Tuesday, March 25, 2014

THE BOY (or hermana) WHO CRIED WOLF!

 "I love the HOUSTON Temple"

 With Hermana Townsend on our Temple outing

 With Hermana Licona. I love this lady. She fed Hermana Townsend and I and entire pan of enchailadas... and they were delicious!

This trailer park has become my second home!

HOLA Familia!!
How have you been this past week? Things here in Katyland have been great! We really saw so many awesome miracles. The Lord never ceases to amaze me in how He can just put us exactly where we need to be at the right moment! For example... we love tortas. They are basically just sandwiches, but Mexican, and so much better. Well a few days ago a member had told us about the best place to get tortas, so we decided we would go if a dinner appointment cancelled. Well on Thursday we had two dinner appointments... but that morning I just kept thinking about this stinking torta restaurant. Well, as the day went on, both of the appointments cancelled! And we took it as a sign. We went to the restaurant and there were so many Hispanics! But they were all eating and not too interested in chatting. So we decided to sit by the door so we could at least say hi and bye as they came in and out. Well there was a group of guys who were leaving and we just said "que les vaya muy bien!" and they all kind of looked at us, trying not to laugh and left... hmm… Then just a few moments later one of them walked back in and said "hablan espanol?" well... "si!" he then asked us how he could get a copy of the Book of Mormon. He's been wanting to read it for a while, he just hasn't known how to get one. Is this real life? Oh you mean this book I've got sitting right here? It's for you. Read it. Love it. Seriously! Unfortunately he was just in Katy for the day for a job, but he now has the Book of Mormon and is going to read it and feel the spirit of truth!! Also when we were knocking doors we met a nice man who said, "there are so many churches, I just want to know for myself which one is true." Well you see... James 1:5.
We also have seen a lot of progress with our friends that we've been teaching, aka investigators. Baby steps, but they are still steps! We another dinner with a member and she invited the missionaries sister over, and she also invited another family from the ward with girls the same age. The dinner was awesome but the message was even better. We decided to talk about forgiveness and how we have to be Christ-like and forgive everyone. Well it sort of changed as the member decided to share one of the new Mormon messages about bullying. How we have to forgive them, but we can because we know that our individual worth is great in the sight of God, even if others tease us. Then the little girls went off to play and we sat there with the moms for just a moment longer. The missionaries sister opened up about how her daughter hasn't been wanting to go to school lately because there is a mean little girl that teases her about her skin color... she thanked us so much for the message. It was really awesome because she really got to see the practical side of the gospel. This is why Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! Not just to restore some church, but really to restore the knowledge that we need to succeed in these latter days where there are mean little girls.
I just love these people... more than I can express. So in regards to the title of this email... SUPPOSEDLY I'm being transferred tomorrow... don't worry... I won't believe it this time until I am sitting in my new area :) But we did get the call yesterday and they said it is really time this time for Hermana Draper to leave the lovely Katyland. So... we will see what the Lord has in store. A new adventure ahead. Replace fear with faith. Go fight win.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!! Say ten things you are grateful for!
les quiero demasiado,
Hermana Draper 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


 Isn't Texas beautiful?

 Stuck in the middle of the road in our dead car!

