Monday, 25 April 2016

Awesome week - one baptism and two more planned

     This week was full of miracles. I don't know where to start hahahahaha. 

     Ok I'll start with this; one of my investigators in my last area got baptized on Saturday! Her name is Mayra Serrato and the baptismal service was incredible! She has such a glow about her, the light of Christ in her truly has grown! Attached below is a picture with her and her friend (who baptized her) and then all the missionaries that taught her! 
      Well, kind of. Elder Lemmon never taught her, but she and him are really good friends from back home! They are both from Vancouver, Washington and grew up together! So it is really cool that he is my companion right now, because we both just went to the baptism so he could see one of his friends from home enter into the covenant of baptism! What an amazing experience!

      As you can see, Mayra was taught by a bunch of us. Haha, that's because she was honestly in a rough situation. She was super hard to teach at first, she was very defiant towards new ideas and change. It was hard to teach her, but a part of my testimony grew from this experience. I learned that everyone has their timing. Mayra's circumstances did not change, but the Lord softened her heart and put her in a situation where she could accept the gospel, and she did!

    John 4:35-38 says:

    35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

    36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

    37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

   38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

            I read this scripture the evening I found out that Mayra was getting baptized. The spirit really hit me at this moment. I tried so hard in my last area with so many people, and lots of them hit dead ends unfortunately. For some reason, they would not accept the gospel at that time. I don't know why, but I have faith and know that God knows why. And he has promised us that he that soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together. I felt that promise fulfilled on Saturday. I know that God lives, and it doesn't matter what our role is in His vineyard. As long as we do our best and try to be the best disciples we can be, then God will make sure that our labors are not in vain. I know that to be true. I also saw this fulfilled because Elder Haight and Elder Ohl told me that some of the other people I texted before I got transferred have replied and want to meet again. One of them, Diane Gonzalez, wants to be baptized really fast. It's amazing how the Lord works! I'm so happy that those Elders are seeing so much success in their area. It brings me a lot of comfort and joy to know that a lot of people I worked with are starting to come around. It's simply a miracle and evidence of God's love for us.

            Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and out to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."

            I know that love is the center of everything we do. I have felt so much love for the people we are currently teaching. I know that as we pray for charity, that the Lord will give us opportunities to be charitable. We need to recognize opportunities to show others our love. As we do so, I promise you that the work of salvation will increase in your Ward. And, most importantly, you will be happier. You will be helping God fulfill his greatest purpose, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. As we do so, we feel true happiness because we are helping others discover the reason we are truly happy. I love the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength! I know that He is the reason I am out here. I know that His church has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.

            We put an investigator named Ana Gonzales on date yesterday for May 14th! She is very prepared and honestly could be baptized this Saturday, but we are waiting till the 14th because her grandma is coming from Mexico and wants to attend the baptism! We are very excited for her, it's going to be an incredible experience for her and her family.

            I also went to breakfast with one of my Dad's old mission friends this week! It was a fun time. He brought me a LeBron shirt from Cleveland hahaha, that was a nice surprise! I now have new p-day apparel! Robert is a cool guy. We gotta go to Cleveland and watch LeBron hahaha, he said he is so much better and bigger in real life. He said TV doesn't do him justice hahahaha.

            Thanks for all the support! The most important thing I can tell you from this week is that my testimony has been strengthened. I simply know without a doubt that Christ is our Savior. I love Him and I know who he is. I'm humbled that some day I will get to meet Him. When I do, I will feel the nail marks in His hands and in His feet. I will wet His feet with my tears as I express gratitude for His Atonement. I love Him.


                        Elder Strate

            P.S. Go Cavs!!!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


     One of dad's mission buddies from 92-93 was in SLC and took myself and Elder Lemmon for breakfast today. We went and ate at "Pig and a Jelly Jar." Thanks Rob Marchant, and for the LeBron shirt!!! Go Cavs.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Great week!

            Elder Lemmon and I had another fantastic week. We taught a lot of lessons and found more people to teach! The members here are very missionary minded and they love helping us out with lessons, but also with providing activities for the Ward. On Sunday we had a mingle or linger longer after church and it was a really good way for us to get to know the members better and see them in a comfortable environment.
            We had a lot of less active members attend church yesterday! That made us another very happy.
            I got a wedding invitation in the male this week! Picture is attached below. It's from my cousin, Cameron Williams, and he is getting married in May! Thanks for the invitation Cameron! I know the wedding is somewhat close to me but I don't think I will be able to go, but the invitation was really nice! I'm so happy for you and your fiancé.
            I'm sure things will be great! I have been trying to study the New Testament more lately. I also have been focusing on how I can find strength through the Savior's Atonement and help others find that strength as well. I read something really interesting this morning. Matthew 11:28–30: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall  find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
            I express my appreciation for the infinite and eternal sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Atonement is not only for people who have made mistakes and are trying to be good. It is for good people who are trying to become better and serve faithfully and who desire an ongoing and mighty change of heart. I know that Christ's Atonement can help us maintain a mighty change of heart everyday. The things we do everyday will influence who we become. Our purpose in this life is to become like the Savior. The enabling power or grace that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us accomplish this purpose.
            Another scripture that comes to mind as I think about this concept is Mosiah 3:19 in the Book of Mormon. "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
            As we yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, put off the natural man, and become a saint through the Savior's Atonement, I know that we can develop submissiveness, meekness, humility, patience, and charity. Our redeemer has promised us that His grace is sufficient. I know that it is. I have felt his grace change me and enable me to become a powerful missionary. I have truly felt his influence everyday, and I'm so grateful for the love that he has for me. Christ loves and knows each of us perfectly. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Words solely cannot accurately express my gratitude for the Savior. Without him I am nothing, but with him and his grace I can become something meaningful and become an instrument in his hands. May we discover what the Lord's will is for us, and follow it. He loves us so much, and I promise you that as you follow the plan he has for you, that you will become a better person and an amazing disciple of Christ. You will become more than you can become on your own.
            A cool experience that I have been having this week is actually a combination of the little things going on in the area. A lot of less active members of the church or non-members around here are very bitter. They usually have the attitude that they have heard it all before and there is nothing that we can share with them that will change their minds. Elder Lemmon and I pray a lot as a companionship throughout our day. Every time we pray, we ask the Lord to give us strength to become powerful teachers and we ask that the hearts of those around us may be softened. We ask that those around us may be willing to listen. During my time in this area I have seen so many people let us in and simply give us a shot. That to me is a miracle. Our prayers and fasting has been paying off. I have seen the Lord's influence in our area because he is preparing the hearts of those around us. It's been really neat to see that.
            I know that the Lord has his timing for each and every one of his children. All we can do is invite those around us to partake of His Atonement. An invitation to come into Christ never hurts because you never know what truly is going on in their life. It might be a perfect time to invite them depending on how the Lord is working with them through challenges and the influences of mortality. I believe that this phrase so frequently used in the church, "the Lord is preparing his children to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and we must find the elect. We must find those that he is preparing", can be commonly misinterpreted. Lots of people believe that we must solely look for the elect. The trick is that we don't know how ready someone is or if they are elect until we invite them. An invitation for a friend to attend mutual could change their life. An invitation to a ward activity, or a friend's baptism, or a party can change the life of someone you know and love. Please think and pray about someone you can invite to come unto Christ. There are so many different ways to invite, and so many different opportunities we have to invite. The most important thing we can do as disciples of Christ is invite our fellow men to return to the fold of God. I have seen that in my area.
            I have seen that in my other areas. I have seen that throughout my entire life. Invitations bring a chance for change. Keeping covenants or promises we have made bring opportunities for sincere repentance and progression in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and know that he lives.
            Have a great week! I hope my message has inspired and edified you today. Thank you for your support. I can feel your prayers on my behalf and I sincerely thank you for them.
            Elder Strate

Wedding Invitation and picture from Cameron! :)

Monday, 11 April 2016

Loving his new area

     I found this cool link on It has one of my favorite quotes from conference: It's just a simple little thing that we can share with our friends and family. I want to invite all of you to share this or to share something that you learned at conference with a friend. At the least, it will help make someone's day a little brighter. I know the words of the prophet and apostles are from God. The most important teachings we can apply into our lives are the revelations we receive today personally and through the Lord's chosen servants. I loved conference and I have been re-reading/watching some of the talks. It's been great for me and I have learned so much.
     We had an amazing week! We taught a lot of lessons to less-active members and we also have one of our investigators in date to be baptized! His name is Julio Garcia and he is from Puerto Rico. He is going to get married to his girlfriend in May and then get baptized early June. There are a few legal things that we have to work out so that's why the dates are a little ways away, but he and his girlfriend are both solid. They both came to church yesterday and they love the gospel. His girlfriend is going to have a baby soon and they are both really excited to raise him in the environment that the gospel brings. It's been such a blessing to meet them and they are progressing well at the moment. They read their scriptures and pray together daily. They attend church. They are simply awesome! :)   
     We learn in Alma 37:6; "that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass". I've seen this promise to be true with the people that I have worked with throughout my mission. The people that truly want to come unto Christ will read their scriptures, pray, and attend church. We call this CPR (church, pray, read) haha because it saves lives. I know that as we do the small and simple things that the Lord will bring greats things (such as miracles) into our lives. I love this work so much! 
         Elder Lemmon and I are getting along great. He is from Vancouver, Washington. We have been working really hard and the Lord continues to bless us with more to do each day. Our area is starting to really pick up and I'm so grateful to God for helping us in this work. Without him our work would obviously be in vain. As we receive revelation for the people we teach, the work becomes so much easier because the Lord's will is involved. The prophet Joseph Smith taught, "Salvation cannot come without revelation. It is vain for anyone to minister without it."
      We are performing the work of salvation, so for us to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man we need to be receiving revelation. We are called to minister unto God's children and revelation helps us accomplish this task.
      My trainer from the Calgary Canada mission, Hudson Smith (formerly known as Elder Smith ;) hahaha) came and took us out to lunch on Saturday! 
      It was so weird but so cool at the same time to see him. He taught me so much on my mission and I know without his help and support at the start, there is no way I would be the missionary and disciple of Christ I am today. It was super cool to see him, and he's going to BYU so I will see him after my mission too! :)
      This week should be great! Thanks for all of the support, it is greatly appreciated!
            Elder Strate 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Loved Conference

       Elder Lemmon and I are doing amazing. He's like my little brother, I love him so much. He's super diligent and obedient. He's also very humble and willing to learn and grow. I loved how during conference Stephen W. Owen talked about how the best leaders are also the best followers. That inspired me, I know that Christ was perfect at both. He perfectly followed and submitted to his Father's will. He also was a perfect leader because he led people to His gospel by teaching them His ways. Elder Lemmon is a great example of that to me. He's helping me realize that I need to try to be more humble and more willing to learn. I have been out for a long time now and have lots of experience, but I still need to stay humble and willing to learn.
     Progression is an eternal principle. We cannot reach perfection in this life so there is always room for improvement. One of my goals is to not become complacent with where I am in my progression and conversion. I love the Lord and I know that he will help me with this goal.
     Our new area is amazing! We are covering part of the Arbor Branch which is in the Liberty stake, part of the Lucero Ward which is in the central stake, and also the Mount Ensign 3rd Ward which is part of the Salt Lake stake. These are all Spanish units. Throughout my entire mission I have always covered 1 Spanish Ward or branch when I was in the Spanish program. Now I am covering 3 (well, kind of) so it's going to be a test, but I have a great companion and we have met some of the
leaders in our wards and they all seem great so far.

     We took a less active and her non-member boyfriend to conference yesterday and he said that he wants to be baptized now! All we have to do is help them get married and then he will be ready to be baptized! We are meeting with them on Tuesday to discuss this with them! Our new area is already been fruitful and Elder Lemmon and I both think that there is a lot potential here! We love it!    
       I loved conference so much. This was one of the best overall general conferences I can remember in my life. Everyone's talks were on the ball and very straight forward. I loved every second of it. President Monson spoke for very shot amounts of time but his talks were still very sweet and powerful.
      Elder Oaks talk from the Sunday afternoon session was incredible. I thought it was inspiring how he taught us that temptation enables us to become agents. When we are tempted or face opposition, the divine gift of agency that we all have been given comes into play. Christ suffered so we could have agency essentially, and when we face opposition and exercise our agency, we progress. Progression is the purpose of life, and we could not progress if we didn't have trials, challenges, opposition, and agency. Agency is one of the central doctrines to the plan of salvation. I want to invite you to read his talk. It was very powerful and reminded me that opposition comes because the Lord loves us and wants us to become like him.
       Have a great week! The weather down here is starting to heat up a bit but that's good because I need to get a tan before I come home ;)  haha.
           Elder Strate

        Ana Gonzales and her sister decided to do my hair! Haha Ana is a 9 year old investigator that will be baptized soon!

       Conference pics - Nicole went to lunch with us on Saturday. We ran into Elder Barfuss, it was great to see him. Dave Forbes (dad's friend) came down from Medicine Hat for conference and bought us pizza for supper before the Priesthood Session.

                       This is the perfect meme