Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Amoebas and English Classes

Hello hello to all my favorite gringos and gringas!

This week was a weird one that I will definitely remember! As far as missionary work goes it was a little rough, our baptism fell through yesterday unfortunately. She had smoked on Thursday but didn't tell us so she didn't pass the interview. We are working hard with her this week to help her overcome her addiction! Her daughter Mayra is doing really well, she came to church Sunday and has committed to keeping the Word of Wisdom AND she told us Saturday night that she knows the Book of Mormon is true which is amazing! We have a baptism lined up for Sunday with our longtime friend victor who has been investigating the church for almost a whole year and said that he finally feels like he KNOWS for himself. It has  been cool to see him try for a true conversion to the gospel so he doesn't just get baptized and then never come to church again. We are really needing to find some new people this week so that is our big goal for the week.

I taught my first english class friday night, and it was good! Victors son and three grand daughters came and picked up on the basics really well. They speak what they know when I see them and it is one of the funniest things ever. The son, Jugo, is like 35 and is from the federal district in mexico city, other wise known as chilango´s and today he told me he thinks I will leave more chilango than him. He is a way funny guy, I think we will be able to teach him soon.
Teaching English

Funny/Sad story for the week happened on saturday night. We stopped by victors store to see if he was coming to church and he was like hey what are you gonna eat for dinner? we were like well probably half an avocado why? "ok I will buy you guys helotes" he said, helotes are those nacho libre corns on a stick covered in mayo with cheese and chile. they are way stinking good but the guys walk around in the street with their mayo in a paint bucket all day in the sun and I think maybe its a germ sanctuary but we are poor and dont have money so we let the man buy us the salmonela on a stick and it was delicious. Well we got back home and went to bed and about 1:30 I got sicker than I have been in my whole life. Lets just say I spent way more time sitting and kneeling next to the toilet than I did sleeping. Around 4:30 my comp gave me a blessing because literally I don't think anything else would have killed those devil germs, and I fell asleep until about 9. we went to church, and then came home after and we slept until 7 or so with occasional trips to the bathroom to well you know. One of the sisters in the ward is a nurse and gave me the sketchiest medicine I have ever taken, but its the stuff the mission presidents wife said would kill what they thought were "amoebas" or that sixth grade biology garbage you look at in a microscope.But hey, I´m not sick anymore and    I´m pretty sure that I lost about 10 lbs which is a plus cuz I am getting chubby.

Me and Elder Gontes recovering Sunday night

Anyway, I hope you guys all have a great week, let me know if you want to lose weight and I´ll ship ya some legit parasites from the breeding grounds.
I also dropped some cartas in the mail so look for those in three months.
Love you guys,
-Elder Draper

My Zone - Sister Finlinson (Long hair with the Brown skirt) is from St George.

Me and Brownie - the happiest dog I have ever met.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Guitars, Temples, and the Hill of Macuitepetl

Hello family and friends! I hope you all had a really good valentines day filled with love and fun and happiest of presidents day! The time is really flying by here I feel like yesterday was christmas and now its february?? Time is nuts in the mission the days go by so quick and the weeks even faster. I feel like before I know it I will be in my last area thinking wow how did it go by this fast!

This week was pretty good we found some really good new investigators and have some baptisms lined up for the next few weeks. I am liking my new companion he only has six weeks left in the mission he is just starting to get trunky but we are working well together. I am really tired lately, we are running every morning on this hill in our area and we are working hard to try to revive the area it is nice to have work to do.
The view from our kitchen to the Cerro (Hill of Macuitepetl nature preserve)
The highlight of the week was last night! I called my converts in perote Gina and Miguel that got baptized back in december and they told me some awesome news, THEY WENT TO THE TEMPLE! Miguel was like we baptized my grandparents and my dad and my wife baptized her older sister that died a few years ago and it was so beautiful the temple is amazing this gospel is such a blessing in our lives! And then I talked with my ex companion and he was like "on sunday miguel got up and bore his testimony on the book of mormon and joseph smith and the temple it was so good" i was just sitting at my desk crying and my comp was like what is wrong with you but it was the coolest thing I have heard in the 4 and a half months I have been here. The church is true and it really changes lives.
Today for our pday we went to the center of the city and I finally bought a guitar this mexican guy tried to con me out of like 500 pesos because he thought I didnt speak spanish so I started speaking spanish and he was like ok I will speak in english and then his english was level 1 cholo so I was like no buddy its ok we can speak spanish and you can sell me the guitar for this much money and he did so that was a cool morning.

Me and Elder Gontes at Lunch today; the hermana made some killlleerrrrrrrr hot dogs!

