Friday, February 6, 2015


I loved that last email. It was so good to hear from all my siblings. Y'all are in my prayers everyday. I hope you feel the spiritual strength I ask Heavenly Father to send to you. 

The language is coming along. I dream in Tagalog almost every night now, which is a weird experience in its self. 

This week has been awesome. Elder R is starting to come along and get a little bit of my humor. Earlier this week during companionship study, we read a lot from Preach My Gospel. And to make it more interesting I read it out loud in an African American voice. It sounded like a black baptist preacher was in our apartment. I was saying a lot of things like, "The good Lord," and "You feel me, my brother?" or "Can I get an amen?" It didn't really seem to amuse Elder R too much. I swear he's got ice in his veins. Well later that day we were talking with a member when we heard about a missionary who just got send home because he was breaking some mission rules. And then Elder R said and I quote,"It's all about obedience, my brother." He attempted an African American accent. I seriously died. It was the funniest thing ever. I've never been more proud of him. I knew I was going to get to him sooner or later. Gosh I'm such a good trainer. 

Earlier this week we taught this older woman named Sister L. We asked her to be baptized but she didn't accept. She felt like she wasn't ready. Also she feels pressure because their are other missionaries from other churches that are demanding her to get baptized in their church. Here in the Philippines, some churches give a certain amount of days for you to make your decision to join their church, for example like 21 days. If you don't join you won't have another opportunity to join in the future and most likely you'll enjoy your time in "hell." So with that in mind, after she told us no, I feel prompted to relate the following story of my mom and dad. I told Sister L that my mom dated this guy in college. Let's say his name is Michael. Michael was handsome, strong, funny and a lot girls liked him. Michael was very interested in my mom. As I recall Michael wanted to marry or seriously date my mom. But she didn't really feel ready for that kinda of commitment yet. After some persistence Michael finally gave up and said, "Look you need to make a decision. If you don't want me just say it and I'll find someone else because I'm not going to wait forever for you." Well my mom didn't stay with him as you can imagine. And then later comes along my dad. I wouldn't say "handsome" but he's good enough (just kidding dad). He was funny and had a kind heart. When he expressed his feelings to my mom he told her something like this, "I don't know if you're ready but I want you to know that I love you and theirs one else but you. I'll wait forever if I have too." That was the answer my mom was looking for. So has I related this story to sister L. I took her hand into my hand and said, "Sister L we know this is a big decision and you might not feel ready but we here to help you. We love you and care about you enough that we're willing to wait for you." With tears streaming down her face she thanked us and told us she would pray about it. 

My family and friends and whoever reads my emails/blog. I want you all to know that this church is true. The gospel or "the good news", is for everyone. Sometimes some of us need more time then others but, if we're willing to get on our knees and with a broken heart, we can find out for ourselves. God is the same today, yesterday and forever. He does not change. There are miracles today. I've seen them. I have experienced a lot of undeserved blessings here on my mission. I love y'all. Please keep me and those I teach in your prayers. I'm grateful to be a missionary. I'm grateful to know that I having a Savior who loves me so much that even though sometimes I feel like I'm not ready to come to Him. He's willing to wait. 

And that is good news indeed. 

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

P.S Shout to sister Jones and my sister Maddie and the YW. Thank you for the package and pictures. I love the mustaches. Y'all know me too well. 

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