Missouri – week #2

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Hey fam!

Week 2 in the MIM was so great. The VC sisters got to make a
trip to Adam-Ondi-Ahman!! My mom and I went back in May but I learned
SO much more this time around. The man who took us on a “tour” of the
site was named Brother Bonnett. He is the patriarch of the Far West
stake. We were able to actually drive down into the valley of
Adam-Ondi-Ahman. For those who do not know, Adam-Ondi-Ahman was where
Adam and Eve were banished to after being in the garden. Here, they
built altars and Adam blessed his children. I love feeling that strong
spirit there. It is also where Joseph Smith and the Saints gathered.
There is a dedicated temple spot there! We are not sure where it is
but it was going to be built on the highest spot in Spring Hill. We
drove where the Saints built their little town as well. It was fun to
try and imagine the history that took place here. It is also where
Christ will come and there will be a great meeting with many important
members of the church. Something new I learned is that the church at
large will not know when this meeting is occurring. But many
priesthood leaders who hold keys will gather here and report to Adam,
who will then report to Jesus Christ. It was so interesting! I will
attach some pictures and a video. All the sisters gathered around
Preacher’s rock, where Joseph Smith often spoke to the saints, and we
sang “Adam-Ondi-Ahmen.” It was such a great day. We also visited Far
West and saw the four corner stones of the dedicated temple there.
These places are a MUST SEE for everyone. They are very sacred,
special spots.

Well, to pick off where I left off last week, the sealing was PERFECT!
John and Betty were glowing. I have only known them for two weeks but
I love both of them so much! At the luau that night, they said it was
like their wedding reception! Haha. Brother Davies is just so solid.
He is our ward mission leader and I’m pretty sure he does his calling
more than his full time job. He is always calling us to see how
lessons went and volunteering to come on team-ups with us. At our
correlation meeting with him and our ward missionaries, he comes out
with this huge cloak and tells me to put it on haha. Apparently he
bought it a few years ago and it’s this super old cloak used in the
40’s for marching band. Oh the people in Independence are so funny
with what they buy haha.

We had dinner this week with the Gavin’s in our ward. After dinner,
Sister Gavin leaves the room as we are sharing a message with them.
She comes back holding this chicken acting like super casual about it
hahaha. Sister Soto wasn’t even phased haha. So I held a chicken this
week! 😁🙈 Picture to follow…..

Anyways, I had a pretty amazing experience this week. Sister Soto and
I are VC missionaries, so half the day we get to be in the
Independence Visitor’s Center! I took a few tours on my own this week,
which was kind of scary since I don’t know the history 100%, but I
have a testimony of the gift of tongues. Well it’s been a goal of mine
to take a non-member through a tour at the Visitor Center, and it
finally happened. Yesterday a family of three came in to get a tour.
They had a million questions about our church and many times they had
us confused with other break off LDS groups. But as we sat down to
begin the history portion of the tour, the began to ask everything
about temples and what we do in them and the after life including
heaven/hell. They had very good questions but Sister Soto and I were
able to answer each one of them with clarity. As the tour went on, the
mother could not believe how much persecution the saints faced here in
Missouri. She was so moved! But the father kept asking questions like
“I don’t get how Independence was supposed to be Zion when they didn’t
even get to be here very long.” He did not like the concept of
revelation and prophets. When we took them into the printing press and
talked about William W. Phelps, he had more questions. We ended up
talking about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. He was trying to
test us though, I think. He kept asking “Where are these gold plates?
Where is the evidence that they existed?” And etc. And at this point,
I bore the strongest testimony I had ever bore on the Book of Mormon.
I told him about the testimonies of the three and eight witnesses, and
how none of them ever denied the Book of Mormon. I told him that if he
read the book, he would know that a 14 year old boy with an 8th grade
education could not have written this; that this book was from God. I
carried on for about 3 minutes, just bearing my strongest witness of
this amazing book. And yes, there were many tears. But as I looked
back at him, I could tell that his heart was becoming soft. His wife
was in tears as well. I gave them each a copy to read and the wife
said that she would read it and pray to know that it was true. At the
next part of the tour, we show a video of the progression of the
church throughout the years. It is my favorite video! Then, Sister
Soto bore her testimony. She is a convert and I think her story and
conversion process is amazing. The family thanked us for our
testimonies and dedicating our lives to the Savior. I know that the
family left feeling the spirit and with an increased desire to read
the Book of Mormon.

Sister Soto and I have a goal to give out 10 copies of the Book of
Mormon each day. This is the greatest conversion tool we have! Never
take advantage of it. I think that is the biggest thing I have learned
so far. The Saints sacrificed SO MUCH for us and so did many early
leaders and prophets. I love being in Independence and learning more
about their lives.

As far as investigators go, we had to drop Leroy because we didn’t
think he was very accountable, nor did he really understand what we
meant by baptism. But we are still working with Lisa! We also have a
lesson with a potential investigator tonight named Kelsea. We have so
much motivation to find new investigators this week though! I am so
grateful to be a missionary. I love Independence! It is so different
than what I am used to in California, but the only way I can grow is
if I am outside of my comfort zone. Thank you all for the love and
support! LOVE YOU ALL! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Xo
Sister Draper

P.S. From my email, Rachel included a little bit more info about her days:

VC shifts are either 9am-3pm or 3pm-9pm. On Sunday, our shift is
always 12:20-3:30 because church ends at 12. Sometimes we have full pros
days too. Since the VC isn’t busy during this time, we have about
three full pros days a week. Yes mostly we get one meal a day from
members. We don’t have time to come home for lunch so if we don’t have
a meal, we bring it from home. We ate at the Overera’s last Sunday. Their son actually served in Carlsbad when it was one mission and knows Bishop Pena!

We do Teaching Center at the VC for about an hour a day. Still
teaching Lindsey and I have been sending a lot of referrals (meaning
sending local missionaries over to people)! It’s so fun.

There is always one senior couple on shift with us. We actually met
the Wilsons when you and I were here in May. They are my favorite senior
couple!!! The senior sister is usually just in charge of the VC while
the Torontos aren’t here. And the senior elder is in charge of safety
and everything. He makes sure homeless people don’t come inside and
also he takes older people on tours so they can all relate. I LOVE THE
TORONTOS!!! They are so amazing and fun and nice!! Sister Toronto
reminds me of a mix of Gma Draper and Dokos. She is so sweet and funny
but also is very business-like and knows what what she is doing. Their son
in the Avendale ward! Brother Toronto. You should meet them. And they
go home in January and visit their kids, you should try to meet them too!
I really love them.

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