Monday, September 30, 2013

September 2, 2010

   I saw the Rio Grande today! We planned on washing our car today, so we thought we might as well try to go to the River. First we tried going through this one road, but we ended up on private property, so we tried taking this road that runs along the border fence, but we got scared, so we went to the first gap in the fence and saw the border patrol truck there. We left but decided to go back and ask if we could go to the border & he said it was alright, so we got to go to the River. It was Grande and you could see where the river had flooded to and it was like 8 feet higher. After, we washed the car. Looks good. Marcela touched me today. She grabbed my hand to explain something I didn’t understand & she grabbed my hand & I touched or rather rubbed her elbow. I still don’t know exactly what she was talking about, but still it was really weird.

Baptism for Grecia Artega

September 3, 2010

   Not much happened today. It was Frank’s birthday, though. We stopped by for a lesson and he said “No lesson today because it’s my birthday.” So we just watched a movie. Then Norma took us to Whataburger for dinner. We just had another lesson with Chris & he really wants to be baptized so that is cool. Oh last Saturday we were at a birthday/baptism party for Grecia Artega. They had music going & most of the people there only knew Spanish & they had shaggy playing. It was funny.


September 5, 2010

   Well last night we got the transfer calls and I totally thought I was going to be transferred but to mine and Elder Guillen’s surprise, Elder Guillen is getting transferred to Corpus. I am going to stay here again for at least another transfer. My new companion will be Elder Berglund. He will be Senior Comp. He is coming from Harlingen & leaves in April. I hope he is cool I’m excited for the next transfer.


September 6, 2010

   Today it rained a ton! We played soccer again & it was legit. We were super wet but I actually played really well. We then stuffed our faces at the Texas Roadhouse with Orozco & Peterson. We taught Mary and she is still legit. We kind of went into deep doctrine, but she is still cool. We said goodbye to the De La Llata’s. Guillen ate a ton of food & some of mine. Another tropical storm is hitting here. It is raining a lot and I got soaked walking/running inside.

Elder Strong, Elder Peterson, & Elder Smelcer

September 8, 2010

Dear Parents

Don't worry I am feeling better now. It was a cold-like thing so you know how I am with that
. This week was the last week of the transfer so we decided to try and go to the border of Mexico. We talked to some border patrol guy and he showed where the border was so I have pictures of the Rio Grande. You can see where it had flooded to also so it was pretty cool. Then I found out that I wasn't getting transferred but Elder Guillen was. So now I have a new companion and am still here in Brownsville. His name is Elder Berglund from northern Idaho. He has been for almost a year and a half now so I am still Jr. comp. It has rained a lot here. There was another tropical storm here but we didn't get evacuated. We also played soccer in the rain on p day so it was really fun. I heard about all the changes for BYU. That is crazy! I also heard about the Boise St game and it sounded like a good one. Well I don't have anything else to say. Have a great week!  Love Elder Strong


Elder Strong at Joe's Baptism
September 13, 2010

Dear Parents

That is great that mom got a job offer! I pray she gets the job. I heard about the cougars. That’s no bueno but that is good they stuck to just one QB this game. Things are going good here. Yesterday we had a surprise baptism. One of our investigators that we hadn't heard from in about a week called us about being baptized that Sunday. We found out on Saturday that one of our investigators was leaving to North Carolina this week and was going to be there for a month. So we called the zone leaders and they said we should get him baptized and confirmed before he leaves. So we had to set up an interview just before his baptism. Luckily the other elders in the ward were having a baptism so we combined programs with them and everything went well. It was hectic but awesome to see him get baptized. That’s good to hear things are going well at home. Have a great week!

Love Elder Strong



Elder Strong & Elder Berglund

September 14, 2010

   Today was another rainy P-Day playing soccer. We started playing with a new group of missionaries. It wasn’t the same, but it was fun. Elder Berglund and I are getting along pretty well. He is an interesting kid, but a really good and obedient missionary. He loves to set baptismal dates on the first lesson. Joe got baptized on Sunday! He called us on Saturday (after we hadn’t seen him in about a week) and told us that he wanted to get baptized before he goes to North Carolina for work for a month. We made some calls to get everything set up & everything worked out perfectly. It was a really good experience for him. We even got his girlfriend to speak about baptism. He said he felt goose bumps when they laid their hand on his head for the Holy Ghost & he knew it really was the Holy Ghost. He even has desires to serve a mission in the future.

 Elder Strong & Elder Sanchez

September 15, 2010

   On Tuesday we had a Valley Conference in which the Area Seventy, Elder Richards, instructed us. It was an awesome meeting & I learned a lot. Today we spoke Spanish all day for the President’s challenge to improve our Spanish & I think it helped out a lot. Now I have a way more meaningful Spanish study & can already see an improvement. Tomorrow we are celebrating Mexican Independence Day at the Branch, so it should be a lot of fun.

