January 10, 2010
So we got the calls this week about transfers. Beforehand I knew that our district was splitting and we needed a new district leader for the new district. We had a meeting for all the trainers, district leaders, and zone leaders and I thought the reason that I was there was because I am training. But I came to find out that it was because I was to be the new district leader. At first I heard it was over four sister missionaries but I found out today that they are changing it. I'm glad because being the relief society president would've been really hard haha. I am keeping my same companion and everything so I am really excited. Well I don't know what else to say. I hope everything goes well with the car situation and everything gets figured out. We are planning on have a baptism on Saturday too. Well, have a good week and you will be in my prayers.
January 12, 2011
So the new district has changed a bit. Instead of four sisters, there are two and South is now in the District. I did my first training as a DL and I think it went well. Lately it has been super cold, like 40 degrees and the bikes haven’t been very fun. We had a cool experience with Audrey. We had been worried about her job because it was going to interfere with her baptism. We hadn’t brought it up to her yet when she told us she had quit her job! She said she had been debating whether to do it or not, but didn’t decide until she received an answer after going to Church. She resigned that day and now is able to be baptized on the 30th. The Lord has really prepared her and she has been super awesome.
January 17, 2011
Being DL is good. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes I am still on bikes so I guess I'm superman? We just had a baptism on Sunday and it went well. It was my comp's first baptism so he was pretty nervous but he did good. He doesn't have baptismal clothes so it was funny to see him squeeze into a jumpsuit. We had to delay the baptism about 30 min to find clothes big enough for my comp and the investigator but it all worked out in the end.
That is crazy that K mart is out of business. It must be really strange to see no cars in the parking lot. It was really cold here the last week, about 40, and some rain. It wasn't too fun riding the bikes in it but it wasn't too bad. It has started to warm up a bit now. I don't speak with a Texan accent because there aren't very many real Texans down here. I have caught myself saying y'all but I have since repented. Anyways hope you have a great week and all is well.
Hey could you send my memory card back? I don't have more room on my other one. That would be great! Thanks
January 23, 2011
So now Pricilla is already baptized. Her baptism was kind of crazy. It was Elder Hardman’s first time actually baptizing someone, and he didn’t have baptismal clothing. While at La Vista, we couldn’t find any clothes big enough for Elder Hardman and the jumpsuit for Pricilla was too small. So we had everyone there, but no clothes. So Elder Gomez went to Pharr to see if they had anything big enough. Luckily they had two that worked. Elder Hardman’s was very tight and Brandon said “Elder Hardman I can see your chichi’s” It was funny. So other than the baptism being delayed, it went well. Jesse went to the baptism and I thought it was going to be a great experience, but on the next Monday he dropped us. He told us he felt more comfortable at his other church, and he didn’t want to waste any more of our time. “Sad face.” He will accept the gospel later in his life. I did my first District Meeting last week. I think it went OK, but there is a lot of room for improvement. I will be more prepared this week. I also went on exchanges with the South Elders. They are in a rough area, but blessings will come from their hard work. They have a lot of big houses, but they still can find those prepared people. Things with Audrey are going great. Today was her baptismal interview, and she did great. Elder Figueroa was impressed by her knowledge of the Gospel. She is really excited for baptism on Saturday and her family is going to go. She also said she is going to Utah for the summer. What a perfect place to go for a recent convert. I am going to try and get some friends to visit her and make sure she still goes to Church and everything. We have interviews tomorrow with President, so that should be fun. Now I think I’m all caught up.
January 24, 2011
Things are going good here. We are having a baptism on Saturday that we are really excited for. Her name is Audrey and she has been really legit. In March she is moving to Utah until August to live with family she has up there. They live in Tremonton and some live in Salt Lake. I'm going to have her get in touch with you just to say hi and everything. Make sure she is still going to church and everything haha. That is great that you are cleaning up the laundry room. Don't worry I will not mess it up at all. They do this thing here where on New Year’s you have some sweet bread and there is a little doll baked inside. Whoever gets the doll has to make dinner for the people there on the 2nd of Feb. I got the first piece and of course I got the monita (doll) so on the 2nd I get to make some food for one of my recent converts. I hope it turns out good. Anyways everything is going well here. Love you and hope you have a great week.
Love Elder Strong
Have you downloaded all the pictures from my memory card yet? I am running out of space on my current card so people send it back a.s.a.p. please. Thanks!! Elder Strong
January 25, 2011
Today was Tyler’s birthday so we decided to do something special for him. But before all of that, we had interviews with President Trayner in the morning. They were really short, but it is usually how all my interviews are. After that we had to go to Wal-Mart because the night before I got another flat tire and we got some patches and a new tube to be prepared. While we were there we picked up a cake mix to make for Tyler. The cake turned out really well. We even wrote Happy Birthday Tyler in icing and put candles on it. I think Tyler really appreciated it. We also did the balloon lesson with him and Audrey, and they enjoyed it. Next we went to Luis Guerra’s, so of course it was interesting. We followed up on the WOW and he is still struggling bad with it. We were planning on jacking him, but he was agreeing with us so we didn’t at the time, but after we did some service for him he started disagreeing again and we didn’t have time to jack him, but next time for sure because he needs it bad.
|Tyler & His Cake|
|Tyler's Birthday Cake|
January 26, 2011
Today was District Meeting and we talked about asking hard questions to get investigators to act and the WOW or LOC. I think the district was a little hesitant at first to ask the hard questions, but I think they were more comfortable after the role plays. We had a lesson with Audrey and Johanna came with us. When we first brought Johanna by, Audrey didn’t seem to like her too much, but now it seems like she is more open to her. Audrey also picked me to baptize her, so that will be very cool. Next we taught A.J. who has a girlfriend who is a member in the Spanish Ward. We’ve been trying to teach him forever and we finally got the chance to and he is really cool. Next we taught Sabrina. At first I was worried that she wasn’t going to be a good investigator, but she is legit and said she would come to Church on Sunday. The only problem is that she is very Catholic and needs to break that tradition. We then went to the Gonzales’. Juan Jr. and Juan were drunk. Juan thinks that we abandoned him & now Sylvia & Pricilla think the same thing. It sucks because we can’t go over every day to help them but I don’t think they understand that at all. We thought the night was over after that but at 9:40 Bro Bunch stopped by for a blessing. He is going through a lot of stress because of the divorce, and I feel bad for him. They are going to settle everything tomorrow, so hopefully all goes well with that. He was here for an hour so we didn’t get to bed until 11:00. Crazy, but a good day.
January 29, 2011
Today was a pretty stressful day. It was Audrey’s baptism and we had everything ready to go the night before, but right before the baptism, the speakers both weren’t able to make it. We had to improvise and have Elder Hardman and Elder Gomez give talks. It turned out great, though. The Relief Society came and the Elders Quorum President. Audrey’s family didn’t even come and Tyler either, but I’m sure she had a great experience. After, we had a good lesson with Sabina and she is getting more & more legit every day. We should see her and Jenifer at Church along with Luis. Lupe dropped us yesterday. He said he will never change being Catholic. We asked how he felt as he prayed about baptism and he said he felt good about it but he is still not going to follow his answer from God.
Elder Hardman, Audrey, & Elder Strong
January 30, 2011
Today was Fast Sunday. It was also Audrey’s confirmation. We were a little worried because Tyler didn’t answer our calls, but we got the Ayala’s to give her a ride. Jabina and her kids came to Church, so that was good, but her kids didn’t seem to like it very much. I think it was because it was new and they were just being shy. Luis Guerra also came but he didn’t have the right mind set at all. I didn’t really talk to him, but Elder Hardman said he said “I’m here because of Strong.” So that is pretty weird. After, we went to the Ayala’s, then after that to the Gonzales Family. That is one crazy family with way too many problems. Last night Juan and his mom were yelling in front of us. Juan was swearing a whole bunch, so I told him to settle down. Juan gets violent when he is mad, so it was kind of scary. Other than that all is well in Edinburg.
January 31, 2011
Today we played soccer for P-Day. It was pretty fun. We also had DLT and last week as a zone we had 115 baptisms! There has been a ton of blessings in the mission and it is exciting to see. We went by the Martinez family to eat. They are really cool and we are going to slowly work with Marisel to get her baptized. Bro. Martinez told us to dress like fresas when we get home to surprise our families. I think that would be super funny. Then we stopped by the Soliz family and she talked about how spiritually legit Sister Arriaga is. It is supposed to be super cold the next couple of days. We found out from Bunch who stopped by at 6:40 in the morning to tell us and wants us to warn the world.
January 31, 2011
This week was good because we had a baptism. Her name is Audrey and it went good. Right before the baptism we got a call from the two speakers and both of them cancelled. Luckily there were other missionaries there to help out but it was a good service. This month we broke a record for baptisms in a month, we had 114! It was awesome! And our church attendance has been outstanding the last couple of weeks. So far the mission is doing really well and it is great to see. I have been having problems with my bike lately though so that is no bueno. I just keep getting flats so instead of patching them I decided to just buy a new tube. Luckily when I get a flat I have been close to a member who has a compressor. Hopefully this week I will not have any problems with it. Last week I had a three inch screw in my tire! Well hopefully all goes well with the car situation and the Jazz start winning again. Thank you for sending the memory card back just in time too because I only have room for about 5 more pictures haha. Love you mucho!
Feb. 3, 2011
Today was the coldest day in my whole mission! It was like 26 degrees, and on bikes it felt like 0. I went on exchanges with Elder Cannon and it was decent. He is too quiet in lessons, but other than that it was fun, but cold. We got out of a lesson and went to our bikes and there was ice all over the seat and bikes. We got a call from the Zone Leaders that said we should go back to the apartment and switch early. We were super far away, nevertheless we started home. It was so cold, our jackets had ice on them. Luckily, a less-active member picked us up and took us to the apartment. It was cool because he said he never took that way home before. Also, we didn’t normally take that route home, so it definitely was a miracle from God. Because of the weather, I have a bad runny nose and I’m starting to feel a little bit sick, so I’m going to bed early tonight and hope in the morning it will feel better.
Feb. 5, 2011
Well I am still sick! Yesterday I woke up feeling horrible with a super congested head and a giant headache. I made it all the way through personal study, but decided I should take a nap during the other studies. So we went out at about 8:00 because our bikes were at the Ayala’s and we didn’t want to walk all the way down there, so we waited for the other Elders to finish Weekly Planning. We went to HEB to get some medicine, then finally started the day. I felt good the rest of the day, but when I woke up in the morning the next day, I felt even worse. The congestion and pressure wasn’t bad, but I developed a nasty cough. I slept a little more again and we went out at 2:00. We talked to Sabina finally, after she told us she was offended and didn’t want to be baptized. She is just super confused and angry with her situation. We invited her to pray about a specific question. I know she will receive an answer and she will want to be baptized again. I have faith the Lord will answer her prayers.
February 8, 2011
This week was FREEZING! It was like 25 degrees! Now I know that doesn't seem bad but it was horrible especially on bikes. I was on exchanges with the other missionaries who are also on bikes. I was wearing like three jackets, two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks and I was still way cold. At about 6 at night we had just gotten out of a lesson and went to our bikes that were tied up on a street sign. We found that our bikes had ice on them! Just then we got a text from the Zone Leaders that we needed to go back to our apartments because it was too icy and dangerous on the roads. We were about 3 miles from our house! So we just started riding. About a mile in we were riding on a busy road and a guy stopped and asked us for a ride. It turned out to be a less active member from McAllen. He stopped because he saw that we have ice on our jackets from riding! It was a miracle too because he said he never went that way home from work and we never went home that way either so it was pretty cool. To answer that question about the sweaters, people just put blankets and stuff on their plants. I've never seen people put sweaters but I'm pretty sure they would. Sunday we had an awesome stake conference where the Prophet and Elder Ballard spoke in a satellite broadcast. It focused on bringing back the less actives that have been falling away and it is perfect for the valley. Anyways hope you have a great week and I love you!
Feb. 9, 2011
Today is my Dad’s birthday and I forgot to say Happy Birthday to him! It was another cold day today. We found out the situation with Sabina. It wasn’t that she was offended, but that she is just angry at all the bad that is building up in her life. She is just confused about everything and worried about money problems. We talked with Luis today. Basically he said that he will never change being a Catholic because of his tradition. It is sad because things were going well with him, but I’m glad he was honest and didn’t just lie to get baptized. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be born in the Covenant. I have no idea where I would be without the Gospel in my life.
Feb. 11, 2011
Today was a disappointing day. Our first appointment after Weekly Planning was supposed to be with Leslie, but we called and found out she was at the police department for some reason. I hope everything is OK with her. We went by Naton and we saw his Mom there, but she didn’t answer the door. Sabina flat out dropped us and Oneyda flaked out on us. Amid all this opposition, we did set a BD with Brandon, so that was one good thing. Tomorrow we are going to focus on setting some new BD’s with some people we have that don’t have them. I know if we exercise a little more faith, we will see a little more success in our area.
Feb. 14, 2011
That is great that McKell finally got a car. Sounds like a pretty good blessing! That is really cool that you got to see someone from your mission Dad. By the way Happy Birthday!!!! I forget how old you are getting but we can just keep that a secret. Also Happy San Valentines Day!!! That is great that BYU is doing so well. I hope they keep it up so they can have a favorable seed in the Tourney. The Jazz seem to not be doing very well. Do you know why Sloan stepped down? I thought that that would never happen.
So this week on Saturday we find out about transfers. They are going by faster and faster. I have no idea what will happen because usually if you have been in an area for 3 transfers that is your time to go but since I just got made district leader I don't know what will happen. My guess is that I will stay and my comp will leave but I will let you know next week.
This week was crazy. We got dropped or the investigators we were teaching didn't want to listen anymore so it wasn't fun but this week we will find some more people. We had an epic soccer game against the McAllen zone today. We ended up winning by one but they want a rematch next week so it should be another good game.
Anyways I don't know what else to say. Hope all is well and you have a Happy Valentine’s Day! Love you!
Have you sent the memory card yet?