Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hey everybody!

This is going to be a really short email.... and not much of an update. My apologies. I really wanted to share a scripture with you from 1 Peter 4:12-13. It has been a rough week with one person we are teaching. We want so badly for them to accept the message we are sharing, but they don't want to right now. It has been stressful and heartbreaking because of how much we love them. Yesterday in church I read this scripture which says,

"12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery atrial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." (1 Peter 4:12-13)

This is Peter speaking, but I imagined my Heavenly Father speaking directly to me. I found so much comfort from this scripture. I am also reminded of a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 101:16

"16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God." (D&C 101:16)

I know that God is aware of each of us. I have absolutely no doubt about it. I have felt his love for me and for others many times. I know that through faith in Christ miracles happen. I have seen that on my mission and those same kinds of miracles can happen to any of God's children. (that means all of us. :D ) I know that this is the Lord's work and it isn't just the full-time missionaries who are called to participate in it. As you share the gospel with your friends, family and others you can feel that same joy. It is amazing! I love missionary work, stress and all. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love you!

 At the hospital. I have been to the hospital more times as a missionary than I have in my entire life. We took one of the OSU sisters to the hospital on Friday night. She had an asthma attack. She is doing good now. :)

Me, Sister Cooper and Sister Allgood. I love these two so much! :D

 Me and Elder Lott (the District Leader) GO SOONERS! :)

Christmas Eve with the OSU sisters & Zone Leaders  L2R: Sister Pfister (who is practically my twin. We may as well be the same person. haha!) Sister Johnson, Elder Westwood, Elder Franco, Me, Sister Cooper

My gloves and scarf I got for Christmas.

I was helping Sister Cooper memorize the 1st vision... I ended up drawing it for her. Yeah... be jealous of my art skills.

Love, Sister Record

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Happy Christmas Eve!
What a wonderful time of year to be a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to be here in Oklahoma at this time with so many people who know and love their Savior, Jesus Christ.

This past week has felt like two weeks rolled into one. Sister Nelson and Sister Christensen went home, Sister Obena went to OU, and I picked up my new companion at transfers. My new companion is Sister McKenzie Cooper from Salt Lake City. She is so great! She has such a strong desire to share the gospel with people. She is also super short, which is kind of fun. She is 4'9 :) haha! It's so great. I can only imagine what people think when the two of us knock on their door. I was going to send pictures of me and my new companion, but I can't find my camera cord. Maybe next week.

The past few days have been great with Sister Cooper. She invited somebody to be baptized on her 2nd day and on Saturday gave away her first Book of Mormon. I was so proud of her. :) We have been working really hard and striving to be exactly obedient and we have seen miracles! I know that our Heavenly Father provides us with miracles according to our faith and obedience.

One of those miracles was that last Sunday a member gave us a referral. She had given a lady a ride home from the store because she locked her keys in the car. Our member told us that this woman had met with missionaries before when she lived in Chickasha. She has been to church a few times since she has been here. (I had no idea she ever came to our church before.) She is even friends with a few other members in our ward and some in the 1st ward. We went and saw her on Wednesday, but she was about to leave so we didn't talk to her much.

Yesterday we hadn't planned to see her, but we decided we needed to go see her. We went to her home and she let us right in. We got to talking and she had met with Sister missionaries 4 years ago before she moved here. She told us how she doesn't understand why there are so many churches. She believes there should only be one church because there is only one God. As she was talking I felt the soft, quiet prompting that she needs to be invited to be baptized. So Sister Cooper and I taught a 3 minute version of the Restoration. We asked her if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by somebody holding the priesthood authority of God. She said she would! :D She didn't set a date to be baptized, but she said she wants to be baptized. She talked about how she was baptized as a baby, but it wasn't by immersion. She told us that she felt she needed to be baptized by immersion. It was an incredible experience! We are going back after Christmas to teach her. She is so READY for this in her life! I am so excited to start teaching her.