Hola mis queridos!
Okay.. what a week for the home team, right? Congratulations Erin and Chris!!!! You looked fantastic and so, so happy!!
Well, things here in Katyland have been quite eventful as well! I just have to thank Heavenly Father for helping me out so much this week. He has an amazing way of strengthening us in the exact ways that we need it.
Well on Thursday I had a mission crisis as I realized that I literally only had six months left. A moment of reflection... and stress. But after a few deep breaths we set some good goals to make sure this is the most effective six months possible. And with that... we had a week full of miracles!
One thing we decided to try out is we had a meal appointment with a member who lives on the outskirts of our area, where we haven't really worked at all. So after we shared a missionary work scripture about how the Lord is preparing the hearts of His children to receive the gospel, we had their little girls say a prayer and then look at the map that we brought for them to pick a street for us to knock! They were super excited to get involved in that way. Well afterwards we went to knock... and then something came up so we had to leave! But no worries, the next day we went back out. Nearly every other door said they would be willing to learn more! (and trust me... THAT is huuge.) Unfortunately, all of them spoke English, but the other missionaries were very grateful. Well we were about ready to go, but we only had a few more houses on the street so we decided just to finish it. And that is when we met Luchooo! Okay. He opened the door and just had the biggest smile on his face, like he was so happy to see us. Well, turns out he talked with missionaries about ten years ago when he lived in New York, because he had gone and seen the church history sites! Also, he was originally from Colombia and he attended the temple open house in Bogota. Wow. Remember the scripture about the Lord preparing his children? Well he is going out of town this week, but we have an appointment with him next week!! 
That same night we had planned to have a family home evening with one of the less active families in our ward and one of the active families. Well at the last moment the less active family had to cancel... but we felt we should just ask the other family if we could still visit them. They said they would get back to us.... then they called us and said that we need to prepare a very inspired message because they were inviting someone special over to meet us. Well then. We prayed and prayed and just felt we needed to share the restoration, with lots of biblical support. We show up and the hermano had invited his mom and his sisters family, who had never talked to missionaries before. I don't know what finally gave him the drive to finally invite them after so many years in the church, but it was incredible. We shared the restoration, and as we used the bible it really clicked with them, since they are very involved in their church. As we talked about the Book of Mormon, it all just seemed to fall in place. They gladly accepted the copies and said they were eager to read it. I just wish I could express how incredibly strong the spirit was as Hermana Townsend quoted the "first vision". The mom even cried. I know that everything happens for a reason. When appointments cancel, it just gives us hope that the Lord has something else prepared for that night. He truly is guiding His work.
Well… this week we also experienced that even in the work of the Lord... the rain still falls on us... literally and figuratively. Well our car died... in the middle of the road... in the pouring rain... first the power steering went out (I knew the land rover was training me for something) and then it all went as we coasted nicely into the space between medians… in the middle of the road. Well, it all got resolved and the car people said we needed a new battery, so we got a new battery and all went great! Well... then yesterday on the way to church the same thing happened… Ay. Well we managed to get the car pushed to the church because we weren't too far out. And through some miracle an English member said he could fix it. Turns out its the alternator… what ever that means. But of course it had to wait to today! Hence the title of this email, because last night we were left to walk, and it was miraculous! A man came up to us on the street and just talked. And we just listened. He told us his life story about how he used to be super close to the Lord, but then the devil won, and now all he desires is to feel the spirit again. We talked with him about the Atonement, and after a while we set up an appointment and he promised he wouldn't forget because it was a "commitment with God". Wow. Then we visited the Cubans! We were a little hesitant because the last time we visited we brought a member and he just talked at them the whole time… and we think they might of gotten a little offended or something... but we got there and they were so happy to see us! We read 1 Nephi 16 about the broken bow and the Liahona, and they were the ones teaching us! They are truly an incredible family. They are still working just as much, and so going to church is still a struggle, but they are reading in the Book of Mormon everyday and they feel like they personally are coming to know Christ more. Then they were so nice to give us a ride home.
Well I could go on and on... oh wait. One more miracle! Remember the man in the gas station? Well we visited him and his wife actually isn't a member! But then they came to church yesterday. And it was great.
Okay. I love you all so very, very much. I hope you have a wonderful week! Remember to look for the little miracles in everyday, because they are there!
Hermana Draper

With our lovely "ANO" banner.


 Houston Frozen... 

