Friday, June 20, 2014

June 16, 2014

Dear Family and friends,
This week has for sure been one of a kind....and I have loved it but also been it has been crazy.
On Monday we taught Dallas after FHE, the homeless guy, and it was a lot better than the other times.  He listened and we mainly just talked about the book of Mormon. He is still crazy though.
Then Tuesday the adventure started with Jon and his family. Wednesday him and his family were all in Cedar City, Utah.   Pretty sure they were running back to the Hell's Angels..Long story, short Randeen got arrested there...they wanted our help, we got freaked out and handed it over to the Bishop. Jon is now idea where and I am happy to not be in that situation anymore haha. Tuesday and Wednesday were crazy! Oh a great part about Tuesday is we taught Hong. He came to church 2 weeks ago with his LDS friend. Hong is a Chinese foreign exchange student from mainland China. We had to start with the very basics and explain who God was and that he is a Father to us and loves us. I feel like I got a glimpse of how a missionary feels trying to teach in another language, because even though his English is great, he does not understand any religious terms at all. Therefore trying to explain God was well...difficult. I just kept reminding myself that the words do not even matter, all that matters is that he feels the spirit. I was reading in Preach My Gospel earlier about teaching people with non Christian background and it said something like "Most converts who have no Christian background say that they did not understand what the missionaries were saying but that they felt good and they wanted to learn more. It was really powerful cause he really did not understand us but when we asked him how he felt and he would say "good, I feel good" at the end of the lesson Eliza in our ward sang a hymn for him and it was just perfect. We got him a Chinese Book of Mormon this week and he has started reading it. 
The same guy, Nathan, that brought Hong last week brought another friend this week. His name is Mark and he is very much atheist. He is staying at this guy's house that he knows while he does his internship this summer...we went over to that was in downtown and in a super fancy building. It was this huge loft and well it was the wackiest apartment I have ever been to, it had like little knick nacks every where..and big kick nacks... like random bikes from the 20's, a bathtub in the middle of the loft with a 5 foot flamingo next to it that lights up. A big poster of Marilyn Monroe, a shrine of different religions. It was a interesting place..and kinda ...a lot creepy. Like an apartment in a movie that you would find out belonged to the serial killer haha. It was interesting. We finally sat down and had a great time talking, except he is not interest whatsoever.  The most we probably did was plant a seed. We did commit him to read the Book of Mormon though. He also said we could come that is a good sign...he said he just likes discussing religion.
Yesterday along with Teaching Mike we were able to teach Don. Don is freaking amazing. Yesterday was one of the best Sundays of my mission! So during ward council in the morning this guy came in wanting to talk to the bishop. He just got out of jail and is now in a halfway house. He wanted to meet missionaries. During his time in jail in the last 8 months he has read the book of Mormon 3 times, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great price. So ward  council got out late so we had to wait till after sacrament meeting to talk to him. Which we did. His name is Don Jessop. I asked how he feels about the Book of Mormon and his eyes got all watery and he just said "It's amazing, it's true," We then went to Sunday school and he loved it, as soon as we all started the opening hymn he started into tears. He was just overwhelmed by the spirit that whole day! He had to leave halfway through priesthood, so instead of going there we took him aside and talked to him. He is 33 and married, so he wanted to find a home ward. I mentioned how knowledgeable he was in the gospel (cause he knew a lot) He then said "Well I grew up a fundamentalist. I asked where he was from and guess what! He is from the same town as Carla, and he even knows her, they are close family friends! He told us how the spirit just came over him when he entered into the church and could not contain it. We set up a time to go visit him that night at the half way house, during visiting hours.
So at 7:30 we went over to the halfway house and when we pulled up I was scared out of my mind! So many scary people standing outside, luckily we brought Randy with us and he helped us feel more safe haha. We got inside and then it was fine, it did not feel weird at all. We just talked to him and also went over the restoration. Wow! He is so amazing! HE was so worried that we would judge him when we found out he was a fundamentalist but we did not. We found out that when he was in jail was the first time he read the Book of Mormon, like he grew up with the stories but never read it, he rebelled when he was about 15 and got into lots of trouble. He is married, and told us, I just can't have more than one wife, I don't want that. Haha he is so sweet. Every time he even mentioned the Book of Mormon he just cried, when he prayed he cried. It was one of the most powerful visits I have ever had on my mission. He has had a change of heart, he is a son of God. He wants to be baptized and keep on this path. It will be very hard since he was a fundamentalist (even though he never practiced, he was just born into it) and he has some major law issues that will have to be worked out. But he has the right desire. He is so amazing, I wish I could express this to you but it just isn't coming out right haha. We left the appointment and Sister DeBry was really sad cause she wants to teach him haha, which I understand, it is hard to give up investigators, but the elders that will be teaching him are perfect for him! Not even kidding, and the family ward is what he needs. We called the elders, Elder Thomas and Page and talked to them for like half an hour haha about how amazing he was and they are so excited! It is so amazing to see people who are coming into the gospel and to see how they have changed! Don is awesome!
Well I think that is about it, haha. I love you so much :) and have a great week!  Love, Andrea ( Sister Draudt)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 9, 2014

Can I just start off with How great you are. I love my family so much! Honestly I have the best family ever!
Well this week his been super busy. I would say it has been one of the best weeks here, and honestly it probably has, but I have never been so exhausted! If I was not as tired it really would be the best week ever! haha We were finishing up monthly reports for President and the Stake presidents so we have been in the office a lot, at least at the beginning of the week. We also had enough appointments and meetings and stuff to do that we maybe had a lunch break 3 times this week...not even a full one haha. We literally have been running around so much! Even though we have not had a lot of breaks we had a great week! I love Sister DeBry! Last night we were talking about how nervous each of us were to be companions, and it's just funny cause It is like meant to be the work is changing here and it is really cool. We work and teach really well together!
We have had about 6 people give us just solid referrals this week! One guy in our ward referred us to his Chinese foreign exchange student friend who is Buddhist, and he came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it! I am excited to start teaching him! He has no Christian background, I have not taught a person like that before, so this will be really interesting haha, but I am excited.
This week we had mission tour! Elder Goodoy one of the 70's and his wife came and spoke to us! That was amazing! He talked for most of the time and it was like 6 hours and I honestly can say I never got bored! He is amazing! They are from Brazil, and he was a mission president there also, a long time ago. His wife talked about how each principal of the gospel is vital, and how we have to live all of them. We can not pick and choose. She wrote all these different principals on the board, like tithing, prophets, revelation, God Head, Chastity, plan of salvation etc. We filled a whole white board then she said..hummm well lets erase word of wisdom..I don't like that (just joking)..then she showed us how by erasing that it took away, prophets, cause it was a revelation, so then it took away revelation, which took away God Head, and so on and so forth, and soon enough the board was blank. That was a cool visual aid, like we can not just deny one principal cause they are all interconnected. We used this example she showed us with several investigators this week.
Elder Goodoy just had so many amazing things to say..I can't remember a lot...haha but I did take notes. He talked a lot about how well our mission is doing compared to others. He showed us areas we excel in but he also showed us the one area we are lacking, which was so nice because I was able to leave mission tour knowing what I can work on and fix rather than having just a abstract idea to fix, like being a more concentrated missionary...with things like that are great, but I liked having a specific mission area to fix, like he told us the only area we really can do better in is referrals, and he gave us ideas. Like we are good with getting referrals from members and tracking, but we need to be better at getting them from less actives. That was so cool, cause now I can go back and really work on that. He gave us so much advice and I wish I could write more, cause he talked on a lot more than just that area. It was so good!
We have been visiting the Hibberts a lot. Luke Walker who is one of their friends gave a talk yesterday! It had been really awesome! Yesterday the two less active Hibberts were gone so we just talked with Jake Hibbert and Luke. They are both preparing to go on missions and so we had a scripture study which was so cool! They are going to be amazing missionaries!

Okay the best part of the week for me was Saturday! We came into the office on Saturday and there was a letter sitting in our box for was addressed to me and was sent from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After a second I realized it was my year mark Letter! So the first day we were in Montana, they had us write a letter to ourselves that we would get on our year mark. And to put some money in there ( I put 20 bucks) I have been so excited to get this letter! I know i have not quite hit my year mark, and I was going to wait till my year mark to read it but I could not resist. So I pulled it out and started reading. I was a little nervous about what it would say, I was worried I would sound ridiculous. That was not the case. The letter ended up being what I needed The first Part says "Congratulations! It has been a year, Well I hope I am doing well. I hope that everything is good because you are working hard and focusing. Even if it's hard just pray, praying helps, Heavenly Father wants to help. Remember the quote Matthew  wrote you in the MTC "Don't tell God how big your problems are, but tell your problems how big God is." I am so proud of you for still going and not giving up. Right now it seems a little overwhelming but I know with the Lords help we will do great. Love the people" Then I continued and bore my testimony. This letter might sound cheese to you, but for me it was perfect. I have learned to completely rely on pray, that when i cant do any more, that I must pray. Prayer is powerful. I have done pretty good with the quote Matthew told me, until the last couple months, and sometimes i would catch my self complaining and praying and being a wimp. But then reading that quote again it hit me. STOP! Not that I do it a lot, but still I do it enough that that quote hit me. Stop! Don't get discouraged and pray for help cause I did not feel strong enough, but rather recognize the strength I have been given. I KNOW that I could not be doing any of this without the Lord. It simply would not be possible. But with his help I can do anything, nothing is impossible. I am so grateful that I have and am figuring that out. 
It was really cool to read my testimony, it was pretty simple, or just normal I guess...but my testimony has grown so much! It is much more personal now. I had a testimony when I came out, but it is so much more personal now. Just like we are all individuals and God knows us specifically. That is how I feel about my testimony now. It is my individual one. I can't explain it very well haha so I hope that makes sense.
I love this gospel and I love my Heavenly Father and my brother Jesus Christ. I know that they live! I know that they care about me and help me every day. I love that I Can talk with them any time and they will bring me peace. I feel their love. I know they live. I know my family will be together forever we have been sealed together in God's house. We have been sealed and have made very sacred and important and vital covenants there. :) 
I love you all :) have a great week :) 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 2, 2014

