Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I'm safe

I don´t have a lot of time, just letting you know that I am in my new area and I´m not dead.

Mi compañero es Elder Rosas, de Arequipa Perú.

Love you.
Elder Draney

PS
I´ll try to read some of your emails, but I doubt I´ll have time to respond.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pretty good week

Dear Family and Friends
     
Lots happened this week. Thanksgiving was pretty good. We had turkey and real mashed potatoes for lunch. Got to watch a devotional by Elder Niel L. Anderson live from the Provo MTC, which was really good.

When we first got here we thought the avensados, or the people who had been here for a few weeks when we got here (I think that translates to the advanced, but I probably spelled it wrong), were crazy. Now we understand. On Thanksgiving night the others in my room and I couldn't sleep, so we somehow ended up telling the stupidest jokes and then dying after because we thought they were hilarious. I think about them now and they really aren't funny, we just thought they were because it was late I guess.

I've had lots of other funny experiences this week, but I can´t remember them right now. Super fun week. I´m gonna be sad when I leave because I've grown pretty close with all the people here, especially my district. Also really excited to leave.

Last night we had a Christmas devotional because we were turning on the Christmas lights around the CCM. Elder Montoya of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke. I didn't ask if his first name was Inigo, but I should have. We had lots of Christmas related musical pieces. I was in three of them. Two were just general CCM choir pieces, but one of them was a special smaller choir that I somehow ended up in.

We sang As The Shepards Watched Their Flocks by Night, and it was super good. I hadn't ever really been part of a good choir before, and it was surprisingly fun (yes, you told me Dad). I´m glad I was able to participate in that piece. After that we watched a short Christmas video put together by the church. It showed Temple square in Utah with all of the Christmas lights and snow, which made me really sad cause I won´t be able to see those together for two years, pero está bien.

I was also really happy when to walk outside after the Devotional with all the lights on cause it was super pretty. We had about an hour where they just let us walk around and talk to people cause we had tons of visitors there. It felt really weird cause we weren't really doing anything for the first time in five weeks.

Anyway, the reason I´m excited to leave is because after the devotional we were able to meet President Boswell, the president of the Lima East Mission. Super awesome guy. We talked about a lot of stuff. He said he already knows who our first companions are gonna be in the field. I can´t wait to start serving the people of Lima Perú. The CCM has been a super good experience, and I´ll never forget some of the people I've met here, but I really want to get to work for real.

It feels like I've been here forever, but when I think about how it´s been five weeks already it feels like it´s gone by so fast. There probably won´t be an email next week since I leave the MTC on Tuesday, and Preperation Day in the field is on Mondays. There will be lots more pictures next time cause I´m gonna try to take pictures with everyone I can, and hopefully some of the city as well.

I´m probably gonna think of something else I wanted to say as soon as I send this Email, but oh well.

Anyway love you all.
Elder Draney

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Prozlytzing"

Hello dear family and friends,

There´s a lot to talk about this week, and I doubt I am going to remember it all. The biggest thing is that we went outside of the CCM on Saturday to go prozlytzing (I am 100% sure I spelled that wrong) with a member of one of the wards about 20 minutes away from the CCM.

It was a pretty poor part of the city. Smelled really bad, the traffic was terrible, the streets were gross, and in a lot of places just dust. However, the people were really cool. We didn't end up actually teaching anyone because both of the appointments that were made before hand fell through.

The member we were with was an older dude who lived nearby, and we went into his house for a little bit. It was super bare, except for a pretty nice tv he had for some reason, but whatever. His table was just a simple fold out table with three fold out chairs.

Elder Garbett had the good idea of sharing a message with him, so we both just told him our favorite scriptures. I shared 2 Nephi 4:17-21 with him and pointed out my favorite phrase to him, which is at the end of verse 19. "and when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted". Super good scripture.

Based on what other people told us, the guy we were with had a pretty nice house compared to the other ones. There was a pretty bare dusty mountain nearby with really steep stairs, and apparently that´s where the poorest people live because they have to climb up there all the time. I was told that the houses up there are all super small and bare and not really that well built. Someone else told me about a house not on the mountain that was about the size of my living room plus kitchen with only three rooms that had 6 people living in it. I´m so excited to teach these people.

It reminds me a lot of Alma 32 when he´s teaching all of the poor people that were cast out of the other churches because they were so poor, and how humble and ready they were for Alma´s message. I hope I get to start off in one of the poor areas.

Anyway, on Sunday we watched a devotional from Christmas in the Provo MTC a few years back with Elder Bednar. He talked about Christ´s character verses our own character, and how because Christ´s character is to always 100% of the time turn outwards he was able to perform the Atonement, while most of the time we turn inwards and worry about ourselves. He was pretty straight forward in his message, talking about how we need to stop caring so much about ourselves and get to work, and that we will only find ourselves we aren't looking but are rather focusing on helping others.

One thing he said that struck me a lot was "Who cares what you want?" I can´t remember if it was just my thoughts or he actually said it, but the answer is the natural man, who is an enemy to God. Of course Christ also cares for us, but in a different way than we would care for ourselves, a non-selfish way. It was a super good devotional and I did not all do it justice, so I would encourage you to watch it if you have an opportunity.

Anyway, only two weeks left here. I´m excited to leave and get to work serving the people of Perú, but I also don´t want to leave mostly because I´m going to miss my district a ton. They are all super good people, and I feel like I´ve known them forever.

\Luckily a lot of us, all of us except Elder Marcum and Elder Lunt and the Hermanas, are going to the Lima East mission, so hopefully 1 or 2 of them will be my companion in the future. We had lots of funny moments this week, but I don´t have time to share them unfortunately.

Apparently the cooks are making us Turkey and potatoes on Thanksgiving, and there´s gonna be a special devotional that we´ll get to watch from the Provo MTC, so Thursday is gonna be an awesome day.

Love you all.
Bye for now.
Elder Draney

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kinda slow week

Hello dear family,

Ate lots of chicken and rice. Then some rice and chicken. It´s growing on me. It helps that the chicken is never the same.

We taught Ana and Rolando some more: We are really sure where to go with Ana. She hardly asks questions while we teach her. We are´t sure how she feels about the Book of Mormon or anything because she gives really vague responses to our questions, usually just that whatever we said was interesting. I tried to teach her the fall, which is hard in English, let alone Spanish. Unsurprisingly she just said that she had never heard of the fall as a good thing and that it was interesting. I asked her to read Alma 32 last lesson, which is a about faith, so hopefully that will help her.

Teaching Rolando is going very well. During our second lesson he expressed that he believed in the Book of Mormon, and asked a ton of questions about the atonement, but luckily so did Daniel, so I had practice explaining it en Español. We could tell he was feeling the truth of our message and that he felt sorrow for his sins, so Elder Garbett and I extended a baptismal invitation and he accepted.

We've only gotten to teach him once since then, and we only had 8 minutes because the Hermanas taught before us and took forever, but it was still a good lesson. He said he wanted to have more faith in Christ because he felt like other people were going to be hard on him for being baptized and other things, which happened to be a big part of our lesson, so I gave a very brief overview of it then gave him a pamphlet about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was good because one of the sections was on faith, and then invited him to read Alma 32 as well, so despite it being a short lesson, it still went well.

No more earthquakes so far. The older group of gringo elders left early this morning as well as the Latino elders. We get another group of both late tonight. Sad to say goodbye. Some of the Latino elders are really cool. I took picture with three of them, which I will send after. The first was Elder Dubon, who I met playing soccer. he´s really cool. Didn´t get to talk to him much.

The second is Elder Anguaya, who is from Ecuador. His middle name is Washington, so that translated into a joke about him being both the president of the u.s., which honestly would be better than the current predicament, and Capitan America at the same time. He´s super cool. Really good a soccer despite being so short. He is allowed to have long hair because apparently it´s part of the culture of the village he came from.

Last is Elder Malanado, Elder Anguaya´s companion. He´s super smart. I think he´s fro Puerto Rico, but I don´t remember for sure. He speaks really good English, so I always asked him when I wanted to know how to say something. He also speaks french, and went to school for engineering before coming. He´s like 25, but still super accomplished for his age. Also good at soccer. He is Iron Man, I think just cause his companion is Capitan America. He made a joke about fighting people with irons. And he also does magic tricks, but I didn´t get to see them. They´re both super funny.

Love the people I´ve met so far. Can´t wait to meet more. Again sorry if my spelling is terrible. the only thing I read in English anymore is my scriptures, and it doesn´t help that the computer marks everything as wrong.

Anyway love you all. See you next week.
Elder Draney





Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lo siento...

Hello family and friends,

Apparently the group email I sent last week did not send, so im going to froward a similar one I sent to those who didn't get one last week.

So two earthquakes the first two days. Another very small one on Sunday. Pretty cool. During the second one, which happened at 10:45 at night, one of the Elders in my hall came running down the hall yelling YOUR LIVES ARE IN DANGER, GET TO THE SAFETY CIRCLE. Up to this point everyone was calm in bed, but after that everyone hurried out of bed and started down the hall until the latino Elders came out and told us to calm down. Turns out the Elder who was yelling was Elder Jackson, the only African American Elder in the whole CCM. So that was pretty interesting.

Anyway, Elder Grabett is my companion, and he is from Arizona. We started teaching two new investigators this week, Ana Flores, who is our teacher Hermana Altimerano, and Rolando Rodriguez, who is our other teacher Hermano Quispitúpac. Our lessons are going well so far. For the most part I am able to teach in pretty rough Spanish the whole lesson without looking at my notes or anything. Pretty crazy considering I could barely understand what people where saying when I came.

Ana is really interested in prophets, so our lessons so far have been focused on that. We've only taught Rolando once, but he has two sons out on missions in Mexico and Bolivia, so we made our first lesson pretty family centered. He also seemed really interested in the Book of Mormon, so next lesson will be focused on that. Hermano Quispitúpac told us after we finished teaching Daniel that he died in a plane crash and went to spirit prison. He drew it on the board . Pretty funny. He makes us laugh all the time.

They started serving pizza a couple times a week. Hopefully they keep it up. It´s definitely not the same as american Pizza, but it´s good enough considering almost every other meal is rice and chicken. For breakfast we always have these really weird eggs with some really liquidy yogurt, which is the best thing we get usually, some milk that definitely isn't cow milk., and some fruit. The fruit is always either cantaloupe, which is good, or papaya, which is not good, and they both look super similar so it´s a guessing game every morning.

We went to the temple last week, which was awesome. The temple is pretty small, but still really good. There was a guy near the temple selling some pretty sweet ties and scripture cases. Very much looking forward to going back today.

Driving here is insane. I thought my mom was a crazy driver, but by standards here she´s pretty normal.

Also side note this is a Spanish computer so the spell check tells me I´m spelling everything wrong, so I have no idea if anything is spelled right.

We play Soccer with the Latino Elders almost everyday, but they´re crazy good, so we try to make sure they aren't all on the same team. Some of the American Elders are really good also, like Elder Grabett who is a crazy good goalie.

I can´t think of anything else to say right now. I´m sure in half an hour I will think of tons of things, but oh well.

Love you all. See you next week.
Elder Draney




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's been a pretty long week...

Dear Family and Friends,

It´s been a pretty long week. The language study is crazy. They gave us two days to study the language, we started on Thursday, then on Friday evening we taught Daniel, our first investigator.

First lesson didn't go so well because we couldn't say a lot of the things we wanted to. I´m grateful for my years of Spanish in high school because so far it´s help me at least understand what people are saying most of the time. So in the first lesson he asked a lot of questions, and I was able to understand for the most part what he was saying, but Elder Garbett and I struggled to answer the questions. The second lesson Saturday was a lot better because we planned out what we were gonna teach and then translated the phrases and things in Spanish. We also knew a lot more frases de El Evangelio, or phrases of the gospel, the second time, so we were able to answer his questions better.

We usually end up going in circles kind of because there´s only so much we can say. Third lesson also went well. We started teaching him the plan of salvation, which we think will be important to him because he said su familia es muy importante, or his family is very important, and knowing that his family can be saved will be good. He´s really hung up on Jesucristo being more than just un profeta. We keep telling him that Jesucristo es muy important para elo plan de salvaccion, but he doesn't understand why, so tonight we are going to teach him the atonement part of the plan of salvation so hopefully he will understand.

The food is interesting. We have had rice and chicken for almost every lunch and dinner. They made an attempt at pizza on Saturday, and hamburgers last night, which was nice. They also have lots of good juices, like maracuya (no idea what´s in it or why it´s called that), and chica mordada, which is pretty much purple corn juice. They also have some not good juices that I don´t remember the names of. They give us leche at breakfast, but I don´t think it´s cow milk. Basically meals are really hit or miss.

My district, Ammon, is really awesome. I have a picture I'll send separately.



From left to right their names are Elder Lunt, Elder Marcum, the district leader, Elder Jepson, Elder Ianni, Elder Dexter, who is, you guessed it, very good at basketball, Elder Finch, me, Elder Rompain, Elder Earnshaw, Elder Garbett, Hermana Snepf (don´t think I spelled hat right, but the "p" is silent) and finally Hermana Savage.

Also we have a really cool teacher named Hermano Quispitupac, only person so far who has a cooler name than Hermana Savage, and he is also playing our investigator, Daniel. We asked hermano Quispitupac if he was gonna be teaching us the whole 6 weeks because we were switching investigators on Friday, and he said yes, and when we all got excited he said we was superman
to us. He's pretty cool.

The first day he came in and spent almost 10 minutos going around and very animatedly telling everyone buena tardes and mucho gusto. It was really funny.

Anyway I need to email some other people so that´s it for this week.

Love you all.
Elder Draney

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I've arrived safely...

I've arrived safely. So far its been pretty normal. It´s more humid,
but I´m used to it already.

My alarm clock broke after being plugged in for 10 minutes. I think it was because the outlets here output more power than American ones, so I´m going to buy a new battery powered one once I leave the MTC. Also shower sandals are pretty important apparently, and I can´t buy any till I leave. I don´t think I need them here because they have good clean facilities.

It´s pretty poor. We passed lots of empty looking, mis-matched empty looking apartments on the way here. The MTCis very nice. Lots cleaner than the rest of the city that I have seen.

Everything is pretty inexpensive. I saw a sign for Burger King stuff that cost only a few soles. I traded $40 and got s134. Sorry we didn't email when we arrived. I was past 2 a.m. when we finally got to the MTC.

Anyway, I´m doing well so far.

Love you.
Elder Draney

P-day is Wednesday, so I will email again then.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Elder Joshua Draney is serving

Josh left for Peru today on the 6:30 a.m. flight. He flew from Twin to Salt Lake to Atlanta to Lima.









Monday, September 19, 2016

Elder Jacob Draney is home

Jacob has completed his mission. This site will now house Josh's missionary letters. 

:-----:

Called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ as a full-time missionary in the England London South Mission

Call received: 8 May 2014
Entered Preston MTC: 25 Sept 2014
Entered mission field: 8 Oct 2014
First area: Christchurch
Second area: Southampton
Third area: Croydon
Fourth area: Crystal Palace
Fifth area: Peckham
Released from full-time missionary service: 18 Sept 2016


Mission Address:
The London Temple, West Park Road
Newchapel, Surrey
England RH7 6NB
United Kingdom

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The final email

Believe it or not this is the last weekly email I will write on my mission.

It hasn't set in that I will be going home next week, I think it will probably finally hit me on the morning that I wake up and go to the train station, but I'm not complaining I want to make every second count.

In the Preston MTC I assigned to serve with Elder Mahrt, and then a week later we gained Elder Schulthies to our companionship. From both of them I learned how to smile and have fun no matter what, and that the Lord provides us with the strength we need to fulfil our callings.

My first area was Christchurch where I was trained by Elder Poulino. From Elder Poulino I learned lessons that blessed me my entire mission, but especially how to be diligent and work hard no matter how hard or long the day may be. Then I served with Elder Rife, who taught me the importance of being yourself as a missionary.

After that I served in Hamble River, where I served with Elder Remon. From him I learned to completely rely on the Lord. I also served with Elder Senkans from my MTC group. With Elder Senkans I learned the importance of acting on faith and walking the Lord's path, whether or not we can see the way before us.

Next I served for a long time in Croydon! I served first with Elder Belnap, who taught me how to gain the trust of those around us by serving them and loving them. After that I served with Elder Probst, who taught me the priceless nature of a full-time mission and gained a greater love for reading the scriptures.

In Croydon I was also blessed to serve with Elder Chrimes from the beginning of his mission. I served with him for a long time and learned many lessons, but the greatest of all was the importance of constantly and consistently improving, no matter how good we may be.

Then I spent a short time in Crystal Palace with Elder Chazuka. From him I learned how important it is to leave everything behind when the Lord calls you and watched him live the promise the Savior gave "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Matthew 10:38.

My last area was Peckham, where I learned from Elder Howe many ways to minister and uplift the missionaries around us. And my final companion is Elder Ribeiro, with whom I learned the importance of working hard and working smart, and relying on the Lord to help us change and become better people.

I can't sum up in words all of the lessons that I've learned, because many of them I am still learning. I know the Lord qualifies whom He calls. I know that He cares about every one of us, infinitely. We hear it said so often but it is precious, priceless knowledge that we need to share with those that do not know it.

Rather than draw out a long and intricate testimony, I will keep it as simple as it needs to be. I know that Jesus Christ our Savior lives.

"I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell. I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat."- 2 Nephi 33:6&7

I love you all more than words can tell. Please keep in touch. I'll see you soon!

Elder Draney

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Penultimate Preparation Day

Hello my friends and family!

I think this is the biggest case of writer's block that I've ever had on my mission! Everything we did this week left my memory, but I'll do my best! I'll steal from Elder Ribeiro if I have to!

Last Thursday we went to district meeting down in Clapham and met a new sister that came into the zone mid-transfer, Sister Rehova from the Czech Republic! It was a good district meeting as well, it's the second district meeting I've been to with 13 missionaries in total.

On Friday I went on exchange with Elder Viera! We had all day to just work and find new people to teach, it's been a little while since we've been able to do that! We saw a big blessing in stopping by a
member who's an older single sister. We felt inspired a few days earlier to stop by and ask about her neighbors and if she knew anyone that we could teach a couple days before but she wasn't in when we tried the first time so we thought we would try again. This time when we went by she shared her conversion story and sent us over to her neighbor who has been taught by the missionaries before, and now we are going back to see her on Friday!

Saturday we taught our friend Antony and his niece Ola. It was Antony's birthday so they were making loads of food and they kept trading places in the kitchen and then in the living room while we
were trying to teach them so we did our best. At the end they both told us on separate occasions that we made their day, so it was worth it. Plus we got some nice jallof rice to take home. 👍

On Sunday Elder Mattson and I spoke in sacrament about the lessons that we have learned on our missions. Afterward everyone asked us if we were finishing this week, which was a little sad but at least we still have some good time to serve left! I'm in a bit of denial...

Monday and Tuesday cruised by. I had another exchange with Elder Zamalloa! He's changed a lot over the past few months, he's improved a lot since the beginning of his mission. We spent awhile studying because he does language study and 12 week study, but we taught our investigator Ama on Monday night and it went well.

The other 3 missionaries in my flat remind me every 5 minutes that my mission ends soon, so I haven't forgotten that I'll take off the tag soon. I still have time to give the Lord everything I have to spread the gospel, but I'm not apprehensive about returning home and serving Him in different ways than I am now. He's brought me this far, so I know He will take me safely home!

I love you all so much!

Elder Draney


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17th, 2016

Hello my friends and family!

I've ran out of semi-interesting or cheesy titles for the emails, so now you get dates. If you ever forget when I sent an email, just look at the top.

As some of you saw of Facebook Francis was baptised! He was very prepared and honored to make the covenant of baptism! He flew back to Ghana yesterday though ☹️. He had to go back sooner than he thought, but we enjoyed the time we got to know him face to face.

With Wednesdays being preparation day the week has gone very quickly, it seems like we have something big to do everyday.

Last Thursday was our MLC for online proselyting. At first when I heard we were getting Facebook to use I was hesitant and didn't really want to use it. But after watching some experiences other missionaries had in training videos and going through the MLC I was pumped up for online proselyting. So far it hasn't disappointed, we were able to contact Francis a couple of times this week using Facebook and now we can keep in contact with him while he is back home in Ghana! He even
said himself "I love the technology!"

Having access to so much with Facebook is a big trust as well. As we know it is incredibly easy to waste time with it, and it's easy to want to check up on things every time we get wifi, but we have seen great things in the 6 days that we've had it.

On Friday we had zone training where we took the training from MLC to the rest of the zone. It wasn't anything we did, but it was very very good, the Holy Ghost lead the meeting and touched our hearts. In the evening I went on exchange with Elder Ferreira, and we taught Kelly! It was one of the best lessons I've ever had on my mission, even though it wasn't planned it was definitely supposed to happen.

Saturday morning we exchanged back and then went with Francis to the temple. He loved it so much, he kept saying how much he felt the Spirit and how much he wanted to come back. Every time I've been to the temple with and investigator it's been a crucial point of their conversion. I love the temple, and I'm looking forward to spending more time at the temple after my mission.

In the evening Francis was baptised! He brought his sister and her family as well! We had seen them a couple times before, but now we are going to be visiting them and teaching them as well! The baptism wasn't a huge service with loads of people, but that didn't take away for the spirit of the meeting in any degree!

The rest of the week has been a blur until now! That's what the mission has felt like for the most part, as I look back it feels like it wasn't long ago that I was back in Christchurch with my trainer getting to understand why I was on a mission. As much as I wanted the time to go quickly back then, I wish I had as much time left on my mission now as I did back then. The Savior truly takes care of those
who seek to serve Him. He wrought that change in my heart, and can take up any of our infirmities or flaws and perfect them.

I love you all so much! Have a good week!

Elder Draney



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10th, 2016

Hello my friends and family!

Having nine days between emails still didn't make it go by any slower. It's our first preparation day on a Wednesday in a long time, so it's a big adjustment, but we've seen great things come from it already.

So last week on Tuesday was when we had MLC and the decision to move accounting a preparation days was made. Summing up councils with words doesn't work because it is many many comments, ideas, suggestions, questions, that leads to everyone feeling the Holy Ghost confirm what we are supposed to do. It takes awhile sometimes, but it is always worth it.

That night and next day we exchanged with Elder Tunnicliffe and Elder Rivera. I went with Elder Tunnicliffe! I've only known him for about 5 months, but I've loved working around him the whole time he's hilarious. We got roped into helping one of the senior missionaries in the office take mattresses and a table to a new flat opening up, and then pick up a couch and take it back to the office. We were following Elder Corbett from the office to the flat and we had a GPS telling us where to go, but Elder Corbett was just winging it so we watched him take the wrong turn like 7 times and make us almost 20 minutes later than we should have been. It was the funniest thing in the world.

Thursday we had DLC and then Friday was district meeting. Everyone took the changes well, it didn't come without some growing pains but we were glad it was well received.

Sunday was a miracle day! Our friend Everest came to church for the first time! He's Pakistani and is working over here to bring his family over, just like Nadir from Croydon. He was participating in all
the classes and got a lot out of it as well!

After sacrament meeting we were setting up chairs for the next class and a member came up to us and said "We've got a man here who came today and he says he wants to join the church.", so after Elder
Ribeiro and I regained consciousness and got up off the floor we went and spoke to him. His name is Francis and he has been going to church in Ghana for a month and was going to be baptised but he had to come to London for a few weeks before he was able to, so he found out where the Peckham chapel was and came to church! As we walked with him to go to priesthood we walked by the baptismal font and we talked with him about being baptised. He said that he really wants to be baptised so we asked him if he would like to be baptised this weekend and he said yes! So he will be getting baptised on Saturday! We've seen him everyday this week and we will be teaching him tonight as well! I can't really add much to that, the Lord is constantly preparing many
to enter His fold.

Tomorrow we have another MLC because we will start using Facebook and other things to help us teach now. I'm excited for that because it will allow us to reach out in different ways, but it won't replace anything we are currently doing.

I love you all!

Elder Draney


Monday, August 8, 2016

Changes!

Hey everyone!

I'm sending out this email to let you know that our Preparation days in our mission is going to be changed to Wednesday. We needed to move our times that we were accounting for our weeks and a few other things, so at MLC we talked about it for a long long time and the Lord prompted us to change it. So I won't be emailing or sending a proper weekly letter until Wednesday the 10th next week! It's a big change, but everything will work out!

Love you all!

Elder Draney

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bob the Builder

Hello my friends and family!

The weeks on my mission have been getting weirder and weirder. This one flew by, like they always do.

We spent the majority of the week helping new missionaries in the zone get settled in and especially the new Spanish speaking sisters. We found them a new flat but it wasn't furnished so we had to get
everything ready for them to get there on Thursday, but we didn't finish it time so we had to finish helping on Friday and a little bit of Saturday.

On Wednesday we got a call right before we started studying from the delivery company saying they would deliver a lot of what they needed in an hour, so we had to rush over to the new flat and accept the delivery, but the hard part is that we weren't able to pick up the keys from the estate agent until 2:30! We were lucky and were able to call and have them let us in to put all of the stuff in the flat about an hour after it was delivered, so we didn't have to wait with it all day. But we still had to go pick up/buy a hoover, an iron and ironing board, and all of the kitchen stuff, but the senior couple in the stake helped us out with their car so it didn't take too long.

Thursday morning we went to pick up the the new sisters and give a few other missionaries their oyster cards for traveling home. After that we spent most of the afternoon putting together their bunk bed and running to go pick up MORE things for them and take some medicine to another missionary, but this time we didn't have a car. So we awkwardly tried to speak to people on the bus with a microwave, pillows, and pots and pans on our laps!

On Friday we got a call from the Spanish sisters saying they got wardrobes delivered and had no clue how to set them up, so we went and helped them build them. In the evening we taught Kelly and she was interviewed for a limited use temple recommend right after the lesson so she could go with the ward to the temple and do baptisms on Saturday.

On Saturday we made plans for the next transfer and planned out all of the exchanges and other things that we will do. Other than that we worked our hardest! Kelly loved going to the temple, she made a lot of new friends with the other YSA that went to the temple!

This week is going to another busy one, but that's how it should be. In the introduction page to Preach My Gospel it says "The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." In very simple words, I can bear witness of this promise. The Lord has richly blessed me on my mission, I have been privileged to be engaged in His work.

I love you all!

Elder Draney



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Moves

Hello my friends and family!

This is another moves day email so it might be a bit short!

Today has been crazy, we went to the train station to see off loads of missionaries from the zone, but as well as others that were passing through on their way to the temple! It was really nice to see a lot of missionaries I though I wouldn't see for awhile, Elder Howe, Elder McCombs, Elder Bradford, Elder Mutariswa, Sister Lacey and a few
others! It's sad watching them go home! I don't know anybody in this mission anymore!

I really don't know how to describe this week, it was a quick one. The greatest blessing was the baptism of Kelly! A lot went into it this week to make it happen, but it is all worth it for all of us!

On Tuesday we taught Kelly. On Wednesday we taught Kelly. On Thursday we went to the Temple with Kelly. On Friday we taught Kelly. On Saturday Kelly got baptised, and on Sunday she got confirmed! It hasn't been long that she has been learning, but she's done her part and God has blessed her tremendously over these past few weeks. She was always happy when we met her, but she's even happier now!

The Temple trip on Thursday was great, there isn't really a way to put it into words but Kelly loved it! The first time she came to church the lesson in Relief Society was on the Temple and ever since then she has wanted to go, so it was a good experience for her.

I'll make up for a lack of words with some pictures!

I love you all so much!




Monday, July 18, 2016

Many Miracles

Hello my friends and family!

Sometimes it's really hard to sit down and write a week's events into an email.

On Monday right at the end of the day we taught a less-active member named Crystal, she got really busy with work and uni so she hasn't been in awhile but she really opened up and we got to know her very well!

Tuesday we had a meeting to train the district leaders and sister trainer leaders, and viewed a couple of flats for the new Spanish speaking sisters in the zone. We had a lesson with Kelly as well! The questions she asks let us know that she's not just "asking questions" but is really seeking answers! She will be baptised this weekend!

Another miracle came when we got a call from a lady that Elder Howe and I first spoke to about 2 months ago called us. The long story made short is that she pointedly had no belief in God when we first spoke to her, but since then she's seen a lot of miracles in her life and is ready to learn and come to church! She's easily twice as happy every time we see her. It takes time to completely change the way we think and act, but as we are patient in seeking we can see the hand of God undeniably in our lives!

Grace wasn't able to get Sunday off so she wasn't baptised this weekend, and can't get baptised next weekend either, but as soon as she can she will.

We had zone conference on Wednesday, it was bittersweet having the last one of my mission. It was incredible though, everything that President Gubler has been moved to teach us over the last year is exactly what the Quorum of the Twelve taught all of the mission presidents this last month!

On Thursday I exchanged with Elder Saliva from the Philippines! He's a tank! Nothing else to say, we worked hard and worked well!

Friday the assistants came up to our area for exchange in the evening, and worked with us the whole day on Saturday. On Saturday morning Elder Ribeiro and I used there car to drive to the stake centre, where the stake president asked us to speak in a bishopric training meeting, and then we came back and Elder Rivera(on exchange) spent the rest of the day teaching/helping at a ward open house in Peckham! We taught an investigator but taught a few new people that came as well!

Then on Saturday we got a phone call at 11:30 at night from Elder Mattson who was at the hospital because one of the sisters(Sister Stephenson) had her arm go numb from elbow down and could barely walk, and another elder(Elder Labahn) in the district had smashed his hand really bad, so they were all at the hospital waiting to be seen. Elder Mattson's companion was already super ill and needed to get some sleep, so we went down to the hospital and got there a little past 12 to pick up Elder Zamalloa and take him back to our flat to sleep. It's a lot of different names, but hopefully it makes sense! We love these missionaries!

On Sunday Samantha came to church! She had to take it all in slowly, but she really enjoyed it! Then we planned out some parts of our week and accounted with missionaries in the zone and the assistants. Most of our Sunday nights are spent doing that, but it give us a huge opportunity to grow in love for these missionaries and seek inspiration on how to help them.

My love of the Savior has grown so much on my mission. Of all of the names and words to describe Him, Savior is the most meaningful to me. I love Him and know He loves you too. (John 10:11)

I love you all, have a good week!


Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11th, 2016

Hello my friends and family!

Busy, busy, busy, week!

Last Monday we got the assignment from the office to find a new flat for another sister companionship coming into the zone next transfer, which is coming soon, so we had to drop a few things and get right on it. While we were doing that we got asked to switch places of another companionship in the mission for a Skype call with President Gubler and a few other missionaries. We were in pretty much all evening which wasn't fun, but they were necessary things.

Tuesday was MLC, which actually didn't last long compared to most of them in the past! I always love MLC. We took all of the conclusions and everything from MLC to the District Leaders on Wednesday. It's great to see how revelation works because they were one step ahead of us and already had plans to talk to their districts about a lot of what we felt at MLC. I had many of those same experiences as a district leader, so I know even in the little things the Lord will make His will known to His servants.

Thursday was incredible! We went to President and Sister Gubler's home and learned so much! The greatest part is that it wasn't mostly from the words that were said but the thoughts and impressions that came during the day as we talked and practiced. And Sister Gubler makes great food, so no complaints from me.

On Friday I exchanged with Elder Mattson! We've been close since the MTC, so being able to work together for awhile was amazing! We taught Grace and she finally has Sundays off! She committed to be baptised this Saturday! She knows she needs to and is ready to be baptised, so we will do all we can to make it happen this week!

While I was with Elder Mattson, Elder Ribeiro and Elder Zamalloa found a lady named Kelly. They walked past her because they were running super late, but Elder Ribeiro felt a big prompting to go back and speak with her so he did and she was willing to see us again and come to church. We met with her on Saturday and she loved the lesson and we arranged to travel with her to church.

On Sunday she came with us to church, she loved it! After church we showed her around the whole chapel and at the end we asked her if she would be baptised and she said yes! We invited her to prepare for the 23rd and she got really emotional and said "That day a miracle will happen in my life, that's the day I was thinking about as well.". I can't add much more to that, we are so grateful, God will hasten the work in His time and in His way.

I love you all so much! Keep the faith, keep being good, and keep being happy!

Elder Draney


Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Hello my friends and family!

Today we celebrate the colonies' victory over the Mother Gentiles! What a wonderful day! We are having a barbecue with the district to celebrate, and only 3 of the 10 of us are American, so it's not only an American holiday!

It was a busy week like always. There isn't a ton of time so I will probably one or two sentences for each day.

Monday we moved the sisters. That's it. Truly. But it was a load of fun to be honest.

Tuesday went quickly without many major events.

On Wednesday we worked! And we helped clean out the sisters flat for about an hour.

Thursday was Zone Training and Elder Ribeiro's birthday! Having both of our birthdays this week was cool, we got a cake from the Cherringtons! Zone Training was a lot of fun to plan, we based everything around Faith, Obedience, and Works as well as Accountability from our mission training plan. We had a lot of activities based on the war chapters in Alma!

On Friday we went down to do a baptismal interview for a friend in Clapham named Christian. Elder Ribeiro interviewed him about an hour before he got baptised. Then we stayed he night with the Clapham Elders to go to another baptism in the morning.

Saturday night we had fufu with Sister Aidoo. When we showed up we were absolutely soaked, so she INSISTED we change into her son's dry shirts. The one I got was 15" super slim fit, so that's why it looks like body paint. A couple minutes after we got there 8 Danish men showed up! A returned missionary that knew Sister Aidoo came to visit with the young men from his ward!

It was a great week! I love you all so much! I know Christ lives, more than I know anything else.





Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27th, 2016


Today was a bit crazy, so there is a valid reason the email is coming in so late. The sister missionaries in Peckham had to move into their new flat sooner than expected so they had to move today, so we spent most of our day up until now moving them. Right now we are emailing with special permission from President Gubler to finish up all we need to do today!

Last week on Monday we traveled to another part of London to give a member in hospital a blessing, but when we got there he had been released. So we called him and he told us that he was stuck in London for the day until he got paid at midnight so he could buy a train ticket home. It was about an hour bus ride both ways so that took up a lot of our time last Monday.

On Tuesday we had Stake Correlation with President and Sister Gubler and the stake presidency. It was stressful getting everything ready, but it was worth it because the Spirit was strong during the meeting and we have some clear direction on what the Lord needs us to do next.

Wednesday was busy as well, we basically had MLC over Skype. Our mission was chosen to pilot test the area book planner app for Europe because some of the data restriction laws are different in the
European Union that kept us from being able to have the app, but the Church has changed some parts of it and trained us on how to use it without violating those laws.

And that's a perfect transition into why Thursday was interesting. England voted to leave the European Union, which is pretty huge. Everyone was talking about it, and whenever we asked if we could help with anything they usually said "Reverse the Referendum". And then the next day the Prime Minister resigned! A big week for England, but it's nice because we get to stay out of it.

On Friday I exchanged with Elder Zamalloa from Lima, Peru! He's been on his mission for 4 weeks but he's already adjusted and going straight to work. I talked to him about it for awhile, Josh you're
going to love it! Peru sounds like a humble, good place.

The rest of the week was pretty normal, which for us was great!

I know that the Savior is there for us in our darkest of moments, He truly does reach our reaching (Hymn 129).

I love you all! Have a great week!



Monday, June 20, 2016

June 21st, 2016

Hello my friends and family!

This week was great! There were a lot of "house keeping" items that we had to take care of, planning upcoming meetings and other things, so that made it go quickly.

On Wendesday we went with the Crystal Palace elders to close down the flat I stayed in when I was there. It was waaaaay worse than when I left it! It was mostly due to a leak from the flat above it, so we had to go gather everything up and prepare it so when the mission office brings up the van we can load it all up quickly and move it.

We also taught a great man named Antony later that day. Elder Ribeiro met him on an exchange and he let them in straight away. Even though we only taught him for like 20 minutes we got to know him really well, he's one of the nicest men I've ever met.

We taught Ola a few times as well, he's as good as ever. Another recent convert, Marly, has had some rough circumstances lately and so we taught her as well. She's passed through a lot, but smiled through it because she finds her strength in the Saviour.

Grace has been very busy with her new job so we weren't able to teach her this week, but we spoke with her on the phone a few times and the sister missionaries bumped into her as well and she was happy every time and excited to come to church soon!

The most stressful part of the week came on Saturday. Earlier in the week we texted the stake president and asked him when when stake missionary correlation would be but we never got a reply. So on Saturday we gave him a call and he told us that it will be on Tuesday! Usually we take about 2 weeks to prepare all the information so all of the missionaries in the stake can comfortably fill out the information we need, but we only had 3 days due to the original date being moved and a bit of negligence on our part. But because the Wandsworth zone missionaries are the greatest in the world we have the information and now all we have to do is organise it and type up a report. Fun but stressful.

Please let me know if some of the missionary things we do sound boring in the email, I'll try and make it sound more interesting!

I love you all thank you for everything you do! I know God lives and loves us all with a perfect love, which means enough to cut us down at times.

Have a good week!

