Monday, December 29, 2014

Prospero Año Nueva,!

Hey everyone! 

I hope you all had a great christmas, and that you all remembered the real meaning of christmas :) This was probs the weirdest christmas of my life but super funny! On christmas eve we were in the city and were going to eat with this family the familia pita, after my comp talked to his family. So we left the church around 7:30 to go there but when we got there, all the lights were off, and nobody answered the door! We called, but no answer, they stood us up on christmas eve those grinches! It was funny though, after that around 8:30 we went and got pizza from this place called econo-pizza or as my comp has rightly renamed it, econo-gas. typical mexico. We bought two large pizzas, a big grape fanta, and some cookies and played uno and ate until 12:30, it ended up being really fun we just told stories about family, stuff in the mission, cool scriptures, all that jazz. Good christmas eve.

Christmas Day I talked with my family and that was awesome! Shout out to mom and dad and tait, you guys are my main people. Hahaha during the skype with them this stray dog runs into the church, and into the secretaries office where I was talking and just starts eating my bag I was like "hold on, I´m in mexico gimme a sec" typical mexican stuff. After we were supposed to go eat with the same fam that stood us up on christmas eve but guess who wasnt home? the same scrooge family as the night before!! hahaha mexicans man, I love em. We ended up eating with the sister down the street and all was good, then we went to the stake center and played games with our zone, we taught them how to play rugby and that was a mess so we ended up getting back into soccer, typical mexico. then president got there with a cake, and ephraims rescue and we watched that and ate then went back to sleep at our district leaders house. Like I said, it was a weird christmas man! but way fun, and memorable none the less.



Sunday miguel and gina were confirmed and miguel got the aaronic priesthood. I cant believe seeing the change, miguel was coming to church in shorts and a t shirt and a base ball cap the first week, and yesterday he was in dress pants, dress shoes, a sweater, he was wearing the tie we gave him, he looked awesome!! Gina cried the whole meeting, we were feeling the spirit, it was all good in the hood.

Today we had to pack up our house and clean the whole sucker because we are moving tonight! we are going to the big city about an hour away so that should be interesting, this guy in the ward has a big van that he thinks we can fit all of our stuff in but if not we can just tie it on top of the roof. Typical mexico. 

Thats pretty much it for this week, I hope you guys all had a great christmas and have the hap hap happiest new year.

I know that this church is true, and I know that through diligence and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, we can live happily and feel the love of our Heavenly Father as his eternal children.

I love you guys and please,

Always remember to spay and neuter your pets.

-Elder Draper

Monday, December 22, 2014

Marriage, Baptisms, and Mexican Haircuts


Hello family and friends, can ya believe i have almost been out for 3 months and christmas is this week??? This week was the best week for a few reasons, one I got  NEW COMPANION Elder Garcia, from bogata columbia. he is seriously the best, we are working really well together which is so nice. we worked in perote this week and we will be here until the first of january,

We are trying to find a new house in altotonga so we can move next weekend and work there and here, we are the only missionaries in the mission working in two areas, which is way cool! we are working in altotonga because there isnt enough priesthood leaders to split the ward and open a house of prayer here in perote so we devided the area yesterday with the bishop and ward mission leader so that was good. We will work and live in altotonga but come to perote twice a week to work with joseline and alejandro for the next few weeks and then only once a week for references or stuff like that. Kinda crazy, we will have to take a bus when we come to perote it is about an hour in the bus that is so packed with mexicans its crazy, like there is probs 40 seats, and there are well more than 70 people on this bus, I will take a pic for next week.

Any way, this week was really good because we were planning on marrying gina and miguel! We went over to their house wednesday to pick them up to do their blood tests (you have to do that here idk why) anyway we got there and gina was crying and we were like shoot whats up? so we talk for like five minutes and then gina said something, miguel said something and crap hit the fannnnnn. they started fighting and it was crazy because we were just sitting there like um....scriptures...love one another...we were there for AN HOUR just trying to calm their sweet spirits. it was nuts man. I was trying not to laugh so hard, I only understood like every three words and it was honestly way funny me and my comp just looked at eachother like what do we do?? anyway, after an hour, they made up, kissed, and we got the heck out of there. What did we learn kids? Satan is real and doesnt want them to be baptized. Even crazier part, we went to drop their papers off at the civil registry and the judge is like you have to wait eight days and you dont have the right birth certificates. if you can get it to me in less than 20 minutes your fine for friday. so we hauled it over to miguel and ginas the mexicans were probably like why is the CIA running through the streets of perote? oh thats a funny part of being white and being here. people ask me if I am in the cia in america. jajaja anyway, so we made it anddddd they got married friday! but once again can you tell satan did not want them to get baptized?  oh fun fact and another satan thing we had to freaking pay the judge off to let them get married because she sucks, we both payed 300 pesos, which in reality is less than 30 bucks but it is a lot for us considering we live on 200 a week. all good though bc president reimbursed it.

