Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

Dear Family,

The time is going by so fast! I feel like I say that a lot but it really does feel like it gets faster and faster every week! The work has been hastening over the past few weeks and it has been awesome to reap some of the rewards of the work we've been doing over the past few months to build up the ward in Christchurch!

There haven't been too many developments on our investigators this week but Jasmine is still planning on being baptized this Saturday! I'm so excited! It's been a privilege to be able to teach her over these past few weeks and see the growth she has made in that short time! The light that has come into her life is so apparent and we can tell she has a lot more hope for the future! She's even talked about serving a mission! It's a long ways away and is a big commitment so we'll see what happens but it shows her dedication to living the gospel already! She's getting a new job so she can come to church on Sunday!

I'm really glad to see that my EMT certification came in the mail! I was getting a little worried about it when I never heard anything for so long! I'm glad it lasts until March of 2017 as well! Hopefully that way I can do enough continuing education to keep the certification up to date and not have to re-test!

I'm really glad to hear about Oscar as well! I know he can be a pain sometimes but I love him to death and appreciate so much you taking care of him while I'm gone! It'll only be 2 years anyway!

I realized the other day how much I've been blessed on my mission but especially with the people around me. My companions and those in my districts have always been such wonderful people and every one of them have built me up in one way or another. The Christchurch Ward is also filled with amazing people! They feed us often enough that we don't get even close to starving and always make sure we have a fun time when we come. Many of the members have helped us with our investigators and the times when we prayerfully involve a family in the teaching process are the ones that make the most progress! The Smith's have been perfect for Jasmine and have helped us so much over the past few weeks! Paul Greenacre and his family are the main reason that Bob has made so much progression recently. During Zone Conference this week we were strongly encouraged to involve ward members as much as possible and I can definitely see why! I love the members of the Christchurch Ward!

It's been such a blessing to be on my mission so far and I know that it is just the beginning of the blessings that will come into my life and the lives of others during my time here. Missions are blessings in so many ways it's impossible to quantify it. It is hard sometimes but those are vital to our personal progression in the gospel as well as strengthening us against the buffetings of the Adversary. A hymn that has quickly become one of my favorites since I've been serving is "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul". One of the lines in the 3rd verse is "Chasten my soul till I shall be in perfect harmony with Thee" and that really struck me the first time I heard it. It shows perfect faith and submission to the Lord and willingness to change completely to adopt that attitude about this life. I like to repeat it in my mind and always have it as a goal whenever I feel like I fall short. I know I will never get anywhere close during my time on this earth but it is the purpose behind our lives at this time and forever, to be refined until we are in perfect harmony with our Heavenly Father and His Son. I wish I could write lyrics like that. Vocal Point does a very good version of it and is definitely worth a listen.

I understand my purpose in being here more everyday. I know I was called to serve in England and that Christchurch is where I need to be right now. Nothing else I could be doing would be nearly as important. Thank you all for supporting me and keeping in contact with me while I am here.

I love you all!
Elder Draney

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