Monday, 27 October 2014

addition to letter

Ok a few things I forgot to share in my letter quick
     In one of our devotionals recently our speaker was Chad Lewis. He was a NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles, he used to play for BYU. He was on the Eagles team that lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl back in 2004 (I think, check up on that one). He spoke about the same things that Vai Spoke about. Always being a missionary and not being afraid to tell people, "Hey I'm a Mormon, and I know the truth." Just stuff like that it was really cool. 
     He also played for Andy Reid who is an active Mormon, he told all of us that. He said it was really cool to hear speeches from him because sometimes he would say things, and Chad knew the things he were saying were coming from the spirit. Guys like Donovan McNabb would talk about it afterwards and be like, "Man I love when coach gives speeches like that." Andy Reid is another example of doing missionary work, in all places, and sometimes indirectly. It was super cool.

One week left in MTC

Hola! Como estan?
     I'm doing awesome, happy to hear the Seahawks snuck out a win this week. That's always nice news, also I'm sorry to hear about Oscar Tavares, that's terrible news. It's times like those that bring people closer to God than ever before, sometimes we need to be broken down so the Lord can build us back up bigger and stronger than before. 
     I leave back to the field in a week! It's fetching crazy but I'm so excited to return to doing the work I love. It's going to be incredible! I can't wait to serve the people of Salt Lake City! The weather here is really good, Dad wasn't kidding when he told me that Utah has really nice fall weather. It's beautiful down here. What we get for like 2 weeks in Canada for fall they get for a few months and it's really pretty seeing all the different colors! God has created an amazing and awe inspiring world for us to live in! 
     I've gone to the Provo Temple every P. Day and it's gorgeous! I still like the Cardston temple more, it is much bigger and in my opinion way prettier. It's still nice to do the work of the Lord though!
     The Spanish is going good! I've got lots of things mastered, I just need to improve my vocabulary more, that's probably my biggest problem right now. 
      I've been playing sports daily still and after I'm going to play some ball after I'm done writing. 
      I would just like to invite everyone that reads this to just be a loving person to all. The central focus of the Gospel of Jesus Christ all relates back to love. The reason we're here, the reason Christ died for us, the reason we receive trials, all relate back to the fact that God loves us! He really does and I feel his love constantly! I'm so grateful for all he does for us, especially each one of us personally!

     Dad- Thanks for sharing that message from President Eyering. I have some scriptures for you to look up on your own time dad. I've been praying a lot recently asking God why he puts you through such hard trials. I had trouble understanding because you're the one that goes to church, serves the Lord constantly, keeps his covenants, and is an amazing example to me. I was so confused why the Lord would continually fire new problems at you. In one of our class activities, Hermana Kent in my district shared scriptures with me that answered my prayers. Here they are: 1 Corinthians 10:13, Jeremiah 1:5, Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, and 84:88. Those scriptures will provide comfort, they did for me at least.

     Thanks girls for the letter, that's a super cute picture too thanks so much for sharing. I hope the triplets are doing good. I love you guys so much and thanks for all the prayers an support. Miranda that sentence makes no sense haha encantar is to sing, so you said "Me song basketball" haha. Say this instead: "Me gusta encantars balencesto." It means "I like basketball songs."

I love all of you, thanks so much!
Hasta lluego!
Con amor,
Elder Strate

Sunday, 26 October 2014

TREK Video

At our Stake Conference session on Saturday evening, they showed this video of Trek from this past summer. It was wonderful to see the boys in it, bad hard at the same time. Shed a few tears as we miss them, but know they are doing the Lord's work.

Thursday, 23 October 2014


   Hey today I got moved to MTC main campus and I just wanted to let you know that my P Day is now on Monday. I´ll be living here at main campus until I leave on the 4th. West campus has so much more space, but main has better food. There´s pros and cons for both, but I think West Campus is better. Oh well we get the best of both worlds I guess.
My address has changed slightly I believe.
Here it is:
Derek Ronald Strate
Nov 4 UT-SLC
2013 N. 900 E. Unit 391
Provo, UT 84602

Saturday, 18 October 2014


Guess what?
     At our devotional last week we had a guest speaker named Vai Sikahema, he's a former pro football player and a former BYU football player. He served a mission in South Dakota and he played for the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and Philadelphia Eagles. He's now a sports broadcaster in Philadelphia. It was cool to hear him speak, he was such a funny guy!

     He shared lots of awesome experiences playing pro sports, and he said EVERYONE on his teams knew he was a Mormon. He taught us to always stand up for our beliefs and to never back down. He also shared with us experiences he had doing missionary work off our missions as well. I would encourage all of you to attempt missionary work wherever possible, because Salvation is not a cheap price, we want it for everyone. Work on people, for it is written that if we keep our mouths closed, we will be held accountable for them at the last day. Share with people what we believe, and don't be afraid of being rejected. That's what he taught us, on and off our missions. I've been rejected lots but now I don't even care if I get rejected, I did my part.
Elder STrate

2 months done

Hey everyone!                                                                                                        October 18, 2014

       I've been a missionary for over 2 months now!
       To start off, I'm cheering for the Royals in the World Series. Matt Noad informed me that Wainwright and Molina were hurt, so that's why the Cardinals lost :). I'm not cheering for the Giants EVER in my life, so go Royals! They do seem like the team of destiny this year from what I've heard, just like the Red Sox were last year. GO ROYALS! Haha
       My week was good, my knee is feeling a lot better thanks for the cream! I got two packages this week, one from Aunt Carla and one from mi Mama! Gracias both of you! It was so nice to get those packages, and the treats are always nice. I've been sharing some of my Canadian candy with the other missionaries because they've never had a Wunderbar or Smarties before, some have admitted that our candy is better than there's which is awesome!
       I discovered this week that my investigator was the same investigator that Dawson had! His name is Marco, and he's from Peru. SPOILER ALERT! He's a member, and has been for years. He's served in bishoprics and on stake presidencies, he told me this because I saw him at the temple last Saturday. He told me he loves Dawson, and he's grown to love me too. Dawson and I will have to go and see him after our missions, he's a super cool, nice, and humble guy. He has both of our emails so we can stay in touch, I feel like I've made a lifelong friend with him. It was a very humbling experience to get to know him, and I feel like my confidence has matured because of his support for all missionaries.

       Keep working hard in everything you guys are doing, I love all of you so much! Thanks for all the prayers, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRANDMA STRATE TODAY! I read something the other day that said; "Birthdays are like golf, the higher the score the more likely we are to lie about it!" haha it just made me laugh because I knew Grandma's birthday was today, and I thought she would never lie about her age, but Grandpa might! :) ha ha
       The feeling here is amazing and I just want to testify how much the Lord can influence our lives. Here at the MTC I was starting to feel bored and I was getting sick of it, because I knew it was so fake. I've been in the field and already learned almost everything I'm learning here (except the language) and it was starting to frustrate me. I just wanted to go to the field right now so badly! I was sick of everything here and I wanted to talk to normal people, like on the street like I did in Calgary. When I prayed to the Lord I realized that I need to look for ways I can grow, and to take advantage of how far ahead I am compared to others. I did that, and the Lord blessed me with Marco's commitment to baptism yesterday. It was an incredible feeling, and even though I knew he was just acting, it didn't matter. The Spirit was still there and        I loved the feeling I received.
       Thanks again for everything, and thanks for the support. Seahawks better be winning, I can't let all the 49ers fans have something to bug me about.
Con amor,
Elder Strate

      I received an email from my companions in Calgary. One of my investigators from there got baptized this week, he's the one with the mustache, his name is Jabe King. He's a super cool guy and I love him! The other person that baptized him is name Ivan Lagace, and he was my ward mission leader in Calgary! Super cool just thought I would let you know.

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Thanks to the Mark Harker family for sending the first picture. They were in Provo today and saw Derek walking down the street and got a pic with him!
The second photo is his MTC District.

    My district photo goes from left to right like this : Elder Felts (From North Logan, Utah), Elder Barfuss (Calgary), Elder Spiedel (Edmonton), Me, Hermana Boyce (One of our teachers, she served her mission in Bolivia, she grew up in Indiana), Hermana Davis (New York), Hermana House (Centerville, Utah), and Hermana Kent (Bountiful, Utah). 
     Hermana Davis left recently to go to the Columbia MTC, her original call was to go there but she didn't have a visa, she got her visa and took off to Columbia to finish her MTC training there. So now our district is down to 6.

Letter #9 - I'm the fan........... ha ha

Hey family,
     The MTC has bee so good, the food is ok and the Spanish is coming along well. It's so cool how fast you can learn things when you have the spirit with you! Thank you for all the prayers and support, it helps so much. I haven't had any crazy or cool experiences this week, but I have been doing well. I don't have a ton of time to write so this letter is very brief, sorry.
     I've been playing sports everyday, wearing the brace and everything. It feels good most of the time, I just have the random day that it hurts. It's just getting to the point where I'm pissed off that it isn't going away. Played mostly volleyball and basketball, but no one else here is to great at sports honestly. In basketball I'm the best player on this campus (from what i've seen) by so much, it's not even close. Here's kind of a funny story. 
     The other day I was shooting around with my companion just by ourselves, and I heard some kid screaming and yelling like he's just won the Super Bowl. I looked over and this kid just drained 3 threes in a row to win themselves the pickup game of 2 on 2. He was right in the other kids faces, bragging and just being super annoying and cocky. I walked over and I could hear him saying, "Someone get a fan in here, cuz I'm too hot! You can't touch this I'm too good!" I started laughing to myself in my head, and told my companion lets go play them. My companion, Elder Felts is not a super athletic guy, his main sport is swimming and the only sport he's ever played with a ball before is soccer and he hasn't played that since he was like 10. So we walk over and I tap the kid on the shoulder, he turns around and says "Who are you?" I being the straight up jerk I can sometimes be, say "I'm the fan, and I'm here to cool you down." I give a little grin and his smile quickly fades. I shoot for ball and drain it. We play and I just destroy this kid, and he doesn't say another word! He asks me after the game, where are you from? I say Canada, and he says one word before he leaves; "wow...". It was so funny, we couldn't stop laughing about it afterwards! It was the best! Haha
     Anyways I love you guys and conference was an awesome experience! I loved every second of it, my favorite talks were President Packers in Saturday morning session, and President Uchtdorf's in Priesthood session. Look those up, they will help your lives.
Con amor,
Elder Strate

Sunday, 5 October 2014

MTC Pictures

Here are some pictures from the MTC, the group picture is from left to right me, then Elder Felts (my companion), then Elder Barfuss and Elder Speidel. These are the 4 Elders I'm living with right now.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Letter #8

Hola Everyone!
     The MTC is still going well, I can't believe I've already been here for 10 days, the time is flying! Plus my 2 month anniversary for being a missionary is coming up soon too! I've been out since August 16th, which is just insane. The time goes by fast when you're working hard and trying to do what's right. Being a District leader here has been such a blessing so far, I've tried my best to keep our district under control and working hard on a constant basis. We've grown to love each other, and our teachers feel like family as well. 
     When I discovered the Cardinals were playing the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs, it was bittersweet. I know whoever wins that series is going to win the World Series, so it better be St. Louis! I'm dreaming for a St. Louis vs. Angels World Series so Albert Pujols can lose to his former team haha! Sports here at the MTC are fun, I've been playing a lot of basketball and volleyball which has been good. We get gym time everyday for 50 minutes which gives us a nice break from the constant studying we do each day.
     In the priesthood session tonight for conference there is going to be a missionary choir from the MTC singing in that session. I found out that our group of missionaries was a week late for the sign up, DANG IT! That would've been so cool to sing in conference tonight, but I know quite a few missionaries that are singing tonight, so it will be cool to see them on the big screen this evening. 
     My companion and I are doing very good thus far, we've been working hard and trying our best to figure out the language. One of our teachers told us the other day; "Spoiler Alert, every missionary comes home fluent in the language they learn. But not every missionary develops the Christ Like Attributes that God wants us too. It's sad, but true. I've focused my main priority on developing those attributes, I know the Lord will bless me if I do that. 
     I'm so grateful for all of you and I can feel your prayers in my life! I'm going to continue praying for all of you and I hope you all have a wonderful week! God will bless us if we put forth the desire to gain his knowledge and by serving others!
Elder Strate
one last pic from Calgary- Elder Quinton from Cardston and I.