Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sullana looks just like Cambodia tuk tuks (motos) EVERYWHERE. I am suprised I haven't been hit by one yet. In my area there are parts that are nicer than my last and other parts that are soooo super poor. Dirt floors and straw walls. This area is HUGEEE. I have never felt so exhausted in my whole life :) It takes us about 15 sometimes 30 minutes to get from one appointment to the next. My legs are sore from walking haha. It's like a never ending hike. Okay I might be complaining for a minute but I got to tell someone about the horrible mosquitos here. You think the mosquitos are bad in Jackson Lake......oh man I think they've drank all the blood I have in me. And the heat here woooahh. I don't know how hot it is but it's a whole lot stronger and hotter here than in Piura. (just some fun facts about Sullana).
But I can't complain because we have some rockin investigators. First of all one day this week we invited three different people to be baptized and they all said YES. But as time has passed Satan and other things always get in the way darn it. We have one investigator who is named Alejandro. He is 25 years old. He goes to every and I mean every ward and church activity. He is in Alma right now in the Book of Mormon and knows the stories better than I do...He is the most goldenest investigator I have seen. But there is one thing - he says he hasn't receieved an answer. That's what they all say....But really I know he has received his answer. Many people can't recognize the feeling of peace is an answer. So I challenged him to be baptized July 12. I promised him that he would receive an answer before then and if not then he won't be baptized. I am praying that he will see that he has an answer or get a deeper answer. Please pray with me. Because this is all on me and I need your help.
Next we have Renato he is 13 years old. So humble and intelligent. We asked him to be baptized this week (this saturday). His family is all Catholic and doesn't know how he can be Mormon and still go to a Catholic school. He has also been talking to his cousin who puts the biggest doubts in his head. Ahhhhhhh. He is so ready but his cousin won't keep quiet. But I have faith he will be baptized this Saturday.
Ricoberto. He accepted a baptismal date with no problem. He has been trying to overcome his addiction to alcohol. He cried to us and I can really tell he wants our help and he wants the gospel. But there is one thing. He isn't married. We found that out last night after we asked him to be baptized. Shoot.
All three of these investigators came to church yesterday! Whoop! We have more really awesome investigators but I have no time to talk about them all.
Anyway. Everyone says that by three months in the mission field you can understand Spanish. I am going to tell you right now that is a lie. I hit my three month mark in the field in 2 days and I still can't understand a lot. But I love a scripture I read in Exodus 4:10-12. Look it up it hit me hard. A mission, the language, the food, the companion, the people it's not all easy. But I am growing little by little and day by day. I feel closer to my Savior than ever before. I always imagine him in my lessons or when I am walking what seems like the desert. I know he has not left me here to do it a lone. He is with me. He is with us all.
I love you all soo much. Really I do.
Have the best week!
Hermana Stringham 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ups and Downs

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM, Sarah Stringham <sarah.stringham@myldsmail.net> wrote:

Happy Father's Day Daddy! (sorry I'm a day late) and Happy late Birthday STONE! the BIG ONE. 

Wow I have so much I want to say. So many feelings at the moment. This last week has been full of ups and downs. This last week was one that I will never forget. It was the last week Hermana Rivera and I would be together so we wanted to make the most of it. Monday and Tuesday we worked so hard, found 5 new investigators in one day! Then Wednesday came. There has been a ton of construction and every where we go there are ginormous piles of sand and pot holes. I don't know why but they've been digging up all the roads here. We were walking one day home from lunch. There was a wooden beem that we had to step on to get across the pot hole. I stepped on it first and the beam flipped up and hit my companions foot pretty hard. So her foot kind of slowed the work this week, but we had a good week. Well a few dissapointments. 

Maria Atoche and her kids (Jesus and Alexndra) remember they have had two baptismal dates in the past that have both fallen through. Well we tried to set a new date with them...This time Maria said no. She said she feels comforted and at peace when we are with her and teaching her, but when she attends our church she said she can't feel the comfort that she is looking for there. After coming to church twice she decided she doesn't want to be baptized in our church and natural her two kids follow her. Ugh so dissapointing. She said that while the Bishop is talking and during the sacrament people are eating, talking, kids are everywhere and she can't focus. Hermana Rivera and I couldn't argue because it is true our ward is so irreverant. We have been trying to help our ward but it makes me sad that because of the irreverance our investigators can't feel the spirit. 

This past week we focused on Dorris and Rafael the two ninos. They loved coming to church last week. Sadly their dad wouldn't let them come to church yesterday. But yesterday (our last day in Capullanas) we set a baptismal date with them for July 5! I just hope their dad says it's okay. A funny experience this past week. I was with Analy while Hermana Rivera was seeing the doctor. Analy and I went to teach Dorris and Rafael. Well as we were enetering their house I saw their grandpa. He was walking towards me with his hand out to shake mine. So natural I went to say hello and shake his hand. That's when I realized that he was drunk. Meanwhile Analy had entered the house with the kids and I was outside with the drunk man. He grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go. I had no clue what he was saying. I wasn't scared or worried. Sometimes I think I am too confident in myself... Anway Dorris saw that her grandpa wouldn't let go and ran outside. We then began teaching the lesson when he entered the house and sat down. He tried to grab my hand again. Meanwhile saying he would pay a million dollars to have me. He was asking if I would marry him. Hahaha. He wants me to be the mother of his grandchildren. Anyway lesson learned. I will be more careful next time and NEVER leave the sight of your companion. 

Yesterday was kind of a sad but very beautiful day. So on Saturday our zone leaders told us that Hermana Rivera and I were both leaving Cappullanas. NOOOOOO. Ahhhhh they closed Cappullanas again. There aren't any Sisters there. Kind of sad. Because we had to leave all of our investigators, less acitves who were progressing with us. I felt like I didn't get to see the fruit of my labors. This area has been a little hard. We opened it and closed it once again. They aren't sending sisters there because there is a lack of sisters so they had to close our area. The ward was devastated. There our four elders in the ward, but I'll be honest the sisters can gain a lot more confidence in the members. Hermana Rivera and I were feeling a little down this past week. No one is in our area to continue the work we had done. All of our baptisms fell through. Sometimes I wonder is it me? Or why am I not seeing success? Why won't our investigators who know it's true accept our message? But I have learned that as long as I doing what the Savior wants me to do it's okay. 

Yesterday was a very special day. We visited all of the families we have worked with. Pretty much everyone was in tears as we left. I feel like I have a hole in my heart. That ward needs so much help and Hermana Rivera and I both felt like our work was not done but only beginning. Because we didn't have any baptisms in that area sometimes I feel a little discouraged. But after yesterday I can see that I actually have made a difference in peoples lives. We reactivated three people and one family, and we served our ward as much as we could. The members were soooo sad, but I felt satisfied to see that we had actually made a difference. I know our time was not wasted. It was so hard to leave. Analy and her family were balling. Ugh I even cried. But I am happy. I like change. 

So this morning we all went to the stake center. I sat in my seat nervously as President Rowley called names and places. Finally my name was called. Guess where I am????  SULLANA. A place with more mosquitoes and the sun is ever so intense here. I am with HERMANA RIOS. She only has one transfer left in the mission. She is from Bolivia. I am really excited to work with her and learn from her! I have been with her a total of 5 hours. She is a little more quiet but very sweet. Hermana Rivera and I are in the same zone!!!! Whoop whoop. I am grateful for my mama Hermana Rivera. I miss her a lot! 

Anyway that is the news from Piura. 
Hope yall are doing fine! I love you alllll!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Stringham 

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Wallet is Found :D

Mom you asked about the food. Our new pecionista is good! Except he doesn't ever give us any vegetables...I'm not very healthy these days. My diet consists of some kind of meat, a ton of rice, a lot of potatoes, juice, mas a mora (their kind of dessert--it's pretty much a gooey sugary substance), jello (for some reason these people LOVE jello--who would have thought?), yogurt, cereal, nature valley bars, ice cream, bodoques, oh and a LOT of fruit. They have stores about every five feet called ´´´tiendas´´ it kind gets addicting, you can buy a ice cream for like a penny here!
This is my last week with Hermana Rivera. yikes. We don't know who will leave next week because we are both new to this area...but I'm nervous. Change is always good though, I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me next!

So when Elder Grow came he really earged us to have baptisms. We should be baptizing every week. Talk about stresssss. gahhhh! He said we must talk to every couple or family we see in the streets so Hermana Rivera and I have been doing just that. Every time we see a couple we both look and each and know what we got to do whether we want to or not. One day we were waiting for a moto and this couple walked by. Shoot, I thought we just let them pass without a word. My comp and I both looked at each other and said ´´pareja´´ (couple). We then RAN after them and forced them to talk to us. Hahaha sometimes we look like crazies, but the greatest thing is I will never see these people again. I don't care what I look like or how dumb I look I am on the Lord's errand.

So my comp....I love her to death. But somethings are just so weird. Living with someone from a different culture is a very good experience. She says the fan makes her chest hurt. So we've been sleeping without the fan for a while now. It reminds me of Cambodia. No air conditioning and no fan. Haha but I am getting used to the heat. For the FIRST time this week I got a little chilly and put on my sweater. Bad idea. An hour later I was carrying my sweater and sweating like crazy. Also in the morning not sure what happens when you open the door fast, but according to my comp it's not good for you to take in the outside air really fast after waking up. So she always opens the door and sits there for a minute, then she'll venture out. She thinks I'm weird I know it, but we get a long really well! I will miss her for sure. Analy and her call me their ´´baby.´´ They make fun of me but it's fine becacuse I know I am dumb. One day this week they bought fried potatoes. I didn't want fried potatoes so I said ´´Ésta bien, no quiro.´´ I tried to be nice, but whenever I refuse food the people here blow up like someone just died! Seriously it's the biggest deal. When you refuse food I guess it means it's because you think it's disgusting or it's not good enough. All day long they laugh and reinact me saying ´´no quiero papa, no quiero.´´ Oh man we laugh A LOT. Us three spend soo much time together.

