Monday, February 27, 2012

Transcription: 27 February 2012

Elder Record and Elder Thorne have a baptism schedule for this Saturday!

Good morning everybody. This week has been awesome. We've got this guy, his name is Boi (only his nickname). He's pretty cool. He always keeps the commitments we give him. He's learning so much, and he is so excited to get baptized (haha). We just had his interview yesterday. Everything went well. We were kind of asking him about logistics and stuff, like who he wanted to do certain things, he's like “aah, I don't care, I just want to get baptized” (haha). I'm so happy for him too, because I know it's going to bless his life. He is going to be a lot happier because of it. We are excited because that's coming up this coming Saturday. His baptism is going to be in the morning. He is golden. He has just progressed so well. He stopped smoking, and a bunch of things like that. He is just willing to give so much for the gospel. I mean because it is. It is like the best gift we can give, and it blesses our lives so much more than we can give back in return. Heavenly Father loves us so much, and I am thankful for that.

We were also able to visit a guy named Persi. Everybody is related to everybody – it's kind of fun because I'm starting to know everybody in the ward. Persi in the ward is excited because he is going to be going to the temple soon. We are excited for he and his wife. We gave them one of those pamphlets, “Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple.”

Language study has been going good. I am starting to get the hang of Samoan a lot more. When people say stuff, I'm starting to understand it (haha). So when people are talking about things, or when someone asks me a question, I almost always will be able to tell what question they are asking me. I don't know all the little words, but I know what they are asking me.

We have been visiting a lot of people and been helping a lot of the less active members in the ward. They have been coming back to Church (haha), and that makes us so happy – seeing people excited to get going. Hopefully the Elder's Quorum will be able to start home teaching. We have noticed that with a lot of these people, all they need to do is be visited, and have a friend – to have somebody let them know they are thinking about them. They get excited again and come back to Church, and then they feel the strength from that. Usually that is all it takes. We have a lot of people we hope to start teaching. It's exciting.

We are excited about the youth, because the youth are getting really excited about missionary work. We had one guy come up to us, and he was like, “so Elders, can we call you to setup lessons, like a lesson with you guys?” We're like, “yah”, and wanted him to tell us a little more about what he meant. He said, “Like, can we invite non-members to our house and then call you and come over to teach them?” We were like, “YES, Please do that! (haha). That's what we want to hear.” If we can teach them in their friends home, they have their friend to support them, and help them along the way so it's not just us. We are not going to be there forever. So if they have a friend that can help them when we are not there, then they can stay strong in the Church even when hard times come. We have a lot of good people in the ward. I am very impressed with our youth because they are very well behaved. They have clean mouths. They play nice in basketball. They are just great kids. Our ward seems to be the most temperate out of all the Samoan wards.

Life is good. Things are going great. I love serving with Elder Thorne. We are able to go out and do a lot of work. (haha) I'm always tired. As soon as I get any kind of down time, I'm taking a nap on my desk or wherever. I am excited about how the work is progressing. I am thankful to be out here serving the people in the Samoan ward. Hopefully I get my Samoan down even better. We are excited about this next week because we are going to be busy, especially with Boi's baptism. That's just his nickname. I hope all is well at home. Things are going better than they have my whole mission.

I just want to bear my testimony that I know this Church is true. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet on the earth. I am thankful for temples. I am thankful for the gospel. I am thankful for all the commandments we have to help us become more like our Heavenly Father. I am thankful for the freedom they give us. I am thankful for the direction the gospel gives to my life, because I'm never wondering what going on, or worried about what's going to happen. Nothing really matters by way of things that happen because I know that our Heavenly Father is there for us. I know that as long as we are keeping the commandments, He will deliver us out of our trials. Whatever that means, I'll leave that up to our Heavenly Father. I know that He will be with us. I am thankful for all the good people in this ward and the wonderful work that they do. I love them so much. I am thankful for you guys back home, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Email: 22 February 2012

