Monday, July 27, 2015

Feeling Loved!

"Big hugs from Ellie!
I Love You very much!"

We all sent Hermana Stringham hugs for her birthday! 
She got them a little late, but she still felt LOVED!

1 Year - 1 Month

Week #52 *July 27, 2015 *1 Year!

1 Year !

Hey Everyone,

This week has been really great.  We are continuing to work really hard and we have seen lot of blessing this week.  

So we have a new investigator, Marjorie. She is 17 years old.  She actually asked for the lessons as she is the girlfriend of our branch president’s son, who is inactive but his mom has been sharing the gospel a lot with her and she asked to receive us.  So we started teaching her and it has been awesome.  She has such a strong desire to learn.  She isn’t really sure in what she believes in, as is looking for answers.  She is already going to all the youth activities and is planning to go to the temple with the branch to see it and visit the gardens outside.  We are so excited to work with her because she is so open and want it so badly. We are so excited to work with her.

We are continuing to work with the Familia Huerta.  It has been kind of hard as they still haven’t gone to church yet, but we had a family home evening with them and our Missionary leader and his wife and we watched the video of the restoration and they told us that they really want to receive their answer and are praying. But we are trying to help them to understand that they have to act as well.  I think more than anything they are scared because they know all of the changes they have to make to join the church.  Please pray for them that they will be able to receive and recognize their answer.

This week we found another new investigator named Johanna. She has three little kids and was actually looking for a church to take her kids too.  The other day one of the Hermanas in our ward met her in the hospital and told her about the church and gave her a card.  Later that week when we were headed to lunch I got the impression that we should contact one of the houses, even though we didn’t really have time.  I am so glad I did, as we were able to go back the next day and teach her.  We taught her about the plan of salvation and she loved it.  We are going to go back this week with the hermana who met her in the hospital and I am so excited.

I feel like we are finally starting to get a lot of great people this week and the members are starting to give us some references which is awesome.  It makes a huge difference when we teach references.  I am so grateful for the members here and their desire to share the gospel.  That is really how the work should be and it makes a huge difference when the members are involved.  When have been working more with our missionary leader as well, who is so awesome he has so much excitement for the work and it has truly made a huge difference!

This week I complete One year in the mission.  I feel like it was forever ago that I was packing my bags getting ready to head of to a foreign land, scared to death having no idea just what was a head of me.  Sitting here today looking back it seems like forever ago, but at the same time it has passed by so fast.  I feel like the mission is just passing in front of my eyes and I just want to embrace every moment.  I truly love being a missionary.  This year has been incredible, amazing, and difficult.  I have learned so much and I am so so grateful for the decision that I made to serve a mission.  It was the best decision I have ever made.  I love being a missionary with all my heart for all of the amazing moments I have had and for the hard ones as well, that have shaped me into who I am today.  My testimony has grown so much.  I love this gospel with all my heart.  I love the chileans and I couldn’t be happier than I am now with the opportunity that I have to share this incredible message with them and see their lives change.  I know that this church is true! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for entrusting me this this opportunity to serve his children here in Chile and for the eternal perspective that it has given me.  This life is so short and it is nothing compared to eternity.  More than anything I want to work as hard as I can so that I can have my family for eternity, because that is really what it is all about.  I love you all so Much and I am so very grateful for all the support you give me.  

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week #51 *July 20, 2015

Hey Everyone,

Well I just feel like this week has just flown by!  I am doing great and just loving the mission right now.  I love San Vicente recently. It’s not too country, but it is really calm and everyone (the majority) are very friendly and ya know there is always the occasional horse or goat in the street, which is fun.

Training has been such a good experience for me.  I will be honest it is hard but it has really pushed me to give even more, as I am always thinking of the example I am setting for my companion. It has also given me the opportunity to study everything from the basics and most of all I just love the excitement a spirit that a new missionary brings. My companion is able to pick out all the little things that I have started to take for granted as a missionary.

Andrea-  So we are really struggling with Andrea. Our last lesson she didn’t really pay attention and was playing on  her phone.  I am worried she is just listening to us for her parents and we really aren’t sure what to do with her.  We are thinking about stopping teaching her and giving her some time to just decide what she really wants.  Please pray for her!

Familia Huerta-  They are still doing pretty good but they are struggling to understand a few things about the church and they still haven’t gone to church yet. We are really working with them to help them understand the Restoration. We are really excited to work with them this week as they said they were going to try to have all three of their kids there.

Familia Fuentes-  they are a family of less actives we have been woking with a long time.  They had been really struggling with being able to go to church on Sundays, but we have been focusing a lot on the temple.  I was so happy as last week and this week they showed up to church and they seemed so happy and the Husband talked to us and informed us that he talked to his wife and he made her a promise that he wasn’t going to work anymore Sundays, so they can go to church.  I am so happy for them.  We are just working with them now to go to the temple, but he is working to quite smoking first which has been a real struggle for him, but I know that things are going to start to look up for them as they are going to church again.

Well other than that we are working with a few other people, but the biggest struggle has just been getting them to go to church.  We have also received a few references this week. I am really excited to see how that goes, as reference always go so much better as they immediately have a friend in the church and a member in the lesson.

This week we were waiting outside the church because we were doing an english class that we do every Saturday, but as everyone is in vacations no one showed up. Just then passed by two older women who we invited to come see the church and they quickly agreed we were able to do a quick tour of the church and explain a little bit of the Restoration. It seemed to be exactly what they needed and they had the best questions and now one of them is wanting to receive us.  So we are really excited to see how that goes.  We almost left the church but we decided to wait just a little longer and I am so glad that we did as those two women were so prepared.

