Monday, August 11, 2014

Loving the Mish!

Area: Converse
Companion: Sister Kaitlin Johnston

 Hi Ya'll!

Sister Record and Sister Johnston
The day I arrived in my apartment I was told that I would be speaking on the Atonement that upcoming Sunday. So yesterday when I introduced myself after telling them where I'm from,  I said that I'm excited to get to know "ya'll". They all started giggling. It made me wonder if I said it with a Utah accent. Ha ha! It was pretty funny.

President and Sister Slaughter are awesome! I love being in their home. We had a new missionary dinner the evening we arrived. I was really confused because there was BBQ meat, this yummy looking sauce, cooked onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, a few other things, and two slices of bread for each person. I had no idea how to put all this together. The bread is what really threw me off. Can you guess what we were having? :) Brisket. It was delicious. I thought it was kind of funny that a lot of us didn't know what to do. Ha ha. It was easy to pick up on.

The past few days have been pretty amazing. I am learning for myself that missionary work is indeed one of the most soul stretching endeavors. It's totally focused on Jesus Christ and I love it! I've found that being obedient and loving the people is key. My first evening out we did some proselyting. We had some appointments already set up. My first lesson was with some people named S. and L. They were baptized years ago, but fell away again and have a hard time with the word of wisdom. They're so friendly. Even though they were friendly, I was scared out of my mind. I had no idea what to say and started thinking about how in the world I would be able to talk to people. For the first half of the lesson Sister Johnston and L. were talking (S. doesn't talk much). Finally I felt moved upon by the spirit and opened my mouth at the appropriate time. I testified to her and was surprised by all that was coming to my mind that I hadn't previously prepared.

Sister Johnston and Sister Record in front of the San Antonio Temple
That same day we spontaneously visited a woman named D. She was on the phone when she answered the door, but let us in and we waited a couple minutes. She was obviously stressed about something. It turns out that we came at just the right time because she was having a really rough day. Her house is a wreck from the people who owned it before. So she's doing a lot of fixing up. That day her kitchen flooded with water from a broken air conditioner. On top of that she was having financial and family stress. It was amazing to me that we came at that very moment. We were able to offer words of comfort and encouragement. The spirit definitely led Sister Johnston there. I was just following. I was still in a daze from the previous appointment.

Another day we visited an older woman named L. She was distraught by something that had happened the night before. We called to see how she was doing. We decided to go visit her since we didn't have an appointment. That was my first time meeting her, but the Lord gave me such sympathy and love for her. I asked if we could pray for her. She readily accepted, and I offered a sincere prayer on her behalf. After the prayer I was surprised to look up and see her crying. The spirit was so strong.

The other night I had an experience when I was writing in my journal. I had been struggling to connect with the area and the people because I didn't know anything about them. I then started thinking about the various needs in the ward and our investigators and I "caught the vision". I felt like the Lord inspired my mind and heard to understand my purpose not only as a missionary, but as Sister Record in Converse, Texas. I connected with the area. Whereas before I was just trying to get my bearings and going through the motions. I now know with my heart that the Lord has called me to be in Converse at this exact time for a specific purpose. I also know that He wants me to get involved with the ward and help them get involved. Even though I don't know His children here, He is helping me have charity towards them. I can truly say that I love the people here and I love the Lord's work.

I mentioned before the witness I am receiving of the enabling power of the atonement to help me bless the lives of others. I know more now than I did before that I cannot do this by myself. Not even close. But I can be perfect in Christ. We all can as we give our lives to Him.

I did not have any time to prepare for the talk I would be giving in sacrament meeting. All I had was the topic; the atonement, and about five possible scriptures. I had no choice but to completely and totally rely on the spirit knowing that I did the best I could to prepare under the circumstances. Sure enough, the words flowed into my mind. It was an incredible experience. I know that it was not me. I simply got out of the way, trusted the Lord and became the instrument in His hands.

God blesses us when we are obedient and loving. I know that He hears and listens to me pray. I have felt His love for me. The gift of charity is powerful and one that needs to be humbly pursued by all of us. This mission has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the Savior and His sheep. I know that this work is His work, that I am a representative of Him and have been given the missionary mantel. As we treasure up in our hearts continually the words of Christ the words are indeed given in the very moment we need them. I love the Lord. Through Him we can do all things. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all!

Sister Record

P.S. I take back what I said before. The grid system in Utah is WAY EASIER! ;) Luckily I'm just the navigator right now. But I'm seriously thinking about getting a GPS for when I'm a senior companion. Do you have any idea how much they are? Maybe I'll get lucky and my companion will have one.

Texas rocks! :D

1. How was your experience at the Alamo?
It was really neat to go with the training leaders and cross the line. It represents being all in. Leaving everything behind and not looking back. Serving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind and strength. To be honest, I was a little distracted when they were reading the history of the Alamo, but luckily we have a copy of it in our TSAM handbook. After crossing the line, we were sent off to introduce the Book of Mormon to people and try to place one. We went as companionship's. Sister Pito and I talked to several different people. Most of them listened politely but none were interested. It was a great learning experience. I wasn't too discouraged about not placing one.

2. What is your companion's name?
Sister Kaitlin Johnston, she's a brand new senior companion and has been out for about 8 months. I have to tell you, she is a great example of quiet dignity and humility.

3. What area, district and zone are you in?
I'm in Converse, Texas; Windcrest District; San Antonio East Zone

4. How did Sister Barrick do on the plane ride?
Ha ha! Sister Barrick did really well. We had a little fun with her... She was nervous taking off, but did just fine after that.

5. What miracles have you seen already in the mission field?
I have seen miracles every day. The biggest miracle I have felt is being given the words to speak in the moment I need them. I was terrified about talking to total strangers and worried about messing something up. But by trusting in the Lord and opening my mouth, the spirit has been able to bless lives.

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