Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dec 27, 2016 - Santa Jason

So here is the picture of me being Santa for the first time! They had us sneak into their house while their kids were hiding and watching and pretend to be a tired Santa leaving the presents. It was pretty fun! Elder Page stood outside and watched and rang slay bells like the reindeer were chilling outside. Super fun!

Week 37 - Dec 27, 2016

Hey Everybody!
This week has been pretty awesome! We were going through some "former Investigator" teaching records to look for people to try back again. One of them had been taught for a very long time and at the bottom of the form it said *stop going by these people*. It didn't say why besides that they weren't progressing so we decided to go back anyway. She had had her husband pass away between now and the last record entry and was excited for us to come over! So we are going to be coming back this week now that she isn't so busy with Christmas and teach her! She has been studying on her own and had found a huge interest in the Doctrine of the three Kingdoms of Glory, so we are going to have lots of fun! 

Christmas we spent a lot of time just hanging out together in the apartment writing letters, decorating our ginger bread house, opening gifts, and studying. It was awesome! We had dinner with the Scrimsher family and Skyped at their house, Super Cool Night!

Well, love you all!

Elder Strong

Here are a few pictures:
Our Ginger Bread house
The tie I am had sewing I made out of a shirt
And there will be a lot more in another email.

Week 36 - Dec 19, 2016

Hey Everyone!

So this week was pretty Crazy and Awesome!
So we spent all day Tuesday packing up all my crap...I have a decent amount of crap now. And then when I finally finished packing we said goodbye to everyone. Then I said goodbye to Elder Denny and I got brought out to Kennewick to meet Elder Page, my new companion! We cover the Ridgeview and Ridgeline wards and they are awesome! I love having multiple wards, There is always something to do!

Elder Page is from Gilbert Arizona and came out on a mission in February so he has only been out a month longer than me, which is pretty awesome! He is a District Leader which is nice because I get to enjoy the perks but don't have to take on the stress! Its pretty nice! I do still miss being one though but I'll get my chance soon. He has only been one for one transfer so I get to help him if he has questions.

OH! and Really quickly I just wanted to thank the 4th Ward for the Christmas Present! It was super Awesome! Thank You So Much! It came at a great time and helped me a lot! It is always a little stressful getting transferred but the very first thing I got when I got here was that package and it made me so happy and helped me so much!

Well not a ton else has happened but it has been super awesome!

Well I guess I'll see some of you Sunday! 

Love You!

Elder Strong

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

November 24, 2016 - Two dinners on Thanksgiving (Pictures from Ward Members)

Look who came for dinner!!
We loved having your sons in our home today, there was no room in their stomach for any more food!!
In the picture is my son Perry, who is the ward mission leader in his branch.

Your missionaries say they love you and are thankful for you!

Week 35 - Dec 12, 2016


So I was finally able to dodge the transfer bullet, first time in the past 4 transfers, and so was my companion, first time in my whole mission! Its exciting to know that there won't be any extreme changes coming up!

So this week we did a lot more finding! Half way through the week we realized that we were both getting sick of nothing but tracting so we made some changes and have been doing  a lot more things like visiting former investigators and things like that. And even if we don't get to talk to anyone  we start knocking the doors near that house. It has been really good! We also get to talk to a lot more people and still not get too annoyed doing nothing but knocking. And then after we had made this decision we were given the blessing that was on our way for our efforts! We got a text from our Bishop that a PMF (part member family) moved into the boundaries. We went and met them, the husband is the member and is still out in Salem Oregon but his wife who is investigating the church told us she wants to be baptized! It was awesome! We are excited to get to teach her!

We also got to go to the Ward Christmas Party this week! It was awesome! A lot of less-active members came and now we have a big list of people that we get to go meet with and help them get active again, It was awesome!

Also, BTW, It has been snowing a lot out here! It is awesome... until you get a call that they don't want missionaries out driving, then it sucks a little. But It is good news to know that the stuff I have for the cold can keep me super warm and dry! So it isn't that bad when we have to get out and walk.

