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!"????
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
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!
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.
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.
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 :(
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.