Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baptism and an Irish Convert

This week, [Name withheld] was baptized on Saturday the 23rd. That was pretty fun because I got to baptize her. I enjoyed doing that. That is actually the first time on my mission that I have in person done it. It went really good. President Beesley was there, and there was a lot of support from the members. It went really well and the Spirit was there. On Sunday she was confirmed.
Elder Terry, [Name withheld] and Elder Record

We had dinner with this guy who's from Ireland. He grew up in Ireland and lived in London. He told us about his conversion story. He was living in England with his former wife, and the missionaries knocked on the door, and she slammed the door shut! She slammed it so hard that he wondered who it was. So he asked his wife, “who was it?” She responded, “you don't want to know.” He really did want to know, but she wouldn't tell him. So he walked outside to find the people, because she had shut the door so rudely. So he went and talked to them. He had just been reading about the Mormons and really wanted to talk with them. So, he grabs the missionaries, brings them back into his house, into a room and starts talking to them. He asked them a bunch of questions, and he started investigating the Church. The only problem was, his wife was outside. The way he put it, she was in a furor, and he said that would be putting it calmly (haha). So the Spirit wasn't there, obviously. So they were able to meet in other places, and was able to learn from the missionaries. He felt it was true, so he joined. He ended up having to travel about a hundred miles away to get baptized (haha), which was kind of funny.

Right now we are at the mission office. We are email and doing the mail. That is fun, just kind of hanging out. Relaxing on P-day. We have to do a bunch of administrative stuff because we are the zone leaders. So this week has been busy in that regard too.

Oh, Mom! I got the card from you. That was awesome! That made me happy. I smiled. Thank you very much.

We met this guy in Church who is from Spanish Fork. He was up here, and his flight didn't leave, so he was there and said he was going to call you guys and say “hi” for me (haha). We'll see. That was pretty exciting. [NOTE: Brother Ray Lambert indeed called to say hi on Monday, 25 Feb. I had just listened to Elder Record's update when he called. He reports they are healthy and doing great.]

Anchorage Zone, 20 Feb 2013. Elder Record and Elder Terry are the zone leaders.
The sound wasn't working in Church. We were in the middle of sacrament. Everybody had to talk loud at the pulpit, and so it was kind of hard to hear for some people. Then, out of the blue, some like commercial started coming on – I think it was the radio. But anyway, it starting going on the sound system and talking, and everybody burst out laughing. It kind of killed the Spirit (haha). It was in the middle of somebody's testimony. It ended up fine. It was unique. I have never had that happen before in sacrament meeting.

I am kind of tired. I might take a nap today. I'll talk to you all next week. Have a good time. I will find out, maybe today, if I got accepted to BYU Provo. It might have to be next Monday. We'll see. Anyway, bye.

Love, Elder Record

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Investigator

Hello everybody! There is snow on the ground, and it is abnormally cold as far as what it has been lately. It's 10 degrees. It's actually a really warm winter, so I'm happy; but my hands are cold. I should probably wear gloves, but I don't.

We had a really neat experience this last week. We gave a referral to the sisters in the YSA ward. They kept trying to contact them over and over again, but no answer. Finally they went this last week on Thursday and knocked on the door. This guy in the door across the hall felt prompted to go open his door. So he went and opened his door. He met the sisters and welcomed them in. They got to talking briefly and testified of the gospel and gave them a Book of Mormon. The sister missionaries then referred them to us. We went by later that day when he and his wife were there. We were introduced to them, and they told us their story. He has had a near death experience basically, and he knows that Christ lives because of that. He felt like he's back on earth for a reason. He had this happen after being in a coma after having a stroke. The experience stuck out in his mind because he and his wife had not really had many friends or associates that they would talk with very often at all – they really didn't have much communication with anybody. Then all of a sudden the sisters show up, we show up (haha), and it is kind of like an answer to prayer. We went back on Saturday with one of the members of the ward who has also been through a stroke. We didn't even think about it. Actually we were going to bring somebody else to the lesson, but we weren't sure if they were going to make it. Earlier in the day I was thinking, “well, I can't expect the Lord to provide us with a miracle for this person to be able to make it if I don't plan for a backup.” Right when I thought that and was determined to find somebody who could go with us in case the member couldn't, this member that I was talking about sent us a text (haha). He asked us to give him a call. When we called him back, we asked him if he would be able to come with us. He came and they really connected. We testified of the restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon and the truth that can be found there. We invited them to be baptized. They both said yes they would like to be baptized. [Name withheld]'s wife wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it a little more, but she said she would like to be baptized. That has been really exciting, kind of a miracle. This couple also came to Church on Sunday the member that went with us to the lesson. They are sparking up a really good friendship there.

