Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mini Missionary Time!! (5/26/14)

First of all, isn't this one of the most adorable puppies of all time!! Just sayin'
On Tuesday, I went on exchanges with one of our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Willmore! It was so fun! I got to go to Langley where the temple is. We taught this older lady about studying the scriptures. She was so cute and told us all about her life. I love listening to the stories people have to share with us because it's so different now-a-days. We went finding and found this awesome Pentecostal guy from Romania. We were able to help him understand a little bit more about the Book of Mormon and why it's so important. We found a couple of other new investigators. We also visited with a lady who got baptized yesterday. Her roommate (who is also a member) breeds dogs. And that is the reason for the picture above :)

This is Sister Willmore and I :)
Aren't we cute? haha. Then on Wednesday, we had our first district meeting of the transfer. It was so fun! I love being in a Chinese district :) On Thursday we had weekly planning. We're trying to build up our teaching pool because the people we have been teaching got baptized or are now in a reflection pool. This week we are going to be doing lots of finding so we can help those who are ready come unto Christ! We also got a call on Thursday telling us that we were getting a mini missionary for the weekend! WOOOOO!! It was so fun! This was my first mini missionary and Sister Petersen's 3rd. She lives in Delta and is pretty much the most awesome person in the whole wide world. 

We got to pick her up on Friday :) I let her have one of my name tags and we just taped her name on it to cover mine. We visited 2 members with her, and we were able to get our first member referral since being here in Richmond. She was super interested and told us that we are more than welcome to come back! It was such a miracle!

Then on Saturday, we set a goal of finding 7 new investigators in 1 day. We were up for the challenge! We had missionary correlation meeting, lunch, and then had a recent convert lesson with Emily and Brad. They are so funny! We told Emily about prayer and then she looked at us thoughtfully and said: "So, Jesus is the Boss then?" And we were like, "Yes Emily, Jesus is the Boss!" hahaha. :) It was awesome. I love how people we teach come to understand for themselves the doctrine that we teach them.
Then we went street contacting! It was awesome. We talked to a Filipino couple that our mini missionary totally connected with. They became new investigators! We ate some dinner and then decided to knock on doors. We found one guy who was interested at the very beginning. Then, we were knocking...and knocking....and knocking....nothing. So we decided to say a prayer. We knocked on a couple more doors and then saw this man working outside. We decided to talk to him (because we talk to everyone :P) and he said "wait a second" and went inside. Turns out he was getting 2 of his friends. We invited all three of them to go to church the next day and talked to them about God and Jesus Christ. They all became new investigators!! It was such a miracle! 

On Sunday, we had ward council in the morning, then church! Emily, Brad, and Maricel all got confirmed in Sacrament Meeting! It was so amazing to hear their blessings and see them officially become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. :) We didn't even start the meeting until 9:20 because of all the confirmations. It was so cool :) The other meetings were amazing as well! I just love church! I finally have realized how important it is after being a missionary. It is so essential! 

We went and tried to contact some of our former investigators to see if any of them would be interested in learning again. We talked to this one lady and it was the wrong person. But then she referred us to another lady and OH MY GOSH! She was so cool! She broke her neck a year or so ago and was able to walk out of the hospital 3 months later. She said that she prayed everyday that she would be able to walk and leave the hospital . . . so much faith! We are going back to teach her this week & I'm so excited! Sunday night we had to drop off our mini missionary so she could go back home. It was such an amazing experience to have her with us for the weekend. 

Here are some pictures of us with our Mini Missionary:
I love you all! Write me letters! The Chruch is TRUE!

Sister Struempler

Monday, May 19, 2014

All Dressed in White (5/19/14)

^Brad's Endowment
^My favorite Temple!!
Ward members from Sister Petersen's previous area :)
Sister Dixon is serving in Sister Petersen's previous area!! :)
After the sealing, Brad and Loretta are now married for eternity!! 
^kissing picture...haha...yeah
Emily and Brad with the Tillemans!
Maricel and her husband!
So happy for them!!
Well, now that I've sent you a million pictures, I'll try to capture what has happened this week in a few words. I can't even describe properly how happy I am for all of these people to receive their saving ordinances! 
On Monday, we went to the Asian mall again and got to take cool pictures at this photo booth! Hopefully I can copy them and send them to ya'll because we look pretty awesome...and super Asian :) hehe We also got to have FHE with our bishop and his wife. We talked about missionary work in the ward which is always good!

