Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Hello, friends!  

Yesterday we were able to see Elder Troy for the first time since he left in November.  We Skyped him with a video chat.  It was so good to see and talk with him!  He is very happy and focused on his work there in Texas.  We got all of those pesky questions answered that he NEVER responds to by email, so that was awesome!  He's going to be in Spring, TX, for a while.  Likely about another month.  He will have a mission-issued iPad after this month, so he'll be able to take more pictures.  Right now he's dependent on his companion and others to take pictures.  Luckily, he recently attended a large Christmas conference with his mission and there was a photographer who took lots of pictures.  I've downloaded a few for you to see.

He SOOOOO appreciated all the gifts, letters and cards he received from you for Christmas.  THANK YOU!  His favorite was the only thing he actually asked for:  A tool kit.  He said that he encountered so many people who have simple home or auto repairs that need help and he and his companion are not prepared to help, so this will assist them in serving others.  

Please continue to pray for him and all our missionaries to stay safe and happy while serving the Lord.  If he doesn't respond to your emails, please know that he reads ALL of them.  He just doesn't have very much time on his P-Day (just an hour on the computer), so he sometimes will just print them off and read them later.  Keep emailing him!

As always, thank you for your continuing support.  We love you!

JD, Terri & Family

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Hey y'all, I hope everyone had a merry Christmas!

Maybe I was just not away long enough to be homesick, but I really enjoyed Christmas! It was simple and uplifting.

This week my favorite experience was tracting in the 'hood. It can be tough but you also meet lots of friendly and humble people. We stopped at one house to chat with a family who was curious about our message. Out of the blue, a woman so sauced that the only way she could speak was at 100% volume took a particular interest in us. Among my favorite lines of hers:

"I hope y'all aren't offended if I drink, 'cuz I'm an alcoholic, yaknowwhaimsayin?? heyooooo hehe"

"do ya think there'll be weed in heaven? Cuz I neeeed my weeeeed hehe"

and my favorite: "I'm just playing wit'chu" *proceeds to give me uncomfortable hug, wherein I find that her clothes are inexplicably damp*

But to her credit, when we went down the street to knock on a sketchy double wide, she yelled from her driveway to warn us 'uh uh, don't go knockin' there boys, they ain't friendly'. We later inferred from the neighbors that it was a crack house run by gangsters.

Just a couple of doors down, we found a new investigator named Shirley, who is sweet as can be and wants to read the Book of Mormon for herself to find out if it's true. It's surprising how close the stony places and good soil (Matt 13: 3-8) can be.

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season and is driving safely. 

Much love from Texas,

Elder Troy


Elder Troy with Santa and his companion, Elder Vickers
Skyping with Elder Troy and the family Christmas morning!  Such a happy elder!!!

Elder Troy and his zone from Spring, TX

Texas Houston Mission, December 2016. (Elder Troy is directly underneath the white snowflake on the wall)

THM messing around...

Santa arrives!  No more being naughty...



Fun and games at the mission Christmas conference.



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Has Elder Troy run away to join the circus?!

NOTE:  Not sure why, but the video he sent (it's only about 5 seconds long) isn't able to play on the blog.  It shows on Facebook and email though.  Sorry!  (spoiler....the 3 year old beats him).

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Hey All! Sorry about a lack of email last week. There just wasn't a whole lot going on. So I thought that this time I'd send a miracle we had.

This week Elder Vickers and I prayed to know where to knock and were brought to the home of Celma, A brazilian immigrant who doesn't speak any English. She called her teenage son downstairs to the door to interpret for her into Portuguese and expressed through him that she was interested in our religion and a church tour. As we were talking with them on the doorstep, her son fell suddenly, flat on his back on the tile floor. We assumed he had epilepsy and was just embarrassed, so we didn't press the issue. He staggered up saying he needed a glass of water before falling again, face first, and knocking himself (and his two front teeth) out. After Elder Vickers and I contacted paramedics and rendered first aid, the miracle of our appearance there seemed to become clear to everyone. Had we not been there, she would have been the only one home, and he would have had his emergency in some other part of the house where she wouldn't have known. When she did find him, she wouldn't have been able to do or explain much for him or the paramedics owing to her language.

Celma's son is going to be okay, since it was apparently a reaction to some medication he had been taking, and she and her friend came to both a church tour and a sunday service this week. We have a good feeling about their family.

We also got a less active family the missionaries have been focusing on for some two years to finally join us this sunday - both they and Celma showed up just in time for the sacrament this week. How blessed we are!

I'm doing wonderfully here, growing and learning all the time. Learning to be grateful for the little things and to slow down.

Hope all is well in WA and St. G. Enjoy this video of me on a clown bike.

Elder Troy


video




Monday, December 5, 2016

Dukes of Hazzard & Cabela's

Hello All!

Here is Elder Troy's latest letter!  

He's still in Spring, Texas.  As always, thank you for your love and support.  He appreciates all the letters and emails!  If you'd like to send him a Christmas card or package for the holidays, it would be so great!  You can send it here:

Elder Derek Allen Troy
26325 Northgate Crossing Blvd., Apt. #1510
Spring, TX  77373

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Hey Y'all! 

What a weird week it has been in Texas.

One of the more interesting guys we ran into this week I just have written down as "Bo & Luke Duke" in my planner since he wouldn't give us his name. I guess his second wife came into a lot of money after a lawsuit and the guy has spent tons of it on safaris. He heard I'm a hunter after shooting the breeze a bit and invited us in. It was like a Cabela's in there. The guy had a stuffed baboon, two black bears, a grizzly, a porcupine, a ten foot Gator, a seven foot shark, a zebra, a kudzu, a whale baleen, a couple bighorn sheep, and some other critters stuffed or skinned around his living room. Claimed that the coyote he shot while sitting at his kitchen table. Just where I was standing from I could see two pistols and a shotgun laying around, not including the pistol he was surely carrying, and the guns he was using as decorations!

As we left he traded us our Book of Mormon for his copy of 'God is not Great'. Ha! We found him because we made a huge push this week to go and meet 15 new people to talk about the gospel with every day. It was a lot of knocking on doors when we're already super busy and most people don't even come to the door, but man has it paid off. We went from having two flaky investigators to ten flaky investigators! Now we need to get them to stick to their commitments! This is a slow but rewarding process.

We met with a woman named Linda last week who really is trying to be the best person she can. She is just struggling to find the right path in a world that is increasingly complex. By the time we left her doorstep she was in tears she was feeling the Spirit so strongly. How I wish that everyone was listening to the Spirit so sensitively! She craved a knowledge for herself of the Bible, and to personally know the truth - whatever it may be.

Last night we met Jerek, who was similar. He was our last door of the night (Which is always a good one for us! Blessings!) and loved how our Christmas initiative at Mormon.org was about serving others the way Christ served them - helping the blind to see, and healing the sick. He really wants to serve and bless his fellow man.

But they are sadly in the minority. It is said that 10% of people will want to hear our message no matter what we say, 80% must to be given the message that their souls are searching for to want more, and 10% will turn us away instantly. Almost everyone is genuine and kind, but a few people who claim to be disciples of Christ call to mind Matt 15:8

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."

Because they've been led astray by the "grievous wolves" preaching at the local mega churches! How I resent those great and abominable churches! They say Jesus' name, but do nothing for Him.

Almost everyone we meet claims a faith in Jesus Christ and a church. When we ask them what they're doing to actually draw closer to their Savior every day, or ever, they rarely have an answer. They've been told by wicked pastors and priests that there's nothing righteous for them to do but to pay and listen to them, because they're already saved and now they have their hearts shut to James 2:

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?"

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

So many people depend on someone else to read their scriptures for them! It's shocking to me how poorly people understand their Bibles, and how blindly they follow the pastors they pay to make them feel justified! They want to Bible bash on their doorsteps and then when you answer their question and give them one in response, they say 'I cannot tell' as if they were in Mark 11.

Read your scriptures. Pray. Find the truth within them for yourself. Don't waste time letting someone else tell you how you are saved or not. 

Matt 7:15

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Love,
Elder Derek Troy



Elder Troy & his companion at the Festival of Nativities.