Monday, October 24, 2011

Questions: 24 October 2011

What was your favorite day of the week?
Sunday. I love church.

What was your least favorite day of the week?
Friday. We do weekly planning that day. I love planning and Fridays, but I have to sit down for a long time and my seat gets a little sore =).

What is your typical Sunday schedule like?
Wake up at 6:30am, pray, shower, personal study, leave for the church, greet people, church starts at 10am, 11am is gospel essentials (the class for investigators really), 12pm priesthood, mingle with people after church, go to the Guevarra's for lunch, then proselyte.
The Oinker

What is the name of the place in Juneau that had the huge hamburgers? (I can see why the average elder gains 40 pounds haha)
The Booyah Grill =) haha. There are 2 items on the menu that cost $30, but if you finish them in an hour you don't have to pay. One is called the Oinker and the other is El Papi. The Oinker is a burger and El Papi is a burrito.

Who is the elder with the huge hamburger?
Elder Dean, and I think I have a picture of Elder Williams holding El Papi. =)

What did you have to eat?
Just a classic cheeseburger with fries. Normal size, haha.

El Papi
Have you had any discussions with people about your title as Elder and how First Nation are called "the elders?"
Ya. We just explain it is our title and designates us as teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It makes sense to them because the Elders in the First Nation community are like the teachers there.

As the other elders take pictures, can you copy their pictures onto your SD card, particularly pictures with you in the frame?
Yes I can. We are going to do a picture exchange before the end of the transfer because there will most likely be some changes to our district.

What is one turning point or "defining moment" in your testimony of the Savior (see Dad's Discipleship email)?
Wow, that takes a little thought. My very first "defining moment" happened very early on in my childhood. As a little kid I had a lot of nightmares. I would often have what were to me, very scary dreams. I don't know how or why, but my initial response was prayer. In my dreams just before the scary thing came, just before I couldn't take it any more and it was just too scary, I thought to pray and ask my heavenly father to please wake me up. Every time, without fail, he would. I was spared from what I thought would be something too scary to bear. I did that throughout my early childhood. Every scary dream I would pray and be instantly woken up. I love my Father in Heaven and I know and always have known that he hears and answers our prayers. I know He is there.

Transcription: 24 October 2011

Hello everyone, this is Elder Record and today is October 24th, Monday and it's preparation day. This coming week is kind of cool. It's going to be part of my training. I'm basically on my own for this next week, and Elder Johnson is just going to be shadowing me (haha) – more so than other trainers normally would I guess because he thinks I'm ready for more, so he's going to act like a dead missionary. I'm not too worried actually. Lately through my studying and things like that, and how much I've become accustomed to how things work as a missionary and through Heavenly Father's help I feel pretty confident in myself as a missionary. Not to say I don't still need help (haha), I need all the help in the world, but I know that Heavenly Father is there for me and that I can get through it, and that I will get through it well, and I'll do good, and I'll grow from it. So I'm excited to see how the coming week comes.

Elder Johnson and Elder Record emailing home
I am way WAY anxious to hear where Lorielle goes. I thought she was going to get her mission call on Wednesday, but I just found out this morning that she's not – that it's assigned, but she hasn't gotten it yet. So I have to wait another P-day, and I may only have one more P-day here in Whitehorse. So anyway, I'm excited to see where Lorielle goes. (haha) It's taking forever!

Every Tuesday we have district meeting, and Elder Johnson the district leader, so he prepares something. This last district meeting we were talking about one of the fundamentals of preach my gospel, which is called “We invite, They commit, We follow up”. We really didn't get through the whole thing. We just started at the beginning, this “check your progress” part, that we got in the training book. The fundamentals are a little bit more extensive in our training booklets. We were just talking about how we should extend commitments and how that empowers the investigator to exercise their faith and act on that. It was very good, and I took notes in my study journal. It kind of set the tone for the day – it was very good. I really felt the Spirit there. We were able to determine what we need to do, like we need to do more finding in our area. We were figuring out what we need to do to find out those who are ready to hear the message of the gospel. So, we've been focusing on finding.

