Thursday, August 21, 2014

Week #3

Hey everyone,

This week has been absolutely amazing.  I grow to love the CCM more everyday and all the people here. The struggling Sister did end up going home this week the day after I talked to you. It was so sad to see her leave, but I am so happy that she is back home getting the help she needs and She is working towards coming back into the field in a few months.  Please continue to pray for because I know she is really struggling still and its really hard to have to go back home after only a few weeks and have to explain what happened to everyone.  

So about two weeks ago me and my companion were called to be sister district training leaders.  We basically just work with all the Hermanas in are zone and we love doing it because we get to have the amazing opportunity to get to know them.  This week this calling has been an especially great blessing in our lives.  A lot of our Hermanas are really struggling with different things and there is a lot of fighting between companionships.  I have had the amazing opportunity to talk to some of this Hermanas and through my calling I can truly feel Gods love for them and it is just the most amazing feeling.  I am really starting to see how much struggling goes on with missionaries with anxiety, depression, homesickness, etc.  I am so grateful and feel so blessed that I have not had to deal with any of this issues.  Please pray for the missionaries here, especially for the Hermanas in our district and just all of the missionaries.  I have seen so many missionaries going home for these reasons and for other medical reasons.  It is so important that missionaries prepare for and learn how to handle these  problems before they come out, because all of these issues are amplified while you are a missionary.  I have learned that as long as I am not focused on myself but instead am working hard and focusing on my work here I don't have any problem. When missionaries stop working and mess around they start to struggle with homesickness and other issues, because they are focused on themselves.  I love my new calling although it does keep me very busy especially on P-days it has been an amazing blessing in my life.

So to answer your question our investigators are just our teachers.  They take the role of past investigators that they taught on there missions.  This week however I had the greatest opportunity.  Me and my companions got to do TRC for the first time.  We will get to do it every week until we leave.  In TRC we get to teach real investigators and non-actives who are struggling with different problems in their lives.  Their friends direct them here.  We got to teach the sweetest girl yesterday.  She is not a member of the church but is a great friend of one of my teachers:  She is struggling with a lot of things in her life and feels as if God doesn't love her because, in her mind, He only loves and communicates with those that are good and she feels like she ins't good enough.  It was so hard to hear her say that. But, it was amazing because we were able to teach her about Gods love for her and how so can build a better relationship with Him through prayer.  The spirit was so stronge in that room.  It felt stronger than I have ever felt it here.  As we taught her, she was brought to tears and me and my companions were struggling not to cry for how strong the spirit was.  I can tell you that we did not teach her yesterday.  The spirit taught her and it taught us. Please pray for her her name is Reigna she is really struggling with somethings in her life.  She especially has a hard time feeling Gods love for her. We were able to get her to pray with us and she told us that she wants to start praying more, from now on, because she liked the feeling and I think she is starting to feel Gods love for her and understand her role as a daughter of God. I was able to speak from the hearts and get a glimpse at what the gift of tongues is like.  The gift of tongues is real and as missionaries speaking another language we are able to have the amazing opportunity to see it work in our lives.  Through this opportunity I was able to see first hand that missionaries are not the teachers.  The spirit is the real teacher, he teaches through us.  Our only job when teaching as missionaries is to invite the spirit and the spirit will enter into there hearts and teach them. 

Oh I met your cousins son I think it is.  Uncle Joe’s grandson.  I cant remember his name for some reason.  I actually see him a lot.  He is so nice and it was fun getting to talk to him.  

So my daily routine everyday
6:30 get up and get ready
7:15 breakfast
about 7:45 to 10:30 ish we usually have class learning how to teach better, learning more spanish, and we will teach one of our investigators about every other day at this time. 
Then until lunch we have study time and language study time.  After lunch we are on the computers doing TALL, which is a computer based language study program.  After that we have more language study time for a couple of hours.  Then is gym at like 4, which is a really weird time.  We have daily palnning at 6:15 and then go to dinner at 6:45. Afterwards we have class with our other teacher which is the same type of stuff as our morning class, but just different because of different teaching styles.  At that point we also teach our other investigator about every other day.  After that its basically just companionship study, personal study then bed.  Mostly it is just a whole lot of study time.  I love it.  Tuesday nights we have devotionals instead of night classes and Wednesday nights from now on are TRC and then a little bit of night class.  Other than Sundays, our schedule stays mostly the same except for a few changes here an there.  Our Pday starts at like 9 after personal study and ends at 6:15, so we still have night class on thursday nights.  Sundays are the best though because we have Relief Society in English which is always amazing and so nice because I can understand it.  Sacrament meeting is really cool in Spanish and I love it and especially love hearing from my branch president because he is one of the most powerful speakers I have ever heard, and he is just really cool.  We have study time, 2 devotionals which are always amazing and then we end the night with a movie and then just have some time to talk with our districts.  The time with our district is one of the best times because everyone just opens up and its like a mini testimony meeting. I learn so much from the other Elders and Hermans.  So thats basically what my life is like here I hope it makes sense.  

We learn spanish here in class, through a computer program, and we have like 4 books that are solely meant for teaching us spanish that we study from.  The biggest thing though is that we are just immersed in the language.  I learn the most from just speaking spanish, because we are supposed be trying to speak only in spanish as much as we can and everything we do here other than like devotionals is in Spanish, so you are really forced to learn it fast.  My Spanish is coming along.  When I look back, I have improved a ton.  I can give a lesson pretty easily in Spanish and I can talk to people in Spanish.  My grammar is just bad because I am still learning so I say a lot of things incorrectly, but I am able to get my point across. My English grammar is actually getting bad as well, because I am starting to get more used to the Spanish grammar and sometimes even the Spanish words. So forgive me if I ever have bad spelling or grammar in my emails, because I don't use English as much anymore.  I am definitely not great at it though and it is really hard to understand.  I have been told that I really won't know very much, once I am out in the field and see how fast they speak, but because we use it so much most people become pretty fluent by their third month in the field.

So weeks are set up differently here and although have been here exactly 3 weeks we are finishing up our fourth week here because, they count the first three days here as one week and the last few days as week six, so we are really only here for just 5 weeks.  So I just have 2 weeks left here!  I am so excited to get to Chile and actually start to teach real investigators everyday especially after yesterday in TRC. I love teaching real investigators about the gospel and cant wait.  I am a little nervous because I know it is going to be really hard in Spanish.  My time here has gone by so fast, yet I feel like I have been here forever.  The CCM has really become a second home for me and it is going to be hard to say goodbye, but I cant wait. I don’t know the exact day I leaving, I should find out soon.  It will most likely be about 2 weeks from Monday, really early in the morning because that is what it usually is.  I will be leaving on a Monday Tuesday or Wednesday that week.  And I will most likely get to call home at the airport because they have pay phones and as long as I bring some pesos and have time I will get to call so that is really exciting I will let you know the  details as soon as I learn them.  Well my time is up and I have to go I just want you to know that I love you and I am praying for everyone back home. I love being a missionary, I know this is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life, and I this is were I want to be! Talk to you all next week.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

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