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.

August 26, 2013 - Herro!

So we were walking around (we do that a lot) and Elder Despain pointed something our to me. apparently whenever we talk to... people of a different culture I use an accent while I am talking to them. I don't know how to fix that but it was a pretty funny discovery. Even whith people who have a british accent, I always pick it up.
So this week was pretty sweet, we did a lot of work looking for people to teach. Elder Despain is learning that he isn't going to stumble upon people like Pat his whole mission. oh, it was Stake Conference this week and Sister Kendrick told Pats story in her talk. It made me realize and remember how awesome it really was. Elder Iauna (eye-oon-ah) from the seventy (hawaii) came and spoke as well as President Kendrick and the San Diego Temple President and his wife. there was a early session for new converts and investigators and missionaries that we went to that PK spoke at as well as Elder Iauna. It was great to see the whole zone and all of the people that they have been working with.
Splitting the Ward has made it so we are starting from scratch almost, we have been tracting more, and we have talked to everyone in the area book at least once now. We have even been taking members tracting with us, because they want to be more involved. I think that Brother Lawson had a good time, he seemed to enjoy "evangelizing" with us.
Its week 3 in our 2nd transfer together, so the time is running out. Elder Despain could get called to train this transfer, but we are going to be split up either way. I will probably get sent away. I've learned that change is really exciting, I love being able to meet new people and do new things. but I also love the ward I am in now. and having my own bathroom.
Steve has been aloof lately. He needs to kick it in gear to be ready for his baptism. I haven't really been able to tell all of his story to you but I will someday.

Elder James Riley Strong

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 19, 2013 - pictures

 This was a proud P-Day achievement, our pictures are on the wall!
We made a TON of Lemon-aide! Courtesy of Paul the nice Presbyterian guy with all of the citrus trees

August 19, 2013 - Birf~Day

It was easily the best one I have ever had, everything went really well! One of the coolest parts was that mail came in on Saturday so I got to open letters and packages on the night of my birthday. Mom and Dad, the package was great, thanks so much! all of the stuff in it is great! The music is great and the Tabasco Chocolate was surprisingly ok. Elder Despain is excited for the Reese's bars we will make for our weekly planning session. Jason what a cool gift! thanks so much man! Cassie thanks for the sweet tie, I love it!
Here is a brief list of all of the cool things that have happened since last week:
1) The new Elders came into our ward, Elder Peterson is from Aurora CO and Elder Whipple is from somewhere in Utah.
2) We found out that with 3/4's of the ward being gone to the other Elders we have a lot of people to find.
3) We have a really cool couple who have been watching The District on the BYU channel, and we are going over there this week to teach them.
4) I guess not much else out of the ordinary, just regular mission stuff.
Steve is doing really good, he has been out of town for the last few weeks, but he calls us and says stuff like "people don't really like Mormons very much, but they don't have any reasons why" and he came to church on Sunday and turned to us and said "how does the speaker make it seem like they wrote their talk just for me?"
I love Steve so much, he should be getting baptized this transfer, he just has some things to take care of first.
Well thats all folks, I need to prepare a talk for Zone conference and I need to get some stuff off of
Love you!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 12, 2013 - aug12 pics

 We spent last P-day playing pool with Pat at the Woodland Village Apartments

Elder Despains Birthday Cake

August 12, 2013

Dear Family,
I think that as the time goes on in my mission, I realize more and more that I am not an adequate servent of our Lord. I cannot fulfill my Duty to God on my own. It takes his hand in my life to put me into the right place at the right time to say the right thing.
It is very difficult for me to be the missionary who can look at missionary work and know how it is supposed to be done. And to know the best ways that I can help others. The way that I feel is the best way is often not the same as the way that it is supposed to be done. Being a missionary is really hard. in order to follow the correct order of the church I am more of a tool for the curch than an actual entity. It is really hard for me to remember that sometimes, I think it will be a lot easier when I am apart of my own ward instead of a part of someone elses ward.
If you are wondering how a missionary who has problems like that is called to be a trainer, you are not alone. The truth is, well, the truth. "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called" that is the quote on the bishops desk from when I was younger, I don't know if it is still there or not, but I remember it from Bishop Nelson. I never really knew how huge that actually was untill now. All of the church leaders I look up to are amazing at what they do, maybe not because they are more quallified than others, but because they have more help from the Lord than others. You just have to be open for that help to come into your life. You have to be humble, submissive, patient, all of the other things that the scriptures say. it is a divine plan.
Gotta go,
Love Elder Strong

