Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It's the Final Countdown

To all my peeps,

Well it's been real. It's been fun. It's been real fun. The time went too fast and I'm not sure what to feel or think. I just feel so blessed. 

As I reflect on the last 2 years so much has changed. So many changes happened. Area's that were struggling through obedience, faith and handwork changed. Families that use to drink coffee and hide from us every time we came to teach, changed and were baptized and are preparing for the temple. A stubborn white boy from Spring, TX came and was thrown into a spiritual roller coaster, learned a language, cried repentance and changed into a man of God and Minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, I feel so blessed. As I look back, the Spirit testifies me to that, Christ was the center of all my changes. 

I want to express my love and appreciation to all those that have supported me during my mission and my whole life. Mom and Dad, thank you. Thank you for your patience, prayers and divine paternal guidance. Brennan, thank you for emailing me and keeping me updated and thank you for example of determination and handwork. I love you bro.  Maddie, you're weird and I love you for it. Thank you for not being afraid to be yourself and sharing your light. Donovan, you're strong on the mat but thank you for your spiritual strength as well. You will always be my Nephi. Sydnie and Emyrie I missed both of you so much, thank for your prayers and fasts. The Lord answered your prayers. 

My Sons of Thunder brothers, Jace, Tyler, and Joe. Thank you for your examples in high school and while we all served missions. You guys are my rock. I can't explain in words but I'm eternally grateful. Good friends can make all the difference. Love you guys. 

And all those that have emailed me that I haven't mentioned, thank you. 

I want to bear my testimony that I know He lives. I know that there is power in reading the Book of Mormon. I believe in miracles. I know we are led by a modern prophet and revelation. What a wonderful blessing! I feel so happy. I love the Philippines. I feel joy. I know who I am. I fear no man. I can do anything through Christ. Who can stop me when I'm the Lord's errand? It has been an honor to serve the Lord and I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had the chance. But it's not over yet there's more to do and I'm ready to give myself even more. I know that I'm and Son of God and that's where my power lies. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Your Valiant Missionary,

Elder Strader

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Work Work Work There Is No Satisfactory Substitute


We had a great week. We're really focusing on this struggling branch and we're seeing a lot of potential. We just had 8 branch missionaries called yesterday. We're having meetings with the branch, meetings that have been happening for over a year. So many blessings! We're trying to get the fire back into our members. Our area is great, we found some sweet families and I feel that my teaching is where I want to be.

Elder P is the man! I'll tell you more about him when I get home but he's one my favorite companions. 

I'm working hard everyday. At night I can't help but think of my family. It's funny because when  I first came in the mission I didn't really miss my family. Okay that sounds bad of course I missed you guys but I was never homesick. When we were working my mind was on the work and I never had sad thoughts or distressing memories. But now in these final weeks I miss you all so much haha. I'm ready to come home but I want to leave a legacy here first. 

I hope you guys are having fun on the trip. Tell the family that I love them! I love being a missionary. The church is true!

Your Valiant Missionary,

Elder Strader

The Field Is White

Hey mom, 

These are pictures of us working in a less active members rice field. He's gone to church because he always busy in the fields. So I told him that we would come work in his field for free if he went to church. We had an awesome experience. It's been a while since my white legs have been exposed but somehow we still felt the Spirit. The brother came to church on Sunday. Blessing. I love you. See ya'll soon. 



Monday, July 4, 2016


Thanks for your email! Yeah I'm with Elder P and he's awesome! He's from New Zealand and I'm his follow up trainer. I'm assigned here in Tagudin and it's just a small struggling branch. Even though it's only been a couple days we came here like a storm. I feel like I can do anything with the Lord and I've been so blessed with experience and ready to give everything this last transfer. We have some activities planned and we're finding less active and have a baptism planned in the next couple of weeks. I feel good. I feel focused. I feel the Spirit when I teach. I feel an urgency and I just love being a missionary.

That's awesome with my college classes. I'm super pumped. I need a job haha. I can find one when I get there. It might be hard to believe but I'm more charming now ;) Haha. We can talk about when I leave when I get home. Thanks for everything.  

How's the family? I'm excited to see them. Tell them I love them.

Mom. Tagudin is so beautiful. Just lots of rice fields and it's so pretty. I'll try to send pics from Elder P because I don't have a camera anymore. The members are few and really need help. Elder P is teaching me the haka and it's sick. I'm pretty sure I have some Poly blood in me. 

I love that story from Brother Ure. It's so true. When I reflect on my first couple of areas and I wondered how did I accomplish all things I accomplished? I couldn't speak Tagalog or teach, why did people let me in their homes? In those certain times I felt useless and alone. But then I remember all those times that I was on my knees praying before going to work. Asking for the strength and His love. I remember studying the scriptures and doing my best to be obedient because that's really all I could do. And I now I know there's where my strength came from. Heavenly Father just wanted me to show up. To have a willing heart and rely on Him. So when we knocked on doors and people answered and start saying stuff that I don't understand and for some reason I still had courage to look up and smile. People saw something in me that I didn't see myself. Over time, I got stronger and stronger in my humility. I grew and gained wisdom. And I'm now a powerful instrument in  the Lord's hands. I can't be stopped. I can't be confounded. I fear no man. Because I know where my strength lies. 

I love you mom. Please make crepes when I get home and then I might give you one hug ;) Tell the family I love them and I'm really trying to end strong. The church is true!


Elder Strader 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Best Baptism of Mission


Haha yes we do celebrate Father's Day. That's awesome with the garage sale! I'm so happy for you! I hope you didn't sale any of my stuff...haha I'm kidding. 

Things are great here. I'm getting transferred tomorrow. I'm going to Tagudin and I'll be with a Polynesian! The Church is really true! Haha I've been waiting for this my whole mission! His name is Elder P and he's from New Zealand. I'm so pumped to go to another area for one month and kill it. I feel good and I'm going to end strong. We just got a baptism last week! The Macato's was baptized. I feel so blessed. So many miracles happened. I'll tell you more when I go home but they have plans to get sealed in June of next year. Best baptism of my whole mission. We found, taught and baptized a family. They're solid and I don't know how to express my joy. The church is true!

Mom what day am I going to Idaho for school? I want to get an idea so I can work. I want to see what my plans are. Taco Bell sounds amazing...speaking of Taco Bell after I tasted dog here in the Philippines I think I know where Taco Bell get it's mysterious meat. 

Mom, I don't need to go on a trip I just want to go home. Hang out with the family, play piano, work, beat up Brennan and Donovan. 

I'll give you more details next week. I love you mom. I'm working hard and I love being a missionary. I'll be home soon. 


Elder Strader

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Hey Mom!

Here are some pictures! It's rainy season and the rain pours on us every night. It's a little dangerous to be riding our bikes at night in the rain but the Lord protects us. By these pictures you probably think I'm a gangster but I promise you I'm still obedient and working hard. I'm loving the mission and the Macato family accepted the invitation to be baptized! I hope the family is doing well! Ya'll are in my prayers. The church is true!


Elder Strader

Monday, May 2, 2016

Working Hard


I love hearing about the family. I'm excited to see all of you again when we Skype. How are you though? How many pull ups can you do? (don't answer that question). I'm so happy that everyone is doing well, I always pray for that. Hows the flooding? 

I'm doing well the mission is working really hard. It's pretty hot but it doesn't seem to affect me. We have some awesome families that we've found, I'll tell you more about them next week when we talk face to face. I'm working the hardest I've ever worked my whole life. I love those I serve. I have been experiencing some back problems but I think it will be okay. Elder G wants me to slow down and rest but I always tell him I'll rest on August 3. But don't worry I'm okay. I've gotten really close to my mission president, President Balledos. He has taught me a lot and I feel so blessed that I've gotten to work close with him. 

I heard the Rockets lost in the playoffs...I almost didn't go to church when I heard that....haha just kidding but it's still sad. 

Anyway, I love all of you. And I'm excited for next week. Thank you for your prayers. The church is true!

Elder Strader