New and Peachy

Knock Knock, Who's There?, Las Misioneras!!!

Folks,  Short letter today! Lo siento!  This week was full of doors that never opened after we knocked on them, finding incredible ...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Knock Knock, Who's There?, Las Misioneras!!!

Folks, 

Short letter today! Lo siento! 

This week was full of doors that never opened after we knocked on them, finding incredible people to teach, some powerful lessons, and most importantly the infinite love of our Savior. 

Zone Conference this week!!! The temple was a glorious blessing :) I am so grateful to have the House of the Lord so close to me on my mission and have the opportunity to go so often! Zone Conference was a fuel booster and I think just what each of us needed to start out the transfer with. 

Jonathan is growing so in tune with the Spirit!!! We are so proud of him :) Friday, the Elders passed by his house and he got the thought twice to Go With Them. But he reasoned in his head that he was hungry and so he didn't heed the prompting. After they left, he went in to eat dinner and he felt so down. As he was telling us this, he just looked at us and said "The spirit speaks different to each person, and I think I'm learning how it speaks to me. It was the Holy Ghost that was telling me to go with the Elders. And I didn't listen. I want to heed what It says from now on."  :) He's progressing so fast and befriending our other young investigators that show up to church. He texted us the other day updating us on his "mini mission" aka messaging one of our investigators Ricky about how church was. 

Soccer this week (so much FUN) ended with Juan Carlos teaching me self defense. Let's just say it was interesting. 

At service at the Restore facility we unpacked 18 HUGE chandeliers. That was fun. The boxes they came in would have made some young child a legit fort or something. 

We started teaching the CUTEST little family. Well, not so little. There are 5 kids. But they are so fun in lessons and SO attentive. This past week we left them with the commitment to pray every day and not fight with each other. They have been learning more how to keep the spirit of love in their home :) 

Oh! Also got Jonathan started on Family History. He is like a kid in a candy store plugging in information about his ancestors and calling/messaging Grandma or that Aunt or this Uncle to get more data. 

Pictures of the temple to come next week!

Love being on the errand of the Lord :) 

Yo se que vive mi Senor con todo mi corazon.

I love you all!!

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Monday, August 7, 2017

Missionary, Bubble Soccer player, and Hair Cutting Pro

Hey folks!

This week was quite tame compared to the craziness of last week. No pepper spray was used and no one got baptized in our area. BUT we did have a few cool things happen!





Last Preparation Day (Monday) we had a hay day. Sister De La Rosa Frias and I planned out a BUBBLE SOCCER and Pancakes morning for the entire zone of about 20 missionaries :) Talk about fun. Basically surround yourself in a plastic bubble thing and run into everyone around you while trying to kick a soccer ball. My knees were so bruised and I was usually rolling around on the ground in my bubble. The pancakes turned out great! After about probably 4 burnt/messed up ones.... I'm a missionary, not a pancake cooking genius. All the missionaries brought different stuff for the breakfast and it turned out legit. 

One of the Elders in my district decided to trust me with his life. Well, with his hair, but practically the same thing for some guys. So... I have never cut a guy's hair... I have only ever groomed dogs... And I LET ELDER SMITH KNOW THIS BEFORE STARTING. I prayed so hard in my heart not to mess up and it actually turned out sweet!! I used clippers on the lower part, did a fade on the sides and scissored off a little over a half inch of hair on the top. Elder Smith was quite happy with the end result! 

Jonathan is stronger than ever and had his first week of school in the US! Ha. Oh gosh. It is so funny to hear him explain about his english classes and the high school he goes to. "I wandered around lost so many times." "I really had to go to the bathroom during class. And it was getting to the point where you can't think. So I stood up and asked to go. The teacher responded that I had to ask in English (it was an English class for students who only spoke Spanish). I was so flustered I said "DE DONDE ERES??(where are you from)"  She saw my need, understood enough and let me go." We are praying Jony learns English fast :) 

Missionary Leadership Council was on Friday!! And boy, was that a cup filling experience. So good to see missionaries that went to other areas and I haven't seen in a while. We really focused on the principle of faith and how it affects diligence. I am excited to see the difference in the mission as we all work harder :)

Did a lot of knocking doors this week. It is entertaining to see different people's reactions when they answer the door :) 




Sorry this email is a wee short, but don't have much time! Love you all and pray for you. Never forget your chance to be great and share God's love :)

We always have to ability to change. Never think you are too far gone. Christ descended below it all so that He would know how to heal us. Trust in Him. 

Estoy tan agradecida por esta oportunidad de servir una mision :) Este es lo mejor mensaje en todo el mundo :)

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I now know my pepper spray works...

Familia y Amigos,

For all those who read the subject line and got a little panicky that maybe something bad or dangerous had happened to me here in good ole ATL, breathe, I am fine. Just a funny story which I will tell later in this email :) Oh and we just got transfer news! I am staying in Cunningham!!

AHHHH It is so hot here in Georgia. I melt and sweat so much it's borderline unladylike. And you want to know the truly sad part? People tell me this has been a relatively cooler summer. HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS???? Humidity. Goodness gracious.

So. This has basically been the week of Jonathan. We taught him every day. And it has seriously been the best week of my mission. Hands down.

I'll hurry and talk about other people before I go off on how everything went with Jonathan. 

We taught Perla and all the neighborhood kids. So funny to show up and the kids start running around between houses to gather everyone up for the lesson. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and the look on the kid's faces when they learned that they would see their passed loved ones again was beautiful. 

We fasted with our investigator Aracely and are praying that she now feels the strength she needs to overcome smoking! Her friend sat in on the lesson and had never heard about the Book of Mormon. So Aracely explained it all out. So cool to see her eyes light up as she bears testimony of what she believes. 

Sports Night. Lol. Lol. Lol. Who woulda thunk I'd come on my mission and have to brush up on my soccer skills that have been in the cobwebs for the past like... 8 years?? But hey. With latinos as your coaches and Jonathan as your biggest fan, anything is possible. Including scoring 4 goals. HA. Miracles. Flat out miracles I tell you. Jonathan was so proud, "ESA ES MI MISIONERA!!" (that's my missionary) I doubt I will ever be able to replicate those mad random skills that appeared that night. I tried to convey that is was pure luck and the grace of God to Jonathan, but he was just a little too proud of me to accept that his missionary was not a Futbolista.... 

We did some cool service in a Habitat For Humanity affiliate! It is called ReStore! Sorta like a donation center that then sells the stuff. We got to help price things and then place them around the store. 

Taught Lizbeth and the kids again finally!!! They are struggling a bit to purposefully make time for the Gospel in their lives. But Ricky and Linzy came to church so hopefully they will start progressing again!

Ok. So. The pepper spray. In one of the lessons we taught Jony this week... somehow the topic of self defense came up. Juan Carlos had been trying to teach me some self defense moves and Jonathan pointed out that in the moment you don't really think smoothly and it just gets crazy in a fight. "You should just have a gun! or pepper spray!" I pulled out my pepper spray that I carry in my bag and showed him. He proceeded to take off the cap and to "see if it works" sprayed a tiny puff into the middle of the room. We didn't smell anything and thought, "hmm not too strong" THEN IT HIT LIKE A FIRE IN YOUR LUNGS AND I WAS CRYING SO MUCH AND WE WERE ALL COUGHING AND DYING. For about 30 minutes. We had doors open and trying to fan out the house. Then Abuelita (94 years old) started coughing. And the baby. And the asthmatic nurse. BUT EVERYONE SURVIVED. After it all died down, Jony looked at me and told me my pepper spray works. He felt so bad, it was so sad but funny in hindsight cuz no one died. During his closing prayer he prayed for forgiveness.

All of the lessons with Jony each had something special about them. Whether it was after his baptismal interview and he shared with us his testimony or when he told us "I've had 3 other sets of missionaries who tried to teach me. But something about you two was different. You weren't so serious, you smiled. I think that with you two it was my time to change." Thursday night was special too. He texted us a scripture he had just read and explained why it had stuck out to him. So we called him and we read 2 chapters in the Book of Mormon with him. He was giving comments and asking questions. He is so wonderful. So converted.

The baptism itself was special. Jonathan was so CLEAN!! A) He got dunked twice because the first time his arm came up and it was a complete immersion and B) He didn't have a single sin. Getting to see him make that decision and make those baptismal covenants was beautiful. There is so much LIGHT in his eyes. He is so excited to receive the Priesthood next week and get a temple recommend. He came out of the dressing room for us to continue the rest of the baptismal program and he said he felt so light! The Branch members showed up and provided a lot of needed support since his mom chose not to come. Some members brought food and that meant a lot to him that they went out of their way to make his day special. 

I know that this work that I am about is life changing. It is incredible to see the change in people's lives as they grow closer to Christ and make covenants to follow Him. I am so blessed. 

I love you all :)

Yo se que vive mi Senor :) Y que gozo me da este conocimiento :)

Con Amor, 
Hermana Draper

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The font is gonna get filled on Saturday...

Familia y Amigos,

I have yet to hurry and whip up a baptismal program (hint hint) so I don't have much time to type up this email! 

That being said, I bet you are wondering--- A baptismal program? Well, if she needs to make one of those, that must mean....

YES!!!!!!!!!

Jonathan is getting baptized! Oh my heck I still can't quite believe it myself :) 

So, this past week we have been seeing him everyday for about 1-2 hours depending on if we do a lesson and teach English or just teach English. We have been going part by part through the Gospel of Christ, making sure everything is taught clearly and guided by the Spirit. We have been using object lessons, sometimes a whole lesson is a chapter in the Book of Mormon. All the while, checking up on his personal reading in the Book of Mormon (peeps, the boy is already finished with 1 Nephi) and encouraging him to pray daily. 

Then the miracle happened Saturday. (Of course. At the end of the week.)

We began the lesson talking about the covenants of baptism. We made sure we were talking in "general" about them, because the last time we had talked about baptism 2 weeks ago he was way nervous and didn't want to feel pressured. So we go through and then talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost. We related it to playing soccer. You can play soccer by yourself and never really grow to become a great player. You need a team and you need a coach in order to genuinely improve. Just as in the Gospel. You can wander around by yourself for a while, but if you truly want to develop into the person God wants you to be you need to join Christ's church so you can have the Holy Ghost as your coach to lead and guide you through life's decisions. You'll then have a support system in the team to help you play in the game of life with all you got. 

Then somehow the conversation turned to the Plan of Salvation. Then to how we lived with our Heavenly Father before we were born. Then to the angels that were cast out of heaven when Satan rebelled. Then at the end, once we had answered every question that he had had prepared, we asked him---"Which team do you want to join?" Jonathan said, "The one that wins." "Well, that's God's team." "Yes, God's team." We then took a leap that the Spirit had been pushing for and asked what was holding him back. "Nothing." Our faces must've been priceless at this moment as we then asked what he needed to make the decision. "A push" "What kind of push?" "A date." He checked his phone for the date, "It's the 22nd, how about the 28th?" "Well, how about the 29th because its a Saturday and your mom can come after work?" "Ok!" Then at this moment, Brother Montenegro (we teach Jonathan in his house every time) came running into the living room "Yes! That is a good date!" Sister De La Rosa Frias and I couldn't contain ourselves as we just sat hugging each other as Jonathan looked at us like we were a little crazy. Then Jonathan said "Stop it, you are going to make me cry."

I just keep smiling because I love this kid so much and he even wants to go on a mission once he graduates from high school in a couple years. He has changed. There is so much new light in him. He is becoming a new person in Christ. 

Well, I really need to start on that baptismal program :)

This work is beautiful. I am so happy. The Church is true! God is so good!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Draper

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

100 degrees and counting...

Family and Friends---all the people who lovingly put up with me,

I hope and pray this week went WONDERFULLY for y'all! I hope you are seeing the many blessings that our loving Heavenly Father continues to pour down on us :) Along with all the rain He pours down as well. I don't know about your parts of the country, but here in Georgia it rains randomly all the time and makes the humidity uncomfortable. 

I made my first tie. My first district leader's (from back in Chamblee) birthday was a week ago so I figured out how to sew a tie with no pattern with the help of a sweet member in our Branch. We had a fun time lining things up and trying to cut pieces out, sometimes twice. But it turned out legit. Sorry folks, forgot to take a pic. 

Sports night. Volleyball and soccer with latinos makes for a great loud time :) 

We had exchanges with the Marietta/Mableton sisters! I claimed Sister Vunipola (the 3 week old Greenie) and we planned a really fun/slightly random day. I asked her if there was anything yet she has always wanted to try and she supplied some ideas. We attempted to contact a lot of Bible referrals (people that request an item from the Church) but no one was home for their scheduled appointment. Nothing new :) So we went and did all sorts of ways to find and talk to people. We did a survey as we knocked doors to talk to people about their religious beliefs and introduce the Book of Mormon. We did store contacting and talked to people as we shopped--buying sidewalk chalk while at the Kmart. Visited a member who is in an assisted living center, a spunky lady. Stopped by a referral the Cunningham Spanish Elders had sent to me since they knew Sister Vunipola and I would be in the area. I was praying the referral would speak at least a little English when we stopped by. She speaks Spanglish... So for Sister Vunipola who speaks no Spanish it was still confusing for Nancy (the referrals name) to switch between languages so much. I will talk about Nancy a little later :) We then went SIDE WALK CHALK FINDING. So we take over a large part of the sidewalk in a park and draw out some gospel topic. We chose the Plan of Happiness-- God's plan that answers life's greatest ?'s Where did we come from? Why are we here? and Where are we going? People would stop and talk to us to see what on earth we were doing. SO COOL. And a sweet lady named Lana went around the trail 3 times and each time we explained another part of the Plan to her. She WANTS TO LEARN MORE!! Let me tell you. Miracles my friends. Miracles. Sister Vunipola was so excited :) So awesome to see :)  We then went to Young Womens and taught about making goals and setting plans for Personal Progress. Didn't know almost the entire time of the meeting would be ours until they said that in the opening exercises.... thank you for FFA and training me to give workshops on goal setting :) Turned out really great and the Young Women leaders said they thought the girls got a lot out of it. And we got pizza :) 

INTERVIEWS with President Foote. Always so much fun :) Mainly because I love my mission president and the counsel he gives. Our trainings for the other districts (we give trainings to each District of missionaries as Sister Training Leaders) went well! 

So Nancy. She is a wild one. Has two cute boys and a PUPPY. She wants to finally get her life on track "I'm 35 and struggling like a 20 year old" She was planning on coming to church this week until... her hair dye went wrong sunday morning and wouldn't come off her forehead. So she didn't come. Oh goodness.

We have been teaching Jonathan as often as we can. a) trying to help him not be nervous about English---he starts school in two weeks and only knows Hi. Literally. "Jonathan, cuanto ingles habla?" "Hi." He is reading the Book of Mormon and understanding it! We had a lesson yesterday evening about his progression. He is constantly comparing his progress to how it was for his cousin Juan Carlos to get baptized (3 weeks) and getting down on himself because his testimony is taking more time to grow. We spent the entire lesson on Faith and in Alma 32. Love that kid. 

So Isela... our lady who was set for a baptismal date... dropped us. She said she'd let us know when she wants to meet with us again... But wouldn't look at us as she said this. No eye contact. Nada. So sad. 

Finally met with Aracely again! Her phone got robbed and she couldn't contact us for a while. But she is so excited to keep progressing in the gospel. Literally a night and day switch from when I first got here :)

MARIA CAME TO CHURCH. After all of the people that were lined up to go to church fell through. Part way through sacrament meeting Maria walks in. I almost burst into tears of joy. She loved it and felt so welcome. The members made me so proud and talked with her and got to know her!!! 

