday we went to Beth's dance recital. I have to say, it was quite interesting! I have never really gone to one before, and this one was a mix of ballet type and modern. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it before! The next day, we went to a play called "Journey with Joseph" about Joseph Smith and his life and death, put on by the youth in the Minneapolis Stake. It was so good! It was killer, since it was in an auditorium with lots of stairs! I was feeling it the next day!

Sister Bone and I have been visiting Barb, a member of the church who is less active. She loves puzzles and we love to help her! We finally got the puzzle finished! So that is what is happening in the picture we included. We were also helping her do deep cleaning, hence the pday clothes. :)

Just a short update for this week. So much for now! 
Sister Emma Zimmerman

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 17:

Good morning!  I don't know what the weather is like where you are at, but here in Prior Lake Minnesota, it is beautiful! It is so warm, we didn't even have to wear long sleeves out. It is officially tshirt weather! Is it sad that 40 is considered tshirt weather in Minnesota..? Believe it or not, my body has adjusted quite well! Thank goodness for that. Because of this warm weather, there is practically no snow left anywhere.. Even though it stormed and snowed quite a bit on Tuesday. So much that we had to stay inside practically all day!

Last Monday was a lot of fun! We had zone pday so we met with a lot of other missionaries to play games and sports. These games included hungry hippo (life size human version), zombies, and of course sports, like basketball and volleyball. It was a lot of fun!

On Tuesday, we got some quite exciting/disappointing for me news. We got a text message from our zone leaders saying that we are going to be getting iPads in May. Honestly, I don't want an iPad! I can see the perks of them, but I don't really want one. However I don't really have a choice in it, so I'll be positive! The exciting news in that is that one of the twelve apostles are coming to train us and we will get to meet him! We were told that it will probably be Elder Nelson, but we aren't 100% sure. He is who has been training our mission president, President Forbes, on using them. 
Also on Tuesday we had a relief society birthday dinner, celebrating the anniversary of it's creation. It went really well and was a lot of fun! Our investigator, Andraea came and brought one of her friends, Michelle! They both loved it and were able to meet a lot of the members, who instantly started fellowshipping them. From that, we had had quite a few members volunteer to come teaching with us and offer their home to be used for lessons. It's pretty awesome! I love that the members go out of their way to make others who feel uncomfortable at first, fell welcomed. 

On Wednesday we had exchanges, which is when we trade companions for a day with the Sister Training Leaders. I ended up going to Lakeville with Sister Magleby. It was so much fun! As much as I love my companion, Sister Bone, it is exciting to get to go to a new place for a day. One person we went to go teach was Morgan. On the way to her apartment, Sister Magleby and I were asking each other questions. One of them she asked me was what my biggest fear was. I automatically said snakes. I hate snakes. I am terrified of them. But I have decided one I get off my mission, I am going to get over my fear and hold a snake. I hate being scared of things, because it gives that thing power over you. I don't want a snake to have power over me, that is ridiculous! So I told her that. And she then informed me that Morgan has a snake. So we get to Morgan's and I told her that I am scared of snakes, so she quickly stepped in front of the tank, so I couldn't see "Checkers." I then explained to her that I wanted to get over my fear. Sure enough, she let me hold Checkers. At first, I was so scared! But I did it! I held him for a few minutes when Morgan asked how long I wanted to hold him for. I responded, "Until I'm not scared anymore." Sure enough, I got over it! By the end of the lesson, I was quite enjoying holding him. I held him for over an hour. Yeah, I held "a slitherly little snakey snake." (Bonus point to you if you know what that's from.) So the picture attached is me and Checkers! Morgan and Sister Magleby said that I did really well holding him and that a didn't seem scared at all. Yeah, little did they know that at first I was terrified! I succeeded though! :)

Last night we went over to a members house who has two huge very hairy dogs. When we got here, they were playing in the yard, getting all wet and full of mud. We were sitting on the couch having a discussion when all of the sudden Ben (one of the dogs) jumped on me! He got me so wet it soaked through all my layers, both on my skirt and my shirt! Not just wet, but it was thick mud. It got everywhere- in my hair, in my mouth, and all over my face. And these are dogs that never got baths, so they stank! To say the least, we went in early (just 20 minutes before 9) so I could shower. It was nasty! But hey, it certainly gave us a good laugh, after I was all clean again!

Well, I have to cut this letter short! It is time to go to District Pday! I hope everyone has a great week!
Keep in touch!

