Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Email: 6 August 2012

Smoke cloud from fire
Hey everybody! I want you to know I am safe from any fires. Honestly, as missionaries we were hardly affected by them at least our companionship. I am assuming everybody else was fine too. I don't even know if the fires are still going. There is no more smoke in the sky, so that's a good sign. We did fast for rain yesterday though. We got a text from President Taylor on Friday telling us to just be aware of the fire. There were a few people in our ward who were near the fires but I'm pretty sure they are all okay. I haven't heard anything.

This may be the most unexciting letter ever... brace yourselves. Hey, you kept reading! Good job! ;) It has been pretty dead here. There is a two week break between the summer semester and the fall semester and all the students have left. Except for the sororities who are getting ready for rush week this week. We can't tract the sororities or fraternities though (obviously) so there really are not any people here who are student age to talk to. 

We are so excited for students to come back! Basically we are preping the area for the return of the students. We still go out tracting because it is a way to show our faith, but we are focusing on our teaching skills. We are doing this by teaching the members the lessons. Yesterday we explained the situation to the members of the ward and sent a sign up sheet around to have us teach them. We have quite a few people signed up for the week. We are pretty excited about it. We will be able to practice our teaching skills with the members and improve on things. We will then be "master teachers" (as President Taylor says) and the work will explode in this area. At least that's the vision. haha! It may take more than two weeks to become master teachers, but we are always striving.

We had a meeting with our ward mission leader. At the beginning of the year the ward set a goal of 12 baptisms for the year. The ward is only at three. The ward mission leader, as well as us, feel very STRONGLY that finding those who are ready to hear the Gospel are going to come through the MEMBERS. We were talking about all the baptisms that Sister Nelson has been a part of and they have all been through the members, except for one and he was a self referral. I'm not saying we are not going to be knocking on doors ever again, what I am saying is that those who are introduced to the church by their friends and family are those who usually stay active in the church.... which can easily be translated into they make and keep their covenants with God.
Sister Record at district meeting
I never realized how important member missionary work was until I became a missionary. I also never realized how important visiting teaching was until I came on my mission. There is a quote by Harold B Lee in Preach my Gospel that says "Missionary work is but visiting (home) teaching to those who are not now members of the church, and visiting (home) teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to church members."

That is pretty intense! Visiting teaching is vital to the building up of the kingdom of God. I would challenge you to go and do you visiting/home teaching and don't do it for the numbers. Really become that person's friend. Help them know you care about them. I love this quote by President Monson "Perhaps when we face our Maker, we will not be asked 'how many positions did you hold?' But rather, how many people did you help? In reality, you can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His People."
Anyway, I wanted to thank everybody for the testimonies in the Books of Mormon! We are excited to give them away. Yesterday we got a text from a ward member who talked to his neighbor about the Gospel. He told us that he just felt prompted to share with him. His neighbor was very receptive and wants a Book of Mormon and our member is going to teach him the 1st lesson and then maybe we will be able to teach him. I am giving away the first copy of the Book of Mormon with the testimony inside. I will keep you updated on what happens with that. Our member is giving him the Book of Mormon that Valerie Evans wrote her testimony in. Thanks for all the missionary work you are doing Canyon Ridge ward!! Y'all are great!!! I sure do love you! 

Sister Fraire shared a great scripture this morning. It was from 1st Nephi 8, Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. 

12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
13 And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.
14 And I looked to behold from whence it came; and I saw the head thereof a little way off; and at the head thereof I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go.
15 And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit.

Sister Fraire pointed out that after Lehi knew of the Joy of the fruit of the tree he was desirous to share it. Not only did he want to share it, but he called out to them with a loud voice.

It is important to share the Gospel through our example. However, we should still speak up to our friends and family about it. Share with them why it makes you happy. We don't have to be preachy, just share the truth about how you feel about the Gospel. :) The Gospel of Jesus Christ is such a HAPPY message! We should be happy to share it with all those around us. We can share it so many different ways too! Sure some people won't want to listen, that is their choice. Our choice and duty is that we share the Gospel and when we share it with those who are ready to accept, "How great shall be your joy." I feel like this is something I am really coming to learn as a missionary.

OH YEAH! there was something really exciting that happened this week. We taught [Name withheld] twice, once on Wednesday and once on Saturday. On Wednesday he expressed his concern about prophets and apostles. We talked to him about that and his concern was resolved. On Saturday we showed him 5 video clips from the Prophet and the apostles. (I'll include the link to the ones we watched with him) As he watched he told us that all the things they talked about were things he already believed in. At the very end of the lesson [Name withheld] told us that he really liked the videos and that as he watched he had this "feeling in my rib cage that felt like something expanding and I feel warm inside." I'm pretty sure the smile on all of our faces were huge. We explained to him what that feeling was and that it was the Spirit. We told him to pay attention to those feelings as he goes to church and reads the scriptures and meets with the missionaries.
[Name withheld] is so great! He is moving back to live with his parents in Texas so we won't be able to teach him anymore. We're sad about that because [Name withheld] is just starting to have great fellowship in the ward and is really progressing. I'll send a picture of us with [Name withheld] as well.

Yesterday [Name withheld] came to church for the 3rd time! And he stayed for the first two hours. Turns out he needed somebody he felt comfortable coming to church with. Jeff has been the perfect friend for him. [Name withheld] had accidentally packed all his church clothes and wasn't planning on coming to church. He asked if he could wear regular clothes. Of course the answer was yes! :) Then Jeff told [Name withheld] he would come in regular clothes too so [Name withheld] wouldn't feel so weird. It was great! Oh! and Jeff got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday!! :D

Oh shoot! I just LOOOOOVEEE missionary work! Thanks for everything y'all are doing to do member missionary work! I really appreciate it.... even though I'm in Oklahoma. haha! I love you! Have a great week!

Love Sister Record

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