Spiritual thought of the week is the importance of companionship study. we learn so much better as missionaries how to help our investigators according to their needs when we spend time together studying and practicing and putting goals for our week. I would recomend that as married couples you spend an hour once a week to study scriptures together, search for how you can strengthen your families and set goals as a couple for the week and month and then follow up with them every week, and set daily goals to accomplish weekly and monthly goals as a family. I know that this will be a source of peace in your life as you work together with the lord!
I hope you guys have a great week and remember to say your prayers! Good luck to you niños that are working on your mission papers hit me up when you get your calls!!
Do your homework and dont get senioritis!
Elder Draper

A big thanks to the ward for the letter/poster!!!

The sign says "It is prohibited to put trash here" but nobody cares......


Our church building is just a super big fresa house                 How we heat up our water to shower                   

Monday, February 9, 2015

Burger king, Walmart, and Month 4 in the mission!

Hello all, I hope you all had a fantastic week filled with many many great things!

This week was way good, we have set up some baptisms here in the last week for the next 5 weeks and that rocks my socks! we are teaching some really good investigators named Paty and victor that both are progressing really well and starting to gain testimonies for themselves. cool as can be to see changes in peoples lives, we invited them both to live the word of wisdom this week and it is going well! The blessings are real when we live the commandments.

Some cool parts about my new area are that we are in the middle of XALAPA the biggest city in the mission and it is so different. we take taxis everywhere which is kinda fun because my comp makes me tell em where we are going and he just sits in the back seat playing solitarie on our cell phone haha it is cool to talk to people who are from all over. Another cool thing is that this week on Wednesday the members that we eat with called and were like hey we cant feed you today but we left 300 pesos on our door step so grab it and have lunch on us. so we took a taxi to the center of the city to the mall and ate burger king. DEUTERONOMY after eating chicken feet and pig testicles for the last 3 months a mediocre hamburger was like prime rib. so dang good. there is also a  Costco and a Walmart here in Xalapa so food is a ton cheaper and we have a lot more variety.

This week I read a cool quote by Joseph Fielding Smith on the importance of the book of Mormon. "' it appears to me that no member of the church can feel satisfied until they have read the Book of Mormon one time or another and have contemplated it so as to be able to give testimony that it truly is an inspired record of the almighty and that it contains the truth; god cannot accept any member of this church into his presence if they have not carefully and seriously read the Book of Mormon." it is really an important part of our life long conversion as it contains the "fullness of the everlasting gospel"

Anyway, I hope you guys can start now if you haven't to read the Book of Mormon, ponder it in your heart and pray to God to know if it is true. I know that you guys can all receive a strong testimony because I have experienced it first hand.

Love you all, sorry no pics this week we literally have a lesson in 5 minutes and I gotta go catch a cab!!

OH ALSO BIG THANKS TO THE WARD I GOT MY CHRISTMAS LETTER THIS WEEK so that was awesome, thank you guys! and also thanks to the lewis fam for the christmas card you guys rock :)

read your scriptures,

-Elder Draper

Monday, February 2, 2015

Changes, and embracing trials like Mickey Mouse.


This has been a good week, but last night I found out some crazy news, I am getting changed! to Xalapa, the biggest city in the mission, it should be a good experience but I am bummed to leave my companion Elder Garcia! We have had some great work together the last two months. My new area is called Macuitepetl say that five times fast I dare ya ;)

Map of Veracruz State
Cerro de Macuitepetl - Xalapa

This week was kinda rough as far as work, a few of our investigators fell off the grid and then Sunday nobody came to church which was bummer but I was doing a lot of thinking yesterday and came to the realization of a few things.

The first is that the power of satan is real. just as real as the power for good, satan has power for bad and he is really good at pulling people away from the truth. sometimes I forget an interesting fact. satan knows us really well, he knows Jesus Christ, he knows the plan of god and he knows he lost already. just like a poor sport that knows he is going to lose is the first one to make the foul in basketball, satan knows he has lost and he is wiling to do anything to pull us down with him. BUT we cant let him because we too know the plan of God, and we know what we have to do to stay on the winning team.

The second is that the smallest good deed is better than the greatest good intention. Jesus was the best example of that truth.

The third is the difference between discouragement and disappointment. It is normal do be disappointed but we cant let ourselves be discouraged! As missionaries we often are a lot like mickey mouse who we all know and love. we are the full technicolor, whistling as we walk, happy go lucky elder mickey mouses until the trials of our faith come and then we often change to the old black and white mopey mickey mouse. we cant do that! we have to like mickey, stand up brush ourselves off and with our heads held high continue forward!

I love you guys, and would challenge you to all try to continue forward with heads held high through what ever trial you are now facing hand in hand with the savior.

Keep up the good work and go 49ers!

Elder draper

Elder Draper and Tenoch at the Ward Party
Last Breakfast in Altotonga