Yo se que podemos progresar y mejorarnos cada dia. El camino es dificil pero si se puede :) Con nuestro amigo fiel, Jesucristo, podemos superar cualquier cosa :) YO SE QUE ESTA IGLESIA ES VERDADERA

I love you all so much. Keep the faith.

Con Amor,

Hermana Draper

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2 exchanges = a really happy and tired Sister Draper

Hey folks :) Love you all so much :) 

HOPE EVERYONE HAD A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! 

So grateful for this country we have to live in with the freedoms we enjoy. Thank you to all those who have served, are serving, or will serve!!! Shout out to my baby brother (he is almost 19, not so baby anymore) who reports for basic training in the Navy in a couple weeks! 

Fourth of July found 5 of our 8 appointments cancel, so that was a disappointment, but we didn't let that keep us down! We kept trying to make the most of our time and meet cool new people! One of the members of the Branch was hosting a BBQ so we of course hit that up. 

We had our first District Meeting in our tiny Cunningham District... there was us and the Cunningham Elders. So 4 in total. But strength does not come from numbers it comes from dedication to the Lord :) 

The sisters who have been assigned to travel around the mission and go on exchanges were with us half of Thursday and half of Friday. Sister Richman from Idaho came with me and we had a hoot! She was a good sport and enjoyed the spanish lessons even though she couldn't speak a word past Hola. Thank goodness two of the people we taught could also speak english and she was able to participate. We taught Celine!!! She is so much fun to teach and every time we meet with her I just end up laughing so much. Her desire to change her life is evident and her love of Christ is so real. Her eyes were so wide and excited as we taught about the Book of Mormon. When we asked her what she thought of what we had said, she looked at us and said "It's true. I know it is." AHHHH so exciting :) 

When Sister Richman and I were contacting a potential investigator we had previously set up an appointment with, the older aged father opened the door instead of the woman we were trying to meet with. Evidently the woman was at work and the father came out on the porch to talk to us. Well, it wasn't really "talking" more like preaching full volume. He read 2 entire chapters from the Bible and told us all about how he was a pastor in El Salvador. He talked nonstop for about 45 minutes. I felt so bad for Sister Richman who couldn't speak spanish. 

We had a couple more lessons with Jonathan this week! He is continuing to read the Book of Mormon and he came to a baptism of an investigator I used to teach in Chamblee! But he was too tired to come to church... so that broke our hearts. 

Exchanges with the Atlanta Sisters!! Awesome times :) I went with Sister Sundwall who is from Riverside Utah! So close to home! It is her last transfer here on her mission and then she goes home! We taught the cutest woman named Katie who is getting baptized next week! Her husband works for the Marvel film crew. So basically I met Chris Evans through 2 people. Basically. I loved getting to spend time with Sister Sundwall and get to know her better. She is a radiant daughter of God!! 

KIMBERLIN GOT BAPTIZED IN CHAMBLEE AND I GOT TO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I also had to give the talk on baptism there in spanish in front of my mission president. Nerve racking. Wanna know how to get a humility check? Do public speaking for years and then try to switch languages. You are humbled reallllyyyy fast. 

The baptism was so wonderful and my heart was so happy to see the Flores family :) 

This Gospel is all about change and growth. It is about improving each day through the miracle of repentance. It is about holding to the hand of the Lord as He lifts us higher. He can make so much more of us than we can on our own. 

Sigue Adelante!!!

I love you all!!!!

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Do mountains exist in Georgia? Nope. Just some glorified hills.

Hey FOLKS :) 

Wow. I feel like it was only a couple hours ago that I emailed last. But it was a week ago. Time literally flew by this week filled with wonderful people and of course, the beautiful message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I pray everyone is getting tan and not too sunburned during these hot summer days :) Throw some extra water balloons for me! And have a safe and CRAZY FUN FOURTH of JULY!!!! Light up them fireworks!!! One of our members in the Cunningham Branch spent $600 on a firework package at Costco.... if on the news you find out Georgia got blown off the map... you heard the warning first from me. 

