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, April 24, 2017

Oh Georgia.

HEYO!!!

This week was filled with many precious moments. I am a pretty blessed person. We spent a lot of time this week going through our Branch Roster and figuring out who some people are. Lots of learning that phone numbers are out of service, or people moved. Like two years ago. Oh the joys :) 

We had district meeting on the Positivity that Starts us Finding and the Patience that Keeps Us Finding people who are searching for Christ. There are oodles of ways to approach people and if you focus on charity you'll be able to follow the Spirit's guidance and know exactly what to say. I invite each of you to share your beliefs with at least ONE person this week. It doesn't matter if it is as simple as telling a friend about a time that God has answered a prayer or sharing your knowledge that Christ LIVES. Focus on the LOVE. We have a beautiful message. A joyful message. It is meant to be shared to all the world. Everyone is needed in so great a cause.  

2nd time teaching Bible Class. SUCCESS. So much better than my first time teaching it 8 weeks or so ago. Wow. The contrast is really huge. The lesson was on Preordination/Foreordination: In the premortal spirit world, God appointed certain spirits to fulfill specific missions during their mortal lives. It does not guarantee that individuals will receive certain callings or responsibilities. Such opportunities come in this life as a result of the righteous exercise of agency, just as foreordination came as a result of righteousness in the premortal existence. Anywho, getting to expound on the books of Abraham and Moses and learn more of Christ and his divine mission as our Savior was edifying. Elena, a sweet member in our Branch said my Spanish was getting so much better. Gracias a Dios. 

Gio. Love her so much. She is a member from the Chamblee Spanish Branch that went to the temple to receive her endowment on Saturday. It was basically an incredible day. Getting to see her receive those blessings was AMAZING and the entire thing was IN SPANISH (my brain didn't hurt too bad understanding everything). Seeing her so happy warmed my soul. 

Out walking around this city, we were walking through a church parking lot that is close to our apartment. Well. The maintenance guy must not have seen us and he drove his little white truck over to the gate and locked it. So we were locked into this parking lot. We found a slightly lower than average part of the fence and hopped it. In skirts. Oh the adventures. 

So, special special special moment happened this week that I pray continues to be apart of our lives here in Chamblee. The Elders that cover the area of Sandy Springs were on MARTA (the bus/train/transportation system) and they felt prompted to talk to a woman that was on there who was heading to the airport. Her name is Lily. Turns out, she used to be taught YEARS AGO by the missionaries and then who knows what happened. She asked if missionaries could come visit her again... but in Spanish (her preferred language is Spanish). The Sandy Springs Elders sent over her address to Hermana Ewell and I. A few days later we stopped by the address. As we pulled up and parked, there were three women chatting on the steps of the apartment number of the address the Elders had given us. One woman just stood out. I don't know how to exactly describe it. We walked up and asked if there was a Lily who lived there and that same woman who had caught our eye waved and smiled at us. Talking with her, I was filled with this love. The light in her eyes. Seeker of truth right there. Wowsers. She told us she was SO HAPPY we came and that she has so many questions. We set an appointment with her for Wednesday while her kids are at school. I am so excited. She is so prepared. 

Elder RUSSELL M BALLARD of the QUORUM OF THE 12 APOSTLES came to the Atlanta Stake to SPEAK FOR STAKE CONFERENCE. CAN YOU UNDERSTAND HOW EXCITING IT WAS????????? IT WAS AWESOME. HE SHOOK MY HAND TWICE AND TOLD MY COMPANION AND I "LADIES, BE GREAT". It was incredible to hear him speak and give us counsel. His talk was basically the most incredible lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel in the history of ever. 

I pray for y'all every day and love you all! I hope your week has been filled to the brim and overflowed with goodness. 

Yo SE que Jesucristo VIVE. Y Gracias a El, podemos tambien. 

Con Amor y Muchos Abrazos,


Hermana Draper

Monday, April 17, 2017

Learned how to wield a sword at our Spanish Branch Easter Egg Hunt...

PEEPS!

Oh my goodness it was EASTER yesterday! I hope and pray that all of you found time to ponder on what significance the beautiful message of Christ's resurrection has for you. I love that Easter is in the springtime. I love how the landscape changes from shades of dull gray and plenty of barren trees to vibrant shades of green, full of life. The knowledge of Christ and His gospel brings new life to people. Just as winter turns into spring with the help of the sun, so do the lives transform of those who come unto the Son. Sometimes people think that since Christ walked the roads of Palestine 2000 years ago, it has nothing to do with them. It has EVERYTHING to do with each one of us. We have the same decision to make as did His disciples of old. Will we choose to follow Christ? Will we leave our nets (sins) and follow the One who is mighty to save? 

Guess who had the blessed opportunity to teach a training in District Meeting? Yours truly. I got to talk on my FAVORITE TOPIC THOUGH!!! POSITIVITY!!! So much fun to get to train on a theme that I loved sharing with FFA members across the country last year #LookUpLookOut and now to fellow missionaries!

