Monday, June 29, 2015

One year older, but none the wiser - 29 June 2015

[Jacob's birthday was 27 June 2015]

Dear Family,

There is never a dull week in Croydon, but it is always especially exciting as a missionary. Besides any sort of special events that may have taken place during the week it was a good week for missionary work as well. We set a baptismal date with one of our investigators that I haven't mentioned before, Martin, and he's planning on being baptised on the 18th of July. We had a good amount of appointment and time to do finding as well so it was a really balanced and fun week!

The long anticipated and very bitter-sweet week of President and Sister Millar's departure has come. Today is the last day he will be my mission president and tomorrow the mantle will pass to President Ronald Gubler. I remember Dad saying that he had two mission presidents also so you will know how it feels to say goodbye to a beloved mission president but also be excited for the change and new relationship with a new mission president. I'm really looking forward to meeting President Gubler later this week and interviewing with him later on. There are lot's of new mission presidents and old ones going home this week all over the world so there is a lot of change going on. We had our last Zone Training with President and Sister Millar on Friday and President Gubler will be here tomorrow to take over. We took a picture as a zone so that will be coming with the email.

Though I said there is never a dull week in Croydon, there are definitely dull moments when it comes to writing about them in an email! Most of our hours are spent seeking new people to teach and invite so the majority of the experiences that we have are out contacting in the streets and this week especially it was a struggle to have good discussions with people or set another appointment with them so there aren't any cool contacting stories this week.

Saturday was a really cool day though. We started off in the morning doing service for the ward by clearing out a parking lot of a local clinic. We spent a couple of hours trimming shrubs and bagging all the branches and the people we did it for were really grateful. After that we went with the other missionaries to get pizza and wings for a "proper birthday meal". Regardless of what the picture looks like, it was really good! Later in the afternoon we went to see Allen, Sadie, and Keyan to play basketball with them in the park. They found out it was going to be my birthday about a week before so I knew they were planning something but had no idea what it was. When we went over to there place we sat down on the couch and a few minutes later they came in with a bag and a card! You know how I am about birthdays and gifts so after a bit of protesting I opened up the bag. The bought me a harmonica! Allen is way into music and we've talked about making music on P-day so he bought me a harmonica so I could start jamming and messing around back at the flat! I was so grateful! I couldn't believe it either!

The second part of the story will get it's own paragraph because it's way cool. After that we headed to the park to play basketball and started playing on half of one of the courts. After about 5 minutes a crew of eight kids from about 16-20 years old just started shooting on the same hoop and messing around so Elder Probst decided to challenge them! We played 5 on 5 with Elder Probst and I, Allen, Keyan, and one of them against the rest! At first we were a little bit worried but as soon as Keyan started us off we knew everything would be fine! Keyan is an animal at basketball! He's 11 and about 5'3" but he schooled them every time they challenged him. We ended up beating them in a pretty close game but we bonded a lot as friends as well as missionaries to investigators so it was one of the highlights of the day!

Thank you so much for the package! I love everything in it, but especially the Mountain Dews ;P. I'm savoring a lot of it so it will last and I really did wait until Saturday to open it! Thank you for the birthday wishes and everything!

Time is short so I will have to end for now, but I will include the pictures!

I love you all!
Elder Draney

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