Friday, February 24, 2012

Letter: 21 February 2012

Sister Record and her new name tag
Hello! At one point I learned how to say Hello in Russian…. I think I knew how to say it for about 30 seconds, then forgot. With that being said, I'm so happy I am speaking English on my mission. I love the MTC, but I'm excited to be out in the mission field. I don't know if I could handle the MTC for 12 weeks to learn a new language. Like I said, the MTC is great, but 12 weeks is a LONG time. My comps and I had to go to the BYU health center a few blocks away from the MTC the other day to pick up some prescriptions for them. It was so WEIRD to be out in the real world! It felt amazing! I never thought Provo could feel so great. Anyway, I got my travel info for the 28th. I leave SLC at 7:30am (which, I might point out, means waking up at 3am so we can leave the MTC at 4am). As far as I know I will be able to call you when I leave SLC and when I'm in Oklahoma. I should arrive in OK at 1:04pm according to my itinerary. I will let you know Monday if any changes come up. I also just found out there are 12 of us in the travel group … and I'm the only Sister. No worries though … I've become good friends with the majority of the Elders leaving for Oklahoma and it will be like having 11 body guards. To be honest, I thought the Elders would really bother me. However, all the Elders I've become friends with are the greatest! They are going to be fantastic missionaries. I love them all so much! They are like family. Okay … enough of that. I have stories for y'all! I wish I could share everything that happened (it will be easier in the field when I can send audio updates) in the last two weeks. Unfortunately that is impossible. I'm not even sure where to start …

Dad, I told our TRC investigator about your brownies. She has a message for you and I quote, “Your dad did what to the brownies?! He gone and ruined them brownies. You tell your dad next time you write him that he can't just ruin brownies like that.” (She said this in her southern accent with all the sass of a soulful African American woman). I absolutely love our investigator. She has such a big heart. I wish I had the chance to get to know her better. Everyone who works at the MTC just loves her.

MTC District: Elders Berryessa, Jensen,
Tollefson, Brignac, Moore, Hendersen, Sister Record,
Sisters Piepgrass, Olson and Elder Christiansen
On Friday we taught one of our investigators (“Melissa”), whose really our teacher. But when you're in teaching them as an investigator it feels so REAL! It's hard to explain. We taught her about the atonement and WOW was it a powerful experience! I bore my testimony of the power the atonement has to cleanse us from sin. Sister Olson then bore her testimony. Sister Olson, the investigator and I were crying. It was so intense! There are not words to describe how incredible it was. I love my Savior so much and all He has done for me. I feel serving a mission is the least I could do for Him. I feel like the words to Amazing Grace sum up, in a small way, how I feel. “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind, but now I see!”

After the lesson with our investigator (Melissa) our teacher came and told us that when you're in a lesson and the Spirit is THAT STRONG you should always ask the investigator to say a prayer to know if what you're saying is true. I really liked that, but it wasn't until a few days later when we were doing an in class teaching experience. We had just watched a video clip of “The District.” The investigator, Jynx, in the video was concerned she wasn't getting any answer to her prayers. Our teaching experience was to help Jynx with her concern and help her know that baptism was the right decision. So, Elder Henderson was the investigator. Elders Brignac, Berryessa and I were the missionaries. I honestly can't remember what I said or what the other Elders said. Whatever we all said, it brought the Spirit. That is when our teacher stepped in and reminded us that it would be a good idea to have Elder Hendersen say a prayer. So I asked Jynx (Elder Hendersen) to pray to Heavenly Father to know if being baptized is what he should do. He really tried to put himself in Jynx's shoes and offered the most sincere prayer. As he started to pray to know if this was the path he should take, the Spirit just flooded in. I was getting emotional and so was Elder Hendersen. After he finished it was just quiet for a few seconds. I then asked him how he felt. I then bore my testimony to him that I knew baptism was the right path and that tremendous blessings would come from it. It was a VERY powerful moment for the four of us. Even though it was teaching with other missionaries, in that moment it was as real as if I were teaching a real investigator. I can't explain why it feels so real, but it does. I guess if you've been in the MTC you understand how real these things can be. I love missionary work! I love being able to bear my testimony of this gospel every day!

I can't believe how much I've been taught in the last two weeks. As one of my teachers pointed out, the experiences of the MTC are equivalent to 3 years worth of experience and learning. It's so true! I know I wouldn't be able to leave and apply the things I need to without the Lord's help! With that being said, the MTC has been very humbling. All my weaknesses have been staring me in the face. That was really hard at first. Now I'm thankful for that because I can learn to be better and work on those things. On the 18th we taught our investigator, “Victor” about prayer and our Heavenly Father. Victor (also our teacher) is somebody we have been teaching a lot. Nothing has really clicked with him yet, until the 18th. We were teaching and the Spirit was very strong. Once again, I can't remember everything we said to him, but I know it was the Holy Ghost speaking through us. The next day Sister R (our teacher) told us that she heard the lesson we taught Victor went very well. She told us that Brother A. Said our lesson was so good, that if we would have invited him to be baptized, he would have said yes!! I wish we would have asked him! That was definitely a learning experience for us.

I absolutely love being a missionary! I love how much work it is. I love how my testimony has grown since I left. I love that I get to share the gospel of Jesus Christ every day. I love that I am constantly learning and growing and becoming a better missionary and person. I love 3rd Nephi 15:3 “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” This doesn't just apply to the full-time missionaries, but all members of the church. We really are blessed to have this gospel. It really is true. I have testified of it more times in the last two weeks than I probably have in the last 5 years. I also know more than I ever have that God loves each and every one of us. He wants each of us to return back to Him. This is made possible only through Christ. Christ is the only way to return back to our Heavenly Father. We must follow the doctrine of Christ (2nd Nephi 31). I love my Savior, Jesus Christ so much. I know without a doubt that this Church is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and brings us closer to Christ each time we read. I love you all very very much! Thank you for the support (spiritually and financially). Life is sooo good, and I am one happy girl!

Love, Sister Record

PS The Elders tried the Dragon Brownies. Their faces were priceless.

An Abby Road type picture:
Elders Jensen, Elder Hendersen, Elder Brignac, Elder Moore

Sister Record's name in Russian,
courtesy of Elder Christiansen

Elder Berryessa drew a sombrero on
Sister Record's Russian last name

Sisters Larsen, Smith, Taylor and Hansen.
Sister Record's roommates (except for Sister Taylor).
These four went and got free outfits from the alterations
place at the MTC. It was ugly outfit Friday.

Roommates and Companions: Sisters Hansen, Smith, Record, Olson, Larsen and Piepgrass

Silly Sisters: Sisters Hansen, Smith, Record, Olson, Larsen and Piepgrass

Mountain view from the MTC

Sisters Taylor and Record. "Sister Taylor is amazing! I love her!" She left for Cambodia on 21 Feb 2012. She was the
coordinating sister before Sister Record.

Elders Hendersen and Moore (Zone Leaders) and
Sister Record. All headed to OOCM.

Sister Record in the half sized doorway.

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