Monday, January 19, 2015

Week #25

Hey Everyone,

Okay so first of to answer your questions my new companion is Hermana Makin. She is from Orem, Utah.  She is 23 and worked as a 2nd grade teacher before her mission.  She is really great and a lot of fun.  We arrived to the mission at the same time and so it has been a lot of fun working together.  I am still in the same house and same area as I was when I started the mission.  Usually missionaries change a little more, but I guess there is something that I need to do in this area still and so I am happy to still be here. It has been fun because I have gotten to know the members very well.  I don’t think I will be here though after this transfer, because 6 months in one are is really long. 

I received our family Christmas card this past week and a couple others from family members and ward members.  Thanks everyone who sent them I loved seeing them.

So after the last transfer we had to stop teaching a lot of people that we were working with and we were having a really hard time finding people to teach. It was a hard transfer being in the street a lot and having to stop teaching people, but I learned a lot and was really excited for my new companion to just work the sector really hard and to help this ward to grow and after a lot of work and prayer we are starting to see a lot of miracles.

We have been working with members a lot this week trying to strengthen the ward, and I have seen more than ever the huge difference that members have in the work.  We really cannot do this work without members. It makes a huge difference when the members work together with us.  We got a new Bishop the past week and he has been so great he is so excited to work with the missionaries especially as there has been a lot of changes on how we are working here in South America as we are focussing more on teaching the members along with less actives and investigators.  The Bishop was so great as he took the time to sit down with us and talk about his plan to help the ward and to work more united with us.

Okay so we have found several new people to teach this week.  I am really excited to see where that is going to go, especially after several weeks without many new people to teach.  I want to share about a couple of them with you.

First we are working with a 16 year old boy that was assisting in  a different ward with his friend.  I think I might have mentioned him last week.  We were able to teach him this week and the lesson went really well and the spirit was so strong especially as he gave the closing prayer.  He told us that before he met his friend and starting going to church he didn’t even believe in God and now he is praying a and he went to our ward this week and all the youth took him in and he seemed really happy.  His Mom and sister as well went to the lesson, as the were a  little skeptical about him taking the lessons from the missionaries, but his mom said that she has seen a huge difference in him, especially in their relationship as he has started to go to church. So she is supporting him in taking the lessons.  We are so excited to work with him.  

Another cool experience we had the other day happened after a long day in the street without much success. We were going to go to a different area to see if we could find someone to teach, but my companion turned to me and said, “No, I feel like we need to stay here and contact this street.”  So we contacted the whole street without almost anyone coming to the door until we reached the end of the street, and a women stopped and talked to us from a different religion.  She talked to us for a very long time about her religion and then left in a hurry for a meeting.  We were a little disappointed at first, as we didn’t even get to share much with her, but then as we went to a different area to contact, the first house that we stopped at this lady invited us in and started to talk about some experiences she had had with the exact same religion, that had caused a lot of problems in her family and left her wanting nothing the do with church’s. Because of the conversation we had with the lady that day, we were able to understand her situation better and it helped us to be able to help her.  Although she didn’t let us teach her she said that she would read the pamphlet of the restoration and that we could come back in a week and talk about it then. It was such a blessing that we were able to talk to the lady earlier that day, as we were able to better understand this lady and I could tell that she could feel something especially as she let us in even though she said that she usually doesn’t like to talk to any of the religions.

Other than that we are helping one of the members do her mission papers, who has been working with us a lot and it has been a lot of fun. It has also made me very grateful for all the support I have from all of you now and before my mission, as I went through the same process. She is a convert and doesn’t really have anyone supporting her with this process.

I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support for me.  I love being a missionary, especially for the changes that I have gotten to see in the peoples lives and in my own.  I have learned so much, especially as I have been able to see a different perspective of the world.

I know this church is true and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to share my testimony with the people here in Chile!


Hermana Stringham

Week #24

Hey Everyone,

Okay so this week has just flown by but it has been a great week. We were not able to work in my sector very much this week and at the start of the week it was a little rough as we were basically in the streets all day, but the last day in the sector I was able to see some miracles.

First of all I received a whole bunch of referrals,  one of which is named Javier who is 16 years old and has been attending church with a friend where my new companion is coming from.  I am so excited to teach him as he wants to start going to his own ward and receive the missionaries.  We haven’t been able to teach him yet, but as I have gotten to talk to him on the phone. He is really excited to receive the missionaries and we are so excited to start teaching him.

The second thing that happened is we were able to find one of the people that we had found before Christmas, but with the holidays and all we could never find her again.  We were able to watch the restoration with her and the spirit was so strong and she had a lot of interest, but then she accidentally hit the remote right before the part of the first vision (something always happens at this part of the lesson) and we couldn’t get it to fast forward to this part.  She is evangelical (evangelist) I am not sure how that is in English, but there is a lot of that here in Chile and she assists a church 3 times a week and so initially I didn’t really think that she would be that interested. But she told us that she has had the same question as Joseph Smith, because she always worries for her children and if she is really going down the right path and the things she believes are really true.  We left her with our testimonies and she said that she was going to finish the video and then pray after we left.  I felt the spirit so strong and I am so excited to teach her this week. Her name is Claudia.

One of the other blessing is that we were able to go with one of the young men who used to live in our sector and wanted to take us to teach his old friends and neighbors. We weren’t able to teach anyone, but we were able to receive some great references and we are so exited to head back to them in the week.  I know that this is really how missionary work should be together with the members.  I have been able to feel the Lords love for me a lot this week and see his hand in my life as has blessed me with so many miracles.

My new companion comes tomorrow her name is Hermana Makin and she arrived to the mission the same day as me.  She is another gringa from Utah!.  I was so surprised to have another gringa companion, but she is awesome and I am so excited to work with her. I can’t wait to see what this week has to bring.  I loved something that the President said this week that really helped me.  He said that time is never lost when missionaries are stuck in the street all day, if they have the spirit with them.  I know that is true.  Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of people watching us as missionaries and members back home.  We need to remember to always have the Spirit to be with us and to smile because other will see and feel it!

Answers to our questions:

*How is your Spanish going:

Spanish is going good. I feel comfortable in Spanish right now and I even struggle with English sometimes now, or really both sometimes. There are always things that I can do better with the language, but at least I feel comfortable and I  don’t have any problems communicating. It has been a really blessing The gift of tongues is definitely real, because I know that I couldn’t do this on my own.

How is Victor doing:
With Victor, he didn’t go to church and I have been praying and I feel like we need to stop teaching him for a while and give him a chance to act for himself.  It is hard but in the end he has to make the decision. Maybe it wont be with us right now, but with other missionaries in the future after he moves, but I am still praying about it and maybe I will pass by with my new companion.

How do transfers work?  It seems like you have had some odd changes.
Transfers are every 6 weeks. What happened is that with Hermana Butler, she went home mid transfer because all those that were going to go home the transfer just after Christmas had the option to go home a couple weeks early to be home for Christmas. That’s why it has been weird.  Also transfers are every 6 weeks, but we don’t always change. I was with Hermana Nokes for 2 transfers.  I am still in the same area, which is really surprising, as people usually change more. I guess this is were I need to be.

It has been so interesting to see, because this transfer was a little harder, as my two companions were struggling and fighting a little. I felt like I was in the middle playing counselor, but I know that is where I needed to be and I learned so much from this time.  Now as this transfer is ended we have been able to start to receive referencias and find people.  I have learned that there are some moments like this transfer in the mission that aren’t always for the investigators sometimes they are to help your companion or a member. Now as I am about to receive my new companion, who is awesome. I am so excited I have been able to see the Lord preparing the area with referrals. Now we have a new bishop, as our old one was in the stake presidency as well, and a new teacher for the class of our investigators because they old one was way intimidating.  I know that they Lord has a plan for this area and I cant wait to see what it is.

I love you so much.  I love you all and cant wait to talk to ya next week!

Hermana Stringham

Monday, January 5, 2015

"I did something crazy and cut my hair short!"

"I love it because it was getting so long and it was so hot.
 It looks longer in this picture.  I love it short.  It is just below my collar bones."

oh ya and I did something crazy and cut my hair short.

Christmas in Chile

12 Days of Christmas Nativity
The only Christmas Decoration in our Home!

Christmas Eve with Bianca, her family and the Elders.

Treats from Home!

New Companions

Me and my Companions in Central!

Week #23


This week has been a little slower with working in two sectors and it being New years everyone is really busy, and so we had a lot of time in the street, but as well we had a lot of fun.

Victors baptism date fell, as he had a run in the a member and got really offended so right now he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the church.  He still wants to receive us and still is open to baptism, but he says he doesn’t feel comfortable going to a church with that member there. We had to explain to him as missionaries we can’t really do a whole lot about how people act, We just share our lessons and and we explained why it was important to go to church.  He calmed down a lot and said that he was going to church this Sunday, but then he didn’t show up. So I am not sure what we are going to do. It scares me that this is his second baptismal date that is going to fall, and I don’t want him to get baptized for me. I want to make sure that he has a true conversion.  Because of that I have decided with a lot of prayer, that we have to stop teaching him for a little bit and wait to see if he will choose to go to church this week or call us, because  if he has a testimony and a true desire to receive this gospel he will call us.  It has been really hard, but I feel it is for the best.  Please pray for him.

Other than that for new years we had to enter the house at 7 so we had time to just hang out and organize a lot of things which was fun.  I am sorry I don’t have much to share for this week, but I am really excited to see what this next week has to bring as I will find out who my new companion will be Saturday. We have a lot of people that we are going to visit and teach this week that couldn’t receive us until after the holidays. I am just excited to get to work and work really hard this week!  Please pray for us to be able to find new people to teach that are prepared for our message.

I love you all and am grateful for all that you do.

Hermana Stringham

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week #22

Hey everyone,

This week has been a little bit slower with it being Christmas and working in two sectors, but it was fun to celebrate Christmas here in Chile and just have some fun and it was expecially fun to be able to talk to everyone.  All the grandkids are getting so big and everyone looked so great.  As for my Christmas here I went to the house of our Relief Society President and we had a dinner and then after we had a family night and talked about the different symbols of Christmas it was really fun.  Here in Chile Santa comes at exactly midnight which is something different and so everyone opens their presents at midnight and then after the go to bed.  So Christmas day is more just a day to be with the family.  It seems like Christmas isn't quite as big here as it is back at home either and I have heard that New Years is actually a bigger holliday here.

Victor  is still doing really great we are going to visit him today and change his baptism for the next weekend since we couldnt teach him this past week and we still have a few things to teach before his baptism. But, he is still doing great and not smoking.  He is just struggling to read and retain the things that he reads in the Book of Mormon, so we want to help him with that this week.

We are teaching a new family.  Her name is Lorena. She has two little girls and lives with her husband Alejando.  Her best friend is the Bishop's wife and so we did a family night with them the other week and then we starting teaching Lorena.  She has a lot of interest and has started to read the Book of Mormon, so we are really excited to see were that will go.

We also found another new lady her name is Monica and she is a little bit older. She worked for the church before and has a lot of interest. She lives with her grandsons and is basically at home all day with them. She wants to learn more about the church because she loved all that she saw when she was working for the church several years ago.  She accepted a baptism date for 17th of January. Immediately!  But she still needs to gain a testimony and so we are excited to see where that is going to go.

Other than that we are just working with a few other people trying to get them to progress, but this week we didn't have many appointments with Christmas and all, but I am so excited for the New Year although we won't get to celebrate it as we have to be in the house at 7 that night, but I am grateful for the opportunity to set some new goals.  I loved something that President Warne said in his letter this week.  He said that it doesnt matter how much time you have, as much as it does what you do with your time.  I think that we could all use are time a little better and I expecially have been thinking about this as a missionary as the mission goes by so fast, I want to focus more on the work and use every moment that I have.  

 I hope you all have a great new year and I love you all so much!

Hermana Stringham