Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 2 in Mexico

This week was a lot better.  I am settling into the lovely Mexican lifestyle and have decided that when I return 16 months from now, and when I have kids, once a week we are going to have 'The Day of Mexico' where one day a week we eat Mexican food.  Wash our clothes by hand, shower with a bucket... the whole deal.  Can't wait! 
The food is actually pretty good.. they pretty much each everything with salsa, so I need to get used to hot food, but that will come... I hope..
The people here are wonderful!!  All so nice, we have some baptisms coming up soon I hope, but we will see.  The people really are just the best.  
It is really hot some days.. but I seem to not feel it.  Sure I sweat as I am climbing the steep hills in our area, but I don't feel it that much, which is definitely a blessing of the Lord.
 Every day I think about the people I love and miss from home.  Then also think of the missionary quote- what a missionary is.  (someone who leaves their family for 2 years (or 18 months) so that others can live with their families for eternity).  And this is  what keeps me going.     So that these people here can live with their families for eternity.  Also, because there are so many families here it really makes me want to be a mom... hahaha  my companion keeps telling me 'in 18 months!'  haha but the Mexican children are too cute.  I want them.. :)
Also, it was kind of funny... 2 days ago when we went to eat with a family, their son had some bumps on his arms, so they asked if I had ever had this disease that the  child had, and I couldn't really  understand the question, so just said no.. anyway, yesterday I found a nice little bump on my arm, and my companion started to act a little weird..  basically it might be chicken pox.  So if it is, I have to be quarentined in our house for the next 2 weeks, but we aren't sure, yet, but we'll find out today!
I want to write real quick some things I am thankful for:
1-hot, running water for the shower.  Sure, buckets are nice, but you know...
2-washing machines.  oh how I miss washing machines!  My hands bled a little today from trying to wash my clothes, that I kind of dread p-day because of this.  But besides having to do my own laundry with my hands, things are good.
 3-hmmm... my mom. :) and my family of course, but especially you mom! 
The name of the city I'm serving in is Tarimbaro, Michoacan !  I think, our area is Aeropuerto.  haha sorry.  Also, my area is basically  (I think) the far North-East part of the mission.
Haha and sorry about forgetting to mention my companions name... haha Yup!  Hermana Garcia, she has been her 9 months now and never wants to leave the mission.   She is from Mexico City, and is 22 years old!  She really has been a lifesaver with my doubts.  Her english is decent, more than most people, because she had another  'gringa' companion.  When I first met my companion here she said that I am the first 'gringa' in the area, so she was super excited :)  and I am her 2nd gringa companion, and 3rd companion that is a twin!  so that is pretty cool. :)

That is my week.  Life moves on, I hope to focus each day and work hard.   This opportunity is once in a lifetime and I probably won't be coming back here after the mission... so I need to enjoy these next 16 months that I have here in Mexico.  Also, I will most likely be stayin here for the next 6 months!

Here are some  pics from the mish!  My companion really is the best.  Also, we did divisions (splits?) a day last week and I was with 2 other hermanas, and they had grafitti of chicken little!  So of course I had to take a pic. :)

 First Area Tarimbara Michoacan
 going on splits with another Hermana
 I think the Laundry room??
Beautiful sunset :D

Monday, May 19, 2014

I made it through my first week in Mexico!!

Haley had only a small amount of time to write this week and apologizes for not having any time to write or e-mail friends. She really must have been rushed. I know that is must be hard getting use to a different key board and trying to upload pictures in short amount of time. This left her mom with lots of questions that will need to be answered next week. :D For instance the name of town "Aeropuerto" she said she is serving in, translated means airport. So googleing it was completely worthless, unless their is a town named airport. Our searches only came up with actual international airports. I'll try to get more info. from her for next week. I am just grateful that with pictures I could zoom in to see what her companion's name is. It is Hermana Garcia and she looks very kind and I'm sure she is taking good care of my Haley. Here is her week:

I have officially made it to Mexico!!! It is exciting but there is a lot of work to do.  In my area of Aeropuerto 2 there are lots of hills.  And I mean lots.  Well actually just like 4, but considering that just my area is hills it is a lot to take in and to walk every day.  We have taken the bus a few times this past week.  Also, my area is about 3 1-2 hours outside of Guadalajara.  So my first day we rook  3 hour bus ride to our area.  

