Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Miracles abound

Dear Family and friends,
       For the most part this week was like any other, lots of rejection and disappointment and not a lot of fruits. However, if we are blind we miss the greatest miracles that God has in store. The first two days of the week, Monday and Tuesday, were kind of dull and dragged on. We had exchanges and we were able to find some good potentials, but no real good lessons.
      Wednesday we had some good lessons in the day, but again not a lot of progress in the people. We went and tried a potential and his dad said he isn't here right now but he is at such and such address, I was like okay lets go find him and well guess what....... He wasn't home and that was frustrating and I was walking back to the car and I saw a house and it had a light on. I felt like we needed to knock that house, Elder Infante was like sure, "why not," a lady answered and she said we just woke her up and that she was a little sick but we could come back the next day around 3, so that was our night.
       Well after district meeting we had another preset appointment at 2:30. So we rushed there and they gave us good news, which didn't seem to be good news at the moment, We are busy maybe tomorrow. I was like REALLY?! but we went to lady's house from the night before. She welcomed us warmly and asked us to step in, a no no but we did for her sake. It was chilly. She told us everything. She is in her late forties to early fifties, and has had lymphoma for the past 17 years and this is her last couple weeks, or there abouts and she has died according to the doctors 29 times in the lasts two years and has had her liver and pancreas removed and has lived those two years without them! She was given priesthood blessings by missionaries in Washington St and she knows that is why she is alive. So we gave her a priesthood blessing, as I laid my hands on her head I felt the Spirit give me comfort and peace as I spoke the words she needed to hear. I believe that she will be able to live long enough to receive her saving ordinances, and help help her daughters ages 15 and 17 start on that path as well.
           Later that day we found this couple, Billy and Mia. We found them as we were looking for another investigator and they are super sincere and they are super cool. They are going to call us and have us come over sometime. We just have to get on them about that because they didn't give us their contact information but it was super cool talking to them. It was a great week we had so many other miracles associated with this week, things are heading in the right direction.
         Saturday night we had tried Jannie earlier in the night and it hadn't worked out and we went to another investigators and he got dropped by us because he doesn't want to progress or do anything. I got a prompting to just end our lesson and go to Jannie's. So we left and as we were on our way we bumped into our Branch President and his wife dropping off a member after the temple trip they had. So we snagged him and had them come meet her for a little bit, and it was super cool. We also had a sweet lesson Sunday with another family in the branch, and she is so sweet and kind and positive despite all that has been going on and the Lord sent us to her when she softened her heart enough to ask Him for help and ask the important questions of life.
         I testify of the truth of this work and the reality of the Restoration of the Gospel. I know the Priesthood is on the earth today and that we are guided by the Holy Ghost, and we have God's authority once again.
Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lots of Pictures! YAY!

I've got your back

Elders sitting on a fence post chewing their bubble gum

Look beyond what you can see

So Long Farewell

The elders show off their true colors

Stepping up the work in Nebraska

Dear Family and friends,
 This has been a good week.
        Nebraska is really getting into the fall weather. The cornfields are coming down and the soy fields are being harvested and all is wrapping up, unless you are a missionary and you work seven days a week and you work from 8:00-21:00 or on a lucky preparation day only from 8 to 10 and from 17 to 21, so the work never stops.
        This week I am not going to attempt to give you a day by day play of what happened, as that would be boring like my usual letters.
         This week marks the mission wide Step it up campaign in Nebraska. We had a zone training about stepping it up, having more effective studies, and inviting to be baptized more often. The trainings were fantastic. President Gardner showed up to interview us and see how we are doing. It was a very motivational meeting and setting. I was super excited to take it back to Crete and see miracles and as we got to work. Well the miracles didn't rain down from heaven, the people didn't jump and say Yes we want to listen to you. They grabbed their Bibles like the Pharisees of Old and clamored Blasphemy and tossed scripture at us with senseless fury.
            Now that is a dark and dreary and drab view of how the week went, but it wasn't all like  that. I will share a few of the highlights with you. Tuesday we had fantastic lesson with Miguel and Luis about scripture study and prayer, and that was really good. We got their aunt and our ward mission leader in on the lesson and it rocked. Wednesday our highlight lesson was with Crystal and Guierrmo and that was a good-ish lesson. Crystal's sister was there and she is an Atheist. She asked us how we can justify a belief in God when you can't hear him, see him, touch him, or smell him. Well we got talking and I pulled out 2 Nephi 2 and Alma 30, and basically said if the only things that are really are what we see, hear, touch, or smell then you neither believe in science or logic but there are things unseen which are true. Oxygen, atoms, magma, tectonic plates, sharks, gases etc.... Yet here I have a book called The Book of Mormon, which you can not tell me a farm boy wrote it because no farm boy is that smart and the archeologically evidence is there. So before we finished the conversation she just got up and left the room and Elder Infante said you had her that is why she left, she saw and she was scared.
            Next Thursday we went and saw Mary and had a good lesson on The Plan of Salvation, she just needs to listen to The Book of Mormon. Then we saw Celeste, she is the daughter of an investigator, we stopped by to see her parents but they were both gone and since we had a team up we had the opportunity to teach her about The Book of Mormon, which was awesome. She accepted it right off the bat, basically and that was sweet! She said she would read it even if she had to carry it around school, like she had been doing and at the end of the lesson. She asked "Can I keep this copy you just gave me? One of my teachers asked if he could have the copy I had at school, so I actually don't have one." BOOM! Miracle! I want his address.
             Friday, a lack of faith day, we taught our investigator Leonard. Yep his name is not lenard but Leonard. We had a lesson addressing his concerns and basically he is a stick in the mud, but he is willing to read The Book of Mormon. He tried accusing us of adding to the Bible and that the Bible was all there was and we had to talk about that, and that got us nowhere.
              Saturday we had a sweet lesson with Rashell. We hadn't seen her for a while, but we were able to find her and that was good. So we are going to get her to read because she is sincere about learning and visiting with us. She started noticing our absence and watched for us around town, so that is good.
                 Sunday we met with a very nice Hispanic man named Miguel. He jumped straight at our necks with Revelations 22:18-19. He couldn't remember where the verses were so I showed him ;) and basically it was him telling us to preach the bible only, so that was that.
       Have a fantastic week. I love you all.
Love, Elder Draper
Isaiah 53:3-5
D&C 121:41-46
Moroni 7:45

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Picking up the pace

Dear Family and Friends
       This week marks another week gone and by in the mission and life of ME, the not so center center of the universe. The Lord is hastening his work and we need to keep up or have to catch up. I vote keep up it is so much easier.
          Monday we visited with a couple named Mary and Gary. They really got lucky on the name matching game! It was a good lesson we shared with them The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was good, we had some really good conversation. They aren't too interested but they have a son who is LDS, and their grandson will obviously do this. So they thought they might as well listen to us.
             Tuesday was rather crazy, as it should be. We had fun setting up a Xbox to watch The Restoration movie and then trying to teach The Plan of Salvation to a less active with crazy animals, but they were both good visits. The Restoration lesson went as could be expected the man did not like our "emphasis" in The Book of Mormon. I kind of threw it gently back in his face when he asked which was more important The Bible or The Book of Mormon. I asked him well which is more important the Old or New Testament? Answer your own question. He also does not believe in one true church...... we will leave it at that. We had a good lesson with the Alarcon boy, Miguel, and that was good. It was super fast, then we went and met up with our member for a team up. We went out with President Thompson and then went to a Hispanic family and taught them about the first point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Faith with the Family: A Proclamation to the World. It went super well especially when President Thompson bore his testimony. We then went and had pizza with another investigator, then taught him about The Plan of Salvation, which went super well. Lenard, or Leonard, (don't judge my spelling) had lots of questions but we were able to answer them by bearing testimony of The Book of Mormon and how we received answers through the Holy Ghost. Then we taught him how he could receive an answer through reading and prayer, and how to recognize the Spirit.
          Wednesday we had a good day. We had exchanges and blitzed Crete. We had lots of fun. I had the opportunity to find Mary again and teach her about The Restoration and The Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a super powerful but simple lesson and it was only miscommunication which kept us from meeting with her, so it was a good lesson. We did lots of walking and that was good. We had some good times. I was with a new Elder, Elder Kimzey, so it was fun. 
          Thursday was crazy, we had district meeting and things took longer than planned for getting back to Crete. We saw people a little out of order, but it was good. We saw Leonard again and read 1 Corinthians 15 to help him understand the degrees of glory better, and because of that we were able to get the Alcarcon parents involved in the lesson with the boys. We talked and read about the sacrament and we hope they will come to church sometime. We were then able to see Vidal, which was good. It had been a while and he isn't really seeming to progress, so we are going to give him the our purpose lesson next time and get him motivated to progress or we might have to drop him.
            Friday we did service for Brother Wardle and then went to the Chinese Buffet for lunch and that was good. We did weekly planning and then had dinner. Then went to a meeting with Brother Pister , Brother Nottingham, and President Kearl about how to move the work forward in the Seward Branch and that took up our evening. So that was good day. 
             Saturday we helped out at Foodnet. People were a little surprised to see me still there after having me gone through two companions. We played basketball with Dylan. I am getting better. I almost won one of the games of 21, then we were able to see Jesus and Estmirana and teach them The Restoration.
Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Conference week and the transfers Oh Pues WOW!!!

Dear Family and Friends and adorable fuzzy creatures,
        This has been an exciting week for us in Crete, Nebraska with some unexpected events and some wows.
          Monday was the usual. Our Family Home Evening appointment had to cancel, and change to Tuesday. That was fine and so we came home from our day of basketball and correlation meetings. We then went to try some investigators, who weren't available, but we set up some appointments and that was good. We went home a little bit early and started calling people on the potential sheets we have. The first person said we could come over! So when I called all we had was a name and number. So we called and I introduced myself and asked if they might have any interest in letting us come share a message with them. She asked, "Who gave you our number?" I said, "I don't know." She said, "Oh come on, was it my son? He is a member of your church." So we had a good phone visit, so we are going to meet this family, and hopefully it all goes well, today.
            Tuesday we had a busy day planned. We swung by the post office and dropped off letters and then we bumped into our investigator, who was getting at us because he said to come by12:00 and it was 11:55. He was like you are late and I said but you aren't even home so therefore we are right on time, God just slowed us down so we could find you now. He said "Give me half an hour and then I will see you at my place." So we went to the library to print off a paper we needed and then we went to his house and he wasn't there, and that waiting took a while so we called and texted then left. We then went and had a good lesson with a less active lady and her non-member husband. He was not in the lesson but it was still good. We then went up to Doane College to meet with our investigator, Eric, and his phone isn't working and so we didn't get to see him. So we are praying for a miracle in regards to all of this stuff. We then had a good lesson with the Alarcon Boys and we talked about General Conference, and that was super good. We then had a random member stop us on the street and take us to Dairy Queen for shakes, and then he went  back on his way home to Lincoln. We then went to a lesson with a family, Mateo and Veronica. We had an amazing short and simple lesson about The Plan of Salvation and next time we will be teaching about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bless their family and how they can progress to an eternal family. We then went and had a great lesson with the Behrens for FHE, which was super good. We taught about adversity and how we all have to struggle but we can overcome and realize our dreams. For Cheri, the daughter, it is go to one of the great huge schools back east. We suggested first going to BYU and so ya "AWESOMENESS" as she said.
              Wednesday we had district meeting and service and that was all good. We then came back and had a few good appointments. We were thinking I would go, that was our  transfer prediction and so that was about it for Wednesday.
             Thursday we awaited the news, and Elder Phillips was assigned to go up to Worthington Minnesota! Ya the farthest north Spanish/zebra area in the mission! So he was angry/frustrated because he had to pack and he didn't want to go. He didn't think that it would be him, but he bucked up and realized opening Spanish in the middle of nowhere is a huge responsibility. Then we got a call at 10:25 saying, "Ya be prepared at 7:15 in the morning from the transfer point..... " Ya so we were up late packing his stuff.
              Friday I dropped him off at the transfer point and picked up my temporary comp. We went the to the zone leaders' apartment and then went to the People's City Mission in Lincoln to do service. I was put on "Security" to watch the perimeter of their outside "shopping Center" to make sure all the people went in the entrance and out the exit. We then had to step in and take control of a fight, which really just consisted in stepping in and they all stopped and started playing nice. They just made some problems tipping boxes and stuff. I then got my new companion at 5 that afternoon and we went back to Crete, unloaded our stuff and then went to Dairy Queen for dinner. Then we went out on a team-up with Brother Pister.
            Saturday we watched General Conference with President Kearl.
          Sunday we watched General Conference with Brother Beck at the church.
Elder Logan Joseph Draper

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Crazy Week

This week has been absolutely nuts, and I have no pictures to document what I mean.
              Monday we had our correlation meeting, and that was good. We had some good pizza afterwards, that Sister Pister had made. We then went and saw the Beherens and talked about how to apply the scriptures to our lives.
              Tuesday, wow, what a day! We went to New Begginings and did some stuff for them there, arranging and hauling boxes upstairs. I then went and got a hair cut at the Diaz Brothers. They did a nice job, and we got Jullian's (the guy who cut my hair) new address. So we are going to go visit him sometime this week and start teaching him hopefully. Our morning plans went crazy. We ended up teaching the Alarcon Boys at 5:00 and that was good started covering The Ten Commandments more in detail. Then we went and visited with Eric, and that was good. We asked him what he wanted to learn about. He said, "Marriage and family and courtship." Our religious teachings about those things, so that will be fun to teach to him. We had a good lesson referencing The Family: A Proclamation to the World, though I happened to not have one in English, only Spanish :( , but next time. We then ended up seeing our new investigator, Lenard, and we were able to get through all of The Restoration! Ya, he had so many questions it is good and difficult. 
               Wednesday, it was a good day, we did service then our studies then we went to our late district meeting. That was good. It was Elder Paddock's last meeting before he goes home Wednesday! crazy! We went to a restaurant called Honest Abe's it was good, they had delicious hamburgers and fries. Then we finally went home and it was raining pretty hard. So our car got clean :) We went and saw Brother Wardle and visited with him, and talked about coming with us to a lesson we had scheduled on Friday.
                 Thursday we were preparing to go out and teach for the day when we got a pounding on our door. I jumped up thinking it was a package, and it was our neighbor Sandi. She asked if we could come down to her friend Eve's store, because she had a fire in the basement and needed help cleaning up some of the mess. So we quickly changed into our service clothes and we rushed "downtown" to her store, Jean's Sewing.We entered and it smelled awful. It was an electrical fire caused by a fan the owner had put in his private store room in the basement. So we cleaned up the glass from the broken door and got some fans from New Beginnings. So that was all fine. There was lots of glass and it took us about two hours to get it all cleaned up. Sandi bought us some lunch, which was nice of her considering she didn't have to. Well we went home and discovered we smelled like smoke so we cleaned up and tried to catch back up on the day, and that was all good. We were able to see a part member family and we watched The Restoration movie, which was amazing. He speaks Karen and very little English, but he felt the power of the movie. So hopefully we will be able to get him to come to church one of these days with his wife and kids.  We saw Miguel and Luis Alarcon and finished talking about The Ten Commandments, and we are leaving adultery to the parents and ya.... We  then rushed over to an investigator who said, "Come back at five, if you can." We said, "Probably 5:30." Which was fine, so we get there his wife opens the door, like really. She just gets her husband and he is like, this is not a good time. We reminded him that he asked us to come back later and we did, but we could reschedule and he was like tomorrow 10:00. Well we said we have an appointment at 10:00 to do service and he said aw you boys are so lazy fine sleep in if you want I get up at 4:30! and I countered we get up at 6:30  and we really get the same amount of sleep considering you are in bed before 8:00 so....... ya he made me frustrated by his arrogance, but whatever. We went and saw another family and had a good lesson with Vidal. We were able to teach him the first half of The Plan of Salvation. 
                   Friday, not much to report other than lots of service with the Catholic Sisters out at the Schoenstat shrine outside of Crete. So we helped out there and that was fun. They also fed us and that was nice of them. We then did weekly planning and tried to see people, but that didn't work out as we had planned but we did a lot.
                    Saturday we did Foodnet and taught Dylan The Plan of Salvation in story form, then we went back home and did our deep clean for the transfer wow! Lots of stuff  got done and we didn't see anyone :(
                    Sunday was a similar story. We went to church and came home had dinner and then finished weekly planning, and then worked on cleaning the area book.
             The crazy week of Elder Draper