Tuesday we went to go help one of our favorite members pack. The whole family is moving to Edmonton because of the husband's job. I'm going to miss them! We helped pack the kitchen and such, because the mom is pregnant and can't really lift too much! Then we went to Langley with President and Sister Tilleman! It was such a wonderful experience! Sister Petersen and I got to meet with one of her recent converts, the bishop, and the Tilleman's  before going to Brad's endowment. It was such a wonderful night! It was so funny because after the endowment (on the ride home) President Tilleman felt bad that we didn't get dinner, so he bought Sister Petersen and I some wraps from McDonald's. It was so amazing to be able to spend so much time with them!! I love my mission president and mission mom so much!

Wednesday we went to Ladner (which is like 20 minutes away) to visit some members and less actives. We visited this one lady who lived in the desert in Moab when she was 9 years old until she was about 12 with her dad. She even told us about how she would shower in the waterfalls that would happen when there was a big desert storm! Can you say coolest childhood ever??!! Emily and Brad also were able to get their baptismal interviews on Wednesday night by President Tilleman.
Thursday we had our last Zone conference with President and Sister Tilleman, because they're leaving in July. I learned so much from them and I'm so glad to have been able to associate with them and learn from them. They are my heroes! We also had a lesson with this girl named Sonya. She's Jehovah's Witness & it didn't really go anywhere. We also got to go to this lady's house who we're trying to get back to church. She's from the Philippines and Filipino's love to feed us food! It was so good! :) She even came to church on Sunday! Yippee!!

Friday we did some weekly planning. We also taught this lady who is real hippy-like. She's all about "oneness with self and nature and God" and such. It's so interesting to teach people and get to know individuals and their stories and experience! I love it! Friday night we drove back to Langley for Brad and Loretta's sealing! It was such a beautiful night :)

Saturday we had one last lesson with Maricel to make sure that she was comfortable and knew everything. We also went street contacting a ton because we needed to talk to lots of people! We had dinner with this lady who is returning to church, and it was so cool to meet her and hear her story. She got baptized when she was 16 and is the only member in her family! You have to be so strong to be able to do that.

Then, SUNDAY! Church and then EMILY, BRAD, AND MARICEL got baptized! I'm so happy and proud of them :) I love them so much and am so grateful to be a part of their journey to come unto Jesus Christ.

Well this week was crazy, awesome, non-stop, running around, and full of amazing experiences! I love you all! The Church is True! 

Sister Struempler 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hump Day!!! (5/12/14)

^Screamers! A delicacy in Richmond = Soft serve + slushy
It was my Hump Day treat :)
The one and only Emily!
^Dried squid...tastes...Interesting....
This past week has been so crazy awesome, I don't even know where to start!

On Monday, we still had Sister Li with us so we went to the Asian market instead of the normal grocery store. I was in heaven! We bought weird Asian vegetables, dumplings, noodles. It was awesome! We also went to the Asian mall. I love being one of 2 white people in the whole mall! hahaha. We had a lesson with Abi on Monday as well. Her whole family is coming over to my mission present's house for dinner tonight, so pray that all goes well for us! We're so excited!

On Tuesday, we went on splits and I got to hang out with the mission nurse and help her unpack. She and her husband have just moved closer to the church which is awesome. I love her! She's like my grandma away from home. We did lots of street contacting on Tuesday as well; it's very efficient with the three of us because we can all talk to different people! 

Then on Wednesday we had a lesson but it fell through :( It's so hard when we show up and nobody is home! We just keep trying, because then we realize if people are actually interested or not. So we knocked on a few doors before going to zone meeting. Oh, and also WEDNESDAY WAS MY HUMP DAY! WOOT WOOT! I'm halfway done! Y'all will see me in no time ;) Anyways, back to zone meeting. It was awesome! We are really trying to focus on getting more baptismal dates and the only way we can do that is by inviting more people to be baptized. It's so crazy how different I am from the beginning of my mission. I'm not afraid to talk to random strangers now. I'm not afraid to offer to help someone carry something. I'm not afraid to call people to repentance! I'm not afraid of inviting people to be baptized! This week is going to be awesome, that's all I gotta say :) Oh, and Sister Li got her companion so we're not in a tri anymore. I miss her! She's awesome! :) I'm glad she's still close by!!
Then on Wednesday night, we had a lesson with Emily and Brad (in the pictures above) with President Tilleman's family. Turns out, SHE ALREADY ASKED HER HUSBAND IF SHE CAN BE BAPTIZED! So we don't even need to worry anymore! I'm so excited for Emily and Brad to become members of the church. It was such a spiritual experience being with them and my mission president's family. 
Thursday was weekly planning and we had an appointment with a member for just a quick visit. Turns out she made us home-made chicken noodle soup! It was delish! And Filipino style :) I love all of the Filipinos in our ward!! 

