Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back in Fairbanks

Hello everybody. I didn't have P-day on Monday because we drove down to Anchorage for the transfer meeting. You probably saw the transfer meeting, but I'm training again. I have an awesome companion, Elder Beirne. Say hello Elder Beirne. “Hello, Elder Beirne.” Thank you, Elder Beirne. Elder Beirne is awesome. He used to play football for the University of Arizona and was a quarterback. He finished his undergrad and is a year into getting his MBA. He is very smart, very talented, and a very good missionary. We will have a good time together and hit the ground running. He has a strong testimony of the atonement and has a very strong desire to serve and help others.

Elder Beirne and Elder Record
This week is kind of sad to see Elder Conlin leave. He was a good missionary, but he is going to have fun. He is going down to Kodiak. He is going to be with Elder Durfee. Elder Durfee used to be the Zone Leader for the Anchorage Zone. He's a very musically talented missionary, so him and Elder Conlin will get along great. They will probably write a bunch of songs, and have a lot of fun and baptize all of Kodiak.We had a pretty nice week. We finished strong our last week. We probably did more work than we have in total being together for one week.

Let's see. Who is somebody that we saw this last week? We had a good lesson with one of our investigators. She's Athabaskan, and she's a really nice lady. She is very humble. She is a good parent. She has a good heart. She has actually helped a few homeless kids, and takes them in, and helps them to get their life together, and then she sends them off. She is kind of excited about the Book of Mormon, and is going to start reading it – her mother too. She has a lot of good friends who are members of the church who have really influenced her and helped her out. So we are excited to begin working with her. I really like talking with people who are happy (haha). She is just one of the those happy people who always enjoys our company. It's fun to be able to teach her because she's open to listening to us and for trying things out, because she knows we care about her. We had a member with us at the last lesson, who is Inupiat. That's an Eskimo basically. Her family is from Barrow, and they got along really well. They could relate quite a bit, it was actually kind of weird how well they related (haha). It was a good match, and that will help. She knows a lot of people in the ward which is kind of neat. I found that out during Ward Council.

A fun experience coming up is our Zone Conference. We are going to do a little trek thing; that should be fun. I'll tell you about that after it happens.

The drive down to Anchorage was fun. It's weird, the more I drive forever, the more it seems I get used to it. Except last time (haha) on the way up, it wasn't very fun because my legs started to fall asleep. I liked going back to the bigger city for a visit. Now I'm enjoying Fairbanks again.

So, I can't think of anything else. Oh! It's almost fall. Well, it kind of already is fall. A lot of the leaves are turning yellow, so it should get cold soon. So that will be fun. When and if I need warmer clothes, I'll figure it out. Anyway, have fun at home. I hope all is well and everybody is doing great. I'm glad to hear about Lorielle and all the cool stuff she is doing in Oklahoma. Talk to you all next week.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Elder Record is involved in transfers this week. There are nine new missionaries in the Alaska Anchorage Mission. He drove from Fairbanks to Anchorage to help in the logistics of the transfers. I expect to hear from him in the next day or two after things settle down.

I got to watch their transfer meeting and see Elder Record via a live video stream. It was great. The video stream allows the other missionaries in the mission who cannot drive to Anchorage to see the new missionaries and participate in the meeting. They showed a short video of the new missionaries each getting assigned to their trainers. Elder Beirne from Honolulu, Hawaii has been assigned to Elder Record to be trained. Elder Beirne is a half head taller than Elder Record. So when President Beesley called Elder Record as Elder Beirne's trainer, it was fun to watch Elder Record come up to this big Hawaiian Elder and give him a big enthusiastic hug. They also brought each new training companionship up in front of the cameras at the transfer meeting to introduce them to the mission. Let's pray for Elder Beirne that he will adjust quickly to the highs of 55 and lows of 39 degrees in Fairbanks. He is going to Fairbanks 3rd Ward to serve. Good luck, Elders! Unfortunately I did not hear where Elder Conlin was going to be assigned. They seemed to focus on the nine new Elders.

Transfer meeting streamed live

Elder Beirne and Elder Record introduced to the mission.

Elder Beirne on his first day in the mission field.