Ok so if you havent understood me yet, GINA AND MIGUEL GOT BAPTIZED it was so cool, they were both so excited and funny, and after we asked them how they felt and miguel was just like ahh...super bien. clean. very different. all smiles and gina was just cry/laughing like wow this is a cool thing. The church is true!

Today I got a haircut and I was so fetching scared because it was this 600 year old viejito lady and her hands were all shaky the whole time but she didnt cut my ear off and Iron giant was on their huge television. we were there forever because well she moved like a 600 year old. we watched like the whole movie and it was a testament that my spanish is way better because I understood like the whole movie.

anyways, that was about it for this week! love you guys, and I hope you all have a great christmas, I know I will because I get to talk to my fam! send me emails, pics of your lives, I want to see what america looks like. mexico is kinda boring after a while ;)

Don´t spike the eggnog.

Elder Draper

Lastly a little trick we have here for getting references, we pick a name like jose luiz or alejandro or maria, because everyone in mexico is named one of those three names. we go to a tienda and ask hey we are looking for a guy named jose luiz on this street do you know where he lives and almost every time they are like oh well there is one in the blue house, the yellow one, and house number 6 oh and my name is maria, we ask them about their family and we end up leaving with like 18 references. it rocks.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Golden calf, Guadalupe, Drama, And Cambios

Querido familia y amigos,

I hope all of you had a fantastic week, and for the missionaries in the phillipenes, I hope you are drying up from the typhoon! This week was kind of nuts but it was good nonetheless. Monday after our pday we went to  our neighbor Daisy and juan carlos´s house. juan carlos went to college in the us so his english is almost perfect. I taught a lesson in english while my comp sat there and talked to the wife it was weird in my brain to hear both, understand both and try to not mix the words up! anyway, it was honestly way harder to teach in english than it was in spanish. I know why I am speaking spanish! anyway, I taught him about the first visión, and the bom and then did a question answer in english, it was cool. I also gave him one of the only english books I have, our heritage to help him increase his vocab, and also teach about the church LOL sneaky right?

 My district leader and I did divisions on tuesday and taught a family home evening to gina and miguel and man the spirit was way strong! we have been strugling on getting gina to get married asap so they can get baptized but we taught on the temple and eternal families and gina just was crying and was like yeah, now I know it is true and it is important. Lets get married this week. FLIP YEAH RIGHT?! then to put the icing on the cake, her Little boy emelio goes "mama, quiero tu y papa ser casada aquí" or " I want you and dad to get married here" and points at our pic of the temple! THANK YOU ADORABLE MEXICAN NIÑO. Gina Just starts crying and me and my companion are just tim tebowing in the middle of the room like yes yes that is right this church is TRUE! YES. haha it was good man. BUT we have to wait one more week because of Guadalupe.

This week was the week of Guadalupe, Guadalupe is the virgin that the catholics worship here and it was like Guadalupe day on the 12th. Basically Guadalupe is their Golden calf! everyone put lights and sirens on their cars, the busses, the taxis, shoots Fireworks at all hours of the night, and everything is closed, including the courthouse where gina and miguel can get married. The streets were filled with people chanting prayers, lighting torches and Fireworks, and just making noise, we didnt even get close to the central park in perote. We mostly met with less actives all day.

Church was good, one of our investigators, joseline came and so did her sister and brother in law who are members in perote, we drove in their sketchy car and that was....well sketchy. but we lived! it was cool, she was excited to go and liked it more than her member family did I think!

Now to the changes and drama from the week. My companion Elder abreu is 26 years old, and is one of the hardest people to work with I have ever met in my life. I really am struggling with him, but I have been loving him because he is my comp right? well yesterday night after church we went to lunch, and after lunch we went back to our district leader and his comps house so abreu could use the bathroom. Well the district leaders companion and my companion were like hey we are stressed, let us stay in perote tonight and I am like no that is dumb I want to go to my house and eat my peanut butter and sleep in my bed. So they convince the district leader it is a good idea so they leave and I am like no that is dumb man. anyway, our president calls last night to tell the district leader he was going to be with his comp for another 6 weeks, be patient, and love him! then he asks to talk to Elder maimo, his companion and he is like uh....he is asleep. so president calls my companion in perote, finds out that they did divisions, calls my district leader and goes "Elder, why did you lie to me? we will talk tomorrow." and hangs up. I was like DANG. glad I am an ignorant White guy. so presidente called this morning and was like uh youre retarded, dont do that again. and then tells me "Hey Elder draper, I am sorry that you got put in the middle of the worst of the worst" I was like, once again, DANG haha it was crazy. so we went to get our changes from our zone leaders and my comp is a junior companion, the district leader is a junior companion, I have a new trainer, and they probably are closing my área. DRAMA RIGHT. I know I was put in perote for a reason,and I have learned a ton, I am ready now to go to work for real though!

Funny story of the week, I eat a ton of eggs because they are way cheap and good. I eat like 5 a day. well this week I told an hermana that, and she makes us the spicest food I have eaten since I got here, eggs and beans with tortillas that seriously like burned my tounge. WELL. Lets just say I maybe got super sick the same night. Super Super Super, sick.

Anyway, I hope all of you have had a wonderful week! Don´t forget to eat your vegetables, make cookies for santa, and cook your eggs thoroughly.

Love you all,
-Elder Draper

LASTLY! Go read luke chapter two with your family, it is the story of christs birth and is way good.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Xalapa, Exchanges, and Ninis

Querido Familia and Amigos! 

Merry christmas season! The snow is coming here in perote haha just kidding its just cold. Wow congrats to the peeps who got their calls in the last little bit! so sick! We are doing pretty good here, tuesday I was in xalapa with elder wright and the rest of my district, we had to go on a three hour bus ride, but once we got there we hung out in the office all day, and got to eat real pizza! little sleazers! it was great, we went to the visa office and put down our finger prints and signed some papers and that was it, so we were in the office from like 11 to 7. We got to go to walmart, that was pretty cool! It was fun to see all the guys from the mtc. We take this super nice bus service when we travel to the office or for changes it is called ado, and they show movies hahaha it is like a game here to see who can see the best movie, we watched this awful british movie translated into spanish.

Fun random fact: here we use this word ¨planch¨ it means literally to iron but it is also when you use the scriptures or gospel to put someone in their place. It is also known as bible bashing.

Tuesday night elder wright and I stayed in altotonga on our district leaders couch and that was good. their house is kinda gross, super mc moldy. Anyway,wednesday me and my district leader did splits in perote and taught some really good lessons and got two new investigators. we are doing this thing as missionaries that I am sure some of you have heard about, it is called HE is the gift. it is this video on mormon.org and we have these little cards that we push, we give out ten a day and it is working really well, last week we recieved maybe 8 or 9 reffrences and this week with the cards we have recieved 35 since tuesday. crazy stuff.

 Wednesday I talked with my ZL because I have been kind of strugling with my comp, he is dead because he has like a month and a half left in the mish and has flight plans home, so he is super trunky and doesnt want to do anything. Elder Lopez talked to him and it has been a ton better since then. 

BAD NEWS. No house of prayer here in perote for a while. Our stake pres told us there is no money, so yesterday in testimony meeting my comp and I told the ward the reason that people couldnt get baptized is because they dont pay there tithing and to repent and pay today. PLANCH. We had gina and miguel come to church yesterday which is great, I think they will get married friday cross your fingers! if they do we will baptize them on sunday. we have another guy named alejandro that is an ancient investigator who couldnt get baptized about 3 months ago for some repentance stuff and we talked with him thursday and he will probably get baptized next week as well. we are stoked. 

