Thursday, May 28, 2015

The big letter of weirdness

Dear Family and Friends, and crazy animals, 
        This week individual days were boring so I will share a stories, with names changed for the protection of their Identity, and call out to all people to rethink their past thoughts and notions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. 
        Tuesday Elder Kummerman and I were doing service in New Beginnings, a local thrift store that donates money to some charities. We were up on the second floor trying to get all the donations that we had hauled up looking nicer and organized, and put things to a less cluttered state. Well some customers were coming up and there were some white men (I say that as generally I have only seen Hispanic men at that time of the day). I began a simple conversation with them and asking where they worked in Crete. They were not from Crete, they said they were staying at a cabin not to far away though. We chatted and they asked if I worked there. I said, "I do not, I am just volunteering." The man who asked, I will call him John Doe, got an uncomfortable look on his face. I then left it at that. deciding not to purse "religious talk" with him unless he brought it up. Then I asked him, since he wasn't from Crete, what he did for a living. John told me he was an artist and that he painted and taught, and kind of did everything. He went downstairs and then came back up. I asked his name and if his artwork was online, and how I could look it up. John seemed to get very uncomfortable and came and pulled out his phone. He was about to show me his artwork and then he said, "You know I will humor you but I know what you are really trying to do. I can see an ulterior motive from a mile away in any person. You are no better than a used cars salesman." Now that isn't the most exact quote but he did say all those things. I was very taken back and I didn't know what I was to do. I tried saying I don't have an ulterior motive, but he kept raising his voice and getting and closer to my face, The anger the venom of his words struck me and I was not willing to back down when I knew I wasn't wrong. Elder Kummerman stepped in and told him, with force but calmness, that he was acting out and we are genuine and that he, or I, only wanted to see his art. he refused to listen and he stormed out. 
            As you can see there was a lack of communication and what was genuine was perceived to be false and fake, and a scheme to ensnare people. I have had lots of time to reflect on what happened and what were my own motives. I have come to the one conclusion that I can reach: we are genuine, there is nothing but sincerity that makes this work go forward. 
             If this work were about numbers more missionaries would be baptizing and those that wouldn't progress quickly would be dropped. We wouldn't be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. We wouldn't be disciples of Christ. We would lack charity, the pure love of Christ, and our church would fail at its core. 
            Yet we are still here and trying because we care, and we care because we are all family and we all matter. No one is a lost cause no matter who we are, where we've been, or what we've done. If you don't believe me get down on your knees and ask the one who knows all, and then check out 
             Well moving on from that we had some good lessons this week. We have had people take some real sincere interest in what we have had to share. I am so grateful, personally, that I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father and a loving Savior who are doing everything they can to help us live happy and fulfilling lives, and make us the best people we can be. 
             Well back to the event end of things. We had some of our English members, who live just outside of Crete, come into Crete to go visit a woman with  us and to share a little bit with her. Well she lives in government assisted housing and her neighbor, as we were waiting for her to get back from the store, started talking to us, I will call her Jane Doe. Well Jane told us she didn't think her neighbor was fit enough, mentally, to make decisions and that we shouldn't be taking advantage of her, and we are being evil and deceiving for deceiving her. We told her, simply, we are here to be her friends and to invite her and beyond that we are not here to convince her of anything. She needs to understand we are not here to prey on her. Well the member we brought with us, she stood and rebuked the woman saying,"All those "mental problems" you say your neighbor has, I have  them too. And I like the missionaries, I like the church, and I have never felt anything but secure with them. I know this church is true and no one but God could convince me of that." 
               God worked in mysterious ways. I had doubted that the woman would have good enough health to come out with us but she did, and to our great benefit. The lesson was a roaring, rocking success! The woman we taught felt secure, peaceful, and happy to see us. She was reassured by our sister. Only God could have granted her the strength necessary to come that day. I know that this gospel is true and it is not found by wisdom of men, but by revelation from God. I love the beauty and simplicity of His message. I hope that I can have the strength and power to stand up for and declare what I know to be true with boldness not overbear. I thank you for your time in reading my letter. 
Love your Son, Brother, grandson, Nephew, cousin, friend, and for the animals pillow or play buddy, 
Love Logan Joseph Draper

Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spanish Confernce

Dear Family and Friends

        This has been a good week. We had some fun experiences which I will share. The two big events were interviews with President Weston and Spanish Conference.
         I had many good lessons this week and we are starting to make progress with our Spanish investigators. We had some very exciting news, we had a funny experience and I want to share it.
So we went to the Crystal's Bakery to invite the less active family that runs it to come to church. As we came in and approached the counter to ask for Crystal the girl at the counter (whom we had never seen) said, as we asked for Crystal, "She's not available for the Mormons."We were like "uhhhh" and then she laughed, and Kummerman laughed and I stood there trying to figure her out. Then she said "Ya you can see here. She is just in the back, but I don't want to talk to you I am a JW, or well not yet but I am studying with them." Then she laughed and Kummerman laughed nervously. Well she asked us about coming to church and  really wanted to go. Well we then went on to the next bakery and talked to the next less active family and he said, as we asked about her, "Oh ya she is a returned missionary and she is Miguel's sister, and her dad is a bishop in Mexico." We were laughing and jumping for joy, a solid member one who is converted maybe without means but she still has desire to go and do! Well we ran into her later that week and she offered to come out with us on team-ups and to fellowship our investigators! We were dancing (though not really because it would have been an awkward moment to do that.)
          Well now to Spanish Conference. We drove, a round trip of about 152 miles, to Spanish Conference. It was great I got to see Elder Johnson, my trainer, and Elder Barton, my trainee. They were doing really well, partying it up having success. They wore the ties that I gave them and were very happy to see me. We had some good times learning and practicing and being together. We had trainings from Hermano Miranda of the Spanish ward, President Weston, and President Bartlet, and a few other missionaries. It was so good to see my leaders and my friends, and to have a spirit of unity among us the Spanish speakers. President Weston gave us some great counsel and comfort as we struggle through the craziness of the work.
            I also gave a talk on Sunday about the sabbath day in English and Spanish. So that was fun and I think it went pretty well.
             So I have had a great week. We are starting to see more success and we will hopefully be getting in with more people. I know this gospel is true. The work is hard and people don't always see the truths of the gospel as simply or clearly as they are displayed, but that matters not because God will reveal the truth unto us when we are ready to hear it.
              Jesus is the Christ, my Savior and Redeemer, and I know that He lives.
Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lots of Pictures

Elder Barton & I with one of our families

Elder Barton & I with another one of our families

Elder Barton & I with some Sisters

Selfie with Elder Barton, and photobombed

Selfie with the elder that came out with me from the CCM, and photobombed

Here is the couch I sleep on in my new area, it isn't as bad as it seems

The Day after Mothers day

Dear Family and Friends
        I am very excited to write a brief letter to you, containing the events of my week. So to start off from last Monday, after emails we went and shopped at the thrift store we do service at and that was amusing. Elder Kummerman found lots of interesting shirts. I was content with what I had, so I did not create any additions. We then went and played Frisbee Golf with Eric on the Doane College campus. Half was in the open, the other half was deep in the forest. So that was an adventure. We sadly didn't get any lessons, but we did talk to him about his commitments to read in The Book of Mormon and he admitted it got lost in finals week. So we reset the commitments, since he is all done with finals!!!!! So that was happy for him.
          Tuesday was Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, and it was rather normal but we did get some free food at one of the banks in town, so that was good. We helped out at our thrift shop moving tons and tons of boxes, so that was good. We also went and visited a member, which was a little miracle because she needed and wanted a blessing. I got to give the actual blessing and it was really nice to see how she felt better. She thanked us. We went and were able to have one more lesson with another man, and that was good. We covered lots of things from church services too.
             Wednesday we had great lessons with the people in our care facilities. They are doing well and they appreciate our visits, so that is good. Other than that we didn't teach any other lessons, but we were able to share The Book of Mormon with people we met around town, so that was good. We also had a big rainstorm where we went out to a neighboring town and back in safety, but there was lots of rain.
            Well Thursday we went to Lincoln for zone training and that was fantastic. We had a good time and we learned a lot and when we were going to go back the highways were flooded. There was no way out of Lincoln to Crete, so we were sealed off. So we stayed and tried to help the other elders contact people who lived in the flood zone. We weren't very successful but we still tried, and it was good. There was lots and lots of water. The river rose about fifteen feet.
           Friday we got up and early and headed out to Crete, once the water was gone.The fields and highway sides were still flooded, but the water was off the roads and that was good for us. We did weekly planning and we visited a member who went to Salt Lake for a wedding reception, and to see his family. He had a good experience, but he was grumpy because he had to come back to Nebraska.
            Saturday we did service and went to a baptism in Seward, and that was very exciting. After that we came back and went to another Hispanic church called Dios Es Amor, or God is Love, and they had nice services. Very genuine, but they were rocking out and partying and having a good time. I still can't get on board with the whole Christian rock thing at church. Granted it is okay outside of church, but at church it was loud but it gets everyone coming and having a good time. I vote we have rock bands for youth conference (I am only joking but still not a bad idea, more kids would go, hu hu hu maybe you should try it).
              Sunday, Mother's Day, talking to mom and good talks on personal revelation and why we need to pray, even when we don't feel like it. 
             Well that was my week
    I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been restored. I know that each and every one of us can receive personal revelation. The heavens are not sealed. We have a prophet on the earth today. God speaks to us through his prophets. We may disagree at times with the counsel we receive, but I know that God loves us and he wants to help us. He has given us not only the Bible, which is built upon the foundation of prophets and revelation, but he has given us The Book of Mormon though revelation and it is the keystone of our religion. WE are Unique and we are different, and that is okay. People will not accept us completely but Christ was not accepted! The Book of Mormon is the keystone. It holds the principles of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost in place to create the arch, which leads us to Enduring to the End. Let us be strong and bold in our faith but not overbearing; accepting and loving but never budging. Let us be considerate but steadfast. I am not a perfect example of all this, but I invite you all to stand up and stand strong in the defense of religious freedom for us and for everyone. This nation was founded on the principal of religious freedom. The first colonization which took place, that was successful, was not a business venture but seekers of religious freedom. Political liberty does not supersede religious liberty. Let us defend our faith with courtesy and boldness. Jesus IS THE CHRIST the Son of God. He personally leads and guides this church.
I bear you this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Love Logan Joseph Draper

Monday, May 4, 2015


Logan's "Father" and "Son", from NOM Moms (and Dads)

Elder Kummerman's Cooking

Going to the Maranatha church

Dear Friends and Family
       I had a good week this week and I will share some interesting, and some not so interesting, experiences with all of you and some pictures. So this should be good. 
       Monday we had regular P-Day experiences. Nothing major to report, other than we went to a member's for dinner and we shared a fun lesson/activity with them about why we don't have a cross in our church. So we will follow up with their commitment to find one reason that they are blessed/thankful that Christ lives.
        Tuesday we had a good day we got some lessons in and we taught Mary again. We went over repentance and it was a very good discussion and we hope to next go over baptism, with Sister Behern's and her. So that should be a fantastic lesson and she is very grateful to us because we are helping her with her mood and her depression. And simply staying positive when other people tear her down. We had a meeting with a man named Juan and he invited us to his church La Iglesia Maranatha (The Maranatha Church). So ya, our bishop of the Pioneer Ward came out with us and he had a throw down with an investigator. Now it wasn't a fight but the investigator was trying to talk and say "I know all you have to say and I can answer my own questions." The bishop said, "I can't answer you if you don't let me talk." He asserted himself in such a nice way, such a cool calm way that the investigators listened and accepted the invitation to come to church. We then traded some ties. 
         Wednesday we did some attempts to find some people and we had a good Restoration review with the Phillips' parents and helping them. They are preparing and hoping to go through the temple, so we are excited for them. We had a very simple and basic lesson for them. So it was nice to have something like that, not something very complicated. 
         Thursday we got picked up for district meeting and we went all the way out to Nebraska City. Then we had some good trainings, one I gave about how an everyday change of heart helps us endure to the end. So I feel like I learned more from that than I actually taught, so that was good.
We then went to do service for a Spanish member and he took forever to show up, and by the time we were done well we just had to go home. We got no lessons but it was a good day 
        Friday we did weekly planning, and service before that and it was good. We taught some good lessons and tried some people.
       Saturday, what a crazy day, we went and did service for a garage sale set up and I got 5 ties for 2 dollars. Then we went and did our foodnet service. They had a plethora of greens, so that was good for the people. They are going to be nice and healthy this time. We delivered food for some people and that was good. We went and played basketball with an investigator and then we went and had a barbeque with him and his mom, who is a member. Then we went and attended the Maranatha Church's Saturday night services with Juan. Well I was very fascinated by their style of worship. I am now coming to understand the Hispanic culture more, as I went they had a rock band and they sang and blasted your ear drums and danced as they were guided by the spirit, and many other thing to which I was not accustomed. I found that I do not fully agree with their practices but I learned many things from them that I felt the Spirit telling me this is not the church of Christ. But again I put emphasis in the necessity to turn to God in prayer and ask, "Which church should I join?" So I can testify that we are to become the saints of God in the true church of Christ, and we should search and when we find the truth cling to it. (however, disclaimer, they have so much more fun jamming out in their church. So if the truth really came down to "fun" they would have us beat) 
          Sunday we had a fantastic fast and testimony meeting. I found the true church of Christ. I felt the sweet peace of the Spirit testifying and accompanying me.
I love you all and I want to testify that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church on the earth.
Love Logan Joseph Draper