Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hey everybody!

This is going to be a really short email.... and not much of an update. My apologies. I really wanted to share a scripture with you from 1 Peter 4:12-13. It has been a rough week with one person we are teaching. We want so badly for them to accept the message we are sharing, but they don't want to right now. It has been stressful and heartbreaking because of how much we love them. Yesterday in church I read this scripture which says,

"12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery atrial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." (1 Peter 4:12-13)

This is Peter speaking, but I imagined my Heavenly Father speaking directly to me. I found so much comfort from this scripture. I am also reminded of a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 101:16

"16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God." (D&C 101:16)

I know that God is aware of each of us. I have absolutely no doubt about it. I have felt his love for me and for others many times. I know that through faith in Christ miracles happen. I have seen that on my mission and those same kinds of miracles can happen to any of God's children. (that means all of us. :D ) I know that this is the Lord's work and it isn't just the full-time missionaries who are called to participate in it. As you share the gospel with your friends, family and others you can feel that same joy. It is amazing! I love missionary work, stress and all. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love you!

 At the hospital. I have been to the hospital more times as a missionary than I have in my entire life. We took one of the OSU sisters to the hospital on Friday night. She had an asthma attack. She is doing good now. :)

Me, Sister Cooper and Sister Allgood. I love these two so much! :D

 Me and Elder Lott (the District Leader) GO SOONERS! :)

Christmas Eve with the OSU sisters & Zone Leaders  L2R: Sister Pfister (who is practically my twin. We may as well be the same person. haha!) Sister Johnson, Elder Westwood, Elder Franco, Me, Sister Cooper

My gloves and scarf I got for Christmas.

I was helping Sister Cooper memorize the 1st vision... I ended up drawing it for her. Yeah... be jealous of my art skills.

Love, Sister Record

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Happy Christmas Eve!
What a wonderful time of year to be a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to be here in Oklahoma at this time with so many people who know and love their Savior, Jesus Christ.

This past week has felt like two weeks rolled into one. Sister Nelson and Sister Christensen went home, Sister Obena went to OU, and I picked up my new companion at transfers. My new companion is Sister McKenzie Cooper from Salt Lake City. She is so great! She has such a strong desire to share the gospel with people. She is also super short, which is kind of fun. She is 4'9 :) haha! It's so great. I can only imagine what people think when the two of us knock on their door. I was going to send pictures of me and my new companion, but I can't find my camera cord. Maybe next week.

The past few days have been great with Sister Cooper. She invited somebody to be baptized on her 2nd day and on Saturday gave away her first Book of Mormon. I was so proud of her. :) We have been working really hard and striving to be exactly obedient and we have seen miracles! I know that our Heavenly Father provides us with miracles according to our faith and obedience.

One of those miracles was that last Sunday a member gave us a referral. She had given a lady a ride home from the store because she locked her keys in the car. Our member told us that this woman had met with missionaries before when she lived in Chickasha. She has been to church a few times since she has been here. (I had no idea she ever came to our church before.) She is even friends with a few other members in our ward and some in the 1st ward. We went and saw her on Wednesday, but she was about to leave so we didn't talk to her much.

Yesterday we hadn't planned to see her, but we decided we needed to go see her. We went to her home and she let us right in. We got to talking and she had met with Sister missionaries 4 years ago before she moved here. She told us how she doesn't understand why there are so many churches. She believes there should only be one church because there is only one God. As she was talking I felt the soft, quiet prompting that she needs to be invited to be baptized. So Sister Cooper and I taught a 3 minute version of the Restoration. We asked her if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by somebody holding the priesthood authority of God. She said she would! :D She didn't set a date to be baptized, but she said she wants to be baptized. She talked about how she was baptized as a baby, but it wasn't by immersion. She told us that she felt she needed to be baptized by immersion. It was an incredible experience! We are going back after Christmas to teach her. She is so READY for this in her life! I am so excited to start teaching her.

Yesterday Sister Cooper and I taught Sunday school. We read the Christmas story in Luke 2. As we read I had an insight that I have never had before. I can't tell you how many times I have heard this story. In Luke 2:15-17 it talks about the shepherds after the angel told them about the birth of Christ.

“15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:15-17)

What stood out to me was in verse 16 it says that, "they came with haste". Once they knew about the birth of Christ they quickly went to see him. Then in verse 17 they shared what they knew with people after they saw Christ. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that each of us quickly grab hold of that knowledge and then "make it known abroad" concerning His Gospel. :)

Yup... missionary work is the best. A hardworking missionary is a happy missionary. I have come to learn this throughout my mission. Sister Cooper and I made a transfer goal to come home every night exhausted. So far we are doing pretty good with that goal. haha!

I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas! I love you!!
Love, Sister Record

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is Going to be Good! :)

Sister Obena, Sister Nelson and I
Hey everybody!
This has been a crazy week! Sister Nelson has been packing and getting ready to go home so the week was a little out of the ordinary. Her and Sister Christensen left this morning. I feel so blessed to have served around these two amazing Sisters. They are my friends and have taught me so much! I love them! :)
Sister Obena is going to Norman to serve at OU! wooohooo! Sister Nelson and I were so excited to hear she would be serving there. (Both of us have a special love for Noman.) Sister Obena is going to love Norman, even if she never becomes an OU fan. haha!

I love this sign
on the way into Stillwater. :)
This week was the new trainers meeting. This will be the last set of sisters to come into the mission who are 21 and over. Next transfer the 19 year olds will start coming in. It's so exciting! There is a lot of responsibility being placed on the missionaries in this mission (especially the Sisters it feels like) to train the new sisters effectively so they will be prepared to train new missionaries in 12 weeks. It is an exciting time to me a missionary! :)

I have a lot of goals and things I want to do with my new companion and with the area this next transfer. My biggest desire is that I do it ALL in the Lord's way and how he would want me and my new companion to do things. If you could add that in your prayers I would very much appreciate it.
Sister Nelson and I with honey on our faces. Yes... Honey. Somebody told us if you put good honey on your face it gets rid of peach fuzz. Of course, we had to try it. Yeah... we still have peach fuzz. The only thing the honey did was make for some great videos and pictures. :)

Yesterday was such a great day at church! I gave a talk about drawing strength from prayer and scripture study, which went well. We had four people we are teaching come to church. We were running around like crazy. It was so busy, but so great! The members of the ward were so great and so welcoming to those people who were at church. Through my whole mission I have never had that many people come at one time. It was a marvelous experience, and a great last Sunday for Sister Nelson. :)
Sister Nelson,
Sister Christensen and I

Sister Nelson and I this
morning before
she left.

Well.... I really don't have a whole lot to say this week. (sorry) I am so excited to be given the wonderful opportunity to train again. If it is anything like my first experience, this wonderful sister will teach me far more than I will teach her. :) I don't know her, but I love her already!

I love you! Keep being amazing! I can't even tell you how much I love all of you. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I wish I could give all of you a big hug right now. :) The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I know that because of this scripture in the Book of Mormon, "And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." Mosiah 5:2

Love, Sister Record

This video is so inspiring! I love it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Power and Authority of Missionaries

Hey y'all! :)
This week has been great. Probably the greatest week of the transfer so far. :) I will get to that though. The week has gone so fast! I swear it was just a couple hours ago that I was sitting at this computer writing home last Monday.

Have you noticed any difference in your missionary work during or as a result of the recent presidential election? Did the fact that Mitt Romney is a member of the Church affect your missionary labors or questions about the Church? Has it been good, bad, or indifferent in your respective missions?
In answer to your question about the recent election, I didn't notice much a difference. I have had people mention Mitt Romney and tell me I should vote for him (or tell me they voted for him). But that is about the extent of it. Now if the fact that he was a member of the church and that caused people to listen to us when they may not have otherwise... I have no idea. Nobody has mentioned it.

Is there anything special you want from home?
um..... I can't think of anything really..... thanks for asking though.

What was the hardest thing you faced this week?
Sister Nelson getting ready to go home next Monday. I'm really going to miss her. We have gone through so much together. Thankfully I will see her next summer, so it will is not that bad. 

What was the most joyous experience you had this week?
Seeing the power and authority of our calling as missionaries. I'll try to explain what happened, but I know it isn't going to be as great as the actual experience. Feelings are hard enough to communicate verbally let alone through an email. I pray the Spirit will help those who read this feel the excitement and emotion behind what I write.

So Friday after district meeting we went out tracting in the rain. :) It was pretty fun. We prayed with a couple people, but didn't find any new people to teach. We also checked on some less active members. While we were checking on them Sister Obena saw from across the parking lot another one of our less active members. It was so perfect! We didn't know where he was living, but now we do. :) We were able to talk to him and invite him to church and the ward activity that night. It was all a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Now, if that would have been all that happened that day I would have been happy. I knew that we had worked hard and had used the Lord's time wisely, even though we didn't see a whole lot of things happen from the work we had done. However, the Lord blessed us with so much later that evening! Both Sister Nelson and I both had the feeling that since we had been working so hard the Lord was going to provide a miracle for us later that evening. We knew our bishop had invited his friend, [Name withheld], who is not a member to the ward Christmas party. I had this thought that our miracle was going to be with [Name withheld]. It was a very quick thought that left as quick as it came.

Well we get to the Christmas party and [Name withheld] is there. (Originally he wasn't going to be there, but things happened a few days earlier to where his plans changed and he would be able to make it). We talked with [Name withheld] the whole time. After the Christmas party was over Sister Nelson and I sat and talked to him for nearly 2 hours! (Sister Obena was helping clean up)

At first [Name withheld] was doing most of the talking and we sat and listened to what he was saying. I did get worried that we wouldn't be able to share much with him about the gospel because he kept talking about other things. But we sat and listened to [Name withheld] and the things he wanted to share with us. Then [Name withheld] told us of a near death experience he had. For the sake of time, his story reminded me of Alma the Younger. (see Alma 36:6-16) Both Sister Nelson and I thought of Alma 36 and shared the story with him. We told him about how Alma experienced the same thing he did and how he turned to Christ and repented of his sins. I wish you could have seen [Name withheld]'s face while we shared that story with him. He was listening so intently to what we were saying.

Sister Nelson asked [Name withheld] if he had ever read the Book of Mormon before. At first he didn't want to read it. He was concerned that it was all the doctrines of Joseph Smith. We made it clear that the Book of Mormon only contained the doctrine of Jesus Christ. [Name withheld] had some other concerns about the Book of Mormon. I had the impression to be bold and straightforward with him in bearing my testimony of the Book of Mormon and of prophets. So that's what I did. (and so did Sister Nelson.) The spirit was so strong! I could hardly sit still.

Sister Nelson gave him a 1 minute version of the 1st lesson. As I sat and listened to her speak I could feel the power and authority in the words she spoke. I knew that she was speaking by the Spirit and that the things we shared with [Name withheld] were true. (As a missionary I know we have power and authority to preach the gospel and that people see missionaries in a different way. However, since I'm around other missionaries all the time and have that power and authority to preach the gospel it is hard for me to always see the difference, even though I know it is there.)

At one point [Name withheld] said something about how we can't take our families with us after we die. Sister Nelson bore a POWERFUL testimony of the reality that families can be together forever. We know [Name withheld] felt the power behind the things we said by the Spirit to him. He even told us that he liked the Spirit he felt when we spoke. By the end of our conversation with him he took a copy of the Book of Mormon. :)

Interestingly enough, when he was talking at the beginning there was a lot of commotion around us. People were cleaning up the gym and it was pretty loud and crazy. Once Sister Nelson and I started to bear our testimonies the gym had cleared out and nobody was there. [Name withheld] made the comment to our bishop afterwords that Sister Nelson and I were "spiritual powerhouses". I know it was the Spirit working through us to soften his heart though. I know he felt that way because we are called of God to preach His gospel by His Spirit. He also told Bishop (and later us) that he was amazed at how the time flew by while we were talking. He was amazed that even though there were people around us he felt like the three of us were the only ones in the gym. (we felt the same way)

We saw [Name withheld] yesterday and he has read from the Book of Mormon. He still has questions and concerns that are very common. However, we will start teaching him this week. :) He is a great guy and we absolutely love him!

He taught us some valuable lessons too. I mentioned that if he is in a room with 500 people he didn't know, but these people know Christ and believe in Christ he should get 500 invitations to come unto Christ. He talked a lot about how we have things to offer people and we shouldn't leave anybody without invitations to come unto Christ. This doesn't just apply to full-time missionaries. If anything it applies to regular members of the Church. We must OPEN OUR MOUTHS and share this gift we have been given. It was very profound. I will never forget it!

So that was probably the most memorable experience I had this week. However, that wasn't the only one. On Wednesday we were teaching a lady from China. She is having a hard time understanding Jesus Christ as the only one who could be the Savior of the world. We had planned to teach her the Plan of Salvation but as we were studying that morning the inspiration came to us to use Alma 34:8-16. As a companionship we came up with this analogy of Christ being the only doctor who can heal us. I can't go into the whole analogy, (I'm getting tired of typing and running out of time) but we taught her using this analogy. It ended up being a super spiritual lesson! She was so excited because she understood and it was clear to her. :)

What was the funniest thing you saw or felt this week?
haha! One of the members of our ward is a little Korean lady. We were visiting her on Saturday and she told us that if you put "good" honey on your face it makes it soft and gets rid of peach fuzz. She gave us some "good" honey and Sister Nelson and I put it on our face that night. The honey didn't do anything except make our faces sticky and make for some pretty great pictures and videos. We were laughing so hard! Sister Obena thought we were crazy! :) I will send some pictures.

I say it every week, but I love being a missionary! It is hard work and I cry about it sometimes, but it is the BEST thing ever! My testimony is growing so strong! But even more importantly I am becoming more deeply converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A testimony is important because it leads to deep and lasting conversion. However having a testimony of something doesn't do us much good if we are not converted to the gospel. 

The Bible Dictionary says this about conversion, "Conversion. Denotes changing one’s views, in a conscious acceptance of the will of God (Acts 3:19). If followed by continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism in water for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, conversion will become complete, and will change a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person—a new creature in Christ Jesus (see 2 Cor. 5:17). Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing (see Luke 22:32; D&C 112:12–13). To labor for the conversion of one’s self and others is a noble task, as in Ps. 51:13; Dan. 12:3; James 5:19–20; D&C 18:15–16. Cf. Alma 26."

I love you! I hope you have a great week! Remember the gospel is true! :)
Love, Sister Record

Monday, December 3, 2012


Stillwater Zone! :) I love that we have 6 sisters in our zone!
Hello family and friends!
This week has been amazing. Then again, every week is amazing. Even the weeks that are hard. This last week we had temple conference. I will talk about that in a minute. Last Thursday Sister Nelson, Sister Obena and I wanted to reach all of our goals by the following Thursday (the day before temple conference). Well, our faith was high and we reached our goals by Thursday. It was amazing! :D

Temple conference! Can you say incredible!? President and Sister Taylor talked to us about all the new missionaries coming out in the next six months, especially the new sisters. Currently we have 18 Sisters in our mission and by June we will have 56! I am so excited! President and Sister Taylor told us how as a mission we need to be prepared for what is coming. In order to increase faith as a mission the entire mission is reading/studying the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel. We have a schedule we are following and we will be done by the end of March. I am so excited for all the changes coming up. I feel such a weight put on my shoulders to be prepared for all the new sisters. It is a good thing though. Faith is very high right now. :)

President and Sister Taylor. I aboslutely love these two!
We started studying the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel on Saturday. I have learned SO MUCH in the last couple days. I was only able to study one chapter of the Book of Mormon and like a page of PMG! I was pondering why all of the sudden I feel a flood of inspiration coming to me. I have read PMG cover to cover before. I have read the Book of Mormon multiple times. I realized that President Taylor has been inspired to have us do this as a mission. As we act on what he has asked us to do we are in essence doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do to strengthen this mission. When we have faith to act we then see many miracles. :)

We taught our new investigator twice this past week. I'll call her A.P. She is fantastic! She is from Georgia and is the most spunky, soulful African American woman I have ever met. She has a strong faith in Christ. She is so kind and loving and I loved her from the first time we talked to her. We taught her about the Restoration. She basically already believes all of the things we have taught. She didn't have any problems with prophets, with priesthood authority or anything. The best part of the lesson was when we have A.P a copy of the Book of Mormon. She made a comment which made me think of 2 Nephi 29:7-9 .

“7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. ”

Sister Nelson and Sister Record in an Oklahoma sunset.
I opened up to it and was getting ready to share it. Then Sister Nelson opened her scriptures (she was sitting on the opposite end of the table from me) and as this was happening A.P flipped open the Book of Mormon and started reading. She opened right up to these verses and started reading aloud. She was ready to turn the page again but Sister Nelson stopped her and told her that all three of us had opened up to the same verses. A.P thought that was pretty great. :) (and so did we!) We read the verses and she put the Book of Mormon down, hit the table with her hand and shouted "AMEN!" The next time we went over she made a comment about how the Book of Mormon teaches you "how to fly" so to speak. We are meeting with her again tomorrow. We are excited. :)

On Saturday we were out tracting (unlike Alaska where Elder Record is, it is beautiful here! 60 and 70 degree weather! woohoo!) and I really didn't want to do it for whatever reason. I always know when I feel that way it means I need to be doing that thing I may not want to do. Anyway, I said a prayer that I would be able to have a desire to do what I knew I needed to do. Sister Nelson recognized I was thinking about something so she asked me. I told her and she said, "well, lets go find those people who are prepared." The very first door we knocked on was a single mother. She was open to us praying with her. As Sister Nelson was praying for her the spirit was strong. As we were praying the thought came to me to ask her if she felt any different after the prayer than she did before we prayed with her. After the prayer was over I asked her and she said, "It's funny you should mention that. I was just thinking about how I felt lighter." I was able to testify that feeling she felt was the Holy Ghost telling her that God was listening and that he loved her. It was a great experience. We are going to go back sometime this week to teach her. :) After this experience I was feeling much better and was ready to go share my testimony with everybody in that neighborhood. It is amazing what prayer can do.

While we were in this neighborhood every person who opened the door allowed us to pray for them. We haven't had that happen in a while. It was amazing! :) As we were walking around two kids (probably about 10 years old) asked who we were and what we were doing. We told them we were missionaries and that we go around teaching people about Jesus Christ. Then they rode off on their little scooters.

About 15 minutes later we knocked on a door and were talking to a college age young woman. Before we even started talking to her these two kids were behind us telling us that we should go to their house and they told us where their house was. We told them we would go over to their house next.

Well after we were done talking with that young woman we started walking over to the house of the kids but they found us and told us that they just remembered their parents were not home. So we are going to go back either today or tomorrow to talk to the parents of these kids. I'm pretty excited! I love kids! They are so open to the Spirit. :)

Well, I am so grateful to be a missionary! It is a wonderful opportunity and I love it! There is no place I would rather be than here in Oklahoma serving the Lord. I love the Book of Mormon and I know without a doubt that book is of God. How do I know it is inspired of God?

"And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." Mosiah 5:2

I know this Book is true because it has wrought a mighty change in my heart. This book has brought me closer to my Savior Jesus Christ than I ever have been in my entire life. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true, I know that this, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that we have a living prophet today, President Thomas S Monson.

I love y'all very much! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Record

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

Hey y'all!

This past week has been great! Thanksgiving was fun! For dinner we actually had lunch and noon. We went out with an elderly couple in the ward. They took us to a buffet similar to Golden Corral. Neither Sister Nelson nor I have never been out to eat on Thanksgiving and Sister Obena has never had Thanksgiving before so it was a fun experience for all of us! Then we went to the institute with the OSU sisters and played games. Me, Sister Nelson, and Sister Christensen sat and talked forever about our time at OU together and all the people we met there. My heart is full of gratitude for all the experiences I had in Norman as well as all the experiences I've had on my mission. It is incredible and I wouldn't trade any of it for all the money in the world. :)

We are working with an investigator who is making tremendous progress! :D He got rid of things in his apartment that were hindering his progress last Saturday. It has been amazing to see the change in his countenance just by doing that. He is preparing for baptism on December 15th! It is so exciting to see the gospel changing him. He comes to church every Sunday and he recognizes the difference in his life. 

The OSU sisters found us a great new potential investigator. :D We are going to meet her sometime in the next couple days. I guess this woman came up to the sisters in the library and asked them if they were Mormon missionaries. They said they were and this woman told them that she wanted to meet with missionaries again. She had met with them before, but hadn't in a while. This may be the miracle Sister Nelson, myself and Sister Obena have been praying for! It is so exciting! 

I am so excited to be in this area! There is so much potential it almost kills me. haha! I'm just kidding. Really though, I am excited for what is in store for me, for the area, etc. over the next few months.

I have come to appreciate all the seemingly little miracles that happen in life. We had two people come to church yesterday. They are the Zone Leader's investigators, but we have all been working with them and have been trying to get them to come to church for a while now. We were riding our bikes to go visit a less active member of our ward on Friday. Sister Nelson stopped her bike and asked me to check the phone. I did and we had a text from this husband and wife asking us what they should wear to church. It was such a good feeling! The great thing is, when we checked the phone we were on their street. haha! We went and visited with them for a few minutes and told them what they needed to know. They loved church Sunday. :)
Later Friday night we were visiting another less active member we are working with. We started talking about prayer and repentance. I had a thought come to mind so I said it. After I shared with her she told me that she looked at prayer in a way she had never looked at it before. I know that was the Spirit directing me on what to say. Because I acted on the prompting things were said that built her faith. My faith was built as well and I'm so grateful for that experience. 

OOO!! Temple conference is this Friday! I am so excited to go to the temple! :D President Taylor gave us all a homework assignment to complete before Friday. I love having things to think about before I go to the temple. It makes it even that much more meaningful. 

So I realized something kind of funny. (I thought it was funny, you may not, but of course I'm still going to share.) For probably about 70% or so my mission I have been in a trio companionship. I was even in a trio in the MTC. I basically haven't been with just one companion since I finished training. I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm in a regular companionship. haha! I love Sister Nelson and Sister Obena! They are fantastic! Sister Nelson goes home on the 17th of December. We have served altogether for nearly 6 months. It's been fun! I'm sad she's leaving, but it is time. I've learned a lot from Sister Nelson and I'm grateful we've served for so long together. It is hard to believe how fast time is going. Well, I sure do love y'all! If I could give you all a hug I would. So just know a hug is implied here. :D

Love, Sister Record

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

BOOMER SOONER cupcakes! Go OU!
Hey all!

I hope all is well where ever you may be. :) This week has been great! We have been working with a woman who is actually in the Elder's ward. Well, she got baptized on Saturday. It was fantastic! She is an OU football fan so we made her cupcakes since she missed part of the game to be baptized. Sister T. is a wonderful woman! She is so childlike and innocent. She loves the Savior and she loves the gospel. She also loves missionary work and has already given pamphlets to her neighbors. She always tells us that next summer she will be out riding her bike with us. haha! I love Sister T!

Sister Record, Sister Obena, Sister T and Sister Nelson at Sister T's baptism.
"She is always pulling funny faces. haha! She is such a joy to be around!"
We had Elder Shayne M Bowen of the Seventy come speak to us for our mission tour. Here is a link for the talk he gave last conference and for the one in 2006. Anyway, Elder Bowen is such a nice man. He shook all of us missionaries hands, asked us where we were from and then welcomed us to the conference. He and his wife are wonderful people.

Sister Nelson ready to kill the pesky fly
Elder Bowen talked about the Abrahamic Covenant, the Baptismal Covenant, the gathering of the House of Israel and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. It was fantastic! If you want good study topics study these things and how they all connect. Anyway, It was a great conference and I can't begin to tell you all the great things he talked about. He did talk a lot about who we are and our purpose in life. It was pretty incredible.

We are working hard here in Stillwater, there is a lot of work to do. I am excited for all the wonderful things that will come in the next few months I am here. This area has a lot of great potential. The people here are great! Very humble, God fearing people. :) I love them!
Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week? I am excited for it! It is my one and only Thanksgiving as a missionary. It's going to be good! :D I hope you all travel safely and remember to be thankful for the MANY blessing God has given you ( I am so grateful for the many many blessing I have been given. I cant even begin to count them. I love you all so much! 

Question: If life were a color, what color would it be and why?
Beautiful Oklahoma Sky!
I have to chose just one color? My answer is, it would be a swirl of blues and oranges. (Picture the two colors side by side on a palate. You don't mix the two colors, but make swirls with the two of them.) I have a cool image in my head. I say blues and oranges because sometimes in life we have moments of sadness and heartache, but then moments of happiness and joy (the oranges). When you carefully combine the two (not mix) you have something beautiful. At least, I am picturing something pretty great in my head. :)
Sister Obena going in to eat thecupcakes

However, if you want just one color.... I would have to say.... a soft yellow. It's a happy color and overall life is a pretty happy thing. Even when we are sad, there are always things to be learned. Hope that answers your question. :)

Love Sister Record

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OU Sooners beat the OSU Cowboys!

Hey all!
I have officially been transferred to Stillwater Oklahoma!! It is really weird being back in a family ward and not working with the students. I have been in Norman for the last 5 1/2 months. I am excited to be with Sister Nelson here in Stillwater. I love being companions with her! We were companions for 4 months in Norman and now we get to be companions for another six weeks. That is nearly 6 months of being companions with her! We joke around that I have been following her around my entire mission. I came to Oklahoma and we were in the same district. Then she left for Norman and I followed her there six weeks later. She came to Stillwater and now I'm with her again after six weeks. Its pretty funny. :) 

I also have another companion, Sister Obena. She is from Kiribati. She is the sweetest person ever! I am so excited to be companions with her. I absolutely love being in a trio too! I was in a trio in the MTC and I've been in a trio for almost the last six months! Its great! Sister Obena received her patriarchal blessing yesterday, so it was really special to be able to be there for that. The patriarch (who is also a senior missionary in our mission) called Sister Nelson and I substitute parents and we got to share our thoughts about patriarchal blessings. :)

I have really enjoyed Stillwater so far. It is a lot different than Norman though. Stillwater and Norman are both college towns and are actually have rival football teams. Sister Nelson and I are both OU (Norman) fans though. The ward members tease that I had to be sent up here to Stillwater to repent and become an OSU fan. haha! 

It has been crazy busy! We have some great people we are teaching and one lady should be getting baptized on Saturday. She is an amazing lady and I can't even tell you how much I love her! She is so excited about getting baptized and learning about the gospel.

We have been working with a less active member in the Elder's ward. We are helping her to stop smoking. She had her last cigarette on Tuesday and she has been smoke free since then. She even came to church and her nonmember friend came with her. :) They both loved church and she said she was thinking about coming back to church! yayay! Anyway, I love this woman. She is so kind hearted and has faced a lot of opposition in her life but, she has a desire to do the right thing.

I found a couple scriptures I really love and I wanted to share. First is John 13:8. This is the story of when Jesus washed the apostle's feet. "Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." I loved this scripture when I read it. I had to read it and reread it. It is so vital that we let the Savior's Atonement wash us and make us clean so we can be with Him and our Heavenly Father again. Not only so we can be with them after this life, but also so we can have the companionship of the Holy Ghost in this life. So how do we let Christ's atonement cleanse us? Well, we have heard how to do it before. It is by the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. 

We must have faith in Jesus Christ in order to repent of our sins (Enos 1:6-8). After we repent, or change for the better, we have a desire to more fully follow Jesus Christ. We follow Jesus Christ by making and keeping covenants or promises with our Heavenly Father. The first covenant we make is through baptism. Along with baptism comes the baptism by fire or receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We must have this gift. The Holy Ghost is a purifier and a sanctified (Helaman 3:35) and without him we cannot be prepared to meet our Heavenly Father again. The Holy Ghost gives us the strength and the power to endure to the end. This is what is called the Doctrine of Christ and it is the way we gain full access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. :D

I also found a scripture in Jeremiah 4:14 the other day. "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?" We shared this scripture with one of our investigators who has some things he needs to get rid of in his life in order to be baptized. He set a date to get rid of those things by Saturday, so we are happy for him. :)

We are all excited for the transfer and for all the new missionaries coming out soon. Change is a' comin' and I'm excited to be a part of it! I love being a missionary! I am so happy that I can continue to do missionary work after my mission and that I can teach my own family to do missionary work! I am so excited! haha! 

We were listening to a CD in the car called "The Missionary Next Door" by Diana Holscher. (I probably butchered the spelling on the last name.) I would HIGHLY recommend you find that and listen to it. It talks mostly about being a member missionary. Seriously, the members are so VITAL in the success of the work we do as missionaries. I never realized how important you are in the work of the Lord. We CANNOT do this without you! The Lord needs, we need you, to invite your friends and family who are not currently enjoying the blessings of the gospel to learn how they can enjoy those blessings. This is not a sales pitch. Be loving and kind and share the gospel because you want people to feel the love of their Heavenly Father. :D I heard something yesterday that I want to end with. "I am an ordinary person striving for an extraordinary eternity!"
I invite you to pray for opportunities to share the gospel with those you love. At a time when giving and loving is so prevalent, why don't we share with others the greatest gift we have been given? I promise if you are willing to act on what God tells you to do, you will recognize those people who are ready and just waiting for what you have to share. You will find so much happiness in sharing the gospel with others. Don't be afraid of opening your mouth. :) (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36, 33:8)

Thank You for all of your support! I love you SO MUCH and am so grateful for all you are doing to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around you! That is probably the best Christmas present for me, to know those I love are anxiously engaged in a good cause. :)

Love, Sister Record

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crazy Things are Happenin Here!

Hey all!

So we got transfer calls yesterday and some CRAZY news. Before I tell you about that I want to share some fun facts. Since the announcement of the missionary age change the average applications sent to Salt Lake City for missionary service went from 700/week to 4000/week!! 53% of those applications were Sister missionaries. We are so excited here!! :D I bet you're wondering (or maybe not) what this may mean for the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission. I will tell you. :)

By March (that is 4 months from now) the number of missionaries we have will jump from 130 to 216. That is 86 new missionaries. When a member of the 70 called President Taylor and asked if he wanted 86 new missionaries President Taylor said he did and he wanted mostly Sisters. So... half of those 86 new missionaries will be Sisters! :D We start getting the new missionaries in December. It is so exciting! Most of the Sisters currently in the mission will be training.
On our way to a service project to paint a house.
I have found a renewed desire to be even better than I am. The Lord is going to require more from me than he has. It is time to step up my game. I am doing my best to really become a consecrated missionary and give the Lord my all. It is a privilege and a blessing to be a missionary at this time in the Church's history. :)

To prepare the Sisters currently here get ready for when those new Sisters come in President Taylor did some crazy things with transfers. Sister Allgood is heading down to Lawton to finish her training (new missionaries RARELY leave their 1st area to finish training) and I am being transferred to Stillwater,OK! I will be in the Stillwater 2nd ward. Guess who my companion is.... SISTER NELSON! waaaa! I'm so excited! When the Zone Leaders told us I could hardly believe it. I knew I was leaving, but I wasn't expecting to go to Stillwater and I especially wasn't expecting to be companions with Sister Nelson again. Especially because I just companions with her 6 weeks ago. I will miss Norman, but I know the Lord needs me in Stillwater.

Sister Fraire with our ghost pinata
Sister Fraire will be getting two new companions. (It is really strange to transfer two of the three in companionship. Usually just one leaves.) Sister Fraire and I have become really close in the last 6 weeks. She has helped me with so much. I love her and will really really miss her. We already have plans to come back to a OU football game next football season. :) I will miss Sister Allgood too. I will really miss her piano playing skills. Thankfully she is making me a CD! score!

Okay... I guess I should update you on what else has been happening. We have one girl we are teaching who is amazing! We have been teaching her since the end of September. She is progressing so well! We have been teaching her a lot about prayer. We had an amazing lesson with her yesterday. The Spirit was so strong! We are striving to help her realize she is a Daughter of God who loves her. She hasn't felt that love for so long. I love her and will really miss teaching her. I can't wait to hear how she progresses. However, I have been getting letters from Sister Nelson, and I am excited to meet the people we will be teaching there. They have 3 or 4 people they are teaching right now who are really progressing.

On Wednesday we were on campus and met a guy and started talking to him. He told us that Mormons were some of the nicest people he had ever met. He said that we were all "out of this world nice" and then asked if it was something in the water. haha! I was able to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He wasn't interested in knowing more, but it was great to be able to bear my testimony.

I had a great insight this morning! (Sister Allgood and Sister Fraire laughed at me, but that is okay. :D ) I have been studying about faith and hope. Even before I was a missionary I was trying to distinguish what the difference is. Obviously they are not synonymous. If they were they wouldn't be used separately in the scriptures (and everywhere else for that matter). I had all these definitions of faith and hope.... but I was still having a hard time making the distinction. Well, was I was studying I was getting really sleepy. I thought to myself that if I get up and get dressed I would wake up. So I did. As I was getting dressed the distinction hit me! While I was studying I had the HOPE that if I got up and got dressed I would wake up. I had FAITH when I acted upon that hope. (see pages 116 and 117 of Preach My Gospel) It really was quite the epiphany for me. I told my companions during companion study and they just laughed. haha! It was pretty funny. I am happy I finally understand the difference. :)

Sister Allgood, Me and Sister Fraire still at the service project :)
Oh my goodness! I LOVE missionary work! I LOVE Oklahoma! I LOVE Norman! I LOVE Sister Fraire and Sister Allgood. I will miss them, but like I said, I am excited for all the new things happening in the mission. The Lord's work is definitely hastening in Oklahoma and faith is being built. The Lord has many of his children prepared to hear and accept the message of the Restoration. He has already done all the hard work in preparing them. It is our job...excuse me.... our PRIVILEGE to find them.

I love y'all so much! Thank you for ALL of your support. You are always in my prayers! Keep being the amazing people you are!

Love Always, Sister Record

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Work of the Lord Shall Roll Forth!

Hey Y'all!

This week has been an interesting week. We didn't get any new investigators, but we have faith that miracles will happen this week. In reality, we did have a lot of miracles, just maybe not in the way we expected. We were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to our neighbor. We have been teaching her for a month now. It was a really good lesson, but holy cow! Satan didn't want us to teach that to her. The opposition that was coming at me, Sister Fraire and Sister Allgood was intense all day last Wednesday. We knew we needed to teach [Name Withheld 1] the Plan of Salvation. We ended up having a really good lesson with her. She really liked the concept of the three degrees of glory. We were surprised that the biggest problem she had with the Plan of Salvation was pre-mortal life. We have a lesson with her this evening to talk more about how she is a daughter of God. We are really excited about it. :) 

Last night we had our only investigator with a baptismal date tell us that he has been praying and he doesn't feel like Mormonism is for him. He told us he felt like God was telling him he needed to go a different way in his life. It was a heart breaking moment. He hasn't completely stopped meeting with us yet, he agreed to read 3rd Nephi 11 & 17 and keep praying about the Book of Mormon and meet with us at least once more. [Name Withheld 2]'s biggest problem is that he can't wrap his mind around modern day prophets. He has grown up being taught that the Bible is it and there is no more that God had to say. We told him that as he prays he must be open to the idea that all the things we teach him could be true. 

After he and our member left, the three of us said a very heartfelt and sincere prayer. We prayed desperately that He receives some kind of answer and keeps meeting with us. He will be such a great member of the Church. However, all three of us felt the Spirit tell us that Heavenly Father is in control. He is aware of him and what he is going through. We want to do all we can to help him receive the restored gospel but also realize that this is all in the Lord's hands. It may not be time for him yet, I don't know. We love him and really only desire for him to find the joy that the gospel brings. We all have felt strongly that "all flesh is in [the Lord's] hands" (D&C 101:16). [Name Withheld 2] may not accept the message of the Restoration at this time in his life, but I'm confident that he will at some point in his life. The Lord is working with him and will continue to work with him throughout his life. Regardless of what happens, at least we have grown closer to Heavenly Father and as a companionship through this experience. I know the Lord knows everything and is aware of what each of His children needs. I know he is very aware of me and my needs. I have learned and changed so much since I've been on my mission. A lot of the times that learning and growing is painful, but I know I am becoming the Woman that God wants me to become because of it. 

I am thankful for all the wonderful things I'm learning from Sister Fraire and Sister Allgood. I am thankful for Sister Allgood's ability to play the piano. Yesterday after our lesson with [Name Withheld 2] she played the Hymns, "Saviour, Redeemer of My Soul", "Sing We Now At Parting" and some other ones. It brought the Spirit and really calmed my troubled heart. 

Thursday we talked to Jeff about starting his family history work. Jeff is the ONLY member of the Church in his family. Not only is he the only member of the Church in his immediate family, but also the first in 100's of years. Jeff committed to start his family history work and prepare names to be taken to the temple! :D I can't even describe the feeling that came over me after we were done talking with him! I feel SO BLESSED to have been one of many instruments in the Lord's hands in bringing Jeff into the Church of Jesus Christ. It is an indescribable feeling, but my heart was overflowing with gratitude and joy. Even as I talk about it now I feel so happy! It is amazing & humbling to know that the Lord is using me, an imperfect person, to accomplish his purposes. (Moses 1:39

I have learned that each of us has a far more reaching effect on other people than we realize. I love being a missionary because the work we do reaches far beyond what we see. As we fulfill our purpose and help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End we effect generations. Jeff is sharing the gospel with his mom and brothers and soon will take names of his family who have passed on to the temple. His conversion to the gospel will affect generations in the future as well. And there are tens of thousands of people like him! This work truly is marvelous! 
Oklahoma football is insane!

I love what Elder Holland said "Contrary to the parlance of the day, this is about you. No, don’t turn and look at your neighbor. I am talking to you! I have struggled to find an adequate way to tell you how loved of God you are and how grateful we on this stand are for you. I am trying to be voice for the very angels of heaven in thanking you for every good thing you have ever done, for every kind word you have ever said, for every sacrifice you have ever made in extending to someone—to anyone—the beauty and blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ."- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (“Because of Your Faith”, Ensign, Oct 2010)

I have thought a lot about the scripture in Alma 26:27 over the past few weeks. "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." I know that things in life are hard. It doesn't matter at what stage in life you are at, things are hard. However, I do know without a shadow of a doubt that this gospel WILL help you overcome any of the challenges you face in your life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ heals the wounded soul (Jacob 2:8) and brings comfort when all seems lost. I know this church, which teaches the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, is true. I know it, I live it, I love it! 

My pumpkin.... I didn't know what to
paint, so I just painted whatever came
to mind. So, this is what I came up with.
I found this scripture this morning which gave me a lot of peace. 1st Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 

I want to thank all of you for all you (and like Elder Holland, said "don't look at your neighbor, I'm talking to you.") have done to help me become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for teaching me by your example. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to be here in Oklahoma serving the Lord. I thank all of you for the role you have played in getting me to this point in my life. I will forever be grateful to you for you love and sacrifice. :D 

Love, Sister Record

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Never Want to Leave!

Oh where do I start this week? Last Monday we went and played soccer on campus. It was so much more fun than the usual pday activity of going to the church, writing letters and playing scatterball. The weather is cooling off (it's in the 70's & 80's haha!) so we are enjoying going outside. Allergies here are the worst. The nicest thing about summer was the fact that there were no allergens. Every time my allergies kick in I think of Elder Record and think to myself, "it's a good thing he didn't get called here to Oklahoma." haha! :D Monday evening I had a killer headache and I felt like I was going to throw up. It was terrible. However, we had lessons to teach and I couldn't just sit in the apartment. Miracles happened that night though! We taught 3 fantastic lessons with members present and got 1 new investigator. All that happened in just over an hour!!! To make things even better, each time we were in a lesson teaching I didn't feel my headache. As soon as we were done teaching though, it came back in full force. The Lord provided a way for us to do those things we needed to do. I have such a testimony of prayer. :)

All the Sisters at Sisters Conference

Sister Nelson, Sister Christensen, Sister Ellingson,
Sister Record, Sister Bowles
Tuesday was amazing! We had Sister's Conference and I got to go back and see Sister Bowles (my trainer) and Sister Nelson and Sister Christensen (my last two companions). It was wonderful to see them! It hit me that was probably the last time I would see them here on the mission. Sister Bowles leaves in 2 weeks and Sister Christensen and Nelson leave in December. I would be lying if I said it wasn't a tearful goodbye. Those three sisters are so amazing and I love them so much! They were all there my very first day in Oklahoma and made me feel so welcome. I have learned so much from each of them and I will miss them, but will definitely be seeing them next summer. :D

I learned a ton of great things at Sister's Conference! We talked a lot about how important it is to be patient with ourselves. We tend to be harder on ourselves than the Elders so President Taylor wanted to stress that we were all doing a great job and that the Lord loves each of us. (This isn't just a problem with us as sister missionaries, but for women all over) There are so many thoughts I have been having, I'm not sure how to express them. I am so thankful for President and Sister Taylor and how inspired they are. Always remember, if you are feeling discouraged and are beating yourself up that IS NOT of God. A loving Heavenly Father wouldn't say those kind of things. However, if you are feeling empowered and have a desire to be and do better than it IS FROM God. Remember Moroni 7:13! :)

My district: Sister Fraire, Sister Record, Sister Allgood,
Elder Dewey, Elder Pugmire, Elder Appedale, Elder Orellana
(District Leader)
We have a new investigator who is AMAZING! We love her so much! She is in the Elder's area, but she requested Sister Missionaries so we are teaching her. We have been trying to contact her for months! She has just been really busy with work, I guess she is really involved in the elections coming up. We finally met with her Wednesday and man were we so happy afterward. First off, she reminds me of you mom. :) This woman is incredible! She has known members her whole life. Everywhere she has gone she has been friends with members of the church. She told us that she doesn't know why, but she has always been drawn to people of the LDS faith. (that comment made us smile of course) She has always been impressed with how members of the church live their lives. She told us it was because of the members that she was now seriously considering joining the church!!! ahhh!!! My whole mission I have wanted to teach somebody like her. :D As we talked to her we each felt such gratitude for all those members of the Church who had been examples to her throughout her whole life. I gained a stronger testimony of the scripture in 1Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Thank you everybody for how you live your life! You never know who you are affecting!

Which leads me to another point. She LOVES relief society. She hasn't been to church yet, but she has been listening to conference (thanks to a member friend) and told us, through text, that she wants to get involved in relief society. After our first meeting with her we got a message telling us thank you so much for the Book of Mormon we gave her. She started reading it that night and already feels like this is a "good and right path". I wish y'all could have seen how excited she was to learn about the gospel! She loved the First Vision and was so happy to be hearing the message of the Restoration. We are so excited for our next meeting with her. :)

I feel I have grown a lot in the last three weeks. I have learned a lot about love & charity, about patience, about humility. It hasn't been easy, but I am so grateful the Lord gives us trials and moments that send us to our knees. It is in those moments that I have really come close to my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have really been hit hard with the fact that serving a mission is preparing me to be a wife and mother one day. The things I learn and do as a missionary are fantastic. But, all that is preparing me for something even more important. That is to raise a righteous family who is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for all the experiences I have had the last 9 months and I am excited for all the experiences I have yet to have. Thank you for all you have done mom and dad in helping me become converted! Thank you Grandma Record for joining the church! I can't even tell you how your decision has blessed my life and many others. :D I love y'all!

Love, Sister Record

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ponies and Camping

Hello everybody!

Sister Allgood, Sister Fraire and Sister Record camping
It has been a good week. It is all kind of a blur though to be honest. I can barely remember what has happened. Wednesday was Sister Fraire's birthday. We went camping. Don't worry, we didn't break a single rule to go camping. We camped out in our living room. We even made a tent that would put the boy scouts to shame. ;)

We bought sweet calendars for the Zone Leaders. They came into our apartment while we were gone. (We needed them to pick something up for us. So we gave them permission to go inside. don't worry.) They rigged our sink so when we turned on the water it got us all wet. It was pretty funny. Later that week they asked if we had a blank calendar, so we went to the dollar store and got them this calendar. We thought we were pretty clever. :)

Pony Calendar
Saturday was our stake conference and Elder Bruce A Carlson of the seventy was there. He spoke in conference, check out his talk about obedience. It's great! In stake conference he talked about why the age for missionaries to serve was lowered. He listened a few reasons.

1. It would save many young people of this generation. There won't be that gap of time between high school and a mission to hang around.
2. The church needs more missionaries
3. It will have a positive effect on marriages. Young people will be more prepared for marriage.
4.The fabric of the home will be changed. Gospel teaching and learning will be central to raising a family
5. To hasten the work of the Lord.
Elder Carlson said the 5th reason was the biggest reason for the change. As a mission each fast Sunday we fast for a list of things and for the Lord's work to hasten in this area is one of them. That prayer will be answered in the next few months. President Taylor sent us an email. Here is an excerpt from that email,

"As I write this letter to you I am filled with great love for each of you. Sister Taylor and I think of you constantly and you are in every prayer offered by us and our boys. Please know of our trust in you and our admiration for each of you. We are privileged to be here with you as you learn to develop and exercise faith in Christ and His Atonement and repent. We respect you for the choices you make that lead you to Christ and result in you becoming “converted unto the Lord” and a more “consecrated missionary.”

With you, Sister Taylor and I were thrilled to hear of the announcement in General Conference regarding the new minimum age for missionaries. I am confident this announcement will lead to a further expansion of our mission and an increase in sister missionaries. This will be a great blessing for our mission. We must accelerate the development of our missionary skills so we can train these new missionaries in the months ahead. They will be spending less time in the MTC before coming to the field so the responsibility to train these missionaries will fall to us......

What we are doing is greater than we can now see and understand. We do not always see the hand of the Lord in the lives of the people we meet each day. We often do not see it in our lives but it is always there. This is a spiritual work and God’s labors in our areas are best seen through spiritual eyes. He is “mightier than all the earth” and can accomplish all his purposes in us and the people of our areas. If we have faith in Christ we “shall have power to do whatsoever is expedient” in Him (Moroni 7:33). Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

What a blessing to be a part of the Lord's work! Its an amazing thing! I am so thankful for President and Sister Taylor. They are so kind and loving and want what is best for each of us.

Yesterday we got a solid baptismal date! :D We did finally get a baptismal date though! He was taught previously by the Sisters. It has been a year but he is ready to be baptized. We had our first meeting with him on Sunday. He came to stake conference and really enjoyed Elder Carlson's talk. He told us that when he heard him speak he felt a peaceful feeling. It gave him comfort to a concern of his. He told us that spark he felt lasted for just a moment.

We talked to him about the Holy Ghost and that when you are baptized by proper authority you receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We told him that he could feel that peaceful feeling always. We told him he could have the Holy Ghost as his constant companion. He replied rather shocked, "I didn't even know that was possible!"

We invited him to be baptized and he said he would, but that he would be a lot of hard work to change. He grew up in another denomination but isn't working for him. He had questions about the authority of the church. He wanted to know how we know a man really has authority. The member we had with us explained that he had the priesthood and that he got it from his dad, who got it from his dad, etc. He explained that he can trace his authority all the way back to Christ in an unbroken line.

Then, unexpectedly, [Name withheld] exclaimed "Well then! Lets schedule the baptism for next Sunday!" We were all surprised but very happy. We explained that we had a little more to teach him and that he needed to come to church. [Name withheld] is so eager to learn and already has a testimony, we need him to have conversion though. :) He trusts the member we had with us 100%. He had been talking to him about the gospel over the last year.

I'm telling you, its only through the members that the church is going to grow at the rate it needs to. Keep doing missionary work! We are doing a great work and we cannot come down. :D I love you all so very much! I am deeply grateful for all your love and support. Have a great week!

Love, Sister Record