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