Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 16 2013

I dont even know what week it is, but Im loving it out her in the mish! Still hot and cant say that I miss the snow in SL,UT! So this past week was real good and the weeks keep getting better and faster! With being DL I dont really have time to do much else! Me and comp are Killing it! We had the best numbers in our Zone this past week and we are just doing really good. We have 3 baptism this saturday, so life is good, memebers are working with us so lifes good! 

My comp and I are getting along really welll and use sacasm and humor a ton which is getting us into to teach people. It sounds a little un humble but people are loving it! Well say things like,can we help you with anything? Theyll think and then we will respond We could paint clean eat annoy. Its not that funny but they love it and its getting us in to the their houses! 

We are going to the temple tomorrow which has felt like such an eternity since I was there. We have a whole party kinda thing with multiple zones so it should bet pretty fun. 

I went to the hospital again this past week, I have had a really sore thoat and this kinda spot on the inside and it was there for 5 days ish and so I callled pres and we went to the hospital.... I hate it so much. The scare the crap outta me. Soy niña con las clínicas. So they thought that they needed to do tests... Oh not good. They drew bloooooooddddddd.. I hate needles soo much. Say what you want but I hate them so much. Its probably good no one could understand what I was saying! Hahaaha

We bought so sweet air soft guns in the street for 2.50 so we shoot each other all the time which are surprisingly good for 2.50 ha. They work good for shooting freaking cockroaches which I swear have black magic cause they come outta nowhere! 

Me gustaría a compartir poco en español y ustedes no van a entender pero todos en Estados Unidos tienen celulares o una computadora. Como estan todos? La vida ecuador es muy buena y creo que presidente Amaya y yo caer bien porque nadie en mi Zona pueden pida le permiso de él pero él siempre ha dado permiso para todo. Ayer le llame y le pide permiso para paintball y me dio permiso y también a ir la bahía cual es un grande ¨flea market¨. Es muy peligroso y puede comprar cualquier cosa quiere en allí, entonces no sabemos todavia. Mi espanol no es perfecto pero es mucho mejor cada día y personas en mi sector han decido que mi espanol es mejor de alguno misioneros que tiene casi un ano! 

Okay enough of that! I not sure what to think... The investigadores in my area dont want us to baptism them but all these other girls in the others sectors have me baptising them, so i guess its kinda of a trade off! Lifes just good!

Miss you all and this time of year remeber that christmas isnt about boxes, gifts, things or bags. Its about our Lord and savior and without him what do we have? Only this life. We have the opurtunity to return to live with Christ, God and all of our family and we are more concerned with glittery paper and a bow? Come on! The word Christmas has Christ in it and in the front. Christmas is Christ. DONT EVER FORGET THAT! 

Well my time has come to an end once again, love you and miss you all! Thanks for the support! 

Elder Strang

¨giv´n em heaven¨

Dec  9th  2013

Week.. who cares! 

Hola todos! Como estan? My spanish is much best then was before. My English now much worse right noow. 

Hah What a week! Everything is crazy busy and being Dl is nuts without perfect spanish! Every tuesday I have to give a training to my District on what I feel that they are lacking in their teachings, so that was interesitng! We get home at 9 every night and plan for a half hour and then after I talk with my district and the ZLs for about an hour. Takes forever! 

Well got my new comp from Argentina! Hes way cool but doesnt like to obey any rules so thats going to be fun! He has time in Argentina almost the same as me but his past companion didnt learn a thing and they had a really loose mission so its gonna take some work! So last night in bed he just starts talking outta nowwhere and I was like who are you talking too, and our phone was still plugged in and he has a freaking cell phone and was talking with his family! I was like dude no not okay! So hes planning on giving it to the mish pres when he sees him next. Latinos... 

Im so tired. Everynight you hit the pillow and think Im a tired little boy. Theres is no time to do anything in the nights but call call call and then sleep. Last week was good to have elder rallison (my comp from the MTC) Here and we just hung together until we got our companions. Hes trainging too and got the most serious elder I have ever seen. The kid does not smile! Haha 

Had Interviews with president Amaya this past week and that went good! Normal ones that he has with zones every couple of months. After I talked with all the other missionaries and they said that he chewed them out for stuff and I didnt get any of that so all is well haha!

We had two more baps this past week!! :) So great and was such a long time coming with them. Never give up on anyone! Sometimes you may not be the one to bring this message but if you leave a good enough impression the next has a lot better start! Remember that we are all mimssionaries and that we have they resposibilty as members to help missionaries in the lords work because its not easy to knock doors everyday, go for a half an hour and help the elders! GIve them a reference its not hard! We all know people!  

I love you all and thank you for the support! Keep the emails coming! 

Love Elder Strang

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 11! 

Friends, Family, estemed aquitances. Hello, thank you for the support! All is well here and is moving along faster and faster. This week picked up at the end a bit and so Im feeling better about that. 

So to start, they are really not efficent with anything here, like for real. They have no garbage system, you just dump it in the street and then they drive around with dudes hanging off the back and they pick it up by hand. Watering plants is this giant truck with a pump and a guy hanging off the back of the truck spraying the plants haha, they sometimes spary people and they get soaked so fast hahaha. Another thing is passports. My comps passport expired so he cant leave the country haha and this is the 4th time we have tried to renew it but they give us differnet instrutions everytime. We slept in the mission home with the assitants and the elders that work in the office. Then the next morning we woke up and 5:30 and went and stood in line for 2 hours then while my comp and an elder from the office were in the consulate we stood outside for another hour and a half... They walk out with nothing... 

Anyways, Tuesday. We had a big 5 zone meeting where an area 70 spoke to us for.... 4 hours... then two hours from the president and his wife, that was too much time in the chpel with a 40 min break for lunch. It was really good and I finally understood! Nice and crazy to see how my spanish has progressed. I understand almost everything but Im having a hard time speaking it, Its a ton to remember!

Had my 2nd split in 3 months.. Finally. hah that was really good and learned a lot of things from Elder Curberos, from Columbia. Hes me ZL and we killed it got tons of people to listen and want us to come back and listen again! Things are better, I learned that I just need to take the lead and I did that the next day and we are doing good now. 

Yesterday at church I met a guy from Utah, Hes here on business and Is a lawyer for Young essitanel living oils. Cool guy talked with him and said that he served in Mexico 13 years ago. Lives in lehi. They have a farm down here and do 350 million a year now! Crazy huh?

Well, I want to thank everyone for the support and look forward to hearing from you! Love you all and hope all is well! 


