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...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hasta Ver, MTC...... Georgia, Be My Valentine?

My Dearest Humans,

T minus 3 days folks. I'm about to finally leave the Missionary Training Center campus after almost 6 weeks! Wow, what an incredible journey it has been here in Provo as I have prepared to head to Georgia. I've been beyond blessed to meet the two most wonderful Hermanas this MTC has ever seen, my companions Hermana Paskins and Hermana Esplin. It is weird to think after almost 6 weeks of being with each other constantly, we are about to go our separate ways. We grew in the Gospel together and shared in the journey of learning Spanish. We've had piggy-back races in the Residence Halls, smashed pinatas to pieces, munched on popcorn, killed it in volley ball, sang our hearts out everyday, and let balloons go in other Hermana's rooms to scare them. San Diego, California and Des Moines, Iowa are getting two wonderful women. I'm excited for this next phase of my mission, but I will miss my companions and my district. 

This week filled my cup. The Spirit constantly touched my heart as I prepare to leave the MTC to go find those in search of something more. In search of Christ. In search of the peace the Gospel brings. One of our teachers showed us pictures from her mission and told us stories about a few of the people she met and taught. I admit my eyes got a wee misty simply thinking of the people I will meet; those who I will help come unto Christ. I continually think of my purpose: Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo, al ayudarlas a que reciben el Evangelio restaurado mediante la fe in Jesucristo y Su Expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del don del Espiritu Santo, y el perseverar hasta el fin. 

In field Orientation was all day Thursday. It consisted of a large group overview then we broke off into smaller groups to address certain topics. Basically, some returned missionaries and the MTC presidency got together and compiled everything they thought we needed to know for the field that we hadn't already covered yet. The main topics were Planning, Working with Members, and Using Family History plus some other things we went over. It was full of role-plays and practices... IN ENGLISH. My district was overjoyed when we learned that the entire orientation would be in English since it was for all missionaries leaving this coming week, not just Spanish speaking ones. I have to say, it felt a little odd sharing the message of the Gospel in English.... hopefully that means my Spanish has gotten better :)

Also... Nuh nuh nuh nuh, nuh nuh nuh nuh, hey hey hey, goodbye.... to my long hair. JK, I only cut off about 3 inches (though it feels pretty short). Making use of the free haircuts the MTC offers. Honestly this week was a lot of Spanish/Gospel class and not any random fun stories happened. I am sorry folks, for once my life was normal. 

I love y'all so much and pray you find yourself joyful and well this week! Thanks for all the emails, I LOVE hearing from you :)

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Sunday, February 5, 2017

1/18 Complete

Hey folks!

Can you believe that it is already FEBRUARY? I can't. It doesn't quite feel like I have been here a month, looking back on all that has happened--it's so crazy how fast it has gone. One month down, seventeen more! And I know they will only continue to get better and better as I seek to bring souls unto Christ. I received my flight plans for February 14th (great Valentine's gift, no?) to head to GEORGIA!!! 3:50 am is a marvelous time to leave the MTC that morning and get to the airport :)

Monday we had the chance to Skype a lesson to people outside of the United States. It was a twenty minute lesson to a church member, where we were focusing on finding and addressing needs. I have found that I am terrible at asking questions in Spanish, so this Skype lesson and the following lessons with investigators here at the MTC have been quite helpful. We talked with Fernando, who returned home off his mission to Mexico about three years ago. He is from Guatemala City, Guatemala and is now working and going to school there. He was so fun to talk to and get to know! He told us of experiences on his mission and how he is still eager to share the Gospel with his friends. He said, "My job is to find people for you to teach!" My companions and I were grateful for the buckets of encouragement he gave us. A tender mercy from the Lord was Fernando's accent; it was similar to the accent in I'd heard in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (which I am accustomed to) and I understood most of what Fernando was saying. Another tender mercy was that Fernando had served in the mission right beside my brother's mission in Aguascalientes, Mexico a year ago! 

There was a "Match the Message" meeting for all of the sisters in the MTC to attend and review dress/grooming standards. The 2nd counselor of the MTC Relief Society Presidency pulled us aside and asked me and my companions to be on the Question/Answer panel. Boy oh boy, that was entertaining :) My companions were terrified to be in front of such a large group and share their thoughts during the meeting, but they did so well! It made me smile, sitting in between them and watching them conquer their fear of public speaking. They didn't understand why I liked it so much... FFA sure does something to ya :) 

Tuesdays are when we have the MTC-wide Devotional and the choir sings! I am not the best singer, (I always accompanied singers on the piano, so this is an adjustment) but being apart of the choir is SO MUCH FUN. I probably sound crappy, but I fully enjoy every second of singing praises! We sang Where Can I Turn for Peace and the message of that beautiful hymn touches the soul.

Where can I turn for peace? 
Where is my solace when other sources cease to make me whole?  
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, 
I draw myself apart, Searching my soul?
Where when my aching grows, where, when I languish, 
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand, to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, Only One. 
He answers privately, reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching.
Constant He is and kind, Love without end. 

Written from the scriptures--- John 14:27; 16:33 and Hebrews 4:14-16

No matter where you are at. No matter what you have done. Christ's arm of mercy is always extended to each and every one of us. You cannot sink lower or beyond His reach, for "He hath descended below them all".

I love you all SO much and pray that life continues to treat you well!

Yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador. Mediante la fe en El y su Expiacion, podemos regresar y vivir con El otra vez. 

Con Amor,
Hermana Draper

PS: Last night was quite the entertaining one. My companions have been on this pranking streak and I am the target of their efforts. About 9:45 pm or so last night I went across the Residence Hall to chat with a friend who is from ATLANTA, she's headed to Oakland, California--Samoan speaking (ain't that a combo??). I talked with her for a good while and then headed back to my room. On the door, I found a sticky note " We went to bed, Love ya :) " from my companions. I opened the door into a dark room and peaked at their beds... I leaned in closer and poked a couple pillows that had been laid lengthwise and covered with a blanket to look like a body on Hermana Esplin's bed. I looked on the top bunk and some a similar form. I waited.... my two companions came tumbling out of their closets laughing and yelling. They had been waiting in the closets for 30 minutes for me to come back to the room!! Their attempt to scare me didn't quite go as planned, but I still got a huge kick out of it.  

PSS: Donnie Osmond's (like, from THE OSMONDS) son is here at the Provo MTC!! Elder Osmond is headed on a mission to Spain!!