Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My legs are tired!

Dear family,

This week has been extremely tiring. The work never stops! But, that is a good thing. I would hate to stop working!

This week we had Paloma's baptism! She is 8 years old and is the cutest thing in the world! She doesn't stop smiling. She told us that when we go to her house she fills with joy and just starts running to us. It really is too bad that we can't hug. Well here in Santa Maria we don't like to baptize many young kids without there families but, listen to her story.

She has gone to church six times in a row, alone! She knows where to get the bus and she gets herself up and goes! The baptism was really special. We are working with her brother and her mom that are really looking interested. There names are Jaqueline and Jackson. Jackson has already taken out his earrings but has a piercing in the eyebrow that he need to take out.

We also have a marriage and baptism this weekend for Alcir and Marta. They are very special and have been following up with the church since I have been here. Actually, Alcir is a runner and is about Dad's height. I can always remember Dad's racing stories when he is telling his.

You should also all pray for a couple called Fernando and Irene. They are going to get married and baptized on the 29th. But, it looks like something could have happened with them. We are having problems getting in touch with them. We are praying for them a ton and you all should too.

Sure love you all and am so glad that you are all doing well.

Love, Elder Zimbelman

P.S. That is awesome all that I heard about Christian's Eagle project! You will love it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

This just in...

A PS to yesterdays post.
And the latest gingerbread creation coming from my friend Christie.
Just like her.
See it in greater detail here.

Maybe I will whip up more frosting and add some finishing touches to ours...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It takes a family...

to raise a village....
a gingerbread village that is.

We've made gingerbread houses for Christmas for a long time.
The tradition started when we lived in Tucson. As a primary presidency we made baked and cut out gingerbread housed for each of our teachers using Glenda Wilkes' recipe and pattern and and then hosted a dinner for them and their spouses. After some sumptuous soup, recipe courtesy of Sharon Bell, we broke out the frosting and candy and got down to business.
It was so much fun. It was really interesting to watch the couples.
The guys really got into it. Builders had elaborate designs on the house itself while landscapers had relatively plain houses but fabulous yards.

When we moved from Tucson we made them as a family.
In past years we made one house for every two people.
Last year Amy and Jordan had their own house as well as Aaron and Celisa and a few more for friends and family that we invited over. I'm not sure we have ever done it alone... enjoying the process with friends is just as important as the finish product... well looking at our houses maybe it's more important.

Last year I saw the above village on Amy's friend Kirsten's blog. (You should really take a closer look, it's amazing!) I decided then and there that a village would solve our problem of having too many houses sitting around with no where to put them. So this year I did a quick internet search of gingerbread villages to get some ideas before I cut out pieces for our very own village:
Complete with pond and stream... although they turned from blue to green when I got the syrup a little too hot and it scorched.
(Blue +yellow=green)
It has a church, two small houses and one tallish oneThe houses themselves are not very decorated because we ran short on frosting
and, well, I was too tired to make more....

We also forgot to put lights in the buildings and around the town... oops

Here is Santa ice skating on the frozen mossy snow (coconut) covered pond just past the bridge over the stream.

It was fun to do and I think it turned out fairly well but
I guess I should have looked at the Curtis' it a little closer before doing ours.
I don't know that our village or house will ever look that good.
I guess it gives us some room for improvement next year.
Maybe we'll try one house like my friend Christie
or maybe not... we'll see

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good Evening

Dear Family,

Today was crazy! Even on P-day we were running around like a chicken with it's head cut off! We didn't even have time to get on the internet today. That is why I'm writing you right now.

I'm at the bus station now with my comp. Elder de Paula. We are going to Santiago to give a training there. But it's interesting that we found President here and a new sister had just arrived.

It's funny because president was needing to leave and would have to wait if we weren't here. But, what do you know, we missed the bus earlier and it just happened to be that we were in the right place at the right time. Hmmm, coincidence?

Well, this week has been even more rushed than last. We haven't even had time to buy stuff. But it looks like the zone is going pretty well and we are very excited!

