Monday, March 9, 2015

Don't Ever Forget the Lord Loves You!

Bom dia família!
(Sorry, no pictures this week either... the computer we used to use doesn´t have internet capacities anymore!)
Well, life just keeps moving on! It´s kind of crazy to me that it´s already P-day again, except that Sunday just wore us out so thoroughly. It´s such a blessing that we have P-day after Sundays, because they´re always the most emotionally exhausting: the anticipation and excitement of going to church and seeing who will come (like they promised us), the disappointment of who isn´t there, and the excitement as you see who is changing their life and who is ready to keep the Sabbath Day holy for the rest of their lives. And for some reason, it´s always the hardest day to find people at home (which is COMPLETELY different from what the Missionary Handbook says), and we always come home ready for a day of rest. :)
So let´s see... this week.
One thing that was really encouraging and exciting this week was that one of the people we´re teaching, named Davy, came to church even though he had been interior all week and hadn´t been answering his phone! It´s as if it´s already part of his routine, which is very different from a lot of people. But so exciting.
Also, we had divisions with Sister Spolador and Sister Ellsworth this week, and they were on Sister Johnson´s birthday! It was really good, because with six sisters in Santo Antão, we were able to make the day pretty special for her. I was a bit disappointed that I didn´t get to tell the world that it was her birthday, but Sister Ellsworth made it really special for her and made sure everyone knew. :) I think we both learned a lot, and we especially saw some new styles of teaching. It was really nice, because we´ve kind of been stuck in a rut with our teaching pattern. But, now we have some good ideas of how to improve, how to make every lesson even more personal, etc. Pretty fun.
We also had a zone meeting on Friday, which was great. We have incredible leaders here! I´m so grateful for the opportunity I have to learn from them. Sis. Johnson and I both felt rejuvenated and re-excited to go out and work this week after our zone meeting. It was such a blessing... such a tender mercy.
We have been working with a few groups of people (two sisters, and three cousins), helping them have conversion (not just a testimony) so they´re fully prepared for baptism. We were talking to Patrick, Lenisia, and Flávia (who are cousins), and verifying that they are keeping all the commandments. Flávia told us that they have been drinking Mokambo instead of coffee. We asked our leaders to verify, and Mokambo is a brand of coffee! We were a little disappointed and not exactly sure how to break the news to them, because they seemed so excited about it. After we got back from zone meeting in São Vicente, we explained that they couldn´t drink it. Flávia got especially passionate about it (she has had the hardest time with not drinking coffee), telling us that we were mistaken and that it doesn´t have coffee. Finally, Lenisia´s mom brought out the container, and we finally understood. They weren´t drinking Mokambo, they were drinking Nesquik chocolate milk! Haha, it was really funny. They explained to us that Mokambo is Creole for Nesquik (probably because Nestle makes both of them). But wow! It was pretty funny.
The Lord takes good care of His children. This week was pretty similar to the past few weeks, but with some more tender mercies, reminders, and events that charged my spiritual batteries. One big tender mercy was that even though all of our appointments fell through on Saturday, we still got to have six lessons with people we needed to talk to. Wow, it was such a tender mercy! Even when our plans fall through, the Lord´s plans never do. And there are some INCREDIBLE people here!
On March 1, one of the members did a Noite Familiar in her house for the first time... I think I mentioned it last week. It was incredible, and because of that, we have two families that we are now teaching... two INCREDIBLE families, with mothers who have some of the most sincere hearts and real intent that I have seen while being here. Such a blessing.
Also, we got to see Zuza again, too! Wow, she is incredible. She has been interior for a long time, working up there to pay for the necessities of her family and especially to pay for her son Elvis´s university schooling. Well, we got to see her on Saturday, and she told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon every day that she has time. She has had a change of heart, and told us that when she comes to Porto Novo next week, she´ll go to church and we can talk about a baptismal date in specific with her! So incredible. Also she´s been a great support to Elvis, who is preparing to get baptized this week and has had a lot of discouragement about it from his dad (he lives in Portugal).
I love this work. We´re still really trying to get the members more involved in missionary work, but we got some great ideas from some amazing members yesterday about what we can do. This week we will have a fun activity to help people get really excited about the work, and we want to start doing that every week.
God is good. He loves each of us so, so much. I feel so blessed to feel a portion of that love He has for His children here in Cabo Verde. Even though the work is hard, I have never been happier. I love this work and I know that when we serve people, helping them come closer to the Lord, we can have more joy than we could possibly have in any other way. Love you all!
Sister Zimbelman :)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Boa tarde!

