Monday, September 26, 2011

Email Questions: 26 September 2011

Do you have access to flu shots?

The only packages left for you to get are the one with Da Bomb: The Final Answer pepper sauce in it and the one with vitamins. Did you get them?
I haven't gotten the vitamins yet, but I did get the hot sauce =)

Did you find a place to buy your winter coat and gloves yet?
Ya, there are places everywhere. I'm not too worried. I'll get them as I need them. I'm trying not to buy anything here in the Yukon because everything is way expensive here.

You mentioned that soon your area books will be digital and accessed from an iPad. Are the records stored in a missionary online system or just on the iPad?
Don't know yet. I just know about the iPads.

What type of information do you keep track of in your area books now?
Teaching Records, Progress Records, an area map, former investigators, baptism records, potentials, and things like that.

Any idea when you will be getting the iPads?
Don't know, but probably the latter half of my mission.

How has Seminary and Institute helped prepare you for your mission?
I was able to study without reading. I was able to, more than I normally would have, feast upon the words of Christ and let virtue garnish my thoughts unceasingly.

Love, Elder Record

P.S. It's supposed to snow this week =)

Email: 26 September 2011

Hello, everyone =)
Good Morning Juneau
This week has been really fun. We had our Zone Conference in Juneau. I just have to say that Juneau is most definitely the prettiest place I have ever been in my life and I would not mind taking a vacation there every year for the rest of my life. It's so pretty that you don't even care about the rain, cause it does all the time. I loved being with all the missionaries. I realized just how isolated we are out here in Whitehorse, haha. It's cool though. We got to hear from Elder Walker who is a member of the first quorum of the seventy and the head of the temple department. I took lots of notes in my study journal on the conference, and there was too much to say it all. He had us all come up and shake his hand, and I was able to speak with him one on one later in the day. He is a very neat guy. We also got to stay in the sisters apartment while we were in Juneau......haha, but they were in Anchorage so we were fine. We were the first missionaries as far as anyone here in the mission knows to have stayed in the sisters apartment, haha. We were very respectful and didn't get into any of their things, and we left without a trace.

Little miracles are happening all over the place. Bobby is so ready for the gospel. We're getting him ready to be baptized this transfer. We were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and he told us that he had heard there were levels of heaven and we were like; Bobby, where did you hear that? Cause as far as I know our's is the only religion where that is officially part of our doctrine. And he asks questions like that all the time. The Lord has definitely prepared him for the beautiful blessings of the gospel, and it was apparent from the first moment we contacted him.
Subway with President Little after Stake Conference.
Clockwise from bottom left:
Elder Hartman, Elder Johnson, Elder Bowes and President Little

We also teach a first nation man named Gabriel who we normally teach Sunday mornings before church. He agreed to come to Church with us yesterday and a member picked him up and brought him to church. Afterward he told us how much he enjoyed sacrament meeting and said he wanted to start coming more. He is very thoughtful and has experienced a lot of hardship. I'm so excited to see how much his life will change for the better through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nobody ever realizes the degree of happiness that comes through making the covenants that are a part of the gospel until they actually make them and feel the happiness. We then look back in awe at what the Lord has done for us. The Book of Mormon is true, and in 2 Nephi 2:25 it is so true that "men are that they might have joy". I love my Savior, and I want everyone to feel and to have the same happiness and joy that I experience. I'm so happy to be serving the Lord, and I'm thankful for his mercy. I hope you all are reading the Book of Mormon and are fellowshipping others and are being member missionaries. Thanks for all the support.

Ours has turned into one of the best areas in the mission. We've had about 17 new investigators this transfer (transfer=6weeks) and I'm pretty sure we are leading the mission in that area.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Audio: 18 September 2011

We received several audio journal files from Elder Record. He describes a very exciting event, their first scheduled baptism for October 8th. He starts out sounding very tired -- he recorded it late at night after a long day. However, notice the change in his voice when he starts talking about Bobby 7 seconds into the audio. I love the enthusiasm!

