November 1, 2010
I'm just starting to get familiar with the area now. Edinburg has Spanish and an English ward of about 150 or so members in each. Elder Millar is from Course Gold, CA. We get along really well. He has been out for a little over six months. Yeah we are on bikes 100 percent of the time and I don't mind it too much. The other day we rode to the very southernmost part of our area and Elder Millar got a flat tire so we started walking back home and we didn't get too far when one of the other elders called and said he had my bike from Brownsville (I left it down there so I was using someone else's) So they came and picked us up, it was miracle. We live in an apartment with one room. It’s not too bad. I cleaned all of it on Saturday so it is a lot better now. Yesterday for Halloween, we could stay out till nine so it was weird being around all the trick or treaters. We did knock a few doors and people thought we were dressed in costumes and gave us candy haha. Sure you can forward this to whoever you want I don't mind at all. Well that is about it from me. Have a great week. Love Elder Strong
November 2, 2010
Today started out great. We found a new investigator named Rocky who was really cool. Then we taught a lesson in Spanish. But after that we didn’t have success at all. We went by our appointments, but none of them were there and two of our BD’s kind of seemed uninterested, so today was rough. But I know things will get better and we’ll see success in this area.
November 3, 2010
Today we had District Meeting It went well. After that the day got a little frustrating. We were riding to our first appointment and Elder Millar’s bike just decided to break. It was something to so with the derailleur but we fixed it. First app. wasn’t there, so we planned to contact. The first guy we talked to said “Keep walking. This is private property” and we were on the street. Haha! We didn’t have too much success and when we returned to the bikes, Elder Millar’s bike had a flat-well air was gradually leaking from the tire, so we rode past a tire shop and they put air in it for us. Then the derailleur got messed up again. Elder Millar was super frustrated. Later we went to Juan’s house. He asked me to trim the back of his hair. It was looking good until he moved and I cut too much on one side. He didn’t notice so I think it will be alright. I talked with Norma today about going to Michael’s baptism on Sunday. I’ll find out more information tomorrow
November 6, 2010
Wow, a lot has happened in the last three days. The other day we found a guy named Joe a.k.a. Batman. He is an 8 year old in a 50 year old body. Some things he does reminds me of Terry. He has action figures and tractors & Popsicle stick mystery machines everywhere. He is a super funny guy. This week we should have some people at Church so we are very excited for that. Also, I have the chance to go to Michael’s baptism tomorrow. I’m very excited to go and baptize him. More happened, but I can’t remember it all.
November 8, 2010
Michael’s baptism went very well. It was really weird going back but it seemed like I had never left. Some people there didn’t even know that I had gone, so it was pretty funny. We had to baptize Michael twice because I messed up with the prayer and I felt bad because the water was pretty cold. Man that family is so legit. It makes me happy to see how well they are doing in the Church. Norma got a calling to be the Visiting Teaching Supervisor. Anyway, back to Edinburg. Today we taught Estella & her mom and sister. Estella is really cool and is trying to get Sunday off to come to Church. Ana Marie is an awesome example to all her friends and family. Because of her many people will accept the Gospel because of her excitement for it.
November 8, 2010
It is great to hear that you are doing well. This week was rough but it ended really good. The last two weeks we have found a lot of people but we never see them again so it has been really frustrating but we have faith at least one of them will be legit. We met a guy who goes by Batman. He is hilarious! He is a little "special" and is stuck in the 70's. He has action figures all over his living room and he watches cartoons all the time. Because he likes Batman so much, we asked him what he thinks about the new Batman movie, and he said "The one in '89?" haha! But he is great and very accepting of the gospel. Also I got permission from the mission president to go to Brownsville and baptize one of my recent convert’s sons so it was a really cool experience. So that is what I did Sunday night and it was good to see all the members and missionaries in Brownsville again. Well I can't think of anything to say anymore. Thanks for all your great letters. Have a great week and love you!
Oh and I was going to ask you if I could get a copy of my line of authority? And I don't know my address; it is something 14th place, Edinburg. I will let you know what it is next week.
