Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 32, 2016 - BTW

May 30, 2016 - hey thanks, From Alex Gustavo Gutierrez

i got the stuff! thanks for that. you guys put sticky notes on everything like Jason does. he sent me a package with sticky notes on everything too. We've been emailing. well i hope everything is OK with you're family, and house. I know you've been through a lot and can go through more. ether 12:27 is always useful. and Alma 32:14,15 always helps me. by the way thanks for the flash light, it's pretty awesome. My first flight was pretty cool. It felt like a roller coaster. I think I actually felt fear for my life at one point. Looking outside the window of a tilted airplane freaked me out. it was cool to be above the clouds. I ended up reading the scriptures for most of the flight though. Toronto is pretty crazy. I'm in an area called Weston, it's the ghetto of Toronto. There's so much diversity here. Well anyway thanks for the package, love you guys! bye.

Elder Gutierrez

May 31, 2016 - Week 7

Hey Everybody,

So everything is going super awesome, Elder Tobey is pretty great. He will be finishing my training (I had 6 weeks left) and we will still be in my same area, It will be pretty cool.

So this is week 3 with NO money. They pay us at the beginning of the month...which is tomorrow. So I didn't have any money for groceries, lets hope I still like talapia and captain crunch by the end if this week.

This week has been pretty good so far though, luckily Elder Tobey did have a GPS so Ill survive without one for a while. We have been doing a lot of tracting and street contacting lately. Its been really fun. We have been finding a lot of streets me and Elder Jordan have never been on. Its been pretty amazing, Shorline ward is finally starting to heat up with some potential investigators.

Pedro, Michelle and Raziley have been doing really well too. They finally decided to set a baptismal date for Z somewhere near the end of June, we will set it next lesson. They are also planning on moving soon but it wounds like they will stay in our area

Last night we helped some people move into the ward, in combination with another night this week we have moved 3 washers and 3 dryers by being at the right place at the right time. They are pretty nice people, one is in-active and the other is a non-member. The owners that are moving out are members and are doing a great job at getting us over to help and are actually helping a lot themselves.

Alex let me know he is only going out into the field with one tie to wear his whole mission...I came out with 14...I now have 34...I wish him luck, that would be a cool/stupid achievement but I can see him following through with it. Until the members feed him spaghetti at least.   

Not a ton to right about this week, its kinda like our Key Indicators. Key Indicators show us how much we are able to accomplish to help others move towards baptism. However not everything we do shows up on them whether they were helpful or not. That is kinda how this email is, I did a lot but not all is email worthy.

Love you all!

Elder Strong

Cool Corvette
Bought a Washington tie for a dollar at a thrift store
Crazy rainbow thing
We ate at a place called Sterlings for E. Tobeys birthday.

May 23, 2016 - So.......

So we literally just got transfer call and found out that Elder Jordan is getting transferred back to Oregon and ill be getting a new companion to train me. I am staying in the same area though so that is nice.

Oh, crap. I may need a new GPS since we will loose E. Jordans.

OOOHHH MAANNN this is soo crazy.

Well I love yall!!

Elder Strong

May 23, 2016 - Love you

One last quick thing

Well i am out of time but I love you, I hope i got you enough to last you this week. Can't wait to here from you again soon.

And don't worry dad, your doing awesome. I hope everything gets better. Remember to turn to our Heavenly Father for help Mosiah 24:14

Elder Strong

Weird small houses in our area there are like 10 in a culvasack exactly the same.

May 23, 2016 - Week 6

Hey Everybody,
So this week was pretty awesome.
We have been working really hard to re-activate a family in the ward. They hadn't been to church for like two years but they came this Sunday and last Sunday. They have a baby on the way that is due in October, they just found out it is a girl and are super excited. We have been working really hard with the father trying to get him to understand how important it is they start coming regularly and having meetings with the bishop since they were inactive for so long. He really wants to be able to bless the baby so he needs to kick it in gear. 

Next Johnny was not able to meet with President yet and the Elders we live with found out he is still smoking and when they asked him about it he said that because he has to wait to be baptized he might as well keep smoking....we're worried about Johnny. We have to drop a bomb on him to help him understand that now that he knows it is wrong in the eyes of God, if he continues to do it than he is worse off than he was before. We aren't going to let him meet with the Pres. until he has been clean for probably about 2 weeks or so, then when he meets with him he'll learn how long everything else will take. He will definitely have to prove his faith.