Love always, 
Sister Emma Zimmerman

Week 16:

Good morning everyone! I hope you are all having a great Monday! Which I am not sure if those exists outside of missionary life, but still. 

It is a very sunny Monday morning here in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Almost all the snow has melted, but it is suppose to storm tonight and tomorrow! Which I am excited for. It is supposedly going to be the biggest storm of this winter. I guess we will see!

This week has been slow, due to me being quite sick for a few days last week. Getting sick really makes missionary work hard! It was really tough on Thursday, when my sickness was at its worse. There was a district meeting, which is required, so I had to wake up and stumble to that. Let me tell you, it was terrible. I was sleeping on the table practically the whole meeting. I was in so much pain. Then afterwards, we had to go to the district lunch at Red Robin. The smell of the food was making me even more sick, so I had to sit at a booth alone. Once we got back to the apartment, I went straight to sleep! But on a good note, I am feeling much better and back to the Lord's work!

We have a new district leader, who is awesome! Him and his companion always ask us if there is anything they can do for us. Of course, we said yes! Elder Mitchell and Elder Turner call us almost everyday to sing to us! It is so funny. The first song they sang to us was, "As Sisters in Zion." If you know that hymn, imagine two guys with really deep voices singing it. Enough said. It was hilarious. We also told them that we wouldn't mind some cookies. They said they couldn't bake very well. Good news! Tis the season for girl scout cookies! We were kidding, mostly. But at district meeting, sure enough there were our cookies! Seriously, these elders crack me up.

The next transfers will be on April first, and I am not looking forward to it! Even though it is a month away.. But you know what they say about missionary life. "The days are long and the weeks are fast." I will be leaving this area, unfortunately. Typically, we don't know if we will be leaving the area until two days before it happens, but the beans got spilt. After our district meeting on Thursday, we were coming back to our apartment when we ran into our landlord, Jackie. She said that we had gotten the 30 day rental termination notice from the mission president. A few days later she informed us that she would be showing the apartment, already. So sisters are being taken out of Prior Lake, so just elders will cover the ward. Which makes me sad! I love the members here and have grown quite attached to them, especially since this is the only area I have ever served in. I also don't want to leave my companion, Sister Bone! We work so well together and have a ton of fun. But hey! That's missionary life!

Our most progressing investigator right now is Andraea. She has not been able to attend church the last few weeks because she has been busy, but the desire has been there. I know that she attends when she can. Which she promised is next week! We were able to visit her on Saturday which was pretty crazy! She had her friend, Michelle, over so we got to talk to her! She has been meeting with the missionaries as well, as I understand. Andraea was actually the one who introduced them. On top of having a friend over, Andraea was making dinner, chasing a two-year-old around, and helping her fourteen-year-old daughter, Kaitelynn, get ready for her play, Guy and Dolls Jr. The day before, Friday, we had attended and watched her perform. It was so good! And much more appropriate than the original since it was put on by a junior high. It was cute, no doubt! Not only was Kaitelynn in it, but so was Tim, a deacon in the ward. It was awesome to get to support them. Afterwards, Kaitelynn was super happy to see that we came, especially since we brought her chocolate! What else does a girl need? Anyways! Back to talking about Andraea and Michelle. We ended up having a good discussion about how there is opposition in all things. Michelle had recently tried to take her own life, so we were able to comfort her and tell her that God is always there for her. She seems like she has gotten past that rough patch and is doing much better. Andraea is such an amazing person! She knows this church is true. When we were talking to Michelle, Andraea kept making comments at times, saying things like, "We believe.." and "Our church." She even has all the aps on her phone. She just needs to get bapized! Which gets complicated because her family says they will disown her if she becomes Mormon. We will keep praying and teaching her, hopefully her and her families hearts will be softened. As Andraea said herself, "Either they will accept me becoming Mormon or I will get to the point where I just don't care." We just need to be understanding and patient while still being persistent. 

We have been doing a lot of service work for members lately. The Paeys are a family who we have shoveled their drive a good six times, without them ever knowing. This week while shoveling, Sister Paey caught us in the act. She asked us if we had done it before, and we admitted that we had. What a miracle! We have been trying to get in with Sister Paey. Her husband is less active, so we have been wanting to meet with him. But to do that, it had to be through her. Anyways, after we were done shoveling, she asked if we could do her neighbors drive, and of course we said yes. Once we finished, Sister Paey invited us in and gave us hot cocoa. We were able to talk and bond with her. It was so good! She has since signed up to feed us this week. Hopefully we will be able to talk to her husband and invite him back.

On Saturday night we had a ward talent show, which was a lot of fun! All four of us missionaries got roped into performing. Luckily, Elder McVey is a boss at the piano and Sister Bone can sing like none other. Because of our lack of music options, we sang the Army of Helaman song. We were told we sounded pretty good. They must have not been able to hear Elder Butler and myself. There were lots of acts, including singing, playing piano, dancing, hula hooping, telling jokes, playing basketball, and so on. I was tempted to sign up and demonstrate how to show a rabbit or hypnotize it, or something, but I couldn't get ahold of anyone with a rabbit! Haha Hands down the best act was Ephraim, a 9-year-old boy with Autism. He danced to a Justin Beiber song, but he was legit! He was surprisingly really good. He was dressed in all black and red with sunglasses on. He seriously blew everyone away. I recorded it, but it is too long to email, unfortunately. After all the acts, they handed out glow sticks and turned off all the lights and blasted music. It was practically a rave. I felt so awkward, being a missionary there! It was so much fun.

Anyways, it is now time for zone pday! Something to do with nerf guns, flash lights, and helmets! (Thank you Ryan Snyder for sending me a nerf gun, it is going to come in handy today!)

Keep on keepin' on!

Sister Emma Zimmerman

The pictures is of  Kaitelynn and me after the Guys and Dolls Jr. play! :)

Week 15:

So sorry I didn't send out an update last Monday! Because of the holiday, the libraries were closed. We went to a member’s house to email, so we didn't have as much time. It was pretty crazy, because they had kids who wanted our attention at all times. So I didn't get to focus on emailing too much, but that's okay!  

This last week has been so good! Because Sister Anderson was going home, she had to go to the mission home on Tuesday, where she would meet with our mission president and all the other missionaries going home before leaving on Wednesday. I got a temporary companion on Tuesday until we had transfers on Wednesday. Hermana Hiatt came to Prior Lake with me for just over a day. It was so much fun! We had a lot of appointments, so she got to meet a lot of the people I serve in this ward. She left saying that she hopes she will get transferred here because she loved it so much! But that won't happen, since she is Spanish speaking and there are few members or investigators here who just speak Spanish. I was able to realize just how awesome this ward is! We had dinner on Tuesday night I had the worst meal I have had on my mission so far. It was fish; well it was supposed to be fish at least. Usually I like fish. She set the plates down in front us and we started looking around thinking a dog went poo because something smelt so bad. It turns out, it was the fish. It was rubbery and just rancid. Plus there was hair in our rice and floaties in the water. I am proud to say I ate every bite. It was so gross! But hey, what is a mission for if not to eat disgusting food, with a smile on your face? 

On Wednesday we had transfers. How transfers works is Monday we get an email with a picture with all the areas and missionaries on it. It is like I spy, trying to find yourself and see what area you are in. Then Wednesday we all go to the church chapel across from the mission home and have a little conference with the mission president and his wife. We then find our new companions and we are good to go. 

Sister Bone is my new companion and I absolutely love her! We actually knew each other from before our missions and we use to talk a lot, which is pretty cool! When we got to our apartment, she was looking at pictures on my wall of me and some of my friends and actually recognized a few of them. Let me tell you, this is such a small world, especially if you are Mormon! Anyways, she and I have been having a lot of fun! We get along so well. If you know the personality colors, I am a red and she is a yellow, which are just a good combo! We are a very interesting companionship. I am definitely so much happier. It has been a lot of fun with her, yet I am working harder than ever. She is such a great missionary. This transfer is going to be great! We have been working really hard and finding people, with no success thus far. We have been spending a few hours each day, just about, tracting (knocking doors). That could be fun or terrible. It was been very cold lately, so that is definitely a downfall. A lot of people who answer are not very nice. But I know it will all pay off in the long run! 

Beth has been doing so well! We have been working on Personal Progress with her. Lately, we have been focusing on faith. I'm not sure if it has been helping her or me more! We have been reading scriptures out of the Book of Mormon and the Bible on faith. One of my favorite chapters is Alma 32. Specifically, verse 21, which reads, "And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." and verse 27, "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." As long as we have that desire to believe, everything else will come into place. Faith is an action. That desire will make us strive to find that testimony. There is a song with the lyrics that say, "Live like you believe, it's one sure way your faith will grow." Alma 32:27 is the formula of how to develop faith and gain a testimony. I love those versus. 

I forgot my camera at home today, so I don't have any pictures, unfortunately. 

Until next time, have a great week!


Sister Emma Zimmerman

Week 13:

Good morning! Today is such a beautiful day here in Minnesota. My, it's almost t-shirt weather! I don't even have to wear a sweater, it's so warm today. It's in the low 30's. What a blessing. :)

Last Tuesday we had a snow storm and it was quite interesting! It was my first time driving in that much snow, but all was well! I enjoyed having snow, though it has quickly melted! I mean, I didn't chose to come on my mission to Minnesota for no snow! Just kidding, of course!

This week has been quite interesting! We now have no progressing investigators. Anthony, who we were teaching, we have dropped. We went over to Gina's house (which is where we had met him and always saw him at) on Monday for our usual meeting. He was not there, though we still had a meeting with her and her two young children. After our lesson, we asked Gina if everything was okay with Anthony, for we had not seem him for a week or so. She shook her said no and said that she would tell us later, when her children were not around. We went back to her house on Thursday for dinner. Her children were running around playing so we had the chance to talk to her about Anthony. She said that we had gone out with his friends one night, and took her 14-year-old son, Jordan, with him. They had gone to a store and Anthony told Jordan to wait in the car. A little while later, Anthony came running out of the store, with the security guard chasing him, and hoped into the car and took off, leaving the owner of the car in the store. Anthony dropped Jordan off at a gas station where he was able to call his mother to pick him up. All got cleared with Jordan, but now Anthony is probably half way across the country, running from the cops. So, for obvious reasons, we have dropped Anthony as our investigator. 

We were so sure that Anthony was a golden investigator. So, of course, we are sad that things took such a turn. However, the scripture 1 Corinthians 1:17 has stood out to me. It reads, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." I know that as long as we are doing our best, that is all the Lord expects of us. We need to preach the gospel and continue to be diligent. Eventually, we will find those whom the Lord has prepared for us.

Beth is progressing very well! She is coming to church and loving it! She loves the young women's program and we have started to do personal progress with her, which is a lot of fun. She has so much potential and she is started to see it. Her dad, Garth, still isn't interested in the gospel at all, but we did get a lesson in with him on Friday! We kind of trapped him though! Sister Anderson and I went over for dinner. We always leave with a dinner message, but usually we start it after dinner. This time, we started it at the table so he had to sit through it. We could tell he was enjoying it, he just didn't want to admit it!

On Wednesday, my district went to the sculpture gardens in Minneapolis. We exchanged Wednesday for Monday as our preparation day so we could go. It was so much fun, but so cold! We went with a member who, when she saw that I did not have a jacket on, proceeded to yell at me saying, "It is 5 degrees out!" My response was, "I'm not cold!" To say the least, I left wearing her jacket and gloves! However, they got in the way a lot so I took them off many times. :p The gardens were a lot of fun! We got lots of random pictures. I got to see the spoon with the cherry on it that is the first thing you see when you google Minneapolis. There was an ice rink that I walked across in regular shoes and almost ate it a few times! The picture is of my district in one of the indoor gardens there! Of course, I am front and center, haha. After the gardens, we played lazer tag. It was my first time playing-definitely fun! I was actually not too bad! Out of the 16 who were playing, my score was never below #7. And the best place I got was #2. Nothing to brag about... But... Haha it was definitely fun! Until three little kids, couldn't have been older than 8, came and totally kicked our butts. I definitely recruited them to be on my team! All in all, Wednesday was a great day! 

My companion, Sister Anderson, and I have been making so many smoothies lately. The first one she made was disgusting! It was super healthy and very green. She couldn't even drink it. I proceeded to make a semi healthy one. With all of her ingredients plus raspberry sherbet, bananas, and strawberries. To say the least, mine was much better! To make it all the worse, she ended up splilling hers all over the counter, floor, and herself! Man, it stunk! I don't think I had laughed so hard on my mission! But I was nice, and let her have some of mine. :)

I feel like I have learned so much this week. Yesterday at church, we had two sacrament talks on agency. I also taught Sunday school on that same topic. Come relief society third hour, our lesson was on agency. I realized how key being able to choose really is in this life. I heard a quote from John Bytheway, which says something to the effect of those who abuse their free agency in this life, will have it taken from them in the next. I always have to watch myself in all that I do, to make sure that I am making those right decisions. Not only in action, but in word and thought. I know that as I continue to do so, I will be blessed by the Lord. And who wouldn't want that?

