Monday, July 27, 2015


Countdown...... Sarah will die in Tumbes...(end her mission)

Baptism Day

Hermana macias at the baptism via -Skype

Peruvian Kisses with old ladies - I will miss these!

Relief Society Sisters

It's hard to believe that I am sitting on the computer writing to my fam and friends for the very last time. How did time pass so fast? I have learned a new meaning of time in the mission, time never waits for us in life we have to always be prepared for new changes whetther we like it or not. SInce the day we were born GOd set a timer on each one of us. My 18 month timer is slowly ticking by. Now I actually have to face real life. THe mission is so structured I never have time to think about things like how my dog Whistler died or how Steve my brother still wears a beard. As I try to set goals for my new life I feel like I'm too young. I know I'm 20 years old but I don't know if I'm ready to be an adult, pay taxed, cook, go to college, get married, have kids, find an actual job. In the mission all of my decisions were already made. I just had to sign up. I arrived here kind of lost no REALLY LOST. I was given a latin companion who I love she trained me well, I dedicated myself to learn a language that seemed impossible, I was given trials, and obstacles to overcome. But I can say I DID IT. And it was the BEST THING EVER!! 
So now I am about to face real life...but so what...I am prepared God has prepared me for the last 18 months for this. All I hope and pray is that Heavenly Father is proud of my efforts. I hope I haven't let him down. I know I wasn't a perfect missionary but I know he loves me even when I fail him he is always there to pick me back up, to encourage me to keep walking or talk to an old woman. He has been by my side. I have felt of His presence. He teaches with me. He walks with me. And He laughs at me when I do stupid stuff. 
I won't miss this blasted heat!!
A member fixed my hair

This last week I have seen His hand in my life. As we walked down our street leaving our apartment one day to go meet up with the sisters for invercambios we passed a couple. Something in me pushed me to talk to them. I timidly walked up to them with Hermana Garcia and started a spanish conversation "Buenas Tardes." The husband began talking to us but his wife just looked off in the distance. I could tell something was wrong. Her chin began to quiver and tears rolled down her face. Her husband just ignored her. We  tried to say womething that might help her. She then looked at us in the face and said "El me engaƱo." ("he cheated on me"). We testified that she is not alone that Christ knows what she is going through more than anyone else. We gave her a great big hug and she cried like a baby in my arms. I was sure that day that Christ sent us to this woman who was painfully suffering with her two small children. I realized in that moment how God is aware of each of his children. The best part about being missionaries is people call us their "ANGELS." I am going to miss that. 

Saturday came and oh it sure came hard. July 25 the day of our baptism. Jose and Reina passed their interviews Wooohoooo!!!!! However, Satan was in ever corner of our lives. He of course was very angry that a whole family was joining the church. The Hidalgo Family. 
This baptism probably was the most stressful baptism of my life! We began the day by doing the usual baptismal prep. Cleaning the filthy church, bathrooms, baptismal font, calling and inviting members decorating the church. Just the usual. 
6:30 p.m. came around the baptism was supposed to start but there were only three members there. The investigators (Hermano Jose and Hermana Reina) showed up 30 minutes late and the members a whole hour late. Again no suprise. The Elders came with one pair of pants for the baptism. We had asked them to bring THREE pairs not ONE. Bad communication or lack of understanding on our part. The Elders live about 20 minutes away so we told them to please bring more pantelones!!!! Everyone was waiting for it to start put we didn't have baptismal clothes! Gosh! After much waiting the elders returned with only One more pair of pants. Yeah at that point we just had start the thing. The baptism finally began at 8:00 p.m. 
The Beloved Pants - A little Big?
Hermano Jose was baptized first. I don't know if you remember but he doesn't have one leg. We had to put a chair in the baptismal font. It all worked great but we were all a little nervous. Next up was Reina. Oh Reina bless her heart. I love that girl. She is so innocent, pure, and funny. We gave a young man in our ward an opportunity to baptize someone for the fist time. Not. A. Good. Idea. The first three attempts were a fail. She couldn't get her head under the water. We were all anxsious---how do you spell that? Anyway we were all nervous like what are we going to do know? Either she isn't very flexible or he doesn't know how to baptize someone. It was a little of los dos. Hermana Garcia and I were dying. All the members were too. Reina kept on saying to her mom "Ma no tengo miedo pero no puedo!" Everyone was trying to give the poor girl and boy baptizing her tips and the spirit of doubt filled the air. I wondered for a sec if she would be able to be baptized. We looked at Elder Vargas and basically told him "Get in there NOW." Elder Vargas came to the rescue. He put on wet pants about XXL size (he looked like a gangster) and jumped in the font! It was a real superman moment! And she went under the first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aHHHH We could all relax. My comp and I almost died of a heart attack. You know when you feel so embarrassed or nevous and you just get the giggles hard??? Well the giggles came HARD. Hermana Garcia and I were trying so hard not to laugh. You just had to be there. I LOVE THE HIDALGO FAMILY. 
We all ate chocolate cake and Aji de Gallina..using the same plates over and over again. It was definitely a very Peruvian style baptism. One that I will never ever forget! 