Elder Strong's Last Day Driving

September 19, 2010

   Today we woke up to a long night of rain. Our apartment was a bit flooded & we received a message from the Zone Leaders to stay in our apartment as the water was too high. The flooding wasn’t too bad in the parking lot & not really knowing how flooded the streets were, we still left to Church assuming the best. As usual we dropped Elder Berglund off at the Casa Linda branch. On the way there, the water was high in some spots, but we made it through just fine. Next was the Price Church. I made a decision to go another route, hoping that it would be less flooded. Of course, though, it was more flooded. Still, we were determined to get to Church so we pressed on. The turn came to go to the church, but it was super flooded. Elder Castillo advised me to keep going straight, but I thought we could make it. Noooope!!!! Halfway through the intersection the car stopped, so we stalled in the middle of a lake. So we got out in our suit pants & pushed the car to the nearest Wal-Mart parking lot. A mechanic stopped us and helped. For a while there wasn’t any foaming in the engine so we were just hoping nothing happened to the car. The mechanic told us that we could buy a filter & it should run OK. We bought one, put it in, but still didn’t work. Finally we did get it running, but that was when foam started coming, so that car was trashed at that point. We got the Zone Leaders & a guy from the ward to take us there. The good news was that Terry was there & the Ortiz family came. That night we went to the Banda’s for dinner.


September 20, 2010

Dear Parents

Well this last week was kind of a bad week for me, well Monday through Saturday was good but I had a bad Sunday. So we woke up on Sunday morning to see that it had rained all night. Some spots in our apartment complex were really flooded. We got a message from the Zone Leaders that if there was too much water in our parking lot, we shouldn't go out. Our parking lot was not too bad so we went to church. First we had to drop Elder Berglund off at the Spanish branch so we went up there. There were a few flooded spots but nothing extremely bad on the way to the branch and we made it there just fine. Next we went to go to the English ward. I decided to go a different way to see if there was less flooding but I was wrong. There was a lot more but we were making it through but as we went further and further it got deeper. Pretty soon we were in about 8 inches of water. We got to the street to go to church and that street was just as flooded if not more. I made the bad decision of turning. We hit the dip and the car died there so we had to push the car out of the water in our suit pants. At the dip the water was well over a foot. We pushed it to a Wal-Mart parking lot and found out about 30 minutes later that water had gotten into the engine and was done. So now we aren't going to have a car for a while and I probably will not be able to drive the rest of my mission. So I will have to get used to a bike for a while haha. Other than that we had a good amount of people at church and we had a good week.

Do they have the fire under control? That stinks that mom didn't get the job but she'll find one soon enough. I don't think I will be able to see the Women's Conference but maybe in the future. Well, have a good week and I love you.

Elder Strong


September 22, 2010

   P-Day without a car was pretty bad, but we made it work. So Monday, Tuesday, & today we have been on bikes. So far Elder Berglund is super pissed to be on bikes. We found out tonight that we probably won’t be getting a car for a long time, so he is even more pissed. I love the kid, but man does he complain about everything. Oh well, what is done is done & nothing can change that, whether he likes it or not. Today we had a really cool experience. We decided to work as close to home as possible so we didn’t have to ride very far & found a lady who was waiting for the bus. We contacted her and it turns out that she was one of the former investigators that we had found in our area book. We set up an appointment for later on. When we came back she told us an awesome story about how she had prayed to know what she should do with her life & which religion was the right one. We never would have found her if it wasn’t for us being on bikes today. She has really strong desires to come to Church on Sunday. She is also going to start reading the Book of Mormon again & pray to receive answers to the doubts she has. Cynthia is definitely a huge blessing that has come from the dumb decision I made on Sunday. I know if we continue to be diligent, even without a car, we will continue to see big blessings come from it. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways.


September 27, 2010

Dear Parents

So my punishment was to ride a bike for a whole week. It was super hard because we live about 2 miles out of our area and our area is huge but it had to be done. We mainly worked as close as we could to our apartment so we didn't have to bike as far. Because of that the Lord blessed us with a really cool former investigator that we never would have found if we weren't on bikes. She was just waiting for a bus so we went and talked to her and that day I was looking through our area book and found her teaching record so I knew exactly who she was. If we were in a car at that time we never would have found her so it was pretty cool. She has a baptismal date for next month so we are really excited for that. Bikes were also a punishment too because of the mosquitos. I have never been bit by soo many mosquitos in my life. Now we have a car so we are really excited. I'm glad to hear things are going well. I didn't get a chance to see the conference so I didn't see mom. Yeah I hear BYU isn't doing so hot but oh well there is always next year. Let me know if that trade happens. Thank you and I love you mucho. Have a great week and I pray for mom everyday


Elder Strong


September 29, 2010

   Today we had a cool lesson with a new investigator named Jose. We had left him a pamphlet yesterday. Well the time before he had really studied it. He had many questions written down & he was ready for us to come, so it was cool. We didn’t get the opportunity to answer all his questions, but we are going by Friday so I’m excited for that. We got a car this Monday. It has been super nice getting it back.


September 30, 2010

   I really learned a lot from the lessons we had today. Our first lesson was with Ramiro, an old man who really wants to find the truth. Elder Berglund was asking questions that Ramiro didn’t like & I could tell he was getting a little mad, so I made sure to not ask a lot of questions, but Elder Berglund didn’t and he got mad. I learned then that my style of teaching is what Ramiro needs & because of it we can still visit. Then we visited Cristina & she told us she didn’t want to be baptized. It was then that Elder Berglund’s style of teaching is what really helped her. I really know that I am here for specific people in South Texas because of the God-given talents that I have & the same is with all missionaries world-wide. We are here for a specific reason.



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