Monday, March 31, 2014


Wow it's been an adventure for sure  this past week. I am so happy to finally be in the mission field! I like Piura so much better than Lima. It's a lot calmer and the people truly are the sweetest people in the world! Ahh I don't know how  to explain anything, there is too much to say. First off I have an hour every week to email, which means I don't have a ton of time to respond to all of you. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't write me because I can take pictures of your emails and read it later ;)
Anyways. My companion is Hermana Rivera. She is 21 and is from Lima! I feel sooo blessed to be with her. She is so patient and kind  to me. I knew this  part of the mission would be a rude awakening and it has been. The CCM was really a walk in the park. I have faith though that I will get this language thing and know how to do this mission stuff. 
PIURA.  Oh I do love it here! I am in Piura, Central. So I am not right on the coast, but I walk in sand all day wearing my sombrero, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug repellent and all. It is soooo hot. I sweat just brushing my teeth! no joke. I say Buenos Dias,Tardes,Noches to every person I see. They  usually say it back. And then we get whistled at. Fun Stuff!  The part I am in is just a bunch of neighborhoods with sandy streets. Kids play soccer  in the streets and motos roam everywhere. Occasionally I see  a donkey roaming the streets. My pensionista is the bishops wife. She is so sweet. But feeds us like we are pigs. Everyone here eats a ginormous lunch and then for dinner and breakfast they just eat fruit. So I have one meal a day but I am full all day! They fill have of my plate with rice! Im gonna be gordita real soon ;)
I am getting the hang of things but I am so clueless. I just follow my comp around, but neither one of know anything about the area haha. We are the first sister missionaries in this area!! This past week we've been visiting members, non members, and trying to find investigators. Currently we have three investigators. Seriously anyone and everyone will talk to you and let you in.   They are SO NICE. Much nicer than Americans. And so humble.  One of our invesitgators is named Abel. He is so cute. He is a little old man who paints all day. Whenever I speak his eyes go really big hahaha I think it's because he can't understand a word I say.  
I am so lost but I feel my Savior's love. Literally.  I have never felt so comforted. We got to listen to the Womens General Conference in Spanish. But you know the hymns were all I needed to hear! I felt the spirit through out the meeting even though I don't fully know what they said. Mom could you send me all the conference talks after conference?
Church was a different experience yesterday. I bore my testimony, while dogs roamed the chapel.
Well I am the ward piantist. They have never had a pianist so they sing wayYY OFF--- It was difficult to say the least. I just have to follow whatever word they are saying because whatever they are singing is something different. They asked me to teach piano lessons to the little ninos in the ward. Any tips???? I don't even know how to teach piano in English. oh joy!
I can't collect my thoughts right now sorry. I hope this was somewhat enjoyable-understable. I love you all!! My mission president (whom I love by the way) said to us over and over again YOU DID NOT COME HERE TO FAIL. And I know none of us are on this earth to fail. Keep your head up!!
Te Amo
Hermana Stringham

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Earthquake...Rotavirus.....Toxic Bug Spray......

They have the prettiest skies at night here :D

Hey Fam and Friends!
First happy Birthday mister Jackson! I can´t believe he is four years old tomorrow! That is sad. I hope you had a good bday Dad. Nate O´Brien is going to Arequipa! That is where Jesse Mahas is. That is awesome! Three wardies in Peru! Wow two earthquakes in Peru?! Haha I for sure felt one of them! I woke up in the middle of the night and my bed was shaking (I´m on the top bunk). I thought oh Kaeding what is she doing?...just shaking the bed. That´s weird. Then the next day everyone was talking about how they felt an earthquake the night before and that´s when I realized it wasn´t my companion having a seizure in the bed, but an EARTHQUAKE. Kaeding thought I was rolling on the bed and making it creek. Neither of us can put two and two together. That was the biggest one I have ever felt. I loved it! Thanks for the earthquake safety tips mom I´ll have to read up on my stuff ;)


 About to jump....

Another week flew by!
The Week Update from Lima.
-we all were forced to evacuate our bed rooms (in our pjs) at 10 p.m. because they had to spray our rooms with toxic bug killer spray
-bought some pants today. so it was a good day.
-new roommates! One is from Bolivia and she is the cutest little being. The other is from Mexico. We love them both! I told them I have two single brothers...
One of the first things I said to them when they arrived is, ¨We have the best BODIES in this whole place!¨ They just stared at me puzzled. That´s when I always know I said something funky. Except I never know what it was I said wrong. Then Kaeding came out of the bathroom laughing and said you just told them we have the best bodies, not the best ROOM! (Cuarpo vs. Cuarto) my mistake. We learn something new everyday here.
-I received my first letter thank you KATIE! It was the biggest surprise and made my day! She sent it a month ago. Letters are a slim pickin here.
-Our teacher´s latest philosophy is ´´if you don´t die here you will die in the field. So I´m trying to kill you now and save you from dying later.´´ Excellent philosophy. Then he went on to say ´´You´re going to get eaten out there.´´ Very comforting I´d say.
I have one week left here! Crazy. I am going to die next week. But I am excited to leave! I have met so many people here that I love. There are so many awesome sisters. Also I don´t think I will be able to email you next week because I leave next Tuesday which is my normal P-day, and I probably won´t have a P-day next week. So you will just have to wait two weeks to here from me. I know your sad.
Speaking of district just about died this last week. They all got Roto Virus--whatever that is--but Hermana Kaeding and I! We are invincible! We still got the sick treatment though. Our district was quarantined in the back corner of the lunch room for every meal. We had signs labeled DISTRICT 112. We had our own special silverware, plates, cups, cart and all! It was bit over the top. They even put us on a special diet consisting of yucky soup. Everyone is better now though so all is well!
A YSA ward came to the CCM on Saturday for an activity. I went and met with four YSA members. I got to know them and shared a short scripture/thought with them. I think it was the highlight of my week. It´s so hard to speak how you really feel and say all that you want to in Spanish, and it´s even harder to understand someone not in from the CCM because they speak real Spanish, not the slow CCM Spanish I am used to. But after I shared my thought one of the sisters had tears in her eyes and said she could feel the spirit and that was all that mattered. Without the spirit I am nobody. When I don´t have the spirit I lose my identity. Because my Spanish surely is not helping my identity. But luckily the spirit has always got my back. It´s in moments like those that I realize all I need is to be filled with the spirit. With it I can do anything--even in another language.
Another changeroo came this week right after emailing you last week. My teacher switched teaching companions´s not like he does this to everyone. No one else here has even switched their companions once! I am not complaining though. It has been a good thing. I have been praying for an experience to grow more while I am here and it came. I am now teaching with another sister whose Spanish is about the same level as mine. It has been a blessing though because it has allowed me to talk more without worrying about a companion who knows more than I do or who cuts me off. It´s hard but much better this way!
I finished the Book of Mormon this week. I have never in my life truly loved this Book as much as I do now. I have never wanted or understood what it meant to FEAST upon the words, but I do now. As I was reading the last couple of chapters in the book (in Moroni) I just felt power in The Book of Mormon, it felt tangible in that moment. I know it is true. I know it. When we don´t read this great book we are putting our spiritual salvation at risk. Please, Please read it NOW. You will be so much happier. I still don´t know so much but I do know that it can change your life and bring a spirit of guidance and peace into your life that cannot come from anywhere else.

Hermana Stringham

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I have the DESIRE and that´s all I need!

#sistermissionaryprobs same clothes same day. Coincidence I think not.

Hola Amigos y Familia!

I got my shoes and partriarchal blessing. THANK YOU. Both are things that you probably don´t want to forget on the mission so it was a grand day when I received that package :) Tell Judy Stone I saw President and Sister Borg at the MTC. Sister Borg is Judy´s cousin. They are the mission presidents in the Lima, Central mission. I didn´t think I would run into them, but I did! Judy told me to look for two people with white hair. When I saw them here I immediately just went up to them and asked them if they were related to Judy Stone. They wanted me to tell Judy hello, they were really happy to talk with me.

Mom you asked about how I feel the time has gone. Technically but not really I have been out a month tomorrow! Today the group ahead of us just left the CCM so now my group is the oldest and considered ´´advanced.´´yikes. Time is going by fast in the CCM. The weeks fly by! I feel so scared yet so excited to get out in the field.

My roomates whom I adore. They left us today:(

We went proselyting on Saturday. Always an adventure. I was put with one of my roomates Sister Gomez from Argentina! Such a blessing! We went with two members to some less actives houses and street contacted. It´s crazy how hard it is to street contact and teach a real person in Spanish. I kind of almost freeze everytime. But I did share my testimony probably 3 times. We only got into one house. We taught him a short lesson his name was Waldo. At the end of our lesson, my comp nudged me and said invite him to church. We´ve been practicing inviting people to church all week long. So I did! I just looked straight at him and said ´´Asistira a la inglesia manana?´´ And he said ME? and I said yes. Then he said ´´Si!´´ That was my first real comitment I have ever done before and he accepted! Then I shared a short testimony and asked him to give the closing prayer. Wow I get nervous, but I can do it.

When you go on a mission you just want to be the best person, you want to make people change, you want to change yourself, and you want to make Heavenly Father happy. But you can´t become that person all in one day or night. I don´t feel like I have changed all that much since I have been here like I had expected to before I left on my mission. I wish I could say I have become some spiritual giant out here. Though I am still the same Sarah I feel like my desires have totally changed. I just want to be so much better. I don´t want to just go through the motions. I have a fear of coming home and not changing a bit. But I know that I am and I will change. D&C 4:3 ´´Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.´´ And that is why I am here. I have the deepest desire to reach my full potential in life and to serve God. We had a devotional this last week and Elder Waudel (first quorum of the seventy) and his wife spoke to us. He said ´´To know and to do exhaults us. To know and to not do condemns us.´´ I know and I know many of you know what you need to do. So do it. Make the changes you need to make in your life. I am trying to learn to wait upon the Lord. I am giving my life to Him. I just hope to give everything I got these next 17 months and have no regrets. I am so grateful that I have the chance to walk a small portion of what He walked, to feel some of the pain that He felt, and I hope to to shed one tear that He shed for me. Because I owe EVERYTHING to Christ.

Sorry I am getting preachy I guess that happens. Not much happened this last week--just the gospel ya know. I have been able to play the piano a lot for people here which I love. It´s so hard not to have any music here. We can´t even listen to church music. So every chance I get to play a hymn I take. I am reading the Book of Mormon and understanding it more than I ever have before. It is filled with power and the most powerful people. I love what Elder Holland said in I talk I heard this last week, ´´Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not cheap.´´ This is the greatest work in the whole world. I feel so blessed to be a part of it. I am going to Gather Israel, what could be better.

Love you love you xoxo.

Hermana S

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Anyways.... HellllOOO!
This last week has brought a lot of changes. When things get too comfortable God likes to change things up to make us stronger! Right in the middle of emailing you last week my teacher came and got me and said he had received revelation to switch our companionships only for teaching our investigators. It was kind of a bummer and it was hard to teach with someone else. I really felt like Hermana Kaeding and I were on a roll. We were improving every lesson and then I felt like I just took 10 steps backward, but it is good and I needed a trial! I came across Alma 60:11. God expects us to work to our full potential. This is His time not mine! I always have to remember that when I want to relax. But every second counts. This little switch up has made me work harder because it is now harder to find the spirit while teaching because when we don´t have it the lessons they are a major blow.
Riding the CrAZy busses
BUT things are great! Not a ton happened this week. We got two new roomates. Both are from Argentina and they are so funny (Ella--one of them is from Rosario)! The first night with them I learned how blunt Latinos are. Hermana Arroyo said to me in spanish ´´what´s on your face?´´ I thought ahhhh I don´t know what do you mean what´s on my face? Then she pretended to pop a zit on her face and laughed. Hahahaha that´s when I realized I had just washed my face and it was all red. Then she told my companion that us Americans eat too much butter and it gives us bad skin. THANK YOU HERMANA.
The gift of tongues is such a cool thing. I feel it working in certain moments. I was asked to give the prayer twice on Sunday. Everyone came up to me afterwards and was amazed. There are certain moments when I am teaching or just studying and I feel a sudden burst of energy or words flow easily and I know it is from God. He wants me to keep going. He is there to help us. Why wouldn´t he be? Without his help I could never learn the language and this language is something I need in order to do His work. Even though I asked my investigator this week if we could FEEL DOWN on the chairs instead of SIT DOWN and I told him he could be cleansed from his fish I am not giving up!


Last night we were eating dinner and Hermana Kaeding looked at me and said ´´I am so sorry Hermana. I think I made you sick.´´ But I knew there was no way she had made me sick, she hasn´t even been sick this past week. She was so embarrased and wouldn´t tell me how she made me sick. I expected the worst  when finally she said ´´I prayed for an opportunity to serve you and then you got sick and I had so many things I could do for you.´´ She is the BEST comp ever, even if she was the one who gave me this sickness. Hahaha I couldn´t stop laughing when she said that. She felt so bad. She even made me lay down so she could play with my hair. I LOVE HER.
Starbucks Eh??? I haven´t eaten so well in three weeks!
My District is off the charts amazing!! I couldn´t have been luckier! Seriously. It is so amazing to hear everyones testimony of how they got on a mission. Some people have to go through so much in life. There are 10 in my district 8 girls and 2 boys (like usual).
I love you all!!!!!
Hermana Stringham