Monday, November 30, 2009

A little bragging...

Sorry, but I just can't help it.
Amy just set up an etsy shop to sell her super cute hair clips.
If you need some awesome stocking stuffers
or something nice to complete
a gift for that sweet little sugar and spice in your life
go to Rubies and Violets
*love love love the name!*

And in celebration of opening her shop she is having a giveway
check it out here.

While you're there check out her amazing photography.
She is one talented young lady!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

*note - while this post was written on Thanksgiving but
internet issues and a short trip to St. George delayed posting till today*

Today is kind of a strange Thanksgiving for our family.
There are just the four of us here.
It's quiet.
The veggie tray sits on the table looking beautiful for more than 5 min. - no great crowds gathered around trying to make sure they get their share of the pickled okra before it disappears...
Just a small turkey breast in the oven instead of the whole bird.

Today I have so much to be thankful for and do not have the time or room to write it all.
I hope that it's obvious to all that I have been blessed beyond measure and I am truly thankful.

But today I feel especially thankful for the wonderful families in Sacramento and Champagne (or Urbana) that have extended their love and a warm welcome to my children who are not here with us today. Families who are sharing their veggie platters, turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie with my children when they could not be here with us. I hope and pray that when these families gather today and share in their blessings with my children they will feel a little extra love coming from me - and gratitude that my children are not alone on this day of Thanksgiving.

Aaron, Celisa, Olivia, Amy, Jordan, Ruby
and Robbie too (although they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Brazil)
I'm thinking of you today and love you very much.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Missionary Blessings

I am so blessed to be associated with wonderful missionaries, first Aaron, now Robbie and all the wonderful missionaries Mark and I work with at the MTC. Look forward to Christian serving too. And someday Mark and I will go...

Santa Maria Again?!

Dear family,

It was so good to hear from all of you. It would be very hard to stay on the mission without it!

This has been a superb week. Other than on Thursday talking with President he told me, "Congratulations you've just been called to be a Zone Leader." As I replied, "me?" But, I am sure that the Lord will strengthen me in my new calling.

But knowing that I would be transferred made Elder Oliveira very sad. I have never been so close to my companions like I am Elder Oliveira's friend and consider him my brother! I told president that I could be his companion until the end of my mission if he wanted. But, I think that my work here in Santiago has been finished.

Camilla and Lucas were baptized last Saturday and Confirmed last Sunday. It was a great baptism despite most of the members were at the temple. It was also a very spiritual sacrament meeting despite most of the members staying home because of the rain. Those that went to church were very blessed. Simone was at the baptism and Confirmation and felt the spirit very strongly. Elder Oliveira will start working more intensely with her and we will see what happens.

There was also another Lucas that was baptized. He is 23 years old and has been going to church for about 3 years. He started going back to church because of the English classes and the activities. He didn't want to be baptized but I started talking to him. I told him about all that he is missing out on and all the blessings he would receive by being baptized. I told him that the Zone Leader would be at the church on Thursday to interview Camilla and Lucas and that he should talk with him. He went and was interviewed and Saturday was baptized! It was a really great experience!

Now Elder Oliveira has a bunch of investigators that have been to church and can be baptized. Pray for him to be directed by the spirit and be able to help these people be baptized! Also, I'm afraid that he will be really sad now that I will be transferred. Please put his name on the temple role and pray for him every day!

I'm very excited for my new area! I will be working as the District Leader and Zone Leader with Elder de Paula. He is my Zone Leader but now my comp. But, I'm also a little nervous because I will be really busy. I am not very excited about being both ZL and DL. Please pray for me to not get stressed out!

I love you all! It was so good to hear from you! Until next week!