This week we did service over at Guardian Angels (Care center for people who are either gone or close to it, or who just don't have the ability to take care of themselves). Whenever we go we play games with a guy (can't give names for safety, we'll call him Burt), he is in his 50's-60's and has brain cancer. When they removed his tumor it left him with brain damage and his body doesn't function the same anymore. He doesn't have memory loss or anything like that but he talks and moves slower. It kinda seems like he is trapped in his dis functioning body, he lived a pretty full life right before everything happened. He has an 18 yr old son and a wife but they never come visit him, its pretty sad. Anyway this week he actually asked us some questions and talked to us about religion and things like that but when it started to get really opened up and good he closed down and asked us to deal the cards. We'll get there someday.

Thursday we had our first meeting with Pedro, Michelle, and Raziley (we call her Z). Z is Michelle's daughter and Pedro is Michelle's boyfriend,  Z is nine. Michelle has been a member her whole life and even grew up in the ward they are going to now. She hasn't been to church in forever though. Pedro grew up catholic but he really likes our church and really wants Z to be baptized. We have been trying to have this meeting forever but it never happens but this time it worked. We had a really good first lesson and set up regular meeting schedules that are seeming really promising. They really like us know that they finally met with us haha. They came to church Sunday and then we went for a really long walk with him and Z last night. He told us that he had prayed to God for a sign to know that the path he is on is the right path. Then while he was at church everything he learned meant a lot to him and gave him a lot of answers. He wasn't planning on staying all three hours but he really liked sacrament so he went to the Gospel Principles class. Then he like that so much he went to third hour which was a combined class on depression. He really liked all of it and said it was exactly what he needed. He can't be baptized until he is married to Michelle though and he doesn't want to do that until he is our of debt which might take until December (he said he is in a ton of debt though) maybe we can talk him out of it but the important part is that he keeps learning and keeps on his path.

Saturday we had exchanges also. Elder Davison came to our area with me, it was awesome. We didn't have a lot of appointments but all that meant to us was that nothing could fall through. We did have a plan to go do service for a part member family and that actually went extremely well. The man is not a member but raised a member family that all served missions and have member children but he never was baptized or nothing. 
Me and Elder Jordan got in there door Saturday and he showed us that he was re-flooring. I told him that I have been remodeling our house with my dad my whole life and that I new a thing our two about re-modeling. After hanging out and talking about dad and his job and the things we have done on our house a log with our shared views on how kids these days need to learn how to work and things of that matter. He became super relaxed and comfortable with us, I could see his heart being softened. We told him we could help and he accepted.
We helped move some furniture, rip out carpet, tear out carpet strips and nails, and everything else to prepare a floor for hard wood. In all we spent about three hours and got a ton done. He asked us if we could come back to help him do some more and we said of course. We asked if we could also come by to get to know them better and he said yes. Im pretty excited

Later that night we tracked into a home that let us in quick because they met the last set of Elders and liked them a lot. (They have a green linnie, the exact bird as mordicai) We talked for and hour and got to know them really well, they will likely become investigators after we go back and have an official lesson. 
They also said there was a yard sale going on if we need anything, we jokingly said only if there are ties......they gave me 5 ties, it was awesome.

Anyway I love you all, Transfer calls are tonight so we'll see what happens. I'm sure we will stay.

Elder Strong
I found this in the picture of me with Grandma
Elder Jordan and Pedro on our walk
My district, E. Jordan, E. Davison, E. Poulter, Me
Sunset outside MoonRiver RV park.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 16, 2016 - Week 5

Amanda, let me know if you don't want these, Riley let me know if she is lying.

This week was pretty cool, the days have been blending together way to much though. I can never remember when things happened, just that they happened.
Your package was awesome, it gave me a lot of ideas of things i could cook and I loved all those ties so it was nice. I guess you couldn't find my airforce tie, good luck finding it because I don't even remember where it is for sure either, no rush though anyway. I did forget that I should thaw fish before throwing it in the pan so there was some excitement at lunch a few days ago. Cooking it in the oven is OK but it takes too long, i'm way to impatient.

So we have a meeting with Johnny (homeless investigator) and President ware tonight. I'm pretty nervous but super excited. He had a lot of issues with us, saying things like he didn't want to listen to us because he believes things like denying baptism should only come from the Prophet, not the mission President. We explained that Pres was called by the prophet to make these decisions but he still wouldn't stop doubting us. I should learn a lot from watching President Ware tonight though, it'll be fun. I have learned a lot of good lessons from all this, the main one is that all this is happening because the last missionaries in this area were disobedient in the way they taught Johnny and now it has caused a lot more problems. 

So I sent Elder Gutierrez a package today, i hope he gets it in time, I forgot to take a picture of the tie, but the coolest part was that it was a Buffalo tie (that's the brand, pretty cool). If you guys are ever having a hard time finding ties, go to Burlington Coat Factory. Because they buy other stores overstock and stuff they are new ties and nice brands and only 7-9 dollars each. 

