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.



video

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.


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