Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30 2013 - pictures

 Riley was able to baptize Sheryl before he got transferred. 
Mistletoe Street on December 25th 
(I love Riley's sense of humor! I hope he never changes)
I know from my Christmas call that this is Riley's new companion Elder Campbell. 
He is from Mesa Arizona and has been in the mission field about 6 weeks and he as been in this area his whole mission. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 25,2013 - Phone Call Home

We had a great hour long Skype session with Riley on Christmas Day.

It was really nice to see his face. 
He bore his sweet testimony a little until he got emotional and lost his train of thought
"This is what I've learned, In the end it's not all about just being a member of the church, it's about following Heavenly Father. It's about listening to Heavenly Father or not because it comes down to following the prompting of the spirit in prayer.

December 23, 2013 - Christmas

hey, luckily i got permission to email you to tell you that I will call on christmas between 1-3 California time.

love you

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16, 2013 - Pictures

 The KROGHS! they are the best. Kathleen is 15 Danny is 11. PDay at the Kroghs is my favorite place to play Monopoly
 Pretty decent Sushi
 Elder English. It was a PERFECT day.
 Elder English and I setting up the Woodland Viallage Christmas Tree
that is our christmas tree in our appartment

December 16, 2013

Well, I am getting transferred after all. 7 1/2 months here was a trip. I got to know a lot of people and I am really happy with how things worked out. I think one more transfer would have been a little too long, so it worked out just right, I have today to say my goodbyes and teach a few more lessons, so I am happy. :)
I have no idea where I could go. I don't even have a thought of where it could be. I just want to see another part of the mission and meet more people.

Any ways. This week was really busy, we did a lot of service. We built Bethlehem for a thing that this Methodist Church does on christmas. It was tons of fun, it took FOREVER. We had used sheets of ply wood framed with 1x2's and srewed them all together, and painted, and made everything look like it was authentic with staw and palm leaves. I am happy that we got to do it.
Any ways, hope everything goes ok for the holidays. talk to you on christmas!

Elder James Riley Strong

December 10, 2013

So this has been a great week. And this next week is gong to be VERY VERY BUSY. We have service projects a few of the days, for interfaith and local churches in the area. This Saturday we will get our calls for transfers, and we have NO IDEA what could happen. I should be leaving since I have been here for 7 1/2 months, BUT English should be leaving since his family just moved into Escondido... I guess we will have to see what happens.
We had a service project in Del Mar, where we cleaned up a free dental clinic that happened over the weekend. they serviced over 2500 underprivileged people. After that got over, we drove up the coast through Solana Beach and Cardiff to this Mexican place in Encinitas. It was a lot of fun! I have loosened up a lot these last few transfers, the missionaries in my mission have been a lot less strict, or straight laced since we got a new mission president. A lot of things that happen were unheard of with President Cook. I don't know how to take it. I don't want to drop down to a lower level, but I know that if I don't at least a little bit, then I am expecting more from missionaries than my mission president does. So, it is a struggle for me. It's funny because our mission is still a lot more strict than most missions are...
I think I told you about Sheryl, she is getting baptized on the 21st of December! ah yeah! it's going down! it went from a few months out to in 2 weeks! we have already set up everything to make it happen, and chose hymns, and people to speak. She is living all of the commandments and is sharing the gospel with EVERYONE. I don't know why I was blessed with so many rock solid investigators.. I don't ever teach a ton of people, but looking back, almost all of the Investigators that my companions and I have taught more than once have been baptized.... hmm.
So that's that. pretty awesome, I think.
Next week is the transfer meeting/ Christmas Conference, and Sister Kendrick asked me if I would be the Photographer! yeah! that's why I had you send me my camera equipment. I have to say, It has made me remember how much of a nerd I am. The sad part is, a missionary shouldn't walk around with a big slr around his neck to take pictures of things, so it just sits under my bed until pday when I can take pictures of elder English eating almonds.
I hope that everything works out for you.
It has been freezing here. I am glad I bought that trench coat from Costco, it rained ALL DAY last Thursday. and it has been fine since then. Yeah, my mission is pretty awesome.
Love ya!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013 - Pictures

