Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Temple trip

Dear Family and friends
       We have had a crazy and fantastic and sad week, but to the beginning.
 Tuesday we had some good lessons with people in the care center, and some investigators who would go to the Pioneer Ward. We talked about many topics in these lessons but the big thing that always came up was the Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. All the scriptures and all the teachings of the prophets all point back to that one central theme: that we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent us His Son as our Savior and Redeemer. All other teachings are appendages to that profound, but simple, idea. We have been trying to help our investigators read The Book of Mormon because it is the third witness of Jesus Christ, and through it we learn more about who the Savior was and is and his atonement, which we all look too. We count down to his birth and up from it, B.C. and A.D.
  Wednesday we had a fantastic lesson with an investigator family who said they would watch the Restorations movie. They are such a sincere and sweet and simple couple. The wife just got her citizenship and the husband already had his. We then had to go to another appointment to teach English and that was with the Tallez Family, they were so happy to see us and so kind. They had us try some of Sister Tallez's Mole which was very delicious. Well our English went well and we talked about the gospel a little bit. We gave them the Restorations video to watch, since they had questions about the church. I wish our story with them ended there for the week but it doesn't. 
     Thursday we saw a girl named Rashell and we talked with her, and her only real concern as of right now is she doesn't like to read. Everything we have shared and taught  has made sense but she can't and won't progress because she doesn't like to read. So we talked about that. She said she would read. We went and saw another investigator and that was good. We talked about the Plan of Salvation, baptism, and The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Ya it was a lot. He is pretty accepting about what we teach and share. He just has a couple of concerns about baptism, as we talked about it is our purpose in this life to complete the ordinances of salvation. He is more accepting now. Later on that day we went and saw our recent convert and taught her a brief lesson outside on her porch.
Friday we got up early and did service for an investigator, helping him get stuff of storage so he could have a garage/yard sale at a friend's house. That was fun. We then went home and got ready and went off to Lincoln to go the the temple! It was fantastic, we had a nice ride up and a nice ride back. I had plenty of time to read and ponder my scriptures and the things I learned in the temple, which prepared me for the rest of the week because with Brother Beck, our ward mission leader, we went and saw an investigator and we were  talking about the Plan of Salvation. He mentioned a friend of his died and we know many people, and we asked who. He Said Hermano Tallez had died, we had been informed he had had a fall but that he was doing okay. But he passed away and we were shocked.
   Saturday we went and did our usual Foodnet service and we then went and supported the Tallez family at their funeral. They were shocked to  see us there, I think, but I think it touched them to let them know that we are sincere missionaries. I was interested to hear what was said by the minister of the church. I was more confused than comforted by his words and I can testify that we have a living prophet and The Book of Mormon to help us understand the purpose of this life, which as this preacher said "the Bible does not answer the questions where we came from why we are here and where we are going." The Book of Mormon does and it completes the Bible to give us the fulness of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that MY REDEEMER LIVES! We will all live again too. Well after that we went and did a follow up visit with our recent convert. We talked with her about the temple and how the gospel does bless every part of our lives and changes our hearts.
Sunday was a special day, we had some good lessons with Sandi,  Dustin and his wife Jesse. It was fantastic. We talked in both lessons about the Plan of Salvation With Sandi we covered only part of the Plan of Salvation, the pre-Earth life, it went really well and she said she would read! Then with Dustin and Jesse we had a member with us, and it was so cool. We went through the entire Plan of Salvation, and we covered so much. Dustin said, "I really like The Book of Mormon, it fills in the gaps the Bible leaves open. I am actually going to read it." So we have two investigators committed.
 I love this gospel and this work. It is hard and it is trying.
Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exchanges and Stake conference

Dear Family, Friends, and other browsers of the Blog, 
        I have had a good week. We spent last P-day here in Crete. We went shopping and browsing in our thrift store, New Beginnings. We got some games for doing Family Home Evenings and that was fun. We got Monopoly and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. We went over to a member's house that night and had a family home evening. 
        Tuesday we had our normal service and then we went over to Crete Manor, one of the assisted living facilities. We had some interesting conversations, one lady was frustrated with us. Another took Elder Kummerman by the arm and led him to her room so she could have him give her friend a pass along Bible. Then we went to another lady and did some very nice and pleasant from the Book of Mormon. After dinner we had a member from Lincoln come out with us. We went with him to Dustin, and we started talking about the Plan of Salvation. We talked about our pre-mortal existence and how we are spirit children of God. We had such a good visit that he asked us, "Darn can't I just listen to this stuff, because I feel I am usually too busy to read." So we obliged and got him the nice Gospel Library App. We then went over to another family. We talked with Jesus about the Plan of Salvation as well. We had a good time. We talked, we taught, we testified, and we felt the Spirit. Brother Stoki, who came with us and doesn't speak much Spanish, had a good time listening to us talking and testifying. We did switch between English and Spanish, since Jesus also speaks English. So we didn't leave Brother Stoki out of that one. 
        Wednesday we did service with the Alarcons, in their bakery and store and that was good. We then left and went to zone training, and had a really good meeting. We then went to a Chinese Buffet for lunch and then went and did more service with the Lincoln Spanish Elders at the People City Mission, a facility for homeless and needy people, which has such a cool facility. I am excited to do service when I get home. Well after that we went back and did our exchanges with the other Elders, and visited some people. Well the big events of the night were first, as I was getting out of a members car I tripped backwards over a stick and fell very gracefully onto my back and I caught people's attention. So Proof Mormon Missionaries are not Perfect! ;) Then as we were going to go visit another Hispanic family we passed by a house, and a lady walked out. I said, "Good evening." She said, "Hello Mormon Missionaries!" Then she started talking to us. She is a member who had not attended church for quite some time and she said, "I would like you boys to come by sometime. I would like to come back. I am available for you to stop by between such and such times." So we passed the info on the English Elders. 
             Thursday we went back to Crete, did some more service at New Beginnings then we went and played basketball with an investigator. Then shared a message with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and committed him to read and to pray because there is no other way to know if what we are sharing is true. After that we were not met with much success in being able to get in with people, until later that night with another investigator who didn't really understand the concept of the Great Apostasy. As far as most of the Christian world is concerned, their church has existed since the time of Christ and they neither understand the laying on of hands to receive authority and that it must come from Christ in that way. We are here to tell the world that we again have that authority. We have another testament of Jesus Christ, even the Book of Mormon. For Jesus Is the Christ, The Savior and Redeemer of the World. We do not preach another gospel as some do presume, but we teach the same gospel, restored again unto us in its fullness. We can testify of its surety, for we are witnesses unto Christ. We have been called after his holy order and we have had the truth manifest unto us by the Spirit of God. "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you" ( Matt 7:7-8) 
                  Friday we went and saw a family just outside of Crete. The grandfather let us in, fortunately the rest of the family wasn't home because at the bottom of the stairs was a very large snake, as long as my arm span. So over five feet long and it was very angry. He was calling trying to get somebody to come and take care of it but no one could. A plumber showed up and he happened to know where a log pile around one of the houses was. He came in and smashed its head. It was quite the deal to see that thing try and bite the log and see how mean it was, but the log one against its head. 
                    Saturday we did Foodnet, a food pantry, and then we went and saw one family. Then we had to get dinner and go to stake conference. We had a great time there, it was very spiritual and powerful. We had two members of the Area Seventy there with us and they instructed us about Sabbath Day observance and we learned a lot. I felt like it was exactly what we needed. 
                      Sunday was fantastic as well. I studied Isaiah 58 and I invite all to do the same and learn more about what God's promises are. We had some more great talks from the Seventy. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. There is so much we can learn and to be done and said of Him. We can and must make the Sabbath a delight, to sanctify ourselves so that we may survive the tsunami that is coming. We must prepare now. We are being warned, may we live by every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. 
Love your friend, brother, and son,   
Logan Joseph Draper

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lots of Random Photos

Elder Kummerman & I at a baptism

Playing the Xylophone, or at least trying to
Ooh, pretty clouds

Having fun at a park
Pretty flower

Ooh, another flower

Some outdoor board game

Two of my previous companions, Elder Barton & Elder Johnson

All the Spanish Missionaries of NOM 

Now I decide to answer the question, I hope I know the correct answer.

Zone conferences

Dear Family and Beloved Friends 
       This week has been a great week, due to the fantastic zone conference that we had out in Grand Island on Tuesday. We got up early on Tuesday, or well not exactly early but we got out the door faster than normal. We went and picked up the Seward Elders in their apartment, in Milford, then drove almost an hour and a half to Grand Island. Then we went to the chapel for the meeting. The exciting part of the drive was all the corn fields, as far as the eye could see. Tall corn, short corn flooded corn, dry corn, lots of good ol' Nebraska variety. 
      Well the meeting was good. The focus was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, what it is and what it can do for us. We also had the necessary reminder trainings from Elder Lee and Sister Lee about treating our apartments and cars well. We also had a little introduction from President and Sister Weston about the New mission President and his wife, the Gardners. It was a good time. President and Sister Weston are ready to go home and they are also somewhat sad to leave us, at least Sister Weston is. ha ha 
       Well we also talked about baptism, and the importance of helping people make that first covenant with our Heavenly Father. We focused most of our time on Covenants and the Atonement. That day President Weston did provide some dating advice and counsel on finding dates. He said to go to Preach My Gospel Chapter 9, the chapter on finding. It was rather humorous. He did an exit interview with us to remind us of what our priorities need to be when we get home from a mission. He told us get as much from your parents as you can, learn from them study with them, and live as if you were still on a mission, never forfeit that gospel study time. 30 minutes of The Book of Mormon everyday!!! 
         Well it was finally time to leave and we got to drive home from Grand Island. We had a really long drive again on the way back and we got home at about 7:30 or 7:00. We had a quick dinner then went to see some people, who ended up being busy. So we went and saw our neighbor, Sandi, and talked with her about some doubts and concerns she had about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We were able to address them, some were resolved quickly like the turning on of a light switch. Others are going to take time and study for her to answer those questions for herself. I have come to appreciate the Book of Mormon so much more, now that I have come to truly realize its role as the Keystone of our church. All concerns can be put to the test of whether the Book of Mormon is truly from God: if yes, all else follows. No other Church has anything like it. For them it is who can Bible bash the best. For us it is the answers from God and none else. 
        Wednesday was a day full of service. It felt like we didn't really do that much, but we did. We helped out in the Bakery and in the store New Beginnings. We had lots to do and it was fun to do something, compared to sitting all day like the day before but they both had their pluses and minuses. We had a hot dog/sausage roast for dinner with a member. We cooked our own hot dogs over a fire in his yard and then after that we went inside and chatted with him, and challenged him to be more diligent in his scripture study. We then went and talked to his investigator about the Church of Christ and The Great Apostasy. I have found that if a person doesn't understand those basic and fundamental principles then they won't accept anything beyond what they have. The Great Apostasy is not a matter of opinion, it is a historical fact that many investigators don't understand or won't accept. However the coolest part is when they understand the Restoration and why and how it needed to happen. God knows we need a prophet and he has provided a way to follow him, without the fear of hundreds of ravening wolves trying to guide us. We have one man under direct orders from Christ that won't lead us astray. 
           Thursday we went to Crete Manor, the senior center, and visited with our people there. We saw one investigator and he expressed lots of concern for his son, who seems to be drifting, going with the flow, not doing anything. We gave him the Chapter in Mosiah, about Alma the Younger and how the power of prayer changed the heart of his son. I believe that our investigator will recognize the truth of The Book of Mormon from this story. 
        Friday we had some members come down from Lincoln to have a picnic with us at a park here in Crete. That was fun. We had a good time and all went well. We had a lesson with a less active and talked about The Book of Mormon and its role in scripture, how it can bless and help us. She said, "I believe its true, but I don't want to read it. It might pollute my future music with its rhythms." So we are working on that one. 
         Saturday we had some good lessons, and we walked pretty much all of Crete that day. We had a good talk with our less active, who works there with us. He was like "Elders some guy is out on a corner down the street preaching. Go make sure he isn't preaching something false." We didn't get a chance to see him, but it was funny to have him telling us to go check to make sure they weren't preaching anything false.  
         Lastly but not least, Sunday. We had some fantastic speakers from the High Counsel, really a high councilman and his wife. They gave great talks on the Priesthood and on the Sacrament. There has been a great emphasis from the Church to make the Sabbath a more holy day. We as missionaries no longer do any administrative work on Sundays, in order to give that much more time to the Lord. I challenge you all to make the Sabbath a special day. Sunday is a special day. I invite all of you to review your activities personally and ask, "What sign am I sending the Lord?" Take more time to prepare for church and for the sacrament, especially. The Sacrament gives us a clean slate, if we will let it. 
        I know that the church is true, Christ has performed an infinite atonement for us so that we can be perfect as He is. He is our Savior and Redeemer, and the reason for everything we do. 
I Love you all 
Love Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Surprise visit

Dear Family and Friends,
       I, or we, had a fantastic week here in Crete, Nebraska and have had many fun little instances. Well Monday we received tons of food from members, and our refrigerator was full when we got home the evening of Preparation Day. After that we had a great lesson with a Hispanic family. We watched The Restoration video and then the son went and got his Bible videos for us, to watch the one about Jesus with us. It was really cool and we also got to share Ezekiel 37:15-18 with them, to explain the role of the Book of Mormon.
         Tuesday we had some good visits, but nothing too exciting with the people. We did some service of at New Beginnings and they have so many donations, it was crazy! We had a quick conversation with the owner as we were leaving, and she asked us if we were okay because a mutual friend/person we know said she was trying to save our souls and she was like is she bothering you are you okay? and we were like no we are good don't you worry about that she then asked us to tell her when she comes to work in the store that she can't preach there. (it is kind of illegal) So that was funny.
        Wednesday, well this is technically still Tuesday night but, we got a call from the Sioux City Spanish zone leaders saying "Hey plan to blitz your area, or do splits, because we are coming down Wednesday to help out." So they came down after our studies were over and we went and saw as many people as we could, and that was fun and good. We had some good tacos that Elder Kummerman and Neunswander cooked up for us. I had some good lessons with Elder Neunswander with some of our investigators. It was a good, fun night.
          Well Thursday we went and saw some investigators, and a less active who said "Will you get me a ride to church? I would really like to go." So that was fun and really cool. We had a great lesson with this couple and they have an adorable little baby. It was so nice to share the Gospel with such a sincere and concerned family. We also got two lessons with our ward mission leader, Brother Beck. They were really good because we kept them short simple and sincere, as the gospel should be.
       Well time is running out on the computer. So as a summary we had some great days. Our first counselor in the mission presidency came and taught an investigator. We saw an investigator in a city called Beatrice, which is really far away but that is what happens when you speak Spanish, you go where they want you to go.
        We have encountered many people with many questions and concerns over this past week, and all of it, I have found, really comes down to the basic keystone of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our message to the world. It is the source we need to got to to for all our doubts and we can know that Joseph Smith was a prophet ect..... If the Book of Mormon is true. I can testify that it is true becasue I have read it and I know it is true, because it has been revealed to me by God's Holy Spirit.
I love you all.
Love Logan Joseph Draper 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week of the crazy

Dear Family and Friends
       This week has been very good and very weird! So Tuesday after I wrote you all (Ustedes) we went to visit some people and things kind of weren't working out, but we saw an investigator drive past us off the highway to his neighborhood. So we went and after trying some people we decided to go visit that investigator. We had a nice chat about his work and we decided to share with him the video Because He Lives (Gracias a que El vive) and he was very spiritual. He was like, "That was cool, I guess. Let me show you a video." We figured okay sure why not, (the last time we saw him his daughter was listening to christian music for kids, some very good stuff like primary songs and he said, "I only watch or listen to stuff which is uplifting or edifying to the faith." ) Well he pulls up this video, it was a person's depiction of Hell from what they had had dreams about from what Christ showed them.............
 I will say nothing more than this about the video The depiction of Hell it portrayed was vulgar at best and had more in common with the dark and dead ideas of Greek Mythology than pure Christianity or Judaism. It was not accurate to the Bible and I was appalled that he watched this video, and thought it was true. I was horrified and mortified. So it was an interesting evening, we ended up convincing him to pause the video and had a very good end to the lesson despite the video that he shared. We may stop visiting him as an investigator, depending on how our next lessons go and if he has interest in our message.
      Well to a happier note, we had a lesson with our neighbor. Her name is Sandi and she is a very sweet lady. She had had some questions about Joseph Smith because she had talked to missionaries a long time ago. We started out with the Restoration and it was very good, such a good lesson. I would say better discussion because she shared many insights and questions and thoughts that she had, and it was so cool!
      We went and saw a less active lady and shared with her the Articles of Faith and The Family: A Proclamation to the World because she had some questions and concerns about that. One of the quotes of the week comes from her it was, "Well Paul said ...... I don't agree with him on that I think he is wrong." So that is amusing we had the other quote of the week from a little kid, "Are you guys cops? You look like cops." 
      The following days we didn't have as many lessons per day, but we did have a good lesson each day. However on Saturday we went and visited with that less active again, and had dinner with her with some members we brought. That was good and then we went to a second dinner, and had a lesson with a Recent convert. That was good, then we went on splits with the Elders from the Seward branch, and had them come with us to lessons and that was good. I had a funny lesson with these two girls, one we had planned on teaching but her neighbor, who we have also taught decided to come over. So we were outside talking to these two teenage girls, and one's little brother, and it was like a high school class. They were all over the place, but it was good. Elder Searle thought it was great fun. He wants to come back one of the times we teach them. 
         Then yesterday, Sunday, we had a marvelous lesson with Sandi. It was so good. She had such great questions and we sat and talked to her for a long time before we started teaching, just being her friends. We taught two other people as well, and it was so neat to see each of these people's desire to come unto Christ.
         Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh, the Savior and Redeemer of the World. He has once again called a prophet on the earth to reach out to us and to tell us what we must do to follow Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that The Book of Mormon is also the word of God, and that Thomas S. Monson is our Prophet today on the earth. I invite all of you again to pray and ask God if this is true because you can know the truth of all things by the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). I testify of the truth of these things, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Elder Logan Joseph Draper