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

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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

Missouri – week #58

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Hello everyone!!

You’ve probably seen some activity from me on FACEBOOK! So so crazy. We received our smartphones this week too and there have been lots of changes in our missionary work–but change is so good!! The Lord is hastening His work and I’m glad I get to be apart of it.

YAYY we went to the KC temple this week to do baptisms with the one and only Alyssa!!! We went to the family history center with her on Wednesday to find some names to take! Alyssa thought that she was the only member in her family, but the more names we filled in, we were able to find matches and extend her family tree! She has SO many ancestors with their work already done. It was so touching to see Alyssa realizing that she wasn’t the only member in her family anymore. We even found two names for her to be baptized for. Ahh such a special experience. I love the peace I feel inside the temple and seeing how thin the veil really is.

I wanted to share something I really felt strongly about this week and that is the Savior’s Atonement. On Tuesday, Sister Holt and I met with a lady who has been coming back to church recently. She showed up to sacrament meeting three weeks ago and has been coming ever since. We talked with her openly and she described to us what her life had been like for the last three years. She was addicted to illegal and very dangerous substances and had to sign away her children’s custody. She went through a divorce and experienced a lot of depression. She told us that she had hit rock bottom and knew something needed to change. That’s why she came back to church. She’s been using the church’s addiction recovery program and said that quitting her addictions this time has been easier because she is involving the Savior. Sister Holt and I testified of the Atonement and how He can forgive us and literally change us into better people. We were all in tears, the Spirit was so tangible. I am very grateful for my Savior. Like she said, EVERYTHING is so much easier when we give Him our burden and carry His yoke. I felt the Savior’s love for her so much and this is yet another moment when I was so happy to be a missionary. ❤️❤️

I read an amazing talk by Elder Holland this week and this quote pretty much sums it up: “The word gospel as we use it in English comes down to us through early scriptural language which meant literally ‘good news’ or sometimes ‘glad tidings.’ The ‘good news’ was that death and hell could be escaped, that mistakes and sins could be overcome, that there was hope, that there was help, that the insoluble was solved, that the enemy had been conquered. The good news was that everyone’s tomb could one day be empty, that everyone’s soul could again be pure, that every child of God could again return to the Father who gave them life.”

Well, that’s all for this week! HAVE A BLESSED DAY

XOXO
sister draper

Missouri – week #57

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HEYO!

We had a pretty exciting week–although sadly it did not include combines or slaughtered pigs hahaha.

Our mission is one of twelve missions worldwide that got chosen to use smartphones to proselyte! Along with that, we will be using Facebook. I logged on this past week to fix up my profile, sort through my friends, and get it all ready for our big debut hahaha. Can I just say that that was the weirdest thing ever?? There have definitely been lots of changes since I’ve left hahaha so yeah it was very weird. But I know it’s inspired and I’m excited to be apart of the Lord’s hastening!

We met a new friend this week! TK is her nickname we call her. Crystal, a lady in the ward we read the Book of Mormon with every week, is her babysitter. TK was over one day while we were reading and we invited her to join! She’s the cutest 13 year old girl and she has been reading the Book of Mormon ever since! AND she’s read the whole Children’s Picture Book of Mormon. She came to church last week but she’s not allowed to come back to church until she’s ungrounded…classic hahaha. She wrote Sister Holt and I notes and this is what mine said:

“Dear Sister Greer (hahahah),
You are a cool person I admire you. You are the best missionary ever. You are really nice, I’m going to be sad when you leave. You have inspired me to do what my heart follows and now I want to be a missionary like you. Thanks for being the best. I like talking to you, you’re the only person who can keep my crush a secret.

-Takaya”

She also included the quote: “‘You are a flashlight when a room goes dark. You can light it up!!’ -Takaya.” Hahahaha

So yeah, Takaya made my whole week!! Pray for her that she can get her chores done so she can get ungrounded and we can teach her hahaha.

Another cool experience from this week that actually happened TODAY: We went to Walmart this morning for our usual Monday p day shopping. I put the cart away and got in the car, then Sister Holt drove away. We were driving for about 2 minutes and she goes, “HOLD ON” then flips the car around and we drive back to the parking lot. She said that while I was putting the cart away, she saw a woman in a car next to us crying. We awkwardly knocked on her window and talked to her about how she was feeling. She was super overwhelmed with life, her family, finances, just everything. We were able to share the Book of Mormon with her and promise her peace as she reads it. She gave us both hugs and said “I’m going to have a good day now because of you girls. Thank you for being angels.” I love moments like this as a missionary. We can literally be the Lord’s hands and reach out to His children. This is what life is all about. I love love love being a missionary and I’m so GRATEFUL for Sister Holt’s prompting. #proudmamamoment.

Not too much else happened this week, so I don’t have a ton to report on haha. I love this area, my comp, and everything else that’s happening! LOVE YALL

XOXO
Sister Draper

Missouri week #56

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HELLO this was SUCHHHH a great week!! I love being a missionary and I love Iola! Some highlights include:

-riding on a Combine!! A family in our ward had us over for dinner on their farm. Haha Brother Hayes called us the night before to ask if that was allowed. Sister Holt and I both looked at each other and asked “what’s a combine?!?” Hahaha so embarrassing. We ate pizza and took a little ride on their combine to harvest some beans! It was SO FUN I’ve never experienced anything like it. Sister Holt and I love their family, too. Their little daughter told us, “I’m going to be so sad when you guys are transfurled.” hahaha same. I love all of the people here so so much.
-Bishop Spencer texted us on Thursday to confirm our weekly meeting on Friday. This is what the text read: “Meeting at my house tomorrow. Need to butcher a pig.” Casual right? IT WAS CRAZY HAHAHA. We pet the pig and took pictures with her, then bishop came in to kill her. SO SAD. Then, we watched him hang her upside down and skin her. The ward really wants to give us the Iola experience I guess!!! I probably won’t be eating pork for a while hahahaha.
-MY BFF AND FORMER MIM MISHY CYD MORGAN CAME TO SEE ME!! Friday morning, our doorbell rang and Cydne was standing on our porch! She did studies with us (more like she watched us study ha ha), helped us roleplay, and then we went to lunch with her. Looooove my bff it was so good to see her. True friendship is driving two hours down to Iola 💛
-Most importantly, ALYSSA GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was such a special day. Half of the people at her baptism were her friends from the soccer team. It was so cool to see how much support she had. The Spirit was so strong as always and I’m just so proud of her decision.

I talk about this all the time, but our Savior truly knows each of us. When Sister Holt and I were transferred to iola to open this area for sisters, we faced a lot of uncertainty. The first few days we were here, we prayed for miracles. We prayed that we would know and understand what we needed to accomplish while we were here. During our correlation meeting with the Ward Mission Leader on our first Sunday before sacrament meeting just 8 weeks ago, Brother Greenwall interrupted to tell us that we had a visitor at church! That’s when we met Alyssa. This is her side of the story: She had woken up that morning and felt impressed to go to church. She had been living in Iola for about two months and hadn’t attended any church during those weeks. But this impression did not leave her and she was determined to go. She thought for a while about which one to attend, and finally decided to go to the LDS church because that was the religion of her newly adopted family. I know that was the Holy Ghost that guided Alyssa to church that Sunday. It was the same Holy Ghost that inspired President Love to open up this area for sister missionaries after 6 months without them. I know that there are no coincidences; it was simply the guiding hand of the Lord. And because each of the people involved listened and acted on promptings, Alyssa is now a member of Jesus Christ’s church and can receive the associated blessings. I was reading in 3 Nephi this week and read this phrase said by the Savior Himself: “I know my sheep.” I know this is true!

We were able to take Alyssa to the Independence Visitor’s Center on Sunday to watch the new Restoration movies about the translation of the Book of Mormon and the organization of the Church. (If you haven’t seen them, they are playing at all Visitor Centers!!!) On the drive home, we talked about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ just makes so much SENSE! I know that it is true and I’m grateful that Alyssa has found that out for herself too.

Thank you for all of your continued prayers and support. I love you all! Have wonderful weeks!

XOXO
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #55

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IOLA ROUND

Transfers happened this week and I’m so happy I get to spend another 6 weeks in Iola finishing training Sister Holt! We are stoked!!! Also we have another set of sisters in our district now which will be sooo nice hahaha.

Here’s this week’s fun fact about Iola: People here like pickle pops…they are literally just how they sound hahaha. They take pickle juice and pour them into tiny plastic cups and freeze them into popsicles. The kids go HAM at all the sporting events when they sell them…so strange hahaha. #somanyiolathings I’m pretty sure my life expectancy has decreased by 5 years because of secondhand smoke and I’m also pretty sure I’ll forever smell like cats but I really do love this lil town!

This was was toooo good though. ALYSSA’S BAPTISM IS THIS WEEKEND WOO YAY for Alyssa! We moved it to Friday because her team is playing in a championship game on Saturday. Also she made the decision this week to play soccer at UVU next year WOO. I can’t wait for her to become a member of the church and receive the blessings it brings. She deserves and needs the gospel so much and I’m so so so happy for her.

We had a dinner yesterday for all the YSA’s in the Iola Ward so we can get activities rollin down here. I loved serving in the Lib YSA so I really wanted to get the people here excited about YSA!! So all of last week, we went out contacted some less active sheepies and invited them to the dinner. There’s another college campus in Chanute and Sister Holt and I COULD NOT for the life of us get ahold of some girls that lived there… so we decided to straight up knock on their dorm room and meet them in person. Well, we didn’t really think that through when we got there and parked. I tell ya, I’ve been a missionary for a long time now, but something about walking on a college campus looking like 2 Amish girls with people UR AGE staring at you is still pretty embarrassing. But we did it anyway because the gospel is true!!! We couldn’t find the girls, but we ran into a guy on the men’s soccer team and asked him where they lived. He didn’t understand us very well because he was from Brazil!! But he did tell us that he was Christian and wanted to find a church in the area! We gave him our card and exchanged info (no srry @brazilianguy we don’t have whatsapp). But in all seriousness, it was SO COOL to see that the Lord still needed us there at that very moment Brazilian guy walked by, even if we couldn’t contact the people we were looking for. I say this a million times but God is so personally aware of us.

We also picked up a new investigator this week named Irene and she is so ready and prepared to learn more! Pray for Irene!

It was just a really good week and Sister Holt and I felt the Spirit working through us in every contact/lesson we had. We also got to go to the Kansas City temple on Saturday and it was one of my favorite sessions I’ve done! In the words of Brother Greenwall, our fav ward member here who is also a temple sealer, “the temple is REAL. We think that the world outside of the temple is ‘reality’ but it’s not. The temple is reality. It is eternal.” Everytime I am in the temple I feel how real it is. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so REAL and I just still love helping others feel that too.

XOXO
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #54

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HAPPY FARM CITY DAYS!

Iola’s world famous and long awaited Farm City Days happened this weekend and it was SO FUN! People set up booths for their businesses on the square and there was a huuuge parade around the town. Sister Holt and I helped a lady in our ward set up her booth for her business (“Leaha’s Adorably Cute Creations” check a sista out). We got there at 6:30am to help her set up, then we did our studies and went back out during our lunch time to eat (we made sure to pick up some homemade apple butter…I love the Midwest)! Because the WHOLE TOWN was out, we tried to contact people there instead of knockin on their doors. We also supported members/investigators that participated in the parade! You know you live in a small, rural town when half the parade was just various farm tractors hahahaha. But it was sooooo fun. I love Iola!

We had another humbling experience this week (not really, just kind of funny). We drove an hour out to another town YEP STILL IN OUR AREA to try to contact some members. Our bishop told us to visit them because he said it would be “eye opening” for us “California girls” and eye opening it was! When we got there, the driveway was too muddy to drive on so we parked at the bottom and walked alllll the way up. in the mud (pretty sure this moment is why the Lord inspired President Love to transfer us here…I’m sure it was pretty entertaining to watch haha). When we made it inside, it was insane haha I wish I could describe to you what I saw. No electricity, no indoor plumbing. They had built their own house and it was all one room, no walls to separate the bedroom from the kitchen. They also only live off the land and they showed us their food storage room. It was nuts!! It’s been so interesting to experience different cultures and lifestyles here. There’s never a dull moment in the Iola Ward!

Alyssa is still doing really, really good and is all set for Oct. 28th!!! We are finishing her lessons this week!! Your prayers are really working, so keep praying for her! Also please pray for my other bff investigator Bailey; her husband is a member and she is sooooo close to accepting a bap date!

Lastly, I’ll just mention something that I learned at Zone Conference last week. Elder Larry Echo Hawk of the Seventy came to speak to us! Something I loved that he said was, “If you are having a perfect life or a perfect mission, the Plan of Salvation is not working for you.” My mission has NOT been perfect, it has been SO hard but also so good. He also mentioned the talk “Rise To Your Call” by President Eyring and it CHANGED MY LIFE. They talk is about church callings, but it fits so perfectly with missions too. Here’s my favorite part from it:

“Your call has eternal consequences for others and for you. In the world to come, thousands may call your name blessed, even more than the people you serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were. If someone rejects the Savior’s invitation because you did not do all you could have done, their sorrow will be yours. You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord. Your call carries grave responsibility. But you need not fear, because with your call come great promises.”

I have seen the blessings come from serving the Lord and carrying out my calling. I invite y’all to read his talk too and see how you can magnify your calling :))

LOVE YALL

XOXO
Sister Draper