Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week #3

Oi everyone! It is 'Hump Day' for us here in the MTC. In 2 weeks and 6 days, I will be flying off to Africa (being that I get my Visa). So I am officially past the half-way mark of the MTC, which is a major accomplishment. Once again, this letter might be all over the place, but oh well :) This week was a great week and much better than last week. Since it was the Mission President's conference here, it was a little crazy. But there was definitely a spirit here like no other. With most of the general authorities here and occasionally the prophet training the new mission presidents, security was off the walls!! I couldn't walk ten feet without seeing a BYU Policeman (why BYU needs police, I don't know). I got to met my mission president and his wife. That was so cool!!! They are from Brazil and actually speak a decent amount of English! (Thank goodness). They discussed what we need to do to prepare for Mozambique and what to expect. It just made me even more excited to get out of the MTC and into the actual field!! GAHHH I am just so excited! They are going to be great and the mission is going to be great too. Since all of the important people took over the actual cafeteria and we were not allowed near that building, we had to eat in the gym. I thought that would be awful, but the food was even better than normal!! I didn't know that was possible! They really spoiled us this week. Let me just list a few of the many food items we had. We had Chick-fil-a, Subway, Papa Johns, Taco Bell, and Costa Vida. Costa Vida was amazing *insert heart eye emojii here*. And of course the BYU Creamery ice cream. Since we were eating in the gym, our gym time was outside. I played TONS of Sand Volleyball and it was so much fun. My team always dominated (who is keeping score? No one. Because keeping score is against the rules). On Friday, our teacher challenged us to an 'English Fast' or a 'Jejum de Ingles'. Yupp that is right, we did not speak ANY English until Sunday morning. WE WENT 48 HOURS ONLY SPEAKING PORTUGUESE! It was so hard, but I learned so much from it. We were literally reading the dictionary to learn what to say. One of my companions, Elder Rash, got really sick this weekend. He couldn't move or breathe or anything. So Elder Larsen and I gave him a blessing and now he is completely fine! A complete recovery in 24 hours! That is truly amazing. While he was sick, Elder Larsen and I would take turns staying in the room and going on splits. It was nice because I just got to sleep and study. Although we had to keep the lights off so Elder Rash could sleep, so I got creative with studying. I had some glowsticks (shoutout to my grandma) so i cracked some and read by glowstick light. I can't say that I have ever done that before, but you have got to do what you have got to do, right? I went to Sacrament meeting and Elder Larsen went to Priesthood meeting. At Sacrament I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament. I blessed it in Portuguese too!!! It was a little difficult but it was a neat experience. During Sacrament meeting, a couple of Elders, 2 sisters and I sang a musical number. Guess what language we sang in! Portuguese! Who would have thought. We sang 'Vinde a Mim', for all of my English speakers out there that is 'Come Follow Me'. It was a neat experience and it was actually really good! Last Tuesday my district was headed to the temple and we saw a car driving out of the MTC with a bunch of security. So we lined up on the side of the road and waved to the car! The person in the car rolled down their window and Elder Ballard starting waving to all 10 of us! It was so cool. So if you hear during General Conference about the awesome missionaries waving to him outside of the MTC, that is me. Thank you for everyone that is writing and emailing me! It is truly appreciated! Keep using dearelder too! Those are always fun to read! Before I go, I felt impressed to challenge everyone to watch a Mormon message. Please watch the 'Mountains to Climb' Mormon Message! It is great and so inspiring. During our "free time" (aka study time that we accidentally forget to study), our district loves watching Mormon Messages. They teach the gospel so well and bring a great spirit to our lives.

Here is a picture of the Elders in my district! We are all starting to get along great and becoming great friends! Well seya next week! Tchau!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

THE FIRST PICTURES HAVE ARRIVED!!!

CAPTAIN DRANEY!!!
 My companion, Elder Larsen
ROOMIES!!
Another elder brought an otter and I brought a moose, so we made a shrine.  
Thou shalt not judge!  :)
The Provo Temple - BEAUTIFUL!!!
 Elder Namok
 Elder Namok
 Elder Namok
Me and Elder Namok with Sis Waddell (she is super awesome and from Texas) 
and Sis Streadbeck, from Lehi!

Week #2

Oi everyone!!! This week has been quite crazy and a lot has gone on... So bear with me because this email might be a little all over the place. We have continued growing on our Portuguese and our knowledge of the Gospel! I have learned so much! My companion and I finished with our last investigator and with that experience, I learned so much about teaching with the spirit and knowing what to teach about. The last discussion we had with him, we felt inspired to go into the discussion with no preparation, as in we did not write out a plan of our lesson, did not write and key words/phrases in Portuguese, and we did not know what we were going to go over. Once we went in, the spirit completely took over. We were saying words and comprehending things we never would have before. The spirit was so strong and we all knew it. He committed to baptism and that was such a cool experience. Now, he was just role-playing so our 'investigator' was actually just a teacher, but all of the feelings we felt were sincere. We just got a new practice investigator yesterday and his name is Franca. Now this man is a major in Theology... (Oh joy). We went into the discussion and got shredded apart... Regardless, I actually learned a lot about teaching. We were assigned this investigator and he was most definitely the hardest investigator out of all the ones that were assigned. The man who played the part of Franca took us aside and told us the following, "I have been playing the part of Franca for 4 years and the first discussion is always rough. But this is the first time i have ever felt the spirit while being taught in the first discussion with this particular Investigator." That was so cool. We thought we were awful, but it turned out we did alright. So those two experiences were both really cool. Our Tuesday night devotional this week was Elder Evans from the 70. we sat in the front row because our district was the ushers for the devotional. He talked about obedience and work. It was amazing and the spirit was definitely there. The spirit is everywhere here in the MTC and that is what makes this place so special. So this week is an extremely special week here in the MTC! All of the new mission presidents are coming here to be trained! And guess who is training them?!? All of the apostles!!! So all of the apostles and maybe the prophet will be here all week training the new mission presidents, one of which is my president because my old president got sick. They have been going to each missionary and checking our dressing and grooming, they lay it on hard!!! They want perfection and make it known!!! For example, 'Elder, your pants are a centimeter short and your tie knot is a little too small. Please don't where those pants again." Yes. That did happen to me. They are even cleaning the tiniest cracks that I had no idea even existed... But I guess cleanliness is next to godliness... So now to the fun adventures of the MTC that i have had. This week has been exhausting!!! Elder Larsen and I were studying in a room and we both fell asleep. We hadn't moved in so long that the motion sensor lights turned off... That freaked us out so we both woke right up lol. To break up the monotony of the schedule here, I have taken it upon myself to look up an animal a day and what their name is in Portuguese. Quite interesting for some of the names... If you wanted to know, peacock in Portuguese is pavao (with a squiggily thingy over the a). I have may more where that came from. Like moose=alce. Now you are all enlightened. Yesterday everyone in my district had a vocabulary competition. We set up a bracket and everything. Our teacher didn't show up, so we had a whole 4 hours to have fun. After many showdown's I was declared the champion. Yupp. Many rematches have been made and I still hold the title. So an elder left this morning and his companion was left alone. So now Elder Rash is in mine and Elder Larsen's companionship. So we will see how well we work together considering we are all extremely sassy and all want our own way. I am learning how to deal with it though! As a district, we took Elder Bednar's 'Character of Christ' challenge. That is where you read the Book of Mormon and highlight everything having to do with the character of Christ. We were also promised by  some other man that if we read the entire Book of Mormon while we are in the MTC, we will leave being mostly fluent. So we took this challenge and so far so good. I have learned so much about both the Gospel and the Character of Christ! I challenge you all to read the Book of Mormon to know of it's truthfulness and to gain a better understanding of the character of Christ so you can all develop those attributes in your own life. Everyone should send me (as in an envelope) pictures that I can take to Africa! My address here at the Provo MTC for those of you that do not know is

Elder Kaylon Justin Draney
JUL20 MOZ-MAP
2009 N 900 E Unit 125
Provo, UT 84602

You can also use dearelder.com! I receive letters the same day you send them. For dearelder you don't have to make an account! Just go to dearelder.com and click 'write a letter'. From there input your address. The rest of the info is my info and can be all found in my address. My unit number is 125 and my leave date is July 20. Put my first and last name. When you choose to write a letter make sure to click 'Provo MTC'! Hand written letters are always allowed too :) I have received very few letters (of which I am most grateful for) and I would love to receive more to get me through this experience! Well that is it for this week folks. I love you all, keep writing and seya next week for the next episode of 'The Amazing Adventures of Elder Draney'. Tchau!
        


Monday, June 22, 2015

Anticipating the unknown



For a week I anticipated receiving the first letter from Kaylon, I couldn't wait to hear from him just to know that he was ok. I needed to know how he was doing, was he was loving it, hating it, wanting to come home, sick, lonely, sad, frustrated, etc. but after I got my letter from him I couldn't be happier!!! The first words I read were, "Hi mom! It has been amazing here at the MTC. I love everything and everyone!" That's all I needed to know, I am thrilled! My heart is so full, I couldn't be any more pleased with him and the progress he has made already and that he loves it there and is succeeding! It is such a relief to know that he is doing so well!
The best part was to find out that our neighbor, Ethan Larsen, from when we lived in Tooele, UT, is his companion! What are the chances of that!?!? We were neighbors for eight years where they grew up together and now they have been reacquainted as companions in the MTC, it's incredible!!!
Here's the first group email he sent. I will post all the group emails every week. Please feel free to drop him a quick email, he would love to hear from everyone!


