Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I love being a missionary, there is not ANYTHING better

Dear Family,
    1st off...I have some pretty sad news. I was on the computer last Tuesday writing up a thing for president and I saw an email from sister Harwood. That email said that Duane passed away last Sunday. I do not know the whole story, but just that he did not come to church and they were worried, and so Brother Mathson our ward mission leader checked on him and he had passed always. I loved Duane so much. He is one of my favorite people. I ask you to all remember his family in your prayers. I know Duane has more to learn in the spirit world and I feel like it is right. I had a hard time at first. But really to think about everything, it is a miracle that I met him. I was transferred to Bozeman right when he started letting missionaries come, and we were able to teach him and help him return to the gospel. He became like a grandpa to me. If I did not go to Bozeman when I did..I would have never known him. Heavenly Father's hand is in every minute of our lives. We always would ask Duane to pray, and for a long time he would not, but then towards the end, he started praying with us, but not on his own. Then I got an email from Sister Harwood saying he prayed in church. :) That is awesome! I have been thinking a lot about him, and he always said he would pray, and thinks about it , but he just wanted it to be a good and sincere prayer. I wonder if he got that prayer in. I feel like he probably did :) I feel like Duane finally was able to talk to our Heavenly Father openly and sincerely, and that he felt loved. I really feel like he was able to do that before he passed. I am so grateful that I knew Duane. It is hard to know I won't be able to see him in this life again, but at least I can talk to him, I am excited to one day get to the spirit world and see Duane. I know he is learning and growing so much. It will be great to see even more change in him. :)
               Well besides that my week has been great :) We had Christmas Zone Conference, and that was awesome. I was able to see Sister Barkdull for a minute, and Then I spent lunch with Sister Austin. Oh my goodness she is just awesome! I love her. We just had so much fun catching up and then the Bakers were also there so we all got  a picture together. All of us once again together :) I cried a lot during Zone conference...it was hard because it was so amazing. I NEVER want it to end. I got your letter mom :) thanks. At the end I shook president hand and all he said was "I will be interviewing you on Saturday, though I really don't want to" Yep then I lost it and started bawling. haha Then I looked over at sister Mecham and she burst into tears and just gave me the biggest hug and said "You have come so far" that one sentence....18 months of learning ,more like a life time. I love the Mechams so much. They have blessed and helped change my life forever. After shaking their hands I went over to Elder Bishop, one of the assistants and he just starts telling me about the dessert table and how I need some dessert because it will make me happy. So I walk past it on my way out but I did not grab anything cause I didn't want it, and he saw  that and just started yelling, "IT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY!" bahahahaha. So that helped for like 2 seconds, until I saw Sister Austin. WE just gave each other huge hugs and stood there. Oh I love her. We went through a lot being doubled into Riverton together and so we are so close. 
               The car ride home was good. When we got home we only had like 2 hours left of proselyting time so we went to work of course! Which was great!
               Ron is doing so well. We taught him the plan of salvation and loved it. He was not able to come to the Christmas part of stake conference cause he was in so much pain, poor guy. We brought him cake from the party and he loved it...he better have because I spilled apple pie all over my skirt...twice! to get him that,  bahahahaha. Yesterday though toward the end of the day he was feeling a little better, not  the best, but he is awesome and so he came to the Christmas devotional, he loved it! He is doing so well. I just love Ron! I will get a picture with him this week. 
               I had my departing interview on Saturday, because there are so many missionaries going home, he had to spread them out last week instead of just when we get to the mission home. I asked for a blessing while in my departing interview and I am so grateful I got that. It was a very powerful blessing. That is all I am going to say cause I don't want to focus on  that bahaha. However I will say I am so grateful President Mecham was and is my mission president. He has helped me so much throughout my mission, and taught me so much! When we had Mission tour earlier this year. Elder Godoy who came, told us that we should pray to have the right mission president for our children and our selves, not the right area, because the mission president is just that vital. And I know it is. I could not have had a different mission president. President Mecham needed to be mine.
            I am so grateful for my mission. I will always be remembering it, and eventually I will be serving another with my husband :) That will be wonderful. I am so happy I served here in Montana, I know it will help me be a better missionary when I am home. The Montana Billings Mission is the best mission in the World. I love it with all my heart. I love the people with my whole soul. Like I have been saying, Heavenly Father is in every second of our lives and has a plan for each of us, and that is one of the most important things I have learned!
    Oh guess what!!!! Remember in Bozeman when I was teaching Zack, but he actually lived in Billings :) Well he got baptized on Saturday! I am so happy for him! He wrote me on Facebook and told me how excited he was to be baptized and told me he will send pictures :) I am so happy for him and his wife, and then in  year they will be sealed for time and eternity :)
              Well I love all of you so much! You all have blessed me so much and I just love you :) Have a great week :)...see ya soon...
                Love SISTER Draudt

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

Dear Family,
     This week has been one amazing week. I have felt my Heavenly Father so much and seen him work in my life. This week we started off on exchanges and I was in my area with Sister Gardner, this is her second transfer and oh my goodness she is such a sweetheart. She is from Enterprise Utah, and we just had so much in common. It was so funny because we went to bed the first night we were on exchanges and I said goodnight and started to go to sleep after my prayers and then she just came alive and started talking to me for like an hour just about different things we both have in common and it was so fun, however I got so tired haha. On Tuesday we were also together and that is when I called sister Baker about going to the Doctor cause I got pretty sick again and couldn't really breath without coughing and so we called sister Baker...how ever I could not remember dad's exact birthday that is why she has to call....sorry dad. I really love you so much...I just was sick :P so I couldn't remember haha. Well because I couldn't remember a miracle happened also...just so you know, so God planned it that way haha. Since I did not remember I had to wait till Wednesday when I heard the Birth date. So before going to the Doctors I got a blessing from my district leader, saying I would heal fast. It was a wonderful blessing. Then we did some other things and then went to the doctor..well first off they took my temperature and I had a fever of 101 that I had no idea I had..I just thought I was hot haha. BLESSING from Heavenly Father for sure! Then they decided that I have bronchitis. And prescribed me an antibiotic and an inhaler.  Well we left the Doctors and I was so happy to finally get things figured out, cause I am so sick of being sick haha. We decided we would wait till the end of the night to go get my perscription, so we went with the Furrers (ward missionaries) to try a less active, he wasn't home, but they found out that I needed to go to the pharmacy and they told us it closed at 8 so I need to go over right then, because it would also be closed on Thanksgiving, the next day. So we booked it over to Rosars. I am telling you all these details, because they all had to work out like they did so that we would be at Rosars at the right time. Heavenly Father is in every second of out lives and I know this even more so becuase of what happened next. We got in to Rosars and started looking for the pharmacy, and I saw this man from the back and I just felt like I needed to look at his face. So I walked in front of him and it just clicked, I knew him, He fit the description of this referral the temple square sisters gave us the week before. However we had not been able to get a hold of him. So I asked him right there "what is your name" and ok I realize now that is a really creepy question to ask, especially since I like leaned into him and was like a foot away. Cause he seemed a little weirded out, but he answered and said "...Ron?" and of course being who I am I jumped in the air with my hands out and said "we have been looking for you!" I introduced who I was and he was so happy to see us also. We had to be there at that time, which means I had to wait to go and see the Doctor till the next day, so I had to forget dads birthday, and we had to have that less active not be home so the Furrers could tell us to go to the pharmacy. Because we needed to find Ron. 
       Now let me tell you about Ron. We set up an appointment and he was excited for it. By the way the description of him was that he had long hair, an earring and a bandanna. (by the way that sounds funny, but he actually looks pretty put together. He's probably in his 60's I would say. Here is his story. So about a year ago missionaries knocked on his door and gave him a book of Mormon and he was so excited, however the missionaries never came back. Then 2 weeks ago he was in SLC at the University of Utah hospital..cause he has some crazy medical conditions..poor guy..maybe I will tell you all about them later. Anyways the Doctors denied him I think...and so he was down but he went to go get lunch at a little sandwich shop, and 2 temple square missionaries happened to be there and started talking to him. They invited him over to temple square and he loved it. While in SLC he met with them a couple times and then they gave us him as a referral when he came back to Missoula, and this is where we came in. So he has been prepared and Heavenly Father had really been influencing his life. Anyways we had our appointment with him on Friday night and it was amazing we were teaching the plan of salvation but it turned into baptism and we committed him to be baptized on January 3rd and he accepted and is so excited for his baptism. Bishop Calkins and his wife were at the lesson. And we learned about his medical conditions and so Bishop offered to give him a blessing on Sunday.
      So now Sunday comes! 1st off we went to go see if a less active was coming and her friend was over so we invited him and the both came to church! Then we had sweet Edith, this old lady we are teaching, she came. Then about 2 minutes into church Ron showed up all spiffy and in a suit and everything! He is so awesome. I jumped up and sat with him. Towards the end of fast and testimony meeting he was really feeling it and he got up and bore his simple and sweet testimony! It was so powerful and he brought the spirit in so strong. Then after church he asked us when we could meet again, and if we would help prepare him for baptism on the 3rd  :) Wow yes he is that prepared! I am so excited to teach him. Ron is a Miracle!
       Oh ok so ps Thanksgiving was awesome we saw I think 7 families and we had dinner with Sami and his non member family, they were wonderful. I loved Thanksgiving. While studiying on Thanksgiving I found 2 Corinthians 9:15 which says "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift" That just hit me and has stuck with me. It is a simple verse but how powerful it is! We can never fully express how much Heavenly Father has done for us, but we cherish it and love him. So thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gifts :) Well everyone I love you so much and I am so greateful for God. I am sorry about the spelling errors haha...my computer is running out of time and I have to go. I LOVE YOU. Thanks for everything. Have a great week :)
-Love Sister Draudt

