Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Your Elder from President Bruce M. Cook

I received this letter some time ago and meant to forward a copy on to you.  We appreciate your son and the good work he is doing in our mission.  Thank you for lending him to us for two years.

Bruce M. Cook
Mission President
California Carlsbad Mission
451 West Bobier Drive
Vista, California 92083

March 26, 2013 - hey howdy hey #2

Oh yeah!

gift of tongues moment!
yesterday I had a full conversation with Lucy, a babysitter who watches one of the families I am teaching. it wasnt a huge deal, but I didnt know I still remembered any spanish, and I actually had a legit conversation with her about food, babysitting, my ambitions in life and about the church. it was cool!

March 26, 2013 - hey howdy hey

Hey just got your package! thanks for the Apron, that will be nice!

Also thanks for the gift cards, we are pretty much out of money for this month haha so we are going to use those fa-show

Sorry I didn't take any pics this week, we have been super busy and there is nothing exciting any more. I was in Laguna Beach for 48 hours with a Zone Leader but we were super busy, we taught a family that lived in a HUGE house with an elevator in it, on the cliff over looking the ocean. the room we taught them in was the game room with legit poker tables and a craps table. a safe full of cash no doubt, and a full bar with a bartender employed haha. their son just got baptized last year, and the dad is a very inactive member. but they are nice, and support their son. they showed us around their place and it felt like being at the forum shops in vegas.

The next transfer is in two weeks, it should be pretty interesting to see what happens, I will most likely get a new comp, but don't know if I will stay or go. most likely I will stay, but I feel like I will be sent somewhere else... but idk.

Sorry not a  very good letter today,

hope everything is good

Elder Strong

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 19, 2013 - Pictures

 "Tony threw a St. Pattrick's day party"
 "Elder Anderson with a box on his head"
 "Ed Hunter (on the right) took us to Olive Garden for his B-Day with bro Chinnique"
"Border of our mission"

March 19, 2013 - another week down

This last week was kinda crazy, Tony drug tested one of our investigators and it came out negative, so I hope that he is really off of drugs. oh by the way, I may have given a convicted felon your guys' names and Email address's, his name is johnathen allen, so be careful with that haha.

Ed Hunter took us to Olive garden for his Birth Day, he told us the gift he wanted from us is to order meals over 25 dollars haha. so we happily gave him that gift. Brother and Sister Lewis took us to a steak house the next day too so we were pretty spoiled this week.

Elder Anderson has been having a hard time with something, so he has been in a down mood lately, and super irritable, so that hasn't been fun. I wish I knew what I could do, it seems like something big because we usually can work through things and get back on track. But, tomorrow we are going on exchanges with the Zone Leaders so I will be in Laguna Beach again, for 48 hours, looking forward to it :) haha 

Lola, Tony's daughter told us she wants to get baptized, she recently found some good feelings towards "mormon church" so we are excited to do that for Tony. she is 8 but has been violently against getting baptized in the past. I think it is because we have been hanging out with her and Tony so much. hopefully this will spark Tony's other daughter, Sabrina to want to get more involved. It is a situation that is really hard to understand from the outside, but being involved so much with the family has helped a lot. 

sorry that not much is going to to write about, love you so much!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elder James Riley Strong quotes

"It is funny how I pray about everything I do and say now, even emails. I just want to make sure God is involved in every aspect of my life.,"

"The Lord has taught me this last month that I need to rely on him more than I rely on other people."    

Elder James Riley Strong

March 12,2013 - Caminando con Cristo (Walking with Christ - well I guess he is picking up some Spanish)

Dear Parents,

Another week. They go by way faster than you think. The Days are long like a 12 hour shift at work but the weeks happen all at once. 

Nothing visually interesting happened this week, so no pictures, but next week I will be in Laguna Beach again, but for 48 hours with a Zone Leader this time. So who knows what is in store for me. 

This week I realized a lot about how I have changed just from being on my mission and from being here in Orange County. Also I have realized why I have been assigned to this area that I am in right now. I don't know why I was called to the Carlsbad Mission yet, because I could still be re-called to the Irvine Mission. I think our Mission President, President Cook is already trying to receive inspiration on who he should have be sent into the new mission because he said to all of us through the Zone Leaders "To those who will be Irvine Missionaries in the new Irvine Mission; I am not sending you there because I think you are not fit to serve in the Carlsbad Mission, It is because the Lord wants you to be in that Mission." I know it is still a little ways off, but it is in the back of everyone's mind, which mission they will serve in for the remainder of their mission.

Things have been a little rocky. As a mission we have set a goal for 300 baptisms by July, 1st. That is when the mission will be split. If you break that down, it means each companionship needs to supply 2-3 baptisms in the next 3 months. Our area has had 3 baptisms in the last 4 years. The people we are working with now are really touch and go, it is really hard to tell how they are progressing. But we are moving forward in faith to do the things that we have been counseled to do. Things that lead the lord to trust you with someone who is prepared to change their life.

I don't really know what else to say, I feel like the exciting things that I wrote about before are still happening, they are just becoming a part of my life now. I think it is really easy to get jaded as a missionary, I want to work on making sure I don't overlook all of the little things that are significant. 

There is a member named Paul Pucillo in my ward, he is probably in his 60's and he has over 106,000 names on his family tree. He has connected himself to tons of celebrities like Brad Pitt, Jennifer Anniston, Audree Hepburn, Johnny Cash, and he has linked himself to all of the Presidents of the Church as well. He asked me if I could get him some of my names to do my genealogy  so I gave him a 4 generation chart.... last week he gave me 2 reams of paper of genealogy from Great Grandpa Nelson all of the way back to Adam and Eve. haha He said the church didn't have a ton of records for any of the other names I gave him, but they had a ton for the Nelson side. He has this really rare chart that the church used to make called the Royal Line or something like that, and if you can trace back to anyone near the bottom of it, he can take you back to Adam. We specifically come through a line through one of Judahs twins, Zarah I think? the story is in Genesis 36 if I am not mistaken. Its a pretty funny story, you should read it, if I am wrong about the reference, it is somewhere around there, the other twins name is Parez, and he is the line where Joseph comes from, and you can find that to cross reference in Matthew 1.

Well, I gotta go, love you!

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013 - Missionary dinner

We enjoyed a great dinner tonight with your sons. Hopefully they tolerated our crazy kids.  We sure enjoy having them in our home. They serve as such a great example to our children and we love the spirit they bring into our home.
We will have them again soon.
Take care,
Emily M.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 5, 2013 - Email to Dad

Dear Dad, things are going great, it is really good weather, except it is cold when it rains. I am adjusted to the climate already, which means I am a wuss now, and it is cold if it is lower than 65. It is a mission wide rule for us to run 30 minutes every morning, I hope that the new mission president keeps that rule, because I want to make that a lasting habit. you should feel how firm my legs are from all of the hills here! haha and I have been trying to pair that up with eating healthy, but between all of the junk food everyone sends me and members happily spooning vanilla ice cream into our mouths, I'd say there is room for improvement. I make grilled chicken for lunch and a salad with that usually, also have been making rice with terryaki chicken, I love cooking!

 Thanks for taking care of the Subaru and all of my junk haha, it means a lot.

Take care, Love you


On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM, Scott Strong <scottstrong73@hotmail.com> wrote:

How are things in the Sun?  It has been getting a little warmer here, almost 35!!  I hope things are going well with you.  I have been doing about the same as usual, I got the fish tank up and am trying to sort a couple things out with the filter system before adding fish.  I threw in some feeders and killed most of them in the filter system.  I am getting ready to go paint the bumper on the Subaru and clean it up to sell, I sold your propane kit off the Toyota yesterday.  I also have some leads for the rest of your parts.  My shoulder keeps giving me trouble, I worked out last week and don't feel like i can now.  I am going to just have to start running a lot more so I feel like i'm in better shape.  Do you still get up and run?  I hope you do that your whole mission.  I was so happy to be with Sue when she took her last breath last week, it was so hard to do but It was like she was waiting for me.   

Let me know if you need something, I love you and am so proud of you.

Love Dad

March 5, 2013 - Possibly part of the new Mission

Dear Mom & Dad

I am sad to hear about Sue, but I am happy it went easy for her.

These last few weeks have been awesome. Better than ever so far. It’s our second transfer together and we are getting along perfectly. I just had to get a new idea of how missions work. There are a lot of different things that effect how everything goes, and so far I think that our area is far from stereotypical.

Interesting piece of info from the Mission President; The Laguna Niguel (my zone) and all of the other Zones in Orange County that are currently in the Carlsbad Mission will be added into the Irvine Mission in July, along with Newport and Irvine from the Anaheim Mission. So basically, if I am in the Zone I am in now, in July (I probably will be) I will be reassigned to serve in the brand new Irvine Mission.

Pretty crazy! We will see what happens there!

My Companion is a District Leader. And District Leaders have to go on a 24 hour exchange with every Elder in their District every transfer. And since he is my companion, that means I have to also. So, yesterday I was in Laguna Beach, with the singles ward Elders. Elder Kempton was the Elder I was with. It was a good chance to experience the reason why everyone thinks this would be a fun mission. Since it was a singles ward, we were basically just trying to meet up with less active members and former investigators. And since we were in Laguna Beach, it was the most beautiful day ever! No one was home, and no one in Laguna Beach could be bothered by a couple of missionaries so we didn’t get to have a very fruitful day, but it was nice to see the ocean that I can’t see from my area. It made me feel so mellow, and took a lot off of my shoulders. I think it is because of how small it made me realize I was. The ocean is huge! And there are a ton of people in this world haha.

The Mission Office has told us a few things about mail, and I forgot to tell you some things as well. First, my mission doesn’t do Dear Elder. Second, make sure you put the appropriate postage on things, the mission wont pay on postage due mail. And last, make sure you put my full name on anything you send to me.

Not a whole lot to report on. I feel pretty settled in to missionary life, I love my ward here and how things are going for us. I love all of you J

Elder Strong

March 5,2013 - a few pictures of the week

"This is a view of Irvine from the most Northern part of the Carlsbad Mission"
(Irvine is the new mission they are creating)
"Cruised down the PCH!"
(He is speaking the language again. PCH = Pacific Coast Highway)
(Look at my sweetie in the side view mirror)
 "went to Laguna Beach!"
 "Tony bought me King Kong socks off of Ebay!"
"Tony bought me VANS!"
(This Tony sounds like a great guy!)