 Donavin's 5 B-day cake for breakfast at the Slater's 
 One of my favorite people Jerry (non member, married to a recent convert) gave me his old leather jacket. so awesome haha
Thanksgiving via care package

December 2, 2013

Dear Family, this is me, Elder Strong
So, these last few weeks have been realllly slow and hard. It has been "cold" and everyone hides in there house and thinks that you are literally insane to be outside if it looks like it might rain. Plus, on Thanksgiving, no one really wanted to remember that we excited. When we left the apartment on Thursday, we had to psych our selves up a little to get motivated for it, and the first guy we talked to, literally 50 ft from the door went like this "WOW, YOU PEOPLE DO THIS EVEN ON THANKSGIVING???? THAT'S GREAT" imagine that but in an annoyed, and disappointed tone of voice. SO, needless to say, it was a long holiday.
We went to a really cool families house for dinner though, they are the Cranney's. they live in rural San Marcos, Bro. Cranney is a farm animal veterinarian, and sister Cranny is a REALLY good cook, so it was pretty awesome. all four of us were together, so that is like a security blanket for us, it is a treat for us to eat dinner together, I don't really like it all of the time because it makes it hard to get things done.
I was fasting last week because so many things told me to. I started a study on the spirit and I ended up focussing on fasting. then, on exchanges with a Zone Leader, Elder Holmes, while we were talking about the work in my area, he looked at me and said, "I don't know why, but I just feel like I should tell you to fast". SO, I did. It is interesting how many times the Lord has to tell me that I need his help before I ask him for it. I guess I am just stubburn and try to handle everything on my own.
So what happened? Sheryl.
Sheryl was one of Steve's friends he brought to church a while back. I have met with her afew times but that is it. she doesn't have a perminant residence so it was hard to meet up. She came with Steve last week and had read from 1st nephi to 3rd nephi since that last time we had met, and she told me that she wanted me to baptize her. It was pretty crazy. she is SOOOOO ready, I think she has a better testimony of the Book of Mormon than most of the missionaries I know. It is breath taking to hear her speak about it.
Well, gotta go,


November 25, 2013

They put new computers in the library!! they are so nice!
I feel like my emails are campared to Hermana Pattons and hers was a really good one this week. All I have to say is that I just organized my inbox finally, and put labels on everything so that on Pday everything is neat and I get more things done. Of course, the week was filled with productivity and teaching, but just the same old stuff. We picked up a couple of investingators this week, they are SUPER CATHOLIC but they really like us. I just hope we can bridge the gap between "just friends" to "we are joining their church" Missionary work is a lot like dating.
SO, something crazy is going down, Elder English's dad just got made the EP for "Wake Up San Diego" and is moving to Escondido in January.... this probably means that he will be transfered so I will probably end up staying here for another transfer.... what the?! how does that even happen? Out of nowhere his family is moving into the mission, and crazily enough, into the ward right next to the one that we are serving in?
I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week, I got to go to their area, its in Valley Center.... That ward is HUGE the boundaries are larger than all of the Stakes in the mission. It would be like serving full time from Indianola to Mount Pleasant (or something like that) the area looks pretty similar but more hills. It is just a bunch of hillbillies and immigrants. We picked up a guy who lived in a rock and took him to a lesson we taught in a horse stall. and the lesson was in spanish so I was pretty out of the loop. My spanish has been coming back from High School though. From contacting in Escondido on 9th ave. and from reading letters from Hmna P. Not enough to think of the words to teach in though. It was definately different from the rest of the mission. I would be lying if I said there was a lack of variety in this Mission.
The Woodland Village Thanksgiving dinner was pretty awesome. I love that place so much. We were in charge of filling up peoples water, we talked to alot of them while they were waiting for their food. I love being able to serve there so much, I can feel everyone slowly becoming closer to accepting the gospel in their lives. I think that it is important for them, because even though they might be set in the ways of their mortal life, they can be softened in the ways of their spirit life. It's just a whole other ball game. They are wise though, they see where it is god but need help seeing where they need it.
Sorry I am not as good as the other missionaries at writing good letters home all of the time.
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Email to Jason (Jason wanted it on the blog)

Dear Jason,

It's cool to hear that you have a chance to lead in the church. Don't let this time pass by. You will eventually be released and then you will wonder, "what more could I have done" read Jacob chapter 5, and look for the verse that says that. read the whole chapter and try and see what they are talking about in it. It is a really good chapter in the book of mormon, one of the most important. after you read that one, I have a few others that are really good too.

I am a district leader right now, and I help missionaries teach people that are in their areas. It is just like any other calling in the church, it comes, and goes, but while you have the chance to serve, do everything that you can.

Keep up the good work, enjoy your time while you have it, don't waste it on things that aren't important to you.

Elder Strong

November 18, 2013

Dear Loved Ones,

I hope everything is going well for you. Life has been just about the same over here. One of my best friends from the MTC (Elder Neal) got emergency transferred into becoming a Zone Leader. He was serving here in San Marcos as the DL for another District so I was able to serve around him for a little, but, it was a sad trick to pull a fast one on us and take him out. He is serving in Fallbrook now.

I have been in this ward for a long time, for most of my mission. I have a lot of close ties with the ward council and other members. We were at the retirement home that our Relief Society President manages, helping a lady by cleaning her cupboards and putting away all of her dishes because she had a small roach problem (yeah, our lives are really glamorous) and Sister Wilson was helping and explaining to the lady who we were.

"do I need to give them a tip?, do they work here?" the lady asked

"No, these are my two young friends who are missionaries for my church. They help me out here a lot, and they love to do it" Sister Wilson explained

She then stated: "Oh, well I am Presbyterian, and I don't really want to speak about religion.."   

"Don't worry about it Ingred, they aren't like that, they are only here to help you."

"Oh, okay, well I should at least invite them for some coffee." 

Well, you know how the rest of the story goes.

Sister Wilson has only been the RSP for about 4 or 5 months, and that was after she had just moved into the ward. We have worked together a lot with her, to serve the sisters in the ward. And someone who I have met with almost every week, is going through the temple for the first time! Vella is 86 and grew up in Salt Lake, but married a non member. She is going through on the 6th of december to recieve her endowment and get sealed to her husband. She is really really funny, I wish I could email a video of one of our lessons to you, she has a very innocent and curious view of the gospel. 

Tomorrow Elder Packer of the Seventy is coming to our Zone Conference, and I have to put something together for it now. so BYE

Love you 

Elder James Riley Strong

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 12, 2013 - THIS WEEK ON: THE DISTRICT

Something amazing happened. I was on exchanges with Elder Petersen, Elder Boehme was together with Elder English in our area. They had an appointment with one of our new investigators. Elder Boehme has only been out for 6 days and Elder English 6 weeks, but I felt that I should put them together and let them try to do it on their own. They planned the lesson all on their own, and taught her with a member with them. They set a baptismal date! I didn't even tell them that they should try to! they did it all on their own, and the member told me that they did very well in the lesson.

Ahh... it feels good to see my posterity shine haha..... there is some missionary cheese for ya.

There are a ton of good things happening in the district. Hopefully we can keep it going, I am really extra busy for the next 4 weeks with exchanges and planning for district meetings, I like it because it feels like I have a ton more investigators than I actually do.

Sorry that I forgot to tell you that I was going to email today instead of Monday. Basically, if it is a holiday on Monday, P-day will be on Tuesday.

no cool pictures this week, but I found a good way to study the New Testament . Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Thank you Library lost and found.

Love you!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 4, 2013 - Pictures

 Escondido North District before transfers
 B...... at the Halloween party, trunk or treat
"stay Strong and read English".... get it? Elder Strong and Elder English?

November 4, 2013

wow, its November already?

