Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

Dear Family,

This week was definitely an interesting week! It was so weird to say goodbye to Elder Poulino as he moves on to a new area and get a new companion this week! The only bad part is the goodbyes though because I love the new people serving in my district!

Elder Rife is my new companion and he's such a champ! He's the only member in his family and loves being out on his mission, he's a year ahead of me almost to the day. We get along really well and have seen many blessings take place in our area. Elder Poulino and I both expressed many times that we were certain that the work in this area would hasten during January and it definitely has! We've already been able to teach a handful of really good lessons and contact people who expressed interest in the past. We're looking forward to the coming weeks and have lessons planned for most of the days this week!

I am very concerned about Bob. He told us a few times before Elder Poulino left that he had really taken to us as a companionship and said we were a really good team. What I'm afraid of is him losing a bit of the fire as he transitions into getting to know Elder Rife. We met with him on Wednesday briefly and that's the last time we were able to see him other than church on Sunday. I called him on Saturday to see if we could stop by later in the evening and he said that we couldn't. Something in the sound of his voice when he said it really scared me and I'm worried about how the next few days will play out. I have faith that the Lord will guide us as to what we need to do. Both of us almost at the same time had the feeling that we need to help his wife, Monica, grow more interested in the church. She's really nice to us as missionaries but has never expressed any interest in our message. We will go forward prayerfully and have the faith that it will play out the way the Lord needs it to.

It's been such a fun time to be able to serve in the Christchurch ward for these past few months! I've grown to love the ward so much and can't wait to serve here for at least another month! It's crazy how fast the time goes by sometimes!

We were able to teach 2 lessons this morning and they went really well. The first lesson was a uni student that is studying theology. His name is Adam and he already has a solid Christian backround and belief in Christ! We taught him the Restoration on the street a few weeks ago and taught him about he Plan of Salvation today. He seemed way excited and his face lit up a few times during the lesson as we talked about the pre-mortal life! The other lesson we taught was to a long-time investigator named Jasmine. She has been taught just about everything and knows that the Church is true. She is already friends with a lot of the ward members and loves the missionaries. The only problem is that she works on Sundays and is busy every other day of the week. We have scheduled to teach her just about everyday this week because she is off of work and we are really excited to see how it goes. Both of these lessons happened on prompting. We felt prompted to call Potential investigators last night and called Andy to set up an appointment. We felt prompted this morning to text Jasmine and see when she was available and we were able to teach them both so quickly! Andy was planning on getting his hair cut today and we met him right afterward and Jasmine found out literally this morning that she would be off of work because of an injury!

I love being a missionary so much. We get so many opportunities to bless peoples lives and feel the Christlike love that the Savior has for them and also ourselves as we do that service.

Another prompting I felt this week was to call a potential named Rosemary that we had tried to teach in the past but she always canceled appointments. She is from Brazil and speaks English very quickly and can be super hard to understand sometimes. I called her and the first thing she said was "When are you guys coming to see me?!?". We scheduled to meet her later in the morning and when we got there she was in a bit of a state. She had locked herself out of her house and couldn't get inside and the Church where she had her spare key was closed until Sunday (the next day). We taught her a little from the Book of Mormon and for the most part just listened to her and tried to help her feel calm and at peace. She told us that she was Bi-polar and her meds were locked inside her house and that was why it was such a big deal for her and why she was so worried. We prayed with her a few times and she sobbed through the prayers both times. We then left to go get some food for her and try and contact the church and get her keys. We were able to get her some food and even buy some Brazilian soda for her so she wouldn't go hungry for the day. The look on her face made everything I've done on my mission so far completely worth it. She looked so touched and the relief that came to her face was so wonderful to see.

I have such a testimony of the worth of missions. I've only been out briefly but I know that it would have been the biggest mistake of my life to have not come on a mission. It is such a wonderful opportunity to grow and bless the lives of others. The other day I concluded that there isn't anytime wasted on a mission as long as you're always working. The happy times are wonderful and make it a happy experience and the hard times strengthen and refine us so that we are better prepared for the future and to enjoy more fully the blessings to come.

All of you perspective Elders need to go on missions. The Lord has been and will continue to prepare you and those you will meet. Not all missions are the same but the blessings that come to those you serve and that you receive are eternal and cannot be counted.

I love you all so much and pray for your safety each day. Finding ways to serve others along your way will fill your life will much joy.


Elder Draney

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