So this week we have been finding a lot more potential investigators but no solid lessons yet. We also got dropped by this guy who's wife and kids all attend church regularly and so did he for two years but he just kept saying he didn't think he was ready. He told us he didn't want to set up another lesson so...dropped. Oh well. If he keeps coming to church than chances are someday he'll be ready. We just weren't here at the right time.

We were walking down the street and we said hi to this lady and asked if there was anything we could do for her. She said only if we had a phone and laughed like we wouldn't have one, but we did have one so jokes on her. She had us call someone for her so she could get her purse out of their car. Then we talked some more and found out that she had been reading our "Bible" (the Book of Mormon) and wanted to learn more so we gave her a restoration pamphlet and told her to call us if she wanted to set anything up or if she needed any help. Pretty cool.

So i'm not sure when the next package will be but I was wondering if you could get me a hard cover inexpensive Book of Mormon. I wish we could just go to Deseret when ever we wanted to but its out of our area and I cant order those so it sucks. 

We found out one of our investigators that came to church this Sunday that when they said they have been reading they were reading from the NIV Bible. It is a bible that has been re worded and changed to be easier to read...not approved by the church. So we'll have to tackle that problem this week. Should be fun. 

Also we are going to have exchanges again this Saturday so i'm super excited for that.

Oh and BTW, I have been buying in bulk lately and i'm not very good or used to it yet so I ran out of money today. I put what was left that I had to pay for on the Express so heads up, it wasn't that much though. The good thing is, I don't have to buy anything for the next few weeks anyway so that's cool.

Well I cant think of much else to say so let me know if there is anything I have forgotten about or that you just wanted to know.


Elder Strong

Some Scenery, I love this camera 
Crazy STI
custom tie bar

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 11, 2016 - text from ward member

Enjoyed feeding your elders tonight! Thanks for sharing them with our ward. ~Sister Robbins

May 9, 2016 - BTW

You should give me some ideas on cheap healthy things I can do for food. I bought a HUGE bag of Talapia today that was on sell for $10 so that should be good. Cheap and easy recipes and such.

May 9, 2016 - smore pics

our apartment

May 9, 2016 - Pics

I taped this on Elder whites ceiling above his bed, he still has it up there

Brother Anderson's F350 he drove us to Pendleton in, pretty nice. (1 1/2 hr drive, 3hr round trip)
 Weird tank boat thing driving down George Washington Way

May 9, 2016 - Week 4

Our Christ wall me and Elder Jordan started
Morthers day sunset
How Columbia Ward does Mothers Day

May 6, 2016 - Week 4

Hi! So i'm just barely starting to email today because Elder Clark & White had to go to Kennewick and meet with President Ware about what the plans are for two investigators Elder Jordan and I had to hand off to them because of some complicated stuff. I don't want to learn more about what is going on with them because the whole deal is a mess and is way to confusing and frustrating so if you don't have to deal with it, you shouldn't try to anyway. The only reason Elder C & W are dealing with it is because they randomly moved into their boundaries, other wise me and Elder J would have to do it, i'm glad we don't.

While they were in a meeting, me and Elder Jordan went to a Burlington Coat Factory and hit up the tie rack. Definitely worth the trip, there are some way nice ties there for really cheap. They had $90 Tommy Hillfigure ties for &9.99 so it was awesome.

Today we are hopefully going to get a hold a guy named Mark. He was talking to the elders before but we haven't met with him yet because he is dealing with this huge lawsuit. We asked if there was anything we could do to help him out (not with the lawsuit, obviously) and he said only if we had 2.5 Million dollars...so were just going to stop by his house and check on him, we found his address in a teaching record. 

Next we're gonna see if we can get a hold of the Fierro guy but we'll see, he probably isn't as interested as we thought but we're still gonna try until we get a door slammed in our face.

And at 8 we are going to have a lesson with Rob, a member who was in-active for ten years and is now going to church every week under his own decision. He is doing awesome and probably doesn't need us but it's better to have a support system just in case. We're going to read the Book of Mormon with him from where he is at and just talk about some things, should be nice,

Then at 9 the Zone Leaders will come to our apartment and we'll start our exchanges. Elder Poulter will be staying here with me and Elder Jordan will go with Elder Davison to their area in the CrestView ward.

It was awesome talking to you guys yesterday. It does kinda suck that it was so early in my mission that we did that but its better than Elder Gutierrez who has to wait all the way to Christmas having never done it at all. 

Tomorrow we are going to be meeting with a few potentials so that should be fun. I'm not sure about one of them but the other two are a mother and daughter that sound pretty promising. The funny thing about a mission though is that the two might not get baptized but the other will, or all of them, or none of them. That's why we never assume anything or ever give up on any of them. We just have to pray for the best and keep going.

