Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 26, 2014

Dear Family!
This week has been crazy! More like just long. We didn't have a lot of appointments, well ok we had a couple but that was it. I think with it being transfer week it has been nuts also. I have been stressing out, and I realized this week how exhausted I am. I know i am tired but I have recognized just how worn out I am getting haha. The mission really does take a toll! But it's totally worth it. I am going to work so hard and then sleep for 2 weeks when I get home haha.
I had an interview with President this week and it was a miracle. I know it was a gift from Heavenly Father. I have been panicking cause I feel like time is going too fast and I have so much to learn still. Well president gave me assignments for when I go home, before I even told him about how I felt haha. He gave me a couple assignments and that really helped me haha. He also told me that I will have a new companion this transfer. Sister Spencer is going to Missoula. I hope I get there before my mission ends. That had been the place I have been wanting to serve since I came out haha. After my interview I literally could feel this weight come off of my shoulder that I did not even know what there. I felt so much peace and jsut relaxed! President Mecham is inspired I know that. Oh my know companion is Sister Debry, she is from a tiny place in Utah...I think. She was in Wyoming with me and she came out with Sister Austin. I don't know her really though, so fingers crossed! I am positive it will be great though, cause every companionship I have had has been great, except in the beginning and I think it is because i am learning how to work with companions better haha. So it will be good. 
This week we also got a new ward mission leader. Which freaked me out cause Preston was a great ward mission leader, But Dallin will be great. I could feel that change was coming to this area and I am excited i feel like that ward mission stuff is changing and so will our missionary work i am so excited!
Yesterday was such a wonderful sacrament meeting. The choir sang and Ben, sweet Ben sang with them. He is the best I will have to send pictures sometime. Luke walker also sang in it her is Less active. I will tell you why that is so cool in just a minute but first i have to address Ben!
Last Monday we met with Ben's mom because we really want her to be know why we are visiting Ben and what we are teaching him. She her self is not religious, and her husband is Jewish. She told us that she has been hoping he would find a church that accepted him and that he felt comfortable and she is great with him joining. The we started talking about what we teach, and she thinks it is all great but Tithing. That is her biggest hold up. She will not support Ben paying tithing, cause he supports himself and just doesn't have enough money. Which to me makes sense, they don't want anyone taking advantage of Ben. So he probably wont be baptized in the next little bit, but we are still going to work with him and he will be baptized haha. I know it. On Saturday he called us up and told us that he would be coming to church. Normally he only comes every other Sunday cause of work and he called us up and said "I was talking to my boss, and for some reason he said I could have Sunday off! That is a miracle. So...I will be at church! I just wanted to tell you." Ben is the sweetest! Then yesterday at church he sang. That was awesome, then in Sunday school we were talking about how baptism is vital to returning to out Heavenly Father. Then in from of the whole class Ben says " I am going to be baptized soon, but the sisters went to talk to my mom about fact (then he turns to us) Sister Draudt and Sister Spencer how did that go?" bahahaha he is so awesome! We told him after class we would talk. so after class we pulled him aside. and I asked "Ben do you want to be baptized" he sad and thought for a second and then said with his pointer finder on him chin "Well, I must be baptized to Live with Heavenly Father again, and I want! I must be baptized!" Wow what a sweet heart! Ben is amazing. We are going to work our hardest to get him baptized cause he has a desire, a strong one. He wants it. :) Maybe that is why I am staying so I can keep working with Ben.
OK now to Luke. Luke is so great he is 18 and knows the church is true, he was active his whole life until like a year ago, he comes sometimes but not a lot. He loves his scriptures though. Well i have been wanting him to get active so he can go on a mission. Well Bishop talked to him last week and asked if he wanted to go on a mission "he said of course" and so bishop told him to come every week, to wear a white shirt when he comes and to cut his hair" BAHAHA  bishop is the best! We saw Luke in the middle of the week, and his hair was cut! Then he was at church this Sunday for all 3 hours and he wore a white shirt and sang in the choir! He is awesome! I am so happy for him! I know his will be that missionary that works so hard and will be fully dedicated! Gah I am so excited for him!
Yesterday one of our less actives was finally reactivated! She has been coming consistently but we just wanted to make sure it is for real. She has quit smoking! over 3 weeks free of smoking and a week and a half free of coffee! she is doing amazing! That is Eliza. I love her so much. Wow so all in all this week may have been slow...but some good things happened! Haha well I love you all have have a wonderful week! :)
                       -Sister Andrea Draudt

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Korin's Baptism

  This week has been the best and most interesting week of my mission. I have several funny stories to tell and some really spiritual ones :)
    So I'll begin with a funny one. So we had dinner with this guy, Mike in our ward at Olive Garden and the night before, we confirmed the dinner appointment and we are all good to go. Well the next day it was 4:30 and we were finally meeting with a less active who kept postponing out appointment, we finally get in to see her and it is 4:30 and the only way we got this appointment was to have her paint our nails. So we start painting our nails and her active sister comes out and we start talking and she starts telling us she has a date at 5 at Olive Garden. We stayed quiet for a second and then we asked with who and she said Mike. Oh my gosh Sister Spencer and I almost lost it laughing, but we did not cause we were so worried Mike had forgotten and that it would be so awkward. Well she goes on to tell us how she is worried about this first date with him and how it will be awkward cause elders are coming along. I look at her and say "actually it's us." Mike comes to pick her up and we follow them in our car and just panicked the whole time and laughed, cause well we were going on a date...So awkward...unique missionary problem...single ward missionaries problems. We finally get the the restaurant and actually it was not nearly as awkward as I thought it would be, but it was still pretty weird. It would get silent really fast and so sister Spencer and I kept the conversations going and half way though we both just stopped cause we were thinking we were taking over the date...and our conversation was all missionary related it was great haha. So funny! At one point were were talking with Anna, (she is a RM) and we are talking about missions and Mike answers his phone and starts talking to his mom all about problems he was having with renters haha for like 7 minutes! At the end of the dinner we still shared a message! I was pretty proud of that, haha on a date at the Olive Garden and we still shared a gospel message! I was so happy when that dinner was over! The next day we had another scenario like that, but not nearly as bad haha.
     Ok now to the best part of the week that honestly was some of the best days of my life. On Friday at about 3pm it started We called Korrin to go over the baptismal question with her since her interview was later that night. I read the questions to her and I could feel the spirit so strong. The best part was the last question, which was something to the effect "are you ready to make this covenant with you Heavenly Father?" I realized at that moment how special the next day would be, how special her baptism would be and how happy Heavenly Father was to see her make this covenant. After asking the question she replied immediately and said "Heck ya!" I could feel the happiness. I honestly can't explain it very well, but it was such a strong confirmation of how much Korrin was ready for baptism. 
     At 7pm on Friday Korrin and her mom met in the church parking lot and walked in together for her interview. Her mom met her there cause she had just arrived from Denver and made it just in time. It was so important to Korrin to have her mom there and it was important for her mom to be there for Korrin! How amazing is that! She came all the way from Denver, switched places with her husband so that he could be with their son who is in the hospital so that she could come back and go through this whole process with Korrin. She went into the interview with her and after we went over all the questions they still had about what they need to do for the baptism and everything. Then we had a lesson, our last one before the baptism and her mom was there :) We talked about following the prophet and Korrin said she knows Thomas S Monsen is a prophet and she knows Hinckley was one also. She told us her mom sends her a quote everyday from President Hinckley or President Monsen.  Korrin told us how her mom is just like a member and her mom said "I do everything a member does, I just can't make it official cause of circumstances." WOW! Korrin's mom has been so influential on her daughter, she has been one of the biggest missionaries in Korrins life, yet she is not a member! How crazy is that! It is so cool and I know that she will join soon, I know that things will work out so that she can become a member soon :)
       Ok now to Saturday! Wow just thinking about it I have chills. There were so many people there that we had to do the program in the chapel, our chapel was full! There was more people there to support her at her baptism than how many people usually show up for church! So many people came to support her! I know I will most likely never see a baptism like that ever again. The talks were wonderful :) We then walked over to the font, and there were not enough chairs , there was about a hundred people trying to shove into the tiny Relief Society room we have. Her mom stood right by the stairs in the font and we were on the other side. What a powerful experience to see her immersed in water and come up, pure, clean, and now entered into that covenant. Her dreams coming true. What a beautiful daughter of God she is. She is a special daughter of God. After the baptism everyone went back to the chapel and I just prayed in the chapel. I couldn't express in my prayer how thankful I am to heavenly Father. There are just not words to express. I know he understands though. I just kept thinking How happy I was to have met an amazing friend and to share this experience with her. I am so thankful that I could be part of Korrin's baptism. I can't express my joy! After Korrin came back in, Brother Jones in the bishopric welcomed her to the ward. That man can talk! He talked about how she was a pioneer! One thing that really struck me is well 1st that she really is! All of her posterity will have the gospel because of her choice! That is kinda like me, if dad was not a member our family would be a lot different so I am so thankful that he joined the church and that I was born into it. Also I thought about her mom and how even though she is not a member, all of her posterity will be members as well because of Korrin.  I believe that one blessing that will be given to Korrins for her choice is that her mom will be able to be baptized. Korrin had all of her grandparents there and they are not members! How awesome is that ! Oh MY GOSH! At the end of the program, we closed with Korrin bearing her testimony! She bore her testimony of a little bit of everything and she specifically talked about the sacrament and how happy she is that she would be able to take it the next day. She said something that never hit me till she said it. She said that she loves the fact that on Sunday the first thing you eat is the sacrament, which represents the blood and the body of Christ. This is what helps you hold on till the end of the fast as well as the rest of the week! How cool is that! We have to fully rely and partake of our Savior's mercy to be able to get throughout the week :) I thought that was amazing!
    After the baptism we took a ton of pictures! So I will be sending some of those for you today :) Ok now to Sunday. When Korrin was confirmed on Sunday she recieved honestly probably one of the most powerful blessings I have ever heard besides a patriarchal blessing. She was told that she was a pioneer and that because of her choice family would follow. It talked about how the Holy Ghost will help her with missions her as well as her mission! Wow! She will be a missionary :) I just cried. Korrin is one of my best friends now, she is someone I feel like I needed to meet so that she could help me and I could help her. Heavenly Father has a plan and I love seeing it unfold. I am so excited to see where Korrin goes in life. 
         OK I now have to write another funny story. On Sunday Ben came, he is our investigator with aspergers. Right before church started We were talking to him and Liza, a girl in our ward who is beautiful, and preparing for her mission, she comes to us and says hi to him. He says "Camile?" This is the name of another girl he thought was cute. Well she says "No, it's Liza" and Ben just stands up and yells "Liza!" with open arms bahahahha! Then it gets better. Liza has a wonderful voice and did a musical number later in the meeting. After she finished you hear Ben just started clapping fast and loud, and as she comes down from the podium he gets up and meets her half way down the isle and says "Good job" and just wraps his arms around her and starts patting her back! I tried so hard not to laugh but I totally lost it and the sister Spencer lost it and we just laughed. President Williams was there from the stake presidency...worst timing ever! Hahaha I tried so hard to contain my self and it took so much self control to stop laughing. After he wanted to talk to her but we convinced him to come to the gospel principles class with us..and guess what...we get in there and there she is..she is teaching! Bahahahah he sat right up front. But moved to sit by us and commented on everything she said haha. Ben is just awesome! It was so funny! Then in relief society Nancy Joy, who is Ben's friend, (she is also speicial needs). She asked us all to write a note to Ben on this piece of paper she had. We asked why and this was her response "I told Ben to stop talking about his girlfriend Lucy, because I am just sick and tired of it, and well I think I might have hurt his feelings." Bahahahahaha funniest and best Sunday ever! Ben's girlfriend is lucy and she lives in Bozeman. Anyways we all signed it and she gave it to him. 
     Yesterday was the best Sunday of my mission. A powerful confirmation and then Ben and Nancy just cracked me up! OH also we had a crazy hail storm that destroyed trees here and just was awful, dented cars, it was scary they were literally golf ball size hail!  It came out of no where and we barely got into our dinner appointment, if we were another 15 seconds we could have been hit by the hail! I have never seen such a ominous storm! The clouds moved so fast and the wind went crazy! It was so loud and scary and the hail was awful. An hour later the sky was totally clear! Crazy how that works...anyways Well I love all of you and I hope you have a great week!
            -Love Andrea

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 12, 2014

Dear Family!
       I have to say that talking to you made my whole transfer! Hahaha. I loved seeing all of your faces and hearing all of your voices. I can't believe how much the little kids have grown! I really loved all that you had to say. I loved when Chris mentioned working with the members, cause that is what I did a ton in Riverton.  But here for some reason it didn't even really cross my mind. I know that that will greatly help this area, so I am taking his advice haha. We went to tract down a potential investigator and his dad answered and I invited him to learn, he said no, but I am happy I invited him haha.
        This week was a really good week. We got 19 lessons! Which I know is not a lot compared to my last area, and other missionaries. But I really pushed my self this week, and I know that this new week we will reach 20 lessons! That is what I believe Elder Holland said was the amount of lessons we should have a week or more. This week we went over to Chelsea Adams and helped her pack cause she left on Wednesday to fly to the MTC. She is going to Lubbock Texas. She is awesome, and her mom was in the hospital and so we went over to help her out. I could just feel the excitement she had as well as how scared she was even though she did not want to let that out, cause she was more happy haha. It reminded me of me, and I just kept thinking about all the things she is going to experience and learn and how amazing these 18 months will be for her. She is in for the adventure of her life! I am so excited for her.
      So Korrin, well her little brother is in the hospital, like I mentioned but she is still going to be baptized on Saturday, she is very strong. Mom could you send me like a ctr necklace or ring, or something for her? Yesterday after church we taught her and she had 3 members come to the lesson haha. We taught Tithing and that was a cool lesson, cause all of the members testified of the blessings of tithing. One thing that hit me is that if we can pay tithing we are pretty set, because if we are willing to sacrifice 10% of our increase chances are all the other commandments are going to come pretty easy. Tithing is like the most humbling commandment. Chastity is super important, but most people know it is a good idea, same with the word of wisdom, alcohol people know is bad for you, but when we bring up tithing people look at us like we are crazy. Tithing is money we earn, and that is how the world operates, so to give up something that would bless your family (like feed their family, or put gas in your car etc) To give up that blessing is very hard. But if we can give that up we can be even more blessed. I know this is a rambling, but I just want to talk about how cool it is to live the commandment of tithing. We had a lesson in institute a couple weeks ago about being blessed and what is holding us back from being more blessed. I think that applies to tithing, we work hard for the money we earn and God blesses us with money to live, and then he asked for 10% back, so if we can sacrifice part of that blessing he already gave us he will bless us even more. This concept of being blessed or being more blessed applies to so many aspects to the gospel. Like me I hate working out in the morning, I just want to sleep, and I will admit often times I just lay on the floor pretending to stretch, and I do a couple of sit ups. I am obedience because I am working out, but I know that when I do more that just keep the lowest standard of obedience and actually work out, then I have a much better day. Blessed or more blessed. I know that was a lot to say. I really have thought a lot about this on my mission. This has really stood out to me lately, what can we do in our lives to be "more blessed" Well that was a ramble but I know that it is true, we can be more blessed if we just push our selves. Preach my gospel has taught me that and so have the scriptures :)
      So we are not going lambing after all today, That makes it a sad day...we have way to much to do. Oh I might buy some cowboy boots soon. I don't know though haha.  Anyways I love all of you and have a wonderful week :)
                    -Love sister Draudt


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 5, 2014

Dear Family!!!
I got all those different pictures you sent me of Matthew's graduation! They were awesome! Matthew I am so happy for you and so proud of you! You have been so diligent and focused on your school work. Now you are getting ready to go off to dental school. I remember growing up how you always wanted to be a dentist and it is amazing that you are achieving your dream. You are making it happen! Congrats! You have been one amazing example for me. I love you so much! 
This week has been so so so busy, we literally have been running around every where. I felt like we got a lot done, but then We were calling in our numbers and it did not look like a lot at all. Honestly I think Billings is one of the hardest areas I have served in. I love it here, but just the whole situation I am in I feel like is not helping my missionary work. But I am really working on it. I am working hard on pushing my self. This coming Wednesday we will go on exchanges and I am really excited cause I am so ready to learn! Haha. This week really has been freaking amazing though! Not even kidding it was an amazing week :)
This week we did a "diabetes walk for the cure" That was super fun, we did it in our proselyting clothes, and well my feet hurt after.  A girl in our ward has diabetes so we went to support her. We got a free shirt and water bottle and pen. The water bottle is a Wendy's water bottle, so Josh can be jealous hahaha.
This week 2 people I just adore left! They went home for the summer, so that was a bummer. Adriana, the girl we went to the temple with, she went home, but before she went home we had frozen yogurt with her and her non-member friend and it was so cool cause we talked about the importance of the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon. We gave her a copy and invited her to read it! That was one of the best experiences of giving a Book of Mormon away! Mandy, her friend is so adorable. They went to institute on Thursday night also :) We took pictures..but sadly this week I left my camera at home, so all the pics are on hers...but she said she will send me some :) So random side note we totally have had frozen yogurt like 3 times this week, cause that is what everyone wanted to do with us...crazy stuff.  I am so over frozen yogurt haha.
This week Blanca left also. She is going home to California for the summer. That was such a great experience. We went over to say goodbye and have one last lesson with her. (she is a recent convert) Anyways when we got there we went into her room cause it was loud everywhere else cause her friends and roommates were goofing off. Her room was all bare, cause she was all packed up. Blanca was telling us that Emilio (Just some background on Emilio, he tends to be at every lesson we have, he is one amazing kid, and just good) She told us that Emilio said that he was going to miss our visits, and that we should visit him even if all we talk about is Jesus, yay!! I am so excited about that. We ended up singing hymns with her, we sang all the ones that were sung at her baptism, it was really cool. Then right after, Emilio and Brandon (her friends) came in, Brandon was goofing off, however Emilio on the other had just sat down with us. We were about to share a message so we invited Brandon and Emilio to stay, Brandon got up and left but Emilio on the other hand stayed. Emilio told us that he loves to listen to our messages, he really enjoys talking about religion with us. We shared 3 Nephi 31:19-20 which as about baptism and enduring to the end. That was our plan before we got there. We made the lesson pertain to him, and he really enjoyed it. Afterwards, I asked if he believes in a higher power, he told me no. But I know he does, I just don't think he recognizes it. We asked if we could come see him over the summer and he said yes. We got his number and I am so happy. It was really neat to talk with Emilio. Earlier that day I was really down, which is not like me, and I did not know why. But when we were at Blanca's I figured it out. It was because of Satan.  He knew what would happen at Blanca's.  He knew that we would have an opportunity to help Emilio and hopefully start teaching him. Tonight was so spiritual. The day before a less active asked us if we have met anyone ever waiting specifically for us. I thought about that and I know that I was called to help specific people, I have found several of them, but I didn't know if anyone was waiting for me...It makes sense in my head haha, anyways That night at Blanca's it hit me;  I think that Emilio is that person. He grew up Catholic, but he doesn't practice and doesn't believe.  He has been waiting for direction. I pray that he will come to know that this gospel is true.  So everyone please pray for Emilio to know that Heavenly Father lives, and to pray that Emilio will accept the gospel.

Ok now to the funny story of the week. This week we had to go on splits cause we had two very important appointments at the exact same time. One was with Korrin at a family of members home, and she was going to get a blessing, so we needed to be at that. The next one was with Jonathan and his aunt and the family. We canceled once and they live out on Shepherd so it is hard to get out there a lot, and Jonathan is on date to be baptized in like 5 days, so we needed to change that, cause we have taught him like 3 times. Well we prayed to know who should go to what appointment and I felt like I needed to go to Jonathan's, and Sister Spencer felt like she needed to go to Korrin's.  So I took Sister Lasson with me and Sister Spencer took a member with her.
Jonathan's was an experience. His aunt Randeen was not in a very good mood, especially since the elders were super late. We started dinner without them. We ate what they called "trashalatas/ ghetto enchiladas" they were frozen burritos in a pan covered in cheese and enchilada sauce. Funny story, there is a mouse that lives in their oven that they feed so that it doesn't go around the house trying to find food, they keep it contained in the oven by feeding it in the stove. While eating the elders finally showed up, half an hour late. Oh at the beginning when we got there Jonathan walked in with a black eye, I asked what happened and everyone got silent. Immediately Randeen, in her stern and scary voice said, "Don't ask!" Then after dinner when the elders were there I started to pull my scriptures out and Randeen says "We do not do lessons during dinner appointments.  I asked, "Well can we at least share a message?" and she said ok. So I shared a quick message. I literally had no time to talked to Jonathan about reseting his date. This dinner was definitely an interesting one. They all were talking about a show about gangs and stuff, and how Randeen could name off her old friends she saw on the show and the cops, cause she knew them so well. I definitely have a great mission memory right there, hahaha. After Jonathan's we went to the institute to meet up with Sister Spencer and it was just funny cause we talked about our appointments and her experience was so spiritual haha.  Korrin's mom came to the lesson and Korrin got a blessing and her mom started crying. Apparently it was awesome! which makes me so happy cause Korrin is just great!
OK! I have got to tell you about yesterday! Sunday was seriously just awesome! So at church yesterday it was the "Welcoming the seniors to the singles ward day," The chapel was so full that people were sitting out in the foyer. That is super crazy for our ward cause it is so small normally haha. All of our investigators were able to come! Jonathan came! He finally told us what happened to his eye. his cousin's boyfriend hit him! So stupid! Anyways church was so great! We had a huge munch and mingle after, but we did not eat cause we ate dinner the night before and were still fasting (we had sushi the night before! it was so good! and we could not say no to dinner cause it was with a less active we have been trying to contact haha" Anyways we still were fasting. Everyone had a great time though. We of course made some plates to go for us cause it was good food haha. Eliza a less active we are working with, the one that actually I wrote Sister Nuttle about, who is a model and gorgeous. She told us that she has officially been smoke free for 5 days! Which is a huge accomplishment, and she is down to like only half a cup of coffee a day, and she lowers it everyday! I am so proud of her. It was awesome to sit and catch up with her. Then we had a lesson with Jonathan and moved his date to May 31st, I seriously have not heard him talk as much as he did on Sunday haha. 
Last night we also had a lesson with that less active that I told you about last week, with the evil feeling in his house. Well we had the meeting at a church and it went so much better! Josh, the elders quorum president came and helped so much! We really could not relate to this guy and so Josh just helped us so much, after that we went to the Bishop's house to watch the CES fireside, which normally we don't do, but bishop told us he felt like we really needed to watch it, so we did :) and afterwards we had dinner with the bishop and sister Williams and the elders quorum presidency. Yesterday was seriously just super legit!
One more thing. So we helped Sister Williams make center pieces on Saturday for the munch and mingle and well we got carried away with the little plastic net bags that those stones come in for fish bowls.  Anyways we made bird cages (those little hat things with a veil) for our hair out of them and put ribbon and pearls on them. They seriously looked legit haha, I will send pictures once I get them, cause again I forgot my camera so I have to wait for sister Spencer to send them to me...haha
Alright so one last event that happened! I finished the Book of Mormon for the 2nd time on my mission. Yes I know I am a very slow reader, but I honestly learned so much this time around! Each time I learn different things in different parts of the Book of Mormon really stand out. Like last time I learned so much in Alma. This time I learned so much from 3 Nephi - Ether!  I always pray for a confirmation of the truth of the Book of Mormon after I finish reading it. This time I decided, well every time I do that, I just get this thought "Well duh" so I wanted to change it up. I prayed to know how the Book of Mormon has blessed my life, and to recognize how it has blessed my life. I invite all of you to do that where ever you are in the Book of Mormon, to pray to recognize the blessings you have from the book of Mormon. I know that I have recognized so much. I have seen how much I have learned! I really was not as familiar with the Book of Mormon before my mission as I should have been, but now I have become so much more familiar with it. That is a huge blessing. People will talk about stories and I know exactly what story they are talking about and I could guess a general area it would be in in the Book of Mormon. I have found many scriptures that have brought me comfort. Heavenly Father has answered many of my prayers through the Book of Mormon. Another blessing of the Book of Mormon is being able to teach so much better. I am not perfect and I have a ton of room to improve but because I know the scriptures better it is easier to be directed by the spirit as to what needs to be shared. With in the last couple months I have prayed to used what I am learning in the scriptures to help the people I am teaching and I have seen that several times now. The better studies I have in the morning, and the more focused I am, the better my day goes. There have been so many blessing given to me through the Book of Mormon. I love that book. I am so thankful that I can focus on it so much. I have thought about how when I go home It won't be the same, so I really want to do my best to keep it the same. I also want to have a short companionship study with you mom everyday. I love companionship study I love sharing what I have learned and learning more together! It is awesome! So mom we are gonna do that ok :) haha!  Anyways,  I love you all so much. Be happy and safe and I will be skyping home on Sunday!!!! Only 6 days! wahooo :) haha
              -Love Andrea! :)


Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 28, 2014

Dear Family!
I love you all so much! This week has been an interesting one. Everything just seemed to be going slower this week. We had appointments set up and everything but it seemed like most of them all canceled and it was rough. Really though, it was a good week, just a couple rough patches haha. One of our recent converts who is less active that I adore, she is 17 and I think that is why she is less active, she graduated early and everyone is older than her. She goes with her member aunt to church in the home ward. So really she is not less active, cause she goes...well anyways ...that was a tangent. Her name is Meghan and I love her. She is such a sweet girl. She made us homemade Cafe Rio burritos and the ranch! Oh MY GOSH best dinner of my mission so far, for real! They tasted just like Cafe Rio. I have had a lot of trying to be Cafe Rio, but these were Cafe Rio haha.  I had to share that cause it was important to me this week haha.

Ok now to the rough part, but I promise it gets better. So like I said this week has been slow, and I just have felt like I have not been the best missionary as I could be since I came here. I am not as bold, like I think I have told you all before, and it really makes me sad. I so desperately want to be the best missionary I can, and I have not been. So on Friday night we went over to a recent convert's house who had her Chinese foreign exchange friends over making Chinese food and before we ate we all said a prayer, and for one of the exchange students, Iko, she had never prayed before and after we said that prayer she touched her heart, and I think I was the only person that noticed, but that prayer touched her! That was such a sweet moment. (That was the great part). These exchange students are leaving this week, and I kept thinking how in China, the parts they are from are not open for missionary work, and I really wanted to share a message with them. The recent convert thought it might be weird and so we did not. I felt awful after leaving that house. I could have helped their salvation and did not. I have been praying they will find the gospel. After that lesson, we were driving to try and contact some people, and I just broke down. I explained to Sister Spencer how I felt, and how I need to be bold, how I need to be better. She listened and I talked for like half an hour. I then pulled out my ipad and took it out of it's case. Underneath were goals I had written when I first got here and was having a hard time. Those goals are now accomplished and so a couple days ago I made a new one and so I decided to show Sister Spencer, this personal list that no one new about except Sister Barkdull, because she was with me when I made them. Sister Spencer said she will help me work on them. I told her I needed our companionship to be stronger, like not just friends, because we are wonderful friends, but I need it to be stronger as missionaries and so we are both going to work on that. After my meltdown (I have learned to cry on my is weird! haha) it was 8:30 by then and I said let's go try people. So we went on and tried a less active, who was home, but did not answer the door....bleh haha. Then by that time it was time to head home.
