Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Transcription: 27 December 2011

Hello everybody, today is December 27th, and I didn't email yesterday because of the holiday – the library was closed.

This week has been a very good week, not only with Christmas (haha), but we were able to teach a lot of people. There is this little girl who is the niece of one of the counselors in our Elder's Quorum, and she is nine and needed to take the lessons and be baptized as a convert. So we have been able to teach her all four of the missionary lessons this week. That was really fun.

We called up the bishop on Tuesday night and asked him for names of people he was thinking about, like less active people, or anybody. So, we got a list of some people and that was really exciting. We started to go visit some. A lot of work is being opened up, so we are really excited about that – we are going to start to visit more people and teach them lessons. We should be getting a lot of referrals pretty soon.

On Sunday we had a class, and one of our investigators showed up to Church – well he wasn't one of our investigators then, but he said he came because he wanted to learn more about the Church and to know where his wife was coming from because she is a member, and he came ready to learn (haha), so we had a class after Sacrament meeting. I didn't want it to be just us missionaries and him, so I asked Mark Fa'nene, one of the members, if he could get some members to come into the class – and he went and got some YSA people and brought them in. We had a good class. We almost finished the entire first lesson. We also had a really good discussion. We talked about a lot of things. Some of the less active members don't know very much about the Church so it was nice for them because they felt open and comfortable enough to start asking questions. We would answer them, and they really liked that. We are excited to see a lot of progress there.

We visited a lot of the members this week, especially on Christmas. On P-day our ward had games. They basically played volleyball and basketball almost the entire day. We went there and played with them – that was fun.

This week, we were able to do more work than I have ever done here before in a week. I really enjoyed it, and I really enjoyed being with Elder Leota because he likes to work hard. It's fun. I'm starting to get the hang of things (haha). I've been out for five months. Initially it is kind of hard, but it's nice because I'm really feeling like I'm starting to get used to how things work. I don't have to worry so much if I'm doing it right.

I really like the scriptures, and I know the Book of Mormon is true. Whenever I read it, I find comfort and guidance in the scriptures; particularly in the Book of Mormon. I am thankful for all that my Savior has done for me, and for His atoning sacrifice. I love the Gospel. I love the prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. I am thankful for families. I am thankful for the opportunity that we have in the Gospel and also the hope that it brings. A lot of people worry about what is going to happen next. I feel like in the Gospel we don't have to worry about that so much because we know as we are doing good, it will all work out in the end. No matter how hard things get, no matter how tough it is, as long as we endure, then it will all work out – however that plays out, we know that we will be okay because of our Savior. I know that is true, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Phone Call: 25 December 2011

We got a phone call from Elder Record today. We planned on using Skype, but it would not work properly, so we enjoyed a long phone conversation with him. We clarified that he has his new companion, Elder Leota. They are working hard. He has spoken with Elder Johnson and knew about the baptism in his previous area. He mentioned that he has made Dragon Brownies for the district in Anchorage. They were a big hit. After we spoke with him on speaker phone for a while, he took turns talking individually with each of his siblings. Sheri and I were the last ones to talk with him. He is doing very well, is adjusted to the cold and rarely uses his winter jacket. He absolutely loves the Samoan people and never wants to leave the Northern Lights Ward.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baptism: 21 December 2011

Elder Record, Sister Brown, Katie Lewis, Brother Jude, Elder Johnson
taken Nov 2011.

We just found out from Elder Johnson, Elder Record's previous companion in Whitehorse, YT, that one of Elder Johnson and Elder Record's investigators was just baptized. Katie Lewis was baptized on Saturday, 17 December 2011 by Elder Brad Johnson. We are not sure if Elder Record is aware of the baptism yet, because he is in Anchorage.  We are so excited to talk with him about it on Christmas day. He will be calling us on Christmas. We are planning to use Skype for a video call. The following is a quote from Elder Johnson's blog regarding Sister Lewis' baptism.

"We've had an amazing week. Out of the blue, Katie Lewis, an investigator that Elder Record and I began teaching decided that she wanted to get baptized before I left. She determined all that she was holding out for wasn't important and that she just needed to take the step of faith. She was baptized yesterday--the service was amazing."

Elder Johnson, ?, Katie Lewis, Sister Brown, Elder Norris
 Missionary work is so exciting!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Questions: 19 December 2011

Elder Caleb Wallace and Elder Jason Record, Anchorage, AK

Lorielle: How did you not go completely INSANE waiting to leave on your mission?
Haha, don't know. Work I guess.

Lorielle: Have you heard of the "Just one more" theory? Knock on one more door. Talk to just one more person. Pray just one more time. Plan just one more day.
Now I have =)

I'm so excited for this next transfer!!! I can't wait to be with Elder Leota! FYI our area this entire transfer was just Northern Lights. Last transfer Northern Lights and Chester Valley were combined. They are 2 separate wards now and will be this next transfer.

Love, Elder Record

Transcription: 19 December 2011

Good morning everybody, this is Elder Record and today is the 19th of December.

This week we had Zone Conference. It was like a Christmas party/Zone Conference type of thing. It was pretty cool. At the beginning of Zone Conference we talked about the meaning of Christmas, why we need a Savior, and we talked about the Christmas story. We also practiced different aspects of missionary work and role playing a Christmas message we would share with people. We ate dinner there. We watched a slide show of a bunch of pictures the missionaries had taken with Christmas music along with it. The whole Zone Conference was pretty fun because you get to be with a bunch of missionaries and refocus on what we are supposed to be doing.

We also got stockings (haha), that were apparently stuffed by a lot of the parents. I don't know how they did it or how many parents got stuff for the stockings, but that was very fun. We were able to enjoy having a stocking. It has been pretty exciting, but it has been a little different. Christmas is not commercialized at all for us as missionaries because we are not listening to the radio and we are not shopping a ton. We are basically flooded with what Christmas is all about, the scriptures and things like that (haha). So, it is like an anticipation, but it is not like anything with presents or worldly things like that. It's different – it's kind of cool. You feel like you want to serve people more and really do what the Savior did when He was on the earth. So that was Zone Conference.

The next day we had a fireside with all the missionaries who were going home. It was a musical fireside, and I recorded most of it. A couple of the elders are really good. I really enjoyed it. They had some non-members there and some people who were members. It was just a really neat experience. We have a lot of talent in the missionaries out here (haha).

