Friday, March 28, 2014


The clouds! This really is big sky country.
Here is our sad pathetic dinner we had since no one would feed us haha,  It was really good actually.

March 24, 2014

Dear family and friends,
This week started out kinda rough, just because I feel like we don't have a lot of work and it really bums me out. Really the week was not bad though, it was great.  I am learning a lot, at least about the singles ward. On Wednesday instead of doing splits like we normally do, our ward mission leader tried out a new idea. We all went to "Steak and Shake" and the ward invited less actives and non members to come. We all had a blast, and got 6 people there, which is really good! We sat with 2 returned missionaries and one of their less active friends. It was a blast, but at the same time I had no idea how to react cause they were bouncing off the walls and I can't act like that as a missionary. I need to keep dignity and decorum. I am trying to figure out how I can help this ward the most. I have not figured it out yet. Anyways I have to be the most awkward missionary ever! I am trying to figure out how to react. Like I am around my peers pretty much 24/7 and it is freaking me out!  Haha I was so worried about working with adults and older people before my mission and now I realize I should not have been freaked out by them cause they are are not scary, what is scary is my peers! Plus there are tons of RM's and so teaching them is hard cause I get scared I am not doing as good of job as they did haha. I over think way to much in this ward. I have decided Heavenly Father puts you in the situations you can learn the most from and usually those are the situations you are the most uncomfortable! haha I am in the office working with computers..not good at that..and then the singles ward..yep..never even went to one before I came out. It is a blast though, there are lots of fun things always happening. I just have to figure out how to be a missionary with people my age.  Oh and we text here on our little flip phone...I suck at texting on those...oh my goodness I had to re learn how to text pretty much...haha
2 weeks ago I was talking to one of my sister training leaders and she told me to pray to know what my potential as a missionary was. I know that I was the best missionary I could have been in Riverton.  I tried my best. This week I was really trying to find the answer as to what my potential as a missionary is here in the Rimrock ward. One Friday we went to Colstrip for the day and worked with the the elders in our ward as well as the missionaries in Colstrip, I think we got a lot done too. I finally felt like I was working hard and fulfilling the work in Colstrip. I have been waiting to feel like that since being in Billings. I have not been as talkative and take charge as I was in Riverton, because I don't know where to begin;  this area needs so much work.  Plus Sister Spencer knows the area a lot better than I do and knows the ward, so I can't seem to connect with them. It is such a bummer. But Friday was awesome,  because we were finding people for the first times together,  rather than people all knowing her, haha. Well then we went to dinner at Nathan and Liz's house, they are siblings in our ward. We had a great dinner, but as we were leaving we talked to them for a second, and Sister Spencer was down on her self cause she wasn't feeling like the best missionary, and they cheered her up. The told her that she is the best and they love her. When we got out to the car, we all were driving home (us and the elders) and I started to get a little sad because they love her so much, and I feel like I have no way to coming in, because they already have this great relationship, and no one really acknowledges me. I was in that sad pity me spot haha. What did I do, I prayed, and it was not the most spiritual prayer, but I prayed to my Heavenly Father to let me know why I am here, to help me build my relationship with the ward, and to help me find why I am here in the ward.
The next morning, (so Saturday) morning we were in the office and President needed to talk to me about some stuff I am working on for him. So I was in his office, and after we talked about that he told me he needed to talk with me. So we talked about some stuff and I felt so much better, and then the last thing he said was "Sister Draudt,  I called you to the office and the Rimrock Singles ward because I know the great things you will do. I lost it right there. I explained I felt like I did not have a purpose the day before and we talked about why I was struggling with the ward.  He also addressed another concern I was praying about, which was to figure out how to do missionary work here and not just talk. I have noticed since being here the conversations we have with the ward are pointless and they are not helping the ward and the missionary work. President told me that he knows I am trying to change the area because when  a conversation has not relations to the gospel after 3 minutes,  I am trying to change it. He told me he knows that I know my purpose as a missionary. He told me I am not here to change my self, but to stay the missionary I am and to lift others. That random spur of the moment interview with president was the answer to all the prayer that I have had for the last couple weeks. I can testify that Heavenly Father answers prayers, and always in his time. I needed that prayer answered by president, and he was out of town till Friday night ,and therefore I had to wait till Saturday for my answer. It was a hard week, but I needed it answered in that exact way. Sister Spencer then had to talk to him, and So I had our office area private for a minute and I knelt down and thanked my Heavenly Father for that answer. I know he answers prayers and I am so thankful for the comfort that comes through praying. I know what my purpose is here. My purpose is that of a missionary to find and teach, but also to help raise this area, to help them realize missionaries are not just friends, but they have a purpose and that we can't sit and talk about sushi for 30 minutes. I really think I need to change the missionary atmosphere here and to also help the ward with that. We do a lot of the activities in the ward, and I am changing that.  We can't waste prime proselyting time to sit at institute when none of our less actives or investigators are there.  We need to be finding them. I am really excited to be here and help the missionary efforts here.  Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. 
