How is everyone doing?
It rained a few days last week, it is always easy to appreciate the change of scenery, I kind of like grey skies :) it slows everyone down here for a minute or two. We finally realized that it was fall and almost the end of the year, and I can hardly pay attention to my "Christmas Countdown" because it is counting down to more than just Christmas.
I have a huge testimony that missionaries are sent to teach people that are waiting for them. I have met hundreds of different missionaries, and there is no prototype, there is no silver bullet, there is no "one way to do this" or "you have to be that". Heavenly Father KNOWS all of his children very well. He knows who a missionary can help, and he puts them in a place where they can find people who are open to feeling the spirit. There are people that I have met in my mission, who I know were sent to bless me, in my life, and I know that I have been sent to share the Gospel with those who I have been able to teach, and help come to know Jesus Christ.
In short, I know that I was meant to serve a mission, and that the California Carlsbad Mission is where Heavenly Father new would be the best place for me to serve. I am grateful to have the opportunity to teach about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it shows that we have a God who loves us. I know that Joseph Smith was a tool in our Heavenly Fathers hand to restore the truths that were taught by Jesus Christ himself. And anyone can receive that answer for themselves by reading the Book of Mormon and praying if God has called a prophet to guide us by continuing revelation in these days. I know that I couldn't have gotten here on my own, but that Heavenly Father blessed me with so many great people in my family, and extended family and friends (family). I know that we can all live together forever, through the gift that Jesus Christ makes available to all of us.
Thank you all for being such a great support to me on my mission, I owe a lot to each of you.
Love, Elder Strong
Elder James Riley Strong
HOLINESS TO THE LORD