Monday, 24 November 2014

Touques eh?

Hey everyone!
     Congrats to the volleyball teams that won Provincials this weekend, that's super exciting nice work! Good job! Not to burst the bubble or anything, but I did something this week far more impressive than that though.... haha. 
     This week we put 4 investigators on date for baptism, which is amazing! Elder Berrios and I have been working so hard with finding people and trying our best to teach people, but not very many were receptive. It was hard, and we were both getting frustrated. The Lord was definitely testing us, he was testing our patience and our desire to work. Luckily my companion is a super good hard-working guy so we kept going. The start of last week was tough, the same results over and over again, rejection or no one is home. But on Friday, we went to a guy's house that had already rejected us. I thought, here we go again. But during that appointment we found out they were less actives and they have a 9 year old son who hasn't been baptized, and so he's now on date and they want to come to church! BOOM BABY!!! Super happy, and on Saturday we put a family of 3 on date too. 
     The Lord has blessed us for our diligence, and I know he has a hand in the work. He's always there, even at times it feels like he might not be. I;m happy my companion and I didn't give up and complain about our struggles, we did as Samuel the Lamanite did, and that's enduring with our preaching. Try our best with what we have and see who will be touched, and eventually someone will feel the love of God.
     Last night, a lady in our ward surprised us with new toques she made for us! Homemade and they say our last names on them, they look super cool! There's pics of them attached to this email. I'm so grateful for them, their family is the Salas family. One boy in this family who is 15 years old blew his knee out last week in his team's last football game of the year, and he's super sad right now. I told him about Dawson, and the miracle of healing that he's experienced. It comforted him a lot, so I'm grateful for Dawson's example to me, his example of great faith. 

     1st two pictures are me with Brother and Sister Salas, that gave me the toque.
      Last one is Elder Berrios and I wearing our toques.

     My companion is from Honduras, his name is Jose Ruben Berrios Rodriguez, he's 24 years old and a dentist already haha. He was less active for about 7 years he said, then he got sick of his life and came back to church after he finished with dental school. He loves the mission and knows how to work hard.
     Seattle won yesterday I hear, they need to do as Samuel the Lamanite too and keep enduring and pushing hard, then they will win there division. At the start of the year before I left, I told my Dad that the only team I was scared of as a Seahawks fan in the entire NFL was the Packers, because Aaron Rodgers is so lethal, and they're defense is pretty good too. The other day my companion was getting a hair cut, so I read a Sports Illustrated Magazine in the salon, and I saw the Packers and Patriots are scoring a lot of points right now. So I'm thinking a Packers vs Seahawks NFC title game and whoever wins that wins the Super Bowl. I'm happy to hear the Broncos and 49ers are sucking, that can continue for all I care. Also sweet to hear that the Raptors are the best team in the league! I've also heard the Suns are playing well too, which is sweet. 
     Dad you're completely right, when teams have selfish players like the Lakers with Kobe Bryant, they will lose. The Raptors are a good example of unity right now, and I will try to apply that to our missionary work. I hope our local basketball team can figure that out this year too, but I doubt they will.
Thanks for all the love and support,
Elder Strate

Monday, 17 November 2014


Hey everyone,                                                                    November 17, 2014
            The area outlined in blue in this link is the area I'm serving in, just found it on,-111.855555&z=12&m=google.road&q=Parkway 1st Ward (Spanish)&find=ward.spanish:471291
            My week has gone well, it finally snowed here and my companion is dying! Haha it's the first time he's ever seen snow and he's freaking out. Haha it's so funny, this is the 2nd time I've had a companion on my mission that has never seen snow before. We taught a lot of lessons this week, but we could have taught so much more if people were actually home for our appointments... oh well. It's a little cold here, but I'm sure it's much colder up in Canada. We have been having a blast.
            I heard that Seattle lost to Kansas City yesterday, dang. Well I also heard the Packers blew out the Eagles, so Dad must finally be happy with his team. 
            I've been studying and pondering a lot lately about faith. The scripture which is very familiar to lots of members of the church is Ether 12:6. It talks about miracles happening after the trial of our faith, and that is so true. Right now my companion and I are going through a trial of faith, lots of investigators but it's hard to help them progress. We are trying our best, but it's just difficult. The Lord is testing our faith and patience, and I know if we have faith and put 100% of our trust in the Lord, we will see them progress eventually. I'm so grateful for this gospel, and the blessings it provides for everyone.
            Adios and go Seahawks
            With Love,
            Elder Strate

The message in the snow says Te amo Mama (I love you Mom)

The 2nd picture is me in our house, we live in the basement of members house. They're named the Williams and they're super nice! The picture on the wall is Captain Moroni with the title of Liberty, it's like the theme of our mission.

Monday, 10 November 2014

New Address

Now that I'm in my mission, please send letters or packages to here:

Elder Derek Strate
Utah Salt Lake City Mission
1535 S Edison St

Thanks everyone! 

He's in the field..........Nov 10 letter

Hey guys!
     I'm serving in Bountiful and North Salt Lake right now. Since we're Spanish missionaries we cover a way bigger area than English missionaries, so we cover our whole zone. It's massive haha. We cover 12 stakes, yes I said it 12 stakes! It's crazy! The 12 stakes in Bountiful and North Salt Lake are equivalent to the 1 Spanish ward we cover, it's a little confusing but I'll try and send you a map of the area if I can find one. We have a car for that reason but I've been working out whenever I can so I don't get fat. It'll be hard though because we get Mexican food almost everynight from members. That stuff is super unheatlhy but super tasty haha. 
     My companion is named Elder Berrios, he's from Honduras. His English isn't too great so my Spanish skills are being tested, he's been out for 5 months. He's a super good guy and we both want to work hard. We've been working hard, but our investigators never keep their appointments haha. I'm quickly starting to learn that Hispanic people never keep their commitments or are never home when we come by, it's quickly getting frustrating haha, but it's ok. This week we had 2 investigators come to church and Elder Berrios told me that's the first time an investigator has come to church in that ward for almost 4 months. It's pretty crazy, the work is turning around. We just need to show patience and let the Lord work with them. 
     We have a lot of investigators, it's just hard to help them progress. We're trying really hard, and I know the Lord will reward us for our efforts. I could see us having a ton of baptisms in the next month or two if everything goes well. The English missionaries here baptize way more than we do, because we only teach Spanish people. We'll just keep working hard and continue to exercise our faith in the Lord.
     The members are super cool, considering our ward is full of Mexicans and Peruvians (mainly) there are a lot of people that like basketball. When I told them I played basketball they all were like, come play with us sometime! Haha they really enjoy their b-ball, and most of them are huge Jazz fans. One member told me that the Jazz beat the Cavs a few days ago because Gordan Hayward made a buzzer beater. Dang haha the Cavs need to mesh quicker or the Heat will lead the east. I've also heard the Suns are having a good season so far, which is great news. Dad also telling me that Lynch got 4 TD's against the Giants this week is awesome, I'll make sure to wear my Lynch shirt to P. Day ball today haha.
     Thanks for all the prayers and support you guys give me, I appreciate it so much. Congrats Miranda on your team's volleyball success, continue developing and you'll be a stud in high school. Nice deer too! 
Con amor,
Elder Strate

First pic is a companionship selfie, second is just my companion Elder Berrios
Elder Strate


Monday, 3 November 2014

Last night at MTC

Hello all!                                                                                                               November 2, 2014
          This week has been a marvelous week, and tomorrow I leave for the field once again! I can't wait to take the train to Salt Lake City tomorrow to continue serving the Lord. My train leaves at 7:05 and I'll get to Salt Lake just after 8. My companion Elder Felts left for Texas at 3:45 am this morning, so I already said goodbye to him. He's going to be an amazing missionary, he's a super cool guy and he has such a soft heart. He truly does care for everyone and that's something I'm going to try and develop for myself. He was a great example to me for showing love to all, so I know if he can do it I can do it too.
          I also went to the Provo Temple for the last time today, it is extremely beautiful there. My favorite picture I have of it, is the one taken early in the morning. It looks so cool in that picture!

          At my last devotional here at the MTC our speaker was Wendy W. Nelson. She is the wife of Russell M. Nelson and she grew up in Raymond, Alberta! I guess good things do come out of Raymond, sometimes... haha. She gave an amazing talk, her husband wasn't there which was too bad but she was an excellent speaker. She told us a story about a trip she had to Russia. She was doing service with a group of women from a stake in Moscow, and they started talking about lineage. She asked them all what tribes they were from, and she said 11 of the 12 tribes were represented in that stake. The only tribe missing was Levi. She told us this story to show us that the tribes really are gathering in these last days. It was really cool to hear that experience.
          I hate the Giants so much, that's for all you Giants fans out there. It's ok though, I know for a fact that the Cardinals would've won if Molina and Wainwright were healthy :) haha. Good to hear the Seahawks are winning and the Niners are losing, haha that one is for you guys (Rob Ralph and Brent Bourne). One of the new Elders in my zone told me the Cowboys have been on fire this year, he told me they beat the Seahawks one game and were 6-1 the last he heard. That's crazy... 
          I love all of you and I encourage all of you to do one thing, avoid pride! Ready Alma 38 and study the aspects of pride! It's so important! Pride is what destroyed the Nephites, what caused Lucifer's betrayal, and most importantly, what can make us fall. Pride is one of Satan's biggest tools for making us give into temptation. AVOID PRIDE LIKE THE PLAGUE!
Love you all and peace out,
With Love,
Elder Strate

Here are some more pics. First one is Elder Felts on the Computer, I'm gonna miss this stud.
Second one is me with Elder Quinton again! We found each other at the MTC again. He left last Wednesday, it's been cool having our missions linked. Last one is Elder Barfuss being the stud that he is.