Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! (10/13/2014)

Wow, I can't believe how the time has flown. This time last year, I was sitting in my cabin in Vanderhoof eating turkey . . . so weird. Well, today is thanksgiving! What are some things that you are grateful for?

We all have so much to be grateful for! It's the best thing to have an attitude of gratitude!

This past week was awesome. Sister Bartlett and I had fun walking around on Main Street on P-day. A member saw us and treated us! What a blessing <3
Tuesday we got a call telling us that we needed to go to Nanaimo to meet with President Burt! We packed our bags and left right away. It was pretty awesome. We all got to be interviewed by him and afterwards went to Wendy's. What a great way to get to know your mission president! 

We went on exchanges that day while we were in Nanaimo. Sister Bartlett went with Sister Reed and I went with Sister Fonnesbeck. We had a lot of fun together!

We ended up staying in Nanimo for the night because we had a zone meeting on Wednesday morning in Duncan! It was so fun. Sister Fonnesbeck and I even went to the beach for our workout on Wednesday morning. (see pics above)
So Wednesday, I was back with Sister Bartlett and we had a great combined zone conference. I learned so much from our inspired leaders :) I just love them so much. Afterwards, Sister Fonnesbeck, Reed, Bartlett, and I went out to Boston Pizza with the Victoria 2nd Sisters. That was so fun! Good food and good people . . . best combination ever.

We then drove the long trek back to our little Courtenay up in the north part of the island. I love it here. We met with this less active couple that we had previously set up an appointment with. They were very nice and friendly, but we don't know how willing they are to change. We asked them to read the Book of Mormon. They said no. We asked them to pray to see if they should read the Book of Mormon. They said no. We asked them to think about praying to ask God if they should read the Book of Mormon. Ding ding ding...we have a winner! Finally a yes! Well, it's better than nothing.
Thursday we did some planning. We had to drop our car off to get the oil changed, so we thought we would walk back to our house and finish weekly planning while waiting for the car. Actually, we just ended up talking to a lot of awesome people on the street. We didn't even make it back to our apartment! This guy saw us and just stopped us. He said, "are you Mormons?" and we were like "yeah..." He was like, "AWESOME! My friend told me about you guys. I'm tired of all the hypocrites in the Christian churches that I have been too. My friend told me that Mormons are awesome and live what they preach." We had an awesome conversation with him and will hopefully see him again soon. That was such a miracle! And as he was walking away, a former investigator walked up to us and asked us to come visit her again! Walking brings miracles!

So after getting our car, we drove back home and finished weekly planning. We went finding, had some dinner with a member family, and then helped them clean the church afterwards because everyone is out of town. Yay, service!

Friday we visited a lot with our less actives. We are trying to strengthen their faith and help them to get back to church.  We also met with Sammui and set a baptism date with her for November 1st! we are so excited!!

Saturday we went out tracting in the boonies. That was fun :) We also visited this new family that moved into the ward. The husband isn't a member, but the wife is. They are awesome and hopefully we'll be able to help them paint their house sometime this next week!

Sunday! Church! Ken and Sammui came! Along with our pagan less active friend, Nate. It was so sweet! He hasn't been to church in over 15 years. It is so awesome seeing people coming back to church and see how it changes them, even if it's just a little bit.
Funny story: we went tracting in the evening and it was already dark. It wasn't too late though. We met this really cute old lady, then kept on knocking. I was doing a gangster walk because I think I'm funny. Sister Bartlett tried copying me. We then knocked on this door and a creepy man answered. He said that he wasn't religious but he took a card for his friend and himself. Then we proceeded to the next house. This cute old couple answers and they are born again christians, but not too interested. We asked if they knew anyone that could use a message or service. They said to not go to the house next door. There had been some shady things happening, and they said that the police were watching the house. We said "Thank you" and then headed our merry way. We just started laughing. They were talking about the creepy man house. And we did our gangster walk to that house. And the police were watching that house. OH man, life as a missionary. It's full of so many adventures.

I'm so grateful that I can be a part of this church and be a servant for the Lord. Our friend Ken is planning on getting baptized on Sunday, and we are SO excited for him. Everyone please pray for him that all will go well this week. I know that a lot of opposition can happen before something wonderful. 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Struempler

General Conference Weekend!! (10/6/2014)

What an amazing week! And what an amazing General Conference! My favorites were Elder Jorg Klebingat and of course Elder David A. Bednar (an amazing talk for everyone to give to their non-member friends). But really, all of the talks were amazing. I love listening to the prophets, apostles, and general authorities of the church give inspiring messages to the whole world. We are so lucky to get new scripture from God every 6 months! I can't wait to get the Ensign. :)

This week was full of adventures of all sorts. On Monday, we had dinner with a member family and it was great. Delicious food all around. We also got to teach our pagan investigator with our pagan less active. I don't really understand the pagan religion, but it's cool to teach them and get to know them. Hopefully, we'll be able to see how interested they really are when we teach them tonight :) They didn't think we would come back after our first lesson, but we did. And we're going again tonight! Yeehaww!

Tuesday we went on exchanges. I went to Qualicum Beach with Sister Peterson. She goes home a week from this Wednesday. SO WEIRD! Everyone I know is leaving me. I'm getting so old. Tomorrow is my 14 month mark. AHHH!! Anyways, we went to Qualicum Beach. We got to go to a less active's house and sort through some of her baby toys and share a message with her. We got to visit a lady that just got baptized and answer some of her questions. We went to dinner with some members that I had met previously on an exchange, so that was fun. We also got to teach this Anglican guy that told us all these cool war stories. It was an eventful day :)

Wednesday we had district meeting! It was so good :) I love my district. Elder and Sister Nickels even came as well! I love them SO stinkin' much . . . seriously!
The district :) 
Then we went back to Courtenay and taught Ken. It was so fun :) He's doing so well! Everyone pray for him. He's preparing to be baptized and we're so happy for him! The rest of the evening we went finding and dropped by some people as well.

Thursday we did our weekly planning. It was so good! We even came up with this awesome plan to heart attack a bunch of people. We get to be ninjas and make people feel good at the same time. Win and Win! We haven't seen Melissa in a while, so we dropped by to see how she's doing. She stopped reading the Bible, so we're trying to help her get back on track. She even prayed and asked God if it would be okay to read the Torah. I thought that was awesome! We need to be educated in everything.

Friday we went and dropped by some elderly people in our ward. We went to a nursing home to visit Anne and her sister (who isn't a member). We were able to get to know her sister better and get her phone number. She lives in Nanaimo, so we handed her off to the sisters there. Members are so important to work with; they help us find people to teach. That was so cool :) We had dinner with a family in the ward who has 8 kids! I feel so loved by spending more time with the ward members. We get to know them and be a part of their family for a bit. It's fun.

Saturday we watched General Conference! In between sessions, we went and stopped by Debbie's. We FINALLY got to meet her husband. So exciting! He had lots of questions for us and we gave him a Book of Mormon to read. They're going to Disneyland, so they'll be gone for a bit. I wanted to get a picture just in case I got transferred.
Sunday = MORE CONFERENCE! So amazing. I just loved it. After conference there was a baptism so Sister Bartlett and I ran around trying to invite everyone we knew. Sammui and her husband were able to come. The little boy that got baptized invited one of his friends from school as well. And the whole family came! It was so cool! We talked to the dad and he just loved it. He even wanted to read the Book of Mormon afterwards. This just builds my testimony that members everywhere, young and old, can be missionaries and share the gospel with everyone. Hopefully, we'll be able to teach this family sometime soon!

I love this gospel and I know that it's true. I know that we have a living prophet on the Earth today and his name is Thomas S. Monson. We can all pray to gain that confirming witness that he is called by God. We need to share this with everyone, because he is the prophet for the WHOLE WORLD! Not just the church. I love you all. Keep being awesome.

Sister Struempler

p.s. I know I say this every email, but please write me LETTERS! <3

Let's Close Our Umbrellas & Let God Rain Down His Blessings Upon Us (9/29/2014)

This week was awesome! We saw a lot of miracles :)

Monday we had dinner with some members, went tracting, and dropped by some people.

Tuesday we went on exchanges! Sister Bartlett went to Nanaimo and Sister Reed came up to Courtenay with me. Too bad I forgot to take a picture with her :(  But we had an awesome day! We tracted a trailer park. A lady told us to go visit another lady across the way from her. We stopped by to see her and she ended up being interested! Miracle! Then we went and taught our friend Sammui for the first time. She was the cute little Chinese girl in the wedding that I went to about a month ago. She's had some brain injuries, but is just so sweet. We're going to take things slow with her, but she loves coming to church and learning about the gospel.

Then we went and taught Chuck. Chuck is an Anglican that we found and gave a Book of Mormon to. We taught him about the restoration and it was one of the most powerful lessons that I have ever taught! It was amazing. The spirit there was so strong. We asked him if we could meet with him again, and he said that he would think about it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. 

We went and taught Ken next! He's doing so great! He's even agreed to be baptized on October 18th! Everyone pray for him please. We are going to try to help him understand as much as we can so that he'll be prepared to be baptized on that day. 

Then we went and visited this cute old lady. She had a stroke about 4 years ago, so she can't use her right hand anymore. She got a little bit of her leg movement back, so she can walk. We shared our favorite scriptures with her and she even shared one with us. It was amazing!  :)

Then we had dinner with our WML and his wife. It was delicious, and they have the cutest kids ever. After that we went and saw Debbie! Her husband got called back to work, so we still haven't met him. But guess what, HER FAMILY IS GOING TO DISNEYLAND NEXT WEEK! AHHH! So family, I'm going to give her your information and then maybe she can meet you. She said that they will probably be stopping by the San Diego Zoo as well. I might try to give her a few things to bring to y'all. We'll see! 

Wednesday we had district meeting! It was really awesome and inspiring. We had to race (I mean legally speed) back to Courtenay because we had so much to do! We taught Agnes who is getting eye surgery this week. We taught Prince, our friend from AFRICA! He's so cool. And then we had dinner with a less active and his non-member wife. He kept being like, "Hey sisters, you need to reactivate me." We're like "Hey Ryan, stop being a bum and come to church then!" haha. Not really, but he's a funny guy. And his wife is super nice too!

Then we had a little birthday party with our YSA friend Laura. She's so awesome! We taught her the plan of salvation and had some cake to celebrate. 

Thursday we did our weekly planning. Not as fast as last week, but still under 5 hours. Phew. Then we went tracting, contacted a couple referrals from our bishop, and had dinner with our bishop and his wife. It was a great night :) We also met a less active that was super nice and let us come in and share a message with her. There are so many less actives in this ward!

Friday we taught 3 less actives. Phew. That was tough. It's not like investigators, because a lot of them already know the gospel. We have to figure out their concerns and help them to resolve them. That was fun.

Sunday we taught a couple more less actives and found BRANDON AGAIN! He was the man that called Sister Jolie and I angels for helping him not kill himself when his mom had just passed away. (It was Sister Nelson and Sister Jolie who originally found him). His life has still been rough and he still didn't give us any contact information. Hopefully we'll be able to run into him again. 

We went to the women's broadcast and it was amazing. Check it out if you haven't watched it!

Sunday was fast Sunday! It was amazing. Then, this member wanted us to teach his mom. He's a convert of about 4 years now. He's mom is awesome! She said she would think about meeting with us again, so at least she didn't just say "no."

We also had dinner with a member family. They gave us a less active and a non-member to go visit! Wahoo! So many awesome referrals! I love it.

I love being a missionary! I'm so excited for general conference this next week!

Sister Struempler
ah yeah :)
Sister Bartlett LOVES seeing deer. She says that kangaroos are like deer in Australia. I want to see some kangaroos man!