Then on Friday, we went and dropped by to see some people and it was actually pretty successful. We actually knocked on a random door and found a less active member that we didn't even know about! She wasn't interested in talking to us, but it's so cool to see those little miracles every day. We also had dinner with Maricel and her husband. Maricel is planning on getting baptized with Emily and Brad this Sunday! It's going to be a day of PENTICOST! hahaha. Maricel made this awesome stuffed, baked fish. I love trying new food! We also got to teach this girl from Hong Kong and her friend at the library. It was pretty awesome, but they had never heard anything about the restoration before so they were pretty hesitant. We gave them both a Book of Mormon and testified of it's truthfulness! We're going to contact them next week, so hopefully they'll still be interested!

Saturday we decided to go through our area book and pick out some people who have been interested in the past. Sometimes, people just need a break before they are ready to be baptized and make commitments. So we did that a lot, as well as finding new people as usual.

Sunday was amazing! Mother's Day :) I can't wait to be a mom one day. The talks were really good and all the women in the ward got a really cool book mark. After getting home from church Sister Petersen and I got to talk to our families! Ahhh! I love you guys and miss y'all so much! It was so wonderful! Following that, we got to teach Emily and Brad at the park! We had some food, taught a lesson, and even threw a Frisbee around for a bit. It was probably one of the greatest lessons I've ever had! Sister Peteresen and I also taught Emily how to make funny faces, and that was hilarious! :)

We ended our Mother's Day by stopping by a few people we taught when we first got here. Brenda got her knee surgery, and we stopped by and gave her some chocolates. She was smoking when we got there and she told us she'll quit eventually, hahaha. Then, MIRACLE, we stopped by Moyette. She knows she needs to get baptized, and she's leaving to go back home to New York in 6 weeks or so. We told her about how 3 people are getting baptized next Sunday, and she said she would also like to be baptized next Sunday! Everyone, PLEASE PRAY FOR MOYETTE! She needs this in her life! We're so excited for her and hopefully all will go well with that.
Well that was my week! Pretty exciting, eh? 

Love you all!
Sister Struempler

Richmond Taxi Services! (5/5/14)

So this week was transfers...and since Sister Petersen and I serve in Richmond where the mission office is, we has a busy week. I'm still exhausted!

Monday we picked up two sisters (one of them trained Sister Petersen) and they stayed with us that night. Then we took them to the office so they could go to the temple on Tuesday. We picked them up Tuesday night and then took them to the airport on Wednesday to go HOME. Sister Petersen and I were both feeling kinda trunky after that, so good thing we had a service project to do Wednesday morning to distract us. A family in the ward is moving and the mother is pregnant so she needed help packing all of her heavy books. Sister missionaries can lift heavy things just as much as Elders! Just sayin'...

We had a few lessons on Wednesday. Then we picked up the Prince George sisters from the airport and the new sisters that just came out. We had 5 sisters stay with us wednesday night! I got to go on splits with one of them and we taught this man named Sid. His common law wife has been less active for a while, so we're working on helping them both gain testimonies of the church so that Sid can be baptized and then they can be sealed! I'm so grateful that my family is sealed together forever <3

Then on thursday we went to transfer meeting, because we got permission. We had to leave for a little bit though because we had a lesson with this one crazy-awesome hippy lady. She's one of those people who's like "God is in all of us, and around all of us, and outside of us." She's super nice, but likes to talk a lot. Hopefully we will be able to keep teaching her!

Thursday we got our new companion...Sister Li! She's in the Richmond Chinese Branch but she's training. Her trainee hasn't come yet (she comes this Wednesday), so she's in a tri with us. Since Thursday, we've had to combine our plans so that we can cover the English lessons and the Chinese lessons. It's been SO fun! Jiao Hui! I'm learning! Hehe. Then we had to take sisters to the airport on Thursday. Then Thursday night, we had the Sister Training Leaders from Prince George stay with us. They stayed with us Friday night as well. We've had some pretty awesome lessons in the middle of all this. On Saturday, we got to have interviews with the President. It was so spiritual and sacred. I love my mission president and mission mom. They are so inspired and are such wonderful people!

On Sunday, we went to the English ward and the Chinese branch. Emily, Brad, and Maricel came to church! They are all 3 planning on getting baptized on May 18th! Pray for them please! This Filipino family invited us over for dinner Sunday night with Maricel and her husband (who is a member). We got to eat the BEST FOOD! I loved it! I love trying all different types of food. We shared a message about obedience and how important it is to follow God's commandments. 

Then last night, we had the Vernon sisters stay with us and we had to wake up at 5am to take them to the greyhoud that will drive them to the Okanagin. It's been a long, but very fun week!

I love you all so much and please write me letters! They are my favorite!

Sister Struempler

p.s. On monday we got to go to Granville Island in Vancouver! I love Vancouver but it makes me SO HOMESICK for Seattle.
Sister Li is in the middle! Sister Wang in the green skirt is going to Burnaby and Sister Leung is staying in White Rock...she's been there for 10.5 months! After this transfer she'll have served there for 12 months! THAT'S A LONG TIME!
 Wednesday night! we had a party in our apartment! haha
Granville Island!

Monday, May 5, 2014

We are the Richmond Sicksters! (4/28/14)

Seriously though!! On Tuesday, I got a cold after suffering from stinkin' allergies the week before. When will this ever end? I'm taking about 4 different vitamins and I'm turning into a germ freak. Well, whatever will keep me healthy, I'll do! Despite me having a cold, we were able to work, work, work! I decided that I would be miserable inside or outside, so might as well be outside and doing things. We did a lot of finding this week, because a lot of our lessons fell through. That was really sad. It all started out on Monday...dun dun DUNN! We were heading over to Abi's place to teach her. We weren't able to figure out what we wanted to teach her during studies, so we were trying to think all day about what we could teach her. Then, at 5:45 we got a text from Chris saying that Angie doesn't want Abi to be a Mormon! He said that Angie didn't like us teaching Abi about tithing and fasting, and that she thought that Abi was too young to learn about it. WHAT? We were devastated. We begged Chris for Angie's number and decided to call her the next day. We called her and she was busy. After much contemplation, we decided to commence "Operation Cookie Love." We got a plate of cookies, chocolates, etc and decided to stop by on Thursday (when we normally see Abi). We were really nervous, but Angie opened the door and just let us right in! It was like nothing happened! She told us that she doesn't want us talking about a few of the commandments anymore, which is totally understandable. Plus we taught her everything, so we're basically just re-teaching now. It was such a miracle! We are now teaching Abi again! She didn't come to church on Easter, but hopefully she'll start coming soon. Plus Angie (Abi's mom) dyed the underside of her hair hot pink and that made me really happy & reminded me of my freshman year when I did that. :)

Then, on Tuesday we had a lesson with Emily and her son Brad. They are seriously the cutest! We were meeting Emily and Brad at the church and so we waited inside...and waited...and waited...and then were freaking out because she wasn't showing up...then called...and texted...and called...finally Emily called us and said that she came to the church but nobody was there! She said that she left her phone at home, so she couldn't call us and tell us to let us in. She knocked and knocked, but we didn't hear her . . . AHH! We were at the other parking lot! It was just a misunderstanding. Thank goodness. So we rescheduled for Friday and apologized profusely for all of the confusion.

