Thursday, February 15, 2018

A looooong week of meetings...

Hey Y'all, It's been a LONG week. I'm wore out! We've had lots of meetings, and we'll have a BUNCH more tomorrow - like, 4 hours worth. I'm beginning to feel like meetings are Satan's way of making us feel organized when we're not?

Kaylyn:

Kaylyn is still doing well, though it has been a struggle meeting around her busy schedule! She is still on track for baptism on the 24th. We're looking to increase the number of contact events she has with branch members without the missionaries, so that she feels a part of the branch. We're working to get her more involved in the Young Women's program!

Jason:

Jason is doing well, and we expect to see him at church again on Sunday. We've been a little pushy with baptism with him lately, but we're excited to do some family history with him and help him feel the spirit of Elijah!

Aaron:

Aaron is not doing too hot. He slept in on Sunday and missed an appointment with us earlier this week - so it's time to assess his desires and determination to accomplish them. We're still trying though! We feel the Lord's love for him and will try to help Aaron to feel it too.

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Elder Pacheco has been fired up lately! It's been great, since I've been dragging all week. We're still working hard, teaching a fair bit, and have baptisms lined up! Wish us luck!

Elder Derek Troy

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Holy Ghost or a strong breeze?...

Hey Y'all! We've had a great week here in Brenham, as per usual! We're
working hard and seeing a lot of success.

But I want to share the tender mercy we had this week with Hannah. We
were out knocking when Hannah opened her door with a smile.

Hannah... Is an interesting character. She came to the door to talk to
us because her gay friend from Utah told her to be nice to the
missionaries. She's in her early thirties, and had short (buzz short!)
blonde hair. We were a bit surprised by her frankness and jocularity,
but what I was perhaps most alarmed at was the short silk Kimono she
came to the door in.

Despite being a little rough-around-the-edges, Hannah was kind to us.
She swore once or twice but immediately apologized, saying she admired
mormon missionaries for being "squeaky clean". She was bright and
alert, and listened to what we said intently.

She shared with us her battle with addiction, then with rehab,
sobriety, breast cancer, and mastectomy, and how demoralizing it had
all been. She would shortly have her uterus removed to protect her
against cancer returning in the future. She described her trials as
having her womanhood stripped away, and lamented that she would never
get to bear a child. She was clearly discouraged.

We shared with her what we could of our testimonies of Christ in that
brief interaction, and saw her heart soften.

Then the spirit called to my remembrance Chelsea, the addict and
sex-slave I met early on in my mission. I shared our experience with
Chelsea to Hannah, and what a blessing the Book of Mormon had been to
Chelsea's hope and spirit. Hannah's eyes melted.

She wept as she relayed her own similar story and escape from
imprisonment ten years earlier. She hoped, she said, that Chelsea's
life had turned around as much as hers had.

What a blessing the commandments are! What safety they offer! And what
solace! I have truly gained a testimony of the commandments.

Have a great week Y'all! If you haven't prayed yet today, say one now!

Elder Derek Troy


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Featured on South Park

Howdy everyone! This week has been an unusually busy one - and I confess, pretty stressful! I had hoped that a change in responsibilities would reduce my workload and time spent worrying. I hoped in vain! But we're seeing tremendous blessings anyways.

Aaron

We saw Aaron earlier this week and he's doing well, he's been in the best spirits we've seen since we have met him. He's suffered a series of strokes that have left him with limited mobility in one half of his body, among other problems. That has made it difficult for him to read his Book of Mormon; but when we read with him, he's sharp as a tack! We got ahold of a full set of book-of-mormon audiocassette tapes and we hope he will use them to feel the spirit and fill the loneliness of his life. He was out of town in Bryan for the weekend, so we missed him at church this week!

The Elder's quorum has committed to build him a wheelchair ramp to increase his mobility, so we're hoping to get the ball rolling on that this week.

His baptismal date is Feb 10th, but we're anticipating pushing it back.

Kaylyn

We were pleasantly surprised to see Kaylyn at church this week! We expected her to be out of town. We saw her on Friday and she was doing great - she really enjoyed reviewing the second half of the plan of salvation (the principles of the spirit world all the way through exaltation) she's a little nervous about her baptism - mostly for fear of opposition from her former pastor. Her Baptismal date is Feb 24th.

Jason

Jason came to church with us yesterday! thank you to everyone who introduced themselves to him! He stayed for all three meetings, and then stayed another half-hour to ask questions and see the new high priest group leader be ordained, as he had questions about what that process was like.  His last set of questions was about "what does someone need to do to join the church?"

We think he would have joined the church by now if he didn't have to be baptized! He just doesn't feel like he's ready yet, though I know that he soon will!

We saw Jason twice this week, once to extend a baptismal invitation, and once to give a tour of the church.

The church tour in particular went really well. Jason was obviously touched as he learned about the sacrament. Our member added a touch of humor and a great sense of reverence to the lesson.

This week, we tracted S. Park St. I heard they think we're hilarious here!






Saturday, January 27, 2018

Farewell to the holidays

Hello!

Here we are again at the start of a new transfer! I'd be lying if I said last transfer was easy. The holidays are a stressful (though joyous!) time for any missionary. In a way, I'm glad that I won't have another holiday season in the field. The dynamics of finding and teaching are more nuanced, though they can both still be successful. Some of my assignments last transfer were also very challenging, so I'm looking forward to this transfer's new assignment

This transfer, my new companion is Elder Pacheco. That's pretty cool because, in mission lingo, he's my Brother! My trainer was his trainer. This is his 4th transfer, but I'm sort of "greenie breaking" him, since his last companion was also fresh out of training. This is my second "brother" I've been companions with, as Elder Mcdonald was my Bro. as well.

We had an interesting week! The cold snap everyone emailed me about came through Brenham pretty hard, in the form of an ice-storm. We had about an inch of ice on everything that the rain wouldn't drain off of. So the roads were perilous - too perilous to drive on, in fact. We were under orders to stay home!

In a way, that was a blessed rest from 'our' labors. Sundays are very busy proselyting days, and even preparation days are always a rush to try to get everything done. It was nice to have some time to just study, and tidy up. 

It was also stressful, however, as it postponed transfers and an appointment, and put us behind for the rest of the week.

Our investigators:

Kaylyn:

We saw Kaylyn on Wednesday of this week. She accepted a baptismal date for feb 24th! She still needs to talk to her Father’s pastor, but she is excited for her baptism. She loves this branch and feels like she’s already a member!

Aaron:

Last week, Aaron got the Flu that was headed through Brenham, but he enjoyed coming to church this week! (he first investigated and came to church last about a year and a half ago) His only concern was whether his suit would still fit since he last wore it - ha! We read 1 Nephi Ch. 8 (the iron rod) with him on Thu, and he came right out of his shell.  He has a baptismal date for Feb 10th

Jason:

Jason is likely our next baptismal date. We had a great lesson with him on Wednesday. As mentioned last week, Jason is a polite, well-spoken young professional. He’s soaking up the gospel right now like a sponge, at the prompting of a friend in South Carolina. We’re excited to introduce him to everyone in the branch when he's back in town - we feel that he will become a pillar here.

Darrell and Fam:

Darrell just will not come to church. It's enigmatic, because he works long and difficult hours, and seems to generally be responsible and organized. Notwithstanding how well his lessons have been going these last few weeks, I have zero desire to baptize someone who will become a burden on the leadership of this branch, so it's looking like we'll be forced to discontinue teaching him and his family.

Well, that's all for this week. I hope everyone back home is starting a great week! Thank you for your support.

Elder Derek Troy

Also, wild hog roadkill! The armadillos were all over that bad-boy, haha!
Elder Troy & Elder Pacheco





Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Judge Righteous Judgements

This week has been typically busy! We set a baptismal date, taught many of our friends and neighbors, and find more people to teach every day.

Darrell and kids; Kaylin and Jaden

We saw Darrell this week and read Alma 17 with his family. He and his kids LOVED the lesson. They admired Ammon’s courage and were on the edge of their seats waiting to learn how King Lamoni reacted to Ammon’s bravery. We left them on a cliff-hanger; they’re going to have to read the rest of chapter 18 on their own if they want to find out how it ends!

Kaylyn:

We saw Kaylyn tonight and reviewed the Restoration lesson again, since it has been a while since she heard it. At this point, her dad’s permission and a visit with his pastor are formalities - she has decided to be baptized! Isaak (recent convert) came with us to her lesson - he has always loved coming to Kaylyn’s lessons, and we know is continuing to learn a great deal right alongside her. When we asked Kaylyn tonight what the “Keys” in Matt 16 described, she answered “is it the priesthood?” We know that she’s learning! She loves this branch and is excited to be a member.

Aaron:

Aaron investigated the church about a year and a half ago, but discontinued meeting, feeling that he wasn’t ready to make the required changes to progress. As often happens, he found the things which were once so satisfying, eventually unfulfilling, and troubles in his life brought to him memories of the peace he felt when he was reading his Book of Mormon and meeting with the missionaries; as well as the kind members he met when he visited years ago. Upon meeting with us, he agreed to be baptized on Feb. 10th!

We also have two new (among many that we find every week!) investigators that we’re excited about: Jason and Nathan

Jason is a young professional, unsatisfied with traditional religion. He’s looking for faith that MOVES, and and a belief system deeper than ankle-deep prosperity-gospel.

Nathan is a PE-Teacher and accomplished cross-country running coach, and former college athlete. He is looking to increase his faith, and found the premise of the Book of Mormon compelling.

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Today is transfer p-day! Elder Airth is outta here! He’ll do great wherever he’s sent. I’ll be sticking around for another transfer at least - which is good, I really like this area!

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One of the alarming trends I’ve seen in the church (and something I’ve often studied) in the many places I’ve served is the increasing tendency among church members to claim that to judge another person’s behavior or beliefs is wrong. They do not want to speak out against homosexuality, gender dysphoria (transgendered behavior) marijuana legalization, the sweeping influence of violence in media, and other evils. They misuse the savior’s condemnation against hypocrisy in Matt 7:1-2 and misinterpret the words of the same Master who said “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

This is misguided. Often in an attempt to get along with people with different (read: incorrect) beliefs, we fall victim to the same doctrine taught by an antichrist, Korihor, who taught that because we have freedom to choose there is no wrong choice. Because of a desire to be loved by the world, we often fail to warn our Brothers and Sisters about the sins they are committing, and too often people fail to warn us about the sins that we commit - all for fear of offending.

There is such a thing as an objectively wrong choice. There are some behaviors and actions that the Lord has condemned as wrong under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter how popular or “progressive” they may seem to be. It doesn’t matter if they are the choices of our friends or neighbors.

The Lord gave the Corinthians this counsel about judging, from which I think we can learn a lot:

“2 ​Do ye not know that the saints shall ​​​judge​ the ​​​world​? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
​​​​​3 ​Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

In these verses, Paul is counseling the Corinthians to live righteously that they may be better qualified to judge between each other.

So what do we do? We must do our best to lovingly inspire righteous action in ourselves and others. We must condemn all sin - in the classroom, in the courtroom, in public and in private.

Do you not think that the Lord had this day in mind, of permissiveness and denying the strict commandments which he has given - with some members of the church endorsing homosexuality and gender-dysphoric behavior - when he warned us (in the Bible no less!) about how divisive his doctrine would be?

“33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

The Lord always knew that his doctrine would be divisive and unpopular. I think verse 33 
(Above) should be considered carefully by those who refuse to take a stance on moral issues. If because we are unflinching in denouncing sin we are unpopular, we should not be surprised, since after all;

“18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

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Have a great week everyone! Hold to the rod!

Elder Derek Troy


Monday, January 8, 2018

What's this about a flu thing going around?...

Howdy Y’all!

I've been wicked sick this week. I don't get sick very often - once every two years or so - and it always knocks me down! We even stayed in from proselyting for a night. That's the first time I've had to do that on my mission! I'd usually try to tough it out, but I was afraid I would toss my cookies on somebody's porch.

Apparently there's some kind of flu thing going around? I'm a little disappointed that I got sick, since I've been immunized. But, whatever! 

IDK what the deal is, but I haven't been sick for this long in a WHILE. I got some probiotic gummies and I've been popping them like candy hoping to crowd everything else out! On the bright side, I'm pretty sure I've lost almost all of that holiday weight, as I've eaten two meals the last three days! (Staying plenty hydrated though, of course)

Nevertheless, we had a great week! Roy got baptized! We're so happy for him.

Here's an update on some of our investigators and pictures.

Roy:

Roy Morgan was baptized this week! His testimony that he bore after his baptism and after his confirmation blew us away. Phenomenal! 

Darrell, Jaden, and Kaylin:

Darrell's lessons have been going spectacularly! He has enjoyed the plan of salvation so much, that it has taken us four appointments to get through that lesson alone! He's full of questions. In a recent lesson, while we were connecting the fall of Adam and Eve to the principle of agency, he had a profound prompting from the spirit in Genesis 3:22

“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil [...]“

Rather than the principle of agency jumping out to Roy, what stuck out was “us”. He wanted to know who this “us” was. We explained that in the KJV, “the Lord” is really “Jehovah” or Jesus Christ, and that Jesus was speaking to our Heavenly Father. He was amazed to think that they could be different people, and has spent hours poring over the scriptures we've given him out of the Bible and the Book of Mormon to help him understand.

In our last lesson, Darrell's son Jaden taught his Dad about the crucifixion, and the inverted crucifixion of the Apostle Peter. We talked more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and had an opportunity to testify of Christ's divinity and love for us.

We're very excited for Darrell and his family!

Kaylyn:

Kaylyn is doing wonderfully! She's still a Book of Mormon reading machine, and is faithfully keeping all of her commitments! She was mired in the Isaiah chapters, so we moved her to Alma. Her only obstacle to baptism is still the objection of her father. She would be baptized now if it wasn't for that objection. Please pray for him, that his heart will be softened! We saw him recently, and he participated in a lesson where we read one of the Isaiah chapters from the Book of Mormon. 

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Have a great week y’all!

Elder Derek Troy




Baptismal Font











Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year from Elder Troy

Friends and family,

No group letter from Elder Troy this week, but thought we’d give you an update on him…  

We spoke with him on Christmas day via video chat with him for nearly an hour.  We even got a chance to hear him teach us a lesson and were able to have family prayer together.  Technology is great!  The saddest part was when his dog, Buck, came over to the computer to find his voice.  Elder Troy called to him and he began searching frantically for his voice.  It was sad, but so cute how he missed him and KNEW him.  

He looks so good!  Tan, fit, handsome and healthy.  He is absolutely loving his area.  It is a small, country town that seems to largely have been able to avoid the pitfalls of the big city, Houston.  There aren’t the rampant problems of drugs, gangs, overt racism and poverty and it has been a breath of fresh air for him—quite literally, actually.  He loves the smell of fresh cut hay and farms.  Cowboy boots, rodeo and jeans are the norm.  He has acclimated so much that he has even bought his own boots.  Sadly, he only gets to wear them on Mondays (his day off, Prep Day or P-Day).

This last week has been most difficult so far, personally, for him as he has enjoyed the holidays with family and friends.  But…he has just 10 months left and he’ll be home!  Next time we’ll speak with him will be in May for Mother’s Day.  Until then, it’s letters, emails and packages.

He is happy, healthy and loving representing the Savior!

Thank you for your continuing love and prayers for him.  We appreciate you all so much!

JD & Terri Troy

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We taught Santa about the Book of Mormon!


Preach the gospel to every creature, even this tarantula.  Eww.


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New boots!
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