Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 28, 2014 - Pictures

 Ties I bought at GoodWill with the money you sent 6 bucks total
Kout (quat) and Hala fighting, Hala choking out her brother

April 28, 2014

This week, I found out why I needed to stay in Vista. Her name is Sandy (Sandra Gene Luise)
She is a lady we met in front of her house. She is in her 60's and she is super spiritual. We connected right away, and here is a little timeline so far
Sat, met her in front of her house, found out when we could come back, she asked us "do you study the bible with people?"
Tues, came back, taught the restoration, she said she would be baptized if she felt it was true
Wed, taught more about Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, set a Baptismal Date for May 17th
Thurs, She had read up to 1 Nephi, Chapter 11!
Fri, She said the Book of Mormon helps her understand the Bible!
Sat, She worked on her shed and was exhausted, we gave her a DVD about the first vision
Sun, She slept in, didn't feel very well, missed church :( we gave her a blessing and she was very happy :)
Mon(today), We are going over at 6, to have a lesson and to drink hot chocolate instead of coffee :)
So, that is really cool, huh? We are just doing everything we can to help her and get her ready. She asks a lot of questions about Baptism, because she was baptized Catholic when she was a baby. She is just a special person. goes to show that great things can happen when missionaries talk with everyone!
Other than that, things are more or less the same. We did a HUGE service project on Saturday, it was the whole stake doing projects all over the place. Vista 3rd and 5th were at the Civic center spreading mulch and planting...plants. We probably spread about 200 square yards of mulch, but the hard part was getting the mulch, they had HUGE piles of it, but they were pretty far away from where we needed it. we had 50 gallon trash bins that we could fill up, but that was a pain, so we put down drop clothes and wrapped it up and drug it the whole way, because we could take a lot more at once. it felt like football practice. the men did most of the pulling, while moms and youth raked and scooped it where it needed to go. we are all still very sore from it all, it took from 8-12.
yeah thats all that,
Love you!!


Elder James Riley Strong

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014 - Pictures

 Easter egg district activity (what I get for delegating District Activity to a sister missionary)
Brauts and Smores over the fire again!

April 21, 2014

Dear Family,
Holy cow the transfer is over and I get to stay in VISSTA!! 6 more weeks in this place will definitely put some hair on our chest(I already have plenty, but E. Morrison could use some), to make us the studliest missionaries in the whole universe. We talked to some guys the other day that had VISTA tatt'd up on their forheads and I gave one of them a head nod and he said "hello brothers" we are finally being accepted by the guys who run this town! Tri City Kingz!
The picture is not of a visitor from Iraq, but it is of our Samoan friend Kavika Faleumu, who played The Apostle Peter in Vista Stake's "Saviour of the World" play. It was a great show, we had some investigators who came with us to it. Our friend Damara's baby threw up on me though :(. it was cool to see how all of the youth have been so spiritual lately, and they all invited friends to watch the play!
For Easter dinner we went to the Faleumu's and ate so much that we got stomach cramps (Sister Faleumu makes ribs that I had heard about before I even got to Vista) we had ribs, ham, curry fried bananas, corned beef, rice, and strawberry shortcakes. yeah..... it was awesome. Sister Faleumu even asked us if she should bother tossing a salad and Bro. F said "Nah hunny, we don't need that..". They are a super cool, He played for the New Zealand All Blacks back in the day and their daughter is all state Volley ball champion and she is like 15. She also beat me in a rib eating contest, but that is only because I chewed mine.. haha ;)
Anyways, to recap, this week was great, but we dropped a bunch of investigators. oh yeah, Elder Ballard came to our mission and we all got to meet him and shake his hand. it was pretty sweet, he told all of us a bunch of good secrets to missionary work, here a few quotes.
"Now you can ask a few questions, but make them be about the work, don't ask me about where Kolob is, save those questions for your mission president..."
"If there was a silver bullet to missionary work, don't you think we would've given it to you in the MTC?"
After taking a question from the crowd, "Now, the best way to answer your question Sister, is that you need to FOLLOW UP with your investigators. I think someone talked about that in General Conference a few weeks ago.."
And, the two best lines he had, when he walked in, we were all standing respectfully, and he said "Hey.. do you want to sit down, or what?"
and as he left, we were standing, and he said "Adios amigos!"
Easter was packed with spiritual talks and some great love of the savior, a lot of great things in store for the Vista Zone!
Love you, Elder Strong


