Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 30, 2014

Gosh the weeks are just flying. I get my flight plan next week and I just found out that I go straight to the Manila MTC and stay for 5 days once I get in the Philippines. I'm so pumped for that. I leave Sep. 18. Wow what has happened? It's hard to remember because all the days mesh together. I accomplished one of my goals, which was to memorize the First Vision in Tagalog and I recited it in one of our lessons. The Spirit was so strong and it had a real effect on our investigator. Last week we had 27 new elders added to our zone. Now we have 52 missionaries in our Branch going to the Philippines. Out of the 52, 5 of us are going to Baguio. Every Friday our building has, "Free Style Friday" and lets just say White Cheddar made a special appearance once or twice. I'm not joking, I'm a legend here at the MTC. A lot of random elders call me Elder Cheddar.  A huge crowd gathers on the 2nd floor and some elders rap against each other....and then me and my zone walk in. Everyone starts yelling, "get out of the way white cheddar is here." Good thing I made up some raps before coming to the MTC. I knew something like this was going to happen. Hahaha

B-------MEMORIZE YOUR SCRIPTURE MASTERY! I'm trying to memorize all these scriptures in Tagalog but I have to waste time memorizing it in English first. As much as I hate to say it....dad is right. We do need to have these memorized for our mission. Start now Brennan. Once you're on your mission,you'll learn time is precious, and you can't waste the Lord's time.

This last Wednesday my district and I hosted the new missionaries coming which blew my mind because I feel like I just got here. But I've almost been here a month so that makes me a veteran I guess.....everyday here feels like a eternity but in a good way. The language is coming and I can definitely tell a difference in our lessons that we teach. Elder H------ and I are a lot better at answering questions. One of our lessons we were trying to give a Book of Mormon to our investigator, A----, but she wouldn't take it. She said, "I don't have any money to give to you to but this book." For some reason we both had NO idea what she was saying. We thought she wasn't willing or didn't want to read it. And that wasn't going to stand right with me because we just gave a kick butt lesson on how that same book is going to bless her life. After about of 15 minutes of me lecturing and telling her to humble herself, we finally figured out what she was trying to tell us and we felt really bad. We told her the book was for her and it didn't cost anything but a open heart and a commitment that she would read it. Gosh I can't wait tell I can speak/understand this language.

Last week in TRC. TRC is where we teach return missionaries for like 20 minutes. We teach 2 lessons back to back, all in Tagalog. I honestly love it so much because it's not the same pressure of teaching an investigator. This week, Elder H------ and I taught this Filipino  lady, Sister K------, and she was full Filipino and honestly it was kinda intimidating because we're gonna teach people like her. But when we knocked on the door and introduced ourselves I decided to go a different door approached. I said, "Ako po si Elder Guapo. Jokelang. Ako po si Elder Strader." Which translates, "My name is Elder Good looking. Just kidding. It's Elder Strader." She could not stop laughing. Even after when we were trying to teach our lesson, she'd remember what I said earlier and start laughing. I made few other jokes in Tagalog that I made up and it gave me confidence that I could still be funny, even in Tagalog. Sister K-------- afterwards told my teacher that the people in the Philippines are going to love me. Well let's hope so. I'm loving it here.

I had an elder this week get really sick and asked for me to give him a blessing.It's probably the 4th blessing I given here. I put my church clothes on and said a prayer and did my best through the Spirit. He was completely better the next day. My testimony and faith grows stronger everyday day and I'm grateful for this opportunity to be here.

Emyrie-I love you so much and I pray every night that you'll be okay and that you won't forget about me. I love you so much and someday you'll understand why I'm gone.

 Love you all! 

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

 P.S.  #YOSO

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