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 5, 2013 - Pictures

 Elder Thunell and I before the Baptism of Pat
 Elder Despain and I before the Baptism of Pat
The Plant that Susan McLain gave me. I don't remember what kind of plant it is, but it is from Hawaii. I asked her for one that wouldn't die if I took it away from California  Weather after my Mish and one that didn't require a ton of time. If you leave it in the sun the leaves turn white, it's so cool! I am going to keep it for forever.

August 5, 2013

This last week was awesome!
Pats Baptism went perfectly, the weather was cool, the pool was the perfect pool to baptize someone in, we didn't drop her when we were carrying her into the pool from her wheelchair, and a lot of missionaries from the zone were able to bring their investigators to the baptism, and one of them set a baptismal date after it!
Our other Investigator close to baptism, Steve, found out that he can work out the Legal problems that he was having so that he can be baptized! we set a date on september 21st to make sure he has enough time to fix everything up, and so that we have enough time to find him some white clothes that will fit him for the baptism! haha he is a pretty big guy, I will get a picture with him that I can send home.
Not much else, unless I never told you that we had to split our area in half to fit other missionaries into our ward. we found an apartment for them to live in, and we made the boundary line, we don't know if is Sisters or Elders yet. But we think it will probably be Elders.
Thats it, have fun!
Elder Strong

Sunday, August 4, 2013

July 30, 2013

They changed our P-Day to Monday, but then they changed their minds. and so we had pday on Tuesday like normal. and then they changed their minds back so next week it will be on moday.
The Internet was down at the regular library that we go to, so we had to go further into Escondido instead of the San Marcos library. we stopped at a thrift store on the way, and I got a 3 piece suit and shoes and a belt for 20 bucks haha, I got pretty lucky. they also had bags full of ties for 10 dollars so Elder Depain and I split one so hopefully there are some decent ties in there. shout out to the people who sent me money recently who allowed me to buy a new suit and shoes. you know who you are.
We did a lot of service last Friday, we emptied out a storage unit for these potential investigators. they were so impressed that we got it done so fast, and that we had help from the Elders Quorum (1 guy) haha. So to repay us they are going to have us over for dinner on the 10th. that is Elder Despains Bday and mine is the next week, so they told us they would make something special for us.
So.... I never told you, that in Laguna I strained my knee a little bit doing some service. It went away, I just over worked it a little moving couches and a piano. the about 2monthsago we were running, we wanted to get a really good work out in since it was a Saturday and we could rest on sunday. and, well when we were sprinting up the hill I felt my left knee go POP and then it hurt fairly bad. it got all swollen and bruised. but I took care of it with instruction from sister Cook, and it got better. when we were helping empty this storage unit there was a 600 pound safe and after we loaded it into the truck my knee was killing me. so we went to Brother Zundels house, he is a Naval Doctor, and he examined me, and told me that I had partially tore my LCL and hurt my IT band in my left knee.  So I have been doing stretches for physical therapy type stuff in the morning while Elder Despain runs around me. And I cant ride my bike which is kind of a pain. but hopefully this will help it heal so I wont re-re-injure it. and hopefully I will never have to get surgery on it. It isn't to bad anymore. only after a lot of use does it hurt, and only getting up out of the car and going up stairs and stuff like that. No worries
Pats Baptism is on Saturday, another team Baptism for me and Elder Thunell. wish me luck that my knee doesn't give out when I am carrying her into the pool haha. President Kendrick told me "Elder Strong, I am extremely excited for Sister Vincent's Baptism, she is going to be a solid new member. Good Work, Love you. -PK" imagine that with a Texan accent. isn't that awesome"? haha
Well gotta go.
Love you!
Elder Strong