Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week #43 *May 25, 2015

Hey everyone,

So I have just changed to a different area.  I am in a little branch In San Vicente, which is close to San Fernando Chile.  My new companion is Hermana Prein from Idaho. I am just loving working with her.  I am going to apologize ahead of time as I don’t have a whole lot of time to write and I have so much to share.

First of to start, with some sad news, I was just informed that my convert Javier isn’t going to church and the missionaries can’t find him.  That news came as such a shock to me and seriously broke my heart. PLEASE pray for him.  I am asking for permission to write him a letter of encouragement, that the missionaries can put under his door, but I feel kind of helpless as there is not much I can do.  He was doing so good. I am not sure what happened, but I just know he could use a lot of prayers.

Well as I said, I am in a new sector that is a little branch, which I am learning is a lot different and comes with its own set of problems,  But I absolutely love it here and I am just excited to get working hard.  We have a lot of people the hermanas were working with. I think I will share more about them new week, as I don’t know anyone too well yet and I don’t have a whole lot of time.

My new house is interesting, as we have cement floors and it has some issues. But we are looking for a new house to rent and the mission has said we can move but we have to find the house.   The house isn’t too bad though. It is cute and little and we have made it into our own little home, as there aren’t any other hermanas here.

Well with a new house, I also made some new friends and may or may have not gotten fleas, but I noticed it early so we have clean everything down really good and  the problem has seemed to go away as I don’t have any more red spots it is now just a matter of using a whole lot of itch cream to get them to stop itching and going away. But all in all it hasn’t been too bad, and just a funny experience to tell more than anything.  As for the cold water, our water heater is weird and isn’t working which is too bad as it is getting really cold here. But I have learned that showering with a hot bucket of water we heat up really isn’t that bad. haha!  Also we just recently realized that we have hot water at night and just not in the morning, so if we can find time at night we have hot water which has been a huge blessing, as it is really cold to take a cold shower here.  Honestly, I am just loving it here. It is way different from my other sector, but the people are way sweet and I am just so excited to work with them.  The other day we just found a herd of goats in the streets and after a whole bunch of chilean cowboys all dressed up prancing down the streets. You just don’t see those things back home.  I am loving it.  It has really just been a whole lot of fun.  This week we are going to have a ward movie night and watch Meet the Mormons and we were recently given permission to watch a few church movies in ward activities. It should go really good and I am so excited to see the turn out.

I don’t have a whole lot of time and I want to send pictures so I will tell you all about the other exp√©riences and people we are teaching next week as I get to know them. Just know that I am loving it here and I am so excited to get working here.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

This & That:

There are 4 missionaries in the area:  Two Elders and Two Hermanas

The area is San Vincente and all the small towns surrounding it. There is a lot of farm land around the city.  It takes about 30 minutes to walk from one end of the town to the other.  It takes about an hour in a bus to get to all the small towns around the city.

Monday, May 25, 2015

New Companion: Hermana Prein

Hermana Prein &
Hermana Stringham


Home Sweet Talca
Herman Silvana
She helped us so much with missionary work!

Paula and Oscar and Family
Oscar is an investigator and the rest are members.

Alexandra (Paula and Oscar's little daughter)
She had a whole goodbye party ready for us when we came over.

Mendez Family

Add caption
Happy Birthday, Hermana!

Happy Birthday Hermana Sousa
Hermans Arrellano, Carpo, Sousa, De los Santos, 
Hermana Alba and her daughter Laura
The Ward

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Week #42 *May 18, 2015

Cambios................I hate goodbyes!

Hey everyone,

Well, To my surprise I am going to be leaving Indepencia.  I will be going to San Fernando, which is close to Rancagua. I am so excited it is a branch and I am pretty sure it is an area with more like fields or whatever the word is which should be really different from bigger wards in the city.

I am so excited.  I am going to be with Hermana Prein.  I don’t know who she is, I just know that she is from the US and doesn’t have a whole lot of time in the mission. But I am really excited to get to know her.  