We just finished a transfer, so today is technically part of my fourth transfer. One of the new missionaries coming up is a concert pianist and another is a cellist. So that will be cool, because I want to learn how to play the cello (haha). I won't be learning on my mission, but it will be fun to talk with somebody who plays the cello. I got my transfer call Saturday morning, and I found out that Elder Curtin will be leaving for Petersburg, in the Southeast of Alaska. I will be staying, and I will be the senior companion. Elder Leota will be coming into the area, and he is from Samoa. This will be his third transfer and my fourth transfer, so we will both be pretty new. We'll have to work together pretty good. He's going to help me learn Samoan, and I am going to help him finish learning English (haha). That will be really nice having a Samoan missionary in the Samoan ward, because they can just connect on a deeper level than we can who don't speak the language. I mean they don't have that language barrier and can understand what's going on – and I'll understand what's going on because I'll have Elder Leota. So I'm pretty excited about having Elder Leota come in, and we are going to work hard.

On Sunday, just yesterday, we had this guy show up who said, “I'm not a member, but I want to learn more, because my wife's a member.” So, we taught him and got some members to join the lesson, and it was a very good discussion. Sundays are just awesome now, because people are just starting to get the missionary spirit. We are also starting to get really good unity with the ward members. Like, today a lot of them are going to come over to play basketball with us. The missionaries play basketball every Monday. It will be fun, and we are excited to have them come.

I really like those conference DVDs because I can re-watch conference. I really enjoyed Elder Quentin L. Cook's talk in the last session of conference. It was good because it kind of helps answer the questions of one of the members, who was in our class on Sunday. We may end up showing that to them. I loved Elaine S. Dalton's talk, “You're Never Alone.” I thought that was really good and would be worth watching again.

I know the Church is true. I know it's not easy, but as we stick with it and endure to the end, the Lord will be with us. The important thing is to pray for help, because we can't do it alone. A lot of times when we don't want to do stuff or we are scared to do it, or whatever; we can pray for help and for the Lord to change our hearts, and I know that He will, and He does. He has done that with me on multiple occasions. It is not easy being a missionary. It's fun … and in a way it's easy, but it's not. It's interesting. You have to be on a mission to understand how easy – hard it is (haha). There are times when I have felt like not doing something, or been scared to do it; and I will have to pray and rely on the Lord, and He gets me through it. You can't serve a mission alone, you have to rely on the Lord. So it's important that you study the scriptures a lot and do your best to remain close to the Lord and avoid all forms of worldly entertainment like the white handbook says. If you are not letting virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly, then you get distracted very easily. You suddenly realize you don't have the Spirit and you don't know what to do, so you have to pray and resolve to do better; that is what's wonderful about the Atonement. I know that Jesus Christ died for us and that through Him we can become better, and we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I know that we can rely on the Lord's strength, and He will get us through it.

I am thankful for the Gospel, and I am thankful for all of you who have taught me so much; especially Chris. I am so thankful for you Chris because I have learned so much from you. I am so thankful that I have had all my family to help teach me how to love people. Like I have said before, I love my family more than I ever have before. I am thankful for the Gospel. I know it's true. I know that we are never alone, that the Savior is always there with us, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Questions: 12 December 2011

Chris: I am sending you an imaginary hug, please send one back in your next audio.
You got it buddy.

I was listening to a song earlier, I think even before I said anything, that talked about a boy who received a letter from his brother on a mission that made all the difference for him. I now know why I felt the spirit so strong as I listened to that song. I love you with all my heart, and my love for you and confidence in you grows stronger every day. I love you now more than I ever have before. There are times when I think about you and the potential you have and I feel so much love for you that the feeling seems to swell too big for me and I am moved to tears. I love you Chris. You are the man. You've got so much charisma and Lord needs you. The CD I listened to that song on was called The Work, and it says something like Nashville tribute on it or something like that. That CD is another one on my list of CD's to get.

Annelise: Have you seen the Northern Lights yet?

Dad: Do you know when you will be calling for Christmas? We would like to all be here and be prepared. When you call, please call my cell phone. It has a speaker phone so everyone can hear.
Anytime that day, I was thinking after you and I open presents. K

Dad: Can you arrange to use Skype for your Christmas call?
I will see what I can do. I'll be going to the mission home today for p-day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Transcription: 12 December 2011

Helloo. Today is the 12th of December. I got kind of lazy and I didn't do this on Sunday. I waited until the last second until this morning on Monday to finish it. But that's okay, because it really doesn't matter (haha). Last Monday was kind of fun. It was a good P-day. We played basketball at one point. Some of the members wanted to come, so we let them (haha). There was this one guy, his name is Mark. He is a returned missionary from Santiago, Chile. He's pretty cool. He was there at basketball, and so was the Young Men's president and his son. That was fun.

Later in the week, I went to the family history center. They have these books with Samoan genealogy. You go back far enough and they only kept oral records. So, basically a leading genealogy expert went through and got all the interviews, compiled all the information together, and wrote down all the lines of basically all Samoan family history that is done or that people know about. They have those three books there. I was able to arrange to get a copy of the first book, so I have a complete copy of the book. It is like 175 pages, but surprisingly it didn't cost that much – it was like $5.00 (haha).

We were able to teach an investigator who has an easier time speaking Samoan. We were able to show him “How Rare a Possession,” that everyone sent me, in Samoan. That was pretty cool – that is one of the few movies that is actually in Samoan.

On Wednesday, I think, we had dinner with our Ward Mission Leader, and I was able to get my testimony on Samoan. I have it written down. I am still working on being able to say everything. Oh, I also found out what Eric's name is, in Samoan. It's Elika. Elika Fa'amaumauga. When our Ward Mission Leader was doing my testimony, he also did the beginning part that is customary in Samoan culture. They like to give little proverbs, or whatever, at the beginning. He made sure it was a very respectful language, so it's pretty cool. It will be good. So I will work on that.

For our district meeting, our district lunch we went to IHOP, and it was really good (haha). I had French toast! – like I always do (haha). Oh, and then I got Grandpa's fudge in the mail. It was sooo good. I've shared it with a few people (haha). Oh man! It's good. I've been eating a lot of it, but I'm still staying healthy because actually on Monday I bought a bunch of vegetables, so I'm eating vegetables and fruit. I take my vitamins and exercise a lot. In fact, we will play basketball in the mornings. We'll wake up a little early and play basketball. On the days I don't play basketball, I will do strength training and work out. So I'm staying in pretty good shape. The caramels are pretty good, too – that Grandpa sent (haha).

A family in the ward, the Fiame's, Brother Fiame is actually in the bishopric; we went to dinner with them. We found out that they used to live in California, then they moved to Oklahoma and were there for like six years. They met a bunch of missionaries out there. They lived closer to Oklahoma City than Tulsa. I think they had to go through Oklahoma City to get to Tulsa. Anyway, they used to live there, I thought that was pretty cool, and I thought of Lorielle (haha).

On Sunday it was awesome! Normally it's been pretty disorganized. The Elders will just meet with the High Priests and just kind of do whatever. Sunday School was also a bit disorganized. But yesterday for Elder's quorum, they actually had an Elder's quorum. A lot of the Elder's quorum presidency work, so they are not able to be there, but one of the counselors was able to be there. So he is now getting everything organized and set up. In Elder's quorum we talked about how we want to build the brotherhood or the unity of the quorum and basically establish Zion. You know, build each other up, strengthen the feeble knees, lift up the hands that hang down, like the scriptures say. They are really getting the missionary spirit (haha), and they are going to be good examples for the youth, and getting them excited about the Gospel and serving missions. One of the high counselors was there too. It was pretty awesome. Basically, what he went through was, what are some of the things that keep us from working together in unity. Then we figured out what are some of the things we can do to take care of that and build the unity. One of the things I mentioned was service projects. Back home, you know, the Elder's quorum are some of the first people on the scene when someone is moving in. They help them move in, and do stuff like that. They thought that was really cool. So anyway, things are going to be looking pretty good. So we'll see how we can help.

That same guy in the Elder's quorum presidency has a niece that is nine, but she hasn't been baptized. So we are going to be teaching her the missionary lessons so she can be baptized. It is like a convert baptism because she is older than 8 (haha). So we will teach her real quick and then baptize her.

I have been reading the Book of Mormon a lot – it's kind of hard to put down. I just got to Jacob this morning. I have been thinking a lot about work and the Book of Mormon. I know it's true. I know that missionary work is fun – it can be hard, but it's fun. You learn and grow a lot from it. I know the Church is true. I am thankful to be out here serving the people in Alaska. I am excited to have a fun P-day. We'll see you all later (haha).

Love, Elder Record

Monday, December 5, 2011

Questions: 5 December 2011

Chris: Will you please measure yourself, so I can see if I am taller? I am currently 5 foot 7.5 inches tall.
Don't have to I'm taller hahahahaha. I'm 5'9" unless I shrunk...

Dad: I noticed two bicycle helmets in your apartment. Do you ride bikes or drive a vehicle or both?
Nope, those are old, haha. They just never got taken.

Dad: Does Elder Curtin have a blog his family maintains?
Not as far as he knows

Dad: I have transcribed the letters you took pictures of, and the pictures worked out perfectly for the transcription.
Awesome, I'll keep doing it.

Dad: We got your SD card, it should be in the mail on it way back to you.
Awesome again. =)

Transcription: 5 December 2011

Hello everyone! =) I AM SO HAPPY!!!! haha. I don't know why. I just can't stop laughing inside. I love being on a mission. I love my mission president. I love the gospel. Oh and by the way, Sister Gates is in the conference ensign on page 116 in the relief society meeting. I'm guessing the lady next to her is her mother.
Here is an excerpt from my letter to President Beesley.

"I love the Book of Mormon. I’ve been studying 1 Nephi, I started 2 Nephi, and also the last conference. I started thinking a lot about temples and the covenants to be fulfilled in the latter days. I was in 1 Nephi 21 and verse 11 caught my eye, “And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.” Verse 9 was another good one, “That thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.” I also liked the references to Isaiah 62:10 and Ezekiel 34:14. It seems whenever the Lord gathers his people he gathers them to the temples and uses words like garners, pastures, mountains, high places. It makes sense that he would though because the temples are where we make covenants to prepare us to be literally gathered into His presence after we die, and they are symbolic of entering into His presence. I love the temple and, honestly, my favorite part of conference was when the prophet announced the new temples. I felt the spirit the strongest then. I loved Mosiah 4:11-12. It talks about how we can become a Zion people. I love the gospel, and I’m so thankful to be a part of this latter day work. I found out it is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant in 1 Nephi 14 that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. And that the members of the church would be few in numbers, spread out upon the whole earth, and armed with the power of God in great glory. Its amazing to me that I’m alive now and am a part of all this. What a privilege. What an opportunity."

This is Tell Me the Stories of Jesus - 00:00:49

That was kind of rough, but it was pretty good. That was me on the Uke. Here is Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam - 00:00:43. This is surprisingly the easiest song on the planet earth to play, if you are doing chords. It only has an F and a C7.

Easy enough (haha). I am still working on some others – like “I'm Trying to be Like Jesus.” There are a lot of chords to that one, but that one is coming along. I'm still working on God Be with You Till We Meet Again in Samoan. I have to figure out where I want to do the chords as I'm singing. Right now I really only have one way to strum. I can change the speeds of it and stuff, but I have to learn some different strumming patterns. There are a lot of missionaries that play the Uke. It's pretty easy, nothing too complex, but it's very fun (haha).

Lately, the last couple of days we have been stuck at our apartment, because the roads have been super icy because of rain. It has been warm and then it will freeze and make the roads really icy. So, we haven't been out a whole lot. While we have been stuck here, besides studying a lot, we have been watching those wonderful DVDs – thank you so much for giving me the conference ones. I have been using those a lot for my studying. Besides that, I have practiced the ukulele (haha), and we played Risk, Monopoly, and Clue (which I won every single game against Elder Curtin – and then we stopped playing after about four games).

So this week has been kind of slow, but there was a lady who had open heart surgery about a week ago. We were blessed with the opportunity to go and give her a blessing. She went in on Friday to get a pace maker. We got to give her a blessing and she was a non-member, but she had a lot of faith. We talked about our Heavenly Father's plan for us, and I didn't even know at the time that she was not a member. She told us later that she was not a member. It was a good experience, the Spirit was really there.

We got a couple of referrals, so we are excited about that, and we will meet some new people. It looks like the Young Women's president will contacting us about some family history stuff, because I mentioned in Ward Council that I had some skills in family history. So she is planning on contacting us to help them out with that. I will be thinking about what I want to share with them. Apparently they have this Samoan family history database in the family history center here. It is basically like all family history that is recorded. It's in a book and it has the names by one of the world's leading experts on Polynesian family history in general. They compile it into books and have the family trees going back as far as they can remember, because when you go so far, they only kept oral genealogy – they just kept it by memory. I have been working on that and finding out how everything is organized and compiled, so I can help people out.

We got to see the First Presidency's Christmas devotional, which was really good – I really felt the Spirit. The video they showed was really neat. Initially it kind of threw me off with the British accents (haha) and I kind of chuckled because just a little earlier we were kind of making fun of British accents. We were talking with British accents because we were bored in our apartment because we had to stay in it (haha). So, initially it kind of threw me off, but after a while I started to like it. They were quieter like President Eyring said. It seemed to me like it was made to invite you think about it a little harder and concentrate on your feelings a little more and listen to the Spirit. After a little while I was really feeling the Spirit and was moved quite a bit by the video. It was very good. I loved it. It got me totally pumped for the Christmas season. I eventually want to read that book President Monson says he reads every Christmas called The Manson by Henry Van Dyke.

