Monday, April 27, 2015

JUST KEEP GOING.....(Sorry - I thought I put this on the blog last week :(

Hey fam and friends!!!

This last week was a little bit spanish there isn't a word for sketchy all I can say is "Que Raro" sometimes there aren't words to fill my thoughts in spanish. On Mondays I have to spill out everything in my guts to you guys in English (SORRY). 

Anyway. I am thirsty to find and baptize a family that can be sealed in the temple. My comp is too. It's always good when we are on the same page. We are both finishing our missions but haven't found a family! Ugh it's my biggest dream right now. We decided to fast this last week. My fasts are so much more real and better in the mission. They are harder because we are sweating our eyeballs out every second but it makes the fast that much more powerful. The day we fasted we decided to talk to every couple we saw in the street. Each family we talk to the husband always talks to us and the wife always keeps walking like she didn't see us! We were a bit frustrated that no one wanted us to set up an appointment.So I said "Hermana Macias lets pray." At this moment we were in the center of Tumbes. It was 8:15 pm motos passed, people walked by without saying hi, and the street was all dark because the lights don't work. We stood in a corner and I said a prayer. As we walked more and felt like our feet were going to fall off we talked to 2 more families, but neither one of them wanted us! Ugh I thought why??? We are fasting, we are hungry, we are tired, we have prayed, and still NOTHING. What is wrong with us??? Well we walked and walked and contacted 5 families in all. Only 1 out of the 5 would accept an appointment. That night we got home exhausted and didn't feel to satisfied with the day. I don't know what will happen with the one family that decided to listen to us that night, but I know that when we put forth all of our strength in this work we cannot fail. 

God will try us in life until we feel like giving up. When I feel like falling over I just have to sing in my head  "just keep going just keep going" (Nemo......just keep swimming). And that is what life is all about people. We just got to keep going, no matter what faces us. 

Soledad is progressing really well! She attended a baptism this last week and came to church, but her 2 little rascals didn't let her listen to a word of sacrament meeting. When the kids cry Hermana Macias and I pull out all the candy and cookies we got just to keep them quite. When those are all gone, it is a lost cause. 

I am teaching English classes in the church, and EVERYONE wants to come. We are hoping we will find new investigatores! 

Today I went to the Beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I felt in heaven. I felt like I was not in my mission. We also played soccer in the sand, and ate lunch on the beach. It was just great. 

I love you all and I am so grateful to be a missionary. Be GOOD! 

Hermana Stringham


Buenas Tardes!!!

I am learning to eat a lot more sea food. This last week I ate shrimp quish (how do you spell that?) and lobster soup...the next day we went to a different members house and they gave us two full plates. One plate was half rice and half potatoes with chicken, the other was basil spaghetti with potatoes and a cheese sauce. CARB LOVERS OVER HERE. My comp and I hobbled out of the house feeling a little full that day. What can ya do? 

Out of no where we have so many member references it is awesome! We are still in search for new investigators but God is helping us. I held my second English Class and it went great. Everyone here is pumped to learn English! Our investigator Soledad brought another 2 friends which was awesome. If you are a missionary out there TEACH ENGLISH. For as much as I don't like and don't know how to teach English it is a key to finding and helping your investigators progress more. 

I had my last interview with President Rowley this last week :( He and Hermana Rowley only have 9 weeks left. I have learned so much from them. We have an awesome system going on right now in the mission called Alma and Amulek. Alma was a missionary and Amulek was a member. If you all remember the story right Alma went to the town of Amoniah to preach but had no success so he returned home, on his way home an angel appeared and said sorry man but you got to go back to Amoniah your work isn't finished. So he reluctantly returned, but this time he was accompanied by a member Amulek. The two left and preached and testified until they baptized many. WITHOUT THE HELP OF MEMBERS THIS WORK IS DRY. So I encourage each and everyone of you to go out with the missionaries. I was so dumb to have not done it before my missionary. But DO IT. and Give them references. You know your people in Holladay Utah. The poor missionaries don't even know where island flavor is. WE (members) are the Liahona in the work. 

Not only does this system work to find new investigators but we are finding that as we ask less actives to use the Alma and Amulek system the less actives are reactivating because if they are going to invite someone to church they to have to go to church. We have been visiting members, less actives, and recent converts every week to set missionary goals with them. Then the next week we check up to see how it went. 

Today I was reading the Book of Mormon Alma 26:12 
Yea, I know that I am nothing as to my strength I am weak, therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things

It´s my new favorite scripture. I am nothing I am the weak sauce Hermana Stringham without my God and Savior. He makes me strong. 

I love you all!!!!!!

p.s. we went to the Equador border today. I didn't cross, but Satan tempted me......

Monday, April 13, 2015

14 Months - Whoot, Whoot


This last week was full of traveling. 15 hours of BUS. I got to Tumbes on Monday then on Wednesday we had to go to Piura for a leadership meeting and came back on Thursday. It made me a little bit cansada (tired) but I am doing great and love my new area. I kind of feel like I am in a different mission. There are no big Tottus stores to buy food, just little tiendas all over the street and a market to buy fruit. It is a lot more humid here and I feel so sticky all day longgg. The good news is I am close to the beach! My comp and I walk around with our black umbrella because the sun is intense. Kind of like a Jehovahs Witness but I'm cool with it. My first day here it rained way hard and we didn't have ponchos so we cut up some garbage bags and walked the streets like men in black. 

Today we got $4.00 pedicures. I haven't had one in 14 months! And they were the value of $4.00 too. Not the kind of USA service, but I got my toes painted. Haha the lady put a big yellow flower on each toe! By the way I hit my 14 MONTH MARK YESTERDAY. I cannot believe it.....ahhhhH!

My companion is Hermana Macias she is 21 and is from Aguacalientes Mexico. She is probably the craziest comp I have every had but I love her! We laugh all day and preach like mad women! 

We have been on the search for new investigatores because to be frank we got none! HABLAR CON TODOS. We were looking one day for a recent convert when we found a young mom with her baby sitting on the side of the street. I decided to talk to this woman. Well she talked to us like we were obviously bugging her. I judged her quickly and thought, yeah this is a waste of time. I don't know why or how but we asked her if we could share a short message with her about Jesus Christ and she lit up and let us in her house. We got talking and teaching fast. At the end of the lesson, we all kneeled on the cement floor and Hermana Soledad (our investigator) offered a sincere prayer. I felt the spirit strong. After the lesson the member we were with looked at us and said "Wow I haven't felt the spirit like that in SO LONG." We all looked at each other and said yeah this investigator is going somewhere. We returned to her house yesterday and explained all of the Restoration. Now she just needs a testimony and an answer to her prayer. Please pray for Soledad that she will accept our message. 

We had stake conference yesterday and the temple presidents of Ecuador came. They spoke and inspired us all. The President said "We must come to the temple spiritually prepared in all things (mind, thought, actions etc). If we simply walk in the temple without even thinking about what we are doing we will leave the same that we came." "When we come to the temple spiritually prepared we leave even stronger and mightier, and that is when miracles come into our lives." I thought about how many times I have gone into the temple like it was another shopping mall. I know I need to prepare myself better each time I go to the temple. I want to ask you all today HOW DO YOU ENTER THE TEMPLE? Are your thoughts, actions, and words centered in Christ? If not repent and be worthy of the temple blessings. 

I am running out of my internet time. Love you all, be good!!!!!! 

Hermana Stringham 

Monday, April 6, 2015

I will go where you want me to go dear Lord

This last week has been another crazy and super super busy week. 

I made it through my first intercambios! I remember before my mission when church leaders would ask me to do something (give a talk, visit someone, call her, such and such). There was always an option whether to accept the call or not. Now In the mission Pres Rowley gives us assignations but I realize it's not just him, it is God. Heavenly Father is literally guiding my life. He tells me where to go and with whom I will go. I just have to OBEY. Like Nephi "I will go and do what the Lord commands me." Well the Lord has another calling for me he wants me to continue to be an Hermana Leader. In the most lejanos area there is! 6 hours by bus.  I finally have seen the beach! Whoop! It's been a while....
I am with Hermana Mascias (First Mexican I am excited!)she has been out 16 months so as you would say it I am going to matarla (kill her.. in mission terms). I too will probably die here. The church is newer here, there are mosquitos like you aint seen, and I am gonna eat a lot of sea food. Through all the trials come blessings and I become stronger. That is what I am here for right? Yeah! 

I said goodbye to Hermana Copa. I was only with her for 2 weeks and oh how I wanted to stay with her. She is the best. But am also really happy to get to know Hermana Macias. 

This last week I got to have intercambios with Hermana Shill from Mesa Arizona and Hermana Gonzales from Mexico. I think I learn more from them than what I actually try to teach them. A year ago I was put with Hna Shill and Hna Kaeding for a few days while our comps had to travel to Lima. We struggled our way through the lessons, as we were all fresh from the U.S. we laughed at ourselves and the things that happen when 3 gringas are put together in Piura. Well I was able to teach again with Hna Shill but a year later. It is amazing to see that we can actually teach in Spanish without a problem and our confidence has grown. 

When I was with Hna Gonzalez something interesting happened. We were walking one day when the dad of our investigator came running up to us and yelled "Estrellam!" (Stringham) "My daughter has a bad spirit, a demon has entered her body!" She couldn't walk and was yelping because she was seeing spirits. I have always heard of these bad spirits but I had never seen someone with this problem. We called the Elders to come to rescue with their priesthood. However her dad kept on saying "I got to baptize her right now!" He believed she needed to me baptized in the Catholic church right there and then. We tried talking him out of it but he refused. So all we could do is call the Elders to dedicate their house. It was kind of a disturbing experience but I am so grateful for the priesthood in my life. 

Hermana Maria had a dream and saw Joseph Smith! ...everyone has visions here...Though I won't be there for her baptism I am so excited for her. She is progessing so much. We also have a baptismal date for a 9 year old named Dayli. Her parents are less active. 

Anyway, I loved general conference!! They talked a ton about marriage and kids so brothers get on it! 

p.s. today I traveled to Tumbes without a companion! haha I was with two Elders. Talk about strange. The bus almost left me because I was in the bathroom and one of the Elders had to come holler

my name.....embarrassing!