Monday, September 29, 2014

Week #9

Hey everyone,

This week has been really great our zone set a goal to have 15 baptisms for the 25th of October, meaning that each companionship would have one.  We are really close with several investigators and have one who wants to be baptized and is preparing for this date.  We are so excited and I know that we can reach this goal with the help of the Lord.  We are working hard to get our investigator Victor ready for this day, because there are a lot of people here who get baptized and then never go back to church. So our goal is not really to get a lot of baptisms, but to help people to get their own testimony and a strong relationship with the Lord, so they can grow strong in the gospel.  Because of this on the 25th, we had blue day where our whole zone wore blue and we had to contact every person and house with blue.  The houses are really colorful here so we did a lot of contacting that day.  We are having a red day on Wednesday as well.  This has been a fun thing to do, because it helps us to work hard to go more out of our way to contact everyone.

My Spanish is still not great, but I am finally starting to understand people here, where as before it was hard to distinguish single words out of the long strand of mumbled words people said.  I am so excited to be able to understand, and I know that I have had a lot of help from the Lord.  It is so cool because the Lord helps me to understand, whenever it is something important. And I can always speak when I need to in lessons, whereas I cant speak very much outside of lessons. The gift of tongues is definitely real. I have seen it first hand and it is amazing.

This week has been a little difficult because we have had some hard days were we haven’t gotten into hardly any houses and everything that could possibly go wrong has. But it is amazing to see, because it is these times that we remind each other that we just have to work harder and as we do we have seen some real miracles with finding new people to teach and great lessons with our investigators.  Sometimes the Lord tests us in order to build us up for something great.  It has been the days that have been the hardest and that I have struggled the most that I have grown the most.  I know that the Lord allows us to have hard times in order to help us grow.

This week we taught Victor twice. The frist lesson he accepted a baptismal date of the 25th and the second he agreed to keep the word of wisdom. He drinks and smokes so this is a really hard thing for him and we were really nervous that he wouldn’t want to, but he says he knows that this church his true and he has faith that the Lord will help him.  Please pray for him as we continue to work with him and help him to quit smoking.

Jacqueline couldn’t come to church this week because she didn’t feel good and she cancelled our lesson. We are really praying hard that we will be able to teach her this week.

We are teaching a new Jacqueline as well.  We found her one day while contacting and taught her a short lesson.  She lost her job and her boyfriend left her the other day and she has called us almost everday since. Because she is really struggling and just wants to talk to someone.  She has a desire to learn more about the gospel and we are really excited to teach her.

We are teaching another person as well named Eugenia, who my companion was teaching before. She has been out of town while I have been here.  She seems to have a lot of interest and I think that here husband does as well, because he joined in a little bit although he didn’t stay there for the whole lesson.  I am excited to get to know her and teach her.

One more thing about Chile. We have huge lunches here and they always give us so much food that I don’t even know what to do with, but we have to just eat slowly and try to eat a good portion as not to offend them. If you don’t eat a lot then they think you don’t like it.  For example we had this lunch the other day where we first got a plate full of fries and mini empanadas.  It was really good, but by the end I was full, but the Hermana brought out two full pans of lasagna for the 6 missionaries there. We were only able to eat one and part of the pan to make it look like we liked it. But I have never been so full in my life and after that we still had dessert.  It is crazy how much food they try to give us here.

Now to answer your questions:

*P-days in the morning we clean first usually for an hour. But our house is really dirty from previous missionaries, so sometimes we spend a lot more time than that.
Then we have until 6 to do whatever: email home, get groceries, and sometimes we have activities with our zones.  Like today we played handball and next week we are going paintballing!  I cant wait.  At 6 we go back to work just like we would on a normal day.

*I got the package today but I haven’t received any letters.

*Yes I get called barbie a lot by everyone here.

*When we first meet people and teach them for the first time we basically just ask questions to get to know them and go from there.  We just follow the spirit and every lesson is different.

*I saw a little bit of womens conference at a members house, in Spanish. It was weird though because they just turn up the background music during the songs because they don’t have them in Spanish. It was weird, but we will get to see it in English! Saturday morning, along with the rest of conference in our stake center.  I am so excited because they always show it in English in one of the rooms for the missionaries. We are really looking forward to Saturday and Sunday to be able to hear from the prophets. I am so excited for something to finally be in English!

Well I love you all so much, talk to you next week!

Hermana Stringham 

Dresses they wear to dance
their national dance the "cueca".