We spent some time in the family history center, because I've been trying to learn how to use those Samoan records. Things are awesome here, I love it! It is very fun. On P-days we get to go to the mission home and hang out with them. I love being around President and Sister Beesley. It's soo much fun, and they have a treadmill, so I get to run (haha). We get to play basketball too, but I actually get to exercise quite a bit. So that's good. I'm saying in shape well enough (haha). Thank you everybody for all the presents and stuff. It was wonderful. I loved the Sacred Cello CD by Steven Sharp Nelson, he's awesome – and the beef jerky (haha). Thank you for satisfying my craving (haha).

Lately, I love the scriptures. I mean … man! It's hard to read anything else but the Book of Mormon. I will start reading it and will get so zoned in on it. It's hard to read anything else. There is such good things in there, like … Dad you'll like this. In 1 Nephi 21 verse 11 it says, “and I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.” So I looked at that and said, “wait a second! Mountains are also temples.” I then read back at verse nine and it says, “that thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.” So I was thinking about that and I love the phrase in verse eleven, “and I will make all my mountains a way.” I was just thinking about the temples and the Lord. Whenever He gathers His children, He always gathers them to the temple. Any why? He makes His temple “a way” He says “the mountains a way.” That is the way, because we make certain covenants there so we can return to our Father in Heaven, but also if you think about it, the temple is being in God's presence. So when we go to the temple, it is symbolic of us going into to God's presence. It is kind of preparing us for when we are literally gathered into His presence after this life – in the resurrection. I just really like that, and love how it talks about gathering. Abraham 2 is awesome and talks about how in the latter days, the Abrahamic covenant will be fulfilled where it says, in Abraham's seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed. We see that in missionary work and in general. The numbers in the Church are few, but God is on our side and we are spreading through the whole earth and blessing the nations with the gospel. It's pretty cool to witness. I love being around super good examples, like President and Sister Beesley, and in the scriptures – I kind of engross myself in those.

The gospel's true. I know it's true. I know the Book of Mormon's true. When you know the gospel is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior, other things don't seem to matter so much. You don't worry about what is going to happen … I mean obviously you prepare for things and challenges that will come up, but at the same time you don't have to worry about it. I mean “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” like it says in 2 Timothy 1:7. I just love the confidence that that brings and that comes to us through letting virtue garish our thoughts (see D&C 121:45). As we ponder up the words of life, we think of good things and put good into our minds, and our spirits, and our bodies even – I mean staying healthy, we are able to listen to the Spirit more and focus on those good things more that come from Christ and have His Spirit with us. Our lives are blessed so much more because of that, and I know that's true, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Everybody, have a wonderful Christmas. Eric, I hope you had a wonderful birthday party. I hope, Chris, that you are taller than me by the time I get back, and I hope that I'm not too short (haha). I don't think I'm going to grow much more – except for maybe sideways (haha). No, I will probably come back just about the same. I don't think I'll look too much different, but we'll see (haha). Lorielle, I'm excited for you to go on your mission. That will be really neat. That was crazy to hear about Tyler Evens going to the same mission. That will be pretty cool. Man, I mean it's so awesome being out here, and not having to think about anything else but the gospel (haha) and sharing it with others, and learning how to become a better person and being more patient and loving. Yeah, I've memorized D&C 121 from 34 to the end. I love that section. That is kind of my motto almost. I think about that and becoming more Chirst-like. Well, you know I'll work on it because we're not perfect, but I love having that in mind as a person to be. I hope everybody has a good time, and I will talk to you next week. Tofa.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photos: 1 December 2011

The Clarks from Whitehorse with Elder Record
On the road to Anchorage, AK - First transfer
Arriving in Anchorage, AK - First transfer

Anchorage, AK Apartment - Interior

Anchorage, AK Apartment - Exterior

Icicles on the Northern Lights Ward building

Thanksgiving Party, Samoan style

Northern Lights area maps

Elder Record and Elder Curtin, his current companion

Monday, November 28, 2011

Questions: 28 November 2011

Annelise: Do you remember when we were younger, during Christmas time when we had just put up the tree and decorations, we were listening to Amy Grant music, and You, Chris and I, were rolling around on the carpet in the Christmas tree light? Chris doesn't remember, I was hoping you would.
I remember listening to the Amy Grant music and sleeping out on the tile floor listening to it, but I don't think I remember that.

Eric: How do you like the weather?
I love it. I love the snow! We have like a foot right now.

Dad: Any pictures of your companion and apartment yet?
Yup, I sent them in the mail.

Dad: You mentioned that your attention span for long letters has changed. Sounds normal. How would you like me to respond? Less letters, shorter letters, spiritual thoughts sent by mail, no change - just understand you may not get to everything. I want to meet your needs and the time constraints you have.
Yes, spiritual thoughts sent by mail, that would be awesome. That's probably it.

Mom: There are two Christmas packages coming, one with presents and the other with DVDs. Did you get either yet?
I got the presents one. THANK YOU SO MUCH, THAT WAS AWESOME!!! I love you all. It made me smile. =)

Dad: Is Elder Wallace in your district or zone?
Zone, we do a lot of p-day stuff with the zone.

Dad: What makes it possible to see him every P-day?
Basketball at the arctic chapel, right next to the temple. I am not fat by the way =). In fact I think I am stronger. I've been exercising and staying in excellent healthy shape =) I could eat more vegetables though, haha. I'll get some more today.

Lorielle: How was your Thanksgiving with the Samoan ward?
It was good. Just like any other big meal, haha. Surprisingly I'm not overeating that much. The Atiifale family were the ones we ate dinner with.

Dad: Did the Samoan families have any unique traditions for Thanksgiving?
Nope, they sing a lot though, or at least the Atiifale family did. That was cool.

Transcription: 28 November 2011

Malo, This is Elder Fa'amaumauga or Elder Record (haha) and today is the 27th and apparently it's my “click day.” I entered the MTC on the 27th and so apparently that's how missionaries measure the months that they have been out. I didn't even think about that – Elder Curtin reminded me (haha). It's been what … four months. So, yeah, I've been out for four months on my mission. It's been real! (haha)

Last P-day was really fun. We got to go to the mission home and kind of hang out with President and Sister Beesley. We played a little ping pong, we played some games, and I got to talking with Sister Beesley about languages and learning stuff in Samoan. She put us in charge of translating some things in all the mission languages. She gave us a script we are going to go through and get all the written forms of these different languages. We are not going to do Russian because we don't have a Russian area yet. President and Sister Beelsey are really the only ones that do anything with Russian. We are also going to be in charge of making a movie of it next year, just after December I think – in January. We are going to be making a DVD of all the people saying the different phrases from the script in their native languages. So we've got Mong, Samoan, Tongan, Spanish, English (I don't know if they are going to do that one). So anyway, you get the picture. It's going to be pretty cool. I'm excited to do it. It will be fun.

Some of the things that happened this week. We are having more lessons with people than we have before. We started meeting with the Ma'asuolis and they want us over for dinner on Tuesdays. They even showed up for Church today, which was awesome. We had dinner with the Atifali family. He is the Young Men's president and they love to sing. They are really good, and he's learning how to play the base (haha). He said, “oh I just picked it up and started playing some chords.”

We had an awesome chance to go to a ward council and offer our service to the bishop. We let him know what is happening in their ward. We are really starting to gain the trust of the members, and earning their referrals. Hopefully we will be able to teach even more people soon.

Apparently there is some kind of Polynesian family history thing that I will be looking into for the future. I may be doing a little bit more with that in the future. This week has been fun. It has been an average week. Although, this week during my study, I feel like I have really been able to more deeply ponder a lot of different things.

I was thinking about how you can cultivate a desire, and how you can get a desire when you don't have one. If you don't have a desire to do something, but I guess you would have to have a desire to have that desire (haha). If you want to change, you need to have a mighty change of heart. I was reading specifically about Enos in the Book of Mormon. His is a great example. He starts praying for a forgiveness of his sins. He was wrestling or struggling with the Lord and really wanting to be forgiven for all the things he had done wrong. Because of that, he receives a remission of his sins. The Lord tells him that he is forgiven, and he is sooo happy (see Enos 1:4-6). He says that he began to be desirous to have his brethren, the Nephites, to feel that remission of sins, and to experience the same joy that he did. That desire and love then extends to his enemies. I was thinking about that. He tasted of the love of our Heavenly Father and of Christ. Because of that, he was filled with so much happiness and joy, that he wanted to share that with others. I think that is how it happens with a lot of us in the Church. We go on missions. We want to help other people because it feels good, and we want them to feel that same thing. So I was thinking about Lehi's dream (see 1 Nephi 8:4-33). He says that when he partakes of the fruit of the tree, his soul was filled with joy, and then he becomes desirous to share that with his family. We learn in 1 Nephi 11 when Nephi gets the interpretation of it that the tree is the love of God. It represents the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:21-23). So Lehi was partaking of the love of God, and that is the same thing that happened to Enos. He felt that remission of sins, and he felt the love of God for him. But also, if you go to Mormon chapter 1 I think, in the first few verses it says that Mormon, talking about himself when he was younger, he said he tasted and knew of the goodness of Christ (see Mormon 1:15). I don't know if that's an exact quote. He felt the love of God, so he is filled with that love and he wanted to help other people. He felt that desire to do better and to share that with others. I guess confidence then extends from that.

Anyway, that is what I was thinking about in my study – I was also thinking about Nephi and genealogy (haha). Lehi gets the brass plates and he starts to talk about his genealogy and how he finds out that he is a descendant of Joseph and of Jacob. I like how Nephi says after his brothers tried to kill him when they start to ask him for forgiveness, he says he frankly forgave them for all that they had done, and they just tried to kill him (see 1 Nephi 7:19-21). I think that shows a lot about Nephi, and it reminds me of the same meekness Joseph Smith had. In learning about him and how he was so quick to forgive – and then about how Christ was. I was very impressed with Nephi. I mean he's a young guy and early on he says his brothers were murmuring because they had to leave into the wilderness and give up everything and go. Nephi's brothers get angry at that, and they murmur and mumble the whole way. They go, but they murmur the whole way and get worse and worse. It's not easy for Nephi, but he turns to the Lord. He prays to know that if this is what he is supposed to be doing, he's comforted and it's basically a turning point for him (see 1 Nephi 2:16). It says basically he was frustrated about it before, but now he is okay, because he had prayed about it. The Lord had told him it was good and that was what He wants them to do. He then goes and tells his brothers, and Sam is really the only one that listens to him. His older brothers kind of ignore him, and I think they even get angry at him (see 1 Nephi 2:16-18). Anyway, I just really like Nephi and his example. I know the Church is true. I'm thankful for the Gospel. I am thankful to be serving with wonderful people.

Happy birthday, Eric! I sent my SD card back in the mail, and a little happy birthday note for Eric. You're getting ooold. You're an old man (haha). Holy cow! And Chris, Chris is getting pretty old too. I wonder if he is getting tall. He will probably get taller than me pretty soon. I will have to teach you a little Samoan sometime. I'll have to get my notes and read something for you. I guess … I'll give you this one. If you say Manuia le po, that means have a good night. Yeah, Good night. I'll talk to you all next week.

Elder Record

Monday, November 21, 2011

Questions: 21 November 2011

Eric: How do you say "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" in Samoan? (Say it on your audio update too).
umm, I think it is le 'ekalesia a Iesu Keriso o le 'au pa 'ia o aso e gata ai. I'll double check and get back to you =)

Eric: How do you say "Eric Record" in Samoan?
I'll ask one of the Samoan missionaries about Eric, but record is Fa'amaumauga

Eric: Have you gotten sick on your mission yet?
Nope, but I am temporarily the fattest I have ever been in my life =). I'm probably about 132 pounds. I'm exercising though, and surprisingly even with the Samoan portions I'm not getting fatter than is healthy.

Rebecca: Have you seen the Northern Lights yet?
Nope, but I have a picture from the coolest missionary in Fairbanks, Elder Blackhurst. He is now senior companion with a Tongan missionary named Elder Kafoa.

Mom: Did you get your last package with vitamins and SD card?

Dad: If you can, please bear your testimony in Samoan on your audio update. I'd love to hear it.
Still working on that. It'll be done by the end of the month though.

Love, Elder Record

Transcription: 21 November 2011

I love you mom, and everyone else =)
I found a pretty good system for my email. What I do is, I do the audio update Sunday night before bed, and right when I get on emails, I write my weekly letter to President Beesley. I then have time to read and send emails home. It works =). I got the package with the vitamins mom. By the way our new last name is Fa'amaumauga (Fah ah mau mau nga). That will be on my name tag soon.

Malo Soifua – That is the respectful way to say “hello” in Samoan. It's Sunday the 20th and I'm going to sing a song in Samoan for you; two verses and you will probably recognize the tune.

Elders Johnson and Collins
On Wednesday we had Elder Collins with us. He's from Samoa, and actually in missionary lingo he's my brother because Elder Johnson trained both of us. Funny enough, Elder Collins also took me out on my greeny tract and even funnier, when on my greeny tract – which is when they take you out on your first day tracting – we tracted in the Northern Lights Samoan ward, which is where I am now (haha). So, even when I first got here, I was only in two areas. But anyway, we had Elder Collins with us on Wednesday, and we went and visited a lot of people. After we shared a scripture and visited with them, they were less active people, we sang this song. Elder Collins learned how to play the Ukulele, so he played the Uke while he and I would sing. It was very neat. It brought the Spirit very quickly to the homes of the Samoan people. One family we visited even started crying and were very touched by the song. Oh, and FYI I learned how to play the Uke – or at least I can play a song on the Uke. I can strum and play notes, but I'm working right now on singing while playing and getting the rhythm down. I can play “Come Thou Fount” fairly decent and sing along with it. I'll have to do that some other time. One of the missionaries gave me their old Uke because they wanted to get a new one, so I know have a Ukulele. So I'm going to learn how to play that song and we'll go after we done visiting people we can sing that song and really invite the Spirit. They really like it.

Elder Record strumming the Ukulele, Length 00:02:29

If you say “malo soifua” that is a very respectful way of saying “hello.” If you say “tofa soifua” is a respectful way of saying good bye. It's pretty cool, we're learning a lot.

This week I was thinking a lot about temples and family history just because … I don't know it seems like a lot of what people say and what's being mentioned everywhere seems to be about Zion, about the Second Coming, about preparing for the Second Coming, about the Temples and getting temple work done, and family history. It seems very déjà vu'ish (haha). It's kind of neat by the fact that I am pretty decent at family history, so I'm curious to see what happens.

I was thinking about my service in Whitehorse in Canada and what stuck out for me the most and what I remember the most. It was when I helped Brother Rick Hudson with his family history and saw how he was able to do a complete 180. I mean I had never seen him in Church before and all of the sudden he is coming to Church every week, and he was on fire, he was sharing the gospel with everybody, talking about family history, excited about the temple. He was even crying on the phone with Brother Hirsch, they were both crying back and forth, about the gospel and stuff. That was what stuck out to me the most about my entire time in Whitehorse, was him – Rick Hudson. Even though that was only the last week while I was there. Just being able to see his life begin to change, it meant a lot to me, and made everything worth it.

In my study journal on the 19th I was thinking about all this, and I wrote:

“Many of our ancestors lived hard and bitter lives, and died feeling that God had forgotten them. When their names are spoken in the temple, they will know that God has not forgotten them. Their hope is in our hands.”

So I was just thinking about that and temple work, and how wonderful a blessing it is that we have the temples, and that God is merciful enough to extend the opportunity to every person that has ever lived. Those who didn't get the opportunity to hear the gospel in this life, will get the opportunity to hear it in the next. We get to do the temple work for them. What a service! I cannot think of any better thing you can do for your family than your family history, providing those welding links and blessing them with that peace and hope that their Father in Heaven hasn't forgotten them, that He knows them and is mindful of them. We as members of the Church can provide the way for them to have the gospel.

When we first got here, we really didn't have any investigators. We had some, but they were really flaky, but this week we were able to find a former investigator. We went through all our former investigators, our area books were really disorganized, so we had to reorganize it so missionaries could use it. But we found this former investigator, and he was awesome. He already knew the Book of Mormon was true and that he really felt the Spirit when he read it, but for some reason he had started going to another Church. But we are going to start teaching him again, and for whatever reason he really likes us and enjoyed our company, so it was really neat to visit with him. He was from Samoa.

We visited a lot of less active people. Today we visited Ane, Jr. We visited Junior before and he was like, “ah, I don't what you guys to waste your time, I'll call you.” But that is like it's never going to happen. They don't call us. So we stopped by again today and gave him a video, “Finding Faith in Christ,” and set up a time to meet with him. He was very open about it. It just seems like the way is being opened to us to find new investigators.

We had lunch today with Brother Fa'amumu and his family. His granddaughter was there and she is from Samoa. She just got here in October. He said (haha) in a very Samoan way, because they all do this, “she's a non-member.” So we were like, “okay.” So we told her “we could teach you more about the Church. Would you like to learn more?” She said, “yeah, I think I would like that.” So we made plans to visit with her on Saturday.

In the Samoan ward, you can tract, but it's mostly just to help out other missionaries, because chances are you are not going to tract into a Samoan person. So usually we do our finding work through referrals. So it's important to really get to know the members and help them out. It just seems like things are really starting to pick up. The Samoan people are very nice and very friendly. They feed us a lot. At the Fa'amumu's we had a Taro. It is like a super dry potato, but it is not a potato. Then we had raw salmon, which was oka – the name of the dish we had. Oh!, we had coco Samoa – that is sooo good. That's their hot chocolate. It's better, and it not as sugary (haha).

They had a party on Saturday, a Thanksgiving party, and it was a party party (haha). Whenever they have an activity or anything like that, they have a dance. It's so funny to watch them dance, because they love it. I mean they don't care what people thing about them, they will just go out and dance, go crazy, and have fun (haha). When we were at Brother Siena's last Sunday for dinner, he's the Ward Mission Leader, he asked if we had any ideas for some kind of spiritual thing we could do at the beginning of the Thanksgiving party. I told him about how we started for Thanksgiving saying something we were thankful for at the beginning. He said he thought that was a good idea. We told him we would try to think of more things to do. When we got to the party, he said, “I decided to go with your idea.” He asked a couple of other people and myself if we would say some things we were thankful for. That was a neat opportunity. I got to go up in front of everybody – and there was a mix of people from our ward, the Diamond ward, and the Lake Otis ward, which are the three Samoan wards. I was able to say some things I was thankful for. Mostly I said I was thankful for my family, thankful for the gospel, thankful to be a missionary, thankful for these wonderful people who love me and treat me like family while I'm away from my family. They seemed to appreciate that a lot – I mean I certainly did. I was neat to be able to do that.

It's fun to be a missionary. It's not easy. You have to work on staying focused a lot. But, when you get those little moments like with Brother Hudson, when you see their lives begin to change, it makes all the annoying grief and heartache, it makes you so you don't remember it. It kind of outweighs that. It's so annoying sometimes (haha) how fickle people will be sometimes. Like the members love us, everybody is always very friendly, except for the occasional person who hates our guts at the door (haha). For the most part people are really friendly to us, but sometimes we are completely ignored as missionaries. Like they think we just do our thing and whatever. So it's hard to get people to make and keep commitments and appointments. But when they do keep want to make and keep those commitments on their own, it's wonderful to see because they become happier. It's wonderful to see them seek after those good things for themselves, and not needing us to push them to get them to do things to be happy, because they don't see that as “oh, that is going to make me happy.” They don't see it until after they do it. But they have a hard time getting around to doing it.

I know the Church is true. I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and what He's done for us. I am thankful for family history and the opportunity we have to go to the temple to do the work for our ancestors. I am thankful for President Beesley, my mission president. He's a cool guy and is definitely guided by our Heavenly Father to know what we need to do in the mission. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that Church was restored through him. I know that we have the priesthood on the earth again. I am thankful for the opportunity to be serving a mission and serving the Samoan people right now. I am thankful for the wonderful growth and the new experiences I get. I'm excited to see what happens in the coming months because I've only been out for three months. I know the Church is true, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record

Monday, November 14, 2011

Questions: 14 November 2011

What is your companion's (picture) home town, and blog url (if any)?
Highland, Utah. I forgot to get a picture. I'll try to get it next time. We have an hour to do e-mails, and we do it at the library.

How was your temple trip?
Amazing. I did the work for Daniel Owen from baptism to endowment. I felt the Spirit so strong. I know that what was done was good.

How was your drive from Whitehorse to Anchorage? It must have been a lot better traveling with the members you have been serving with for these past twelve weeks.
ya, we sang the whole way to Anchorage =)

How was your first Sacrament meeting in Samoan? (When I was learning Spanish, Sacrament meetings were so exhausting. I was trying so hard to listen and understand, it just really drained me. Don't be tempted to skip out on scripture study to learn the language faster.)
I loved it! I did my best to focus on the people talking and look them in the eye while paying attention to their body language. I found out that Pipi (pronounced peepee) is turkey, that threw me off for a second when I heard it. I did get a little sleepy in elders quorum, but I made it. =)

What brings the Samoan people to Alaska?
Work opportunities, and family I'm sure. I have to ask them more about it.

Transcription: 14 November 2011

Talofa everybody! This is Elder Record and today is the 13th of November. Oh and I found out that if you really want to impress Samoans, and really want to say hello in a respectful way instead of just “talofa,” you can say, “Malo soyfua.” That's a very respectful way to say hello, and it means a lot to them. Anyway, we just had a blast this past week. The Samoan people are awesome! They're super nice, super friendly, and they treat us like family. It is so much fun to be able to talk with them and meet them. It's awesome, it's like we are starting to pick up Samoan and get excited about learning it. It's hard, but after a while, and with the Spirit, you start to be able to pick up the sounds – the vowel sounds – and things like that. So, it becomes easier to remember what they say instead of just hearing a bunch of vowel sounds.

It is kind of different here because the Polynesian ward is spread out over a bunch of different wards. Tracting is really not effective, kind of like it would be in Utah because you are trying to pick up non-members out of a bunch of members. Here it is like picking out a Polynesian out of a bunch of non-Polynesian people. A lot of stuff is done through referrals. The Polynesian people are amazing at that. It is like they found the truth and then they tell you, “now this person needs to know the truth.” They are very gung-ho about sharing the gospel with others because they care about them. I'm so excited to continue to work with them. It was awesome having Church in Samoan. I have to admit though towards the end I was already tired in Elder's Quorum I started to get a little sleepy.

Earlier in this week we went to the Canada Game Centre again on Monday and played football, basketball, and later did some singing with Brother McDonald. He used to be a professional singer. We had our last dinner with the Terperfields. They were awesome and gave me a super cool hat. It's solar powered and has lights on the cap and charges itself. Apparently it can last for days without being charged again. It's pretty cool – and it's a comfortable hat (haha). So I have to use it at some point. They also wrote me a letter, like a farewell card. That was nice.

On Tuesday we did a bunch of cleaning and packing. We listened in on the transfer meeting at 12:30, because we were not going to be transferring until Thursday, so we just listened to them (haha). We had to go searching for a bunk bed, because our bunk bed is not sufficient to hold two big guys above six feet. I'm little and pretty nimble, so I was able to get on the top bunk, but they are going to have to rip it down and get a new bed or they are going to have to rip it down and resize it (haha). [That will be interesting when they get up there. They left this morning to go back to Whitehorse.] On Tuesday night we had dinner with Sister Brown, and a lesson with some investigators. They were at the dinner with us. We talked about 1 Nephi chapter 8, and shared Elder Bednar's follow up article in the October Ensign, which was pretty good.

On Wednesday we did more preparations and opened up the Family History Center and did a little with that. We were able to have our last lesson with a different investigator. We read the Book of Mormon with her and encouraged her to read more on her own.

Thursday we drove all the way to Anchorage. It … yeah, I don't like driving (haha). That was a long ride. I was in Brother McDonald's car, so we sang pretty much the whole time. It was pretty fun (haha) to sing to my MoTab CDs and stuff.

We were able to go to the temple. I will be sending in a letter some of the names I wasn't able to finish. It was kind of neat. For Daniel Owen, I was able to get the baptism and confirmation done, and I was able to get the initiatory and endowment done all in that one day. I really felt the Spirit when he was being baptized. I just started bawling (haha), and I've never felt that before in the temple. So that was really cool, and I really think he is going to accept the gospel, and I'm excited to see how he does. Well, excited to not to see how he does because I won't see it until after I die (haha), but excited to think about it more and do more family history work on that side. Probably not on my mission, but we'll see.

I love missionary work. I love the Samoan people more than I have ever loved a group before. They treat me like family, and I love them with all my heart. I am so thankful to be able to serve with them and bring others to a knowledge of the goodness of our Savior. I love this work. I'm so glad I am able to be a part of it. I know that the gospel is true, and that our Savior, Jesus Christ, provided the way for us all to return to live with our Father in Heaven again someday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Questions: 7 November 2011

What is your companion's (picture) home town, and blog url (if any)?
I have no idea

What is your current calling(s), Junior Companion?

What is the best mailing address to use in sending mail/packages?
Oh, ya. I'm glad you asked. Now that I'm out of Canada everyone whose sending me a package should send it to the mission office. Mail will be a lot faster and cheaper too =). The address is

3250 Strawberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99502
United States

What is your actual apartment (picture) address?
I leave on Thursday and maybe won't be in my new area until Monday, so I'll get back to you.

What is the name of the ward in which you serve?
Northern Lights Ward (Samoan)
2240 Baxter Road
Anchorage Alaska North Stake

Who is the bishop's name (family picture)? Bishop Filoialii?
Don't know yet.

Did you travel with Elder Hartman back to Anchorage?
I will be traveling with all four of us because it's the branch temple trip. The two new Whitehorse elders will ride back with them. Elder Hartman and I will stay in Anchorage.

Did you get any referrals during your transfer?
I'll have to wait and see =)

Are you learning Samoan?

Transcription: 7 November 2011

Hello Everyone, This is Elder Record and today is November 7th and this is my weekly update. This week was kind of different (haha), it was pretty cool. First off, this is the last week of the transfer, and we knew that Elder Hartman would have been leaving – and he is – and we knew that one other person would be leaving. They had already said that Elder Bowes was going to be able to stay, so it was assumed it was going to be either me or Elder Johnson to leave. But, we both kind of thought that it was going to be me to leave. We were at dinner with the Hirsch family, and we got a call from President Beesley, so Elder Johnson took that. President Beesley basically told Elder Johnson everything that was going on, but he didn't tell us until he and I were in the car leaving. He told me where the other elders were going. Elder Bowes is going to be staying like we expected, and he is going to be having Elder Duncan as a companion. Elder Johnson said that I was going to be leaving (haha), but he wouldn't tell me where, and he wouldn't – which was good – until the next morning when President Beesley was going to call us officially with our transfer calls. Elder Hartman is going to Anchorage to be in the Klatt Ward. I think that's South Anchorage, I'm not sure. That is where Elder Bowes used to serve and that is where Elder Hartman's old companion was serving for this last transfer, but he is going to be switched out and Elder Hartman is going to be in there. That was so exciting, it was like Christmas (haha). We were all anxious to see where we were going.

I found out I'm going to the Northern Lights Ward or the Northern Lights/Chester Valley area. It's a Samoan ward in the Denali District of the Anchorage North Zone. Elder Johnson wouldn't tell me where I was going, but he just laughed and laughed, because he said that I was going to laugh when I found out where I was going. We would always joke, because I would kind of whine a little bit when we eat too much (haha), just because it's not fun to eat a ton if you're not using what you eat. We would always joke about how I would struggle to eat the food if I was sent to a Tongan or Samoan ward (haha). So that was so funny when I found out I was going to be going to a Samoan ward because they feed the missionaries like craazy. So, I'm really going to have to exercise a lot to be able to eat that much or find some way to not eat that much. That's just part of the culture. If you are going to go over there, they are going to make you food, so I'll be prepared. Yeah, I will probably exercise like crazy in the mornings and probably even at night. It will be fun. I'm excited. I will probably be learning a little Samoan, that will be pretty cool. That was on Friday. We did get our calls on Saturday morning where we were going. It was kind of neat because President Beesley told me, when he was telling me where I was going, he said, “Elder Record, the Lord wants you in the Northern Lights Ward.” I thought that was kind of neat too that it's not just where I'm going, but it's where the Lord wants me to go. So, I know that if I do my part and do my best, and work my hardest, that the Lord will be with me and He will provide the way for what needs to be done there. He will give me the help that I need, because He really has called me there.

Last Monday we went to the Thompson's for our last visit there. We'll probably be there again on Tuesday. We had a pretty competitive game of Monopoly (haha). It was very fun. It was unique. We love making deals. Whenever we play Monopoly with Brother Thompson or Elder Johnson, we always make a ton of deals.

We have been visiting with an investigator. We were able to give her a chapel tour. She's reading the Book of Mormon a lot, which is good. I expect at the rate she's learning and reading the Book of Mormon, she will get a testimony of it eventually, just by how sincere she is searching. I mean, how could she not? The Book of Mormon is very powerful. I will read every morning in it for about thirty minutes. Every time I read in the Book of Mormon, the simple truths really help focus your thoughts and help you feel the Spirit.

This week we get to go on the branch temple trip, and they are going down to Anchorage. That is how Elder Hartman and I are going to get to Anchorage – and the other missionaries too. So we get to go on the temple trip, and I am going to be doing some of our family names on Grandpa Record's side. I am going to do the work for Daniel Owen, and any other people I find. That will be pretty neat. I'm excited to go back to the temple. It's weird being out here where the temple is kind of far away. Where we're from, we will be having three temples within like fifteen minutes of our house. We are very lucky. The more I'm out here, the more I realize how much I love Utah (haha). I'm kind of bias. I love having the temples there.

This week has been really fun. It's been a weird week because we have had to do a lot of preparation for the new transfer – like updating our area book, and polishing that off for the new missionaries that come in. Elder Johnson is going to be having a companion, Elder Norris from Fairbanks. Elder Duncan, Elder Bowes companion, is also from Fairbanks. They are serving in Fairbanks, I don't know if there are from Fairbanks – I doubt it.

Last Sunday, the one before yesterday, a less active member came to church. We had never seen him before. That Sunday we gave the 5th Sunday lesson for the 3rd hour on Family History. It went really well, and apparently he was talking with brother Hirsch about family history just a little while before. Anyway, he called us and wanted to come to the Family History Center so we told him when it was open. He came, and I was able to help him find between 10 and 20 people that he could do the temple work for. It was so much fun to see his face light up. He was so excited. He couldn't wait to tell his friends and family about the family history center. It was so much fun to see how the spirit of Elijah rekindled the fire of his testimony. We saw him again yesterday in church and, oddly enough, the lesson was on Temple and Family History work. He enjoyed it a lot and had plenty to say now. =)

The gospel is true. I am so thankful that we have a loving Heavenly Father and that he ensures that none of us are forgotten. Everyone has the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It was written for our day, and can give us answers to life's problems. I love my Savior. I know that his church was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I am thankful that we have a prophet today.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Transfer: 7 November 2011

We do not expect a detailed update tomorrow from Elder Record. He is being transferred to the Anchorage North Zone in the Denali District in the Northern Lights/Chester Valley area with Elder Spencer Curtin as his senior companion. He will be serving in a Samoan ward. We are not exactly sure yet if that means he will be learning Samoan or not. It appears he will be serving in the Northern Lights Ward (Samoan) with Bishop Filoialii. More details to come.

We are so excited for this new assignment the Lord has for him.

Summary of Whitehorse, YT

A summary of Elder Record's first area from 16 August to 14 November 2011. Pictures taken in Whitehorse start here. You can filter on all of Elder Record's Whitehorse letters written while serving there. Whitehorse was Elder Record's first area. He grew tremendously while serving on this assignment and looks forward to his upcoming assignment.

Companion:Elder Brad Johnson
District Chef
District Photographer
District Hugger
Location:Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Area:Whitehorse North Area
Whitepass District
Juneau Zone

Whitehorse Branch
108 Wickstrom Road
Juneau Alaska Stake
President Little
Info:About Whitehorse
159 Rainbow Road
Whitehorse, YT Y1A-254


President Jon S. Beesley and
Sister Evona (SuuzE) Beesley