P-day stands for PARTY DAY

Good Afternoon, Family!
     Okay, who said you can't party on a mission? Don't you know that that's what P-day stands for... party day?;) haha just kidding. But, Ry, you don't have to worry; I'm not partying too much! This week we had a really good week. We were able to teach a lot more lessons and weren't rejected as much because Fiesta is over. Who knows what next week (the week of Easter) will bring, being holy week here, and everyone here is Catholic... but for this week, it was great.

These big green fruit are call jack fruit, and they are HUGE!!!
These bananas are super little and cute.
     As far as investigators, our one that is progressing most is Candillaria. She's 41 and is actually the niece of a member in our branch, and that's how we found her. She really is interested and enjoys when we teach her. She has a hard time understanding a lot, so we've had to take it really slow with her. But we've seen her faith grow stronger. The only problem with her is she has a lot of health problems that honestly we don't really understand. The term hypochondriac kind of comes to my mind, but I won't say anything because I don't know for sure what she's going through or what sickness she has. But to sum it up, she can't be around electric fans, and she always has "water" on her back which she doesn't think is sweat but doesn't know what it is. It's hard to explain, but we're trying to help her go see a doctor and get it fixed. Right now she can only make it to sacrament meeting because she can't stay for the whole three hours, which we want her to attend all of church before she can get baptized. Then she is a little scared about baptism and the water being cold. So yeah that's Candi:) She's really sweet though and tells others that she is really enjoying the lessons from the missionaries. So we'll just continue right along.
     Then there's Mark who you've heard about a lot, the one who should have been baptized my second week here. Well we're still working with him, and I know he has a testimony; he's just worried that the same thing will happen to him again, where he prepares for baptism and then something bad happens to him, and it doesn't follow through. But he said he's praying for an answer, so in time he will be baptized, I'm sure. We're actually going to have FHE with him tonight and some YSA members to help fellowship him. We'll have a lesson and all and then play some basketball:) I'm excited! Then we have some others that are slowly progressing, and I'll tell you about them more as they progress!
     Then this last week we found a new less-active member whom we taught, and then just yesterday she came to church! I think that's the fastest turn around that after just one visit she came to church. Hopefully she will continue. Her name is Carmella, and she has two cute kids that came to church also.
     One thing that we are really focusing on in our mission is just finding less-actives, and through our efforts of finding less-actives, we acquire quite a few of our investigators in part-member families. Basically, you'll go to a family and find out these are families where, because they went inactive, not all the family members were baptized, so then we get the opportunity to teach them. That way it's kind of killing two birds with one stone! So yeah, that's our work right now. We found 12 new investigators again this week, so we've been really blessed this transfer. Although we don't have any investigators ready right now for baptism, we have a lot of people to work with whom we've found.
   Oh and also, we did a CSP this week for a less-active member that lives in a SUPER poor little hut. They call the area "squatters" here, and it's so sad. We did her laundry for her. They don't have very much money at all. They have to walk a long distance to fetch their water and then are super frugal with it. You would use one tub of water to rinse and then later use that same water again to wash because she didn't want to throw it. At times you were rinsing in dirty water or soapy water and just thinking... how is this supposed to work..., but we helped her, and she was very grateful. She even gave us some little cookies which I was hesitant to eat thinking how little they have and how I didn't want to eat what little they had. VERY humbling!!
     So yeah that's the work in Carmona B. I can't believe the transfer is almost over, and, like Mom said, I'm coming up on six months. Time flies. By the way, summer lasts until the middle of May here, and then it's rainy season, supposedly. As far as conference this Saturday, you are lucky you get to watch it because I have to wait for the following Saturday and Sunday to see it. So you all can tell me in your next e-mail what talk was your favorite, and while I watch, I can think of you. We will go to Binan and will get to watch all four sessions. I'm really excited for that.
I was really excited because this is titled "Good Milk."
Well it was definitely a lie. 
I still haven't found good milk in the Philippines.
     I made Swedish pancakes this morning with Sister Ronquillo for the sisters in our apartment, and they all loved them. I think that's about all I have for you this week. If you have more recent pictures of Cameron after the hospital, I want to see via email:) Ja, you didn't even give me an update on your wife and your soon-to-be baby. All I got was about the Final Four. What is that?!! Have a good week. Enjoy the last week of March. It's weird almost a whole school year has gone by at BYU. But anyway thanks for the e-mails. Love you all so much.
Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Stromberg


Oooo Fiesta!

