Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day

Hello my friends and family!

It was another fun week in Crystal Palace! Elder Chazuka and I feel like we've settled down pretty well thus far. Getting around in our area is the biggest thing we are getting used to but we have figured it out quicker than I thought we would.

This email is probably going to be really short because we haven't had much time to sit down and write our emails so I apologise if it seems brief!

On Wednesday we had a meeting with of the missionaries in the Wandsworth Zone (The only zone completely in London). There are a lot of missionaries that I know well in the zone and all of the missionaries are solid hard workers, I'm grateful to be serving around them.

On Friday we had to travel down to Croydon so I could take the driving theory test. It was really weird to be back in Croydon even though it's only been a couple weeks. I could definitely feel the difference in being there, that Crystal Palace is where we are both supposed to be. Even though it was the same city, the comparably small mantle had shifted. It was definitely very interesting. I passed the test as well, so it was a good day!

Saturday was a really special day for us! A few months ago I wrote about in my letters a woman that we were teaching named Brenda, and on Saturday she got baptised! Elder Chrimes and I taught her several times before we found out that she lives in an entirely different part of London, so we referred her to the sister missionaries in Clapham Ward. The reason that we were there is because Clapham and Crystal Palace wards meet at the same chapel and President Gubler gave us permission to go and support her. It was great to see it happen because it is something she has been looking forward to for a long time. She was so happy the whole time and that happiness spread over to all of us who were there.

The pictures will explain why the email is short and why we are emailing so late, but hopefully they make up for it!

My favourite scripture I read this week came from Alma 7, which is an amazing sermon on its own but is full of shorter verses that are great as well. It's verses 23&24:

"23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and
gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering;
being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the
commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye
stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks
unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will
always abound in good works."

It's a great formula to continually be happy and bless others around you.

I love you all!
Elder Draney

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some pictures I found

[Editor's Note: Jacob's trainer, Elder Paolino, had a mission blog that I found a few days ago. He had a couple of pictures on there that we hadn't see before.]

Monday, February 22, 2016

Crystal Palace

 Hello my friends and family!

It was a great week with Elder Chazuka!

I love Elder Chazuka so much! We went right to work this week and had a lot of fun. White washing has been interesting for sure, there are a lot of things we are still learning but it already feels like  we've got the hang of most of it. The area we live in is a lot like Croydon, very multicultural and very busy. Lot's of ambulances and police sirens too. 😉

The flat we are staying in is what you would imagine a tiny missionary flat in London to be like, 2 rooms and a bathroom. It's nice though because it is right off of a busy street and is really easy to keep clean.

I already said it, but I love Elder Chazuka! Last night we were getting ready to go to bed and an ambulance drove past our flat with it's lights on but it didn't have it's siren on and he said "That ambulance is so humble man. All the other ones drive with the siren on, but that one is just quiet."  Needless to say I lost it.

The ward is really cool as well, the Ward Mission Leader is on top of things and they are all very close, so I'm looking forward to working with them. The missionaries we are serving around are great as well, I know all of them so it will be fun.

On Saturday we had Zone Conference with Elder Johnson from the Europe Area Presidency. I could talk about that conference for a long time but saying it was revelatory and very spiritual will suffice.

This week I felt like there would be a lot but as I sit down to write this email there is nothing in my head. Hopefully more comes soon.

Even though a lot has changed this week, the enjoyment and spirit of serving as a mission hasn't diminished. The happiness that accompanies a mission is the greatest I have ever felt.

I love you all so much!

Elder Draney

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Hello my friends and family!

Today has been a day. As you've probably guessed I got moved, I've moved to Crystal Palace which is a ward in London that borders Croydon! My companion and I are white washing, neither of us have ever been here before, so getting to our flat and dropping off our things has been a bit of a process. It's been harder than you think to get here, but we are here and everything is well for the moment!

Elder Chrimes and I both got moved from Selsdon! President Gubler told us that he needs the zone leaders to be in a more centralised area so he is moving them into Selsdon and Elder Chrimes and I both got assignments elsewhere. We got split up pretty far, I'm staying in London but Elder Chrimes is moving to Cornwall which is all the way down in the furthest corner of England you can think of, but he is very excited as well. The train ride for me was about 10 minutes but for Elder Chrimes it is close to 6 hours! As I type this he is still on the train, and he left an hour before me. It's been crazy for sure!

Leaving Selsdon was harder than I thought it would be, it definitely felt like home. I served almost 10 months there! A lot of members were actually pretty surprised that I was leaving and it was hard to say goodbye to some of the members and investigators we were teaching, but that is the nature of the work.

My new companion is Elder Chazuka from Malawi! He's such a good guy, we've already gotten to know each other pretty well and he just came from being trained in Hamble River where I served about a year ago so we will have a lot to talk about. I can already tell we are going to have a lot of fun serving together.

