Monday, August 31, 2015

Marjorie's Baptism

Week #57 *August 31, 2015

Marjorie’s Baptism

Hey Everyone,

This week was a pretty great week.  This past Saturday we had a baptism of Marjorie. It was a really special day for her and for us.  The spirit was so strong.  We were so worried because the water heater stopped working, the font was having a lot of problems and even with all the calls we had made to remind the young women, they didn’t show up to practice the musical number in time.  As it got closer to time we really started to stress and so me and my companion decided to step aside in a separate room and pray.  In the end it all worked out and the miracle we were praying for came.  Some how the font filled up in time and they were able to fix the water heater towards the end, so it wasn’t as cold as it would have been.  We did the musical number even though the majority weren’t there to practice and it turned out pretty great. She shared the most beautiful testimony.  I am so grateful for the trust the Lord put in us to let us be a part of this conversion process with her.  She is truly a very special young women with such a strong testimony.  I just pray and hope that she will stay active throughout the rest of her life and keep progressing in the gospel.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.  Everyone came together in the end and helped us out so much they prepared a whole bunch of food after and Marjorie was just beaming.  I am so happy for her.

So now that we have had the baptism of Marjorie, we have a whole lot of work to do looking for more people to teach.  The ones that we are teaching just don’t seem to be progressing very well and we are worried that we are going to have to stop teaching some of them this week, including the familia huerta. Please pray for them.  We are just excited to really get working hard and look for some new people to teach.  I know that we are here for a reason and there are people that the Lord is preparing for us we just have to find them.  Please pray for the people in our area that they will soften there hearts so that we can be guided to some new investigators this week.

So this week we have been talking a lot about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy in our meetings in Church and also in our leadership.  One thing that I really liked came from a talk we read that I don’t remember what is called at this moment but it talked about making the sabbath day truly an enjoyment for us.  The Lord created this day for us.  One thing that I like is that the church never gives a list of exactly what we can or cannot do.  We have the ability to decide in each thing we do on the sabbath day. We should ask ourselves if it is something that will draw us closer to the Lord and help us focus on our Savior Jesus Christ or not.  I invite each and everyone of you to think a little bit this week about your sabbath day observance and think of one thing you could do or change to make your sabbath day observance more focused on the Savior and make it a truly an enjoyment for you.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week #56 *August 24, 2015

Hey everyone,

It is starting to look a lot like spring here in San Vicente.  The trees are starting the bloom and it has warmed up quite a bit.  It is so beautiful here and the sunsets are just to die for especially in the areas that are more country-sideish with the fields and vines.  I will have to take some pics it is just incredible.  I am just loving being in this beautiful town it is so calm here a big difference from my past sectors.

So this week has been a little slower as a lot of out appointments fell and we spent a whole bunch of time contacting, but we need to find some new investigatros, so that was good anyways.  This week we are planning the Baptism for Marjorie this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!! We are so excited for her and she is just beeming and so excited.  This past week we almost had to change the date as we haven’t been able to visit her because she was really sick, but she is doing a lot better and after talking with her she was so excited for her baptism and doesn’t want to change the date as she has been so looking forward to it.  So she said that she would have this week pretty free and so we could teach her more, as we just have a few more things to teach her.  I am so excited and happy for her in the changes she is making.  I can really see a difference in her eyes and she seems so happy.  The youth have been helping out so much and she just seems like a natural part of the ward.  She is so strong as she is only 17 years old and has very little family support.  Please pray for her so that everything will go well this week.  I feel so nervous as there always seems to be some sort of opposition around baptisms.

Also Andrea is going to be baptized Next Saturday!!!! We were working with her a little bit ago, but she just wasn’t ready so we talked to her about how it needs to be her decision and we stopped teaching her for a while.  Well as she actually lives in the elders area. They started working with her recently and she has decided that she is ready to be baptized so we are really excited for her!

More than anything we are looking for new people to teach, as we don’t have a lot of investigators progressing which is quite an adventure.  I always find it funny all the different responses that people have to us.  A lot of people are really nice, but some can be quite rude and others rather ridiculous in the ways they use to avoid having to talk to us, but more than anything it just makes me and my companion laugh and head the the next house.  I know that the Lord is preparing people for us here that need us we just need to find them.  Please pray for our sector that the people will be a little more open to us this week so we can find more people to share the gospel with.  The gospel truly has the answers to all the problems in life and makes such a huge difference when people accept it in there life. It is just a matter of helping them open up to it.

We have been working with a lot of less actives this week which has been really hard.  Two of them surprised me this week and showed up to church when we were least expecting it, which was awesome.  I am so happy for them. I feel like all our hard work with them is finally paying off!

There has seemed to be a lot of problems between members this week and with past experiences that inactive members shared.  I just wish everyone could get along.  I have really seen just how important personal conversion is this week, because if we are truly converted and we are continually strengthening our testimonies, it won’t matter what happens or what others do because we will stay strong in the testimonies we have to do.  Please don’t forget to do the little things.  Our daily personal study of the Book of Mormon is so important it is what keeps us going strong.  Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ can be really hard.  We all pass through hard times when we are discouraged and when others make it hard to keep going but it is the little things that make us strong and help us to overcome the everyday trials. We all truly can have a big impact on others lives as well. You never no what others might be going through or if they are struggling in their testimonies. If we would all just work on building one another no matter how hard some people can be, we would be a lot stronger as members of the church.

I have been learning so much with my new calling as a coordinadora.  I have truly learned so much from the other Hermanas. I truly love going on splits now and I am so excited to keep learning and getting to know the Hermanas here in this zone. 

Well I am just about out of time, but I love you all and I am so grateful for all you do for me!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week #55 *August 17, 2015

Hey everyone,

Well this week just seemed to past by so fast.  I feel like it was yesterday that I was writing home. Well this week has been pretty great.   A lot of our appointments fell which was kind of a bummer, so we have been doing a lot of contacting looking for new people to teach.  Please pray for us to find new investigators as it has been really hard to find new people this week and we really want to find some new people that we can share this glorious message with.

Marjorie is doing so great. She went to the temple with the branch this Saturday and she just seems to be beaming the more we see her, and she is so excited for her baptism.  I love working with her so much. She is seriously a missionary dream come true.  

The familia Huerta have been hard to get in to visit, so I am not sure how they are doing.  Marienela still doesn’t want to go to church but loves our message.  I think she is just scared of the changes she has to make and what the rest of her family is going to say please pray for them.

This week we have been working with a lot of less actives, which has been hard. Many of been really offended and so it has been hard for them to return.  Sitting and talking with them it has been really hard. Some of the stories they shared were truly sad.  It is amazing though to see their eyes still light up and feel with tears as we talk about the gospel.  We are helping them to really focus on eternal families and the blessing of the gospel because really that is why we sacrifice so much to live the gospel even though it is hard, because in the eternal perspective it is all worth it and all of those worldly problems we have aren’t going to matter.  We work hard in the gospel because we love God and we want to someday be able to return and live with Him and with our families forever.  I love working with Less actives as frustrating as it is, because it is truly amazing to see how they can change and the power of forgiveness.  Our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of HIs children so much and He is very forgiving. It is never to late.  One thing that I have seen in the mission is that whether it is a member returning to the church or a baptism, the joy is the same.  In the end we are bring back lost sheep to the Lord and He loves each and everyone the same!

I truly love being a  missionary with all my heat.  Even though at times it is really hard.  The joy that I feel in even just the little changes I have seen in the lives of these people is huge and I just imagine the joy that are Heavenly Father must feel. 

I love you all so much.  Take a moment this week to try and remember the eternal perspective.  Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we forget that there is a bigger picture.  When we have an eternal perspective we are so much happier and we are better able to make decisions. 