Went hiking today. More like walking on a slightly inclined surface. Georgia, I understand your state pride and all, but Kennesaw Mountain got nothing on Zion. But Kennesaw mountain had tons of trees and a pretty view :) Really neat historical museum that made me realize I had forgotten pretty much all of my history knowledge from high school. 

SO PEOPLE WE GOT SOME NEAT INVESTIGATORS :) 

Aracely. She has been being taught by the Sisters for over a year now, with little progress due to a job that she works on Sundays that keep her from coming to church. We went into our lesson with the plan to let her know that we can't keep visiting and teaching her unless she is progressing and keeping commitments. During the lesson the Spirit was so strong as she shared her testimony of how she believed the Gospel and wanted to find a new job and she was scared to take that leap of faith. We talked with her about how Christ will be there every step of the way as she makes the necessary changes in her life and aligns her life with God's will. So excited for her to put all her trust in a loving Heavenly Father :) 

Zone conference was fun getting to see everyone and learn more about how we can be bolder in sharing the Gospel!!

Jonathan was really surprised when he realized the cupcakes that I brought to church for people I had made myself. He kept saying "Tu hiciste estos??" yes. yes. We taught him twice this week and each time I come to love that kid more. He is so much fun to teach and has a big heart. Really wants to learn for himself and grow closer to God. His cousin was baptized back in December and has been an incredible example to him! Juan Carlos told Jonathan they will start reading the scriptures each night together. Out loud. (Jonathan complained only at the out loud part)

ISELA IS ON DATE TO BE BAPTIZED THIS MONTH!!! I am SO EXCITED IF YOU CAN"T TELL. We taught her about Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End and Wowsers. So powerful and she wants so bad to set a good example for her children and come unto Christ. Whenever I look into her eyes and testify of Christ I feel this love for the daughter of God and see all that she can become. Look at people and see them as what they can become with God's hand in their life. 

Church. My oh my. Fun times. I accompanied a family singing a song and the whole time I tried not to laugh from smiling so big. The kids just sang their hearts out and praised our Heavenly Father with their pure hearts and young voices. There was a sweet, simple baby blessing and my oh my that baby was CUTE. Usually babies have a tendency to be real old looking and wrinkly looking, slightly alienish when they are new, but this one was super CUTE! Jonathan and Lizbeth's kids came to church! 

We taught Lizbeth last night and had a member from our Branch with us. We taught about the Gospel of Christ and Lizbeth had some deep questions. Such as how exactly have we witnessed the Holy Ghost influence and speak to us during our lives. Sister Smith (the member) testified so beautifully of the guidance she has received when making decisions and the help she has been blessed with to fight through hard times. You could tell Lizbeth was very touched. Lizbeth said the closing prayer and during it Linzy whispered to her about letting them be baptized. It was so cute :) Hopefully Lizbeth will be able to come with the kids to church next week!

I think Celine was the most entertaining human this week. Has been in jail 3 times, used to be a drug dealer, and wants so bad to change her life and make a U turn. Just got out from her last 3 year sentence a couple weeks ago. She is hilarious and so fun to teach. Just to see her desire to come unto Christ and not be of the world is so inspiring. She tells her parole officer that she is meeting with her 'church sisters' and that she's gonna be ok.

My life is great :) 

Before I left Utah, people asked me why I wanted to give up another year and a half of my life instead of going back to school and getting started on building up a "life".  I simply want to share this joy that I have with others. I want to let everyone know about a loving Heavenly Father who LOVES them and wants them to change and become better. I want to share with Everyone that we have Christ as our faithful friend and Savior. This is what makes me happy. This is what brings me true joy. I know I will continue to help others come unto Christ after my mission, but being able to do this 24/7 for 18 months? That's a glorious blessing.

Yo se que nuestor Salavador sacrificio por nosotros. El sacrificio por mi y por ti. gracias a El podemos ser limpios de nuestros pecados y llegar a ser mas como El. 

Con Amor, 


Hermana Draper