Monday, December 31, 2012

Baptism and Family History

Our transfer meeting will be on Wednesday at 1pm by the way, just in case you wanted to watch.  Elder Beirne is training and Elder Conlin is in the middle of training someone =) I'm glad their doing well.  I'm going to try to get a picture of all of us.  Elders Wright, Beirne, and Conlin with Elder nelson, and Elder Beirne's trainee.
Christmas video conference call. Aunt Laura Shockley, Elder Record, Grandma and Grandpa Record, and Record family (Eric, Sheri, Jason, Annelise, Chris)

This week was really awesome because [Name withheld], who we had been teaching before; she's the person who was referred to us by the members. We started teaching her in the member's house who is a family friend, the first couple of lessons and invited her to be baptized. We then let the YSA elders continue teaching her, because it would be better for her to be in the YSA ward because she is that age. It will be a whole lot easier to participate in that kind of a setting. Anyway, she got baptized on Wednesday. It was pretty cool. I was pretty happy. It felt good to know that I had made a difference. She was confirmed a member of the Church on Sunday. I am excited to see how this story continues.

Today is New Year's Eve and we have to be in by 7:30 because people like to party, unfortunately. The roads are not that safe. It's probably good because we got a Chinook wind that is making it like 40 to 50 degrees for like three days, and it's insane. I am burning up. I can't stand to wear more than my suit. Yeah, it's really warm, and it's really sunny too. The problem with that is since everything is melting, and a lot of the roads have water on them, when it gets cold, it will be icy. So, hopefully the roads will kind of clear off and get dry by the time it gets cold. Unless it snows again, which they say is supposed to soon, we would be good to go.

We had transfer calls on Saturday. I am going to be staying and Elder Higley is going to be staying, but unfortunately Elder Leota is leaving for the Turnagain ward, which is the ward immediately North of ours.

We are helping this less active lady out with family history, and it's obliterating apathy. They are getting excited and motivated to act and do things and to come to Church and to find their ancestors. They are preparing to go to the temple, and life it good. We are making a difference there, and it looks like there is going to be a lot of family history done soon. So, that will be fun.

I hope you all have a good week. I love you all.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Before Christmas Call Update

Meeerry Christmas! I'll say that again on Christmas. So the reason why I'm doing this on Saturday is because on Monday, Christmas Eve, the library will be closed.

This week was a good week. We had one thing that was kind of fun; the training on family history. We did that at 10:30, ate lunch, then drove up to Wasilla. We did the training again in Wasilla from 2:00 to 3:30pm; then we stayed there and helped people print off their pedigree charts while Elder Leota did some language study with one of the Samoan elders. It was fun. Then we went to dinner with President Beesley.

We have been helping this family with their family history, and they are getting really excited. They want to come to church so they can go to the family history center. It's exciting to see them progress. She said the thing that was unique about helping her get motivated was that family history was something new. The missionaries have gone to her house for like five years. She would hear the same things taught. Granted, the gospel is simple and not complex. That being said, she had also been taught the same principles over and over again. She liked it because it was something new that she could do that would help her. That has been kind of the highlight of the week.

We have been sharing Christmas messages with everybody. We had dinner with a Samoan family, and Elder Leota really liked that. He was able to speak his language and eat some normal food (haha). He really likes rice. He always loves it when people cook rice (haha).

Normally I have had lessons with people mostly in their houses or at someone else's house. However, we had a lesson this week at a Barnes and Noble. So we sat down at a table and taught someone about the Book of Mormon.

I thought is was interesting that I will be with Elder Leota for both his Christmases and both mine. I get to help him with his calling card again to call home and talk with his family. It turns out that he will have to call on Monday because, ever since they switched the time in Samoa, when it's Monday here, it's Tuesday there. So, he is going to call them on Christmas, which will be Christmas eve here. It didn't used to be that way. Which is kind of funny because Samoa and Western Samoa are like an hour apart, but they are different days – one's Monday and one's Tuesday. So it's kind of bizarre. But... whatever floats their boat.