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week #54 *August 10, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week has been a pretty good week.  Our area seems to be doing so great and we have had so much support from the members this week.  This week we had a meeting with all of the missionaries in there training. One thing that I really like was the our mission President spoke a lot about the spirit and how as missionaries if we have the spirit and if we are striving to follow the spirit we are going to be successful.  A lot of times we don’t see that success as sometimes the Lord needs us to just plant some seeds and help people to feel of the spirit, so later when they are ready the will be more receptive to receive the missionaries.  I really liked what he said and it made me think a lot about the importance of having the spirit always with us.  It is one way to know if we are truly on the right path, if we can feel the influence of the spirit in our lives.

This week we are continuing to work with Marjorie. She is progressing so well. She continues to say that she is just so happy and the more that we share with her the better she feels.  It really touched me this week because she told us that she can just see a light in our eyes when we talk and she wants to have that same light.  Her progress has been amazing and I am so grateful to be able to be a part of it. This week our branch is going to the temple and she is going to go with them to visit the temple grounds so that is going to be an amazing experience for her.

We haven’t been able to pass for the Familia Huerta this week, as there son had an operation, but Italo went to  church this Sunday, even though his wife said that they weren’t going to be able to go.  He went anyways and even got emotional at one point so we are really excited to go visit them this week and see how they are doing.

We were also able to find Paola and Maria Paz this week. They were sick so we weren’t able to teach them and they couldn’t go to church. But Maria Paz told us that she went to church in Santiago and absolutely loved it and she has been reading a ton in the Book of Mormon.  We have an appointment with them this Wednesday, so we are super excited for that as well.

This week we had a branch activity for Dia del NiƱo. It was a huge turnout and everyone seemed to have a great time, including our investigators that participated.  Marjorie even dressed up like a clown to help with the activities.  

Oh I had to give a surprise talk this Sunday, as none of the discourses showed up all the missionaries spoke. But I just had to wing it which was fun.  I think it went pretty alright. I basically just got up and started talking.  I am so grateful for the spirit and the guide that it gives us when we need it, because I couldn’t have given that talk without the spirit.

So this week was cambios but, me and my companion are going to be staying together which is so awesome.  I also have been called to be a coordinadora which I feel so unprepared for, but I am excited also as I saw with training. I know the Lord will qualify me and it is going to be a huge learning experience. 

Also we have been focusing a lot on getting the members to read in the Book of Mormon everyday.  It seems to be a challenge for many but one of the biggest things that I have seen during my mission is the power of The Book of Mormon.  As missionaries we can see a huge difference in the people that read everyday and those who are not.  We are so blessed to have this Book in our life as many do not and we need the blessings and power that comes from reading it everyday.  I invite you all,  if you aren’t already doing it to remember to read everyday this week.  Make time for it because it is so important!

Well that is basically it for this week.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week #53 *August 3, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week has been amazing.  I feel like we are finally starting to see the fruits of our labors.

First off this week we had a lesson with Marjorie and we taught her about the plan of salvation and we invited her to be baptized the 29th of August and she said yes.  She was so excited it was so amazing and the spirit was so strong.  Now we are just working hard to prepare her and she is doing so great as she has a lot of support for the branch.  We are so excited for her.

This week we had a lesson with the familia Hueta (just the parents)  We taught about the plan of salvation and the absolutely loved it.  We were able to clear up a lot of their questions and they now understand a lot of things better.  Marienela asked us why her baptism before isn’t enough and we were able to explain to her about the priesthood and she understood it all very well and after we asked her how  she felt about it and she said that she just felt peace the more that we shared.  Her husband went to church Sunday and really like she doesn’t feel ready yet, but they are truly progressing now we are just wanting to work with their kids more as well so that we can help the whole family. 

We have been working with the members a lot this week to prepare them to go to the temple as the branch temple trip is coming up.  We are so blessed to have temple so close it truly is the most amazing place.  I have loved being able to teach the members more about the temple this week and see their excitement as they are preparing family names to be able to take with them.

We are working with a few other people as well that I am going to tell you more about next week as my time is running out.  I am just loving the work right now.  I am growing to love this branch more and more everyday.  Our mission leader is awesome and has been helping so much.  I feel like we have had more member support than every before and it has made such a huge difference in the work.

I am so grateful for this gospel in my life and for everyone of you and for the support you give me.

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham