New and Peachy

Thanksgiving is coming but nobody cares...

Hola Familia, Amigos y Cualquier Otra Persona que lea este Email, We went into Walmart today and I couldn't quite determine the emo...

Monday, November 6, 2017

Thanksgiving is coming but nobody cares...

Hola Familia, Amigos y Cualquier Otra Persona que lea este Email,

We went into Walmart today and I couldn't quite determine the emotions I was feeling. The Christmas decorations were all up. 1) LET THE TURKEY HAVE HIS DAY, GOSH PEOPLE 2) Yay!!! It's almost Christmas and that means hot chocolate and Christmas Carols!!! 3) What the? After Christmas I only have 6 months left of my mission!!?!?! 4) TIME TO BUY EGGNOG Whaaaaa 

Yes. As you can see my brain didn't really know how to handle the emotional whiplash. Oh sidenote. We walked past the clearance section for PJs and we saw a dairy cow onesy footie PJ (I don't know quite what they are called). Sis Barroso took pity on me and bought me it for Christmas. Though she said I have to exercise my non-existent patience and wait until Dec 25. She is going to wrap up that blessed fluffy thing and stick it in the corner of our apartment as we try to come up with what will be our Christmas tree. Ya, I got the best comp :) Brace yourselves in 2 months for pictures. 

·  I am so proud of all of you who competed or were involved in one way or another at National Convention! The organization is as wonderful as it is because we have incredible humans that don the blue jacket :) 
·  Also! SHOUT OUT to Box Elder FFA Chapter for getting 11th overall and Gold Ranking at National FFA Convention in Horse Judging!!! I'm so proud of my peeps :)
·  AND another SHOUT OUT to one of my best friends Piper Merritt for MAKING NATIONAL FFA OFFICE!!! Super duper proud of her and excited for the journey/rollercoaster ahead :)

This week. Well I think the main thing that happened has been the miracle of Jose. Or Manuel. We asked him which he liked better since his name is Jose Manuel G but he said people usually called him Pelon in Mexico. Sooooo we are gonna just call him Manuel. Anywho, we started teaching Manuel english Monday and have seen him almost every night. On Thursday he brought up casually that he was interested in learning more about the church and baptism called his attention. I almost passed out. So we had our first Gospel lesson with him Friday night with his aunt and uncle who he lives with. Hno and Hna G are wonderful members in our Branch who I love dearly and their testimonies brought a sweet spirit to the lesson. Manuel soaks it all up like a sponge. Seriously. And takes notes. And writes out his questions in a notebook. And his questions are not simple ones, they are ones where he wants a deeper explanation and doesn't settle until he gets it. 

Also, literally just 5 seconds ago we got a text message from him at work. He's painting on a roof. Lol he's a character. 

We went to the temple with Maria!!!!!!! She was so content to be within la Casa del Senor and have the opportunity to do those baptismal ordinances on behalf of those who have gone before. Jonathan also came with us :) So special to have 2 people that are so special to me with me in the temple. 

We taught Madai about Faith and how it is a principle of action and that is what builds us. We were hoping to teach Daniel with her too, but he left to run errands right before we got there. We are teaching them tonight so here's to praying it all goes well!! 

We had temple zone conference on Thursday!! After a session in the temple and lots of pictures outside, the whole thing was pretty much how to use smart phones and the applications we use as missionaries. I thought it was pretty funny to watch, myself included, try to handle smart phones after almost a year of a slider phone that surely was stepped on by a dinosaur at one point in time. 

Had an awesome lesson with Aracely!! She is slowly gaining faith in the Lord and in herself. She is trying so hard to align her life with the Lord's will, she just often doesn't think she is strong enough. We keep reminding her that with Christ, we can do ALL things. He is there for us every step of the way. 

The rest of the week was a whirlwind of lessons, meeting cool people and eating lots of latino food as always :) I've been more diligent in my running to keep at bay the added pounds. 

God is in the details. He has a plan. He puts people in the book of our lives for a reason, some stay for just a page, others help your write a few chapters. Within each word are miracles and blessings, we simply need to look. Lessons can be learned from mistakes, trials can turn into triumphs. When we look at life in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we see things clearly. We see the divine design. Whenever you start to feel bogged down with school, work, or any responsibility, take a step back. Say a prayer. And look at your life through God's eyes. He loves you so much. He will never leave you alone. He sent His son as the ultimate sacrifice for us. Christ is perfectly positioned to lift us to higher ground, we have only to reach out and grasp hold of that hand which nails have pierced and torn. 

Les quiero, cada uno de ustedes con todo mi corazon. Y se que el Senor tambien nos ama y quiere darnos el don de la vida eterna, solo tenemos que seguirle a El. 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Monday, October 30, 2017

FaceBook Update

Hey Friends and Family!!!

I just wanted to let y'all in on a little juicy piece of information, my mission is now allowed to use FaceBook as a proselyting tool! 

