Monday, 25 January 2016

Missionary Broadcast

      Hey everyone!
      We had a great week! We found around 15 new less active members to teach this week, it's been awesome! It's one of those moments that's very bitter sweet because it's hard to see someone that has made covenants with the Lord fall away, but it's nice that they are willing to return. I'm excited for what the week has in store!
      Luna's baptism will be on February 6th as of right now, he has been struggling with church attendance but other than that he's doing great! 
      We had a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast on Wednesday, it was very inspiring. As missionaries we teach REPENTANCE and baptize CONVERTS. That was one of the principles that was expressed many times during the broadcast. Another cool thing was that I got to watch it live here in Salt Lake City! Our whole mission was invited to go and I was on the camera! Hahaha there is one part where it showed my hand writing notes (Yes Mom I actually take notes sometimes) and another part where I'm sitting there with my companion! I'll send a picture of it because some missionaries re-watched the broadcast and sent me a screenshot of us sitting there, it was pretty cool! 
        Another thing that was very interesting is that most of the things we have been focusing on as a mission and in recent zone conferences were discussed during the broadcast. I'm so grateful to have a mission President that is inspired and follows the spirit, I know he has been guiding us in a way that is in line with what the Apostles want.
I'm very excited for this week! Sorry I don't have a bunch to report this week, but hopefully I will next week!
            Elder Strate

Monday, 18 January 2016


Hi everyone,                                          January 18, 2016

      We had a great week! We had a lot of less active members that we were previously working with show up to church on Sunday. It was awesome to see them again, and this week we'll be visiting all of them!
      I heard about the Seahawks losing, sounds like the 2nd half of it was a good game. Oh well, it's about time someone new won the NFC ;) hahaha I would rather be home to see them win again anyways.
      I was reading this morning about the new temple down in Provo. The story behind that building is pretty interesting, I would encourage all of you to check it out! Sister Spendlove, our mission president's wife, took some classes at that building while she was attending BYU.
      We found some new investigators this week, along with some new less actives. We've been jumping around different apartment complexes visiting members and new move-ins because it's a new year and a new semester for school, so there are a ton of new members in some of our wards. It's been a great opportunity to get to know the members better and it has provided excellent finding opportunities for us. Its been going great so far!
      The Luna Family, who got baptized in the Summer, have a son named Alan. I started teaching him while I was in Rose Park and he's getting baptized on Saturday! He's been taught by some Sister missionaries in our YSA Stake, because he lives in their YSA area and he called me last night to ask me to baptize him! YES!!! It's going to be awesome, I'm so excited to go to his baptism on Saturday! I'll make sure to send pictures!
      I had some amazing studies this week. I studied this talk by Elder Oaks;
make sure to check it out!

