Monday, October 3, 2011

Hola! (mostly unedited)

Christian has limited time to write and prefers "writing lots" to "taking time to write every thing perfectly". As this is a long letter and I want to get it posted I will let you enjoy it raw, unedited and full of his enthusiasm.
Missionaries at the airport in Buenos Aries

On the bus to Neuquen

The bus to Neuquen

Hey guys! man, i love reading your letters! they make me soo happy! MAN!! wasn't conference amazing!?! I just ate it up,(i seriously had such a spiritual hunger! ahh i love it!) and was soo sad when it was over! We watched it at our capilla, where they have a satellite so it was live, I watched a couple talks in Spanish, but we took over the nursery, all of us gringos, and plugged a TV in there, and watched it in English! man, English is way better! ha, seriously i feel bad for all the people who cant speak English, because as i watched it in Spanish, it was not nearly the same, how blessed we are to speak English! It made me very excited for the day when we will all live in an exalted state and be able to communicate with each other, with perfection! That is one thing that i have been learning daily here, how important the ability to communicate, sometimes, in our lessons i get feelings of how much the gospel could bless this person´s life, and i usually can express them, but not in the same way, as if i was speaking English! count your blessings! 

 I had a good week! we weren't able to teach martin and vanina, because he was gone the whole week to go and work in the oil fields, and a bunch of our other appointments fell through.. so we did a lot of knocking, and visited a lot of less actives to invite them to conference. We also had a really good lesson, with an investigator named Gloria, who is catholic, and firmly believes that her baptism as a child was valid, which is her only doubt stopping her from baptism, we have talked a million times about authority, about receiving the holy ghost, about how if she knows the Book of Mormon to be true, then she knows that the true church was restored through a prophet, sooo many different things, it´s hard!! she´s starting to soften, and i think she said she would be baptized again, but it would be in her own time! ahh how i just ache to share the gospel with these people! We were talking with her one day, and she was telling us how she didn't feel that she was worthy to pray, she felt that she couldn't ask her heavenly father for blessings, because she had done so much evil in her life, and when she said that, it was amazing, something inside me jumped, and excitement just filled my body, because of how beautiful the atonement is, think about it, we are here, we can a lot of the times fix a lot of mortal illnesses and things of that nature, but how can we forgive sin? its impossible! eventually, if left to our own merits we would get so burdened down with our sins, and mistakes, that we would become a child to the devil, and be subject to his rule! how bleak, and hopeless!! but there is  light! there is hope, and that is what we get to share with people! I eat it up! I love serving the lord, its hard, but alot of the time, but that´s only because we make it hard, because when we truly have faith in the lord, and that we are in his hands, no importa! what happens! 

this week I read about the allegory of the wild and the tame olive trees in the master´s vineyard (in Jacob) and usually when we read that we think about all the people and the civilizations and all those things, but when i read it in Spanish, something that i learned, and i really like, is how perfect the analogy of a fruit tree is, we are like the fruit of a tree, and god is our master, he wants to have us as fruit, and will do everything he can to help us fulfill our potential, (but anyways, just a little more to help this analogy i like this in conjunction with what i shared last week about god being the creator, so he has all power to control our environments, and really the ability to control us, as well, but he wont do things that will take away our agency, because that is contrary to his plan, and is like if you give someone a million dollars, or if they earn it, there is more gained in the working, than in the result a lot of the time) anyways, we are the fruit, and god wants us as the fruit, he could pump us up,with artificial whatever, and do his thing, but we would loose something in the process, and so he works and works and prunes, and does everything to help give us the environment that will be the best for us, so we need to just trust in him, and know that he knows best, so when we visit a home of a single mother, who struggles to feed her 3 children, and she shares her food with us, and tells about some hard times they are having, i love to share this knowledge, and assure them, that our heavenly father knows us, knows us perfectly, and gives us the things that will best help us to grow.. how beautiful! what an opportunity we have!

 This seemed to be a general theme i noticed throughout conference, that the whom the lord loves he tries, man, I loved general conference! another theme that i seemed to notice, especially in priesthood, but throughout the conference, was that the lord wants us to open our mouths, elder Holland put it quite frankly, in relating the experience of Joseph smith just before the first vision, he said how interesting it is that Satan has real power, and if he could only bind the tongue of Joseph, he would be successful, how interesting that is, whether that is sharing our knowledge of the gospel and our association with the church, standing up for something that is evil and not right, or if it is turning to our heavenly father in prayer, I have noticed at times that this is a problem i face, i sometimes do not want to open my mouth and loose my tongue, but in the scriptures we are promised, that if we treasure up the things of heaven, it will be given us in the very moment what we are to say, and we will not be confounded before men, also says in other scriptures, open your mouths, and they will be filled, what promises! especially for me, when i am trying to speak another language! ha! but it has been amazing to me, when i open my mouth, and begin speaking, how the lord blesses me! I believe that is why i have been able to learn the language, because the lord has blessed me, as i have opened my mouth. Family, I love you all soo much! and you all give me such strength! I was thinking about each of you throughout the conference, and what you were doing, I am soo glad to have a family that cherishes the gospel so much in their lives! what a blessing!!

to answer a few more questions
we invited a ton of investigators and less actives, but only a few showed up, and we were specifically focusing in on gloria, and promised her that if she would come, she would have answers to her questions, we called her, and did alot to get her to come, and she was very excited, and promised she would, but the devil was working on her, and she didn't come.. it breaks my heart, because as i sat there and thought about her, and her need for the gospel, there were talks in conference, that were specifically for gloria, I knew it, and I think i feel a tiny bit of what the lord feels when we reject his teachings, and bring upon ourselves unneeded pains.

family i love you soo much! I am doing so well! I feel closer to my heavenly father, and more in tune with the spirit than i ever have previously in my life! and I have been learning more and more, about what things make us happy! I love you all! Miss you all, at times, but i would not trade this experience for anything in the world! because I love my heavenly father, and the people here, and frankly, the lord can use me better here! ha, I love you all, keep reading and truly feasting in the scriptures, and wrestling with god in prayer, and I have no doubt that everything will be as the lord desires, which means perfect! love you all, have a great week, thanks for your letters, and cant wait til next week to hear from you again!

love, your son, brother, but best of all Elder, Christian Zimbelman

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