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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Questions: 31 October 2011

How did your week go as "senior" companion?
Good, it passed like any other week. =) Whitehorse didn't explode.

How long does it take for someone to be converted to the Gospel?
As long as it takes for them to want the gospel and make it a part of their lives. It could happen overnight or take years. For us, we determine that if they are keeping their commitments we invited them make to the Lord, they are progressing. It's all about progression because none of us can ever stop and say, "I've made it, now I'm done." I like the definition for conversion in the Bible Dictionary, and I found it is almost the same as the definition for repentance found in the same.

Eric: Do you know how big Elder Dean's plate was with the Oinker on it?
As big as a basketball hoop.

We made pumpkins with one of our investigators.

Elder Record's pumpkin master piece.

We got our district shirts today =),
Elder Record showing the new district T-shirts.

Transcription: 31 October 2011

I was so excited to hear about Lorielle going to Oklahoma. It'sss … oh man! … as soon as I heard she was going to Oklahoma it seems so perfect. It's like honestly, I keep saying this, it's like I knew she was going there. It's like I already knew that and had just forgotten. When I found out she had gotten her call there, I was like, “oh yea that's where she was supposed to be going – I forgot.” But it's soo perfect, I'm soo excited. It's going to be soo fun. I did the math and I'll be out just over six months by the time she comes out and so we will most likely be coming home within two weeks of each other (haha), which will be soo cool. I'll be coming home a little earlier. It's going to be so much fun. We are going to be able to email each other back and forth while we are on our missions and stuff and share mission stories. It's kind of different when I'm emailing home, there are certain things that would take too long to explain, but if I were to talk with Lorielle about it, she would know what I'm talking about, and she would be like, “oh yeah, I know how that goes.” She would know all the inside missionary jokes and things like that. That will be so much fun, I'm so excited for you Lorielle.

It's been so much fun out here. This week has been pretty fun. This week has been my “senior week.” I have been leading out basically in everything. I've been driving, I've been planning every night, I've been doing everything just about. It was so weird because before, I was so nervous and did not think I could ever do that. But like two days before I was going to start my “senior week,” I felt very confident and calm about doing this. As I've been through the week, it wasn't a problem. Everything just went by really smoothly. It was just like a normal week. I was surprised, but not really. It's like that amount of time for training was the perfect amount of time. It was almost as if, and I'm sure it was, the Lord had made it so that that period of time training was perfect for me. It has been, and the circumstances that we were in and stuff like that; I'm excited to see what happens.

This coming week is the last week of our transfer. So November 6th, a Sunday, is the last day of the transfer. After that, Elder Hartman will be leaving Whitehorse and either me or Elder Johnson most likely will be leaving. We know there are two missionaries leaving, but it's all just guess work really. But, I am pretty sure we know two of us are leaving. Elder Hartman will be leaving because his visa for Canada is running out. Yeah, we'll see what happens and what the changes are. It will be exciting to see what happens.

Yesterday they had a Primary program and it was amaazing. They don't have very many kids, but the Spirit was there so strong, and it was just after the Sacrament too. So I had really felt the Spirit, and I was just bawling – not like crying, crying, but my eyes were watering a lot. I was sniffing the whole time (haha). Elder Johnson looks over at me and he just laughs. It was funny because he said that there was a point where he felt like his eyes were about to water, just because of the emotion of the Spirit that was there. He said that when that happened, he thought that “oh man, if I'm feeling like this, Elder Record must be bawling.” So he looks over at me and my eyes are watering and tearing up like crazy. He told me I do a pretty good job of not making it obvious that I'm doing that (haha). Anyway, it was very good, the Spirit was there very strong. The other elders had a couple of investigators there, and we had one there. I think it was very beneficial. We also had some less active members there. What a day for them to be there and to feel the Spirit so strong! The other elders' investigator told them later that everything they talked about in the Primary program and that they testified of was just about exactly the things the missionaries had been teaching him. So he was very impressed. It was a wonderful Sunday.

Last Monday was our P-day and we went to the Canada Game Centre and we played football (haha), and it was so much fun. I found out that I'm actually pretty good at football. Elder Johnson used to be a quarterback for SUU (Southern Utah University), so he's very good. He was saying how impressed he was with me, so I felt pretty good. It was fun to play football and be good at it I guess, because the other elders are really tall and they beat me in basketball pretty good (haha). It was good exercise. I was sore after that, but it was okay because it felt good.

We had our specialized training this week. I was lucky enough, since I'm Elder Johnson's trainee, to listen in on the district leader and trainer leadership training on Tuesday morning. I also got to be in the normal specialized training which was fun. They had me talk about family history a little bit on the spot (haha), which was all right. I feel like with family history, everything has been handed to me in my lap. I've had the desire to search it out and the determination to keep at it, and it seems like things have just been handed to me. I've become familiar with how things work in family history research along the way. So it's been beneficial. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm familiar with it.

Elder Johnson and I gave training in the fifth Sunday meeting yesterday on family history. I made a slide show for the FamilySearch website. I basically based my portion of the lesson on President Packer's talk titled, “Family History: Getting Started” that was given in the Liahona magazine in August of 2003. It's a very good talk, and I definitely suggest reading it. It talks about getting started in family history and explains mostly what I talked about.

We have been meeting with one of our investigators. Initially it seemed like it wasn't going to go anywhere with her and her husband. But lately, we have just been persistent in reading the Book of Mormon and things like that, and she has been resolving her own concerns and progressing at her own speed, but progressing none the less. Brother McDonald has always had missionaries come to visit them, hoping that the new set of missionaries will be the ones for them. So they've had several missionaries teaching them over a long period of time. He has been saying that he is so excited and that he has been seeing the growth that they have made. He notices it, and he says it's significant. We have definitely felt like she is progressing, and hopefully she can help her husband out too. As they read the Book of Mormon, they will come to feel the Spirit of it and they will come to know it's true and their concerns will be resolved. Everything will just kind of fall into place as they study the Book of Mormon.

They also had a Halloween party on Friday. We helped out with this little haunted forest walk they had. I didn't, because I'm not very good at scaring people. The other elders hid behind a tree and would say “boo” at people and scare them. Elder Johnson was pretty funny. He is pretty good at scaring people (haha).

Today is Halloween. Things will be kind of different. We will be starting the day off in the morning at eight. P-day is going to end at four. We are supposed to be in our apartments at seven and do our studying then, so the night will end at seven instead of nine, because it's Halloween. Probably because it's kind of futile to go tracting on Halloween because everybody is trick-or-treating.

This week has been pretty cool and fund. Lots of new stuff happening. I'm excited to see what happens in the future. I was talking with President Beesley when I got permission to watch Lorielle's blog video, and kind of see the news about her. He asked where she was going, and I said, Oklahoma. He was very happy and excited for Lorielle and said there is going to be a lot more missionaries there than there are here. But, he said the work is going to be awesome out there where Lorielle's at – so he thought it was pretty cool (haha).

I hope everybody is doing good. In the video Eric seems to be a lot taller than I remember him. I think Chris looked about the same. Lorielle, she looks the same (haha). It was very fun to watch that. I cried during the video, just because I felt the Spirit strong. Missionary work is amazing. It's all about other people. It's fun to not focus on yourself, to have that opportunity to devote all your time to helping others and to help others be happy. So as long as you can remember that, it makes things so much fun. It's a wonderful experience. I can't wait for Eric and Chris to go, and maybe Annie. It will be an amazing thing when that happens. See you later, talk to you next week. Bye.