Here is Elder Derek Troy's latest letter (click the LINK BELOW). He didn’t send a group email last week, although he did write us privately. He said he didn’t feel like there was a lot to write you about. He’s certainly making up for it this week. Oh, my goodness! There are so many things we LOVE about this letter from Elder Troy and a few that we are TERRIFIED about!
You may remember that Derek stumbled upon a rattlesnake in Southern Utah before his mission. It reared up and struck him on his knee brace Because it had attacked and there were children present, he felt he needed to kill it. He hit it with a rock and then cut off it’s head. Looks like it’s happened again! WHY must this boy continue to find snakes?! WHY must he continue to kill them with his bare hands?! The video and pictures are unnerving. A friend thinks she's identified it as a rat snake, so likely not dangerous, but BLEH. Snakes are gross. Notice it is hanging from my sons 6” pocket knife. Gah. He is currently living and serving in northern Houston, Texas. 🐍😳
He is so appreciative of your cards, letters and emails. He loves them!
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts for our son. We love you all!
JD, Terri & Family
This week I have lots of stuff to update everybody on. The gospel is amazing and being a missionary is great! This week I wanted to share a spiritual though, a miracle, and some pictures!
Elder Mattson and I are getting strangely similar. We have the same jacket, watch, bracelet, tie clip, glasses, pens, water bottles, etc. The other day, we both said something at the same time, looked at each other, and said 'it's happening' in unison. Elder Mattson says it's comp unity, I think it's weird.
This week we have pictures from a snake we killed (copperhead?) a puppy I love, and a sweet little creek we found; like an oasis from the city.
I wanted to talk a little bit this week about the importance of having a long-term vision.
Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish”. Vision is where we see ourselves in the distant future as a RESULT of our goals. It is not the goal itself. Goals are measurable and observable, and a vision is the positive change we hope to see as a result. Our vision is who we hope to become, what our family will be like etc. Goals like daily scripture study and prayer are what help us get there. If we do not have a clear vision, we become like the people in Lehi's dream (1 NE 8) who "wandered into forbidden paths, and were lost". They too had a goal of reaching the tree of happiness, but without the rod of iron, they couldn't find it. The rod of iron is "the word of God", which tells us what our vision should be.
Now our little miracle:
In our ward, we have a sister I'll call Sis. Blake. Sis. Blake is a little needy. She is single and because of her Asperger’s, she tends to ramble and talk a lot. Some of the things she talks about are disturbing. Like many of the women Heavenly Father has had me meet on my mission, she was heavily abused in her past. The final straw for her marriage was when her husband broke her ribs and shot at her and their children. Through it all, Sis. Blake has remained the sweetest lady. She frequently requests blessings from us so we see her often. This week she had us come over to pick up a bunch of stuff from her for a donation drive our stake is doing for refugees.
Every month, our debit cards get reloaded on the last Friday. This month has 5 Fridays, so by this week, money for groceries was getting a little tight. That's about $26 per person per week. We were getting ready for a lot of ramen lunches these next few weeks.
When we picked up her clothes for the donation drive, she stopped us and asked if we wanted some of the frozen food in her fridge. She explained that she was an extreme-coupon-er (and very good at it due to her Asperger’s) and had more food than her family could eat before it went bad - and some of it her kids didn't turn out to like the organic food she got anyways. So we went home with lean organic ground beef, turkey bacon, frozen pizza, and organic beef hot dogs. She had no idea how much easier it made our week! It just goes to show how merciful our Heavenly Father is, and how much he cares about the little things.
Thanks for all your letters and emails. Have a great week!
Elder Derek Troy
|Sweet little creek|