Tuesday night we stopped by this member's house who hasn't been to church in a long time. We'd never met her before and the Elder's had set up the appointment for us. We found her house and knocked, and she let us right in! She's the cutest lady ever! She's from the Philippines and had all this awesome Filipino food for us to try. Oh my goodness, I was in heaven! Then she told us her whole conversion story about how her family joined the church. After her dad died, her other two brothers finally joined so now their whole family will be together forever! We don't quite understand why she doesn't come to church, because she is super awesome. I guess it will take a few more visits and investigation to figure out, which is fine by me because Filipinos love sharing their food ;)

Then on Wednesday we had district meeting, which was awesome as usual! Sister Petersen and I talked about how we can use the Bible and the Book of Mormon together to support one another. It's really important to do this because a lot of people are familiar with the Bible. What people don't understand scares them, so if we help them understand the Book of Mormon and how it works together with the Bible, then I think it will help a lot of the people that we are teaching about the church. We went tracting from 5-7pm as usual and then had a couple visits with some members. The second member that we visited told us to go visit this less active member she had visit taught years ago, so we did, and . . . MIRACLE! We were able to meet her and her common law husband. Her husband isn't a member, and he was totally cool with us coming over again and teaching them both more about the gospel. It was such a little miracle to find this family to teach! And all because a member told us to stop by and visit :) Missionaries can do a lot, but it's when the members and the missionaries work together that miracles happen!

We had weekly planning on Thursday. We dropped by Angie's and, as I said above, that went so well! We also visited this member and her mother and shared a message with them. We have really been trying to get to know our members better, considering that we've been in this ward for 3 months now, they need to know us! 

Then on Friday, we WENT ON EXCHANGES! Sister Petersen went with Sister Wang and Sister Li came with me. It was SOO FUN! In the morning we stopped by to see a few people who we had talked to earlier in the month; they weren't interested. Then we ate lunch and Sister Li made this weird Asian soup with ketchup. It was weird, but not bad. I wish I could look like the Chinese sisters do. Then, we went to go help this member peel potatoes and carrots for this giant dinner they're having for all the young women in the stake. That was fun! Then we visited this member who has been coming back to church for months now, which is such a miracle. She had surgery, so we were making sure that she was okay! Then, we went street contacting all afternoon to try to talk to lots of people. That was fun! Except I couldn't breathe through my nose so Sister Li did most of the talking. Then, the cutest member ever named Sister Fang (she's from Taiwan) invited us over for dinner! I was so thrilled! First dinner appointment I've had in Richmond, and I've been here for 3 months! Well, little did I know that it was an investigator's house. AND the Chinese Branch President and his wife were there. Long story short, I was the only white person at the dinner table and was trying to stay focused as everyone was speaking in mandarin and I had no idea what was going on. We had a Hot Pot dinner and it was so stinkin' good. I love Asian food. Then Sister Li shared a message in mandarin and I just smiled, and then we had to go. It was such a wonderful day!

On Saturday, we exchanged back, then Sister Petersen and I decided to go to this part of our area that is about 20 minutes away. None of the missionaries have ever really been there before, so it's awesome that people have never had missionaries knock on their door before. They were pretty receptive, except for the people who spoke Punjabi and couldn't understand us. Did you know that there isn't any literature in Punjabi except for the Joseph Smith Pamphlet? Crazy! We had a lot of great experiences and talked to a lot of wonderful people that night. HaHa, funny story: We were dropping by this former investigator and the gate in front of their house was locked. We could see lights on so we looked around for a stick and had to reach through the gate with the stick to finally ring the door bell. It was hilarious. They didn't answer the door, but Sister Petersen and I knew that they were home. Oh well!

On Sunday, we tried to talk to as many people as possible! We have a goal every week to have 140 quality gospel conversations. So it can't just be a "not interested, bye" type of thing, but we try to share our testimonies and teach a principle to 140 people each week. Well, on Sunday we had to have 34 QGC's to reach 140 and we were determined! We went out street contacting in the afternoon and started talking to this guy that was handing out pizza flyers. He said he was interested in learning more, so we tried saying a prayer, and people would walk by and take the flyer's out of his hand while we were praying with him. I was trying not to laugh, it was just so odd! haha. But he's coming to church on Sunday, so pray for him. We were able to have 34 quality gospel conversations and were able to reach our goal of 140 for the week! woot woot! Even while I was sick!! It was awesome!

Then this morning, I GOT TO GO TO GRANVILLE ISLAND! It's this super cool artsy place right by the water in Vancouver. It was so fun. Here's some pictures:
Well, that's pretty much it! Only got one letter this past week... please write me! Letters are 2nd best to witnessing a baptism. That's how important they are to us missionaries! I love you all!

Sister Struempler