Oi! That's 'hi' in portuguese in case you didn't know. I absolutely love the MTC! IT has been an amazing experience this far and I cannot wait for what is to come. I will be here in the MTC until around July 20, which is 6 weeks. I have already learned so much portuguese that it is ridiculous. Everyone in my district actually teases me (playfully of course) that I know so much. I guess that they could be teasing me about worse things though, right?? Anyway, I will start on the first day and try to tell you everything that I remember (it's hard to remember everything and all of the days just mush together). The first day I walked and got all of my papers and nametags and such. Afterwards I went to class, took some orientation courses, then met my district. My district actually isnt that big! We are all really close though and a bunch of good people. It is 8 elders and 2 sisters. My companion is Elder Larsen. Funny story, he was our neighbor when we lived in Tooele, Utah! Isn't that such a coincidence?? Him and I are really great friends and get along extremely well. I share a room with other elders. Elder Rash, Elder Vance, Elder Larsen are those in my room and we all get along and have a great time. Elder Vance is actually having a really rough time right now and wants to go home. We will see if we can get him to stay! We gave him a blessing of comfort a couple days ago and I think that really helped him. We spend 9+ hours in the classroom everyday studying/learning the language. It can get boring at times (I have only fallen asleep in class once! now that is an acheivement!). Our teacher Brother NOthum is great and really understands us. Elder Larsen and I have taught an investigator completely in portugeuse three times already! COMPLETELY IN PORTUGUESE! Now if you don't believe in the gift of tongues, spend a day in the MTC and all your minds will be blown. After the second day I was already able to bear my testimony and pray in all portuguese. This is our first P-day, which are on tuedays, and it has been a lot of fun. We went to the temple this morning and that was a great experience. The first time we prayed in portugeuse we all thought it was the weirdest thing, but you could really feel the spririt. Actually, you can constantly feel the spirit here in the MTC. Well, the food here is absolutely amazing (if not the best part of the MTC ;)). I have probably drank my body weight in chocolate milk. No shame. For gym time, I have ran 2 miles everyday and played tons of basketball and volleyball. It is a blast. One of the elders in my district is from austrailia and we have become good freinds too. We usually go and play volleyball together and sing Newsies. Again no shame. EVeryone here is very loving and welcoming. I tried keeping track of how many people said 'welcome to the mtc' on the first day, but i lost track because so many people said it. Oh! One of my Sister Zone LEaders is from New Zealand! I talked to her about that a ton too. The first day we had a devotional and one of the speakers talked about a story of a moose. So a curious moose saw these electric wires on the ground and started playing with them. They got tangled in his antlers. When they hoisted the wires in the air, it brought the moose up with it... AND HE GOT HUNG!!!!! WHat?!? I love moose and that was a great welcome. AND THEY SHOWED A PICTURE. Rude. Annyway, you all can use dearelder.com and write me letters. when you use that, it sends me the letters the same day you send them. If there are any people that would like to be on this group email, which will get more detailed as time goes on, just email me and tell me. I am going to put my mailing address below.

Elder Kaylon Justin Draney
JUL20 MOZ-MAP
2009 N 900 E Unit 125
Provo UT 84602

Tell people to write me and email me! As missionaries, we love recieving letters! It is very inspiring and can help us get through the day and week.
I will put my testimony below in poruguese. BUt i cant type in portugues becuase of accents and everything, so it wont tranlate completly in google. SOrry not sorry.
Eu tenho um testimunho do evangelho e de cristo. Eu sei que este ingreja e verdadeiro. Eu grato por a oportunidad servir um missao por meu pai celstial. Eu tenho muito fe e confianca em deus e jesus cristo. As escrituras e o livro de mormon sao de deus e sao verdadeiro. Eu sei que jose smith foi uma profeta de deus e falou com deus. Testifico que jesus cristo morreu por nos. Amo voces. Digo estas coisas em nome de jesus cristo, amem.


I love you all and stay in touch! Talk to you all next week!

Contact info

Here's the official contact info for Kaylon since entering the MTC...

Elder Kaylon Justin Draney
JUL20 MOZ-MAP
2009 N 900 E Unit 125
Provo UT 84602









The big day!!!

It's hard to believe that the day we dreamed about since Kaylon was born was here already!  Time goes by so fast!  It was such a bitter-sweet day, we wouldn't want him to be anywhere else but it was still hard to say good-bye!





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Sunday, June 21, 2015

And we're off!!


We all headed to Utah the day before Kaylon entered the MTC for another farewell party with friends and family from "home"!  

Introducing Elder Kaylon Draney

It's official... Kaylon was set apart by President Guymon, as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!


Party time!!!



We had a wonderful time celebrating both Kaylon's high school graduation and his mission farewell!  We live in an amazing place and are truly surrounded by wonderful friends!  Thank you everyone for all your love and support!




 





Endowment day

Kaylon received his endowments in the Chicago, Illinois LDS temple on May 29, 2015.  It was a very special day!


Melchizedek Priesthood

Kaylon received the Melchizedek Priesthood on his 18th birthday, May 19, 2015.

The Call

It finally came!!!  April 14, 2015!
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