Missouri – week #44

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hello friends and family!

I can’t believe it’s been another week…today I hit my 11 month mark and I think it’s CRAZY how fast time flies!!

We had a really good week though. Lots of meetings and shifts at the Jail, but we were able to see a lot of awesome things. I’ll give three miracles this week covering each of my areas!!!

FIRST OF ALL, CEDAE AND BELLA ARE GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had L3 this week and talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ using videos and other visual aids :))) when we asked Cedae if she had any reservations about baptism, she said that she had felt the Spirit testify to her that this was true and just wanted to keep learning!! She was SO HAPPY when we invited her to be baptized. We helped her pick the day to work toward: September 9th. And then when we asked Bella about baptism, without hesitation she picked December 14th….naturally :)))) because that’s her 10th birthday. Still working on that one hahaha but we were sooooo happy nonetheless!!! I love the Stafford family with MY WHOLE HEART!! During our lesson, I just had the thought come to me, “THIS. this is why you’re in Missouri.” It was so overwhelming and I feel so blessed to serve some of the most amazing people here. I can’t wait for their big day!!!! Pleaseeeee keep them in your prayers!

Next, on Teaching Center, I called up my homie Collin Clark from Ohio who came on to Mormon.org and chatted with me a few weeks ago about what Mormonism was. He felt like he was “missing something.” Well when I called to follow up, he said that he had met with missionaries about 6 weeks ago and was baptized about 3 weeks ago!! He had JUST read Alma when I called him to see how he was doing. I was so excited!!!! I LOVE Teaching Center and talking to people everywhere. He said he got kicked out by his family and he’s moving to Provo to be around more members of the church… so I’m stoked that I’ll probably meet him someday!

And lastly, a man came into the Jail this week with his two adult children and they were so cool. I love when people come in just ready to be engaged and participate! It’s my favorite thing when tours are conversations and not rote presentations. But anyway, this guy had nine kids total and I was able to relate a story to him. Caleb Baldwin, who was one of the men in the Liberty Jail with Joseph Smith, also had nine children and so he was really concerned about leaving his family and coming to the Jail. He expressed his feelings to the judge at their hearing, and the judge actually had pity on him. He was told that if he would deny Joseph Smith as a prophet and renounce the church, he wouldn’t have to come to the Jail. But Caleb Baldwin, although I’m sure it was a hard decision, couldn’t agree to those terms. I asked the man who came in what he would’ve done in that situation. He started to cry as he reflected on how much his family meant to him, but he replied and said that the church meant too much to him to deny. The family who came in was so amazed by Caleb’s faith and so am I.

Although we sacrifice very menial things compared to Caleb Baldwin, I am grateful for the opportunities we have to rely on our faith and trust in God. My mission has seriously been the hardest thing I have ever done BY FAR, but in sacrificing time with my family in friends, I have learned to trust my Heavenly Father and His promises. Remember that when some things seem like a sacrifice. The gospel is just so worth it!!!!

XOXO
sister draper

216 N Main St
Liberty MO 64068

 

Sent from my iPad

Missouri – week #43

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Helloooooo!!! I had an awesome week!!! My p day will now be on Monday for the next two transfers at least :))

President Love had the whole mission shook with transfers, but Sister Bleak and I stayed the same! We get another 6 weeks with each other in the best ward ever!

sooo many good things happened this week! Here are some highlights:
Another set of sisters moved into the jailhouse! 6 sisters, 2 bathrooms. Haha but we are making it work! I just loooove our sissies serving at the Jail. We have a tradition that on the night before transfers, we dress up in pioneer clothes and take pictures in the Jail. hahahaha it was so classic. pictures 2 come.
We had a POWERFUL lesson with the Stafford family this week. We watched the Restoration movie at the Jail (it is seriously the coolest thing because so many of the events happened here!) Cedae said she felt very touched by the movie and we were able to explain how to Holy Ghost testifies to us. She even brought her boyfriend Gabe, who wants to be apart of the lessons too! Gahh it was just so good. Marcy wants her daughters to be baptized so badly so we invited them to continue to read and pray to receive a witness. I am just so incredibly grateful to know this family and see how many changes they have made since meeting with us. I love them!!!
Bytheway, I took a tour with John Bytheway!! Haha Sister Bleak and I had no idea he was hiding in a huge bus tour until AFTER we took it! I guess that’s okay though because we weren’t as nervous. But that was pretty cool!!! Hope he liked it hahaha ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Bishop Russell took us out to lunch at Panera Bread to go through the ward mission plan. hahah pretty sure everyone there thought we were #sisterwives but we are pretty used to that by now. Bishop Russell is FIRED UP about missionary work and we can’t wait to see the miracles in this ward because of it.

During Bishop’s lesson in 3rd hour combined, he talked about how we are the master builders of the Lord’s kingdom (referenced the Lego movie a time or two haha). All of us are “the special” because we have talents and gifts that can help others find the joy of the gospel. But I loved that! Our Father’s “work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Jesus Christ already covered the immortality part when He was resurrected. It is up to US to help others have eternal life through the Doctrine of Christ. One of my favorite quotes that I heard this week motivated me to share the gospel and bring about this plan. When calling some of the apostles to serve missions, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”

This is SO TRUE! I love being a missionary and having this opportunity to share the gospel with everyone I see. And as members of the church, we have covenanted to do the same thing. Spread the love and share Christ’s restored gospel!

LOVE YALL!!!!

XOXO
Sister Draper

Missouri – week #42

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Can you tell by the subject of the email that we taught a 9 year old the Plan of Salvation? Haha she offered the closing prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for being on earth life. same.

THIS WEEK WAS INSANE THOUGH! Saturday night, a massive windstorm blew through Liberty and knocked out our power. We couldn’t sleep because the AC wasn’t working and the temp climbed to 85 degrees 🙂 When we “woke” up, the power was STILL out and we walked over to the Jail to see if it was working–it wasn’t!! JUST after getting ready in the dark, the power came on all at once and I was so grateful haha. The Jail was 80 degrees (our poor visitors) but we were glad that we could open it! The power in our church building and most of Liberty was still out BUT we still had sacrament meeting. You guys, it was so cool hahaha we walked into the church building and it was SO dark and SO HOT. There were camping lanterns everywhere #justmissourithings. I guess they still needed to have sacrament so they could release our bishop and call a new one (YAYY Bishop Russell!).

But as I took the sacrament, my mind went back to the last supper when Christ first implemented the Sacrament. I’m sure the surroundings were pretty similar. Dark and hot, but very simple. I just felt this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my Savior as I was able to recommit and remember my covenants with Him and my Heavenly Father. You best believe I thanked Heavenly Father for air conditioning and electricity that night though.

We had so many happy moments this week! We met with Felicia and her family, including Bren. She had so many great questions and promised she would read the Book of Mormon. They were so excited for us to come that they made us cookies haha seriously they are the sweetest family.

We also had a lesson with Marcy and her daughters. Bella, the 9 year old I mentioned earlier, really loved the Plan of Salvation. We taught them that their other sister who is handicapped, Gabby, would be able to receive a perfect mind and body at the resurrection. We read Moroni 8 and talked about how children and those unaccountable are alive in Christ. It was so special. Bella asked us if she could be baptized and so we invited her and Cedae to continue to read and pray about the Plan of Salvation and ask about baptism. Like I said, Bella closed us out with a prayer (this lil girl is ADHD and it probably took at least 5 minutes to calm her down but she actually said it!) I loved when after she thanked God for literally everything, including her cats three times, she paused and said, “is this Plan real?” That has really impacted me the last couple of days. We can ask our Father specific questions in prayer if we have the faith that He will answer us. Bella is just the sweetest. I really love the Stafford family so much and Sister Bleak and I have been blessed to see this miracle unfold this transfer. Please keep praying for our friends!

The Jail has been so great, too. I’ve taken some really awesome people through tours. Serving in a Visitor Center has been a huuuuge blessing because I’ve been able to meet people from all over the world and from different walks of life. Just yesterday, I took a couple through and they were from Denmark and Sweden! It has been so cool to see the Spirit work through me and help me discern needs. I love developing my talents and trying to understand what the Holy Ghost would have me say. GAH I just love this place so much!

The Lord has really tested me this week with some trials that have come both physically and spiritually. We talked with a man who was very hostile against the church and what we do as missionaries. I’m grateful for my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the Restoration. I truly know that this is Christ’s church. Although I am still very young, I have had way too many experiences in my life to deny what I know to be true.

Although the Lord has humbled me this week in more ways than one, I am still “thankful to be on earth life.”

I love you guys!

XO
Sister Draper

216 N Main St
Liberty MO 64068

Missouri – week #41

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helloooooo and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA!! love you so much :))

Things are great over here! It has been SO HOT AND HUMID. wow one day in the jail, the AC broke when we had a bus tour of 400 people inside (I now know why it’s sometimes called the armpit of america). But I love Missouri and sometimes I just close my eyes and pretend like I’m somewhere tropical like Hawaii and I can handle it.

Not too much happened this week, we are still working with the Stafford’s, Anchondo’s, Green’s, and Felicia and Bren. PLEASEEEE pray for them!

We had exhanges with Liberty 1st! I was with Sister Godfrey, who is right outta the MTC. We focused on finding a lot and she was nervous about leading a door approach. I told her I’d take the first one and she would take the next. And she was amazing! We actually got let in and set up a return appointment. When we walked away she was so stoked! I love the fire that new missionaries have; they just need a little encouragement.

It was a good week at the Jail with some really good tours. I took a woman and her kids through and they were so involved! At the end, the mom was really feeling the Spirit during the last narration in the jail. I felt prompted to invite her to bear testimony to her children. She told them that she had been completely inactive in college, had her children out of wedlock even, but felt very prompted to drive to Nauvoo one day. As she did so, she felt the Spirit so strongly at those historical sites that it brought her back to church. She said that she had brought them to the jail that day so that they could feel and recognize the Spirit and know that the church was true. She thanked me for facilitating the Spirit and making it a memorable experience.

Another tour I took was a family reunion. They had a million kids and I tried my best to keep their attention throughout the 40 minute tour (this is so hard to do hahah). When I was listening to the last recording, I was touched that the Lord calls the Prophet, “My Son…” I felt in that moment, that God is so aware of each of us and loves us perfectly because we are His children. I invited all of the kids up to stand with me and sing “I am a Child of God.” It was so sweet to hear the kids bear simple testimony and see how it had touched the parents.

I have really tried to make each tour about the one; to focus on the promptings of the Spirit and put in 100% to each tour. Something Elder Peterson shared with us sisters during our training meeting on Thursday was how the Savior was also so aware of the one. As a resurrected Being in the Americas, He blessed and talked with each of the 2,500 ancient inhabitants. 3 Nephi 17 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon because of this. Elder Peterson said that if the Savior only spent 10 seconds with each of the 2,500 people, it would have taken Him 7 hours total. It is mentioned time and time again that He blesses them “one by one.” The Savior cares about each of us so deeply. I’m grateful to know this and that I have the opportunity to share it with everyone.

I love you all so much!

XOXO
Sister Draper

ps. tune in next week when some of my favorite people come to my favorite place and I get to take them on a tour! See you soon, Dunning’s!!

Missouri – week #40

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HEY fam!
❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️

It was another really great week in the MIM. We met President and Sister Love!! They are the complete opposite of the Vest’s haha but I love them so much (no pun intended). Their motto is “work hard, play hard” and I’m stoked about that! We met them at MLC on Wednesday and saw them again on Thursday for our Zone Conference and then I spent some time with them one on one in my interviews on Saturday. During interviews, President Love talked with me about things that he wouldn’t have known unless I told him. He is so inspired and I know that he has been called by God to oversee this mission. He’s so humble, very blue collar, but he is such a hard worker. I’m excited to finish out my mission with them!

At MLC, President shared something that I really loved. He said that during a Stake conference, a young boy asked Elder Bednar if he had served a mission. Elder Bednar replied that yes, he had. Then the boy asked, “What did you sacrifice?” Elder Bednar then replied, “Absolutely nothing. And neither will you. Till this end were you born.” Going into my mission, I thought I was sacrificing so many things. But it’s so true, I haven’t sacrificed anything at all. The Lord has blessed me so much over the last 10 months and my heart is so full.

But on to my week!

HUGE miracle occurred at church on Sunday. Lemme explain.

We had an amazing lesson with a part member family at the Russell’s house (talked about them briefly a few weeks ago). Marcy, the mom, has been inactive for ten years and has three unbaptized daughters. She has NOT been receptive to missionaries in such a long time so it has been a miracle that we’ve been meeting with them for the past 2 weeks. We read 3 Nephi 11 in our lesson and invited them to continue to read the Book of Mormon, take the missionary discussions, and come to church. And they agreed!! Cedae, the 17 year old, expressed to us that she wouldn’t be able to make it to church because she had to work. But when we showed up on Sunday, all of them were there!!! I WAS SO HAPPY!!

Also, we weren’t able to meet with Felicia and Bren this week BUT Sister Hanson texted us Saturday night and said that Bren would be coming to church with her family! And he LOVED IT. He said he wants to come every week! Sister Bleak and I were just beaming during sacrament.

Lastly, we met with another part member family this week and they agreed to take the missionary discussions. I talked about them last week in my email! The father was baptized in Blue Mills when he was young and no one else in his family are members. We did some HTBT and talked about how WE were converted to the gospel. It was such a huge miracle to pick up 4 investigators this week.

Hard work truly pays off. Being diligent doesn’t necessarily affect how much success we have, but it shows the Lord that we are ready and prepared to receive His children. I love working hard and establishing trust with my Father in Heaven. Please pray for our friends this week! The power of prayer is real.

XOXO
sister draper

Ps. Two fun things about Missouri: mosquitoes and Kool Aid. I haven’t had more mosquito bites in my life (I have 18…and they are currently swollen around my ankles #cankles) and everyone here drinks Kool Aid during dinner. That is all.

216 N Main St
Liberty MO 64068

Missouri – week #39

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HAPPY 4th OF JULYYYYYY FROM MY FAVORITE LITTLE HISTORIC TOWN OF LIBERTY (very fitting). I love this day and I love this country! Fireworks have been going off ALL WEEK in Missouruh. There’s pretty much no regulations on fireworks here hahaha it’s so fun. Also fun fact: 80 years ago today, here in Missouri, Sidney Rigdon gave a speech in which he promised that the Saints would defend themselves even if it came to a “war of extermination.” This speech pretty much caused the most conflict for the saints in Missouri :))) HAPPY 4th!!

OKAY I AM SOOOO EXCITED because one of my investigators in my last area is getting baptized!!!! Sheri!!!! I talked about her in a few of my emails last transfer and she has been progressing so well! LOVE HER SO MUCH plz pray for Sheri that she will keep her date :)))

ANYWAY my week was really good!

We got in with a part member family we’ve been trying to work with! We set up an appointment with them so their girls can be taught 🙂
Exchanges with Sister Bench and Sister Osburn: Sis Bleak and Bench had a lesson with our potential investigator Erica and they taught the Restoration to her and her daughters! We have a return appointment with them as well!
Zone service this week was at a wildlife conservation and we cut back bushes and trees from the path. It made me really happy because it felt like a hike (which is crazy bc Missouri is sooooo flat) but I also got bit a million times by mosquitos and chiggers 🙂 #justmissourithings
I also experienced the most amazing dinner message with a family this week. Sister Bleak and I read the story, The Room and had a discussion about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Brother Pickens had a stroke two years ago which made him mute and he wanted to say something so badly. He sat in silence, exerting all of his effort to express his feelings, but he just couldn’t get it out. The Spirit then encircled the room and enveloped each of us. Brother Picken’s frustration actually really touched me. He wanted to share his testimony so badly, but the Spirit was with us so much that we knew what he was feeling. Words cannot even describe this adequately…but it was the closest I think I have ever felt to the Spirit ❤️
And finally, last night Sister Bleak and I gave a tour to about 60 seminary and institute teachers hahaha RIP me I was so nervous AND brother and sister greiner were in the group (my mission prep teacher in CA). The tour was so spiritual. I was brought to tears a few times during the presentation which hardly happens for me. At the end, we all sang “Nearer my God to Thee” while gathered around the rotunda. I get CHILLS typing this. It was an unforgettable tour and I’m so happy we got to take it! One of the women came up to me afterward, letting me know that I had nothing to be nervous about. She said that I am called by God and have His power and authority with me. She reminded me of the scripture revealed here in D&C 122:

9 Therefore, hold on thy way… Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

I know that God is always with me and with each of you. Love you all.

XOXO
sister draper

216 N Main St
Liberty MO 64068

Missouri – week #38

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FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

hello!! I promise my email is not actually this long, I just copied a lil story at the bottom.

This was such a great week. I don’t even know where to start!!
Well I will begin with Felicia because I LOVE HER!! Here is the miracle story…buckle up!!

SO Sister Hanson in our ward is so good at missionary work. She has this friend Felicia and her son is friends with Felicia’s son, Bren. We met them on Monday at a Lego activity where we sorted Legos for less fortunate children. We talked briefly and Bren actually came up to me and asked about baptisms for the dead and eventually said “can I be baptized again? like in this building? I just feel really good here!” Ummm okay I was pretty surprised/excited/stressed bc I didn’t know how to respond cuz he’s 12. But I invited him to church and he said he wanted to come! So the next night, Tuesday, we go to dinner at the Hanson’s and she invited like 4 nonmembers over and one of them was Felicia! We got talking with her about what we do, why we are here, etc. We asked her if she would like us to share a message about Jesus Christ with her family and she accepted a lesson for this Friday. THEN here comes the reallllll miracle. The next day, on Wednesday, FELICIA AND BREN SHOW UP TO THE JAIL UNANNOUNCED PEOPLE!!!! Luckily we were on shift and I was able to give them a tour while teaching the first lesson to them! At the end, she had so many questions and I was able to give her a Book of Mormon and a resto pamphlet. I WAS SO HAPPY gahhhh I can’t wait to see her again on Friday. She is the sweetest lady ever. PLEASE pray for them :))

Member missionary work is so effective! If you are reading this I invite you to pray for missionary opportunities this week and when you do, TELL THE MISSIONARIES!!! They will help you. Mostly directing this invitation to my immediate family but y’all are encouraged to do the same. The most prepared people that missionaries teach are member referrals so help a sista out

I also took a reallllly cool tour this week at the Jail. A family came in and both parents were deaf, so the daughter signed for me as I spoke. I’ve always been not very good at being okay with silence as I teach but this experience allowed me to be more comfortable with it. The Spirit was so strong and the family and I grew pretty close in that 40 minutes. SUCH an unforgettable experience I can’t really describe it.

Another spiritual tour: a family came in and their son had just returned home from his mission a week ago. Sister Bleak and I have been trying to be more bold in our teaching and at the end of the tour, sitting in front of the Liberty Jail, we invited Hayden (the RM) to bear his testimony about the Prophet and the Restoration of the Gospel in front of his family. It was AMAZING because they grew closer together as the Spirit touched each of them.

I love the Liberty Jail. A man asked me this week why we had the Visitor Center here because he didn’t think the Prophet would ever want to come back. I disagree!! The Prophet was truly refined and was able to come out stronger because of his experience here. Although he saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the flesh in the sacred grove, I feel like Joseph Smith really came to know his Savior while in the Liberty Jail. As he received answers to his pleas and prayers, the Lord said to him, “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than He?”

Our trials help us feel a piece of what the Savior felt for us. He overcame the world, and because of His example, we can endure all things. The church is true and I know that God still speaks to us today through a living prophet and personal revelation.

LOVE YALL.

XOXO
sister draper
216 N Main St
Liberty MO

Ps. I LOVE this story and wanted to include it because it reminds me of the Prophet’s experience in the Jail and can relate to us as well. I love reading it to the visitors here 🙂

…………………………….

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot – then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part — when I see my image reflected in it.”