Elder Strang

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 10

Time is flying. 3.5 months done as of today. Pretty typical week, at least like they have been for forever. Anyways, I think I learned one of the most important life lessons this past week, one that I knew I needed to learn but I dont think that I could have learned it any other place than here. I do not know why I was letting myslef be bothered by my comp? Why? I could teach him, show him what to do, and the likely hood is that he would move on after the short time we have together and then just do it again with the next companion. I realized that, this is the way he was taught, the way he grew up and the way he is. I dont need to change him, hes a unique person and if he wants change then he needs to do it himself not me. I also realized Im not here to be the teacher, the babysitter or the counslelor... Im here to be an example and love him. That whole time I was looking for things I could change in him, when all I had to do was change one thing in myslef. And now, Im happy, things are the same but with my attitude different, Im a lot happier then I was. 

I was studying PMG this week in the attibutes of Christ chapter and learned alot. Also thinking back to how people judge those around them. For what? Because they walk differnet? Talk different? Well, they do not know a single thing about them and they have no room to judge. Makes me sick to think how many times every single day that happens. Happens here with me. Yeah Im white, Im tall. If we were all the same, what fun would that be? I wnt everyone to remember that were not here to change or judge only to love, help and accept.

Anyways, got some cooking lessons this past week from the lady that lives below us and I make some mean salad and some killer rice now. Yeah I know, Rice isnt that hard... Yeah good rice, my rice ooooo baby, so good! Trying our for iron chef Ecuador next Pday. haha 

On wednesday my comp and the comp of another elder had a meeting with all the leaders in the mission because they are district leaders sooo I dont know who thought it was a good idea to put two new missionaries together ahha becasue this Elder, Elder Saman was in my same group that came here haha so it was interesting to have us two unexpirencened Elders together for they day, needless to say we were a bit lost! 

Tomorrow we have a big meeting with the Mish President. Hes trying to uplift and motivate us because the mission as a whole is stuggling right now. They set a high goal to hit 290 baptisms before the end of the year so the work is cut out for us. 

Agency. Our hardest thing to overcome. Not very many like to follow through with comittments or read or come to church. They dont even seem to like to give it a shot. Its hard as a missionary becasue I want them to follow through and be able to recieve the blessings that we promise, and its also hard beacause we want to have success. Persevar hasta al fin, endure to the end! They are out there.

Thanks to all who write me and applogies for my English, Im not speaking it too well either. But thanks for all the support, please keep it up, its helps so much. Love and miss you all! 

Elder Strang

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 9 I think? 

Well, I have learned a lot this past week, and that is to never give up. We have been denied, shut down, book of mormns returned and no one wanting to follow through with commitments. The whole agency thing can be a killer for the missionary work. People dont understand that Im here for them, that I care about their eternal salvation and that rides on everything we are telling them and is testified in a book that they are holding in their hands. This week I broke down after an investigator returned a book of mormon and didnt want to talk with us anymore, I called the zone leaders and talked with them. I learned something very important. When you care so much about one person to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, walk your legs off all day in 90 degree weather with 90% humidity, all for this person. Its hard to leave people when they arent progressing because you feel so much hope and love that they can and will do it. Enduring to the end and having hope that you will find those who are prepared for you, thats the thing that I learned last week.

We put 3 baptism dates last week and the one was for last saturday but shes having a true trial of her faith and shes struggling with a lot right now. Also antoher family, we put two dates with them and hoping to put the others tonight!

So when I got here someone forgot to metion that different words have different meaning in spanish countries. For example. Bag, like a grocery bag. Normally you would say bolsa, but here you use fonda because bolsa means man parts. So ask me what it was like when I walked into a store and said I need a bolsa.... hahaha

Papa Jhons last week was manna from heaven! 2 for 1 on tuesdays so we split the cost and got two giant ones! Really good and shared with the people we live above and they seemed greatful for that. Last week was a little better with the comp but everytime it just gets broked back down but something dumb. He´ll lose patientce and there goes what we built up. Trying and gotten to the point where Ive realized I cant change him, I can only love him. 

Im not sick anymore which is good! But those pills were a trip everytime that I took them! Haha lesson were interesting and the dreams I had... Unbelievable. 

Thought Id share a little from my journal from day one here. It says: ¨Well here goes nothing, not really sure what Im doing and the questions, why am I here, where am I going and where did I come from keep playing through my mind. We got here and started with a lesson with a member which fed us dinner. Rice, beans, and chicken. It was good and I hope it doesnt destroy my stomach because we dont have any toliet paper right now..¨ haha come a long way from that ha

Well all is well. Other thing from this week, I want to be a doctor. Im very sure of it now and everytime I think of dentist it just doesnt feel right, so Ill be swiching the name tag of ¨Elder Strang¨ to ¨Doctor Strang¨ when I get back. 

Miss you all and cannot thank you enough for the support. Love you and keep sending me stuff! Love you guys!

Elder Strang

A little extra questions I asked him:

What kind of food are you eating most of the time? What do you like you are trying new?
Rice rice and more rice! every meal starts with soup and then some kind of unidentfiable meat and tons of rice! I dont really know what Im eating sometimes cause I still havent learned all the words for food yet! But there is just not sure what it is...

What are the people like in there cultural?
Same as home just a more extreme and rampant level. 
Do they have the same sociaty problems we do? Divorce,pornography,drinking,smoking, drugs ect?
BAD! The drugs and theft are very bad and some parts of the city and super dangerous and we arent allowed in. Theres a part in my sector that we arent allowed to enter after 6 in the evening. Most people dont get married they just hook up, have kids and then live their lives. porn is terrible. they sell it on the streets and every internet cafe has it. 

What do you love about the place.
food is good and the people are amazing. The members espically. Sometimes im nervous but im learning and trying my best. 

What don't you like about it?
The sketchy parts of the city. Early mornigs and being denied..

Daddy I love you too I would love some lquid bandage and I sent the other list to mom. I love and miss you so much and look forward to talking today :)


Monday, November 4, 2013

Kolby finds a Live One on P Day

Well another different and interesting week 8 in the Ecuador! 

For starters, how do I have a sinus infection in such a humid place? So I started not feeling too hot just kidding its always hot. hah but I started feeling sick last wednesday and then it got worse till I called the mish president on saturday and I guess Im not supposed to wait that long cause he gave my comp a chastizing saying that we need to call sooner and go get it taking care of. So yesterday I was told to go to the Clinic which is the hospital to get checked and get some meds. Holy sketchy, I do no like being in there at all. So with my spanish I talked with a doctor about medical stuf.. no big deal there ha and then he gave me a precription and you dont have to paly for a thing here. Use a medical card, and then walk out. Bit different from home right?