November 24, 2014

Dear Family :)
     This week has been really good :) First off before I talk about this week I have a couple things to update you all on. So Hong, the guy I taught in Billings, yes he got baptized :) yea! Then Elder Gordy, who I knew in Billings and he served a mini mission here. Well he was just called to the St. George Utah mission! and he leaves December 4th :) I am so happy for him, he will change many many many peoples lives. It's pretty cool cause the elders from my mtc district are there..besides the ones that came here haha.
     Ok now to this week. In the beginning of the week we taught a lot of people which was awesome. Then we went on exchanges, I was with the Ronan Sisters and sister Martin went with the St. Ignatius sisters. It was so awesome cause I was able to work with the sisters and then also on our way back on the next day we were in St Ignatius and  I was able to say Hi to Sister Krantz, she remembered me :) I was only there for a week, but she remembered me. That was such a powerful experience to be in St Ignatius, even if only for 15 minutes, because that is where my mission really began for me. I know I started up in Bigfork, but as you all know I had a rough start with companionship issues...well so 3 weeks into my mission I was transferred to St Ignatius to be with Sister Romrell who was my sister training leader, and she helped change my mission from that point on. She taught me so much and inspired me. That is where my growth as a missionary started. Where hope came into my mission, and that was only 3 weeks in to my mission and now i only have about that amount of time left and I was able to go there and see Sister Krantz, and remember, and now I am on the other side of it..I am trying to help sisters and love them.  What a tender mercy from God, to be able to reflect on my mission and remember the miracles that have happened and the blessings that have come and the sons and daughters of God that I have met. 
      Anyways after coming home from exchanges we have just been finding and have had some appointments. Remember how for the longest time I always was so scared to tract..well It hit me this week..I am fine with it now.. and I am pretty sure that happened while in Bozeman, and now I do enjoy it. I have learned how to tract so much better. I used to just say "hi we are missionaries....would you be interested" and that did not work a lot, haha but now I am learning to do and apply what Preach my gospel has taught me, to teach right away. It is pretty cool to see how by teaching, anything that related back to the Restoration, so many more hearts are softened and they don't always say yes but they are so much more willing to talk. Testimony is powerful. The spirit comes in and softens hearts. This week has been so good. I love just working hard and being obedient it brings so many blessings and just makes me so happy to please my Father in Heaven.
            Yesterday we spoke in church and we were asked to speak on Christ-like attribute, and so I chose faith and obedience. I prepared a lot but was still pretty scattered, but had a rough outline..cause really we never have a lot of time to prepare because we need to be out proselyting. Anyways I prayed and prayed for the spirit to be with me as a I spoke and I knew I needed to slow down as I spoke also. And the spirit was there and it worked so well. I said things that I did not even think about before, and I was able to speak slower and to rely on the spirit and stay calm....I am so grateful for answers to prayers!
       Oh guess what!!! we have a new thing happened this transfer called mission leadership training which is like Mission leadership council, but with all missionaries so it was like a zone conference in a scene. Those mission meetings are just so inspiring! I love it. I was so pumped up with the spirit and learned so much! I also saw Sister Austin. I found out last Monday that I would see her, but she did not know that, and so I thought I would surprise her. She saw me and we just gave each other such a big hug and we were like connected the rest of the day,  haha. I just love Sister Austin so much! She has become one of my absolute best friends. I also will get to see her in 2 weeks for Christmas zone conference! yea!!!!
          Oh ok so for Thanksgiving we are going to have a wonderful day we have appointments the whole day! So I am positive I am going to be stuffed! I am so excited. We are spending dinner with Sami, who is a older man form Egypt, he converted like 10 years ago and went less active but has been coming back for a couple months and is awesome! He is so funny. He has some crazy questions haha. Then we have several other people we will be meeting with also. :)
 Well I love all of you.  Have a very wonderful and happy and grateful Thanksgiving! I am excited to tell you all about it! Have a great week :) I love you!
                 -Sister Draudt

November 17, 2014

Dear Family,
     I do not have a ton to say, I have mainly been trying to get to know the area and the people. I found out that there were 2 sets of sisters here and now there is just us and so we are having to learn the other sisters area also..so that has been a little crazy haha. There is this lady named Teresa who was baptized like a month ago and she is in a wheel chair with spinal bifida. She is amazing! She is just so happy to be in the gospel and every time we see her she is reading more scripture or telling us about the movies she has watched on the gospel library. She is awesome and has one amazing spirit. I am so happy that I was able to meet her :) 
     On Saturday we had a zone breakfast at a member of the stake presidency's house, and we set transfer goals and everything and it was such a powerful meeting. One of the speakers from the stake talked about working at the temple after the mission. I would love to do that, that would be awesome! Then another person from the stake had us all stand and recite D&C 4 and they all said it with us cause they all memorized it on their missions also. I did not realize that all missionaries memorized that. That was so powerful to quote it all together!
      2 new sister missionaries came into our zone for their training! They are so adorable I am super excited to get to know them better. One is from Houston Texas and is just a fireball and so fun, and the other is this cute little red head from Arizona. We will be doing exchanges with one of the companionship this week so that will be fun. I might get to go to St Ignatius which is awesome cause that is where I was with Sister Romrell in the beginning of my mission, and I was only there for a week, but that week changed my mission, and helped me begin to love and be happy to be on my mission, even tough I had only been out 3 weeks haha.
     Well it is snowy here. We took some pictures on the iPad, I will have to send them home. We had dinner with this lady last night that is Less active, she does not consider herself a member but her husband is a member. So funny cause the ward had her record but she has said she is not a member, and so our goal was to figure out if she was a member, and sure enough we found out that she was baptized like 15 years ago but she said her heart is not all in it so she does not consider herself a member and she goes to zoo church, which is one of the nondenominational churches. So Missoula's nickname is the zoo...therefore zoo church. This is an interesting town, that is for sure. But I love it. Well anyways dinner was awesome with her, and not what I excited haha, but super good and hopefully we can figure out a way to teach her...
       Oh my companion, I should probably mention her haha, she is awesome! I just love her.  Her same is Sister Martin and she is from Cedar City, super fun cause she is my 3rd companion from southern Utah. She graduated the same year I did and goes to BYU.  I am so excited for our companionship, we have already had a couple times where we have just both been in complete unity.  Like, "We need to knock on that door." Even though we have been driving, and just preparing for lesson and wanting to teach the exact specific thing, even though we had no idea what each other were thinking. That has been awesome. Well our winter clothes are officially out and I am wearing them! Wow it is crazy how much a winter coat helps...I do not know what I would do with out my coatIII hahaha 
       Well I love all of you and I hope and pray you all have a wonderful week!
               Love,  Sister Draudt