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week #8

Hey everyone,

This has been such a fun but busy week.  It has been a little harder because it is a holiday week so a lot of people have been out of town or have family in town, so we didn't have very many appointments. It’s hard to contact when everyone is busy or not home, but it was fun because on the 18th we got to just go to ward party that lasted all day for 18 de septiembre, which is there Independence day.  It was really fun to spend time with the ward and play games and a lot of futboll(soccer), because they are so crazy competitive and way good at it here. We also watched people dance the “cueca”, their national dance. It was a lot of fun and nice to have a break from the normal schedule.

Okay, so my daily routine: I wake up every day at 7 and we have time to exercise until 7:30 and then time to get ready from 7:30 to  8. This  is a really short amount of time when you have four girls sharing a shower, so I have learned how to get ready fast.  After that we have study time until 12.  Personal study, companionship, language and then 12 samanas, which is just a bunch of videos and stuff we have to do for the first 12 weeks.  After the first 12 weeks, we leave at 11.  We then go to work contacting or if we have appointments. Then we have lunch from 1:30 to 3:30 which is always huge.  After that more contacting and appointments.  We return each night at 9:30 and plan for about an hour, then got to bed at 11.  Everyday is pretty much the same except for Pdays, District meetings wednesday mornings, and Sundays are slightly different with church. But for the most part, we just do a lot of contacting and teaching, which is fun.

 My companion is really great we get along amazingly well and she helps me alot.  We have a lot of fun together.  Her Spanish is amazing and she actually has a really good accent, which most of the gringos don’t, so she helps me a lot with my spanish and saying things correct.  The language is still pretty hard.  I am definitely getting better every day, but understanding is the hardest thing for me because they talk so fast and it all sounds like one long string of sounds. But I am starting to understand and a lot of people have told me this week that my Spanish is a lot better and my pronunciation is good, but I cant really tell.

Our casa is really cute.  I like it because it is really colorful.  All the houses and walls here are very bright and colorful I love it.  I will send pictures when I get time to take one and when I have time to send it.

I got your pictures and video.  I just can't hear the sound so I am going to try again next week because I Think it is just the computer I am on this week, but we will see.

Okay, so I definitely stand out a lot here with my hair.  We get a lot of people staring at us and whistling. I hardly notice anymore but it is funny because people here are always obsessed with my hair.  Also there are a lot of North American things here.  A lot of there clothes have english words. They know and use a lot of random english words, and they listen to a lot of music in English.

I had my first experience with someone hating the church last week.  We have some, but this one was more extreme because it was in the middle of a lesson. We were teaching someone in a little shop and we had a lady come up and bring up all this random stuff about the church and how we don’t let anyone in our temples stuff like that and how she hates mormons. But it was weird because we were able to talk to her and she actually didn’t say it in a really rude voice or anything because the people here are a lot nicer than at home. But it was really distracting from our lesson and really bad because it led away a perspective investigator.  We haven’t been able to teach her yet since.  

Church in Rancagua is pretty much the same as it is at home except for in spanish.  Except for we have this gospel doctrine teacher who goes into really profound things and sometimes teaches things that aren’t really doctrine. Which is hard because it is confusing for investigators, but other than that it is normal.  I really love church here, though. Sunday are the best, because even if you cant understand what they are saying you can at least always feel the spirit.  


Our only real progressing investigator, keeping commitments, is Jacqueline.

Jacqueline- She is this young single Mom that we love teaching.  She always has this huge smile when we come and throughout our whole lesson and she has a real desire to learn.  We have had some really good lessons with her and she came to church with us on Sunday. But she was really overwhelmed with sunday school and she cant meet with us this week so we are a little worried about her. But I know she has a testimony and knows what we are teaching is true, so I really think she will progress.

Victor- He was progressing but then he didn’t show up to church this week and we weren’t able to get a hold of him yet. He is this sweet old man that I have only got to teach once.  We invited him to be baptized and he says he has to pray and think about it first so we are really hoping he will progress, but I don’t know because we weren’t able to teach him this week because he was out of town and he said he would come to church but didn’t answer the door when a member went by for him.

Monica and Sabastion-  This is a cute couple who has two little kids.  Monica is a less active, but her husband Sabstion is really interested, but moves really slowly.  They aren’t progressing right now, because they don’t come to church.  I guess they came once, but they always say that they will only come if its a nice day out.  I think they will progress and he is interested but they don’t want to get married. Because they say they fight to much, and so thats what is really holding him back.  A lot of people are like that here because they don’t have the money to get married and a divorce is way hard to get and very expensive here. They’re always worried about getting married.  I really like working with this family.  I think they will progress as well. They just take a lot of time and we have to take a lot of time teaching them, because he has a lot of questions.  It is cool though because I can see that he has a desire.