Elder Zimbelman

P.S. I forgot my camera in the house, next week I will send you photos of the baptism.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This terrible, wonderful love

Whenever Mark is out of town the kids and I watch movies.
Jenn and I like to watch movies that the boys don't necessarily enjoy watching with us.
Among my very favorite is Sarah Plain and Tall.
Specifically the first and second one watched in succession.
I love to watch Sarah as she puts herself out there,
seeks to understand others and falls in love.
I love the way she is true to who she is
and they both learn to value their differences.
In Skylark (the second one) she is separated from her love for a time and when they are reunited she tries to explain how she has felt as they have been apart.
She says something like, "I never knew..., this terrible love... I just never knew"
I know exactly what she's talking about.
When you have given your heart to another and they give theirs to you,
there comes the realization that you have become such a part of them and they of you that without them you do not feel whole.
When you realize how incredibly connected and interdependent you have become
the thought of being parted from them,
for days or months or for the rest of your life
is a terrible feeling.

But at the same time I would not give up one minute
of the time I have with Mark
or any of my family to avoid this terrible love, this connectedness.
It makes me so much more thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For the power of the priesthood on the Earth today
which can bind families together...not just for this life
but for the life after this one too... forever.
That means that any separation from my family members
will, in reality, only be temporary
because I know that when this life is over
I will have all eternity to be with them.
Never to be separated again.
That kind of love truly is wonderful.

You can learn more here

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gaúchos Are Scared of the Rain

Dear Family,

How good it is to hear from all of you! I am so glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Also, thank you for your prayers for me, my companion and our investigators.

Everything is going just fine here. We have two baptisms planned for this week, Camilla and Lucas; and three more that could be baptized this week!

Camilla and Lucas are doing very well! They have gone to church the last three Sundays and are very intelligent. They have prayed very much about the things that we teach and have testimonies that the Gospel is true! They are very excited about their baptisms, and we are too. We have had a few problems teaching there parents but they are very good people and have given there permission for them to be baptized. We are hoping that we can start to teach them more intensely this week, before the baptism and also after the baptism. Please pray for them; Laus, Simone, Camilla and Lucas.

Taiara is also one of the possibilities. She has been telling us that she wants to be baptized, knows that it is important but it scared. She has followed an evangelical church for a long time with her mom and sister but recently stopped. She knows that our teachings our true. So we marked her baptismal interview with the ZL and it went really well. She picked out her baptismal clothes and everything. Then yesterday we sent Gianine to pass by here house and take here to church and she said that she was the only one home and had to take care of the house (a normal Gaúcho excuse). So we passed by there a little later and here aunt tried to tell us that she didn't want anything more to do with us... Long story short we are going to go back there talk to Taiara today and see if that is really true. Please pray for her!

Kátia is also a baptismal candidate. We have taught her everything but the commandments but she should be fine because she is married to a less-active member. We will teach her the commandments tonight and mark the baptismal date! Pray for her!

There is also a Lucas that has been going to church for about two years and knows a lot. He is very intelligent and hasn't been baptized for no reason at all. Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting I sat by him and talked to him about baptism. I told him that his baptism this Saturday would be awesome! He laughed but I seriously think that he is considering it! We marked a lesson with him on Tuesday. Pray for him!

Also, Zone Conference was a blast! It was really inspired. Now we will all be working like crazy to find some new families. Other than these baptisms that will be our main focus this week. Thanks for all your love and support.


Elder Zimbelman

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th: Lucky Me!

In elementary school I remember a general feeling of fear
and foreboding about Friday the 13th.
We all knew it was an unlucky day and we watch carefully for all the bad things that happened to us on this day. Proof that it was unlucky.
Then one year my birthday fell on Friday the 13th.
I was crestfallen. My best day of the year on the unluckiest day.
What to do? Somewhere along the way I decided that for me Friday the 13th is my lucky day.
I got presents and cake and people said nice things to me.
Even if it's not in November I try to make sure Friday the 13th is an extra good day.
(When I notice it.)
So let me tell you why I am feeling particularly blessed today.

My family.

46 years ago today my parents welcomed their third child.
They had a three year old and a 16 month old and now a newborn.
They had their hands full.
But I always knew I was loved.
Three more children followed and I always felt loved...
enough love that I prayed for more babies to come to our family
until my mom asked me to stop.
A special thanks to my parents - especially my mom
for not only giving me life but also love
and teaching me about the love of my Heavenly Father.
Is their a greater gift than that?

My family.
The people in this photo amaze me.
I am amazed that I know them and are a part of their lives.
I married an incredible man who is my best friend
I look at each of my children.
Each one is different. Each one has unique talents and gifts.
They are incredible individuals and I often sit back in amazement
as I watch them soar.
I have been further blessed as our family has grown.
Aaron and Amy have both chosen incredible spouses who are wonderful loving parents to our granddaughters - another priceless blessing.

I am surrounded by wonderful friends
and incredible people and opportunities.

I am lucky
but more than that I have been very blessed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting Better

Dear Family,

It was so good to hear from you all this week! Your encouragement and love make all the difference to me!

This has been a good week. We found a few more families and had a bunch of people at church. It was also very cool this week that Gianine is working with us a ton.

This week the Zone leader came to visit my district. We did a super division! For three days he passed through our three areas here and i worked with a different person every day. It really went well! We were all able to learn a lot from each other and evaluate our work.

This week we will have Zone Conference and I am very excited! Not much for the trainings but for President's talk! He is always very inspired and has amazing knowledge of the scriptures. I am so lucky to know him! Wow, this week was really cool! President Queroz entered in contact with President and told him about me. The world is so small! I also spoke with president this week and he will loan me a projector for the English class. He asked me if Mom and Dad would be coming to pick me up and I said no. I asked him if I could maybe go to Florionopolis to see President Queroz and he said he would see what he could do! I sure hope I can, that would be SO cool!

This week we had an awesome English class! There were a bunch of students there. There are new students every week! We learned about verbs. Then we played mimic guessing the verbs and listened to a Beatles music identifying the verbs. I think it was the funnest class and fullest class we have had.

It is also a very good way to find new investigators. Because we say a prayer and usually teach a principle like faith. But, it is an environment more excited and also less formal. We brought four investigators to church yesterday because of the English class!

Well, Camilla and Lucas are doing really well. We have failed to enter in contact with there parents because they are so busy. But, we taught them about the "Restoration of the Gospel" and they accepted our preparation to be baptized in the church! It was a very spiritual lesson and they are very intelligent. We also told them that there will be many distractions now that they decided this but to recognize them and not let them be affected by them. Pray for them, and especially there parents; Laus and Simone. They are very special but until now, they haven't gone to church and we have only taught them one time individually.

Also there is Taiara. Gianine is being a great friend to her and helping her a ton! Yesterday they went to church together and also watched, "The Other Side of Heaven" together. We also taught her about making the right decisions yesterday and challenged her to be baptized this Saturday or next. She promised that she would pray about it! We will back there today and teach here about Faith. Pray for her. She is just a little afraid but she is really special and ready!

This week we really need to find some new families to take to church. Please, pray for us.

g2g, they will close the internet place now.

Love you all, thanks for your emails.

Elder Zimbelman

Friday, November 6, 2009

Count Your Blessings

This is our piano.

It was recently moved from its long appointed home in the living room
into its new place in the family room.
To many it may not be much too look at
and it usually looks like it does in this picture.
Assorted books and note books spread across it.

But to me it is grand.

This piano was a gift from Grandma T. when we moved to Tucson...
a gift given at the beginning of our PhD years.
For those five years it was a reminder that our poverty
would be temporary and that the day would come
when we would have a nice home and sustaining income.

Every child in our family has taken piano lessons
and has spent countless hours practicing at this piano
some more (lots more) than others it's true.

There were days in when I wondered if I would enjoy the sounds that came from the piano. For years I knew by heart the beginning songs the kids would play and could call out from the kitchen which note was the correct one. But on so many more days the sounds that came from the piano brought beautiful music to our home

Christian and Jennifer currently fill our home with music of all kinds.
Cold Play, Sonatinas, Rags, Hymns and of course
"Heart and Soul" fills our home with heart and soul.

This morning, before the kids left for school at 7:10
our home was filled with the strains of "Count Your Many Blessings"
Jennifer accompanies her Seminary class once or twice a week as they sing and she did a quick "run through" before she left for school.

The song remained with me
and I went through my day counting my blessings.

Including our piano.
Thanks Grandma T.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mr. Rogers was right...

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood.

New Families!

Dear Family,

I am thankful to each and every one of you for your love and concern for me and also you devotion to the Lord! It was good to feel your spirits through your letters and to hear that you are all doing well.

Well, this week your prayers were really heard. We found a lot of new investigators. I would particularly like to ask for your prayers in behalf of a few.

There is a family of four that is very special. Camilla and Lucas are two of our English students. They are very intelligent and come from a structured family. Lucas is Camilla's uncle but they both are 13 years old. We taught Camilla's mom, Simone, and she loved the message and brought tears to her eyes. Then we taught her dad, Laus, and he accepted the message with a few doubts. You see, he believes in reincarnation and that all churches are good and can take us to heaven. So, he will need a little more faith and help from the Lord.

But, Camilla and Lucas went to church the Sunday before last and said that they were going to go this last Sunday. Simone also said that she would see, if she didn't have to work, she would go. But, they ended up not going. We don't exactly know what happened but, we will call them today and try to go back there today. Pray for them please! They are a very special family! (Laus, Simone, Camilla and Lucas)

Also, a few new things are happening with Sani and Jaqueline. It's a long story but Sani got hurt on the job and wasn't working for a while. Now he has to go back to work. He will start working in other cities for two weeks and just coming back for about 4 days! Everything was going so well and they were just about ready to get married! We are really sad! Please pray for Sani and Jaqueline!

There are also a few other young women that went to church yesterday. There names are Taiara and Amanda. We taught Taiara's family but, they are totally divide in there beliefs. Taiara and her sister Tanise were the only two that are listening more frequently to the messages. They aren't really firm in the idea or decision to follow the church. But, we have given them the Book of Mormon now and will focus on their testimonies. Pray for Taiara, Amanda and Tanise(also their parents, Antonio and Rose).

This has been a good week and if these people can progress it will be an awesome month. We will still be looking for a bunch of new families so pray that we can be guided by the spirit to find those in need!

I love you and thank you for all you support!


Elder Z

P.S. It is burning up down here. This whole week it has been close to 100 degrees here. But it is almost as humid and stuffy, if not more, than Florida! Finally it is raining today and has cooled down considerably. That is crazy that it has already snowed there in Utah, and cool that it's in the 80's in Cali!

P.P.S. Swine flu passed through Brazil this winter but the Mission Doctor/Medic told us that it's nothing to be worried about. If you feel the symptoms of the flu go to the doctor. The worst affects that it has is on babies or old fogies. So take care of Ruby and Olivia. But, it's nothing to worry about as long as you get to the doctor in a few days after you feel the symptoms.

Take Care!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My little ghoul: Halloween 2009

This year's Halloween was kind of pitiful.
No one was that excited about gutting pumpkins
and I wasn't able to lift and move them on my own this year
because of my crash. So for the first time in...
well, maybe my whole life
we did not carve jack-o-lanterns for Halloween
I know, I know, humbug and all
and I don't even have pumpkins decorating my front porch for fall.

BUT, before you send ghosts of Halloweens past to haunt me please note:

I did make some spiders and hang them from the dining room chandelier...

but they got cut down before I could take their picture so
I held up the tangled mess to give you some idea of what they looked like

We decided last minute to head to St. George and didn't get back till after tricker treating had already started so I put Christian in charge of handing out candy.
Unfortunately he already had plans but I think he handled it quite well.

Needless to say we came home to an empty bowl on the porch.

Since we didn't make it back in time for Jen to get ready at home for her Halloween party we got her a costume and make up in St. George and she got ready in the car.

She was a little late for the party but still had fun.
My sweet little girl makes a pretty good zombie.