Yesterday Sister Cooper and I taught Sunday school. We read the Christmas story in Luke 2. As we read I had an insight that I have never had before. I can't tell you how many times I have heard this story. In Luke 2:15-17 it talks about the shepherds after the angel told them about the birth of Christ.

“15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:15-17)

What stood out to me was in verse 16 it says that, "they came with haste". Once they knew about the birth of Christ they quickly went to see him. Then in verse 17 they shared what they knew with people after they saw Christ. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that each of us quickly grab hold of that knowledge and then "make it known abroad" concerning His Gospel. :)

Yup... missionary work is the best. A hardworking missionary is a happy missionary. I have come to learn this throughout my mission. Sister Cooper and I made a transfer goal to come home every night exhausted. So far we are doing pretty good with that goal. haha!

I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas! I love you!!
Love, Sister Record

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is Going to be Good! :)

Sister Obena, Sister Nelson and I
Hey everybody!
This has been a crazy week! Sister Nelson has been packing and getting ready to go home so the week was a little out of the ordinary. Her and Sister Christensen left this morning. I feel so blessed to have served around these two amazing Sisters. They are my friends and have taught me so much! I love them! :)
Sister Obena is going to Norman to serve at OU! wooohooo! Sister Nelson and I were so excited to hear she would be serving there. (Both of us have a special love for Noman.) Sister Obena is going to love Norman, even if she never becomes an OU fan. haha!

I love this sign
on the way into Stillwater. :)
This week was the new trainers meeting. This will be the last set of sisters to come into the mission who are 21 and over. Next transfer the 19 year olds will start coming in. It's so exciting! There is a lot of responsibility being placed on the missionaries in this mission (especially the Sisters it feels like) to train the new sisters effectively so they will be prepared to train new missionaries in 12 weeks. It is an exciting time to me a missionary! :)

I have a lot of goals and things I want to do with my new companion and with the area this next transfer. My biggest desire is that I do it ALL in the Lord's way and how he would want me and my new companion to do things. If you could add that in your prayers I would very much appreciate it.
Sister Nelson and I with honey on our faces. Yes... Honey. Somebody told us if you put good honey on your face it gets rid of peach fuzz. Of course, we had to try it. Yeah... we still have peach fuzz. The only thing the honey did was make for some great videos and pictures. :)

Yesterday was such a great day at church! I gave a talk about drawing strength from prayer and scripture study, which went well. We had four people we are teaching come to church. We were running around like crazy. It was so busy, but so great! The members of the ward were so great and so welcoming to those people who were at church. Through my whole mission I have never had that many people come at one time. It was a marvelous experience, and a great last Sunday for Sister Nelson. :)
Sister Nelson,
Sister Christensen and I

Sister Nelson and I this
morning before
she left.

Well.... I really don't have a whole lot to say this week. (sorry) I am so excited to be given the wonderful opportunity to train again. If it is anything like my first experience, this wonderful sister will teach me far more than I will teach her. :) I don't know her, but I love her already!

I love you! Keep being amazing! I can't even tell you how much I love all of you. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I wish I could give all of you a big hug right now. :) The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I know that because of this scripture in the Book of Mormon, "And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." Mosiah 5:2

Love, Sister Record

This video is so inspiring! I love it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Power and Authority of Missionaries

Hey y'all! :)
This week has been great. Probably the greatest week of the transfer so far. :) I will get to that though. The week has gone so fast! I swear it was just a couple hours ago that I was sitting at this computer writing home last Monday.

Have you noticed any difference in your missionary work during or as a result of the recent presidential election? Did the fact that Mitt Romney is a member of the Church affect your missionary labors or questions about the Church? Has it been good, bad, or indifferent in your respective missions?
In answer to your question about the recent election, I didn't notice much a difference. I have had people mention Mitt Romney and tell me I should vote for him (or tell me they voted for him). But that is about the extent of it. Now if the fact that he was a member of the church and that caused people to listen to us when they may not have otherwise... I have no idea. Nobody has mentioned it.

Is there anything special you want from home?
um..... I can't think of anything really..... thanks for asking though.

What was the hardest thing you faced this week?
Sister Nelson getting ready to go home next Monday. I'm really going to miss her. We have gone through so much together. Thankfully I will see her next summer, so it will is not that bad. 

What was the most joyous experience you had this week?
Seeing the power and authority of our calling as missionaries. I'll try to explain what happened, but I know it isn't going to be as great as the actual experience. Feelings are hard enough to communicate verbally let alone through an email. I pray the Spirit will help those who read this feel the excitement and emotion behind what I write.

So Friday after district meeting we went out tracting in the rain. :) It was pretty fun. We prayed with a couple people, but didn't find any new people to teach. We also checked on some less active members. While we were checking on them Sister Obena saw from across the parking lot another one of our less active members. It was so perfect! We didn't know where he was living, but now we do. :) We were able to talk to him and invite him to church and the ward activity that night. It was all a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Now, if that would have been all that happened that day I would have been happy. I knew that we had worked hard and had used the Lord's time wisely, even though we didn't see a whole lot of things happen from the work we had done. However, the Lord blessed us with so much later that evening! Both Sister Nelson and I both had the feeling that since we had been working so hard the Lord was going to provide a miracle for us later that evening. We knew our bishop had invited his friend, [Name withheld], who is not a member to the ward Christmas party. I had this thought that our miracle was going to be with [Name withheld]. It was a very quick thought that left as quick as it came.

Well we get to the Christmas party and [Name withheld] is there. (Originally he wasn't going to be there, but things happened a few days earlier to where his plans changed and he would be able to make it). We talked with [Name withheld] the whole time. After the Christmas party was over Sister Nelson and I sat and talked to him for nearly 2 hours! (Sister Obena was helping clean up)

At first [Name withheld] was doing most of the talking and we sat and listened to what he was saying. I did get worried that we wouldn't be able to share much with him about the gospel because he kept talking about other things. But we sat and listened to [Name withheld] and the things he wanted to share with us. Then [Name withheld] told us of a near death experience he had. For the sake of time, his story reminded me of Alma the Younger. (see Alma 36:6-16) Both Sister Nelson and I thought of Alma 36 and shared the story with him. We told him about how Alma experienced the same thing he did and how he turned to Christ and repented of his sins. I wish you could have seen [Name withheld]'s face while we shared that story with him. He was listening so intently to what we were saying.

Sister Nelson asked [Name withheld] if he had ever read the Book of Mormon before. At first he didn't want to read it. He was concerned that it was all the doctrines of Joseph Smith. We made it clear that the Book of Mormon only contained the doctrine of Jesus Christ. [Name withheld] had some other concerns about the Book of Mormon. I had the impression to be bold and straightforward with him in bearing my testimony of the Book of Mormon and of prophets. So that's what I did. (and so did Sister Nelson.) The spirit was so strong! I could hardly sit still.

Sister Nelson gave him a 1 minute version of the 1st lesson. As I sat and listened to her speak I could feel the power and authority in the words she spoke. I knew that she was speaking by the Spirit and that the things we shared with [Name withheld] were true. (As a missionary I know we have power and authority to preach the gospel and that people see missionaries in a different way. However, since I'm around other missionaries all the time and have that power and authority to preach the gospel it is hard for me to always see the difference, even though I know it is there.)

At one point [Name withheld] said something about how we can't take our families with us after we die. Sister Nelson bore a POWERFUL testimony of the reality that families can be together forever. We know [Name withheld] felt the power behind the things we said by the Spirit to him. He even told us that he liked the Spirit he felt when we spoke. By the end of our conversation with him he took a copy of the Book of Mormon. :)

Interestingly enough, when he was talking at the beginning there was a lot of commotion around us. People were cleaning up the gym and it was pretty loud and crazy. Once Sister Nelson and I started to bear our testimonies the gym had cleared out and nobody was there. [Name withheld] made the comment to our bishop afterwords that Sister Nelson and I were "spiritual powerhouses". I know it was the Spirit working through us to soften his heart though. I know he felt that way because we are called of God to preach His gospel by His Spirit. He also told Bishop (and later us) that he was amazed at how the time flew by while we were talking. He was amazed that even though there were people around us he felt like the three of us were the only ones in the gym. (we felt the same way)

We saw [Name withheld] yesterday and he has read from the Book of Mormon. He still has questions and concerns that are very common. However, we will start teaching him this week. :) He is a great guy and we absolutely love him!

He taught us some valuable lessons too. I mentioned that if he is in a room with 500 people he didn't know, but these people know Christ and believe in Christ he should get 500 invitations to come unto Christ. He talked a lot about how we have things to offer people and we shouldn't leave anybody without invitations to come unto Christ. This doesn't just apply to full-time missionaries. If anything it applies to regular members of the Church. We must OPEN OUR MOUTHS and share this gift we have been given. It was very profound. I will never forget it!

So that was probably the most memorable experience I had this week. However, that wasn't the only one. On Wednesday we were teaching a lady from China. She is having a hard time understanding Jesus Christ as the only one who could be the Savior of the world. We had planned to teach her the Plan of Salvation but as we were studying that morning the inspiration came to us to use Alma 34:8-16. As a companionship we came up with this analogy of Christ being the only doctor who can heal us. I can't go into the whole analogy, (I'm getting tired of typing and running out of time) but we taught her using this analogy. It ended up being a super spiritual lesson! She was so excited because she understood and it was clear to her. :)

What was the funniest thing you saw or felt this week?
haha! One of the members of our ward is a little Korean lady. We were visiting her on Saturday and she told us that if you put "good" honey on your face it makes it soft and gets rid of peach fuzz. She gave us some "good" honey and Sister Nelson and I put it on our face that night. The honey didn't do anything except make our faces sticky and make for some pretty great pictures and videos. We were laughing so hard! Sister Obena thought we were crazy! :) I will send some pictures.

I say it every week, but I love being a missionary! It is hard work and I cry about it sometimes, but it is the BEST thing ever! My testimony is growing so strong! But even more importantly I am becoming more deeply converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A testimony is important because it leads to deep and lasting conversion. However having a testimony of something doesn't do us much good if we are not converted to the gospel. 

The Bible Dictionary says this about conversion, "Conversion. Denotes changing one’s views, in a conscious acceptance of the will of God (Acts 3:19). If followed by continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism in water for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, conversion will become complete, and will change a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person—a new creature in Christ Jesus (see 2 Cor. 5:17). Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing (see Luke 22:32; D&C 112:12–13). To labor for the conversion of one’s self and others is a noble task, as in Ps. 51:13; Dan. 12:3; James 5:19–20; D&C 18:15–16. Cf. Alma 26."

I love you! I hope you have a great week! Remember the gospel is true! :)
Love, Sister Record

Monday, December 3, 2012


Stillwater Zone! :) I love that we have 6 sisters in our zone!
Hello family and friends!
This week has been amazing. Then again, every week is amazing. Even the weeks that are hard. This last week we had temple conference. I will talk about that in a minute. Last Thursday Sister Nelson, Sister Obena and I wanted to reach all of our goals by the following Thursday (the day before temple conference). Well, our faith was high and we reached our goals by Thursday. It was amazing! :D

Temple conference! Can you say incredible!? President and Sister Taylor talked to us about all the new missionaries coming out in the next six months, especially the new sisters. Currently we have 18 Sisters in our mission and by June we will have 56! I am so excited! President and Sister Taylor told us how as a mission we need to be prepared for what is coming. In order to increase faith as a mission the entire mission is reading/studying the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel. We have a schedule we are following and we will be done by the end of March. I am so excited for all the changes coming up. I feel such a weight put on my shoulders to be prepared for all the new sisters. It is a good thing though. Faith is very high right now. :)

President and Sister Taylor. I aboslutely love these two!
We started studying the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel on Saturday. I have learned SO MUCH in the last couple days. I was only able to study one chapter of the Book of Mormon and like a page of PMG! I was pondering why all of the sudden I feel a flood of inspiration coming to me. I have read PMG cover to cover before. I have read the Book of Mormon multiple times. I realized that President Taylor has been inspired to have us do this as a mission. As we act on what he has asked us to do we are in essence doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do to strengthen this mission. When we have faith to act we then see many miracles. :)

We taught our new investigator twice this past week. I'll call her A.P. She is fantastic! She is from Georgia and is the most spunky, soulful African American woman I have ever met. She has a strong faith in Christ. She is so kind and loving and I loved her from the first time we talked to her. We taught her about the Restoration. She basically already believes all of the things we have taught. She didn't have any problems with prophets, with priesthood authority or anything. The best part of the lesson was when we have A.P a copy of the Book of Mormon. She made a comment which made me think of 2 Nephi 29:7-9 .

“7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. ”

Sister Nelson and Sister Record in an Oklahoma sunset.
I opened up to it and was getting ready to share it. Then Sister Nelson opened her scriptures (she was sitting on the opposite end of the table from me) and as this was happening A.P flipped open the Book of Mormon and started reading. She opened right up to these verses and started reading aloud. She was ready to turn the page again but Sister Nelson stopped her and told her that all three of us had opened up to the same verses. A.P thought that was pretty great. :) (and so did we!) We read the verses and she put the Book of Mormon down, hit the table with her hand and shouted "AMEN!" The next time we went over she made a comment about how the Book of Mormon teaches you "how to fly" so to speak. We are meeting with her again tomorrow. We are excited. :)

On Saturday we were out tracting (unlike Alaska where Elder Record is, it is beautiful here! 60 and 70 degree weather! woohoo!) and I really didn't want to do it for whatever reason. I always know when I feel that way it means I need to be doing that thing I may not want to do. Anyway, I said a prayer that I would be able to have a desire to do what I knew I needed to do. Sister Nelson recognized I was thinking about something so she asked me. I told her and she said, "well, lets go find those people who are prepared." The very first door we knocked on was a single mother. She was open to us praying with her. As Sister Nelson was praying for her the spirit was strong. As we were praying the thought came to me to ask her if she felt any different after the prayer than she did before we prayed with her. After the prayer was over I asked her and she said, "It's funny you should mention that. I was just thinking about how I felt lighter." I was able to testify that feeling she felt was the Holy Ghost telling her that God was listening and that he loved her. It was a great experience. We are going to go back sometime this week to teach her. :) After this experience I was feeling much better and was ready to go share my testimony with everybody in that neighborhood. It is amazing what prayer can do.

While we were in this neighborhood every person who opened the door allowed us to pray for them. We haven't had that happen in a while. It was amazing! :) As we were walking around two kids (probably about 10 years old) asked who we were and what we were doing. We told them we were missionaries and that we go around teaching people about Jesus Christ. Then they rode off on their little scooters.

About 15 minutes later we knocked on a door and were talking to a college age young woman. Before we even started talking to her these two kids were behind us telling us that we should go to their house and they told us where their house was. We told them we would go over to their house next.

Well after we were done talking with that young woman we started walking over to the house of the kids but they found us and told us that they just remembered their parents were not home. So we are going to go back either today or tomorrow to talk to the parents of these kids. I'm pretty excited! I love kids! They are so open to the Spirit. :)

Well, I am so grateful to be a missionary! It is a wonderful opportunity and I love it! There is no place I would rather be than here in Oklahoma serving the Lord. I love the Book of Mormon and I know without a doubt that book is of God. How do I know it is inspired of God?

"And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." Mosiah 5:2

I know this Book is true because it has wrought a mighty change in my heart. This book has brought me closer to my Savior Jesus Christ than I ever have been in my entire life. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true, I know that this, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that we have a living prophet today, President Thomas S Monson.

I love y'all very much! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Record