Monday, April 13, 2015

My Peeps,

Thank you for your emails and prayers! Mom thank you for keeping up with my blog, adding it to the many things you already have to do. Love you guys. 

What an awesome week! Gosh that was a kick butt General Conference! I'm so grateful we have a living Prophet and Apostles that have the keys and revelation to lead our church today. I was waiting for President Thomas S. Monson to say something awesome like to gather Zion in the Philippines, but I guess it's not the right time yet. The gospel is true.

Well we had another busy week. Elder Y and I have been going on a lot of exchanges with district leaders in our Zone and they're awesome! I'm learning so much from them. I really love the missionaries in our Zone. Especially one sister in our zone her name is Sister L and she's from Tonga. Don't worry we don't have anything romantic haha, but she makes me food all the time haha. She's really like a mom to me.  She's like 29 (oldest in our mission) and tells me when my shirt isn't completely ironed. And when I say no to something she yells at me in Tongan and I love it. Hahaha I call her "Nanay" which is mom is Tagalog. Hopefully me and my future wife get called to Tonga for our couple mission when we're old.

So I wanted to updated ya'll about Lucifer. Just for a review, he's a man in this small village where we teach and he claims to be possessed by Satan and has taken up the name of Lucifer. He lives by himself and owns like at least 10 black cats. The people in the community have asked us to go teach him. But he's never there when we go. 

But we found him last night. This is what happened:

We knocked on his door, not really expecting him to be there, but then he answered the door. He's a large man, with long jet black, black beard and black mustache. Up to this point I wasn't really scared and I was actually pumped thinking we're gonna cast spirits out or something. But when he invited us inside his home, I'm not gonna lie my hands were shaking a little bit. There was a really werid feeling in the house. The spirit wasn't there, that's for sure. The lights were dimmed and there were candles everywhere. He sat us down and he spoke perfect English. Not only English but proper, old English like if he was reading the Bible out loud. And his voice had a high tone to it and that almost drew you in. He told us that he was expecting us and that's when I looked at Elder Y who looked as scared as I was. He then asked why were we there and what was our hopeless mission has missionaries. There was a long silence because I was expecting Elder Y to say something but he didn't. After a long pause, trying to stay composed I said, "Brother we're representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ and we're here to cry repentance to all and we believe that the more we teach and baptize, we are lessening Satan's power here on the earth." I don't know where the words came from and they came with such power. He was speechless and didn't reply. The mood changed in the room and I felt this electrifying feeling shot through my body. I knew Elder Y and I held the Priesthood and we nothing to fear.  We then asked if we could open with a prayer and we taught a short lesson and then left. He thanked us for coming by and was afraid to shake our hands when we left. After we left, Elder Y quoted the scripture in Alma 48:17 when it's describing Captain Moroni,

"...If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men..."

I guess that was my Captain Moroni moment and I couldn't have done it on my own. 

To my all my loved ones I want to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and that He lives. His holy priesthood is restored today through the prophet Joseph Smith. I've seen miracles. I've seen people miraculously healed and apostates come back to the fold and me learning Tagalog. I've seen a change in me. My points of view and desires of life have changed. My prayers have become more powerful...more personal. I'm grateful to be a missionary. I'm grateful to serve my Master. In Him I find strength beyond my own. To Him I give all the glory. I love ya'll. Don't give up. Keep those prayers coming. Don't worry I'll be home before you know it. Till we meet again,

Your Valiant Missionary,

Elder Strader

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