The end of the world came, and... then it didn't. So that was exciting (haha). We went to couple of houses where they were celebrating the solstice (haha). I really didn't have anybody really freak out about it. I thought it would be bigger, but it wasn't. It was just a normal day, and to people it was just a normal day. So I wonder what it will be like when the second coming really does happen. It will probably be much the same way. It will be like all of the sudden, people will be like, “oh, dang!” If you are living righteously, you will be prepared, and you see it coming. But if not, you are not prepared.

I have been studying family history a lot. Studying is fun. Being a missionary is fun. I know the Church is true.

Elder Record: Elder Davis, what do you thing?
Elder Davis: The Church is true.
Elder Record: Yes! Elder Davis thinks the Church is true. No, he knows it's true, and the book is blue.

We are on exchanges today. Elder Davis is one of the district leaders.

Oh, it's very cold, but it's sunny so I'm happy. It's two degrees. It was negative eleven before. It was so cold. I was dieing.

We went to go play basketball in the morning. I looked like I was from Hogwarts, because I had my church shoes on (haha), and my gym clothes, and my pajama pants, and then my coat that goes over my suit coat, with a scarf on (hahaha), and my gloves – my mittens. That was kind of funny. I should have taken a picture.

Anyway, I will talk to you all shortly. Bye.

Love, Elder Record

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Golden Corral, Awww!

Elder Record at Golden Corral
We got an email from a member taking care of the missionaries in Alaska. We really appreciate Brother [Name withheld] for taking and sending us this picture. He said, "Enjoyed a nice lunch with the elders but chuckled at the combination of foods for his final plate at Golden Corral. He's doing great!"

Sending a Letter by Mail

Elder Record is sending his letter by mail this week. What!? You mean we have to wait for a real letter? I guess we have been spoiled getting weekly audio letters and an occasional email. We look forward to talking with Elder Record through Skype on Christmas. We will also talk with Sister Lorielle Record. We are not sure if we get a video call with Sister Record yet. It may only be a telephone call, but we look forward to hearing from both of them on Tuesday -- that is if the world is still here. :D If the world is not here, we will chat with both of them in Heaven. Regardless, Heaven or Earth, we will talk with both of our missionaries, and it will be a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1125% Increase in Missionaries

Have you noticed any difference in your missionary work during or as a result of the recent presidential election? Did the fact that Mitt Romney is a member of the Church affect your missionary labors or questions about the Church? Has it been good, bad, or indifferent in your respective missions?
Not really. The thing that has changed missionary work the most is the church changing the members attitudes about missionary work. Elder Christensen came and talked to us (Alaska) about how, to use a construction analogy, the concrete trucks are coming. I'll see if I can send the audio to you. He said that with the 1125% increase in missionaries over 3 weeks members will have to get going in order to fit the demand of missionaries coming in. Elder Holland said that the lord has set aside all the resources necessary for them. Elder Christensen explained that the missionaries job is to teach, the members job is to find. Both compliment each other as the offense does the defense in a football team, and both are interconnected and aid each other in their tasks. He told ward councils to stop talking about reports from different auxiliaries, but to talk about the needs of the ward, and to develop a dynamic ward mission plan that changes at least every month like a football team changes plays. People need the gospel in their lives. Nothing will make them happier. So he said to stop judging who is ready to hear the gospel and share it with everyone. He said the most important thing you can do would be to listen to your friends, and then answer them. Find out who your friend really is and see how you can help because you care about them. If they choose not to learn more they still know you are just sharing the thing that makes you the most happy and has made the biggest difference in your life. Who could be offended at that. This is eternal happiness we are talking about, and how could we not share the love of Christ with our neighbors and friends. Didn't Christ say to love God above all else then to love your neighbor as yourself. I know that this church is true and I'm thankful for all I am learning. I'm thankful for the man I am becoming and I couldn't think of a better way to use my time.

What was the hardest thing you faced this week?
The hardest thing I experienced this week was letting the elders in the YSA(young single adult) ward teach our investigator. That's where she will grow the most and the fastest, so its a good thing. I just loved teaching her because she was so receptive and willing to act and find out for herself. You could see a love of God in her eyes and that she "hungered and thirsted after righteousness". The spirit is always there so strong when we teach her and it feels so good to testify of the truthfulness of this gospel and Jesus Christ who's gospel it is.

What was the most joyous experience you had this week?
The most joyous thing I experienced was teaching a less active family in our ward. We taught them about the plan of salvation, answered their questions, and the atonement of Jesus Christ. I can't explain how happy I was when I read Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-20 as they caught a glimpse of the magnitude and depth of the atonement of Jesus Christ and wondered "how is it done?"(Enos 1:7) I was filled with joy as I saw a light turn on, and they felt the spirit witness of God's love for us. I know he does love us. Christ was born and died that we might live if we will only follow him. He has set the way. He is there to help us, and I know that he wants all of us to return to live with him. I know we will find the most joy as we help others to feel of his love. I testify that there are not many other ways to learn of Him faster and more fully than bringing souls closer to Him. Serve others, listen to them, let them see the joy of the gospel in your life as you selflessly give to others. This is the spirit of Christmas, or the spirit of Christ.

What was the funniest thing you saw or felt this week?
Sorry =) You can tell I've been thinking a lot lately. I feel so good. I can't really think of anything funny at the moment. Maybe I'll think of something later.

Is there anything special you want from home?
Something from home... Maybe my Book of Mormon Student manual if you can find it. I can't really think of anything I would need. We do need to set up Skype though. What time frame would be best for you guys. Let me know and I'll schedule something around that.

Love, Elder Record

A Zone Meeting

This week we are in a trio. This was a really good week. We were really busy getting ready for Elder Leota. We had a couple of really good meetings and one where Elder Christensen, the area seventy, spoke with us. That was a really good meeting. The Spirit was there really strong.

There is a family we are teaching the Atonement and Plan of Salvation. We had a zone meeting this week. The Spirit was there pretty strong. We were able to testify that attitude can make all the difference (haha). I talked about the sons of Mosiah and what made them great, and how they received their mighty change of heart. We cannot convert others above our own conversion. I also read Alma 17:9 and the part of that verse I talked about was where it says they received a portion of the Spirit. Then I asked the question, “how big is our portion?” If we ourselves grow our own testimonies so that we can receive that bigger portion of the Spirit, then we have more to offer the people. We are able to teach with more power to others. Like Nephi in the Book of Mormon, it's easier for people to see that it is true and that it's good. They know because they see the love of Christ in our eyes. I read Alma 5:14 and 26 and asked the question, “can you feel so now?” We all have been converted. The trick is to remember that conversion, and that is what helps it continue to grow. As we continually remember the joy we felt at our conversion, then we are able to share that with others and testify in such a way that they know that it's true. The Spirit can testify to them. We setup a zone scripture and it's Proverbs 16:3 and then half of Proverbs 23:7; that first phrase. We kind of talked about thoughts and how we look to the Lord and commit ourselves to the Lord, he can direct our thoughts. Elder Quintin L. Cook gave a talk “Can Ye Feel So Now?” in this last conference. He talked about challenges that lessen our commitment. I talked about the first one being unkindness. The other challenge was impure thoughts that can keep us from fully committed. The more we turn our hearts over to the Lord, the more we become committed; because He directs our thoughts. With those thoughts, we become that person that God would want us to be.

That's kind of the highlights of the week. We've been working hard, thinking about Christmas; sharing the Christmas message with lots of people. It's fun to be out hear and learn from all these wonderful people – and to listen.

I'm excited for next week. See you next week.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No Update This Week

Elder Record must be busy. He just answered a couple of family logistic questions this week with no real update. I will post one if he sends it. However, Sister Record has a beautiful update on her blog I posted yesterday.