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

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