Missouri – week #6

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HELLO FAMILY!
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this week was.

First off, AMANDA IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEKEND! She is a missionary’s dream. Golden Investigator. (She laughs when we tell her this haha) We fasted this week and she was able to come to church! AND because she’s been sharing the gospel so much, her mom is now interested in taking the discussions! We have our first lesson with her mom, Bonnie tonight and we are showing her and Amanda the Restoration movie. Can I just brag about Amanda for a second? She’s just perfect hahaha we took her to the VC for the first time on Thursday and she LOVED it. We showed her God’s Plan For His Family and she cried all through it. We bore testimony to her that she has loved ones on the other side just waiting for her to do their temple work! It was such a spiritual moment. Sister Soto and I were crying, Amanda was crying, the members were crying…we could definitely feel the presence of her ancestors there with us. We then took her to the Living Prophets room, where you can listen to General Conference talks. She had never heard the Prophet or Apostles speak before and she was in awe. She said “this is what I’ve believed my whole life, but no one has ever told me!” She also said “as soon as I heard them speak, I knew that they were called of God.” She is pumped about the gospel. Every time we invite her to do something, she does it!!! She is already in the book of Alma and she has been listening to conference talks every single day for hours!!! We texted her yesterday and asked who she wanted to give talks at her baptism on Saturday and she goes, “President Uchtdorf!!!” Hahaha. She is just amazing. She studies each lesson before we even teach it to her. She is truly prepared. I’m so excited for her baptism on Saturday! I will attach a picture of us from this week in front of the statue of Christ.

Another miracle this week was meeting Hailey! We were looking at the part member family list and after praying, decided to visit the ones we had never met before. Sister Olsen (who is less active) was on that list so we visited her house. Hailey answered the door and said that Sister Olsen was her older sister. Hailey told us that she wasn’t a member, but had been reading the Book of Mormon recently. Crazy!!! We came over the next day and taught the first lesson. We showed her the 20 minute version of the restoration and she was so touched the entire time. She came to church on Sunday and since she is 17, she went to young women’s! We also had the plan of salvation lesson with her yesterday and she said that this plan had answered questions that she had always wondered about! Sister Olsen also shared with us that when we knocked on their door, that was God’s way of telling her that she needed to come back to church. She was also at church on Sunday and sat through both lessons! Hailey is progressing so much and she’s such a sweetheart! She wants to go to Adam Ondi Ahman and Sister Olsen said that she would take us next Saturday. We are hoping that she gets parental permission so that she can be baptized soon ☺️

Something really cool happened last night! Sister Andree took us out to dinner last night to Cracker Barrel. As I sat down, Heavenly Father strongly prompted me to talk to this older man sitting at the table next to us. I even shared this with Sister Soto, but I was a little nervous, since I haven’t had very great experiences talking to old people here haha. But I sucked it up and turned to him and just as I did, so did he! He asked “are you RLDS missionaries?” And I quickly explained that we were not, but that we were LDS missionaries. He began to tell me that he was related to Lucy Mack! (Joseph Smith’s mother) We talked about his family history for a bit and then I asked him what he believed. He told me that he believed in Jesus Christ and that He is our Savior. He told me that Jospeh Smith couldn’t have replaced what Christ did. I was able to clear up that misunderstanding! I told him that we worshipped Jesus Christ the same way he did, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We invited him to come to the visitor center to talk more about his family history. He said he would love to come!! I just think it’s so cool how God is directing everything in my life. That’s something that I didn’t usually notice before I was a missionary. I’m still amazed by it! I have more of a personal relationship with God because I can recognize when He is speaking to me through the Holy Ghost. As we study out our plans and take them to the Lord, He directs us! I can’t even describe the feeling.

Not too many people came through the Visitor Center this week, but President and Sister Vest did! They requested that I give them a history tour. We roleplayed and they pretended like they were nonmembers. So not only did I have to teach them the history, but I also had to teach them the first lesson along with it. It actually went well and I was so proud of myself! President Vest had so many funny questions he asked me throughout the tour. He used his first name and since we were in a roleplay, I called him Randy a few times and it was the weirdest feeling ever hahaha. I love both of them so much!!! I also love the Torontos, who are the VC directors. If you know my grandma Dokos, you know Sister Toronto. A year ago, my grandma passed away and on that anniversary of her passing, I had an interview with the Torontos and shared with them how much they remind me of my grandparents. And God’s Plan For His Family reminds me of my grandma and grandpa Draper. The first time I saw that presentation, my family and I were at the LA visitors center and my grandpa had just passed away. So now, every time I watch it, I think of my sweet angels who are watching over me! I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by people who remind me of my friends and family. It doesn’t make me trunky actually, it makes me feel so comfortable and loved!

In other news, we found a dead mouse in our house and some other sisters volunteered to come and take it out (I promise…they volunteered!) And of course I got teased for it by our Zone and some of the Senior Couples at the VC. We are hoping that the dollhouse doesn’t become infested again like it has in the past. But it’s all cleaned up and all is well again!!

We have transfers this week and Sister Soto and I are SO NERVOUS. We love each other so much and we are finally seeing success in Inde 4th! But I know that whatever happens is the Lord’s will. I have faith in the keys and revelation that President Vest has!

I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the restored gospel. I love seeing the change in people as they learn more and keep their commitments. During my roleplay with President Vest, he said “you’re pretty young, why are you here as a missionary?” I told him that it’s because I KNOW that this is Jesus Christ’s gospel once again restored to the earth. And I am willing to put MY life on hold in order to help others progress in theirs. There’s no way I can pay back the debt to my Savior Jesus Christ but I can give Him my time as a missionary. I am learning to give God my will and let Him change me into the person HE wants me to become. I know that if I continue to allow Him to do this, I won’t have any regrets as a missionary. I love this work and I am so so happy. Share the gospel with those around you and pray for these opportunities! The Lord is preparing people and we might not even know it.

I love you all and I will talk to you next week!
Xo
Sister Draper

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