So. I am sure that brings up a lot of questions in your mind. At least it did in mine!

It will from now on be myself (Sister Draper) posting to my profile instead of my mom (Thank you Mommy for your diligence in posting for me over the past months!). I can accept Friend requests, y'all will get to see my profile as normal, and also get to see what I am up to here in Georgia! 

Many of my posts will be in Spanish, just a heads up. The people I work with here in ATL is my main focus. FaceBook is a tool to help me communicate better with them and share the Gospel to all. 

If you would like to message me, still use this email to do so. At this point in time, I won't be responding to Facebook messages from friends and family. Please don't let your feelings get hurt when I don't respond!! I'm not ignoring you! Communication with y'all I will have 2 hours for each Monday. So continue to email away!

I am so grateful for this blessing I have to use social media to share the Gospel! God is so good and I love this chance to spread more of Christ's light throughout cyberspace as well as to the people here in Georgia! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Draper

There was frost on our windshield this morning... YAAAAAA!!!!

Happy Halloween Tomorrow!!!

Gotta love the cooling temperatures and all the pumpkins that are scattered across front yards left and right. Such a blessed time of year with the changing colors of fall! 

To all my FFA pals: I HOPE CONVENTION WAS AWESOME!!  #ForeverBlue

Guess who is back with me. HERMANA BARROSO!! MY STAR WARS BUDDY AND LOVER OF ALL THINGS ARTSY. AHHHHHHHHHH!!! If you can't tell, I will put it like this: I am happy to have Sister B as my companion again :) Funny though how we are having to learn how the other teaches and works again after not being together for 4 and a half months! I love that girl so much!!!!

We read with Iris in the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 31 to talk about the Gospel of Christ and it went so well! We are just to the point where she really needs to ask God to know if it is true or not. 

Maria and the kiddos are as crazy loving as ever and we got to talk with them about service and being nice to each other lol. With 3 boys between the ages of 6-9 it can get a little rough :) I love listening to their prayers as we start and finish lessons because they are so simple and pure. Children opening their hearts to their Father in Heaven. 

Jony got his patriarchal blessing on Saturday!!! He told us that is was the sweetest, most special experience learning a little bit more about the potential he has and God's divine plan for him. He is growing so much!! OH! AND HE GAVE A POWERHOUSE TALK IN SACRAMENT MEETING. That's my recent convert :)

I think I may be getting my hopes up super duper high for this adorable family that we met, but I can't help it. We met Madai knocking doors and when she opened the door she looked at me, saw I was white, and tried to say Hello. I heard her whisper something in Spanish to the little 2 year old she was holding, so I slipped straight into Spanish to introduce myself and Sister De La Rosa. Big smile :) She let us in and we shared a brief message about the love God perfectly has for each of His children. We went back this Monday night and her husband, Daniel was home too! He works in construction and it rained that day, so he was home. We ended up being late to our next appointment, but I wanted to take advantage of Daniel sitting in on the lesson!!! We talked about the Plan of Salvation and they both accepted us to come back Wednesday night at 8 pmwhich is when Daniel gets home from work. We brought along a member that I ADORE Hna. Araya and we taught the Restoration. Solid. So perfect. They both committed to read in the Book of Mormon between our next lesson and we will go back to teach them tomorrow!! I have so much hope for them, they are so loving to their little boy and I just want to see them come unto Christ SO BAD!!

Church turned out interesting! In a good way. Ana, a less active (the same one who taught me to make tortillas) brought a family to church! But... they don't really speak Spanish... So... we asked them if they wanted to go to the English congregation the next time with the English sisters but they said they wanted to practice their Spanish.... so... we are meeting with them Wednesday :) The Primary is practicing so hard for the program in 2 weeks!! Which means I bring brownies or cookies every week to keep them behaving. 

Maria got her temple recommend and we are headed to the Atlanta Temple this weekend!!! And Thursday for Zone Conference... It's gonna be two times in one week!!!!! Can't wait to be within La Casa del Senor once again :) 

No puedo expresar muy bien el amor que pudeo sentir por mi Senor. El es my roca y confio en El con todo mi corazon. El me conoce y me ayuda en todo momento. Que grandes noticias!!! Podemos tener esperanza en El y con Su fuerza podemos vencer el mundo. Sigue adelante :)
Con Amor,
Hermana Draper

PIC: We are missing a few of em, but here is a majority of the Spanish missionaries in the Atlanta Mission!!!

Monday, October 23, 2017

No be lazy gringa!! Hagas las tortillas a mano!!


Spanglish translation of the subject line: Don't be a lazy white girl, ya gotta make them tortillas by hand. 

Ya. So I learned how to make tortillas by hand. By two different ladies from Honduras. One was when we stopped by to teach Iris and she was busy making a HUGE batch of tortillas, so we stayed to help her finish and then read with her in the Book of Mormon. Iris can make about 5 tortillas in the time I can flatten out one. Ayy. But hey, when I made them again with Ana on Saturday I was faster and could make 1 in the time she did 3! Improvement people. That's all that matters. 

We had a couple lessons with Maria :) Oh she is doing so well and growing so wonderfully in the Gospel! Everything just makes sense to her and gosh oh goodness it's a blessing to behold. She is feeling the spirit so much and has noticed a difference in her life! There is such a peaceful light in her eyes since her baptism. 

Oh! Peeps. We had a miracle with Aracely!! So we taught her Tuesday and left her with 3 chapters in the Book of Mormon to read (SHE left herself with 3 chapters to read, we were thinking like 1 since we would be seeing her the very next day). Went back Wednesday.... SHE READ 4 CHAPTERS??!!!! WHAT THE WHAT??? She said, " I like to put it on the voice thing and listen to it so I can imagine it better!!" She loves the stories :) Coming unto Christ step by step :) We are praying she will get baptized as planned in December!

Met the sweetest member family who moved into the area about 4 months ago.. but we were barely given the address last Sunday. We stopped by the address and met Kiara and Angel from Puerto Rico!! Such a cute little family with two kids (Aloyanne immediately sat next to me and cuddled up to my side). They are trying to figure out how to come to church since they have been working Sundays since they moved here. They want to come so bad!! God will provide a way :) 

Remember my friend who got baptized a little bit ago in a different state?? GUESS WHO FLEW OUT OF THE ATL AIRPORT AND GOT TO COME VISIT ME????? HER!!!! My mission president approved the visit and I got to teach her one of the new member lessons!!! Best hour ever!!! So much fun to see her and a gift to see the change in her countenance in person. Wow, the miracles that happen in the field. 

FRIDAY WAS OUR BOOK OF MORMON ACTIVITY NIGHT!!! All the hours of set-up and planning and brain storming came together in to a laughter and smile filled evening with our Spanish members!! The English wards were invited too, but they were lame and didn't realize what they were missing out on, only 2 families came from their side. From our branch lots of members came!!! 3/4 of the Branch!!!  Spanish for the win :) Pics attached to enjoy :)

Sunday... uhh... friends... Sister De La Rosa and I did a musical number in Sacrament Meeting. As those of you who know me well and have maybe heard me sing in the car  know that I don't sing. Hence why I play the piano. But. Sister De La Rosa asked and I had to do what she begged since she's leaving on Wednesday to a different area. So... friends. I played the piano to accompany Sister De La Rosa singing... and... I sang too. Elder Wheatley held the mic next to me since I don't have the lung capacity to sing without one. Se Hara Senor Tu Voluntad --- Thy Will Be Done Lord. It's from the 2017 LDS Youth Theme. The Spanish version is so much prettier than the English one. Or that's just my ears and I like the flow of Spanish now and think English sounds ugly.  I survived! And my voice didn't crack. Success. Though, never want to do that again. I will just stick with my piano. 

So I am staying in Cunningham and also staying a Sister Training Leader! I enjoy getting to know the sisters better as an STL so I am happy to continue serving in that capacity. Sister De La Rosa is headed out :( Gonna miss that sister but excited for my new comp that I will get on Wednesday!!!

I loved this quote that was shared recently by my mission president and felt I needed to pass it along the line :)

A Yearning for Home --- Pres Uchtdorf "God knows your every thought, your sorrows, and your greatest hopes. God knows the many times you have sought Him. The many times you have felt limitless joy. The many times you have wept in loneliness. The many times you have felt helpless, confused, or angry. Yet, no matter your history—if you have faltered, failed, feel broken, bitter, betrayed, or beaten—know that you are not alone. God still calls to you...When you walk the path of discipleship—when you move toward Heavenly Father—there is something within you that will confirm that you have heard the call of the Savior and set your heart toward the light. It will tell you that you are on the right path and that you are returning home….Turn your soul toward the light. Begin your own wonderful journey home. As you do so, your life will be better, happier, and more purposeful."

I'm not the best with words and I can't express my love of the Lord as eloquently as some. But I  know without a shadow of a doubt that we have a loving Father in Heaven who is mindful of us and we have a Savior who is with us through the highs and lows. 

Con Amor y Muchos Abrazos,
Hermana Draper

Pics from the activity and a random door we knocked that shared my birthday evidently... they didn't answer the door though, so we couldn't celebrate together... triste...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The sweetest sound is water running in the font...

Hola Amigos y Familia!!!!

I hope you are all enjoying all things pumpkin and fall right about now!! Can't believe it's already October and that it's already half gone!! AHH. 

So, to finish what happened on my birthday! We left emailing to go run over to an appointment we hadn't wanted to cancel once our Pday got changed to Tuesday... because Tuesdays are the only day that Edith can meet! So we kept the appointment and headed over. We had a wonderful lesson on the Plan of Salvation and Edith loved it! She said that she had grown up with people just telling her to behave or she'll go to a place of fire and suffering. She didn't like that thought, but she she tried to find out more about where we go after this life, she couldn't find answers. And then we laid out with my Plan of Salvation cut outs (simple is best) on her carpet and it all clicked into place. Sis De La Rosa started to set up the environment for the baptismal question and I could feel the spirit start prodding me to ask her. So I followed the Spirit and asked her if she'd like to be baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority... SHE SAID YES!!! We have only taught her 2 real short lessons and then the one we were teaching her That day but she is so prepared!!! Excited to see how Edith grows and progresses :) Best missionary bday E.V.E.R.

3 cakes. Bowling. Lot's of fun times with the awesome members in Cunningham. They spoiled me :) 

Taught Nancy again this week!! Went so good :) She just needs to build up the courage to come to church!! She keeps thinking that she knows herself sooo well and that her change of heart won't last, but we keep telling her she doesn't know what she is capable of with GOD on her side. 

Exchanges!!! With the Marietta/Mableton Sisters!!! They serve the exact same area that we do, just they speak English. I went with Sister Gubler who is a hilarious human that I love dearly. She was in the acting program at USU last year and boy, that girl can teach so well for only being out 3 months! We had a neat experience!! Miracles galore :) So we headed to an appointment and we had 45 minutes to knock around the neighborhood before the apt. As we looped around the street to find parking I got a VERY distinct impression to go knocking in a certain part of the neighborhood. We parked and I mentioned the feeling to Sis Gubler and we headed to the part I felt impressed to go. We had knocked 3 doors in that 45 minutes. Because 1 door, the person wasn't home, the other 2 both let us share our message!!!!!! Peeps, lessons right off the bat don't usually happen while knocking. And what's even better... the first door was a latino family :) And I taught about the Book of Mormon to the mom who let us in and her 2 daughters. The spirit was sooo strong and Sis Gubler had her dream come true to sit in on a spanish lesson lol. "Sis Draper that was SOOO COOL!! I had NO IDEA what was going on but that is SOOO COOL!!!" The 3rd door was a really cool English speaking guy named Abraham and the sisters are going back to teach him next week!!! The work is so wonderful :)

 Maria (ha, one of the 3 Maria's we teach) just got baptized on Saturday and that was special. Special isn't even an adequate word!! So many members from the branch came to support her (3/4 of the branch) and her family from Athens GA and from Stone Mountain!! She was grinning from ear to ear and was SOOO HAPPY!! I stayed at the side of the font, holding the towel for her once she got out, and gosh that feeling of joy and love and the Spirit warm fuzzies is simply the BEST. I gave her a hug even though she told me Voy a mojarte!!! 

Lizbeth and the kids came to church!! They still are loving it :) Slowly but surely with them :) And Maria received the gift of the Holy Ghost!!! She joked that she no longer drives home along from work, she always gots a buddy :) 

And as promised, the pictures from the baptism last week and this week!!! With Erica and Maria!! And a picture from bowling :) 

My heart is full. Yo se que estoy en el lugar donde el Senor me necesita Y me llena constantemente con un gozo inexpresible!! yo se que la iglesia de Jesucristo has sido restaurado por medio del profeta Jose Smith y que el sacerdocio esta en la tierra otra vez!!!  

Con Amor,

Hermana Draper

Thursday, October 12, 2017

21 doesn't feel any different than 20. Just sayin.

Hola y'all!! <<<<(attempting a mixture of the two cultures I live in)

Crazy fun week :) That's how they seem to be going lately :)

I pray that each of you are doing well and enjoying this beautiful journey called life! The path God led me on is treating me great out here in Georgia!!! Plus, it's my birthday and so far it's been peachy :) Some members are taking us to lunch as well as bowling later today. Fun times when the anniversary of the day you escaped from the womb lands on Pday :)

There were quite a few appointments and wonderful miracles this week! 

The Elders sent us a referral for Claudia and oh goodness, that lesson was wonderful! She told us about her life and how she has been searching for peace and just can't seem to find it. We talked to her about the Restoration and about the fulness of joy and peace she can find in Christ. She wants to grow closer to her Savior and wowser the Spirit was just so sweet in that lesson!! 

Aracely has a baptism date for December!!!!!!! It's a little ways away because there is a few factors holding her back at the moment... works on Sunday, smoking, and a couple other things. But with the power of the Atonement, all is possible and we can have our slates wiped clean :)

At President Interviews on Friday, Sister De La Rosa and I set up an obstacle course as part of our training. We used red yarn and tied it back and forth all over a hallway and had the missionaries go through it as we hummed the mission impossible theme and laughed our guts out. We used it to represent the principle of obedience. God has not given us commandments just to make the journey difficult, obedience is not an obstacle course. Instead it is a way to receive blessings and help from our loving Father in Heaven and a way to show our LOVE. 

We had a couple more lessons with Iris! She is so willing and open to learning!! Plus, her husband is pretty nice, though whenever we are there he quickly eats because its his lunch break and then leaves. Hopefully soon we will be able to teach them together! 

Nancy. Nancy. Nancy. We teach her a couple lessons then she disappears for a month and then we get back in contact and the same thing happens again. But this time we feel it is a little different. We decided to stop by one morning after teaching Maria and Nancy opened the door with teary eyes. We came in and she sat down and poured out everything that has been happening and how she feels so lost. "How did my life get to this??" We sat and listened. As she calmed down, the words just started coming to us as we testified that she is not alone and that God has a special plan for her. We talked to her about how she lived with our Heavenly Father before coming to earth and that she chose and accepted His plan. That He loves her and is waiting for her to come back to Him. We visited a couple days later and taught the entire Plan of Salvation lesson and her words>>"Sister, You are blowing my mind right now" hahaha love that lady :)  

Saturday I had the blessing to attend the baptism of Erica. I am sure many of you don't remember, but if you were to look back through my emails in May you would find one about an incredible experience finding and teaching a woman named Erica. Since nobody got time to go digging through emails I will give ya a quick recap. Sis Barroso and I were driving down the road in Chamblee on our way to an appointment when we saw a cute Latino family out washing the driveway. We both felt that we needed to stop and talk to them but didn't want to be awkward about it (seriously, my life). We pulled over a little farther up the street and knocked all of the doors on that street, including talking with them. That family washing the driveway was Ninfa and her kids. While knocking we met Erica and she invited us back. Fast forward, I left Chamblee and went to Cunningham but knew Sis Barroso and Sis Whiting were still teaching Erica. AND LAST SATURDAY SHE GOT BAPTIZED!!! And guess who also showed up at the baptism to support their neighbor and I got to give them all hugs?? NINFA AND THE KIDS!!! God is in the details people. When Erica got to the church building the day of her baptism, she saw me and gave me the biggest hug asking why I had had to leave and how happy she was to see me. I felt SO happy. There just aren't words. Erica told me about the prayer that she had said outside the temple on the grounds when she was feeling nervous about getting baptized a couple weeks ago. She explained that as she prayed that this feeling came over her, tingles, warm fuzzies, love, peace, and she knew that everything would be alright. That she was making the right decision. The Spirit is awesome, let me tell you. 

We have been meeting with Maria as much as missionarily possible! October 14th here we come!!! She is full of light and it is such a blessing to see her this happy. She told us about telling her sister that she was getting baptized and her sister started crying :) I am so excited for Maria to enjoy the gift and companionship of the Holy Ghost and have that guidance in her life. As well as enjoy the blessings of the temple!! Already can't wait to go with her! Saturday is going to be another precious memory, I already know :)

I invite yall to check out at least 1 general conference talk this week!!! So many good ones to choose from :) Love you to pieces :)

Pics to come next week :)

Con Amor,

Hermana Draper

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bubble Soccer + Me = a good ole time

Buenas Tardes Amigos y Familia!

At this precise moment in time my neck is a little sore from.... BUBBLE SOCCER!! Yup, you better believe it, Brother Pettita offered to come and provide Bubble Soccer for our Zone P-day and whalooaaa it happened after a few changed dates due to that random hurricane a bit ago. It was a hoot! Loved being with all the crazy missionaries in the ATL area. *also, one of the photos attached is pretty cool because I am sideways touching the ball with my feet... that explanation doesn't make sense so just scroll down and look at the picture.  

So this week was one of those didn't-plan-in-lunch-time-because-we-were-so-busy weeks and boy I LOVED IT. Lots of lessons, wonderful people, and of course... la comida latina ;) The way to my heart as everyone knows... through my stomach. 

Update from last P-day: Sister De La Rosa's hair turned out fine!! Prayers were answered and the dye didn't fail us. 

In the same trailer park we met Iris and Sara. Iris is a mom of 2 cute kiddos and from Honduras. Sara is from Mexico and has had a very rough life. The lessons we have had with each of them have brought me near to tears as we talk to them about the plan our loving Heavenly Father has for each of us. When we asked Sara to say the closing prayer in our second lesson she looked at us and said ok, proceeded to give a simple prayer and afterwards told us "I've never prayed before. That was the first time." Beautiful moment. 

Exchanges with the Atlanta Sisters! Always a fun time. I went with Sister Richman and Sister Collings, two sisters that I adore!!! I served with Sister Collings in my last zone, so you can say that we were pretty happy to see each other again :) We taught these two hilarious older black ladies that made my heart so happy. Christine had these HUGE white glasses, navy pantsuit and cute lil red flats. Adorable and such a southern lady :)  Also served for a minute at the Food Bank! I am slowly improving at the speed in which I can find the expiration date on an item of food. #ResumeSkills.

Maria is getting baptized in 2 weeks!! We can't wait!! It got pushed back a week due to some appointments of hers that had to be moved from this last week to this week. But she is loving every lesson! We brought a member from the Branch the last two lessons about the commandments and they went wonderfully! Maria came and watched conference at the house of a different member too! It's happening with her and I love her soooo much :) She makes me laugh and she cooks the BEST food :) 

I have started teaching piano lessons to Ashley, a cute lil member in the Branch. She's learning so stinking fast!! And she practices. Why am I so lucky? 

Our investigator family didn't show up to the Family Home Evening we had planned at a member's home, but that's alright. We did the activity anyway and had a ball! We did a scripture scavenger hunt after the lesson and the kids went wild running around trying to figure out the scripture hints. Cookies were the end prize :) 

General Conference. Can we just say that pretty much every talk was inspired and perfect? I LOVED how many talks were on the Plan of Salvation and how we are where we are for a purpose. I forgot my notes that I took, so I'll sure some thoughts I had next week. 

I love you all dearly and pray that you all are enjoying fall :) Keep searching for ways to help those around you and shining Christ's light :) 

Con Amor,
Hermana Draper

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I can't think of anything to put here....

Familia y Amigos,

Hmmm... if any one has tips on dying hair please let me know. We are experimenting on Hna De La Rosa's hair... Ya probably not the smartest idea to have me do it but... salons are expensive! Prayers needed

What a week! Lots of running all over Marietta and Mableton area and enjoying every minute :) 

Families are so important and Edith loved that we focus so much on them! We shared with her the Family: A Proclamation to the World and she agreed on every point! We are so excited to go back to teach her the Plan of Salvation and we have Sister Smith who is a doll to go as the team up with us :) 

Maria and the kiddos :) I just love them. So much. And they came to sports night!! Isaee ran up to me as they walked in (I was goalie at the time) and jumped up and wrapped his arms around my neck and wrapped his legs around my waist to give me his signature hug attack :) Cutest little kid ever and thought he was going to get hit by the soccer ball that came flying at us. But thankfully my blocking skills are slowing improving. 

ZONE CONFERENCE!! Learned amongst many of my fellow missionaries and got to see friends that have since moved to other areas! The coolest part is when we sorta re-enacted a Book of Mormon story when they buried the weapons of war. We wrote down what is holding us back from being more consecrated missionaries on a piece of paper that had a picture of a sword on it. I wrote impatience. Lol. Whoever knows me knows that I am a very impatient person and I like to see things happening fast. But I know that God's timing is the best timing and in that I must trust. So I wrote that down and a couple other things and we went outside and buried all our papers in a hole. It was neat :) 

Maria (the Maria who has a baptismal date) was feeling a little worried about some immigration issues, her working visa will expire in January so she is struggling to figure out what to do. The Elders came by to give her a blessing of comfort and the Spirit was strong! Everyone was either sniffling or crying. After they left, we talked to Maria and she is now getting baptized (fingers crossed and praying hard) October 7th! It is making us run to get in the rest of the lessons, but we feel that it is right! She really needs the help and guidance that comes from having the gift of the Holy Ghost! 

We had Women's Conference in Brockett! Maria drove us over to help us save on miles :) We love that lady so much :) Women's Conference was inspiring and so beautiful! The Atlanta Stake put on a nice night of soup and musical numbers. I loved seeing a few people from Chamblee!! Lots of hugs :) 

We brought Lolita to teach Aracely about patriarchal blessings and she really wants one! Aracely is doing well progressing through the 12 steps of overcoming addictions. She even came to church for Sacrament Meeting!!!

The Primary kids are now getting used to treats and being bribed. But they still do what I say ;) Yesterday was double chocolate cookies and a bag of carrots to give their mothers peace of mind. 

Special moment last night and evidence that God works in His wonderful ways. Our appointment with Maria canceled since she was at a baby shower so we went instead to visit Nancy, a less active member in the same area. Lolita was with us and we crossed paths with Nancy as she was walking inside to the apartment from her car. The lesson we had with her was so full of the Spirit. We read and discussed a chapter in the Book of Mormon and she expressed her feelings. She said that she has been feeling empty lately and she knows it is because she isn't doing things right. She told us that she loved having us there because she could feel the sweet stirrings of the Spirit again. Lolita shared with her about a time in her life when she went less active and what helped her come back to church. Exactly what Nancy needed :) God is mindful of His children, I testify of that.

Today, there were plans to go to the zoo. Then that didn't happen. Sooo... we went to hobby lobby and found posters with lions. 

I love you all and hope life is unfolding beautifully for each of you. That you are looking in each day for the ways God has manifested Himself to you and shown you that He is mindful of you :) I am blessed beyond measure to be out here in the Peach State and can't wait to see what miracles this week holds :) 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Hna Draper, what happened to my birthday cake? There is a hole in it."

Buenos dias :)


Hurricane didn't hit us that bad, just some power outages and a few fallen trees. We were instructed to stay inside, but started going stir crazy. The Elders called to ask us to stop by their apartment and grab a thumbdrive they had forgotten before leaving to go play basketball at the church. So we headed over to their apartment with a few things.... We may or may not have dyed their milk different colors, decorated with toilet paper, and written "Ministry of Magic This Way" above their toilet. And a few other things. We did end up eventually picking up the thumbdrive and delivering it at the church too. We played some volley ball with them to pass the time. Once it started to rain a little harder outside Hna De La Rosa and I headed back to our apartment. I spent 4 hours on our map. It now looks beautiful. With every member and less active and apartment complex and key points pinned with different colors and labeled. Ya. Perfectionist problems. 

So all in all, Irma didn't hurt us too bad thankfully. Blessings :) Thanks for the prayers!!!

Been doing a lot of knocking with not much luck, but that's ok, we still enjoy ourselves and the reactions we get when people answer the door :) 

Aracely is slowlying overcoming smoking! Step by step. We have been helping her process through what situations tempt her to smoke and how she can counteract them. Lately she has been painting her house, so with that to keep her busy she has been doing great! 

Missionary Leadership Conference! Ya, Sis De La Rosa and I are still Sister Training Leaders! The conference was great and it was so good to see dear other missionaries who are in different areas. Something that Sister Foote shared about the sacrament really touched my heart. She was telling us about the symbolism behind why we use broken bread for the sacrament. Instead of identical wafers, a loaf of bread is broken into pieces in front of us as we sing hymns. Each and every piece is different. Just as we are. We all have been hurt, we all have sinned, each and every one of us are struggling in unique ways. We have specific needs and different vices. But the Atonement of Jesus Christ heals all wounds, all sorrows, all pains. It is individual. Our Lord and Savior sacrifice and suffered for you and for me and for all of us. 

Just as the Savior loves us uniquely, we must also minister in the same manner. We must strive to teach, serve and to lift one by one as Christ did and does. 

We were trying to find some former investigators with addresses from some old teaching records and ran into a guy that the Sisters had met a few months ago! His name is Steven and he is from DALLAS TEXAS!!! The wonderful place of my birth. We bonded. His brother even knew where Farmers Branch was!! We passed his info along to the English Elders and they called him that night. The next day we got a text the next day saying "Steven is on date" He's getting baptized in a few weeks!!! Miracles. 

Lolita and Yadif got in a pretty bad car accident that was caused by another car crossing the median and hitting them. Yadif got some staples in the back of his head and a black eye, Lolita has some fractured ribs. We called the Elders as soon as we found out and they came to give them a blessing. 

Maria and the kiddos!! Another fun lesson with them about the commandments :) Finally met her husband Diego, he is reallllyyyyy shy. 

A really special moment in my mission happened Saturday afternoon. I was able to Facetime a dear friend of mine that got baptized later that day. (My mission president is that best and gave permission) My heart was SO happy to see her dressed in white and willing to take upon her the name of Christ. We also got to talk on the phone that night and boy have I missed her!! God works in marvelous ways my friends :) 

So, there was a fiesta. Everyone brought food from their country... so of course, I stuck a tiny pizza in the oven and brought that. Merica! They had a program and it was SOOOO cute to see the kids doing dances from their home countries and the parents as well. Us missionaries did the Macarena to a church parody of Despacito. We do what we can. Maria came to the fiesta too!!!! 

Lizbeth, Ricky and Linzy CAME TO CHURCH! Lizbeth hasn't had a full Sunday off of work in who knows how long, but she did Sunday! She finally got to stay for all 3 hours of church and she LOVED it. Sis De La Rosa sat with her during Sunday School and Relief Society and told me about a comment that Lizbeth had made about tithing (that was the topic in Gospel Principles). She had said that there is something that keeps drawing her to the church and she already has a testimony of tithing! After church was over Lizbeth came up to me with open arms (I had been playing the organ for Sacrament Meeting and then in the youth class and then in primary and hadnt had the chance to say hi yet) and said "Mi Hermana Cortinas!!" Sidenote: my last name. Spanish speakers can't say it right so most just opt for Cortinas... which is curtains (get it, drapes?) in Spanish. I asked her how she liked church and she looked me in the eye and said "It's just what I've been looking for." I felt such happiness and hugged her again. She is slowly traveling along the right path, Christ's path. She is finding more light and growing closer to her Savior. 

Also about church, I have become the unofficial Primary music person. I never realized how hard it is to control 10 kids under the age of 12 and to attempt to teach them to sing songs. I must admit, I have resorted to bribing. Cupcakes tend to do the trick. 

Found a cool lady named Maribel who was dying her hair bright pink when she answered the door. Her hands were blue and so I asked about that. "The blue dye didn't stay in, so I'm doing pink." Way to be you girl. 

SUNDAY WAS HERMANA DE LA ROSA's BIRTHDAY. She is a whopping 21 years old. In the morning I read her as many scriptures as I could about growing older, waxing old with age, gray hair. This morning she opened the fridge and asked, "Hna Draper, what happened to my birthday cake? There is a hole in it." She told me she at first thought it had been a rat or something but then figured it couldn't have been, it was in a plastic box in the fridge... "I was hungry. It's chocolate." 

Yo se que esta vida es un poco dificil a veces, pero valdra la pena. Tenemos que ser firmes y fieles en la fe y podemos hacerlo por medio de la expiacion de nuestro Salvador. El nos ama y quiere que cambiemos :) 

Con Amor,

Hermana Draper

Sarah posing with letters and pics from the Corinne 2nd Ward Primary

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Wow. That's a lot of sunshine." ---Isaee

Familia y Amigos,

Oh goodness, weird emailing on a Tuesday! I hope everyone's Labor Day was enjoyed to the max and it was relaxing/refreshing for all :) 

My people update:

Carmen and Pancho. Oh gosh, Pancho is really starting to open up to us (he is 7 years old) and when we taught him the 10 Commandments HE LOVED IT. We showed him how to remember them using his fingers and he kept going through them over and over again cuz he was having so much fun :) Carmen is a different story, we don't quite know where teaching her will go. She is at the point now where she really needs to start coming to church or they will not progress. 

ARACELY is doing so good with trying to overcome smoking! She is hangin in there and has been working through the 12 Step addiction recovery program that the Church adapted from the AA 12 Steps. She is so funny though as she fills out the question and answer portions, but so honest and it's wonderful to see her truly trying to kick the habit. 

Well friends. Let me tell you about Sonia. Lol. She is a hoot. We found her as we were trying to find a less active and she had the same exact address (turns out the less active lived on the opposite side of the complex). She invited us back! Wasn't there at her return apt. But we stopped by a different day and she let us right in :) She talked to us about how her entire family back in Mexico got baptized when she was 12 except for her, cuz she didn't like the Elders who were teaching her family. Well, she has decided now that "God is with the Mormons" and we have been having so much fun teaching this lady! And she cooks Ah-mazing. SO good. We watched the 20 minute Restoration video and she told us, "My old church never told me that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ! It makes so much more sense!" We like this human. 

Maria and the kiddos!! Can I just say, how GOOD it feels to knock on a door and inside you hear "It's the missionaries! YAY!" and you are greeted with HUGE hugs from all of the children?? Ya, so wonderful. They are all progressing so fast and taking it all in :) Just the bump in the road of a hard shelled boyfriend of Maria (haven't met him yet, though Maria says he is hardshelled). We are going to try to meet with him and see if he will let the Spirit soften his heart at all. The subject line of this email came from something Isaee said as we were watching The Testaments movie about the people who were here in the Americas when Christ came and visited them. At the part in the movie where Christ comes down from heaven in this bright ray of light Isaee shouted "Wow!!! That's a lot of sunshine!!" It brought a smile to my face :) 

Lizbeth. Loved church. She enjoyed the hymns the most :) She started singing like an opera singer in one of our lessons while Sis De La Rosa and I were singing "The Lord is my Light". She wants to come to church this week again!!! The kids are doing so well in school too :)

We had a wonderful time a) eating carne asada and b) reading a chapter in the Book of Mormon with Rosa Isela, a less active member. She has some thoughtful comments and we are looking forward to seeing how the power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon will bless her life :) 

Yadif wants to get baptized :) Just gotta get the permission from his mom! 

Maria (different Maria) finally was there at an appointment! We had a very spiritual lesson as we watched the Treasures in Heaven: The John Tanner Story video and talked about the sacrifices we make. She has sorta hit stagnant in the progress realm of things, and we are trying to get her moving along again. She still loves everything, it's just she works Sundays and it's hard for her to move forward. 

TEMPLE WITH JONY!!! We went with Hno Montenegro, Lolita and Jony :) Such a sweet experience seeing that boy in white once again doing the work for those who have gone on before. He said he felt such peace, very similar to that during his baptism. Baptisms and other ordinances for the dead are just evidence that Heavenly Father is perfectly just and merciful. The same yesterday, today, and forever. 

I love this scripture in the Book of Mormon:
Words of Mormon Chapter 9:9-10, 18-21
9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Super powerful huh? Also another AWESOME talk that all should read 

I am meeting such wonderful people each day and I love this work I am about. I love the culture, almost as much as I love the food :) Watching people light up as the Spirit touches their hearts and enlightens their understanding is beautiful to behold. 

We have also been helping Juan Carlos and Jonathan with role plays to get them prepped for serving missions themselves! Juan Carlos plans on leaving about in January, so we are trying to break his habit of giving long winded explanations on everything and helping him learn to teach simply :) 

Thank you for all the prayers. I love you all dearly and hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!!!

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper