Missouri – week #15

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Hey everyone!

This week basically led up to a supposedly “massive ice storm” that just turned out to be a really cold day on Sunday hahaha. Church was cancelled for our ward (yes, again) BUT so was the whole Independence Stake! So with permission from President Vest, all of the Inde Zone had our own sacrament meeting in the chapel. It was so so special. The Spirit was so strong. I can’t even describe how amazing it was…it was definitely one of the the highlights of my mission so far. But yeah, the storm was so overly-hyped! All of the people we talked to kept asking if we had food storage and flashlights…yeah we were just fine!!

We are working with a few new investigators! Tina and Tony are an engaged couple getting married by our bishop next week! We met them last week at the Visitor Center because they were looking for someone to marry them super last minute. Tina had met with sister missionaries in the past, which is why she was looking for an LDS bishop to marry them. And so far, we have been able to teach them the Restoration as well! They had so many great questions about the Book of Mormon and committed to begin reading it. Tina loves the missionaries so much and recognizes that this is God’s way of speaking to her. She collects nickels too (to remind her of her passed loved ones) and was so amazed to find out that I collect pennies! She said ever since I met her, she has found a penny every day!! I love them both and I’m excited to continue to teach them! (And go to their wedding woooo!!)

Benita is also doing well. We stopped by a couple times this week to see her! Her testimony is so solid. Please please continue to pray for her, but especially Marvin that his heart may be softened to our message. Heavenly Father wants them to be an eternal family so bad (and so do we!) As of right now, she doesn’t have a specific baptismal date because we are all waiting on Marvin. She wants to be baptized together…I have so much faith that he will change! On exchanges this week, Sister Bishop and I had a great lesson with her and we were both so impressed by her strength. I am learning to be patient and wait on the Lord’s timing. All of the comments and emails last week really helped me have hope! Thank you all so much.

Sadly, the Toronto’s left this week, BUT our new directors, the Peterson’s, are so great! The Toronto’s reminded me of my grandparents and Sister Peterson reminds me of my mom 🙂 I feel so blessed to have served so closely with Elder and Sister Toronto. The transition should be pretty smooth and I’m not too worried about it! Change is good!

Some tender mercies throughout the week: Elder Wilson brought me a Diet Coke from McDonalds during our studies, we had a lesson with an RLDS woman (ps SO hard to teach people with the same religious background as us…and same church history…and same belief of the Book of Mormon), we put our friend Mary on date for baptism Feb 11, and didn’t slip on the ice!

And before I end, wanted to share something that I really loved this week! During our district meeting, our district leader shared a talk with us called “What is True Greatness?” given by President Howard W Hunter. He discusses the difference between what true greatness is in the world and what it is in God’s eyes. Here’s my favorite part:

“Joseph Smith is not generally remembered as a general, mayor, architect, editor, or presidential candidate. We remember him as the prophet of the Restoration, a man committed to the love of God and the furthering of His work. The Prophet Joseph was an everyday Christian. He was concerned about the small things, the daily tasks of service and caring for others.” This is so true. I have such an admiration and love for the Prophet Joseph Smith. (It definitely showed when Sister Williams and I sobbed as we watched the Restoration movie during a slow shift this week hahaha). He was a successful person because he constantly strived to follow our Heavenly Father, not those around them.

President Hunter goes on: “We all want to achieve a measure of greatness in this life. Many have already achieved great things; others are striving to achieve greatness. Let me encourage you to achieve and, at the same time, to remember who you are. Don’t let the illusion of fleeting worldly greatness overcome you. Many people are losing their souls to such temptations. Your good name is not worth selling–for any price. True greatness is to remain true–‘True to the faith that our parents have cherished, True to the truth for which martyrs have perished.'”

This hit me so hard! As I am serving my Heavenly Father, I want to be successful in His eyes, not the world’s. And I think that’s part of the reason why A LOT of people don’t accept the Gospel (this week, a man told me to get my “butt off his property now” hahaha). They are so worried about being “normal” or “accepted” or “successful” in the worldly sense. But as members of the church, we often fall into this trap too. We worry about our careers, schooling, our finances, where we want to live, what clothes we want to buy (me), but we don’t focus as much on our spiritual success. I pray that we all focus on the small and simple things this week to please the Lord. Being a missionary has really changed my perspective on these things. I’ll attach the talk!

I love you all so much! I am so so happy. Being a missionary is so FUN. As long as you work hard to keep the commandments, being a missionary is so enjoyable. I pray for you all each day and I hope you have a wonderful week! ❤️

Xoxo
Sister Draper

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