Monday, 23 February 2015

Tie burning

Hey everyone!
     This week was a little boring honestly, it was a tough week. We have been focusing on finding a lot lately because all the people we were teaching before have either been baptised, reactivated, or dropped. We are still teaching the recent converts at least once a week but we need to find more investigators! 
     We found some new ones last week but lots of them cancelled their appointments, so last week was very frustrating. We did find 3 new investigators that seem pretty solid though, they are from Colombia. They are the Familia Jaramillo. They have lot's of questions about our church and our beliefs, but the dad simply stated this: "We originally moved to Utah because it is much cheaper to live here than it is to live in California, but maybe it's for this church and this gospel. Maybe God sent us here to accept your message. If Jesus Christ wants us to do this, then we will do it no questions asked."
     Elder Osborne and I were like, THEY NEED TO PRAY AND READ THE BOOK OF MORMON RIGHT NOW!!!!! Haha they are really solid. We know that if they do their commitments and just do the things that we tell them, they will accept our message. They will feel the spirit and come unto Christ.
     In other news, last week was my 6 month mark and as a result I burned a tie! It's a ritual here to burn a tie when you have been a missionary for 6 months, so I have pictures attached of this happening.
     Love you all and thanks for all the support! I can feel your prayers and I can feel the love that the Lord has for me.
Elder Strate

Monday, 16 February 2015

Valentine's Treat

Hey everyone!
     We had another baptism this weekend, on Valentine's Day! 
     It was for Nicole Mateos! She is so amazing and has an amazing conversion story. She lived with her boyfriend for over a year, and that was literally her only problem. I've been teaching her since November, and she has gone through a lot of trials. She lost her job and have big relationship problems with her boyfriend, and I did everything I could to help her as a missionary. I tried my best, but the Lord was testing her and I had to step back and let him work. She had plenty of faith and continued reading, praying, going to church, and living the commandments. She was blessed with another job and she finally found a place to live! It was crazy to watch, the Lord has worked miracles for her and I was so amazed to watch and learn! She has expressed desire to go on a mission and I plan on going to the temple with her in a year. She's amazing and I'm so grateful for her diligence.
     Our teaching pool is getting smaller so we have been focusing on finding lately. It's hard to find sometimes in places like Davis County, but the Lord always has more people for us to find, teach, baptize, and retain.
     I love you all and thank you so much for the support!
Elder Strate

Monday, 9 February 2015

Family Baptism

Hey everyone!
     Utah is still really good, the weather here is super nice for February, it's like 15 Celsius here right now it's really nice. We've still been teaching lots and loving the people that we find. We found some more people to teach this last week so it looks like we'll keep teaching!
     The baptism this week went really well, the service was great and there were a lot of people there showing their support for the Guevara kids.

                    1st Picture left to right is, Elder Osborne, Elder Firpo, Andrea, Jesus, Angela, Arnaldo, and me!
                                                   2nd Picture are the 3 Elders that taught these kids.

     My new companion is from Fresno, California. He loves music and baseball, except his favorite team is the Dodgers  lol but he's from Cali so it's expected he would be either a Dodgers or Giants fan so either way it's a loss haha. He is really talented musically and he goes home in like 2 transfers. I'm pretty sure this transfer will be my last one here in the Bountiful-Spanish area. I've been here since November, but you never know! Ever since I've got here our ward has had 12 convert baptisms and 10 returning members, and before I got here there had not been an investigator to church since last May. The Lord has blessed this area so much, every week since I came to this area we've had an investigator at church, at least 1 haha. 
Including Calgary I'm up to 14 baptisms on my mission so far. 
     Nicole (the girl whose house I skyped at on Christmas) is getting baptized on Valentine's Day and I'm so excited for her! She finally found a place and moved out and now she's eligible for baptism. I'm so excited for her! She is so solid, she's expressed a desire to go on a mission in a year too! I'll still be on my mission in a year so if she does I'll be allowed to go to the temple with her and to her mission farewell! That would be so amazing!! All of my Recent Converts are doing well, the Guadarrama kid's bless and pass the sacrament every week. Their family has made it really clear that they want to attend the temple in a year too. Teresa and her family are doing well, she continues to go to church with 4 kids younger than 8 every week. She just got a temple recommend and we're going to set a date to go to the temple with her and do baptisms for the dead. Juan Juarez just got the priesthood, and he'll bless the Sacrament next week and Brother Guadarrama is teaching him how to do it! HAHAHAHA I love it here, it's so awesome!!!! We're going to work, it's the best!! We just found more new people too, I love it they're all amazing.
      President Hansen is being released this upcoming March, and we have a new Mission President coming then too! His name is President Spendlove, he's from San Antonio Texas. President Hansen is still running the mission right now, but he'll be leaving soon. I love him and his family so much, and he's such an amazing man. He said he'll come visit us and told us top stop by if we're ever in St. George. He also said he wants to go back and be a temple sealer in the St. George temple like he was before he was called as a mission President. He also told us to invite him to anything we have, I already told him I'll invite him to my wedding and he said he would try and come! Haha he said he's been to Alberta before when he was a 70 for the church and he loves how beautiful everything is in Southern Alberta. He knows where Magrath, Cardston, and all those places are. It was really cool to meet an American who actually knows where places like that are haha. SO yeah, I'm going to invite him to my wedding! And then you will meet him and you will love him, trust me he's an amazing man.
     Love all of you and thanks for the prayers! GO RAPTORS, SUNS and CAVALIERS! Haha time to start making my opinion known on basketball because football is over haha.
      Elder Strate 

Sister Dalton Fireside

Parents of the missionaries,

I was at a fireside tonight with Sister Elaine Dalton (former General Relief Society General President) and saw a whole bunch of wonderful missionaries there and having a son on a mission myself right now (in the England Manchester Mission), I know how much parents love to get this kind of email, thought I'd take a few pictures for you.  

I'm not sure which email address goes to which missionary so I'm sending you all of the pictures.  Enjoy.  

Have a great day!

Amy Ferguson
Val Verda 1st Ward
Bountiful UT

Monday, 2 February 2015

Super Bowl Blues

     I got a new companion! His name is Elder Osborne and he's really sweet! He's from Fresno, California and he's been on his mission for like 20 months so he has really good Spanish. He's been helping me a lot with the language so that's really good for me. 

                                                      Elder Osborne and I

     We've been teaching lots of people and right now we have 5 people on date for baptism. 4 for this Saturday and 1 for Valentines day! The girl that I was hanging out with on Christmas when I skyped you guys, she's getting baptized on Valentines day! She's been looking for a place to live because she lived with her boyfriend and she needed to move out so she could be baptized. She found a place and we helped her move on Saturday so now she's officially ready for baptism! I was so happy when I found out that she had a place to live. I've been waiting since November for this, like it's been really hard for me to watch her life from the sidelines. She's had a lot of trials the last few months but she's endured them well and now she's being blessed through her diligence and patience. She's been an amazing example to me and I know that if we are able to endure the challenges God gives us, that we will grow and be blessed from them. Nicole is a prime example of this, and it's been incredible to watch the Lord work. Wow what a miracle!    
      A member called me last night and told me all about the game. I was soooooo pissed off when I found out how the game went down. First of all, we're up 24-14 going into the 4th Quarter! Where's the Legion Of Boom? They should not have let Brady get 2 TD's in the 4th Quarter, they picked him off twice and still let him throw a few touchdowns. If the defense would've had a better 4th Quarter, Seattle doesn't even need to worry about the plays at the end of the game. 
Secondly, you have the best RB in the league Pete Carroll. Lynch is the best power back in the league, and they couldn't stop him all game. WHY NOT GIVE HIM THE FREAKING BALL???? LIKE HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!! I was so mad when I found out, like I ran around our apartment screaming and like freaking out haha.
     Chancellor, Sherman, and Earl Thomas (The Best Defenders in the league at each of their respected positions) were all playing hurt too, so if they would've been healthy it might have made that slight difference Seattle needed. Russell Wilson didn't have a very good statistical year honestly, like probably his worst in his 3 years in the league, and he didn't play that good in the playoffs either. He'll need to play better if Seattle wants to go back to the Super Bowl next year.
     Oh well, I'm still a Seahawk fan for life, and I'l gladly where my fan gear with pride. No being shy, this game just gives me another reason to hate Tom Brady and the Patriots haha. Oh well, good job. That's the first time a good QB has beaten the Seahawks in a LONG time soo whatever haha.
#Seahawksforlife #GOHAWKS

Elder Strate