Monday, May 22, 2017

Remember...

Hey Y'all! It's the beginning of week three in Oak Ridge.

This week was great - we finally started finding people! Over the six
weeks of last transfer, this area only found nine new investigators.
Tough crowd! But last week we found four. It's no Westfield, but
that'll do!

We also got the opportunity to go to the temple this week. It's always
a nice break from the rigors of the work!

While there, I received some personal revelation. In the ordinances of
the church, 'remember' is a very important word. In everything from
Baptism, to Sacrament, to the Temple, we are asked or required to
'remember'.

Remembering is something I have NEVER been very good at. I've
forgotten my own birthday once or twice. But if it's a question of
some obscure piece of history or neat factoid, it never escapes the
tin-foil trap of my mind. It occurred to me that whether we remember
something (or someone) is determined by how much we care about it.
Evidently, I don't care much about Birthdays, or names or a million
other things.

So I determined to start doing memory exercises, and asked the Lord
for help. In my first hour, I'd memorized all 13 articles of faith and
the 10 commandments.

It's almost like when we ask the Lord for help, we get it! Who would
have imagined?

Have a great week out there everybody!

Elder Derek Troy

Kicking back at a member's house after dinner.

Elder Troy and his new companion Elder James.  Awkward sun smiles...

Better...


Houston Texas Temple day!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bye, bye, Westfield!


Hey y'all! I hope everyone has had a great week so far!

I DID end up getting moved - into the Oak Ridge Ward! It's a
country/suburban area. The people here are MUCH more difficult to find
because of the demographics. BUT, probably more dependable too :)

I was sad to see westfield go but I'm always excited to get to
reinvent myself in a new area.

Things will be different here, for sure! We found 2 new investigators
this week, instead of the 10 we usually found in westfield. My new
companion is Elder James. This is his last transfer, so I'll be
"killing" him. Then I might be training since I'll be companionless
and a bunch of new missionaries usually come in August.

One of the investigators already being taught here is Miguel. He's
been drunk since the elders found him it seems like. For a while, he
blamed his alcoholism on being Mexican. But Saturday night, the night
before mother's day, he opened up. He told us about his own Mother,
who was murdered tragically four years ago, and how hard each mother's
day is.

God loves us all enough to give us a mother. Our mothers love us
enough to be our moms.

No pictures yet from the new area except this crazy dog. His name is
maverick and he looks like the dragon from the never-ending story.

Have a great week everyone!

Maverick the Dog

Falkor the Luckdragon





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Skype Session

Got to see and talk with Elder Derek Troy tonight! He looked tan and handsome!!! We added Evan to our Skype session so the whole family would be together again. Lots of laughter and love!
He's been transferred to an area about 30 minutes north and wanted me to pass along his new address for U.S. mail. I'll also send an update from him in his weekly email tomorrow, but give you this tonight.
Elder Derek Allen Troy
8900 Research Park Dr.
Apt. #1719
The Woodlands, TX 77381

derek.troy@myldsmail.net






Monday, May 8, 2017

Often disappointed, but never discouraged!

Hey y'all! This last week marked six months in the field. Time is
flying! And seems to be accelerating all of the time. My pre-mission
time feels like another life! This week has been marked by some
disappointments, which is a part of this work for sure! Often
disappointed, but never discouraged!

Dustin:

Dustin relapsed in his drinking again. He binged and when he binges he
has seizures and gets violently ill. We haven't seen him in about a
week. We'll have to postpone his baptismal date unfortunately. We
thought his drinking was done!

Dustin's roommate, Derek (the tender hearted may want to skip this one):

Derek was released from the hospital, since they can't provide him any
treatment as long as he refuses transfusions. His hemoglobin count is
down even further. The ambulance services have been instructed to not
come help since he refuses treatment. He spends every day curled up on
a mattress, wrapped in a blanket and waiting to die. The only
exception is when he drags himself to the front porch to smoke.

This is just another testimony to me of the profound evil which comes
when we don't follow the counsel of the word of wisdom, even in
ignorance. Every day we see lives which have been ruined or are being
drug down by the idleness and complacency fostered by Marijuana, the
illness and dependence caused by Tobacco, and the violence and crime
from Alcohol. There is no amount of any of those drugs, no matter how
small or occasional, which will improve anyone's life by their
recreational use, and their medicinal use is extremely overrated.

Octavia:

Octavia is doing AWESOME. As I believe I have mentioned, she and her
BF of 8 years who she moved down with from Detroit finally broke up.
This last week, he poured bleach in her gas tank and so she's moved
out and decided to press charges.

This has been good for her. She's closer to her married and more
stable friend; Bee, who Octavia successfully invited to join us for
the discussions. Octavia had high praise for us, telling Bee "these
guys are awesome. If you don't leave here feeling better today,
something's wrong"

We got to clarify the plan of salvation for them both. It's amazing
the clarity that modern revelation brings to the truths of ancient
scripture.

We found lots of new people this week and I'm excited for Elder
Mattson to continue working with them. I have been reassigned to a new
area! I don't know where yet, and won't be able to share with everyone
until next week.

Until then, letters should probably be held, as I may not get them
until Christmas.

I hope everyone is doing well! You're in my prayers. I'm so grateful
to be in yours.

Elder Derek Troy













Moving service project.





Elder Troy's kryptonite:  Beagle puppies!!!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monuments of Missionary Moronity

Hello friends and family!

Here is Elder Derek Troy’s latest letter.  The first part of the letter is an explanation about a picture he sent last week.  It appeared that he was destroying some boat.  Apparently he was.  Gah.  Anyway, he proceeds to tell us why they felt the need to end the ugly boat.

He is preparing to be transferred very soon to another part of Houston, Texas.  He isn’t sure where yet.  If you have any letters, you may want to hold them for another week.  Otherwise, his email is the best place to send communication for now.

As always, thank you for supporting our son.  He feels your prayers on his behalf!

We love you all.

JD & Terri

————————————
The picture I sent last week was a screen shot of a video where I wrecked this huge plastic boat with a Nalgene bottle.

Missionaries have this annoying habit of scratching their names on everything in sight. I’ll attach a picture of my desk as evidence. They're just frantic to be remembered for some reason. Maybe it’s because our time in each area is relatively short?

Anyway, some missionaries bought this huge boat as a result (missionary apartments are also full of trash like this) and everybody writes their names on it in sharpie when they go through the apartment. The Elders in the apartment across the street inherited it and got sick of it, and ditched it at our apartment. We definitely didn’t want it and decided to wreck it for a stress reliever on P-Day. It is an idol to missionary idiocy; a monument to missionary moronity. This Chinese junk (a type of east asian boat) was a pile of junk (a type of garbage collected by Elders) and we were so satisfied to destroy it. I've attached screen shots from the clip of its disintegration.

Regarding the missionary work:  It’s awesome.

Elder Mattson felt prompted to extend another baptismal date to Dustin during a lesson. I’m not so certain he was ready but now we're committed so we're going in guns blazing. Our last lesson with him also went really well and we both felt confident in moving his date even closer, but this last week hasn’t gone so well for him.

He didn’t keep his commitment to come to church Sunday unfortunately. He needs to come to prove that he's repenting to be baptized. He also didn’t keep our last appointment. He’s very ready but behaving flakily lately. We're all a little worried about him.

We’ve been visiting Dustin's roommate, Derek, in the hospital lately. He chain smoked himself into the hospital and may die if he continues to refuse blood transfusions. He suited up for the NFL chargers at one point in his life but ended up being homeless for what I understand to be about a decade and now seems completely lost.

Visiting the sick makes me feel like a real missionary, and admire all of the years of service Thomas S. Monson rendered before his calling as president of the church. As I study his life of service my testimony of his divine calling has been strengthened. He lived a life of extraordinary humility.

The week we're looking ahead to is something of a drop week. We’ll be ending work with a dozen or so investigators. It will be tough to drop people we care about but will free up time and energy to focus on people who are willing to act. Faith is a principle of action.  

I hope everyone is doing well in WA, UT, and elsewhere!

This is the last week you can send a letter to the mission office. Any mail after the 3rd or so needs to be held until I can send out my new address after transfers. I’m most likely moving but have no idea where yet. 

Thanks for all of your support!

Elder Derek Troy



Teva sandals tan/burn marks.  (Note the missing big toe thanks to the motorcycle accident of 2014–it’s a conversation starter!)
Phase One:  Size up the atrociously awful missionary signature boat.
Phase Two: Prepare for the death of the junk.

Phase Three:  Admire your destructive handiwork.
Cool spider Elder Mattson found outside their apartment.

Apartment desk with the remnants of missionaries past and present.  (I’m happy to see he kept the reindeer I sent him for Christmas.  It poops candy!)