Here's my update. I need to get better at writing in my journal and not procrastinating my audio update =). Thankfully though this last week was probably my busiest week yet on my mission. Things are going great. We were able to have some training in our district this last week from President and Sister Beesley. We had interviews after that. I always love those =). I am thankful for the Gospel. I know it is true. I know now more than ever that things maybe hard at times, but the Lord always helps us get through it. Here in Alaska where there aren't too many people and the winters are dark it's easy to get a little discouraged at times. I have to admit there have been times when I've have gotten a little discouraged and been pretty stressed out. Here are some things I've found that help me to get out on top when things get hard.
  1. Start pray fervently, with all your heart
  2. Follow President Uchtdorf's advise to slow down and focus on the basics ex. reading, praying, prioritizing. Just figure out the most important things that need to be done and go from there.
  3. SMILE!!! haha. It actually works, and laugh too.
  4. As you can, surround yourself with good examples, and when your alone, the savior has promised to be there for you and you have good example in the scriptures.
  5. DON'T GIVE UP! The Lord doesn't ever give us anything we can't handle without his help. If you remember, when the Lord wants to humble his people, he sends them into the wilderness.
I am thankful for the opportunities I've had to grow. It makes me smile to see how fast things are moving for Lorielle. I remember how crazy busy I was in the MTC. =) I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know our Savior lives and loves us. I know he is mighty to save. I know that often the Lord answers our prayers through other people, and that may be why it is so important to serve others. What a blessing it is to live on the earth at this time where the Lord is blessing us so abundantly. We have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today and it blesses my life and fills me with peace and comfort, so it doesn't matter what happens because through the savior I can feel peace in any trail. Thanks for all the support. Have a good week. I can't wait for the amazing Alaskan summers. =)

Love, Elder Record

Transcription: 22 February 2012

Hello, this is Elder Record and today is the 22nd, Wednesday. We were too busy yesterday to do any email, so I didn't email – so that's why (haha). It was a holiday on Monday, so we didn't get to them. This last week was a blessing. It was a blessed week. Me and Elder Thorne are having so much fun. We are being able to do a lot of work, and we are able to see a lot of people and help a lot of people. It's so much fun to see people progress.

There is this one guy who is about seventeen, and he is just the humblest guy I've ever met. He is easily accepting all the changes that we commit him to make. He loves the gospel, and he's so excited to read (haha). Sister Tuiloma is the Relief Society President, and she is helping him out a lot. She will call him, and ask him if he has read, and she will get him to read a little bit more, too. She is just keeping him on track (haha), so things are great. He's a great guy.

We have this other guy too, who we are helping out, and he's progressing well. Just a lot of work is being done – just this last week has been the busiest week of my mission. We got to do a lot of service, and have a lot of fun stuff going on.

There is a Samoan who is deaf that I end up getting to teach. I get to switch with Elder Wereg, who is another elder in the Spanish district, but he knows ASL. So, we were able to go in and teach. He is progressing well. He is a very humble guy. Hopefully we can continue to help him.

Things are going great. All is well. I'm eating plenty of food (haha). I'm staying fairly healthy. I'm getting exercise, so all is well. I'll talk to you all next week.

Love, Elder Record

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Questions: 13 February 2012

Elder Adam Thorne and Elder Record

Mom: Do you need anymore vitamins?
Nope I'm good.

Dad: Where is Elder Thorne from?
Spokane Washington (same place that our ancestor Joachim Langnese got his naturalization). He is the man.  We are very similar and love to work hard.  He likes to exercise too =).

Dad: What service projects have you worked on lately?
We helped with the iditarod dog sled race

Dad: What are you doing with family history right now?
Helping the elders in my district get started and see how things work

A bit cold that day
Dad: What challenging doctrinal question have you heard and how was it resolved?
I haven't had any challenging ones yet. I guess I just look to the scriptures. People's concerns are usually social. The doctrine just makes sense.

Transcription: 13 February 2012

Good morning, this is Monday the 13th of February, and this is my update. This week was probably my favorite week so far. Just because, I probably taught more people this week with Elder Throne … well I've almost taught more people this week than I ever have before. It feels good to just get out and share the gospel with a lot of people. What is really neat too is that a lot of less active people we've been visiting, they are starting to get their testimonies back, they are starting to come to Church more, starting to do better and become happier (haha); it's so cool to see. We have another guy we are visiting with. He seems pretty cool, and he's hopefully going to be baptized soon. We have him on date to be baptized. He's excited about it (haha). The members he's staying with or that he visits a lot, I don't know if he is actually staying there or not, but the members came up to us on Sunday.

Member: “We heard that he is getting baptized in March!” (haha)
Elders: “Yeah, yeah he is.”
She hinted to us: “You know, Daniel can baptize him.”
And then she quickly covered up and said, “Oh no, but you guys worked hard, you can baptize him.” (haha)
Elders: “No, no, we want Daniel to be able to baptize him” (because Daniel is his friend)

Things are going great! It feels so good to help people. I kind of want to stay in this area, just … forever; just because how well we are teaching and how many people are progressing and the potential that is here, and all the work we can do.

Some other things we did this week. We helped out with the Iditarod. We were helping to bag and stack and wrap bails of hay onto palates. Those will be shipped out to different check points in Alaska for the Iditarod race. That was on Thursday. This coming Thursday we are going to help out with the Iditarod again, but we are going to help out with food and stuff. So, that will be fun. They gave us a little hat (haha) that's got Iditarod 2012 on it. We have had a great week, and things are going good. I am very happy. We are visiting a lot of people and getting to know everybody. We are able to work really well with the ward now, and things are just going great. Little miracles are happening everywhere (haha)! I am so thankful to be a missionary. It's so much fun, and it feels so good.

I know the gospel's true, and I am thankful for all the things I'm learning in the scriptures. I am having such and easy time with my language study right now. As I read in the books and stuff, I am starting to really comprehend. As I listen to people, I'm starting to understand sentences. So, I'm pretty sure if I have a little bit of time here, now that I kind of gotten really into studying, I'll have an easier time.

That's what has been going on this week. I'm excited for next week.

Happy Birthday, Annie! Today is your birthday – the 13th. (haha) You're seventeen! That's really weird. I can't really comprehend that right now (haha). Good luck with driving and dating and everything. Be safe. Everybody take care, and I'll talk to you next week.

Love, Elder Record

Monday, February 6, 2012

Transcription: 6 February 2012

Good morning everybody, this is Elder Record and today is February 6th, and it's P-day. I'm pretty excited about that.

This week was AWESOME!!! I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!!! I LOVE THE SAMOAN PEOPLE!!! I LOVE THE SAMOAN LANGUAGE!!! I LOVE THE SAMOAN FOOD!!! I love everything about life and the great plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father has laid out for us. I'm grateful for His tender mercies and for the opportunity I have to make a difference in peoples lives.

It has probably been one of my favorite weeks so far, just because I have an awesome companion and we are doing a lot of good work. This last week we had a day where we got snowed in, so we had to stay and were not able to do any work. It was also transfers, so we weren't able to do anything for the first couple of days.

On Wednesday I took Elder Thorne out to meet with the bishop and a couple of the active members in the ward to kind of introduce him. So really we kind of started on Thursday, but we had an awesome week. We taught a lot of lessons, and we set up a ton of stuff for next week. We have like four investigators who are planning on putting on date for baptism, and they are just progressing awesome. We are excited to be teaching more people in this coming week. Yeah, it's been very exciting (haha). We have been able to do a lot. I am pretty sure every mission has what they call standards of excellence. It's just goals for the whole mission to help the missionaries be able to work toward something, so they can make sure they are working their hardest. With our standards of excellence, there are a certain number of lessons that we should be able to be teaching a week. Pretty soon, hopefully, we will be able to get to that. So I'm pretty excited. We are starting to use a lot of the members; a lot of the youth too, in taking them out with us. So we are excited about that. We might be getting a treadmill (haha) from one of the members who isn't using it. Yeah, we are just meeting a lot of people and getting a lot of potential.

In my studies this week, I was reading in Alma chapter 43 verse 19. It is kind of talking about how Moroni had prepared the people with breastplates, arm shields, shields to defend their heads, thick clothing, and all these things to kind of prepare them individually. Later in the story after they go through the whole ordeal with Zerahemna and surrounding them in the valley, they go back and Moroni prepares the people kind of as groups and cities. He fortifies the cities. So I just kind of took that and applied it to families. In the gospel we need to prepare ourselves individually and work from the inside out. It is most important for us to be prepared individually with armor, you know for the temptations and the hard things that are out there in the world. Then we can prepare and fortify our families so that we have a place of refuge from the storm there. I think it's kind of neat how Moroni goes through the same thing. It says while he's fortifying the cities, in chapter 48 or something, he is also preparing them spiritually. So to be able to not only physically meet the demands of the war and the battles that are going on, but also to spiritually meet them.

So, I'm thankful for my family, and the strength all of you have provided for me. It has made things definitely a lot easier. I'm thankful for the gospel. I'm thankful that when we go and teach people, that it's so easy because it's something that I care about and something that has blessed my life. It's very easy to share that with somebody. It makes it so much fun because a lot of times they have a lot of questions, but the gospel has a lot of answers (haha); so there's never a question that can't be answered. I love that about the gospel. People find a lot of comfort in that, and they are able to go and seek an answer from their Heavenly Father for themselves and know that it is true. We just invite them to make that choice to look for the answer. It's not really up to us (haha), we just provide the people with the opportunity. I am thankful to be serving in this area with Elder Thorne. I'm starting to get a hang of Samoan more. I'm starting to learn more about the structure of everything. I am starting to be able to understand a lot of what's going on. I am excited for this next week! It will be fun!

In the Spanish district that we have, things are going pretty good. It's fun. We had district meeting in Spanish, and I recorded some of it. We went and played some games with them when we were snowed in. I think we are going to start going on exchanges. Elder Thorne will go with people into the Spanish Branch, and I will bring somebody in here and we will work here. It's been pretty fun to associate with everybody speaking Spanish (haha).

Everybody, have a good week. Make sure you all go to Church (haha), and read your scriptures and pray. I love you so much, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

See you later.

Love, Elder Record