Jorge and Jacqueline- I got to teach them for the first time last night and they are seriously so sweet.  I loved teaching them and they love having the missionaries over, but he has already read the Book of mormon and a lot of the pamphlets and says that he knows they are true, but he doesn’t want to go to just one church. He likes visiting lots of different churches, so thats a little hard. But it was really cool, because he has such a strong testimony and faith. He just doesn’t believe that there is only one true church. So we are going to continue to teach them, and I can’t wait to see where that goes.

We are teaching a lot of others. They are mostly all just first lessons, less actives, and recent converts.  I will tell you about more of them but I don’t have much more time this week.

Ask me any questions you have it is much easier to answer questions, because so much happens in one week and forget.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week #7 - CHILE

Hey Everyone,

So this week has been crazy so much has happened and  I have so much to tell you I hope I can fit it all in here.  

So my trip here was really good.  Me and another Hermana were able to have a really good conversation with someone at the Mexico airport.  I had been praying the whole week, before I left the CCM, that I the Lord would prepare someone for me to share the gospel with at the airport and that is exactly what happened.  Me and another missionary decided to go talk to this guy working on his computer.  He was so nice and we were really excited because he spoke english.  We talked to him about the plan of salvation and a lot about the Book of Mormon.  He had a lot of questions because he believes in God and has a lot of his own beliefs, but is looking because he doesn’t really have a religion he fits into.  Anyways we taught him and answered some questions he had and he really liked our message.  He wanted our emails so we could answer more, but we couldn’t give them to him, California. He was excited and we also gave him a card with a church website that he can talk to missionaries at.  I was able to pass the reference onto my mission President, which was really exciting.  It was such a cool experience, because you could see that the Lord had truly prepared this man and he was so ready to hear our message.

I was so excited to hear everyones voices when I called. It was so fun to hear from you.  The airplane we went on was huge and really nice. I was able to sleep most of the night.  I didn’t have anyone next to me, which was nice because I had the whole row to myself.  When I got to Chile, we went to a church in Rancagua because our group was too big for the mission home.

Our first day we went out contacting with a member here named Veronica, who wants to be a missionary. She comes with us a lot and we really like having her in our lessons, because she is able to add a third testimony and she is so nice.  We had lessons planned for that day as well but the all fell through, except one we had with a less active that was just a quick lesson.  I was able to share my testimony, but not much more because the language is really hard here, but I have come along way since the first day.

This week has been good we have been able to do a lot of contacting because we don’t really have any strong progressing investigators right now and the majority of our lessons fall through here.  Its really different here because everyone is so friendly and almost all of them will agree to scheduling a lesson, except for the ones that are really strong Catholics and don’t want to hear about any other religion.  The hard thing is that they don’t follow through very well and won’t be home when we go to talk to them. My companion says that this really isn’t all that normal to be stood up that much.  For example,  Sunday we had 6 people agree to come to church with us and not one of them showed up or were home when we went by.  It is kind of frustrating, but my companion always says that the Lord allows us to struggle the most right before he blesses us.  I know that this is true and that the all of hard work will pay off and we will be able to see the fruits of our labors soon.  Right now we are just really trying to find new investigators who are ready and will progress. We have some but only one of them is really progressing, because the other ones are not following through very well with their commitments and are moving really slowly.  I love the people here though, they are all so kind and loving.  Everyone here is just so friendly and kindhearted.  

My trainer is Hermana Nokes. She is from Riverton, Utah.  It is so nice having a gringa companion, because I am able to understand her. A lot of the other hermanas have been telling me stories about their trainers who are latina, and how it was really hard because they can’t really communicate.  She is so nice and I love working with her.  We get a long so well its amazing.  I definitely can see that companions are inspired, because she is the perfect companion for me to have at this time.

I have had to teach a few lessons this week but it is still really hard, because I cannot understand the peoples Spanish here, but I can always feel the spirit. It is amazing because sometimes I feel that God loves the people we are teaching and it is the most amazing feeling.

Please pray for our investigators! I can give you a few of the names, but it is hard to remember because the names our often really hard to pronounce.  Also pray for us that we will be able to find some new investigators, that are ready to hear our message, because we are working really hard and really want to find someone who is ready to hear our message.

