Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Y'all wanna plate a food?!...."

Here is the latest letter from Elder Troy!  His address is below.  If you're doing Christmas cards this year, please include him in yours!!  :)


Hey everybody!

I flew to TX this last week. It's been wild!

We really are in the bible belt now. I'm in a wealthy suburban area just north of Houston this transfer, called Spring. My companion is Elder Vickers. He's been here a year and is the ZL for our zone, and is a great Elder! I'm sure I'll learn a lot with him.  Our apartment has a nice gym area and I get to lift every day. I'm gonna come home swole!

Apparently one of our other areas in the mission, called Melbourne, is super sketchy. I've been hearing about it all week. There's a little part of me hoping to get transferred there in the future? Its reputation precedes it.

We run into all kinds of interesting people here who want to talk about religion and politics. We just talked to a lady a minute ago who told us her husband invented weather radar, and they murdered him and framed her so that the government could use the technology for mind control. Her son - Ben Affleck - betrayed them and is being hunted down as we speak. See? I'm learning lots!

On a more serious note, while we were out knocking doors the day after thanksgiving, we ran into an interesting family. The door was answered by a friendly woman in her late twenties, before a man in his forties came to the door to say they weren't interested. As he was closing the door, his wife yelled from the next room - "Y'all wanna plate a food?" And of course Elder Vickers obliges and we head in.

They were having a second thanksgiving, and apparently this lady - Sister Jugon - had been around missionaries before. They fed us really well, including some good 'ol crawfish casserole. Then sister Jugon's mom showed up, and as it turns out, is a temple endowed member in a local ward!

I don't know what message the Lord intends for us to bring them, but I'm excited to find out!

We have another couple that was just referred to us yesterday. They're a deaf couple, and the wife has brain cancer. I'm not sure if it's terminal, but when is brain cancer not?
We actually happen to have a deaf Elder in our mission, and I'm SUPER excited to bring the comfort and peace of the gospel and the truth of the eternal nature of families to them in their crisis.

I want to bear my testimony to you all of the power of the atonement and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Every day I see someone whose life was healed by the gospel.

I'll be at 26325 Northgate Crossing BLVD, #1510, Spring, TX, 77373 for the rest of this transfer for anyone who wants to mail me there.

Elder Troy

Ezekiel 37:16-27

Dinner with the Jurgon family the day after Thankgiving. 

Day one in Texas

Straight off the plane!

Out into the warm, Texas weather.

Dinner with Pres. and Sister Mortensen

Elder Troy and his companion Elder Vickers

Thanksgiving lunch

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Houston Bound--YEEEEEEHAW!

Hello all!  Here is the latest letter from Elder Troy!

Since he is flying out tomorrow to Houston, he’ll have a new address.  I’ll forward that on to you all as soon as I receive it.  His email address will remain the same for all of the two years.

Please keep the emails coming to him!  He appreciates all of them, even if he isn’t able to write back personally to each one.  The holidays can be lonely when you’ve never been away from family before.  Emails, letters and packages are welcome and soooooo appreciated!

Thank you for your continued support of him and his efforts!

Much love,

(P.S.  I LOVE THE PICTURES, don't you?!) 


It has been a big week at the MTC. My last week! And my only full week as a ZL. I leave the MTC tomorrow morning at 4:00 AM. 

We had a double group of incoming elders this week because of thanksgiving. So we had 16 new elders instead of 8 and 8 new sisters instead of 4. Having 24 brand new missionaries in the zone was interesting, especially since we also just got a new branch president too!

Unfortunately, he too is more of a hug than a handshake guy, haha!

I learned a lot this week.

There's a sister in my district who has turned in her mission papers some six times and been turned down every time until now for serious and chronic health reasons. Instead of going out to the field this week, she goes home tomorrow for an indeterminate time until she is well enough to go. I hope to someday have as much of a gratitude to be here as she does.

I feel like Elder Chamberlain and I finally got into the groove with our actor-investigators! I'm really excited to take what I've learned out into the field. It's so cool to see how specifically the spirit will guide you when you pray to know what to say and to be edified.

This week I've been focusing a lot on sanctifying myself with sacrifice. I've given the Lord two years, and given up so much else when I got here. But I still feel like I have more I ought to give! Hopefully I'll come to understand what is missing soon.

I love you all at home, in Washington State and St George!


Elder Derek Troy

 I sent him a care package in the MTC with snacks, junk and this Thanksgiving headband.  So glad he's getting some use out of it!  His companion, Elder Chamberlain, looks a little concerned at his turkey impression and may wonder what he's gotten himself into...

Temple Day - Provo, Utah Temple

Artist's rendering of District 43.  No sure who the artist is, but it's awesome!

Why so serious?...NOT!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Eeek! Lost post!

This is a post I found in a file called "DRAFTS."  Yikes!  We will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year, so it's been 8 years that it has sat in this file.  Oooooops!

JD and I have been married 17 years next week. Wow! That's a LONG time, huh? We are so happy to say that we still like each other ( A LOT!) and are looking forward to many, many more anniversaries to come. This year we are whitewater rafting in southern Oregon. We'll take pictures and let you see how we fared!

MTC Week Two is in the BOOKS!

Here is Elder Troy's latest letter.  It looks like he is getting ready to fly out to Houston!  His email to me said, "Wednesday" but I don't know if it's TOMORROW Wednesday or next week.  Once he has a new address, I'll post it.  For now, please keep emailing him!  He needs all the love he can get.


Hey all! Week two at the MTC is on the books. It was a duesey! 

Things are finally starting to click for me. If I focus on letting people be converted to Christ through the spirit instead of trying to convince them that what I believe is true, I will succeed much more readily. I've noticed that as I focus on that, my teaching improves a ton, and the Holy Ghost takes over.

This week has been a real blessing in many ways and a real trial in others. I'm really striving to be obedient to the letter of the law - in a way I've never been before. As I have, I've been so blessed. I get up a half hour earlier, for example, than the rest of my room. Then that day they're struggling to  stay awake in classes and I know I would be just as tired if I wasn't being blessed for being obedient to the guidelines we were given.

The other night we had a bunch of Elders up far too late yelling homophobic and racist slurs and general garbage, and keeping people up who were trying to sleep or were studying scriptures. Well, finally I had enough and came out like a ball of fire.

A couple of the elders in the residency halls were offended for being called out, and then a couple thanked me for doing what they were too afraid to. But over those next couple of days, the spirit in the residence halls was markedly improved. Still, I wondered if I had been too hard on them, given that they're mostly only 18/19. I don't want it to be my job to be the "bad guy".

Then a couple of days later, I was called into the branch presidency meeting with my companion. We ended up being called as the new zone leaders over our zone of 30 or so. Our branch president asked the outgoing ZLs if they had solved the problem he had been hearing about of reverence in the residence halls. An outgoing ZL mentioned that I had gone out and quieted them and we hadn't had a problem since. The Branch president asked if it had been like Joseph Smith rebuking his Jailers to the infernal pit. I answered it was closer to that than I would like to admit, and he thought the whole thing was hilarious. I guess it must have been fine.

Then, that sunday, our priesthood meeting topic for all the classes was obedience. The rowdiest of the Elders from that night was in the class there, as was I, and our new branch president. The instructor was a bit awkward, and blurted out at one point to the rowdy elder "I'm not calling you out, it's just the lesson!" haha. 

I can't feel too high and holy though. my rug-burn from last week's wrestling match still hasn't healed yet! I guess that's what I get for my own disobedience. I've had an open sore from it the size of a half dollar on my foot for a week now as a constant reminder!

I'm learning a ton all the time, and constantly coming to a better understanding of my Savior's importance in my life.

The Church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni's on the ball.

Elder Derek Troy

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Gingers and rug burns in the MTC!

The latest email from Elder Troy....

Hey all! It's been a big week in the MTC!

My companion is Elder Chamberlain. They put us two redheads together! He's a very young Utah born and raised - 18 - but eager to serve. He's working hard and growing up fast. I want him to succeed so badly! Often times when my analytical spirit can't touch an investigator, his sweet and simple testimony will. We make a good team.

The MTC hasn't been as hard as I expected, but a big part of that is my being 21. A lot of these kids really struggle with getting up at 6:00 so that they can have time to shower and everything (not that most of them have to shave or anything, HAHA!) but I guess that after having a job or two where I needed to be up at 4:30, 6:00 is a piece of cake! 

The schedule here is CRAZY packed. I'm busy and watching the clock nonstop from 6 am to 9:30 PM. I don't mind the structure though. I know it drives some people nuts, but I think learning about strict obedience has been good to me. The more I try to be obedient, the easier the rules become and the more I'm blessed.

For example, this week I was instructed that Elders cannot wear patterned socks. Not even argyle or stripes. I was really wondering if that was something I even cared enough about to obey - but I realized, if I can't do something so simple that the Lord asks me to do, how can I ask someone to do something difficult, like give up an addiction? Or an unmarried couple to stop living together?

I know that as I've tried to be obedient, and lead my district of young elders by example, I've been richly blessed. 

Thanks for your prayers, and tell people back home and in ST G to send me their emails!

PS, if it looks like I have rug-burn on my face, it's because I do. We had a wrestling match I participated in, haha. I was not being the best example! Lesson learned.​

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Elder Derek Troy is in the house!

WOW!  I haven't posted on this blog for over FIVE YEARS?!  My goodness, has a LOT happened and how these kids have grown!!!!...

Well, it's finally here!  On Wednesday, we said goodbye to Derek and dropped him off at the MTC (Missionary Training Center). He's off to serve a mission for the LDS Church the next two years. He's assigned to the Houston Texas mission and is pretty excited!  He will be at the MTC for two weeks and then will fly to Houston, Texas. 
It's been a tough journey getting here after being hit by a car on his motorcycle, bit by a rattlesnake, tearing his ACL and a myriad of other strange events the last few years. But he has persevered!!  Heck, on the night before he was supposed to leave and be set apart as a missionary, his car broke down and we had to tow him from the desert into town.  Finally was set apart at 10:00 pm that night.  What a loving Stake President.
We have yet to hear from him, but anticipate it will be in the next few days.  We are planning to write him an email each Sunday evening so that he has our emails on P-Day (his preparation day—where he does laundry, grocery shop, leisure time).  He will be at the MTC for the next 2 weeks and then will arrive in Houston.  He can receive emails (only sees them once a week) and also regular post letters and packages while he’s at the MTC.  Here is the information for him for the next two weeks.  After the two weeks, I’ll send the NEW Houston address where you can send postal mail and packages:

MTC MAILING ADDRESS:  (regular postal letters and packages)

Elder Derek Allen Troy
Texas Houston Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N. 900 East
Provo, UT  84602

EMAIL ADDRESS:  (emails only)

Just some advice...during his two year service, please address him as "Elder Troy" rather than "Derek." You'll find that he signs everything "Elder Troy."  Also, all email, letters and packages should include uplifting and supportive messages that will help him to stay focused on his mission and his service to the people of Texas.  A mission is hard work and sometimes lonely.  Please write him!!!!
Thank you to everyone who has loved and helped him along his way. We especially thank his wonderful grandparents, extended family and faithful, special friends.  Without your love and support, we can't imagine his blessed life.  We appreciate and love you so much!   

JD and Derek before his endowment at the St. George temple.  What a wonderful day!
All the Troy family at the St. George temple. Missing Evan (he had class and bball practice at BYU).  Rock family is in Washington state, so they couldn't be there.

Goodbyes to his sisters.
Just a few daddy tears...
Kelleen, Terri, Oma and Opa selfie waiting for Derek's interview.

Derek and Kelleen.  Last hug!  :)

He's Elder Troy now!
Saying goodbye to his Opa.
Manly handshake and some advice.
Oma and Opa.  Someone is trying NOT to cry!
Loading the bags.
Elder Derek Allen Troy

Taking a nap on the 4 hour drive to the MTC.

Still NOT tired...

Lunch with Evan.

Saying goodbye to his "little" brother.

Proud mama and VERY happy Elder. 
Checking in.

Yup, it's all there!

Time to go.  *sniff*