Elder James Riley Strong

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 14, 2014

Dear Family,
It is week 6 in the transfer and everything is going smoothly. This week they are transfer planning on what will happen. So, pray that President Kendrick will be inspired to make these transfers be awesome! There is a chance that I will be transfered, I would say it is pretty close to 50/50. I could go for either one at this point, I like Vista and Elder Morrison, but I always love changes. GUESS WE WILL SEE!
So, there is this guy that keeps revolving around me, we keep running into eachother on P-day. He was at the Salon a few weeks ago when we were getting our hair cuts, and we are sitting next to eachother at the library right now, the back of our computers facing eachother. He is super nice, and he is christian. We talked a lot about the Savior at the Salon, and he is a solid believer.
I just got the prompting to write him a note talking about Easter and to give him a link to a new Video that the church has out right now, it is called "Because of Him". He is watching it right now, and there are tears coming down his face. He asked me a few Q's about our church and beliefs about Christ. I love being a missionary.

Anyways, I only have 4 minutes left, and there is a line for my computer, but the LORD comes first.
Here are a few pictures of the week, The Best Ice Cream Truck EVVVVVEERRRRR and Mini Golf last week.

Elder James Riley Strong

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 7, 2014 - pictures

more pics from our assignment

 chicharones :)
Vizsla puppies

April 7, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

I am not feeling super inspired to share anything in particular this week, so I will jsut share a little bit about what I got to do. I got to go back to Orange County!! yeah haha. Just for a few hours, we were on assaignment from the Mission President to help a new senior couple get settled in. They techinically live out of our mission boundaries, but they are under President Kendrick. They work with Marines on Base as Millitary Relations. We helped them carry in their things and put together their bed frame and a dresser. It was nice to see San Clemente again, their is a very unique feeling between the three surrounding counties near our mission.(San Diego, Riverside and Orange)
This week we picked up 6 new investigators, which is a lot for one week. and for this area so far, that is a lot for 2-3 weeks. so we have been busy. It definately came from the fact that we have been trying to hit at least 200 street contacts every week, pushing us to talk to everyone we see, and in some cases, people we don't see just yet. Being proactive and getting in to sit down with people. The people we have met this week are mostly Marines from Camp Pendelton, and their wives, and then we also picked up an investigator by teaching her how to use! YES!! It finally happened! haha We have been trying to pick someone up when using Family History since January!!
Everything is going great! (thumbs up) I try not to say anything about the weather because I don't want to stoop to the typical San Diegans level, but it has been pretty much perfect the last few weeks,(its 76 right now and has been) but it is supposed to get into the 80's-100's this next week, it will be a little bit warmer than we have been used to in Vista.
Love you!

Elder James Riley Strong

County Line
Camp Pendelton Marine Base training ground

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April 1, 2014 - Pictures

 Elder Hamblin being a weirdo
Elder Morrison with "Tim the Dog"
(that looks like our dog)
 I don't think I sent this pic from Esco. Grand is a street that was in old town esco and they would have huge groups of hotrods cruise around every Friday evening. pretty awesome
and a 1980 chev with a 383 crate motor, sitting at just the right height

April 1, 2014

Dear Family,
This one goes out to those who go to the beat of their own drum.
The picture with all of people and the guitar is of some of the friends I have made in the last few months. from left to right, Robin, Jayshree, Elder Morrison, and Gary.
Robin and Jayshree are moving :( to Plano, TX. I am going to miss them. Even though they weren't looking to join a church, they still showed us much love. Robin is from... well I actually don't remember, but he is from somewhere in Europe. he is the one who built the one-off Alfa, with the 6 cyl. Alfa engine that he races Porsches with. And Jayshree is from India, she is really sweet and taught me how to cook Indian Food. we would go over there for our lunch hour sometimes when Robin was home. They both are extremely open minded and love everyone. They are reading the Book of Mormon, and they both believe in Christ, but it is a lot more complicated than that haha, but they really are great.
Then, the guy wearing the hat, that covers his foot tall pink mohawk is Gary, he is the lead singer in a Christian-Metal band called "In the Midst 777" look it up on youtube or google it, they are getting pretty big, I don't have any idea what it sounds like, but he is really awesome too. Robin and Jayshree introduced us to Gary when a random naked 4 yearold boy ran into Robins house one day. They are neighbors, and are really really different, but they still are great friends.
We had just gotten done helping Robin take down their canopy and ate some lunch that Jayshree made, and went outside to pack up some more things in their garage, and then Gary got home and we all were standing in their driveway and I just thought to myself.. this is the last time I will ever be with this group of people in this life.. I need to take a picture. so I did haha.
We have been making good progress with some of the people we are teaching, I love to see others grasp on to the things that we teach. People from all over the place with all kinds of different backgrounds, situations, personalities. It is perfect for all of them.
Love you! Elder Strong