I don't like it :(

Hello Family!
     Wow, I can't believe you have SOOoo much snow! As I looked at those pictures, I don't even remember what it feels like to be that cold. Let's hope that it warms up a bit before April. Oh, good ol' Cache Valley:)
     So first before I forget... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Bethany!!!! Sorry, I haven't found any spare minutes to write you a card like last year, but I love you a lot and hope you have such a great day! Same to my cute nephew CAM!!! Man, that blows my mind he's turning one! Ahhhh those pictures of Cam and Aiden were SOOOoo adorable! Man , I have the cutest pamangking ever!!    
     So yeah this week, to tell you the truth, I was thinking about it this morning, and it wasn't too eventful. We just worked, worked, worked. Our investigator, Macmac, who is 11 is getting close to his baptism. He lives with his grandma and grandpa who are members, and he is SO smart for an 11 year old. Because he's living with them, we have permission that he can be baptized, and he's SO ready. He reads every day, even in D&C. He's been taught by other missionaries before and remembers most of it. He was so cute this last week; he gave us roses for Valentine's Day. He was the only one to give us a gift. So yeah he will probably be baptized the 3rd week in March.
     We also just started teaching Melody, a nanny for a member, who is SO prepared! Our first lesson she opened up and said that she was so interested in learning. She told us her whole life she's never even held a Bible or really prayed. At the end of the lesson we were able to give her a baptismal date of March 30 which she happily accepted. Then when we went back for the second lesson, she explained that she was nervous to ask her parents for permission to change religions since she's only 21 because a few years ago her older sister wanted to, and they didn't allow it. But she said that she prayed, and when she called them, they said it was up to her, whatever made her happy. She said she was so surprised, and she knows that it was because of her prayers. She's so awesome!
     Then this weekend we ended up having a CSP for a member who is a dentist. She just moved offices so we cleaned out her old office for her. That's about all that comes to my mind this week. Sorry this is probably a boring e-mail.
     Sister Tuia is doing great. You say her name “tuya.” This Wednesday we are finishing up our first transfer together which I know you're not surprised to hear that it went by so fast! Just like every other one. And it will be no surprise that this next one will fly by. I don't like it:( Although I'm so excited to see each and every one of you . . . well you know how it is. As I work through where I’m going to live spring and fall semesters, man, I don't even want to think of this all, but it's going to come up right after I go home so it's have to get it taken care of.
      Oh you mentioned the new missions that are opening up!! Isn't that so exciting??!!! Yeah they told our mission before it was announced in church news. My first area, Carmona and then Novaleta as well will be in the Cavite mission. Our mission will be splitting which is so crazy! So exciting as well! This transfer day we're getting two new missionaries here in Mandaluyong, and they’re making a Manda 4th ward. They're opening up like seven new areas this transfer, I think I heard. It's so awesome!
     Well have a great week, and give little Cam a big hug and kiss for his birthday from his aunt that's far, far away. Love you all so much.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Stromberg