This is a shout out from Elder Johnson to the Record family, but the shout out applies to his own family too. So here it is.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Email Questions: 19 September 2011

What do you do with your ham radios?
They are sitting on my dresser =) I'll probably start keeping them in the truck for emergencies. The mission president, his wife, and the Branch President here in Whitehorse all like that I have my license and even more that I have radios. President Little (branch pres.) wanted some people to get training to get their amateur radio licenses as part of their emergency plan. So I have a lot of potential to help in emergencies and emergency training. It's cool =)

What did you forget to pack that you really miss?
My pillow and air purifier. Also I wish I would have brought a CD case for all my CD's. They don't really fit in the glove box =/

What are your thoughts about the weather, do you like it or hate it?
I LOVE IT! It's been very sunny and warm lately, about 15-20 Celsius. Everything is Celsius and kilometers here. It's pretty cool. It's starting to get more cloudy and cold, but I'm fine with that too. Love you Eric =)

Have you received the packages yet? If not, let us know when you do.
Yes. Which ones have you sent? I got the Paul Cardall box and voice recorder box. That's it so far I think. If you gave me a checklist that would probably work better cause I'm so busy during the week they my mind goes everywhere during e-mails, haha

Does your cell phone have Internet access?
Ya, but we can't use it cause it's not part of our plan. If there is wireless access the wi-fi works though.

What is the best day for Lorielle to submit her papers to minimize how long to wait for her call? Mon because calls go out Wed right?
Calls are assigned on Thursday or Friday so Monday would be too late for the Wednesday of that week, but ya Wednesdays are the days they arrive and Tuesday they get sent normally. So I would say as soon as you can. If it was sent today it might arrive on Wednesday next week.

Has the mission president given you any ideas about using the ham radios in the future?
Not yet, other than be prepared for an emergency.

Have you given any family history classes to the public yet? If so, how did they go?

What are the tally marks on the chalkboard where ER has 6 and EJ has 4? I presume that is you and Elder Johnson.
Book of Mormon Baseball and Object Lesson Diagram
We played Book of Mormon baseball. He would flip through the pages, I would say stop, I would pick which page left or right, he would give me the verse range for that page, I would pick a verse, he would read it, and then I would guess the book and chapter. We did that back and forth. 1 point for the book and 1 point for the chapter. I won =). Ya, ER was Elder Record and EJ was Elder Johnson.

What was the palm tree about on the chalkboard above and to the right of the tally marks?
Elder Johnson can't draw trees so it looks like a palm tree =). He told us that when resolving concerns with investigators we need to chop at the roots or trunk of the concern instead of the branches. If you chop at the branches or try to resolve concerns that branch off the main concern, you'll be doing that forever. We need to follow the spirit and get to the heart of their concern.

What are the mission rules regarding use of your cell phone? texting, Internet access, etc?
We don't use the internet. I used an LDS app to get things like the scriptures, preach my gospel, churches general handbook of instructions, etc. We are kind of piloting texting in the mission. As far as I know we are the only missionaries that can text. It's nice if the other elders are in a lesson and can't talk right then.

Have you had any occasions were you were going to speak with an investigator and were not sure what to say before hand and the Spirit prompted you what to say in that very moment?
Oh ya. We go over in our lessons the principles we want to teach and such in this format.
FU: (follow up)
T: (teach)
C: (commit)
Then we go to the lesson and pray for guidance. We get the feel for what the investigator needs then teach them according to their need. Sometimes it is completely different from what we planned to teach if they need something else. A lot of times I'm just used to changing things up, we just do it. The spirit uses us even when we don't realize it as long as we are prepared as much as we can be. David Bednar gave a talk about this in the MTC. He also shared this story about him (Story about Elder Bednar in the June 2009 Liahona article by President Boyd K. Packer titled “The 20-Mark Note”). The fundamentals of preach my gospel go over this really well, like teaching people not lessons and the how to begin the teaching portion. But ya, most of the time I don't realize it until afterward that I was given what to say (in fact, I think that's the only way it's happened so far).

