Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Email: 23 April 2012

Hey family! I am sorry I don't have an audio update for you. I had a headache yesterday and went straight to bed as soon as Sister Buckley and I finished planning.

This week as been INCREDIBLE!! We reached and exceeded everyone of our goals for the week. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve in this area at this time with Sister Buckley. I am constantly amazed at how the Lord works. Sister Buckley and I have been talking a lot about how the Lord stretches us and tries us in order to build us into the women we need to be. A lot of the times in the moment, it's hard to see that the trial of my faith is going to help me or is for my benefit. However, I have seen how after I get through something and look back on it that the Lord was really there to "ease [my] burdens that have been placed upon [my] shoulders." (Mosiah 24:14)

I have learned so much about how important having a good attitude about missionary work is. I have learned a lot in the last week that it is possible to be myself and still be a missionary, something I struggled with my 1st transfer. Missionary work is fun and exciting! I have had no greater "rush" than by asking somebody in the first lesson, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by one holding the priesthood authority of God?" I LOVE being bold like that! The Spirit is always so strong whenever I get the chance to extend this invitation to somebody. :D

Recently Sister Buckley and I went to Sister [name withheld] home and invited her to come out teaching with us. We have had her our a few times. She is great! She is so willing to come out with us. She LOVES going out with the Sisters. We were out with her on Saturday and she told us how hard the last year has been for her. He life isn't going the way she had planned. She is a single lady and taking care of her dying brother. She told us that we are her guardian angels. She said that whenever we show up at her house she feels it is God's way of telling her, "I haven't forgotten about you. I know what you're going through."

I love the moments in life when you realize that you were following the Spirit and you were able to be an answer to somebody's prayers. I feel like a lot of the time we don't always know when we're an answer to a persons prayers. I feel like every now and then the Lord lets us know that we were that answer, just to assure us we're making a difference. It is such a great feeling! 
I can't even put into words how fantastic this week has been! I will attached the picture I took of our weekly goals on our white board.

Something really cool that happened this week was on Thursday both Sister Buckley and I had the impression that we needed to go over the missionary lessons with a couple in our ward who joined the church a few years ago. We finally met up with Sister [name withheld] at her house on Saturday. We got to talking about the Gospel. As we're in the middle of this discussion her friend walks in the door who isn't a member of the church. Both Sister Buckley and I had a strong impression that we need to invite her friend to learn more about the Gospel. We told Sister [name withheld] that we wanted to go over the missionary lessons with her and Brother [name withheld]. We invited their friend to be there as well. Sister [name withheld] just started laughing after we mentioned sharing the lessons with them again because Brother [name withheld] had been saying how he wanted to retake the missionary lessons but just kept forgetting to tell us. It is an AMAZING feeling to follow the Spirit. That is all I have to say.

This going to sound redundant, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary! I love how much I have grown and the things I've learned about people and about myself in the last two and a half months. If I were to go home tomorrow (thank goodness I'm not) I would have learned so much from serving a mission. I am so excited to see the things I will learn in the next 16 months. I don't expect it to be easy, but It will be worth the trials if I learn from it and come closer to Christ.

I love this Gospel! The Gospel changes lives! I have felt it change my life and I know it can change each person's life who applies that. I love that the Gospel is so simple. As missionaries we say our purpose every day. "Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping the 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." That is a formula each of us must follow as well. Have faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repent, be baptized (and then weekly partake of the sacrament), live worthy to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. 2 Nephi 31 outlines this doctrine, which is the Doctrine of Christ.
I know this church is the Lord's church here once again established on the Earth. It is only in and through Jesus Christ that we can be saved. I am so thankful each day for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. I'm so thankful for the people I meet and being able to see the Lord's hand in my life. I love the Book of Mormon! IT IS AMAZING! I have such a stronger testimony and love of it. I know its true and I know that anybody who reads it with a sincere heart with a willingness to act on the answer they receive through prayer will gain that witness that the Book of Mormon is true. I love you all very very much! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Record

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Email: 16 April 2012

Hey everybody!

No worries about me, I'm safe and sound here in Oklahoma. :) We were communicating regularly with the DL/ZLs who communicated with President Taylor. On Saturday night we spent the night in the other Sister's apartment since it is right next to the church. Just in case we needed to take shelter from any tornadoes. We had some pretty intense thunderstorms and lightening on Friday. That was just cool to look at. :D Saturday night we had 60Mph winds were I am at apparently.... I slept through it though. All the missionaries and ward members here in OK are safe though. To be honest, I never felt worried or scared that something would happen to me or my companion. We figured if we were in real danger the spirit would let us know. ;)

We taught one of our investigators more about the Book of Mormon on Friday. He told us he feels inspired and feels comforted when he reads the Book of Mormon. He says its unlike any other book he's ever read. We had him read Helaman 5:12. It was cool because when he finished he just stopped and said "wow!" as he put his hand on his chest. He said the verse was very powerful. The spirit was really strong! I was able to point out the feelings he had was the holy ghost testifying of truth. :)

Sister Buckley and Sister Record
My new companion, Sister Buckley, is incredible! Our personalities just fit together so well. She is going to teach me how to play the Ukulele. She goes home in July, so hopefully we will be together until then. We have had a pretty crazy week!

The next morning we were on our way back from the gym when I felt something hit my head. It was bird poop. A BIRD POOPED ON MY HEAD! Sister Buckley and I were laughing so hard! It was a good thing I was on my way to take a shower anyway.

Yes, she took a picture
Then all the severe weather warning going on this weekend has been insane! I really don't think I've had more fun on my mission than I have in the last 5 days. Sister Buckley is crazy! :D Think of Kelly Fullmer....She reminds me of Kelly Fullmer. haha! This transfer is going to be amazing! Sister Buckley is a great teacher and I have already learned a lot from her. By the way dad, she says to tell you she thinks you are awesome. (I let her read your letter you sent me about the Tabernacle of the Congregation and all the symbols you used) 

I love you all so much! Thanks for all your prayers! I love being a missionary! I am learning so much and growing so much. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Sister Bowles and Sister Record on transfer day

This is a Happy Hippo. Sister Buckley's sister sent it to her.
This Happy Hippo is from Germany and had German chocolate on
the inside.... IT WAS DELICIOUS! :D

Love, Sister Record

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Storm Update: 15 April 2012

We just received another update this morning at 8:48am.
"We’re happy to report that all our missionaries are safe and well. 

The storm was less severe than forecast except in Woodward, Oklahoma where a large tornado nearly quarter-mile wide caused five confirmed fatalities, massive damage and injuries early this morning.  We have a Senior Missionary couple there; they are fine.

Thank you for your faith and prayers."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Storm Update: 14 April 2012

"This morning’s update is good.  All are safe and well."

Storm Update: 13 April 2012

We received an email from the mission office regarding the severe storms that Oklahoma is having. It says:

"We are happy to report that all of the missionaries serving in the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission are safe and accounted for and that there have been no injuries due to the storms and tornadoes that have hit this area. 

There was a slight break in the storms, but they have regenerated and are currently passing through various parts of the mission.  We will give you another update in the morning.

Tomorrow is forecast to have even stronger storms.  We are continually sending texts to your sons and daughters to let them know of storms heading their way.  We will keep you updated with statuses tomorrow as the storms pass through.  

As always, we appreciate your faith and prayers."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Questions: 9 April 2012

Eric: What is the funniest thing that has happened this week?
This happened last week, but I forgot to tell everybody. Sister Bowles and I were driving in the car on our way out for the day. We had just gotten outside of our apartment complex when we saw an old man walking on the side of the road. We had a feeling he was lost. So we pulled over to ask him if he was okay. As soon as he started talking i knew he was lost. We pulled over and he just got right into our car. He thought we were going to give him a ride. Sister Bowles and I got out of the car and went to help him. This guy had somehow gotten out of the Alzheimer's and dementia unit that is right next to our apartment. :) It was so funny!!! The Elders just happened to be riding their bike past us and ran over to help us. They took our car and parked it somewhere safe since it was just sitting in the middle of the road.

Dad: When do you think we can get an audio update? We would sure love one. As far as I know, I have sent all SD cards. I sent both the SD and microSD card together.
Like I said, I promise to give you one by next Monday. :) You still have one of my SD cards. I sent pictures to you on it. You have sent me back one SD card and my microSD card for the audio recorder. I have one more card that goes to my camera. It is black.

Dad: What is the most unusual thing you have eaten so far?
On Saturday I had bratwurst, fried cabbage and German potato salad. I also had fried okra the other day. They weren't strange, just things I'd never tried before. I loved both of them though. :)

Dad: "By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass." How have you witnessed the hand of the Lord through small or great means this week?
That is a really great question! We met a lady from Germany on Saturday who claims to be atheist. She said she use to be Christian but doesn't understand why God would let bad things happened to innocent people. It was an interesting conversation. Sister Bowles asked her if she was happier when she believed in God or now. She said she was happier when she believed in God. We asked her some other questions on her belief in God. We invited her to come to church with us on Sunday. She said she would, but only because she liked us and thought we were interesting. haha! (she didn't end up coming to church. just for the record.) As we were leaving we gave her a hug because that's just what we do. We hug people A LOT. She walked up to her porch, we walked to our car. Next thing I know she turns around, runs down the stairs and to our car to tell us thanks for the hugs because she really needed them that day. :D It was such a sweet moment. It was great to know the Lord showed Ute His love for her through us. I told Sister Bowles that if that is all that results from that visit, it is totally worth it. There are so many other "Small and Simple Things" that happen all the time. I am going to start paying even more attention to those things. :) Thanks for the idea dad.

Dad: What did Easter mean to you this year?
Great question as well. I hadn't really thought of that. In Sunday school Sister Bowles and I taught the lesson and read the Easter story from the New Testament with the class. We talked a lot about Christ's atonement. Easter to me is a reminder that I would not be able to make it back to Heavenly Father with our Christ. It wouldn't matter what efforts I put forth, I can't make it back without Christ's grace and mercy

I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Record

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Email: 9 April 2012

Hey Family!
Sister Record's Birthday with the Burke's
Sorry I haven't sent you an audio update. I will repent and get one to you by next Monday. ;) I tried sending the first one I ever did directly from the audio player and it didn't work either. I think it's to long to send in an email (it's almost 20min long) So I will make sure to do a shorter one or multiple short ones. I promise to make the effort to get one to you next week. :D

Transfers are coming up on Wednesday. My new companion is Sister Buckley. She has two more transfers before she goes home I think. Sister Bowles and I figured I will probably be in this area for at least another four months. Sister Bowles is experiencing her first transfer of her mission on Wednesday. 10 MONTHS in one area! haha! It's crazy! She will be greatly missed. She has had such an impact on the area and has really made a difference.

We got special permission to go with one of the Sisters we have been working with to the temple. It was her first time back in over 5 years. She has just started to come back to church. She is such a great woman! I love her! Going to the temple with her was such a special experience. She was there, we were there, Bishop and his wife were there, her friend who was there the first time she went to the temple was there, our relief society president was there. It was so great! :D

Sisters in my district on April 1st right after conference.
Sister Ewell, Sister Nelson, Sister Record, Sister Bowles

Also at the science museum on pday.
Sister Nelson, Sister Record, Sister Bowles, Sister Ewell

At the science museum! Sister Bowles and Sister Record

We went with Bishop and Sister Huff to a place
called "Pops" off of "historic Route 66".
This is the giant soda bottle in front of the place we were at.


Our district just goofing off. :)
Sister Nelson, Sister Ewell, Sister Record, Sister Bowles,
Elder Christiansen, Elder Shumway

Meeting the Preacher
Something interesting that happened on Saturday (Saturday April 7th 2012 is going down in my journal as the WEIRDEST day of my mission up to this point.) Sister Bowles and I were on our way to see an inactive member. We got out of our car and this minister asked us if we were talking about the Lord. We said yes and he came over to talk to us. What followed for the next hour was him telling us that our church was false and that we were deceived blah blah blah blah blah. (I don't think he had ever read the Book of Mormon to be honest or really knew what we believed) We didn't even get a chance to say anything. That being said, I have to give him props for knowing the Bible very well and being a very enthusiastic and energetic guy. However, I left that encounter not having any desire to be a better person, to change my life for the better or to follow the teachings of Christ more. I felt absolutely nothing as we left. 

Sister Bowles and I talked about it afterwards. He wasn't speaking by the power of God. He was speaking by the power of man. We also talked about how things that are eternal truths stick with us and we remember them. The things that are false fade away. I can hardly remember a thing that minister said to be honest. It was a very interesting experience. I'm glad it happened. Sister Bowles and I just had to laugh about it when that was all over.

Love, Sister Record

Monday, April 2, 2012

Email: 2 April 2012

I loved seeing the pictures! I'm so excited for Josh and Jenni! Chris does look great!

I definitely felt the most direction from Elder Andersen's talk. I loved the point he made about "What does Christ think of me?" That really got me thinking about some of my fears about missionary work. I realized it doesn't matter what ANYBODY in the world thinks of me. What really matters is what Christ think of me. There were so many things I learned from conference about faith. Which is something I'm working on.

I had a great birthday! Sister Bowles filled the apartment with balloons while I was taking a shower. :) We also made crepes on Sunday morning for breakfast. She also texted all the missionaries in our zone and some of the ward members. They all wished me a happy birthday. It was nice! As you now know, we went to the Burke's home for dinner. I'm glad you got the picture they sent you. They are an awesome family! Sister Burke made lasagna for dinner and it was AMAZING! I guess the meet in the lasagna was wild boar that Brother Burke had hunted. It was delicious!

Also, the picture you sent on the SD card.... well there were no pictures. Could you please resend pictures on a different SD card as soon as possible? If you could send pictures of the family (mom, dad, siblings, dog). You don't have to take new pictures, you can just send some you've already taken. :D Also any pictures you originally had sent that I didn't get. I would love to have pictures from the temple just before I went into the MTC (you still have my other SD card. The one you sent back to me was for my audiorecorder). Sister Bowles is being transferred on the 11th and I want to show her pictures of everybody before she leaves.

That brings me to some big news.... Sister Bowles is being transferred. :( Sister Bowles and I are shocked she is leaving. We thought for sure she would finish training me. I will be getting a new trainer on the 11th. I don't know who it is though. I'm kind of nervous if I'm being honest. I have some BIG shoes to fill. Sister Bowles is incredible. Keep Sister Bowles in your prayers. I already know you pray for me. ;) She has been in this area for 10 months. This is her first and only area and now she is leaving it. Its been a little emotional for the both of us.

I have LOVED serving with her in the Village area. She has had such an impact on the area and the ward and it's members. She has helped to build the ward and the ward's love of missionary work. I hope and pray to be the kind of missionary she is. She is a wonderful example to me and a wonderful leader. I have learned more from her example than anything she ever told me about being a missionary.

Sister Bowles and I have become very close over the last five weeks. We have developed a friendship that will last throughout the mission as well as after we both return. It's going to be tough to say goodbye, but I have faith this is what the Lord want to happen. I am a little nervous about getting a new trainer, especially if she doesn't know the people or the area. However, I have felt strengthened through personal prayer as well as from the prayers Sister Bowles offers.

I can't express enough gratitude to my Heavenly Father for being able to serve with Sister Bowles in the last 5 weeks. She has taught me how to follow the promptings of the Spirit, how to exercise my faith that the Lord will provide, and she has taught me how to really listen during prayers for answers. She did all this by her example to me.

Sister Bowles has laid such a great foundation here in the Village area! I am excited to continue serving here and hope and pray to be able to continue in this great work with the same diligence and persistence as Sister Bowles.

I have a funny story for everybody! Sister Bowles and I were knocking on door yesterday before we went to our dinner appointment. The guy answered and I started off introducing myself as a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but then I said I was sister Bowles and without missing a beat, Sister Bowles introduced herself as Sister Record. I was totally thrown off and trying not to laugh. The guy wasn't interested anyway, but I couldn't help but laugh at what happened.

Thanks for all you prayers and love from home! I sure love y'all! :D

Love, Sister Record

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is Sister Record's birthday. We wish her a very happy birthday and hope she has a wonderful day!