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 :)))
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!