This week we had a trunk or treat at the church. We put out a really big banner to invite everyone, and we called it a "community trunk or treat" and LOTS of guests were there. We even had a few lds families from other wards get invited to it by non members, and when they got there they were very surprised to find it at our building haha. it worked! our ward mission leader didn't know what to do because it never works!

also, something cool I found out: a month or two ago, we went to a members house for dinner, and their 16 year old daughter had a friend over, we will call her "Jane", she was visiting for the week from Oregon. They gave us the heads up that she would be there, so we planned a great lesson that we thought she would like. After the dinner, we had the lesson and the spirit was really strong. I knew that without a doubt that she could feel it. She went to church the next day and the speakers were really good, a new couple who had just moved into the ward, recently married, and graduated from BYU, RM, all of that good mormon stuff. and Jane looks at her friend and says "I want to get baptized" she went back home monday morning, The family sent missionaries to her house, and 3 or 4 weeks later, she was baptized. I love it when things like this happen!

Love you all! Halloween was really fun! not the same, and a little sad, but still fun. 

Gotta go!

Elder James Riley Strong

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 28, 2013 - Pics

 ONE of the raccoon's that we share residence with.
B and her new calling.

October 28, 2013 - No big email this week just a conversation

Riley: haha Mom you say the funniest things! How come it seems like our family got 80% more country once I left? haha, or maybe I just got less 'country' since I've been gone. Either way, it's still funny to me. I'm glad everyone found a way to be more industrious and that Cassie is still going through a Harry Potter phase. people in San Marcos and most of the people in Escondido would be jealous of deer hunting, it is like the Benjamin or Lake Shore of San Diego. A lot of people ask me about hunting when they find out I'm from Utah and I have to teach them a little about it. I remember the time I told grandpa I didn't really care for hunting, but I like the idea of getting your own meat naturally. I felt kind of bad after that. well anyways, sounds fun!

Mom: I think you are turning into a city boy! Lol

I'm glad you think I'm funny! :) 

Riley: well, before I left we all made it seem like those things were apart of our life but we never actually consistently did them. I feel the same but I think I am turning into the person who has to eat his words a lot, because the more I experience life here, the more I love it. I can actually tell when the air gets dry! I never knew there were so many little things in life that added up to make it awesome!

haha what does city boy even mean?

Mom: I'm glad you are loving it! I'm glad you feel your love is awesome!

What do you mean by "I can actually tell when the air gets dry!"????

Riley: haha, maybe someday you will see

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Pictures of the Temple, one in B&W and one with Elder English, Me, Elder Feinauer, and Elder Aldridge (the Zone Leaders)
This Temple trip was really special, there was a missionary who was from Peru who was doing endowments for his grandpa, and then he asked the sealer if he could have them sealed that day, so the Guerrero's, the members that drove Elder English and I, sat in for his grandparents. And after, The President over Sealing (whatever his title is) took a small group of us around and showed us special parts of the temple, and taught us things that were really cool about the architecture and other significant parts of the Temple. and then, we went to an awesome burger joint called "Money Pit" it used to be a bank, and now part of the kitchen is by the vault, and they covered the walls with movie posters that had something to do with Money (The Italian Job, Oceans's 11, ect.) it was a good day.
This is B..........., he is a really funny kid we teach, his Mom is coming back to the church, they have a kinds of geeky stuff in their house, this picture is for Jason

October 21, 2013 - B...... C.....

This is B, she got baptized on saturday and confirmed yesterday. She is 12, and her mom, and two older brothers are members. Her Dad is not a member and wasn't going to let her be baptized, and he doesn't speak English, so we had to have the Spanish Elders pick up teaching her and her family so they could talk to him about being baptized, she wanted to be baptized so badly. 
So weeks passed after we passed her off to the Spanish Elders, and she came up to me during sacrament meeting and said, "Elder Strong, I am getting BAPTIZED!" she was so cute with this huge smile on her face. She comes to church alone with some members, her two brothers are on missions, and her mom stays and helps her dad run a fruit stand. 
Since the Spanish missionaries did most of the teaching, I was able to perform her baptismal interview, and she did a really great job, she is truly accepting the gospel in her life.
I gave her a HLJ ring (Spanish version of CTR) that Hermana Patton sent me, after her Baptism, we had a big Carne Asada celebration!

October 15, 2013 - 10-15-13 pics

 me DESTROYING Elder English in Chess
 Elder English and I at the Bobier Building for a trainers conference.
 a stop sign that says "stop war"
 Corvette ZR1
Elder English and Panda Express

October 15, 2013

Well hello there,

It has been a week. I have learned a lot about myself, as I serve more and more as a district leader. I have found out a lot about our missionaries. I have witnessed the hearts that these Missionaries have. Unfortunately, I have learned a lot of negative things that exist in the missionaries. Lack of drive, lack of focus, lack of ability, disobedience, laziness.... I could go on forever and ever. 

I have found that my issue is, I make everyone around me feel like they are worthless. Elder English quoted the part from SpiderMan, right before the guy goes and kills Uncle Ben, where instead of stopping the eventual gunman, Peter Parker looks at the man and repeats the same phrase "I missed the part where that is my problem".

Apparently I am good at showing everyone the places that they can do better, but I lack in the most important part, helping them become better, and showing them what to do.

I guess my biggest issue is, everyone gets the same training, knows the same rules and has the same schedule, but only a few actually do all of that. So, I shouldn't have to teach them again. But, this is how our Father in Heaven feels. I really need his help to get these missionaries reaching their potential.

On a brighter note, on Wednesday, I get to conduct my first Baptismal Interview! and on Saturday, my great friend Brianna is getting baptized, by my great friend Brother Birch. Man, being a missionary is SO AWESOME.

Love you

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7,2013 - pictures

 the two elders that were sent to me to train, english and despain
 Riley: "I made a ton of taco's for my homies in between conference"
me:  "Those look like Grandma Nelson taco's........Good Job!"
Riley:  "thats how i made them, only i was cheap and didn't put any meat in them, just beans and cheese."
B-day party at the woodland village 

October 7,2013 - 10/7/13 Kerry

This is a lady named Kerry that we met, this set up in her garage is really impressive. We talk to her about every week, we invited her to watch conference on t.v. so we will see how that went. she is really funny and loves it when we stop by, she is always in her garage sewing quilts for people. 

October 7,2013 - 10/7/13

These last few weeks have been pretty intense, I have been impressed by how much time leadership puts into their assignments. wherever my freetime was (i would write in my journal, or read the ensign, or eat) just got filled with making phone calls, planning district meeting trainings and exchanges. I have never in my life had a calander run out of room before, I had to put sticky notes on top of all of the days to fit all of the things that need to be done.
but other than that, conference was really good, I was really impressed by Elder Hollands talk especially. I need to get the ensign so I can go over it again with the notes that I took. Preisthood session was the best, as usual. I know President Hoy (EQP) got a kick out of the talks on home teaching.
We need to find new investigators. All of the ones we have are ready to be baptized, they just have to wait for someone elses ok (Braiden needs his dads permission, Steve needs his P.O.'s permission) but Brianna is good to go for the 19th. We have met a lot of people who we want to start teaching, one in particular, Roni aka "Lolo" is a man from Guam, he is in his 30's, has tribal tatoos all over his body and takes of his shirt whenever we come over, he says its because he feels comfortable around us. He might me moving to Murieta soon, so I fear I will not be able to teach him that much. He gave me all of his info though, so I can look him up.
The problem I am facing now is, I need a stronger testimony on the importance of ordinances. because Lolo is such a christ like man, and his family is really open to us and kind, I get a little bit of a doubt that anything less than the best is instore for them, whether or not I teach them. So that is where I am focussing my studying.
Well, the work is moving forward. I get to look at all of the areas in my district and look at past performance and everyone reports their weeks to me, and I report them to the Zone Leaders. I'ts awesome to make graphs to show how everyones area is going.
By the way, next week Pday is on tuesday. and My cd of The lower lights broke :(
Love you,

Elder Strong

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30, 2013 - Cheasy Missionary Letter

To whom it may concern,

On January 2, 2013, I went into the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT. I really didn't know what I was going to find as soon as I got there. What I found, was that this church, puts a lot of time, energy and resources into making effective missionaries. 

Studying what to teach, practicing to learn how to feel and teach from the spirit. Everything we did was on the Lords time, and was to prepare us for when we would get into the missionary field.

On January 22, 2013, I landed on the airstrip in San Diego, CA. I knew that my Mission President and his wife would be there waiting for all of us, to greet us into the Mission Field. I still did not know what the work would be like, or how I was going to do any of it. I just had a reassurance that the Lord was doing a lot more than I knew that he was, to make the work happen.