And my week just gets better....I figure I will write out everything this week because it is the last time....sorry if I am boring you....I understand if you stop reading. 
But guess what??! We have another miracle baptism coming up this Friday! Her name is Milagros which means MIRACLE in English. What a miracle she is. She is 10 years old. Her mom is a less active member but Milagros has been attending church for the last 5 months with her 14 year old sister. We have to have special permission to baptize children with less actives parents. We called President Rasmussen and he gave us permission! 

It doesn't stop there.......

VALERIA. Is 9 years old and reminds me of my niece Hannah! We love teaching her she is so so smart and acts like she is 15. Her brother is a recent RM but her parents aren't members. We are waiting for her parents to give her permission to be baptized, so if she gets permission she will also be baptized this Friday (my last day here in Tumbes). Please PRAY for her that her parents will let her be baptized! 

Yesterday we had to teach Primary and Relief Society. Hermana Garcia went to the Primary and taught them to sing a song for our baptism this week and I was chosen to teach Relief Society. I wasn't very prepared because there is never any time to prepare in the mission! However I was assigned to teach about the temple?  these old ladies are the ones who should be teaching me about the marriage but no. I didn't know what I was going to say the moment I stood up but then I just started talking about my family, my sister, and how beautiful it was the day we were sealed together for the eternity. I can't remember very well but I remember feeling like I was in a castle. I loved every minute of it. My class went actually really well. It was the best class I have ever taught in the mission. I will miss the Sociedad de Soccorro here. 

Well my internet time is shot so I got to go. But I want to leave you with my last testimony. 

I know with all of my heart that Christ lives. I can testify of his love for us. We have a Father in Heaven who loves and knows each and every one of us. No matter how many times we fail or fall short He always gives us another chance, white pages, and a new start. He is in every detail on our lives. If we listen carefully we can follow Him and become as He is. Each one of us has a purpose and a mission to accomplish. We were sent here for a purpose. Joseph Smith restored this church and I will ever be grateful for him. The Book of Mormon will bring us so much closer to Christ is we read it. It will bring power into our lives that we have never experienced. The Saviour brings us our salvation. Thanks to Him we can live again. I love him and could never pay Him for what He did. 
This Gospel is TRUE. If you doubt it ask God himself. 

It's hard to leave what I have experienced. I know God has more in life prepared for me. I just hope I never ever forget the things I have learned here. I hope to be the person God has made me to be. 

Today I found this scripture. 2 Nephi 9:44

"O my beloved bretheren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you, I pray the God of my salvation that he view me with his all. Searching eye, wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all mean shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I shook you iniquities from my sould, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am rid of  your blood." 

These last 18 months I have warned, testified, and helped people come unto Christ. I pray that I have done all I was sent here to do. That at the judgement day I can say I gave him and her an opportunity to accept the gospel, without any feelings of guilt or regret. I hope God can say "Well done thou good and faithful servant." And this is my prayer and testimony I leave with all of you en el nombre de Jesucristo, amen. 

