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

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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

Missouri – week #62

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HELLO! Crazy busy week! Some highlights this week include:

-Ann was baptized on Saturday!! It took 7 missionaries in the New Mark ward to teach her over the course of a year hahaha. Her husband is a returning member and it was so happy to see him baptize her. Now, they can be an eternal family in one year ♥️ it was a good time to see my bff members in New Mark too.

-My good friend Anna from Blue Mills got her mission call!! She invited the whole ward to watch her open it at the VC hahah it was a huge Blue Mills reunion. She’s going to SPOKANE WASHINGTON and speaking SPANISH!! She’s the only member in her family and I’m so proud of her.

-Marcy, sweet Bella’s Mom, was able to receive her temple recommend and do baptisms in the temple for the first time! It’s been so special to see her reactivation as her daughters have learned about the gospel.

-Our Investigator Sharlene quit smoking and coffee!! KEEP THE PRAYERS FLOWIN. This girl wants to be dunked on Christmas Eve so badly!

-A less active man and his nonmember wife came into the Visitors’ Center on Saturday to hear us Sisters do a music performance. They saw an ad for it on Facebook and came out to hear us! They live in our area and accepted the invite to meet with us so we can teach the wife the missionary lessons. Huge miracle. We don’t have a lot of time in our proselyting area but God definitely takes care of that.

Lastly, Brother Corbett from the Missionary Department in Salt Lake came to train with us like all week hahaha. He is probably the smartest man I’ve ever talked to. But he talked about the success his mission had when he was a mission president and trained a ton about faith and how that relates to goal setting and planning. President Love has promised us that each companionship can have one baptism per transfer and Brother Corbett taught us about what kind of faith that will take to accomplish it. So we wrote in our journals as if it were January 12th, 2018 (the day after transfers). We wrote about how we had achieved our goals and what we did to achieve them. When the Lord promises us something, His Word is as good as done because He cannot lie. He shared the scripture in 1 Nephi 5:5. Lehi says, “I have obtained a land of promise.” From the context of the scripture, we know that they hadn’t made it to the promised land yet but Lehi had perfect faith as if they already had. HOW COOL.

I feel like I have learned so much about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and how it really can be TRUE, just as it says in Alma 32:21. So yeah, I have been learning LOTS to say the least. Sorry for the novel, I just am pumped about everything going on in the mission. I wish I had months and months left to apply this gahhhh!!

I love being a missionary as per usual. HAVE A BLESSED WEEK YALL

xo
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #61

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HI EVERYONE!

Guess who’s back back back……I’ve been transferred to the Hill Park ward in the Independence Missouri Stake of Zion (literally). I’ve now served in 3 of the same areas as @cydmorgan. I’m following up training the cutest sister, Sister Jex! I’ve been super lucky with my trainees on my mission. I’m also back serving at the Independence Visitors’ Center, which I’ve felt sooooo nostalgic since this is where I started my mission haha. I’m also living in the dollhouse, which is also the same place I lived when I started my mission. It’s been 9 months since I’ve given a tour here, so I’m a little rusty. But anyway, I’m slowly adjusting back!

Here are a few things that happened this week that reminded me I was back in Independence: our first member meal was Samoan; our second member meal was Church’s Fried Chicken; our investigator on date is formerly RLDS; and in sacrament meeting, the testimonies started with “taloooofaaaaa!!” Hahaha it’s good to be back!!

Thursday was transfers and it was also Sister Jex’s p-day. As soon as she found out about our love of shopping, we drove straight to the Independence Mall hahaha! We’ve had a fun last few days and I’m excited for this transfer.

Our investigator Sharlene is on date to be baptized on Christmas Eve!! She’s the sweetest lil thing. She’s trying to quit smoking so prayers would be super great. We are also working with Katie, who is a former member of the church. Like I’ve mentioned before, one of the most important things I’ve learned on my mission is how personal Jesus Christ’s Atonement is. I feel so much love for everyone I talk to, no matter what they have done on their life. It truly is my favorite gift as a missionary to see people the way our Heavenly Father sees them. I’ve felt that a lot at the Visitors’ Center this week taking tours of members. As I have love for them, I can better receive revelation on what invitations to extend and how to help them. Charity is everything!

During the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, President Uchtdorf reminded us that “it’s not how much you have, it’s how much you love.” I can promise you that as you turn outward and serve others this Christmastime, you will also begin to feel so much love for them and for God. That is what matters most!

I’m excited to love all the people in the Hill Park ward. I’ve set a lot of goals for the last two transfers of my mission and I’m excited to witness the miracles that God has in store.

Love y’all!!

XO
sis draper

NEW ADDRESS:
937 W Walnut
Independence MO 64050

Missouri – week #60

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hi hi hi!!

CRAZY TRANSFER NEWS:
Sister Holt got a call to train a new baby missionary—so in mission terms, I’ll be a grandma! ANDDDD I also got a call to train another baby missionary! I’m so proud of my bb, she will be AMAZING. But this most likely means I will be leaving the area to whitewash train or follow up train another sister. We will know for sure on Tuesday night, but I have a feeling I’m peacin out since I have only two transfers left. I’ve loved this area SO MUCH—especially cute lil town of Iola and even more so, the ward members. But I’ll let y’all know what happens!

We had a good good week. I was able to go on exchanges in Olathe with my girl Hermana Zarate. Her area is a Spanish area so I wasn’t much help hahaha but because of my dad and brothers, I could understand mostly everything that was going on, I just couldn’t respond hahaha. It was SUCH a fun day though…. I love the Hispanics hahaha. And Sister Z is one of my bffs in the mission so overall it was a happy day.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with the Taylor/Greenwall Family. They are the sweetest. I’m so grateful for kind members on my mission that have treated me like family. It was bittersweet to realize that was my last Thanksgiving as a missionary…And it’s crazy that I get one more Christmas here! I LOVE Christmas as a missionary. Especially because people are so much more willing to learn about Jesus Christ. The new #LightTheWorld initiative is LIVE and so so good. I invite y’all to participate in the 25 ways in 25 days to serve your family, neighbors, and community. I saw SO many tender mercies last year because of it. (mormon.org)

I’m so grateful for the privilege of serving a mission. Many of you know that this was not in the plans for my life…like at all hahaha. But I am humbled by the fact that the Savior called me through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I love this part in a story that missionaries pass along to each other. It’s called the Ricciardi Letter and the author says:

“What better commitment for such an important period in your life than to forget yourself for 2 years, delay formal education, and focus on God, Jesus, and everyone else but yourself. It is the perfect example of the classic scriptural saying, “to find yourself, you must lose yourself.” You gain 10 years worth of life experience from a mission. You leave at 18, 19 for the sisters, and return with 10 years worth of life, wisdom, and experience crammed into 18 to 24 months.”

I have just been reflecting a lot about that this Thanksgiving week. I’m so indebted to my Father in Heaven and Savior for allowing me to experience this and learn so many valuable things on my mission. I’m too blessed. I invite you all to think about what God has blessed you with, especially during this holiday season and focus on that. We have so much to be grateful for.

Love you all so much!

XOXO
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #59

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YALL.

this week was SO AMAZING.

I guess to start it all out, I gotta explain some background info first. So the Iola missionaries, as I’ve mentioned in the past, have volunteered once a week at a non profit organization here in town called Thrive. They work to promote healthy living in Allen County (the county we live in). They had their ten year anniversary awards banquet on Friday, where they recognized leaders in the county and their work they’ve attributed to the community. Thrive asked us to help them at the dinner with setting up, serving, and making sure everything runs smoothly (because there were 550 people there!!) On the day of the event, we recognized so many people. Less actives, people we had talked to on the street, and some of our neighbors. It was the coolest thing.

Unbeknownst to us, the last award for Volunteer of the Year was given to US! THE LDS MISSIONARIES! They talked about how we leave our families and homes to come to southeast Kansas and serve others because we are called by God. They thanked us for our efforts the past year. We got up on stage to accept our plaque and it was the sweetest thing. Standing in front of 550 people, representing Jesus Christ. I hope that somehow the people there walked away with softer hearts towards the LDS church and missionaries. It was just incredible!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tight nit town and how they have accepted us as family so quickly. Iola will always have a special place in my heart!

Okay yes also this week we MILKED GOATS!! It was also a very tender experience hahahaha. We called Sister Stacy and offered to help with her farm chores one morning. She lives 45 minutes away so we got up and headed out to her farm. We fed the chickens, gave bottles to some goats, and milked the mama goats!! Sister Holt and I actually DID IT!!! Once again I LOVE THIS PLACE hahaha it was so so fun.

As far as actual missionary work goes… it’s going!! We visited with a recent convert in our ward last week and talked about the importance of attending sacrament meeting: Sometimes it’s like washing a bowl with holes in it, we may feel like we aren’t getting anything from it (aka every mom at church with small kids), but the bowl is still clean. We shared that analogy with her and she came to church that next day. Later, she told us that it had inspired her to come. She felt the Spirit working through us and that led her to make a conscious effort to attend sacrament meeting. So awesome.

We also helped out at a soup kitchen at a different church yesterday and SO many people came to talk to us to see who we were! We have a few potential investigators now because of it. We also recognized a ton of people in the community as well. Big things are happening! I LOVE Iola so much. I’ve never served in an area anything like it.

Another happy note: some sisters in the New Mark area (one of my last areas) texted me to say that an investigator we taught is getting baptized December 9th! I think I’ve mentioned Ann before. She’s married to a member and he will be able to baptize her and I will hopefully get to go! Pray for Ann!

I’m so happy to be a missionary. I love this work with my whole heart!!!! Happy thanksgiving y’all! Eat some apple pie and cranberry sauce for me ❤️❤️

XOXOXOXO
Sister Draper