November 11, 2010
Yesterday and today we saw some success in our area. Yesterday we had a good lesson with Estella & her Mom. Then we went to a rosary for Sylvia’s Aunt .Bro Bunch was asked to share a few words and it was awesome. He talked a little about the Plan of Salvation and even shared a scripture from the Pearl of Great Price. Today we were able to teach Rocky. He is really cool and says he wants to come to Church on Sunday. At about 3:00 we had nothing to do so we decided to go to Shanice. On the way there we saw an ice cream parlor and both of us got the same thought, so we went. It was closed for lunch so we just went to Shanice. She was there, but her Tia was on her way to pick her up. If the ice cream parlor was open, we never would have taught Shanice. It was a testimony to me that when the Spirit prompts you, do it immediately. Don’t stop for ice cream.
November 14, 2010
OK, so Saturday was kind of a crappy day. We didn’t get a whole lot done. At about 4:00 in the afternoon, I got a call from Elder Whetjerell asking me how good my Spanish was. I knew he was going to say something bad. He told me I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting in Spanish. I accepted, but was super nervous. So we came home a night and I started to prepare my talk. I didn’t go to bed until 11:07 at night. I thought that I was going to be a lot more nervous, but during I felt fine and calm. I had prayed for the Spirit to be with me and it really helped a lot with my Spanish and nerves. I ended up speaking for about 10 minutes and I was really proud of myself.
November 15, 2010
It has started to cool down quite a bit down here also. This last week we wore sweaters a few nights because it gets pretty chilly. This week I got stung by a bee....that wasn't fun but it is better. I was locking my bike at a stop sign and there was a bee nest there and one of them got me. Also this week on Saturday, I got a phone call from the zone leaders. They asked me how my Spanish was doing so I knew right away that what was coming next wouldn't be good. It was followed by a speaking assignment in the Spanish ward on Sunday. This is the first talk I have had to give in English or Spanish in the mission so I was pretty nervous. So when I went home that night I had to start writing my talk. It went really well though. I spoke for ten minutes about the Book of Mormon and how we can share it with others. The members said I did pretty well. Also we finally got someone to church this week so it was pretty good and we are excited for her because she has really great potential. Everything is going well here and hope all is well there. Have a good week and you are in my prayers
Love Elder Strong
November 16, 2010
Today was a pretty eventful day. For starters, we headed down south to contact. Halfway down, Elder Millar’s bike broke. As we were fixing it a lady came up to us and asked us if we needed and help. She then told us she was the Bishop’s wife in the Spanish Ward and insisted on taking us out to eat. We went to Dairy Queen so, so far the morning was good. Then we got to the streets we planned to contact. We weren’t really finding anyone but people were home. Then when we decided to go home for lunch, we saw a man outside. We went to talk to him and he was really cool. He told us to wait while he went inside. He came out with a Book of Mormon and was ready to learn more about it. On the way home from that we were biking and saw an old lady just collapse. We stopped and quickly helped her. She landed on her face and broke her glasses and was bleeding on her face. It was amazing how great the timing was for that to happen and who knows if we saved her life or not. The Lord blessed us in that moment for sure.
November 19, 2010
Today was a good day. An appointment fell through while we were down south, so we decided to stop by this old lady named Claire Wilson. She is in her 90’s and the sweetest old lady ever. She was so happy to see us again because she had some questions for us. We also taught Batman tonight. He opened the door and he was wearing his G.I. Joe costume. It was really funny to see that. I really hope we can get him to come to Church and he will have a good experience there so he can feel the Spirit and know these things are true. Estella is doing very well. We took Bro. Bunch over with us and man is it weird to see old people flirt. After, Bunch just told us about his woman problems and stuff so it was pretty awkward.
November 21, 2010
Yesterday we helped Rocky with his daughter’s birthday party. He went all out for her and needed help decorating Spongebob cakes. It was actually really fun. We also went on splits with the Beltran Boys. I want with Aaron and Elder Millar went with Liko. The appointments we had fell through, so we just contacted for a while. A kid invited us in and we started teaching him. Halfway through the lesson we heard a knock at the door, and of course it was Elder Millar and Liko contacting. It was pretty funny. Today we had Estella at Church. It was cool, because we called her before and she was all ready to go. When she got there she was saying how she really didn’t want to go to the Spanish Ward. She prayed about it, and the Lord told her exactly what she needed to do, so she was at Church. She has a great testimony already and she is doing really well. The Lord is really helping her be converted.
November 22, 2010
That’s good that it is starting to cool down. I am jealous because it is still in the mid 80's here. I just want it to be somewhat cold but it is ok because it is usually really nice weather. The wind cools it down a lot. Wow Josh called? So is he going to write me or should I write him first? That is cool that the missionaries talked to him. So for Thanksgiving everyone in the ward wants to feed the missionaries so we are going to get fed a ton. We have about 4 dinner appointments planned and we had to turn down some others so I don't know how I am going to eat all the food! It should be fun though because all the missionaries should be at least two of the appointments. This week was pretty good for us. On Tuesday we found a guy who already had a Book of Mormon and wanted to learn more. Then on the way home from that, I was riding ahead of my comp and I saw an old lady just collapse while watering her plants. We stopped and got help for her. She was bleeding a little on her head but it was amazing that we just happened to be there to get help for her. We were deciding on which road to take and I am glad we took that one or else who knows what would have happened to her. Oh mom, I am on my last pair of contacts just to let you know. I am planning on wearing them for a couple months then just wear glasses if you want me to. That is all from me. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving 2010 - Elder Payne, Elder Strong, Elder Millar
November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving! Man, Thanksgiving in the Field is way different than at home. Today we ate three times. First with the Sanchez Family, with Elders Messervey and Payne. I wasn’t feeling well at all, and I struggled to finish my plate. Next we ate at the Gonzalez Family, and again I struggled to finish. Last, we went to the Holbrook’s. On the way there, Elder Millar’s bike broke beyond an easy repair, so we had to walk the rest of the way. The Holbrook’s are super crazy. Bro. Holbrook and his wife were excommunicated, but are starting to go back to Church again. After being stuffed, we had a great lesson with Estella to teach her all of the commandments. She only had a problem with coffee, but I know she will get over it. She also said that when she went to Church and after I had told her that there was a reason she needed to be at Church to receive some sort of blessing, she did. She received an account, and knew it was a blessing from the Lord for going to Church. She is so awesome!
November 29, 2010
Well we got the transfer call and Elder Millar is leaving, unfortunately. So my new companion will be straight from the MTC. I’m freakin’ training! I’m so freakin’ nervous! I meet him tomorrow. I am going to have to pray a lot for help to be a good trainer. I need to start with obedience, then diligence. I am super excited, though, and I am ready for this great experience to help someone start their mission off right. I love all the new experience I’ve been given lately to grow and help others grow.
Elder Strong & Elder Millar
November 29, 2010
So sounds like your Thanksgiving went well. Mine was great too. It was the opposite of cold though, about 85 degrees. We started the day off with a big meal. I wasn't feeling too good, the night before I was having an upset stomach and it stayed with me for Thanksgiving. I could barely finish the first plate at the first house so I knew the rest of the day would be hard. Right after that we went to another meal appointment. I didn't eat much at all. After that another dinner appointment and I ate at a plate there so it was pretty rough on my stomach. On the way to the last dinner appointment, my comp's bike broke so we had to lock it up on a pole and walk. Good thing it was only a few blocks away.
We also received the transfer call. I thought for sure my comp and I would stay together but he is leaving. My new comp is going to be brand new, straight from the MTC! I'm training! I am really nervous but ready for this big step. I won't find out anything about him until the day of transfers which is tomorrow. President likes to not tell the trainers who their companions are until the day of. A member in the ward and I are planning on scaring him. We are going to knock his house and he is going to pretend he is just a random guy and yell at him in Spanish. It will be hilarious! I am going to try not to laugh to give it away. It will be a warm welcome for the greeny haha! Anyways have a good week! I sent two pictures home for Thanksgiving, hope you like them. Love you!
Elder Strong & Elder Hardman