Story time again. I have always wanted to serve a mission.  It was never a direct answer form Heavenly Father saying "Sister Draudt Serve a mission." But rather I just wanted to serve.  In the beginning of my mission I was worried about that.  Like was I really called here?  Or is it something I want. I discovered the answer very quickly in D&C 4 where is says "If ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work.  "Therefore I know that I was called here, not just a want, because I had this desire, so I was called to the work. I really have had no worries about it since, but the coolest thing happened, I was reading my patriarchal blessing, and I have never thought it talked about missionary work before, but it does! There are like 2 or 3 specific places that I have realized it talks about being a missionary and love it! I love how Heavenly Father gives us so many miracles everyday. I love my mission so much and I love being able to serve my Heavenly Father.
I think about when I got my call to Montana, and I was so bummed out at first.  Well I sure regret that.   I love this mission. The Montana Billings Mission is definitely for me. I think I will be crying even harder when I have to leave this place.  Luckily it's pretty far away;  so I don't have to think about that at all right now! haha.
Sorry, that was an interesting email. I love you all so much and I know that we are children of our Father in Heaven who loves us and listens to us. I know that he really brings comfort though prayer. I love this gospel and I know it is true.
Oh ps, I might not be writing till Tuesday next week because we might be changing preparation day  to Tuesday because we are going to the temple.. I think... so just fyi..but still write cause I might be writing on Monday
Love Andrea :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Dear Family!!!
This week has been awesome. Really slow, but awesome! This week I was able to do exchanges with Sister Barkdull from mid Wednesday till Friday night. I have to say it was the best thing this week. I never anticipated working with Sister Barkdull again, and yet here we are haha. We tried a lot of people and we also taught some less active lessons which was awesome. We worked really hard. We talked the whole time and just had fun catching up. A less active who we just started working with wanted to have another meeting with us before exchanges stopped. The next day we saw her and met with her and after the lesson she gave us a huge compliment, she said "I now know why I needed to see you again before exchanges end, it is because you two work so well together and as a team really know how to help and truly love me" AWWWWW how sweet is that. Sister Barkdull and I really do work well together. I love her so much and it is so nice to have her around again. 
Saturday at the adult session of stake conference I was able to see Sister Taylor also, she is in our stake/zone and that was amazing also. My companions are with me once again.
Wednesday night, Sister Barkdull and I were on exchanges and I don't remember what we were doing, we were with a member I think. Anyways Sister Barkdull mentioned how it was my 9 month mark that day. This is usually a happy occasion for most missionaries, and to be honest I thought when my 9 months mark came I would be so happy. Well it came, I had totally forgot about it and did not even realize that it was my half way point. When Sister Barkdull mentioned it my heart just sunk. It really struck me at that moment how much I love my mission. Sure, there are hard times, but true joy always come with true heart ache. I love my mission, it is the best choice I ever made. I have learned so much and have so much more to learn. I have loved more than I thought I could ever love. I have cried more than I have ever cried, out of joy and out of pain. I am not ready to come home, I do not want to come home. Sister Barkdull felt really bad. Later that night Sister Spencer congratulated me on my half way point thinking I would be happy too,  but I was not haha.
Before I move on I just want to bear a short testimony. I know that this Church is true, I know that it is the only true church on the earth and that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore The true church to the earth once again. I know that we are in the final and last days before Jesus Christ returns to reign on the Earth. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that he is my Redeemer. Jesus Christ loves me, Andrea, Sister Draudt. I have gained such a knowledge of the atonement. I know that it is something that is so large that I will never comprehend all of the ways it blesses me. But I do know it blesses me. I know that my Savior suffered for my sins, but he also suffered my pain, my hardships as well as he understand my joy. He understands how it feels to be alone, or so be discouraged. He is my best friend. He is constant in my life. Since he suffered all of my pain, and trials, and hardships, he knows exactly what I need and he can help me in that perfect way that is tailored just for me. I know that we had and have prophets called of God who hold his priesthood authority. The best thing is that my Brothers and my Dad also hold the priesthood so that they can bless their families. The priesthood is a service to bless others. I am so thankful to have it in my life, I know that this church is true. I know that the time is now to hasten the work. It has been prophesied that God would hasten his work in his time, and the prophet has told us it is now. The prophesy is being fulfilled. In a world full of wickedness and it grows everyday, we must Hasten the Lords Work now. We need to combat this evil. The time is now to Hasten the work. I challenge all of you to be missionaries and to help bring your friends and your family unto Christ and help them receive the happiness that we have as members of the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know with my whole soul that the gospel is true.
Last night I had an experience that impacted me so greatly and I have to share this with all of you. Last night we went with the elders from the Shepard Ward to meet some of the people they teach. Sister Spencer has met them once before and this was the first time I met them. We pull up to this trailer, the elders are not there yet so we wait and wait. Then Jonathan comes out of the trailer. He is the reason we go, he is 19 and is investigating the church. He and his mom and little brother live with this lady, we will call her Randi, cause I do not remember her name. When we went inside, the elders finally showed up, well elder Ferguson and a member. Randi is a member, she joined 3 years ago in Utah, she is a former member of Hells angels and a former druggie and everything you can imagine. Well while we were talking to Johnathan and Randi we found out that Johnathan's mom was in the psyc ward and had a mental breakdown. We found out that Johnathan has been abused his whole life by his parents. His mom put him on meds so she did not have to deal with him. Johnathan has a little brother who is 5, cutest little kids I have ever seen. My heart was breaking as we learned about their life story. They have been abused none stop till they got with Randi, she does love those boys. Johnathan does everything she says because you can tell he has been hurt so much in his life that he does what he is told because he doesn't know what else to do. He is a little slow, and it is only because he has been treated like he is stupid, but he is not. We tried sharing the restoration and the furthest we got is that God Loves us and wants us to be happy. The sweetest thing that impacted me was when re told us about all the blessings he has been given. This young man could have so many excuses to say God does not care, but instead he Testified in just a short sentence and explained how God has been with him through all the hard times. The 5 year old was really tired and so Randi told Johnathan to take him to bed. Also just side note Johnathan is about 250 pounds. He is massive and about 6 ft 3 inches. He goes over to his brother who is in a bean bag chair and tenderly tells him "ok it's time to sleep" and the little brother gets up and gives him a hug, and Johnathan just holds him with this tender caring smile on his face. Then the 5 year old gives me and Sister Spencer hugs. I love Johnathan and his little brother. I know that he is one of the reasons that I am here. I need to help him realize his self worth and help build his relationship with God. Johnathan has so much potential, but has no idea how to reach it because of the situation he was born into. Please keep this family in your prayers. I teared up about 5 times during this lesson. I know that he is Heavenly Fathers son and Heavenly Father wants so much for him. He loves him. I know I did not explain this very well, and I could not really get across how the lesson went. But I want to testify of Heavenly Fathers love for Johnathan, and for all of us. 
I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week. Tell Josh that the Karikers are my favorite people on the planet and I love them
                   -Love Andrea

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 10, 2014

Dear Family!!!!
