Monday, February 23, 2015

the week of nothingness

    This week has been long slow and very disappointing. After emailing you on Tuesday we went and waited for a lesson and we did nothing for almost half an hour. We went and ate dinner with them then watched the Bible videos for a short lesson thingy, even though that wasn't the plan for what we were going to teach them but it actually worked out really well. The mom had made papusas (a dish consisting of a corn tortilla with paste like pork, cheese, and re-fried beans) and they were delicious. So we got fed well there. We got home late which was amusing, because we got told off by our leaders last time we were late and here we are late as the senor companions, but it was all good. We then watched the Bible videos and they were interesting.  I was so confused because that is not at all a normal routine but it was fun.
    Wednesday we had district meeting and and we got to get our car back from the body shop and guess what? They cleaned it for us so we didn't have to. It was so awesome because we had been worrying about that, because it was dirty and because there is no plug near are apartment to clean our car but it all worked out for us. Well we then had to go pick up the food from a far away member and it was a fun drive. I got the two greenies and Wilson went with the other elders to the shed to get supplies for the mission office for apartments. Then we met up for district lunch and then after a while we finally went our ways to do real work. We got two less active lessons in and it was sweet. We set up to go out with them to take them to lessons.
     Thursday we took out one of the less actives, he was free half of the day, so we tried to visit people and basically everything fell through. We got one lesson with a member present but we should have gotten more but we can't make people stay home.
      Friday we got to go to the temple it was so cool to go through and do my third endowment session, and yes I can still count. It was so nice and peaceful and it gave me time to think, pray and meditate and pull myself out of the world of stress and stuff. We then went and tried an investigator who said come back later and the backup just straight up wasn't there. Then we had dinner with a really cool family, the mom is the Relief Society president, and the husband was a super stubborn nonmember who is now super converted and it was fun. We had pizza because they forgot to cook but it was all good with us, we are young non-picky missionaries.  We taught a bit of English and then went to try a part member family with one of the a fore mentioned less actives. They weren't there so we went to try another investigator and they were there. We got a member present and the member taught the entire lesson and told the woman straight up, "Stop letting your crappy childhood hold you back. You are an adult, you need to forget the past and be awesome. I have done it personally, I know it is hard, and I know exactly the same type of deal you have been through, so lets be friends. You, me and my wife and your husband are going to be best friends. Come to dinner one day." So we got a set up member present lesson today. Then we ran back to our apartment and packed to go over to the other elder's place for Elder Cox's birthday and we brought a tiny cake and ice cream. So we stayed up late and played Settlers of Catan and were just amused by the world and watched the movie Testaments is was fun, and Cox needed it.
          Saturday we did weekly planning and then dinner at the Pacheco's and then went back down to visit people. We got a good lesson in with Hermano Urquidez and invited him to participate in a lesson with us on Sunday, as a member present.
            Sunday everything fell through, all of our appointments fell. I am sad and kind of disappointed, but there is not much we can do about that. So that was the end of my week. I love you all and will write to you again next Monday.
Love Logan Joseph Draper

