Feb. 18, 2011
Juan is finally gone. After weeks of saying he was going to leave, he finally did. On Sunday Bro. Bunch brought Juan to Church and we talked with him and gave him a blessing to overcome his addictions. It was a very spiritual lesson. We were over later that day and found out that he had smoked right after the blessing! His sister Janie also hit on me and said some disgusting things. Leslie isn’t progressing as well as she should either, but I have faith that she will get baptized on the 27th. Nayton is pretty much dropped. I called his Mom today and she was making excuses that she was going to be busy. I said we needed to visit with Nayton to prepare him for his baptism, and she hung up on me! William took us to Loby’s tonight. It was very nice of him. He is moving to another house, so hopefully he will have a car by then and we can teach them and they will come to Church. Tomorrow we find out about transfers and I am really curious to see what happens to me.
Feb. 21, 2011
So we found out what happened with transfers. To my surprise I found out that I am leaving to.....Donna again! I am going back to be a district leader. I was there exactly a year ago so it will be cool to see if it has changed at all. My companion will be Elder Argueta who is from Guatemala I hear. He has only been out for one transfer so he is still very new. The Spanish ward is meeting at an adult day care building because they are doing renovations to the building to make it bigger so that is going to be very different. I also heard it was going to be a rough district to be in because the ward doesn't help out too much and there hasn't been too much success but hopefully I will help turn it around a little bit. Some more good news is that I will be in a car again! Don't get me wrong the bikes are great but in the wind and the cold and the hot sun it’s not every missionaries dream. In Donna they speak more Spanish than here so that will be another good thing so I can get better on my Spanish. Um so I don't know what else to say so have a great week! If you have any questions just ask them. Love Elder Fuerte
Feb. 23, 2011
Transfers have come and gone, and to my surprise I got transferred to an area I never would have guessed. I’m back in Donna! I was here exactly a year ago, and I never thought I would come back. It is still weird being in the same apartment and seeing the same people. I am the District Leader here and I am with Elder Argueta. He came out last transfer so I am really breaking him in. He is pretty quiet, but a really good missionary for how young he is. He already knows Spanish, so he should help me a lot, and I will help him be a good missionary. This District struggles a bit, but hopefully I can do something to turn it around. I know I am back in Donna for some reason. There must be someone here that I need to help to be baptized. I am a very different missionary now than I was a year ago so I am excited to kind of start over.
Feb. 28, 2011
This week has been really weird because I'm back in an area I was last year. It has been interesting seeing the changes and the things that are the same. I at least am sleeping in a different bed and have a different desk! Haha. It has been great being in a car. I'm not allowed to drive but it is still better than the bikes. Especially because it is starting to get hot again. Yesterday it was 90! Right now the Spanish ward is meeting in an adult day care and the English ward is at a chapel in another town due to renovations to the old building. It has been hard to get people to church, investigators and members. Apparently the member/missionary work has been struggling here too so it is going to be a challenge here but it will be fun. My comp is Elder Argueta and he is from Guatemala. He was born there and then moved to Iowa when he was nine. He is really quiet but he is cool. It’s been cool because the last time I was here I couldn't understand Spanish well at all but now I know a little more and can understand what the people are saying and it makes a huge difference. Remember the 600lb guy I baptized? He is still here and I think he is getting bigger! Poor guy can't even walk anymore so he hasn't been to church in forever. Also there are these two old ladies that we call abuelitas that were super excited to see me come back. They are the sweetest old ladies and they take really good care of us.
Wow I can't believe D Will is gone! How is Devon Harris doing? With the memory card, you can just send back the card with the pictures on it and I can delete them. Thank you for doing that for me! Have a great week!
Love Elder Strong
Mar. 3, 2011
Donna has been treating me pretty well so far. Instead of the time before only having one dinner appointment all week, we have several. The Boyer’s took us to a restaurant yesterday, and it was really good. Church was really weird because it was all the way in Pharr and there were a few more faces. The Spanish Ward meets in an adult daycare, but it is a lot closer than Pharr. We have been going by some of the less-active and part-member families and boy is it frustrating! It feels like you are converting them for the first time, even though they are already baptized. We talked to a recent convert yesterday who had only prayed with the missionaries three times, then of course, she went less active! She never even had a testimony, so she had no idea what she was doing. We are going to try and convert her for the first time. Another thing that happened is that we invited this girl to pray and she went off for 5 minutes. First she prayed to “Senor” and said “Senor” or “Mi Padre” well over a hundred times. It really made me sigh, haha. Next time we are going to teach her how to pray, so she can do it the right way. We were chosen to go to Borderfest this Friday, so I am excited for that. We still don’t know what is going to happen, but it should be fun. Other news I found out this week is that Ashley is engaged to Kevin! Wow it is crazy to think she is going to be married when I get home. But I am super happy for her. They make a good couple. I also found out that Jeremy is going to the Dallas Mission. Man he went to the right state, but wrong mission, haha. I’m proud of him for finally going on a mission.
Mar. 7, 2011
Today was P-Day and a pretty eventful one at that. We were bowling as a District and it was fun. I hadn’t been bowling for a long time and it showed by my score of only 98. Bro. V. wanted to take us again next week on him, so that will be fun. Then we went out to eat with the Boyers’, and they took us to a Chinese buffet. They wanted me to try the different kinds of sushi, so I did. They weren’t as bad as I thought, but still not my favorite. We were very full after, and the next appointment fed us Pizza Hut. I struggled to eat two pieces.
Mar. 7, 2011
This week we had the chance to go to a festival called Borderfest to hand out cards and get referrals. It was fun and we got quite a few referrals. So last time I was in Donna we only had one dinner appointment during the week. Now we have like one every day! It is great sometimes but other times we are eating two or three times a day. On Thursdays we eat with the best old ladies ever! This week we have a Leadership Training which I am really excited for because that is where we learn how to be better missionaries and share it with the rest of the district. This past week we went by some people that we were teaching when I first got here and it turns out that they are still interested. We set a baptismal date with this one guy and retaught a family that I had taught before. The family hadn't had missionaries stop by since I was here before which was kind of shocking but it was in the area book and everything but we are going to work with them and set baptismal dates our next visit. Well I hope you have a great week and I will be expecting the memory card this week haha. Love you!
Mar. 11, 2011
Well today was the last day of the three day Leadership Training. They are so awesome! You just receive so much revelation, your mind explodes. I learned the most about following the Spirit in lessons. That is something I definitely want to focus on the Spirit’s role in conversion. In the meetings, we had every leader in the whole mission. It was cool to see a lot of friends and be with all the Mission “All Stars” to learn from them. I am going to do my best to apply the things I learned in our companionship and also in the District. That training answered a lot of questions I had to make the District and Ward more effective in missionary work. This week we have been working on inviting the Spirit through having kneeling prayers, and really feel that it has been a real success in the District. It is amazing how much stronger the Spirit is when we show humility and bow down before the Lord in prayer.