Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28, 2014 - Pictures

 We went to a Luau and this is a fire knife dance
 A member gave us like 5 lbs. of salmon
 cooked up some of the Salmon (he caught it in alaska) It was the best!
 we had a flat tire this week, we thought we would give the bike pump a shot.. didn't work

The only Golds gym I have seen on my mission (probably) and the lights went out in some of the letters so it says LDS young mens instead

July 28, 2014

Hello Everyone,

Sorry the Library is really busy today so we are having to share a computer this week, so I will have to be short. 

For the 24th, nothing was any different here in Temecula, but Members took us to Soup Plantation for lunch and Bishop Meldrum took us to a 50's diner for dinner (he got really really sick with a viral infection, I hope it wasn't from the food)

We had a multi stake ysa family home evening in murieta, and it was an awesome Luau. they made the missionaries get up and learn how to do the hauka and it was a lot of fun.

We had a great week full of teaching lessons to our investigators and it has been great!

So sorry about this being short! I will do better next week!

I know that this church is true! I love it so much!

Elder Strong 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 21, 2014 - Pictures

 Pedro's Tacos!!!
We took the Corolla out to far on the wrong road

July 21, 2014

​We had a fun week! We had a few really great lessons with some new investigators that we are really excited about! Elder Smith and I Got to go to the Transfer Meeting, even though neither of us were getting transferred. And when we first walked in, we saw the big man himself, STEVE HOWSE walking down the hall, with Marty Goodman. I was so happy! it was a great reunion, he was there to see who the new missionary in Twin Oaks Valley Ward was going to be. I love Steve, he told me that he had been blessing the sacrament each week, and that he came to church every week and still sat at the same bench we always used to sit at. Just when I thought that it couldn't get any better than that, Kyle Wilson walked in!!! she is my MOM from Twin Oaks Valley, the relief society president herself. IT WAS SUCH A GREAT DAY. I am running out of people to wander into and have spontaneous reunions with though.

We went to Old Town, Temecula and toured around the original buildings and went though gift, antique, and specialty shops that are all right there. It is a really cool place, that has it's own rhythm. There is the Old Town Root Beer Factory, where you can get a hold of any flavor of soda that you can dream of, or any one that you hope does not exist. Sweet Corn, Teriyaki Beef Jerky, Rhubarb Pie, Garlic Bread, etc. There are also good flavors too, but they are funny, like brain wash cola, and my favorite, Lenninaide (also the Soviet Unions favorite). It was nice to bee out and about on Preparation Day, we all enjoyed being able to see the sights a little

Elder English and I got to go on exchanges this week, it was awesome to be with him again, he has grown and learned so much since he as being trained. It made me remember how much people can change if they put in the effort, and have the desire. I know that he is much happier now than he was when he first started his mission. He is a great missionary that is committed to fulfill his purpose.

We have a few people working closer to baptism right now, they have been coming to church with us each week and are learning more about the gospel on their own as well. It is great to be able to help people come closer to the savior and to start to recognize and understand the spirit. Hopefully we will help to complete a few families in the next month or two!

I love you all,
Elder Strong

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

 Temple Trip - We are super lucky to go to the temple this often, most missions don't go, or go only once or twice on your mission. This is Ethan Crisp from the YSA Branch, he took us down to San Diego
 This is an older Honda with a wolf pelt attached to it haha. the guy who owns it took pictures of us on it and sent it to his friends haha, he thought it was cool that we talked to him "about the good news and man stuff!"
 Thanks for the gift cards MOM! 
 This is an old monument that needs to be cleaned up, in front of one of the church buildings in T-mec. It is about the Mormon Battalion coming through Temecula. I have heard bits and pieces of the story, but someone should do some research about what they did in Temecula, because I heard that they set it apart for the saints to live. You can zoom in and read what the plaques say 

July 14, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

This week wrapped up to be a great one! There was a Pow-wow on the Pechanga Reservation here in Temecula, so twice as many people wound up at the great a spacious building this weekend (the Pechanga Casino) so it was slower than usual for a weekend. But we could hear war drums pounding almost all throughout the whole valley so it was neat. 

We had our Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday, and it went great! Elder Smith is a really great teacher and is a rock at planning out meetings. I did something cool, where I took a graph of member present lessons, and turned it into a baptism symbol, which is pretty much a zig zag line with a little 'swoosh' on the end of it making it look like a looped arrow going in and out of the water. It seems simple, but it was totally inspired by the spirit. but, I also slipped up, I meant to say, in closing, that"Temecula is known for hot weather and great members!" but what I actually said was "Temecula has hot weather and hot members!". So that was pretty bad, everyone almost died laughing. I feel like it was okay, because at least no one can say that our meeting was boring, and they will actually remember something from it for once.

At the Temple on Thursday, I got to see a lot of people from Twin Oaks Valley Ward :) I saw Sister Craney (I ate Thanksgiving Dinner at her house) and Sister Skousen (she was the RSP for a month or two when I first got there). And then, Brother Moore was one the officiator's and when saw him I was really excited, because I love his whole family, and I knew that his wife worked at the Temple at the same time as him usually. We ate dinner at their house at least twice a month while I was there, and I was there for 8 months, so I got really close to them. So I met up with him after and caught up a little, and then on the way out I saw Sister Moore standing at the top of the stairs! She is so awesome! I love that ward!

We got to meet with our investigator Garrison, he is in the YSA Branch. He is currently making a lot of restitution for some things that he did in his past, but he is being steadfast in his desire to follow Jesus Christ. I feel really lucky to be able to teach him, and be apart of his journey. His girlfriend, Abby is a member who comes from a less than active, non typical mormon family. They told me that after the first lesson, one of the reasons they wanted to keep meeting with us was because I complimented Garrison on his Wu-Tang Clan t-shirt haha. We were on splits to go to both of our wards again, so I was really lucky that it was my turn to go to YSA.

Love you! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 7, 2014

This week was great! we had a really great time with our members on the 4th! President Kendrick wanted us to go by as many members as we could, to see if they had any friends our neighbors that we could rub shoulders with. a lot of our ward was at the beach or watching the world cup though haha. 

A lot of our investigators have dropped us recently, and it has left us desolate in the realm of teaching lessons. But, the Lord has taught us a lesson on viewing everyone as who they can become. The people we know who we thought would work out great ditched out on us and the ones who we have been around but didnt think would go anywhere have been coming through for us! we have jsut had to learn to follow the spirit more, to know how each different person needs different things to help them. 

I really have felt extra patriotic this year and have a deeper appreciation for our country. I think it is because I have made a lot of friends that work at the Marine base in our mission. I know that we are blessed to live here and to enjoy our present freedoms and the comforts that we all enjoy everyday. God bless America

Love, Elder James Riley Strong

July 7, 2014

"To remind us of our goal, this week I would like you take phone-camera photos of the number 111 wherever you see it." From President Kendrick 
​Elder Smith and I (mostly I, because I use my camera 87 x more than the average missionary) started this picture thing. our goal is 111 baptisms and here is a picture of our name tags by a sign and the temperature of our baptismal font is 111 degrees​

 Playing with lego candy after planning at night (Tyson)
 Sister Baker is one of my favorite people ever. this is the gift that she gave us for the 4th, she is super cool! I love her family, except I think that her son is breaking up with his girlfriend and they were like the hope of the YSA branch haha.
(Sister Baker is the person I received the surprise picture of Riley)
Ribeye steak from the Ford's (happy birtday 'merica) 
(now I know he ate good on the 4th) 
Sunset in Temecula before the fireworks
Watching the Fire works from our balcony 
Elder Samuel Adams (Orem, UT) playing the national anthem (how appropriate)
 Shipping off Elder Skenindore to his real mission in Brazil. He finaly got his visa after waiting TEN MONTHS. hopefully he can learn Portuguese before his mission ends haha.

July 4, 2014 - Picture of my boy

"Elder Strong's mom! Hi! I just took this picture of your missionary. I thought you might enjoy seeing his face on the 4th of July.
My husband and I are shepherds in the young single adult branch that your son is serving in. He is a great missionary and we're having so much fun getting to know him.

When I told him that I wanted to take his picture so that I could send it to you today, he was so excited. He said, "That would be great because she gets sad on holidays."
 I can totally relate.

I hope you and your family have a happy Fourth of July"
Julie Baker

Thursday, July 3, 2014

June 30, 2014

 Last Monday we had a Zone Party at the Mile's house. they have a huge property and the fed 30 missionaries and provided a ton of things for us to do. it was AWESOME. They do this once a transfer for the Temecula Zone, the coolest part is, they are planning a "TEMECULA ZONE REUNION AT THE MILE'S HOUSE" in 2015, where all of us who have had one of these parties at their place will come over had have a huge party and all sleep under the stars in their HUGE yard. so I look forward to that.

 We went around to some Companion Studies and filmed the missionaries so they could see what they look like when they teach


 Brock Dudley and Karlie
 us with the Dudley's (the Coolest Family) at Karlie's baptism
Karlie asked Elder Smith to Baptize her, I taught a lesson with Elder Webster to everyone while they were getting changed. the Service was perfect