Well, we finally asked and got permission to go to Lomba de Figueira for P-day! It was SO beautiful... like we were in Lord of the Rings or something. I would love to send photos, but the computer isn´t working, so... sorry about that. It was incredible. :) Pictures next week. :)
Well, this week was a lot like last week. Lots of hope, work, effort, and growing experiences. Haha. :)
I really learned that sometimes hard things happen. Sometimes people don´t do what they need to do to prepare to have eternal life. We were hoping to help at least one more person get baptized this week, but he wasn´t ready. He has a desire to be baptized, but hasn´t experienced the change of heart necessary for conversion. But we´re going to keep working with him and praying that he will be prepared to be baptized in March.
Actually, we have a lot of people here with the desire. They´re reading the Book of Mormon and praying. It´s just the harder things, like coming to church, that they really struggle with. There´s a culture here that as long as they have "Jesus no coração", they don´t need to do anything to be saved. People are so content with the way they imagine that they put God first that they forget Him. And it´s really sad. BUT, it´s so exciting and incredible to see them wake up spiritually and do what they need to do to put God first! :)
Sometimes Sundays are hard, because you hope and wait and expect to see so many people at church, but then something always comes up. That´s what happened with the family we were preparing to be baptized this week (well, they´re all cousins). Each of them had something come up, so they couldn´t go. But, that just leaves us with an opportunity to teach more clearly about the power and importance of putting God first, and how that commandment is the first of the 10 commandments: "thou shalt have no other gods before me". These gods could be work, school, laundry, lunch, parties, addictions... lots and lots of things. Anything that keeps us from doing what the Lord asks us to do. Anything that keeps us from reading our scriptures every day, praying every day, going to church every week, and becoming more and more like our Heavenly Father.
So, basically, we have a lot of incredible people in this area. And they all have trials that seem so different, but in reality they are all just struggling with putting God first, acting in faith, having that true conversion and not just a testimony. That is even with the members! I don´t know how I ever missed the quote or forgot about it, but Pres. Hinckley promised the people here that if every church member pays their tithing, Cabo Verde will be green, and if every church member does missionary work, 90% of the country will be members and the greater majority of them will be active. Incredible! We´re really, really, really trying to get the members to do more missionary work. This ward is struggling with that. But I know that God has a way for us to help each of them do what HE has asked each of us to do. And happily, they´re improving.
For example, this Sunday one of our rescued menos ativos, Tchenna, got a calling! And last night, we were invited to a ward member´s first Noite Familiar (FHE). We watched a video that the church made, called "Together Forever", and then Sis. Johnson and I bore our testimonies about the fact that our families truly can be together forever. One of the nonmembers who was there seems to be really, really interested, and we get to talk to her tomorrow! We´re super excited.
Also, yesterday Davy came to church! We contacted him about two weeks ago, and he has come to church both Sundays. He has a true desire to put the Lord first. We have only been able to have one quick lesson with him, but he is reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying. It was such a blessing to see him there.
Also, one of the menos ativo couples that we have been working with, João and Alzira, are starting to become more active! At first, Alzira told us that she doesn´t know how to read, but we found out that she just reads really slowly. She has been having a hard time reading because it wears out her eyes. But, she came to church two weeks ago, and after that, she asked a teenage girl, one of her neighbors, to read the Book of Mormon to her. They just starting reading it together this weekend, but Alzira told us that she read some pages (PAGES!!! Before her eyes got tired, she would only read a few verses) and is in 1 Nephi 9!!! Wow! The Lord works in mysterious ways. We´re still trying to figure out when we will have the chance to meet this girl and her family and teach them. But Alzira is such a sweetheart. She is such a missionary at heart!
We´re really hoping that we can help rekindle the fire in the hearts of more of our members, so they are EXCITED to do missionary work with us. A lot of them have become kind of complacent.. comfortable with the way the ward is. We have an activity on the 12th that will hopefully change that. :)
So, the work moves forward. God is so good. He never gives us more than we can handle. He may press us to our breaking point, but He´ll never press us past that breaking point. And when we trust in Him, move forward with faith, and especially when we humble ourselves, God always strengthens us. He always does. And He always comforts us if we will turn to Him. I know there is still work here that only Sister Johnson and I can do, together. I pray that we can be guided to do it and serve these people in the way the Lord needs us to serve them.
I love this work. I love being a missionary. And I just love these people. They really feel like my brothers and sisters. This week we met a ward member´s 90-year-old grandma. Wow, she just has the strongest spirit! I could just feel that we were sisters, and that she was an ageless being in a mortal body. I don´t know if she´ll be physically capable to come to church and be baptized, and if she even understands us very well when we talk to her, but I know that one day, she will accept this Gospel. How incredible.
God is so merciful. His plan is for all of His children. We don´t have to be perfect, just "striving, struggling, and desiring to do what is right", as Dad loves to quote Elder McConkie. And if we are doing that, our Heavenly Father is so proud of us. And He´ll bless our efforts! I know that miracles are just around the corner. Every day we can see miracles, if we just have faith.
Love you all! Have an incredible week full of miracles!
Sister Zimbelman