This week we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders in our Zone! Super fun. Sister Hepworth went to high school with me back in Utah and it was so much fun to catch up with her! This is her last transfer before she heads back home! We went and did service at a cemetery in Decatur for part of the day. Joking about finding a dead body the whole time cuz this cemetery was a wee bit sketchy. There were about 8 missionaries and a few other ward members there helping clean up some branches and tidy up the lots. It felt good to do some heavy lifting of branches :)

During the exchange I got to help teach a lesson with Sister John-Griffith (she is from England and has the most LEGIT accent ever) to an investigator named Roy. He is a Christian gentleman and loves learning as much as he can about Christ. I noticed his bible sitting on his table and how used it was. As we were teaching the first lesson, which is focused on the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we taught about how Christ established His church 2000 years ago, with His authority and priesthood power given to His apostles, and how that exact same church has been once again restored to the earth through latter-day prophets. A church with Christ at its head and apostles, prophets, seventies, priesthood, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, temples, baptism for the dead, just to name a few. The spirit was so strong in that lesson and at the end Sister John-Griffith invited him to be baptized by one having priesthood authority from God and he accepted! Such a neat experience to have not only us testifying but also a sweet slightly more elderly member from the Sister Training Leader's ward there as well. Her thoughts and inspired questions were wonderful throughout the lesson!  

Sidenote that just came to mind as I'm typing up this email: I love you all no matter your religion, faith or creed. I respect all people's beliefs and rights to worship how, where, and what they may. Our beliefs make us who we are. That being said, I share my beliefs very openly in these emails as you've probably come to find out. Please don't take offense, I share everything out of love :) 

We set up an appointment last week to meet with a referral, Isela. When we showed up for the appointment Thursday she ANSWERED THE DOOR. (I only put that in all caps because people hardly ever answer their door here in these parts). We had a simple, sweet lesson about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how much our Heavenly Father LOVES us. She wants to grow closer to Christ and we are so PUMPED to help her progress and learn more :)

We have been working with a family who doesn't come to church that often in our Branch over the past couple months and we had dinner with them this week! During the dinner the mom brought up her 12 year old daughter Maria's desire to be baptized. Sister Ewell and I turned to Maria and she was smiling real big and nodding. We asked her what she thought and Maria expressed her desire to make that step!! Her younger sister Ashley (age 9) is considering baptism too! WE ARE SO EXCITED!!! I am so grateful for the joy that the gospel brings families. 

Saturday brought an Eater Egg Hunt at the Chamblee Church Building. My heart could barely handle the cuteness of Latino kiddos running around and tossing eggs into their baskets and sacks. Whoever hid the eggs were ruthless, I occasionally stepped on some that had been buried deep into the grass. After that hallabaloo, our branch president, President Madsen, showed us missionaries his training swords. Yes, I am talking medieval knight swords. He showed us a few moves and techniques on how to actually fight with one. Army of Helaman getting prepped LOL (Book of Mormon story about a small army of young men who went to battle and none were killed because they obeyed God's laws and remembered what their parents had taught them) link to the story : https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/53?lang=eng

We had a lesson with Stephanie Sunday night! So everyone has been mentioning the delicious food they got for Easter... I GOT REHEATED PIZZA. Beat that. Our discussion with Stephanie was so much better than any kind of food. The Spirit was so strong as we watched the Easter video (the Prince of Peace one that y'all were supposed to have watched) and then chose one of the principles to watch as well. We watched the Gratitude one and oh goodness, tears were spilling. I was touched by Stephanie's trust in the Lord and how she unfailingly relies on Him for the health and safety of her family. She is such a courageous woman. 

The sisters that live with us found a baby turtle. Named him Moroni and kept him for a day. 

I hope all those who are having FFA state conventions are embracing the nerves and excitement of competing or running for state office! Best wishes from your biggest fan out here in Atlanta!!! Buena suerte!!! Philippians 4:13

Con Amor,


Hermana Draper


Monday, April 10, 2017

Check out the Prince of Peace video on Mormon.org! SHARE IT :)

Familia y Amigos :) 

Well. There were tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings a couple days this week. Thankfully, we didn't get sucked up in a tornado or transferred to Oz.

Each week we have about 2 hours of Family History time. We go to the library and using a combination of FamilySearch.org  and Ancestry.com we have the chance to learn more about our ancestors and make sure that the temple work is being done for those who didn't have a chance to hear the Gospel and participate in saving ordinances, like baptism, here on earth. I have been finding names and linking people from censuses like crazy!! I invite you all to learn more about those who have given so much for you to be here :) 

On Wednesday when there were all the flood/tornado/thunderstorm warnings, we were stuck inside for most of the day. We had quite the entertaining time decorating Easter eggs! Sister Welch, one of the other sisters who lives with Hermana Ewell and I, drew all of us on one of the eggs and it actually turned out pretty cute! 

ZONE CONFERENCE  Oh goodness, I can't even begin to say how much I loved the multi-zone conference we had with President Foote! Because of the crazy weather warnings our zone conference combined with 5 other zones. So it was AWESOME :) I got to see a lot of familiar faces and meet the Elder Draper that everyone thinks I'm related to. Turns out, we think we are 3rd or 4th cousins. 

There are so many things that clamor for our attention. Sports, shopping, hobbies, the news, work, school, the list goes on. But it is absolutely essential for us to be focused on Christ. 100%, 24/7, simply and plainly choosing to follow and learn of Him. Our loving Savior hasn't moved on to something more important, He remains focused on us. Let's do the same. 

I was asked to play the piano for a member in our Branch whose son was getting baptized. Dathen just turned 8 and he is quite the ball of energy. It was so special getting to see him smiling so big as he chose to take upon himself the name of Christ and covenant to follow Him. He gave me the tightest hug afterwards to tell me thanks for playing the piano. Made me so happy :) 

Before church started we spent about an hour and a half going over the ENTIRE 16 page Branch roster to divide up the names of Less Active Members and unknown people so we can figure out who they are and fellowship them on their journey to come back to church. Highly productive meeting with a ton of things to do :) 

In Sacrament meeting there were so many people we didn't recognize! People had come to investigate the church and less active members had shown up! One of those who had come to learn more got up and went to the pulpit during the Testimony part of the meeting. He introduced himself and expressed his knowledge of God and his interest in learning more about the restored Gospel! Sister Ewell and I just sat there grinning from ear to ear (we were in the choir seats because I play the piano for the meeting and Sister Ewell leads the music) and the Elders sitting in the congregation were pretty excited to meet with him after too. We gave him a Book of Mormon in Spanish and English and we are excited to help him learn more!! Also, a woman who hadn't been to church in ten years showed up! Diann has blue hair and is from Guatemala---basically the sweetest human ever. We have an appointment with her later this week to get to know her and her story better. My heart was so happy throughout all of church. Hearing the sweetly bold testimonies of our dear members and feeling the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of their words as they spoke of their Savior and God's love for us. 

Stephanie Q (a less active member) finally wasn't way busy and had us over! Her little boy Bradley made faces throughout the visit and wouldn't talk to us because he had just woken up. His grumpy scowl was so cute :) The lesson with her was a review of the Restoration and hearing her conversion story was powerful. Stephanie is the sweetest :) 

Sidenote: to keep Spanish fun, because sometimes I feel totally helpless and like I will never learn this language, we do Spanish tongue twisters! If you have a random bit of time that you don't know what to do with... look up some and try em out :)

I love you all. So much. I pray for you and hope that each are doing well. 

Yo se que Jesucristo vive. Que El es mi Salvador y por medio de Su gran sacrificio expiatorio, podemos ser limpios y regresar a nuestro Padre Celestial. 

Con Amor,
Hermana Draper


Monday, April 3, 2017

It doesn't snow, It "Pollens" (and covers everything in yellow pollen)

Familia y Amigos,

Can't believe it is April. Wowsers. Insane. I pray that everything is going for you and your families as we run headfirst into the Spring Season! 

So in case some of you saw, there was a bit of a hiccup on I-85 in Atlanta, Georgia with a bridge that decided to not stay in the air. I was in a meeting a few miles away and all of the other missionaries in the area were not affected by it besides added traffic and some internet complications. 

District Meeting was special. Elder Bay and Elder Hansen were the ones to teach and the week prior had called to ask me what I would like the training topic to be. I had said "A topic that will change my mission". They took that to heart and put on a training with the goal to "Change Sister Draper's Mission." Oh goodness, I have the best Elders in my district! They taught on Christ's Atonement and Do You Really Know Him? Some thought provoking questions that were asked, "What is the most important thing you've learned in life?" and "Who is someone you could help out?". Sidenote: check out Elder Bednar's Conference talk from 2016 If ye had known me. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/if-ye-had-known-me?lang=eng

We had a Chamblee Branch Baby Shower for a member named Lilzy! So much fun:) And Hna Ewell and I got roped into playing a weird balloon game where you stuck a balloon inbetween your heads and had to walk around and dance for as long as you could without it falling. Oh goodness I love Latinos. 

Transfers this week. I hated saying goodbye to the two Elders that were being moved to a different area, Elder Castillo and Elder Bay. So to soften the blow I made brownies. The new Elders that were added to our area are pretty cool though!

Met some wonderful seekers of the Gospel this week as we were out knocking doors and simply talking with everyone to share the good word! Excited to watch them grow in Christ and His message of hope. 

So. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have two General Conferences a year, one being the 1st and 2nd of April! This is where members from all over the world tune in to hear the words of latter day prophets and apostles. It is basically like the Superbowl for Mormons, to give you a comparison :) It is broadcasted from SLC, UT to the 15,882,417 members worldwide! I loved hearing the mouthpieces of the Lord giving us guidance and direction in this crazy world. If you missed it, LDS.org has the recordings and will soon have PDFs of the talks. One of my FAVORITE talks was by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He spoke on true discipleship. Genuine Discipleship is not just a list of characteristics that we strive to obtain or a checklist of activities to do, it is a state of BEING. Weave those Christlike attributes into your heart. We must continue to minister to whoever is in need, even if it is not convenient. We cannot be part-time disciples of Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us, we can do this to show our appreciation. 



I love you all dearly and pray for you,

Con Amor, 
Hermana Draper


PS Found Sarah Street :)