Monday, December 23, 2013

SNOWWWW!! Goose poop...goose poop EVERYWHERE! (12/23/13)

This week was CRAZY!

We found 7 new investigators! Some of them aren't too solid, but still that's pretty awesome :D

We also taught Jane and she decided that she wants to be baptized on January 11th, 2014.


So yeah. On Thursday night we got a call from the Vernon 1st sisters asking if they could stay with us because they were driving all the way to Vernon. So we said yes, of course. Then on Friday, we wake up and there's TONS OF SNOW!  They couldn't leave, so they stayed with us another night and then left on Saturday. It was fun hanging out with them and working with them.


It's like a bad prom picture, hahaha

We found one of our investigators one night...he answered the door only in boxers and told us to come back the next day. So we did, and he ended up being so HILARIOUS! His friend was at his house and became a new investigator as well! They love the fact that I'm from Texas and they love country music and going salmon fishing. THEY GAVE US FRESH SALMON FOR FREE! It was awesome. I marinated it with soy sauce and brown sugar and baked it. IT WAS SO GOOD! I loved it. Sister Dockstader even ate some and she hates fish.

So I'm feeling better. We think that the source of the bathroom smell might be from the fan in the bathroom. Weird stuff.

Sister Struempler

Merry almost Christmas!! (12/16/13)

Another week in Canada and I was SO SICK. It was horrible. Being sick at home is fine because you can miss lazy. Not on a mission. My motto for this week was "work when I can, sleep when I need to." I think I was going stir crazy because all I could do was read the scriptures and sleep and do missionary work if I was feeling up to it.

THANK GOODNESS for the priesthood because I was able to get a blessing on Sunday so hopefully I will be better this week.

So between feeling horrible/nauseous/dizzy/sneezey/all the gross things, we were able to get some things done!
We went tracting and found some new investigators! It's fun going tracting and knocking doors this time of year because we get to admire all the pretty Christmas lights. And if people yell at us we just look at the Christmas lights and then feel better.

We are meeting with this lady who used to be a heroine addict but has now turned her life around, has been sober for 3 years, and has a baby! She is the GREATEST PERSON and I love her so much. She has horrible anxiety and hasn't been able to make it to church yet...hopefully one day she will! I love meeting so many awesome people. That is one of the most fun things about being on a mission!

We had two investigators come to church! One is the son of a recent convert, and he says that he wants to be baptized which is awesome! And the other one is the mom of a less active who is now coming to church again because he got a new job, so he doesn't have to work on Sundays. She's a little hesitant because her husband doesn't speak English (only Chinese) so he doesn't want to go to church with her. Please pray for Jane so that she'll want to be baptized and come to church with her son!!!

This morning was interesting because we woke up and it smelled like something DIED in our apartment. We tried to locate the source of the smell and thought it was under the sink in the bathroom. We CLEANED the bathroom so well, but the source of the smell is yet to be determined. Hopefully we will figure it out this week because I don't know how much longer I can handle the smell. I'll keep y'all updated.
Sister Kennedy! She has been out for 9 months now! I went on an exchange with her. Well, she came to Chilliwack from Abbotsford for the day.

This week I was able to read about Christmas in America. It starts in 3 Nephi 1 in verse 4. It's fun to read because it's so different than the normal Christmas story in Luke! I hope that we can all remember the REAL reason that we celebrate Christmas. Christ was able to give us the greatest gift of all...the atonement! So that we can all return to live with our families and our Heavenly Father again. It's such a wonderful blessing and I love sharing this message with people, especially at this time of the year!

Write me letters! I love you all! Merry almost Christmas!
Sister Struempler

Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him! (12/9/13)

So this week was Stake Conference and the Christmas Devotional! It was so fun! I can't wait for Christmas! I love this time of year because people are more willing to listen to our message of hope and peace that we share about Christmas and Christ's birth!
Here are some funny Christmas pictures my comp and I decided to take:
Anyways . . .  
This week we made baskets for people in the ward and delivered them to people. We also went tracting a lot, because a lot of people say they're too busy right now to meet with us . . . meh. And we found some pretty cool people to teach!
We are also now teaching this boy who is the son of a recent convert! Her daughter got baptized first, and then she got baptized when she moved from DALLAS to here, Chilliwack. And now the son Andrew wants to be baptized. He doesn't know when yet, but it's just so cool! If one person in the family finds the truth then it just spreads like wildfire.
We also taught this awesome lady who we met on the street named Chealsea. Her husband is a long distance truck driver so she is home alone with her two kids a lot. She wants her sons to have good morals because she was a rebellious child. Ha ha ha . . . whatever that means!
I just love seeing how this gospel changes people's lives! When we asked Andrew how his mom changed when she got baptized he said that she is A LOT more patient now. Pretty funny, hey?
And it snowed today which was so fun! It's been super windy and cold the past few days so it was a nice change.
We also had stake conference this weekend and Elder Call of the 70 came and talked about how we all have trials. We should expect to go through trials, because if we don't then we won't grow! It was such an eye opener because people sometimes think that this gospel will protect them from hard times. But we ALL NEED trials so that we can grow stronger and become better people! see Helaman 5:12
I hope that you are all having a wonderful December! Please write me letters! I really appreciate it :)
Sister Struempler

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I can see Mt. Baker from here! (12/3/13)

Please write me letters! I've only gotten 1 so far :(
So, Chilliwack is making me homesick. It's SO MUCH like Washington except more farming, so it kinda stinks sometimes, but that's okay!

This week is going to be short because I don't have much time since we went to the temple today! YAYYYY!!
It was wonderful. I love the temple.
Going in there reminded me of why I am a missionary. I'm here to help people get to the point where they can make covenants with Heavenly Father which will help them eternally! Pretty cool, hey?
So this week has been insane. We went to a musical that the stake was putting on which had a lot of songs from Handel's Messiah. It was WONDERFUL! I am so excited for Christmas...I just like the Christmas season.

We were able to have some return appointments with the investigators that we've been finding. That was fun! We met this crazy man named Rick who got in a logging accident, so he doesn't remember anything from his teenage/childhood years. He calls us like every day. It's kinda weird, but I just think that he thinks of us as good friends, but whatever - hahahaha.

Sister Dockstader saw snow for the 2nd time in her whole life.
It was snowing but it didn't stick at all. It melted as it hit the ground, but she enjoyed it.

We baked like 120+ cookies for investigators and less actives! That was really fun. Sister Dockstader kept getting mad at me because I kept eating the dough. It was so good!!

So I'm officially not vegetarian anymore. I've decided. Here is proof:
It's just too hard to be vegetarian. And expensive hahaha yeah.

The work is going great! We are finding a lot of people. It's just hard when they don't keep commitments, but they do have their agency. I wish you all a wonderful December! I can't believe it's December already! CRAZYNESS!

Here are some more pics:
Sister Struempler

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Luckacuk!!!! (11/25/13)

Luckacuk is a name of a street. Sister Dockstader and I think that it is hilarious for some reason. Maybe it is because we lack normal sources of entertainment.

So monday night started out with FHE with a wonderful family in our ward. We are trying to get to know all of the members, but it's just so hard! My brain can only memorize so much at once, and I feel like my head is going to explode sometimes! AHHHH!! hahaha

We had a zone meeting in Abbitsford on Wednesday and it was wonderful to be able to meet all of the missionaries in our zone! They are so awesome and I'm excited to work with them! We set goals and had some training from the zone leaders.

We've been doing mostly finding because that's what you have to do when you open an area. There wasn't anybody for us to really teach, so we just started tracting and tried to find people to teach. 

We did have a wonderful lesson with a lady named Korey and her daughter Akeyla. Akeyla is 9 and loves going to church with her dad (her mom and dad aren't together). And Korey thought that Akeyla would like to have us teach her so we did. Outside. On the porch. Sister Dockstader was wonderful and got down on the porch floor and taught the restoration using these awesome cards that she made. And then I taught her about Joseph Smith. We gave her a Book of Mormon and they wanted us to come back. It's these kind of people that we try to find! Truth seekers. They are the best and are the people who progress in the gospel. They are just hard to find.

That pretty much sums up the week. Here are some funny pictures:
We decided to paint our nails red for Christmas :D
me...wrapped up in Christmas lights
p.s. if you look close...I didn't know what to tell them for my they just wrote "sister" on the cup...hahaha
Us taking a cute picture in front of the church
Well that's pretty much it! Happy Thanksgiving...I wish I got to eat Thanksgiving dinner...too bad Thanksgiving in Canada was like a month ago...hahaha. Eat some food for me!

Write me letters! I haven't gotten any yet :(

Love you all!!
Sister Struempler

Monday, November 18, 2013

What the Chilliwack???? (11/18/13)

I got TRANSFERRED! I'm opening for Sisters in Chilliwack 2nd ward!! WAHOO!!
First things first . . . here is my new address so you can write me lots of letters:
Sister Struempler
7425 Shaw Ave
Apartment 110
Chilliwack, B.C.
V2R - 3C1
So last week was craziness because I had to say goodbye to everyone before I left.
Oh Coral, I'm going to miss that crazy awesome girl. I got put on the measuring wall that is on the right of the picture :) Sister Ruby Arnold is awesome and I'm going to miss her and all the members in Vanderhoof so much! They were amazing.
It was so hard to say goodbye to my investigator, Rebecca. She is wonderful! She had a baptismal date but we had to drop it because of some commandments that she wasn't quite living yet. She is a wonderful person and would always text us her prayers! I hope that she will continue to learn more about the gospel!!!

So my last lesson in Vanderhoof was with a woman named Monica, and her dad came. He Bible bashed the whole time. Oh Vanderhoof....hahahaha I'm going to miss you and not miss you at the same time.
So when we went down to transfer meeting we got to stay with the Delta Sisters!! WAHOOO! They are hilarious.
The Sister in the middle holding the camera was in the same mission prep class as me at BYUI. So that was awesome getting to stay with her.

Sister Ellgen is still staying in Vanderhoof and is training . . . she's the new district leader. Sister Dockstader is my new Senior Companion. She's been out for 6 months and served in Vanderhoof for her first 3 months, then Surrey for the next 3 months. We can talk about Vanderhoof together and she knows the people I'm talking about . . . hahaha!!
Here she is (Sister Dockstader).  She's from Fresno, California and is a nerd like me. We get along quite well!

Here is the view!
Beautiful, eh? I love the mountains and seeing the snow but there isn't any snow where we live which is nice. It just rains 24/7. 

So we found 3 new investigators last week and don't know any ward members. It's weird getting to know a whole new ward and not know the area/anything at all. It's an adventure for sure!

I love you lots and write me tons of letters!

Until next week,
Sister Struempler


Monday, November 11, 2013

Mission Conference & Baptism! (11/11/13)

Oh what a crazy stressful week it has been. This week was the hardest week of my mission so far, but it was definitely the most rewarding. Because...VICTORIA GOT BAPTIZED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But let's start from the beginning of the week...

So Monday I butchered cows, and it snowed, and the snow hasn't melted. 

Tuesday and Wednesday we had to fit in as many appointments as possible, because we left Thursday night to go to Vancouver for mission conference. Elder Johnson of the 70 came to our mission to tour it and to give mission conferences as well. We went to the one on Friday. It was so wonderful and before we started he had everyone come up to the front of the chapel and shake our hands. It's great to know that we are cared for individually as missionaries.

So Wednesday, Victoria got interviewed for baptism. That was so special! And then we went to Fort St. James after that to teach some people there. We traveled a lot this week. 

Here is a snow picture:
Here is a picture of Vancouver/Burnaby 
I love Vancouver. It reminds me of home. Well...Seattle.

Anyway, we learned a lot from mission conference on Friday and then flew back Friday night. But, the Vanderhoof Sisters drove us to Prince George, and they weren't able to make their flight on Friday night. So we stayed with the Nechako YSA sisters on Friday night . . . they are so wonderful!
I love them. Anyway, we drove back to Vanderhoof on Saturday and had a really interesting lesson with some people from another Christian church. They don't seem to want to read the Book of Mormon, just want to argue points of doctrine. I don't know if we are going to meet with them again. 

Then Sunday was INSANE and AWESOME! Victoria made covenants with Heavenly Father and her life will never be the same again. 
Her son Ben & friend Coral being a goof
This is her daughter, Elizabeth

She looks so happy and beautiful in white! I just can't help but beam with joy as I'm writing this. I LOVE IT! Brother Mecham was able to baptize her and she just giggled as she came up out of the water. She is so happy and so am I!

This week is transfer week. Pray for Sister Ellgen and I that we will be okay with whatever happens. We are pretty sure that Sister Brown (our district leader) is leaving, so we don't know who is going to be called as the new District Leader! 

Sister Struempler 

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm turning into a country girl . . . kind of! (11/4/13)

The above picture was from Halloween!! We got special permission from President Tilleman to be out on Halloween night. We got to go to the ward trunk or treat. It was so fun!! We handed out candy and I dressed up as Sister Ellgen. Sister Ellgen dressed up as me . . . kind of. We might have just switched name tags, hahaha!

Afterwards, we went to this big festival (well as big as you get in a small town ;) ) called the Pumpkin Walk. The kids from the elementary schools all carved pumpkins and lined them up so there were hundreds of them. They do a funny thing in Canada. They light of fireworks on Halloween! It's too sunny during the summer to light off fireworks because the sun never goes down. Now it goes down around 4 o'clock. Hopefully I will get to see some northern lights while I am up here!!

We handed out a Pumpkin Parable to as many people as we could. It compared the atonement to a pumpkin. We even handed out one to the mayor!! That was pretty cool.
I trick-or-treated using the free Tim Horton's hat that I got, hahaha! Yeah, I'm still not too old to trick or treat!!!
One of the many cool pumpkins that we saw :)
This week we were able to go tracting a lot, and we found some really cool people. We are making a difference in the tiny town of Vanderhoof. Apparently, people are starting to notice "those sister missionaries from the mormon church." People talk about us! They talk about us at work and other stuff like that. I thought that was pretty cool.
We went through the baptismal interview questions with Victoria and she is so solid and ready to be baptized. On Sunday, we were planning her baptism and when she would be interviewed by one of the zone leaders...when...DUN DUN DUNNN! She texted us and told us that she got in a car accident on the way to church! Satan really will try everything to stop people from being able to make those saving covenants with Heavenly Father. Thank goodness she and her baby (she is pregnant) and her two kids are okay. But, her car is totalled. So, we don't know what is going to happen now that she doesn't have a way to get to church or anywhere actually, because she lives in Fraser Lake which is like an hour away from Vanderhoof. Please pray for her for us!!!
After that traumatizing experience, we had a crazy day today! Sister Kotchel, in the other ward, has about 900 head of cows. And today they decided to butcher some of them. She invited the other sisters. Sister Mecham (who is her sister) asked if we would like to come and help as well. Sister Ellgen jumped at the opportunity, while I was a little more hesitant. It was insane! We decided to go because it would be an adventure.
Yeah, it was an interesting experience for sure!!
This next picture is Sister Ellgen and I holding the cow heart...yup. It was weird. But don't know, hahahha!

Bloody hands!!!!
Sister Ellgen being awesome!

We saw this one get shot . . . gross, I know!!

Now my blog is going to be full of bloody pictures, hahaha. Oh well. It was such an interesting experience. I actually didn't cut the cow at all. I just held the knives. Definitely will be something that I will never forget!!  
Pray for Victoria please! It is supposed to snow that's going to be fun. Hopefully, we will stay warm! We didn't have much time to do anything today because we also had to go return the dresser that we picked up last p-day, because it was the wrong one. Hopefully, we have the right one now :)

I love you all! This week I get to go down to Vancouver for Mission Conference on Friday. That should be really fun! An Area 70 is touring our mission (but I doubt that he will come to the north). We'll see I guess!
Until next week :D

It's almost Halloween . . . CRAZY!! (10/29/13)

This week has been seriously insane!

Tuesday started off with an exchange, and I got to be companions with Sister Shelley for the day in my area. So, technically I was senior companion for the day because we both have been out the same
amount of time. It was so fun being companions with her because we were in the MTC together.

Here comes the crazy part: ALL OF THE LESSONS WE PLANNED THAT DAY FELL THROUGH. It was so sad. We had so many good lessons planned. So basically we tracted all day and stopped by to see people who said we could come back. We were able to find a new investigator which was really awesome. We had a lot of fun together and worked really hard. Plus I got to drive the truck which was pretty cool.

After having such a great Tuesday, Wednesday happened. We tried to find someone to drive us to Fort St. James, but we couldn't. So we begged the zone leaders for more k's (kilometers) so that we could drive ourselves. We drove all the way to the fort and started tracting and doing our missionary thing. Then I started getting really dizzy, my head hurt, I felt like I was going to throw up, and my back was killing me. We still had to go to a lesson with a super solid potential that we planned for later that night so I toughed it out for the lesson and made it through. Her name is Chris and it was the
coolest thing. She had a ton of questions and she started out the lesson by asking us to bear our testimonies. It was so fun, except for the fact that I thought I was going to die. yikes.

We called the mission nurse and we got to go to bed at 8:30! It was a miracle, and I really needed it. Thank goodness Thursday is weekly planning, so we stayed inside most of the morning except we had a lesson to break it up. Her name is Dana and she goes to another Christian church already. She had a lot of questions about the plan of salvation and biblical evidence to back it up. It was a crazy lesson, but we made it through.

