What a week!
It feels like way more than a week since I have last emailed! Tuesday night at the MTC, we had the general authority devotional and Elder Dallin H. Oaks came! I was beyond excited to see him! I have never seen an apostle speak before, so I was acting like a little kid in a candy shop. Before the devotional, I saw the MTC presidency gathered in the foyer and I got my companions to walk by. Sure enough, there he was! I was 10 feet from an apostle of God. It was so cool. His wife, who was in the hallway, even talked briefly to my companions and I. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! When he spoke, it was so powerful. He stressed the importance of devoted this 18 or 24 months completely to the Lord, and giving Him everything. It really touched me and made me excited to serve God!
I already miss my MTC teachers, companions, and friends. But I know I will make so many more friends out here in the field!
On Wednesday morning, I left the MTC. I had to be up at before 2am! That was so much fun. *Sarcasm* There were 18 other missionaries also reporting to Minnesota on the same day as me. To get to Minnesota, we had to take a bus to a train station. Then take a train to another train. Then had to walk to the airport. All while toting around 2 huge bags and a carry on, and a messenger bag that seemed to weigh a million pounds. Luckily, the people in Utah who I came in contact with were super nice and helped me a lot. Some of them were also Latter-Day Saints, so that was fun to talk with them. Once we got to the airport, there was someone who worked there calling out everyone's names and handing them there ticket. Once she gave everyone their ticket, she started walking away, while I still didn't have one! I went up to her and asked "Is there a ticket for Zimmerman?" And she didn't have a plane ticket for me! Panic mode? I think yes. I went to the counter and they were able to locate my ticket on a computer, they just didn't have a physical copy. I was so relived, you don't even know! Then I got to security... I had to go through 5 times! It was frustrating. Once I got through, I found a phone and was able to call home and talk to my mom for the last time until Christmas. It was great being able to talk to her for a few minutes, telling her about the amazing time I am having and how excited I was to be finally going to Minnesota! I miss her but I know I am serving the Lord and doing His will. He will take care of the rest. We got to our gate at about 6:30 and our plane was scheduled to leave at 8:40, so we had a little bit of time to wait. Me and another sister walked around a little bit and so many people would recognize us as servants of the God and come to talk to us! It was a great experience. People would even come up and offer us money and to use their phones. It was really cool to see how much members love the missionaries and how willing they are to support the new ones just going out into the field. A 5 year old even ran up to me and gave me a hug. It was so precious! So, like I said, our plan was suppose to leave at 8:40 but got delayed because of storms in Minnesota until 11:30. So we weren't expected to get in until a lot later. Someone got ahold of the mission president to let him know we won't be needing to get picked up so soon. Well, then the storm cleared up really fast or something because we ended up taking off at 9:30. However, our mission president didn't get the second update, so once we got to Minneapolis, we had to wait for a while until he showed up!
That night, I got to meet my new companion, who will be training me for the next 12 weeks. I am her last companion, so I will actually be "killing her!" Her name is Sister Anderson. She is from Idaho Falls. She is really tall! I am so glad I am companions with her, she is super sweet and fun. She took me back to our area, which is Prior Lake, Minnesota, but also covers Shakopee. When I got off the plane, I was expecting it to be face blistering cold, when it really wasn't that bad! Until today, I have just been wearing sweaters (whereas my companion has been wearing a big jacket which gives me hompe that I can surive the winter!). Today the temperature is suppose to be about -25. So this will be fun! Back to what I was saying... That night, we had dinner with the Moncurs that night, who was the first members I met on my mission on the field. On Thanksgiving, we went over to another family's home, the Cassells, and helped them prepare their meal. They have 5 kids, so it was fun to meet them and play with them. They are all recent converts, and their conversion story is amazing. They are a such beautiful family! Sister Cassel is actually taking me and my companion shopping right after I finish up emailing! At about 2 on Thanksgiving, we headed out and went to another members house, Sister Burton. her husband is an investigator who we are hoping decides to get baptized. When he introduced himself to me, he said, "I'm not a member, yet." Yet? Bingo! Haha it was fun talking to him and their family who was also there for the holiday. We ate our meal their and they sent us home with leftovers we are still eating!
Here in Prior Lake, the members don't feed the missionaries too often. Looking at the calendar for this week, we have no one signed up! So I will definitely be cooking more often!
This week my companion and I got to do some service for members, including helping them make cookies for a cookie exchange tomorrow, feeding their cats while they were gone on a trip, and giving people "heart attacks!" It was so much fun. I have found that I am really good at including a spiritual thought, no matter what we are talking about! I also noticed I always say prayers and invite others to pray as well. I am always stopping my companion so we can pray.
I have been meeting a lot of members, investigators, and potentials. I have really been able to bond with one girl, Kaitelynn who is 14 and not a member, who my companion says never really talked much before with the other missionaries. I am hoping to be able to teach her some gospel lessons and spark an interest in the church. Last night, I extended my first baptismal invite to a 16 year old girl named Beth. Her mom is a recent convert. Other missionaries have invited her to be baptized multiple times, but she never said yes. I felt the spirit so strongly during our lesion and just decided to be bold and ask her to be baptized on the second Saturday of January. AND SHE SAID YES! My first invite said yes! I am so happy she has decided to come unto Christ. Even though I just met her yesterday, I feel so much love for her. I know God loves her and He is helping me to love all the people I come in contact with on my mission. I know it is because of Him that she was able to have her heart softened and know what we are telling her is true. That was truly a miracle. I am so grateful to be here serving the people of the Prior Lake Ward.
The picture is the last selfie my companions, Sister Steadman and Sister Larson, from the MTC and I took! :( I already miss them so much.
My new address is:
Sister Emma Zimmerman
16516 Franklin Trail,
Prior Lake, MN
I don't know the zip code... :/