President Warne and his wife are so kind I really liked talking to them. They are so sweet. We talked a lot about back home, since they knew that I was coming for their stake they were excited for me to come.

So our area is really fun it is in Rancagua, so I am in the north part of our mission really close to the mission home.  The people here are really nice and we have a pretty big ward here, which is 97 people.  I guess some wards are only like 15 people. The houses are really small, but they are really cute and colorful.  Every House has a gate all the way around it. It is kind of cool because instead of knocking doors, you yell at the fence a word that (I dont remember how to spell) but it sounds like aloe and it just means hello. It is only used when entering a home or answering the phone.  I am not very good at saying though because, it is hard to say it right and loud enough that they can hear it inside.  I love it though its really cool.  I also really love how everyone hugs everyone here and kisses each other on the cheek. It’s fun. I wish we did that back home, it is hard though because even the men do it and you have to be careful because they will often go in for a hug or a kiss,  and you have to quickly stop them as politely as you can and explain why you can’t.  I actually had an old man hug me the other day, because I didn’t catch onto what he was doing in time and my companion just sat there laughing.  It was funny, but they all tell me here to just wait for my first kiss from one of the men here, because it happens to everyone because it is hard to stop them fast enough.

The weather isn’t too bad here it is starting it to spring right now so it is still pretty cold.  Some days I can just wear a cardigan, but by the time night hits, I always need my winter coat because it is freezing.  It is really cold in our casa, because we only have space heaters but we can’t leave them on for very long or at night.  We have heating pads on our beds and we have tons of blankets, so I am never cold once I get in my bed I am always warm. The mornings our really cold but we do get nice hot showers, so that helps and once we get our room heated up its not bad.  Our water heater stopped working this morning so we might be taking some pretty cold showers until that gets fixed. I guess it will just wake us up, so we wont be so tired during our study time.

P-days we study, clean, come print of our emails so we can read them and then have more time later to come back and email so we don’t have to spend to much time reading our emails.  We go to the store and then we email home and email our mission president.  That’s all we are really doing today, because our p-day only lasts until 3:30 today because we lost three hours of working on the 11th. Because September 11th here is a day were some dictator killed a lot of Chileans. I guess there is sometimes rioting against the government and it is not safe for us to be out, so we had to be back in our house by 6:30. We don’t get much of p-day today, but it was fun. I got to know the other hermans in our house better and we tomar  which is what they call dinner here. It is basically just bread because they don’t really eat dinner.  They just eat a ton for lunch. The bread here is amazing, I like it.  The direct translation is take 11 don’t ask me why its called that I have no idea.

The language is so hard here. I really couldn’t understand hardly any of it at first, but I am starting to.  They have different words for a lot of things and they speak in a lot of “sayings” so is hard to understand.  Also they don’t say their  “S” and cut out a lot of letters or add different things to the end of words, so its confusing. Also they have a weird accent that sounds like a lisp and they speak really fast here. They add “ita" a lot to the end of words which just means small. It doesn’t make a lot of sense when they use, it but its funny. They add po to the end of every sentence, which is just like an exclamation point.  I definitely feel like it is a different language than I learned in the MTC, it sounds like Spanish with an Italian accent.  I like it and am starting to pick it up more and I know with time that I will get it.  

A few more things about Chile:  There are stray dogs everywhere, and I have learned to hate dogs because they can be mean.  We actually got cornered in the street last night by one. We had a mean dog follow us and we got to a dead end. We had to find some rocks, and it left us along us soon as we started to threaten to throw them.  I guess some hermanas have gotten bitten, but usually as long as you just ignore them you are fine and there are always rocks around so if you pick one up they will get scared and leave. Independance day is coming up here, so we are had a ward party the other night and are having another one this week. It is really fun because we get to bring our investigators, which is a great opportunity for us. We got to watch people dance the quaika I have no Idea how to spell it but its the national dance here and it is really fun to watch. It is so cute when the little kids do it.  The food here is amazing especially the bread and dessert.  I am going to get so fat here, because they feed you so much and everyone just keeps telling me it is inevitable.

Well I am out of time but I love you all I will finish writing next week love ya!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Finally in Chile!

Hey everyone,

I made it to Chile. It is absolutely beautiful here.  My companion is North American, so I at least can understand someone.  Her name is Hermana Nokes she is awesome! My p-day is Monday!

I love you all and can’t wait to share all of my adventures with you! We are in Rancagua, in a ward called Recreo(recess)!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Few more MTC Photos!

Our District at the Temple
Trio: Hermanas: Stringham, Fernelius, Ralph

A Call from Mexico City

Tonight we got to talk to Hermana Stringham!

