Monday, September 28, 2015

Wake me up when...

Hello my friends and family!

I don't think I will ever stop complaining about how fast time is going. So I thought I would get it out of the way early! Might as well get used to it.

Croydon never ceases to amaze me! So much can go on in a week! We were busy with service projects and teaching this week so we weren't able to contact as much as we would have liked but it was a wonderful week nonetheless.

On Tuesday we met with all the missionaries in the zone to council and train each other on ways that we can improve our work. Elder Chrimes and I were asked to give a training for about 3o minutes to 2 different groups of missionaries and it went really well! I'm learning a lot more how to be confident in front of many people and it all comes down to being guided by the Spirit. I would never be able to deny the feeling of speaking words that aren't of my own crafting to those who need it that I have felt on my mission, and I know I felt that when we presented on Tuesday.

The highlight of the week was a lesson that I wasn't even a part of! Last Saturday we got a referral from missionaries in a bordering area for a man that they had invited to a baptism earlier that day and had actually received a referral for themselves but found out that he lives closer to our area so they passed his information. We gave him a call a few minutes later and he sounded really excited and wanted to come to church with us the next day! We set everything up but he wasn't able to make it due to work but met with us at the chapel just after church and we were able to get to know him a little more.

His name is Robert and he his from Holland! He has actually been in contact with the church and missionaries for several months in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He recognizes the light and joy that he feels from the church and it is something that he knows comes from God. We made a solid connection with him immediately and I had the strong feeling that Heavenly Father guided him to us and us to him, technically the other missionaries made a mistake referring him to us because he doesn't live in the ward boundaries but he is actually planning on moving into our ward. The part that I missed due to exchange was a lesson on Tuesday where Elder Chrimes and another Elder where able to get to know him a lot more. During the lesson they asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said that he has been thinking about it for a long time and has decided to do it! We haven't figured out exactly when, because he is on holiday in Holland this week, but we will be seeing him later this week and going to watch Conference with him this weekend! I will let you know more as time goes on!

Elder Chrimes and I are still having loads of fun in Croydon! This week was easily one of the fastest of my mission! I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be Elder Chrimes' first companion and help him to maximize his potential! He's already grown so much! He's a way better missionary than I am. :)

I am very excited for General Conference this weekend. Elder Scott's passing this week was a sad loss, but just as all others who have gone before he has finished his mortal probation and is one do continue his work elsewhere. It will be interesting to see 3 new apostles be called and sustained, it seems like it has been ages since new apostles were called. I look forward to sustaining them this weekend and hearing the words of the Lord spoken to us! I hope you are too!

I've got pictures this week!
The first one is of our zone training this week! Not my best picture.The second is an introspective moment on the train. Train rides are nice!The last one is chickens sitting on a drying rack in a members back yard! They could fit in my hand when I first got to Croydon! Hopefully the pictures aren't upside-down!

I love you all so much!

Elder Draney

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hump Day!

Hello my friends and family!

This past week was a really fun week! It went by so fast. There were lots of interesting things that happened that made it an enjoyable week!

It's not the only thing that has gone by fast though. The title says it all. This week I will have officially been in England for a year! I don't know what to think. It's a crazy feeling but is scary at the same time, only having a year left is a mixed bag of emotions so I won't even try and to explain it!

Elder Chrimes and I were able to do a lot of good work this week but we saw a lot of miracles on Tuesday. We received 2 different referrals from missionaries in other areas with people they met or have been teaching that are moving to Croydon and want to be taught, referrals are always great!

The coolest part of the day happened as we were trying to contact another referral at an address we had been given. We tried their house but they also had a neighbor living below them and another flat above them. After no success with the address we were given, 11A, we tried 11C downstairs and got an answer but he said he knew that a man lived in 11A but didn't know much else. As we went to walk away I felt to try 11B and so said to Elder Chrimes "Let's try 11B" so we went to ring the doorbell to see if we could teach them. A little while after we rang we heard a someone ask who it was on the other side of the door and after saying we were missionaries, a woman answered the door and talked to us through about a 6 inch gap. We began talking to her and after a few moments asked us to come in! We went in and taught this woman, her name is Patricia, all about the Restoration and she was very interested throughout the time we were there. Patricia accepted everything we taught and was especially grateful that we asked her to pray and receive her own answer rather than just believing us. We are going to see her again tomorrow! That's the second time I've been let in my whole mission, and both of them have been with Elder Chrimes!

On Wednesday we went on exchange and the Elder that I went with is in the Marine Corps back home so woke up early and did some crazy bicep exercises which I've been recovering from all week!

The rest of the week wasn't filled with particularly exciting experiences but it was still a very good week! I love serving in Selsdon Ward so much! I'm grateful I have 2 months, in theory, more to serve here with Elder Chrimes!

Elder Chrimes is such an all-star! He has overcome a lot of challenges over the past few weeks and has grown a lot. He's a hard worker and has a sincere desire to help God's children. I love serving with him! He's teaching me a lot more than I feel like I am teaching him!

I love you all! I want you to know how grateful I am for my mission. I have learned more, hurt more, struggled more, rejoiced more, and loved more this year than I ever have in my life. Seeing the change that serving a mission with a true heart and desire to work has wrought in me and so many others strengthens my testimony greatly. I know that some missionaries aren't the best examples, and some walk away from everything they have done, but I know that it all comes back to the way they serve and their love for the Lord. As we serve with all our heart and are obedient to all His commandments, I know we will see His hand in our lives and sustain our testimony through all things. I don't believe that, I know it.

Thank you for everything you do! :)


Elder Draney

Monday, September 14, 2015

Elder Chrimes

Hello Family and Friends!

These past few weeks have been some of the busiest/most stressful of my mission so I have to apologize for not sending a weekly letter last week! Things have settled down a bit so there is more time today to sum up the past few days!

The first bit of news is my new companion Elder Chrimes! Elder Chrimes is from Swindon, England and has been in the mission field for about a week and a half and we have already done a lot of good work! ​It has been a big adjustment for sure but we have seen the hand of the Lord in all things. I know that He controls every phase of this work. We are able to be part of many miracles and are so grateful for that!

This past week has been pretty intense, a lot of changes have been made across the mission and in our area as well so there is a lot of adjusting. I'm grateful for the opportunity to stretch and grow because I know that it means the Lord loves me and trusts me enough with these situations. Putting our complete trust in Him is the only way forward at times, I know that He doesn't leave us, no matter how long it may seem that He has sometimes.

Elder Chrimes and I were visiting some people on Thursday when as we were walking along we said "Hello" to a man just a few feet up the sidewalk. As soon as he looked at us he said "Can I have your Bible?" and pointed to the Book of Mormon I was holding. Of course you can have it! As we gave it to him he talked about how he knew a little bit about the church but asked us to give him the basics of our message. We were able to teach him about the restoration and at the end he expressed his thanks and interest in finding out more! His name is Henry and he is originally from Ghana, he left his home in search of truth and answers to many of the questions he has. We promised him that he will find them as he learns more and prays for guidance and a confirmation of the things we will teach him! We will call him today to set up another time to teach him in the near future! That was our miracle this week!

I'm so grateful for all you do! Let me know more of what is happening with you! I love to hear it! I love you all so much! Talk to you soon!

Elder Draney

P.S. Here are some pictures of Elder Chrimes and I as well as an exchange I went on with another missionary, Elder Mutariswa from Zimbabwe! The last one is a picture of a house that we found Elder Chrimes' first time knocking haha!

Monday, September 7, 2015


I'm on finally! Here with Elder Chrimes! He's from Swindon England and he lives about 3 hours away from Croydon... But we've had a lot of fun so far and he has a good attitude about it! You mentioned that raining might be a lot harder than I thought it would be at first, and you were right. Things have settled down a lot but the first few days were really draining, haha. Elder Baum that is friends with Carson who was in the MTC with us came back into the mission this transfer and I
thought a lot about training him but it didn't happen. I love Elder Chrimes! He was really quiet at first but he's opened up a lot, still very nervous to contact people but he is already a really good teacher. As soon as I hugged him for the first time and talked with him on the way back I knew that he would be a lot like me at the beginning of my mission. I'm on for a little so I can chat as well and will try to do a big email but it will probably be short!

[Editor's note: I don't think he ever got a chance to send "a big email." I don't recall seeing one from that day. There were several pictures!!]

London Temple the night Elder Belnap and Rife left, the night before Elder Chrimes(silent "h" by the way, pronounced "Crimes") got here.

Elder Probst and I right before he left the flat for the last time! Comp Mario visors from McDonald's!

Croydon clock tower at night as well, just a random picture!