Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The hardest three months

Hey Y’all! It’s been a great month, full of new challenges and big surprises.

Before I left Brenham, my companion and I were able to get Kaylyn baptized, finally! I was even able to confirm her as a member, give her the Holy Ghost, and bless her, which was amazing.

Now I have a new companion, and I’m serving in enemy territory: Temptation Station. (College Station) I was really hoping to never serve here, but at least I’m in a family ward instead of being on campus!

My new companion is fresh out of the MTC. I’m training again! His name is Elder Pinster. He grew up about 45 minutes South of me, in Portland OR. But since he’s in a different state, stake, and 5 years younger than me, we never met. He’s great! President knew we would have a pretty challenging area, so he gave me the most solid trainee, I’m convinced.

In addition to my original responsibilities, and aside from the challenges of all the pretty girls and partying, we’re whitewashing two wards together (we’re replacing both missionaries in those wards)

However, we inherited a baptismal date and set another one last week. We plan on setting four more this week or next. It should be a successful and busy transfer!

Hope y’all are having a great week back home. Thank you for your prayers and support. Here are some pics and a video of our war on the roaches in Brenham.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Wait a week

Longer email next week!  Transfer day...

Elder Derek Troy

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Exceedingly blessed

Hey Y’all! What a fantastic week it has been! We’ve been ‘exceedingly’ blessed.

First of all, Kaylyn has finally resolved all questions about her baptism on the 24th with her Dad. I know that part of his heart softening was the many times we reached out to him, so we’re feeling very rewarded! Now there’s nothing getting in the way of her baptism on the 24th.

We’re trying a different approach to finding new investigators now. We’re knocking doors less and trying to get more members of the church to share the gospel with their friends. We’re hoping that this will result in us having more people to teach, as our teaching pool is looking a little sparse with Jason out of town this week! So far, the fruits have been slow to materialize.

Part of the inspiration we received about how to help us to solicit more referrals was to create a training for the Sunday School instructors. The hope was that they instructors would be impressed by our teaching ability, and their increased confidence in the missionaries would make them more likely to let us teach their friends. 

We have a number of bad habits that we use when teaching in the church, and we talked about a few of them. Some people obviously resented the criticism of the teaching approach they grew up with, but overall it was well received and had at least one member of the stake high council speaking in another ward about broadening it to the rest of College Station. Pretty cool! I’ve attached the agenda we used for the training if anyone is curious, though I’m polishing up a better version this week.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1028PZ248DSS5no4o4B6DhFQFz1npY652KXR-WEjUVv4

It was also Elder Pacheco’s birthday this week!

Have a great week Y’all!

Elder Derek Troy

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 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 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 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.


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.


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.


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 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


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:


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!


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 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