Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Learning to Love

I am doing so well this week. God is great and so good to me and my companion. We got transfer news this week and surprisingly Sister Child's and I are still together in our area. That is actually pretty rare to stay with a companion for longer than 2 transfers here in the Mesa mission, especially if that companion happens to be your trainer.  I am so glad to be with her. She is my dearest friend and sister and I love being her companion. She makes me so happy! Staying together is so good because we have 1 more person on date for December 5 and will have 2-3 more on date by the end of this month. The work is moving forward. Days and weeks are not without their stresses but Heavenly Father knows all and that makes everything okay.

To answer some questions:
1-  Yes I do have a very comfy bed and live in a nice apartment on the 2nd floor which has running water and AC and no bugs or scorpions!

2-  We get transfer news usually the Sunday night before transfer meeting, which usually happens on a Wednesday, and then we know where we will be serving, who our companion will be, who our ZL's and DL's are, what wards we are over, whether we will be on bike or in a car and how many miles we are allotted if we are in a car. Then we go to transfer
meeting and change companions and get instructed by President Jenkins.

3-   My companion and I are over two wards, most missionaries are over 2 or 3. We have to keep everyone straight and work with two ward councils... Kind of crazy.

4-  We got to go to the temple for Halloween which was amazing.

5-  It is around 80 degrees here every day, with no clouds in the sky until the night when Mother Earth paints the sky with cotton candy colors and such. It is beautiful!

6-  My new favorite food is honey and vanilla Greek yogurt.

7-  We eat dinner with members every night.

8-  I see Elder Jake Carlsen all the time.

9-  We also see our Mission President all the time, he isn't untouchable, he is very involved in the lives of every one of his missionaries.

10-  There is this cool thing called 10% that he and Sister Jenkins do at a few of our meetings where they take whatever time we have left and talk about life skills and marriage and things we need to know like how to bake an apple pie or how to raise children... Pretty much whatever they are inspired to say.

This week I had a really cool experience where we walked in to have a lesson with a woman who is less active and just moved into one of the poorest communities. The first time we met her she yelled, like a lion, at the top of her lungs at everyone. She gets really angry really easily and has the worst kind of temper... But nevertheless she is one of Gods children and needs to feel love too. So, after teaching her and her roommate, who is not a member but will be soon;) the first lesson over again, we came a week later to teach her and her roommate the second lesson. When we walked in we sat on the ground, because she didn't have money to buy chairs and we began to teach her the first lesson. Usually Sister Child's will lead more in lessons but this woman we are teaching is something else so I went ahead and took the lead. I felt so much love for her as we taught. She told
us all of her problems and concerns and really opened up to us. We asked her inspired questions and she participated well. The spirit prompted me to tell her that she needed to clean up her life and get ready to go to the temple and she said, "that would be my only joy, to go to the temple, I know I will go there someday". We broke through her hard shell and helped her feel loved. When we left after the lesson Sister Child's looked at me and said "what happened". I don't even know myself what happened but I was not afraid of her at
all. She could have yelled at me all day and said terrible words but I would have not been afraid of her. The spirit told me what to speak and I said it. Truly perfect love casteth out all fear. I learned that night that if I am filled with the love of Christ I can be a better tool in the hands of God to help others come unto Christ. Ever since then she has spoken kindly to us and I can just look her in the eyes, no matter what the situation is, and say exactly what God wants her to hear, without caring what she will think or how she will react.

In stake conference a while ago our Mesa, AZ temple president spoke about some verses he was reading and his commentary on how they applied to his life. I think there are many things we can learn from this and many ways in which this applies to each of us.

Psalms 73:
1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
- that's right, God is good to the righteous...

2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
- but even I have made mistakes and have fallen short

3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
- when I looked at my neighbors I saw that they were so wealthy and seemed to be happy even in their wickedness and sin.

7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
- they had everything, even more than they could wish for... Our country even makes television shows about people like this. We've all heard of "lifestyles of the rich and famous" but never "lifestyles of the meek and humble"

11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
- even in all this wealth and "happiness" having everything, they wonder if there is a God and ask if He is real...

15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
- if I answer them I will offend them back to Adam, I would even offend their children...

16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
- it became painful to me to think about about this situation. I wondered how this could be. How could those who are so wicked love lives of plenty having all that they could wish for, while the righteous suffer trials of poverty and sickness and sorrow. Those people don't even know God, how can this be. Our temple president wondered this as he pondered this scripture... Then he read the following verse

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
- in the temple of God we learn about the plan of Our Heavenly Father for us. It is a place of peace and learning and answers and love.

Moral of the story: the temple is where we can understand our purpose more fully. We can also gain understanding from the scriptures and prayer. If we ask in faith, God will answer us.

Love you all so much,
Sister Zimmerman

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