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Miracles and Madness

Dear Family and Friends
         This letter is entitled Miracles and Madness!!! Because there have been some miracles and really crazy madness. First, P-day, we ended up in the end not giving the girls to the English [elders]. I do not know why, other than the girls refused to go because they wanted to stay in Spanish with their fellow shipper which is great and all but it is crazy and over all confusing, because they don't speak Spanish! Then as we went to introduce the sisters to them, some drunk man went off on how they were fine in this sector he has them all under control but how we needed to go and find all the people with all the real problems. I don't know I tried to slide so that the sisters could maybe start to shift behind me, because he was getting really close to them and luckily the Spirit was keeping him off track enough to remember why we were there. So they were good and I was safe and the neighbors felt so bad about that little incident, but it all worked out. The girls had actulally just given a home evening on The Book of Mormon stories book. So it was awesome miracle, even with the drunk man.
        The next day we had a good lesson in the dress shop. We taught the owner about the Holy Ghost and she invited herself to be baptized, it was awesome. We are just trying to help her read and come to church. She has grown tons since I first got here and I am excited to see her get baptized, but who knows how that will go. Awesomely a member came into the store, so we invited her to come back to participate in the lesson. Hopefully that happens, I was on exchanges, and the member had a nonmember cousin, so we can see where that goes.
         Wednesday we had a super long zone training thingy with the zone Olympics. It was fun but it took forever and it threw me off. We really only had one lesson because we went to our dinner and then it took forever because we had a lesson with them on faith and political ideology. The Book of Mormon came in and kicked trash. They really liked it and now the whole political thing was a random branch off faith, but we taught how real faith should work and how we have grown as a church. We expect members to do stuff and investigators to keep commitments, and actually read The Book of Mormon
         Thursday we had a sweet day planned and it was sweet. We had a two hour lesson because the woman cried out her life story for us. It was cool and sad. She struggles with Faith in Christ, so we will probably watch that next time with her so she can gain a witness of Christ. We then had the typical fall throughs and then we got our teenager out in the cold for a lesson. That was interesting teaching a lesson in 5 degrees F with windchill, probably a first. Then we went to dinner with Karla and her family and we read Alma 36, it rocked. She is so strong now and in the Young Woman's presidency. So that is cool.
         Friday we planned and had some other good lessons, and burned some of our new and precious miles. Not to bad, we just need to be careful.
         Saturday we had a cool experience to go give a blessing at the children's hospital to a girl with cancer. We got a call from someone from Idaho, who met someone from Denison, Iowa and said go there and give them Books of Mormon and a blessing. We did, they were super touched. Its crazy because Denison just got closed, as the mission is shrinking in size but God still had us find them. So that will be cool.
        Sunday we had great talks about scripture study and it was cool. I took notes to share with our less active members and help them get that habit back. I really appreciate the time I have here on my mission to study out the Gospel and get to know it for myself.
         Yesterday we got to drive a non TiWi* car because they had pulled TiWi* out of it to sell and we were trading in our car to the repair shop. It was fun because I got going a little too fast and in my mind I got a check your speed. I slowed down and I didn't have a TiWi*. It was cool. I like TiWi* sometimes, but ya it was cool. Then we got a car and they said however many miles, you need don't sweat the small stuff. So ya we can contact some referrals.
          Well Elder Barton is from Spanish Fork, Utah. He is the oldest of his family. He has four brothers and one sister. He ran track and cross country, took calculus and physics and chemistry and wants to be a mechanical engineer. He is super cool. I don't know what else you want to know.
Elder L.J. Draper
*TiWi is a  GPS Driver tracking box that tells missionaries if they are driving too fast, aggressive, etc.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DA Big Letter

Dear Family and Friends
        I am doing awesome. I have had a very interesting week, as you have heard with the accident this last Saturday and me emailing late. So ya, now I get to tell you all the bad and good consequences!
        So we emailed you guys and then we went to go pick up the lunch and we had to go all the way out to the boonies and it was super annoying because we burned tons of miles. Then we received a message to go give a blessing to a member, who was in the hospital. So we had to go back, and that was on the way, but we got there and we had the wrong hospital. Then we went and gave the other elders their food and went looking for the hospital with them and found it and gave the blessing. Then we went and got our shopping done and updated referrals. It was a pain because we have to use Google Chrome and the South Omaha Library doesn't have it. So we had to go all the way out to UNO and that took basically the whole day.
         So then Wednesday we had district meeting and that took all day, basically, because we had to pick up the other elders dinner. Then go to district lunch and drive back to our area. So it was then time for dinner. We went to our appointment and then that dinner appointment ran over and we had to cancel a lesson. We then went and taught English to a referral, basically it was awesome! But it was just English so it didn't count.
          Then Thursday we had a sweet day planned out and then we helped Hermana Mejia with some of her college applications so she can go and do law school. We than had another problem because the other elders, right after, said "lets do exchanges." I went with Cox and taught two lessons while Wilson grilled Barton and that was a total time waster for us. We lost out on two lessons then we had to drop off gas receipts and killed more time. We had another long dinner appointment, I guess dine and dash doesn't work, but we set up an awesome lesson for the next Sunday. We went to see one of the young men. We talked to his parents, who are less active, and they were concerned their son didn't have any drive etc. We were like that is your problem are you helping him? Are you teaching him? No? Well start by reading the scriptures with him and it will teach him what he must do. So they accepted the challenge then the son got home and we invited him to read with his parents. He had grown so distant from them he was like why? We are bribing him with ice cream so he will read, it will be great.
            Friday we got in two super awesome lessons. One was better than other because the non-member husband actually set up the time, so we had the lesson. When we were done he asked if we could come back the same time the next week, so we will be going back. We are starting to teach him about The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith because he doesn't know anything, so we are starting from the basics. We then gave another investigator a run down of the Plan of Salvation because he didn't have time. We promised to go back later and then it was awesome because he had questions, and questions are the best.
            Saturday, the day of miracles. We taught five solid lessons and made the rest of the week worth it with all the craziness of nothing getting done earlier in the week. We had so much fun teaching and sharing gospel. Almost everyone we found and taught and/or found again was ready and wanting to learn more, and have us come back or to call us because they don't know about their work schedule, but they came and found us! We had been teaching this one Maria again, everyone is named Maria, well we could only find her every other Thursday, then she found us and asked for our number. We gave it to her and it was so cool. We are going to invite all of these people to get baptized, and ojala (hopefully) they will accept.
             Sunday we had a super cool testimony meeting, because it was canceled last week. The Lord provided miracle lessons. We found people when we wouldn't normally and it just worked out. We got a sweet lesson with the members. We had planned to invite the young men and his less active parents to come to church, and it was super cool. I love the young men's leaders, they really care. We taught another man about faith in Christ by watching Finding Faith in Christ, in Spanish obviously, and it was so cool. The Spirit was there and the man is going to come to church, Ojala (hopefully)! With another man we reminded him of his baptismal covenants and we are going see him on Sunday in church ojala otra vez (again, hopefully). Well that is my week I love you all
Have a Happy Valentine's Day
Elder Logan Draper

Pictures (finally)

First Day with Elder Paonessa
Baptism with Elder Paonessa and new converts

Elder Totem Pole (From top to bottom: Elder Johnson, Elder Draper, and Elder Barton), perhaps I am trying to do genealogy

Spanish Missionaries
Selfie with Elder Barton, the Greenie I'm training

Selfie with Elder Jensen

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

El Fin de la gran carta (The End of the Great Letter)

            So Sunday we got up and the Zone leaders had texted that we were grounded, and I was like this is fun. We were also told that Church was canceled, and it was like well we get a full study time and then we get to go try finding people. So we were studying when we got the call "Hey we need help cleaning the church of snow." So we got our snow clothes on and ran to meet the member at the intersection of 24th and Q, so we didn't quite make it, Elder Barton's boots are too HUGE but it works out okay for us. Well we went on the freeway after picking the other elders up and it was sketchy. We were only going about 35 maybe 40 on the freeway, because it was so windy and snowy and icy. It was all good, we survived and then we shoveled tons of snow. Well once we were done a member offered us to drive us to his house for a lunch dinner thing. So we drove and slid and kind of spun a little, but we made it safely. Then shoveled his snow and then had a good meal of sandwiches and soup, and we got stuffed. I am trying to teach Elder Barton how to eat lots of food, I am not sure if he gets it quite yet but he is almost there. Well we then went back home and then got our paperwork for the accident, and started walking to the house of the people who own the car. Well we were like 'this is taking forever, maybe we will get a ride from someone' and a man stopped and offered us a ride and so we got a ride to closer to our destination. It was good, sped us up a lot, and we also shared with him a little message and gave him a card to call us. I hope he calls us or we find him again. Well we visited the people who own the car and we got the information sorted out. Then we talked a bit about The Book of Mormon and we are going to visit them again. Well we started to walk to another appointment, and we couldn't make it. We were half an hour from the house walking and half an hour from the other people's house, who are probably twenty or more minutes from our house in this weather obviously. So it was not reasonable to go on, we said a specific prayer asking either to get a ride there in the next three minutes, because there were lots of cars passing us, or that if no ride came we turned around (also our phone had just died). So no ride stopped as we walked, so we turned around. We stopped to help this man get unstuck and we couldn't do it, and so I knelt and prayed for extra strength to do it. When I opened my eyes two more men came jogging up to us and we pushed the car out. Well we walked on and those same men realized we were just walking, stopped and gave us a ride back. So it was cool miracles.
            Well and yesterday, Monday, we were basically trying to get our laundry to dry. Then we went and took care of the car problem all freaking day and that is why this is coming. I am obedient. We are meeting with a member to help her study for the law school admissions test, so it  is AWESOME!!!!! Ya, we teach whatever we feel like. We are just that gifted in the Spirit to teach whatever subject. Well that is my week. 

Ah Wow warm Snow crash investigator?

Dear Family and Friends
         This letter is tremendously late in the day and such, so I won't have much time today but what I don't finish today I will hopefully get tomorrow. So my letter needs to start Monday after emails. We went to Chic-Fil-A for lunch and got a potential investigator there, she was a cashier. We got her thinking about God and such, so it was awesome. Well after that fun random conversation we hopped over to Wal-Mart and went shopping. We were looking for people we could talk to, didn't find anyone. So we continued on shopping and got our stuff together. Well we were going to check out in the closest lane but I felt 'lets go to the other and its line was shorter' but we got in it. We were putting our stuff up for the cashier and the lady who had just finished buying her stuff asked, "May I ask you a weird question?" "Here it comes," I thought, "no horns, no polygamy, no other craziness, which one is it." Well she asked, "Why are you so dressed up?" and I was like easy Greenie go and he was going before I could nudge him. He explained we were missionaries and then she said, "I have another weird question or request." We were like, "Okay what?" "Can I buy your groceries?" and we were like, "We won't say no, but don't you have any other questions?" She was like, "Nope, I am pretty sure I have more answers," and said to the cashier "Ring them up." She bought about  $40 worth of stuff and wow it was crazy. We were taken aback. She was not a member but she felt something and decided to help us out a little bit, even though we didn't need it. Well we went to a member's for dinner and that basically took the rest of the night, because we shared some lessons with them and then went over to another member's house and talked with them as well. We offered to teach one of the families some more English for service. It was super good because they accepted and are excited.
         Tuesday we got some success, mainly because we got down and dirty doing service for a lady. It was fun, we sifted rocks from her mulch and it was entertaining. We taught her a lesson while we were at it. We will go back and teach her husband the lesson again, and get them progressing towards baptism. We taught a mini lesson to another investigator later that night after everyone else had fallen of the face of the earth, and could not be found by us. Hopefully he will have read The Book of Mormon, otherwise we won't get anywhere. Then we did find someone after that and gave them a spiritual thought, and they said they would go to church on Sunday. Yah!!!!!
         Wednesday we tried taking a member out to see people after district meeting. It was good, but the people weren't there so it was a kind of flop. We had some good conversations with the member, so that worked out okay.
         Thursday we had Spanish conference and it was super duper awesome. We had three generations there, and if my greenie trains as fast as I did we will have four generations at a Spanish conference. That would be super crazy and it is possible, not exactly likely but it is possible. So we will see what happens there. Well that night we also had a meeting with the ward mission leader and he bought us pizza, and it was good. We had some good conversations about the areas and getting a sense of focus and direction and unity, which had not been there before. Wow using the MTC training works. I like this idea practice what we learn. It is awesome, things are going well. 
            Friday was weekly planning as usual. We got all the nitty gritty stuff done, and it was actually pretty nice to work on it with a companion. We went and taught a guy the Plan of Salvation and in the timeline of life he got sucked into the doctrine of Christ. He wanted to fight over authority and I unfortunately, unwittingly, followed into the argument even though I had been trying to artfully dodge it for some time and merely have him figure it out without the whole fight, bible bash but well it was sad. He doesn't mind if we go back. So I will try to fix what I can, but really the Spirit is the true teacher, knowledge and wisdom are nothing without the Spirit. Well, we got a reference from the other day for teaching English. So we are teaching this really nice guy English, and he is getting the hang of it pretty well. It will be super fun to practice some more. It is actually helpful that he has a background in it already, from his work. 
             Saturday it began to snow a little and we tried to contact all the referrals and potentials we had. We had gotten one for a solid appointment the night before, for a man at his house at six. After not having a successful day we were excited to do that. We were almost there and at the light we were waiting at we, out of nowhere, felt a thunk!!! We got rear ended. It was snowing, so we should have seen it coming. It was not good at all, but we called the police and they said, "Sorry we are not going to come, so good luck." So we took pictures I will send those in the morning. We are about out of time, but we went to our referral and he was drunk and crying that he was done. He wanted to change his life and he sobbed into my shoulder. The Spirit was so strong there, giving me what to say.  
Well I need to go I will tell you more Tomorrow!
Elder Logan J. Draper