Mar. 14, 2011
It is still snowing over there? It is starting to get hotter and hotter here. It has also been very windy lately but other than that it has been good. This week we had a three-day leadership training. It was awesome because the whole leadership from the mission came so I got to see those missionaries who get lost up in the north (corpus). On Sunday, some missionaries in my district were supposed to have a baptism and the kid showed up and everything but the bishop said that he couldn't get baptized. It was from a rule that he had that they had to go to church 3 times in a row and stay for the full 3 hours. We told the mission president and he was pretty mad. That night he straightened everything out and now it is no longer a rule. So we feel bad for the kid. Anyways everything else is ok. We are struggling at getting people to church but we are going to focus really hard on that this week. That is all from me. Have a good week and I hope the snow stays away.
Love Elder Strong
PS Did you send the memory card yet? Just a reminder
Mar. 17, 2011
Today was St. Patrick’s Day and I also went on exchanges with Elder Vance in his area. We had a great day. That night we stayed up until about 2:30 a.m. talking, so when I woke up I was exhausted. We then went to the library to do Mormon.org, then we had an intense lesson with this lady. We tried to get her to pray about baptism, but she refused. I think we taught very clear & simple, but she has her agency. We then taught another lesson with this lady named Minnie. She goes to a Catholic Church, meets with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and is really trying to find the truth. We taught her about Christ’s Church and she said everything just made sense. Then we got her to pray, but first she didn’t pray about baptism, so we had her pray again. She asked the question and we just waited after the prayer. At first she said she wasn’t ready, but we asked her how she felt, and she said “warm.” We had her read in Galatians 5:22-23 and told her God had answered her prayer. She said she never felt that with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, so she felt a difference. We had a fun time and Elder Vance is a great missionary/person.
Mar. 21, 2011
Not too much has happened this week. I got to go on a couple of exchanges, one with the zone leaders and the other with other missionaries in my district. They went well. We had one lesson a lady who was studying with the Jehovah Witnesses. She was very nice and liked what we taught her. At the end of the lesson, we invited her to pray to see if she needed to be baptized. We kneeled down and prayed and she said she still didn't feel ready. We invited her to pray again and ask a question about baptism. After she said that she felt a warm feeling. She said it was way different than anything she had felt with the Jehovah Witnesses'. We told her it was the Spirit and it was an answer to her prayer and she agreed to be baptized. It was really cool. I know I don't write about those kind of experiences very much but they do happen pretty frequently.
I also heard that Elder Holland is here for our Zone Conference this Thursday so I am really excited for that.
That is awesome to hear that Jimmer is tearing it up in the tournament. I hope they make it to the Final Four. How are the Jazz doing? My comp really likes the Jazz too.
Have a good week and I love you!
Ps anything new on the memory card?
Mar. 23, 2011
Today sucked! We didn’t get much done at all. First we cleaned the car in preparation for Zone Conference tomorrow. Then we rode bikes all day. Lots of our appointments fell through, and we only taught Manuel. We tried to go to Sidney’s (old white guy) today. First we knocked on the door and it took him awhile, but he finally came to the door, but couldn’t open it. As we were trying to help him with the door, his winter Texan Nazi neighbor was yelling at us to get out of there and that he didn’t want to talk to us. He just kept yelling at us while we stood there, until he said he was going to call the police. So I started to walk away and Elder Argueta stayed there. That is when the man started pushing E. Argueta to leave. So I stopped and said “Please do not touch him or I will call the cops on you.” He backed off, but still kept telling us to leave, so we walked back to our bikes while the old man was talking to Sidney, saying we were a cult and he was trying to save him from us. Sidney finally got the door open, yelled at the guy, and apologized to us for his neighbor. He said “They have no right to tell me what to do.” While Sidney was talking with us, the guy called the owner of the trailer park. The owner came over and was very nice. He didn’t kick us out or anything, because he had no reason to. It was pretty crazy.
Mar. 28, 2011
I got the memory card! Thank you mucho. I should be sending my other one now that it is full. This week was Zone Conference and it was awesome. We listened to a talk from Elder Holland that he gave at the mission president's seminar. It was awesome and ironically exactly what the whole district needed. The 600lb guy finally got out of the hospital so that was some good news. By the way, I don't remember if I ever told you but while he was in the hospital, we visited him one day. We gave him a blessing and read a few verses with him. At the end of the visit I asked the classic missionary question, "Is there anything that we can do to help you out today?" Sometimes that question backfires as it did in this case. First he asked for a foot message. I wanted to say no but I felt bad for him so my comp and I started rubbing his feet. For the record, I didn't touch his bare foot. Then he asked if we could rub his knees. Now on a 600lb man, you have to question where it is their knees are. We kindly rubbed his knees. Then he said he had a scratch on his back. So I put a glove on and went into the unknown of Jorge's back. I am not going to lie, I was scared but nevertheless I did it. It was one of the weirdest and most awkward things I have done on the mission. Transfers are coming up this next week so next time I will let you know what is going to happen with me. I don't think that I am going anywhere but I will let you know if I get a new comp or not. Anyways, have a great week and I love you!!
Mar. 29, 2011
We have since been back to Sidney, and he is a very nice and lonely man. He is really trying to make changes in his life. We’ve gotten to know him a little bit better, and have found out that he has been taken advantage of on numerous occasions. He moved to Texas because he didn’t like all the black people in Memphis, and he has homosexual feelings at times. You find out about someone when you ask questions and listen. We had a cool experience with a lady named Jennifer. We met her a couple of weeks ago, and she was never home. So Tuesday we were in the area, and decided to stop by. She was there. She said that we were basically an answer to her prayers. She had just gotten her son taken away by CPS. She started reading, and after, wanted to pray. She remembered that we had taught her the correct form of prayer. Just the next day we stopped by and she knew that was no coincidence. It was an answer from God. She talked about how she was ready to change her lifestyle for the better and be ready to be baptized. We invited her to be baptized on the 17th of April. Her eyes lit up and she told us that was her Dad’s birthday, and her son’s birthday (the one who got taken away)! She knew for sure that we were from God, and that she should be baptized on that special day. She has been real flakey the last couple of days, but we will remind her of this great experience to help her along the path.
April 1, 2011
Zone Conference was a week ago, and it was awesome. We listened to a talk by Elder Holland que habla de la unidad y el companerismo divino de El Espiritu Santo. Aprendi muchisimas cosas. Tambien aprendimos de los estudios y como podemos tener estudimiento mas eficaz. Elder Argueta comparto su testimonio y me mencio de que como ha aprendido mucho de mi. Averiguamos acerca de las transferencias. Elder Argueta se va a Weslaco South y mi compa nueva is Elder Metcalf. Yo nunca le ha visto el y ojala que yo y el seramos amigos. Fui en intercambios con Elder Parry unos dias atras. Tienen unas investigadores que son hermanas se llamen Janette y Priscilla. Yo habia dicho a Elder Parry y Avila a orar con ellas para recibir una respuesta de Dios sobre su bautismo. Ellos no habian hecho eso con Janette yo pore so no quiso ella ser bautisada. Priscilla tadavia sabia que necesitaba ser bautisada y van a ser bautisada este Domingo. Yo habia estado pensando mucha en como peudo ayudar a Janette orar porque ella no quiso preguntar a Dios. Entonces fuimos a la casa de ellas. Primeramente ella dijo que no quiso preguntar a Dios, pero quiso una repuesta. Al fin de la noche se sintio El Espritu y quiso ser bautisada con su Hermana. Se arrodillo y me pregunto, “Cual pregunta debe hacer?” La dijimos orar acerca de si necesitera ser bautisada el 3 de Abril. Hizo la oracion y despues recibio una respuesta. Era una experiencia bien fadre. Para ver El Espiritu Santo trabahar en personas es algo bien especial.
TRANSLATION: Zone Conference was a week ago, and it was awesome. We listened to a talk by Elder Holland that talked about the unity and divine companionship of the Holy Ghost. I learned a lot of things. We also learned study and how we can have more effective study time. Elder Argueta bore his testimony and mentioned how much he had learned from me. We also found out about transfers. Elder Argueta was transferred to Weslaco South and my new companion is Elder Metcalf. I’ve never met him, so I hope he and I will be friends. I was on exchanges with Elder Parry a few days ago. They have two investigators that are sisters named Janette and Priscilla. I had spoken with Elder Parry about praying with them to receive an answer from God about their baptism. The Elders had not done this with Janette and because of this, she didn’t want to be baptized. Priscilla already knew that she needed to be baptized, and is going to be baptized this Sunday. I had been thinking a lot on how I could help Janette to pray because she didn’t want to ask the Lord. So, we went to their house. At first Janette said that she didn’t want to ask the Lord, but she did want an answer. At the end of the night she felt the Spirit and wanted to be baptized with her sister. We knelt down and I asked “What question do you need to ask?” She answered “I need to ask if I need to be baptized on the 3rd of April.” She said the prayer and after received her answer. It was an awesome experience. To see the Holy Ghost work on a person is something very special.
Apr. 3, 2011
Conference was great this year. I definitely received a lot of revelation for myself and I hope that you received a lot too. I agree with you on President Monson's talk. It was very direct and straight forward. That is crazy how it is still snowing there! I would be happy is some of that would come over this way. It is starting to get way too hot here already. In the car today the temperature said 101! My official release date is November 1st. We also heard about transfers this week and my companion is leaving but staying in the same district and my new comp is Elder Metcalf. From what I have heard is that he started his mission in Arcadia, CA but got sick so they sent him where they send all the sick missionaries, here haha. He has been in Corpus Christi for about 4 months so I hope he still can speak the espanol bien. He is also further along in the mission than I am so it is going to be weird being the senior comp to someone that is older than me. I also had a great experience with one of the investigators from another area when I was on exchanges. It was the week before their baptism and they still hadn't received an answer that they should be baptized. One of them was still planning on it but the other one didn't want to get baptized anymore. So we went over there and the one who didn't want to get baptized refused to pray but I was persistent and a long story short, they received an answer and both were able to get baptized in between sessions of conference. It was pretty cool to see them feel the spirit and receive an answer. Well that was my week. Love you and have a great week!
PS I wear a 151/2 or 16 neck shirt and my garments I wear a medium tall top I think and whatever a 30-32 waist bottom is. I would fine is the top was maybe a little longer if that was possible. Thank you!