I was listening to a talk the other day by Elder Holland and he used a scripture that was amazing! 3 Ne 22:10. Super cool! basically says that even the most unbelievable things could happen but Christ will never leave us!

So I am not going to change the email so you can see and experience how sudden and annoying and surprising this is but we just got a call that I am getting transferred to Kennewick.......So thats cool.

Well, thats it Love You!

Elder Strong

Week 34 - December 5, 2016

Hey Guys!

Had another Pretty Great Week!
A couple highlights this week are:
Saturday we had a Zone Council in Milton FreeWater (the only "half-way point" between here and Walla-Walla where the whole zone can meet together to have our meetings) and we did a ton of Role-plays where we practiced teaching. First we practiced teaching the Restoration in under 4 minutes so we could do it whenever someone tells us they don't have time to meet that day. We did that just with other Missionaries but then we did a full 45 minute Restoration with some members who came down to the meeting. It was awesome and a lot of fun! It was a really uplifting council that helped us all remember that we are actually pretty good at teaching even though we can still improve in some ways.

This week we have been doing a crap ton of finding, and it was actually pretty awesome! We did Member Visits, Tracting, Referral contacting, pretty much everything you can think of. It felt good to just get out and work super hard, and then get home and get to sleep as soon as possible HaHa. Pretty fun.

We also spent a lot of time over at out Branch Mission Leaders house, Perry. His Parents just bought a new home and are letting him rent it from them. We volunteered to come over and help him do some re-modeling we helped him rip out some carpet and then pull up some hard wood flooring, then we found out under the hard wood was some laminate tiling glued to particle board. It was Terrible! Mostly because the board wouldn't all come up all at once because it looked like whoever put it down let their kids go nuts with the staple gun, but we got it mostly done but the staples because they were too hard to pull out just with a LeatherMan (all we had). Sounds like they have someone who is going to find a way to get them out or they will hammer them all down flat because they are going to put new hard wood down. It's going to be pretty nice once it is all done. He is pretty lucky to have this as a first home, he is getting married to a girl from Brazil sometime next Spring, they have to wait for her marriage Visa. 

Anyway, super good week! Talk to you all later!!!

Heres the hand full of pictures I took this week! Love You!​

Elder Strong

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 33, November 28, 2016

Hi everyone! (I still have a hard time starting these things)

So this week was a good Thanksgiving week! We had two dinners with two different families. The Houses, a family of the McKay Creek ward who really like missionaries and the Jennings Family, the family of Perry our Branch Mission Leader in the YSA Branch. It was awesome! The whole day was spent mostly with members and getting funny/angry looks when knocking random doors while tracting (by direction of our Mission President). It was a good day.

We did a ton of service for the Salvation Army this week. Both in their thrift store and in their food kitchen. The food Kitchen is a way awesome place to volunteer! If anyone has never done it, You  need to try it at least once! You can definitely feel the Spirit and closer to Christ. It was fun!

Then we went to a lot of training meetings for the new Christmas Initiative that they have started in the church. If you haven't heard of it yet it is called #LightTheWorld. It is way cool! All the msisionaries are super super pumped about it. I have been throwing the pass along cards at everyone like crazy! We are super excited to use Decemeber as a World Wide month of Service! I invite all of you to watch the video and accomplish Everyday of the Invitiative! They aren't that hard to do and the Blessings are amazing! 

Go Do It!!!

Love you!

Elder Strong

Week 32, November 21, 2016

Hello Everyone!!! This week has been pretty awesome! 

This week we were super busy! We had conference monday and then we had 2 baptisms to attend on saturday and with all of our normal meetings like correlation we didn't have a ton of time to do normal proselyting things like tracting and stuff. 