On Sunday everything seemed to get so much better. We got to ward council and had a really productive time. Then Sister Spencer was speaking in church and so I sat in the pews but with a new girl who just moved in and was with Korrin. We had a great time getting to know each other and it was so nice to be able to have a conversation that did not have any moments..cause I have a lot of those, haha.  She is so sweet. Korrin our investigator sat by me and on Saturday she told her dad she is getting baptized, and he did not take it well. But at church she seemed a lot better, she was feeling a lot better and not so stressed out. That was so nice to see. Then the less active we tried the night before, we left a note, he totally came to church!!! All of the church meetings were wonderful.
Sunday night however we had a interesting experience. Well we visited a less active we have been working with, but it seemed like everything was stopping us, we could not find anyone to come with us and we needed someone cause it is a guy. Finally we get Mallory, she just came home from her mission in Russia. This  less active is a good person at heart, but tonight it was bad. We walked in to this tiny apartment and we read Matthew 28 with him.  We asked him to read it last week and he did not. After reading we talked about scriptures and I was bold, which was good for me haha. He told us he would not commit to reading and I asked why, and I told him he needed to. As we talked the feeling there got worse and worse, he would just ramble and he would mumble under his breath repeating words, and I could hear whispering and I am positive it was not just from him. There was something evil in that room, and it scares me to even talk about. But something was there. He rambled for a long time and I knew we just needed to get out, so finally when I heard a pause, I bore a quick testimony and I told him we had to leave. Mallory offered the closing prayer, and when she said "Dear Heavenly Father" I could feel thing little light come back in. We got out of there, and in the car I asked sister Spencer what she thought of that lesson, and I did not just casually, cause I thought I was over reacting, and she told me straight up "There was something evil there, I don't know if it was in him, or in the room, but it was evil." We talked about how we felt the same way and decided we need to go to a place to feel the spirit. We went to Chelsea Adams. She had her farewell and it was an open house so we went over. The spirit was just lighting up the room there and we felt so much better. It was so nice to surround our selves by people who had the spirit with them. After staying for a couple minutes we left and continued with missionary work. No body was home really...but we tried Brandi (love her!) we surprised her..she does not like surprises, but she loves us so it all worked out haha. She is such a sweet soul. She showed us a study journal she has started keeping :) she is really progressing in the gospel and coming back! She has been less active for years and  she is doing so much better now. She had gone to church a couple times and she went yesterday also :) Sunday was a wonderful day...except that one rough patch haha. I saw the missionary I want to be in me on Sunday :)
Oh quick cool story. So last Monday night at FHE we taught the lesson, that was not the cool part though. After our lesson, the Bishop showed a short film about John Tanner, he pretty much saved the Kirtland temple, and a lot the church things, cause he gave all of his money to the church. He was rich and in the end had nothing, then went on a mission. He is amazing! Anyways, the week before we were talking to a new investigator we have, John ( I think I have mentioned him) he is southern baptist and he is actually related to John Tanner, and he is interested in the gospel, but if his relatives found out they would be upset. Any ways he told us all about how John Tanner is his like 3 greats grandfather! Then on Monday we watched that movie and I almost bawled and Sister Spencer cried because we felt so strongly that we need to help John. We could just feel how important it is to John Tanner that his family is in the gospel, after all he gave up everything for the church. So me and sister Spencer must do everything we can to help John come in to the gospel. :) That was a cool experience :) Well I love you all have a great week!
  -Sister Andrea Draudt