"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
-Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Goodbyes can be hard...hello new area!

Hey my loving friends and family! I hope that you guys are doing great this past week. I miss you guys. This week I had changes so I am in a new area! I had a good time in Sabana Grande, full of ups and downs, but we left the area a lot better than we found it and that is always my goal. This change will be hard for me. It is one of the difficult aspects of being a missionary. You truly learn to love the people and they become your family away from family. I am now in an area that is called Talanga! It’s like a city/pueblo feel. So you have the mix of both.  It’s not the prettiest area that you can find here but that’s okay. We are going to do a lot of work here. So lets get down to the Talanga report shall we! 

Well, I had changes on Wednesday and when I arrived I immediately saw and felt why I am here. I know my Heavenly Father needs me here and that I know for sure. I am in an area that needs some help in many different ways. There is SO much more that we can do to help as missionaries. I am really excited for the challenge. We need to get things straightened out baby! So I am in charge of three different companionships here and that’s where the work will begin. The first day I brought the companionships together and laid out a plan and once again we needed to put on the big boy pants and have a talk. Hermana W. is also here with me and she came from Sabana Grande also which it will be so nice to have her here in my area to help out. She is a stud of a missionary and I learn many good things from her. She will definetly help out here in Talanga. My meeting with all the missionaries went well, and I addressed issues that are going on, how we can reunite and come together as missionaries and servants of the Lord in carrying out the work. It all starts with us missionaries and how we want to be, how we want to be perceived in the village with members and non members. There are some great challenges but I truly believe we can make great strides with some plans and goals. I spoke a lot about obedience and the importance of it in all that we do. It starts with us and then we can teach others about it. I know that I am needed here to make some changes and make them quick. I am glad grateful that I have this opportunity to help my fellow missionaries out, and also the people of Talanga.

My companion is from Los Angeles, California, and he is Tongan. I haven’t had anyone from the states since my original companion whom was my trainer. I am anxious to share my strengths with him and I know he will teach me a lot too. He is sports minded and so we have that in common. So we will have a good time together, we are going to work hard that I do know.

This area will be a great challenge for me in many ways, but I am excited to change some things around and see the outcome. We had about 75 in church this week, the church building is very big, usually they have about 100 in church but Honduras was playing Sunday in the mundial so everyone was watching that. Right now everyone is watching the Mundial. It’s pretty crazy to say the least, imagine super bowl parties and everything all day every day... that’s what it is like. So we are working around that and all. Doing what we can.

Lets talk about our house, HAHA! It’s… I don’t even know how to describe it. Tons of mosquitos... and in the roof there are like raccoons, so at night we can barely sleep HAHA…there is so much noise from them. But I am going to get used to it. Everything that we need is close to the house. We don’t walk like we did in Sabana Grande. My companion told me we walk far... he has no idea what a lot of walking is. So that’s nice and I’m giving my shoes a break!

There is a super nice gym close to our house so my companion and I go every morning to get a good pump in. HAHA! So that’s fun and convenient. It close to the house so we get up at 5:30 to go there. I am teaching discipline to my companion.... that attribute helps a lot in life.

We are teaching a guy right now that is from the special forces here... we were exchanging stories about boot camp and all... he was loving it. He is a stud! He will be getting baptized soon. There are many people here that are ready but when missionaries don’t do their part... its a problem. So we will see how things move a long here. Excited to see it! Its been a few packed days to say the least... and many days ahead that are going to be jammed packed.... lovin it though! Working a lot and giving it my all. 

Info for you mom that I know you will wanna know! 
- no running water, so no hot water hahah good joke in house
- we don’t walk as much as before in S.G.
- its a barrio , its not a rama, a lot bigger 80-100 each week in church
- area can be MUCH better
- we have to buy out a lot because members don’t feed us much
- clothes and shoes are holding up :)

I think that’s about all that I have for you guys. I love you guys and miss you all.
I will attach some pictures of an activity that we had at the temple this week for our investigators. Thanks for everything mom and dad and Gi, you guys are great! Make it a great week! Gi, work hard this summer and I promise that it will pay off. When others are playing and you are working you will see the benefits, I promise you that. Use your time wisely and it will pay off down the road. Work hard now, and play harder later. Get after it, love ya stud. Thanks for your hard work dad! Love ya! 

Con Mucho Amor!
Elder Long

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