Monday, June 29, 2015

Week #48 *June 29, 2015


Hey Everyone,

I feel like this week has just passed by so fast.  We got cambios (Transfers)  this past Saturday and to my surprise I am going to be training a new Hermana.  I am so scared out of my mind to train, but I know that cambios are inspired and the Lord qualifies those that he calls.  It will be interesting to see who my new companion is tomorrow and where she is from!

This week we have been contacting a lot and we haven’t had very many lessons, which has been hard. But we are working really hard and we have had some really good contacts, that seem interested that said we could pass by this week so we are excited to see how that goes.  

We did have a lesson with Poala and Maria Paz which was really good. They had to go to Santiago this week though, so they couldn’t go to church and they said they still need some time to pray and talk before they accept a baptismal date. Please pray for them.  They are really interested but they have a lot of obstacles in there way preventing them from getting to church.

This week we also got our water heater fixed. yay..........but now the water is too hot and the temperature won’t go down, so that has been quite the adventure, but I am really getting used to it. I just feel bad for my new companion getting to the mission without a working shower!

Yesterday we visited the familia Ruz Meyer. They are converts and we are working with their daughter Andrea. they had a whole once and cake waiting for us to celebrate my birthday. It was so cute and then we went to pass by for another Member named Romina, who is working on her mission papers ( they also gave me cake.  Gotta love the members. They take such good care of us.)  Romina has been really discouraged lately and hasn’t been to church, so we went over to visit her, as she is only home on the weekends.  She was baptized just a couple years ago and is the only member in her family and friends. She has such a strong testimony, but has been a little discouraged lately. She talked to us about how she had stopped praying and reading her scriptures, because she didn’t have time and how that made such a big change in her life. Prayer and scripture study are so important. They are truly what make our testimonies stronger and help us through the hard times.  I invite you that if you are not reading and praying EVERY day, to set a goal and start doing it this week. Because it is the first thing we stop doing, but one of the most important and also one of the easiest things we can do to strengthen our testimonies.  

I also got a email from Hermana Sousa last week. Paula and Oscar got married. (a couple we were working really hard with in Talca) I am so excited! It is so cool to see them finally reaching there goal, even if I can’t be there.

The mission is definitely really hard, but it is so worth it.  This week I have noticed the Lords hand really prevalant in my life.  It is so amazing the small blessing that he gives us, that as a missionary bring such a great joy.  Things as simple as a less active member showing up in a skirt to church, who before came in jeans, or the look made between a father and a daughter after his confirmation at the elders baptism this week.  It is truly so amazing to be able to be apart of the changes people make in there lives.  I love being a missionary so much and I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.

Well that is about it for this week.
Love you all,

Hermana Stringham

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week #47 *June 22, 2015

Hey everyone,

Well this week has passed by really fast and hasn’t been super eventful, so sorry ahead of time, but this might be a kind of short letter.

We have had to stop teaching a lot of people this week who weren’t progressing and we are really just trying to concentrate all of our efforts in contacting and looking for new people to teach as we know that is what we really need.  This week in our District meeting we talked about how the Lord is always preparing people for us and how we just have to put in our part to find them.  I know that is true and we are working so hard and praying hard to be able to find those people right now.  Please pray for the people in our sector so they will be more open to receiving us and so we can find new people to share the gospel with.  

Because of the American Cup going on here, we have had to be inside a little more, as we have to be in early every night that Chile plays. So that has limited our working time a little bit, but it is fun to see all the excitement over the games, even though it is hard to teach right now as there are different games every night and it seems like every house constantly has the tv on watching the game.

This week we had a fathers day activity in our branch and we did a dinner for all the men in the ward. It was a lot of fun helping out and it turned out really good.  They talked about the importance the Father has in the family and also about our Heavenly Father and all he does for us.  We watched a mormon message called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father, which was really good and I would invite you to see it.   It relates the role of a father to  Heavenly Father and helps us understand a little bit better all our Heavenly Father does for us.

