Missouri – week #69

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Dear sweet family and friends ♥️♥️♥️

I can’t believe that I’m even writing this email! It has been such a sweet week, probably because Sister Jex prayed: “bless that this week will be straight fire since it’s Sister Draper’s one” hahaha. But yes, this Friday, my parents (yayyyy!!) pick me up and I complete my mission here in Missouri Independence. It has been the biggest blessing and greatest adventure of my life! It would take hours to write (and read) all that I have learned and experienced on my mission so I just wanted to share a few.

I feel incredibly blessed to have served in this sacred area; it is a choice land where prophets have walked and the Savior has dwelt. The Prophet Joseph Smith, as I mentioned last week, really was the Prophet of the Restoration. I’ve gained this witness on my mission as I’ve testified of him at the Historic Liberty Jail, Visitors’ Center, and out in my areas. I was able to study in the Liberty Jail this morning and have felt that sweet Spirit testify to me again. The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Book is true because I have the desire to repent and come unto Christ as I read and apply it’s teachings. During the last 90 days of my mission, I decided to read it again cover to cover (the same amount of time it took Joseph Smith to translate) and I continue to receive my answer that it is true.

I’ve had many challenges and hard experiences on my mission, but the counsel the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Jail has applied perfectly to me as well: “Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.” It definitely was not the mission I had planned for myself, but I am grateful because it was the mission that the Lord had planned for me. Don’t worry, I’m still me! 🙂 But the Lord has refined me into a better version of myself.

All of the things I have learned are byproducts of serving a mission; I came here to help, love, and serve others, but I am coming home changed myself. I am eager to move forward with faith and apply the things I have learned. All of the priesthood blessings and counsel I have received from my leaders before my mission have come to pass. In my setting apart blessing, President Chamberlin mentioned my favorite scripture (D&C 84:88):

“I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left. my Spirit shall be in your hearts…and my angels round about you, to bear you up.”

I have felt the presence of my Savior during these last 18 months than I ever have before. He has redeemed me and enabled me over and over and continues to each day. Missouri Independence will always be my waters of Mormon; the place where I became converted. I can’t wait for the coming day when I will meet the Savior, fall at His feet to worship Him, and weep because of His goodness, grace, and love. I pray that my year and a half offering will show that I truly love Him and will always strive to keep His commandments. He lives, and I am forever grateful for getting to know Him on my mission. And now, I continue my journey! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I will see you all very soon! Can’t wait to hug and squeeze my family x1000 💛 I’m grateful I get you all for eternity :)))

XOXO
Sister Rachel Draper

I will be giving my homecoming talk on Sunday, February 18th at 1pm. It will be at the San Clemente Stake Center: 310 Avenida Vista Montana, San Clemente 92672. I’d love to see y’all there!

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Missouri – week #68

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Wow, I cannot believe how fast time is flying! Too too fast. Probably because Sister Jex and I are having such a good time hahaha she stepped in a pile of dog poop this week and we didn’t realize it until we were in our car and the heater on our feet dispersed the smell around hahaha oh the life of a missionary. Definitely not glamorous but it’s the best!

This week I gave my departing testimony at Zone Conference which was very surreal. Your whole mission you watch other elders and sisters giving theirs and you never think you’re gonna make it haha. But it was good to reflect on my testimony and what I have experienced on my mission. I quoted the mission call letter, where it states: “As you serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized. The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children.” I have come to know that these promised blessings are sure as I keep up my end of the covenant or commandment. Obedience brings blessings that’s for sure!

Anyway, we have just been so busy!! The Taula girls are doing so well and can’t wait for their baptism. They are excited to meet you Mom and Dad! Brother and Sister Taula took us out to breakfast on Saturday and they are just the sweetest. I’ve learned not to judge or make assumptions about others, since they don’t come to church very often. They are the nicest, most Christlike people and I am so happy for their family!

We had another skype lesson with our online investigator Daniel. He lives in the boons of Alabama so missionaries haven’t been able to get to him yet. Sister Jex and I have been teaching him and we put him on date to be baptized on February 24th so that was exciting! Just pray that the missionaries will be able to start teaching him hahaha.

Lastly, we were able to testify of the Prophet Joseph Smith a ton on Saturday. We took Jasmine to the Liberty Jail, oh I love that place. And she did too!! Jasmine has been through a lot in her life. But besides those challenges she has faced, the Lord has delivered her and blessed her just as He did with the men in the Liberty Jail. The same night, we watched the Restoration movie with Joyce. She really needed to gain a testimony of him. And that movie is POWERFUL. She cried through the whole thing (same Joyce) and afterward Sister Jex and I bore our testimonies to her. It was such a sweet experience and I realized that I don’t have much time left to testify of the Prophet (as a full time missionary). I know that he saw what he said that he saw and that he was foreordained to come to the earth as the Prophet of the Restoration. I revere him and Emma for their faithful lives and feel blessed to have served in some of the places they walked.

I invite you all to share what you know to be true with the people around you. It really is the most pure form of joy and I have felt that on my mission.

Love you all! I feel so grateful for your support and love. Till next week!

XOXO
sister draper

Missouri – week #67

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Hi hi everyone! Another great week in the MIM.

Our investigator Joyce calls little tender mercies each day “God winks” and I think it’s the cutest thing ever. So I decided to list some God winks I got this week!

—speaking of Joyce, I just love that girl. She loves those adult coloring books and she drew me a picture this week! It was a picture of an angel and she said “I saw this one and knew I had to draw it for you.” It was so sweet because if you know me you know I love angels so it was very special.

—LEHUA AND VIRGO ARE GETTING BAPTIZED!! Remember the cute Samoan girls that were supposed to be dunked New Year’s Eve?! Well it didn’t work out but now they are SOLID AND SET for February 10th!! This is another huge miracle because that’s my LAST DAY here on my mission in Missouri and my parents will be able to come to it as well ♥️♥️♥️

—I got to see my bb Sister Holt! She drove up to civilization for a training meeting hahaha. So so good to see her. Alsoooo she told me that an investigator we taught in Iola is getting baptized Feb 3rd! Bailey was an eternigator and she knows it’s true now. So much happiness!!

—we had another lesson with our friend Jasmine this week and she has changed SO MUCH. three weeks ago, she didn’t even know if God existed. Now she can recognize answers to her prayers, receive revelation, and her relationship with her family is so much better. Her mom came to church yesterday for the first time in YEARS because she’s seen the changes in Jasmine. The Gospel changes lives!!! There’s no doubt about that.

—last one, we sang “Now Let Us Rejoice” during ward conference yesterday and it has become one of my favorite hymns. It was hard not to get (very) weepy singing that. I feel so grateful and blessed to have served my mission in this very sacred place.

Ahhh just so many little miracles happened every day this week. I have learned soooo much to see the Lord’s hand in my every day life. He has given me COUNTLESS blessings these last couple weeks as I’ve reflected on my mission. I love being a missionary, I’ve said it a thousand times! I’m excited for my last two weeks to soak it all in 💛💛

XOXO
sister draper

Missouri – week #66

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HELLO AGAIN! I’m running out of creative intros hahaha.

update: WE #BEATTEMPLESQUARE! Along with the Jail Sisters, we sent over 600 referrals to local missionaries in the month of December. 600 precious souls are being taught the message of the Restoration and the Atonement of Christ. I love the Visitors’ Center!! Pictures of this feat to come…..

For the past 3 weeks, we’ve been working with 14 year old Jasmine, who is less active. She hadn’t been to church since she was 8 and her name stood out to S Jex and I on the ward roster. We went to visit her and we totally clicked!! She’s amazing and has been through so much. She came to the youth activity and came to church on Sunday!!! She loooved young women’s and all of girls were awesome fellowship. She’s been a sweet blessing to me in Hill Park ♥️♥️

We had a breakthrough lesson with Joyce this week. Last week, she had a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon as additional scripture. She said that as she prayed, she felt like God told her to focus more on the Bible. We love the Bible obviously, but her testimony of the Book of Mormon was going to be key to her conversion. This week, we used the additional study in the back of the Plan of Salvation pamphlet to teach straight from the Book of Mormon. Wow, that book is so powerful. I LOVE seeing being receive revelation ON THE SPOT. She felt how powerful it was and especially loved a clearer explanation of the fall of Adam and Eve. She’s getting there slowly so please keep the prayers coming!!

I reflected this week on how special it is to see people learn doctrine for the first time in their lives. There have been moments on my mission where I’ve told people that they lived with God before they were born, or that their special needs daughter will receive a perfected body, and so on. These are truths we take for granted ALL THE TIME. Witnessing these moments is one of the sweetest blessings I’ve received on my mission and I will really miss them. I love my mission so much.

We are in grind time over here in Hill Park! I am loving where I’m at and my bff companion Sis Jex!!! In the words of Jamey Draper….signing off…

XOXOXO
sister draper

Missouri – week #65

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Hello friends!!

Funny Independence mems for you before I move on with my week: a guy came in one night to the Visitors’ Center hahaha he was talking nonsense and showing us his “extended” Bible. He changed his shoes three times while he was here and took off his shirt to show us his tattoo. Oh and gave us Bill Cosby’s book and said it had changed his life (while still holding his bible?). He left by announcing that he had cracked the Divinci code hahahaha there is never a dull moment here in Independence. I’m grateful for senior elders hahaha.

ANYWAY we were able to meet with Sandy this week! I think I mentioned her a few weeks ago but her and her husband came to the VC to watch the performance. Sandy isn’t a member and Jim is a less active member. She stopped taking the lessons because she was offended by something a senior missionary told her. It was interesting, what she was told was true doctrine, so I wasn’t sure how to approach that, but immediately a scripture came to mind and I shared it with her. The Spirit really is the greatest teacher because it was exactly what she needed and she committed to take the missionary discussions!! Wooo pray for her, and keep praying for Joyce!!

It was bittersweet to hear about President Monson. I know that he was and is a Prophet. Serving in church history sites has strengthened my testimony of the role and importance of a Prophet. God works in patterns and still calls prophets today! It is so sweet to know that. During testimony meeting on Sunday, it was so cool to hear everyone stand up and testify of Thomas S Monson. I will miss him, but I am grateful for the Plan of Happiness!!

I read one of my favorite talks of his this week called “Finishers Wanted” and I’ll leave with a quote:

“It has been said that the doorways of history turn on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. We are constantly making small decisions. The outcome determines the success or failure of our lives. That is why it is worthwhile to look ahead, set a course, and at least be partly ready when the moment of decision comes. True finishers have the capacity to visualize their objective.”

I am eager to be a “finisher” in honor of President Monson. Not only a finisher of my full time mission, but of my mortal mission.

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH or in the words of my online investigator, James in mississippi: “you be sweet, stay blessed now hun”
XO
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #64

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Hello everyone! I hope y’all had a happy Christmas. It was so sweet to skype with my family for the last time. It is so crazy to think I will see them in person in just a few weeks! I have the best family ever.

This was such a special week for me. Nothing big happened, but I did a lot of reflecting about my Savior, Jesus Christ. Being a missionary during Christmastime has been amazing. I’ve been able to share the message of His birth, life, and Gospel with those in Independence, Missouri. When we focus on others and helping them come unto Christ, that’s when we can feel the true spirit of Christmas and I definitely felt that this year.

We had a big breakfast on Christmas morning with the Independence Visitors’ Center and Historic Liberty Jail Sisters plus all of the senior couple missionaries. We performed our nativity and exchanged gifts. Oh and on Christmas Eve, we all performed at the VC and we got to put it on Facebook Live! So some of you may have seen us sing :))

It also snowed this week! We woke up on Christmas Eve and I looked out the bedroom window…and turned to Sister Jex and said, “you’re driving today.” Hahaha. I’m just trying not to have a repeat of last year. Pray for us as we attempt to endure the icy Missouri winter…it’s currently 10 degrees outside!!

This email is pretty short this week, like I said, nothing too much to report on. Pleeeease pray that we will be able to find those in our area who are prepared for Christ’s restored Church! I’ll just leave this thought from President Uchtdorf that can help us have the spirit of Christmas always:

“Throughout the year, and perhaps especially at this Christmas season, it would benefit us to once again ask the question ‘“How am I seeking Christ?’”

That’s just a good little thought to ask ourselves every so often 🙂 love you all! Happy new yearrrrrrr!!!

XOXO
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #63

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

We witnessed some special miracles this week. I love this work!

We have been working to contact part member families in our ward. Sister Jex whitewashed in last transfer with her first trainer and so did our elders so we are all pretty new to the area. We contacted the Taula family, whose daughters are not baptized. Their girls go to church every week so we stopped by to see if we could start teaching them! Lehua and Virgo are 8 and 9 and are the cutest Samoan girls! We were able to teach them the Restoration and invite them to be baptized on December 30th. It is such a miracle and we will be working hard the next two weeks to finish their lessons! Pray for them and their family that they will keep their date!

Sister Jex and I also decided to magnify our calling this transfer at the Visitors’ Center. We are the teaching center trainers and we wanted to get the Sisters hyped about it this transfer since so many people have been coming online to Mormon.org from the #LightTheWorld initiative. Hahaha we came up with an initiative called #BeatTempleSquare (since Temple Square Sisters send a million headquarters referrals). We have a goal of sending 600 referrals to local missionaries THIS MONTH. The sisters have been GOING AT IT hahaha it’s kind of funny how much it’s blown up. One of the sisters is making t shirts, we have a poster in our referral room, and we’ve been calling/chatting like it’s nobody’s business. So keep lighting the world so we can help people meet with local missionaries!!

Lastly, we had zone conference this week and afterward went to the temple for an endowment session, it was such a peaceful session. I wanted to share a thought that President Priday from the mission presidency shared with us. He said “put yourself third.” His father gave him this acronym called JOY:

J-Jesus Christ
O-Others
Y-Yourself

Always put yourself third. I liked that a lot, especially during this Christmas season. I invite you all to put yourself third! Love you all and wish you a Merry Christmas!!! Can’t wait to talk to you in a week family!! ♥️♥️♥️

XOXO
sister draper

937 W Walnut St
Independence MO 64050