Monday, 31 August 2015


       Hey everyone!
      This week was good! I got to go back to Rose Park on Saturday for a baptism! It was great, one of our investigators there got baptized and I had the privilege to baptize her! Her name is Maria Zabala and she was really prepared by the Lord when Elder Jimenez and I found her! It was a great blessing to teach her and help her come closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. Picture is attached to the email from the baptism. 
       One picture is with the Elders that taught her, the other is with the members of the ward that attended the baptism. It was a great experience. We also had a baptism in my new ward for a kid but the baptisms were at the exact same time so I chose to go to the one in Rose Park because Maria asked me to baptize her. 
           My mission has been great! The Lord has provided people for me to find and teach in every area I've been in so far, it's been wonderful!
           The new are I'm in is the Cannon 6th Branch in the Cannon Stake here in Glendale. It's a pretty tough area, lots of really good missionaries have served here and the branch has not had a lot of converts in the last few years. The area is tough, but so far every area I've gone to has been tough and that has helped me rely on God more. When the situation is hard we can find souls who are patiently waiting for us if we allow God's hand to influence the area. All of my areas have been tough, but I think this one will be the toughest one yet. This makes me very excited, because I know that if I continue to work hard and show my diligence to the Lord, he will bring miracles. It is times like now when we have the opportunity to grow more spiritually because the challenges that lie ahead are greater, that's why I'm so excited to serve in this area. 
          Yesterday we were at a ward party and this lady asked Elder Martinez and I if we would finally break the curse of no baptisms in the area hahahaha, we told her of course we will! 
           I read something interesting in my personal study yesterday before church, it's from Helaman 14 when Samuel the Lamanite is prophesying of Christ's birth and the signs that will come with his birth and with his death. Verse 13 states:
13 And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits.
            I know that true faith brings us to repentance. In my opinion, if we are not constantly repenting and trying to become better then we don't have true faith. We can develop our faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, scripture study, and attending church. If we doe those things our faith will grow and we will have the desire to repent and become more like our Savior.
          Yeah I saw the Brewertons! It was a nice little visit! They told me how he is doing, he now works in the mission office in his mission and he is in charge of all the finances! Busy job.

          Yeah Colton Steed was a great example for me, I'm happy to hear that he's doing good. I heard he had a good homecoming. He was nervous to go home because he was so used to the mission life but it sounds like he is adjusting good!
           Football season is starting soon and you all know who I'm cheering for, #GOHAWKS! Hahaha My super bowl prediction this year is Seahawks over Colts. The only other teams I think can win/make the Super Bowl are the Packers, Eagles, Patriots, Ravens and Panthers. That's what I think going into the season, Broncos and 49ers fans are going to have a rough year!

            Hope you have a good week!
                                  Elder Strate

Monday, 24 August 2015

Transferred - still ZL

      Hey everyone!
      I found out a few days ago that I am indeed leaving Rose Park. I'm still going to be a Zone Leader, but I'm going to the Cannon Stake with Elder Martinez! I'm still in the Spanish program too so that's awesome! 
      It's going to be a great transfer, I'm so excited to go back to Glendale. I served for 6 weeks down there in the Pioneer Stake and now I'm one stake farther South, which is the Cannon Stake. Yeah I'll be living in the same apartments I lived in when I served there before, so it's on the corner of 900 W and 700 S, Salt Lake City. 
      I've been saying goodbye to some of the people I've gotten really close to during my time here in the Riverside Stake. I'll attach some pictures and I'll send some more pictures later because I'm going to visit some of them today. It's been a pleasure serving here in the North Star Ward, I've loved my time here and the members here. 
       The one pic is with the Garcia family! They're all recent converts and I baptized Daniela (the oldest daughter) back in June!
        2nd pic is with the 1st counselor in our Elders Quorum Presidency, Hervey Douglas! He's a great guy and would always update me on my sports!

         The Rose Park Zone is doing great and I'm sad to leave but the Cannon Zone is going to be really cool! We have some great Elders in our Zone and I'm excited to see how things play out!
We have a baptism this Saturday for a lady named Maria Zabala, so I'll be returning for that because she asked me to baptize her! SO I will still get to see lots of the members in the ward. Elder Jimenez is serving with one of my old companions, Elder Berrios! I was in Bountiful with him and I'm so happy that Elder Jimenez is getting a great companion!
           I love you all, thanks for everything! I heard that Great Grandma Strate's funeral went well! That's good to hear, I'm sorry I missed it but I'm sure Grandma understands! I'm sure her and Grandpa are having a great reunion together and that brings me great joy. I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation, it provides us with the knowledge that families can be together forever. I love that doctrine, and I want to share it with all the world!
       Also got to burn a shirt, here are some pictures. The other missionary is Elder Kirkham, he and I have the exact some starting dates and release dates for our missions so we burnt our shirts together marking one year done!

     Also, in this stake I'm leaving is a Samoan Ward. I have met the Billmans. They have been called a on missions to work with this ward. They are from Sandy Utah. Brother Billman was the WML when dad served in Sandy! Pretty cool eh? Stake Missionaries working with father and then the son 23 years later.


                            Elder Strate


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Not trasferred... had special visitors so he didnt email until today

Hey everyone!
      This week I had some great personal studies! I want to share with you some of the things I studied because I think they can benefit all of us! First I want to invite all of you to read 2 Nephi chapter 2, it talks a lot about how we can be redeemed through Christ our Lord. In verses 6-8 it talks about how we can be redeemed through Christ's grace and mercy, but we need to come unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. In other words, we need to come unto him through repentance and feel the power of the Atonement change us. 
     This chapter also talks a lot about the creation and Adam and Eve. This is a great chapter in the Book of Mormon but honestly this is the most I got out of this chapter; we can choose to receive eternal life. God has given us agency and there is always a path for everyone to receive this gift. It is our choice to use our agency righteously and follow Gods commandments. If we keep the covenants we made when we chose to follow Christ, through baptism and confirmation (which my little Sister Bree did on Saturday, congrats Bree! You have started on the path to Salvation, I'm so happy for you keep up the good work!) the priesthood, and through the temple, we will receive eternal life. We always have a choice, if you are having thoughts that you don't have a choice then these thoughts are from Satan. We can always choose good or evil, but God has given us the option because he wants us to choose good and experience joy. I highly suggest that you read this chapter, it's an awesome chapter!
      I also suggest that you read 2 Nephi Chapters 31-33. In these chapters Nephi talks about the Doctrine of Christ, he teaches us how to imply the Doctrine of Christ into our lives too! 
      Now remember the talk I gave you all last week to read? Following up is exactly what I'm going to do next week, so I invite you to read these chapters, study them and ponder them, and next week I want to hear some results from what you read.
       I also had a cool visitor this week! I got to meet one of the former mission companions of my twin Brother, Dawson, who is serving his mission in Cancun, Mexico. Him and his family live in Draper and he said he has been home for about 1 transfer, I remember seeing pictures of him with my brother down in Cancun! It was pretty cool! He also told me that Dawson was one of his favorite companions so that's great to hear! They also brought over some pizza and a cake because Sunday was my year mark on my mission! The cake was great and the pizza was great too! Needless to say that I ate a great dinner last night and a wonderful breakfast this morning! 
        We had Elders Larry Y. Wilson from the Second Quorum of the Seventy and we had Elder Kim B. Clark from the First Quorum of the Seventy tour our mission yesterday! It was amazing to hear a message about the Book of Mormon directly from some of the Lord's most consecrated servants on the planet. We had a strong focus on the Book of Mormon, and I want to share a quote with you that Sister Spendlove gave us at our MLC (missionary leadership council).
     "It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance."
       -President Ezra Taft Benson, 
  1.   6. 
    “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 6–7.
  2. This quote is very powerful and I love how President Benson says that we will find power to avoid deception and power to stay on the strait and narrow path. It reminds me why God gave us the commandment to read the scriptures everyday. He gave them to us for that reason, so we can have a good state of mind throughout the day and be focused on what really is important. We need to stay on the straight and narrow path which is something that is a lot easier when we diligently study the scriptures.
        I really had my eyes opened this week on something I can improve on as a missionary, and that is using the Book of Mormon more in the Lords work. This is his work, not ours, we need to do it his ways and align ourselves with his will to be the most effective missionaries we can be. I've set some specific goals for what I'm going to do to change as a missionary which in turn will help me become a better lifetime disciple of Jesus Christ. 
       One of them is using 1 Nephi Chapter 1 as a resource in introducing lesson one. It sounds kind of weird but 1 Nephi Chapter 1 has a lot of similarities with the first lesson. Here are some examples; the Lord appeared to Lehi in a pillar of fire, he also appeared to Joseph Smith in a pillar of light. The people tried to murder and kill the prophets, which is what brought us the Great Apostasy. Those are only a few examples, but I'm going to trust the guidance of a 70 from the Lord and try using this chapter in the Book of Mormon. We also had a huge focus on reading with our investigators and teaching them how to "liken" themselves to the scriptures. I'm going to do that as well. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I want to invite anyone that is reading this letter to read the Book of Mormon with a friend. Help them "liken" the scriptures to themselves, help them apply its teachings to their lives. Also if you are reading this and you haven't read the Book of Mormon before, I invite you to find a friend that is a member of the church and read it together with them. Pray and ask God if the book is true. I know the Lords answers our prayers when we ask with sincere faith, and the Book of Mormon will always be a source of answers.
           I'm not sure yet if I'm getting transferred or not! Transfers are in a week so I'll see what happens but I'm not sure what's going to happen yet. I know that whatever happens, it is the Lords will and I will always sustain his will and do whatever he needs me to do. 
            I love you all and have a great week!
                  -Elder Strate

        We gave our Ward Mission Leader a cake because his birthday was last week! His name is Brother Orellana, he's pretty cool! He served in the Ogden mission about 2-3 years ago.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sister's Baptism

       Derek and Dawson both sent messages home to be read for Bree's baptism on August 15, 2015. They were both well received and added so much to the service.

     We had cut outs made of the boys and they looked great! Bree ran over and hugged them when she saw them.

     I'm so happy you have made the decision to be baptized! Baptism is such a special blessing, and you're so lucky that you have the privilege to be baptized a member of Jesus Christ's church. I have the privilege of sharing this blessing with people everyday out here in the mission field. It's an amazing experience for me when one of the people we are teaching makes the decision to be baptized, the same decision you have made. Baptism is the first of the saving ordinances for Salvation, and we need it to make a promise with God. When we are baptized we promise to keep God's commandments, and to be his disciple in all places! Bree, that basically means if you're going to get baptize you need to try your hardest to be an extra good girl! 😁 Haha! 
      I love the mission! At times it is tough, but when I rely on the Savior I can make life a lot easier for me. That's another door that is going to be opened to you at baptism, you will be cleansed of sin through the power of the Holy Ghost. That means you will be able to feel good when you apologize to people and when you do the right things.  After you receive the Gift of the Holt Ghost you will able to have the Holy Ghost with you after you take the sacrament, as long as you continue to try and be a good person! 
     I love you Bree, I'm so happy that you have chosen to be baptized. I wish I could be there, but right now the Lord has another assignment for me. I have left our family for 2 years, because I want to help other families become eternal. Always remember that Bree, because you are being baptized you are starting your path towards the temple, which is where we were made brother and sister for eternity.
     Elder Derek Strate

       Bree - Why is the holy ghost so important? There are many reasons. I think one of the most important ones is that he teaches us and helps us to remember the things that we have learned. As states in John 14:26-27 , he helps us to do these things. He testifies to us the truthfulness of the Gospel. Especially when someone is looking to receive an answer to know if the Church is true.   
      When you are learning about Jesus Christ and doing the things that he has commanded us, we will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. Now, why is this good to know? Because now, you will have the Holy Ghost with you ALWAYS. If you obey and do whats right, he will guide you and help you in all aspects of your life. So you can continue strengthening your testimony ever day. How can we recognize the Holy Ghost? Galations 5:22-23 says that through thoughts and feelings we will recognize his influence. Love, peace, joy, happiness and many other feeling are the fruits of the holy ghost. I bear witness that the Holy ghost is real. And that its necessary for us to have his help in our lives. In this fallen world, we need all the help we can get to be able to return to the presence of our father in heaven. And he wants us to return! That is why he has sent us this wonderful opportunity to obtain the gift of the holy ghost
       Its truly amazing!! Have a great Day Bree, I love you soooooo much and hope you can feel the savior's love. And mine too!! 

            Elder Dawson Strate

Monday, 10 August 2015

Slow Week

     Hey everyone!
     This week was a little slow honestly, we had a hard time getting members out with us but that's part of the work! 
     Everyone needs to read that talk, the church needs more member missionaries! This talk about Follow Up is what I have decided to work on this week. I decided that there are normally only 2 reasons that people don't follow up on commitments, #1 Laziness, #2 They Forget. I decided that I'm going to stop being lazy! President has told us we need to become more consecrated missionaries, so I'm going to sacrifice being lazy. I know that if I work hard 100% of the time that the Lord will bless us in this area, and the effects of it will spread throughout the zone and throughout the mission. Read that talk it is awesome!
     I found that one in my personal study this week, I also found the message from this month's ensign by President Monson. We need to be lights of the world, light always shines over darkness so if we can be lights in the world Satan will not be able to prevail against us.
     I know this week is going to be great! Transfers are on the 25th and I have a feeling that I'm going to get transferred, so I want to finish the transfer strong! Colton Steed will be finishing his mission that day, he's still an AP so he's finishing his mission 6 straight transfers as an Assistant. I'm going to burn a white shirt soon, my week mark is on Sunday. Freak time flies haha.
               Elder Strate

        Dad sent me a copy of the cutouts he's going to have at Bree's baptism. Pretty Cool.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Visit from back home and hiking!

     Hey everyone!
     We had a decent week, it was full of knocking on empty houses! Haha it seemed like nobody was home this week, it was hard but we are still doing good! We got to go on a hike with the Elders Quorum on Saturday! That was pretty cool! I got a taste of what my parents were doing all week! It was pretty nice, the view was gorgeous up top. I'll attach some pictures of it to this email. Down through that canyon is Salt Lake City, it was beautiful.

     We found some new investigators which is great.
      I heard the Blue Jays made some crazy good trades! That means it's going to be a Jays vs. Cardinals World Series right? My 2 favorite teams could make the World Series this year? That's so awesome! And of course it is a likely possibility one of the years I'm on my mission... lol haha well we'll see what happens!
      I love this work! The other day I was reading in the Ensign. I read an article from Boyd K. Packer the other day, it talked about Jesus Christ and his Atonement for us. He explained how Christ was perfectly obedient, and how we compare to Jesus Christ. One interesting thing he noted was that Christ never had sin, or transgression, but he still had weakness. That's why he can relate to us always, because he had weakness and he understands how we can overcome temptation and conquer our weaknesses, just like he did. It was a good article, I think it was from the June Ensign for this year. Look it up!
      I had a great visit with Todd and Shauna Jones from back home. Lunch with the Jones was awesome! I loved being able to see some friends from back home, it was a wonderful experience. They said I don't look fat so that's a good sign! Haha. The Lion House Cafe was delicious, I loved the food but it was also really cool because that trip was my companions first time at temple square! He loved it too! Family and friends are such a blessing and I'm so grateful for all the support I have back home.
     We also had Zone Conferences last week and it went very well! President Spendlove is such an amazing teacher, we focused on how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can permanently change us, and help us become more consecrated servants for the Lord Jesus Christ. 
      I love you all and thanks for everything!
            Elder Strate

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Zone Conference

From President Spendlove:
     Had wonderful zone conferences this week. Tuesday with the Bountiful and Cannon zones; Wednesday with the Farmington zone and Thursday with the Salt Lake and Rose Park zones.
The Spirit was strong and sweet as we counseled together about the doctrine of Christ, consecration and working with stake and ward leaders. We had visitors come -- recent converts or recently returned members -- who bore sweet testimonies of how the doctrine of Christ -- faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and striving to endure to the end -- has changed their lives.
Our conversation on consecration brought a very strong spirit each day with the ultimately invitation being as you partake of the sacrament each Sunday and take the Lord's all in the flesh and blood emblems of the bread and the water that they put something else on the altar in return. Such a sweet conversation.
      We're also grateful for Bishop Little of the Capitol Hill YSA ward for his inspired counsel on effectively working with stake and ward leaders.
      Finally, many of you may not know but I slipped and fell in the mission home on July 16th and broke my leg. For 11 days I was unable to walk without crutches or sleep because of the pain. Monday morning I could not walk and had not slept well the night before. I was very, very concerned about our ability to have zone conferences and I had already put them off a week because of my injury.
      I had had x-rays and an MRI to see what needed to be done and Monday morning I had a follow-up appointment to see if surgery would be needed. Gratefully surgery is not needed and the doctor put me on a steroid to reduce the inflammation and swelling that was causing so much pain. Twenty-four hours later I walked into the first of the three zone conferences almost pain free! Truly a miracle.
      I know our missionaries were praying for me and I had received a priesthood blessing from my counselors. The power of prayer, the priesthood, a good doctor and the appropriate medicine all come together this week to allow us to have these spirit-filled meetings!
      So here's the Great Utah Salt Lake City mission by zone! I'm proud to call these my missionaries!

                      Derek is third from left! Elder Colton Steed, back row 2nd from right