So the meds they gave me... Before without taking anything with just the sickness I just felt that my head was detached from my body, but when I took these, wooooowwww. 625 mg of a roller coaster. 1 step I sleep. They cause my to literally knock out. 2 step, last night we were sitting in a lesson and I kid you not the walls started moving and my body lost all weight. Crazyiest out of body expirence I have ever had! Kinda fun! 

Other things. Today, I got a haircut and the lady thought I was 27 and totally wanted to go out. Ha nope. I cannot explain how many women just flirt it up, but the crazy thing is we kinda can us a little to our advantage...

This week we had the new Zone Leaders come on a trio with us, so we had one elder and the others in our sector had one. Hes from Oregon and I sweat hes my twin lost at birth. We talkand decided to use the flirting to our advantage a bit and then well be able to get more baps. hah so we tried it and got two baptism dates in that day! haha anyways right now Im a Trio again with an elder from ut. Woodscross and i call him gringo falso. Which means false American. His comp is going home beacuse he finished his mish. That was hard to see and maybe a bit homesick! You get really close with them and then they jet to another area in the mish or home. Anyways the falso gringo.. the other day we sitting at lunch and I asked him how to say bacon in spanish, he says whats bacon? Youre not American, get out. hhaha Hes okay and quite different!

We are still having a hard time trying to figure out why we dont have refernces or any baps, and I did figure it out! I cant explain much but know Im trying to help fix it and then next week pray for me to have more success! This week we went into an area in our sector that we havent been in beore, I dont like it. Not much good feelings there. We taught a lesson to a lady there and she says, your bible is not equal to mine. we show here THREE times that they have the exact same words, she says, still different, mines better and walked away. Wait what? You just looked with your eyes? 

Had fresh caught dorado fish this week and it was so gooood. Had it with a fresh made salsa too, so I felt right at home :) Dorado, 3.50 a pound. Talk about cheap! 

Everything else is going well and I thank you for all your support! Much love and I miss you all an thank you for all the emails, they help me! 


Elder Strang

Monday, October 28, 2013

Have you felt the Earth Shake?

Yeah thats true. Welcome to one crazy place! Last week was quite different it was quite fun.

Well so to start no to worry anybody living on the fault line in SL,UT.. but earthquakes are skeychy things. We were sitting in a lesson and the ground starts moving and the house starts shaking and the wind was blowing a little so I said in english, is this house really that flimsey? No, that was the earth moving. We all just sat there and looked at each other and were like what do we do? It was only 6 or 7 seconds and then it stopped but scared the crap outta me!

Whats an automatic car? The last auto car I saw was the expedition. Everything is manual. Fords are nice cars, you have a ford, you have money. I see Mercedes all the time! The buses are all Mercedes, but manual. 

Whats carpet? Yeah the last time I saw carpet was the night before I left on my mission, since then I have not had the envigorating expirence of streching out on some carpet.. Miss it. 

This week we recieved more missionaries! More white people! Ha we are at 250 missionaries here and get more in 6 weeks. My zone got split this week and we went from 12 districts to only 6. They are prepping for the more that are coming here soon. Crazy thing is that we have 9 Americans and only 3 Latinos in our zone. 

So a little venting about my comp. How much can my patientce be tested? The problem is its not just me anymore! People in the ward are complaining to me about him! And Im like Im sorry ill talk to him but I aint here to babysit which Ive already done too much of! Aye aye aye... The other day at lunch we had the usual rice, soup, and some kind of unidentifyable piece of meat ha, you gotta know that down here with meat you never use forks or knifes, you go animal style and just rip it with your mouth, so anyways im just sitting eating my food and guess what comes flying outta his mouth onto my plate and on the table... yupp food from his mouth. THREE times! Are you kidding me dude? So I let that go and later that night I get out of shower and Im writing in my journal and eating some quality gelatin that I have master making and guess what! He sneezes all over me! I was so pissed, he just started laughing...this isnt even the half of it! Patientce and long suffering along with charitiy and love :) 5 weeks? Whos counting? 

Anyone have any ideas how to sleep? Still not sleeping and dont know why. My comp snores so loud and the ear plugs dont work its that loud! I started using this water bottle with a stream nozzle and whenever he is so loud I shoot a jet of water right at his face and thats working for now haha.

Dad remember how you taught me how to plan? Yeah thats such a big thing in life and I shoulda used that more at home when I was there. Big thing and its amazing how much you get done when you have a plan.

Food this week: Fried corn with bacon.. Oh boy sooo good and probably terrible for me but wow is it good. The secret to listerine... just kidding ha there isnt one you just gotta let it burn your mouth and then youll be good! 

So last night.... Well there is an Elder in my district that leaves this week and so the Hermana that we live with threw a party dinner for him. Way fun and went a lil late. So to start the women here are going a little crazy over me... I dont mean the cockily but its weirdddddd. Last night a member, was all trying to hug me and kiss my head and stuff. Three things wrong with this: Number 1 youre married, 2 Im a missionary, 3 youre like 40 get off me! Ha the other hermanas gave her a talking too and then she just did it agian. Younger girls around my age? Same thing. Huge flirts! Can you not see the name tag on my chest that you are always staring at? 

So the party went till like 11 because I had to cook meat for 20 people on a 15 inch grill, that took sooooo long and the same women the whole time I was cooking were like ¨Oh look how monsterous and beautiful he is¨ in English of course... Oh my, Im taking sorry. So the other Elders dont live with us and they ended sleeping at our house on the floor.. whereever you could find.. Not a good night of sleep! 

So to top it all of today.. We went to Malecon, not sure how to explain it, go Gooooooogle it! But so we are in Mac doe, Mickey dees whatever you call it for lunch and theres a white dude. He comes up and says you speak English? Yeah dude Im white. Hes from Russia.. Ohhh my gosh the things this dude said. He says yeah its crazy here I dont know much spanish hard to get by. So I ask, why you here? He says to party, get women (not that nicely), and I dropped 150 on women last night, you getting women too? What did you just say? Hi were Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints annnnnddd you need Jesus and His Gospel. Hahaha

So we are having a way hard time finding people. We are not getting refrences and as a zone we are all really struggling. People always back out on plans they dont ¨have time¨. Not sure what to do. We are knoking dorrs but that only works so far and members arent pulling through with any refrencias which means its all left onto us. Not sure what more to do than put faith in Christ and go hit some doors. Everything is possible with a seed of faith and if we put our trust in God what do we have to worry about? Not a thing. 