We anxiously waited for her to call
from the Mexico City Airport!
After much waiting, the call finally came.
It was great to hear her voice. 
We could hear her excitement.
After 40 days of training,
she is on her way!

She is going to be a great missionary!
Look out, Chile!  Here she comes!

My MTC District

MTC District

Week #6 - Last Letter from the Mexico MTC

Hey Everyone,

So this week has been absolutely amazing and full of spiritual experiences, as I have been finishing up my final days here at the CCM.  Friday we had a full day of classes and infield orientation to prepare us for the field.  They were really cool classes I learned a lot and the spirit was very strong.  I can’t believe that in just a day I will be in the field getting my first companion and teaching real investigators everyday.  In my mission we have a high baptism rate, so there is a lot of teaching going on, but sadly we have a very low retention rate so we will really be focused on true conversion and there will most likely be a lot of opportunities to teach less actives.  I can’t wait to meet my first companion. I am anxious to see if I get a latina companion or a North American companion. I can definitely see the benefits of both so it will be exciting and a little nerve racking to see, because I know a lot of the times they will put you with a latina as your trainer so you really have to learn the language fast that way. My Spanish is alright, but it is defiantly not great. And I am sure it is going to be very different there. I am a little nervous for that, but I am also excited to learn the language better and I know that I have help from the Lord.  As long as I am giving my all, He will make up for what I lack.  As long as I can invite the spirit into lessons, it really doesn’t matter if I can’t speak the language that well, because the spirit is the real teacher.

Saturday was also really good, because it was our last day of normal classes. We got some great advice from our teachers and said our goodbyes.  My morning teacher talked a lot about how we need to be exactly obedient and how in our missions we are going to have hard times, but those times our really important because it is through our struggling that we are able to grow closer to and better understand our Savior.  In my night class we were able to have a testimony meeting with my whole district. It was a very spiritual experience. We all shared our testimonies and sang,  “I Know that my Redeemer Lives’” in Spanish together.  It was cool to see and reflect on how far we have come here.  I have already changed and grown so much during my time her at the CCM and I know that I am going to even more so in the field. I cant wait.

Sunday was also way super spiritual and amazing.  First we had a testimony meeting, since it was fast Sunday.  It was so awesome to end with a testimony meeting, because we were able to share our testimonies again and hear the testimonies of everyone that we have grown so close to in our branch.  We had two great devotionals as well.  The first one about how we need to continually become converted and the second one was on repentance.  Then we watched three movies that night. They were short ones which were also really good.  The first one was about the first sister missionaries, which was really cool to learn about and see just how much sister missionaries are needed in this work  and can help the work in a different way then elders.  The second one was the Stone Cutter, which is also an amazing movie it was amazing to see that mans great faith.  The third movie was finding Finding Faith in Christ, which was a really cool way to end because it invited a great spirit and represents so much of what our message, that we are going to share, is.  After that it was our turn to watch our goodbye movie and we got to have a testimony meeting with all the missionaries leaving this week.  That was such a great experience because we had the opportunity to get up and share our testimonies for the third time that day.  The spirit was so strong in that room, probably the strongest spirit that I have every felt at the CCM, which is saying a lot because there is constantly an amazing spirit here.  It was such a great way to end our time here at the CCM and our testimonies where strengthened so much, because of how many times we got to share them.

Today I had to say goodbye to my whole district which was really sad, because I have grown so close to them and am going to miss them so much, but I cant wait to get to Chile and meet the people there. 

Hermana Stringham

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pictures! More Bingham Missionaries

Bingham Missionaries
All but the Sister on the right graduated this year.
She Graduated in 2013.

Hermana Stringham and Elder Johnson
Before he left for Peru!

Pictures! The Hermanas

Herman Stringham and District
Hermana's Stringham & Sheppard

Pictures of Mexico City

Just a little look at Mexico City!

Week #5

Hey everyone!

My time here at the CCM has gone so fast.  I cant believe I will be leaving the CCM on MONDAY for Chile. My flight leaves at about 8:30 at night and I will get there at about 6:50 Tuesday Morning. I can't wait to get there.  I am so excited to go there and finally get to teach the people there, although I am sure the language is going to seem completely different.  I know that all that matters is that I do my best and follow the spirit, and the Lord will make up for my gaps in the language.