November 10, 2014

Dear Family,
      Oh my goodness this week has been amazing! I just love Bozeman. This week has been awesome. So on Friday night we called Duane to see how he was doing, we called him on Thursday after his chemo also. He asked us on Friday if we were going to visit on Saturday, so of course we went over and saw him on Saturday! Sister Harwood's sister went to see him while in the VA and gave him a book on the Atonement :) awwww and then when we were visiting with Duane on Saturday after he came home he gave us some chocolate toffee cookies he bought for us :) awww Duane :) We just love him. We also saw Dietrick this week and he is doing awesome! He read from the Book of Mormon and when we asked if there was anything we could do to help him he asked us to pray for his family's heart to be softened and to listen to the message! awwww how amazing is that! He is awesome.
      Yesterday at church we had the Primary Program, just like you did mom :) and oh my goodness it was just so tender and the spirit was so strong. Remember how I told you all about Jake and Kelci who came to church last week, well they came again :) and they loved the primary program. Then Chrisan came with her daughter, she was reactivated officially last week :) then Duane was at church, and so many members were so excited to tell us about the missionary work they are doing :) It was by far the best Sunday we have had in Bozeman :) 
    I got a call earlier in the day from Elder Bishop one of the Assistants and he interviewed me for transfers and told me about a new thing they are going to be doing called Facebook specialist and later that day I would get my transfer news, so we hung up and I just thought, oh ok..facbeook I bet I will be working with Facebook more. We then went about our day and did missionary work and had dinner with some of the best members ever! Then we were driving to our appointment at 6 with Jake and Kelci, which was pretty far away, well on our way we noticed we had a voicemail. And honestly I was not worried about transfers at all, I knew I was staying, until we had that wonderful Sacrament meeting, it was so good that I got nervous about being transferred. Well we listen to the voicemail, and it was from President Mecham, and he does not make transfer calls unless there is a special reason. Well he said that I am going to be made a Sister Training Leader in Missoula. Well I just cried haha, I only have 5 weeks left and I really thought I would be staying in Bozeman, and things are finally working out and then of course I get transferred. But I understand it is all what the Lord wants and it will be great. But now I have to pack this transfer and Next..so get ready for packages to be coming home..I have a lot to send hahahaha. 
      It is pretty cool that I am going to Missoula, because I remember my first little while in the mission I just had this feeling that I would serve in Wyoming, Missoula, and Bozeman. And I have always felt that since, however after coming to Bozeman I figured this would be my last area and I so I did not think much of it. But now I am going to Missoula, crazy right? I will hit all the areas I felt I would. I only have 5 weeks there, so I am going to have to work super hard and make sure I find those I need to find.
     Oh something else that is awesome is we started teaching our neighbor David, I think we might have mentioned him. The first time we taught him he would not take a Book of Mormon because he wanted to pray to know if he should read it. Guess what about 4 days later I got a message from him on Facebook asking for a copy, so we gave him it and he has scrolled though it a little. We met him again and talked about how we know the church is true, and then yesterday our ward mission leader talked with him, since we could not get another girl or guy to go with us, we could not go, so our ward mission leader taught him the plan of salvation! What a miracle, he is awesome!
     Another Miracle that happened yesterday is after dinner we taught Jake and Kelci the plan of Salvation and it went so well, when we were taking about how God loves us and will make sure all of us have a chance to accept the gospel, he was just feeling the spirit and when we were talking about the spirit world. Then at one point he was in deep thought and he looked at us and said "Remember when you were talking about the Holy Ghost last time, and I said I had never felt it…well I was thinking about it, and I think I have felt it. While I was in jail about to get out, I remember just writing something down, like a essay, and I went back and read it, and I think I was feeling the spirit" He was so excited to tell us he ran out to the car to get the paper, but he could not find it. But then Kelci pulled it out of her wallet and said "I like to read it" :) I can't even explain the spirit right then. We had to leave shortly after, so we are going back today to have him read the paper to us. He is just growing so much in the gospel, he is one amazing guy, he is a little rough, but wow, he has such a sweet spirit, I can see it in his eyes. I am so excited for Jake and Kelci they are wonderful!
          I love this gospel and I know that it is true. :)
         Have a wonderful week and be happy
PS, I am so excited for Nicole to enter the MTC on wednesday, she is going to be one of the best missionaries ever. I am so excited for the adventure God has instore for her!
         -Love Andrea :)

November 3, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
     Oh my goodness I am so excited to tell you all about the miracles that have happened this week! I know my emails have been kinda lame lately but hopefully this one will make up for it haha.
     Ok I have to start with the beginning of the week, so last Monday, (this is just a fun story) So we went and had family home evening with the Schauers, who are in our ward and are one amazing family. We feel like we need to know the members better, so we went over to the Schauers and wow it was so powerful, just having the family gathered and talking about the gospel and singing. Seriously the spirit was so strong! After FHE we were talking and guess what brother Shauers sister is Mrs. Weight, who taught me in foods, and interior design and was over FCCLA when I was in high school. So he text-ed her and later in the week, Sister Schauers said that she has Josh in one of her classes now hahaha! I love it! That was just a fun little tender mercy!
      Then on Wednesday we were meeting with Chrisan, and bishop was with us and she is now working towards going to the temple with her daughter to do baptisms and this week she was officially reactivated!! She is one amazing lady, she converted about 3 years ago , but her husband was not supportive, so she fell away, but she has come back, and loves the gospel, she is crazy amazing at family history! So she is awesome and we just love her and are so happy for her!
     Ok now to Halloween! So we were not allowed to be out past 6pm  becuase it could be dangerous, so we decided to try and get all the work we could in befoer 6, well we were not having much luck, at all, and about 4:30 we were trying less actives, in this trailer park, and no one was, home so we started tracting, no luck..so we were walking back to our car, and this guy pulls up to us and says "hey, who are you?" we explain we are missionaries and we started talking, but a car pulled up behind him so we asked if we could just come over to his house. So we went over and his sister was there so it was totally ok, and he started telling us about how he found God, and right now he is studying with the Jehovah Witnesses, but he had a lot of common things with us and so we asked if we could teach him, and he said of course. He told us that years ago he had gone to a mormon church a little! So we taught him the restoration, and after the first vision, he just sat there and then smiled and said " That gave me the goose bumps" we invited him to baptism for December 6th and he accepted! We read the last two paragraphs of the introduction of the book of Mormon, and then he looked up Moroni 10:3-5 himself! Which is the promise of the book of Mormon. he was reading it to himself, and we had no idea, and then he  looks at us and said "hey, listen to this" and he was super excited and he read it to us!!! how wonderful is that! So so so amazing! we are going back to see him tonight. After meeting him, it was time to head over to the church for the trunk or treat, cause we got permission to be there. We ended up having interviews with President Hopkin, who is in the mission presidency, they were pretty short, but by the time we got out  the trunk of treat was half way over. But guess what! Everyone we invited and was hoping would come, totally came! We did not get to see them, but luckily other people we know did and fellow shipped them! After the trunk or treat missionaries were still being interviewed, cause the whole zone was being interviewed, so for Halloween night we just played volley ball and basketball in the gym, and it was so fun! it was for sure not what a normal Halloween is but it was so fun just to be around all the other missionaries and having fun.
    Then on Saturday we had another miracle, so one of our neighbors David, has slowly been asking questions. He is baptist and on Saturday he was talking to us and said we should meet sometime (he came to the trunk or treat) and so we set up an appointment for that night and we met him and had brother Schauers come and he one amazing lesson. He would not commit to reading or even taking a book of Mormon but he said he would pray about it. He did not say yes to baptism either, but still it was awesome. He will take to the book of Mormon soon!
     Ok now to yesterday, Sunday! What a wonderful day! Our fast and testimony meeting was wonderful and then we taught gospel principals, totally spur of the moment cause brother Mathson, our ward mission leader had something come up.  then right after gospel principals bishop came up and said "you want to teach a lesson?" at first I thought he meant like a class, and then I realized, no there was a less active and her nonmember boyfriend that came to church for the first time and he wanted us to teach them the first lesson. So we did and committed them to read and pray and for him to be baptized and he accepted! He is awesome. They are a little rough around the edges, but I could see in his eyes that he has a desire. They have gone through a lot lately and I was talking to him and he said that after they walked into the church he just felt so much better!! I am so excited for him and his girlfriend! Yesterday in church I also sat by Pete Dotson's aunt.  What a small world! They were visiting and his uncle is cousins I think...with the Mays in our ward, who are pretty much some of my favorite people here! haha.
     Ok and now to today! Quienten, one of our investigators, we thought was ignoring us, well he called us this morning and said that he just has been trying to find a job and told us he quit smoking yay! ...however he started chewing...so we told him that will have to go also hahaha, but hey at least smoking is gone right? hahaha he wants to meet with us tonight also! wahooooo Also earlier this week, Sister Tinjum we are staring to work with her and her family, they are less active but really are amazing and trying to come back, she invited us over for Thanksgiving!!!! awwwwww how amazing is she, I am so excited!
    OK also today in my personal study I finished all the highlights in the book of Mormon that I have been working on! All of the references to Christ are highlighted, and his doctrine, and his words, and the attributes of Christ. It is super amazing, and strengthens my testimony to just scroll through that copy I have highlighted and to see how much is truly is about Christ and testifies of him. There is not a single page without highlights. The book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith is a prophet of God because there is no way he could have made it up, or translated it. No way. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Gods church once again on the earth. We have so many people that say, "your church is so new" and it is so amazing to explain, it is not, it is the same church Jesus Christ established while he was on the earth. And usually people don't really care or just keep going on with their lives, but one day that will hit them, and mean so much. :) What a blessing the gospel is and has been and will be in my life! God's work is going forward here in Bozeman Montana :) I love you all :)  Have a wonderful week.
                  -Sister Andrea Draudt