Thursday we were on exchanges. I was in my District Leaders area with him. He is Elder Stevens and he is awesome! We spent a lot of time doing service for some older people we were asked to help move. Wednesday E. Denny and I went for about a half hour to help with the heavy things but we found out they needed a lot more than two people and a lot more than 1/2 an hour. So we came back on exchanges with 4 elders and 2 sisters. They were so grateful, it was awesome. They moved into my area so we get to go back and ask them to come to church!

Friday was our Weekly Planning day so we spent most of the day planning until about 6. Then we went with a member to go to a lesson with an investigator Jodi. She flaked on us but the member told us he had enough time to stay out with us the rest of the night. So we decided to go visit some former investigators we had written down earlier that day. The very first one we visited we found out had moved but the guy we had talked to let us in. We were able to teach the whole Restoration Lesson and then we invited him to be baptized on Dec 17! It was way awesome!

I also made Deer Steak for us for lunch! It was also awesome! Here is me in my new apron, Thank you Sarah Olson! (my well beloved aunt)

Saturday we watched two baptisms and then went to a YSA activity about Family History, it was a super good day! 


Well that's all, Love you!!!

Elder Strong

I'm not a District Leader right now, at first I was kinda sad but it has been super nice to have some more time to take care of my own things. We had to leave fast this morning so I didn't have time to take pictures of the apartment or my socks yet, but the socks are super awesome! I am super happy with them! I'll get you those pictures next week.

Elder Denny has been out 17 months. Here is a picture. He is from a place called Low Mountain Arizona near Flagstaff (ish) He is from the Indian Reservation. He is a convert of about 2 years, only his little brother is an active member of the church. He didn't find out his parents were members until he was baptized. He is 100% Navajo.

That's cool that you got to go to Saint George, that's always a fun trip.

Maybe a KFC would be good. I have been wanting to go there but I don't want to make E. Denny pay for it so maybe I could use it to pay for both of us. Plus there is almost always a Subway in most areas.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 31, November 15, 2016

Hey Everyone!

So this week has been crazy and awesome at the same time! 
It is awesome here in Pendleton! There is no sales tax so everything is super cheap and it is illegal to pump your own gas so someone else has to do it for you. Which means every time we fill our tank we get to talk to someone about the Gospel! They probably hate it but it is pretty fun for us (and possibly illegal but we'll see).

Yesterday we had zone conference and were visited by Elder Zeballos (za-bye-yos), it was an awesome conference! I got to see a lot of my old companions like Elders Snelgrove, Gwilliam, and Tobey. It was awesome! 

Covering a YSA area is nice because we get to chill with a ton of returned missionaries who really want to help us find people to teach and they are really good at giving us their friends to teach. Plus we have all of Pendleton in our area which means we can shop and eat anywhere we want. It's awesome!

I forgot to take pictures of the apartment but it is super super small haha! It is known throughout the mission as the Broom Closet! We live in a members home above their garage they converted into an apartment. It is a one bedroom one bath apartment. We eat, study and sleep in one room and our bathroom is also our closet. It's a pretty big change from the dome! But it is awesome! I'll send pictures next week!

Sorry it is a short one! Love you!

Elder Strong

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Week 30

Hi-lo Everyone!

So first off, I am totally getting transferred! Whooo! 6 transfers, 6 different Companions, 5 different areas. I am going to be transferred to Pendleton Oregon, in the Mckay Creek Ward (pronounsed Mc-eye) and Pendleton YSA Ward. So I will be back in the same zone I just left, but I will only see most of the zone only like 2 that transfer. My companion is Elder Denny! He was in the same Zone as me when I was getting trained, we have always been really good friends whenever we see each other. Its gonna be awesome!

It is pretty sad that I have been spending only six weeks with my companions and in that area lately but I know it is for a purpose and to help me grow and become a stronger missionary. I have a testimony of the Revelation we can directly receive from our Heavenly Father and I know a lot of Revelation is involved in Transfer planning. 