Happy Valentine's Day!!
     Ahhh, I just received an e-mail from the office about my travel itinerary! Time is going by WAY too fast! This last week we had our zone conference, and always at the end they have the missionaries who are going home bear their testimonies. Well, guess whose name was on the program under the Going Home Missionaries . . . yep, Sister Stromberg. I couldn't believe it. After the conference Sister Stucki came up and also commented about how fast it has gone, and she was in shock that I was one of the Going Home Missionaries. Crazy!
     We had a great conference but actually got chastised quite a bit from President . . . in a loving way. This last January the work in the whole mission was the lowest it's been in years. So we were given a lot of new instruction on what we need to be focusing on and what we need to improve. So hopefully we can implement that as a mission this month and in the months to come.
     This week once again we were led by the Lord to those waiting for the gospel. Last week we were led to investigators, but this week we were led right to some of our less actives. The first instance we were just standing waiting for two of our ward missionaries to meet us, and a brother, Elvin, walked right up to us; said, "Sister!"; and shook our hands, "I'm a member." Then he went on to tell us he had moved here and was now working here and happened to live in our area and wanted to know where our church was and what time. Then he went on to tell us how his brother was an RM and how he used to go and work with the missionaries and such. He's 27 now. We talked for a minute, and then he had to run to get to work on time. Then Sunday, what do ya know? He came to church!:)
     Then that same night we went to try and contact a referral that the elders gave to us, and it was at a condo. The guard went upstairs to check if Maria was there at her condo, and while we were waiting, Sister Tuia and I were just talking in Tagalog when a lady rushed right past us. When she heard that we were talking in Tagalog, she whipped around and asked if there was someone there that we were visiting. Then we started talking to her and found out that she was a member as well. She took us up to her condo, and her 21 year old son was also there (future missionary!). She was really excited about us being there, and they are super nice. We shared with them, and then, sure enough, they too came to church yesterday! The neat thing about that story is earlier that day Sister Tuia and I were having our weekly planning session, and we talked about how we need to stop speaking English to each other and speak more Tagalog and what do ya know? Because we were speaking Tagalog, this lady realized we were missionaries, and it caught her attention so we could talk and share the gospel with her. So yeah that was such a neat day, and we felt so blessed that the Lord placed us in the right places that day to meet those who really needed the missionaries.
     Mom, to answer your question: as far as Valentine's Day goes, it was just like every other day, except everyone on the streets were sure to greet us as we walked by with a "Happy Valentine's Day!" Then we did have a great dinner with the Kiemel family. I don't know if I told you about them, but it's an American husband and Filipino wife. They have the CUTEST kids! And they made us homemade pizza and apple pie!:) So that was great to have a good ol' American dinner!

 Cristina, Mom & Dad's new Facebook friend, 
with the peace sign and the hand on her hip

     Hmmm . . . that's about all I have for you today. I was worried a little this last week. Cristina one day told me that she was looking at pictures from Mom's Facebook and saw the two twins. She then asked me who they were. I was so confused, and for a minute thought, “ . . . oh, man, they better not have pulled a "Jasen" on me. I know you know what that means:) haha I was a little worried Kip and Nicole had new baby twins for a minute, haha, but then I told her to look again and tell me their names. She told me they were Cameron and Aiden. To Filipinos all Americans look the same, at least that’s what they always say. So yeah I was worried for a minute, haha.
Aiden & Cameron were opening their presents from Grandma Pat 
 They looked so cute in their little hoodies
 . . . that everyone exclaimed, "Awwww!"
. . . and it scared Aiden.
     But yeah, everything's going great here. We have so much work to do and not enough time. That's been the story of my whole mission up to this point. It's a good thing they're sending more missionaries out because we sure can use more!!
     Well I love you all and hope you have a great week. Love you all so much!

Sister Stromberg


     Hello Family! Yes, we did have our baptism this last week, and what a great day it was. Well actually when we first got to the church, we were a little nervous if the baptism would actually happen. Our ward mission leader had gotten to the church three hours before the baptism was scheduled to start filling up the font, and when we got there 15 minutes before the baptism, the water was maybe mid calve... yeah the water was coming out really slow. So we started praying and thinking of other ways we could get water. As we were going around the church talking with Bishop and the others members, investigators started showing up. Then the most exciting thing was Christian's mom showed up. We've had a few opportunities to teach his mom, and she is SO nice. The other day we went and just kind of chatted with her. She told us that she really wants to come to church, but she has a new baby, 3 months old, and her husband doesn't want her taking the baby out of the house where the air is so dirty and such. But she's encouraging her younger children to go to church with Christian because she really likes the change she's seen in him.

     I think I told you before that Christian is one of the quietest people I know. Even when he does speak, his voice is just so quiet. Sometimes that makes it hard to teach, but as we got to know him more, he really opened up more. I asked his mom one day if he is just as quiet at home with their family. She told me that his whole life he's been really, really quiet. But she also told us that the times that he is the loudest and happiest at home is Sundays, right when he gets back from church. Isn't that neat? When she told me that, it made me smile pretty big. I love seeing in others’ lives how understanding gospel principles, changes behavior. He also has worked with us a few times and is starting to open up little by little. The SA's told me that he went to mission prep class and raised his hand and shared. Then he told me how he is preparing to serve a mission, and when I talked to his mom, she said the same thing. She also said she is so supportive and thinks that would be great for him.

     Yeah so that's just a little about Christian, but back to the baptism: so we were SO excited to see his mom there because that's the first time that she's been inside the church, and her husband gave her permission to go. But then we're back to the problem that it was supposed to start at 4:00, and it was going to be 7 or 8 at night before the font was filled. So Bishop and some of the brothers went to this business close by and got buckets of water and brought them back to fill up the font. Well that didn't make a huge difference. So then they went outside and fixed 2 hoses, then brought them in through the window, and started filling it up with the hoses. Well before we knew it, our prayers had been answered, and we had a full font!:) YAY! So we started the program and it went so well. We had two great speakers. Sister Tuia and I sang with a ukulele "When I am Baptized" inTagalog:), my favorite song! One of our ward missionaries Christina Archisola is posting it on Facebook she said so you'll have to find it. Dad I think she said you two were friends, but I don't know. Then Christian bore such a neat testimony. It was simple and short, but he talked about how at first he just went to church because his friends were there, and he thought it would be fun. But then he said as he got to know the gospel and saw it helped him in his life when he was sad or having a hard time, his reason to go to church changed, and he couldn't describe the feeling. It was really neat. What a blessing it has been to see Christian come to know his Savior and see the change in his life. So it turned out such a great day. Mom, the other boxers actually didn't come, but we are having a FHE later tonight with all of them.
     Oh another exciting thing that happened this week is Sister Ronquillo or should I say Claubelle, as an RM, came and worked with us:) She lives in Quezon pretty close so it was so fun to see her again and have her teach with us again. She was my second companion here in the mission so a lot has changed since we taught together in Carmona.
     This whole week we had a lot of what Sister Tuia called last night "little miracles." Heavenly Father led us right to his children that really needed our help this week. We found two new investigators this week who as we just started talking to them, they opened right up, and next thing we knew they were in tears. One of them was sister Tess who told us that the night before she had been praying and asking Heavenly Father what she was doing, what was her purpose here, and what she was supposed to be doing with her life. Her dad passed away two years ago, and it's still hard for her. She told us that she passes the time by playing games on Facebook because she doesn't want to think of it. Even though she said she's not really the game playing type. Then she said when she looked out her window, she saw us outside talking to her neighbor who is actually one of our members. She then went outside and was just standing on her porch, not really sure what she was going to do. So she just kind of stood there.
     Then we were asking our member Brother Jimero if he had any referrals for us, and he said he couldn't think of any. Then we asked about his neighbors and kind of pointed to the lady that was out on her porch. Then he said, “Well she's 7th day Adventist, but why not? I'll introduce you to her.” Then that's how it all started.
     Also Saturday night after the baptism, we felt that we should go visit one of our less active members we hadn't seen in a while. We went and shared with them, and their 3 year old little boy wasn't feeling well at all. Sister asked me if I could please give him a blessing. haha I then explained that I had no priesthood so that wouldn't be very effective. But then we assured her that we would come by the next day after church with some priesthood holders. Well when we went to visit them, we found out right after we left their house, they ended up going to the hospital. So we then proceeded to walk to the Mandaluyong hospital where sister was with little CJ. She looked so relieved as she saw us walk in the doorway. Our great ward missionaries offered the blessing, and after the blessing sister just sat and cried and cried. She was so touched. It was a really neat experience. There is SO much power in the priesthood, and I am so grateful for that blessing in our lives.
     So yeah Sister Tuia was right on when she said we saw a lot of "little miracles" this past week. This past week as a mission we've really been focusing on exercising more faith, and I know without a doubt our little miracles were the result of the faith we have been exercising. So we are just doing great.
     Oh and I have a favor to ask you, Mother: so Bishop's son Kevin is going to Angeles mission as well, and I'm pretty sure he will be in the same batch as Brynn:) Kevin is working with us a lot, and he is so awesome! Well now in the MTC in Provo, they have little mini Preach My Gospels. Sister Tuia has one, and Kevin just thought it was so cool. Well they don't have any here in the Philippines. So do you think there is any way you could ask Brynn to get one in the MTC, and then when she meets Elder Evangelista, give it to him?? Is that too much to ask?:) I know Kevin would love it. AND when you talk to her, tell her I'm so excited for her, and she will ABSOLUTELY LOVE it!!
     Okay what else, oh Dad, about the going home thing, President said he was afraid it was too late to change when I go home, so it will be April 10th. He said that he will let me call the Dagot family when I stay at the mission home and chat with them, but I wouldn't be able to be at the sealing. So yep that's the news. I'm about out of time, so I think that's all I have for today. Love you all so much! Have a great week and a Happy Valentine's Day!:)

Mahal ko Kayo!
Sister Stromberg


I have the greatest calling in the whole world!

