Monday, February 23, 2015

Family and loved ones,

My time here in Aringay is coming to close. Transfers are in 2 weeks and even though the thought depresses me, I'm probably getting transferred. I do want to see more of the Philippines and experience other area's but it's hard to say goodbye to these people. I'm so close with the members and the citizens here. When I first got here, some people used to make fun of me and treat me like a outsider (a foreigner is a better word). But over the course of these few months I just tried to be myself and do what Christ would do. I did my best with the language and talked with everybody. I would help "lola's" or older women walk across the street (classic). I couldn't really express my love in Tagalog but I did my best to do it through my actions and acts of service. I would flirt with the Relief Society to get more dinner appointments. I asked people about their families and played with the kids. Now, wherever we go, people swarm at to us asking for high fives, asking me to talk in a British accent and asking us to come in their homes and teach their families. They've changed. I've changed. The experience and memories I've gained here are priceless. 

Things are going good. Tagalog is coming along but I'm still not comfortable with the other dialects here. I have no idea how this country operates with so many dialects. The Sta Cecilia group is growing. We're finding more investigators and I'm so blessed that I was here from the beginning. They will build a chapel here some day. I pray that day comes. 

Brennan, Maddie, Donovan, Sydnie, and Emyrie. I hope y'all doing okay. Mom I miss your crepes. Dad, I miss our random wrestling matches.

Aaron won State?! I'm not surprised. Gosh, I'm so proud of him. The Klein finally has a state champion. 

I love y'all. My heart is full of gratitude to all of you. Thank you for your emails, letters, packages and prayers. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He has taken me to places I thought I could nevere go. He has pushed me past my limitations, but with wise intentions. And those moments when I was down and didn't think I could do it, He carried me. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems;

He brought us to the edge and told us to jump,
No we'll fall!
He told us to jump,
No we'll fall! 
He told us to jump,
No we'll fall!
He brought us to the edge and then...pushed us,
And then we flew. 

All the glory goes to Him. He pushed me and I know what it's like to fly.
Till we meet again

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

P.S. Here's a picture of the Sta. Cecilia group and culture dance we went to.

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