Friday, March 6, 2015

This Week.... CRAZY!

Bom dia querida família!
Well, this week has been pretty crazy. It has been a little bipolar: lots of blessings and lots of struggles. I really felt like Satan was really attacking my thoughts, trying to get me to be discouraged. It has been pretty exhausting, mentally. :) But it´s all good. In the end, Satan has no power over us unless we let him. But we are stronger than him, because we have a physical body, and we can also pray to the Lord for help and ask other people for help, too. Sometimes it´s hard to see people who are so incredible, who you love so dearly and who you see on the path to changing their lives to have eternal life, fall. To establish goals, feel the Spirit, and really and truly believe that you can achieve them, and to work as hard as you can... and then to see your goal fall through. And at that moment, Satan would put thoughts into my head, about how I hadn´t worked my hardest, or how I had just let all my leaders down and the Lord down, too, because my faith wasn´t strong enough for the miracle, etc. etc. Thank goodness for prayer, scripture study, hymns, the Spirit and Sister Johnson. We were both really feeling it, but we were able to help each other remember that we did our best. So those thoughts had to leave, because we both knew we were doing our best, and that these are just refining moments. And miracles happened! They always do, when you have faith and keep going with that faith. It may not be the miracle you were expecting, but miracles always come.
Carnaval was pretty crazy, but pretty harmless. Just a lot of noise, drunk people, parade floats down the main street (SO cool to see people build floats when they have basically nothing... the people here are so creative!) and weird costumes. It was all concentrated on the main road, and especially right by our house, but after 9 it basically died down, so it didn´t even affect our sleep! Just our lessons... no one wanted to mark with us, and if they marked with us, they weren´t at home when we passed by. But it was all good. We managed to talk to a few people. :)
The week was pretty crazy. Lots of lessons falling through, or people who seemed like they weren´t progressing. Romário had a date marked to be baptized this Saturday, and was feeling good about it, and then he COMPLETELY disappeared after we saw him Sunday night! I don´t know how many times we passed by his house and his usual hangout spots, but it was pretty crazy! Lessons would fall, and Sister Johnson and I would say to each other, "it must be so that we can find Romário, FINALLY". But we never found him during those times! We met a lot of other awesome people, but we never found Romário.
Sister Z sweeping water from the floor (getting a Cabo Verdean pedicure)
Then, on Thursday, we had some great, spirit-filled lessons. We were able to invite some people to be baptized and find two families! It was awesome. As we walked home, we were so happy. Then we saw that the area in front of the door to our building was all wet. There wasn´t a cloud in sight, nor was there any laundry on the roof... strange. Then it slowly occured to us that it might be coming from INSIDE the house! As we opened the door, sure enough, water was running down the stairs! I just KNEW it would be our apartment. As we bolted up the stairs, trying not to slip, of course it was coming from under our door! We opened the door as quickly as week could, and found an appliance in our bathroom (the only appliance that doesn´t have a drain under it... the sprayer you can use to clean yourself after going to the bathroom) was spraying, full blast. There was no way to turn it off! We were able to get the pressure down a little bit, but it was still running. So, we left it in the sink, where the water wouldn´t fill up our house. Then we got back to the more important problems: an inch (or more) of water on the floor! AND lots of wood doors and door frames and bookcases, chests, etc! 
Haha, luckily it was Sister Johnson and I. We took off our shoes, found an extra broom in the building, and called it an opportunity to get another workout, have a little fun on wet tile, and get a pedicure, all at the same time. :) Somehow we still got to bed on time, and by the morning, all the tile was dry. But it was pretty crazy for a little bit! Satan was really trying to get us in a bad mood, because finally, after a week of unanswered phone calls to Anna, she called back to tell us that she wouldn´t be back until sometime in the next month. Sister Johnson and I just took that to mean that there must be someone else we´re meant to find and help prepare for baptism until she gets back. Thank goodness for Sister Johnson. We´re able to keep each other optimistic even during times of trial. And even have fun while we´re at it! :) So it was pretty crazy.
The day after our house flooded and Anna told us she wouldn´t be back from Mindelo until some time next month, we found Elvis. I had taught him once before, and he had come to church once, but then he had basically disappeared, living with his aunt in Lomba (sp?) Figueira: a little town about 30 minutes from Porto Novo, on the mountains. We passed by his mom´s house to try to find two of his brothers, who are investigators as well, and he answered the door. Thankfully, we had a woman with us, so we could teach him at that moment, and wow, he is a different person from when I first met him in September! We taught him about the Restoration again, and he told us that the first time he was taught in September, he read the pamphlet we had left with him, and re-read and re-read it, and his favorite part was the part about Joseph Smith. Every time he read that page, he said, he felt something special. And after we taught him how to pray, he has been praying every day... wow! Every day since that one lesson in September. He told us that now he is a different person, more driven, more disciplined, with a more eternal perspective (he no longer does things that seem like they would be good for him in that moment, but in the end are harmful). INCREDIBLE! We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized, and he accepted both of them. He is so humble and sweet and just amazing. It will be hard to get him to church, since he is always with his aunt on the weekends, especially, but we learned that the church will help pay for him to come a few times every month! Miracles, miracles, miracles. They always come after the trials. :)
And then we found Romário! And he is changed! He is so excited to be baptized and he wants to change his life. I think this week showed him how much we love him, how much the Lord loves him, and helped him see that we aren´t there to convince him or baptize him. We´re there, inviting him to change his life so he can fulfill his potential to become like his Father: to become like God. He is just so awesome!
Also, we got to see Willy get baptized! It was such a privilege to teach him with Sister Yeater, and then again when he came to Tchenna´s house as we were teaching Josimara. He is very converted. Very incredible. And he will bless this ward so much!
Fretson. Fretson is a menos ativo who has been menos ativo for years. He has a serious problem with the word of wisdom, and he was at the FHE we had on Monday with Ronny. We taught the Plan of Salvation really quickly, and everyone decided they wanted to go to the Celestial Kingdom. Fretson didn´t think he would be able to get there. But one of the members that was there was so encouraging! And we talked to him one more time after that. We reminded him of his strength and courage and the power that he has inside of him. Satan has been telling him that he´s weak and helpless, and we let him see that it wasn´t true. It was so incredible to hear him decide that he CAN make it to the Celestial Kingdom! He WILL pray every day, and he will tell himself every day that he can make it to the Celestial Kingdom. Miracles! He needs a lot of prayers, but he´s going to overcome this addiction! He´s so incredible.
And in the end, we had five investigators at church, two menos ativos (one who is now active!), and two recent converts at church. So, lots of people, and it was a little crazy trying to mark with all of them, but it was such a tender mercy to see that even on crazy weeks, miracles happen. People change, hearts are touched, and we get to be the instruments that help the miracle occur. I just love being a missionary. :) Love you all so, so much!
Sister Zimbelman

Thursday, March 5, 2015

God is Good

Bom dia família!

Well, we got 59 contacts this week. Slowly but surely, we´re going to get 70 every week!
This week was just great! It started on a great note, and ended on a good note, too. Monday evening, we went to Mindelo for Zone Conference Tuesday morning. Wow, Zone Conference was just amazing! Sis. Mathews gave a training about the Plan of Salvation, and she talked about agency, our identity as children of God, the Atonement, and Satan´s rebellion and how each of these things are present in the pre-mortal life, our life on earth, and after death. It was incredible. Pres. Mathews gave a training about the Atonement. Wow, I love the Atonement! It was so nice to remember about the Atonement and strengthen my testimony of that amazing gift. I have made a goal to study the Atonement more frequently. I used to do that, but then I felt like I should be using my time better studying for investigators. But, in reality, if I spend time every day learning about the Atonement, I will be able to help more people understand the Atonement better and I will be able to bear stronger testimony of it.
Well, the training started early and ended in time for us to go back to Santo Antão Tuesday night by Fast Ferry... psych! We got to the port, only to learn that the Fast Ferry had gone to Praia (I have no idea WHY), and wouldn´t be getting back until Wednesday afternoon. So, we ended up staying an extra night in the sisters´ house in Mindelo, doing contacts in their area, and going back by the normal boat Wednesday morning. It was disappointing to miss lessons and have to figure out study time in the morning, but we got home. It probably was so that we could contact someone and help them find the Gospel, or plant some seeds.
Also, because there wasn´t a boat, we were contacting on the way to the bus station, and we ran into Dirce, my recent convert from Sal! It was so great to see her! She´s in Mindelo for some health reasons, and she said she´s going to find the church there. :) Wow, she´s so awesome. :)
Let´s see... I think the most incredible thing that happened this week was... Stenio got baptized! :) YAY!!! :) He´s so incredible. So converted!
He called his mom to tell her that he would be getting baptized. He didn´t need permission, but he wanted her to know and to support him. Well, she basically told him that he shouldn´t do it because his godmother was a big help and support to her when Stenio was born (and would get angry? I´m not sure). But he is incredible. He prayed about it, and decided that he still wanted to get baptized. And he was so excited! He told us he feels so different now. He was truly converted.
And now he´s going to help his friend, who is going to be baptized this Saturday, become active!
We lost track of Stenio for a while, because he didn´t come to one of our lessons and his phone was off, but we found him in his aunt´s house (thank goodness we´re friends with all his cousins!). He is really forgetful, but his testimony is so strong. I´m so grateful that we got to teach him! He´s so humble and so amazing.
Also this week, we had a noite de sobremesa for someone who actually lives in our area! WOW!!! Ravi, is his friend, and his name is Ronny. He is interested in religion, and accepted a baptismal date for March! He is super awesome and wants to learn all about the Gospel. We´re excited to see what happens. :)
Well, that´s about it. I love this work. I love the Lord, and I am so grateful to be serving the Lord as His missionary! I love this Gospel. It is amazing. Love you all!
Sister Zimbelman

Monday, November 10, 2014

Well WAHOO! ;)

Well.... this transfer will be exciting, and... interesting. But good. Very very good. :)
Surprise! Sister Pina will finish her mission on Wednesday so right now she is in Praia, Sister Walker was transferred to Sal for her last transfer of her mission, and Sister Barros will serve in the other area here in Porto Novo. Her companion is a sister who still needs two weeks of training but arrived one transfer after me.
I will be training! Sister Johnson will be my companion, and she will be brand new. They wonºt arrive from America until Friday, so this week Iºm not really sure what will happen. But itºs pretty crazy! But Iºm excited, which I wasnºt really expecting.
Well, this week was great. I have started to reflect on what I have done well each day and where I could improve each day. I donºt know if I have already told you that, but wow, it has been so incredible. It has really allowed me to recognize the growth Iºm experiencing and the progress Iºm making, as well as help me make better daily and weekly goals on where I want to focus to improve and become even more exactly obedient and lose myself even more in this work.
Well, ever since my interview with President Mathews, Iºve been trying to prepare myself like he told me to do. This week we had divisions on Thursday, and I was with Sister Pina in our area. Being with her, I realized how I had grown and changed even just since the time I had been with her. I felt like something "clicked" inside me, and I realized that I kind of know what Iºm doing now. And Iºm figuring out more and more how to just be myself, because the Lord has called ME to be His missionary. Definitely, I will work on turning my weaknesses into strengths through the grace of the Lord, but I can be proud of myself, too. I can be myself and that is who He needs me to be. I think the thing that "clicked" was that I let go of my fears about my weaknesses. I started completely trusting in the Lord. And thatºs when I felt His love, fully. I wasnºt complicating things or fogging things up with my own worries about my own inadequacies.  I was able to see, for a moment, myself as God sees me. And I realized that I really am capable, and that I just need to be myself, do my best, and not worry. Keep improving, but not worry.
It reminded me of something Elder Anderson told us when I was in the MTC: to look at everything in life through the eyes of faith. To have the faith that all of these things are the plan of the Lord. That even if they seem like they arenºt supposed to happen, even if they arenºt expected, the Lord knew that all these things would happen in the timing that they happen. We just have to trust Him, let go of our worries and doubts, and keep going forward. We just have to turn to Him and keep turning to Him. And when we turn to Him, He will bless us and help us be who He needs us to be.
Well, this little "ah-ha" moment was a great tender mercy. In that moment, I felt like I was ready for the future, for these future opportunities that Pres. Mathews told me to prepare for. I have held onto that feeling and that tiny revelation, and I am so glad that I did. Because if I hadnºt, I think I would be feeling a lot more overwhelmed with the idea of training. But I just decided that it is going to be an awesome experience and I am going to love it and learn a lot, and that this is another opportunity to serve another child of God. With this mindset, I have been really working not to let fear or doubts creep in. But I just remember that little tender mercy moment. If the Lord thinks I should have this opportunity at this time, then I will do all I can to give my best and trust in His plan. It was meant to happen this way, and I wonºt let fear or doubts creep in to destroy my faith and happiness. I´ve already decided that this transfer is going to be awesome, and Iºm going to love it, even if itºs hard. Because it was meant to be this way, and God wants us to have joy. Thatºs why weºre here. And I want to learn to have more joy during challenges. I want to learn to receive even more of the blessings that God wants to bless me with. So Iºm really excited to train. :) I know that with the Lord, I can do all things. If I just trust in Him, be myself, do my best, and especially BE HUMBLE, I know that I will love this transfer. I´m so excited to see the small miracles of this week, along with the bigger ones, and to help another missionary see how this work is truly a work of miracles.
Well, sorry, I havenºt even gotten to people yet! So Iºll just share a few experiences. We visited Walter this week, and it was so awesome. We needed a woman to sit with us for the lesson, and his girlfriend was there, so she sat with us and we got to know her a little bit. Walter told us that after going to church this past Sunday, he has decided that he will never miss another Sunday. He will do what he needs to do for work on Saturday or Monday, but not on Sunday so he can go to church and keep the sabbath day holy. He also told me that he wants to read the entire Book of Mormon by the time I leave Porto Novo, which would be so cool! Heºs really putting the Lord first in His life and trusting in Him. Itºs so cool to see that. And, Iºm so excited to teach Nadine, his girlfriend! She seems really humble and prepared.
We also found a lady named Maria, and she showed us a family, and now weºre teaching both of them. Maria has eight children, and one of her daughters was baptized in the church and passed away two years ago. She said she felt something when we taught her the first lesson, and when she gave the closing prayer, she prayed that we would be able to return often to teach her the word of God and help her feel this peace that she hasnºt had in her life. It was so cool.
This family is pretty great, too. Mizi and Marlino live together and have a baby boy together, and Mizi has a seven year old daughter. Theyºre super humble, but Marlino likes to talk a lot. But theyºre awesome. Mizi went to church yesterday and really liked it.
Also, Daniela and Milene are going to get baptized this week! Milene wants to get baptized as soon as possible, and she is just awesome. Sheºs so prepared, and everything we teach her she accepts and starts living. She even started dressing modestly after we taught the law of chastity, which was a little miracle because she said she wouldnºt feel good about herself if she dressed modestly. And Daniela is changing, too. Theyºre so cute. Itºs been cool, too, because Jacqueline, Danielaºs sister, has been coming to church with Daniela and Milene. Sheºs less-active, but sheºs been changing a lot and is becoming active again. These girls are so amazing. Itºs such a blessing to see them come unto Christ so enthusiastically.
Well, thatºs about it! Iºm so excited to train and to serve another sister missionary! Kind of crazy: this will be my fourth companion in Porto Novo, haha (including my mini-missionary). But Iºm so excited!
Well, I love you all! Have an awesome week! And trust in the Lord... itºs so much easier! :)

Sister Zimbelman

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How Great Will Be Your Joy...

Well, this week was awesome. Iºm not sure why, but it just was. :) Even besides interviews, it was a good week. I think itºs because Iºm learning how to be myself and to have fun while also maintaining the dignity of my calling. I am always worried about erring on the side of frivolity, so Iºve been pretty serious. But now Iºm trying to make sure I donºt take myself too seriously. :) Also, Iºve been working on being more bold, and wow, that has been such a relief! I donºt know how to describe it other than a relief. I think I had forgotten that if I love these people and show them I love them, I can be clear and honest with them and they will listen and know that I am speaking with love.
Last night we talked to Nerr to see where he is spiritually. He has a date set to get baptized this Saturday, but our last three lessons weºve marked with him have fallen through because he has had things come up... well, thatºs what he says. But finally we were able to talk to him and see how he is spiritually. We basically talked to him very openly and honestly. It was such a powerful lesson. He was wearing one earring, so reviewed the law of chastity and he took it out right then. I could tell that the Spirit was working through us both to be completely open and honest about the Gospel and the need for obedience to the commandments to receive all the blessings and true, lasting happiness that God wants to give us. Our openness definitely allowed him to open up more about his true feelings, and we could address his concerns and doubts more clearly and powerfully. It was so cool.
I love seeing how Sister Barros teaches. It is so different than my other companions, and I love seeing how she adapts lessons to fulfill needs and how she follows the Spirit during our lessons. Sheºs often inspired to ask questions I wouldnºt think to ask, or in a way that I wouldnºt think to ask. And these questions allow our investigators to open up more or allow us to understand their needs more. Itºs such a blessing.
Also, Lara got baptized!!!  It has taken a LONG time to get her understanding and testimony, especially of the atonement, to the point where she was excited to get baptized and felt worthy to be baptized. But wow, she is just amazing. And after her baptism, she was so happy. So, so happy. Those are the kinds of small moments that I never want to forget. Those are the small but significant moments that remind me why I wanted so badly to serve a mission. She has a great future in the Church. And there is nothing sweeter than seeing someone baptized, especially someone who was so burdened by the sins of the past. This Gospel is amazing, and the Atonement is so, so incredible!
Also, it was so good to see President and Sister Mathews this week. Iºm really focusing this week on learning to control my thoughts even more... the last week of the transfers is always the hardest with that. :) But Iºm learning more and more to focus on the moment, the person, the need, and to recognize the subtle promptings of the Spirit. Iºm also learning to act. To not question or hesitate, but just to act. I love this work, and I love all that Iºm learning. I feel so blessed to be serving a mission, and especially to be serving here.
Interviews are awesome. President reminded me of what Pres. Monson said: that "whom the Lord calls, He qualifies." That was so good to hear, and Iºm trying to remember that. :)
Also, miracles happen, and often when you donºt expect them! A recent convert, who is also a less active, was in church yesterday! His name is Walter, and he hasnºt been to church since I have been here, I think. Itºs because he has been working, and he is going to be a father and is worried about having sufficient money to take care of a baby. We have been trying to talk to him, and itºs been really hard to find him. Then on Saturday morning, we found him and invited him to an activity for Saturday night. He didnºt go to the activity, but he went to church! Hopefully we will be able to sit down with him this week and teach him the lesson that we have prepared to teach him!
Well, I love you all! Ficam bem!

Sister Zimbelman :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


My companion arrived Wednesday!
Her name is Sister Barros, and she is 21 years old. She is from Praia, and she has an afro. She keeps it fairly short, but itºs still an afro. Everyone here comments on her hair, haha. :) Sheºs the third of five kids, with two older sisters and two younger brothers. Her family met the missionaries and were baptized when she was 8 years old. Her family and her two older sisters (theyºre married) have all been sealed in the temple.
I am doing great. Wow, it is so refreshing to not be the senior companion to a mini-missionary! Itºs a lot of fun to not be in training and to be able to work more as a team... less as a teacher and student. Iºm still figuring it out, and figuring out how to teach with her, but I love Sister Barros already. Sheºs so fun, loving, and just genuine. I want to learn as much as I can from her during the time we serve together. She has a gift with people, which is always one of my more weak points: to get to know someone and show my love and let them feel comfortable with being open, even very soon after we meet them.
I love how she chooses numbers for some of the goals we make, and she teaches differently than anyone Iºve ever taught with. I love it. She is a very simple, clear, powerful teacher and she definitely follows the Spirit. I hope to become more still (so I can follow the Spirit more during the lessons) and clear in my teaching during my time with her. She is also very direct, but she does it in such a loving way. That is something that I love about her. I really hope I can become more like that. :)
Yep, Iºm doing well here. This week was pretty awesome because nothing crazy abnormal happened, besides Sister Barros arriving on Wednesday. :)
We had an awesome lesson with Nerr this week. We had a hard time getting him to sit down with us this week, but finally one evening after Sister Barros arrived, we were able to talk to him really quickly. He said heºs keeping some of the commandments, still, so probably he hadnºt really tried to change his habits. We reviewed the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom with him, and he said that he only has problems with the Word of Wisdom. His only problem is that when he is with his cousins, they will drink a bit to have fun. He was justifying it, because it wasnºt an addiction and it was just a little bit, every so often. Sister Barros shared Mosiah 2:41 with him, and we talked about how we receive this state of happiness through keeping the commandments... all of them, completely. It was a really powerful lesson, and the Spirit was definitely present.
Nadine's baptism from last week
Also, we committed a family to baptism this week! We didnºt get to talk to the dad, but everyone else accepted the baptismal date we had set. And the dad went to church yesterday, so Iºm excited to talk to him, too! It was so cool. The spirit was powerful in that lesson too, and it was probably the most simple I had ever taught the Restoration with someone. I love seeing how the Spirit will work through us and help us become better teachers. Such a tender mercy.
We also got to talk to Lara a few times this week. She is anxious for her baptism, and was feeling like she needed to confess to the Bishop. We explained that the Bishop doesnºt have the authority to have an interview with her, because she still isnºt a member. Then we talked a lot about repentance. We used D&C 58:42-43 (or maybe itºs section 59?), and Isaiah 1:18. It was really powerful. We talked about how a lot of the confession can just be between us and the Lord. We also talked about how we arenºt forgiven partially... thereºs no pink people. I think that has been her trouble in the past: feeling worthy to be baptized and feeling like she really has been forgiven. I think she really will get baptized this Saturday. Itºs so exciting! Sheºs excited to be clean and feel forgiven, and to start a new life.
Well, thatºs it for this week, I think. I know there were more exciting things that happened, but I forgot my planner at our house.
Oh! Itºs finally "cooling down" here! We can sleep with the window closed and the fan blowing without sweating! I still donºt use my top sheet, but I think I will start to soon. The day is still just as hot as always, but around 6:00 in the evening it starts to feel more like 70s/high 60s here. Tender mercies, haha. :)
Love you all! Ficam bem!

Sister Zimbelman