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 ...

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

Adios Chamblee

HEY FOLKS :)

COMO ESTA???????

Monday and Tuesday were crazy saying goodbye to all the people I have come to love in Chamblee. It was heart breaking, but I know I'll see them again, maybe I'll get transferred back to Chamblee in a few months? Or I will see them after my mission :) 

It was pouring rain during goodbyes on Tuesday and I got soaked at one point after saying Adios to Ledif and her two girls. We showed up at Juana's house and she took one look at me and pointed to the bathroom. She tossed me a bathrobe and pretty much ordered me to change so she could put my soaked dress in the dryer. So for about 45 minutes I sat in a pink robe eating some snacks with my nametag attached as my dress dried :) I think my new favorite picture is the one now of my and Juana smiling for the camera in her living room with me in a robe. 

We stopped by Ninfa's house Tuesday night and I think that was the hardest goodbye. We were all good as I hugged them and no one had cried. We took a picture and I thought we would make it through without any tears. Ninfa handed me a family picture (Alexander didn't want to pose for the camera and Alejandro had been sleeping) so I could have a pic of everyone. As she handed me the photo, she expressed how grateful she was that I had taught her girls about God and who He is and how much He loves them. She started crying and it turned into all of us crying. And little Melissa started sobbing. My heart broke. I just held Melissa in a hug and assured her I would send her letters.

Wednesday. After transfers at the church in Fayetteville we headed up to Marietta, my new area. My stomach was in knots. I was scared. I didn't know anyone. I didn't know how to complete my new position as a Sister Training Leader. I felt really small. 

But that's what God does. He takes you from what you have come to know and puts you in a new situation to grow, to change. Because we are clay in His hands. Over and over again He will mold us into what we need to be. What HE needs us to be. Isaiah 64:8  "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

This new area. Cunningham. Wow. Can you say slightly overwhelmed? I feel like this past week I have just been asking Sis De La Rosa Frias over and over again who people are, who we just taught and who is the person we are on our way to see. She is so patient with me! 

Sister De La Rosa Frias is from the Dominican Republic! She is quite the character and super fun :) Really funny and is helping me with my spanish since she natively speaks it! We have both decided we are going to get back into shape after all this weight Georgia has so lovingly blesses us with. The Cunningham Elders gave us an ab workout sheet and ouch... my abs are out of shape. At least I have been able to run a bit more lately in the mornings, so that's helpful. 

Lessons galore these past few days! God is so good!

Missionary Leadership Council training on Friday! I think I have a better grasp on what's happening with this whole Sister Training Leader thing :)

We taught Jonathan, the 16 year old cousin of a member named Juan Carlos in the branch. It was wonderful to see his desire to learn and to understand. He feel really lost right now. Doesn't come from the best family situation. I already have so much love in my heart for him!

Lizbeth. Ricky. And Linzy. Oh dear. How can you love someone after just meeting them? I don't know. I just know I do.

Lizbeth is from Mexico and had a lot of really terrible things happen to her there, so she left her two kids there without telling anyone (to keep her kids safe) where she went and walked for five days and five nights across the border of Mexico to the United States. She was going through so many things and went to visit her aunt who is a member of the church. She is a really strong and amazing lady and was depressed and didn't know what to do because she needed to find a second job so she could have her kids come back to her. Her aunt had the missionaries come over and they gave her a blessing. In the blessing, she was blessed that she would be able to get her kids back to her and she would be able to get another job. Over the course of the next few weeks she was able to find another job and her kids are now here because by some miracle she had gotten enough money to send them here. She told the sisters last week that she wanted a change in her life and she wanted to follow Christ. Talk about a miracle :) 

When we showed up for our appointment on Saturday with her, Ricky (age 13) was outside playing soccer. It was a bit muddy and the grass was slick due to the rain we have been having, but I figured my flats would be alright. (HA) I ran over and Sister De La Rosa Frias and I went 2 on 2 against Ricky and a neighborhood kid named Marco. I haven't played in years. Oh gosh I got so dirty and my shoes came off so much. But hey, I scored a few goals :) And sidenote, don't play soccer in a skirt... 

Our appointment with Lizbeth and the kids once she got home was wonderful :) And it started raining... so we got soaked running from the park pavilion we had been teaching under to get back to the car :) Experiences :) 

Church was AWESOME! First, I got to play the piano for the congregation (it seems like I do that everywhere I go), bear my testimony/introduce myself and Lizbeth's kids CAME TO CHURCH!!! (Lizbeth was at work) And Jonathan came to church too! My heart was so happy seeing these precious children of God at church. Sis De La Rosa Frias and I taught Sunday School on the Priesthood and I accompanied the Primary Singing Time on the piano for the little kids. We also had a fun Father's Day Celebration with FOOD afterwards. That was yummy :) 

Went knocking and found some people we will hopefully be able to return and teach! One of them was Jose who was taught previously by missionaries in El Salvador!  

Taught Lizbeth and the kiddos the Plan of Salvation and that was so fun! She has the best questions :) I am slowly finding I can speak more fluently, step by step as I just think about the person I am talking to instead of the Spanish. The kids begged Lizbeth that they could be baptized and went off on how great church was :) Right before I said the closing prayer, Linzy ran over to me and whispered in my ear to pray that her mom chooses to be baptized. I laughed and included in the prayer that Lizbeth would receive strength to make the decision on baptism. According to Linzy that wasn't direct enough :) I adore them. 

"God's greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectations of reward. It goes to those who serve without fanfare; those who quietly go about seeking ways to help others; those who minister to others simply because they love God and God's children." - Dieter F Uchtdorf, May 2017 General Conference

I pray you are each doing well. That you are finding time to serve those around you and seeking to bless the less fortunate. Pay attention to the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost who will prompt you and guide you to those who need your love and help. 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper