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!