We have a baptism this Saturday for a little girl in a part member family. Her mother is a fairly new member of a couple of years. Her father is finally letting her get baptized. They asked that I do the baptism. I said I would. That will be exciting, I've never done that before.

The other night we were at dinner with this member of the ward who was very cool (haha). He shares a lot of the same interests that I do. He thinks kind of the same way I do. It was fun to talk with them. He resparked my interest in electrical engineering. I don't really know exactly what I want to do when I get back, so everything I've been thinking about has just be on whims. Electrical engineering has always been something I always thought about, and thought would be fun. Learning about that kind of stuff really interests me. It always gets my brain working. I think the fact that I keep coming back to that one... anyway at the moment I think that's what I will do. We'll see what happens when I get back.

I found out that I got accepted into BYU Idaho. I can go there if I want to. I don't find out yet if I got accepted into BYU in Provo until no later than February 28th. We'll see about that. Hopefully I get the chance to go there.

It has been an exciting week. We have zone conference this Wednesday, tomorrow. We have a good presentation prepared and activity as well. Fun stuff, good things happening.

I love the gospel. It definitely makes you happy, and it's fun to help people. I know that's true and say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Oh! Something special I was thinking about. I had a dream about Chris last night. I just wanted to say to Chris, I love you. Keep doing your best. I know the Spirit will be with you as you just try your best. You're awesome! I love you. I can't wait to see you again. I guess the same goes for everybody else, but I just want to particularly say I love you to Chris. Talk to you all next week.

Love, Elder Record

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snow and New Missionaries

Good morning everybody. It is snowing and it's icy – well it's not snowing anymore, but it was, and it's icy and it's cold again. It has been a very different winter from last winter. Last winter was record snowfall. Now it's like snowfall, a mini break up (where all the ice and snow breaks up and melts). We have been having a bunch of those, so it's never a good idea to wash your car (haha) because it just gets dirty. Right now it's really white, but I'm guessing in a couple of weeks we will have another mini break up, and everything will melt. It's bizarre. Bizarre weather just seems to follow me my whole mission. When I was in Whitehorse, it was a rainier summer than they have ever seen in a long time. When I came to Anchorage, it was the snowiest winter they had ever had before. When I went to Fairbanks, it was an earlier winter than it had been in a long time. Fall started and went pretty quick. Finally I came back to Anchorage and there is all this warm winter stuff and mini break ups.

We are driving to the library right now to go email. I'm just enjoying looking at all the snow and trees and stuff.

Today all the new missionaries arrive. There are about fifteen of them, and there are only six leaving. Lots of people are training. In fact, our whole zone this next transfer will be training new missionaries, which is new (haha). Elder Terry and I will be the zone leaders, and the assistants to the presidents are in our zone as well. So, basically everybody except us will be training. There are two sister companionships in the zone, and they are both training. So, I am going to go on a lot of exchanges, and help missionaries and encourage them to do their best and set good goals.

I am excited because Elder Terry is a very good missionary. I really like him and have served around him a little bit. Elder Higley is going to Fairbanks to be one of the frozen chosen (haha). It's cold there. He is going to be in the sixth ward. It will be fun for him. He gets to go up and help some missionaries.

We had a meeting with Elder Christensen again – kind of the same stuff but a little more application to how the members can missionaries and assist in the work. We had a lot of service helping some people move out and in.

We had a two day long zone council leader meeting. It was forever, and me and my hyperness. I was struggling to sit still. What made it worse was they gave us all candy at one point (haha). So, that wasn't good. Anyway, regardless of my lack of focus, I still focused a lot. I was just moving around a lot while I did it (haha). We learned a lot of good things to help us prepare to help the missionaries for the next transfer, and prepare us for zone conference. Our zone conference will be on the 20th. We have our transfer meeting tomorrow at 1:00pm. It will be kind of fun with all these new missionaries coming. There are a couple that are 19 and 18. I think there is one 18 year old elder and a 19 year old sister. I don't know how many more. I just knew there was one of each.

We had a lot of people come to Church. That was exciting. There were a lot of people we were trying to get to come and help come. Some really wanted to, but were just nervous about new people. Some of them had work. The ones that were more nervous didn't come. We will keep encouraging them. There were some that had work keeping them away or were just without rides. We did get them to Church, and that was exciting to see. I think for the members it was like, “oh, we're doing missionary work and people are coming to Church.” Hopefully they will think, “oh, maybe we should do it too.” (haha) However, the ward has been doing really well. It's an awesome ward, and they are really good with missionary work. The ward council is growing and developing in a good way toward thinking about the needs of individuals more than administering programs. That is not the purpose of a ward council. The purpose is to council and help people. Our ward mission leader and the ward missionaries and us as a coordination group are getting more and more focused on inspiring the members of the ward to do missionary work. We are getting a lot of momentum going in the right direction. So I'm excited about that particularly, and we'll see if we can help people even more than before.

There is a less active member of our ward who got a call extended to them to be a Family History Consultant. We have been working with him and been helping him help us with family history. He gets excited about it and is taking it all in. He likes being active in that aspect.

There is a girl I've talked about before who is getting baptized on the 23rd. That will be good for her family. It will really bring the Spirit into their home, especially as they attend the baptism. Some of her family are not members of the Church, and it will be good for them to see what it's really like. I mean there is nothing negative about the Church, it's all positive – helping people become their best. Anybody can see it if they really look closely at how people react... well I guess more sore the teachings of the Church. There is nothing negative there. If people will pay attention they will see it. Occasionally you get members who don't follow the teachings, and people look at that and think, “oh, they do this.” No, some individuals do that, but the teachings of the Church are good and helps people become their best.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that missionary work is fun (haha), and we can all do it. The Lord wants us to do it. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope all of you are having a good time back in Utah. I don't want to leave (haha). Which is good because I have another six months. But, I'm kind of bummed that my mission is cut a week short because of the change in MTC times. Everybody is going home a week short, because it's two weeks instead of three weeks. I love you all, talk to you next week.

Love, Elder Record

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Companion, Elder Terry

Hello everybody. This is Elder Record, and we were very busy, we helped a lot of people, and it was very fun. One thing that was really cool was Sacrament meeting. Everybody was bearing their testimonies. I really felt the Spirit, and I just wanted to jump up... I just felt energized. Everybody's testimonies just strengthened my desire to act and to do things. I think that is what the gospel does to us; it motivates us to act. Faith is a principle of action.

I was studying the word reverence. Reverence is an attitude we need to have in order to more readily receive revelation from Heavenly Father. In church they started talking about the word revere. Just thinking about that definition is more towards love and respect. It comes from a Latin root that means to stand in awe of or to fear.

Oh my goodness, I get so spastic on P-days. I just let out all my extra energy from the week, and all my mental excess energy and the stress and what not. Which is really good, I mean I think I've found out how to utilize exercise as a tool to relieve stress. However, while it's happening, I have like no focus (haha). I sort of do, but like mental focus... nah, it's not there. I have to get to basketball and play.

I hope I never leave Anchorage, because I really love it here. But of course, I will go where ever the Lord wants me to go. I found out that next transfer I will still be a zone leader in South Anchorage Zone. I will be with Elder Terry. I'm really excited because I love Elder Terry, because he is a great missionary – not that all my other companions have not been great missionaries. I really admire him because he, from what I've seen of him, he really has his purpose in focus. He is quick to stand for what he believes in. I really admire a lot of things about Elder Terry, and he's a hard worker, and I'm excited to be with him. He will be a new zone leader. I have served around him quite a bit in different areas in my mission. He was trained by one of the current assistants to the president, Elder Durffey; who just got done being with the missionary I trained in the Kodiak, Elder Conlin.

Another highlight that was pretty neat, the ward council is really starting to work in the way that it's been designed to. There is a lot of cool things happening that will be really cool. Our ward mission leader, ward missionaries and us are really forming into a close group. We are functioning in a very organized way that is starting to really develop. It's neat, because with that happening, a lot more missionary work will be happening. They are more familiar with the area, and they know the people. So with the Lord hastening His work, it will be done a lot easier through the members of the ward and of the church everywhere. I feel like I'm really learning how a ward council should council, and how it should run and be organized. The same thing happens with other callings in the church. It's really exciting, and I love learning about it ...but I have to wait until after my mission to really read through the handbook because it's not my main focus right now. I need to focus on Preach My Gospel and the scriptures so I can help the people and teach them the gospel and focus on the things they need.

It has been fun and I have really enjoyed the past two transfers here in Sand Lake. We have done a lot of good work. It is neat to see how well a lot of other missionaries are doing. The zone seems to be doing really well. It is fun to learn as much as I am learning, especially the different aspects. The way the mission works is you get a wide variety of experiences, or at least the way it should (haha). It will be exciting when I get back to see the different skills I've learned and to apply them and see the difference.

I will talk to you all next week. I love you all. Have fun! Be happy! Go look at the temple for me, because I want to see it being built, but I don't have time to look at any pictures or anything (haha).

Love, Elder Record