Monday, March 2, 2015

Beloved family and friends,

The weeks are flying so fast. It was Elder R's birthday yesterday. He turned 23 and I gave him a total of 23 hugs throughout the day at random times. To be honest I probably gave him way more because whenever I would lose count I would just start over. Hahaha I promise it's way more funny if you knew him and how he's not the "huggy" kinda of guy. I think Elder Reyes is excited for me to get transferred, just kidding hahaha. 

The Aringay district is doing really well. We're one of the top districts in the mission. I would like to say it's because of my flawless leadership, but I seriously don't do anything. Everyone just works really hard and I'm having a blast. The Lord has poured out blessings and we've seen miracles.

Yesterday the sisters have an investigator that requested a blessing from the elders. His name is Marshell and he's about 65 years old. He had a stroke a couple years ago and as a result, half of his body is paralyzed. When the sisters taught him about the Priesthood Marshell wanted a blessing ASAP. So we went and gave him a blessing. Even though I gave the blessing in English the spirit was so strong. Marshell asked us to teach him afterwards and he said he would believe anything we taught. One of the most humble men I've ever met. We taught a short lesson about the power of prayer and we asked him to say the closing prayer. Marshell prayed one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard. Simple but powerful. In the middle of his prayer he thanked God for sending the missionaries to his house and giving him a blessing. As he said those words he started to cry. He struggled to finish his prayer. I stood up and sat next to him and put my arm around him and held him as he cried. He eventually finished his prayer. With tears in our eyes, we thanked him and told him that he would be in out prayers.

The reason Marshell cried and thanked God was because during the blessing Marshell said he felt a warm, electric feeling start on the top of his head and traveled down his whole body, eventually to his toes. It's the first time he's felt his toes in years.

To all those that read these emails or follow my blog. I want you all to know that I know this church is true. I know that families can be together forever. I know that the Book of Mormon can heal the wounded soul. I have seen it in the lives of those I teach. I've seen it in my life. I believe in miracles. I'm grateful for my Savior. I owe everything to Him. I love y'all. Thank you for your emails and updates. Keep those prayers coming.

Your Valiant Missionary,

Elder Strader 

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