     So today here in good ol' Carmona is Fiesta, some holiday that happens once a year for each province/city in the Philippines. It's to celebrate some Saint here in the city that is huge for Catholics but also huge for everyone. Basically there's a big fair, and everyone makes a lot of food, and it's just a party. So it's a good thing that it fell on P-day because if it were a regular working day, we would get no lessons in. But because it's P-day we have two lunch appointments right now, and then I'm sure many more later tonight. haha. And we have FHE with the Spencers (couple missionaries) again today and are going to a park with our whole zone so that should be fun. Saturday and Sunday we were a little punted (meaning no one would let us teach them) because they were getting ready for Fiesta and getting food ready and all that. So yeah it's a big deal here. I tell you Filipinos are partiers! haha.    
     Honestly, I don't have that much to tell you this week. This week a lot of our investigators couldn't meet with us because they were busy, so we didn't get all the lessons that we wanted to. We got a lot of less-actives though so that was good. And we actually had a lot of less-actives come to church for the first time yesterday. Hopefully they'll continue. We have one member who is 20 named Jewel, and his whole family will go to church, but he won't. So the last couple of weeks we've gotten him to come out and work with us and share with our investigators, and finally he went to church yesterday. It was so good to see him there because we've been teaching him for months now and no progress. So it was so good to see him go to church finally. So that was probably the most exciting thing for me this week.
      Sister Culango sent me a package with chocolate and a letter so that was also exciting. Beth, I was thinking the other day; when is your actual due date? I forgot. We're going to do a CSP this week for Sister Reyes who is the member that just barely had a baby. So that will be fun. I'll be thinking of Bets. So yeah, that's about all I have for today. One more week and all the YSA in our branch will be in the summer vacation, and then more of our YSA will be able to work with us. I'm excited for that. We have really fun members in our branch ages 19-20. So have a good week. Thanks for the e-mails everyone. I love you all so much.
Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Stromberg



Pinakamamahal Pamilya:)
Hello family,
     Thank you for the updates. So a couple of you asked what happened to Tina... actually it wasn't all that happy of an ending... yet. We taught her last Tuesday and found out that she was leaving on the 24th for sure. If she came back, she would come back to Quezon City, not here (I don't remember if I told you that last week). But we taught her Tuesday a really good lesson, and then we set up again to teach Thursday. Then Thursday when we came back, the other Nannay that lives in the Que family's house told us that she left to go back to her province that morning. We don't really know what happened. We tried to text her but no reply, and we haven't had a chance to talk to Sister Que yet so we don't really know what happened. But she has such a strong desire to get baptized and was so happy to always learn more from us and to go to church that I'm just sure she'll get baptized in her province or when she comes back to Quezon. All I have to say is: those missionaries who get to continue teaching her are very lucky!
     Then with Lace, this week for the colleges is finals week so we haven't heard from her because she's busy studying along with all the other ward missionaries and other college students.
     It is now summer here in the Philippines, and man it is HOT!!!!! I thought it was hot in December when I got here, but nope that was the cold season. I'm about dying! Before when I said I was sweating all the time, I didn't know what that meant. Now as soon as I get out of the shower and go to put my makeup on, I have sweat dripping from my face. The electric fan is now my best friend:) Yeah basically all I'm saying is man you don't know what hot is. When Nicole says that I should enjoy the heat that I have... sometimes it's a little rough:) haha.
     So this week, as I told you, would be our week for finding new investigators. We actually were blessed and were able to find 15 new investigators as well as 10 new less-active members. We'll see as we visit them for the second time this week if they really are interested or just being nice. That's one problem here in the Philippines is everyone here is so nice that they will act interested; they’ll listen to you; they'll say they want to be baptized and go to church and all that; but they're only doing it to be nice. So we'll try and find out this week who out of those 15 are really interested.
     You asked if it’s hard to find less active members, yes. The membership records that they give us, some of the names don't have addresses at all; some just have a general area where they live; some that have addresses don't even live there anymore; and also we find some that aren't even on the records at all. So yeah it's a challenge sometimes to find these members. But the good thing is sometimes as we are trying to find inactive members, we'll end up asking people for help. It's a good way to talk to them about the gospel and gain new investigators. That happened once this last week. So yeah I don't have a lot of news right now on investigators other than we have a lot of prospective investigators we'll be working with this week.
     We were one week away from reactivating Juliet, whom I've visited ever since I got here. She was actually my first lesson here in Carmona, and we finally got her to come back to church. She had been three weeks in a row, and then yesterday morning she left to go to Davao where her parents live. So that was another instance where it was a bummer she left right before we got to see her active again in the church.
Probably not pork adobo . . . do you think?
     But on the bright side... this week I cooked pork adobo for the first time all by myself. :) Sister Abanggan taught me how a month or so ago, and I wanted to see if I remembered. I did, and it was delicious:) (even if I say so myself). So yes I'll have to make it for y'all when I get back. And speaking of food, my stomach is looking rather large these days. I think I'm seeing the curse of being a sister missionary. All this rice is finally getting to me. So I'll have to see what I can do to fix that. haha.
     Anyway I think that's about all I have for this week. There's a member in my branch right now that had her baby on March 3rd, and when I saw her cute baby girl, it made me think of Betsy and cute Cameron. All of you take care. Thanks for the never ending support that you all show to me each week. I love you all so much.
                                                        Mahal ko kayo!
                                                        Sister Stromberg