I am a little sad to be leaving Independencia I was really hoping to have a little more time here and to stay with Hermana Sousa for another cambio, but I feel really at peace with transfers and I am excited to work really hard in my new area and for the opportunity to get to know knew people.

This Sunday, Maria Olga went to church and brought her daughter she stayed for Sunday school and she introduced herself and talked about how she met the missionaries and at first didn’t want anything to do with us. But now has loved what she has learned about the church and wants to keep progressing.  She says she doesn’t want to be baptized yet because she knows it is a really important decision and she wants to make sure that she is really sure, because she doesn’t want to be baptized then go inactive like a lot of people do.  I am so excited for her.  Her little girl is so cute, Julieta.  She came over to me during sacrament and asked me when I was going to return so she could play with my hair.  I think that hardest part of the mission has honestly been saying goodbye to all of these people, who have had a huge impact in my life, knowing that I will probably never see them again.  I am so grateful for the gospel of my life and for the knowledge that this is not the end.  As a cute member reminded me yesterday that,  as members of the church goodbye really never is forever.  I hope to be able to reunite with all of the close friends I have made here in Chile and I know that it is all possible through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Cristina also went to church yesterday. She is a less active who has had some many trial that have made it so very hard for her to be able to stay strong in the gospel. But she is working so hard and it was so good to be able to have her there and she brought a friend with her too, so that was really cool.  

Jordan, the son of Paula and Oscar, went to church alone as well.  It was such a testimony builder to see a 12 year old boy walk all the way to the church.(they live quite a ways a way from the church and it is really cold in the mornings)  While the rest of the family, who decided not to go, stayed in bed.  I know that he is going to make a great missionary someday and his example for his family is going to help them to someday be able to grow strong in the gospel.  I am going to miss that family so much.

This week we were also able to work with Cesar and Silvia.  I don’t know if I have mentioned them before.  They were a strong family in the gospel, sealed in the temple with big callings in the stake, but due to some mistakes that were made, fell away and didn’t want to have anything to do with the church.  It has been amazing helping them as I have seen the miracle of forgiveness especially with Silvia who has had to get over a lot of really big things.  They are now receiving the missionaries and striving to return to the church, but still don’t feel ready yet but have come really far.  The have the sweetest little boy Maximo who is always so excited when we come over.

Also this week was my companions birthday, so we were able to have a lunch together after district meeting with all the hermanas in the zone and surprise her.  It turned out really good and she had no idea.  I will have to send the pictures next week I forgot my camera cord.

I have met so many amazing people in this ward and had so many great experiences. I am going to miss them so much but I am so excited for all of the experience that I have to come in my next area.  I love being a missionary and all the little miracles we see everyday!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Questions & Answers:

Being a missionary here is so different as there are 6 missionares for a ward. We are really involved with the members. We visit them during the week and are constantly working with them. It all seems really different.

Anyways I am so excited to get to know my next area.  Hermana Makin is there are she is the cordinator and so hopefully we will get to go on splits I am pretty sure she still was my all time favorite companion.  So I am stoked about that.

Cambios means changes, which is transfers. Sorry I get confused sometimes.  Independencia is the barrio I am in, in talca.  

Coordinator, I am not sure what it is there, but there are sister leaders who are over the Hermanas in their zone and that's what she is and so I will get to go on splits with her, hopefully.
I love you so much!!!!

It's FALL!!!!

Week #41 *May 11, 2015

Hey everyone,

It was so exciting seeing all of your faces and hear all of your voices yesterday.  Everyone looks so good.  The kiddos are all growing up so fast it is crazy.  

Well this past week has been a little long, as the majority of the week I spent in the house with a sick companion. My poor companion, who isn’t used to cold weather, went to conti for divisions and came back with some sort of virus which she shared with the rest of us. Sadly we are just starting with it now after being in the house the majority of the week.  Also we got to see what Chilean hospitals are like.  Wednesday my companion started to have really bad sharp stomach pains about every two minutes. I started to worry and tried calling the nurse in the mission who was hard to get a hold of.  She had my companion take some things and had us wait an hour, but after an hour my companion was still in a lot of pain so they told us to take her in and so we called the elders to come give her a blessing first and found a member who could take us to the nearby hospital.  When we got there, as it always seems to work out, my companion started to fill a lot better.  They gave her some sort of IV to help relax her stomach and said that it was probably just a mix of the virus and the because she has gastritis.  I am so grateful for the priesthood in our lives my companion almost immediately started to feel better after the blessing and we were able to go back to work the next day  The hospital here seems to be pretty good seems like whatever hospital back at home. But don’t worry we don’t plan on returning back.

Well because we were in the house most of the week, I don’t have to much to share. But at the beginning of the week we had divisions I was with Hermana de los Santos and we had a really good day.  After spending a lot of time in the streets the last week, I was just praying that we would be able to have some more lessons in our divisions and we ended up with 6 lessons, which is a really good day. We taught a young girl named Nicol that we had met a couple weeks ago we had a really powerful lesson with her and she seemed to really understand. She told us that if she receives the answer she is looking for, then she would like to be baptized.  She has 3 other sisters as well that we met but weren’t there this day.  They go faithfully to a christian church but are still really open to listening to us.  We are really excited to see were that goes.

We also were able to find a inactive member when we were contacting. She is the only member in her family and stopped going to church when she got married, but she is willing to receive us and her daughter Catalina is interested in listening to our message.

Other than that we are working with a lot of less actives and a lot of the same people.  It was a harder week as no one, other than our converts that we are working with went to church.  We are just excited to get back working hard and to help them get to church this week and I think we are going to have to stop teaching some of our less actives, that are going to church or progressing really well. 

I love ya all so much!
Hermana Stringham

Questions & Answers:

What did you do while your companion was too sick to go out?
Cleaned the house wrote letters organized but most of the time 
I watched church movies with my sick companion, who couldn’t sleep. 
It was boring!!!!!

How is your companion doing?
Better, as long as she doesn’t eat much. But now the rest of us have the virus, but it isn’t too bad and we can still work. Just lame that I didn’t get it while we were in the house. I think ill get over it fast. Its honestly not that bad. I think it just hit my companion bad because she has also never been in cold weather like this before.  

How is the weather right now?
It’s pretty cold, but not wet yet. But for my companion who is used to year round surfing weather with rain for a couple weeks in the year, it has hit her pretty hard.
it should be cold as it is further south, but today is really warm. Its almost t-shirt weather but the past week was really cold its like Utah in the fall or spring when it is changing season. One day is really cold and then warm and you never really know what to expect.

I love ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pictures with Hermana Sousa *May 2015

Week #40 *May 5, 2015

Hey everyone,

Wow this week has gone by so fast it seems like I just wrote yesterday. 

I got the best new today that Lorena, in my old sector has a baptism date.  We worked really hard with her and I am so excited. It sounds like my old sector is doing really good and I am so excited for all of the people there.

Our sector is doing good.  We have had a lot of support from the ward this week. They have started visiting the people we are working outside of our visits and ithas been a huge help.  We have a lot of people that are struggling to make it to church on Sunday, which has been frustrating, but we are going to work really hard this week and hopefully we can help them to be able to get there.  

This week we taught Relief Society about visiting teaching, as the majority of the sisters here struggle with visiting teaching. Almost no one is doing it, but the class went really well and I hope that it will be able to help them to have more excitement about there visiting teaching, as the can make a huge difference and it is a huge part of our work here.

Maria Olga is still doing really good she was going to go to church yesterday with her two daughters,  but last minute in the morning didn’t go. Please pray for her she has a lot of interest, but her husband is only home Sundays and it makes it hard to go to church.

This week we were praying to find opportunities to do service with my companion.  We were walking down the street, when a young women called to us she had left her keys in the door and was trapped between her door and the fence.  We let her use our phone and no one answered and tried to figure out what to do, but couldn’t find anyone to help and so she decided to wait until her husband got home that night. We left her with some pamphlets to read, but then we both decided that we had to do something because this was the opportunity that we were praying for. We ran to the house of Alejandro and asked if he had a ladder and with luck he had a small ladder that we were able to take to the house. My companion climbed the ladder to get over the fence and tried to climb up to the upstairs window, and couldn’t reach. But a tall man passed with his kids and we asked for his help.  He was able to climb the ladder and enter the house for the keys. It all worked out so perfectly and she invited us to come back later and share our message with her. We are so excited for her.

Also this week we brought a Book of Mormon to Alejandro and he was so excited when we saw it was his.  He is still trying to find a time that we can teach his whole family. I don’t think his wife is so interested, but he is working on it and he has a lot of interest.  We are so excited to work with him.

I am running out of time but it is all going really good just loving every moment and trying to work hard.  More than anything we are trying to find new people to teach as we need new people. But we have so many less actives, that they seem to take up a lot of time.

Sorry for the short letter this week, I will write more next week

I cant wait to talk to you all for mothers day!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Karla's Baptism *April 27, 2015

Hermana Sousa and Herman Stringham

Week #39 *April 27, 2015* 9 Months!!!!

9 Months!!!!

Hey everyone,

I cant believe that I have been out for 9 months.  The time has gone by so crazy fast.  Looking back these have been the craziest, hardest, best 9 months of my life.  I love being a missionary and all of the people that I have met here in Chile.  

We had a baptism that went very special as it was an 18 year old girl that has been waiting for over 2 years to be baptized.  She has had to other baptism dates one that fell through the day before as her parents were offended and didn’t give her permission.  It was a blessing to be able to finally see her baptized.  It was such a huge miracle as her whole family came to support and now are open to receiving the missionaries again where as before we couldn’t even go to her house.

I am finishing up on the Book of Mormon challenge today and I want to thank you so much for the challenge.  It has been hard making time to read the pages necessary every day, but it has been so worth it as I have been able to learn so many things that I have never noticed before and I now know that my libra do mormon in Spanish better as I have never read it all the way through in Spanish.

Members have been such a huge help this week especially one Hermana who has been passing for our investigators and less actives and visiting them during the week.  I am so grateful for the members here.  They really make a difference in the work.

I am so sorry my letter is short this week.  I will work hard to send more next week.  Everyone else is doing well.  I am excited toes what will happen this week and to work hard and find some new people to teach.
I love you all so much and am so very grateful for all your support for me.

Hermana Stringham

Another e-mail:

We also had a really good zone conference this week where they talked alot more about faith in inviting people to be baptized. We have been working really hard in that, and I have been studying a lot about faith. I know that with faith we can have a lot of miracles in this work but we have to have the faith that they can happen.

I cant believe I am going to have 9 months this week it has all gone by so fast.  Sometimes I feel like I really haven’t done much, but looking back I know that I have and that I have done what the Lord wants me to do. This week has been a little harder. our missionary leader basically gave us all a talk about why we aren’t good missionaries, but I know that the I am doing what I need to do, even if the numbers in the mission of baptisms aren’t as what they used to be. The retention has gone way up. We have been working on other aspects of the work that the Lord has asked, through our leaders, that we focus in our less actives and recent converts even more.  All in all I am just trying to work hard.  I love working with my companion we get a long so well.
I feel so blessed to have my health. I just feel so blessed.  I am working hard and trying to do my best and I know that is all the Lord asks of me.

Q & A
Family History/Geneology Work
Yes, the people have computers in their houses and there is documentation, but the majority of the people are starting at ground zero with their parents so it is really different. It is hard getting them started, because it is not like at home were you put a name in and it is already in the system and connected to a bunch of other names.

it is getting real cold. I will be fine though I will buy what I need here. I just took out money to buy boots and I am going to buy them. It is just hard to find what I want, that fit good and are warm and cute. I should of just bought normal boots at home because there really isn’t a lot here and it is expensive, but it is okay. I might buy some sweaters as well, but I am going wait and see what I need when it gets a little colder, but don’t worry they have everything I need here.

 Yes, the volcano was big.  The members always tell us things and there are tvs in all the houses and so it is hard to miss what is going on even though we don’t watch tv.  There was ash even here. The cars were all covered in a gross layer the morning after.  I don’t know if you guys heard about all the flooding up north in Chile. It was pretty bad as they don’t normally get rain there and they lost basically everything and a lot of people died or went missing as the houses were filled with mud.  It’s crazy, there has been a lot going on in Chile they get a little bit of everything, but luckily we are in the middle and so we are okay.

Pictures Christmas Video

Rancagua: Tupahue 1 Zone

Week #38 *April 20, 2015


Hey everyone,

This has been a great week full of miracles and new things. We have just been working really hard to find new people to teach.  I have loved working with Hermana Sousa. She is such a sweetheart and we have really had a lot of fun together. This week it has really started to get cold here. It is still a little bit warm in the middle of the day, but at night it gets really cold.   I am starting to get a little nervous for winter especially for my companion, who has never really experienced cold! 

This week we have been working really hard and praying and fasting to be able to find more people that we could invite to be baptized. Our leaders and mission president have been challenging us to have more faith and to set baptism dates.  As the week was coming to an end, I have to admit I was getting a little discouraged and worried that we weren’t going to be able to complete the challenge of our mission President. One of the people we had invited had said, “no,” the last week and we weren’t finding anyone.  Saturday we decided to go to work and find someone, as it was the last day of the week.  We passed by to a contact we had done in the street, that I really hadn’t thought that much of the contact and he let us in.  We were able to teach a middle age man and his wife.   We taught him about the restoration and he had a lot of questions and was really interested. At the end we invited him to be baptized and he said, “yes!”  He told us of how he had felt that there was a reason why we had talked to him in the street that day and he felt something really different as we shared about the restoration.  It was such a powerful lesson and we are so excited to keep working with him and to help his wife and son as well to be able to come to the same experience as him.  I know that the Lord always keeps His promises, when He asks us to do things. But we have to have faith and do our part.  The Lord tested our faith as we started to doubt as Saturday was the last day of the week, but we kept on searching praying and hoping and we were able to find Alejandro.

This week we also started to work with a family that recently moved to the ward, Cesar and Paula.  They have two kids and are all members other than Cesar.  Cesar has a testimony and wants to be baptized, but he has to quite smoking first and they have to get married.  We talked with them and put goals together as a family. We couldn’t get them to commit to a wedding date, as Cesar wants to buy another house first and the government helps out more for people that are single and so they want to wait. We are trying to help them understand the importance of acting now, so that they can reach the goal they have as a family to be able go to the temple and to be sealed together forever.  Please pray for them.

Karla- Also this week an investigator who has been investigating the church for 2 years came to us and told us that she was ready to be baptized.  We haven’t been teaching her as she has had all of the lessons and was going to be baptized about 2 or 3 years ago, when the day before something happened and her mom changed her mind.  She is about to turn 18 and she can now be baptized and so we are really excited for her.  It has all passed crazy fast and we are preparing her baptism for this Sunday.  Please pray for her as this will be her third time preparing for a baptism.  She is such a strong young women doing it all alone.  She is planning to go on a mission in the next year.  We are so excited for her!

Maria Olga-We had a really good lesson with Maria Olga this week we were able to go with a member Hermana Helen who used to be evanglical as well, and struggled to understand the importance of baptism.  The lesson went really well and she committed to pray to know if the church really has the proper authority to baptized.

As I think I already mentioned, we have been focusing a lot on the temple and so this week we have been teaching all of the less actives and our recent converts in the ward about temples and family history many of the have committed to start their family history. It has helped them a lot to have a higher focus in the temple.  Especially one of our converts Helen, who has been preparing to go to the temple at the end of the year. She committed to prepare 4 names and to go and do baptisms for them in May.  I have loved this new focus as it has helped me to refocus in the temple and to put higher goals for those we teach.

Well I have just about run our of time but, I want you all to know that I love you and I am so grateful for all your support.

Hermana Stringham

Q & A
Yes my companion speaks Portuguese.  I have learned a little, but not alot as our mission president recently asked that we only study Spanish and English in the mission so that we can really learn the language. Some missionaries were studying other languages.  No she doesn’t speak any English, but I am teaching her as all missionaries are being asked to learn English and we have a half hour every day to study language.