We got a call from the Goolsby's who live in Tok, Alaska. It is like the half way point on the bus trip between Anchorage and Whitehorse and back. We found out there's a branch in Tok. There's no missionaries in Tok, but there's a branch in Tok. Brother Goolsby is the branch president there. He was like 36 miles out of Whitehorse and his car broke down. He called his wife, and she wasn't in Tok, so he called us. We were able to get some members to help him out and drive him back and get him back to Tok. It was neat to be able to do some service there and find out there are members in Tok (haha), because it seemed so small when we drove through it. I doubt we went through more of the town. There's like 300 people, maybe a little more, I don't know.

Brother McCracken, this is another thing I was excited about. We didn't have a toaster so I asked if any of the members had a toaster. Brother McCracken let me have his old toaster. So I've been using that for toast (haha) and my breakfast has been greatly enhanced in its tastes. We had dinner with the McCracken's on Wednesday night, and he gave me some Rhubarb jam, and it was soo good. Anyway, he's very nice. Sister McCracken, she makes the best food, and she's so nice too. We were asking her what her hobbies are, and she was basically saying she loves to help people. That's how awesome she is. That's her hobby – helping people. They are an older couple, but she's been watching Sister Little's kids while she was having her baby. She is always helping people out for everything, bringing them food, or whatever. She's very nice.

We were focusing on finding that same Wednesday. Earlier in the day we did a ton of tracting, just to get out there and work towards building up our missionary spirit and also trying to find people who are ready to hear the gospel. We've been given a lot of referrals this week. Some of them are not necessarily solid, but usually the ones we get from members are pretty solid, so we're excited, and we had two of those. We are excited to see how those two turn out. We are going to meet with them some more. One guy we are going to go play basketball with soon, hopefully on Saturday. Both of those guys are pretty open to hearing us and listening to the gospel and meeting with us. That will be neat to see how that works.

We also had a lesson with one of our investigators. She doesn't have a Christian background, so it's been kind of different teaching her. She's fine with doctrine and things like that, and she's willing to believe that, but she really wants to see how the gospel has benefited us and how it's affected us. We had Sister Brown with us for this last lesson, and she was amazing. She was talking the whole time about those exact same things. She was right on point and right tune with the Spirit; and our investigator really got a lot out of that. In fact after we left the lesson because we had to get to our missionary correlation meeting with Brother McDonald, Sister Brown stayed there with her and talked with her like friends for two hours (haha); which was way cool. She was telling everybody how excited she was. She is going to be the perfect fellowshipper for our investigator. We have been seeing her make leaps and bounds for where she's at, and we are excited to see how that turns out as well.

Yesterday on Sunday, Elder Bowes had a talk. It was very good. He talked about prophets. I was doing some studying that same morning. I was reading in Helaman 5. I like verse six in the beginning where, Helaman (Nephi and Lehi's father) tells them that he wants them to remember to keep the commandments and to preach the gospel. In verse fourteen of chapter five, I love how it then says Nephi and Lehi remembered what their father said to keep the commandments and to preach the gospel, and then they go about doing that. I thought that not only applies to how we should remember to keep the commandments, but to keep the counsel of fathers, of prophets, of the Savior, and how that blesses us and the miracles that comes through that. I was just thinking about that a lot and then Elder Bowes talk was on prophets. I really felt the Spirit as I was thinking about that.

In Church we have been practicing with the Primary singing “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.” We are going to do that this coming Sunday in the Primary program (haha). That will be fun. We sound pretty good too. We are pretty good singers as a district. We are also singing as an Elder's Quorum. So we are preparing a musical number for this program they are going to be having in November. We are singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and I am like the only person singing the tenor part. But, I can hold my own, which is pretty cool. I love singing the different parts and everything like that.

So that's been this week. It's been pretty fun. I'm really starting to get the hang of things. We have specialized training this next week. So I'll probably talk about that next time. I'll try to get more pictures with me in them (haha). It's not always easy, we're kind of in a rush a lot, but I'll make an extra effort to do so. I can't way to hear where Lorielle goes.

Oh, I got letters from the young women a while back. I think they were sent to the MTC, but I was already gone, so it took forever to get here. But, I did get the letters, and I appreciate it. It made my day!

Hi, Eric. I was happy to get your letter that you sent me a while back. That was neat. Yeah, it's been a fun week. Anyway, talk to you later, bye.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photos: 22 October 2011

We received an SD card with photos from Elder Record. Below are some highlights with additional pictures in the Picasa Web Album. Clicking on the image will take you to the album. Enjoy!

Elders Hartman, Bowes, Record and Johnson during
combined companionship study.

Elder Record's bar trick.

Elder Bowes and Record on a trip during
Zone Conference in Juneau, Alaska.

Elder Dean with the "Oinker" during Zone Conference, and they wonder
why the elders gain an average of 40 pounds!

Elders Bowes, Hartman, Johnson and Record
eating lunch at Quiznos.

Elder Record working off some of that Zone Conference lunch.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Email Questions: 17 October 2011

What did whale skin taste like?
A hard rubber band

Was the muktuk you had cooked or raw? Was it seasoned?

Up to this point in your mission, if you could pick one day of your mission to relive, what day would it be? Why?
That's kind of a hard question to answer (haha). Every day that passes melds together into one day. I'll do my best, but I mostly only have the memory of this last week and very few days before =). I think my favorite day was Wednesday the 5th of October. We got a call from the mission office. They gave us a referral from Salt Lake of someone who had visited temple square. We looked around for the address and eventually found it through a little prayer probably. The house was in a trailer park that doesn't exist on any of our maps. We kept trying to see if this person would be home, but they weren't. Probably because it was thanksgiving weekend in Canada. We finally caught this person home on the 14th and introduced ourselves and found out that it was indeed this person who had been at the temple exhibit at temple square. We are currently in the follow up stage and are seeing how this will turn out, but I feel really good about it.

Have you had a chance to see the Northern Lights yet? If so, what was it like?
Nope, unfortunately

Answer these questions before talking with Elder Johnson.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being very confident and prepared), how prepared do you feel you are to be a trainer?

What are the areas in which you feel you need to improve to feel you are prepared to be a trainer by November 7th?
It just seems kind of overwhelming. I'm not as quick and confident in knowing what needs to be done as I probably need to be.

What are the areas in which you have improved the most regarding the position of trainer? I have noticed great improvement in your goal setting and striving to meet those goals.
Yeah, goal setting is a big thing. I think I know how to study now (haha). I do feel confident that I know how things work for the most part. Elder Johnson is one of the best missionaries out here and is a very efficient and hard worker. I've have learned so much from him. The Lord has been so merciful with me in letting me have him as a trainer. I was promised when I was set apart that I would be able to hit the ground running when I came out. Thanks to Elder Johnson, I have.

Ask Elder Johnson these questions, and then compare your responses to his.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being very confident and prepared), how prepared do you think Elder Record is to be a trainer?
10--Without hesitation

What does Elder Record need to accomplish as a trainee so you would feel he is prepared to be a trainer by November 7th?
I feel like you'd make a great trainer today, right now, if you were called to do so. However, having the rest of the transfer to complete the new training curriculum will be very beneficial to further enhance your preparedness as a trainer. Next week, you will have the entire week to act as senior companion--where you will drive, do all the planning and lead-out in every teaching situation. This will be a great experience and give you the confidence that you can take over next transfer.

What is your model for resolving concerns and helping others align their beliefs with your's?
I've put much thought in this. I will make a copy of my concern resolve model and get it to you next week.

Have you ever had a companion that did not want to work very hard, maybe a bit lazy? How did you handle it or how would you handle it when and if you had such a companion?
Yes. An elder was sent to my area, and my mission president asked me to rekindle the fire he once had for missionary work. Each case is different and certainly requires individual adaptation. For my companion, his laziness and lack of obedience was sparked by intense depression. However, here are a few principles that may apply in every case.
  • You must create an environment of love and patience. Understand that a disobedient missionary already knows better, so they don't need your reproof. They need your patience and love; they need to know what they are doing good. They need encouragement.
  • You must, at times, "loosen the bow strings" when things get tough. Keep a happy attitude, relax. Don't worry about dotting each and every "i" and crossing all the t's. Putting up a brick wall of expectation will only make your missionary more defensive and amplify the behavior--work them back into obedience, line upon line. Choose your battles: be unyielding and adamant about working from 10 AM to 9 PM, but during non-proselyting hours, choose your battles.
  • Understand the principle of free agency. You can't make them do things; you can only encourage and inspire. Help your missionary understand the doctrine if they will listen. "True doctrine understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." (President Boyd K. Packer)

What does a good leader do?
Still learning about this one--all of these questions for that matter. But, from my observations, good leaders are obedient and work hard, while maintaining an air of tolerance and love.

Ask the Lord the same questions and write the responses in your journal.

Transcription: 17 October 2011

Hello Everybody,

This is Elder Record. This update is for the week of Monday the 10th through Sunday the 16th. Today is going to be so exciting, even though it isn't part of that week. I am still going to say it anyway. We are going to go to the Canada Game Center for P-day. I'm pretty sure it's an Olympic sports center, like rec center. It's kind of cool because now that is starting to snow and starting to get colder outside, you can go there and it costs like six bucks to get in. They have indoor soccer fields and indoor basketball courts. They have a pool, which we won't be using (haha). I don't know if they have racquetball, but I know they have squash. They've got a track and exercise equipment and everything. So all four of us missionaries are going to be going there today, and I'm pretty excited! (haha) I've never been there, but it looks really fun. It will be cool.

This week as been kind of busy. We weren't able to do as much as the other weeks, as for finding and things like that, mostly because we have been following up a lot with our potential investigators and seeing if they really are interested in the gospel. We did exchanges this week, and I was in our area with Elder Hartman. I was running the area while Elder Johnson was in the other Elders' area. We were able to do a little tracting on this one street – it's Basswood road in Porter Creek. We were knocking on the doors and got to this one door. The person answered the door, and I told her about how we have a prophet on the earth today just like Christ had when He set up His church, and we had that same organization. She's like, “how do you know that?” I told her that through prayer and things like that. I then started talking to her about the Book of Mormon, and that it's convincing evidence of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. She didn't have too much time, but she's very bold in her speech and she had a lot of bold questions, but at the same time, I had answers. It was awesome. It was very quick and brief, and she said, “yeah, come back tomorrow anytime before three,” because it was like three o'clock and all her kids were coming home from school, so she had to run back inside and be busy with that. Before going back the other day, Elder Johnson asked me since one of our lessons fell through if I thought we should bring a member to that lesson because we were planning on having a member to our previous lesson. So he was wondering if we should have her come to visit the person we met. I said, “yes.” I felt like she was very … I don't know, I just thought she should be there. So we took the member with us to visit her at the time we said we would come back. So we go back and knock on the door, she answers the door, well actually first she didn't answer the door. I prayed that she would be there and that we would be able to talk with her and trusted that Heavenly Father would provide the way. Anyway, we went there and knocked on the door – no answer. We knocked on the door again – no answer. So I started writing a note saying sorrow we missed you lah de dah de dah, and just that we would come back. I was going to leave our number on the card and leave that note with her. Elder Johnson was like, “you know what, just try one more time.” So we knocked one more time (haha) and almost immediately she opened the door. So we started talking about the Book of Mormon and how it answered those questions that she had and how it's convincing evidence of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and that it is another witness of Jesus Christ. It clarifies a lot of confusion in the Bible and how it goes hand in hand, side by side with the Bible in testifying of Christ. She was very impressed, and the member with us, she bore her testimony about the Book of Mormon. It went sooo well, I mean it was a fantastic lesson, and we even had a prayer – all on the doorstep. It took about five minutes (haha) which was crazy, I mean it went by so quickly, but it was so powerful. We were able to, I felt, speak with the Spirit, because if I was using my own brain, I would not have thought that fast. So we are going to see where that goes and follow up with her again, but I just love that experience because I kind of saw how my faith grew from that. I saw those little miracles that happen through prayer and trusting in the Lord. It works! You just have to trust Him and do your best to follow through and He will provide the way.

We were also able to visit with that referral we got from Church headquarters in Salt Lake that I talked about to Lorielle and her question. That was neat. That whole entire trailer park is kind of new, but doesn't exist on any of the maps. So we went there and we were like, “holy cow” there is this huge trailer park with these nice houses that we need to tract out (haha). We are excited to see where that goes.

On Saturdays we started volunteering at the museum, the MacBride Museum. That's kind of fun (haha). We kind of get the insider access to the museum, so we get to see everything, but at the same time we get to help out and be a part of the community. We are good hard workers. Elder Johnson and I pride ourselves on how hard a workers we are and how efficient we are (haha) because we are. We are very quick and very efficient and we get the job done. It's fun and feels good to work hard. We love going to the museum.

As for other things that have happened this week, we just taught lessons and helped this one lady out with her family history. Yeah, just basically your average week (haha) as a missionary. It's so hard to just sit down and think of what happened, that's why journals are so important because everything turns into one day. Every day that passes turns into one day, so it's hard to distinguish one week from the other, just because you're working so fast and so hard. You're growing so fast too. I wouldn't ask for anything else. I mean a mission is exactly what I need and want right now, because I'm growing so much. I know that the Church is true and my testimony has grown so much. I already knew that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers, but now I know even more that He does answer our prayers. If we trust in Him and ask for those things that are good that we should ask for, He will answer those prayers, and He has been. It's amazing to see. As a missionary you rely so much on the Lord – you cannot do this all by yourself. It's so overwhelming that you have to rely on the Lord. I've heard it said in a couple of different places that every night when you pray that you give an accounting to the Lord of your day. When you pray in the morning, you pray like (because it does) everything depends on the Lord, but when you get up from your prayer and you start going through the day, you act like everything depends on you. You do your best, you work your hardest, you do your best to get everything done that needs to be done. Then when you go to your prayer, you rely on the Lord to take care of what you weren't able to do, and He does. He puts people in your paths and prepares the way. It's amazing! (haha) I haven't seen this happen before that your prayers are answered so quickly and your guided and directed by the Lord and see His hand in the work that you don't see anywhere else. I know that He loves us and that He wants us to be happy, and that He's given us the commandments and the Gospel and all these things to help us become happy and become more like Him. I am thankful for the good examples of people that I've seen to help me kind of learn this. I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve the Lord on a mission, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Email Questions: 10 October 2011

Have you had any whale oil yet?
No, but I've had what's called Muktuk. It is whale skin and fat. No meat, it's just skin on one end and fat on the other =). It's not bad, just a little chewy.

What is the most unique thing you've eaten so far?

What is the most unique P-day activity you've had so far?
Hiking Gray Mountain

Have you made any "Dragon" treats or dishes yet? What was the reaction?
Not yet. I haven't had time, but I definitely plan to soon =)

Did you get your coat and vitamins (with the SD card)?
yup, thanks for everything

Are you getting enough to eat? Is your allotment sufficient for you now?
Yes, they gave us a little more because things are more expensive here in Whitehorse. I don't think I'll have to spend anymore money. We've been fed a lot by the people here lately so I've probably had a little too much to eat.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Transcription: 10 October 2011

Hello Everybody,

This is Elder Record and it is October the 10th and it's Canadian Thanksgiving today. For Canadian Thanksgiving it kind of goes over the Sunday and the Monday. I don't remember which one. Last night we had two thanksgiving dinners; one of them was an investigator so we couldn't say no, and the others had prepared food for us. But also tonight we have two thanksgiving dinners again, both of them with investigators. One of them is with the other Elders' investigators, but they're a part member family. We are going to have Thanksgiving with them. It's different here. In the states you have Thanksgiving and it's a lot more commercialized, but over here people don't eat quite a much and it's not as publicized. It's pretty fun.

Last Monday on the 3rd I got a hair cut from Elder Bowes, and he did a pretty good job, and I was very impressed. It's just easier to get a hair cut from one of the other guys because you don't have that much time, especially on a P-day because you're getting stuff ready and what not.

We are making district T-shirts. That will be pretty cool, we're just waiting for the place to get our design ready. It will have “The Whitehorse Warriors” on it, and it will say 2 Corinthians 12:10 on it, that is our scripture we have on the shirt for the Whitehorse Warriors (haha).

On Wednesday we got something very rare. We got a referral from Salt Lake. It's not just any referral. It's an IMS referral, and we think that has something to do with Internet Missionary Service or something like that. We're not sure, but it was probably like a chat or something and she wants a missionary visit. She wanted to learn more about temples and eternal marriage. We were talking with some people, two people actually, and they said the last one of these they gave, they were baptized. And so, I am so excited – we haven't been able to catch her yet because nobody's at the house. But it is Thanksgiving weekend so she's probably away with family and stuff. We will see again tomorrow and probably ask her neighbors if anybody lives in that house, and if somebody lives there then we know we're set. It was kind of interesting because we got the address and this neighborhood does not exist on the map. It's newer than the map. And so that was a blessing too. I think it was definitely divinely inspired, and the Spirit is working here, and we will see where it goes. It was Range Road neighborhood. It's a trailer park that is brand new, it's very nice. There's like 500 people probably in this area – nice apartments, there's the trailers, it's got legit roads, and things like that (it's not just dirt roads). It was amazing that we found this place. We're thinking now or maybe later we're going to do a street scouting activity where we pull out a notebook, start with a prayer, and go out and visit every single street in our area, and wait for inspiration on which roads we need to hit up. That way maybe we can hit some of those roads that aren't on the map and record them, and get to people again later.

This week I've definitely felt the Spirit. As I've been studying, through prayer and hard work, my studying is becoming more focused. I'm able to focus on any topic and really dig into it because of the Spirit, and it's really been benefiting me spiritually, tremendously! I'm so much less distracted than I was before. I've been finding that as I have been striving to do my best with living the mission rules, I've found that through obedience, even to little rules, for me I'm proving myself to the Lord and doing something I know I can do to prove myself to receive these blessings that I desperately need. You can't do missionary work alone or else you fail, and you fail fast. You start to get distracted – that's the big thing actually. I'm working on that, and I'm noticing that as I keep the rules my focus is increasing a lot. I wrote down a quote from the missionary handbook. It says, “to keep your eyes single to the Lord and His work, avoid all forms worldly entertainment.” So to me that can be just about anything worldly. You have got to focus the Gospel; you've got to focus on Christ. A lot of that happens from your study in the morning.

Oh, another thing, if anybody like Lorielle or Chris or Annelise wants some missionary training, on the LDS store they got the Preach My Gospel videos. They got the district 2 video on there. Those are good to help with teaching.

Yesterday was fast Sunday. I was able to do it just fine, probably because I've been eating so much. I mean I've been restricting myself on the eating, but there is sometimes – they just feed you a ton, and so you have got to limit other meals a little bit or eat healthy when you can and just do your best because people are going to feed you a ton. You don't have much opportunity to serve yourself here, but when you do, you better take advantage of it and not take too much and eat slower. Then people don't feel like you're way hungry and just sitting there hungry with no food – it's kind of rude anyway. We've definitely had a lot of fun.

Probably the most spiritual experience of the week was on Friday the 7th when we were studying Usually when we study, we go to the “Our People” tab and then go to “I'm a mormon” videos and study them so we can share those with people. I was thinking of somebody who had an issue or whose family that had a little bit of an issue with women and the priesthood, you know women not being able to hold the priesthood. So I looked it up on and came up with the new Relief Society manual “Daughters in My Kingdom.” I started reading chapter eight, and I felt the Spirit so strong. I wasn't sure if it was just testifying of truth or if it was prompting me to share that with this lady, but I felt the Spirit so strongly. We watched the little introduction video on the “Daughters in My Kingdom” website. Again, I felt the Spirit so strongly I was tearing up and things like that – it was weird because it seemed so out of the blue for me. That is a wonderful book, so I would encourage anybody at home, especially Mom, Lorielle and Annie, to go through that because it was just – Wow! – I really felt the Spirit. We are probably going to share that with this lady because it answers the question so well. It talks about the temples and things like that. Something about it is special. It was a very neat experience.

We are ready for another good week. We are going to do a lot more finding this week and getting out there and hopefully get some new investigators and meeting new people. That's been the week so far and has been very fun. As long as you are not thinking about yourself, missionary work is awesome. When you starting thinking about yourself, you start getting distracted and you loose focus.

I know that the Church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that missionary work is an essential part of God's plan, and especially in the gathering of Israel. I know that Father in Heaven will answer our prayers. I know He hears and answers our prayers, and I know that He can change our hearts. If we prayer sincerely and fervently, and do our best to work toward something, He gives us the strength to do it. It's amazing how weak we are. You don't realize it that much, and I'm just barely starting to realize it now. All of us, we really need our Heavenly Father's help. Prayer is so important, and studying the scriptures. I know that's true, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Transcription/Audio: 3 October 2011

Hello Everybody,

I'm doing my weekly update for the week of the 26th of September. It's kind of different, our weeks end on Sunday and the new week starts on Monday. So it's the week of the 26th for us. We think in transfers, which are six weeks, so our weeks start on Mondays. Months have no meaning to me anymore, I mean we do monthly goals, but at the same time it's really like transfers. A transfer is like one planner, it has six weeks in a planner.

This week's been awesome. On Monday we did a little bit because it was P-day. We had dinner with the McCraken's and they make really good food. Brother McCracken is in the branch presidency and Sister McCraken – yea, she makes really good food. On Tuesday we did exchanges, and I was kind of nervous about it. I mean I did exchanges before, but this time my schedule was completely open. I had to really plan everything because I was in our area and in charge. Elder Bowes was coming into my area. I was able to pray for help and get what I needed. We were able to go visit some people.

We found a new investigator, his name is Brad. His house is in a trailer park and of all the houses there, his is the most unique. It's awesome. You go up the front door and when you turn to your left there are stairs that spiral up and go to the roof of the trailer. It has a railing and a pirate flag and makes the whole trailer look like a pirate ship. It's awesome! I wanted to knock on his door just to say, “you've got an awesome house!” So we did that, and he let us go up and see it. We got a tour of the house there, the pirate ship, haha. He's a young guy, and after that I started talking to him about the restoration and briefly shared about how the Church has been restored and that we have modern prophets today. I told him that we were going to have General Conference, and he was really interested, but he wasn't able to make it to conference because he had to work. It was very legitimate – it's not like he was trying to avoid us or anything. He did remember a few days later that he wanted to come to conference on Sunday at 1:00pm and was going to meet with us at 11:00am. Just by the fact that he remembered that shows he makes and keeps commitments, which is awesome for missionaries. So we met with him again on Sunday, October 2nd and shared with him the first three principles of the first lesson, which ends on prophets. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he's excited to hear more, and we are going to bring him over to the Church to watch some conference and talk more about the restoration and the gospel. I asked Brad what caught his interest and made him want to listen to us. He said it was because we were so friendly initially and that we didn't immediately just start preaching to him, but that we cared to talk to him a little first and get to know him. That really made a difference, and I told him that's exactly how it should be because our Heavenly Father loves us, and loves us individually. He cares about us and hears and answers our prayers. I told him that we cared about him, and we share this message with him because we want him to be happy. So we are excited to meet with Brad some more.

Then on Wednesday we visited a bunch of people and got to do some service for the Church. We had a little barbecue there and kind of cleaned up the outside of the Church. Friday we were able to go and do some more service for Brother Hursh. We helped him out at his place chopping wood. It was awesome, and we were way fast. He was impressed with how fast we worked. That was very fun, haha.

General Conference was amazing! I loved it. It was like drinking from a fire hose. It was all very good and very applicable – especially to missionary work. The part I loved the most was when they announced the temples, and especially the new Provo Temple. I was just thinking about temples the whole time and what they do for us. I was so thankful that my dad has taught me a lot about temples, because he's a temple worker, and just the importance of them and family history work. Even though I don't understand everything about the temple, I do know that it's important and that it has ordinances that are essential for salvation. I was just so filled with love, I was like – bawling. The Spirit was very strong when the temple was announced and all the other temples. I was just thinking about all the temples across the world.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that temples are the House of God. I know that this Church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that this is God's work. I am so thankful for the chance to be a missionary. I've said this before, but I see myself growing – it's incredible. It's something that I've never experienced before. Your siblings will grow and get bigger and you don't even realize it, but when you look at a picture of them later you are amazed at how much they've grown and never realized it because it happens so gradually. But on your mission, you grow so fast that you see yourself growing and progressing. It's incredible. You see the Lord changing you into a better person, more capable of things and listening to the Spirit. This has been, honestly, the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, but also I am so thankful for the opportunity to do it. I have grown so much and learned so much. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything else. It's definitely been a push in the right direction. I am so thankful for the Gospel and all it's done for me. But, I just feel overwhelmed with love for my Savior and for other people. I know that He hears and answers our prayers. He's merciful and He's mighty to save, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.