 Dear Family!
I feel like my emails get shorter and shorter...I am sorry but I bet they will keep getting shorter...I feel like I never know what to say! haha. But first off HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I love you so much and I am so happy that you had such a good birthday!
I have to say this week in the beginning was hard. It was mainly cause I just scared myself. Having Sister Spencer leave was really hard! I was really scared to have a new companion. But the transition went smooth..okay not really...after the transition it went smooth. I cried seeing Sister Spencer go..that was a hard day, BUT then we just got to work and had a great day! Sister DeBry is from Farren Utah? Super small town. We are so much more a like than I thought we would be and we teach pretty well together! I am very excited for this transfer!
This week we met a investigator, who Sister Spencer met last week, but we were on splits so I did not meet him so it was both of our first time. He was a referral from another set of Sisters...well they could not have given us a more sketchy person to visit! Sister Spencer told me he was sketchy...but I did not realize how sketchy! We had Preston our old was mission leader come. That was a good idea, cause he is first off a priesthood holder, and second he is strong..and we needed him there...haha. Dallas just got out of jail and lives in his car..the whole time we were there he was smoking weed. But he actually had a ton of good questions and comments. Towards the end Preston told him that when we come around we would need him to stop smoking around us and stop cussing. He put out his weed right then. Which was cool. Anyways he has a lot of potential. Sister Debry and I can see it, we know that if he keeps his commitments he will change, and miracles will happen, but until that we are making sure we have at least one priesthood holder with us haha. After teaching Dallas we were talking about crazy stories on our missions and sister Debry was like "Sister Draudt you have had come scary experiences" It didn't hit me till she said that..but ya, I have had some interesting things happen haha. Who would have thought so many creepy things could happen in Montana and Wyoming. But of course I have had so many amazing experiences here, it's pretty cool. I serve in the best mission ever!!!
There have been some really cool tender mercies this week! We got a new less active. Chelsea, she would rarely talk to us before and we never had time to try her, but we went over and taught her and she even came to church! That was so cool! She even told us she will come again next week! Ben came to church also and loved it. We had a break the fast thing after and he made this pasta salad, and it was the first thing gone! Everyone ate it and loved it! How cute is that, Ben was proud of that :) This week when we went to see him he told us he had a couple things to tell us and he said "I don't want to be forced to church or to read the book of Mormon. I have been talking with my therapist and I don't want to be forced" this was so hard! cause he loves church and I know his therapist is just looking out for him, but now he thinks we are forcing him...we had to explain to him that it is his choice and he doesn't have to come, but if he wants to he should come. And well he came to church so that is a good thing. haha. I hope things get better :) I just love Ben! We taught Jonathan for the first time by him self! We set a new baptismal date for July 10th. He really desires it, but since he lives at home his aunt tends to not let us come over a lot and so it is really hard to teach him! Please everyone keep John and his brother Damion in your prayers. They have a really hard life and need prayers. The lesson went so well and the spirit was so strong! We sat out side of the trailer and I just kept thinking "wow the work is hastening. The work is spreading throughout the world. We are teaching Jon, a boy I never would have met unless I came to Montana, and we are teaching him outside of this trailer that is awful, and no matter how bad that situation was, we still were able to have the spirit there and we could feel it. It just shows me that is doesn't matter where you are, if the persons heart is open the spirit can be there and they will feel it!
Yesterday at church was super awesome also! We had several people that just moved in who are RM's and they came up to us and asked to help in any way they could! That was so cool! I love having experiences like that! It seemed like a lot of missionary efforts were being pulled together! I feel like all the final pieces are coming together and the missionary work is about to explode here! I love it!  
Well family I love you all so much and have a wonderful week!
-Love Andrea

PS, I loved the pictures of Eva's pre-school graduation! Haha super cute :) I love you guys!