Im trying to think of more things to write but with Skyping yesterday I'm having a hard time thinking of what else is worth it. Its funny but lately we have been so busy but it still doesn't feel like anything is actually happening. That is why numbers aren't all that matter in a mission because they can't show everything you actually did. There is a lot of work we do that is isn't recorded but is just as important.

I'm thinking of starting an emailing notepad to write down things i think about writing about during the week so I don't keep forgetting like I have been. I hope this one isn't too short but I guess we can say I'm going for quality, not quantity (or length for that matter)

Well I love you! 

Elder Strong

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016 - Hey dad!

I hope you are doing ok, I missed you a lot this week.

I need to send you a picture of this car near our apartment. Its a Subaru i've never seen before that has been Baja'd like none other. I wanted to remind you how much I love you. I'm so grateful for how I was raised. I feel like everything has prepared me for my mission and I don't think It could have gone any better than it actually did.

When I was helping level an investigators lawn this week it reminded me of how well you did at teaching me to work hard and learn as much as I could. I can't wait to try to do the same for my kids one day! See you sunday, I love you!

Elder Strong

May 2, 2016 - Week 3

We were going to skype around 6 for mothers day.

Hey, looks like every things going well. I see dad has a beard again! Did he lose his job? You can take that as a joke or an actual question. If he did, let me know so I can pray for him, I am a missionary after all. 

So this week was pretty sweet. We have an appointment with a family who cant get married until the end of the year because of debt but we can still baptize their 9 year old and the mother is already baptized so she just has to get active which she is already going to church so they're doing pretty well.

Elder Denny in my zone makes ties and just told me he will make me one in exchange for a sock tie, so the sooner you find one the better, just don't spend too much money on it. He told me how much material to get to make one so i'm gonna go for it. My sewing skills are already pretty legit.

I forgot to take apartment pics again, you'll get them next week hopefully. We just don't spend any time there anyway.

A couple days ago our shower broke. It was right after our service project too, we were all covered head to toe in dirt so it sucked. Everyone was freaking out and started to text the Elder in charge of those kind of repairs but little did they know I had a LeatherMan and a changeable bit screwdriver. I fixed it, it was pretty cool. We all showered and made it to our dinner appointments. 

This week the room has been pretty hot according to Elder Jordan. So he opened the windows while i was asleep and got me sick. So I asked the mission for an extra blanket. They said they would send what they had and ended up sending me a Pink lined Zebra print quilt. Its ugly but I'm warm and me and Jordan avoided an altercation so i'm pretty happy.

I got the package! It was awesome. I may not be bold enough to wear the rhine stone ties but ill try and maybe there is an Elder out there dying for them. Now that I have a full kitchen i'm excited to make those recipes. Thanks for sending me them!

Johnny, our homeless invest. broke 2 ribs tripping in the shower (His girlfriends brothers house) and didn't tell us so we were freaking out when he didn't come to church. Hopefully he does ok.

Our Ward Mission Leader Brother Greer-Short invited a homeless guy to church. We think he is a drug addict and we couldn't understand him. He talked like Boomhower from King of the Hill. He stayed for all 3 hrs and the best part was he bore his testimony. We didn't understand a ton of it but what we did was pretty cool. If we continue to teach him we'll probably end up getting him some professional help.

I also gave a blessing to this old man in the word who is fighting depression since a lot of his family (wife, brothers and sisters, and oldest son have passed away). He was feeling sick and depressed so I blessed him. He still didn't make it to church so we are going to meet with him soon and at least once a week from now on.

I have a letter I was supposed to send you a long time ago, I'll send it today with some added things in it. 

Oh and this week we placed an Arabic BOM and Restoration pamphlet to and Arabic family. They were really interested and we have a return appointment for tomorrow.

I think that's about it so i'm going to try something new. I don't think I like it, it looks pretty stupid but I can't send an email to everyone so i'm going to do it.

Mom, I love you! I glad you have been able to help dad in the bathroom, it looks like it has made a lot of progress just in a couple of weeks.

Dad, I love you! I hope every things going ok at work! Remember to keep working hard and proving your worth. I hope you can get the bathroom done quick so you can get back to the samurai! We gained a potential investigator because I was able to talk to him about his Fiero, which brought us to my Samurai, which brought us to Moab and beer, then word of wisdom and repentance, and now he wants to meet more. Pretty cool.

Cassie, I love you! I'm so proud of you for graduating! Keep meeting with your councilors and everybody and make sure you are always improving. Remember that your Heavenly Father wants you to pray to him when ever you need help and guidance.

Riley, I love you! You haven't written me at all yet, and your girl friend wrote me before you did but I understand. Let me know how things are going!

Amanda, I love you! You get your own email because you emailed me! 

That's all the pics I took this week, we were really busy.

Elder Strong

All Elders in my apartment 

Me with our Arabic BOM and Pamphlets

Jordan Praying for our studies