Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Email: 26 March 2012

Hey family!! I sure love being a missionary! Even if it is hard and more or less the biggest roller coaster I've ever been on. haha! Sister Bowles and I have some exciting things up ourselves to help get the ward members more involved in missionary work. There are so many ways to do missionary work. It isn't just talking to somebody about church stuff. You can invite people to church activities, to church when you are giving a talk. There are SO MANY THINGS! :D Something I have learned while on a mission is that the full-time missionaries need the help of the members in finding people to teach. This work WILL NOT go forward as fast as it needs to without the members and the full-time missionaries working together in unity.

Dad, maybe for FHE y'all can have a lesson based from the finding chapter of preach my gospel, with an emphasis on the importance of members. There is such joy that comes from sharing the gospel. People may or may not accept the gospel, but you don't know until you share it with them. :D

This week has been great! We had six less active people at church yesterday!!!! It filled Sister Bowles and I with joy! I have learned that working with the less active people is just as important as working with the investigators, and active members of the church. Our purpose as missionaries is to build peoples faith.
We have been working with two less active Sisters and they are on their way back to the temple! I can't describe how happy Sister Bowles and I were when we heard this news. They are wonderful Sisters!
Working with less active members has also taught me how important visiting teaching is! I now understand how important it is. One of these Sisters had a great visit with her visiting teacher and us and the next Sunday came back to church after 5 years of not going and now is in the process of getting her temple recommend. :D During that visit Sister Bowles and I hardly said a word. Her visiting teacher really did the talking. She spoke by the Spirit and really connected with this sister. She was bold with her, but full of love and kindness. I have such a testimony of visiting teaching and I will not ever take it for granted ever again. I love you very much mom! I'm so thankful for all the prayers you say in my behalf. I am so grateful for the emails you send to me each week. :D I love to read them. I just wish I had more time to write more. So much happens during the week, its hard to keep track of everything. Have a great week! I sure love you!

Dad: Are you serving in the Village Ward with Bishop Huff?
I sure am! Bishop Huff is awesome!

Dad: So do you meet at the chapel on 5020 NW 63rd ST?

Dad: What are some of the street names you have tracted on and the major street numbers from this week? Yes, I would like to google earth stalk you again. For example if you tracted by the chapel, you might say tracted on 5000 NW 63rd street. This does not give away the location of investigators or anything, but lets me see the area.
We've tracted on Andover Court and in apartment complexes just east of us. It's hard for me to remember where I've tracted. We haven't spend more than 2 or 3 hours a day tracting on a particular road. We ride our bikes to and from places a lot and stop and talk to people on our way to wherever we're going (like appointments or the library).

I am hesitant to tell you this, but it is a neat experience. I just don't want you to worry. I do want you to know I am being protected. The south part of our area is pretty ghetto. Everything from about 15th street down to Reno (end of our area) is a place we don't go if its dark. And we don't do much tracting down in that area.

The other day we had to go to 4th street. It was around 4 in the afternoon. As we drove down there to check on a referral, Sister Bowles and I felt very uneasy. We did contact the referral and they were not interested so we went to check on a less active in the area. As we pulled up to the house we both sat there. Sister Bowles said she just felt sick to her stomach about going to see the less active right now. I was also feeling uncomfortable and uneasy with the idea. So we left. As soon as we were out of the area we both felt like we could breath easy again. I know the Spirit was guiding us and protecting us. So like I said, please don't worry about me, but I did want to share that with everybody.

Eric: What did you not expect this week?
Eric, Something I didn't expect this week was to learn how important it is for members of the church to do missionary work. The missionaries have A LOT more success in finding and baptizing people when members of the church share the gospel with their friends and family and then invite them to have the missionaries teach them than if missionaries were to knock on a person's door. I also learned how important it is to really love others, even if they seem different. Not everybody chooses the right, but we still need to show them the same love that Jesus does.

Mom: Is there anything you need us to send to you or that you are missing?
Are you sending back my microSD card? Also, if you are going to Jenni's wedding, could you take a picture of them coming out of the temple. I would love to see a picture. :D Also, another towel would be nice. Tell Chris he can respond to my letter in an email if he wants.

Love, Sister Record

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Email: 19 March 2012

Sister Record, Elder Hernandez, Elder Franco and Sister Bowles
 Hey everybody! This week has been incredible! It is amazing what a change of attitude and putting your faith in God will do! Sister Bowles and I had a great week! As President Taylor says, "we are in the faith building business".  As missionaries we are striving to build the faith of the member, other missionaries, investigators and less active members. I have learned a ton from Sister Bowles! She is absolutely amazing! I lover her so much!
We have been working with a less active member, Sister H. Sister Bowles has actually been working with her since October.  Two Sunday's ago with went with Sister H's visiting teacher and had a good talk about how important church attendance is and why making and keeping covenants is so important.  Really it was her visiting teacher that really connected with Sister H.  Sister H said that she was scared to go back to church for multiple reasons.  Sister C (her visiting teacher) was very blunt with her, but very very loving at the same time.  It was amazing to see the interaction.  Sister Bowles and I hardly said anything about coming back to church.  :D  Well... Sister H wanted to make an appointment with the Bishop to help ease back into going to church.
Well.... Friday the  16th rolls around and Sister Bowles and I both knew we needed to go visit Sister Humphries on that day.  We also knew she was at work, but couldn't remember were she worked and couldn't get ahold of her on the phone. We both felt like a particular street name rung a bell, so we headed south on that for less than five minutes. 
Sister Bowles then remembered that Sister Humphries worked in a Doctor's office. So we drove until we saw something that looked like a doctors office. We went into the parking lot and found her van and knew this is were she was.  It was incredible! Us being there visiting Sister Humphries reminded her that she needed to make an appointment with the bishop on Sunday. Sister Bowles, being the wonderful missionary she is, made sure Sister Humphries called and made the appointment while we were with her so she didn't forget.
Sister Bowles and I were standing in church at the end of sacrament meeting talking to people. I turn around and Sister H was just standing next to sister Bowles waiting for her to turn around.  It took me a minute for it to register that it was sister H standing there.  I was so excited to see her at church and this huge wave of love for sister H came over me! I went and gave her a hug. Finally Sister Bowles realized what was going on. :)  Having Sister H at church was incredible! I told her now that she has come back to church it will keep on getting easier and easier to come back.  She agreed with me. Sister H also got her temple recommend! Sister Bowles and I are praying we get to attend the temple with her sometime! :D 
Sister Record and the chicken that lays jelly beans
The week has been full of miracles! It is weeks like this were I just love being a missionary!  I have learned something too. (I'm always learning though)  I have always known this, but now I am seeing it.  Mosiah 2:41 says to look on the happy state of those who keep the commandments of God.  I have seen this so much on my mission! I hear of people's stories (I find it funny how random people we meet on the street with just spill their whole life story to us sometimes. Sister Bowles says there is something about the name tag we wear that gets people just to open up.) and I think to myself, "if you would keep the commandments of God all these heart aches wouldn't be happening."  
I love you all SO SO SO SO  much!  Thanks for all the prayers and support! I love hearing from everybody!  Have a great day everybody!
Love Always, Sister Record

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Letter: 12 March 2012

NOTE: We received a letter from Sister Record this week dated 12 March 2012 that included several photos.

Yesterday I came across Jacob 2:8. I love that scripture. I wrote my thought on it in my letter to my mission President. I really do love being on a mission. I love talking to all the "okies." The weather is so beautiful today. It makes me oh so happy inside! Have a great week everybody! I love you very much!

Love, Sister Record

Sister Jenna Bowles and Sister Lorielle Record
Some missionary and Sister Record
Sister Record's current area, "The Village"
Great billboard from the South
Celebrating one month
Sister Record's apartment in Oklahoma.
Inside Sister Record's apartment.
Cockroach on the couch. "I thought of you mom when I saw it! =)"
Sister Record's kitchen.
Sister Record on P-day under the Utah Avenue sign.
Sister Record on the hunt.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Questions: 12 March 2012

Dad: What were your MTC companions' first names?
Sister Jamie Olsen and Sister Fatima Ehelschi-Piepgrass

Dad: What is Sister Bowels full name and where is she from?
Sister Jenna Maria Bowles from Mesa, Arizona

Dad: What is your apartment address?
I can't think of it off the top of my head. I'll send it with my SD card today.

Dad: What is your area, district and zone?
I'm in the Village area in the Quail creek district, Quail creek zone.

Dad: What are you area boundaries?
I dunno... I took a picture of the map that has my area boundaries though so I'll send that.

Dad: I assume you have 6 week transfers like Elder Record, so what day is the next transfer in your mission?
Yes, 6 week transfers. However, I'll probably be in this area training for 12 weeks before I get transfered. Next real transfer is scheduled for April 11th, but I probably won't be transfered until May 23rd.

Dad: What did you do on P-day?
Last P-day I tried to recover from the cold I got on the first night here in OKC. I'm feeling much better now. We also cleaned the car and went shopping. I wrote letters too. We didn't really do anything to be honest.

Dad: Have you done any tracting? If so, what streets have you tracted on?
Yes.... I've done tracting. I couldn't tell you where I've been tracting though. It's been all over the place. My mission has this thing called 5 by faith. So anytime an appointment falls through or somebody isn't home we knock on 5 door or talk to 5 people before we leave that area. So I've been on a lot of streets. I think my area is about 10-15 miles going north and south and about 5-10 miles going East and West and its in the city so there are a TON of houses.

Love, Sister Record

Email: 12 March 2012

Sorry I didn't do an audio update. We didn't get home until late last night and with the time change I just wanted to go to bed right after planning. :)  I will update you through email and a letter home this time.
We are teaching a stay at home mom who is very interested in reading the Book of Mormon.  She is so awesome! The way we came in contact with her was actually something that happened before I got into OKC.  Sister Bowles and her other comp were getting in the car and the little girl (4 years old) yells out to them from across the parking lot and asks them their names.  She then asks why they are dressed like princesses.  :D She is so adorable!!!!
Then my first week here Sister Bowles and I went to their home to introduce ourselves. The mom is super sweet and is just looking for the truth.  She has such a love for Christ and His atonement already. She is very interested in reading the Book of Mormon. We've been over 3 times already and her husband told us we were welcome in their home anytime.  They are a wonderful family.  They told us they were surprised we came back a second time. Every other time anybody from any other church comes over and they find out they will not go to the church they never hear from them again. I guess they were impressed that we keep coming back to see them.
Last Thursday we went to read the story Christ in the America's and blessing the children from the Book of Mormon reader to the 4 year old.  [Name withheld] daughter, is very hyper and full of energy. As soon as I started reading to her she went silent and her mom came behind us  to listen to the story.  The Spirit was very very strong and I was able to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon to [name withheld].  She got a little emotional as we talked, I know she felt something.  She is amazing! 
There are so many miracles happening here in OKC, even if that miracle is to just keep us missionaries going. :)  OH! We made homemade sushi at a member's home this week. It was so good.  I also tried Kimchi. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
We had a thunderstorm that shook the walls of the house, that was incredible! Then, there was a clap of thunder that made car alarms go off. >:D It made me happy inside.   Anyway, all is going well here in OKC. The people are super friendly and very nice.  It's a little tricky though because they all pretty much have a church they go to and already believe in Christ and think thats all they need.  Like I said though, some of the nicest people I have EVER met. :)  I love y'all  very very much! I'll talk to you soon and be expecting my SD card in the mail.  Have a GGGRREEATTT DAY! 
Love, Sister Record

Monday, March 12, 2012

Email: 12 March 2012

I just want you to know, please don't worry about me. Thanks for all you do and all your support! I sure love you!

Today is a great day! If I'm being honest though, last week was really tough.  I wrote this in my study journal yesterday. Jacob 2:8 says, 'and it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea the word which healeth the wounded soul.'  As a missionary, I feel I am on the front lines in the war against the adversary. I'm trying to protect myself from those "fiery darts" he is constantly throwing my way.  I'm trying to help those who have been severely wounded and most of the time they don't want my help for whatever reason.
And then there are time I feel wounded. I know I have to keep fighting, but I don't know how I'll do it.  It is the word of God that heals my wounds so I can move forward.  Best of all, I'm already on the wining side. I know whose side will win. So why do I sometimes feel like giving up?
I love the analogy of putting on the whole armor of God found in Ephesians 6.  If we have that armor, especially the shield of faith, we'll be able to "quench the fiery darts of the wicked".  Then I asked, why does the Lord allow us to get "wounded" so to speak? I mean, we're His soldiers fighting in this war against evil.  I then thought if I wasn't receiving wounds that needed healing, would I ever go to Christ, the master healer?  Would I feel the gratitude towards my Savior and love towards Him if he wasn't constantly healing me?  Would I have increased faith  to continue fighting, knowing I always have my elder brother to make all the hurt go away?  I can say I probably would not.
I can think of many times in my life when I felt wounded and it was only through, "the pleasing word of God" and ultimately Christ's atonement that I have been healed.
Sister Bowles and I talked about this yesterday and after we talked I felt much better and felt a renewed strength to keep going.  I am so blessed to be out here in OKC serving a mission.  I have so much to learn and so much I can improve on. I know the Lord will constantly be strengthening my faith.  I feel a renewed commitment to keep working hard and persevering through the hard times.  This is the Lord's work and it will not fail.  I am the Lord's missionary and I can do hard things. :)  I know as I am obedient and faithful the Lord will bless me.
Love, Sister Record

Monday, March 5, 2012

Email: 5 March 2012

This week has been great! I have really enjoyed my first week out here in OK.  It's definitely been hard, but so worth it. Sister Bowles and I have seen quite a few miracles already.  She is a great trainer and I'm really thankful we are companions. We get a long great and a lot of the time are thinking the same thing. We had a great experience with an 18 year old young lady.

On Saturday during comp study I mentioned to her that I really wanted to go to a park to talk to people since it was Saturday and the weather was nice.  So later in the day she and I finally made it to the park. (a park that sister Bowles "randomly" drove to  We sat in the car and looked at the people in the park. Neither one of us was feeling the prompting to go talk to any of them.  So we just sat in the car for a few minutes.  I saw a young woman walking at the opposite end of the park and told sister Bowles we should talk to her.  We both jumped out of the car and went to talk to her.  Before we had a chance to introduce ourselves (we were still a little ways away from her) she called out and asked if we were from a church.  I said we were and that we wanted to talk to her for a few minutes.

We caught up to her and I started to ask her about her religious background. She told me she use to go to one church but stopped going and is looking for a different one to go to.  So sister Bowles and I basically gave her the first discussion in 5 minutes.  I also asked her how she would feel if there was a prophet on the earth today.  She really liked that and said she thought that would give her more direction in her life.  Sister Bowles then showed her a picture of President Monson.  We told her that he was the living prophet on the earth today.

Then (name withheld) asked us if we do baptism in our church! We told her we did and explained some more about why baptism in our church is different than other churches.  We left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet. She agreed to let us come back and teach her more about the church. So with that, sister Bowles asked her if we could say a prayer. After the prayer Sister Bowles and I left. When we were almost back to the car Sister Bowles said she was hoping I was going to invite her to be baptized because the moment was so perfect. She said we could always go back and invite her.

So that's what we did. We turned around to go invite her to be baptized.  When we turned around we were shocked to see her throwing up on the grass.  We asked her if she was okay and if there was anything we could do to help her.  She told us she has just been feeling sick all afternoon and that she was on her way to the store to get a 7up.  We told her we would go get it for her since we had a car.  Once we were back with the 7up and after talking to her a little, I told her I had one more question to ask her and that's why we had come back.  So with that, I said, "(name withheld), when you come to know of the truthfulness of the things we told you, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by somebody holding the priesthood authority of God?" she said yes!! She is scheduled to be baptized on April 14th.  She sure is wonderful and Sister Bowles and I love her so much already.

I feel very blessed to have the Lord working through me. I'm thankful that the Holy Ghost was guiding Sister Bowles and I all day on Saturday just to lead us to be in the right place at the right time.  It was amazing.  I'm thankful that Sister Bowles mentioned that we could always go back and talk to (name withheld).  Sister Bowles is the greatest! She is so good at listening to the promptings of the Spirit. 
This was one of the best parts of my mission so far! :D  Saturday morning I really wanted to extend the baptismal invitation but didn't have the chance to. The week was coming to an end and I was running out of time.  Heavenly Father really does grant us the righteous desires of our hearts.

-Sister Record