Thursday, 30 April 2015

Zone Pic

   Bountiful and Rose Park zones combined zone conference picture - April 28, 2015. Great missionaries! Wonderful meeting!
  Derek is in back row middle, Colton Steed is back row far right.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Loving the new area

Hey everyone!
     My first week in Rose Park was amazing! I love this new area and there is a lot of work to be done here. Elder Strother is my new companion, he is freaking tall! He's 6'8, the tallest missionary in the mission. We also figured out that we are the tallest companionship in the mission, his 6'8 height plus my 6'3 height adds up. I think we will be intimidating Hispanics into baptism because we are so much bigger than most of them LOL!
     We have a bunch of duties as zone leaders, and honestly I still don't know all of them yet as I am still adjusting to the new calling. We take baptismal records to the mission office today after emailing, we pick up mail every Thursday and hand it out at district/zone meetings on Friday. We do trainings in meetings for other missionaries, which I love. I love being able to help and serve others, it's a great blessing. In this zone there are only two sets of missionaries that have a car, and we actually drive a mini van around it's kinda funny haha. We give lots of other missionaries rides and stuff like that. All and all we just are here as zone leaders to help other people out, and to help everyone to be better missionaries. I was looking at the transfer board the other day and I'm one of the youngest zone leaders in the mission, and one of the youngest leaders in the whole mission in general (district leaders, zone leaders, trainers, assistants, and sister training leaders)
I have a great opportunity and it's been awesome.
      We had a baptism too! David Hernandez was baptized and it was an awesome experience! He was very prepared by the Lord and it was a great experience to work with him. Now we are trying to help him receive the priesthood and get to the temple for some baptisms. I love missionary work, it is amazing.
     We also had a Spanish Fireside yesterday for our mission. Elder Don R. Clarke of the 70 came and spoke to the Spanish community. He served his mission in Argentina so he speaks very very good Spanish. He has traveled to many different Spanish countries all over the world, it was amazing to hear his experiences. I saw some members from my last 2 areas too! I got to see Nicole again, who I baptized in Bountiful. 
     It was awesome to see all of those people again, it was also awesome to see lot's of missionaries again!
     I love the mission, it is incredible and I can't wait to continue serving the Lord! 
     Got this from from President - "Be sure and let your families and friends know that we've launched a new Facebook group that they can join to post on and follow the happenings of the great Utah Salt Lake City mission. It's called "USLCM - Spendlove".
                Elder Strate

Monday, 20 April 2015

Trasferred again - onto a new calling - ZL

     Wow I couldn't believe the kind of week we had, it was crazy. So first we put a few more investigators on date, and then we had our baptism on Saturday.
     We baptized a 79 year old lady named Maria Nunez. She is an amazing lady, I was so grateful for the decision she made to enter into the covenant of baptism, it was awesome. She has a great spirit with her and whenever I see her she always has a smile on her face. The feeling I get when I see a recent convert and the spirit they have with them, their smiles always seem to get to me. I can tell that the fully restored gospel of Jesus Christ really does bring eternal happiness.

      I don't have a ton of time to write today sorry, but it's because I'm getting transferred! I was only in the Buena Vista Branch, Pioneer Stake for 6 weeks! Freak that is not a very long time, but I'm going to Rose Park to be a Zone Leader. I'm serving with Elder Strother, and he has served with some of my other companions and I heard he is an amazing missionary. I'm so excited to serve with him, but it is a little bitter sweet. 
     I loved the Buena Vista Branch and my companion Elder Barfuss. We both wanted to serve with each other for longer than one transfer, but I guess the Lord had different plans. It's going to be an interesting week!
     Elder Strate

Monday, 13 April 2015

Do you want to meet the mayor?

Hey everyone!
     I'm doing really well here, I love serving in the heart of Salt Lake City. The area is a little rough, but all in all everything is amazing! 
     We had an awesome miracle I want to share with you. So this week we were teaching an investigator and she is like 80 years old. The rest of her family are members of the church but she has always been satisfied with Catholicism. We went over to visit her, and she was really sick. We gave her a blessing, and after the blessing she was crying. She told us that she has had 100's of missionaries come over in the past, and this was the first time she had ever felt God's power and love through us. She told us whenever we shake her hand or give her blessings, she feels like God is doing it, not us. It was amazing, and she is getting baptized this Saturday. I'm so excited for her to take this step in her life, but I'm even more grateful for the presence God is in our life. It was an incredible experience, and I just felt like I needed to share this with all of you. I testify that the Priesthood power is such a blessing and it is so real! When we are worthy to have it, and when we exercise our Priesthood we receive countless blessings and miracles from our father in heaven.
     We were just at a place called the Sorenson Center because we were updating some of our progress records online, and this lady walked in the room and she was like, "Hey do you Elders want to meet the mayor of Sacramento?" The other missionaries with us were like, "No that's random." But I was like, "Guys, the mayor of Sacramento is Kevin Johnson, he used to play ball for the Suns." So we went outside and we met him. Didn't get to talk to him very long, but he was a really nice guy. He was talking with some younger kids and stuff, he was also with the mayor of Salt Lake City so we got to meet both of them. yes I got a picture with him.
     It was a great experience. He played with Barkley when the Suns should've beat Jordan in the finals in 1992. Yes I know I'm a missionary, but that doesn't mean my basketball mind has evaporated or anything haha. He was cool, I was also wearing a purple tie and he was like, "Elder, I like that tie." I told him, "Thanks, I wore it on a good day because the Suns are one of my favorite teams!" Haha it was a cool experience, I loved it.
     I love it out here, it's been awesome serving here in the Pioneer Stake. Transfers are in 8 days so we will see what happens.
     Thank you for your prayers and support, I can feel your love all the way out here in Salt Lake City.
     This week we were shopping at the City Creek shopping mall and I got a great deal on a new LeBron James Cavaliers Jersey, I'll send you a picture of me wearing it. I hope you guys didn't buy me one as a surprise or anything when I get home, that would be awkward haha so if you were planning on it, don't please! haha I already have one.
Elder Strate


Wednesday, 8 April 2015


Derek made it in the news!

 Former NBA all-star 'KJ' applauds SLC innovations

SALT LAKE CITY — After an all-star career in the NBA, point-guard-turned-Sacramento-mayor Kevin Johnson is an old pro at dolling out assists.
Johnson, who played 12 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns, during which he had more than 6,700 career assists, offered up another to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker Wednesday during a visit to the Sorenson Unity Center.
"You know who this is, right? This is the mayor of Salt Lake," Johnson told a small group of students from Riley Elementary School.
“Shake Mayor Becker’s hand before you guys leave so you can say you met the mayor."
Turning to Johnson, Becker replied: "This is the mayor of Sacramento and not as importantly, he was an all-time great basketball player, who almost single-handedly beat the Utah Jazz."
“Almost, almost,” Johnson said, softly laughing.
Johnson is in Utah for a two-day visit, which included visits to the Unity Center, the Glendale-Mountainview Community Learning Center campus and the Salt Lake City Innovations Early College High School.
The mayors were also scheduled to attend the Utah Jazz-Sacramento Kings game at Energy Solutions Arena Wednesday night.

I got my notes here. I'm going to take notes and beg and borrow and steal some of the good things that are happening.
–Kevin Johnson, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
"I got my notes here. I’m going to take notes and beg and borrow and steal some of the good things that are happening," said Johnson, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Johnson's first impressions of the Sorenson Unity Center appeared to be positive. He and Becker watched a dance performance by a group of Riley Elementary School students and visited the center's Intel Computer Clubhouse.
"This is unbelievable. Glendale is one of the most diverse parts of Salt Lake City and for the community to have the opportunity to get technology and arts, some of the things that don’t typically happen in our school day, it’s awesome for the young people. You can see the diversity here. That’s one of the things that really stood out. A lot of times people don’t associate diversity and Salt Lake City. I’m seeing it firsthand in this community," Johnson said.
Becker said Johnson's visit was an opportunity for him to get the perspective of a mayor who also leads a capital city regarding Salt Lake's services, innovations and partnerships underway in Salt Lake City.
"We're going to spend some time comparing notes what we’re doing and what we can learn from each other. We call it a healthy competition. We compete on the basketball courts and we compete sort of as cities, who is doing more to help our cities get ahead or catch up, as the case may be, with what the communities are doing," said Becker, who is president of the National League of Cities.
As for 10-year-old Ashley Vilchez, a fourth-grader at Riley Elementary School, the visit by the two mayors was "awesome."
"I really wanted to meet the mayor (Becker) a lot. It was nice to meet him (Johnson), too. He's nice. It's awesome he played basketball. I like basketball, too."

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson shakes hands with LDS missionaries who heard that he and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker were on a tour of the Sorenson Unity Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (Photo: Chelsey Allder, Deseret News)

Monday, 6 April 2015


Hey everyone!
     Conference was spectacular! I loved all of the talks and they all have had an influence on my life. I'm so grateful that we have living Prophets and Apostles today that speak for God in this increasingly wicked world. I know that if we apply the teachings we received from them, we will be blessed and comforted by the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
      I didn't get to go to temple square or conference at all. Our stake didn't have any tickets and we aren't supposed to beg or solicit tickets as missionaries, so we just listened to/watched conference with members or in our apartment on the radio. Sad I know, but at least I still have 2 more conferences on my mission!
     I loved many of the talks, but I think the one that stuck out to me the most was the one by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the Sunday Morning Session. Check it out when you have time, I loved that talk so much!
     Recently I have been thinking about how we can help our investigators receive the blessings from baptism and conformation quicker, but without rushing/pushing them to the font. After conference I have realized this is the answer, at least for me, and I know this can apply to everyone's lives. It's really simple, are you ready? haha it's the fact we need to love God and Jesus Christ. They both love us infinitely, so we should try to love them as much as we can. They have given us everything, there is so much to be grateful for. If we will just be humble, submit our will to God's, and love him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, everything else in the gospel will follow. I know this to be true, and I know if my investigators will try to love God, they will feel his indescribable love back to us, and they will want to do anything that we invite them to do.
Just an interesting thought that I received during this conference.
     We have 2 people on date for baptism for May 2nd. We have like 9 investigators that could be baptized at any time, they all just have a few problems they need to work out such as church attendance, smoking, marriage, stuff like that before they can be baptized. It's been a little frustrating, but once those problems are taken care of this area will explode with baptisms. I also had my interview with president Spendlove last week, he's such a cool guy. Him and President Hansen are way different, but they are both amazing men.
      Love you all and take care,
      Elder Strate

Friday, 3 April 2015


Elder Barfuss's sister came down to conference and got permission to take the boys out for lunch! She texted this to us.