               Elder Derek Strate

Monday, 11 January 2016

Back to normal

      We had a good week! The last few weeks have been tough in YSA because of the holidays and school. Yesterday we had a lot of members back at church because school starts this week so we're grateful to have some member support in our area now! It's going to be great! :)
      We have a new Ward mission leader in one of our wards. His name is Albert Hidalgo, and he's a convert of only one year and he's already a Ward mission leader! He's really solid and he wants to help us out as much as possible. Sometimes in YSA wards everyone gets content with how the Ward is because they like to isolate themselves with just their little social group, but Albert told us he wants to light the Ward on fire so we are excited to work with him. These next few weeks should be interesting because two of the four wards we cover are getting new Bishoprics soon! I'm excited to see who the new leadership is and I'm stoked to meet them!
      My companion and I gave talks in two of our wards yesterday. I focused my talk around President Monson's talk from last conference. I love what President Monson states during his address: "Recently, as I have been reading and pondering the scriptures, two passages in particular have stayed with me. Both are familiar to us. The first is from the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
     The second scripture is one which came to my mind as I pondered the meaning of the first. It is from the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to Timothy: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in
conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I believe the second scripture President Monson shared can accurately explain how we can accomplish the first. We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ constantly. We can live the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. As we do so, our lights will shine brighter for others to see. Other people will be attracted to our faith because they will notice that we are different, in a good way.
     I testify that the light of Christ is real. The simple truth that the light of Christ exists in all men is evidence to me that God is real, and he loves us. The Bible Dictionary describes the Light of Christ as
being: "just what the words imply: enlightenment, knowledge, and an uplifting, ennobling, persevering influence that comes upon mankind because of Jesus Christ. … The light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one’s receiving the Holy Ghost. The light of Christ will lead the honest soul who ‘hearkeneth to the voice’ to find the true gospel and the true Church and thereby receive the Holy Ghost." As we follow the example of the Savior and live as He lived and as He taught, that light will burn within us and will light the way for others to get on the path so they can return to live with our Father in heaven again.
     Without the light of Christ, the work I do everyday would be in vain. I know that as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ daily, our lights will shine bright for the world to see. I think the best way we can share the gospel is by being excellent examples for the world. If we live the way Christ lived, then we will find joy in this life and in the life to come. Other people will notice us as well, which in turn will bring lasting conversion for them and for us.
      Doctrine and Covenants 50:22: Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. I know that as we share the gospel with our examples but also as we open our mouths, that the Lord will bless us for our efforts. No effort is ever wasted when we invite. The success we see in building up the church is not always found in the number of converts, or reactivating members, but it is always found in the invitation we extend to others. As we extend invitations for others to come unto Christ, we will feel lasting conversion.
       I don't have any pictures this week! Sorry about that one, but I will try to send some next week!
       Hey dad- Wow that's crazy the way the game ended! Hahah Seattle always gets the lucky breaks honestly, hahaha it's like they are destined to go to Carolina this week and beat the Panthers... Hahaha. I hope all of the road teams win again, I'm sick of the Broncos and Patriots in the AFC. I'm picking the Chiefs to win the AFC, and I'm picking Seattle to win the NFC. But honestly, those picks are based on what I want. What I actually think is going to happen is a little sad for us, but honestly I think the Arizona Cardinals are going to win the Super Bowl. I hope your Packers can take them down, but they're tough. I would love for a NFC championship rematch but that'll be tough, I honestly think that Seattle can beat Carolina this weekend though. Sounds like you had a good week.
       Elder Strate

Monday, 4 January 2016

New Years

     This week was really good! We had our New Years Eve movie nights with some other missionaries and that was really fun! We watched the movie, "Inside Out", it was really good. I really liked it haha, it was nice to relax for a little bit and watch a movie!
     My new companion is great! We get along really well and we are having fun serving together. 

     It's nice because we're both experienced, well-seasoned missionaries and we both want to work really hard, so the work is starting to pick up this transfer! We have some plans this week to go street contacting and to work with a lot of leaders. 
     I was reading in the Old Testament a little bit this week. I read in Judges 9 a few days ago and I found some interesting principles that can apply to us today. In Judges 9, Abimelech, Gideon's son, is made king. In his reign as king, he begins his ministry in a terrible way. He has fear that his brothers will overthrow him, so he slays 70 of his brothers. Amidst this slaughter, one of his brothers, Jotham, escapes from the torment. After Abimelech is done slaying his brothers, his only remaining brother Jotham returns to Abimelech and prophesies of his destruction. He tells Abimelech that because of his unrighteous dominion, he and his people will be destroyed. He tells this using a parable and compares the leaders of Israel to trees, and compares Abimelech to the Bramble tree which will cause himself and all of the other trees to burn and die. I know this all sounds weird, but if you open to Judges 9 and read for a little bit it will start to make sense.
     The application is the fact that; We as leaders in Christ's church have been given a responsibility to lead in the way that Christ would if he were here. If we try to do it our own way, or the world's way, then we will see limited success in our labors. If we do it Christ's way, there is no limit to our success.
      Love you all, have a good week!
         -Elder Strate