We are still working with Paola and Maria Paz, but they have been really busy and hard to get to and didn’t make it to church this Sunday.  I feel like they are so ready, but satan is working so hard to make it so they don’t receive the gospel. Please pray for them. We have an appointment with them tonight and we are going to put a baptism date with them, so we are really hoping it all works out good. 

Well that is pretty much it for this week!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

A Day in My Life

If you know Spanish, you can see what a typical day is!
Looks full and busy to me!

Week #46 *June 15, 2015

Hey Everyone,

Well, I don’t have a whole lot of time as sending pictures was really slow this week and I don’t have a whole bunch.  This week we have had a lot of service opportunities. We set up a bunch of tables for a charity bingo thing they are doing here, which was fun to go out an help.  I also got to go on divisions in San Fernando again, but this time with Hermana Aizama, from Argentina. It is always fun to work with a different companion and in a different sector for the day to be able to learn some new things.  

Someone egged our house this week, but just with one egg, which was a big surprise, as the neighbor kids all love us and beg us to teach them english. It was probably just some teenagers messing around, it was just a nice surprise to get home to.  

Also this week in our ward council they ended up talking about how a Hermana has an addiction to candy crush and everyone started talking  about how addicting that game is.  Me and my companion were trying so hard not to laugh, as our council turned into a candy crush addiction confession. They discussed how one hermana wasn’t going to church, because she was staying up late playing candy crush.  I found it really interesting. It just goes to show that games on our phones can really be a huge waste of time and become really addicting! 

Other than that we are just working really hard to find new people to teach, as a lot of those that we are teaching aren’t progressing. We have a lot of plans for tracting this week and I am just ready to get working really hard. I know our hard work will come through.  We are working a lot to strengthen the members this week as well, by seeing how they are doing in their Book of Mormon reading. As I know that will make a huge difference in this branch, especially since so far none of them are reading every day.  It is the first thing we always stop doing, but it is so important.  It just takes about 5 to 10 minutes to read a chapter each day and it can make such a huge difference in our lives. I invite you if you are not reading every day to make a goal to at least read a little bit each day. It is so important and makes a huge difference in our lives.

Sorry for the short letter. I swear I will write more next week and send more pictures time has just flown by this week.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

About the area:

How is this area different from the others you have served in?
Its a whole lot smaller and the people a nicer. It is a lot calmer here. I think like we have to stay in every american cup soccer game they play in for safety, but not a lot seems to go on here. Kids are always in the streets without their parents and it seems to be just fine.  There are a lot of parks here with like exercise equipment and playgrounds.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weel #45 *June 8, 2015 Trials & Blessings

Hey everyone,

Well this week has been a little harder as we spent a whole lot of time outside and not a lot of people wanted to talk to us, but we are just trying to stay motivated and we have a lot of potential. We just have to keep working hard and this week is already starting to look up as we have a whole lot of appointments!

This week I got to go on divisions with Hermana Making!  I was so excited. We had so much fun and I loved being able to remember our time together in Recreo.  We were able to find out more about our old sector.  So the missionaries there aren’t even working with Javier.  Turns out his Mom tried to kill herself and he has had a lot of hard stuff going on.  It breaks my heart, but the Hermana’s working there said that he did say he wanted to return, but little by little, and he is not really receiving them right now.  The good thing is my mission president gave us permission to write him, so I am going to write a good card with Hermana Makin and send it with the missionaries to take to his apartment.  I just hope and pray that he can find his way back and work through these trials. Please pray for them.  Also Lorena, that I worked a lot with there had a baptism date, but she finally got her husband to go to church and he was offended by something the bishop says and she has asked the missionaries not to pass anymore.  She loved when we taught about eternal families and I think it just was really hard for her that her husband doesn’t want it too.  Please pray for her!!!

This week has been a little discouraging with that news and other people that haven’t wanted to receive us or aren’t progressing, but after praying and studying a lot, I know that I have done my part and there lives have been touched. It hurts to see them make those decisions, but I know that all I can do now is pray and trust in my knowledge that they are in the best hands.  I know that one day when they are ready, the Lord will send missionaries to them.  I know that they have felt these things and know that they are true. They just need to be reminded of how they felt when they were receiving the missionaries.

Yesterday a member shared something in her testimony that really touched me and helped me understand my purpose, even better, as a missionary.  She compared her conversion to and egg about to hatch. With an egg an outside force will die but if there is an inside force it will start new life.  She talked about how the gospel changed her life, but it required a real desire and effort on her part.  As missionaries we have to help these people to have that desire and do there part. But sometimes they are going to choose a different path, which has definitely been the hardest part to watch as a missionary. But the great thing is the beauty of watching the egg hatch.  Seeing that investigator or less active gain that desire and put in everything they have to begin this new life that the gospel brings.  That is the difference that I have seen in my mission.  Thinking back to Javier he had the desire so strongly and he made so many sacrifices to reach his goals.  He changed wards to go were he lived, even though his friends were in the other ward. And then he walked  to get to the church every Sunday, even though it really wasn’t very close by. He read his Book of Mormon and For Strength of Youth, without much effort on our part and he did it all alone with no support from his family.

This week we were able to teach Paula and Maria Paz they had a baptism date for the 27th, but it fell because they wont be able to go to church for then next two weeks, as they have construction workers that are going to be there for the next two Sundays, but I can see so much potential in them.  It reminds me of working with Javier, because they have the desire.  They have been reading all their commitments and always have good questions. They have already worked out plans so that they can change what day the construction workers. After the next two weeks, that they couldn’t change.  I am so excited to be a part of this experience with them and I know that they are going to be baptized one day and that this is what they really want.   

Well time is running shorter than I thought so I will have to share about some more people next week

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham  

Week #44 *June 1, 2015

Hey Everyone,

Well this week has been less eventful.  We  washed everything in the house and got rid of the fleas or whatever they were yay!!!!!!!!!!!  We still don’t have hot water most of the time or it is scorching hot, but it has been a fun adventure and heating up water and using a bucket. Really isn’t that bad. It has just become funny really.  We are still looking for a new house, but nothing seems to be for rent and so then we are just going to love our cute little house the way it is.

This week we went to one of the converts houses with our mission president. She has been sick and hasn’t gone to church basically since she was baptized, almost a year ago. So he want to have a lesson with us, since he was the one who  did her baptism interview.  It made me so nervous, but it turned out alright and the lesson was really good. But then she didn’t go to church on Sunday, as her son was sick which was disappointing. We are trying to help her to get active, but she seems to know exactly why she needs to be in church, but things happen every week and she doesn’t go. Please pray for her! She has been through a lot, I mean a whole lot! Her stories are insane and she is sick a lot and it makes it hard to go to church.

Well this week has been a little rougher as the appointments we had fail and due to some trips we had to make to Rancagua and San Fernando, to take care of some visa things. We haven’t had a lot of time to work, but we are really excited to get working really hard this week.  We have an appointment with a mom and daughter named Paula and Maria Paz today. The hermana found them before I got here and taught them once, but due to their schedule, it has been really hard to put another appointment. But they are so nice and so receptive. We are planning on putting a baptism date with them and I really think they are going to say, “yes!”

This week we had a lesson with a daughter of a family of converts. We talked about the importance of her gaining her own testimony, as a lot of missionaries have taught her and she has never really progressed. We just really focused on her gaining a testimony for herself.  The spirit was so strong in that lesson and I am so excited to start working with her.

This week the elders had a baptism and we went to support the Hermana. It was so cool, as her kids and mom had already been baptized, and her son in law was able to baptize her. The spirit was so strong and she was just beaming. She was so happy after she was baptized. She came up out of the water with the biggest smile on her face and tears pouring down her face. It was such a sweet moment to be a part of. It is moments just like that is what makes every hard moment of the mission worth it.

Well I am running out of time but I will write more about the people next week and send more pictures!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham