Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013 - new pictures

 just random pics of the out skirts of our area. Most of the ward is more like sub-urban. but there is a good amount of area that looks kinda like lake shore or Benjamin but more hills.

May 28, 2013 - "The Dirty 'Dido"

So I think you were emailed by some ward members, and possibly had a picture texted to you from my new ward. I am in the Twin Oaks Valley Ward, in the Escondido Stake. My Ward is mostly in the City of San Marcos though. The best part, is that we live in a two bedroom apartment by our selves. so we have our own bathrooms! its pretty sweet to
My new Companion is Elder Barnes, from Rigby, Idaho. He is a bee keeper. and he is going home this transfer. So another one transfer companion. I will have to learn the ward really quickly while Elder Barnes is still here to be able to carry on the work with my next companion.
This area is not like Orange County. It is supposed to be really hot in the summer (we shall see) and it is more humble for sure. It is hard to be a part of a new ward. I will probably never get used to getting transferred.
There are a few investigators in this area that are really close to the church and just need some help to get to the point where they can be baptized. They are converted to the gospel but haven't finished making the steps required to join the church. It is really cool to be with them and to see the testimony that they have.
I have been having really good studies lately, I know that it is because of how consecrated my companion is, and the spirit is a lot stronger and more frequent when we are teaching together. I can tell how much I have grown in the last 6 months (almost) and I hope to keep progressing so I can become fully consecrated too.
I love you both, and hope everything is going well. I think I might have one of our 'free spirited hippy potential investigators' paint my bike  just a thought I had.
Love you, Elder Strong

May 27, 2013 - Memorial Day

While we were hiking Memorial Day I got this GREAT random text.

"Your son helping out at the Memorial Day breakfast."
"I was just returning a favor for the pictures sent to me of my missionaries"

I know for sure I will be paying this happiness forward!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 21, 2013 - Your Missionary

Your son is great he was transferred to San Marcos today Elder Barnes is his companion.

May 21, 2013 - Pictures

"This is my district before transfers, plus the Zone Leaders"

"Me and Ginger Prestwich"

"and some good Chinese Food"
"And this is Jami Leavitt holding some burnt bread"
"Me and Jimmie Cesepedes, she used to be a pro skate boarder and she is SOOOO DOOOOOOPE. Super nice lady and she went to the temple for the first time a few weeks ago"
 "This is me with the Kauvaka Family"
 "This is me riding Pee Wee Hermans Bike"

"Me and Gordon Moses"

May 21, 2013 - Transfers

Hey Mom and Dad.

I think Jami told you, that I am getting transferred. I think whoever I end up with tonight, if they are okay with it, I will have them Email you and tell you where I ended up. I know that wherever it is will be a really good area.

Saying goodbye to Laguna Hills was fun. I am not really sad to leave, except for the people I have met. I am mostly excited to meet more people and experience another area. 

I bought a new suit like I said. It is grey with pinstripes. I will send you a pic of it next time I wear it. It is nice, I got it at Marshalls and it was marked down a lot, and it fits perfect. I also bought a tie with some money you sent me in the last package. It is a brand of tie called Penguin, it is a skinny tie, which I have found out are the coolest. You guys should keep your eyes out for some skinny ties if you ever want to send me some. 

The last couple of weeks have been filled with DRAMA. we had an active member who we are close to "excommunicate" themselves over an issue he had with another member. And 3 of our investigators have decided to not meet with missionaries any more. But, we have been blessed as a companionship, to be able to make it through these hard times. No matter what went wrong, we kept being positive and kept doing our best. Even if we had to tract (knock doors) to keep busy for a few hours(which is painfully ineffective), we still had a good mindset. I think this area is being prepared for great things to happen. If you think of the ward as a individual, it's heart is being softened right now, making room for miracles to be put into place.  

So I am looking forward to a new area. a fresh start. Whiter fields are in my path. I am so excited to see what happens tonight!

how is everyone doing? 

Elder Strong

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013 - picturesss

 A Nova!
(looks a lot like my first car.....I had a 1978 4 door primer Chevy Nova)

I don't have an explanation or an anticipation for the Spanish name tag, I just got it in the mail randomly, I think it was a mistake.

Turtles in a pond

me and Sabrina with Hell's Kitchen on in the background
 me and Lola
Me this morning

May 14, 2013

We met an 18 year old kid named John. We have always seen him around the hood and he has come to church with Tony before. About a Month ago, he sat in on a lesson we taught at the lounge of our apartment complex, after we talked with him for about 30 minutes, he told us that he had to go to the police and turn himself in, because he had a warrant out for his arrest. He had been skipping his probation. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said thanks, then we didn't see him for a while. Turns out, even though it was a juvenile offence he was tried as an adult, and went to county for 20 days. He got out yesterday, and we were the first people he called! He told us that he was fine, and he wanted to meet up with us. Today we saw him and his Mom in the parking lot. She grabbed us and in broken English, asked us if we would take her son to church. John told us since he was in jail, he got clean and wanted to stay clean. He said it was one of the longest times he has been without a hit of Marijuana since he was 14... It is crazy the conditions some people grow up in. It makes me feel so blessed to have my family and the gospel in my life growing up.