Well, time to head to another zone preparation day to play lots of games and sports! Then Sister Anderson gets to pack. This week is her last full week as a missionary! She is going home to Idaho on February 18th. And I'm "killing" her. So I will get a new companion here pretty soon, not sure how I feel about that!

 I hope you all have a warm, fun, exciting week! Keep me updated!

 Sister Emma Zimmerman

P.S. I would just like to take this moment to brag about my best friend. She got into her #1 choice college! Congrats to her!

Famous cherry on a spoon:

My companion and I front of the famous cherry on a spoon at the sculpture gardens in Minneapolis.

Week 11:

Hey everyone! I hope you weekend was swell!

Sorry for not sending out an update last week. It was a holiday, so the library was closed. We had to email at a members home and didn't have much time. I feel like this update is going to be really scattered and random, so bare with me!

This has been a very interesting week, no doubt. It was hard as far as missionary work goes. We got a lot of rejections. A while back, we were teaching a man named Richie who suddenly dropped us. We were able to get back into contact with him and he seemed really interested! Things were going really well. He was asking a lot of questions and expressed a desire to come to church. We set up a ride for him and everything. Then, yesterday before church, he texted us telling us he was no longer interested. My companion and I think he may have been antied. That we ready material on the LDS church that portrayed it in an untrue and negative manner. So that was disappointing. 

Speaking of Sunday, my companion, Sister Anderson, was asked a few weeks ago to speak in Sacrament meeting yesterday. I kidded around with her that she had to speak and I didn't. Well, last Wednesday I got a call asking if I would speak. Of course, you can't say no, so I did. I had just a few days to prepare. And when you're a missionary, you really don't have much time to! But I was able to write and give my talk on the importance of the sacrament. It went really well and I got a lot of compliments. Also yesterday, President Payne was in our ward from the quorum of the seventy, which was pretty cool! I got to talk to him for a little while. He has quite the testimony! 

I got to go to the temple on Wednesday with our district and ward mission leader, which was an amazing experience! I love being able to go! The temple really is the house of God. I was able to feel the Spirit really strongly. I got to see Sister Steadman, my old companion from the MTC. I get to see her almost every week, which doesn't seem like enough though! I miss her a lot.

So Sister Anderson and I were thinking and praying about turning Terry over to the elders in our ward as their investigator. We did that this week, so he is no longer our investigator. Of course, we will continue to stop by and visit him and his wife and have lessons with them. We actually have an appointment set up for today at eight, which is good! Yesterday we visited with them and Cathy taught us more about embroidering which we did while we had a lesson about how the Lord is our Shepard. It went really well. They are such a great family.

Since we no longer have Terry as our investigator, our one and only progressing (so far) investigator is Anthony. He has been continuing to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. Last week, we taught him about temples and baptisms for the dead. He really liked hearing it and he understands it. Thank goodness he didn't think baptisms for the dead was weird, as do many nonmembers who do not understand. We learned that he had an adopted 7 week old son who passed away. He felt comforted to know that he will be able to be with his baby again. Anthony is a really great guy. He loves learning about the church. We invited him to be baptized, and he said yes! We haven't set a date yet, though. I know he will get to that point. 

I got one of my wisdom teeth out a few weeks ago. I wasn't put under, so that was an interesting experience. I couldn't feel anything, but I could certainly hear it which was disturbing! The next day I just rested but 
was back to work on Wednesday. But guess what! Now my left bottom wisdom tooth is coming in.. So I am going to have to go get that taken out. Yay. Not. 

We lost the phone last Wednesday. So it was interesting having to go without it for a few days. We looked everywhere but could not find it. We prayed and had a feeling to go back to someone's house we had previously looked at, which seemed weird, but we did. Sure enough, we saw it as we drove up... Frozen to the road! It's a miracle that it wasn't ran over! The ear speaker no longer works so we had to get a new phone, but all our contacts and information was able to be saved. Yay for the power of prayer.

Lately, my favorite scripture has been John 16:33. It helps me to get through everything and anything. When I feel like I am alone and just having a hard time, I read that scripture. It reads, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." I love the last phrase- "I have overcome the world." Christ went through everything we are dealing with and He made it through. He suffered that we might be able to return to live with Him and out Father in Heaven. He came out on top and made it possible for us to have eternal joy. For that, I am indeed grateful to Him. To know that even though I have problems and struggles, I can have peace in this crazy world.

Well time is up! I am heading over to zone pday, where we are going to play games and sports, which will be a lot of fun!

So until next time, have a great week.

Love always, Sister Emma Zimmerman