Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 23, 2014 

Well a lot has happened. Last week I was called by my branch president to be called District Leader. And lets just say it makes co-chair of youth conference a walk in the park. As surprising as this sounds I have been so humbled by this opportunity and it has taught me so much. I love my district so much and it's been an honor to be their leader. As a district we strive for perfect obedience and I have seen it's blessings. But we have a lot fun along the way. The MTC is hard and really stressful but my sense of humor has never let me down. At first I felt like I couldn't be a good district leader because my whole district is full of awesome leaders so I asked for a blessing from my district. One of the most spiritual moments of my life having 9 missionaries in a circle giving me a blessing of counsel and comfort and feeling their priesthood power. 

Now for the language. hahaha....actually when does the gift of tongues kick in? Kidding. But really. I'm learning so much and we're at the point that we're teaching 2 investigators a day in Tagalog. All I'm saying is I would make a killer nursery leader in the Philippines because my lessons are about that same level. I love this language but it's frustrating that I can't teach and explain as well as I know I could in English. I want to answer their questions and testify to them that I know its true....but when I say it in Tagalog sometimes it sounds really choppy and like 2 year talking. I sorta envy the English speaking missionaries but I know more than ever that this language and mission call is for me. Everytime me and Elder H------ teach our simple lessons the Spirit is so strong. And I've learned through simplicity there is power. (you can quote me on that...I made it up #yoso) Next week we're gonna start skyping a member from the Philippines and teach them the lessons. So pumped for that. I've had a personal goal to memorize the First Vision in Tagalog and my district is amazed of my progress (I have like half of it memorized). I know the gift of tongues is real but on a whole new level. I don't just wake up and speak fluently but I can retain words and phrases with ease. I can see the words in my head as if they were a picture. It's crazy. (I wish I had that for spanish 3) Our district is way ahead of everyone else in our zone when it comes to the language. Some words like "opo" (yes) and "mabuti" (good) are like muscle memory now. I can feel the Spirit work through me and the feeling is addicting. I love the MTC but I want to go to the field so bad. 

Tell the family I love them. I miss you all so much but I try not to think about it a lot because it makes me sad and homesick. I hope everyone is getting ready for school. I'm just really sad that I'm going to miss a lot things that is going to happen in everyone's lives. I love you all and I feel your prayers and I need them so much. Gosh Emyrie.....please give her a hug and a kiss for me. Tell her I'm be back soon and I'm doing what Jesus wants me to do. 

 Keep me in your prayers and hearts and I love you all so much! 

Your Valiant Missionary,

Elder Strader  

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