Elder Draney

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Craziest Week Ever

Hello my friends and family!

This week was easily the craziest of my mission thus far. There weren't really any regular days where went through the normal schedule apart. As well we found out about moves, Elder Ribeiro and I are
staying! There are a few other missionaries leaving the zone as well (Elder Chazuka ☹️) but great missionaries are coming in.

On Monday we had preparation day like normal, but in the evening we had 8 total missionaries staying at our flat the night before we went up into central London to see Elder Oaks! We had mattresses all over the floor and had to wake up at 5 the next morning so everyone could have time to use our broken shower. It was crazy!

Tuesday was the double mission conference with Elder Oaks! We heard from President and Sister Gubler, President and Sister Stevens of the London Mission, President and Sister Kearon the Europe Area President, and then of course Elder and Sister Oaks! Needless to say we were spiritually fed by all of the speakers. President Kearon specifically spoke about how trials are absolutely necessary, both big and small, and that as we turn to the Lord we can thrive in our trials and grow rather than fall. Elder Oaks taught us about bringing people to repentance, that whatever steps we can help others to take towards Christ are good and fulfil our purpose, even if they aren't baptised. I could talk about it for ages but I don't have my notes with me right now so I might share more later, or next week.

Wednesday was crazy! We had MLC for 10 1/2 hours, from 9 in the morning until 7:30 at night! At MLC we council together about what we can improve on in our mission, and then discuss how we will move forward. This one was special as well because of all of the district leaders in the mission were there as well, so with about twice as many people it tool about twice as long to come to the conclusions the Lord needed us to. It was long but it was definitely worth it, the spirit of the meeting was strong as we asked the Lord if what we had decided was right.

Thursday was a bit insane as well, because I had a driving test on Friday down in Croydon I spent about 2 hours driving the Cherringtons'(the senior couple in Wandsworth zone) car to get some practice in for the test. After that we took a train down to the Temple to exchange with Elder Tunnicliffe from York(such a crack up, I love him so much) for about 3 hours before we had to catch another train up to Croydon to stay the night in the flat I lived in for the 10 months I was there.

Friday was my driving test early in the morning. It was pretty intense because I was driving a car that I had never driven before, with big city traffic, and with about 5 hours total driving in England over the past 20 months. But the good part is... that I only failed in the last 4 minutes of the test! As we were coming back to the test centre we had to cross a super busy 2 lane roundabout, and I was in the wrong lane as we went across and someone had to let me into the joining lane. ☹️ I was so close!

On Saturday we had a big service project with the ward to clean up around a community centre. We used little grabber things to pick up all the trash in bushes and things. Honestly it was way too much fun using the grabber, I wish I had one I could use all the time.

On Sunday Ola was ordained a priest! I love that man so much, he's so happy and so willing to serve God the best he can. He's going to come teach with us tonight and then continue working on his family history.

I'll be the first to say, even with amazing things happening everyday this work is hard. It's something often repeated, but something I know to be true, that without challenges we would not grow. When the Lord wants us to be strengthened He sends challenges that stretch us further than we have before. When He needs us to grow a lot, He stretches us right to our limit, but He will never let us fail. I am
grateful for my challenges, because without them I would never be where I am. I love the Lord more than words can explain.(2 Nephi 2:11)

I love you all!

Elder Draney



Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6th, 2016

Hello my friends and family!

This week was quick! I'll be honest it was a pretty hard week at points, but my testimony of the Atonement was increased. I know that no matter how far away God may seem, He is there and will answer our prayers.

Because it was a short transfer (only 5 weeks) we had 2 weeks to go to 3 different district meetings, so this week we went to Peckham and Crystal Palace district meetings. It's always funny going back to Crystal Palace, because I was there for such a short time and go back so frequently that sometimes it feels like I never left, but most of the time it feels like I was never there.

Elder Ribeiro and I weren't able to teach Grace this week because she was very busy, but she called us on Friday to tell us that she was going to be taking an assessment test for a new job she has been
applying for! Later that evening she texted us to tell us that she passed and is waiting for an interview this week for the job, which will open up Sundays for her! Whenever she is next available to be confirmed in a sacrament meeting is probably when she will be baptised!

Sunday was great, Ola got up and bore his testimony during sacrament meeting yesterday. He's a very humble and grateful man. There has been a new light in his countenance since he joined the Church two weeks ago, all of us can see it in him. He had a lot of worries and burdens when we started teaching him, and he still does have a lot of worries and burdens, but he has found strength in Jesus Christ and trusts in Him to be able to conquer the future.

This week is going to be very busy! Tonight we have four extra missionaries staying the night in our flat! Tomorrow we are all traveling to Hyde Park chapel to listen to Elder Oaks speak to our whole mission as well as the other London Mission! Elder Egan  will be staying with us as well, he served with Elder Ribeiro and he would was supposed to be my companion in the Provo MTC but I got my visa just in time to go to the Preston MTC! It's going to be a lot of fun!

Tomorrow will be super busy because we are going to see Elder Oaks, and afterward take a picture as a mission! I'll get to see Elder Chrimes for the first time since we left Croydon! Wednesday is a big
MLC meeting with all of the leaders in the mission and then we are going on an exchange to Crawley which is about 30 minutes outside London.

It always sounds less exciting in an email, but I promise it is! Next week is the last week of the transfer so we will be emailing on Tuesday, and probably not for very long, but hopefully all will go
well! I'm grateful to be alive, I'm grateful for my Father in Heaven and the tender mercies of His Son Jesus Christ. I know they live.

I love you all so much!

Elder Draney


Monday, May 30, 2016

The end of May

Hello my friends and family!

It was a quick week! We went on a couple of exchanges this week that were crazy fun. On Wednesday I went with Elder Rammell, from Rexburg, who i've been waiting to go on an exchange with for more than a year! Then on Friday I went with Elder Mattson, from Long Beach, who's from
my MTC group. I've always loved these missionaries so it was a cool experience to work with them for a day! I wish I had longer to serve so I could properly serve with these elders.

Unfortunately Grave wasn't able to be baptised this week. She was travelling from a trip outside London and didn't make it back on time for her interview. But she came to church yesterday and she LOVED it, it was so good to see her smile! She's having trouble coming to church because of work so we will be praying for her a lot, so the next time she can come to church will most likely be when she will be baptised. Please pray for her as well.

Ola is doing so good as well! He started working on his family tree on Monday and wants to come out teaching with us! I love this man so much. He's so humble and knows how to completely rely on the Lord, but is very in tune with the Spirit as well.

This week is going to be fun as well. It's our week to prepare for Elder Oaks to come visit the mission. What we get out of his visit will in large part have to do with how well we prepare, so this week we are going to redouble our efforts and so we can come to the conference having done all we could for the Lord. I'm honestly so excited, Elder Holland visited us last year and he said things that
have surely changed my mission, so I'm looking forward for direction from the Lord given by Elder Oaks.

So much happens in our area that doesn't make it into the email! Most of it because I forget, but some of it because it doesn't translate into an email, so you'll have to ask for some South London stories when I can tell you in person!

An insight from my studies came from the example of Isaiah, in 2 Nephi 14/Isaiah 6. Verse 8 says: "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me." Then in verse 11 "Then said I: Lord, how long? And he said: Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate;" I hope I can follow the his example and whenever the Lord asks "Whom shall I send?" i can respond "Here am I, send me". How long do we need to labor for Him? Until the houses are without man, and there is no more work to do. Until the end. I love being in His service. I know He lives. I love
you all.

Have a good week!

Elder Draney

Monday, May 23, 2016

Miraculous Week!

Hello my friends and family!

So much happened this week, hopefully it will make for a longer letter to make up for last week's!

We visited the London Temple twice this week and it was incredible both times!

On Tuesday we went with Grace and a couple from the ward that help us tremendously, the Davidsons. It was a cramped car ride, but definitely worth it! Their are sister missionaries at the Visitors' Centre so they showed us around the grounds and taught her about the Temple. She cried as we stood right outside the doors, it was very powerful. Grace has great faith and has recognised the truth she has learned, and more importantly, felt as she's learned about the restored gospel. We are very excited to keep teaching her this week!

Saturday was very special as well! Our brother Ola got baptised! There were a lot of miracles that lined up to make it a great day! A couple weeks ago we were planning exchanges and felt prompted to move our exchange with Elder Chazuka and Elder Brinkerhoff to a completely different week and set up, so the exchange fell on the day of the baptism. Fast forward a few days a week when we are planning the baptism with Ola, and we ask him about who he would like to baptise him. When Ola was originally contacted, it was Elder Chazuka that did it on exchange with us, so Ola asked if Elder Chazuka could do it! It was a great experience for all of us to see Ola get baptised by Elder Chazuka about a month after he spoke to him for the first time on the street!

Then we visited the Temple with Ola after the baptism! He loved it as well! There's a spot where the reflection of the Temple is fully visible, and as he stood there he told us he knows this is where God
needs him to be.

Leading up the his baptism we went to a few members homes with Ola for some proper African food. We visited the Iduma's from Nigeria and had lots of rice and different dishes, including goat's head in Pepe(super spicy peppers) soup! It was honestly very good, but sooooo spicy! We also visited a member who's name translates to "Grandma" so that's what we all call her! It really strengthened him to have such good support from members.

Last but not least we had Zone Conference with Elder Herbertson of the Seventy, from Scotland. He's hilarious and a spiritual giant as well. We were taught by him and President and Sister Gubler very well.

A scriptural insight this week I wanted share this week came from 2 Nephi 8:7 "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings." We must have His law, His gospel, written in our hearts and fear not the world!

We were blessed this week, and it all came from Him. He is the source of all heavenly light and peace in our lives, our Saviour Jesus Christ. I know He lives.

I love you all!

Elder Draney





Thursday, May 19, 2016

Zone Conference Photo

President Gubler gave us permission to send a photo from zone conference today! Love you!

Elder Draney


Monday, May 16, 2016

I love Peckham!

Hello my friends and family!

The Lord blessed Elder Ribeiro and I our first week together! We were able to teach Ola and Grace several times and they are doing great!

Ola is ready to be baptised this weekend! He's always asked amazing questions from the beginning of us teaching him and we've felt very distinctly the Spirit giving us the words to say as we answered them. He truly is seeking the kingdom of God first and leaving the rest tothe Lord!

We also taught Grace, we called her Wednesday morning and she said she could see us later that day. We followed a prompting and taught her about the temple. It was hard at first because it's really new to her, but when we started talking about baptisms for the dead the feeling of the lesson changed. It was incredible to see how it touched her heart. We are going to visit the Temple with her on Tuesday it will be great!

If you remember a few weeks ago Elder Howe and I taught a man named Gregory. Gregory vanished after we taught him the first time and we were always on the look for him. On Tuesday my first day with Elder Ribeiro we found him! We taught him again on Wednesday and even though it was in a McDonalds he was locked in and came prepared to learn!

We were blessed with many great lessons this week.

I'll be honest I'm having a very very hard time writing this email! It shouldn't be this hard but it is!

I'll end with my testimony. I've been blessed to take part in such and important and urgent work on my mission. Because of spiritual experiences I have felt deeper than any thing else, and miracles that
I have indeed seen with my eyes and been privileged to be a part of I know that God lives and His Son Jesus Christ is our Saviour. The knowledge I have gained from the Book of Mormon is priceless and I know that it was written many years ago for us.

I love you all greatly!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10

Hello my friends and family!

I said goodbye to Elder Howe today! He's off to a quiet English area to train a new missionary! He's never trained before so he's pretty excited to finish his mission with a brand new missionary.

My new companion is Elder Ribeiro! We've known each other for awhile and he's served here in London before so we are both pumped to serve together! There are a lot of amazing things happening in our area as well, the Lord has certainly blessed us.

Ola came to church on Sunday! He loved it, especially gospel principles. He is gaining a testimony in a very powerful way. We taught him yesterday as well and the member that came with us was the
perfect fit.

We also taught Grace a few times and she is doing very well! She is going to be baptised on the 28th! She really wants to understand the Book of Mormon and learn more about it so she has knowledge behind the feelings she has when she reads it! It's crazy to think we just briefly met her on the bus and now she's reading the Book of Mormon and preparing to be baptised!

Moves day is always really hectic so we don't have a lot of time, but those are the updates! Hopefully the picture will make up for the little letter! Ola after church!

Love you all!

Elder Draney


Monday, May 2, 2016

May?!

The time passes so quickly! I always talk about it, but it's true!

This week was a good one, we had a few exchanges as we usually have had for awhile. I exchanged with Elder Pitbladdo from Argentina! It was a lot of fun, him and his companion live with us but it was still fun to work together!

We also exchanged with two German elders in the zone, Elder Persicke and Elder Labahn. Elder Persicke and I worked hard and had fun getting to know each other while doing it so it was great!

I'm going to be really honest right now and just say we have 0 time to email today! We just finished teaching our friend Ola and he's going to be baptised on the 21st! He's a very faithful man, he is determined to follow Christ and have Him as his foundation. The Spirit took over the lesson just like I mentioned another lesson with him last week. I know the work we do as missionaries is true, because without the Spirit nothing would get done. I've seen on my mission how vital it is and I thank our Heavenly Father for His sustaining hand in this work and in my life.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Draney


Monday, April 25, 2016

Missions are where the fun are

Hello my friends and family!

Another blessed week! Elder Howe and I were excited for this week because it was the first week in awhile without any meetings so we would have a lot more time to work in our area, but things still found a way of getting very busy but that's what the work should be like, so no complaints.

We had very good lessons this week. The longer I am on mission the more and more I love the Holy Ghost and all He does. We do relatively little when it comes to teaching, because the words we speak should come from the Spirit and the only way anyone can know of the validity of what we are teaching is by feeling that same Spirit. Our calling as missionaries is to "preach my gospel by the Spirit" (D&C 50:14) and we must pray in faith, because if we receive not the Spirit, we shall not
teach (D&C 42:14). Lessons like the ones we had this week build my testimony of these principles, because the Spirit was definitely the teacher, and all of us were taught together.

One of our lessons was with a lady we met on the bus named Grace. Elder Howe taught her last week on exchange and then this week Elder Hulleman and I taught her on exchange, so two different  missionaries both times, but great lessons as well. When we called her the day before and when we were actually teaching her she said she enjoyed what she read from the Book of Mormon. She told us that she knows there is power in the Book of Mormon and she can feel it when she reads! We are definitely excited to teach her again, we should be seeing her tomorrow.

We also taught our brother Ola more about the Book of Mormon and some specific questions he had about prayer. He got emotional during the lesson a few times and told us about some of the struggles he has been facing but was able to feel and see how turning to the Savior will give him what he needs and that what we are teaching him will draw him closer to the Savior. The Holy Ghost was the teacher in both of these lessons.

Funny story about the picture last week, we had loads of food on Monday and after a few days and an exchange with 6 missionaries in our  flat we were basically out of the staple foods like milk, eggs, bread, and tortillas(essential for missionaries) by Friday. So we had a lot of apples and noodles for a couple of days.

It was a great week all and all. I had the strongest desire today to extend my mission. I wish missions were still 30 months. 😉

I love you all so much. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only source of complete and abiding peace available to all of us. I know that is true.

Have a blessed week!

Elder Draney

Monday, April 18, 2016

Exchanges

Hello my friends and family!

Another week in Peckham!  This week was less busy in terms of things that took us out of our area, so we were able to do a lot more for our friends and met a lot of new investigators this week!

On Tuesday we had a Zone Training with with President and Sister Gubler. Sister Gubler related the story of Lehonti in the Book of Mormon to our calling as missionaries. Lehonti eventually gave in to many invitations to "come down" from his camp and was eventually "poisoned by degrees" and died. Lots of parallels to all of us in our gospel lives, I'll let you study the chapter (Alma 47) and find your own insights and connections. :)

Later that night we went with President Gubler to a meeting to help train ward council members in the Wandsworth Stake. About an hour before the meeting we asked him what he wanted us to help him with and
he told us that HE had no clue what the stake president wanted from him or us, so we would listen the Spirit. After the opening hymn our stake president stands up and says "We will now turn the time over to President Gubler." and for more than an hour President Gubler spoke and directed a mock ward council, and it was really powerful.
President Gubler loves the Lord and does all he can to serve him, he is surely a man of God.

We had a few exchanges this week as well. On Wednesday we exchanged with Elder Mattson and Elder Ocora who serve with us in Peckham, I went with Elder Ocora from Uganda. Elder Ocora was taught by missionaries in Uganda quite a bit before he joined the church and has a big testimony of Moroni's promise. He got an answer only when he resolved that he would share the Book of Mormon with others, so now he's serving a mission!

On Friday we exchanged with the Crystal Palace elders, Elder Brinkerhoff and Elder Chazuka. It was great to see them, Elder Chazuka was as funny as ever. I went with Elder Brinkerhoff, it was a good opportunity to get to know him better and learn from each other. He served in Christchurch for 10 months, so we talked about my first area
a lot and how it's changed. It's crazy how long it's been since I left... :(

Friday night was interesting as well because right before we exchanged Elder Howe and I were doing some things on the chapel computer we needed to get done, and as we went to leave we found out we were locked in. The bad part is that we don't have a key to the chapel, even though normally the missionaries have a key, and chapels in
England all have gates around them. So Elder Howe and I had to grab chairs and boost ourselves up an hop over the gate so we could get a key from a member that lives across the street to lock up the building. It sounds a lot less exciting than it was, but I have to find stories to email about somewhere so there ya go. 😄

On my mission my love and desire to read the scriptures has grown immensely. I've really come to see that they are the anchor of our testimony, and are necessary to keep our faith growing. I really love the time we have every morning to read, reading them daily is a must, so please do. Just a little thought and encouragement.

I love you all so much! Have a good week!

Elder Draney



Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Hello my friends and family!

This week was true to my prediction last week, it cruised by.

I've mentioned a few different meetings in the past that come every month or so, and this week we had a lot of them. On Tuesday we met with President and Sister Gubler and other missionaries from around the mission to council together about how we can help each other to keep up our successes but as well how to keep moving forward. That one lasted basically all day haha, but it was great!

That translated over into having a very similar meeting on Wednesday, but with missionaries from around the zone. Then on Thursday we got to district meeting with the Crystal Palace missionaries! It was fun to go back and see them again! Even though I was not there for a few weeks it was still good to go back and see Elder Chazuka as well as the other elders in the district.

On Friday we went on an exchange! We went with Elder Hartshorn and Elder Fa'aoso from Crystal Palace. I went with Elder Fa'aoso, the last time I went on exchange with him was only a few weeks ago but we both changed and improved in that time, so it was very rewarding to see that. Plus they are hilarious, so we had a good time.

We were blessed with many miracles this week! On Thursday night we met Tony, a great man with a stalwart faith in Christ. He originally converted from Islam to Catholicism, but now he worships with the Jehovah's Witnesses. We talked with him for a minute and he quickly invited us to walk with him to his house so we could sit down and teach him. When we got there he invited his wife to come and listen as well but she was in the middle of taking care of their newborn, so she couldn't join us. As we taught him about the Restoration he was wrestling two kids on his lap but miraculously kept them from running away and still stayed locked in on us during the lesson. His questions were amazing, and the Spirit speaking to all of us was constant throughout almost the whole lesson. As soon as it was over he set an appointment for us to come the next day, and Elder Howe and Elder Hartshorn were able to teach him on exchange!

Giving the Lord everything I have is the least I can do for the experience my mission has been this far. I owe Him everything.

I love you all! I love hearing from you! Talk to you soon!


Elder Draney

Monday, April 4, 2016

Peckham!

Hello my friends and family!

The first week in Peckham flew by. It happens every week, but I just thought I would remind you. :)

Honestly it's been amazing, we saw a lot of miracles and were to but it very simply just blessed this week. Elder Howe and I are doing great, the first few days of our companionship felt like we were on exchange again but things have settled in and we are having a good time.

Conference was amazing. No other way to put it. The things spoke about and the answers I received to questions I had confirm to me that the speakers are called of God and speak His words.

I've gotten to know the other missionaries we are staying with as well, Elder Pitbladdo and Elder Ferreira, they are hilarious! Our flat is a lot of fun. It's interesting though because it's full of old antique ashtrays, furnaces, and creepy African carvings that are all part of the furniture that came with the flat. Regardless it's great. In the coming weeks other elders in the zone will be coming to our flat for exchanges, so it's going to get pretty full pretty quick, so we bought a ton of food today.

This week is going to be crazy crazy busy, but I'm looking forward to it, so you'll get another "This week flew by!" next week!

One of the miracles that we saw this week was meeting our friend Gregory. On Wednesday night we ran outside for our last 20 minutes of the day after some phone calls and we were able to talk with him very briefly and invite him to meet us at the chapel the next morning. On Thursday we were able to show him around the chapel and teach him about the Restoration. It was a great teach because he was focuses in on us entirely and Elder Howe and I both knew that the Spirit was speaking through us exactly the words he needed to hear. At the end of the lesson he prayed and afterword said "I think I'm onto something good,". All the rest of the day we saw many other miracles, but that is the one I felt to share!

I love serving here in England! I never think it can, but my love grows for the work the longer and longer I serve. I love you all as well!

Elder Draney

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March Moves!

Hello my friends and family!

This email is going to be very short, just a warning at the beginning.

A very in expected change came this week! After serving in Crystal Palace for only 6 weeks I got moved! Seven transfers in Croydon and only one in Crystal Palace! I've moved to Peckham, which is the ward that covers all of Central London in our mission. Most of our area is bordered by the Thames, and we have the Eye and the Shard in our area. Peckham ward borders Crystal Palace ward and we are in the same zone, so I basically hop-scotched my way into London! I'm pumped!

My new companion with be Elder Howe! We've already gone on exchange a couple of times on different areas and served around each other for awhile so it will be a lot of fun! We will be staying in a flat with the Spanish speaking missionaries in London as well so it's going to be good time!

I'm so sad to leave Elder Chazuka :'( we got to know each other really really well in just a few weeks. He's one of my brothers. The nice part is though that he is staying in Crystal Palace and we will be able to go on exchanges together as time goes on! Both of us were so sad when President Gubler called us to tell me I was moving, but it
turns out we will be right next to each other so we won't be far at all.

That's pretty much all I have time to write about, we still have to finish preparing for the week so we don't have loads of time.

I love you all so much! Have a good week! :)

Elder Draney