Monday, May 15, 2017

Best Birthday Present Ever!

Well.... Hey folks, this is my last email to you all... Bittersweet.
This week has been crazy. I have been running around like crazy trying to say goodbye to a bunch of people because this week I won't have time to do a whole lot... 
I gave a talk yesterday in church! It was nice, although they made me speak for 30 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!! I was assigned 10 minutes.... Oh well, I guess I have 2 years of experience of publicly speaking, so it wasn’t too big of a deal.

I cannot honestly believe that 2 years have already passed. It passed by so fast (most of the time).
This week I will mostly be saying bye to all of my favorite families and a couple of dinner appointments. On Thursday morning I leave Nampula to Maputo, Friday (my birthday) I will buy souvenirs and visit Mahotas (my old area).  Saturday I will spend the day with the President; Sunday I will go to Mahotas for church then I have a coming home training and my final interview.  Monday I leave Maputo to South Africa then I am traveling until Tuesday morning at about 9:30 a.m. then I will arrive in Chicago! 
I was reading my emails from the beginning of my mission and I can say that my English is horrible. How am I supposed to go to college in 3 months??  I don’t know my native language, math, science, ANYTHING. Oh well...
I have honestly loved these past two years, though difficult, very rewarding! To all of those who actually wrote me, THANK YOU! To all of those who supported me in another way, THANK YOU! To everyone, THANK YOU for all of the support and love. I truly did feel the prayers and support even though I am on a different hemisphere than all of you.
It will be hard leaving Mozambique, especially the people here. I am expecting to have a bigger culture shock going home than I had coming here, so y’all will have to help me with that transition. They always say that going home is harder than entering the field.
I can say that I know this church is true and was restored by Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we are truly children of God, our Heavenly Father. 
It has been a good two years. Thanks again for everything that everyone has done.
Seya in a week! 
Elder Draney

Monday, May 8, 2017

Qual E A "Senna"??

Hey everyone! This is my penultima P-day!!! WOOT WOOT!
This week flew by! We had a special Zone Conference this week in Beira. We were supposed to leave on Thursday, but our flight got canceled... So we ended up having to catch a flight Friday morning. It was crazy though because the Zone Conference started at 9 and we landed at 9... But they were nice enough to wait for us to get there. We were running around like crazy though....
I met the new mission president, Presidente Senna! He is super cool and super funny. Too bad I only have 2 more weeks with him!
Friday night I went with Elder Chikopa, since we served together in Beira, and we visited a bunch of our families and members that we knew. Super nice. I am glad I got to see most of those people before I go home.
On Saturday, we went home. We left Saturday morning to Pemba then sat there for 7 hours. BUT SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED! The Mozambican President was ALSO going to Pemba that day, so when we landed there was a lot of commotion. We asked a bunch of people what was going on and they said that the president is coming. We saw his helicopter land and all their cultural dances and celebrations, super cool. I got kicked out of the airport though when he came cuz they thought we were from the CIA... awkward! I’m just a missionary doing missionary things. But I found a hidden place and we watched the president get into his car. He was like 10 feet away from me! I have passed 2 years here in Mozambique and only now am I seeing the president. Good way to close the mission I guess.
Well, that was my week. Super nice. Now I have to start saying bye to people here in Nampula because next week I leave to Maputo then HOME!
Next Monday is my FINAL Pday on the mission. Bittersweet!

Have a great week! Seya!  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mexican Vampires

Hey everyone!
Sorry for the late email! Yesterday was dia do trabalhador (labor day for ya english speakin folks), so everything was closed...

This week went well. We had a skype session with President and Sister Koch this week. They gave everyone some final words of advice then we said goodbye... So that was sad. Our new President, President Senna, got here on Friday!! We are flying down to Beira this week to meet him and his wife.
Yesterday I was helping a kid from our branch make some copies in our chapel of his math worksheets and I started getting super excited because it was calculus. But then I got sad because I forgot how to do it..... college will be fun here in a couple of months...
This week a member asked me and my comp if vampires really exist so of course we said yes. Then we went on to explain that is why Donald Trump wants to build a wall between America and Mexico because Mexico has lots of vampires... She believed us and now I think she is scarred for life. Opps!
Well, that is about it for this week! two more chances to write me!!! :))) Have a great week!

