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