Hola Familia!
Wow. What a week. I can't believe it is already Monday again... and what a week that we've got coming up!! I am so, so excited to see pictures (wedding) and all. I just know it is going to be fantastic. Congratulations Erin and Chris! I love you so much!
Also this week I'm going to be hitting my year mark.... where did that year go? Hermana Townsend and I were laughing when we realized we have literally been doing the exact same thing every single day for a year. Wake up at 6:15, exercise, study...etc. It certainly doesn't feel like it. But at the same time, to look back at all the changes and progression, it seems like it's been forever! But here we go. Home stretch. I just imagine Rockne (track coach) yelling at us to sprint it in, give it your all until you are long passed the finish line.
And with that... we had an awesome week full of miracles! From members popping out of nowhere that we didn't know existed who want to come back to church to investigators accepting baptismal dates. It was a good week! I've realized my past emails have been a bit... extensive, so I'll try and be a bit more concise this time. I'll try...
Well… sometimes writing is a bit difficult because I always talk about the same people, but never use their names... and so they become the "new family" or such and such.. Well anyway. One of the families we are teaching, that as previously explained, is incredible prepared. Their kids ask the best questions, but then they also are starting to answer some of each others questions with what we've taught and it's amazing. Well this past week we taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ with the importance of faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. And I was amazed at how some of those ideas were such new concepts to them. The Hermana said she didn't know the real purpose of repentance. And as we talked about how the whole reason we do it isn't for clearance, but it is for change of heart, she was amazed. Her whole life it had just been "confession", but even after confessing she still felt guilty and unsatisfied, and now she understood why. They committed to pray for a specific baptismal date, and I am so excited for them! They are reading and praying, now they just have to come to church. This week is spring break, and so a lot of families left on Friday after school, but hopefully they come next week!
One cool miracle of how the Lord places us in the right place at the right time. Well, we were headed to an appointment... but we had to use the restroom. Rather than waiting and using the families, we decided to stop by the gas station. As we were leaving I said bye and have a good night to the attendant, and the man paying flipped his head and just starred us down. I felt a little silly, but hey, I was just being kind! Well as we were getting in the car he came up to us and asked us if we were from the Mormon church, well… yeah! He said he was baptized in 96 in Colombia and just recently he and his wife have been wanting to come back to church. We got his information and he asked us for a Book of Mormon so he could start reading again. We have an appointment with them on Wednesday!
This past Sunday we had ward conference, and it was really incredible. And the "missionaries sister" came (again with the ambiguous names...) and loved it!! The stake president in the Spanish Houston West Stake is awesome and he gave a beautiful talk about… well... life. But in his talk he related us to the story of la tortuga y el conejo (the tortoise and the hare). Sometimes we want to be like the hare and run ahead, over serve for a while and then once we think we are good, take a break for a while. But really the purpose of the gospel is to take it all step by step. Don't go faster than you have strength but don't be idle either. Be constantly striving for progression. And he shared in Hebrews 12:1-2... "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us RUN WITH PATIENCE the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...." And it explains in verse 10 that it is "...for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness." Or, receive eternal life!! So he invited us all to really think of the things that will help us "lay aside every weight" and put on the "horse blinders" to focus our minds in on Jesus, and the finish line. To remember our purpose for why we are here in this state of probation, and how we can help others remember it as well. So I invite you all to ponder on that too! 
And one last thing. Remember my dear, dear friend GG? She is the neighbor to one of our members in the senior living center, and our member referred us to her because she was so lonely because her family had abandoned her. Well we ended up having such an awesome relationship with GG, and we had the chance to serve her in many ways, and I really grew to love that lady. She even made us her special banana bread for Valentines. She had the hardest life, but she explained that she turned out so good because she didn't have parents, so God raised her. If there is one thing that is for certain, that woman loved Jesus. She had alzheimers, so we weren't able to really teach her of the restored gospel, but the spirit was always so strong when we would sing hymns together. Well we realized we hadn't seen her for a little while, so last night we felt like we should call her and see if we could come by. Well we called and someone else answered. My heart kind of sank as she said that she was her daughter. She told us that GG passed away on Thursday. Man. We both just cried. Missions are so much more that I ever expected. That the Lord allows us to develop such strong love for His children. She may not have accepted the fullness of the gospel in this life, but I know that she is so happy right now. She always bragged about how she had the best voice in her Baptist choir, and I know she's probably singing at the top of her lungs now. And I've already promised myself to make sure that her work is done, I don't know how... but it will be done. How grateful are we to know of this great plan of salvation. Death isn't the end, but really just a beginning, and a big step towards our divine potential.
I love being a missionary. Thank you all for the love and support. I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful week and I can't wait to see the pictures on Monday :) Until then, remember who you are and all you stand for. Make good choices. Replace fear with faith.
les quiero demasiado,
Hermana Draper

This is my 'dime' GG. 
I love this lady and I am going to miss her so much.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Hola Familia!!
Well... it's been another great week here in Westgreen. Last week started off with a super awesome miracle. It was around 8:40, so we had about twenty minutes before we had to be back to our apartment, so we felt like we should go to “fiesta” (the local supermercado) and see if there was anyone we could talk to. Well it was super full actually, but there was one lady in specific that I made eye contact with, but then she kept walking. Well we wandered in a bit, and then I saw her again, but then she was gone before I could talk to her! Then we were standing in an aisle and I saw her walk past, into the next aisle over. Well, not so casually we walked over and we just introduced ourselves. She said she was... of another faith. Oh. Okay. Well… But then somehow she ended up sharing that her daughter was in the hospital. We asked her if we could say a prayer with her, and she gladly accepted. After the prayer she asked again what church we were from and where it was at. We gave her a map to our chapel and our phone number. She explained that she had been sitting in the hospital all day long then all of the sudden something got her up and to the store at that moment. She told us she felt like she had to meet us for a reason. Wow! Unfortunately she was running to get back so we didn't get her info, but we are praying that she will call us or come to church next Sunday. It just shows that the Lord puts those prepared people in our path, we just have to open our mouths to find them!
On Tuesday we had an incredible zone conference. We talked a lot about the importance of us using family history work in proselyting. President Pingree explained the spirit of Elijah in a way so clear that I hadn't thought before, that it is the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the eternal nature of families, so what better way to connect them to the Holy Ghost and prepare them to receive the restored gospel! Also at the end, all the missionaries preparing to return home these next two transfers had time to bear their testimonies and there was one sister that said something particularly interesting. She told a story, but basically the point was that little kids don't get their "rest" from sleeping, but they get it from being with those that they love. And how as missionaries, where do we find our "rest"? Or what is it that "charges" us to keep going and how we should all strive to find it in the correct things. Not through worldly means, but the purest energy source, which is the Atonement and the love of Christ. Food for thought.
Then on Wednesday I got to go to Waller County for exchanges! It is actually the Waller area... but they cover three different cities... and they are all thirty minutes or more apart. Needless to say, it is very... well, what I imagined Texas to be. We had an awesome opportunity to teach a new investigator though. She is very dedicated to her church, but she said it doesn't hurt to learn... then she of course wanted to bible bash with everything we said. But, it was interesting because every doctrinal point that she tried to fight, we had an answer or clarification in the Book of Mormon. It just reaffirmed my testimony of how God knew there would be so much confusion, and so I am so grateful He has blessed us with more records to clarify those plain and precious things! 
Thursday was full of the plan of Salvation! One lesson in specific with one of the newer families we have been teaching was especially powerful. The plan just fills in so many gaps, and it is amazing to watch people as they take it in. At the end of the lesson we invited the daughter to say the prayer, who is a little wayward, and she agreed. Her prayer was so heartfelt with gratitude for the opportunity to learn more about her purpose, and the mom was crying by the end. The mom shared that she doesn't know why, but she feels so strongly that God led us to her family at that specific time.
You know... I just feel so under qualified for this calling... But I guess that's the point. I couldn't be more grateful to know that it isn't my work that we are doing, it is the Lord's, and so he is going to do his part if we do! Sorry I just keep going on and on... but we had another amazing lesson with the ‘missionaries’ sister! She agreed to pay a full tithe after her baptism, in her own way. Luckily we had a member with us who has a bit more experience, because she was very honest with us that she doesn't know the full income of her husband, and she doesn't work. She just has the money that he gives her. But she committed to pay ten percent of what he does give her. She had so much confidence that this would bless them in the ways that they need. She is really progressing so much and really considering baptism. Up until the moment that she shared that she wants her brother to baptize her... he comes home in March!! ...2015. Well, we are going to keep praying and I think he will probably persuade her otherwise. But either way, we will just keep preparing her and helping her build her faith so when the moment does come, she will be completely ready!
Okay, one last thing. On Saturday we had lunch with a member and they invited their friends who aren't members and we taught the first lesson, and we are going to keep teaching them! So for all of you here is an invitation, it is as simple as a meal appointment, but just invite other to meet the missionaries. You never know what could happen from there!
We had stake conference this weekend and Elder Pino of the seventy said that we don't have the role of judge to decide will accept or who not, we just have the responsibility to invite everyone!!
Well, that's all my time for today, hopefully I said something that made sense, but if not, just know that the church is true. The Atonement was made. And we can replace any fear, doubt, or pain with faith!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
les quiero,
Hermana Draper