Elder Beirne and Elder Record

Monday, August 20, 2012

Transcription: 20 August 2012

Good morning! Last Monday we got to go on a hike. We went down University Avenue, and there is this little pond, lake thing that's off to the left of the road if I'm heading South. There is this parking lot right next to the lake. We started on a trail and hiked around, and then came back. That is what we did for our fun thing for P-day. But, the cool part was that we found raspberries on the trail! There are raspberries everywhere here. There is this one family we go to; they have like a hybrid raspberry bush. It's a huge bush, and it has huge raspberries, and they got tons of them. We went there one time and picked a bunch of their berries (haha). It was fun to find some berries on the trail.

Elder Conlin, Elder Lawson and Elder Record at the Alaska Pipeline off the Steese highway.

When we were tracting the other day; knocking on some houses on Wilderness Drive, and we found a raspberry bush at the intersection where it splits off and goes into the loop. That's pretty good. I really like raspberries. I probably want to grow them when I get back. We got a chance to go on exchanges with Elder Lawson, who is one of the assistants to the president. We had a really good time and it worked out well. That was the day we found the raspberry bush tracting.

We found a new investigator. She is an atheist, her ideas, when she explains herself, are pretty close in line with the gospel's. So we'll see if we can't help her to establish that belief in God, because there are too many times things have happened for any of us missionaries to not have seen that God is there and that God loves us and watches out for us. Just from all the miracles that we see going on, and how God's in the details. He knows exactly who his children are, where they are, what's going on and when the time is right for them to hear about the gospel.

We had a good lesson with this other guy. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and he's pretty open and receptive. He listens well and thinks about things. Sometimes he will be like, “well, I'm not sure about your beliefs, but my belief is this” and then he says something or makes a comment, then we are like, “oh yeah, that's true, that's what it is.” He has really good questions. He thinks about it deeply. He has already prayed about the Bible to know if it is true, and has gotten an answer that it is. He said that if he can do it with that, he knows he can do it with the Book of Mormon. So that is what he is going to do. He's pretty cool. He's going to go to college soon at the UAF and study to become a neurosurgeon. He's pretty smart guy.

We helped out [Name withheld] with her Danish family history. I’m not going lie, that’s just about my favorite thing to do is Danish Genealogy. We watched 17 Miracles today. It was really neat to see the story of one of my ancestors in there. It’s the story where the mother has no food for her family and prays for help. She then remembers two hard sea biscuits she had stored away in her luggage. She found that they were too hard to break so she poured some water over them in a large pot and put it over the fire. She then prayed with her family for the Lord to provide for them as he had with the loaves and fishes to feed the 5,000. She opened the pot and it was full. From that they had enough food to keep them going. Her name was Ann Jewel Rowley and in the movie it introduces them as the Rowley family. I felt the spirit witness that the Lord is mindful of us and will provide for us. I know that as I diligently strive to serve my best out here on my mission, the Lord will provide for me and guide me to where I need to be and to what I need to do. I hope to be known as a hard working and a humble person. I hope that when people remember me they will remember that I was like that. I’m thankful for my ancestors and their strength in pushing through those struggles. I also thank the Lord for providing for them because I wouldn’t be where I am today if he hadn’t. I’m thankful for the gospel and how light it makes my burdens to bear. I’ve seen him answer my prayers and strengthen me when I need his help.

We bucked hay with one of the members. That's kind of some things with did last week. We have been kind of going around, and transfers are coming up. So we are just getting everything ready, working hard, and trying to finish strong. It's fun to be a missionary (haha) and help people make changes, live better lives, and be happier. It's very fulfilling, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm learning a lot for when I get back home. I feel like I'm so much more capable. I know the Church is true, and I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Transcription: 13 August 2012

Today is the 13 of August and I am actually writing in my journal. So you guys will get a little bit more than usual (haha).

Oh, there is one thing by the way that I thought was really cool that our mission president said. He said that luck = preparation + opportunity. He said that the Lord takes care of the opportunity; our part is kind of the preparation. That's one thing I've found to be true. As we go about doing missionary work, if we are just doing our best trying to help people and prepare and get ready; by studying and being obedient and things like that; then the Lord provides a lot of opportunities because we are prepared to take care of his children.

There is a cool guy who is less active who we were helping. We went to go knock on his door, but he wasn't there. So, Elder Conlin left his scriptures on – there is this little rock that jetted out on the side of his house next to the door – and he set his scriptures kind of jokingly on the little rock ledge. We were joking that he would leave them there as we were writing a sticky note to put on his door saying that we had stopped by. So we were joking that he would leave them, and like two seconds later we left and he left them (haha). But, it ended up working because when the guy came back, he grabbed the scriptures and note and started reading through the scriptures a little bit and started reading all the things Elder Conlin had marked. It brought back a lot of memories of the church to him, and now he wants to learn more. We will talk about the Plan of Salvation when we go back. There is a member of the ward who he is friends with, who is actually the Stake Patriarch too. He really wants him to come to the lessons and support him, and the less active member wants the Stake Patriarch to come to the lessons too. That was kind of a little miracle that happened, kind of going along with that luck = preparation + opportunity. We kind of make our own luck as we work hard and do our best, things happen. If you just sit there, nothing is going to happen.

We are helping about four or five people with the Word of Wisdom. Some people it's drinking, some people it's smoking, some people it's all of the above. It's kind of neat to see how much they want to change and do good and get that help in their life. Yeah, we just have some really cool people we are working with who seek the gospel for what it is and help it can help them. It's just nice to be able to teach them and help explain these things that will help them be more happy, and how their families can be together forever.

We have been doing really good in trying to find some new people to teach, some new investigators. The Lord has helped us find a few people.

We ran into this other less active lady who still has a really strong testimony. It is nice to talk with her and bear our testimonies as well. She is just a little afraid, since they have to leave soon, that they are going to get too attached to ward and have to leave it. She is a little hesitant because her husband isn't a member. It's kind of hard for her to go to church and be an example. But, it was nice to talk with her.

One thing I have been praying for lately is the desire for the salvation of souls; kind of like it quoted from Preach My Gospel. You know, I'm out here because I care about the work and I love my Heavenly Father; I want to help people. But, it's kind of hard to personally connect with people, and like seriously desire their salvation. I mean sure I care about them, but it's hard to like genuinely really have that earnest desire for their salvation, like people in the scriptures. So that's one thing I've been praying for, and the Lord's been giving it to me. It's really neat to see how as I pray hard and do my best, the Lord is slowly changing my heart like I'm asking. I'm starting to really care about people. It makes all the difference when we are teaching people because I really want to help them. I think it helps for the Spirit to tell me what I need to say that will best help them because I'm always thinking about them and trying to see how I can help. It's neat to do that because I feel like that is how the Savior would be. He was going about helping people and doing his best.

It's really fun being on a mission, and I'm learning a lot (haha); definitely about life. I get excited when I think about how much life I have left and the good things I can do; all the things I can learn. It reminds me of the gospel and how there is eternal progression and if we keep doing our best and keep working hard, there are so many more doors that open up to us in the eternities. It's just (haha), neat to be seeing every day how the gospel applies in people's lives, and how Heavenly Father loves everyone. He trying to help everyone. It is so fun to tell people that, because it's true.

I love Elder Conlin. He's a good missionary. He's always trying to do his best. He's a really good listener. He's always trying to listen to the Spirit. He's been teaching me a lot.

That has kind of been my thoughts for the week. In the Book of Mormon, I read about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and the people of Ammon, and now I'm starting to get into Captain Moroni, and his title of liberty that he raised, and how he fought to keep the liberties of his people. I just like how if you look in Alma 46:9, I think it says, “thus we see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.” He's talking about the bad guy, Amalickiah obviously who deserts from the Nephites and goes to the enemies' side and ends up becoming the king through deceit. He is a big instigator of this big 14 year long war that happens. But on the opposite hand you have Moroni, so if you kind of switch those words around it says, “thus we see the great righteousness one very righteous man can cause to take place among the children of men.” Moroni was that kind of a person. Mormon even said that if all men would have been liken unto Moroni, the very powers of hell would be shaken forever” (see Alma 48:17). I like that because it shows the example we have and that we all have influence, and we get to choose whether we want that to be a good influence or bad influence. It's interesting to note too that during this long 14 year war where this isn't something that was happening in a far away land, this was happening on your doorstep. You know, your neighbors houses are getting ransacked and everything because these battles are fought in the cities, and they are taking over cities at a time, and so this is a very real, very vicious war that is going on. But in the midst of all this, there is a verse that I find interesting where is says basically that there was no happier time among the Nephites than at that time when Moroni was leading the armies. It is interesting to note how he was preparing them and presenting that good influence, and how much of an effect that had. You know, people think, “you know I'm just a small person, you know I don't have that much influence.” But, we really do. We have a great influence. Like I said, it can be an influence for good or an influence for bad, and we can make a difference; a huge difference. The Lord says in Alma 37:6-7 that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

I know that's true, and I'm thankful for the scriptures and the opportunity to serve the Lord out here on a mission, and help others. I am so thankful for how it's preparing me for my life when I get back. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Transcription: 6 August 2012

This week was probably my favorite week of up here because we had [Name withheld] get baptized. He is awesome. It was a really neat experience. We had one of the members get up and speak about baptism. After that Elder Conlin and I sang “How Firm a Foundation,” hymn number 85. We had some singing in between and then the baptism. He was baptized by his neighbor (haha), which was really neat to see. That was the highlight of the week. We had a table set out with all those Book of Mormons and some pamphlets and a couple of DVDs. In like five minutes after the baptism was over (haha), they were all gone. Everybody had taken them to go and give to their friends. I'm sure a couple of them were taken by the non-members who where there. That was unexpected, and neat thing; because the Spirit was there, and they felt the Spirit of missionary work and wanted to share that with other people.

We had exchanges this week. Being a district leader, I have to exchange with every missionary in the district, besides the sisters, at least once per transfer. It is fun to help strengthen people and help them to just be their best as missionaries. I'm not going to lie though, I still like being in our area the most (haha); because that's where we get to get a lot of work done and help a lot of people.

We are starting to develop a ward mission plan. I actually train on that in district meetings on how to mobilize the ward and develop a ward mission plan, and who to work through. I use a lot of leadership training videos on

We started doing next level goals in district meeting. We will set a goal; it can be about anything; like pushups, or I want to wake up on time, or any kind of next level goal. You go throughout the week doing your best at that next level goal, then you come the next week and report on how your goal went, and then you set a new goal. I hope that will help everybody have a desire to do their best.

We have been meeting with this awesome family. We helped split wood for them. The dad is now reading the Book of Mormon. He actually has the same name and middle name as you dad (haha). He started reading the Book of Mormon. The whole family is kind of looking into the church a little bit. The daughter probably more so than the rest of them. She is really into reading the Book of Mormon and really curious. We are really excited to see where things go from there. We love being over there (haha), they're really good.

We also met this one guy who in two weeks read half of the Book of Mormon, so we hope to go see him again.

We got to do service at the food bank too. We got to package boxes and help out other people. We worked so quickly and efficiently that finished an hour early. We were only there for like two or three hours.

We had several people at church, which was really good. We are doing a lot better at that; at helping people come to church. It's really good, because that's where a lot of blessings come from.

We had some really neat experiences with some other investigators who are preparing for baptism.

The fair is going on right now in Fairbanks, so we may stop by there today. We'll see. I'll have to take a couple of pictures and send them home. I going to probably send home my SD card.

I just want to bear my testimony that I do know this is the Lord's work, because we're guided every day as to where we need to be. I am thankful for how much I'm growing as a person. It's really, really satisfying to be helping other people progress towards exaltation; towards eternal life with our Heavenly Father, and helping out as many people as we can. It feels really good when you are able to see a lot of people and get a lot done (haha). So I really enjoy it. We've been super busy the time we've been here, and I really like this ward. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that what we teach is the way we can gain access to the atonement; and that's through faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, and receiving those other ordinances in the temple. If I didn't know that, I wouldn't be here, because it would be a complete waste of time if it wasn't true. I mean it would be nice and everything, helping people out, and helping them become better people, but I could do that in Utah. I wouldn't be spending $10,000 to be out here just doing good and helping people; I'd do that in Utah. But, I'm out here because I know these ordinances are necessary for their salvation. I'm learning more and more to desire others' salvation. It really is a neat thing we get to do. For anybody who is considering going on a mission, I highly recommend it (haha). It's very fulfilling, and you get a lot done. You learn a lot for life ahead. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Record