This week was really great I have grown so much spiritually and in the language.  We took our assessments this week and are now just finishing up and preparing to leave.  I am so excited to go, but I am definitely going to miss my companions and the Elders in my district so much as we are all going to different missions.  I have learned so much from each and everyone of them and it is going to be hard to say goodbye, but I know that they are all going to be absolutely amazing missionaries.

This past Sunday, I was called up to give a talk in Sacrament.  I kind of new I was going to be called up the moment I walked in the room. I could just feel it.  It was the most amazing experience for me although it of course was a little nerve racking giving a talk in spanish. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father was mindful of me and gave me this experience.  I was able to completely put the talk aside I had written about the Restoration (which was our topic) and speak from the heart.  I felt the spirit so strong and I definitely received the gift of tongues at that time, to be able to speak the things I was feeling in my Heart.

My district volunteered to host yesterday for all the new incoming missionaries, which was so much fun to see their excitement to come out and serve and remember back to when I was just getting here at the MTC and to get to talk to them about how amazing it is here at the CCM.

If you see Mickayla let her know that I saw her cousin Chase who just got here.  He looked so excited and happy to be here and you could see in his countenance how ready he was to serve. although he is still getting used to being a missionary and just about gave me a hug before I reached out my hand to shake his hand.  

I am excited to here about all the missionaries leaving from our ward.  I can just imagine how dynamic Derek's farewell talk was. He is going to be a great missionary with that dynamic personality of his.

Okay to answer your questions.  Yes there is a wall around the temple.  But it is not very big and its more like a small version of the one around temple square.  Anyone is welcome into the visitors center and temple grounds.  The temple is going to be closed for a  very long time for renovation. I think the wall might be there a little for protection so everyone has to go through the same way, but its really not a big wall like the one around the MTC.

The food here is different.  I still eat a lot of pb and nutella sandwiches and cereal.  I haven't been sick since that one time, but I do have to be careful what I eat here as if you eat the wrong thing it will make you a little sick for the rest of the day.  I assure that the food is safe here it is just different and so I think it just is an adjustment for our bodies.  They do make some american foods everyone's in a while though.  We have pizza every week from Costco.  They also have fish a lot which is usually good.  The good thing is that they always have a salad bar, lot of breads, fruits, sometimes pasta.  So there is always something you can eat if you don´t like what they are offering.  The other thing is sometimes the food from the main line is cold, but there is a microwave so we have learned to just reheat some of our food, but I don´t really feel comfortable eating it when the meats cold so those days we just go for a peanut butter nutella sandwich.  Almost every missionary gets sick once while they are here, but usually not as sick as we got.  I guess there was just some virus going around, but it is gone now and we are a lot better. 

My companion Hermana Fernelious is great.  She is so funny and always makes the day a lot of fun, especially when we have been in a class all day and just need a good laugh.  She is half Ecuadorian, so she grew up with Spanish in her home.  She has been able to help me a lot with my Spanish.  It has even so fun having her in our companionship.

Spanish is going pretty good. I have come leaps and bounds from where I started.  I can say a lot, especially when It comes to the gospel. Outside topics I can't do quit as much.  My only real struggle is just understand the grammar.  I can say most things, I just don't always use the right tense or grammar, but they can usually figure out what I am saying and it is getting a lot better.  We learn a lot of grammar in class and on the computer and then outside of that we mostly just learn the terms we need to teach lessons, but the rest of the vocabulary just comes from talking with natives and using Spanish as much as you can outside of class.  We do memorize scriptures a little bit because it is much more powerful.  I can do the first vision and James 1:5, but we are working on memorizing D&C 4 and another scripture that I haven't gotten to before I left.  Memorizing in Spanish though is really hard for me, especially scriptures because I don´t always understand all the words. But once I get them down and work to understand them, I am able to retain them pretty well.  We do not memorize stuff for lesson, some missionaries try to, but lessons are really supposed to be guided by the spirit.  My companions and I just make a plan with bullet points and scriptures and then we just make sure that we study up on the topic we are teaching and the vocabulary in that topic, but for the most part it just comes from the heart and often times we don´t end up following the plan because of promptings to talk about something else or based on their needs. If they ask questions then we just do our best to answer those and don't worry as much about our plan.

I am so excited to go to Chile, because I know there are people there that I promised to teach in the pre-earth life and God is preparing them right now for me.  It is so amazing being a missionary, because you get to feel a little bit of Gods love for other people and it is the most amazing feeling. God loves us all so much.  I already love the people of Chile. I pray to feel love for them every day and although I am not there yet I already feel that love for them.  And I can't wait for next Tuesday, when I will actually be out teaching them!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham