Monday, July 28, 2014

Training a Nuevacita! Ahhhhh

Buenas Tardes Todos!

Marianna and Brandon thank you for the Letter and quotes! I am glad to here everything is going well. I was wondering if you two were living?! I hope Frankie gets over the allergies! Kristin Christensen!! Thank you for the package! It made my day! Abby Jones and Katie thanks for the letters!! I felt really loved today. You people don't know how much letters mean to me, they are money.  You are going to be in Jackson this week! I can't believe it and I can't think about it either. Have so much fun and ski some good runs!

Guess what....I am going to train a nuevacita! Ahhhhhh. I am a Little bit scared, but I feel at peace. I know these next three months will be more of a growing experience for me than my companion.  I am in Piura right now. I will be in a trio for a few days, until my companion arrives on Wednesday. I have a training in the misión home tomorrow and on Wednesday. Please pray for me. Today we traveled to Catacoas in a tiny Little combi (van) stuffed with people. There is a bunch of cool stuff in Catacoas, I bought a leather purse. BAD CHOICE...I didnt count my money right. I don't have any money, but I will make it hopefully.... the Lord will provide!

The missión truly is FAKE IS TILL YOU MAKE IT. It's amazing how far you can go with that in mind. I got Cynthia's letter today! Thank you Cynthia for reminding of my favorite quote from Gwen McConkie LET IT ROLLLLLLLL. I want to make that my motto. Everyday there are moments of "I don't know what I am doing or saying or hearing right now." But I just keeping going, keep walking, and keep on rollllllling! My área is really big and that's what scares me the most. You people all know how great I am at navigating...especially in a foreign language!

I am sitting in the missión office right now companionless waiting for other hermanas to pick me up. I just said goodbye to Hermana Rios litterally 2 minutes ago. It's crazy how close you get to your companion. Not every moment with a companion is beautiful, spiritual, or peaceful haha but you learn so much from each companion. By the end of the transfer your companion truly feels like a sister.

We have a new investigator! Her name is Alexendra she is 19 years old. She wants to be baptized but needs more time. She has a problem with drinking, but she is changing and coming to church every week. She is not in our área I don't know if the Elders will let us keep teaching her.

Ricoberto! He wants to be baptized so badddd, but he can't because he is not married. Right now he is not on good terms with his wife either. Marriage is not likely at this point. We are not sure what to do with him. 

We reactivated a member this last week! Whoop! Reactivating someone makes me just as happy as having a baptism. Well actually I don't really know how happy a baptism will feel but it will be a happy moment!

I can't even think right now. So much has happened this past week and I can't remember any of it! My mind right now is running at a millllion miles per hour.

Some of the daily things I here in the streets in good ol' Sullana:

New Jersey!
I would die for your love!
And lots lots more........

I hope you all had a grand week! I've got to write the Pres. Choi (is that how you spell choi? No se....)

xoxo Hermana Stringham

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Joys of Peru

Hermana Stringham and Hermana Kaeding

Hola Familia y Amigos!
This last week was probably the hardest yet! haha. But I am loving this work. I know I have been gone for five months but I still feel like a newbie gringo, and I am. I finally feel like I am getting into the roll of things (it's about time Sarah)! I was thinking about how our life is kind of like a mission. I believe we all had a "MTC training" before this life. God prepared us well and sent us off on our way. Now we are here on earth serving our missions and trying to fight the evil, so that one day we can return with honor. It's not easy. I love a quote by President Monson. He said, "The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure." It is our decision whether we "shall falter, or whether we shall finish." Our challenges allow us to become something different from what we were--better than we were. I am so grateful to be on a mission. It's not always the easiest thing, but I can already see that I have changed. My mind has been opened. We can all return with honor, don't give up! President Uchtdorf said, "You are stronger than you realize. More capable than you can imagine." I love that quote. We can't even see how strong we are. Christ didn't make us weak. We have the strength in us!!!
Anyway, I had the biggest tender mercy this last week. So my comp. had to go to Lima for her Visa. I was supposed to stay with another Sister in Piura, but she never showed up at the airport. I wasn't sure who I should stay with for the next couple of days. I was companion-less. But then Hermana Kaeding showed up at the aiport!!!!!! Her comp went to Lima also, so me Hna Kaeding and another gringo Hna Shills were a three-some for three days! I got to be Hermana Kaeding's comp again, it was like good old times. Instead of teaching fake investigators we got to teach real people together! We spoke full of English for three days. We bought hamburgers, and had a big slumber party. I slept in a twin bed with Hna. Kaeding. And we talked and talked. It was hard to wake up the next morning. But so worth it. We were in a pretty sketchy part of town one night and I had all my baggage with me. So we decided to book it to our apartment!  it was pretty funny. The joys of Peru!!!! Hermana Kaeding truly is like a sister to me. I am so grateful to have her with me.
So I gave a talk in church yesterday about "La Obra Misional." I shared a story--something that happened this last week...
After I picked up my comp at the airport we were driving to the bus stop in a taxi. I was sitting in the front and there were three sisters in the back. The taxi driver asked if we were Elders (like usual) "No somos HERMANAS. Gracias" He told me his kids are Mormon. I asked him why he wasn't and if he had ever prayed to know it was true. He stopped me in the middle of our conversation and asked me how old I was. I told him my age. And he said wow I can really feel the power when you speak. He asked me how he could pray to know if this is true. I told him and committed him to pray that night. I am praying that he received his answer!
It's moments like these when I realize how much God is with us when we simply "Open our mouths." As I was talking to him I was able to understand every word he said, and I was able to answer every question he asked. Truly I felt the gift of tongues. 

So dad I used your suggestion in my talk . Remember when you shared with me D&C 33:8-10. It repeats three times OPEN YOUR MOUTH and it shall be filled. So like I challenged my ward, I am challenging you all to open your mouths!! It's scary I know. But you don't have to have a badge to do it. You were all born in this age and day. Whether you like it or not God chose and saved you for this day. This is the day to share the gospel. We are ALL missionaries.
This is my last week with Hermana Rios. I can't believe this transfer is already done! I have learned so much from Hermana Rios. Last night we were talking to each other about how God has taught both of us a lesson during this transfer. Time is so crazy. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me next!
....Our investigators. Man oh man no one is progressing. But I am not letting it get me down!
Te amo!
Hermana Stringham 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sick with NO Water......

oh and this is my bed. its a little claustrophobic

Mom you asked about my new pencionista as always. My pensionista cooks really really good!!!!!! She is pro. I am so thankful. And she gives us just the right amount. This week we didn't have water for a couple of days. I happened to get sick :( I must have eaten something dirty. But not having a toilet that functioned and being sick was a little rough hahhaaa. I need not say more. Our district leader called us one of these nights that we were without water at 10:15 and said President is coming to inspect our apartments tomorrow morning. WHAT? We about died. Our place smelled horrible, we hadn't cleaned this last week because we didn't have time, and we didn't have water to clean....bad combo. Soo Hna. Rios and I ran to our pencionista's house and borrowed some water. We then attempted to mop and clean the whole place with the little water we had. Thank you mom for packing me with a travel size feebreez. It was used well.
The next day....President Rowley and Hermana Rowley drove to our apartment. They probably looked around for about 3 minutes then President Rowley said Hermana Stringham get your Capeta de Area (I don't know what the name is in English but it has all the histories of our investigators) and planner. Ahhh he is great man but I'll be honest It was nerve racking. My comp and Hermana Rowley went in the other room while I talked with the President. He grabbed my planner and scanned everything. Looked at my goals. EVERYTHING. Then he said show me who you taught last night in your planner. Then he said who here has a baptismal date, (luckily we taught Hiara and Rosa that day who both have a baptismal date..TENDER MERCIES).. He asked me to show him their history. He gave me lots of advice and counsel. haha it's something I will never forget. Anyway I survived the moment. And I am here writing you again. Time is going by fast. This week I reached FIVE months!
And guess what? We didn't have a baptism. Alejandro fell through. He said once he recieved his answer he would be baptised. Well he has his answer. Then he said once I finish the book of Mormon I will be baptized. He hasn't finished the Book of Mormon yet but we tried to set another baptismal date with him but he wouldn't. Hna Rios and I feel like we have tried everything we can. I think he just needs more time and a little spoon full of humility. But one day he will get there. You would think he is a member. He gave his friend a Book of Mormon the other day, not even members have courage to do that!
But good news is Rosa and Hiara will be baptized for sure! I am not exactly sure when but it looks like it will be sooner than August 20!
Ricoberto attends church every Sunday and wants to be baptized, but he is not married!
Our investigators really aren't progressing much. We are constantly on the hunt for new investigators. The life of a Missionary.
Tonight and tomorrow maybe the next day too I will be in Piura with 2 American sisters! My comp has to go to Lima for her Visa.
Last night we had a lesson with a family who is less active. It's great when I am talking and the people are staring right at me and then I ask them a question and they get this confused look on their faces. Yeah it happens a lot. Haha last night I asked the mom how she feels about Joseph Smith, she just looked at her son. Her son then said sorry you know your tongue is a little hard to understand because you're from Estados Unidos. Hahaha in these moments I just want to laugh and my comp was on the verge of laughing. Just a daily occurrence I thought I would share. But I am working on it. I am trying to speak slower, louder, and clearer. That's they key.
I love you all! I am learning so much it's incredible and I have no time to write it all!!!!! But keep pressing forward. We all have a purpose and a mission to accomplish in this life. God lives and loves each of you!!!
xoxo Hermana Stringham 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Little Miracles


