Monday, 27 October 2014


Hello Everyone,

    I heard about what happened in Ottawa. That´s really sad. It´s never good to hear things like that. Today we had transfers!! I am still here in the same area. But Elder Webb went to Cozumel and is now companions with Elder Judd. And my new companion is Elder Tito!! He´s from Bolivia! I am sending a picture of me with him.

     I am also sending pitcures of how skinny I am now haha. I feel like I´m just wearing a bag for a shirt now haha because there is so much extra space. You can probably see it somewhat in the picture of me standing up. Also one last picture with Elder Webb.

 I´m going to miss him! But I know Elder Tito and I are going to have some great adventures ahead!! Elder Tito´s first language is Spanish, so I´m going to learn a lot faster now haha! Which is great, because that´s what I need!
     Everything is going great! I´m really starting to feel like a Mexican haha. I love it!! We have a baptism tomorrow, and about 4 or 5 more planned for this next month. I´m so excited! The work here is progressing muy rapido! Well, I don´t really have much else to say. Nothing big or exciting has happened this past week. But that´s okay. I want all of you to know that I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve! Take care everyone!! Hasta este proxima lunes!                                      
 Getting Skinny pic-

 Zone pics

                                                                                                                                     Love, Elder Strate

Sunday, 26 October 2014


At our Stake Conference session on Saturday evening, they showed this video of Trek from this past summer. It was wonderful to see the boys in it, bad hard at the same time. Shed a few tears as we miss them, but know they are doing the Lord's work.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Letter- spiritual experience

Hola todos,                                                                                          October 19, 2014

       This week has been pretty awesome!! Lots of good things have happened. Mom, I did get the package, thanks! I appreciate the candy haha!! So, I'm going to update a little about myself. When I was in the MTC I caught a bad cold. And when I got to Mexico, it only got worse. So I talked to the Doc last week and she gave me some medicine for bronchitis. However, I am feeling a lot better now! So don't worry about my health. As of right now, I am great!!
       Also, another thing that's super awesome. Since I've been here in Mexico, I have lost about 15 pounds!! I'm skinny now haha. Which is great because I gained some unwanted weight in the MTC haha. Mom, I am exercising besides walking all day haha. I do my knee exercises in the mornings, or pushups. Whatever I feel like doing. My knee is fine, haven't had too much trouble with it. Been sore a few times, but other than that it's good. 
       Okay, I had a really neat experience this week that I want to share with all of you. Okay, so this happened on Thursday this past week. Elder Webb and I were eating at a member's house, when we got a phone call from the sister missionaries in our district. They needed us to give someone a blessing. So we got permission to leave our area then we took a taxi to where the sisters were. As we get to the house, I'm just expecting this to be totally normal. You know, like someone who is sick and just want a blessing. Well, this was not the case. This was something much more. So we walk into the house, into the room to where this person was. There was a boy there laying on the bed, eyes wide open, breathing heavily in and out, and he was just staring at the ceiling. He is about 15 years old if I remember right and his name is Kevin. Also, he couldn't speak at all. But he was trying to, we could see that. Also, there were two women on each side of the bed holding his hands because he was cold. Then, he started twitching out like crazy and flailing all over the place. It was pretty freaky to be honest. You probably know what's going on with this boy, but I will still say it. He was possessed. Yep, possessed. By Satan and his evil spirits. So Elder Webb and I gave him a blessing, and we casted Satan and his evil spirits out of this boy. And actually, during the blessing, there was like 5 people involved. Me and Elder Webb giving the blessing, and three other people holding the boy still so we could actually do it. It was pretty crazy. Even during the blessing, Kevin's head started moving down and all over the place. Yep, Satan was trying to get our hands off of his head to stop the blessing. But we managed to keep our hands on and we finished the blessing. Then we stayed with him afterwards for about an hour to make sure he was okay, which he was. 
       So, what can we learn from this? Well, I definitely learned something. I learned that the priesthood is awesome!! I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood and how it blesses us in so many different ways in our lives. Also, we need to keep our bodies clean and pure. Because the Spirit cannot dwell in unholy temples. That's what happened to Kevin. He was involved in drugs and smoking and other bad things like that. Which probably gave Satan a prime opportunity to take over. At least, that's what I think. Anyways, I'm so grateful for the priesthood and that I'm worthy to exercise it. I love you all so much!! Please continue to write and send more love haha! I don't have enough time to reply to everyone, but I will do my best!!         
       We have 7 baptismal dates for next month!!! Which is AWESOME!!

       Mom- I did receive the package, thanks a lot!! I'm very happy with what was inside!! However, I need another one haha. I have two pairs of pants that are ripped now. Both the kaki (probably didn't spell that right) pairs are both ripped in the crotch- lol. And are unfixable lol. So I only have two pairs now. I need at least one new pair, but two would be nice. Thanks!!

       Grandma- Happy Birthday Grandma!! I hope everything goes great!! Hope the party is fun, and also that the cake tastes good haha! Thanks for being such an awesome example to me. I love you so much!! And can't wait to see you and grandpa again! 

Until next week!!


Elder Dawson Strate

Monday, 13 October 2014

Zone pic

Letter #11 - Pictures finally - 3 baptisms

Hello Everyone,

Washing my clothes.

   I am trying to upload the pictures that I have as we speak. Hopefully it works!! I found out that it really just depends on what computer I am using. Some of them work with my camera, and some don't. That's okay though, I now know which ones work and which ones don't. Anyways, this past week has been great!! We had three baptisms Saturday night!! Ya!! I am sending the pictures of the family that we baptized, and some more of the man we baptized last week. I also had another wonderful privelege yesterday. I confirmed the little girl named Sandra that we baptized!! It was such a wonderful experience! I was a bit nervous because my Spanish isn't that great yet. It's better, but I still have a lot to learn haha. But I was fine. I was guided by the spirit and everything was great.    
    Okay, so I haven't recieved the package that you sent me Mom and Dad. However, after I am done typing this we are going to the mission office to take the baptismal forms. So I will check again when we get there! Okay, so here is a bit more info about the things we do here. The only sport we are allowed to play here is basketball. And I haven't played it yet haha. When we email, we just go to a computer place. It's just a little building that has computers that we can use. We pay of course, but it's pretty cheap. Like 10 pesos for an hour. We are only allowed one hour to email anyways so it works out good. 
    Okay, so we met this lady about 2 weeks ago. She was really devastated because her husband left her and she was really depressed and all that stuff. So when we first visited her she was super happy. We taught her about the Atonement and Repentance. And how that Jesus Christ not only suffered for our sins, but for our pains, afflictions, sorrows, and all of that. She was so happy to know that and she wanted us to teach her everything about the Church right then haha. But obviously we can't do that. There are a lot of things to teach so we need a few more lessons. As of right now she is the golden investigator haha. Hopefully it stays that way! 
    Anyways, I am doing good. It's not easy though, I can tell you that right now. Walking around in the hot sun all day and doing missionary things actually is very tiring. I'm beat at the end of every day haha. That's okay though, I knew this was going to be hard. However, going forth with faith is the way to go! Thanks for all your love and support! I will continue to pray for all of you. Many of you have been great examples to me and I thank you for that. As for right now, I have to go. Until next week! Paz fuera!


Elder Strate
The man we baptized is named William. He was my first baptism. 

The Mother of the other family is Raquel, the son is Enrique, and the daughter is Sandra.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Favorite Talk from Conference

Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence

By Elder Jörg Klebingat
By applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can begin increasing your spiritual confidence today if you are willing to listen and act.
     On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your spiritual confidence before God? Do you have a personal witness that your current offering as a Latter-day Saint is sufficient to inherit eternal life? Can you say within yourself that Heavenly Father is pleased with you? What thoughts come to mind if you had a personal interview with your Savior one minute from now? Would sins, regrets, and shortcomings dominate your self-image, or would you simply experience joyful anticipation? Would you meet or avoid His gaze? Would you linger by the door or confidently walk up to Him?
     Whenever the adversary cannot persuade imperfect yet striving Saints such as you to abandon your belief in a personal and loving God, he employs a vicious campaign to put as much distance as possible between you and God. The adversary knows that faith in Christ—the kind of faith that produces a steady stream of tender mercies and even mighty miracles—goes hand in hand with a personal confidence that you are striving to choose the right. For that reason he will seek access to your heart to tell you lies—lies that Heavenly Father is disappointed in you, that the Atonement is beyond your reach, that there is no point in even trying, that everyone else is better than you, that you are unworthy, and a thousand variations of that same evil theme.
     As long as you allow these voices to chisel away at your soul, you can’t approach the throne of God with real confidence. Whatever you do, whatever you pray for, whatever hopes for a miracle you may have, there will always be just enough self-doubt chipping away at your faith—not only your faith in God but also your confidence in yourself. Living the gospel in this manner is no fun, nor is it very healthy. Above all, it is completely unnecessary! The decision to change is yours—and yours alone.
     I would like to share six practical suggestions that, if heeded, will dissipate these evil voices and restore to you the kind of peaceful assurance and spiritual confidence that is yours to have if you only want it. Regardless of the rating you gave yourself on that 1-to-10 scale, by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can begin increasing your spiritual confidence today if you are willing to listen and act. I will speak boldly, hoping to edify and not to offend.
     1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being. Stop blaming others or your circumstances, stop justifying, and stop making excuses for why you may not be fully striving to be obedient. Accept that you are “free according to the flesh” and “free to choose liberty and eternal life” (2 Nephi 2:27). The Lord knows your circumstances perfectly, but He also knows perfectly well whether you simply choose not to fully live the gospel. If that is the case, be honest enough to admit it, and strive to be perfect within your own sphere of circumstances. Spiritual confidence increases when you take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily.
     2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being. Your soul consists of your body and spirit (see D&C 88:15). Feeding the spirit while neglecting the body, which is a temple, usually leads to spiritual dissonance and lowered self-esteem. If you are out of shape, if you are uncomfortable in your own body and can do something about it, then do it! Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that we should “regard our body as a temple of our very own” and that we should “control our diet and exercise for physical fitness” (“We Are Children of God,”Ensign, Nov. 1998, 87; Liahona, Jan. 1999, 103).
     President Boyd K. Packer has taught “that our spirit and our body are combined in such a way that our body becomes an instrument of our mind and the foundation of our character” (“The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character” [Church Educational System fireside, Feb. 2, 2003], 2; Therefore, please use good judgment in what and especially how much you eat, and regularly give your body the exercise it needs and deserves. If you are physically able, decide today to be the master of your own house and begin a regular, long-term exercise program, suited to your abilities, combined with a healthier diet. Spiritual confidence increases when your spirit, with the help of the Savior, is truly in charge of your natural man or woman.
     3. Embrace voluntary, wholehearted obedience as part of your life. Acknowledge that you cannot love God without also loving His commandments. The Savior’s standard is clear and simple: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Selective obedience brings selective blessings, and choosing something bad over something worse is still choosing wrong. You can’t watch a bad movie and expect to feel virtuous because you did not watch a very bad one. Faithful observance of some commandments doesn’t justify neglecting others. Abraham Lincoln rightly said, “When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad” (in William H. Herndon and Jesse William Weik, Herndon’s Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, 3 vols. [1889], 3:439).
     Also, do the right things for the right reasons. The Lord, who “requireth the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:34) and who “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (D&C 33:1), knows why you go to church—whether you are present in body only or truly worshipping. You can’t sing on Sunday, “O Babylon, O Babylon, [I] bid thee farewell” and then seek or tolerate its company again moments later (“Ye Elders of Israel,” Hymns, no. 319). Remember that casualness in spiritual matters never was happiness. Make the Church and the restored gospel your whole life, not just a part of your outward or social life. Choosing this day whom you will serve is lip service only—until you actually live accordingly (see Joshua 24:15). Spiritual confidence increases when you are truly striving, for the right reasons, to live a consecrated life in spite of your imperfections!
     4. Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly. Because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very practical, you should apply it generously 24/7, for it never runs out. Embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance as things that are to be welcomed and applied daily according to the Great Physician’s orders. Establish an attitude of ongoing, happy, joyful repentance by making it your lifestyle of choice. In doing so, beware of the temptation to procrastinate, and don’t expect the world to cheer you on. Keeping your eyes on the Savior, care more about what He thinks of you, and let the consequences follow. Spiritual confidence increases when you voluntarily and joyfully repent of sins, both small and great, in real time by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
     5. Become really, really good at forgiving. “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10). Forgive everyone, everything, all the time, or at least strive to do so, thus allowing forgiveness into your own life. Don’t hold grudges, don’t be easily offended, forgive and forget quickly, and don’t ever think that you are exempt from this commandment. Spiritual confidence increases when you know that the Lord knows that you bear no ill feelings toward another soul.
     6. Accept trials, setbacks, and “surprises” as part of your mortal experience. Remember that you are here to be proved and tested, “to see if [you] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [your] God shall command [you]” (Abraham 3:25)—and may I just add, “under all circumstances.” Millions of your brothers and sisters have been or are being thus tested, so why would you be exempt? Some trials come through your own disobedience or negligence. Other trials come because of the negligence of others or simply because this is a fallen world. When these trials come, the adversary’s minions begin broadcasting that you did something wrong, that this is a punishment, a sign that Heavenly Father does not love you. Ignore that! Instead, try to force a smile, gaze heavenward, and say, “I understand, Lord. I know what this is. A time to prove myself, isn’t it?” Then partner with Him to endure well to the end. Spiritual confidence increases when you accept that “often trials and tribulations are allowed to come into [your life] because of what [you] are doing right” (Glenn L. Pace, “Crying with the Saints” [Brigham Young University devotional, Dec. 13, 1987], 2;
     While presiding over the Ukraine Kyiv Mission, I once asked one of my most faithful sisters why she was always so hard on herself, why she was always beating herself up over the smallest things. Her answer was a classic example of someone listening to the wrong voice as she replied, “So no one can beat me to it.”
     Brothers and sisters, my counsel to this sister missionary is my counsel to you: acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don’t be immobilized by them, because some of them will be your companions until you depart this earth life. No matter what your current status, the very moment you voluntarily choose honest, joyful, daily repentance by striving to simply do and be your very best, the Savior’s Atonement envelops and follows you, as it were, wherever you go. Living in this manner, you can truly “always retain a remission of your sins” (Mosiah 4:12) every hour of every day, every second of every minute, and thus be fully clean and acceptable before God all the time.
     Yours is the privilege, if you want it, to come to know for yourself, today or soon, that you are pleasing God in spite of your shortcomings. I testify of a loving Savior who expects us to live the commandments. I testify of a loving Savior who is so very anxious to bestow His grace and mercy. I testify of a loving Savior who rejoices when we apply His Atonement daily with the calm and happy assurance that we are facing in the right direction. I testify of a loving Savior who is anxious for your “confidence [to] wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, 6 October 2014

2 Months today

Hello Everyone,

     Sounds like lots of great things are happening back home! Thats wonderful. I noticed that I got a few more messages from some people I haven't talked to yet. So I will apologize in advance if I don't write you back. I will try to but I don't have much time to email. Anyways, I am trying to upload these photos, but the computer isn't working again...I do have pictures of the baptism and a few other things. I will try again next week haha. And no I haven't recieved a package yet. But we are going to the mission office on Thursday for interviews, so I might get it then. 
     Guess what? As of today, I have been a missionary for two months!! Wow, that's crazy. Time flies. 
Dad, I would love to take photos of everything and send them to you, but I can't. One, because we are not supposed to look like tourists taking pictures of everything lol, and two these computers aren't working anyways. But that's okay, I can endure. I hope you all can too until I get this thing figured out. 
     Anyways, I really enjoyed General Conference this weekend! I hope you all did too! We had the privilege of watching all 5 sessions. The two Saturday, and the Priesthood session. And the two on Sunday. It was awesome! However, I am upset because we missed some of the talks on Sunday because the internet stopped working. And we missed President Monson's talk!! Of all the talks to miss, we missed his. Kinda frustrating. Could someone tell me what it was about please? I don't think we will have another chance to watch it so it would be nice to know a little bit about the message. I really liked the talk given by Jorg Klebingat. Sounds like a Russian name. He was awesome! He laid down the law haha. So what does everyone think about the speakers now talking in their native language? I think it's awesome! It's a wonderful way for people around the world to enjoy conference even more. Thank goodness for the translations though haha! 
     Anyways, I will try to give a bit more detail about the things we do because I can't send photos. When we go to church, we meet in a regular church building. With air conditioning! It takes about 10 or 15 minutes to walk there from our house. We wash our clothes in buckets, then we hang them on a line to dry. We could take them to a laundry place, but that is kinda expensive. We walk everywhere and sometimes take a taxi. When we shop for groceries, we just go to a normal grocery store that is nearby. Anyways, I don't have much to tell concerning stories or anything. 
     Lo siento. Pero, tenemos una cosa que es muy beuno este semana! 
     We have three baptisms on Saturday!! Ya! It's the lady and her family that I mentioned before. They are so awesome. They accept eveything we teach them with all their hearts! And the oldest wants to serve a mission! He is 17 right now, so he should be eligible to serve next year some time! That's really awesome. Anyways, thanks everyone for all the love you send me. I would love to send individual messages to everyone, but that would take a long time. And I don't have that time haha. Have a wonderful week!  


Elder Strate