Monday, 28 December 2015

New comp coming

     This week was awesome! I had an awesome Christmas and Christmas Eve, the members around here treat us so well. We are so blessed to serve here. On Christmas Eve we had a YSA missionary dinner and that was sweet! We also went caroling afterwards at an old folks home and that was a really nice experience. On Christmas Day we went to our Stake President's house for breakfast, and then we went to some of our Bishops' houses to eat and hang out with them too. It was a marvelous couple of days.
      Elder Gowdy is getting transferred! He's going to Rose Park. It's been awesome serving with him, he's a great missionary and he will do a good job in his new area. 

My new companion is Elder Haight, he's from Boston. He's a Celtics and Red Sox fan so he will need to repent a bit, but that's ok who doesn't right? 
      We had a baptism! Nicky Rodriguez

     I loved skyping on Christmas Day, it was so nice to hear your voices and to share my experiences with you. I love the spirit I felt with you, it was inspiring for me. I'm so grateful for all of your support, sorry for the short letter we are really busy with transfers but thanks for everything!
     Have a great week!
          Elder Strate

     This is Justin, he's someone that we are teaching and he is super cool. We had an FHE activity with the Ward the other night and we had to make things out of gingerbread! We made an airplane.

Saturday, 26 December 2015


Got to Skype with the family. My release date is August 3, 2016

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Time!

     Feliz Navidad a todos!
     Haha see I can still speak Spanish. This week was great! It was one of the best weeks on my mission! We had a great week in the work but also with my own personal conversion. This Christmas season I've been focusing a lot on becoming a more converted disciple of Jesus Christ everyday. One of the best ways we can do that is through diligent scripture study. This week I read these scriptures, which stuck out to me a lot! Luke 3:4-6 is a great scripture for describing our roles as members of the church and missionaries. John the Baptist has one primary job in his ministry, to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. Are we not doing the exact same thing? One of our purposes in this church is to prepare the earth for the second coming of Jesus Christ. I'm excited for that day, as it will be a glorious day for the righteous. 
       I also had the chance to speak in one of our Sacrament Meetings yesterday. I felt like I needed to talk about the Restoration. I know it's the basic and doctrinal foundation for our beliefs and church, but we can always use a review of the basics. I know Joseph Smith was called of God to be an instrument in his hands in the last days. I know that as we follow God's chosen leaders here on the earth, we will be blessed. I love this work!
     I'm super excited for Christmas this week! We don't have very many lessons set up but we have plenty of plans to go caroling, shovel sidewalks, provide service for the poor, stuff like that. I love giving service to others because it helps me feel like a true representative of Jesus Christ. He did everything for others, and I'm trying my best to follow his example.
     We went to the temple this week! I love the temple, it is so beautiful here in the winter! The temple looks amazing with the snow around it, pictures are attached!

     I'm super excited to skype this upcoming Friday, I hope I won't cry to much when I talk to my family lol.
     Have a great week! #GoHawks
Elder Strate
                     Zone Conferences that we had this last week.

Saturday, 19 December 2015


Tonight dad received a text from a family that took him out for dinner. Their last name is Romney. Marion G. Romney's grandson and his family. They have twins on a mission right now too- in Spain and Germany. Pretty cool.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Two in line to join the church

     Hey everyone!
     This week was good! We had a much better week in terms of lessons this week. We also have 2 people on date for baptism right now! Shafiq is one, he;s originally from Pakistan but he declares himself American. He's doing great and he wants to be Mormon, we're just working with him on some Word of Wisdom issues right now. We also have Mayra who is on date too! She has some doubts but she has come to church and felt the spirit there. She admits to us that she feels the spirit when she reads, prays, and comes to church. I know that if she continues doing those 3 things she will have everlasting conversion. They're both doing well and we will continue working with them throughout the week.
      I went on some exchanges this week too. It felt nice to go back to a Spanish area for a day, don't worry my Spanish is fine haha I can still speak and understand fluently. The week has gone by really quick, and Christmas is right around the corner! Freak, it's so crazy how fast time flies by! I love serving the Lord, its been such a blessing for me! I know that as I continue to serve the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength that I will see miracles in his work. I'm so grateful for the people that we are teaching and I've been very blessed this Christmas season! 
      Yesterday most of the wards we cover did their Christmas Programs, and they were all excellent. I love the spirit that Christmas music brings into our lives, I think the music is a big reason that people are so much nicer during this time of year. Hopefully we will be doing some caroling and service for people these next few weeks, we're trying to get our wards and other missionaries involved in that so it should be fun! :)
         In the new Christmas video, "A Savior is Born", I love the part when the kids say; "And they shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us." Throughout the scriptures whenever the name Emmanuel is used, it refers to the prophesy of Christ coming to minister among the Jews. The name Emmanuel can be applied to us directly today. Jesus Christ's Atonement makes it possible for him to be with us forever. 
         I know he lives as a resurrected and glorified being, and if we are worthy of him he will be with us through the Holy Ghost. Plus, he is coming again one day, and so he will be literally with us one day as well, so the name Emmanuel as used in the prophesies of Christ coming again are very applicable to us in this day and age. I know if we live this gospel daily and continuously become converted, we will be prepared for his coming. I love Christ so much, he has changed me so much out here. I'm eternally grateful to him for his Atonement and the church he has reestablished through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
        I hope you all have a great week!
              Elder Strate 

Monday, 7 December 2015

Now that's a burrito

Hey check out this Super Monster Burrito I ate today for lunch, it's easily the biggest burrito I have ever seen and it took quite an effort to eat it! But, Hungry Hank (that's for you grandpa Strate) got the job done.

Sacrament Experience

 Hey everyone!
     Sorry I don't have a lot of time to write this week, we have a very busy P-Day ahead of us so I will write quick so sorry if the letter is a little short!
     The week was a little slow simply because Final Exams are here for all the students, so we are trying not to bother them to much so they can finish the semester strong. Christmas is also playing a little factor in that, but we still had some solid lessons this week. I love this area and I love this mission, it's the best!
     I had a very cool spiritual experience I want to share with you all. I think it will benefit all of you if you apply it into your life. 
     Yesterday we were at our first sacrament meeting, we usually attend 4 every Sunday because that's how many wards we cover in our stake. The first ward we go to is called the Westminster Ward because it covers the area around Westminster College which is in the Sugarhouse area. It's fun to play basketball with the members that play college ball for them. Anyways, we were sitting there listening to the Sacrament prayers and observing the bread being passed around. Usually, during the sacrament I try to focus my attention on Christ's Atonement and how I can improve that week. This time, I focused my attention completely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I imagined Christ's body laying on the sacrament table, just like it symbolically represents, and for a second it was like I saw Christ actually laying there and rising from the dead. It was just for a split second, but then I realized something. By taking the sacrament every week worthily, we receive the Holy Ghost as promised in the Sacrament prayers which therefore prepares us to Endure to the End, which brings eternal life. Christ's Atonement and the sacrament are so linked that we can even relate us taking the sacrament weekly to us preparing ourselves for the resurrection and eventually living with God and Jesus Christ forever in the Celestial Kingdom. Now the sacrament has much more meaning to me than it ever did before. I also read an article in this month's Ensign, on page 48, entitled, "The Last Sacrament Cup."  
     This story also enlightened me this morning as I reflected on my experience I had yesterday. This week was tough numbers wise, but honestly God blessed me so much to finish the week. I know that he lives, and loves each and every one of us. I had an experience this week that confirmed that truth for me. I was having a tough week, but God answered my prayers for help and strength through a spiritual experience that changed my perspective. I now realize that things being easy or tough is a matter of perspective. I thought I had a tough week, but after my recent experiences I now look back at my week and see all of the miracles God gave me. I'm so grateful for this gospel and the opportunity I have had to serve this mission. Experiences like this have constantly given me the opportunity to change, and I'm so grateful for that.
     I hope you all are enjoying the start to this beautiful Christmas season. I am so grateful for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love him so much and I hope I can continually feel his love throughout this week. I know he will give me opportunities to do so, I just need to have the correct perspective and be optimistic.
                                               Elder Gowdy and I at Temple Square
     Happy Birthday Mom and Dad!!! Haha you are old, but think of it this way. This upcoming March, I'm going to be 20.... 😷 talk about old... Freak haha. I can't believe how fast time is going by, it's crazy. 
      Sounds like you had a good week, I'm grateful for that. I saw Erika McMahon at temple square yesterday and she took a picture with me and sent it to her Mom. Her Mom told her that dad gave a very powerful testimony yesterday at church which is great to hear. Remember the bearing of a testimony is what strengthens it the most.
      Has Grandpa and Grandma still been attending church? Please let them know how grateful I am for their examples for me, they've always been great examples to me as leaders and as honest people. They are always so full of love and that means so much to me.
     I love the Lord! Have a great week!

      Love you
        Elder Strate

Monday, 30 November 2015

Temple Sqaure looks great

     This week was ok! It was pretty slow, especially in YSA. Thanksgiving and Black Friday completely destroyed our weekend hahaha. Everyone was either out of town or busy with family stuff, we tried our best but sometimes that's just how the works goes. Hopefully this week will pick up because of the new Christmas video! I hope you all had the chance to see the new Christmas video, it's very powerful. One thing I want to point out is how all the people in the video are children, hmm interesting.... Haha. I know that Jesus Christ lives! This is his restored church and I know that if we follow his example and live his gospel then we will be saved.
     The Christmas lights are up at temple square! I have some pictures of it, it looks really pretty. 

       It's starting to get colder here too, it was like -10 the last few days with a little bit of snow. My companion is freezing his butt off and I'm over here sun tanning lol. Being from Canada is a blessing!
      I found something interesting in my studies is week, I was reading the pamphlets we give out as missionaries. I was reading the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet about repentance. I want you all to read this part; "Obeying God’s commandment brings the power of the gospel into your life. The gospel will give you strength to abandon your sins. Keeping the commandments includes giving service, forgiving others, and attending Church meetings." Obeying the commandments is part of repentance, but one thing I wanted to highlight is what I put as bold in that statement. I was thinking about how forgiving others and ourselves is part of repentance, then I received some interesting revelation. It says that keeping the commandments includes forgiveness, which therefore means forgiveness is a commandment. Christ commanded us to forgive in 3 Nephi 13:14-15. It is a commandment for us to forgive others and to forgive ourselves, and I know that as we forgive we can feel burdens lifted off of our shoulders.
      December transfers are the 29th I think, no I haven't gotten the package yet but what's going on is that we will all receive our Christmas packages at our Christmas Zone conferences which are on
December 17th and 18th, so I will get it then. I'm pretty sure I'm staying here in YSA so I'm excited about that. 
     Sorry I know I don't have a lot this week, but hopefully next week I will have more!
     Love you all and go Seahawks!
                -Elder Strate

Monday, 23 November 2015

Christmas Message for everyone

     Hey everyone!
     We had another great week! We found some awesome new people to work with this week and hopefully we will be able to teach them more this week. 
     We had transfers this week so that kept my companion and I very busy, but it was awesome.mi love being busy, I hate just standing or sitting around so the fact that we always have stuff to do as missionaries makes me happy.
     We played some flag football on Saturday with one of our wards, that was fun. It was nice to be able to throw a football again, a nice way to get into the Thanksgiving culture around here too. We had some less actives show up too so that benefited our area as well. It's starting to get colder around here, the last few days have been like -5ish Celsius, bus we haven't had any snow yet, just lots of frost in the morning. During the day the sun is still out and shining so it's not as cold during the day, but once the sun goes down it gets chilly around here. 
     Christmas is coming! As a result the church has released another Christmas initiative, called A Savior is Born. On there will be multiple resources released on November 29th, for sharing the gospel. There are plenty of ways to share this great message of the birth of our Savior, but the big focus is a new video called A Savior is Born. It is about 2 minutes long and the church is really pushing us to use this as a finding tool for the next month. We need your help the share this video with everyone! A great way all of you can share this video is through social media, because that's something as missionaries we are not allowed to do. It is also a great resource for a home teaching message, family home evening, church classes, etc., to help us get into the Christmas spirit. People generally have softer hearts during Christmas time is because their hearts are centered on being selfless and giving people gifts. That's exactly how the Savior lived his life, and we should follow his example. I want to share a quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, as you're reading this quote I want you to think of the following questions; Do we really need a Savior? Why is Christmas important for you? What can you do to spread this message across the world? How will this benefit you?
     Here is the quote; “The world needs a Savior. All people need to be cleansed from the effects of sin and to return to the presence of God. Jesus Christ is the Light and Life of the world. This Christmas season, each of us will have many opportunities to proclaim our belief in Him to  friends  and  neighbors, fellow workers, and casual  acquaintances. I hope we will take these opportunities to express our love for Him, to bear our witness of His divine mission, and to renew our determination to serve Him."
      I underlined exactly what we need to be doing as we share this message with everyone. We need to bear our testimonies of why a Savior is necessary. Express your love for him by showing gratitude for all that he did for you. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that as we do so, we will renew our determination to serve him.
     I'm so grateful for the upcoming season, I know that this church is true. I'm so grateful for my family and friends back home and how much they support me in this great work. We usually teach at least 10+ lessons per week if not closer to 20 in our mission.
      I figured this picture would be appropriate for the start of the Christmas season. Two of our Polynesian missionaries, Elder Hafoka from Tonga, and Elder Tauai from Samoa, in front of a Christmas tree.
       Have a great week!
             Elder Strate

Monday, 16 November 2015

Staying put

     Hey everyone!
     So transfers are this week and I am staying in The Pioneer YSA Stake! I'm so happy to be staying because I know there is a ton of work to do around here. I'm also staying with Elder Gowdy which means he will be only my 2nd companion that I have stayed with longer than one transfer, and the other one was Elder Strother in Rose Park. We are excited to continue working together and to become more consecrated missionaries. We have seen miracles so far in our efforts, and I know the Lord will continue to reveal the elect unto us.
      We had a baptism on Saturday! Hudson got baptized! He's from Brazil and understands Spanish because Portuguese and Spanish are very similar, so I got to teach him in Spanish a little bit, that was awesome. We also involved the Portuguese Elders from the Utah Salt Lake City West Mission in our teaching. Our Bishop from the Cannon YSA Ward, Bishop Davis, baptized Hudson. It was an amazing spiritual experience when we saw him enter into the covenant of baptism. I love this area and I love this work! I could stay out here FOREVER! Hahahaha
                                                  Bishop with  Hudson

                                                        Us with Hudson
       The mission is doing very good right now. Everyone seems to be happy and starting to get into the Christmas Spirit. I love this time of year, I'm so grateful for God's greatest gift to us, his son Jesus Christ. The church is coming out with another Christmas initiative, look for it in the upcoming ensign! Make sure to take advantage of it! There is a new video coming out called "A Savior is Born." It's going to be awesome, make sure to help your local missionaries out with spreading this thing across the globe!
        I also had a wonderful week of studies. I re-read Elder Christofferson's talk from conference, Why the Church. I want to invite all of you to read this talk and ask God through prayer if a church really is necessary. According to Elder Christofferson, it is necessary for us to have a church. Since God is a God of love, he wouldn't just leave us stranded and alone on this earth without tools to learn more about him and his existence. We have many tools to get close to Christ such as the scriptures, prayer, church attendance, teachings from modern day prophets and apostles, etc.. If we did not have a church, there would be no direct path back to God. We need an organization of some sort so we can perform the ordinances of salvation such as baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. We also need a church so we can be lead by Christ through his prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's chosen prophet on the earth today. I know for a fact that he leads and guides this church through divine inspiration from our Savior Jesus Christ. I love this gospel, and I love this church, which implies that I love my Lord Jesus Christ. Take a look at this talk and focus on what you can do to help build up the kingdom of God on earth this week. Who can you invite to attend church? Possibly a family home evening activity? How about young mens and young womens? Maybe even something very simple such as raking leaves for your neighbor. All of these invitations or acts of service will help build the kingdom of God on earth. Even if you are rejected or they don't accept your invitation, I can promise you that your personal conversion will increase, and that also helps build the kingdom of God, which is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
      I had a good week, but this upcoming week will be better! I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this week! I love all of you and take care! I hope you will notice God's influence in your life this week, I know that I will!
         Elder Strate

Oh ya, I got a random bloody nose driving this week.... LOL

Monday, 9 November 2015

3 more join the church

     Hey everyone!
      This week was good! We have found some new people to teach that are doing very good, we had a few investigators come to Stake Conference on Sunday so that was awesome. They all really enjoyed it and felt the spirit, so we are happy they decided to come! The focus on Stake Conference was structured around the fact that this is Christ's only true church on the earth. It was amazing, our stake Presidency in the Pioneer YSA stake is very inspired and I'm so grateful for all the members in our stake. I know when the members help find people for the missionaries to teach that the work progresses faster. I love my area and the members here, they're all so cool and very helpful in the
     We taught a good amount of lessons this week, not a ton but we still got a lot of work done. We have had some reactivations this transfer which has been great! I know the Lord will bless us when we are obedient, consecrated, and charitable missionaries. He will help us find and teach the elect when we work hard and do the work his way.
     I saw Sister Lybbert again this week at Temple Square! This time we made sure to get a picture together. She is doing good and we are trying our best to be good representatives of the Magrath Stake!

      I had some interesting thoughts this week regarding reactivation, so I searched for resources about this topic. I found these teachings from President Ezra Taft Benson that are very helpful for me and I'm sure it will be helpful for you as well.
     President Benson states; "The principles to activate souls do not change. They are:
       1. The lost or less active must be found and contacted.
       2. Loving concern must be demonstrated. They must feel of our love.
       3. They must be taught the gospel. They must feel the power of the Holy Ghost through the        
      4. They must be included in the fellowship of the ward or branch.
      5. They must have meaningful Church responsibilities.

     In the words of the Book of Mormon, we are to “continue to minister.” (3 Ne. 18:32.)
Let us be united in our efforts to bring the less active back into full activity in the Church. In doing so, we will all be more fitly joined together in accomplishing the mission of the Church--to bring
the gospel, with all of its blessings and ordinances, more fully into the lives of all Church members. The Church “hath need of every member” (D&C 84:110), and every member has need of the gospel, the Church, and all its ordinances.
     May we all seek the blessings of the Lord to strengthen us and give us the necessary power and influence we will need as we work together in this great labor of love."
        -President Ezra Taft Benson

      I love how he says, "we will all be more fitly joined together in accomplishing the mission of the church." When we actively participate in the work of salvation we will feel more unified in our wards. We will feel more like a big, happy family as apposed to just a group that meets every Sunday. I know as we help bring back the lost sheep that we will see miracles and our personal conversion will increase.
      I also got to return to my last area because three of my old investigators got baptized! It was amazing to see Gabby, Luis and Veronica Fierro when the entered into the covenant of baptism. I know baptism is essential to enter into the kingdom of God, and I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth today.

     If any of you are struggling with the recent announcement from the church, just go back to the basic principles of the gospel. For example, remember the time when you received a spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true, and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
     Remember the day you were baptized, received the priesthood, sealed in the temple, etc.. When we remember these experiences we will remember how much God loves us and if we truly know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the priesthood is here in this church today, then anything that anyone else says about the church doesn't matter. The simple fact that we have the priesthood, modern day revelation, and living prophets means that Jesus Christ is running this church, and
the church is true. I know Jesus Christ lives and that he loves us.

     Have a great week!
               Elder Strate

Monday, 2 November 2015

Q of 70 member comes

     That's crazy! I don't remember the last time Magrath needed a new Ward, that just shows how awesome the work must be going there with reactivation and baptizing, good for the stake that's great! I hope Grandma and Grandpa will do well in the new ward.
      This week was fun! We found some new investigators and less actives to teach this week so that was really nice! We have been focusing on finding a lot this transfer and so far that has been going well. One of my old investigator families is getting baptized this upcoming weekend so I'm super excited to go to that! We currently have 3 investigators on date for baptism in our area as well, so these next few weeks should be great!
      On Halloween we were told to be in our apartments by 6 pm weekly planning, so that's exactly what Elder Gowdy and I did! It's to bad though because when we were at Walmart on Monday some girls from the University of Utah invited us to their institute party for Halloween on Halloween night at the University, but because of that rule we couldn't go! It was to bad, but overall I know that we needed to plan and prepare ourselves for this week. I know that when we are obedient that the Lord blesses us with missionary opportunities, so we will see what happens!
   Halloween was kind of lame, but as missionaries most holidays are lol. We did make little treat bags and take them to all of the people we are teaching, they really apprecited that so it was kind of a neat excuse to see them and just talk about everyday life, it was cool!
     On Friday night we ate dinner with Juan Martinez, one of my recent converts, and his family. It was very nice to see them again, they still live in my area but since we cover YSA I don't get to see them very often, so it was nice to catch up. That man can cook some ribs! It was delicious, and they seem to be doing well. Juan is now the Young Men's secretary for the Branch!
     I was reading Alma 34 the other day in preparation for a lesson with an investigator. He had a question about what our purpose in life is, and Alma 34 answers this question perfectly. It's always a nice reminder to know why we are here, especially when times are tough. I want to invite all of you to read this chapter in your studies this week and to ponder what our purpose in life really is. I also want you all to read Moses 1:39 and look for the contrast with our purpose and God's purpose for us. I know God always has a purpose for us because he loves us so much. I know that as we live the commandments and continue to increase our personal conversion daily, we will feel Christ's presence more in our lives.
     Good to hear that Seattle won this week, hopefully they will start to get on a roll this year. The NBA has started and this is my official prediction to start the year; Cavaliers beat the Thunder in the
Finals. The Warriors are overrated, the Clippers don't have anyone that can guard Kevin Durant so they lose the West Finals because of that. Contenders in the West are the; Thunder, Clippers, Spurs, and Warriors. The Rockets, Trailblazers, Suns, Mavericks, and Grizzlies will all be decent. Dark horse teams are the Timberwolves and Kings.
     Contenders in the East are the; Cavaliers, Raptors, Wizards, and Heat. The Bulls, Pistons, and Hawks will all be decent. Dark horse teams will be the Hornets and Pacers. LeBron wins MVP and DeAndre Jordan wins defensive player.
     It is starting to get colder here and you all know the Canadian culture.... Right after Halloween it's Christmas time! Here in the states they still have thanksgiving this month, so after that these Americans start to get into Christmas mode. I'm influencing my companion to start enjoying Christmas now because back home that's what we did, and so we started listening to Christmas music in the car yesterday! It is great! Haha
     We also had a member of the 70 come to one of our sacrament meetings yesterday! Elder Durram and his wife (who is in the general relief society presidency) joined us for church yesterday. That was really cool, we met them afterwards and they were very kind and loving people.
     I hope you all have a great week! I know I did and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord! 2 Nephi 32:3 will change your week I promise you. If you apply the teaching found in this scripture you will have a better week.
       Elder Strate

     Oh yeah, we taught a former NBA player this week. The girl on the front left of the picture served her mission in Brazil and that's where he is from. His name is Luis and he is cousins with Nene Hilario that plays for the Washington Wizards. He's also from Brazil. He never played a lot, he was basically a bench warmer in the NBA. He played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks. Once he decided to stop playing basketball he decided to pursue business so he worked through Mark Cuban and now runs an extension of one of his businesses in Brazil. Hopefully he will stick around Utah for a bit so we can keep teaching him. He is really receptive and wants to learn.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Missionaries Leaving

Here are 14 of the 17 missionaries we said goodbye to this transfer. Two others were visa waiters who left -- Elder Kimmins to Australia; Elder Cullum to Argentina -- and the third was Sister Willes on a temporary assignment here and now headed to the Washington DC South mission. We love and miss them all!

Front row, left to right:
Sister Hamblin, Arizona
Sister Payne, Alberta, Canada
Sister Tucker, North Carolina
Sister Nicolasora, Philippines
Elder Houze, Kentucky
Elder Gonzalez, London
Elder Clark, Hawaii
Elder Patton, Oregon

Back row, left to right:
Elder Mildenhall, California
Elder Scott-Banks, North Carolina
[Elder Strate, incoming assistant]
Elder Boyles, Oregon
[Elder Gowdy, assistant]
Elder Unklesbay, Ohio
[Elder Balledos, outgoing assistant]
Elder Davis, California
Elder Crow, Texas (yee haw!)

We love them and will miss them very much! Such a great group of Elders and Sisters. Thank you! We love you!

Monday, 26 October 2015

David Archuleta performs!

     Hey everyone!
     This week was really good! This weekend we had the opportunity to attend La Luz de las Naciones event! It's the same one I went to last year except this year they had David Archuleta perform and they also had Elder D. Todd Christofferson come and speak! We took some Spanish less actives and investigators we have been working with and they all loved it! Elder Gowdy had to use a translator because he doesn't speak Spanish, but he really liked it as well! One of our recent converts, Aiko, performed in it with her boyfriend Ryan (who is one of our Ward Mission leaders). The performance was awesome! I loved it so much!

      Also, this weekend one of my investigators in Rose Park, Carlos Cen, finally got baptized! He had been taught for about 8 months straight and he finally entered into the covenant of baptism on Saturday! It was like we had a reunion of missionaries at that baptism because so many taught him! Hahaha it was a great baptism, it was so satisfying to see him so happy after he worked so hard to be prepared for this step in his life. He is doing great!

 Elder Strother came back! Hermano Bocanegra from the bishopric baptized Carlos!
Left to right: Miles Strother, me, Elder Speidel, Carlos Cen, Hermano Bocanegra, Elder Gamble, Elder Berrios, Elder Jimenez, and Hermano Sanabria from the stake.
      Our week was good for our area too! We found a new investigator who is on date to be baptized in November and he's doing really well! Our effectiveness has been really good so far, we don't have a ton of investigators right now but all of them are progressing well. We currently have 3 on date and 3 progressing so that's great! That to me is a testimony of the powerful influence members have on the work. We have been working very hard with the members because in YSA honestly there isn't another option. It's pretty tough to just walk around talking to Single 18-30 year old people, so members and working on our phones is the most efficient way we can work. We have received a lot of less active referrals from the wards! I know as we go contacting these less actives that we will find some non-members as well! That's always what happens, especially in YSA. Lot's of people have less active/non-member roommates so we are trying to find those people. I love the area, it's such a blessed area and I'm so grateful to be serving here.
      I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love that through His gospel we can be cleansed from sin and return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that faith, repentance, baptism (or the sacrament), the holy ghost, and enduring to the end is the path that God has given us to follow in this life, and if we read the scriptures daily, say our prayers sincerely, and attend church weekly, we will see our testimonies grow. We must gain a spiritual conviction that this gospel is true so that when trials come we can stay strong and not fall into temptation. We must receive a witness through prayer that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and that Jesus is the Christ. If we can keep our testimony of those 3 things, then everything else will fall into place. I love this work, and I am grateful for how much God has influenced my mission. I know that he loves all of us and he knows us individually.
      Have a great week and may the Lord bless your lives! 
          Elder Strate

Oh ya - we found a chicken! ha ha

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

T2 on Monday Night

Monday night we took some selfies in front of the conference center. This is my comp, Elder Gowdy.

Monday, 19 October 2015


Hey everyone!
     This week was good! The area is slowly improving and we have been grateful for the results. Unfortunately, one of our investigators who is on date for baptism has moved to West Valley, so now the west mission gets a free baptism! Haha it's ok though, it doesn't matter where someone gets baptized or whose number it is, the important thing is the fact that he is going to be baptized soon. We are excited and happy for him! He will do great!      
      Our week was good! We had some solid recent converts and less active
members that we decided to finish teaching because they are super strong with their testimonies now. They all committed to find someone new for us to share this beautiful message with, so now we are hoping and praying that the Lord will show us fruits from our labors.
     We received some referrals this week, and guess what? Some of them are
Hispanic people that don't speak a lot of English, but they want to attend the YSA Ward! Hahaha I knew the Lord had a purpose for me specifically to be in this area. I'm grateful for the gift of tongues and how the Lord has blessed me with the ability to learn Spanish. My companion is trying to learn Spanish from me hahah, so we will see how that goes!
     I was reading the talk by Larry R. Lawrence from the Saturday Morning
session of conference. Now when I am praying instead of just giving an
accounting to the Lord like I have been doing, I have decided to ask him what I can improve on, what lack I yet? I have felt Gods presence influence me more in my decisions, and I feel like that is something I can improve on everyday. I'm sure this week will be full of miracles and blessings and I continue to try and align my will with the will of the Lord. I know we will be happy if we follow this gospel and choose to be obedient to Gods commandments. As we do so, we will feel Gods infinite love for us.
                 Elder Strate

Monday, 12 October 2015

Happy Thanksgving

     Hey everyone!
      So first off Aiko got baptized! It was a great experience, she had so much member support and it was great to see her so happy afterwards. She was very prepared when we found her, and I know that the Lord is ALWAYS preparing the hearts of the children of men to be ready for the gospel. Alma 13:24 is a testimony to be that this is true, "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."

Elder Gowdy, Aiko, Elder Balledos, (baptized her, he was Elder Gowdy's companion last transfer) and myself.

     I love my new area, we have some wonderful people we are working with. We have a few other people on date for baptism and they are progressing nicely up to this point. Elder Gowdy and I are going to focus on finding a lot of new people to teach this transfer, because we are supposed to find when we teach and teach when we find.
     I'm so grateful for the calling the Lord has given me as a missionary. I'm so blessed by how much the Lord loves me and how often he allows me to be an instrument in his hands. I know that when we try to do the will of the father, then we will be maximizing our potential. God is perfect, we are not, that simple doctrine to me says that God will make us better than we can make ourselves, that's why we must submit our will to his. The primary song, "I'm trying to be like Jesus", testifies that this is true. When we submit ourselves to God we become like the Savior.
      Elder Gowdy is from Gerogia, he's about 6'4, I came out 1 transfer after him, he is pretty cool. We will probably be together for a while hahaha.
      Dad, President just asked about your health and I told him how you are doing, he said he had been praying for you and for our family and he is grateful for the miracle that has taken place, God is real.
      We have Zone Conferences this week and I'm very excited for that! I know that President Spendlove is called of God and that he has the priesthood keys for this mission. I'm grateful for him and Sister Spendlove, their family has sacrificed so much to be here for our benefit and to serve the Lord. They are great examples for all of us.
      I'm grateful for your prayers on behalf of all the missionaries, thank you so much for your support! I love God and I know this is his work, I know that when we are are diligent in this work and obedient to the Lord's commandments, we will see miracles in our lives.

      We do a lot of office work with the office staff, we help President and Sister Spendlove with pretty much everything. We help a ton with transfers, mission wide meetings, we attend area meetings with President. Lots of different stuff. 
      This description is from the mission President's handbook:
      Two elders  are  assigned to  serve  as assistants  to  the  mission president. They  should  be  sensitive  to  the Spirit,  humble, and  respected by  the  other  missionaries. They  should  have  outstanding  leadership  and proselyting  abilities.  They  may  or  may  not  finish  their  missions in  this assignment. They  help  the  mission president:
  •  Plan, prepare,  and  present  training  for  missionaries. 
  •  Train zone  leaders.  They  may  conduct  companion  exchanges  with zone  leaders  either  in  their  own proselyting  area  or  in the zone  leaders’ area. 
 • Conduct companion exchanges with other missionaries as directed by the mission president. 
      We are up till about midnight every night doing stuff in the office or helping President with the mission. Sometimes later haha. We still have a proselyting area and we work that area as much as possible. Our p day is still technically Monday but we don't go to p day activities simply because we are too busy with other things. I'm always busy and sometimes very tired due to our long, busy, and exhausting schedule but I love it. I love being busy and I love dedicating more time to the Lord.

      I love you all and have a great week!
         Elder Strate

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Conference was AWESOME

     Hey everyone!
      Conference WAS SO AWESOME!!! I was lucky enough to attend every session with my former companion Elder Martinez, it was a blast. We had some investigators and less active members attend with us too which was a really nice experience for them. I don't have a lot of time to write today because transfers are here but it was a wonderful weekend! I loved all of the talks, they were magnificent and I was really happy with the topics that were chosen by the Lord through his servants.  

     Elder Balledos and I were talking before conference and we both agreed that personal conversion and keeping the sabbath day holy would be common topics, and they were.

     My favorite talks were  by these beloved servants for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Saturday Morning: Elder Quinton L. Cook
Priesthood Session: President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Morning: President Russell M. Nelson

      I know that Gods priesthood has been restored and that his servants, the prophets and apostles, are men called of God. We had the opportunity to sustain 3 new apostles, they all seem solid and I'm
grateful for their willingness to serve. I'm grateful for Gods influence in our everyday lives. The powerful testimonies we witnessed this weekend are a testimony for me that God loves us, and he truly does reveal his secrets to the prophets. I know that as we follow their teachings we will see blessings and miracles in our lives!
     I love my mission and I'm so honored to wear a name tag that says "Elder" on it. The only other people in the church that have the opportunity to be called Elder on an everyday basis are the general
authorities, so we are an extension of them throughout all the world as missionaries. How great is our calling!
      I love my new area, YSA is really fun! We have some great people we are working with and we are excited to watch God change them through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this work because when I see other people act on faith through repentance and change their lives because it makes my testimony of the divine power of the Atonement through Christ's grace, much stronger. I love the Lord and I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here in the "Great" Utah Salt Lake City Mission.
       I saw lots of familiar faces at conference this weekend, I don't remember everyone I saw but I'm sure my dad got lots of emails and text messages from family members and friends. I saw a bunch of old missionaries too, ones that I knew but have already finished their missions. It was really cool, I also some some members and recent converts that I knew from former areas!   

       I hope you all have an amazing week, take care and continue loving the Lord!
       Elder Strate

Conference Center! We had pretty good seats for missionaries.

yeah I got pics with lots of people. I saw Brian and Cynthia Low with Karen and Dallin,

Dad's cousin Joe Cluff

I saw Elders Firpo, Strother, Osborne, and many other return missionaries that I knew.

I also saw Mitch Cook and his wife,

Uncle Tim & Aunt Carol and family

President McMahon and family, Devon Anderson and Johnny Cook, I know I saw more but I can't remember all of them lol.

The Seahawks should win tonight right? Jays and Cardinals are going to the
World Series! I've been waiting for this year for 19 years and both
teams are finally in a position to make it possible!