To my Dear Grandpa Jack, (A note from Sarah for Paul's Dad's funeral who passed away today)
He is the best Grandpa. I have learned so much from him. He gives me strength. He was always so positive even when he was suffering so much. He is my motivation.  I love him so much. I am crying as I am typing this because he has had such an impact on my life. He will be blessed for eternity. I think of his motto when I am having a difficult time. WORK HARD, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND SHOW GRATITUDE. He knew the purpose of life. I am grateful to have another guardian angel watching over me. Oh Grandpa Jack I will miss you. God be with you till we meet again.
This last week I have seen little miracles in my life. I am trying to recognize God's hand in my life because I know he is in every aspect of my life. We fasted with Alenjandro this last week. His baptismal date is this Saturday! He should be baptized. I cannot wait. My first baptism. Hallelujah!!!!! He seriously is someone who could be the next stake president. Everytime we get to his house he has hymns playing, he goes to institute every week, he has gone to church 9 times, he is GOLDEN. I am grateful that God has led us to him (I can't take pride in finding him, my comp found him in her last transfer). But wow he is truly so prepared. We had the best lesson with him this last week. We asked him about his baptism for the 12th. (Remember I promised him he would receive his answer before that date). Well he has received his answer!! But he scared. He is scared he will fall after he is baptized. He told us he wasn't ready. However Hna Rios and I didn't give up. We had the best lesson with him and in the end he changed his mind. I love when we are in lessons and our mouths truly are filled with words. I am not a person with eloquate words or speach. And in Spanish I am even worse, but God is always with me. He puts words in my mouth and thoughts in my mind. At the end of the lesson I felt the spirit so strong. I love these this is why I am here moments. No one ever said a mission was easy but it is worth it.
My love for others for my Savior continues to grow. I can see all my weaknesses, and if I can't my companion can. I am humbled daily. Sometimes I wonder why aren't we having baptisms, why are these people so hard. It shouldn't be this hard. But today as I was reading the Book of Mormon I realized how much Lehi and Nephi wanted Laman and Lemuel to choose the right. They had witness after witness and they still rejected their own father and brother. I feel like Lehi sometimes. People here tell us they prayed and they feel it's true but they don't feel ready or prepared to take the step of baptism. I believe God is testing my faith. Nephi and Lehi never gave up on Laman and Lemuel. I am trying to increase my faith and God.
We tried to set another baptismal date with Renato. He goes to church every Sunday and wants to be baptized but his parents feel like we are pressuring him to much....
Rosa and Hiara have a baptismal date! Hahaha we tried to set a date with them sooo many times. Finally my companion told Hiara you can choose your baptismal date. We told her to pray about it and gave her a card to write it on. When we returned the next week she had her date. AUGUST 20. Ahhhhh hahaha lesson learned don't let the ninos choose their baptismal date they might say choose September 2015! But at least they have a baptismal date!
We found a new family to teach. I can tell they are prepared to recieve the gospel. Yesterday we had a lesson with them. And oh boy do they have questions!! They asked us question after question. (Why are there lesbians, why do bad things happen to good people, why does God let people starve, what is your opinion about the Catholic church, why are there bad people in the world, etc etc). Really it's amazing the power that you get as a missionary just to be able to start talking and somehow answer there questions. These people really know the Bible here and I'll be honest Hermana Stringham does not know the Bible. oops.
We had a multi zone conference this week. I love conferences because I always feel so pumped afterward!! We traveled to Tallada for the conference. Some new things in the mission. We need to study Preach my Gospel 20 minutes everyday. Preach my Gospel really is such a powerful tool for life. I encourage you ALL to read it and study it. President Rowley is amazing. One thing that stuck out to me was he told us IS DON'T ACCEPT THINGS AS THEY ARE. We can always improve, always do better.
I love being a missionary! It really is preparing me for eternity! It is the best training out there. I hope you are all well. Give my love to the fam!
p.s. THANK you for the package I almost ate the whole bag of peanut m&ns in one day and I ate the whole symphony bar.....yeah i am a little hungry for chocolate. Afterwards we went to a members house and had a rice filled lunch. I didn't feel too good afterwards, but it was worth it!
xoxo Hermana Stringham

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I am doing great in Sullana........

Buenas Tardes EVERYONE!
I don't know who takes the time to read my emails. But I hope I write something interesting for ya´ll. I really feel the power of prayer in my mission. When I have the lowest of moments I pray and pray. I always have my companion to talk to but more importantly I have a Savior who knows me perfectly. He gives me everthing I need. All the joys, the pains, the blessings he gives me because he loves me. And he wants the BEST for me.
I have been reading in 1 Nephi this week. Nephi had a job that seemed almost impossible. The Lord commanded him to construct a ship. And what did he do? Just that. The journey in the sea was not easy. There were storms and winds but in the end Nephi reached the promised land with his family. I know that we all have a promised land. But before we reach the promised land hail, rain, and storms will try to stop us. At times we will be lost. Our liahona won't work, because we lack faith and we forget God. If we remain diligent we will be rewarded. The promised land isn't a new car, more money, clothes, popularity. It is something we can all receive, the rich and the poor. It is a place in the mansions above. This is our promised land. I am trying to do all that I can to reserve my spot in His kingdom. 
We had stake conference this last week. My mission president spoke and asked the congration ´´Por que vino aqui?´´ He asked us all why we chose to come here tonight. I began thinking more in depth of why I chose to serve a mission. I know I am in the right place. I have never once regretted my decision to come to serve the Lord. I am on the Lord's errand. 

Well things are great in Sullana. Renato...Renato (13 yrs old). Three days before his baptism he said he had received his answer, he knows this church is true but he feels like it's not his time. My heart kind of sunk. I know he will be baptized. As much as I want to dunk him in the water, he has his agency. He is still comming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. We will see him on Wednesday. I am going to ask him if this isn't his time, THEN WHEN IS? Hahaha don't worry I will be a little more kinder than that. After we received the bad news Hermana Rios and I were kind of bummed so we stopped at the tienda and bought some chocolate for the long walk home. 
Alenjandro. Still has his baptismal date for July 12, but is still waiting for an answer. This next Sunday we are going to fast for him. He really is someone special. He has so much potential.
Ricoberto, wants to be baptized so bad but first he needs to talk to his wife because they aren't married. Evertime we ask him if he has talked to her he makes up an excuse.
Hiara is 9 years old. She and her mom want to be baptized but she is terribly afraid of the water! Her dad is a member. All we are waiting for is Hiara to say she is ready :)
We had EIGHT investigators attend stake conference. My new record. 
I am doing great in Sullana! My comp says ´´hola´´ to all my peeps.
Love you all!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for your prayers!
Hermana Stringham