Love you all and will see you soon,

Hermana Stringham 

The box of food we live off of. It's very delicious.
Lomo Saltado - My favorite!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Spreading the greatest news of history---there's nothing like it!

Hey sorry I don't know what happened to last weeks message but basically all that happened last week was.....we found a new awesome investigator named Cinthia while buying icecream! And we had interviews with President Rasmussen. The rest is history I can't even remember what I wrote....

Anyway lets talk about this last week!
Yesterday we went to one of our recent converts house who used to be Catholic. She is the sweetest, skinniest, and prettiest old lady I've ever seen. Her name is Hermana Rosa. Poor thing has to climb up a mound of dirt to get to her house....and it is very very steep! Anyway she's got a lot of virgins and saints mounted on her mud wall. We have taught her the 10 commandments about 2 months ago but I guess she didn't understand the whole Don't worship other gods or images thing. So we taught it again yesterday and literaly pulled down those santitos and virgenes. We felt really bad but it had to be done, after we were done you could feel the spirit a lot better in her house. I hope she doesn't hate us. We did it with her permission. 

___ and ___ baptism is this Saturday! It is such a miracle to see them progress. They are very very slow to learn and get distracted so easily! Hermano ___ asked us this week if the Virgin Mary was virgin before and after she was pregnant....I mean I don't know these type of things gosh! Pray for them that they will pass their interview. It is really hard for them to read so we gave them the Book of Mormon for kids (with pictures) and it's changed their life! ____ won't stop telling us the story of Joseph Smith and Nephi. They are ADORABLE. Everyday we go to their house it's like a comic show. No joke. I wish you could be me for one day. 

I had intercambios with Hermana Dionicio this last week and guess what I found my first DIET COKE AND DR PEPPER IN PIURA! We felt like gringas drinking our soda. We also got really creative. There isn't pancake mix here,,,so what do we do? We bought chocolate cake mix, added one egg, and oil...and walahh. Of course we lacked syrup so we tried to make whip cream turned out more like milk with sugar..#tumbesprobs. 

Yesterday I gave my last talk in the mission...I talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy because it's something that they really struggle with...especially the spending money part. I kind of spoke really directly and "los queme" but I had to do it my lay I talked to two different  members what their moms cooked them for lunchaast talk. I told them if they don't have food in the fridge, don't go out and buy it! Make Arroz con Huevo! (rice with egg). Later that day I asked two different members what they ate that day for lunch. They both answered "Arroz con Huevo." I was so proud. 

Today I recieved a call at 6:30 a.m. and heard someone ask "Hermana Stringham?" I said "Si" turned out that a member from Sullana had traveled 5 hours to Tumbes just to see me! Wow I was amazed. Her name is Ceyla this is her in the picture below. We went to the Ecuador border today too.. 

Love you all! I know this church is true with all of my heart and I love spreading the word! The greatest news in the whole world is that the Savior lives! And His church is on the earth today! Spread this news if you haven't already!! BE BRAVE AND CARRY THOSE HANDY PASS-A-LONG CARDS. 

Hermana Stringham 

p.s. this week as I we were walking at about 8:00 p.m. a moto driver past by and touched my bum.......sick.....!!! 
p.s.s. we were followed by a man yesterday who was going to rob us. Luckily some guy in the street caught on and shooed the guy away! --guardian angels people. 

Family History Fair 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pics from Tumbes

Sometimes Hermana Stringham's emails get lost in cyberspace - This is one of those weeks :-(   
But she did send pictures......

Intercambios with Hermana Rameriz

Monday, July 6, 2015

AHhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! "Do You Believe in Miracles?

AHhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!  "Do You Believe in Miracles?

This week was the best ever!!! It was the start of my last transfer and we are working our bums off! It is a satisfying feeling when you can give the mission all you've got. My time left is short and I am really trying to make the most of it...which means giving up cereal and pancakes to means going until you'll drop...sleeping less...and talking a lot (with more than 100 people in one week)...I want to give my Savior all that I've got. 

So we fasted this last week for Jose and Reina (husband and wife of our recent convert Doris). The missionaries have been working with Hermano Jose since March, and recently we began teaching Hermana Reina their daughter (34 years). We have invited and invited and invited them to be baptized again and again. We were almost really to let them go. We decided to fast for them to know what we should do with them. The next day we went to their house to ask them if they had prayed or not....and they said no. We didn't loose home. We returned 2 days after and talked about baptism with them. We didn't even have time to have a lesson, but we were talking outside the door and put a baptismal date for them both. Guyssss this is a FAMILY Heavenly Father has answered my prayer after 16 and a half months!!!! I am so so beyond thrilled that a family will be baptized that will later be sealed for the eternities. We need your prayers bad because they are going to be baptized July 25. We have less than 20 days to teach them everything and I want them to have a true conversion. You can say that was a MIRACLE. 

Another miracle happened. We have a new investigator named Valeria she is almost 9 years old. Her brother is a recent RM, but her parents aren't members. She comes to church every Sunday with her brother and asked if we could teach her (she lives in the Elders area, but hey she asked US!) She is 8 but acts like a 20 year old no joke. She know the Bible better than I do! With some of her questions like what are the primary colors and meanings.....I get STUMPED! She pushes me to study more haha. She is the cutest thing every and truly not just is a child baptism but a true golden eight year old convert. OH how I love Valeria. 

We had our leadership meeting this last week in Piura with our new mission presidents! President and Hermana Rasmussen! Hermana Rasmussen speaks little Spanish but is hilarious! I love them both! They are from California. President Rasmussen served his mission in the Dominican Republic and is a intelligent, funny, direct lawyer and Mission President now. Hermana Rasmussen is a homemaker. She told us that her friend is going to chip chocolate chips and cooking sheets because she wants to make us  kind of girl. 
The week before last they were in a mission president leadership meeting with the Apostles, so they shared with us the things that they learned. Just a heads up everyone. Elder Holland and many others are praying for the second coming to come right now! Yikes. If they are praying we all must get ready because their prayers are poderoso! I would love for Christ to come today. 

I love you all. Have the best week. Oh and happy 4th of July! 
we painted a house this last week! it turned out to be an ugly orange, but better than the stained white walls right? 
My Favorite!  Hermana Kaeding

xoxo Hermana Stringham 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ASK and LISTEN (And Try and Find a Quite Room!)

We had transfers and guess what.......I will die in Tumbes! No suprise! Hermana Garcia is my new companion!!!!!!!! She is awesome and I am super super excited to be with her! She has been out 14 months. She is from Lima. 

This last week was full of great last times with Hermana Macias. She is off to Mexico and I will miss her terribly! 

We had intercambios this last week. I went with Hermana Maidana from Argentina. It was probably the worst intercambio I have ever had haha. First of all she got sick from eating lunch so we stayed in the room until 6 p.m. We finally left our room when Hermana Maidana realized she forgot the keys! Since we are in South America everything is caged in here (windows, your house etc) because of the robbers. So we couldn't leave the house because the bottom door was locked!! We had to wait for the family to get home to give us a spare key, but by the time they got home it was time to go to bed. Sometimes we don't know why things happen, but I know that God knows. Who know there could have been something dangerous that day that we would have run into and God was just protecting us? What do you think??'

I finished the Book of Mormon this week! Whoop! Cumpli con mi meta!! As I finished I knelt down and prayed in our room one morning. I tried to do it in a moment that  I couldn't hear the street music blaring downstairs, but it was almost imposible. I asked God for the 50th time if the Book of Mormon was true. As I prayed I felt just peace, calm, and warm. I felt like I was in the temple. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I don't need a huge answer to know it, but through the spirit we can all know of the truth. I invite you all to ask God if it is true tonight.   ASK and LISTEN ( and try to find a quiet room).

While I was waiting for Hermana Garica to come I stayed with Hermana Dionicio from California. It's always way too fun when there are two gringas together. We laugh alllll day long and make fun of one another. Today we went to some cool place and took pictures of the dock, on the car ride over I felt like I was on a safari traveling in who knows where. In moments like these I realize how much I love this place! It is so cool. Peru is a different world. 

Anyway I love you all! Have the best week! Pray for us to find new investigators!