The one time it felt like a sacrifice

Hello Family!
Cameron Ryan Stromberg
     Wow, what a week you all had! I'm not going to lie; I've been sitting here in the computer shop with tears running down my cheek. I can't believe little Cameron is here! He is so cute. It's a bummer I don't get to meet the little guy for another year. Show him pictures of me, Bets!!:) A lot of people talk about a mission being a sacrifice, and I haven't felt like that at all. It's been so much more of a blessing for me. But I think this is the one time when I've felt the sacrifice it is being here. It's hard not getting to see Ry and Bets with their cute new little baby boy, and I know it will be hard again with Aiden too. But I'm not complaining because I know this is exactly where I need to be right now. All I'm saying is it's rough not getting to hold cute Cameron and be there for all the excitement. The picture with Kip is a total classic pic of Kip. haha It made me laugh.
Ry and Bets with their cute new little baby boy
. . . a total classic pic of Kip
     So for missionary work this week, it was a really good week. We worked really hard and found nine new less-active members in our area. Some of them I think there is potential that we can help them return to church. Some I'm not really sure. One sister basically told us that she is now Catholic and isn't Mormon and isn't interested. One old man told us the same thing, but as we talked to him and shared with him by the end he was telling us how he knows the Book of Mormon is true and started opening up to us more. So we'll just see what happens with these new contacts.
     Then we have Tina who should be getting baptized on the 17th, but we had a setback. She's leaving to go back to her province on the 24th and wanted to get baptized before she left. Well we figured everything out and all the lessons we were going to teach so she could get baptized, but this last weekend for four days she and the Que family (the family that she is a nannying for) decided to go on a little vacation for the weekend. Now we don't know if there is enough time to get her ready before she leaves. She's leaving to visit her family, and she doesn't know right now if she'll come back or stay there... so yeah it's all up in the air right now. We'll probably meet with her tomorrow to figure everything out. It'll be a bummer if it doesn't happen because we've been working so hard with her, and she's so excited to get baptized. I've been able to be there with her for it all, and it would just be really neat to see her get baptized. So we'll see. She's the one investigator I've seen go to church four Sundays in a row and continue to.
Sister Ronquillo, Sister Stromberg & Patricia Pascu
     Then we had quite the interesting thing happen to our investigator Lace. She actually texted us one day and said that we can't meet with her at her house, but she wanted to come to our house. Well that's not allowed so we set up a place we could teach her, and for a while she never had the time. Finally we set up that we would meet with her this morning (p-day) at 6:30 a.m. haha which we were happy to do because if a 17 year old will meet with the missionaries that early, you know they have a desire to learn about the gospel. So we met with her and found out that her mom doesn't want her to meet with the missionaries anymore and doesn't want her to go to church and just doesn't want it all which is SUCH a bummer because Lace has so much potential! She is so interested in the church. Basically she snuck out of her house this morning, telling her mom she was going to school early, just to meet with us. So yeah we have some work to do there to figure out how to continue without Lace sneaking around her mom. Maybe right now just isn't the time for her, but like I said it's a bummer because she's golden. We'll see what happens. She also is just so sweet; she came up and hugged me and said that she missed us, and it was so cute.
     Then this last week we ended up dropping some of our investigators who had baptismal dates but weren't progressing and that was hard. We dropped Helen who I really have come to love, and I adore her little boy, Lester, so it was really hard to think we won't be going back to her. Nonetheless with investigators this week is going to be a week of finding! Yesterday a member Sister Sendon worked with us and gave us some referrals including a family that I'm excited to continue teaching. So we'll see what happens.
     But things are going well here in Carmona. I love Sister Ronquillo. She's a sweetheart, and I'm learning a lot from her. I love you all so much. Thanks for all the support that you give to me while here in the Philippines. I feel so lucky each week to get to hear from each of you. Even Gabey and Hannah this last time:) I had a dream the other night with Gabe and Hannah.
     Oh one more exciting thing that happened... I finished the Book of Mormon this morning:) And man I just love the hour I have for personal study each day. It is such a blessing in my life. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true, and we can grow closer to our Savior by reading it. I did the challenge where you highlight all the names of Christ, his words, his attributes, and the doctrines contained in the scriptures, and I learned so much. The Book of Mormon has been such a blessing to me my whole life.
     Anywho take care. Tell Cameron that he has an aunt in the Philippines that loves him very much:)  Ingat kayo lahat!

Mahal na mahal ko kayo!
Sister Stromberg