Anway.....Mission work. Evelyn, she is one of my favorite people. We love her so much. We tried to set another baptismal date but no she said she doesn't feel ready. She doesn't know why she doesn't feel ready but she just doesn't. Ahhh but she knows it's true! She is reading the BOM, coming to church, and praying. But we are not giving up on her. 

Two other investigators attended church yestereday yay! Dorris and Rafael (12 and 9 yrs.). They were our golden family, they accepted a baptismal date way back when. But then they had problems in their family. Dorris and Rafael live solo with their dad who is an alcoholic. We are going to try and focus more on them and bring them back. But Dorris loved the church and she loved young womens! 

A miracle this week...I was sitting in the church waiting for ward counsel to start when two men walked in the chapel and said ´´Estreengmmann´´ (Stringham). I immediately stood up and then I saw that they had my wallet!!!! WOW. I was amazed. They found my wallet in the street, then they went looking for me. How kind and honest is that? The money was taken but everything else (2 credit cards, drivers liscence, temple recommend, Health Insurance card, and my missionary health card) were all there! Wow God answers my prayers. It was truly a miracle.
I love the scriptures so much. I feel like I never have enough time to study them it bothers me. Isn't it funny. I am dedicating all my time to the gospel right now but I still feel like I need more time to study. I truly am hungry to read my Book of Mormon every morning. We get home usually around 8:30-9:00. But then we have to report on all the lessons we taught for the day which takes about a half an hour. Most days I only have 30 minutes to eat ´´dinner´´ and get ready for bed. There is just no time. We have an hour in the morning to study personally. But I wish I had more time to study!
Christ lives I know it. He comforts me when I feel inadequate. This week I prayed for comfort and truly I feel a lot better. I know that through His Atonement we can be made whole. He is always with us. He is with me I feel it.
Love you all,

Hermana Stringham 

We ate at Chillis last P-Day!!!!! I ate fajitas. Oh man I miss American food sooooo much. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Truly Sarah.........

Hello Fam and Friends!

Happy Late Birthday Brandon!!! Sorry I am late.. Thom and Cythnia I hope you are enjoying my luxurious room and comfy bed cause I sure aint. 

This is me right now typing you at the computer. 
Well this past week was good.  Like I told you we have a goal for 9 baptisms this month. I have no idea how that is possible but we are working hard. We have an investigator named Pedro. Oh Pedrooo-he likes to pretend he can understand English it's kind of annoying. When I am talking in the lesson and I have to think for a second about a word, he says oh just keep talking I can understand English. He was explaining something to us and in the middle of his story he said ´´oh I forgot my vocabulary is to big for her (me) then he looks at me with a smirk and says an easier word.´´ Then he said to me ´´you are not talking as much today, it's because your nervous.´´ Bahaahahaha I am telling you this not because I am bugged with him but I was dying inside. After Hna Rivera and I were dying of laughter, because the whole time he was just ridiculing me. He said he will only go to our church if we will go to his first. SOME PEOPLE. But at the end of the lesson when I was bearing my testimony and telling him to pray he said, ´´i like when you talk. You talk with conviction, even more than your companion.´´ As missionaries we have the spirit. The spirit testifies of truth. Even though these people don't want to make changes in their lives at least I can bring the spirit to their home for a second. I love when I am teaching and the room feels so still. I can fill the Holy Ghost. 

I am really trying to master listening to the spirit. As a missionary my mind is preoccupied with so many things! gahh. How do I filter out all the thoughts. My mind races from Spanish, to English, to investigators, to my feelings of uncomfortableness (its kind a hot and sweaty here), to my family, my friends, my life, my future, this moment, the next lesson, what am going to say now, yuck I don't want to eat this olive, my stomach can't fit your rice sorry, how am I going to live this week with no money (i lost my wallet, my id, my drivers liscence----MY LIFE), Hna Rivera don't you look at me I don't know what to say. Then I find myself sitting in a lesson, God promises that ´´your mouth will not be counfounded´´ ´´I will give it to you in the hour that you need what you shall say.´´ (I probably butchered those quotes). But really, even though I don't have a huge vocabulary I feel God directing my words in lessons. He works with the dumb, I'll testify of that. Joseph Smith knew nothing he wasn't that smart. But he brought about a miracle. God trusted him, and I know He has trusted me. He sent me to Piura because He knows I am capable of the task that is set before me. He gives us trials because he can see our potential. Everything we go through molds us for the future. God has a big future for us, but it takes pain to get there. 

I love being a missionary. I love having experiences that challenge my faith, because I am growing stronger. 

We will have a new pencionista(o) starting tomorrow. The bishop's wife doesn't have time with her two little kids. We asked so many people in our ward, we even asked this old lady. I was scared she would say yes. Sorry but I am a little fearful of her food. Finally we found one! A member who we re-activated recently. And yes he is a guy. Haha but if he cooks good then that's all that matters. I'll let you know how his food is next week. 

I love you all. Se que este iglesia es verdadero con total mi corazon. Have a good week. Guess what I only have TWO more weeks of my training. AHHHH. 

oh also if you want to look up where I live..I live in San Martin. Check it out. 


Hermana Stringham

This pic is with one of my favorite members Paola Aguirre.