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