December 1, 2010
So day two is done with the greenie. His name is Elder Hardman. He is from Pleasant Grove, Utah. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was a brand new missionary, very nervous, but we are going to work on that. So yesterday the Ayala’s and I played a prank on Elder Hardman. They pretended to be random people, so I contacted the house before the Ayala’s, to show him how to do it. Then he contacted the Ayala’s. Bro. Ayala was really easy on him, but he was still really nervous and kept looking at me to help, but I just kept quiet. Finally, Bro. Ayala said to “come on in” so he was really surprised. It was hilarious and everyone had a good laugh. This training thing is pretty hard, but I definitely think it is helping me be more obedient and a better missionary. I hope Elder Hardman will be able to follow my example, and the Lord will continue to bless me in this great experience.
December 3, 2010
Entrenando es muy deficil! No estoy acostumbrado hacer todo el trabajo pero Lo va a ayudarme crecer rapido como misionero. He combiado mucho en mi obediencia y diligencia y estoy feliz de eso. Hoy hablamos con Tyler y su mama. Tyler ha caido de Nuevo habitos malos y fue expulsado de la escuela. Su mama era bien negative a Tyler y no hay amor en la familia.
TRANSLATION: Training is very difficult! I’m not accustomed to doing all the work, but the Lord will help me grow quickly as a missionary. I have changed a lot in my obedience and diligence, and I am happy for this. Today we spoke with Tyler and his mom. Tyler has fallen into some bad habits and was expelled from school. His mother has been very negative towards Tyler and there is not a lot of love in their family.
December 6, 2010
Wow I completely forgot that Holly was going to have a baby! Let me know how he is doing and everything next week. I will keep them in my prayers. It’s good to hear that your job is going so well. Don't try to find any flaws in the job haha! That is great you have so much time off around Christmas time. About the phone call....I have no idea how it is going to work. I will find out when I can do it this week and let you know and just let me know what Scott says about when he can do it. In the care package I guess I could use some socks church and non-church like the ankle ones. Other than that I don't know exactly what else. I guess you could surprise me. Also I don't think I can you use my debit card anymore because it expired, so you could put money in my account but I'll have to get charged the non America First atm fee. Oh and I am going to need contacts if you could get some for me. I am going to send another box home with a memory card of all my pictures so you can put them on my blog or whatever. Please save them to the computer so I can delete some pictures and have room on my card. I will also have ties and a plaque in there. I will mark which ones you can give to Dad, Jeff, Andy, Davis and even Brian. I'll also put a little one in there for Tanner and Will if they aren’t too long. Glad to hear everything is doing well at home and hope you have a great week! Love you mucho!
December 9, 2010
Today we did weekly planning, because tomorrow is First Comp Training. Tyler gave us a call before that and wanted to meet with us. So he walked from his house to the restaurant by our apartment, and we had lunch. He told us he wanted to join the military to get away from all the problems with his family. We kind of had a crappy day because we didn’t teach a single investigator lesson, but had a bunch of contacts.
December 12, 2010
So First Comp Training on Friday was great. It answered so many questions I had about training. Also, I found out how I could do better in contacting by stating our purpose to them. It was amazing how much more effective it is than a routine. Man, training is super hard. I’ve been focusing on involving more in lessons, but it has been difficult for me. But I think he is opening up to the people a little better and he is getting more comfortable talking, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Prucilia is doing great and came to Church on Sunday. Estella also.
December 13, 2010
It is great to hear that everything is going well. I got an email from Jeff for the first time so that was cool. You can go ahead and open the package, there is a memory card with pictures that you can put on the computer or Kiersti can put them on my blog. It is really hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it has been quite warm outside but a few people have their Christmas lights up so I guess that is close enough. I received a bunch of Christmas cards from the ward. I will be working on getting out Christmas cards back to them this week. I took all of their cards and taped them to the wall in the form of a Christmas tree and put the stocking you gave me last year by it to make the apartment more festive. Everything has been well here though, we should be having a baptism on Saturday that we are excited about. Well, have a great week and I'll figure out the calling situation here. Love you!
December 16, 2010
Man. This last week, or I mean the last couple of days have been great. We have been teaching more than I have ever taught in this area before. We have been using our purpose more in contacts and it has really been successful for us. Christmas season is here even if it’s 80 degrees outside. People still have their decorations and we hear Christmas music all the time. We have a Christmas Party in the Spanish Ward that I’m excited for tomorrow. I love Christmas!