I love you so much. You are in my prayers always.

Elder Strong

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 12, 2013 - I miss him more now then I did before.....

He will always be my baby!!!

The Sykpe call didn't work the entire call but we saw him for a minute.....
Thank goodness we still could talk to him on the phone for our hour.

I'm not sure I liked it or not though......I miss him more now.

May 12, 2013 - Happy Mother's Day!

This is why I didn't get an email Tuesday.

Tuesday night Bishop called and asked Jason to be the Youth speaker sunday. He told Jason to come to his house and get his topic.....................this is what he gave Jason to read.


Thanks for sending all of us our Email addresses, it will be nice to keep in touch with the other missionaries from the ward. Also, thanks for the counsel on the new Email standards change. I would really appreciate it if you read this in Sacrament Meeting, and made my Mom and Dad cry.

Being in the California Carlsbad Mission has been a life changing event so far. Even though I have only be in the field for 4 1/2 months, I know that being set apart as a Missionary is a powerful and eternal calling. I observe and am apart of,  the ways that Heavenly Father guides his children to be included into the Shepherds Fold. 

One experience I have recently had, that I feel impressed to share at this time, was one that touched my heart. 

In the ward that I am currently serving in, there are a lot of members that live in a retirement community. There is one sweet sister who is bound to a chair, and often feels that she cannot perform the work of the lord. 

The Priests administer the sacrament to her most Sundays,  when she feels well enough for company, and a few weeks ago, they brought the Youth Choir with them to sing a hymn that they had been practicing. 

One of the 12 year old beehives in the choir, has never been baptized, her family is fully active and she has always participated in church activities. But when she was 8, she didn't want to be baptized. She is very shy, and avoids most one on one talks with church members, but has a beautiful singing voice. 

After the Choir sang, and the Sacrament was administered. The Chair-Bound Sister was very grateful for the sweet music of the youth. She was mostly impressed with the Beehive, who's voice seemed to be calling out to her, and her mind was fixated on her in particular. Throughout the week, she thought about the girl, and asked her Husband if he knew anything about her. Her Husband then told her about the girls shyness and that she had refused to be baptized. She woke up the next morning with an impression that she could not shake. She remembered of a friend of hers, who had passed away last year. Her friend was a 12 year old girl who volunteered at the Senior Center. They had become very close, almost as if she were her own Gran-daughter . She remembered that it had been a year since her passing, and now she could have her work done in the Temple.

The Chair-Bound Sister was discouraged. She wanted to take the girls name to the Temple and do the Baptism for her. But she is no longer physically able to go to the temple. The Spirit rushed into her heart, and she felt that she needed to give this name to the Beehive to take to the Temple. She had no idea how it could be done, but she knew that if she prayed, that Heavenly Father would give her the opportunity to talk with her again, he would make it happen.

The next Sunday, my Companion and I went to this Sisters home, with the ward Choir Director and his Family. He Happens to be the Father of the Beehive with the Beautiful Voice. In the few moments between our arrival and the Choir Directors, The Sister relayed her story to us. 

The Lord gave her the Opportunity to do reach out to someone. To do his work. After we had given her the Sacrament, she asked the Beehive if she would join her in another room for a moment, where she told her of the prompting to share the name of her young friend, and asked her if she would take the name to the Temple.

This shy Beehive, is going to be Baptized, to be able to go to the Temple in July, for the Youth Conference. Where she will start the Chair-Bound Sister's young friend's Temple Work. 

I know that Heavenly Father has each and every one of us in mind, and that he does not forget about anyone, even if they are in less than ideal circumstances.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Elder James Riley Strong

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 9, 2013 - Picture from the Mortensen Family

Enjoyed dinner with your sons tonight. Happy Mother's Day!!
The Mortensen family

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7, 2013 - Mother's Day Present

So after my sad short email today........I came home to this! Yeah!!!

 "You can be so proud of Elder Strong - he's becoming a great missionary! Stick on a
"merit badge" as each month passes and before you know if, he'll be back.  Thanks for
sharing your wonderful son with us."

I will be forever grateful for this present.
Hopefully I will find out who it is from someday so I can send a Thank You card.

May 7, 2013 - Hello

sorry I have taken long to send you an Email this week.

I was given an assignment from a priesthood leader that I needed to complete in the amount of time I would normally have written you. 

So, I have to ask you to sacrifice your weekly email this week.

I know that you will be blessed because of this, if you turn to the lord at this time, you will have something fill the desire of an Email from me.

Love you so much, glad you got to meet Jami, haha

Elder Strong

May 6, 2013 - Meeting Jami Leavitt

We had the opportunity to meet a lady from the ward that Riley is serving in. She the was the great lady who sent me the two pictures and note a couple week's ago. She has a really good friend who lives here in town plus she is going to a conference in Provo next week. She offered to take somethings to Riley if we wanted or needed. Riley had asked for one of his watches and jackets so we brought them to her to take home with her. She lets Riley and his companion do their laundry at her house on Tuesday's to save money. I guess she feeds them a lot too. It makes me so happy that Riley has such great people in his life right now. She expressed her feelings on what a special spirit Riley has and what a great missionary he is already. It was a fun experence to visit her and to meet her friend and family that lives here in town.