Most days are super hot, but it is supposed to rain soon which is not something that I am looking forward to. Because there are lots of hills I feel that I am going to slip most of the time.  When it will rain... 

Besides that I bet you would like to know my situation of living. :)  We do have a shower that has running water, along with a toilet.. but it is cool.  So every morning we heat up water on our nice little stove and microwave and shower with a bucket.   It really isn´t that bad, just really different.  Another awesome part of the mission is how we wash our clothes.  We have an awesome sink thing that we take a handful of soap and scrub our clothes with.  Then we hang our clothes outside, so it is actually a pretty cool experience.   Also, we have about 2 meals a day here, one  when we wake up, and then one with members usually around 3.  The food honestly hasn´t been bad. It really hasn´t, it´s just different.  I haven´t really finished a meal, but at the same time I´m completely not sure what I have eaten.. usually chicken I think.  

The first night I think I only received about 7 mosquito bites, so that is also good.  hahaha and I am sunburned now on my neck, but it isn´t bad!  

The language is definitely coming along.  I feel like I learned a lot in the CCM, but here is a lot different.  My companion is from Mexico City I believe and has been in the mission for about 8 months I think!  She really is SUCH a hard worker.  This past week we´ve fallen short of most of our goals, but this week hopefully my legs will be ok running everywhere.  Without her I really feel like I would be lost, because she is the best.  Really, the best missionary out there.

I think the best part of the mission so far is the people.  All of the women always greet each other with a quick handshake and a kiss on the cheek, which I thought was super weird at first, but now I really like it.  It shows a lot of respect everyone has for each other.  

I think this area is really beautiful, the houses are very colorful which I think is awesome!  However, it´s kind of funny because a lot of people ask what I think of it and when I say I think it is beautiful they start to laugh.  Apparently other parts of the mission are prettier.  But it doesn´t matter, this is all I know.  :)

Mexicans also have a hard time saying my name, so one the 2nd day I was here we were talking with a family and the boy said ¨Hermana Superman¨ , so that is my name.  Hermana Superman.  It´s pretty funny.

The people here really are the best though.  I don´t know what I expected from the mission, but this wasn´t it. It is difficult work, but knowing all the Jesu Cristo did for me makes it worth it.  My companion reminds me of this every day.  

One funny story real quick.. we were having a lesson with a woman and this man started talking with us.  Basically he kept asking me questions over and over again, and I didn´t quite understand.  So my companion wrote in English so I could understand his intentions ¨he just wants to talk to you because he thinks you beautiful.¨ hahahaha oh man.  

With that I say goodbye|

 First day in Guadalajara with Pres. and Hermana Camarillo
 New Companion Hermana Garcia
 My First area!! Yea! somewhere 3 1/2 from Guadalajara


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mexico Here I Come!!!

Wow I can't believe I leave on Monday!!! How crazy!!  The time has completely flown by in the CCM.  Also, I leave at 2:30 in the morning... so that will be super fun.
I don't have much to say, but the spanish is really hard some days but other days it comes fluent.  It's really exciting to be speaking another language though, spanish is beautiful!  I just have a lot to memorize, but that'll all come in Mexico. 
But I am SO lucky.  During my stay in the CCM I believe that we have had 5 or 6 apostles come to visit us... Elder Christofferson, Elder Oaks, Elder Anderson, President Uchtdorf, and..... for our last Tuesday Night devotional.... ELDER HOLLAND!!!!!  Oh man, I feel so completely blessed to be at the CCM to hear such amazing apostles.  I had wanted to leave on the mission earlier, but I am SO grateful that my call wasn't until April 2.  
Here are some of my favorite parts from Elder Holland's talk!  
He spent the first 10 minutes thanking us for being on missions, and telling us how important his mission was to him.  Something he kept saying over and over was 
"This has to mean EVERYTHING to you."  