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 27, 2014

Dear Family!
     Honestly this week was hard and it was not the best but as of about 2 hours ago Sister Harwood and I have decided we need to really changed things in our area. We are re defining our area. We know that the best work always comes from the members, but there is not a lot of that here so we are figuring out how to help the members but also how we can change the work cause we are teaching so many people who really have no desire to change so we are going to drop lots this week...sad, but it is something that needs to happen they have been meeting with missionaries for years some of them and so it is time to help them, and the way to help is to make them more responsible for learning on their own, we have just been a crutch. I know that this will help the area.
      We went on exchanges this week and I was able to be with Sister Spencer for 2 days and that was so fun! It was so nice to be with her again. And that exchange really helped have a direction as to how to help my own area.
     Ok so I just have to tell you what has been the absolute highlight of my week :) so this last week I decided I should read Joseph Smith History, because a lot of anti stuff we have heard is about everything and well I am really good about defending the book of Mormon because I have read it so many times and read it every day, however I felt like I needed to learn more about Joseph Smith so that I can defend the prophet as well. Which I already do and I know he is a prophet but I just felt like I needed to study more. So I read Joseph Smith history this week. Wow even though it is not very long it is so so powerful. I felt the spirit so strong the whole time and never lost focus, which says a lot for me cause I get distracted easily. After reading Joseph Smith's History we watched the Joseph Smith movie while on exchanges with the Hammans in the 2nd ward, who are amazing and preparing to be baptized soon. During  the movie the spsirt was just touching all of us and then after, Dan Hamman, took some time to think and then opened his mouth and bore one of the most powerful testimonies of Joseph smith I have ever heard. He just recently has learned about the church and yet he knows becasue of the Spirit that Joseph was is a prophet. He asked to say  the closing prayer and in that prayer he thanked Heavenly Father for choosing Joseph Smith as our prophet and for the opportunity he and his wife have to now have the gospel in their lives. I was crying...yup, haha it was amazing, and I just felt such peace and happiness with them that I have been trying to find in the last couple weeks. I am pretty sure Brother Hamman will become like the bishop in 5 years hahaha. I also started reading the teachings of Joseph Smith, (the manual) and that has been awesome too:) I know that Joseph Smith was and is called of God that he is a prophet and that he served God. I am so thankful that we have prophets today and that I can know they are a prophet through the spirit. I know Thomas S. Monsen is our prophet today :)
        Ok so I have 2 stories for you. The first one is that we had a lesson with this lessactive, Jessamy and her husband. They are so funny and just awesome. But she hates being pushed so she said we could read the Book of Mormon with her, and since we have started doing that she has started to come around and this last Tuesday we were reading with her in 3 Nephi 12 and she got something totally different than what I got, but I loved it. She just started going off about how we need to be humble, and talked about what it really means to be humble and then she strated saying how, she needs to humble herself and go to church and that her husband needs to humble himself and quit chewing so he can be baptized, bahaha. It was the best thing ever, cause she toally stated telling herself that she needs to change, so we just got to sit and listen to her teach herself. So that was just awesome!  Jessamy is awesome.
Ok take a seat everyone cause this next story is funny...well at least it was after it happened, and it might just be funny to me and Sister Harwood cause you just would have had to be there..but either way here is the story. So on Tuesday we were tracting and it was windy, like super windy, but we were determined.  So we were knocking on doors and we get to this one door and it was your average trailer, cause we were in a trailer park and it has those scary like unstable metal stairs that are only as wide as the door, so we can't really stand on the same step together well there is a screen door, so I knock, but it did not really work, so I decided that well I would just crack the screen door open and knock on the actual door, but that was not a good idea, cause I opened the door, just enough to squeeze my hand in, when a huge gust of wind ripped it open  and the door slammed into me and I tried so hard to stop it but it was like 200 pounds and  it just shoved me off the porch on the ground and squishing me up against the trailer. Sister Harwood was laughing so hard she was crying and I was just trying to shut the door with the wind still pushing it and I just could not do it I looked so pathetic haha!   Sister Harwood  finally was able to help me shut it and we just quietly and quickly walked always from the door, I am pretty sure there was someone inside too and they probably saw that whole thing happen..embarrassing haha. I ended up hurting my finger when I was trying to stop the door, but other than that I made it out alive, even though my back should have been hurt hahaha, but hey God was watching out for me there.
      Well that was my week haha. I love you all and havea great week :)
-Sister Draudt

October 13, 2014

Dear Family,
      Oh my goodness this week has been interesting, I honestly can't remember a ton, because well I have been sick all week, still going around and out and about but I have kinda been out of it haha. I just got my flu shot, so that is good. 
      Ok, well we skyped with Austin this week and he is like a hermit! He is like 40 years old and while skyping he could not look at the camera and was very uncomfortable the whole time. How ever he still loved talking to us and so we set up another time to just call him cause we knew skyping freaked him out.  Well we called Austin later this week and he tried to drop us, we told him we will still call, but he tried to drop us, and it is so confusing cause he was just on fire! I really think he has some major social anxieties and is too scared to meet us and so he is giving everything up. Or maybe he has something else and we just are not suppose to work with him. One day I will meet him, whether it is here or in the next life. I can honestly say I have done everything I could to share the gospel with him, and one day I hope he will be able to be baptized. 
     We went to Helena this week for online proselyting training which was super awesome I really enjoyed it. After coming back from Helena we met up with Quinten who we met like 2 weeks ago, he is like 18 and so we took him to FHE in the YSA ward here and he loved it, so then we were able to teach him after we got back from Helena. That is a funny story, cause we were suppose to meet him at the Bozeman pond, and we had Margaritta with us, a member of the ysa ward. Well we were waiting and he was not there, we found out he was at Hastings because his ride never showed up but he still wanted to meet with us, so we were about to head over to Hastings when this Asian guy came up to us and started talking to us. We could not understand anything he was trying to say "Mormon" but it sounded like "woman" so we were so confused. Finally we figured out he was saying "Mormon" and then he tried to talk to us and he was super nice but all we could get out during 1 minute of conversation was "Mormon, Korean, Buddhist and Jesus" that was all.  Poor guy, we got his number and told him we will call him, but we are trying to find someone who speaks korean. this guys name is like Kwyson. and he keeps calling us but we try to talk and we never understand anything. So hopfully we will find someone who speaks Korean. Anyways we head over to Hastings and he is there with a girl named Brittany who we met before and then his girlfriend..luckily he mentioned that, cause I thought she was hie 12 year old little sister..so that could have been really awkward. Well she did not want to talk to us really, so we sat down at a table and taught him the restoration, it was by far one of the worst lessons we have taught haha, there were people distracting him and someone even came up in the middle of the lesson right before we invited him to be baptized and wanted to talk to us, his name was Kris and he had a son with downs syndrome who was the sweetest person ever, anyways we got his info and he left. Finally the lesson got a little better, and the spirit must have been there cause he accepted the invitation to be baptized and to read the Book of Mormon, he agreed to be baptized on November 7th. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to read the introduction.
      The next day we were texting him and he had read and prayed, and said it felt good, and he looked so happy the next day. Then on top of that he read the witnesses, and the next day he told us he read the testimony of Joseph Smith! What a wonderful young man! He is working diligently to be baptized :) Of course we have to hand him over to the elders to teach since he will be in their ward, but that's totally ok.   As long as he keeps learning and is baptized :)
      So that Kris guy that seemed interested during Quinten's lesson.  Well he called us and wanted to set up a time to have a bible study, then he told us about all these bibles he has, and the way he started talking just sounded like he was wanting to "study" with us to just bash, so hopefully we won't have to meet with him.
         Oh so on Friday we were trying to contact some people, and nothing was happening it was awful, so at about 4pm we tried this one potential and he was asleep, but feeling like we had not done much I told Sister Harwood, let's knock on this door across the street, so we do and they let us in! They are from the Blackfeet reservation up by Rowning and it was so perfect cause I was able to talk to them about some of their native ways and so they connected with us, but more than that we found out he practices native ways and she is more catholic, but their priest just retired and they are trying to find another church, we introduced them to the Book of Mormon and how it is about their people and it seemed to interest them, and they said we could come back! I am so excited for them! They are awesome!  I just love them and their kids already, their names are Jim and Tracy. Isn't it so wonderful that Heavenly Father knows exactly where we need to be when we need to be there.  This family is a perfect example of that.  We tried one investigator who needed  to sleep at that time so that freed us up to knock on his neighbor's 
door :)
      After meeting Jim and Tracy, we headed out to Big Sky because we wanted to do some finding there because we had 2 referrals, the first one was not interested and the other we could not find, so we went to the volley ball game at the high school, cause we figured a lot of people would be there, and well, yep the whole school was there, and they were very wierded out by us, some lady asked us which perish we belonged to haha. So then we went to the gas stations, where people would be and tried to talk to people there, and we were able to meet some people which was awesome! We also went to the Big Sky branch on Sunday.  There were 8 people, 4 of which came in from Bozeman, because it is their calling to go to that branch, we have a lot of work to do haha. But it was super fun. Then we came home to Bozeman and went to church here. Roy and Lisa were there. Please pray for them. He wants to come back and is trying, however she is very offish and doesn't want to really meet with us, at least that is how she was acting, so please pray for her.  After she found that anti crap she has been so different. Pray that she will do what we asked and read the Book of Mormon. 
We met a wonderful lady Chris Ann and her daughter who have moved into our ward, they actually were baptized a couple years ago and went a less active for the last couple months but they just moved from Big Sky (I think that was the reason they were less active it was just so small and no youth program) but anyways they moved into our ward and are so excited to be back to a bigger ward and back in the gospel. They are so sweet. 
       OH one last thing, Cortnie in the Rimrock ward got her mission call! She emailed me and I am so excited for her! She is going to the Houston Texas mission! What a wonderful missionary she will be! I am so excited for her! I love you all and have a great week! Happy birthday to Gavin :)
                 -Love Andrea

October 6, 2014

Dear Family :)
     This weekend has been so amazing it was exactly what I needed. On Saturday we went over to help Sister Whitmeyer in our ward with cleaning her hay baler for the winter (I have no idea if that is how you spell that) it was super fun being there on her ranch. We were able to play with the mini horses and some regular horses too. I am starting to realize I really like horses, like I love being around them, anyways that was totally random. So after we cleaned the hay baler we went inside and watched the first session of conference with her. We missed Elder Packers on accident, don't worry I caught up later and I love it. But the talk right after Elder Packers about not being afraid of men was so powerful it was just what I needed. I have slowly got a lot better and majorly better here in Bozeman with not being afraid of men views, but I can do a lot better. 
     The next session we watched at the church and Elder Anderson's talk was awesome cause Here in Bozeman we have found a lot of anti stuff and it just seems like it is getting worse and worse and Elder Anderson's talk just was all about staying strong in the gospel. He bore such a powerful testimony about Joseph Smith. All the anti stuff is about Joseph too, which is not surprising because Moroni did tell Joseph his name would be spread around the world for good and evil. Elder Anderson said "Spiritual questions deserve Spiritual answers" How true that is. So many people, and I have done it myself, ask a spiritual question and I look and only want a educational answer, or a factual answer, when really why would it come that way if I asked a spiritual question. I would not look to math to find a answer  to a English question. Plus spiritual answers are what helps us act in faith and be truly converted to the gospel :) The next thing Elder Anderson said was " The internet does not have a truth filter" BAM! That needed to be said and addressed. I am so thankful he said that :)
    One of my favorite talks also was Jorg Klebingat...I don't remember what his name was, but he was from like Germany or Finland and just laid down the law. His talk just hit me a lot probably cause it was so bold, but so awesome!
      It was a wonderful conference really focused on listening and following the prophet and staying in the boat! I pray that we can all remember the words and read them again and apply them. I feel like this conference was one of the most powerful conferences I have seen. They are all amazing but this one was even more so. 
     OK now to some miracles that happened this week :) this week was rough almost all of our appointments this week canceled, not even joking. One day every single one of them canceled, however this week we have worked so hard, even though appointments canceled we worked hard to teach people and still were able to get in more lessons than we even had planned. We have been focused on sharing the gospel with everyone because we love them, not cause of a number, but they are Gods children and we must share this with them.
        Remember how a couple emails ago I talked about brother Tinjum, and how he is trying to find truth again, we were able to see him and his family this week and share a message with them. What a wonderful family, I don't really know what to say about the visit except the spirit was there and they are wonderful. It was the first time Sister Harwood was able to meet brother Tinjum and she felt it also, especially when we were able to talk to him and his sweet wife. She felt so good with them also, she said "They are our family" So that was a miracle.
           Yesterday was a miracle also :) Remember Austin who we were teaching over the phone. Well a couple weeks ago he was discouraged and did not know if he could make the commitments to be baptized. Well Saturday night after praying as to what to do cause it was 8:30 and we had nothing and I just had this thought, "call Austin now"! So we did, and we told him about conference on Sunday and on Sunday between sessions we talked to him...he watched it all! He told us about the talks he liked and everything. Then we asked him where he was in the Book of Mormon and he told us he was reading about king Benjamin and how great king Benjamin was. So I know he is reading and then he told us he wanted to be baptized, and we set a tentative date! He is planning a time to meet us. I hope it works out. I have known him over the phone for like 3 months now and I just want to meet him haha. His testimony is growing, that is what the Book of Mormon does. If we become unsure or confused or don't know what we need to do to get closer to God, we must read the Book of Mormon. It is more than just the word of God, but it is a way to God. If we read, we will progress in the gospel. If the Book of Mormon is true then Joseph Smith is a prophet, then we have a prophet today, then we need to keep our covenants! I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I pray every time I finish the Book or Mormon and I pray throughout reading it as well. Just like M. Russell Ballard said "We must experience continuing conversion" To know it is true only once is not good enough, we must constantly work on our conversion. I know this is true cause when I am doing what I need to do to keep my testimony growing I am truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know this is true.
         I love all of you and I hope you have a great week and I invited you to read the Book of Mormon now, if you have not done it for a while, or even just a day. Read the Book of Mormon daily. In 2 Nephi 31 it tells us to feast upon the words of Christ, they will tell us what we must to and will help us find eternal life.
            -Love Andrea :)

September 29, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
     This week has been a great week! But first off I am staying in Bozeman with Sister Harwood, thank heavens. We got transfer news last night and we are both staying, which is a blessing, because we are finally starting to make progress it seems like haha.
    So this week we were so lucky that we were able to watch the movie that is coming out "Meet the Mormons" I was so excited to watch it cause well, I have not seen a "new movie" in 15 months haha and also it looked amazing. As of right now it is not coming to Montana or Wyoming  and so we were able to watch it so that we can help get people excited about it and request it to come to Montana and Wyoming. It was so powerful, I laughed and I cried, like I cried....it was a good movie. The story about the Candy Bomber was the cutest thing ever, and about the missionary mom and her conversion story and watching her have her son leave on his mission, it was so powerful. I have to say to all of you that if you have access to it when it comes out, go and see it, it is so inspirational and just good. I promise it is not boring, it is so interesting I loved it.
    This week we were tracting and we were able to find 2 new potential investigators! So that was super exciting! Both said they would want to learn more and that we could come back, we have an appointment with one of them on Wednesday :) Heavenly Father blesses us for our efforts that is for sure.
     Oh then before the womens broadcast on Saturday we went with a member of our ward to help this guy that she knows. He is renting from her parents, and he is at rock bottom and so she wants to help him and thought it would be a great idea for us to go over. That was a fun experience haha. It started off ok, we were talking about the plan of salvation cause he had some questions. Well I got a Book of Mormon and went to read a verse to him so I stood over by his chair so he could hear me, well after sharing the scriptures, Sister Whitmeyer got a call so she had to take it and so we were quiet as she was on the phone, then he looks at me and says "Get away from me" so I just laughed and went away. He was totally drunk and in love with the member who was with us. Anyways we start cleaning cause we went over there to help her clean his dishes, we all had our shoes off so we did not bring anything in from out side and he tell me, "why do you have you shoes off" I explained to him and then he says "get your shoes on" I got him to just joke around with me about my bright socks and his bright shoes and it fixed his frustration, but this drunk man did not like me. I could not help but laugh, he was singing and dancing to country music..oh goodness it was a experience.
      Ok now to the spiritual part. Oh my goodness Women's conference was so powerful! In the beginning when they had the cute little girls from Seoul Korea sing "I love to see the temple" oh it was just so tender and cute. Then Sister Marriotts talk about how we need to be a temple also was so amazing! I remember she spoke to us in the MTC and I just love her. I feel like her talk was very inspiring and will help a lot of girls make the decision to come out on missions :) I loved Elder Uchdorfs talk, I especially loved when he was talking about how sometimes we don't understand the things we are asked to do and he said, " I think that God simply knows something we do not" How powerful was that! So amazing, we need to live the gospel and follow what we have been asked to do because even though we don't understand why, God does, and he has reasons therefore it is important that we follow him.
     This week I was able to receive a blessing from Elder Johnson, one of my zone leaders. I have been having bad headaches for the last couple months, but since being in Bozeman they have become a lot more regular and so I got a blessing. Then the next day I got a bad cold. It is so amazing to see how God works, because I have had so much gross stuff just stuck up in my head, like I have been sorta sick but not really sick for a long time and finally I got the cold I needed to help get everything to start coming out of my sinuses and even though it had to get worse before if got better, it is what needed to happen for me to finally get rid of my head aches. I still have a cold but it is getting better. I know that the priesthood is real and has been restored to the earth and that it blesses us so immensely. I am so thankful that I always have the priesthood near by and in my life so that when I need help, it is right there to call on. I love all of you and I hope you have a wonderful week. :) And especially have a wonderful weekend with general conference! I am so stinking excited for it! I love general conference! 
                   Love Andrea :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 22, 2014

