OK! Here we go, this might be a very long letter, sorry, I just have a TON to say. Ok so last week on Tuesday me and Sister Taylor did exchanges with Sister Barkfull and Sister Lami. I was able to be with Sister Barkdull. Which made me extremely happy, because we pretty much are like best friends, not even kidding, her birthday is July 4th and she just turned 19, this is her first transfer and she is from Lehi Utah. We just click, and so we were so happy to be able to do exchanges. So like I think I have said before I had yet to go tracting, but Sister Barkdull wanted to go, so we did! We went for an hour and a half, and I got some fun stories. The first door we knock on we introduce our selves and ask if he has ever talked to missionaries, he said no, and is annoyed by us, then we asked him what his religious background was and he just looked at us and said, "I'm a satanist" then slammed the door in our face....bahahahahah that had to of been the funniest thing ever, me and Sister Barkdull cracked up and just made light of it, so that is my funny story. Then we continued to knock doors and we ended up teaching 3 lessons. Just short like 5 minute ones and it was great. Then after a while it was time for dinner and we only had 10 minutes to get to dinner, so we started walking back to the car, on our way there was this 19 yr oldish boy leaning in the window of his truck, we waved and said hi, and he said hi back, then about 5 seconds later he yells "are you Christian?" and we immediately said "yes!" and we walked over to him. We introduce our selves and asked if he had heard of us. He said yes, and that he was baptized in the salt lake temple (we just went along with it). He said he had read the Book of Mormon, but not for many years. We gave him a copy, and he just looked at it in his hands and then looked at us and said "Wow, do you know how long it has been since I have read this book? Like 10 years." He was so sincere, and we could just tell he was having a really rough day, he actually was reading his bible when we ran into him. I told him that it was not a coincidence that we ran in to him and he looked us in the eyes and said "I know Jesus sent you to me" WOW!!! How amazing is that? We then comforted him and talked about prayer and then we prayed together and we left. HOW FLIPPING COOL IS THAT!!! I got my funny story and spiritual story out of tracting :) wahooo, hahhaha so that was my first experience with tracting!! I know it will not always be that way, but I still enjoyed it. We ended up being late for dinner... but they were very understanding.
Then the next day, Wednesday the 28th, the whole zone went to Billings to the temple, me and Sister Barkdull were no longer on exchanges, but since our companionship's were together anyways we totally stuck together the whole day! Everyone noticed it, all the missionaries commented on how we should be companions eventually because we just complement each other and click so well. Of course we both totally agreed, I love her she is great. I was so excited to get to the temple :) I know it has only been like 2 and a half months, but it seems like forever. The temple is home, it is where my Heavenly Father lives and I needed to go home to the temple. When we came into Billings there was such a relief because I knew I was within walking distance of a temple :) and I noticed a different feeling in Billings, like completeness, because the temple is there. When I was able to see the Angel Moroni I just kept thinking "I'm going home, I'm going home" and Sister Barkdull leaned over and said "We are going home." It was so neat, and I started to cry. I feel like I have never cried so much except out here on my mission. My district leader gave me a tissue and said “I was waiting for it." Because they all know how much love I have for the temple and how excited I was to go. I have the best zone ever. Being able to walk into the temple is just pure bliss. We had a chapel session before our actual session and the temple pres. talked to us. It was so good, but the whole time I could see Pres. Mecham and Sister Mecham smiling and talking. Me and the other sisters were right in the front row, and I knew that they were talking about me and Sister Barkdull, because we were inseparable haha. I loved being there I didn't want it to end. We saw the new movie, and oh my goodness it was so good!!!! I loved it so much all of us missionaries just loved it. After the session we were sitting in the celestial room and I was so happy, there is no place on earth that compares to a celestial room in the Lords house. The Billings temple is spectacular; there is this amazing stained glass window that is breathtaking. Me and Sister Barkdull sat next to each other and talked a little about how amazing it was and the emotions we felt. President Mecham then started going around talking to each missionary, and finally he got to me, and oh boy I was excited to talk to him, cause last time I talked to him he said "Next time I see you, you will be happy. You will want to tell me that you were thankful for the experience because you will have learned a lot and love where you will be next time I see you" and I was so happy to shake his hand, the first thing he said to me was "Sister Draudt, are you happy?" and I responded "yes" and I explained why. I was so happy to finally tell him that. I have noticed that President is kinda like my "dad" out here, I didn't think he would actually know me personally because there are so many missionaries but he does. He knows me. After having to leave the temple, at first it was hard, but then I thought, since I had to step out of the temple, it just meant that I will have to come back inside also. I don't know when I will have another opportunity but I will be in the temple sooner or later:) and I can't wait for that. After the temple we went to the Golden Coral for Dinner. I was with sister Barkdull again hahahaha. Then we drove all the way back to Great Falls :)
The next couple days went well with me and Sister Taylor. Then on Saturday for Amber's baptism we were on our way to the stake center to fill the font and we got a call from the zone leaders telling us that we were switching companionship's and that president wanted that for the rest of the transfer. Sister Taylor was moving up to Fairfield with Sister Lami, and Sister Barkdull was coming to Great Falls to be with me :) WAHOOOOO so so so great! They said they wanted me to have a chance to train. Which we knew that wasn't all of the reason, like it's a big part of it but not all. Sister Barkdull just came out and is a little homesick. Sister Lami leaves next transfer and hates talking about being homesick or going home cause she does not want to ever leave the mission. The rest of the day Sister Taylor called lots of people, and we filled the font, then Amber came :)
I love Amber to pieces; she is the smallest lady ever, so so so little. Seeing her be baptized was so extremely special, seeing her being immersed in the water and coming out brighter, she just radiated light. It has been years in coming, and finally she has been baptized. She has opened the gate to all the other blessings and covenants she will get to make. I know her husband was right there and that he has been with her throughout this whole process :) He knows that this is the only way that they can be sealed together forever. And in one year she will be able to go to the temple and be sealed by proxy to him for time and all eternity. I know she will make it to the temple. I want to get her to do baptisms as soon as she possible because I know that will help her. On Sunday we went to the first ward for her confirmation, and it was beautiful, she is now a member of the church and has the Holy Ghost :) nothing gets better than that! She looks different, like when looking at her you can see her Father's love for her and she looks like a daughter of God, not just a pretty lady, but a daughter of our Heavenly Father and Mother. After her baptism, the night before she put on the white blouse with a pencil skirt and a shawl, and it was modest!!! Which may sound like a stupid thing to say, but that had been one of my favorite things about teaching her, I have been able to see that change in her, and her appearance, every time we come she is a little more modest. It was funny she was saying how it is hard to dress herself now, and her mother in law said "Don't worry, it will come and it will become easy soon." And that is totally how it is. It will become normal soon enough :) I love the Fellmans so much. I think about stuff like what if I didn't go on a mission, I would have missed out on so much, like I’m sure life would be fine, but seriously I would have been missing out on so many eternal friendships that I have made and I would have missed out on meeting all these amazing people. I don't ever want to imagine my life without them, because my life is so much better with them in it.
So yesterday was P-day we went to the Great Falls stake center, and it was a good. I was catching up in my journal, and then Sister Barkdull finally arrived and I just ran to her and she ran to me and we gave each other a huge hug!! Seriously she is going to be one of my best friends for life. I just know it, I wish I knew her before my mission, but that's ok, cause we know each other now. We all played volley ball which was fun and then in the end we all were sitting around chatting with each other. It always ends up that way; we always end up just chatting. Finally me and Sister Barkdull with 6 other elders went to get dinner at Applebees and the elders were such bums. They told the guy it was my birthday, and I told them, no because I felt bad, I'm a missionary and I don't want to lie. So then they fixed it, but told me that they still were going to sing. Because they told the waiter it was not my birthday and he asked if they still wanted them to sing and of course they being elders said of course. They did not tell me that part so this whole big line of Applebee’s workers come out and start singing happy birthday to me and give me ice-cream. I was so embarrassed. Aren't the elders great...not! haha in the end it was really fun, but still, they like to bug me and Sister Barkdull.
Well this week has been amazing. I love Sister Barkdull, and I loved going to the temple and just working hard. We have had some great work going on! I didn't get to tell ya'll a lot about it but it has been great. I love you all so much and I love getting your letters :) thanks I love you all :) have a fantastic enthusiastic week, and go to the temple it will make you feel better :) (I don't just write that for fun, when I say go to the temple, I mean go, it is always helpful, so go ) haha
Love always Sister Andrea Draudt
|All the missionaries walking up to the temple.|
|Sister Barkdull and I|
Here we are!!! Amber’s baptism!!! how amazing is that I just love this girl so much she is so amazing, I am so grateful to be able to be a part of her life and her baptism (it was sad though, none of her side of the family showed up except her uncle. sad right...like her kids and stuff here there) Oh! So on Monday before her baptism her family tried to stage and intervention with her, and then on Tuesday her mother screamed and in front of her daughter Kayli and told her she was being baptized just to hurt her. Then she gave her an awful mean letter and 20 pages of anti-Mormon literature!! Crazy right!! But every time trials like this came up it just built her up stronger :) I am so proud of her she has such strong faith