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