Oh my goodness gracious I have so much to tell all of you! This week ended up being amazing, well the end of it haha, the beginning not so much. Well last Monday night, Sister Austin and I drove around and said good bye to everyone. That was awful. Oh before we went around though, we had dinner with the Karikers. Oh my goodness I might cry just writing about them. That was the hardest goodbye. We walked in and Sister Kariker immediately asks us "Do you know?" Sister Austin tells her that she is staying, and I have already started crying and I told them I was leaving. Sister Karikers eyes started to get watery, and then I completely lost it. She gave me a huge hug and I cried. They tried to comfort me and it as right before dinner, and we always say grace with them right. So normally they pray, and it is just one of the like 2 line prayers from the bible. Well they asked me to say grace! I was able to bless the food and it meant so much to me. I of course cried...hopefully they understood what I said haha. We took lots of pictures and I will send them home :) Sister Kariker said she will write me and I told them I would write them also. Sister Austin sang for them it was really nice. Finally we had to leave, and I gave them another huge hug. Then we were off.
On Tuesday we said good bye to more people and I took more pictures haha, and then I was finally in the transfer van and on my way. Normally I love car rides...this one was awful, I got so car sick and almost puked about 4 times until we finally got to Lovell. In Lovell I saw Elder Rust! He was being transferred also. So we were able to talk for a while. I walked with Sister Avrrett  to the gas station where I got some mint gum to help me. It helped so so so much. Tender mercy there for sure. Finally we got to Billings at 8:30 at night. My companion Sister Spencer  was in an appointment and we were early so I did not get picked up for an hour...but that was ok it was nice to just hangout with the other missionaries at the church. Finally they showed up. Sister Spencer's old comp, Sister Newell did not leave till the morning so we all stayed in the apartment and I slept on the love seat..bad idea!  I hurt so bad the next morning haha. So then in the morning, we dropped Sister Newell off and then had Sister Gray stay with us till 4pm (she is Sister Austins new companion) We all went to Cafe Rio for lunch!  So good! Oh my I have missed that. Then later Sister Gray left and it was so nice to just be with Sister Spencer, it finally felt like we were companions and it was becoming my area. We went on splits that night with the luck..but oh well. 
The next day, so Thursday was pretty great. We did not have a ton to do, so we were trying to find people and it was getting dark and we pulled up to this house and it has a super long drive way and there is this scary dog, looks like a rescue dog...we are getting sketchy vibes, so we decide not to get out, and just slowly start driving away and right across the street  this scary guy comes out of his house with a chainsaw! What the heck! He started walking our direction and it scared me so much! So we got out of there. I know that he probably was not gonna do anything.. but still, a chainsaw, in the dark, long driveway, and rescue dog..that is not a good mix to me. haha.
Oh Saturday we went up to Colestrip, (2 hour drive).  We drove up to Hyshm and met Liz, a member who drove us to Colestrip. Liz lives in this tiny town and her driveway is like half a mile and complete mud. Our jeep almost got stuck, yes we have a brand new jeep! It is so nice. Well we get in Liz's car and she starts to drive us out of her driveway and she gets stuck. We had to push her car out of the mud! That was so freaking fun!!! My boots were covered in mud and part of my leggings and the tires were spinning up mud and got it in my hair..but it was so fun. Finally we got out and got up to Colestrip. While in Colestip we went to try a girl in our ward and no answer, but behind and to the side of her house there is this deer just squirming and can't get up. We walk over and it just starts to go limp and it died in front of us!!! So freaking sad! I was praying it would die fast though, cause it was hit on the highway that was like 20 feet away, and there was nothing we could do. So I am grateful it died...poor thing..I saw a deer die in front of me... :(
Well on Sunday we had a wonderful meeting at church, it was so nice to be there because i was able to finally put names to faces! We had a munch and mingle after, total blessing cause I was starving. It is weird serving in a singles ward cause they are all my peers! It is just different. I love it, but it is different. We get to go to FHE tonight so that will be fun. They had me bear my testimony yesterday in sacrament. Going to church yesterday just solidified that this is supposed to be my area. I am really excited. We have seriously like no work right now. I think I might be here to help build the work up, kinda like in Riverton. We had 4 lessons my first week in Riverton and when I left we had 28. And we had a actual investigator poor and lots of less actives. I am so excited to help find people here. I know that I am here for a reason.
