Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Maybe I Smell ;-D

Hello My Peeps at Home!!!
My life is so up and down. Really it is a rollercoaster. I remember Emily Nydegger saiying in her emails how in the mission you have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. So true. This last week I have learned a lot about prayer. First off I had to teach Sunday School yesterday! AHHH. And the topic was prayer. In the CCM I learned that whatever our investigator needs the missionary who is teaching also needs that message. Interesting but I believe it. I needed to study prayer. Giving a lesson to a room full of adults in Spanish was not as breezy as it is for most missionaries. Gosh I barely know how to say a prayer. Okay I am not that bad. Anyway I am learning I have to rely on the Lord. I have to ask him for help in everything, even help to finish the avocado on my plate. I am helpless without Him. I prayed to the Heavenly Father really hard this week. I couldn't make it through the week without His help. D & C 42:14 ´´The Spirit will be given to you by the prayer of faith.´´ I need the Spirit so so BAD, always. I know that when I have the spirit no matter how bad I slotter this language my investigators will feel something.
And prayers are answered. I feel my prayers answered more quickly here than I have ever before but only when I desire to have them answered and I have faith in the things I ask for. This past week I lost one of the pearl earings dad gave me before I left. I was devastated I wears those things everyday. It reminds me of my family of my dad. This things I love most. I prayed lots. That night I was sitting in my bed eating my cereal when I felt the tiniest little bump under my sheets and I knew exactly what is was! My day was made.
Another story this one is probably more important than an earing. We have an investigator Maria. She has so many challenges. Her husband cheated on her and left her with three young kids. She has almost taken her life three times. I love her so much and I can feel the love Heavenly Father has for this young mother. Anyway she has a baptismal date! Annnnd she attended church yesterday with two of her kids. POR FIN (FINALLY) an investigator assisted church! Really I have noticed when I don't have faith in my investigators nothing happens. I need to have faith as much as my investigators do. Side note----I invited Maria to be baptized. First off I said Hermonita Rosa usted seguira el ejemplo de Jesu Cristo...blah blah. Hahaha my companion nugded me ´´it´s MARIA!´´ Oh shoot. Yeah Rosa was the name of our practice investigator earlier that day when we were role playing. Then I starting apologizing in English and didn't even know it until we had left my comp told me I was speaking in English. After all that she still said YES and she went to church. booyahh. It is not for sure she will be baptized though she still hasn't fully prayed to know if this is true. So please pray for her. 
We had one day this past week where all the newbies in the mission got to meet with President and Sister Rawley and have our questions answered and feel a little better about ourselves. It was great! I got to see all my amigas in my old CCM district and be fed spiritually.
Today we went to a wheeler farm--raging waters type of place with our district. Okay maybe not as quality as raging waters. They only had one slide thank goodness the temptation was too bad to handle more water slides. I got to hold a dirty monkey and turtle! It was a lot of fun! Not a single person was there haha I hope business will make it. Anyways that was my week. I am doing great and learning every day. I am sooo grateful for this time in my life. It's hard yeah it's hard but it is oh so worth it. 

We had companionship inventory this last week like always except this time my companion told me I should probably wash my hair more. I guess every other day isn't enough. Maybe I smell? I shower everyday I promise!!! I get there someday.
Have a good fun filled week. I love you all so much!  
Our apartment. this is on the first day! its pretty nice i cant complain! other than we dont have a mirror. I get ready in the reflection of the window.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! Or Santa Sena here.
They don't really celebrate Easter like we do. I don't really know what they do just fiesta and drink I think--the usual. I didn't even know it was Easter, so my Sunday was just like any other. But oh how I love my Savior. I feel so much closer to Him. I understand the Atonement. I really did not comprehend the Atonement before my mission. But He really did die for me. He gave his life for me. I owe everything to Him. ´´I Stand All Amazed´´ truly.
This week was probably the best yet! We reached all of our goals! We work so hard with the less actives because there are SO many here. We have gotten two less actives to come back to church. I don`t even know how many we teach a week. We also found a lot of investigators this past week. Investigators with serious problems. One is suicidal because her husband cheated on her. Another is an acoholic who cried to us about how his family is suffering because of him and he wants to change but can't. Another has denge fever. Another`s son died. Wow so many people are suffering. I feel so blessed. All I have to worry about is learning a new language and teaching a lesson! Though it may feel sometimes discouraging and hard, I have nothing to complain about. I truly believe that the gospel brings so many blessings. I know that if these people will accept the gospel in their lives they can be so much happier.
´´Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until Heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.´´ --Jeffry R. Holland
There are so many blessing linked with living the gospel I know it and I see it. Embrace this gospel with all your heart and blessings will pour out upon you. But they are in God's timing. Everything is in his timing and his plan so trust in Him who knows all.
Sarah and Sister Roper
We had inter cambios this last week! Remember that girl's blog who I stalked before my mission?? Hermana Roper. Well I was paired with her!! We went to her area (Sullanas).  Wow it was like a little vacation on the mission. I got to speak my mother language and talk all day and all night. She was so fun to be with and I learned a lot from our little ´´sleepover.´´ Two white girls walking the streets of Peru though was a little bit sketchy at night so we went home a little early because we didn't have an appointment. God watches out for us missionaries I know it. 
I love my people at home! Thank you for your love and prayers! I feel of your love every second.
Hermana Stringham

Monday, April 14, 2014

Helpless - Not Hopeless

Buenas Tardes Familia y Amigos!

To answer your questions first:
My companion is so great. I feel terrible for her though because I feel so helpless. She does everything. I try to do my part though, but I am still trying to figure this mission thing out. She is a bit of a perfectionist. But she really is so patient and loving. I don't know if I could handle a hard companion right now. It`s hard to communicate with one another. I usually understand what she is trying to get me to do, but lots of the time I just pretend like I know where we are going or what we are teaching. hahaha. I think she can see right through me though. She knows I am a clueless American. She really is like my mom. Always telling me to watch out for the crazy drivers, or what I can and cannot do. Telling me to finish my rice..... but she is great and I love her!!! 

The hardest thing here is definitely the language. I didn`t think it would be this hard, but yeah at times it is frustrating and isolating. But I know with time it will come, I'm not worried. It is also so hard not to fall asleep in our lessons. It is so hot and I try so hard to concentrate on what they are saying but sometimes my mind wanders and my eyes fight every thing in them to keep open. I`m working on it. 

Our area is so tiny. We walk the same streets everyday. There is no city or anything in our area. It is honestly is made of up only sand and little houses. I truly am living in the desert. Our apartment is pretty nice though. Every morning we scream though because the shower is the coldest thing ever. We have to sweep everyday because we have a window that is always open and loads and loads of dust come in. I usually shower twice a day because my legs are covered in dust by the end of the night. 

We had Zone Conference last week. It was fabulous. My zone performed a skit. And they made me be the narrator because of course I have the worst Spanish accent. But I loved Zone Conference. President Rawley is really pushing us to using our family pamphlets and get people to do their family history work. 

Our ward had a talent show on Saturday. It was supposed to start at 5:30...didn't start until 8:00. Peruvian time. It doesn't exist. But it was a lot of fun! It was like an American Idol. I enjoyed listening to the Peruvians sing. They can't reallly sing actually, it's pretty bad. I thought I was tone deaf. No not even close. The missionaries (there are 6 of us in our ward) are not allowed to sing or dance so we did some small moves to The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars, it was actually pretty funny. I wish I could send you the video. While I was sitting there watching them perform I had an aha moment. It is so weird sometimes I think what in world am I doing sitting here with these crazy people!? But really I am so happy to be serving a mission. I know it is the best thing for me. 

Oh and sorry no pictures today, I forgot my camera cord :( 

The best part of my week was getting a baptismal date! Yayyyy!! My first one. We have a golden family. A dad and two kids (13 and 8 years old). Jose (the dad) wants to know his purpose in life. There is no doubt that God has prepared this family. I invited them to be baptized. I was so nervous and sweating greatly. Jose and one of the kids said yes to baptism! But then they didn't come to church. I know they will though. After I challenged them to baptism I was filled with the Holy Ghost. And that is when I finally felt the joy of sharing the gospel. I want this family to have the gospel in their life so bad. 

Today has been an excellent p-day. We went to the markets in another town and I bought a llama sweater :) 

I know more than I ever have before that this is the only true church. We are so blessed and we take it for grantid. I love you all so much really I do. 

Adios---Hermana Stringham 

Monday, April 7, 2014


Hola Amigos y Familia!
Latest in Piura.
Guess what. I got to listen to General Conference in English!!! Such a tender mercy. It was just what I needed too. I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk on being grateful. HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. That is what I am going to work on. Being grateful doesn't mean we are pleased with our circumstances, but we look to the future with faith in God. We can trust in God. I also loved Elder Bednar's talk. I loved conference!
Well the latest in my life. We don't have any solid investigators. It's a little frustrating because literally everyone and anyone will sit and want to talk to you for dayzzzz about religion or their child or who knows what. But in reality they won't make a change. LIfe here is chillaxed. But I have never ever met nicer people in my life. They are so so sweet. And they say things about me and laugh, which I am grateful because I get sick of laughing at myself in my head all day. I am finding the drunk men always listen to me. I start talking to them and don't realize they are slurring their words or drunk because to me Spanish all sounds the same. I just smile and knod. Let me tell ya you can go far with just a smile and knod. Men here walk around with their shirts rolled all the way up while they rest their arms on their beer belly because it's hot. haha it's pretty funny. One drunk guy tried to kiss me yesterday haha I had to do the duck and stick out my arm real fast move.  
I got sick from something this week. Not a big deal. But I had a funny experience. My pecionista tried to help me get better by rubbing an egg all over my body, then she would run to the wall and pretend to throw up, and then rub the egg some more on me. I had no idea what was going on but I thought she was really throwing up. So I was trying to ask her if she was okay and tell her she didn't need to ´´heal´´ me anymore. Turns out she was just reinacting me. haha. Then she cracked the egg in a class of water and we watched the egg white patterns sway. She told me that the way the egg whites were moving and laying in the water meant that I was feeling embarrassed. Not really sure what that means but I guess I shouldn't be embarrassed or I'll get sick again.
All of my days this last week seem blurred all together. We do pretty much the same thing every day. Exercise. Study. Study. Study. Lunch. Study. Proselyte. Teach and visit with less actives and investigatoes. And Family Home Evening. They feed us crackers and juice for every gathering. Kinda a weird mix but I'm not complaining.
Missionary work. We have made a goal to have or find (not sure which one) one person to baptize this month. I know we can do it, but we need faith. Right now we don't have really any one person progressing much. They don't keep their commitments, don't attend church, don't pray etc. But I feel confident that we can find one person who is ready to make a change.
I know that My Savior lives and knows me and every other person. We are all in this life together trying to make it back to the same God. So help a neighbour out. Don't just invite someone to a church activity but follow up. God is putting people in each of your lives. You have the knowledge and power to help them. ´´DARE TO BE DUMB´´ That was my district´s motto in the CCM. If you feel dumb after trying to invite someone to church then good do it again. There is no harm, just another person's salvation on the line.
´´ In the choices we encounter we commit a fatal crime if we do not take advantage of a priceless gift called time.´´
This is the time to prepare to meet God Alma 34:32. Don't waste it.
I love you all so much and appreciate you all so much more than ever before!
xoxo Hermana Stringham