Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I'm safe

I don´t have a lot of time, just letting you know that I am in my new area and I´m not dead.

Mi compañero es Elder Rosas, de Arequipa Perú.

Love you.
Elder Draney

I´ll try to read some of your emails, but I doubt I´ll have time to respond.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pretty good week

Dear Family and Friends
Lots happened this week. Thanksgiving was pretty good. We had turkey and real mashed potatoes for lunch. Got to watch a devotional by Elder Niel L. Anderson live from the Provo MTC, which was really good.

When we first got here we thought the avensados, or the people who had been here for a few weeks when we got here (I think that translates to the advanced, but I probably spelled it wrong), were crazy. Now we understand. On Thanksgiving night the others in my room and I couldn't sleep, so we somehow ended up telling the stupidest jokes and then dying after because we thought they were hilarious. I think about them now and they really aren't funny, we just thought they were because it was late I guess.

I've had lots of other funny experiences this week, but I can´t remember them right now. Super fun week. I´m gonna be sad when I leave because I've grown pretty close with all the people here, especially my district. Also really excited to leave.

Last night we had a Christmas devotional because we were turning on the Christmas lights around the CCM. Elder Montoya of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke. I didn't ask if his first name was Inigo, but I should have. We had lots of Christmas related musical pieces. I was in three of them. Two were just general CCM choir pieces, but one of them was a special smaller choir that I somehow ended up in.

We sang As The Shepards Watched Their Flocks by Night, and it was super good. I hadn't ever really been part of a good choir before, and it was surprisingly fun (yes, you told me Dad). I´m glad I was able to participate in that piece. After that we watched a short Christmas video put together by the church. It showed Temple square in Utah with all of the Christmas lights and snow, which made me really sad cause I won´t be able to see those together for two years, pero está bien.

I was also really happy when to walk outside after the Devotional with all the lights on cause it was super pretty. We had about an hour where they just let us walk around and talk to people cause we had tons of visitors there. It felt really weird cause we weren't really doing anything for the first time in five weeks.

Anyway, the reason I´m excited to leave is because after the devotional we were able to meet President Boswell, the president of the Lima East Mission. Super awesome guy. We talked about a lot of stuff. He said he already knows who our first companions are gonna be in the field. I can´t wait to start serving the people of Lima Perú. The CCM has been a super good experience, and I´ll never forget some of the people I've met here, but I really want to get to work for real.

It feels like I've been here forever, but when I think about how it´s been five weeks already it feels like it´s gone by so fast. There probably won´t be an email next week since I leave the MTC on Tuesday, and Preperation Day in the field is on Mondays. There will be lots more pictures next time cause I´m gonna try to take pictures with everyone I can, and hopefully some of the city as well.

I´m probably gonna think of something else I wanted to say as soon as I send this Email, but oh well.

Anyway love you all.
Elder Draney

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Hello dear family and friends,

There´s a lot to talk about this week, and I doubt I am going to remember it all. The biggest thing is that we went outside of the CCM on Saturday to go prozlytzing (I am 100% sure I spelled that wrong) with a member of one of the wards about 20 minutes away from the CCM.

It was a pretty poor part of the city. Smelled really bad, the traffic was terrible, the streets were gross, and in a lot of places just dust. However, the people were really cool. We didn't end up actually teaching anyone because both of the appointments that were made before hand fell through.

The member we were with was an older dude who lived nearby, and we went into his house for a little bit. It was super bare, except for a pretty nice tv he had for some reason, but whatever. His table was just a simple fold out table with three fold out chairs.

Elder Garbett had the good idea of sharing a message with him, so we both just told him our favorite scriptures. I shared 2 Nephi 4:17-21 with him and pointed out my favorite phrase to him, which is at the end of verse 19. "and when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted". Super good scripture.

Based on what other people told us, the guy we were with had a pretty nice house compared to the other ones. There was a pretty bare dusty mountain nearby with really steep stairs, and apparently that´s where the poorest people live because they have to climb up there all the time. I was told that the houses up there are all super small and bare and not really that well built. Someone else told me about a house not on the mountain that was about the size of my living room plus kitchen with only three rooms that had 6 people living in it. I´m so excited to teach these people.

It reminds me a lot of Alma 32 when he´s teaching all of the poor people that were cast out of the other churches because they were so poor, and how humble and ready they were for Alma´s message. I hope I get to start off in one of the poor areas.

Anyway, on Sunday we watched a devotional from Christmas in the Provo MTC a few years back with Elder Bednar. He talked about Christ´s character verses our own character, and how because Christ´s character is to always 100% of the time turn outwards he was able to perform the Atonement, while most of the time we turn inwards and worry about ourselves. He was pretty straight forward in his message, talking about how we need to stop caring so much about ourselves and get to work, and that we will only find ourselves we aren't looking but are rather focusing on helping others.