I love you all and miss you Mom, Dad and Daniel so much. Thanks to everyone who sends me stuff, please continue too, It helps me more than you could ever know! 

Elder Strang

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 7

Como estan? Everything is good here in the city of Guayaquil! Good week! Started on Tuesday with the normal district meeting and then I had spilts with The Zone leaders... A gift sent straight from Heaven. I needed a break from the comp and to get my head cleared up a bit. It was so nice. I went to Las Orquideas which is a good 5 minute bus ride from my area. These Elders are so chill and I just get along with them. My comp is very impatience and throws a tantrum everythme somthing doesnt go his way. Pero Esta Bien! Their house is a step up from ours and is huge! Three bath, two level, brand new. I went with Elder Cuberos and we did a solid nothing because Tuesday the Ecuador team had another game vs Chile and the whole country and all our appointments canceled for the night. Ask me how frustrating that is? We ended up a members house watching the game and got thrown out close to the end becasue we were cheering for Chile to make them mad! Ha they lost the game so their werent to happy bout that. 

So how crazy is this country you ask? Well you got something you dont want? Oh okay, Burn it in the street. You have 12 cats? Oh okay. You ditch work for the game and so does everybody else? Ohh okay.You take photos of white people and marvel at their every move? Oh okay. You drive a bus like a sports car? oh okay. 

Buses: Sketchy things here. They seriously drive like a sports car. They dont obey any traffic rules and go as fast as they want. Its not like home whre you wait at a bus stop. You want on? Hail the bus like a taxi. Soon as your on, they hit the pedal with full force and go crazy! Hold on or die. Only two options. They also like to see how many people can fit on one bus. And most of they time im not down to be grinding with some dudes and chicas in the buses so I stand by the door and hang off the side. Its not dangerous, just fun! Hahaha.. 

So interesting thing this week... I was in the shower one night and the lights flicker and the just shut off.. Why? Its 10 at night and just off. So I finish the final rinse cycle and dry off and yell to my comp, Que paso? (whats up) he has no idea. We go downstairs and everyone and their 12 cats is out in the street and one dude is spraying the electrical box with a fire extinguisher.. oh okay. So we ask and they dont know what happend. TWO DAYS without electricity. Oh okay. So then the figure out that the cause was our electric shower head that dumb dumb hooked up BACKWARDS. Are you kidding me? There must be a higher power watching out casue I used that shower for a solid 4 weeks without dying. So now we are back to the shower with the water straight out of the Artic. Oh okay. 

Weathers changing... Ha just kidding. Still hot but its more clouldy for the rain season that is fast approaching. I guess ill get to swim or be able to baptize in the street cause the water goes up to your waist. 

Cockroaches. The most terrible things in the world. Useless creepy little creatures. They just stare at you and I kid you not I talk to them and ask them what they are looking at. Creepy little bodies staring like they want sum muscle.

By the way Im putting weight on (Muscle baby) Okay everyone calm down... No seriously calm down. Ive already got enough of that to deal with here with all these people! hahaha

Ordered a custom tailored suit from one of the members. Price? 80 dollars total and top notch quality suit. Finally got a bishop called. Hes 27 and all this time has spoken english. Thanks bish. Ha 

Food is on carb overload and you dont even wanna some of the stuff ive eaten.. I dont even wanna know ha but one hermana always feeds us canned green beans with tofu like chees boiled eggs and parsley and cilantro. I couldnt do it this week. I about threw up and just put it in my pocket and we left aha

Okay, now for the good part. BAPTISM! I was the baptist too! So amazing and so spirtual. She cried the whole time the spirit was so strong and all I could do was smile. I was so great. The name was a little difficult because they have 4 names here and I memorized the prayer before so that wasnt to bad. In our church with a good turn out and good talks that memebers shared before. I was honored to baptize her and Im honored to be here called of God to do his work and his glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man :) I love this church! 

Our area is proving to be difficult and people arent opening up the doors, everyone cancels appiontment and its honestly a downer a bit. I want to help people but the whole agency thing seems to get in the way a lot. We are working hard and walking a lot but its real hard right now. We talked in Ward consel and basically the stake president gave a smackdown speech in sacreament about how the members are missionaries and and they need to do thier parts and help us out with the lords work. So hopefully that will help. Went to a sister in the ward that got her mish call last night... brought back memeories to say the least.. haha 

Miss you all and love you all so much! Please keep writing it helps me so much! 


Elder Strang

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 6

Wait its pday again? Wheres the time going?

People of Murray and surrounding areas! Hello! Hows it going there its SL,UT? Its nice and warm here as always and not changing ever! I have a little clock in my room that has temp and it is 85 degrees when i go to bed every night! Thankful for a fan or I´d die! The sun is getting way stronger and im getting burrrrnnttt even with sunscreen! Yes mom, Im actually wearing suncreen! Im not a huge fan of cancer or cutting my life short so id thought id give it a try! 

Anyways I bought some aloe vera last week, 8 dollars for a small bottle. They like to bend over americans for american products. I bought some honey from here and it was like 2 dollars for a huge thing of it and Its THE BEST Honey ive ever had! Ill have to bring some home when I come! Its called ecuamiel, they have a website check it out. I buy bannas, tangerines and pan (bread) on the streets everynight before we go home and its 5 cents for a banna, 5cents for a tangerine and a hoagie sized loaf is only 10 cents so im getting fresh stuff for the mornings! 

Problem= Not sleeping good at all. Answer= dont have one. I wake up in the mornings dead and fall asleep during study time then sometimes during lessons! I dont know why but its not good! No need to worry ill figure it our here! 

I cannot describe how annoyed with my companion I am.No hygiene. we cleaned the apartment today and after he had stuck his hand in the toliet. Bare hand keep in mind, didnt wash it. I was like no! Dude wash yo hands! He never does! Pick nose, play with animals, touch face, shake hands, use bathroom, eat food, use phone, give me phone, want to use my stuff... NO! Like come on, thats gotta change! He has low patientce for everything and so Ive learned that I need to have it. Also Never washes dishes, all stuff that weve all done, but until you have to be the one to deal with it its not fun. SOrry mom and dad for all those times that I was lazy! And when I get back Ill be starting a babysittin service for all those interested. Ill be the best babysitter after Ive been babysitting latinos for two years. I feel that Im the trainer not him... 

This past week the ecuador national team started to play and they go H.A.M. We arent allowed to watch the games ( Another un written rule) But we did cause the whole, I mean whole country shuts down. Everything stops for the game and Everyone wheres jerserys and soccer stuff., Crazy. They won and have another game tomorrow.

Quick note: Ill be an 8th done with the mish in two weeks! Nuts right? ANyways we have my first bap this week! I wont be the one baptizing but we are the ones who found, taught and got her there so I think that counts. ITs hard to build a strong relationship with them which is nessecary for them to want you to baptize them with the little spanish that I know, but the spanish is so much better and Im feeling good about it. 

We are teaching a lot of lesson but its hard to get people to let us in. We are in a nicer area and so they arent big on talking with us. We are working really hard and walking about 7 miles a day. We have full scheduals and no one has been home because the kids here just had their spring break this week! Anyways Ive been studying in PMG In chapter 6 about Christlike attributs and have been trying to apply them in my life. Its great and Im seeing alot of changes in myself which feels s good. The church is so tru and how could it not? I thought for a while, why would people wantt to listen to young men? Its because the spirit is so stong that it testifies to these people that it is true. 

I love you all so much and Miss you mom and dad and daniel more than i can put into words love you with all my heart. 

Keep sending stuff everyone it really helps me! 

Love always, 
Elder Strang

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Kolby gets in trouble with MTC

Thank you for all the support! I dont know if you guys heard yet but the MTC emailed my Mission president about us sleeping on the roof the last night we were there and they arent too happy and they may charge us for the mattress that i used because they got wet so I will pay for all of that and I take complete responsiblility for it. Im sorry.
Every tuesday but last week I had to meet with persidnt amaya because of us sleeping on the roof in the MTC and I want you to know I will pay for all of the cost they want to charge us for the mattress and that was stupid and Im really sorry. Use the money that I had earned with dan and linda. And the Pres wanted to talk about mom calling downtown. So that was interesting but they office called today and said I have a package so I dont know if thats both or just one and I dont know how many letters either but dearelders only take one week!
Love you daddy!

Week 3 In Ecuador

Hello everyone!

Hope everything is well in the fridgid Slat lake! The eternal summer is still warm aas ever and the tan is coming along quite nicely!

Anyways quite a good week and the time is flying by so fast now! I cannot beliveve that I start my 4th week here this week! Im doing a lot better and the spanish is coming along so well as long as the people dont talk super fast. Its funny because they will talk and then ask me why i dont understand, but then I just talk and english and ask them why they dont understand. Pretyy funny. 

So after last week when we were walking home from and appointment a stray dog went to bite my leg so I took the oppurtunity to give it a swift kick in the teeth ha it was nice because the dogs thinkk they are all that and we just walk around and throw rocks at them. Im okay, i didnt let it bite me, so need to worry.

We got this little water heater hooked up in our shower so we have hot water! Its so nice and most peole dont have it so whenever you get in the shower try cold water only! Its not as easy as you would thing! I connot stress to you how lucky we are to have all the things that we do. Never take anything for granted. We got more furniture so thats going good, becasue I can hang all my clothes up now ha. 

I get hit on by girls ALL THE TIME its kinda of a joke. But what I wasnt expecting last week was a guy.. He wanted just me to go teach him only me in his house so uh we had to say no to that and we could only teach him in the street ha so that was quite different. The people here are a lot smaller so it hit my head on everything ha. Im seriously a giant here and I fit in nothing. People look at me like Im not from this planet and they arent super strong people so something they struggle with I pick up with ease and they are amazed. The kids here are facinated with me so im gaining popularity there. 

We get fed everyday by a member and most of the time dont eat dinner becasue we are either working or dont have money. Living on 200 dollars a month isnt super easy but we are making it work! 

The Investigators are going okay. They are folling through with commitments and we gained another baptism for the 11th of october and moved the other two to that day because its the family and so we have one this week and hopefully the 4 on the 11th.We got referred to another family that has 3 boys and the parents are divorced so we are hoping to teach the four and set them to a baptism date. Im planning on inviting them today when we have our lesson. So hopefully 9 baps this month! Oh the houses are like something that the pioneers would build in their backyards, pretty rough. Theres a rooster outside our window that goes off every mornign about 5am and Im about ready to murder it. And to quote my MTC teacher, It serves as an alarm clock and will probably serve that purpose until its served for dinner. 

We played basketball today and the hoops down here are all euro so they are like 9ft and i can dunk with ease and they are in awe when I do. Fun day and Pdays are a needed break! I love this church and I know its true! Spread the gospel. The work is hastening, whether you are a part of that of not is your choice. But I hope you will be! Everything is possible with christ.

Everything is getting a lot better! I love hearing from everyone ar home and it really helps me so keep them emails coming! 

I love you all and hope to here from you soon!

Much love,
Elder Strang

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 2 In Ecuador

Hello Everyone!

Much better last week. Its quite a ride to not know any spanish and be the grande gringo here. I got over the sickness and found out that we arent supposed to eat any street food so that could be the reason that I got sick cause when we got here we didnt have any money so we had to just role with what we had and that was what we had. Dad I hope you dont mind I used my card a little today for somethings because its a 5 week month so we only get 100$ for 3 weeks so that was a surprise so I needed to use my card a little! 

Spanish is getting better and Im getting more used to things. Its still a crazy country and to think that this is home for the next 22 months is a werid thought. We have still been trying to find members to get refferals. The members here are amazing and Im loving them. There is one family that feeds us every night. You have to understand that we always get lunch from a member, but dinner is most of the time snacks or we are tooo busy too stop and get anything, so we dont eat alot of times but for the past week when this memeber found out we dont eat dinner very much she started to make us dinner and she has been doing that since, and Im so greatful for that. 

We taught a lesson the other day to a 60ish year old women and her daughter and greanddaughter. They liked and accepted our invitations to be baptized on oct 4th so that is coming up and we are working with them to get them prpepared. The next day when we went back to teach them again, she had a friend over and we taught her and I invited her to baptized on the 4th aswell and she said yes! So we have 4 baps for the 4th! Crazy how strong the spirit works and Ive learned that its not a problem that my spanish is bad because the spirit is the real teacher and that all you have to do is open your mouth and the words will fill your mouth. In two lessons this week, we taught families that have babies and the moms have just started breast feeding in front of us uncovered.... so that has been a little differnent to say the least..haha Everything is differnet around here. 

Sorry that I was such a basket case last week in my email, I just needded to vent and no one else could understand me so I needed to somewehere. Things are much better and Ii want everyone to never forget howl blessed we are as a country and that we are so beyond blessed to have what we have. I will never forget that and have gained such an appreciation for all the small things that everyone single one of us takes for granted on a daily basis. Theres those that live on 150$ a month here so remember how blessed you are. 

My companion is proving to be a bit more of a challenge than I thought. Im not sure how to handle him and im obviously with him so that I can learn how to be patrient cause that is something that I am really lacking! Im trying but 10 more weeks might either kill me or him.. ha just kidding, but it is a struggle right now.

We got a dooor so that is good and everything is getting a lot better so no need to worry. Dont get me wrong is still differnent a hard in someways but it is getting better and I happy so thats all that matters! The spanish is picking up and the lesson are nerve racking because I dont feel super confindent in my spanish right now but it will come with time. 

Thank you all for the support and the Emails, You have no Idea how much they help. Please keep them coming and I hope to hear from you soon!

Love you alll! 

Much Love, 

Elder Strang 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

We hear from Kolby & his Mission President in Ecuador;

Guayaquil, 13 September 2013 

Dear Strang Family,

After his experience in the MTC we had the wonderful opportunity to receive Elder Strang at the airport along with other missionaries in his group, we shared together a welcome lunch, and special moments starting his mission. He received instruction on the rules of the mission and the correct manner to work, he met his first companion, Elder Correa from Peru and was trained in the "Plan of First Twelve Weeks, "according to the direction we received from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. With great pleasure I am pleased to report that the development of the Plan of Twelve Weeks has been so far a great experience with excellent results.
Every Monday in his preparation day he has the opportunity to write to family, we hope you will encourage and support him. 

Your son is doing very well, we care for him and he is progressing, he is an excellent missionary and has performed admirably, we express our gratitude for having prepared him to serve the Lord and supported him. For Sister Amaya and I it is a great privilege to have him in the mission and have the opportunity to help and guide him in this sacred process of developing his potential so he can serve the Lord the best he can. You have done very well, Congratulations. The Lord will strengthen him, help him and guide him through the Spirit, of whom Elder Strang will have to depend on as never before in his life.

Sincerely yours, and May the Lord bless you.
President and Sister Amaya

Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission 

First companion in Ecuador Elder Correa from Peru

Friday, September 13, 2013

  Kolby left the MTC in Mexico City on Monday September 9th.  We were fortunate to get a  call from him at around 11p.m.  I was expecting some tears and trepidation on both our parts, but was comforted to hear his up beat spirit and commitment to the work he is doing.  He was extremely positive about his experience in the MTC, and would even do it all over again because, his words were that he loved every minute of it.  He was traveling with twelve other missionaries and had a lay over in Columbia before reaching Ecuador.  There were only five phones available at the airport for all twelve of them to share, so they had to shuffle.  It truly was a blessing and comfort to hear how well he is adjusting.  As the phone service can be in foreign countries, we kept having the call cut off and he would have to call back, after about the fourth time of this happening he wasn't able to call back and so we haven't heard from him since.  We are hoping that he is okay and that he has reached his final destination safely.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sept. 5th 2013  Last week in MTC


Its been another good week in the MTC and I finally get to get out in the field! They have been gettting all of our passport information and we find out this weekend when we leave. The real teaching begins and its seemed like an eternity here but the days do go by so fast and Im really excited to get out and teach. We started to think that we knew spanish but when you try to talk with the natives your idea of speaking becomes nothing. They speak so fast. Just got your package and Im sipping on a root beer eating a cookie right now! Thank you its so good!

Went to the temple this morning and that could be the last time that I get to go in two years. It was alot easier this time because I have learned so much spanish the past 6 weeks, but in retrospec I knoe absolutely nothing. The hardest part about spanish is these irregular verbs. There are the normal base verbs which are easy to remember but when you get into past, future, present and subjetive.... thats when it gets hard. Each section has ireegulars and those are the ones that you have to memorize. Super hard. Go look it up on the internet and you can see what im talking about. Other than that its coming along quite well and I feel that I can hold my own its conversions. We are still teaching our teachers which got old about 2 weeks ago. We got one to commit to baptism and the other is getting asked on saturday. After you commit them to baptism, we just teach them more about the gospel and the things that they questions about.

I am speaking on Sunday in our little sacrement meeting about The Atonement which will be fun becasue Its all in spanish! But it shouldnt bee too hard and I think that I Know enough. I have become incredbily close with Elder Mangum and Elder Dudley. We all gave each other our information and numbers for after the mission and we all agree that its going to be life long friendships. My didtrict is all very athletic and we dominate all other districts in... everything. No on can touch us in sport and its funny to see there reactions when they find out that most of us have never played before. We still somehow have our own rooms in the hosue which is a miracle because there so many other missionaries here. I didnt think that bribing a worker with candy would work but it did. We call it a rightous exchange instead of a bribe. Every week we do service and this past week week we cleaned the main building and the lady that oversees our sevice was so impressed that she was going to get a surprise for us. We were all excited that it was coca cola or something but it was york peppermint patties, but I was greatful becasue they so little so im sure that it was a big thing for her to do. We have gained so many freindships and relations.

The Latinos that we were playin soccer with and the ones that brought us the coca cola came over the few nights before they left and hung out for a couple hours. They would tell us stories of thier home towns and the thigns that went on there. A couple of them were from near the border and thats where the cartel is at its strongest. They would tell of mountains of bodys and people dead or hung in the streets and that after 6 at night you could never go out becuse it was dangerous. We asked about here in Mexico city and they said its very safe on that end because the cartel doesnt have an interest with any thing down here. That night was the last night berfore they left and they brought us ties. They didnt want to take of ours but they just wanted to give us one that they had signed. We all exchanged contact info and said goodbye. These are the friendships that Im going to miss and hopefully some time in the future we will see them!

These are their steps to happiness:
1. El Evanhelio (The Gospel)
2. Futbol (Soccer)
3. Coca Cola
4. Fritas (Crazy Girls)

We had a great time gettin to know them and It showed how much I will love the people in my mission. One of the biggest things that I have learned so far is that we cannot judge someone by their looks. I think all to often we do that and I feel so bad that I did before because after meeting them my whole picture was changed because they were some of the best people that I have ever met.

I started writing a ton more in my journal cause I realized that when I get back that is something that I will want to read with many people, so Ive been wrting more legibly and a lot more. Im filling it up and so Elder Mangum gave me another one to keep me going for a while. I have plenty of stories to share when I get back and I dont think I should share them now.. If that tells you anything! Most people would always say that the MTC is not a good expirence, but I have absolutely loved every minute and even in the hard times I just had to remember that attitude is everything. In those moments when I feel tired and dont want to do anything is where I have found the most growth in myself and learned the most.

I had a long talk with out teacher Hermano Ralphs and he finally spoke English with me. We talked for about an hour and what I thought of him was not who he was at all. Another example of why I shouldnt jundge someone without getting to know them. We talked all about his mission and the things he left and what helped him the most. He a great guy and Ive learned a ton from him. Our other teacher is Hermano Petersen and we call him Rico Suaeve becasue all the ladies want him. Ive learned a lot from him and his personality is a lot like mine so we got along really well from the beggining.

Last night it rained for hours and so hard that the grass started flodding. Me and Elder Dudley and a couple others went out and played soccer in the rain and got completely soaked. We have been playing a ton of soccer and Im playing better than I ever did at home. Im strarting to think that I will play at home. With enough play over the next two years it is a definite possilblilty. My vans are shredded from playing by the way and are being held together by super glue and string!

We have devos every week and we had a live one given by the local area 70. He gave a great talk about memebr work and how important it is to have members involved with the work. I feel like an idiot now because at home I never even cared about it and being here I realize that it is such a huge thing for us. The little things are the ones that we dont notice but those are the things that really change peoples lives. Remeber that as you are in your day. Those little hellos or talking to someone can and will cahnge their hearts.

I know that this church is true, the lords work is hastening, be apart of it and help out everything is good on my end and I am super stoked to get into the field, I love you all and cant wait to hear from you!

Elder Strang
Aug 29 th

Wow what a week..

Sorry last week that I wasnt able to get on. Weve been playing a ton of Soccer and my companion took an elbow to the head and had to get 2 stitches so that took about 2 hours! They didnt have any of the stuff they needed and luckily the Americn doctor hadnt left yet! Its crazy down here and gettting injured really isnt a good option! But such is Mexico. Its hard to come up with a lot of things to say because here in the MTC everything just seems to melt togethter and out agenda is the same almost everyday, so I thought I would give you a break down of a typical day:

6:30 am
Wake up shower, get readt, what ever you need to do.

7:00 am
Be in the class for an hour doing personal study

8 am

830 am
Back to the class with your 1st teacher and you have one hour of langauge, one hour of a fundamental which is basically the things in preach my gospel, one hour of progressing investigator.
Progressing investigator: The teacher puts on a role from their mission and you and your companion teach them acording to their needs. This was good at first but we need to get some new people!

1140 am
GYM TIME. gym is gold of the day. We have been playing a ton of soccer on a hard court and we have been balling up the native latinos. No one in my district has played before, but they are all pretty athletic so its been way fun and im gettting way good! Gym is what we look forward too because we are in the class for so long everyday!

1 pm

145pm Tall. Tall stands form technology assisted language learning. It helps a lot and they gave us these red books with all the language things in them so we use those and do the activities afterwards and you learn concepts pretty fast.

245pm additional study time. More class time to study what you want either with your partner or on your own.

330 Our next teacher! Same thing as before he just teaches and does progressing investigator and language and a fundamental.

630 pm

715 pm
More langague study

815 pm
Addtional study time. Same as before.

930 pm
Go home and get ready for bed

Bed although we never seem to get to bed before 1130!

I finally got over being sick. The results came back and there was all signs toward parasites but they didnt find any so the doctor gave me these pills that kill any parasite in your stomach so I just finished taking those yesterday and I am no loger sick! It was rough there for the first 4 days because I didbnt want to eat anything and make it worse so I didnt end up eating those days but now I am back to normal. The days just seem to fly by now and I dont really focuus on time I just focus on what Im working on. Its so hard to stay focused for 16 hours a day in a class.. The langauge finally came to me and I can speak quite well now and Im holding conversions with the latinos that speak all spanish. They are such good people and they come from so little that they have such humble hearts and are such a sweet people.

Yesterday we taught them indiviually without our companions which was hard but taught how to teach without a crutch. They speak so fast and I find myself saying "mas despacio" and "Como" which mean slow down and what did you say. Mom its like trying to understand some of those thick Irish peeps but in Spanish! I feel cofident in what I know and I can keep a converstion going and hold my own!

Im still having a hard time with all rules and being 100% obeident to everything they say. Some of the stuff is riduculous but I just have to remind myself that Im not here to question the rules, only to follow them. When I got here I had doubts on how much that I could learn In 6 week period but it is so amazing what you learn with the spirit revaealing the truths to you. Im sorry that my english is so bad, my brain is like a blender and its full of spanish, englsih and gospel so everything is just tossed in and Im trying to pull the things out that I need! My english is getting a lot worse but spanish is getting better!

Im really excited to get into the field and start changing other peoples lives. I get so pumped even teaching our teachers that I just wanna go do work! I cant believe that I onlly have a week and a half left.. The guy that does flights called our house last night and got some of our passport numbers and said that they are buying our tickers soon so hopefully I will know about when I leave.

Everything is going good and know that I miss you all and miss home and cant wait to see you agian and know that you are in my prayers.
Love you all

Elder Strang

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Aug 22nd 2013
What a crazy week...

Starters, please please dont freak out at this, but, Im really sick. I woke up on Wednesday Morning at 2am and had the worst stomach issues that Ive ever had in my life. I wasnt throwing up, but the other stuff was happening. I didnt sleep at all that night so the next morning I slept till 8:30 and then went to the Clinic and saw the American doctor this time and he said that I either have a parasite or a bowel tract infection, so I had to give them a sample and their taking to a lab to be tested. He gave me so anti-parsite pills which are supposed to kill anything in me. I find out tomrrow what it was and then I may be making a trip to the hopitial depending on what it is... No need to worry! I never thought Id say this but Im hoping its a parasite because then Ive already got the pills working in me! I guess a lot of other Elders have the same issue and a bunch are getting whatever this is. They suspect its the food which has been pretty good lately, no need to worry Ill be okay!

We still have the house to ourselves :) Its a miracle... but we told our housekeeper guy to tell them that there was no more room in our house.. so that may be why as well. We are up to almost 1000 missionaries here and its completely madness! The comedor, the cafeteria is overwhelmed and a lot of the times there isnt any food left! Oh well, Ive began to gain a true appreiation of how good we have it in America. They have almost nothing out side those walls. Rent for a house is 250 pesos a month. I dont know how people live like that. We are going to pay on of the workers to bring us stuff in.. were not supposed to but we can smell the taco stands cooking all day long and it smells so good, also we want some coke! It turns out that we werent supposed to go to the temple last week, it was supposed to be this week and so the rest of the dictrict went and me and Elder Thompson stayed because we both are having the stomach issues and to be getting up every 20 minutes and have them pause it woudl not be good! So we stayed on a split here and the rest of them went! I wanted to go but I was in desperate need of a relaxing p day.

Remeber how I told you I was assitant to the district leader? Yeah, well Im not. For a lax of my spanish and a lax of the branch presidents english I thought I was. Last week we found out otherwise. Turns out Im assitant to the President, so Ive got to be a good role model for everyone around me and continually be a good example. This week was hard for me. We have a teacher Hermano Ralphs, Hermano is brother. But, he just pushs my buttons and he is real strict on the rules, not a bad thing but within myself I hadnt accppted everything quite yet.. Not an easy thing to go from a normal teenage boy to a representative of the Lord and drop everything that you loved and had. I had a tough day one day and didnt feel the spirit much that day or the next. About 3:00 pm that next day we taught a lesson. You need to know that we have been teaching proxy investigators, and they are our teachers. They act like investigators that they taught on their missions. So that day we had to teach Hermano Ralphs, and I just was not feeling it and not wanting to do it, but I said a prayer that I could have my heart softened and have true love and pateince for those around me and that if I had the spirit with me than I would love and accpet everyone. Hermano Ralphs investigator name is Timeteo. No one can get through to this guy, he is real tough, but, I went into that lesson with an impression that I was going to be harder than he was. Knocked the lesson out of the park and the spirit was so strong! I finally broke through to him and after the lesson Hermano Ralphs could only say "wow". We are learning how to teach by the spirit.

One thing that Ive learned whyll here is that this work is so much bigger than you or I, and we are only mouth pieces for the Spirit of The Lord. His work is hastening in these latter days and its not a matter of whether you want it too or not its a matter of if you want to be apart in this amazing church. I feel so many changes in myself already. I know that this church is true and that God and his Son live. I know that he died for us because he has true love for us and wants nothing more than than the best for us, and I have a strong testimony that through him anything is possible. You cant just belive in Christ, that he died for us, Joesph Smith was a prophet, but you have to believe Christ. Believe that he died for us and that through him and Only Him can we return to live with our loving heavenly parents again. Believe that through him you can ALWAYS go back and that you are never too far gone. Never give stop trying. I know all this to be true because without the Mercy and Love of our savior, I could not do this work. Its too hard. But with Him, Its a bearable load.

I love you so much and cant wait to hear from you!

Love Kolby

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Visit to the Mexico City Temple!

First visit to the Mexico City Temple. Place was awesome!

Holy Cow a McDonalds in Mexico City!

I went to McDonalds in Mexico City and everyone there were White and spoke English, Ha Ha!

I made it!

Where to begin.. what a week! its been so fun so crazy! Remember how they said i should get a flu shot?? yeahhhh... i got the flu not a cold. i went to the doctor and they dont speak any english so he gave me some meds but thats super sketch cause i dont even know what he gave me and the meds are all in spanish! mexico is nuts. theres no other way to say it. every two weeks they get paid so the we here "fireworks". but being around guns i can tell what some of them are. the city is a dump and the traffic is soooo loud and it goes all night long so sleeping isnt the greatest. we have a casa which is a house, we are soo lucky, no one moved in after the first week so we took the empty rooms for now and each companionship has there own room, bathrrom, and two closets. the flip side would be 4 too a room sharing a tiny bathroom and one closet which is imposible to do. so we are literally praying that no one moves in. my district is amazing. there me my companion which is elder rallison which you already met in the airport. elder mangum this elder is the byu up and coming quater back and is in the elite 11 which is the top 11 quater backs in the west so hes way good and me an him have become so close and we both are already saying were going to be life long friends hes from idaho. his compaion is elder gold who is a farm boy from idaho and he is such a nice kid. theres elder dudley who is from nevada he honestly could be codys twin i love him he is so funny. he played golf at byu hawaii and is giving me tons of tips so when i get back i can play way good, he is like a south cali kid cause he lived in hawaii so he talks with a lot of shredds bros an gnarlys. his companion is elder herring. smartest kid ive ever met. hes a published molecular biologist from michigan. then theres elder thopmson hes from seatle and is a major music guy his companion is elder munson from idaho and he plays football for snow. all of my district is in my casa so we are all really close. theres two others that live in our house but arent in our district. their a little different but we love them. its elder soloano and elder parker. we call them elder cilantro and elder parsley hahahha.. theyre super nice and funny though. i feel so blessed to have the district that i have. the food. oh the food. it blows. they seriously dont know what they are doing. they served us hot dogs with onions and cheese for breakfast one morning! who does that!? its been CARB OVERLOAD every meal has bread and juice and friut and its just not good. it really sucks but they have cereal so ive been living on that and salad. this first week was incredibly hard by the way sorry for the misspellings im trying to type fast and frankly i dont care. but its been a really spirital week. we taught a proxy investigator which was all in spanish. words cannot expain how hard it was, but by the last lesson i was understanding and speaking spanish back. i can truly testify that the gift of toungues is real and the spirit does the teaching not us were just there to say what it wants to say. we were succesful and got him to commit to baptism on sep 3rd. it wasnt a real lesson but we felt so good that we could do that and it made us so excited to get into the field and change peoples lives with the gospel of christ. its an amzing work and its so much bigger than you or i. 18 hours of classes are rough but its a important part of learning everything. i am the 1st counsleor to the district leader in our district! leadership is a great oppurtunity to learn and be a role model to everyone around you. the CCM (MTC)  is reallly lax and its on 90 acres so we have tons of space and we get an hour everyday to go play sports. the water is "theoretically" drinkable according to the mish president but they say not too and gave us filter bottles to use. i havent been using is cause i just i go an buy bottled watered at the store :) they give us 100 pesos a week which is 7$ haha so we get nothing but everything in the store is super cheap. a liltre of water is 5 pesos or 40 cents so i get a bottle a day! ive been the food runner cause i have so much ha itll be nice to not have all that weight with me when i leave! i really want to get into the field and get outta here! theyve bitten off way more than they can chew... were supposed to be up too 800 missionaries next week because peru aregentina and provo are at their max.. the work is hastening in these latter days. send me some back today ill be able to check the computer till 6pm our time so 5pm yours! love you so much send some emails with questions and ill respond with answers!
love you!

elder strang