Email: 19 September 2011

The past week has been amazing. We are teaching more than we ever have before. We were all over the place on Sunday. It was basically one lesson (with members present) after another. It's amazing to see the work progress so rapidly. Bobby is so receptive to the gospel and has even received his confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true. We're visiting Sister Brett more now. She is less active and has a non-member neighbor who is her friend. Her friend's name is Heather. Heather loves books and family history. Elder Johnson loves books, and I love family history, so it works. We had a fun visit with Heather. Sister Brett was there too and we are starting to become good friends with her. We're going to be making some craisin bread for some of our less actives and investigators. Can you send me the Casatiello recipe dad?

Map of P-Day Activities
I really like tracting and finding now. It's becoming a lot easier for me. We'll go up to the door and I'll just smile and be happy. I'll talk to them a little and then sincerely share the gospel with them because I love them, and it usually turns out very well. We've been keeping track, and about 50% of the doors we knock become potential investigators. I found that Love is the key thing in all this. When I go to the door with love in my heart, really wanting to help them be happy and bless their lives, things turn out very well and even rejection doesn't hurt as bad. I'll look at a rejection with a more eternal perspective. I love them as sons and daughters of God. If they reject the message at that moment, I am able to have a hope that they will accept it later.

I've been studying a lot lately in the New Testament, I just finished Acts. I really like Paul. Reading about his missionary experiences help lift me. He had such courage. Even when he has beaten and stoned he still proclaimed the gospel with all the energy of his heart. I want to do the same. I think a lot about the growth I've seen in myself and am amazed at how God can change our hearts. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve a mission. Elder Johnson is a good trainer. While in the MTC I felt the spirit tell me that if I would master goal setting and planning, it would greatly bless my missionary efforts and my life ahead perhaps more than anything else. I'm thankful for Elder Johnson because he is so organized and is helping me to make good goals and plan accordingly. I know this church is true, and this is God's work. The Book of Mormon is true, and I love it with all my heart. He is mighty to save and can change our hearts. "Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today. I can't wait for general conference.
Elders Record, Johnson, Bowes and Hartman
on top of Grey Mountain

Mom, I would definitely take the vitamins or whatever things like that you send me. I appreciate the diet reminders, it helps. I want to be as healthy as I can so that I am more fit for the work. I've been spending more on the Card then I've wanted to. We don't really have much at our apartment, so I've had to buy things like cleaning supplies, cups, and bowls, or whatever. We are going down to Juneau for Zone Conference at 2pm today, so I'll most likely be eating out a lot for the next few days. I'll have to use my card. Everything is more expensive in Canada then Alaska, so I'll probably get a coat and boots down in Juneau. After that I'll probably not use my card so much cause I think I'm situated now. Most apartments will have everything I need there. Normally they don't have 2 sets of elders in one branch and in Whitehorse for that matter. The place we're at was "ready" 3 days after we arrived in Whitehorse =) it's different but fun. I was also called to be the District photographer and the District hugger =) I will be having a lot of photos. I'm on the slow computer today and I don't have much time, so I'll send more pictures probably next Monday. Last P-day we hiked grey mountain and got some great photos. We call ourselves the Whitehorse Warriors and our theme scripture is 2 Corinthians 12:10. We're making district t-shirts with that scripture and Whitehorse Warriors on it =). I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!!!! haha

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Photos: 13 September 2011

We received an SD card in the mail from Elder Record with the first batch of photos. So far we have only received a few here and there via email. I have added several photos with captions to the Picasa Photo Album. You can also click on any picture in the "Mission Photos" which is linked to the same album. The photos include some from the MTC, flight to Alaska, bus ride to Whitehorse, and Whitehorse.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Email Questions: 12 September 2011

What are the names of the elders/sisters in your district and what is their blog if they have one?
Elder and Sister Powell, Elder Johnson, Elder Hartman, and Elder Bowes.

What are the areas covered in your district and which missionaries are serving in them?
Whitepass(which is a geographical location too I think), so everywhere in the Yukon I think. The Powells are in Haines, Alaska.

How big is your area? Does it include for example the Ibex Valley which is North West of Whitehorse?
I don't really know, but the branch here in Whitehorse is the branch for the whole Yukon.