Now I know that the amount of time and energy that I saw being spent in the MTC, being used to prepare all of the missionaries there, is not comparable to the amount of time and energy that the Lord uses in the mission field, to bring his children to the fold.

Missionary work is greatly dependent on the members of the church. Bishops, Ward Missions, and other members of the Ward Council are the ones who bring people to the Missionaries who are the ones who teach. If you want an analogy, the missionaries are like washing machines, and people who need to be taught the Gospel are dirty clothes, and the ward members are the ones who throw the clothes into the washing machine, with direction of the ward council and ward mission.

I know that the Lord is with us in the work. He provides the detergent, the fabric softener and the water, he just needs full time missionaries to clean, ward council members to load, and ward families to fold and put away the fresh, clean clothes into the closet.

Thanks so much for all of the support to me, and I know that you can be successful in your own noble efforts as well. 

Love, Elder Strong

September 30, 2013 - Life

Note to mom and dad,

1. I wish I could send you home one of the fish tacos that I've been buying with the money that you sent me. Also, I found a new favorite place to get california burritos

2. my new companion is super funny, He is a really good guy. He is from Lake Mary, Florida

3. Being a District Leader makes me SUPER BUSY. it fills my calendar with tons of extra stuff to do. I have to go on 9 24 hour exchanges in 3 weeks.


September 30, 2013 - Pictures from Pat

Pat sent these pictures to Riley

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 23, 2013 - To Dad for his birthday!

From: James Riley Strong <>
Date: September 23, 2013 4:29:47 PM MDT
To: Scott Strong <>
Subject: Re: sorry.
thanks dad, I love you. things are back to normal, I was just having a moment. It has been hard because Elder Despain has been having a tough time and it affects me a little bit to see him that way. I have kinda been flying solo. but I love him. Happy Birthday, I found this Corvair and bought it for you, it wasn't that bad, so come pick it up!

September 23, 2013 - relaxing pictures

They(someone) built a crazy cool Nauvoo Temple in the parking lot of the mission office in Vista.
A flower at the park
The best burrito from Lupitas.

September 23, 2013

Hey hey hey!
So that whole thing last week was kind of crazy. I think I just needed to decompress a little bit. But from now on I am just going to always say what I want to say in Emails... haha. not that I wasn't most of the time already, I just found that you carry a lot more as a missionary and especially as a trainer.
Well, Transfers are tomorrow, and I will be staying here in the Twin Oaks Valley ward for another two transfers because....(drumroll)........ I'm training again. And I was asked to be a district leader.
So, what I have found is, Heavenly Father has an interesting way of working with me. Whenever I decide I want to eat healthier, I get worse food shoved in my face by members. whenever I want to save money and eat out less, nobody signs up to feed us, whenever I feel overwhelmed, I get more responsibility. He wants me to only care about what is important. I want to baptize more people, there, maybe I will find someone this week. 
Michaels Baptism went great! It was perfect, I would not have expected it to be any other way. the whole thing went like this: we sang, we prayed, 3 min talk, baptized, 3 min talk, we sang, we prayed, we ate cookies, we went home. boom. baptized.
Here is the secret about Steves baptism, he has to wait until he can get off of parole. We are waiting on his attorney to set up a court date because his P.O. says he can get off, but it is taking FOREVER.
Elder Despain is worried because he doesn't know what being transferred is like. poor kid. I will miss him. he has pretty much been the coolest companion. he was a really loyal friend. I knew that he was looking out for me.
Well, that's it everybody.

Elder James Riley Strong

September 16, 2013 - Update on Elder James Riley Strong

Riley has asked me not to share his latest email but let's just say in
terms of ups and downs he is down. I think he is just putting too much
pressure on himself to be perfect. Hopefully he understands he just
needs to do his best and he won't let any of us down including his
Heavenly Father.

Please don't mention him being down in your communications with him
but please keep him in your prayers.

I'm sure this too shall pass.........