Hermana Stringham 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Run to the TEMPLE

It's been a full but awesome week! DAD HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I love you so so much!!! 

First off we had multizone conferences this last week. We said goodbye to President and Hermana Rowley as well. They will be leaving this next week...:( But the multizone conference was awesome. In President's last testimony to us he said, "I can promise you all that WE will live the gospel all of our lives." He then shared a scripture Mosiah 2:15-16 "I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear conscience before God this day....I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God." I love that scripture! I want to finish my mission with a clear conscience and be able to look in the eyes of my bishop with NO REGRETS. He told us to do 3 things in our lives.
 1. Pray-morning and night (and at least one time with your spouse)
 2. Read the Book of Mormon every single day
 3. Keep your covenants
President and Hermana Rowley have been my parents for 16 months, and they will be greatly missed. I will never forget how much President LOVES the Book of Mormon, and Hermana Rowley saying "Tome agua."'s the solution for everything when you are sick in Peru.

Our baptisms went through!! It was the best baptism of my whole mission. Very stressful as always. We got to the church and waiting about 30 minutes for everyone to show up. When we were all ready to start (late at usual) one of the Hermanos thought that we would provide him with Baptismal clothes...ahhhh nope we didn't have baptismal clothes for him. The Elders had to run home and bring some clothes. Thennn Maryori changed into her "Bata"-----what do you call that in English? Anyway her white baptismal dress and it was transparent. Hermana Macias and I ran home RAN. We arrived aout 10 minutes later but SWEATY. So don't judge these baptismal pictures. The hair that was once straight, and the face that was once pretty got ugly in 3 seconds when we started to run. 
FINALLY everything was set..we started the service 45 minutes late..again no suprise. Then we opened the baptismal font door to find a bunch of crickets swimming haha. We just threw them out in the hall fast. No biggy. 

Afterwards Hermana Maryori and Hermana Doris gave the most heartfelt testimonies I was shocked. I have never felt the spirit that strong in one of our baptisms. A ton of members came too to support which was awesome except for the screaming kids. 

We went home that night very very satisfied and we felt the heavens were happy too. 

I had intercambios this last week with Hermana Carrera from Trujillo! 

Saturday we watched the cultural event that took place in Trujillo and Sunday was the temple dedication! It made my whole week! Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Bednar, and Elder Godoy came. I learned a whole lot. 

Elder Uchtdor said, 

"Each time a temple is built Satan's power on eath is lessoned and God's power is more fully manisfested." 

"Being temple worthy is a standard we can and must have."

Elder Bednar talked all about doing OUR temple work not THE temple work. 

"The greatest work God has given us to do on earth is temple work for OUR DEAD. OUR DEAD NOT THE DEAD." In D&C 124 it stated "Your Dead" three times. 
"Temple work is all about OUR FAMILY not THE FAMILY." 

"Remember that the names that will be so difficult to find will be our own family names. When we were baptized our ancestors looked down at us with hope that we would offer them freedom....In your reunion with your loved ones you will see thier eyes with either gratitude or dissapointment." Depending on what we do to help them in this life. 

My testimony of the temple and of temple was strengthened. Maybe the whole Stringham geneology has been done but I know that the Carabine side lacks. If I have to I will go to Italy to find names. I love family history! We have a goal to send one name each transfer for every recent convert and rescatado that we have. The spirit of Elijiah is working in me.. 

Elder Uceda stated 5 things we must do 
  1. Have a picture of the temple in your house
  2. Buy your temple clothes NOW
  3. Have a current temple recommend ALWAYS
  4. Fill our your "My Family" book------mine got lost by the way
  5. Visit the temple frequently
Hermana Macias and I like the first sesson so much that we attended all three sessions. 

Sorry this is a super long email but my parents aren't online to chat with me and lots of good stuff happened this week. 

I love you all CHRIST LIVES. Run to the TEMPLE because I can't!! 

xoxo Hermana Stringham

p.s. Hermana Macias and I put our beds together because she always gets scared at night. Last night she woke me up because she heard a scary cat-then she says "You are so good Hermana, you are going straight to heaven." I love that girl, it is our last week together :(