As in the mission.  Ahhh it hit me so hard.  Those of us on missions need to give it our ALL while we are on our missions!
He also talked about how PMG was made.  He said it wasn't written so that investigators could be converted.  It was written so the missionaries would be converted.  That is a very powerful statement. It just reminds me that this church isn't a missionary church.  Yes we want all people to join, but we don't recite memorized lessons.  We have to be fully converted in order to help convert others.  
Also, a lot of people always say that when they get back from their missions that they need to get back to "real life".  His response was: "the mission is the closest to real life we will ever get."  
Then he started talking about how missions are so important for the missionaries not to fall away after they get back home.  WE WILL NOT WALK AWAY, from the mission.  If we are teaching people that this church is the way to live, we need to live it forever.  Not just on the mission, but especially when we leave.  
Also, think about the Holy Ghost, and how LUCKY we are to have it with us!  We know that while on earth we can't be physically with God, or Jesus Christ.  But who is the 3rd member of the Godhead?  The Holy Ghost!  We get to "know what it means to walk with a member of the Godhead."  Every day, for those of us who are baptized.  We have the 3rd member of the Godhead with us ALWAYS.  As long as we are keeping the commandments and striving to do our best. 
One last part is about how HARD missionary work is.  "missionary work is never easy because it was never easy for our Lord, our Savior, and the Atonement."  It wasn't easy for our Savior to suffer the pains of the world, so why should we always think our lives should be perfect, even our missions?  It's not going to be easy, and it wasn't meant to be easy.  "you are going to have to suffer a little.
That was what I really liked from his talk.  Man, hearing Elder Holland on TV is sSOOO much different from hearing him in person.  He is such an amazing man.  
Also, today we got to go see the "Sacred Gifts" art exhibit at the BYU museum!  If anyone has time I highly recommend going to see it. 
Love you all!! I'm very excited for Mexico, and I know this church is true.  :)
Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Zimmerman
 Cinco de Mayo - our own Fiesta
 may be the last package for a long while :D

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Week 4 - To All Missionaires

One more week gone by in the blink of an eye!
This week my companion and I hardly taught anyone.  Which was weird... but instead we were able to study more which is awesome!   Also, for those about to go on missions soon, the teachers here are the absolute best.  I LOVE THEM! 
This week went by so fast I don't even remember details.. haha sorry!  But we had another awesome experience this past week with our Tuesday night devotional!! We had Elder D. Todd Christofferson!!!!  Oh my, he did such a good job.  His talk was mainly about Trust, and how we need to earn God's trust.  And oh man it was so powerful.  One part that really touched me was he was describing the relationship between King David and God (before King David decided to do some not-so-good things)  God even said this of him: 'He is like me unto my own heart."  How AMAZING would it be to have God trust us so much that he would say that our heart, our desires, everything about us is LIKE HIM?!?  So amazing.  Another part of the talk, he said "the Lord will trust us, but not until the very end"  which had another big impact on me.  We need to be doing all we can to gain the Lord's trust.  It's not something that just comes. Which leads me to another quote.. "It is greater to be trusted than to be loved".  We know that we are all loved by our Heavenly Father.  That is just a simple fact, but can our Father trust us with his Gospel?  With His plan?  Are we willing to submit to His will and do whatever he wants us to do?  Wooow, that just hit me strongly.  Just to reiterate:  God loves, us, but he only trusts us after we are willing to follow his commandments.  That was so amazing for me to hear.  
Right after that devotional we had another cool experience with our district, when we got together to share our thoughts about the devotional.  It was SO amazing, everyone cried, because of the Spirit.  We all felt it SO strongly and were impacted by it SOO much.  The fact that my district cried is definitely significant, because they never cry... never.  It was amazing.  
One more story that was from Elder Christofferson's talk, in my own words, and with my opinion a little..

Imagine you are driving in a train looking out the window at night.  All you can see (because it is dark) is your own reflection.  You can't see out of the window, because it is so dark.  As we are driving along we know that there is a beautiful sight outside, with lots of poeple.  Now comparing this to missionary work, we are all in the train, driving though the night.  Looking outside right now we can only see the reflection of ourselves.  WE are the reason it is dark outside.  So my question is, WHEN are we/you going to let the light (of Christ) come in?  Let the sun come up and show us the way.  We need to stop focusing on ourselves and let the light come in so that our reflection isn't the only thing we see.
Sorry, I did not do that story justice, and it probably doesn't make any sense.  Just think of a train ride where it is dark, and you only see your reflection, and then at some point the light comes in and you are able to see past yourself, into the world.  And basically see others who need help.  

Love and miss you all!! I have 1.5 more weeks in the CCM!! It has gone by so fast!  Mexico is calling! ;)

Hermana Zimmerman
 My District with the new Hermanas

My twin is serving in Scottsdale AZ  - Thanks Rachel & Mom