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...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"You bring Utah to Georgia"

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Que pasa? How are y'all doing? I pray each of you had a wonderful week and are getting back into the rigor of school or back to the daily work grind. Summer hopefully was stock full of vacations and memories to last :) 

This week. Talk about a weird one. We were really only in our area 2 and a half days. Otherwise, we were moving, had exchanges or were in  interviews. 

Well, we moved across the parking lot to an apartment with a realllllllll nice view. It looks out over the pond that is within our complex and is on the third floor! I made brownies and the Elders flocked over to help us move. It was a pretty fun time with them again as they moved the washer and dryer. 

Lesson with Aracely!! Went well and we are working with her to overcome smoking. Read through Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon and it was touching to see her desire to change and become better :)

Exchanges with the ATL Sisters started off with service at the Food Bank! All the ATL Elders were there so it was a fun time. Though since it is a rule they can't redistribute chocolate due to some people getting sick from reheated and cooled chocolate (whaaa???) they have to throw it all away. WE THREW AWAY BOXES OF GODIVA CHOCOLATE AND MY HEART BROKE AND SHATTERED TO SEE THE WASTE OF MANNA FROM HEAVEN. I was with Sister Stoker the rest of the day and we enjoyed knocking doors and meeting some really neat people who were open to hear our message! I also randomly had to go to the bathroom while out tracting.... so when we finally knocked into a lady who looked nice-ish I just asked her if I could use her bathroom. She let me! So. Checkbox checked. Used a random person's bathroom. 

Interviews! Our trainings went well and I enjoyed the trainings also given by the Zone Leaders and AP's. Talking with President is always a fun time :) 

Exchanges with the Marietta/Mableton Sisters!!! Again started off the day with them at the Restore facility doing service. I was with Sister Clark for the day and boy do I love that sister!! She has the biggest heart and is going home in a few weeks. So sad to see her finish her mission, but she will be on to bigger and better things! We had a legit miracle while we were out tracting! We were headed to an apartment building and as we walked towards the back of it Sister Clark turned towards me and asked, "Where do you think we should go?" We stopped and prayed for direction and as I opened my eyes I just felt a pull back towards where we had walked from. A boy who was running groceries back and forth between a car and his home crossed my path. We had previously asked him if he needed help with the groceries, but he had said no. This time I just started asking what his name was and if we could talk to his mom. He took us up to their apartment and boy... miracles happen. We talked with Tracy and shared with her about the love that Christ has and about the Book of Mormon--evidence that God loves all of His children no matter where they are. The Spirit was so strong as we talked with Tracy and she agreed to meet with the English sisters later that week!! 

That same day, after dinner I got a call from some Sister missionaries in the state where one of my close friends lives. They told me that my friend is getting BAPTIZED in a couple weeks!! I can't quite put my feelings to words, but the only emotion I think has an accurate definition is Joy. True Joy. Blessings are raining down! 

The only downer of the week...We were going to go to the temple... then Jony got super sick. He looked as white as me... and he's Mexican. So we rescheduled it for next week. 

BUT THEN HE GOT WELL ENOUGH TO GIVE A TALK IN CHURCH!!! He talked about temples and why we have them. He did so good :) 

LIZBETH CAME TO CHURCH WITHOUT ANYONE GIVING HER A RIDE OR NOTHING. Ricky and Linzy seemed pretty excited to have their mom finally join them at church! We are PUMPED for our lesson on Wednesday with her to see what she thought of church (lol she got the Branch President's # so she could call and ask him more questions). 

Lol Yadif, our 10 year old investigator sat with me at the organ through all of Sacrament Meeting and he is trying to figure out how to play it. Super entertaining. 

The subject line of this email is from a comment our Branch President said to me after I shared a spiritual thought at a dinner. It really touched me. Everywhere we go we should be true to who we are. We should strive to develop the talents God gave us and embrace the personality we have while learning Christlike attributes. I am a missionary, yes, but how I interact with people is still the Sarah so many of you know. We are able to touch and bless lives as we simply try to be our best self. 

Thank you for all your prayers. I feel them everyday and so many miracles are happening here and across the world :) 

Hoy es el dia que El Senor esta apresurando Su obra :)

Con Amor,

Hermana Draper

Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Heart......

Hola Familia y Amigos!!

It's been another week here in Marietta, Georgia and boy has it been hot. I am eager for it to cool down. But I am doing great! 

Lots of lessons this week with wonderful people. We currently have three people we are teaching with the name Maria. It gets confusing. Sorry. 

Maria and the kiddos are doing great :) I brought cupcakes to the last lesson and they paid great attention ;) Maria is learning very fast and has constantly has great questions!

Maria is sharing the Book of Mormon with her friends and it is so neat to watch her grow! 

We had a neat lesson with Maria this week and hopefully she can come to church next week. 

Yadif. He is a hoot and a holler. So much fun to teach this 10 year old. And he has been coming to church regularly!!! That one loves soccer. A lot. 

One of my new favorite members Lolita came with us to teach Lizbeth, RIcky, and Linzy. We reviewed the Restoration and Lolita is an All star in lessons. 

More lessons with some new investigators that went well and I am looking forward to watching them progress next week! I'll tell you more about em next week!

We did a lot of service with some new friends from the Dominican Republic and put bananas in grocery bags for a food drive! Plus got a tshirt. Service don't count unless you get a tshirt to prove you did it. Jk. Jk. 

Well, we moved apartments. From one side of our complex to the other side. I bribed the Elders with pancakes to come helps us out at 8:00 in the morning on Saturday. They were champs and walked beds, dressers across the parking lot. 

We had a cool activity in Downtown ATL, we took pages from the Book of Mormon and had people highlight every reference to God or Jesus Christ. We had lots of interesting and touching conversations as we shared with people Another Testament of Jesus Christ. All the other missionaries in my zone were there as well!! 

Jonathan got his temple recommend Sunday!!! And he passed the Sacrament during Sacrament Meeting. Probably one of the most special moments of my mission when he switched positions so he would be the one to pass it to me as I was seated at the organ. I don't know how to express the feeling I had. Having witnessed how much he has changed and grown in the Lord. Oh my goodness, the light in his eyes. I feel overwhelmed by the love our Savior has for each one of us and that we have the opportunity to change each day and improve. We can keep trying, keep growing, keep learning. All thanks to the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

So pumped to go with Jony to the temple on Saturday! We also have some branch members coming as well to make a good trip out of it :)

Right now we are at Hno Montenegros! The Eclipse/Event of the Century is happening at the moment. Thank goodness my parents sent my companion and I the special glasses, because EVERYWHERE was sold out. It is a pretty funny thing to see Jonathan and Juan Carlos looking up at the sun with the glasses. 

Well, I have an eclipse to go watch. 

No one go blind. Please. 

Con Amor,

Hermana Draper

PS:  Jonathan dice: estoy mirando el eclipse com las hermana draper y con la hermana de la rosa y ella son las dos mujeres mas buenas que yo he conocido en mi vida y an sido una bendicion para mi y ustedes an tenido la bendicion de crecer con la hermana draper y ojala ella se case y tenga muchos hijos y que no se olvide de mi esas son las dos cosas que mas quiero en esta vida  

Monday, August 14, 2017

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


Short letter today! Lo siento! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pictures of the temple to come next week!

Love being on the errand of the Lord :) 

Yo se que vive mi Senor con todo mi corazon.

I love you all!!

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Monday, August 7, 2017

Missionary, Bubble Soccer player, and Hair Cutting Pro

Hey folks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I now know my pepper spray works...

Familia y Amigos,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you all :)

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

Con Amor, 
Hermana Draper