Friday, February 27, 2015

Q & A * February 23, 2015

Just so you know there is one down side to going to Talca.  I have heard that it is so great and the people there are so nice and everyone loves it there, but all the mail still gets sent here so it can take a very long time to get mail there. I will have to ask how long, but I know it can be  a few months sometimes because they have to wait until someone is going down there to send the mail with them.  Just so you know that other thing is it is a biking sector and I may or may not be kind of panicking about the whole biking thing. I am really hoping I am wrong about that, but that is just a minor thing other than that Talca is supposed to be really great and the people there tend to be more open and receptive, because it is further south which will be cool to see!

I have to go on a bus. It is a 4 hour bus ride early tomorrow morning. I should be with other missionaries, not my companion though because she is already in Talca.  They always try to put us in bigger groups to go together and there are a lot of people from here going to 

Talca, so I wont be alone.  I love you so much!  I will talk to you next week from Talca! 

Earth Quake!

We received this letter:
February 18, 2015
Dear Parents of missionaries serving in the Chile Rancagua Mission-
You are no doubt aware that Chile is a country with significant seismic activity.  Last evening there was a 5.0 earthquake near the city of Curicó which is in our mission.  While we felt the earthquake in most parts of the mission there was no damage in our mission boundaries and no one was hurt.   
 Our missionaries receive annual training on earthquake preparedness and each has an emergency backpack with essential supplies in case they have to leave their apartments with little notice.  We have emergency communications protocols and the few missionaries who live near the ocean know about seeking high ground if necessary.  None of these missionaries lives near enough to the beach to be of concern in the event of a tsunami.
 We want you to know that we have taken every precaution possible.  While we cannot predict when or where the next earthquake will occur we have faith in the divine and preserving hand of the Lord on behalf of our missionaries.
 I will not communicate with you after each event but will do so if they are close to us or if there is damage reported.   As always you can contact me at
 Thanks for your prayers and support for your missionary, our mission and this great work.
 Warmest regards,
 Presidente Warne
Misión Chile Rancagua
Hermana Stringham's Response:
There are lots, but there was one that was supposably bigger. It was felt all the way through Chile, but I didn't even fill it because we were outside. So don't worry."

Week #30 * February 23, 2014

Hey everyone,

This week has been really great.  Last night we had cambios (transfers) and I found out that I am going to Talca tommorrow.  Talca is the farthest south of the mission and I am in the north part so I am excited to see a different part of the mission.  My new companion is Hermana Skwyers.  I have met here before and she is really nice she has just a month or so less than I do in the mission.  I was surprised to find out I was going to be with another gringa, but I am so excited, But sad to be leaving my first ward here.  Saying goodbye to everyone has been really sad and given me the opportunity to look back on my mission, as all of these members were with me when I first got here and didn’t understand a word of what was going on.  They helped me so much and have touched my life in ways that I will never be the same.  I am going to miss them so much, but I am excited for the new opportunities and new people I have to meet waiting ahead of me.  I know that Talca is where I need to be  at this time.  I am also going to miss my companion a lot. We have had a lot of fun working together, but I am excited to get to know a new companion.

Javier is doing really good this week he is going to go the temple to do baptisms for the dead and on Sunday is going to receive the priesthood and is also going to enroll in seminary when school starts in a couple of weeks.  The members have really taken him in I feel good that I know I am leaving him in good hands.  

 I am so grateful for the decision I made to go on a mission it has been the best decision I have made in my life.  I have learned so much.  I will admit it has been the hardest thing that I have ever done and the mission always has its ups and downs, but the rewards are oh so sweet.  I want you all to know that I know this Church is true.  I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and he loves everyone of you.  He has a plan for each and everyone of us so we can return back to Him and live in His presence with our families for all of eternity.  I know that missionary work is a huge part of that plan and that ever single one of us have a responsibility to help in that work.  One thing that I have learned in my mission is that missionaries cannot do the work alone. We need to all be more anxiously engaged in missionary work and remember that we are all representatives of Jesus Christ, with or without a missionary plack.  I love you all so very much and I am so grateful for all the support you offer me.  Know that you are in my prayers!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Baptism Day - Javier

Week #29 * February 16, 2015

This week has been so amazing!

Okay so this week has been so amazing and crazy busy.  We worked really hard getting everything ready for the baptism this Saturday, as we still had more to teach Javier before and a lot of plans to do.  It was amazing to see it all come together as there was a lot of opposition.  We didn’t have any oposición in teaching Javier as he was ready and prepared by the Lord, but there always has to be oposición in all things.  We had members who fell through for lots of different reasons and we had to cancel lessons.  We had our musical number cancel 3 times with different members for various reasons and then the Font overflowed and the church flooded (luckily the floors are tile, not carpet here).  And then when they drained the Font too much was let out and they couldn’t get it to plug and so they had to use a towel.  It was all crazy, but miraculously it filled way faster than normal and we were able to have the baptism although we started a half hour late with everything going on and waiting on people that needed to be there.  It was a long day, but all the members really came together as we all worked to get the font filled, before the baptism and the elders volunteered to do a musical number.  A member came up to us after and told us that Javier must have a lot of potential and is going to be a really strong great member one day, because he had never seen this much oposición to bring a baptism together.   It all came together and the spirit was really strong, especially when Javier shared his testimony. He was really emotional and I could just see him beaming.  He has changed so much in the short month we have been teaching him, as before he didn’t even believe in God.

I am so grateful for the Lord giving me the opportunity to be a part of this.  My testimony has been strengthened and I know we are truly just the instruments in the Lords hands here, as missionaries. I feel like we didn’t do much the spirit did it all.  It was also a very special experience because Javier’s family and friends came who aren’t members and it was a very emotional experience for them all.  We could tell that the spirit touched them.  Some of his friends are now going to receive the missionaries where they live as well.
The member who confirmed him, also blessed him that he would one day serve and be a great missionary. 

I am just full of so much gratitude after this experience that the Lord has entrusted me and my companion to teach Javier and to see him grow and gain a testimony..  I am so grateful for all of you in supporting me in my decision to serve a mission. I love you all and will talk to ya next week!

Hermana Stringham

Answers to questions:
On p-days we sometimes do activities with other missionaries like they play a lot of futbol (soccer) here and we do a lot of different activities like bowling, volleyball.  We actually don’t do a lot of service. We try to but the members tend to use the elders especially since their are 6 elders in our Ward and people don’t tend to let us help them on the Street, but we are always looking for service opportunities.  We email from these internet places they have a lot of them here. Working with Hermana Makin is different because we have the same amount of time and my other companions were always finishing their missions.  We have a lot of fun and actual work really well together.  I have loved having her as my companion. 

Transfers are actually next week though and I have been here for more than a third of my mission so I am pretty positive that I am going to a different area.  I am going to be sad to leave the members and the people we are teaching here, but I guess we don’t know for sure yet, and I know the Lord will send me where I need to go.

Week #28 * February 9, 2015

Happy Valentines!

Hey everyone,

This week has just flown by I swear it was just yesterday that I was emailing.  This week has been really great we were able to work really well with the members which always makes for a good week.  The finding process has been  slower than normal lately and we didn’t find anyone new to teach this week which was a bit of a downer, but we are working really hard and I know that it is going to pay off as it always does.  Please pray for us and our sector as our focus this week is to find new people to teach as we have been really struggling with that.  

I got your valentines package this week which was a huge surprise and I was so excited! It definitely made my whole day as I didn’t know it was coming.  We loved the treats and the pajamas are so cute. We bought cute heart shaped cherios and we are really excited for valentines day as Javier’s baptism is that day.  We have been crazy busy working with him as we still have a lot to teach, but he still wants to go through with his baptism and says that he feels ready.  It has been so cool working with him because he is really easy to teach and has progressed so fast, as he was atheist before. I know that the Lord has been preparing him for a lot of time.  Every time we teach him he often already understands what we are teaching, because he has been reading the for strength of youth and the youth in the ward have been helping him out a lot.  We are so excited for his baptism this Saturday and to continue teaching him.    

Other than that I don’t have anything new to share.  We are just working really hard to find some new people to teach and working really hard to help those we are teaching to progress, as that has been a struggle as well.  

I love you all thanks for all you do.  Talk to you all next week!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Companion and the rest of the Hermanas in the Zone * February 9, 2015

Week #27 * February 2, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week I completed six months in the mission and looking back it has all just gone by so fast.  I absolutely love being a missionary and I love it more and more everyday.  It is definitely the best decision I have ever made.  At times it is really hard maybe the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is oh so rewarding and I am loving it.  I am so grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given me to come here to Chile and to teach his children here. I know that this church is true and that I am where I am supposed to be.  I am so grateful for all of you for supporting me in my decision to serve a mission and continuing to support me with your letters throughout my mission!  Thanks for all you do!

This week has just flown by so fast it has been crazy.

First we found a huge spider in our bathroom this week it was huge and crazy and scared all of us.  I am going to send a picture, but don’t worry it is dead now.

I am just loving working with Hermana Makin. We have been working really hard and it has been a lot of fun.

Okay so a few of the people we are teaching this week....

Javier-  He is doing amazingly well.  His testimony is continuing to grow.  This week he showed us that he is already in 2 nefi 28 in the Book of Mormon, without us even inviting him to read from the beginning yet.  We are so excited for him.  Please pray for him especially because his mom is supportive about his decision to be baptized but she doesn’t let us come as much as we like and we are worried that we might have to move the baptism date, because we still have a lot to teach him.

Lorena.  Okay we found out why she didn’t go to church and it is because her husband doesn’t want to.  We taught her about temples and she wants so badly to go there one day, but she really wants to do all of this as her family and her husband isn’t really open to listening to the missionaries right now please pray for him.

We got an opportunity to teach a member this week who hasn’t always been super friendly and open with us.  It ended up being a really spiritual experience and she opened up a lot with us.  It really strengthened my testimony of working with the members and helping to fortify them as we have been teaching the members a lot lately.  We just don’t know which of our fellow brothers are sisters are struggling. We need to be better at taking the time to get to know our neighbors and strengthen one another.

Well I am just about out of time so that is about it for this week, but all is going well.  I am loving being a missionary and I can’t wait to hear from you all next week!

Hermana Stringham
A spider in her house!
"We were all really freaked out and
 ended up calling the elders and they had to come over and kill it.
No some things still have not changed."

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Week #26 * January 26, 2015

Hey everyone,

Answers to Questions:

I actually haven’t ever been asked to speak in Church.  The first and last Sunday you have in every area they ask you to introduce yourself and to share your testimony in sacrament meeting. 
Other than that, I haven’t had to.  Missionaries do speak in church sometimes, just not that often.

My address will stay the same the whole time that I am here, as all letters go directly to the mission office.  

I do get some letters from friends just not a ton.  Recently I get about 1 letter from a friend each week which is fun.

My companion, Hermana Makin, is great.  She is from Orem, Utah and the youngest of 6 as well.  She worked as a 2nd grade teacher for a year before her mission.  We got to the mission at the same time, but she went to the provo MTC, as she already could speak some Spanish. She is really great and I absolutely love working with her.

It sounds like you have had a whole lot of funerals in the Ward that is crazy hopefully that will be it for the rest of the year.

This week has been good.  We had some harder days where we were outside all day, but I always find even though it is really frustrating and tiring when people don’t let you in. I always learn more on the days that are harder and more than anything I have learned to look for the purpose that God has for me each day and sometimes it isn’t just teaching a lot of investigators, but helping a member, or even just your companion.  Although we had a couple hard days we had some really great ones as well.  

To start off we are still teaching Javier.  I told you guys about him last week.   He is 16 years old and had been going to church with his friend in a different ward, but these past 2 weeks he has been coming to our ward as he lives in our ward boundaries and we are teaching him and he loves it.  This week we taught him and we asked him if he had read and prayed and he said he did and started sharing all that he learned and the experience he had.  He says that he knows it is true!  He can feel it in his chest and he just knows it.  We invited him to be baptized 14th of February and he said yes!  He said that it is what he really wants to do.  His mom has been coming to the lessons and although she acts more uninterested and says she just doesn’t have time right now she gave him permission to be baptized and is supporting him because she has seen how much he has changed as he has started going to church.  We are so excited for him.  He has been having chest problems though and they are doing tests right now because he has chest pain and can’t work or play sports, so please pray for him as well.  We are a little worried about him.

Next we have Lorena.  I have told you about her before, I think. She is really great.  She has two little girls and is the best friend of our old Bishops wife.  We have been teaching her and she absolutely loves the lessons especially the Plan of Salvation, as it answered a lot of questions.  She still feels like she hasn’t received her answer yet, but she feels good and she says that this is what she wants.  We are just helping her to gain a testimony and recognize the spirit.  The hard thing for her is that her husband hasn’t been able to come to the lessons and he isn’t as interested, and she whats to do everything as a family.  They said they were going to go to church Sunday, but they didn’t show and we haven’t been able to talk to them yet.  I am a little worried about them.  Please pray for them.

Yeyssi (pronounced kinda like JC) She is this cute lady that we are teaching who saves dogs from the streets and helps them find a home (there are dogs everywhere her in the streets they drive me crazy and sometimes scare me, but for the most part I don’t notice them a whole lot anymore).  She loves the lessons and we invited her to be baptized and she said yes, but she still needs a real testimony and we need to set a specific date. She has been sick and hasn’t been able to go to church yet, and it is harder to find a time to teach her.  Please pray for her.

I have also been working with a less active for about my whole time named Angelica.  I love teaching her so much as she has such a strong testimony and experiences to share.  She started living with someone a couple years after her husband passed away and stopped going to church, but we have been able to teach her and she has been going to church for almost the whole time I have been here, but her boyfriend ( I am not sure what to call him as there is a different word in Spanish. A lot of people don’t get married here they just live together and start families). He didn’t want to get married as he was divorced, but she kept praying and we kept working with her and before christmas he told her that they could get married, but he wants to wait until October and she wants to get married sooner or split up because she wants to go to the temple.  Please pray for her and for him that his heart will continue to open up more to the gospel so that she can progress.

Other than that we are just working to find new people to teach and are working to find new people to teach and working a lot with the members and working with a few others to see if they will progress.

Well that is about it for this week but I am really looking forward to this coming week and can’t wait to share my experiences with you next week.  I would love to here how you are all doing as well and I would really love some pictures!

Love ya all,
Hermana Stringham