Monday, October 26, 2015

13 Months?!

Hello dear friends and family,

It definitely doesn't feel like the end of October! Part of it might be the continued warm(at least by English standards) weather or the fact that Halloween is still largely seen as a pagan and heathen tradition over here and not a lot of people celebrate but either way the fact that it will be November next week is crazy.

Elder Chrimes and I were very busy this week! On Tuesday we exchanged with other Elders in the district and I was able to go into their area. Working in a different area made the time go by really quickly and the rest of the week Elder Chrimes and I had a lot of appointments which filled our days and made them fly by. I'm happy that I get to serve another transfer with Elder Chrimes! Seeing the growth that he has made over the last 7 weeks has been awesome to see and inspires me to continue striving to change as well.

I know I've said it 100 times but I love serving in Croydon so much! There are a lot of dodgey things that happen in some parts of Croydon but it is such a cool place as well. The amount of different cultures and nationalities is amazing and it's fun to learn more about the parts of the world the people we talk to everyday are from. In terms of people within the mission and missionaries serving the England London South mission is one of the most diverse in the world. It always keeps us on our toes! It's a lot different than the visions of top hats and tea time(though they do love their tea) that I expected!

On Saturday Elder Chrimes and I had an experience that helped me to understand deeper the urgency of the work we are doing. We were walking on the street after an appointment fell through and we started talking to an older English lady named Rebekah. At first she seemed a little scared or just confused that we were talking to her but as she saw "Jesus Christ" on our badges she relaxed and started to talk about her own faith. She told us "17 years ago you never would have found a more godless person than me." and explained to us the change and joy that has come into her life since she's learned more about the Savior. The most interesting part was that she talked about some of the doctrine of her church and that she believes that God will establish His kingdom on the earth again before the Savior comes again. As soon as I opened my mouth I felt the Spirit strongly confirm to us and to her the promise we made to her as we explained that we are representatives of the Lord and that we are sharing that exact message, that the restoration of the Kingdom has happened and that she can enjoy the blessings of it right now. She accepted a Book of Mormon and told us that she would treasure it and study it with interest and the desire to know if it is true. We said a prayer with her on the street and as we finished she was noticeably holding back tears and said "Thank you, God bless you,". She texted us a few minutes later thanking us for the time we shared and wants to see us again soon!

I will never be able to deny the unique and powerful feeling of the Holy Ghost in my life, and especially on my mission. It is by that feeling that a midst confusion, misunderstanding, and darkness that I have felt peace and direction. That isn't unique to me or anyone, but is a blessing that Heavenly Father wants for all of His children. Being a missionary has helped me to live in a way that the Spirit can always be present and it is the standard I want to live the rest of my live by, to do nothing that will hinder or offend the Spirit in my life. Thank goodness for repentance for I am infinitely imperfect, but I will always keep trying and I expect you to as well! :)

Love you all!

Elder Draney

Monday, October 19, 2015

Another Autumn

Hello my friends and family!

This week was a good week! I'm very converted to the belief that happiness is a choice, Elder Chrimes and I were able to see that this week! Even though we weren't able to do as much "sit down" teaching with people in their homes as we would have liked we were still able to spend a lot of time out working hard to meet new friends and teach them the truths they need to hear and have fun doing it! There is always a peace that comes from working hard and doing the hard thing and we felt it this week, and we were also able to find new friends so the only way to describe it is that it was a good week!

Time to email is limited today so this won't be an incredibly long letter but a I will do my best!

On Wednesday we welcomed Elder McCombs and Elder Foster into Selsdon Ward and they are already doing a lot of good work! It's nice to have another companionship in the ward again, even though it was only 3 months it feels like it has been ages since we had more missionaries. We played some football (English football) and ping pong with them and another companionship today for P-day and I will include a picture of that as well!

Last week I mentioned that Elder Chrimes and I were excited to be very bold and fearless this week, and that's exactly what we did. We saw a lot of blessings come from heeding the advice of our mission president. I know that he is an inspired leader. I love President Gubler! It makes me sad to think I have less than a year to serve with him, but I'm happy that I still have quite awhile yet to serve with him.

I have to agree with you mom and dad that the second year seems to be going by a lot quicker. In a lot of ways it doesn't feel like this last transfer even happened It's an odd feeling realising that I have
served for more days than I have left to serve on my mission. So weird.

Elder Chrimes is doing so well! Going into this second transfer, he is training me! I'm really glad that we get so serve together for another transfer. Other than my trainer and Elder Probst he's the only other companion I have served with for 2 transfers. I can't wait, it's going to be a lot of fun! This transfer will be really busy as well so I know it will fly by, which I don't want to happen because I love Selsdon Ward. But there are always fun new things to come with a new area, so we will see where the Lord needs me to be next.

I love you all greatly! God is good. Trust in Him in all things and you will always have the peace and happiness that you need. It's simple and I am definitely not the first to say it, but it's true. I know it to be true, not of myself or of my own learning, but by the Holy Ghost revealing those things to me. A testimony is within us and is sustained largely by us, but it comes from conviction that can only be revealed to us by the Holy Ghost, and I am so grateful that I can act as one to guide others to their own experiences with the Holy Ghost as well. I love Heavenly Father, I love His Only Begotten Son, I love my mission, and I love you too.

Elder Draney

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Dear Friends and Family,

Another transfer down :( it goes so quick! It feels like a couple of weeks ago that I went to the Temple with Elder Probst to pick up Elder Chrimes and now we are already 6 weeks into our companionship!

The good news is that I am staying in Croydon! Even though we both knew that we have 6 more weeks of training together Elder Chrimes and I were a bit nervous that one of us might be moving, but thankfully we are both staying! Five transfers in an area is by far the longest I have spent in an area so far but I am truly blessed that I have been able to stay here as long as I have!

The other good news is that we aren't going to be the only missionaries in our ward anymore! Tomorrow with another group of new missionaries coming into the mission there are a few more areas in the mission opening up and the second area in Selsdon Ward is one of them! Tomorrow an Elder I don't know yet (Elder McCombs) and a new missionary he will be training are coming to serve with us in Croydon! We spent a few days last week cleaning up the flat they will be living in and doing other things to prep it for them and now we are just waiting for them to get here. Another companionship in our district will be nice too, should be a lot of fun!

Yesterday we had a training meeting with President Gubler and the whole zone, it was very powerful. We spent a large amount of time discussing the miracles that we are seeing in our areas and how we need to be more bold. Being bold is so much fun. :) Naturally at the beginning of my mission and for awhile afterward being bold and confident in situations that are uncomfortable was probably my weakest point. Over the past few months I have improved a lot but President Gubler has asked us as a mission to be as bold and loving as we can, to fear no man. After the meeting yesterday that is exactly what Elder Chrimes and I did, we went out and preached the gospel fearing nobody but the Lord. We have already seen improvement in our work and the way that we need to work to find everyone the Lord is preparing. We are excited to continue working and fearing no man!

Last week I mentioned going to Leeds Castle as a district but I wasn't able to send a lot of pictures so there will be more coming this week! Castles are cool. It's that simple. Hopefully we will visit more soon!

My mission is a testimony to me of the truthfulness of this work in so many ways that it is hard to describe. There are many spiritual experiences that I hold close, but the missionaries and people that I have met are a huge boost to my testimony as well. A few weeks into my mission a member got up to bear testimony and quoted from a friend of theirs saying "Missions are where the fun is." and I wholeheartedly agree! Back then I wasn't so sure, but now I cannot deny it.

Love you!

Elder Draney

(I tried to send some panoramas from my iPad but they are too big to send so I apologize for that)

Monday, October 12, 2015


P-day is tomorrow because of moves, Elder Chrimes and I are staying in Croydon. We had another zone training today and President gave us permission to send this. We will email tomorrow! Love you!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fun week!

Hello my friends and family!

It's Fall already! I'm starting to repeat seasons on my mission now, I don't know if I'm ready for that. Only one more English Autumn is a sad thing to think about, but only having one more rainy English Winter makes up for it!

I'm emailing later today because we had a really cool P-day as a district to Leeds Castle! It's the first time I've been to what I consider a "proper castle" since I've been here! It was a lot of fun, we took loads of pictures and we haven't shared them yet so we will have to do it that later on but I will include some that I took! It's a really old castle in the middle of a lake with a moat and huge scenic grounds and the works! Everything you would expect from an English castle.

This week was really busy but we were able to teach and work with a lot of God's children that have been prepared to live the Restored Gospel. I've enjoyed my time serving in Croydon so much and it all has to do with the people. I've been privileged to serve alongside great companions, in a fantastic ward, and been able to make so many lifelong friends in the short time that I have been here. That is a witness enough for me of the divinity of this work. I will forever be in debt to Heavenly Father for the experiences that I have had on my mission and the areas I have served in. And I still have a year left! :)

General Conference is always great on a mission, it's already my third time watching conference in my mission! Last year I was still in the MTC during Conference and I remember distinctly thinking that it would be a looooong time before October Conference again, but I stand corrected. I felt the speakers give messages tailored to my needs and questions by the Holy Ghost. Having 3 new Apostles sustained was interesting indeed, I miss the apostles that have passed especially Elder Packer, but I look forward to hearing more from those that were called and sustained this last weekend!

Yesterday we have a very cool lesson with a friend of a member in our ward. She invited us to come to their home and teach her friend with her and her husband yesterday and it went very well. The experiences we have as missionaries especially spiritual experiences are hard to describe in words so I won't try to. The best way that I can describe it is that she is very prepared to hear the gospel. She has been searching for a long time and she felt strongly about what we discussed in the lesson and expressed so much thanks for the things we taught her. It always makes everything we do worth it to teach those that are ready and have been waiting!

Time is especially short today but I hope I got enough across! I love you all so much! I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you greater than I do, turn to them and I know you will feel their love greatly.

Elder Draney