Monday, June 19, 2017

It's better to wait to be satisfied, than be immediately disappointed!

Hey Y'all!

We did it! We easily beat our goal to double this ward's new
investigators for the transfer.

We 'Dropped' our most promising investigator, Jon, a week ago. He
wouldn't keep his commitments to come to church, so we communicated to
him that because he wouldn't act we couldn't continue teaching him. We
can't help him if he won't accept our help!

Then this week he slunk into sacrament meeting and tore out afterwards
before we could talk to him. What!? C'mon Jon.

If he comes again, we'll reach out to him and figure out what changed.

This week was Elder James' last! He gets on a plane on Wednesday, and
I say goodbye to him tomorrow! There's a picture of him holding a
goofy pose in this week's pictures.

It has been weird helping him prepare to leave! When I first got on my
mission, I so looked forward to the day that I could say I had
finished an honorable full time mission. Now I feel like I need more
time than I have, because I'm not progressing fast enough!

This week we ate out with a Member named Bro. Leyva. One of the things
we decided was that it was better to wait for good food than get fast
and poor quality food.

It's better to wait to be satisfied that be immediately disappointed!

That's my deep thought for the week, haha!

Have a great week Y'all.

Elder Derek Troy


Steel wool and slow shutter speed = fun P-Day shenanigans.

Elder James striking a P-Day pose.

Just ’sploring…

“…aaaaand they called it puppy loooooooovvvvvve!…” 



Zone buddies.

Zone Conference.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Witness by the Spirit

Hey Y'all! 

It was another great week in Texas, the weather was beautiful! But next week is Elder James's last before going home, and Texas is trying to give him a summer send off. It's going to hit 95 F and 60% humidity this week, and will be SUPER hot for a couple of days. Hopefully, we'll be in a fridge at the time.

We're volunteering twice a week at the Montgomery county food bank, and having a blast there. We mainly work in 'produce recovery' which is where you step into a refrigerated section of the warehouse and sort through produce that's been donated by grocery stores like H-E-B (a Texan store) and Walmart. We throw away thousands of pounds of rotten fruits and veggies every week and save hundreds more. It's interesting to step out of the 35-40 degree fridge into the 90 degree warehouse!

This week a young man named Jack visited us at church with some great questions. At 16, he had the best knowledge of his Bible that I had ever seen, from any member or non-member, bishop, pastor, or preacher. The boy knew his bible forwards and backwards. His first question was about how Joseph could have seen both God the Father and Jesus in a vision, which seemed unique, so I pointed him to the Martyrdom of Steven. After that question though, we were totally unprepared. He had SO MANY questions and concerns. He had read the Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Bible through several times. He had come to the conclusion that the Bible was true but everything else was false. He denounced the idea that the spirit could bear witness of the truth through a feeling. 

Finally at the end of our conversation, a great and revelatory truth hit us all. SO MANY people have read the scriptures - Book of Mormon and Bible - and come away without a testimony. The only way we receive a witness is by the spirit. So long as Jack was unwilling to receive an answer from the spirit, it would not come.

We challenged him to listen to the talk 'blueprint of Christ's church' by Tad R Callister, and hope to see him again someday! I think President Mortensen would like to meet this extraordinary boy.

Here are a few pics of us with a member's 'collection', and my exchange with Elder Byrd. I know that the haircut is terrible, but it was free from a member, so I'm grateful.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Derek Troy

Exchanges with Elder Byrd

"Admiring" a member's Texas-style gun collection.

When in Texas...

Friday, June 9, 2017

How's YOUR language?

Hey Y'all! This week in Texas went a little bit better than the last one.

We found 5 people this week who want to learn more about the gospel! It's always good to feel that your efforts are bearing fruits. So with two weeks left in the transfer, we've found 14 people in this area when last transfer only 9 were found. Our goal was 18 people for the transfer, which we should safely achieve!

This week I wanted to share about a topic I've been studying: language.
The Savior taught us the importance of our language when he said:

'But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.' (Matt 15:18)

In Jesus's last night in mortality, when he was taken away by soldiers to be judged, his disciple Peter followed to the palace of the Sanhedrin. Jesus predicted that before the night was over, Peter would deny him three times.

Peter, not wanting to be discovered as a disciple of the man who would shortly be executed, did deny knowing him, though he obviously cared enough about the savior to put his life in jeopardy and follow after him.

But how he is discovered as a disciple the third time - and how he denies him - is interesting. A group of men accuse him of being a disciple of Jesus by how he talks. "And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee." Probably a combination of his clean and reverent language and his Galilean accent tipped them off to his true identity as a disciple. In a panic to disguise himself, Peter "began he to curse and to swear". After this third denial, the cock crowed.

When Peter didn't want to represent the savior, he chose to curse and swear. 

In our own lives, when we speak, are we recognizable before the world as disciples? What do we joke about? What do we boast about? We must look beyond just swearing. When we use words like 'crap' and other replacement words, we're obeying the letter but not spirit of the law.

Jesus teaches us that what comes out of our mouths proceeds from our hearts. When we gossip, our hearts are full of covetousness, envy, and pride. When speak to glorify violence, our hearts are full of murder. 

In our day, we marvel at the seeming permanence of what is said on Facebook, and how thoroughly documented everything is in our world. It seems so sad that someone can share one stupid tweet and get massacred by our shame society. And yet, there never was such a thing as words we could say and just forget.

Matt 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

I hope to always strive for language representative of the savior. I challenge everyone reading to do the same.

I hope everyone is well in WA, UT, and elsewhere!

'Til next week

Elder Derek Troy

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rough Week

Hey Y'all!

This week, we had the toughest time finding we've seen this transfer.
People were rude, doors were slammed, and entire streets were
apparently empty. We found 1 person on Monday and then had radio
silence all week.Nobody talked to us, we had a british guy call us
nutters, and never got close all week. On Sunday night as we drove
home, we both felt prompted to stop and talk to somebody who was
smoking by his car. He became the second investigator for the week. I
hope the rest of this transfer never goes so rough again, but I'm
grateful for the person we were led to. I think we just passed the
total finding for last transfer this week as well, so I'm glad Oak
Ridge is improving at least! That means that in 3 weeks we've passed
what was done last transfer in 6!

This week we also had a single mother of 5 kids tell us the only thing
she needed to come to church was a ride, since her car wasn't working.
We found a ride and her kids were excited to come, but she went
grocery shopping (supposedly) instead. It's tough because her kids
want to progress but she's not willing to make even a tiny effort!

The guy we found at the beginning of the week's name is Jeremy. He's
been raised Catholic and had a baby die in an emergency C-section a
few years ago. Confused by the doctrine of purgatory (taught by
catholics) he seemed emotional and relieved by the truth taught by
Christ's restored church.

Hope everyone is doing well at home! Be safe and have an adventure for
those of us who can't!

Elder Derek Troy

Monday, May 22, 2017

Remember...

Hey Y'all! It's the beginning of week three in Oak Ridge.

This week was great - we finally started finding people! Over the six
weeks of last transfer, this area only found nine new investigators.
Tough crowd! But last week we found four. It's no Westfield, but
that'll do!

We also got the opportunity to go to the temple this week. It's always
a nice break from the rigors of the work!

While there, I received some personal revelation. In the ordinances of
the church, 'remember' is a very important word. In everything from
Baptism, to Sacrament, to the Temple, we are asked or required to
'remember'.

Remembering is something I have NEVER been very good at. I've
forgotten my own birthday once or twice. But if it's a question of
some obscure piece of history or neat factoid, it never escapes the
tin-foil trap of my mind. It occurred to me that whether we remember
something (or someone) is determined by how much we care about it.
Evidently, I don't care much about Birthdays, or names or a million
other things.

So I determined to start doing memory exercises, and asked the Lord
for help. In my first hour, I'd memorized all 13 articles of faith and
the 10 commandments.

It's almost like when we ask the Lord for help, we get it! Who would
have imagined?

Have a great week out there everybody!

Elder Derek Troy

Kicking back at a member's house after dinner.

Elder Troy and his new companion Elder James.  Awkward sun smiles...

Better...


Houston Texas Temple day!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bye, bye, Westfield!


Hey y'all! I hope everyone has had a great week so far!

I DID end up getting moved - into the Oak Ridge Ward! It's a
country/suburban area. The people here are MUCH more difficult to find
because of the demographics. BUT, probably more dependable too :)

I was sad to see westfield go but I'm always excited to get to
reinvent myself in a new area.

Things will be different here, for sure! We found 2 new investigators
this week, instead of the 10 we usually found in westfield. My new
companion is Elder James. This is his last transfer, so I'll be
"killing" him. Then I might be training since I'll be companionless
and a bunch of new missionaries usually come in August.

One of the investigators already being taught here is Miguel. He's
been drunk since the elders found him it seems like. For a while, he
blamed his alcoholism on being Mexican. But Saturday night, the night
before mother's day, he opened up. He told us about his own Mother,
who was murdered tragically four years ago, and how hard each mother's
day is.

God loves us all enough to give us a mother. Our mothers love us
enough to be our moms.

No pictures yet from the new area except this crazy dog. His name is
maverick and he looks like the dragon from the never-ending story.

Have a great week everyone!

Maverick the Dog

Falkor the Luckdragon





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Skype Session

Got to see and talk with Elder Derek Troy tonight! He looked tan and handsome!!! We added Evan to our Skype session so the whole family would be together again. Lots of laughter and love!
He's been transferred to an area about 30 minutes north and wanted me to pass along his new address for U.S. mail. I'll also send an update from him in his weekly email tomorrow, but give you this tonight.
Elder Derek Allen Troy
8900 Research Park Dr.
Apt. #1719
The Woodlands, TX 77381

derek.troy@myldsmail.net