Dear Family,

This week has been really awesome, we went on exchanges this week and so I had Sister Lemmon with me and we were able to do so much work, like so many people that we have been trying to contact we finally met and got a hold of. I had a really cool experience. While on exchanges we went to try the Tinjum family. I had met Sister Tinjum once before, and this time I met Brother Tinjum. I am always nervous when talking to people for the first time, but talking to him I was 100% relaxed and calm, no nerves at all. I know that that was the Holy ghost. We just stood at the door and his daughter who is about 10 came over and was talking to us also. She told us she goes to church with her friend, they go to a non denominational church, she is the cutest thing and was asking us sincerely about how we know what Jesus looks like and also she was telling us about how she loves to pray, that when she has a hard day, or just whenever, she loves to go in her room and just talk to God and try to feel him, she bore testimony to us without even knowing it that she knows God lives and that she feels him around her. She is such a powerful girl. Brother Tinjum was very kind and we were able to talk to him about where he stands in the church and he opened up, which doesn't seem like that happens often because the ward doesn't even really know who he is. He told us he grew up in the church and was super active til about 2 years ago. Then he started telling us that everything he based who he was on, was on money.  He wanted to have the most money and  the nicest car, and about 2 years ago he realized that was wrong and that his whole life was centered on money, and he had twisted good in his life to be pride. He told us that he wants to know the Mormon church to be right.  He loves it, but he is trying to completely start over, cause he doesn't want anything to be founded on money and pride. He is really trying to find God again. His little girl asked about the Book of Mormon and we talked about it and he told her what a wonderful book it was. It was so powerful. I have heard so many excuses on my mission, but his was real, like he is trying not to be prideful, I can't explain it over email, or even talking, but I felt how truly sincere he was. He really opened up with me and we were talking and I asked if we could come over again, and he said yes and that he wants to talk, because he felt that I was not fake, but I was sincere as well, and that he would love to talk with someone who was sincere. Brother Tinjum is wonderful, The sprit that was there while we were talking was and is undeniable, I know the Holy Ghost was there to soften him as well as to help me not be nervous so I could truly be my self and talk with him. This was one of the most amazing moments of my mission :)
 The last couple weeks have been full of people and anti stuff also...I have never run into anti really, except a couple of times, until the last couple weeks, and it seems like people just keep finding it. The same stuff that John was reading that I told you about last week, Lisa Pino found it, we went over to their house last night and she told us church was just "eh" but it was such a powerful meeting totally centered around Jesus Christ and the atonement, which is what she wanted. But when she told us she had gotten on the internet I immediately knew that is why she did not enjoy church, cause she had all this anti crap in her head. But we sat down and had her ask her questions and we answered them. We tied everything back to her needing to read the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart. We told her the only way she will know for her self is to go straight to the source, and read the Book of Mormon, not to the internet where there are so many lies and half truths that twist and change the true doctrine of the gospel and history. We told her also that we can share with her everything, but even that is not enough, she needs to read the book, because she can not use what another person says, but she has to read it herself. In the end she felt better and said that she could read. I am so thankful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon and that I know it is true and that the Holy Ghost will show others that is is true.  That is a promise and it will happen if they read with a sincere heart. I have seen this on my mission time and time again. The people who do read and sincerely want to know , receive an answer from God that the book is true, and these people change and progress and become closer to God, But the people who don't read and try take to easy way out, with just listening to us, or even going to the internet, never receive an answer, and it is because they are not reading the Book of Mormon. So if anyone gets anything out of this email today I want it to be that there is no easy way out of God's promises, if we want an answer we have to fully dedicate our selves to finding the answer and reading the Book of Mormon, and i am not saying 5 minutes a day, I mean sincerely pondering and praying and reading the Book or Mormon. I think about how in a college paper you have to sight your sources and they all have to be legitimate sources, from actual texts, not just someone's opinion, or Wikipedia.  It has to be a true source, and that source in the gospel is prayer, because is a direct link to GOD, and the second source is the Book of Mormon, because it is the book that everything we believe is wagered on. I love the Book of Mormon, I know that is it true.
Oh! Zack! Zack is awesome! He went back to Billings this week.  Oh my we are going to miss him, we were able to get through almost all the lessons before he left. He told us he wants us to come to his baptism, but we don't know if we will be able to, I would love to though. He is evidence  that Heavenly Father prepares people for the gospel. God also has a plan that is for sure, It was Zacks last day at the food bank for his internship, and we just happened to volunteer that day, and he felt comfortable to talk to us. His Wife is LDS they happened to move to Billings cause that is where the internship is based, and there is temple there. God's hand is in our lives that is for sure. Zack has such a powerful and dedicated testimony. I will have to send pictures of him and us sometime next week :)
I love all of you and pray for you daily. I love this gospel :) Have a wonderful week, I am sorry that this email is short, but I can't think of much to say. Love you all!    
Love Sister Andrea Draudt

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 15, 2014

Dear Family and Friends :)
      I love all of you so much, just want you to know that :) 
      This week has been great! Every week is great though. To start off I will tell you all about zone conference, and well it was amazing! We went to Helena for it and I learned so much. We were in break out groups pretty much the whole time. We walked into the group we were assigned (Sister Harwood and I), I walked in and guess who was in that group! Elder Gordy! (Randy) from my last area. It was so cool to hear his comments and just the way he was as a missionary, he is doing good work. He had 2 baptisms last week in Great Falls where he is. He is really dedicated to the Lords work and doing everything he can. It was a tender mercy to see how he was doing because I was kinda struggling with Bozeman, like it seems like everyone we teach is not in our ward, or is moving to another ward and we have been having a hard time finding people who want to learn and progress in the gospel, there are a lot of less actives but they just want us to come over an hang out and they don't want missionaries they want friends who will not push them. So I just was struggling, but seeing Elder Gordy, just reminded me of Billings and that miracles happened there and they will happen here too. Plus Zone conference was just amazing. The first break out group we were in was all about finding and how we can find and it just really motivated me to find people, cause that is like the hardest part of missionary work, but without it missionary work could not happen. The other break out groups were awesome also. I was able to see a lot of missionaries that I used to work around so that was awesome!
      So last week I think I wrote about the Pino's, well they are still awesome! We had a stake potluck this week, and we could not get a hold of them so we wrote them a note on a flyer and left it on their door. We totally did not think that they would come, but they did! Lisa is so cute she brought some banana bread for it. I walked with her to get a knife so she could cut it up. She gave me one of the sweetest compliments of my life. She stopped me while we were walking and said "I want to tell you that after you left on Sunday, Roy and I were talking and we both feel the spirit so strong with you, not with the man (our member present) and not with the other sister, but with you. (I know they felt it with them too) Roy is very sensitive to the spirit and I am too and you had it, very strong." Oh my goodness how sweet of them. I am happy they could feel that I have the spirit through me, it just gave me some hope that I am doing a good job, even though I have been struggling a little just hoping that I am doing a good job and It was so sweet to have them say that it was another tender mercy :) We had them meet so many people at the potluck, there is no way they did not feel loved haha. Roy knew a lot of people actually and it was really awesome! Lisa was talking about her church but she said "our church was...is" bahahaha so she is considering the gospel which is so cool.
      Yesterday we had our 2nd official meeting with Roy and Lisa and we were able to teach the restoration to them. The restoration is so powerful I love teaching it because the spirit that comes with it. Especially when Sister Harwood shared the first vision! So powerful, and they felt it, we asked them how they felt and Lisa did not know what to say, but Roy just started expressing this peace. It was so amazing. I was able to invite Lisa to be baptized, and she has to really think about things so we invited her to pray about it. It was really neat because after the lesson instead of having a ton of questions which she usually does, she just talked about how she loves this gospel because we believe God loves all of his children, that he came to the Americas as well because he was not going to leave anyone out. This is also one of my favorite aspects of the gospel. That we have the Book of Mormon, that is evidence that God loves all of his children and he is doing everything he can to make sure we return to him. I know that this is true, that God understands us completely and that he can and will help us, no matter where or what has happened in out lives ,or what choices we make. He will and does help us, we have to let him though. God loves us. I just love Lisa and Roy :)
        Zack is just awesome also! We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and he loved it.  It made sense to him. We invited him to be baptized and to set a goal date. He went home to Billings this weekend and while there he met with the missionaries in that ward and went to the temple grounds! How awesome is that! He is so awesome! I am so happy for him and for his wife, in a little over a year they can and will be sealed in the temple :)
         Ok now to the funny story. So we met this guy named John, I wrote about him last week. Well we went back over this week and brought Amber, a young women in our ward. Well we are at his house talking to him and his mom and it was awesome, then he says "I am going in to the game room" So we follow him and while in the game room he tells us "let's play pool" and then he turns on Ed Sheeran..I think that is his name. So like good music from back at home. So we are trying to not focus on the music and how are we supposed to have a serious lesson with pool and music. So we start half playing..not really though.  Sister Harwood and I just start trying to turn it to the gospel right away. And luckily it works and we end up just standing and talking about the gospel, however he then pulls out his phone and starts reading off all this anti stuff he found and asking these questions and saying stuff like "The Book of Mormon doesn't even talk about what you believe, it doesn't teach the doctrine you believe, your own bible doesn't teach what you teach." He has all these crazy comments and questions and did not really want to hear what we had to say. We tried our best to listen and to help him understand and not to argue. But we just felt so bad for Amber, like what a weird lesson, he has music and tries to get us to play pool and then argues with us. I just felt so bad for her. We were so concerned this whole week and yesterday her mom said "She loved it and wants to go again" and we were like "huh?" haha but apparently she loved how we talked with him and how it was. Thank heavens she loved it haha cause we were so worried.
        Well anyways I love all of you I hope you have a wonderful week :)
             -Love Andrea
 ps. keep Austin in your prayers, (the phone investigator), he is struggling and doesn't know if he wants to keep learning. I don't know what happened. He is awesome. Pray that he receive answers to his prayers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 8, 2014

    Well this week has been awesome! Except that out of the three main investigators we have, Lazarus is going to start being taught by the elders, Zack is moving back to Billings and Austin has not answered the phone! Goodness gracious! We have been able to talk to a lot of people this week but no one is very interested so yesterday for fast Sunday we were fasting to find a family to teach, to bring a family into the gospel together. Honestly I have never focused that much on a fast before. Every time I would want to, I would complain about being hungry. I would think about why I was fasting and then we prayed a lot as a companionship and individuals for the fast. The beginning was a little rough. Testimony meeting was amazing I felt the spirit so strong and it was awesome, then at the end Lazarus got up to bear his testimony, he is a sweet heart but...he turned it into a anti abortion speech and how they should rally together on a campaign he is working on to stop abortion, and if interested to contact him. This went on for a while, and there were some really good parts about prayer and repentance, but the whole abortion part was....crazy and I almost passed out. I was so worried! He did not completely know what fast and testimony meeting is, and it's over and it's all OK, but it still was weird haha
        After church we had about an hour before dinner and so we started trying to contact referrals and less actives around the neighborhood of our dinner appointment, since our area is so spread out we need to stay in that neighbor hood to get anything done. Well no one was home and so we started tracting, and well I was not very excited to be tracting cause I was tired and hungry and stressed because of some stuff that happened that day, but we went anyways and we did not complain. The first door we knock on the man was so so nice to us, we talked about eternal families and family history he was interested  in family history but not much else, however he told us he loves Mormons because they are so nice and he has some really good friends that are LDS. We started walking to the next door and there was a young man about 22 that pulled in and was getting all of his army gear out of the car, he just came back from training. We thanked him for his service and introduced our selves, and before we could even try to share anything with him he started asking us questions about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon and so we were able to teach a little about the restoration. He was so nice and invited us inside and we got a return appointment with him. Heavenly Father blessed us so much!, by the time we left we were a little late for dinner luckily it was right around the corner. We had dinner at Bishop's and it was so good and fun. The Bartons are such a wonderful family! After dinner we ran to an appointment with Roy Pino and his wife Lisa. Roy is a less active and joined the church in Peru. We got there and the member we invited was already there talking to them. We found out that Roy misses his church, he loves his church and wants his wife to learn more. He is honestly one of the most sincere people I have ever met. He bore testimony to her about the truth of the gospel and the book of Mormon. His wife grew up thinking we worshiped Joseph smith, but she has been learning a lot from him and they both said we could come back. They were feeding us banana bread and juice. It was the sweetest thing ever. He asked his wife if she would learn more. He seriously did like all of the teaching. He pleaded with us at the end of the appointment to come back next week, it was so sweet! We of course told them that we would of course come back. He just came back from Peru and brought back these chocolates and gave us some..they were amazing! it was chocolate with caramel and pecans in the middle...so so so amazing! After, Sister Harwood and I left we both we so excited and joyful! We could not stop talking about how our prayers and fast had been answered. That Roy and his wife are prepared. They are wonderful, I can not even express how much love I have for them, and it was a love that already was in me, like it did not start yesterday I can't explain it, but I love them! Yesterday was so amazing!
            This week, on Thursday we went to the temple as a zone also, that was so awesome! There's is something about being in a session full of missionaries. We actually met in the chapel an hour an a half before with president and sister Mecham and president Jordan to talk about temple stuff. That was really cool too, I learned so much!. In my scriptures study I have been learning a lot also, that I did not realize applied to the temple, but my understanding is growing so much! Being in Billings was pretty hard I have to say, we passed too many people's houses that I know and I could not stop and say hi. That was hard. I loved Billings when I was there and I realized how much I loved it again while I was there. There is a spirit there that is just special and I know a big part of it is because there is a temple there.
         I love Bozeman so much though! I will send pics this week for real. It is so pretty here! The people are awesome too! All the doors we have tracted have all been pretty nice, even if its just "no thanks" and shut the door, but they are not bad, except for one lady. haha funny story we were tracting in a trailer court cause we were just in that-area trying people and we had like 3 doors left on this block and everyone had been pretty nice so we get to this trailer and we figure that the front door is the one not in the garage part so we go through this gate and knock on the door. This lady answers and sister hardwood gets out "Hi we are missionaries" then there was this awkward 5 second pause and next thing we knock she is yelling at us "You woke my baby up, you knew this was my back door and you knew my baby was sleeping. I think you looked at my front door and saw the sign about my baby sleeping and you woke my baby up on purpose!" We tried to apologize and she just got louder and louder so we just slowly walked away....it was intense...haha we were both just so scared haha. That lady was totally just trying to find a reason to yell at us...shes crazy...
            Well I love all of you and I hope you all had a great week! I love this gospel so much and am so grateful for the blessings it has brought into my life and knowledge it has given me. :) I love you all :)

All of the sisters and my companion Sister Harwood is sitting next to me
Big Sky and this picture doesn't do it justice