It is funny cause I have a really odd area right now, just cause I am in a singles ward and I am an office missionary. I am still trying to get used to seeing the president everyday and having him call us and text us about things we have to do and what we need to get done. It is so nice to just had him be himself. I am used to only seeing him during zone conferences and here he is just himself and it is not as up tight as I thought it would be. I really do love it. I am a little worried cause I am not good with computers and we use a lot of word and excel. I love Sister Spencer so much!  She is awesome!! I know we will get along really well, we already do. She is great. We live in a ghetto apartment, it is a basement. The apartment has no heating so we have heaters. We have like 2 outlets in the whole place so we use lots of extension cords haha. The apartment is awful but it feels a lot better since I have a companion I really like and so it makes up for it haha This is the first time on my mission that I have not lived with members. Well everyone I love you all so much and I can't wait to email you all about what will happen this week! Have a wonderful week. I love you all and I know that this church is true. I know that we can apply the atonement whenever and wherever. It can bring forgiveness but also comfort when we are scared. Our Savior understands us individually and can help us individually and we can turn to him. I have really learned that this week. That if we let him comfort us and help us he will, he is just waiting for us to let him in. I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven so much. Oh and my address is the mission address so sent mail there since I am there for two hours 
a day each day but Sunday. Address:  1848 Rimrock Rd. Billings, MT 59102
 - Love Andrea

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 3, 2014

Dear Family, friends,
Well the verdict is in and I am being transferred to Billings. I will be a office missionary with Sister Spencer, (I have only ever met her for like 5 seconds.) I will be serving in a singles ward so that should be a blast, I am really excited cause I really did not see that coming at all. I thought I might be transferred but not to the mission home ha ha. I am really excited, but really sad too. I do not want to leave Riverton. I love it here so much. We have some amazing investigators and I am so sad that I will not be here to see them be baptized.
This week has been a great week, a hard week with lots of work, but amazing. We visited the Karikers during the week to give Brother Kariker a birthday gift, a whoopy cushion. Cause we knew that would fit him. Then Sister Kariker ran down stairs and came back up with gifts for us. She gave us each some office supplies from their business ha ha that have their address's on them. Then a sweet card and a picture she drew. My picture that she gave me is of some Spanish homes in New Orleans. :) I am so thankful for that. I will treasure them forever. It will hang in my home.
This week Brother Taylor read! They have just been reactivated, but our biggest struggle has been to get them to read. She started and has been doing amazing, however he will not. Well we knocked on their door and through the window we saw him reading! He read a chapter! Which is so huge for him! Then we read 2 more chapters with him while we were there and he read with us. Normally he refuses to read, but he read! This week really has been phenominal. 
I don't really know what else to write. All I can think about is transfers. I am starting to freak out. I love these people so much and I do not want to leave them. I never realized how much I could love people, but I do. My heart is breaking to have to leave Riverton. All the amazing memories and the people that I cherish so much. I keep telling my self I will see them again, but I am so worried I won't, for some reason or another. I have to see them. I think about the spirit world and being reunited with them there. I will run to them and give them the biggest hug. I pray that they will see the light, that they will build their relationship with Christ and they will let him bless them. 
I love this area so much I can't explain it. I want to just cry, it hurts to know I will be leaving. I think about Great falls and how hard it was to leave, but I think I am having a harder time now. When we first got here we had nothing. We had to really work hard. And by working hard we have accomplished so much.  I loved the people so much and I truly care for them. It is harder to leave these amazing people. I hope that I can finish my mission here. I love it here. I am sorry I have repeated myself so much, but that is all that is going on in my head right now. Just to finish off I want to bear my testimony. I know that this is the one true church on the earth. I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much more than we can imagine. For a long time I just trusted that he loved us, but now I know that he loves us because of my mission. Like I said earlier I never knew I could love so many people, all individually and know them individually, yet I do. My heart grows each day, I find room in my heart for more and more people. I now know that infinite love is possible and that Heavenly Father know us. He cares about us and understands us and loves us all as individuals. He literally understands my pain that I am going through right now. He understand that I really don't want to go, he understands that I am scared, but yet excited. I am so thankful that we have prayer and that when I feel like this I can turn to him. I also have scriptures to read and find compfort in. I know that he has provided us with every tool that we need to return home to him. I know that we have prophets who are called of God and Hold the priesthood authority of God. I KNOW that this church is true. I love it with my whole soul.
Please pray for me, that everything will work out well :) I love you all so much. I am sorry I rambled and this email did not make a lot of sense.
                      -Love Andrea