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


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