Things are a bit crazy today so I don't have too much time to email, but I'm grateful for everything you do for me!

Love you all!
Elder Draney

Last picture of the Selsdon district

And the first picture of the new Crystal Palace district:
Elder Hartshorn, Elder Chazuka, Elder Fa'aso, and me

Happy February (still)!

Hello my friends and family!

It was an intense week! Very rainy. We got soaked on a few occasions, but overall it was a very good week.

I'm at a loss for things to write about because there weren't too many huge things this week.

The lessons we had this week were particularly good. We both feel like it's because we know our investigators very well and have built up a good relationship and trust with them, which is crucial. We taught Nadir on Monday and Tuesday in the internet cafe that he works in. It's hard sometimes because people interrupt us, but it's literally the only place and time we can meet him at the moment so we have to make do. He still does amazing job understanding everything that we teach him which is a tremendous blessing.

On Saturday we taught an investigator we've taught about 6 times named Ron. He's such a good guy. He has a very humble heart and great faith in the Lord. He loves everything we've taught him and is praying about when he should be baptized, so things are going great.

Later that day we taught and investigator we started teaching about a month ago named Ivan. Ivan is a very humble man as well. He has had contact with the church before and remembered having a Book of Mormon but didn't recollect anything we've taught so far but he really enjoys it as well. He has come to church with us a couple times and came with us yesterday so he is doing great as well!

Tonight we are going to teach a family that Elder Foster and I found on exchange! They were all making bread when we talked to them so they seem pretty close. We are really looking forward to it. They live pretty close to the chapel as well which is always a big plus!

The most eventful thing, at least when it comes to reading them in an email, happened on Saturday when we got locked out of our flat. I won't say who it was but all I will say is that it wasn't Elder Chrimes. We hurried back to our flat at 10 to 9 (PM) so that we could grab some money and have time to put it on our bus passes and still be able to get in on time. We dropped off some of our heavy stuff and right as we walked out and heard the door close behind us I froze... We spent the next 20 minutes trying to use a coat hanger to turn the handle through the letterbox with no luck. The good part is that we were able to go stay with the other Elders, but we didn't have any of our things apart from our planners, bus passes, our phone, and soaking wet clothes.

But as we arrived at the other Elders' flat we saw that the corner shop near their flat where we could update our bus cards was closed so we had to run way up the road into a shopping area and find a shop that was open. But none of them were open. We ran around for 10 minutes before we finally found a shop that was open and ended up walking into their flat drenched from head-to-toe at 9:55. I was going to take a picture of how wet we were, but I preferred drying off to standing there all wet any longer, so I hope you understand.

Probably the worst part is that we didn't have our suits to wear to church yesterday so we just went in sweaters, but it wasn't too big of a deal. Nobody said anything so that was nice. All in all it was a fun evening!

I love you all so much! I truly do.

Turns out I can send a picture, not very interesting, but still pretty cool. 1,234 emails.

Elder Draney

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy February!

Hello my friends and family!

It was a very good week this week! Miracles are abounding!

Our friend John who I mentioned last week came to church and really enjoyed it! His phone went off during sacrament meeting and he didn't know how to turn it off so Elder Chrimes and I took it an ran out in the hall to turn it off, it was a pretty exciting meeting.

This week we had zone training with President and Sister Gubler. I've said it a lot but I love President Gubler so much! He's an amazing example of being happy all the time and being diligent in your service to the Lord. we learned a lot as well, we all studied together from Nephi's account of Lehi's dream. I never really had a huge love of the scriptures before I read them everyday but now I have a fondness for them, but sometimes it's still hard to understand completely so I always appreciate studying with others, especially President Gubler.

We also got to exchange with the other Elders in our district, and we brought Elder McCombs and Elder Foster into our area. They are both funny guys and they've been serving with us in Selsdon ward for the past 4 months so we know each other pretty well and get along great so it was a lot of fun. I worked with Elder McCombs and we had a very spiritual lesson with a former investigator that we stopped by in the evening. She loved her experience with missionaries in past and coming to church but when the elders teaching her got moved she "gave up", we spent a very long time listening to her but also listening to the Spirit so we could ask the right questions and truly discern her needs even deeper than the words she was speaking to us. It was intense and exhausting, but I know that God worked through us and we did everything we could for her so it was very rewarding.

This week I will go on exchange with Elder Foster so it should be a lot of fun! The only downside is that they stay with us in our flat and eat all of our food! We scrapped by this last week so we made sure to stock up today!

Emails on my iPad are playing up at the moment and I can't seem to fix the problem right now so I will see what I can do but it might mean that this email will be really short. Sorry. :(

To end I will share my favorite scripture from my study this week:
"I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell." 2 Nephi 33:6

That is the song of my heart.

I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Draney