Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Letter #3

Hey everyone,
     I'm still enjoying my time in the wonderful city of Calgary. Bill Heaven and his family are taking us out to dinner tonight and we're going to a Chinese buffet! It's going to be awesome! 
     Speaking of food, I've had plenty of interesting foods on my mission so far. I've eaten Baloot, which is basically a boiled duck embryo which is still in the egg, it's a delicacy in the Phillipines. It honestly didn't taste that bad, the actual duck inside tasted a lot better than it looked! I've also eaten some squid (tasted good but too squishy), and we ate some senior citizen chinese food which tasted extremely weird. What I mean by senior citizen chinese food is that it was plenty of steemed vegitables, rice, and fish just covered in this weird sauce, and since the people we ate with were old, Elder Smith and I decided to call it Senior Citizen Chinese food. I've also had lumpa which is a Phillipino spring roll and those are delicious! They've probably been my favorite new food I've had so far. Since we've continued to have plenty of dinner appointments, we also have plenty of leftovers. So in other words, were eating just fine. the other Elders dared me to drink a whole gallon if milk in a 24 hour time period and that was super easy, the next step in the gallon challenge! Well that's the plan anyways... haha. We've had a few perogy parties with the Spanish Elders and Zone leaders because we all live in the same appartment complex, so we like to eat together when we get the chance. We also hang out a lot and it's lots of fun.
     Elder Smith and I have been doing very well with our missionary work, we now have 3 investigators on date for baptism, 2 men from Nigeria and 1 Native gentleman from the Siksika reserve. He lives in our area and has quit smoking and has been coming to church too! The Lord truly does have work for me here, and I'm happy to be a tool for the Lord's hand. Last Sunday was the fifth Sunday of the month, so the bishopric told us to each give a 15-20 min talk about missionary work. I spoke about everyone being missionaries and trying to bring others to the truthfulness of the gospel. It went really well and everyone thinks I'm a fantastic speaker for my age and for how long I've been on the mission. 
     So I would like to give all of you a challenge, help be an example to those around you and bring others unto Christ! Just because you aren't set apart as a missionary like me doesn't mean we can't still be one. I know when I get home I will continue my service to the Lord throughout the rest of my life. A way to make missionary work easier is simple, it's all about your mind set. Look at it like this; we know this is the perfect and true church on this Earth that brings all of us eternal happiness if we live it's teachings, correct? If we love the Church and know it is true, then why would we not want to let other's know it is true? God loves all of his children, and we should try to love all of them too, no matter how annoying they may be. That's my two bits for the day, haha. But Elder Smith doesn't want me to leave! We're having way too much fun, and the work is going very well. Transfers are next Wednesday so I'll have more pictures of the Elders I'm with next week, I promise.
     I've been working out somewhat often now, and I've been stretching everyday. My left knee, the one with tendinitis has been killing me lately. I've been icing it and wearing my knee brace, but I would appreciate it a lot if you guys would mention that in your prayers for me, thanks! We go to the Stake Center every morning and do this workout program called Insanity, and it's insanely hard. It's pushing my limits, which is good for me. I've enjoyed it thus far. Oh yeah, last week we were playing basketball at a public park on P-Day, we played lots of things like volleyball, soccer, etc., but while we were playing basketball these 2 random kids showed up, these brown kids and they asked if they could play. We obviously accepted, and it was one of the funnest games I have ever played. My team had me, Elder Wilson, and Elder Hafen, and we were versing Elder Pachecho and the 2 brown kids. They were both pretty good, but my team still won. It felt awesome because I had one of those games where I couldn't miss, it was the best feeling and it's was awesome to get that feeling again. All the Elders here are beauties :)
      I'm so grateful to have all the support at home from all my friends and family. Thank you for your support, life would be much harder out here without your prayers and friendship to me, so thanks again for that. I love all of you so much and I'm so happy you're all in my life! Continue to be good people and help those around you!
                                                                    Elder Strate
Grandma and Grandpa Strate:
Thanks for all the support you guys have given me over the years, I got your letter Grandma and I'm so grateful you were willing to send me that! Everytime I ready letters I always feel good and the spirit reminds me how much my family loves me at home. I'll continue to pray for you Grandma, and I hope your health gets better! I love both of you so much, and I pray for you both every night. May the Lord and Spirit continue to affect your lives, and let the spirit guide you. Sometimes you're guided in odd ways, but the Lord knows best!
Your tallest grandson :)
This is a random picture of me, it's from the inside of a building in downtown Calgary!

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