Richy, the sisters and Lazuras

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 25, 2014

Dear Family,
This week has been crazy! Saying goodbye to everyone was so hard, but wonderful at the same time because I was able to see how much Billings effected me as a person and how much I grew and learned there. I will miss it dearly.  The Rimrock Ward holds a special place in my heart :)
Bozeman is wonderful!!!! I arrived on Wednesday morning and I was on exchange till sister Harwood got here. Oh my goodness she is the cutest thing ever! We are always just laughing and having fun, but even better than that she is so focused and loves the work. I am so so so excited for this companionship. We both have talked a lot about how much we are so excited to be here and how we both just felt a confirmation of coming to this area right away. We both know it is the right place for us and the right companionship. There is a lot of work to be done. We could not get our area book downloaded till Thursday evening.  The area book was not working and even then I was the only one to get it on my Ipad until the next day when Sister Harwood finally got it also. We had no idea where we were driving, luckily some other sisters let us use their GPS. We did not get left the best notes...but luckily we found out the notes were sent to our emails, so I finally got them today hahaha. The ward is so different then what I was used to in Billings haha. It is a big family ward and there are wonderful people, but Bozeman is a college town, so I keep seeing all the YSA and I automatically just try to talk to them it's really funny. Today is the first Sunny day since I got here, it is so so pretty, I think it is the pretties place I have served. It is beautiful. There are mountains! :) yea!
So we have been trying to track down all of the investigators and less actives, however our area is the out skirts of town, so it is huge and takes forever to find people, it's an adventure. Most of our investigators we are starting to learn are not really investigators...there is a lot of work to do here. The sisters were wonderful that were here though and the ward loves them and is always talking about them. We have not really found anyone yet, we met a recent convert and an investigator, but no one else seems to be home haha, so we are knocking on lots of less active and investigators doors. Our Bishop is wonderful I am very excited to work with him, as well as our ward mission leader! Brother Mathson, he is on top of it! It is really cool  there are so many converts here, we will be talking and find out that they joined the church a couple years ago! It is super awesome!
We cover the Big Sky Branch also. Big Sky is a huge ski resort town and so many visitors all the time because it is a vacation spot. The Branch president told us he and his wife are the only active members, there are 25 or 24 on the list, but they all have p.o. boxes so we can't find them. The branch always has people there because of the visitors, but none of the people who/s records  are there actually come. So we have .....a lot...of work to do! But I am super excited! We want to find some investigators out there. Big sky is so so so pretty, I wish I took pics but it was poring while we were there. It is in the middle of the mountains and there are trees everywhere, 'amazing.
Well I really do not have time to write, But I love you so much :) have a wonderful week :) oh my new address is: 2307 West Main Street Apt 201, Bozeman, Mt, 59718-3986 (I'm not sure about the zip code.) if you need  to you can send the letters to the Rimrock address still and they will forward it to me since that is the mission home address.Love ya and take care.
  -Sister Draudt

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 18, 2014

Dear Family!
Well this week has been...interesting and long haha. Yesterday we got our transfer calls. For over a week I have felt like I was leaving, like my brain was telling me that logically I was leaving, but yet I did not really feel either way if that makes sense. Well my brain was right. I am being transferred to Bozeman 1st ward. That was really hard news to hear, I absolutely love the ward I'm serving in right now. It seems like it just gets harder and harder to leave areas. When I heard this we were driving and I screamed, because well 1st off they told us we are being doubled out....yes I am seriously we are being doubled out! This absolutely sucks. Sister DeBry will be going just a few wards over in the Billings East Zone. So not too far, but I am going to Bozeman. When they told me I was going to Bozeman is really when I screamed, because the first thing that came into my head was Austin. Austin is the man that we were teaching over the phone and he was going to church all over the states because he was traveling for business. He will not return our calls any more and will not answer our texts, it has been about 2 weeks and I have been heart broken about it, well low and behold he lives in Bozeman, and guess what I am going to find him! We have his address and we gave it to Elders in Bozeman and they said it was an apartment complex and so they did not try to find him since we did not have the apartment number, so that is my job. I will tract that whole place! I have to find him. Oh also last night I was thinking about it and I realized that Dawn Schmidt from Riverton is originally from Bozeman, and visits there a lot. She honestly had a testimony on a lot, but she just never wanted to fully accept there was only one true church. Anyways I want to find her and  her son who lives in Bozeman haha. I received a confirmation that I am supposed to be there.
Last night we had to teach the assistants how to do call in numbers, since we do that and they are taking it over. Well the Monad Sisters were at the office for a second and I was talking to Sister Taylor about who my new companion would be, her name is Sister Harwood. Sister Taylor Told me what an amazing Sister she is and that we will have a great companionship :) so that's good to hear. She also told me that she has been serving in Helena, so when we were teaching the assistants about numbers I decided to look at the mission directory and sure enough she is in Helena...so I am pretty sure I am being doubled in also. Crazy stuff. I really do hope that we are doubled in because I like being doubled it..it's hard, but it's a fresh start and me and my companion are on the same level. I feel like this is going to be a huge adventure haha, I am very excited for it though. Doubled out and Doubled in...I don't even know what to think. I used to think being double out only happened to bad missionaries, but I have met some that are amazing, so I know that is not true, and I know it is the same for me. I can honestly say that I put my heart and soul into this area. I have done my best and worked my hardest. I love Billings Montana.
On our drive out to Lockwood to see Jared and Luke a thought poped into my head and it was "could you have ever imagined being here, so happy in Billings Montana, when about a year and a half ago I opened my call and cried thinking Billings Montana, that does not even sound nice" Wow...how dumb was I. I can truly say I know God has a plan that is so much greater and will bring us so much more joy than the best plan we could come up with on our own. Billings Montana, as well as my other areas have become home. I have learned to rely on the one constant I have which is the Gospel. I have gained a love for my Savior that I never knew I could have. The gospel is my life, with out it I could not do anything. The Book of Mormon makes me happy, it helps my day, and is just joyful to study. The Montana Billings Mission is the plan God has for me and it is so much better than anything I could have imagined. I was thinking about happiness I feel here, I never want it to end. I don't want to leave this mission. I am going to work my hardest and enjoy every minute I have.
So of course when we got to Luke and Jared's we told them and it was just hard. We shared our favorite scriptures with them. I shared Alma 38:3-5 cause well its my favorite. I then related it to them. We talked specifically to Jared about how he followed God's will by coming home, that his mission never ended, he just had to serve here and reactivate his best friend, and now he can go back out.  I have never seen Jared cry. Luke his best friend has never seen him cry, and  the are like me and Alexa, known each other forever! Jared broke down, and just bore his testimony and told us how excited he is to go back out. I think he has felt ashamed for coming home, and it was a wonderful opportunity to tell him that he is not shameful, that he listened to God. He is so excited. Luke and Jared are a modern day Alma and Amulek. Alma was told to go back, he had to have amulek with him, then they together went out and served the Lord. Though Luke and Jared may not serve in the same mission, they bother will be serving missions and sharing the Gospel together...though far apart haha. Luke and Jared are the best!
We had a fireside last night with the ward about trek because they just came back from it, and about an hour before the fireside Josh the elders quorum president asked us to bear our testimonies. That was such a tender mercy I am so thankful that i was able to bear my testimony to the ward :) I have noticed in all my areas I always get asked to bear my testimony before I am transferred. That is usually how I know I am being transferred, but this time it came right after, even though no one knew I was leaving yet haha. I bawled the whole time bearing my testimony, because the spirit was so strong in the chapel after watching the little video of their trek experience. The trek is so powerful. Oh that reminds me :) At church we saw Natasha come in and she just looked different, it was a good different though. We asked how trek was and told us her testimony was strengthened so much. She loved every moment of it. She has great ways to describe things and so she described it in her own words "For most people the trek is a spiritual experience, but for me I see it as a door opening, and goodness just came through that door, so much goodness that my soul could not contain all of it, so I had to shed a layer of my soul so that it could grow and fit all the goodness" yes this is her description and I love it! I just love Natasha so much! She is wonderful! Yesterday at the fireside we were talking to her, and we had not yet told her we were leaving, we wanted to save it for a better time with not as many people around, but Brother Jones in our bishopric came up and said "I hear you both are leaving" and we talked for a minute, she just slumped in her seat. We explained we were waiting to tell her and told her how much we love her and that we will stay in contact and everything, and the only words that came out of her mouth were "everyone leaves me" Poor girl she has had such a hard life and has finally found where she fits in and has found that Heavenly Father loves her, and now we are leaving, and not only that earlier she found out that all of the people she has gotten close to in the ward..literally everyone, they are all leaving to go back to school this week. She feels so alone and I am so worried about her. Luckily we have technology and I will be able to Facebook, and I will be able to talk to her in a couple months and really stay in contact with her even more.
Well, ok what has happened besides transfers? Ummm well Ben dropped us..that sucked. I love Ben so much and I know people have been getting to him. He loves coming to church and he loves the activities, but he told us he wanted to swim and not meet with us or go to church until he could not swim anymore. So he does want to meet again eventually. I know people are talking to him cause he has been just so happy lately until this. The amazing this is he has a straight shot to the celestial kingdom, he innocent and pure. He does not need baptism cause he is so pure, but he does need it to be watched over so he is never lost. He feels loved in this ward, he has never felt that before, we have had so many lessons about that with him, and he finally feels loved here, and now people are getting to him, gah!!!! its ok though, he is fine :)
This week we had this huge steak dinner at brother Zabawas house, who is in  our bishopric. We were suppose to get as many Less actives and non members there as we could. We alone got over 12 people there, which is a ton, and the other missionaries, cause they were all invited to come and bring someone with them, so we got like 15 more people there that way, and  then our ward was there, there was over 150 people there! It was such a tremendous success. It was so cool! Well I love all of you and have a fantastic week :) I will send more pictures next week, after I get all my good bye photos..but I will send some in another email today also :)
 -Love Andrea

Getting my tooth filled.
With Courtnie Brodus who is going on a mission!
Me and Ben
With Luke and Jared
Dallas one of our investigators.