We also got a new mission lider this week and he is so excited.  He is a convert and younger and so he has a lot of energy and desire to do the work. 

I am so excited to just get working this week as I feel we have so much potential.  I know that the Lord is always preparing people for us and we are starting to see that a lot.  I love being a missionary so much and I am so grateful for all the support back home!

Love ya all,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week #50 *July 13, 2015

Hey Everyone,

This week has been pretty good.  We have had some really good days and a few not so great days, that consisted a lot of contacting outside without a lot of success, but we are working really hard and I know all of our hard work is going to pay off.

I have loved working with Hermana Diaz, though it has been pretty rough, as the start of the mission is really hard to adjust to. But, she is so great and teaches with so much power.  I love being able to feel all of the excitement and spirit that she has as a new missionary has really helped me!

This week it has been pretty cold and has rained a lot, but it has been quite the adventure, as well I am so grateful for rain boots, my raincoat, and these awesome hand warmers. They have made things a lot easier and I have to say I am actually enjoying the rain for now!

We are working with a new family.  The Familia Huerta, I think I told you about them last week.  Anyways, we went this week and they have been praying but are still unsure. But we taught about the Book of Mormon and they have tons of questions and are way interested. They have three kids and are married, so they are like the perfect investigators. I am so excited to keep working with them as our lessons with them have been so good and the spirit is always so strong when we talk with them.

Andrea went to church again and is doing good but she feels like she still hasn’t received her answer yet, and so we are helping her to learn how to recognize the spirit.  Please pray for her!

Paola and Maria Paz have  been almost impossible to get into, as something always happens like they get sick or have to go to Santiago.  So we haven’t been able to teach them and they haven’t been able to go to church, but they are still reading the Book of Mormon and still seem really excited to keep learning.  Please pray for them so we can get these obstacle out  of the way and so we can help them to progress.

Well that is pretty much it for this week I love you all and I am so grateful for all your support.

Love ya,

Hermana Stringham

Monday, July 6, 2015

New Companion * Herman Diaz

Week #49 *July 6, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week has been a truly amazing week full of a lot of changes.  First of all the elders came and repaired our water heater this week, so WE FINALLY HAVE HOT WATER.  I had gotten used to it,  but after being able to shower with hot water in a normal shower, I feel so very grateful for hot showers.  As small as it might seem it has made a big difference and has been a huge blessing this week.

This week was the finals of the American Cup, and so Friday we were in the house almost the whole day, as Chile made it to the finals and WON!!!  Everyone was so excited they drove around honking their horns and celebrating almost the whole night it was really crazy

Well this week I got my new companion who just got to the mission.  Her name is Hermana Diaz and she is from Buenos Aires Argentina.  I love working with her.  She is so sweet and has all the energy and excitement to get working.  I was so nervous to train and I am still am, but I feel a lot better about it now.  I am actually loving training. It is crazy how much I have learned. Teaching everything makes me realize just how many things there are to learn and how far I have come in my mission.  Also Chilean Spanish and Argentine Spanish have a lot of words that are different and of course the accent is very different. I would have never have thought that they would be so different, as they are both so close to each other but they are.  I feel so blessed this week as we have seen so many miracles and I  feel more confident teaching and contacting then ever before.  I truly feel that the Lord is qualifying me for this responsibility, because I know that I could not do this alone.  The beginning of the mission is hard and it has been a hard adjustment for my companion.  I am just trying to work really hard to support her and be the best example as I can be!

This past Sunday was fast Sunday and it was a truly special meeting a lot of members and kids got up and shared such powerful testimonies.  One of our last actives, Camila, went to church and we were so excited we taught her during the week and her Mom and sister where both there, which never happens. They are all inactive, but we taught about the restoration and had them share their experiences of when they were baptized and the spirit was so strong and Camila and her sister Daniela both want to come back to the church. So we will be working with them a lot this week.  Also Andrea came to church. We have been working a lot more with her this week and she is a lot more open and this week we talked a lot about baptism and she said that she is going to pray this week as she still is a little unsure. But she thinks she is ready, so we invited her to pray specifically about baptism this week so we are really excited to go back and see how that went. This week our whole branch fasted for rain, as it has been really dry here and they really needed rain and it was amazing because it rained all day Sunday, which was a huge blessing for them (harder for the missionaries) but we were so excited as a lot of them work in the fields and it has been a really dry winter.

Paola and Maria Paz have been really hard to find and they didn’t come to church this week. Please pray for them as they were progressing really well and we really don’t want to loose them.

This week we also found a new family.  The familia Juarta.  They have listened to the missionaries many times and I found their lesson records and so we decided to pass by late one night. They told us how the missionaries always seem to pass in exactly the right moment, but they never decided to be baptized because they don’t feel it is necessary.  We taught them about the restoration and explained why it is important to pray to know if this is the true church. After talking for a while, it finally clicked for them. They said that they had never really took it all that seriously and they feel that maybe God keeps sending the missionaries so they will accept the message and so they agreed to pray and we are going to go back and visit them this weekend. They are such a cute family and we are so excited to work with them.

We are working with a few others as well, but I will share about them more next week, as I don’t have time to talk about them all.  It was truly a great week.  We are just working really hard and we have seen a lot of blessing and miracles this week.  

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham