Monday, August 7, 2017

Parrots, Pitbulls and the Pizza Curse

Hey Y'all!

I've been transferred to the Morton Ranch and West Lake wards, my new companion is Elder Labbee, and I will probably be 'killing' him here, because he only has two transfers (3 months) left on his mission. That probably means that I'll be here for 3 transfers for the first time in an area.

Before I left Oak Ridge, Elder Mcdonald and I went out to do some tracting. We picked a street and parked. When I looked up, there was a tropical bird (I think a Macaw?) Chilling in somebody's front yard. I took him some of my sunflower seeds to try to feed him, but I don't think he likes dill. He licked a couple of the seeds, looked at me sideways out of his beady little eye, and promptly bit me on the second knuckle of my pinky finger. Ouch! He tried to pop that thing like a walnut. I included pictures of him. Doesn't he look like a stinker? It's because he is.

AND THEN, we stopped by a family this week and one of their pit bulls bit me :'( let me tell ya, those suckers are strong. I walked a lot of pits at the animal shelter, but they were always really sweet and just grateful to get outside. This dog was mad, he even did the pit bull head shake. He grabbed me right on the wrist and just ripped into me. I'm okay though :) my cuts are scabbed over and stuff, and nothing's infected.

I also got to use the gift of tongues this week! We were in a largely hispanic apartment complex, and I was trying to use my limited Spanish to get the Hermanas some referrals.

A aged hispanic man opened the door. He was old in that Latino way - he could have been 50 or 80, it was hard to say. He was thin and had a broad smile, a dark mustache, gray hair, and a thousand wrinkles and creases in his face. He was wearing that light blue jeans and colorful button up outfit that South Americans love. He was very glad to see us. His accent was different from the Mexican I'm used to, and he didn't speak a lick of English. The spirit helped me to understand every tenth word or so. It was cool, I couldn't understand what he was saying so much as what he was trying to tell me. He kept calling us his brothers, and from what I could gather, he had been taught by missionaries about the Book of Mormon over dinner in Honduras. It wasn't totally clear to me whether he had been baptized or not. So I got his phone number, name, and address, and referred him to the Hermanas. Well, they contacted him, and he IS a member, and has been inactive in the church for years. His entire family is nonmembers, and he wants the missionaries to teach them. He's getting his whole family together for the Hermanas to teach on Wednesday, what a miracle!

Elder Labbee and I have also acquired a pizza curse. A pizza curse is something that happens to missionaries where they're fed a ton of pizza in a short period of time. We've probably eaten pizza (of necessity) for 8 meals this last week.

We also set a date this week though, with an investigator, named Anel. She's great. I'm exercising faith that this is the date that goes through :)

Hope everyone is well in WA, UT, and elsewhere. Have a great week!

Elder Derek Troy

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cowboy boots, Levis...and sushi?

Hey Y’all! 

I know my Emails have been inconsistent, but today I'm doing my best to get everyone caught up.

One of my favorite things to do in these emails is to describe the amazing people here, their stories, and our efforts. I have one I want to share about today!

One of my favorite people is Roy. Roy is thin, older (in his seventies) and is a great guy. He wears cowboy boots and Levi's, and keeps his long gray hair greased back out of his eyes. He owns and operates a plumbing business; and the way he wears his Levi's suits his occupation's stereotype. He greets us with a wide grin and a chuckle when he sees us. We always give him a big handshake and he'll laugh a hoarse laugh, followed by a cough from years of smoking. He is always glad to see someone, who is glad to see him.

A few years ago, Roy's beloved wife died of cancer. Grief stricken, Roy's sole comfort came from his only son, who was born with down's syndrome. A few years later, his son died unexpectedly. 

Alone and comfortless, Roy depended on two sister missionaries to help him believe in hope. He was baptized two years ago.

Soon after, he took his smoking habit back up. Aching bones from working all day kept him from church on Sunday.

We've helped him to get down to below a half pack per day,  but he needs to quit completely; because after weeks of work to get him in his scriptures and feeling the spirit, he's decided he wants to take his son's name to the temple to be baptized, since his son never got the chance when he was alive (for the non-LDS:
1 Corinthians 15:29)

Hopefully he's on the upswing now, and we can keep him up there! We've been loving and serving him into activity, winning his trust in acts of service, digging holes and doing yardwork!

Keep our efforts in your prayers please, and have a great week everybody!

Elder Derek Troy

Not sure what the story is behind this sushi, but I like it!
Nothing like going to Texas to learn how to become a sushi chef!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Must have been a drive-by fruiting...

Friends & Family,

We got very little from Elder Troy this week, but he did send us this picture.  He and his companion are spending a lot of time volunteering several days a week at the local food bank in the produce recovery area.  Obviously, they have time for a little fun too.

If you’d like to write him, his address is:

Elder Derek Allen Troy
8900 Research Park Dr.
Apt. #1719
The Woodlands, TX  77381

or his email is:

As always, thanks for your love and prayers on our son’s behalf!  We love you all!

JD & Terri Troy

Monday, July 10, 2017

Digging ditches...

Hey Y'all!

This week was a wet one in Texas. It started raining yesterday and just didn’t quit until this afternoon. It didn’t rain all that much, but because everything is so flat, there’s nowhere for the water to go! So the landscaping behind our back patio started flooding, and the water was very close to our apartment. We spent the first hour of P-Day digging out little trenches for all the standing water with a serving spoon and an old pot, haha!

We’ve been working a lot with a convert in this ward who took back up smoking. Our interaction with him went something like this:

Us: So how did you quit the first time?

Him: I dunno. Just stopped.

Us: ... How?

Him: Just din’t wanna smoke any more I guess.

Us: ... were you reading your Book of Mormon?

Him: Naw, I was listening to the tapes.

Us: ... are you listening to them now?

Him: no.

So we got him listening to his Book of Mormon tapes again and he went down from a pack a day to a quarter pack (2-3) a day. We hope to get him down to one a day and wean him off! Just goes to show the difference the Book of Mormon makes. I’ve noticed lately that the sort of people who are forced into challenges and those who choose to challenge themselves are usually very different. I wonder if when we don’t choose to grow and learn, our Heavenly Father compels us, in our best interest.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Derek Troy

Elder Troy and Elder McDonald at a member’s home for dinner one night.

Here’s a picture of a sweet shirt graphic somebody sent me in an email. Shout out to Kelleen! Doesn’t the guy look like a handsomer version of me!? The rest of the picture is perfect too!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ragin' Canjun on the loose!

Hey Y'all! It's been a very southern week this time around.

Here's a little more info on my companion, Elder Mcdonald. 

He's very young, and from Idaho. He has a LOT of energy, and is a great missionary. He was just assigned this transfer to be the new district leader over three companionships and six wards. We're VERY different, but have gotten along really well so far! 

The picture of the desks is ours. I just think the difference is funny! 

Our area is a lot of work! We're at the church on Sunday from 8:30 AM until 6:00 PM! Then out working until 9:30. The map I sent last week was incomplete. Oops, this one has everything!

This week at the animal shelter, we ran into the most Cajun guy I've yet et. He was sitting out front, and as we were about to greet him while we were walking to the front door, he exclaims:

"Y'all see dat hogk??? Eed wad da beegest hogk I ever seen! I deen't know dey got dat beeg!!!"

"That... hog?"

"Hogk!!! A hogk!!!"

".... Hawk?"  
"Yeah! A hogk!!!"

"... Better be careful he doesn't carry you off!"

"Aw naw mane he ain't dat beeg"

It's English but, not quite?

I also had a fried catfish Po-boy (sandwich) it was delicious!

We're working hard and loving Texas! Also, this chocolate cross could only happen in Texas!

Elder Derek Troy
Jumping at the chance to share the Gospel with others!

When in the Bible belt...

Different styles of desks.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Great Texas Turtle Rescue of 2017

Hey Y'all! 

So this is the update:

I'm still in Oak Ridge. BUT, I’m now covering Imperial Oaks as well with my new companion, Elder Mcdonald! He was covering Imperial Oaks before, and now we’re covering both areas together! It’s a little tricky sometimes.

My trainer also trained Elder Mcdonald, which makes us ‘brothers' which is kind of fun. Because the mission had a bunch of missionaries finish this last transfer, and not many new ones come in, we’re down on missionaries! So there are a few places double covering. 

Here are a few pictures from this week. This is our new district, what our new area looks like (dark blue is members, yellow is investigators, red are investigators, grey are former investigators, light blue are less-active members) and a turtle I rescued in the road a little while ago. Fox tie + turtle = so good.

I hope everyone is doing well in WA and elsewhere!

Elder Troy

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.