Friday, August 29, 2014

Week #4

Hey everyone,

So this email is going to be a little shorter because I am trying to send home pictures which take forever.  Sorry I don't have more pictures we are not allowed to take pictures on any day but P-day, so I don't take as many as I would like to.  This week was really good. I have learned and grown a lot. My Spanish is getting better, but it still not great.  I got to talk to some missionaries and teachers about Spanish in Chile and they told me it is really different, so I will probably feel like I am learning a whole new language there anyway. And they talk extra fast there. 

Please send me some pictures I would love to see some pictures of what you all are doing at home.  I love hearing about what is going on back home.  I am glad that you guys go to speak with the missionaries we have been talking a lot about working with the members and it is really important because members can add a great spirit and an extra testimony to every lesson.  We also really need the help of members as missionaries. The way our work is changing, everything revolves a lot on the help of members with bringing us investigators and participating in lessons.  We really cannot do nearly as well teaching as we can when members are involved. 

This past weekend we had a huge rain/hail storm.  It rained harder than I have ever seen and it all came so fast.  I was in the comedor and we forgot our umbrellas, so we got soaked. But to be honest, we played out in the rain for a little bit longer than necessary and we had so much fun splashing in the puddles on the way to class.  Everyone was soaked for night classes because of the huge puddles outside, but it made for a memorable night.

We always have the best devotionals here but this Sunday we watched the most amazing devotional by Elder Bednar. He talked about how we can become missionaries and how because we have been called we will be qualified, but we first must act in faith.  We have to open our months before they will  be filled.  He also talked about how once a missionary, we are always missionaries.  It was just really good, probably the best devotional I have ever heard.  

This week we got new latinas in our casa which has been so fun. They are really friendly and I got to talk to one from Peru for about a half hour.  It was so fun seeing how different her Spanish is.  I was actually able to carry on a conversation with her which was really exciting.  I have just gotten really comfortable teaching  in Spanish and feel pretty confident during my lessons, but when it comes to outside my lessons without the strong presence of the Holy Ghost, my Spanish doesn't flow nearly as well. Most of my vocabulary is vocabulary that I need for a lesson. I can’t wait until I am finally fluent and be able to express all my thoughts in Spanish.  Spanish is such a beautiful language and I am really learning to love it.  I absolutely love the Spanish hymns, although I don't always completely understand them because the translations are not direct. They are really different. It is fun looking at the way the are reworded. We got to do a musical number of, I Need Thee Every Hour, in Spanish on Sunday with my district. That was so cool.  We always have musical numbers at everything we go to and it is what invites the spirit for the rest of the meeting.  They are able to express some things in a way that you just can’t do with English, but no matter if I can understand them or not they always invite a very strong spirit with them every time we sing them.  I should be able to speak it pretty fluently by the time I call home for Christmas, based on what I have heard.  I get my travel info on Monday and I can’t wait to find out when I leave and to get to go to Chile, although I will miss the CCM and my district. I have really grown to love all the people in my district and the CCM has become like a second home, so it is going to be a little hard saying goodbye, but I know that Chile is waiting for me and is going to become even more of a second home and I just can’t wait to get out there and to love the people there!

This week I had to say goodbye to Elder Johnson which was sad but I am so excited for him and for the people of Peru who get to have him because he is an amazing missionary.  I got some pictures with him and the rest of the Elders back home again since our pictures were blurry I will send them to you next week with more of my pictures. Sorry I didn't get to send very many because my companion needed her camera thing back. I also said goodbye to one of the districts in our zone that we have gotten really close too.  It has all just made me so much more excited to head to Chile.  I cant wait to get there and get to teach the people there.  I am a little nervous because I know the language is going to be really hard, but I know it will come with time.  I know how to give lessons in spanish and that is all that is really important as long as I can testify and invite the spirit that is all that really matters because the spirit is the true teacher.

Please send me pictures from home and any questions you had I loved your questions from last week because it made it easier to know what to tell you about and what you were interested in hearing.  There is just so much that goes on in one week that is hard sometimes to know what to share with the short amount of time I have.  Sorry for the scattered thoughts this week and for my grammar and probably spelling.  I feel  the better my Spanish gets, the worse my English gets.  I am actually starting to intermix the two languages sometimes or forget what certain words in English are. It is so weird, but it is exciting because it means my Spanish is getting better. I also can’t wait to call and talk with the family in one week at the airport. I am going to take my paper pesos in and have them traded for all coins so I can use the pay phones in the airport.

I want you all to know that I love you and miss you.  You are all in  my prayers.  I absolutely love being a missionary with all my heart and I know that I am where I am supposed to be at this time!  I know with all my heart that this Church is true.  I feel it stronger and stronger everyday and I just cant wait until I can share that message with the people of Chile and I cant wait to see there eyes light up with the same knowledge and happiness because this gospel is truly a message of happiness.

Love you,
Hermana Stringham

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