Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I'm literally in heaven. The MTC is amazing. My district is so awesome and we're all super close. My companion is Elder H------ from Arizona and he's great(he's going to Baguio too, along with 3 others). We get a long really well and we both dominate together at beach volleyball. Tagalog is kicking my butt as expected and we're stuck in a small classroom for like 8 hours a day, but I've learned so much in just a few days...the gift of tongues is real. Our teacher is awesome except the fact she only speaks Tagalog and not a word of English. It's been hard but it's making us better....I think. Elder H------ and I taught our first investigator last night....in Tagalog. We had to plan a 15 minute lesson in Tagalog and teach this random lady and we've been in the MTC for 2 days.Even though I'm pretty sure she didn't understand a word we said, I can't express to you how strong the Spirit was. The whole time in mind I could hear my teacher say, "Kaya ninyo!" which is "You can do it!" That's pretty much the only thing we understand from our teacher. Before coming here I heard it's amazing when all the missionaries sing "Called to Serve" together, and it was powerful...but when my small district and I sang Called to Serve for the first time in Tagalog...it brought me to tears. To me and my district it had more of an impact. In a short time I've grown a love for this language, it's so beautiful and I'm learning so much. I can pray in complete Tagalog now and get by with some small talk. And I know without a doubt it's because of the Spirit and the Lord's help. Our district really support and help each other as well. I have an awesome branch president, President H------, he was actually the first missionary in Baguio in the 70's. I'm working as hard as I can and following every rule and I'm having a great time. You guys are in my prayers and I miss y'all so much. Please send my love to the family. It's hard, but Strader's do hard things. I'm ready for the challenge. "Send my another mountain!"

Naniniwala po ako si JesuCristo! 
(I believe in Jesus Christ)

You're valiant missionary,
Elder Strader

P.S. Tell Brennan and Jace I made a new saying and now it's my districts motto. It's like YOLO (you only live once) but into YOSO (you only serve once) It means when it comes to missionary work put yourself out there if you know the language or not. You only serve once! Make every moment count! Haha I love it. 
P.S.S Tell mom to hang in there and I'll give her a big hug when I get home <3

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