Good Morning FamilY!
      How has your week been? It's been another great, really fast week here in Mandaluyong! So before I forget, I just received an e-mail from Janeth from Palawan, and she told me that my "grandpa" here in the mission, Tatay Dagot and Nanay are getting ready to be sealed in the Manila Temple on April 15! Ahhh that makes me SO excited! But I can't believe that it would be right after I would go home. Janeth said that Tatay has been telling her that they are bringing fresh cashews for me and can't wait to see me. Yeah so I'm thinking I will write president, and if they haven't already bought plane tickets, see if there is anyway I can stay to be with them in the temple and then go home. I don't know how you feel about that, and I have no idea if it's even possible, but you don't know 'till you ask right? So just thought I'd let you know that I'm asking president today and will probably have an answer next week. I would love to see them because they are the family we helped reactivate. We visited them every week. We reactivated Tatay, and then once I was transferred, I heard that Nanay also returned which was a miracle because she was always sick before and due to health reasons couldn't make it to church. But they said they've been working really hard even if it is difficult for them to get to church because they really want to make it to the temple. Wouldn't that be just the best way to end my mission? Yeah so we'll see.
     So anyway, for this week we had such an amazing testimony meeting yesterday in our ward. It started off with our less active, Tatay Luis, who we have been working with that just yesterday became active. He also just Saturday was able to go to the temple and receive his endowments. He actually has an interesting story because he was really active before and even worked with the missionaries before though he's in his 60s. But last July when he wanted to get ready to go to the temple, they weren't able to give him his temple recommend. They said that he needed to get an annulment from his wife that he had been separated from for 22 years. Here in the Philippines that's SO expensive and is SO rare that any Filipino can afford that. Then also they said he had some WOW problems also. Well then he got offended that they wouldn't give him a temple recommend and that started his becoming less active. Well Sister De Leon and I visited him and have been working with him each week until he exercised his faith and came back to church. Then last Saturday he received his endowments! And then he shared the best testimony to start our meeting.
     Then we had a bunch of our ward missionaries share about their preparing for missions and the experiences that they've had. We have seven of our YSA right now that are all working on their papers and getting ready to serve! It's so awesome! Then man I can't even explain, but the spirit was so strong in that meeting. I was crying; Sister Tuia was crying; and our less active Shirly that was sitting next to us was also crying. All the members in our bishopric shared their testimonies, and it was just an unforgettable meeting for me. I haven't cried like that in sacrament in a while. I'm usually too caught up in our investigators and less actives, making sure they have a friend to sit by and are having a good experience. But it was such a good Sunday.
     Then Bishop invited us to his house last night to attend their Family Home Evening, and, man, I just love that family. They’re just so neat and all are so close, and I loved being with them for their family night. Oh and yes Christian did pass his interview and will be getting baptized this Saturday! We're really excited for him. He's such a stud!
     Oh so your questions about Sister Tuia: she grew up in Samoa but went to three years of high school at East High in Salt Lake and stayed with her grandparents. But after high school went back to Samoa because she likes it better there in the islands. Her dad's a bishop, and she's the first of her siblings to serve a mission. All the Samoans and Tongans and missionaries from Australia and New Zealand (Sister Afu) go to the MTC in Utah to learn the language and then go to Philippines. All the missionaries coming from Asian countries go straight to the Manila MTC and are only there for 19 days. The sad part about that is even the Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, and Chinese don't get to learn any language in the MTC. It all just comes when they're in the field. I don't know why, but that's just how they do it. But I heard they're working on changing that so all missionaries serving in the Philippines will come here to the MTC. But they're going to need a bigger MTC first.
     So yeah I think that answers your questions. As far as registration, when it gets closer to register for fall classes, I can ask President for an extra hour on the internet and check what classes they are offering and let you know. Right now I have no idea what I want to take or what's available or teachers or anything. Just let me know when it's closer to registration. 
     Okay well I think that's about all for today. I love you all so much. I love being a missionary! I have the greatest calling in the whole world! Life is great; live it up! Take care!

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Stromberg