Here is a picture from a family night we had yesterday! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

O Mesmo

This week was pretty normal. The same as what has been happening for the past 2 years... So this email will probably be short…sorry.
But at least I will be home in less than a month... Also I will be 20 years old in less than a month too....
Really, there isn’t anything new to say this week but I am doing great! Me and my comp are still good friends. The time is passing by so fast and these next 4 weeks will pass by even faster because we have 2 zone conferences coming up... Pretty excited about that!
I hope everyone is doing well! Sorry for the lame email. 
Remember that y’all only have 3 more opportunities to write me :) friendly reminder.
Have a great week! Love ya!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Flag Retirements

Hey everyone!

Just another week, nothing too crazy happened. We did have transfers, they happened on Tuesday. Elder Chikopa came here to serve with Elder Burchett. I am super happy cuz me and Elder Chikopa are super good friends, I served with him in Beira. He got here on Wednesday night, so I had to walk with Elder Burchett for a couple days...

This week we were casually walking down the road in front of the military academy here in Nampula and all of a sudden I hear a bunch of trumpets. Immediately everyone stopped walking and everyone that was driving pulled over and got out of their cars. Everyone was staring at me!!!! I got super scared because I thought everyone was going to attack me... But then I looked behind me and everyone was staring at the Mozambican flag being retired, not me. I was still scared though....

Also, we were visiting a member and there was a rat in her house so we went on a hunt for the rat and tried killing it...

Everything is going well! Just enjoying my time while I am here! 

Have a great week!!! And I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Here is the apple pie I made this week

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Last Chapter

Hey everyone!
So today starts my FINAL transfer on the mission. What?? That is crazy! We don’t know what will happen with transfers until tomorrow because President Koch didn’t get back from the US until yesterday... But only 6 more weeks left... 5 more P-days! So if you haven't written me, you still have 5 more opportunities! :)
This week flew by (like always). We watched General Conference! Super nice! I loved it! It was super neat sustaining my Mission President as a 70.... I don’t know if I should call him President Koch or Elder Koch....
I am so close to achieving one of my mission goals, which is to have a family name their child after me. There is a pregnant member here and she is going to have a boy. They have a list of names they are choosing from and Kaylon is on the list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can always hope!
We helped that same member who might name their kid after me, move houses. That was fun! Moving here in Africa is pretty easy. It took only one truckload to move all of their stuff.
ALSO, we had one more baptism! Teresa got baptized. She is the daughter of some members. She is super strong! She is already preparing for a mission, so that’s neat! And she is pretty much a professional soccer player here in Mozambique.
That’s what happened this week. Hope you are all doing well!
Here is a pic from the baptism.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Family Reunion


What a crazy week! So much is happening!

First off, I am getting a new mission president!!! For those of you who did not hear, President Koch was called to be a General Authority... I am kind of sad that I wont be finishing my mission with him. My new president will get here May 1st, so I will only get to know him for 3 weeks before I bounce.

I can officially say that I go home next month!!! Woot woot! This next month and a half will fly by!!!! For those of you who know how long I was working in Moab, I was in Moab longer than I have left on the mission. What...?

This week rained. De mais. Every. Single. Day. Considering I am the only drain in this city (get it? cuz I am Elder Draney), the water was covering all the streets so that made work hard...

ALSO! We had baptisms!!! We baptized Mika and Maria. It was super nice because a member also baptized his daughter, the member is named Madjuly. Madjuly is the cousin of Mika and the uncle of Maria. So we had a baptism all of the Madjuly family. It was super neat!

I still can’t believe how little time I have left. These next couple of weeks will go fast because we have so much to do. But that is good. Being busy is good!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Here is a pic from the baptism.

Here is a pic with me, Maria, and Amalia
(the sister of Mika that we are also teaching).