December 20, 2010
Wow Dad you are falling apart! Haha, just kidding. It is good to hear that you are recovering well. After you get done with the memory card, just give it to Kiersti because she was asking me for one. So with the call, apparently I can do it whenever so I was thinking anytime on Christmas Day. If I had to say a time I would say like 2 o clock my time so 1 your time. I don't know if that will work for you or not or if it will work for Scott. Basically the only thing I have to do is I have a dinner at seven and possibly a baptism and four. So any time before or after that is good for me. Find out from Scott and if I get a chance I will call you before on Christmas Eve and find out when ok? My mission Pres. said a three way call was a great idea.
So it is really weird for it to be Christmas time and 80 degrees outside. My companion and I took pics of our Christmas tree that we made out of those cards and made snow out of paper to make it more Christmassy. We have already received presents from some of the members of the ward and we are having a white elephant thing for zone conference. We also get to go to a Festival of Lights and hopefully sing some carols and get people to watch movies at the church. Well, have a great week and we will talk to you on Christmas! Love Elder Strong
Elder Hardman, Estella, & Elder Strong
December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas!! It was a white Christmas for us. Estella finally got baptized. She also got confirmed because she wasn’t going to be able to go to the English Ward until the next week. It was a good baptism, though. There were about 16 missionaries there, so it was a decent turnout. After all of that, we went to the Zone Leaders’ house for brunch. We made eggs, French toast, and sausage. We chilled there for quite a while and it was fun to just relax and hang out with the other missionaries. While we were there, we called our parents also. Like always, it was really weird to call home. I didn’t know what to say, so it was a good thing we had a three-way call with Scott. I just don’t feel very homesick at this point, and it feels like it will be very soon that I’ll see them again. It was really good to hear from everyone, though, and I am always thankful for the opportunity to speak with the family. Next we visited Sylvia and ate some tamales and then went to Estella’s and had some more tamales. I’m stuffed! Estella is such a wonderful person. She is so kind and I hope she continues on the path to Eternal Life with Church attendance and scripture study. I have complete faith in her and am very excited for all of the great decisions she has made so far, and I know she will continue to follow the example of Jesus for the rest of her life.
December 29, 2010
Yesterday was my year mark in the mission. Today was a decent day. We had some member presentations fall through, but still managed to get one with Jesse. Naomi came with us. We had a good lesson because he understood what we read. Naomi also took him to Mutual that he enjoyed and after that a bonfire at the Cayaso’s. He is getting fellowshipped very well and I think he likes the love and attention they are showing him. Before that we went to this lady’s house and she asked us “Why are you here?” Of course we responded “To teach people the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” She said “Oh.” And I said “What do you think we’re here for?” She replied “To help me with some more things.” Because the first time we helped her wrap presents. We had to let her know that we were there to teach her the Gospel. Nevertheless we still helped her clean window chalk off her truck. We also met a man named Luis. He is an interesting person. He actually recorded the lesson on his phone, which was pretty weird. He seems like he has some sort of potential, so we’ll keep working with him. We are going to help him clean out his garage next week, so that should be fun.
January 3, 2011
Thank you for sending the Christmas cards. I hope they will like them! How was your New Years? Hopefully you aren't getting too old to stay up till midnight! Haha. Here, we got the chance to watch Toy Story 3 with the mission president and two other zones. It was a lot of fun and a great movie. So we did that until seven and then went home to plan for the week so we weren't out at all on New Year’s Eve. We had an experience this week with the importance of service. We went to this lady's house to look for a member who used to live there. We found out where he lived and asked the lady if there is anything we could do for her. She said she wanted us to help her wrap some Christmas presents. Of course we did but after we didn't have enough time to teach her anything so we set up a return appointment. The next time we went by, we were expecting to teach her something but she had something else for us to do. I didn't think she was going to want anything but service from us but we happily helped her. The next week at church, she showed up without us even inviting her! It was pretty cool. I know that it was our service for her. We showed that we were willing to do what she asked and then she was willing to do what we asked. It was a pretty cool experience. I hope you guys can get the Tahoe working again. My bike tire is always losing air so I have to deal with that. Hopefully for not too much longer because transfers are next week so I might leave but right now I have no idea what will happen. I will be happy wherever. I will let you know what happens next week. Have a great week and a Happy New Year.
Love Elder Strong
Love Elder Strong
January 7, 2011
Wow a lot has happened since I last wrote! The lady we did service for actually came to Church without us teaching her anything. It was sweet! This week we had a leadership training for all of the trainers, D.L.’s and Z.L.’s. We learned a lot about the B Lessons and how to become better teachers. We also learned a little about transfers and found out Elder Hardman and I are staying together, but I am the new District Leader of the new district in Edinburg! Also, there will be four sisters in the district. Sigh! I’m super nervous but excited for the challenge. This will be another opportunity to grow even more as a missionary. I will ask and pray for guidance in this because I know I couldn’t do it alone.