How has the Lord blessed you this week?
Success in McIntyre

Have you been to a zone conference yet or when is the next zone conference and where?
No, but we have one in a couple weeks. We will be go to Skagway then fly to Juneau.

In your experience so far, what are the three most important things a young man (18-19) or young woman (20-21) needs to do to prepare to serve a mission?
  1. Study the gospel. The fundamentals of Preach My Gospel are very handy for that.
  2. Learn how to set meaningful and achievable goals then plan accordingly.
  3. Let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly. Clean out your brain, and iPod, and replace the garbage and the good with the better and best (see Mosiah 4:30). If you consistently do what is right and best you will come to have clean and pure words and thoughts.
What are some things you experienced about mission life that were completely unexpected or that you were unprepared for?
How hard it is to take rejection. You have to pray for help and courage, and just keep doing the work and you will do fine.

Can extended family send you emails with your mission email address, like aunts and cousins?
Not until further notice.

Where do you have district council?
We have District meetings at the church here in Whitehorse. The Powells are on the phone during that.

Which missionaries attend by phone and which come in person?
The Powells by phone, and Elders Hartman, Bowes, Johnson, and I are here in person.

Email Dated: 12 September 2011

Thanks, dad. I love hearing from you. It makes up for not being able to talk about anything and everything with you like we used to. I'm pretty busy here and we're always working. Idleness kills the missionary spirit, that's why you plan by the half hour and make back up plans. You should plan so that you don' t have enough time to finish everything. That way you are never idle and always working hard. Not many other missionaries plan by the half hour. They usually plan by the hour and often don't have backups. They end up making little 30 minute detours along the way like going back to the apartment to use the bathroom or get a snack. That builds up and eats your time away.

Just yesterday we were out tracting for 4 hours! That was the longest time I've been out doing that so far. We went into the Kwanlin Dun First Nation community of McIntyre. The natives here are not called natives or Native Americans, they are called first nation. The people here call McIntyre "The Village". They seem to really look down on it in disgust. We were even told that missionaries hadn't been down there in a long time. It was supposedly a dangerous place with lots of drugs and violence. We were asked by President Beesley to go visit it and check it out to assess the situation. He also told us not to go there at night time. We went there and found out that it was just like any other neighborhood. There is tons of smoking there, and more drugs than most other places, but that wasn't a big deal. I think people, in some degree prejudice, built it up by rumor into a place that was really bad. It is kind of a ghetto, but they're just poor. Anyway, in that day of tracting we found 15 potential investigators and 3 new investigators, that is unprecedented success for us thus far.

We tracted into a lady named Tina. She had been addicted to drugs, but has been doing better because she has found strength in Christ and prayer. We started talking to her about Christ and Prayer and she started crying. She was very thankful that we had come, and we plan to meet with her this coming Saturday. She said as we came to the door and when we left that she had seen me from somewhere. I have to wonder if she is someone who I told in the pre-existence that I would find her and bring her the gospel. I am so excited to visit with her some more and share the gospel with her. It will bless her life.

The gospel is so true. Our father in heaven hears and answers our prayers. He loves us and will never forget about us. Keep letting virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly, pray with all the energy of your heart for Charity, and keep doing the little things to exercise your faith. Now is a vital time to be on our guard. Now more than ever there is an urgency to get the work done, so that the earth will be prepared for the second coming of the Savior. Be the best member missionaries you can be because it's such a vital part of the success of the church. Put yourselves out into the community as much as you can and associate with non-members. Find God's elect who will hear his voice. Never give up. Never get discouraged. We have the most powerful being in the universe on our side and his angels will bear us up. I love you all.

Elder Record

P.S. I had the opportunity to attend a regional stake conference that was sent to all the stakes in Washington and Alaska, we are part of the Juneau Stake. Elder Stephen E. Snow, Sister Dalquist, Elder Holland, and Elder Packer spoke.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Day with Elder Record

Click on Map for Details
Elder Record and Elder Johnson have been busy. This is example of one day in August. You can see generally where they visited and tracted that day. The blue tags are visits, and the pair hiking are streets tracted.

Click on the map to see the Google Map. You can click on street view to walk where the Elders walked.

Thank you for all your hard work. Keep up the Great Work, Go Elders!

Email Dated: 7 September 2011

Hello everyone,

Elder Johnson and Elder Record's
2011 Chevy Colorado Truck
Sorry I didn't write until now. We've been really busy. I hardly had time to e-mail this week. I love all the emails I've been getting. This past week has been a little different too. We did a lot of service, about 11 hours. Some was for one of our investigators, Justin, and some was for a member's non-member niece. We help both move. Justin only moved closer to our house, so that was good. The work here is awesome. I love being a missionary. We helped sister Lewis' niece move out. We packed a pickup truck with a ton of stuff. Then we tied it down. Before we packed it though, we got some wood and built up a sort of wall around the edges of the truck. The truck had places where you could set posts in. Anyway, I took a picture. I'm becoming quite the tracter. It's not that hard anymore to think of something on the spot. I think I was blessed with the idea to do a family history approach so that I could more quickly learn how to do an approach. I don't have any problem talking about family history, so I think that helped me get comfortable. Now I am able to, much better than I could before, just start talking and then share about our message. I love the gospel. We're all children of God and because I know that, it is easy to share the gospel with others.
Elder Bowes helping secure the truck for the move.

We finally got some referrals. We've been gaining the members trust a lot lately. Brother McDonald gave us the address of one of his coworkers. His name is Chad, he has been going through some hard times because his mother is dying. We went to Chad's house and told him Bruce sent us because he wanted us to share a message of hope and peace with him. It went well and his heart was softened. We are going to meet him next week sometime. I'm usually tired and sometimes hungry, but oddly enough that doesn't really bother me. I'm so busy with the work that I hardly even notice it. I usually take a nap at lunch though. Thanks for the voice recorder by the way. It really helps when I'm tired at night. It is a lot easier to talk out my journal than write it. We still don't have really any solid investigators. We spend most of our time finding and studying. We have a lot of potentials and hope to see them follow through.

A Day in the Life of a Missionary
On P-day I made cinnamon rolls. They were really good. I've been called as the district chef =). I'll be cooking for the district when we meet up for district lunches and things like that. It's really fun. Tomorrow I'll be teaching the Family Home Evening lesson to the Clark family. They are a very active family. Mike is the ward mission leader and his wife is a ward missionary. They will be having a nonmember, Katie, over. I'm still thinking about what I want to teach. I'll also be making the FHE snack. We ran out of Book of Mormons and are waiting for our proselyting (pros) material to get here. Apparently if anything is sent ground from Alaska, it has to go down to Seattle then back up here to Whitehorse which takes forever and a half. Oh well. Anyway, hope everyone is having a good time and a good school year so far. Our planners are probably the best in the mission. I took some pictures and eventually I'll send one home. I thought you would get a kick out of that Dad.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Email Questions: 6 September 2011

I'm writing today because yesterday was a holiday, labor day, and we weren't able to e-mail. We were given permission to e-mail on Tuesday instead.

Q: The google street view of your trailer is from 2009, do you have a current picture?
A: Not much has changed. That's basically an up to date picture. Only the black on the side of the building now has the siding on it.

Q: Do you meet in a church owned building, a normal chapel?
A: It's a normal chapel owned by the church, but it is more of a custom made building. I sent a picture, and it's on my SD card that I sent a couple days ago.

Q: Is the chapel and family history center in the same building?
A: Yes

Q: Are you writing in your journal?
A: Yes, I've even been doing some audio journals. I'll see about e-mailing them. Occasionally I skip a day though, but I update on the past days.

Q: You received letters in the MTC twice per day, but could only write once per week. Can you print out our email letters to you during the week, or only on p-day?
A: Only on P-day, but it's a little flexible. I will occasionally do e-mail on another day.

Q: How has the Lord blessed you most recently?
A: We lost contact with some investigators; Tristan, Delta, and Jaden (2). Their apartment building requires a key to get in and they don't have a phone yet. We were able to, on Saturday, get into the building because someone let us in. We were able to set up a lesson with them tonight. We found out that evenings work best for them. So the Lord blessed us to be able to get back in contact with Tristan and Delta. Tristan and Delta are very receptive too. We were also given a referral by a member for someone, but they mistakenly gave us the wrong address. We decided to tract on that street anyway and found non-member, Bernard, who has had missionaries over before and even had them over for dinner. They had just moved in. We offered our service and set up a time to meet them again in a couple weeks.

Q: What prompting from the Spirit have you recently had and how did it turn out?
A: I don't know that I've recognized any promptings yet. I feel that the Lord uses us whether we know what's going on or not. We pray about where we go and ask the Lord to guide us, and to guide others to us. Then things just work out, like the story about Bernard. I have felt the spirit testify of the Savior a lot though, especially in sacrament meeting.

Elder Bowes and Elder Hartman
Q: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you this week?
A: If we ever get Elder Bowes or Elder Hartman laughing it is the funniest thing in the world. They have the funniest laughs. We were playing Monopoly on P-day and Elder Hartman had us listen to a recording of the two of them laughing. I just about died.

Q: What is the most spiritual experience you have had this week?
A: Probably the spirit testifying of the Savior and the gospel in sacrament meeting.

Q: How do you get your grocery money or does it come out of the $400/month we pay to the mission fund?
A: I have a credit card called my allotment card. I get an amount put on my card every month. I get about $130. We don't have to worry about housing or gas because the mission office takes care of that. We do have a gas card though that we use to fill up the truck with, I sent pictures of it. It's a brand new Chevy Colorado.

Q: Do you do any street contacting, or just door-to-door tracting?
A: We kind of do street contacting as we tract. Lately we've been tracting down town in some of the residential areas. We just talk to whoever we run into. There are a lot of people walking around downtown. That's how we ran into Tristan. He was waiting for his wife, Delta outside of a building with his 2 year old son Jaden. We introduced the restoration and he said he would like to come to church. We have taught them a couple lessons at their house now, and have given them a Book of Mormon. They both have a minimal concept of God and religion. Tristan can't read very well, so we gave them an Audio CD of the Book of Mormon to follow along in the book with. We got them both to offer a prayer. We'll teach them more.

Q: Is there any food you want us to send, we are sending a package tomorrow?
A: DRAGON BROWNIES PLEASE =) and maybe some Nature Valley Honey and Oats granola bars. =)

Q: Are you eating your vegetables?
A: Yes, broccoli and salad. I'm eating fruits too. I need to stop overeating at members houses though. =) I'm at about 127lbs. right now.

Q: Have you had a chance to make any bread for your companion yet?
A: No, but I did make cinnamon rolls. They loved them, but we had just gotten done (over)eating at a members house so we were kind of eating just to eat. But they were good.

Q: What's it like in Whitehorse?
A: It's pretty cool. There are big round mountains all around that look like giant hills. There are trees everywhere. We are basically in a forest. There is a river that runs through the area right next to downtown in the city. The church is on one side of the river and downtown is on the other. It's a very fast river. It's usually about 10 degrees Celsius, so its not that cold, but it will get cold really soon. like 5 times colder. It's already fall here. The leaves are starting to turn color and we expect snow at the end of the month. We drive a truck everywhere and we knock on a lot of peoples doors. Everyone has either a cat, a dog, or both. It's a good thing it's cold or I would have really bad allergies. A lot of people live in trailer homes, but the other half of the people have regular houses. Every house here looks different and looks custom built. It's not like in Spanish Fork where a lot of houses look the same.

Q: What is the worst experience you have had so far?
A: After we ate the cinnamon rolls, which was in the evening yesterday, we went to bed. The next morning everyone was passing gas. Even the other Elders. It stinks really, really, really, really bad. It's like dads but worse and a lot more frequent. I'm not doing it as much as my companion though. At the end of our district meeting this morning we sang a song. By the way we had Elder and Sister Powell on the phone from Haines, Alaska because they are in our district. Right at the end of the verse when it's really quiet Elder Bowes passed gas really loud. I couldn't sing that much of the next verse because I was laughing. I don't think the Powell's heard it though.

Love, Elder Record