Thursday we talked with one of our new investigators named hasan. he is dating a member here and so we started teaching him, aparently the old missionaries didnt fall him well but he liked me and elder barth. thursday me and elder abreu went over and hasan was quiet and abreu was like hey whats up man? hasan goes ¨tengo pena con tigo¨ basically you embarass me. THIS KID IS A DORK. he is fifteen and chubby and feo and the member is a cute sister like she is not an ugly person, but her whole family calls him a nini. ni trabajo ni estudio ni hace nada. or ¨he doesnt work or study or do anything¨ haha tomorrow me and elder barth are going over to teach him again to try to gain his trust a little more.
Funny story of the week, dont use google translate for homework. Its aweful, all these kids here have english classes and they ask me to check their homework and when I read it its just super scattered and makes no sense. they just type everything into google translate and man it is for real bad. dont cheat kids.  

Last thing before I head off, we got the stats back last week and my mission is the second highest baptizing in mexico, we baptized 233 last month! The lord is hastening the work, and we live in a time with so many blessings, I dont know if you saw but the main header for youtube yesterday was owned by the church it was the he is the gift video, and the advertisements you have to watch 5 seconds of before the video you want to watch? he is the gift. It was estimated that 78 percent of the world saw at least a glimpse of the video yesterday. The church also bought out most of the electronic banners (the five biggest) in times square that showed on repeat what? HE IS THE GIFT. It was supposedly seen in 160 of the 190 countries in the world. The church is true guys, go watch he is the gift. It makes me cry almost every time. OH and last thing for real, go search ¨gordon b hinkley final testimony¨ I watched it yesterday and it made me sob like a six year old girl. So darn good. anyway, love you guys, stay safe, don´t eat yellow snow.

We are staying in teziutlan tonight again and in the morning my whole generation is going to xalapa to work on our visas. i guess we could get deported if it doesnt happen tomorrow so that is important. Oh also, today there was this giant freaking protest in altotonga for fresh water so we were worried about getting to xalapa. basically imagine that you had to get from lehi to provo, but three hundred people were sitting on I15 and that is pretty much our situation but it is going to work out, because we are leaving in the morning now.
Enjoy your week, I will talk to you soon!!

-Elder Draper

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving, Devotionals, and Dragons

Querido familia y amigos,

Hola! Wow today is my two month mark can you believe it? I am loving it here, we are struggling in perote still because none of our investigators can come to church but I talked to the stake president last night and it is looking like we are for sure going to have it for the 14th of december can you say merry christmas?? We are so excited because our investigators will finally be able to progress. We had kind of a crazy week, tuesday we were in teziutlan and I ate chicken feet with this giant mexican guy who hates gringos, it was pretty funny. he just made rude jokes about me and the other missionary from the states! fun fact, right now I can hear imagine dragons down the street, people here love them and blast their music alllll the time. 

How was everyone´s thanksgiving?! I hope all of you ate your hearts out and remembered the things you were thankful for. Our thanksgiving was good, It was my comps bday so I bought some little cakes and that was what we had in the morning after studying, he got some candy from this lady that loves the missionaries and also owns a candy shop down the road from our house. It was fun to see elder abreu blow out our "candle" that was really just a piece of paper rolled up and on fire that we stuck in the cake.
That is pretty much everything for the week! If you guys have the chance go check out mormon.org and watch the new christmas video it is super cool. I also read a great quote from president monson this week "despite what comes, this great cause will go forward." it is true man! nothing can stop the work of the lord. I love you guys, hope all is well. 

For lunch we had this mystery meat soup and crickets! crickets taste like pretty bad peanuts with legs. and for dinner instead of going out for tacos, I got way sick with the double headed dragon. If you don´t know what that is, lets just say I was very very sick!! hahaha it was goood though, I was fine the next day, I think it was either the mystery meat or the crickets. I think I have lost weight since I got here, we walk about 10 or 12 miles a day because our area is really spread out. I have giiiiaaaannnntttt calouses on my feet.

Last night was our christmas devotional and it was way good! we sang like 7 songs, watched some videos and heard some great messages. We had a ton of people there too so that was great, none of our investigators could go because it was too expensive for them to travel but a lot of misisonaries had people there and we recieved a ton of refrences as a zone. The devotional got over way later than we expected so we had to spend the night in teziutlan, and my comp comited us to move some people so we moved peeps from 10 until like 11 last night and that sucked. but it was all good!