Friday we went to Fraser Lake with a member and it was super weird. I felt out of place tracting there, but I know that it is my area. I think Satan was just getting to my head and making me feel bad. We found a new investigator there and gave away 2 copies of the Book of Mormon. I would say that it was pretty solid.

Saturday we went tracting out in the boonies again, and it is always an interesting experience. We usually pack lunch and then just stay out there all day. We figured out what to do if a bear comes, so that's always a good thing to know.

Sunday was crazy as well. We went to church and VICTORIA CAME! IT WAS A MIRACLE! She had a wonderful time. She has two kids named Ben and Elizabeth. I tried to give them stuff to color with during sacrament meeting, but then they started fighting over the coloring stuff. So their mom gave them food instead. It worked out (hahaha). Ben went to nursery and Elizabeth went to our gospel principles class and relief society with Victoria. You know how Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest and relaxation? NOT THE CASE as a missionary. I feel like Sundays are the craziest day of the week. That night we had a boy in our ward getting baptized, and we wanted to go but we couldn't unless a member came. So we found one to come with us and Jess was amazing!! She is
great and puts on such a tough demeanor, but she is really nice and sweet once you get to know her.

MONDAY WAS CRAZY! The internet didn't work at the church so that is why I am emailing today. We also went to go pick up a dresser from a lady and then accidentally picked up the wrong one. Oops. So now we have to go back next week. I got my flu shot! And when we went tracting I saw a man BUTCHERING A MOOSE in his GARAGE! It was disgusting. He had bloody hands and everything. But we talk to everyone and I tried to not throw up as Sister Ellgen talked to the
man. It was quite interesting. But he said we could come back which is always good!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep writing me letters, I LOVE

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vanderhoof . . . Santa's newest reindeer! (10/21/13)

Doesn't Vanderhoof sound like the name of a Reindeer? Thank you Sarah Dorman for pointing out that lovely fact to me.

This week has been INSANE! We taught 15 lessons and then another 6 with members. We found 14 new investigators! The work is hastening quickly! I had no idea we could find so much success in a tiny ranch town. I'm so blessed to be able to witness so many miracles every day.
Last Monday, Sister Ellgen and I decided that we needed to do something fun. So, we made a "bag-o-fun" for Sister Brown and Sister Shelley and hid it in a tree by their apartment. It was funny because they couldn't find it until the next day because it was too dark when they got home.
Me being a sneaky ninja and hiding the bag-o-fun!
We also were able to have thanksgiving desert and a lesson at a member's house with some of their friends. They became new investigators which was really awesome.
On Tuesday night, Sister Ellgen went to Prince George and Sister Kindlespire came to be my companion. We had fun climbing in the cabin tuesday night. We had a great lesson with a man named Clarence who was a foster child and had a really rough life. People will listen to the gospel after truly being humbled. 
She was terrified of climbing up that high . . . it was funny!

Sister Kindlespire went to BYU Idaho and I'm pretty sure I saw her there because I totally recognized her when we first met. I don't know how I know her though.
We really love each other . . . hahaha!!
We had a wonderful district meeting Wednesday morning and Sister Brown taught us so much as well as Sister Kindlespire who is one of the Sister Trainer Leaders. It was so uplifting and inspiring.
Sister Kindlespire went to Fort St. James with Sister Bigler and went tracting and taught some wonderful lessons. Sister Bigler is an angel for driving us around and spending her afternoon with us.

On Thursday, we have weekly planning. We got to spend the morning inside and then went tracting and taught some lessons during the afternoon/night. I love our pellet stove! It keeps us warm.
-1 Degrees Celsius! ahhhh!! Yeah, it's definitely getting colder. It's okay because my mission president says that "the weather will always work out in our favor." I hope that doesn't mean tracting in 10 feet of snow. Okay, well that's exaggerating a little bit.
Victoria is our most solid investigator right now and we had a lesson with her on Saturday. She's ready to be baptized, but hasn't been able to make it to church yet. She'll have to come every Sunday to be baptized on her date of November 10th. Hopefully, everything will work out! Pray for her for me :D 
The gospel is true and I'm so thankful to be a part of this wonderful new era of missionary work. It is seriously hard work, but it's so worth it. I hope that you all have personally taken on Elder Ballard's challenge to find someone to share the gospel with before this Christmas. (His Saturday afternoon session conference talk). 
Thank you all for sending me mail! it makes me so happy, so please keep sending me some! It always makes me feel better.
Sister Struempler