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.