The highlight of the week was without a doubt the Leadership Counsel! It was really great to have the experience to be considered the mission family.

We also studied leadership examples like Christ and Moroni and I really felt humbled. I realized that I am nothing and need to learn all that I can from there examples! I challenge all of you to study Moroni's life and also the way that the Lord lead by example. It is amazing that many times he only needed to say, "come follow me!" Words so simple but have such an impact from whom they were said. We conversed also about a servant and a leader and then the term, "leader-servant."

I started my mission thinking about me. Then about my companion and my investigators. Then about my district. Now I know that my perspective has to be much greater to see how God sees. I pray so much for the missionaries individually in my zone now. Also for President and Sister, the assistants and all of the missionaries in the whole world! I wish that I had known this much earlier in my mission! I would appreciate it if you would all pray for President and Sister Myrrha(me-huh) and for all of the investigators and missionaries in the whole world. That is how missionary work will progress.

I would like to be able to tell you exactly how it was at the council but I am afraid words wouldn't do it justice!

I thank you all so much for your love and support and prayers. It means so much to me!

Sorry I'm sending this email so late. But, I think it's better than never.


Elder Zimbelman

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Multitasking

Need Christmas presents but also want to do something kind for some else?
I may have a solution for you.

John Jones, his wife Emily and their little girl were in Utah visiting family.
On Thanksgiving day John when caving with some friends at Nutty Putty Cave.
This is a small cave not far from us.
My boys have been there with our scouting group and school friends.

John never came home. You can read the full story here and here.
John is just older than Aaron.
He leaves behind a young widow, a daughter and baby due in June.
My heart goes out to them.

Now about the multitasking.
A kind woman has set up an internet auction here.
All items are donated and the proceeds go to the John Jones Memorial fund
Or you can donate directly to the fund itself.
Either way everyone wins.
Our prayers go out to the Jones family
and hopefully a little than just prayers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Like a chicken with no head

Dear Family,

This week I have been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I arrived in the area here and just have been following my companion, Elder de Paula. I am getting to know the area here and also all of the investigators and way to work.

Elder de Paula is an awesome companion. He is always happy, humble and willing to serve! He is also a very good example of leadership and love for all of the missionaries in our zone. I have been very blessed to be called his companion.

The area that I am in is called Parque Pinheiro (Pine Park) and it is one of the best areas in the mission. It is a ward here and we are getting very excited about Christmas. Well, I arrived and they already had me talk on Sunday so I thought that I would share a little bit of my talk with you all.

I talked about how we were all very excited, in the pre-existence to have the chance to come down here to earth. We would be tried and tested and would have the time here on the earth to prove ourselves worthy to return to Gods' presence. I explained that our thoughts aren't God's thoughts and also our time isn't God's time. But Christ gave us a commandment to be perfect. God uses his time perfectly because he is perfect. We are imperfect but have the resposability to use our time wisely.

I explained that Christmas comes every year but THIS CHRISTMAS will never return. We need to make it the best Christmas ever. I then talked about the first Christmas. How the wise men rejoiced and gave the most precious things that they had to Christ. I then asked if anyone thought that the gospel wasn't the most precious thing that they had. Then I talked about the Live Christmas Card that we will also do this year. I challenged them to give it to everyone.

I sure hope that all of us can remember what is most important to us, which is the gospel and share it with those that we meet.

I love you guys, thanks for your love and concern. Today we will have the Leader's council and I am a little nervous. I would appreciate your prayers!

Until next week!

Elder Zimbelman

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...somewhere but not so much at my house yet.

Our recent redecorating makes our "old" Christmas stuff seem
well... old.

I gave up on putting up lights on the house when I spent hours last year getting the strings of lights working only to have them not work when we got them on the house.
Talk about frustrating.
This year we are going for the wreath and candle in the window look.
I think I will spend time updating the inside this year
and maybe implement this on the outside...
Christian offered to do it... we just have to see which neighbor has the best lights so we know which way to point the arrow.

I'm not sure where the original picture came from
or who to give credit to
you've probably already seen it
but it sums up my feelings about house lights this year.