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

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! (10/14/13)

It's been a crazy week! Also, I know my bangs look super weird in the picture above. Don't judge me. I don't even know where to start! So, Sister Brown and I went on an exchange and she came to my side of the river for the day (Tuesday), and Sister Ellgen went with Sister Shelley to the other side of the river. 
I love Sister Brown! She is an awesome district leader and has been out for over a year now. She really knows her stuff. We accidentally ended up matching. hahaha . . . we're cute. 

We got this call on Tuesday that said we had a Zone meeting on Wednesday morning in Prince George. So, we had to drive to Prince George Tuesday night and then sleep with the sisters there. Then we had our zone meeting. I learned a lot!

On the way back, we decided to be fat and get Little Caeser's in Prince George. It was amazing!
Sister Shelley and Sister Brown feel asleep on the way back to Vanderhoof.
Then we had to hurry back to Vanderhoof and got a ride to Fort St. James. We had a lesson with Rebecca at her work. She has been having a hard time, so it was good that we got to meet with her and help her feel better.
Ummm yeah...that's the fort for you. So funny!!
Then on Wednesday and Thursday, our phone decided to stop working half the time. So we were only able to make a few calls. But it was good! We talked to a lot of people in person.
On Friday when we went tracting, we ran into this strange lady. She said that when she read the Book of Mormon it made her feel sick and she had the urge to burn it. I've never met someone who felt so strongly against it. Super weird.
On Saturday, we tracted out in the BOONIES for forever. Nobody would talk with us and it was really frustrating. We saw a lot of horses and scary dogs. Then finally at 8:40 pm, we found a new investigator. Such a miracle! I slept so well that night after tracting all day long.
On Sunday a missionary came home from South America. He gave his homecoming talk. It was so weird to think that I will eventually be doing that. It made me miss home a lot. But it was really great because now everyone is getting really excited about missionary work and they're going to have their friends meet with us! It is a lot more effective when people invite their friends to meet us, rather then us tracting into their friends. It's easy to say "no" to us but harder to say "no" to your friends.
I'm learning a lot as a missionary. I'm learning the importance of exact obedience and hard work. And it's also very important to love everyone and talk to everyone. Read Elder Ballard's talk from the saturday afternoon general conference session, it's amazing!
Oh and HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING!! scarf is so big, it covered my face - hahaha!
I hope to hear from you all! Please send letters and emails, it helps me a lot!
Sister Struempler

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another 6 Weeks in Vanderhoof plus it's my 2 month birthday! (10/7/13)

I didn't get a transfer call. I'm staying in Vanderhoof for another 6 weeks. I don't hate it here in the North, I just LOVE Vancouver and miss being there. I'm just going to keep praying that one day I will love Vanderhoof as well. I love the people and I love the work, so that's all that really matters right now.

On Wednesday we were tracting in the morning, and I got attacked by a giant scary horse-dog, hahaha! It nipped at me twice, but it didn't bite through my jacket. I just have a bruise. Heavenly Father protected me from the scary dog! We'll have to knock on that door another day. Or maybe just knock on the side of the house if the dogs are still there.
I flew down to Vancouver on wednesday and got to go street contacting there. That was SO FUN! I love Vancouver! Seriously. Then on Thursday we had transfer/training meeting. I got to see all of the newbie missionaries come in. I can't believe that was me six weeks ago!
I got to see Sister Dixon and Sister Lavery! They are both in the Okanogin (I can't spell it), which is in the south east of British Columbia. 
General Conference was amazing. I can't believe that exactly one year ago they made the annoucement that would change my life forever. And now I'm on a mission because of it! I get to experience so many miracles and blessings every day because of it.

So, Manny has been watching General Conference his whole life apparently, but just didn't know that it was associated with our church. He is golden. He just needs a testimony of the Book of Mormon and then I know that he can become truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Angelina didn't like the fact that we asked her to not drink coffee. We just love her and want her to be happy!  She doesn't want to be baptized anymore which is really sad. We will still be her friends and hopefully she will come around eventually.
I'm learning to Be Happy Now! That is my goal this week! I know that I am doing the Lord's work and He will help me.

Sister Struempler

Sunday, October 6, 2013

huckin' wood & stackin' hay! (9/30/13)

This week has been so interesting.

I was able to get my BC license last week! That is pretty exciting. It should be coming in the mail in the next few weeks. I don't know if I actually want to drive, but I'll probably have to eventually.

Last P-Day Sister Ellgen and I got super cute Canada North sweatshirts and now we are twinners!
Yes, we have a mattress on top of the wall. We have no idea where it came from. There are some weird things we have found in our cabin.

So when we were tracting on Tuesday we tracted into this lady that had taken the discussions from missionaries before, so she wasn't interested. She then told us to stay safe and I said "we'll try." She was like "don't try, be safe!" and then asked us if we have pepper spray. We didn't, so then she decided to give us some. I've been carrying it around in my bag ever since.

We helped a lady in her garden this week and taught her a lesson as well. It was so nice to wear jeans! We also got to wear jeans when we helped Sister Mecham (the relief society president) huck and stack wood, and also stack hay. It was a new experience! I'm starting to understand more about these country folk. They are so nice and I love them. I just know that I'm never going to live on a farm when I grow up. Oh wait, I already am grown up . . . kind of. 

We went to Fort Saint James again this past week and ate dinner at this place called Little Jimmy Fries, I think. It was really awesome! The owner came up to us and asked us about our name tags. We gave her our number and a pamphlet. The Lord is preparing people everywhere to hear the gospel, that is for sure. 

Angelina and her daughter Marie committed to be baptized! YAY! Angelina is giving up coffee and actually bought some hot chocolate at the store to drink instead. This gospel is so important and I know that when people sacrifice, they receive blessings. 

On Friday, I went on an exchange; Sister Van Tienderen came to Vanderhoof and Sister Ellgen went to Prince George. It was a great day! We went to Fraser lake and found two new investigators. There was a crazy orange cat that followed us around and was acting super spastic. 

We also had a great lesson with a man named Manny! He is from Surrey and is Punjabi. He's hilarious and we invited him to be baptized. He said he would think about it.
Sister Van Tienderen is from Salt Lake City, Utah!

We were able to have dinner with Manny yesterday (Sunday Sept, 29th) 
Yes, I'm wearing two name tags. Don't judge! Kalene is on the very left, and she is going to turn her mission papers in very soon. Then, Sister Ellgen and I. Then, there is Ocean and her mom Sister Ruby Arnold. Sister Arnold served her mission in Vanderhoof and then came back for her husband Jarom. It's a cute story. Then Manny is on the very end! It was an amazing night!

We also had a sort of lesson with this lady named Georgine. She is Jewish, and likes to constantly remind us of that.
We always see her walking around. She's super nice! She told us that if she was to be Christian that she would be a Mormon because she thinks that we are the best, hahaha! She's awesome. 

We tracted in the rain a lot on Saturday and Sunday. I know that we were blessed because we found some new people. It's hard when it's raining and we get cold, wet and muddy. It's okay though. God gives us trials to bless us. 

This week is transfer week! I get to go down to Richmond even if I'm not transferred, because I'm still being trained. That should be fun. Email me this week PLEASE because I don't know if I'm going to be staying in Vanderhoof or not and then I can email you back with my new address for MAIL :D 

I love you all and I pray for you!

Sister Struempler