Thanks for all of your support and love for my baby.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 9, 2013 - pictures 9/9/13

Probably the best mexi Impala in the world
the chair our friend leaves on his porch just-in-case we show up at his door. Some day he will come to church... someday...
support your local pizza place

September 9, 2013

Did you know that you can order your deceased ancestors patriarchal blessing from 

I just got Grandpa Nelson's (Mark Wayne Nelson), and Great Grandpa Strong's (James A. Strong) in the mail. Apparently they don't have Grandma Jane's on record, or she never got one. Same with James Mark Nelson (great grandpa nelson)

It is really interesting, I feel like it would be great for after a mission, but I don't really have time to read them during studies. 

This week

This week has been pretty awesome. There is a 12 yr old girl that we have been helping to get baptized for 4 years, but her dad wouldn't let her. Her Mom and her older brothers are members but her Dad is not. The biggest problem is that her Dad doesn't speak English, so the Spanish Elders had to help us with it. yesterday at church, Brianna came up to us and said "Elders, guess what!... I'm getting baptized." her cheeks got super red and she smiled in a very thankful and humble manner. I am so happy this is finally happening! on the.. something of October, I just realized that the 5th is General Conference, so that's not going to work.. 

Steve is stoked for his Baptism, he loves everything we give him and really loves being a part of things. I know that whatever happens there is going to be good. I don't know when I am going to be leaving but it will probably be on the 24th of September. Hopefully Steve's will happen on the scheduled September 21st.

Also, a Recent Converts son is getting ready for a Baptism. after the ward split he started getting taught by the other Elders in the ward. when we were working with him he was getting really close, but he is nine, so he has nine year old boy issues. But he is really smart and he is the Ace of his primary class that he has gone to since June, he is totally ready, he just needs to gain an attention span and stop being so stubborn. He told the other Elders that he wants to be Baptized now, and he wants me to baptize him! haha, that little punk always made fun of me and told me that he was going to wait until I left to be Baptized. But it will probably happen this Saturday.

Giving the dirty 'dido a bath!

Anyways, love you! 

-- Elder James Riley Strong

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013 - pictures 9/3

 Elder Thunell and Susan when we were going on a hike.
 Elder Lloyd on the phone while we were on exchanges
Some road I took a picture of for some reason.

September 3, 2013

So this week has been a very busy week.
we had Zone Conference which was tons of fun. It always gets me stoked to do missionary work. Our ward is planning a Halloween party for the community, like a trunk or treat, that should be awesome.
we have been running all over the place to parts of our area we've never been, meeting all kinds of different people. our area is really diverse. mostly I like going to the retirement community that Pat lives in, the people there really like us. They all ask our Relief Society President who is the manager there "Can you tell Brother Strong to come to my apartment to help me move my rug?" This last name is a curse on a mission, or a blessing I guess. But it makes people more comfortable while asking for service, I just wish the Elders Quorum would be less lazy.
I think that you would be happy to know that we passed our appartment inspection this transfer.
President and Sister Kendrick invited Elder Despain and I to the mission home for dinner tonight, and I have never heard of that happening before, so wish us luck. I have no idea in the world as to what is going down. maybe Elder Despain is going to get reassigned or something crazy like that. I just hope that he behaves himself for once... haha just kidding
well thats my letter. there ya go.
P.S. Zoe, I thought is was pretty cool you wrote me in Espanol, feel free to practice more in your letters. I had Brother Wells read it to me, the parts I didn't know, and he says "she is doing great with vocabulary and she will get the rest fine tuned in no time"
An Elder from Mexico is switching to English this tranfer and I asked the AP's to consider me to be his companion. It's a vain disire of mine to teach someone English. Plus, Elder Gonzolez is an awesome missionary.
well, love ya!

Elder James Riley Strong

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013 - pictures

 We got permission to watch the best two years with Elder Thunell and Elder Fitzpatrick. This is Elder Thunell writing a letter on "Tommy the Typewriter"
 Elder Despain eating the reeses bars
 These sour lovers things are good! (I sent these to him for his birthday)
 Chile Rellano!! from Maria our catholic friend. SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD
 The Orthodox Church in our area
We found a guy who does a lot of Rally in the desert, this is his old Porsche.