Actually been a really good one

Maligayan Araw na Pasasalamat! (Happy Thanksgiving Day!)
     How was Thanksgiving for each of you? Some in St. George, and some in Oregon? I bet it was a lot of fun! My week has actually been a really good one (minus the fact I couldn't be with family on Thanksgiving).
     On Tuesday for our devotional, guess who we got to hear from?! Elder Christofferson!:) It was so awesome! I forgot my notebook so I can't tell you a lot of specifics, but what I got from his talk was just a greater gratitude for being able to be on a mission right now. Just the privilege I have to be close to my Savior daily and to learn how to better recognize the Holy Ghost.  Another cool thing he talked about is how we are companions with all of the general authorities, that we have all the same responsibilities and authority that they have when it comes to preaching the gospel, except the fact that sisters don't have the priesthood!  And how we are all companions in the work together. That was kind of a cool thought.
     Then for Thanksgiving we got to hear from... Elder Russell M. Nelson!:) That was really good too. He just talked about different things we have to be thankful for. He also said to tell our families that he says thanks to each of you for sending a daughter/sister out on a mission and for the support you give. So yeah bet you didn't know an apostle said something specifically to each of you on Thanksgiving Day:)
     Also for Thanksgiving we had a couple of programs of speakers and musical numbers. We helped assemble like 10,000 first aid kits (which I think the brothers did also, didn't they?). Our job was being a human conveyor belt and passing cardboard boxes down a line. That's it... we were pretty helpful;) Then after all of that we got to watch the movie 17 Miracles! Which I saw in the theaters before I left but kind of fell asleep so this time I stayed awake for the whole thing, and it was really good! You all should watch it if you haven't! So it was a pretty good day! There was turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, and pumpkin pie. It was... okay:) I was telling the lady who trimmed my hair this morning that it was good considering they had to make enough for all the missionaries here, but it wasn't homemade! But that's okay; it was good!:)
     But I was thinking about my family that day and thought about you all at The Smiths’ home putting your 3 corn kernels in the little kettle and sharing what you're grateful for and decided I wanted to share with you my 3 kernels:) So first, I am so grateful for my testimony. Something that I have come to learn even more since I've been here at the MTC is how personal and valuable my testimony is to me. Being companions with Sister Vickers I've noticed how different testimonies can be and how different we can come to gain a testimony. Sister Vickers is very intelligent, and from what I have observed, she has come to know gospel truths through study and just intellectually understanding principles.  She has a testimony from studying a principle, and when it makes sense to her, it just kind of clicks, and the spirit testifies to her. I don't know if I explained that as well as I wanted to. But then for me my testimony is based off of so many personal experiences that Heavenly Father has given me in my life, just tender mercies and revelation that I have received. And I am so grateful for all the experiences that I have had. I'm so grateful for all the trials I've gone through that have taught me so much and made my testimony what it is today. Like I said it's hard to explain, but the way my companion and I have gained our testimonies is very different.  I know my Heavenly Father knows what I need to experience and how I learn best, and I am so grateful for that because now I can share all of my experiences and bear my testimony with a surety to the people I meet in the Philippines.
     Alright second... I'm grateful for my family:) I think that's everyone's answer always, but I don't know how you can't think of that on Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for each one of you and am so lucky to have the relationships with each of you that I do. I know I could go up to each of you and talk to you about everything and anything, and a lot of people, even missionaries here, don't have that blessing in their lives. So thanks to all of you for the love and support you show me. (I kind of feel redundant with that line, but it's how I feel so that's why I always say it!)
     And third... I'm grateful for all of the missionaries here at the MTC and my teachers. I have learned so much from them, and it's such a blessing. That's one things that I love in this gospel is how as members we help each other out so much. I have been strengthened by their individual stories and what they have overcome, and it's just really neat to associate with such neat members of the church.
     Oh and I have to have a fourth, sorry... I am so thankful for my Savior. Since I got here to the MTC, I started reading the Book of Mormon over and highlighting all the references to Christ, all of the words that He speaks and all the Christ-like attributes mentioned, and I have already learned a lot. I don't get to read the Book of Mormon everyday because some days I have to get ready for my investigators, but I love being able to learn more about my Savior and feel His love. I know He's a HUGE reason that I am here and a big reason I'm so happy every single day! And that's one of the things I can't wait to share with my investigators the most. There's a scripture I found that explains one reason I am serving a mission... 1 Nephi 8: 11-12:
            11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the afruit
               thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever
               before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to
               exceed all the bwhiteness that I had ever seen.
12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with ex-
                         ceedingly great ajoy; wherefore, I began to be bdesirous that my
                family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was cdesirable
                above all other fruit.
When it talks about the fruit, I learned that that is referring to the atonement, and when talking about family, I just think about the humble Filipino people, and I just love that scripture! I'm so excited to get out to the Philippines! This week has definitely been a preparation week and has gotten me even more excited.
Happy, happy birthday, Brother Itri dear!
     First off, on Monday it was Brother Itri's birthday so we all decorated the class and got to class early and surprised him and that was way fun:) Then on Wednesday it was our last day with brother Ah Mu, so we got to ask a bunch of culture questions, and we did door approaches with him and Brother Moffat which was so fun. We'd all be in the class and send two missionaries out to the hall. Then our teachers would pick some crazy but realistic role of people over in the Philippines, and then the two missionaries would have to try to get into the house and teach a message. Some missionaries were able to, and some weren't, but it was just funny seeing all the different roles that our teachers would play that they saw in the Philippines. Then Wednesday for Brother Itri's shift he brought in a bunch of photos and just went over them with us and told us all about the Philippines and answered questions, and it was a lot of fun. There's definitely going to be a HUGE culture shock for me! But I'm way excited. I just have to enjoy milk and an actual warm shower these last couple of days! Yesterday was our in-field orientation day, and they just had a bunch of workshops on different subjects that will be helpful to know when we get there. Then today is our P-day, and we're just packing tonight! It's all coming to an end!
His face right after he saw that we decorated the classroom. 
He loved it!
     The MTC is now decked out in Christmas lights, and that's kind of fun! Oh and also there's the cutest little Filipino sister missionary that just got here that we talked to, and it was a lot of fun! She said that in the Philippines they celebrate Christmas from July to January:) So that will be fun!
     I'm excited to talk to you all from the airport! I hope you had the best Thanksgiving! I was definitely thinking about each of you. Well I love you a lot and pray for you daily in more than one language:) Talk to you soon!

Mahal Kita,
Sister Stromberg

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