One thing he said that struck me a lot was "Who cares what you want?" I can´t remember if it was just my thoughts or he actually said it, but the answer is the natural man, who is an enemy to God. Of course Christ also cares for us, but in a different way than we would care for ourselves, a non-selfish way. It was a super good devotional and I did not all do it justice, so I would encourage you to watch it if you have an opportunity.

Anyway, only two weeks left here. I´m excited to leave and get to work serving the people of Perú, but I also don´t want to leave mostly because I´m going to miss my district a ton. They are all super good people, and I feel like I´ve known them forever.

\Luckily a lot of us, all of us except Elder Marcum and Elder Lunt and the Hermanas, are going to the Lima East mission, so hopefully 1 or 2 of them will be my companion in the future. We had lots of funny moments this week, but I don´t have time to share them unfortunately.

Apparently the cooks are making us Turkey and potatoes on Thanksgiving, and there´s gonna be a special devotional that we´ll get to watch from the Provo MTC, so Thursday is gonna be an awesome day.

Love you all.
Bye for now.
Elder Draney

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kinda slow week

Hello dear family,

Ate lots of chicken and rice. Then some rice and chicken. It´s growing on me. It helps that the chicken is never the same.

We taught Ana and Rolando some more: We are really sure where to go with Ana. She hardly asks questions while we teach her. We are´t sure how she feels about the Book of Mormon or anything because she gives really vague responses to our questions, usually just that whatever we said was interesting. I tried to teach her the fall, which is hard in English, let alone Spanish. Unsurprisingly she just said that she had never heard of the fall as a good thing and that it was interesting. I asked her to read Alma 32 last lesson, which is a about faith, so hopefully that will help her.

Teaching Rolando is going very well. During our second lesson he expressed that he believed in the Book of Mormon, and asked a ton of questions about the atonement, but luckily so did Daniel, so I had practice explaining it en Español. We could tell he was feeling the truth of our message and that he felt sorrow for his sins, so Elder Garbett and I extended a baptismal invitation and he accepted.

We've only gotten to teach him once since then, and we only had 8 minutes because the Hermanas taught before us and took forever, but it was still a good lesson. He said he wanted to have more faith in Christ because he felt like other people were going to be hard on him for being baptized and other things, which happened to be a big part of our lesson, so I gave a very brief overview of it then gave him a pamphlet about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was good because one of the sections was on faith, and then invited him to read Alma 32 as well, so despite it being a short lesson, it still went well.

No more earthquakes so far. The older group of gringo elders left early this morning as well as the Latino elders. We get another group of both late tonight. Sad to say goodbye. Some of the Latino elders are really cool. I took picture with three of them, which I will send after. The first was Elder Dubon, who I met playing soccer. he´s really cool. Didn´t get to talk to him much.

The second is Elder Anguaya, who is from Ecuador. His middle name is Washington, so that translated into a joke about him being both the president of the u.s., which honestly would be better than the current predicament, and Capitan America at the same time. He´s super cool. Really good a soccer despite being so short. He is allowed to have long hair because apparently it´s part of the culture of the village he came from.

Last is Elder Malanado, Elder Anguaya´s companion. He´s super smart. I think he´s fro Puerto Rico, but I don´t remember for sure. He speaks really good English, so I always asked him when I wanted to know how to say something. He also speaks french, and went to school for engineering before coming. He´s like 25, but still super accomplished for his age. Also good at soccer. He is Iron Man, I think just cause his companion is Capitan America. He made a joke about fighting people with irons. And he also does magic tricks, but I didn´t get to see them. They´re both super funny.

Love the people I´ve met so far. Can´t wait to meet more. Again sorry if my spelling is terrible. the only thing I read in English anymore is my scriptures, and it doesn´t help that the computer marks everything as wrong.

Anyway love you all. See you next week.
Elder Draney

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lo siento...

Hello family and friends,

Apparently the group email I sent last week did not send, so im going to froward a similar one I sent to those who didn't get one last week.

So two earthquakes the first two days. Another very small one on Sunday. Pretty cool. During the second one, which happened at 10:45 at night, one of the Elders in my hall came running down the hall yelling YOUR LIVES ARE IN DANGER, GET TO THE SAFETY CIRCLE. Up to this point everyone was calm in bed, but after that everyone hurried out of bed and started down the hall until the latino Elders came out and told us to calm down. Turns out the Elder who was yelling was Elder Jackson, the only African American Elder in the whole CCM. So that was pretty interesting.

Anyway, Elder Grabett is my companion, and he is from Arizona. We started teaching two new investigators this week, Ana Flores, who is our teacher Hermana Altimerano, and Rolando Rodriguez, who is our other teacher Hermano Quispitúpac. Our lessons are going well so far. For the most part I am able to teach in pretty rough Spanish the whole lesson without looking at my notes or anything. Pretty crazy considering I could barely understand what people where saying when I came.

Ana is really interested in prophets, so our lessons so far have been focused on that. We've only taught Rolando once, but he has two sons out on missions in Mexico and Bolivia, so we made our first lesson pretty family centered. He also seemed really interested in the Book of Mormon, so next lesson will be focused on that. Hermano Quispitúpac told us after we finished teaching Daniel that he died in a plane crash and went to spirit prison. He drew it on the board . Pretty funny. He makes us laugh all the time.

They started serving pizza a couple times a week. Hopefully they keep it up. It´s definitely not the same as american Pizza, but it´s good enough considering almost every other meal is rice and chicken. For breakfast we always have these really weird eggs with some really liquidy yogurt, which is the best thing we get usually, some milk that definitely isn't cow milk., and some fruit. The fruit is always either cantaloupe, which is good, or papaya, which is not good, and they both look super similar so it´s a guessing game every morning.

We went to the temple last week, which was awesome. The temple is pretty small, but still really good. There was a guy near the temple selling some pretty sweet ties and scripture cases. Very much looking forward to going back today.

Driving here is insane. I thought my mom was a crazy driver, but by standards here she´s pretty normal.

Also side note this is a Spanish computer so the spell check tells me I´m spelling everything wrong, so I have no idea if anything is spelled right.

We play Soccer with the Latino Elders almost everyday, but they´re crazy good, so we try to make sure they aren't all on the same team. Some of the American Elders are really good also, like Elder Grabett who is a crazy good goalie.

I can´t think of anything else to say right now. I´m sure in half an hour I will think of tons of things, but oh well.

Love you all. See you next week.
Elder Draney

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's been a pretty long week...

Dear Family and Friends,

It´s been a pretty long week. The language study is crazy. They gave us two days to study the language, we started on Thursday, then on Friday evening we taught Daniel, our first investigator.

First lesson didn't go so well because we couldn't say a lot of the things we wanted to. I´m grateful for my years of Spanish in high school because so far it´s help me at least understand what people are saying most of the time. So in the first lesson he asked a lot of questions, and I was able to understand for the most part what he was saying, but Elder Garbett and I struggled to answer the questions. The second lesson Saturday was a lot better because we planned out what we were gonna teach and then translated the phrases and things in Spanish. We also knew a lot more frases de El Evangelio, or phrases of the gospel, the second time, so we were able to answer his questions better.

We usually end up going in circles kind of because there´s only so much we can say. Third lesson also went well. We started teaching him the plan of salvation, which we think will be important to him because he said su familia es muy importante, or his family is very important, and knowing that his family can be saved will be good. He´s really hung up on Jesucristo being more than just un profeta. We keep telling him that Jesucristo es muy important para elo plan de salvaccion, but he doesn't understand why, so tonight we are going to teach him the atonement part of the plan of salvation so hopefully he will understand.

The food is interesting. We have had rice and chicken for almost every lunch and dinner. They made an attempt at pizza on Saturday, and hamburgers last night, which was nice. They also have lots of good juices, like maracuya (no idea what´s in it or why it´s called that), and chica mordada, which is pretty much purple corn juice. They also have some not good juices that I don´t remember the names of. They give us leche at breakfast, but I don´t think it´s cow milk. Basically meals are really hit or miss.

My district, Ammon, is really awesome. I have a picture I'll send separately.

From left to right their names are Elder Lunt, Elder Marcum, the district leader, Elder Jepson, Elder Ianni, Elder Dexter, who is, you guessed it, very good at basketball, Elder Finch, me, Elder Rompain, Elder Earnshaw, Elder Garbett, Hermana Snepf (don´t think I spelled hat right, but the "p" is silent) and finally Hermana Savage.

Also we have a really cool teacher named Hermano Quispitupac, only person so far who has a cooler name than Hermana Savage, and he is also playing our investigator, Daniel. We asked hermano Quispitupac if he was gonna be teaching us the whole 6 weeks because we were switching investigators on Friday, and he said yes, and when we all got excited he said we was superman
to us. He's pretty cool.

The first day he came in and spent almost 10 minutos going around and very animatedly telling everyone buena tardes and mucho gusto. It was really funny.

Anyway I need to email some other people so that´s it for this week.

Love you all.
Elder Draney

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I've arrived safely...

I've arrived safely. So far its been pretty normal. It´s more humid,
but I´m used to it already.

My alarm clock broke after being plugged in for 10 minutes. I think it was because the outlets here output more power than American ones, so I´m going to buy a new battery powered one once I leave the MTC. Also shower sandals are pretty important apparently, and I can´t buy any till I leave. I don´t think I need them here because they have good clean facilities.

It´s pretty poor. We passed lots of empty looking, mis-matched empty looking apartments on the way here. The MTCis very nice. Lots cleaner than the rest of the city that I have seen.

Everything is pretty inexpensive. I saw a sign for Burger King stuff that cost only a few soles. I traded $40 and got s134. Sorry we didn't email when we arrived. I was past 2 a.m. when we finally got to the MTC.

Anyway, I´m doing well so far.

Love you.
Elder Draney

P-day is Wednesday, so I will email again then.