This week I have been having a harder time finding things to study but I starting reading Ensigns, It was really cool. Some of my Favorites were the Special Ensigns they put out for the apostles that recently passed away and some of the articles for the new ones being put in. It is awesome to learn about the things that happened in there life along the way to becoming apostles and some of the standards and goals they had long before becoming apostles. It was a really fun thing to study. Something I am working on is my ability to recognize revelation and to always give thanks when I receive it, I know that it has been promised to every single one of us that we can receive revelation if we are worthy.

Other than that I don't have a whole ton to talk about. My mind is all frazzled trying to think of all the things I got to do to get ready for transfers.

Plus I am going to miss the crap out of my flannel bed-sheets and queen sized bed :(

Love You!

Elder Strong

Our Pumpkin after Lighting Duritos because we don't have any Candles

Elder Gwilliam Fist bumping a Praying mantis that crawled all they way up his pants up to his face.
Some missionaries are teaching a family and this guy is always like this, they call him Grandpa

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 1, 2016 - Week 29

Hey everyone!

This week was way cool! Monday night we went on exchanges with the Zone leaders, I went to their area with Elder Lauti! It was way cool except we had a zone service project that morning and then I did my District Council right after so after all that plus dinner we only had like 2 or 3 hours to go out and to proselyte together. But those couple hours were pretty great! We just knocked doors mostly but we had some really good experiences. We always pick something for us to focus on during the exchange so I picked bearing Testimony of how the Book of Mormon has effected your life. But as is tradition for most exchanges, we forget about the focus and don't do it. But at the very last door we picked for the night I realized we weren't doing it and I resolved that I would do it. So I looked for some way to bring up the Book of Mormon...and noticed he was wearing a Foo Fighters shirt... So after he said he wasn't interested I said "your just trying to relax and listen to the Foo Fighters right?" He laughed and said yes giving me a chance to say something like "yeah, I used to be like that to but I decided it wasn't good enough. So i started reading the Bible and Book of Mormon and found new purpose in my life." Some how this gave him a reason to step outside, shut the door, and have an actual conversation with us. (he also locked himself out we found out later) The conversation was really cool but in the end he still wasn't very interested in having us come back, such is the ways of missionary life, but now he liked us more and he knows we actually care about people and if he ever did have a desire to learn more he would be more comfortable with us. It was cool. 

Because of Halloween we had to come back to the apartment at 6 and we also had a District Council in the morning so we didn't to go out to proselyte for very long but the time we had was pretty efficient minus the fact it took us 1 hr and 15 minutes to walk to the area we were tracting. There was a guy walking to the mailboxes that waved at us and made the classic "its too early to be trick-or-treating" joke. He was a nice guy but not interested. He checked the mail but he didn't have anything so he walked back to his house but right after we knocked a door we turned around and saw the mail man deliver the mail. So we walked back to his house to tell him that the mail was here and had a really good conversation. Again, they weren't interested but would now be more open to future missionaries. So we move onward and continue to Sow Seeds! You can't harvest what was never planted so I am happy whether I am reaping or sowing fro the future missionaries.

My District Council was really cool. In case you don't know, when you are a District Leader you are in charge of making District Councils for the District. Each transfer we always have 3, so I have to organize 3 District Councils. This time I invited President and Sister Anderson to come to it. He was once the Mission President in Sweden and they were both just released from the Temple Presidency. They were so awesome to have there! It was a fun council!

Nothing else really happened this week except that:
  • our fridge is overflowing with Cake and Pie from my birthday and some dinners that were delivered to the house
  • The Danes (who we live with) gave us Flannel bead sheets to sleep in and they are so disgustingly comfortable it is ridiculous! So hard to get out of bed now!
  • Our Bike is still broken even though we should have gotten the part by now. When the member went to pick it up they had forgotten to order it
  • We were walking past the Bethel church and saw what there Youth Program was teaching them...I'll send a picture of the Car they were beating
Love You all!!!

Elder Strong
This Osprey landed in the tree in front of house and ate a fish it caught. Our Members love birds and had a spoting scope out so I took pictures for them (they were out of town)

"Judge Ekstrom, problem Solver"