Saturday, 30 August 2014

MTC Letter #4

Hello Everyone,

     This week has gone by pretty fast for me. Can you believe that I have been here for four weeks now!?!? It's crazy!! At least in my mind it is. Our district is supposed to get our travel itineraries on Friday this week. I can't wait!! It really is wonderful here, but I am ready to leave. That's awesome that Spencer is going to Cape Verde, and Portuguese too!! If anyone sees him, tell him I say "Tu du ben". That's some Portuguese that I picked up here.
     Anyways, everything is going great!! Every Saturday we have a chance to go to the temple in the morning. So I have been there four times now. The first two Saturdays Elder Ward and I did a normal session, then last week we did sealings. That was a great experience, never done sealings before. And today we did some initiatories. That was great too!! It's always great to go to the temple! Yes, I found my umbrella mom. It was deeply hidden in the darkest part of my suitcase, where no one ever looks...haha. 
     Anyways, this week has been pretty awesome. Mostly studying still, but we are also teaching "investigators" for practice. Completely in Spanish. At the start this was a real struggle for me, but I'm getting used to it now. I am surprised at how much Spanish I have learned in these short four weeks. And with the Lord on my side, It makes a huge difference!
     Dad, that's awesome that you did the ice bucket challenge. I had heard a little bit about it before you told me, but it was nice to hear about all the details from you. When I get home, I am definitely doing it, don't let me forget!! And thanks for the bear story, it's pretty awesome!! 
     If there is one thing that I have learned about being here, it's that the Atonement is really important. Especially the repentance part. Its very important that we repent all the time. Every day even. Unfortunately I have seen some of the consequences of not repenting. A few Elders that I knew have gone home because they didn't take care of things that they should have before they came here. I don't know much about the details, but that's not important. The main purpose is that we need to recognize that we all make mistakes. After all, we are only human!! I am so grateful that I am worthy to be here. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here. It is hard don't get me wrong, but it's worth it. And being a worthy Priesthood holder and Missionary opens the doors for many blessings to come. 
I love you all!! Please continue to write/email me, its so wonderful to hear from everyone!! 


Elder Dawson Strate

Pics- Elder Latteier's Teddy Bear... Hermana Stoker, and our pet leaf bug Ricito

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

New pics - MTC

Received some new pictures of Dawson today from his companions mom.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Bear Story - Dawson wanted this passed along.

Dawson heard about this bear at the MTC and wanted me to find out about it. He loves hunting and fishing, so he'll love the story. Sending it tomorrow to him.

Tale of Old Ephraim 
 The Great Grizzly of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest

     This is the story of a gigantic grizzly bear who roamed the Cache National Forest from 1911 until his death on August 22, 1923.
     In the early 1900s, bears were a problem for sheepherders. One grizzly in particular, nicknamed “Old Three Toes” because of a deformity on one foot, had developed quite a reputation. His unique foot made his tracks easy to identify. The bear wandered from Soda Springs, Idaho, as far south as Weber County and finally settled in Logan Canyon. He was named Old Ephraim after a grizzly in California described in a story by P.T. Barnum.
     Frank Clark was born in 1879 near Malad, Idaho, in a small town called Cherry Creek. He was an energetic man who loved nature and his trusty .25-35 caliber rifle. His sheep dog, Jennie, and several horses were his constant companions. He was part owner of the Ward Clark Sheep Company. In 1911 during his first summer in the Cache National Forest, he counted over 150 dead sheep. He worked herding sheep from 1911 to 1945, during this time he killed over 50 bears in his crusade to save the sheep, but the biggest culprit remained. Old Ephraim was the smartest, fastest, and strongest of them all. Clark became well acquainted with Old Ephraim’s habits over the years.
     By 1914, Clark had become more determined than ever to catch Old Ephraim. He set trap after trap in the grizzly’s favorite wallows, but every trap was removed, unsprung, or flung several yards away. Clark had tried every trick he could think of to get “Old Eph” in one of his traps, but was unsuccessful. The grizzly stayed close to the herd and left dead sheep as evidence. He was getting bolder and bolder and becoming more ruthless as the years passed.
     “On August 21, 1923, I visited the trap and Old Eph had drummed the wallow into a newly built one, so I carefully changed the trap to his newly built bath. I was camped one mile down the canyon in a tent. That night was a beautiful, starlit night and I was sleeping fine when I was awakened by a roar and a groan near camp. I had a dog, but not a sound came from Mr. Dog. I tried to get to sleep, but did not get the chance.
I heard a strange sound up the hollow. I got up and put on my shoes but no trousers. I did take my gun, a .25-35 caliber carbine with seven steel ball cartridges and walked up the trail. I did not know it was Old Eph. I thought it was a horse that was down. Eph was in the creek in some willows and after I got past him, he let me know all at once that it was not a horse. I was alone and the closest human being was three miles away, and now Eph was between me and camp.
     I listened and could hear the chain rattle and so did my teeth. I decided to get up on the hillside and wait for him. I spent many hours up there, although I had no way of knowing exactly how many as I listened to Eph’s groans and bellows. Daylight came at last and now was my chance.
Eph was pretty well-hidden in the creek bottom and willows, so I threw sticks in to scare him out. He slipped
out and went down by the tent and crawled into the willows there. I tracked him to that point and when I got close to the tent, I could see a small patch of hide. I fired at it and grazed the shoulder. Now it was time for me to have the greatest thrill of my life.
     Ephraim raised up on his hind legs with his back to me. He stood 9 feet, 11 inches tall and had a 14-foot-long log chain wound around his arm, as carefully as a man would have done it. He had a 23-pound bear trap on his foot. He could have gone that way and gotten away, but he turned around, and I saw the most magnificent sight that any man could ever see. I was paralyzed with fear and could not raise my gun.
He was coming, still on his hind legs, holding that cussed trap above his head. He had a 4-foot band to surmount before he could reach me. I was rooted to the earth and let him come within 6 feet of me before I stuck the gun out and pulled the trigger. He fell back, but came again and received five of the six remaining bullets. He had now reached the trail, still on his hind legs. I only had one cartridge left in the gun and still that bear would not go down.
     I started for Logan, 20 miles downhill. I went about 20 yards and turned. Eph was coming, still standing up, but my dog, Jennie, was snapping at his heels, so he turned on the dog. I then turned back, and as I got close, he turned again on me, wading along on his hind legs. I could see that he was badly hurt, as at each breath the blood would spurt from his nostrils, so I gave him the last bullet in the brain. I think I felt sorry that I had to do it.
     The horses had all been scared away and I was alone. I wanted to see someone badly and finally I found a horse down in a wash where the others had knocked it in their flight. I rode 3 miles to the camp of another herder and had a rest before returning to Eph. We buried Eph after skinning him. Boy Scout Troop No. 43 dug him up and sent his head to the Smithsonian Institute. I have a part of the hide, but souvenir hunters got everything else.
     I will now give you a few facts: Eph bit a six-inch aspen log off in one bite that was 9 feet, 11 inches above the ground. He also bit a 13-foot log that was 12 inches in diameter into 11 lengths, as if they had been chopped.”
     A bear like Old Ephraim could do serious damage to a herd of sheep, but this story is tragic because it ended the era of grizzly bears in this region. 

     During the actual confrontation, Clark probably did not have time to consider how he felt about killing Old Ephraim because the bear would have killed him. But according to Clark’s niece, Thelma Daniels, her uncle later spoke of his regret because the grizzly was such a magnificent animal. “If I had to do it over again,” he once said, “I wouldn’t do it.” Clark remained a bachelor all his life and died in 1960. (Researched by Newell J. Crookston, excerpts taken from the account of Frank Clark.)
     A few months after the kill, Logan scoutmaster George R. Hill, Jr., took his Boy Scout troop up the canyon to dig up the skull of the bear. Hill wanted to submit it to the Smithsonian to document that the bear was indeed a grizzly. The boys found the grave by following directions provided by Clark. They unearthed the skull and carried it out on the end of a long pole because “it stunk like mad,” said Hill.
The Smithsonian confirmed that the skull was that of a grizzly, and Hill said that his father’s troop received $25 for their effort. The skull remained in Washington, D.C. until 1978, when it came back to Utah to be displayed at Utah State University’s Merrill Library in the Reading Room of their Special Collections. The skull is on loan from the Smithsonian Institute.

MTC Letter #3

Hello Everyone,

       Wow, this week has flown by pretty fast! Including my time here at the MTC. I only have 3 weeks left...!!! I'm so excited! I said goodbye to some wonderful Elders earlier this week, and I already miss them. We had some pretty awesome zone leaders. Elder Jackman, Elder Rameson, and Elder Harrison(aka Sid). They were such a good example to me, and I will never forget them!! I attached some pictures so hopefully you will see them. 
      Anyways, things are awesome here. Every day we get 50 minutes of gym time, well except on Sundays of course! I love gym time, it feels great to have a break from studying all the time! This week our district played basketball and kickball!!! I haven't played kickball for so long, it was good to play it again. And mom don't worry, I was fine. During basketball I was fine too. We just played half court 3 on 3, and I told the other Elders that I wasn't going to run and/or jump or anything. So I just stayed outside and shot threes mostly. Well...attempted to shoot threes...haha. It was awesome.  
      The Spanish is coming along...slowly but surely! We spend most of the day studying. We study/have classes from 7:30 am until 10:30, then gym time and lunch. Then 12:45 pm until 4:30, then supper, then 5:15 until 9:30. Ya, it's pretty crazy!! 
       Dad - Missionaries in my district- all going to Mexico, 8 to Cancun and 4 to Merida. 
      Anyways, I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here. Please continue your prayers, they are very helpful and I can already feel the blessings from them!! 

Elder Strate

Bree- Hey!! How are you doing? I hope everything is okay at home. You are taking care of Sarah and Miranda for me right? Haha. I miss you Bree, and I know you miss me too. I just want you to know that I love you sooooooo much!!! I think about you and everyone else every day. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful sister!! Just remember when you are thinking about me, that I am in the right place doing the right thing. I can't wait to see you again!! Love- Dawson
                                                                Our whole Zone.
                                     Elder Harrison, Me, Elder Rameson, and Elder Jackman

Saturday, 16 August 2014

MTC Letter #2

Hello Everyone,                                                                                                         Aug 16, 2004

     Thanks to everyone who has written/emailed me so far, it's really great to hear from you and to feel of your love and support! Every day gets better and better here at the MTC. I am always meeting other missionaries and making new friends. I only have limited time to email so I will try to fit in as much as I can. 
     If someone could please send me like, 2 or 3 more ties? I need some more variety to my "collection". And also because my grad tie may or may not have been accidentaly put in the washing machine... and may or may not be and thank you! A nice pink tie would be nice, we are supposed to wear pink ties on Wednesdays so...I kinda NEED one haha!
     Every day here at the MTC is pretty much the same, except for P-Days and Sundays. I have learned to appreciate Sundays a lot more now then I ever did before in my life. It gives us a break from 8 hours of studying every day, which is awesome. I played some volleyball with our district yesterday during gym time, and that was fun. I haven't played volleyball since November so it was nice to play again. And don't worry mom, my knee was fine. And you know what the funny thing is? My whole district thinks I'm good at volleyball because I can set and pass and hit on occasion. I told them I wouldn't be jumping hardly at all because of my knee, but that quickly changed. I got a few nice spikes in and they were all like "ya you have a bad knee, whatever." They all think I am faking it haha. Maybe its just recovering a lot better than I thought, I hope so!! 
     Oh, I forgot to name the other missionaries in my District. So there's me...obviously. Elder Porter Ross, Elder Jacod Wood, Elder Benjamin Rumsey, Elder Cory Ward, Elder Jacob Latteier, Elder Kolton Larsen, Hermana Natalie Stoker, Hermana Natalie Newman, Hermana Judith Bloomfield, and Hermana Stephanie Karren. I have to fininsh my laundry now so peace!
Well I hope to hear more from everyone soon, I love you all so much and appreciate all the love and support. Keep writing and sending your prayers!! 
Elder Strate 

P.S. - Dad, Elder Ross lives in Northern Utah, and he told me a little bit about a story that took place there in like the 1850's or something. He said its called the tale of "Old Ephraim", and it's about a bear that stood like 9'11 and was super crazy. He also said the bear's skull is in the Smithsonian and stuff. Anyways I was wondering if you could look it up online or something and maybe send me the story so I can read it. Apparently it took nice shots will a rifle to kill it, so I want more details haha! Thanks!

Here's a pic of Dawson playing volleyball this past season for MHS.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

MTC Letter #1

Hello Everyone,

This first part is for mom... I am alive and well! The MTC is so awesome! I have only been here for four days now and I already love it. There is such a feeling of joy and peace that can be felt here. My companion is Elder Ward, he is from Idaho Falls, Idaho and he is going to CancĂșn too. It is good to get to know him, he doesn´t talk much but when he does he knows what he is talking about. Today is my P. Day, from now on here in the MTC my P.days are on Saturday. I have taken some pics and attached them to this message. My district is awesome!! I could go on and on about everything here but that would take a while! Anyways, just know that I am doing well, the food here is awesome, and I look forward to hearing back from you guys! Have a wonderful weekend! I just found this out, if you sign up on you can send me letters and they will put it in my mailbox everyday! However, I still can´t reply until next Saturday. I did already get your letter through the website, so I guess you are already familiar with the program. The exercise facilities are pretty good. Lots of room to do things. Elder Ward and I have just done some weight stuff an

d ridden the bikes and elypticals. And yes, please send me some shorts and another shirt, that would be great! I love you all! Keep praying for me, because I need lots of help with learning Spanish!! 


Elder Strate

Dear Elder - info for website
Elder Dawson Strate
  MEX-CNC   Leaving SEP15
Provo MTC Unit 863

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dawson entered the MTC today. Here are a couple of pics. Thanks Aunt Carla and family for taking care of him and getting him there!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A bit a drama this morning. Took Dawson to the Lethbridge Airport to fly to Calgary, and then onto Salt Lake City. We got to Lethbridge and found out the flight had been canceled. Good thing we had enough time in between flights and we drove to Calgary for him to catch that flight.
Hard to say good bye, but he is in good hands and is doing the Lord's work. We miss him already and love him very much. We found out at 4:30 pm that he made it safely to SLC.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Mission Map

Here are two images of his mission.

Mexico's Pioneer History