Monday, November 24, 2014

Fun Pictures

Sister Kara Swenson dressed as a
vampire on Halloween coming to eat me..

Sister Annelise Record and Sister Sara Felix
 Sister Felix and I the night we got transfer calls and found out we were together another transfer. Sister Felix was slightly nervous about her call to be a Sister training leader, but I was overly excited. :)

Sister Record and Sister Felix

Me Photo Bombing Sister Smith's gangster picture

Sister Erica Smith dressed as a gangster

My Heart is Full

Area: Converse
Companion: Sister Sarah Felix

My heart is so full right now! We have seen so many miracles this week. Before I share the miracles we've seen, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude. Mom and Dad, I am deeply grateful for your sacrifice and for your love. Thank you for loving us enough to push through the mighty whirlwinds to teach us the important things. Family home evening, family scripture study and prayer, attending church together and loving one another has truly made our home a sacred place. Thank you for loving us unconditionally, for believing in us and supporting us. Your confidence in me has given me courage and strength during the times that test my faith. I have greater confidence in myself and in the savior because of your examples.

Mom, I am grateful for your example of selfless service. You have opened up your heart and your home again and again to loved ones struggling. I will always remember and follow the pattern of love you have shown. Thank you for trusting the Lord and relying on him to strengthen you, especially in the times when you had nothing left. You're example of endurance and perseverance is something I am eternally grateful for. Thank you for loving me and for listening to me. Thank you for teaching me how to be a woman of faith. I am reminded of the words to a primary song: "I see my Mother kneeling with my family each day. I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray. Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears. And I am thankful, love is spoken here." These words are the words of my heart. Mom, I love you and am so grateful that you are my Mother. Love is indeed spoken in our home and family.

Dad, thank you for being a faithful and worthy priesthood holder, and for treating my Mother as the Queen that she is. Your respect and love for her has left a lasting impression that I am eternally grateful for. You have taught me the sacredness of marriage and what kind of man I am looking for. Thank you for baptizing me and giving me the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thank you for listening to me when I talk. I know that my thoughts and feelings are important to you because you turn away from your own interests and even work to give me your full attention. Family is important to you, and you have provided well both temporally and spiritually. You are indeed a loving provider, our gentle friend, and a faithful Father. Thank you for your constant support and encouragement.

Lorielle, Jason, Chris, and Eric, I am grateful for your individual gifts and talents that have helped me grow and learn. We are a family, and I know we were meant to be together for eternity. How thankful I am for each of you. I love you all so much!

I also want to thank all of my friends for your support and for your examples. I can't name all of you here, but each of you are important to me and have shaped me in some way.

Now for the miracles that have happened this week... Wow. We have been so blessed! We are finding SO MANY people. Sister Felix and I have been growing and learning so much together. As we set goals and make plans, strive to be exactly obedient, and apply the principles in chapter 9 of Preach My gospel, we are finding people and seeing miracles. We received a media referral on Thursday and contacted her a couple hours after receiving it. She only requested a bible, but we ended up teaching her the Restoration. We also taught her how to pray and introduced her to the Book of Mormon, inviting her to read and ask God. The spirit was super strong as we taught her. She connected really well with the questions Joseph Smith had. We invited her to be baptized, and she said, "Yes Ma'am". (They say Ma'am and Sir a lot in Texas.) She accepted! And she has two girls that we will also be teaching. We're seeing her again tomorrow with her family!

We've been teaching the [G] family for a couple months now. They almost cancelled one of our lessons because their electricity was going to be turned off. We said we'd bring a flashlight and she agreed. But then we thought it might be kind of difficult to teach a lesson in the dark, so we invited them to meet us at the church instead. They agreed, which was a little surprising. The lesson was a turning point for [E]. It was good for all three of them, but especially [E]. It was sort of an interactive lesson on the Sabbath day. We did a church tour and when we got to the primary room they noticed the pictures of all the prophets of this dispensation. There was a picture of President Monson too. We told them that he is our current prophet. She was in awe. All of a sudden things clicked for her. It was so awesome! And they came to church on Sunday! They have a stronger desire to learn and understand.

We also had an amazing lesson with [S]. We talked about the sacrament, and had him read the sacrament prayers. He felt the importance of the sacrament as we read and talked. It was really neat.

On Saturday we met a young mom named [J]. We were looking for her brother who we had taught before, but he wasn't home. Initially we would have left. I have to be honest, at this point in the day I was pretty tired and didn't want to try as hard as I should have. Luckily the Lord is patient with our mistakes. The words, "Can we come in and share more of this message with you" came out of my mouth. In other words, I didn't really want to say that, but the spirit helped me say it anyways. Everything changed after that. She let us in and we taught her the Restoration. Sister Felix bore powerful testimony. The spirit was so strong in that room. This woman looked torn apart emotionally. I began to testify that the peace she was feeling from this message is God's love for her, and that Jesus Christ is perfectly aware of her heartaches and joys and that He is the one she can look up to. She began to cry as the spirit helped me know what to say. She said she was having a bad day and really needed that. It was amazing. She's soft spoken and seems to have gone through a lot. We saw her again Sunday morning and will see her again tomorrow.

On Sunday a woman we met a couple weeks ago came to church unexpectedly for the first time. We haven't even taught her yet because it's been hard to get a hold of her. But there she was, at church on her own! The joy I felt from the week, her being there, and the [G]'s making so much progress and being at church, was beyond anything I have ever felt. It's moment's like that that make it all worth it. The joy I felt then and still feel now is consuming. Meaning that the sorrow and pain I've felt don't even matter. I can hardly remember the discouraging moments. And there's a lot of them. But it doesn't even matter because this is why I'm here, to bring souls unto Christ.

In sacrament meeting Sister Felix and I sang with two other sister's. We sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of Come thou Fount. It was such a sweet experience that really brought the spirit. One of the things I wanted before my mission was to become more comfortable with sharing my voice. That is a tender mercy that the Lord is definitely blessing me with. Sister Felix and I sing in the car all the time, every day together, And I wasn't even nervous to sing in sacrament meeting. Probably because I was on cloud nine with how happy I felt.

On Saturday we experienced a flash flood. It was fairly minor, but still potentially dangerous. Sister Felix and I were teaching a lesson when it hit. We got outside and stepped through ankle deep flowing water to get to the car. When we got in the car Sister Felix asked me to offer a prayer. Before leaving we prayed that we would arrive home safely. We were calm and cheerful because we knew that the Lord would protect us. And he did. It was a really cool experience. I know that the Lord is with us where ever we go.

Once again, thank you for your support and prayers. It is great to be a missionary!

Sister Record

Monday, November 17, 2014

An Eventful Week

Area: Converse
Companion: Sister Sarah Felix

It's been a pretty eventful week!

On Monday we taught a 14 year old girl who's good friends with a member in the ward. She went to girls camp last year and just turned in her papers to go again this year! She's been taught by the missionaries before, but we lost contact. This was my first time ever meeting her. She loves the Book of Mormon and has already read it all the way through once. She's been reading it on her own and has some really good questions. It's so fun to teach her because she is so enthusiastic about learning. We have another lesson with her tonight!

We had a pretty cool experience on Tuesday. We were looking for someone from the area book, and ended up running into a guy checking his mail. We asked, "are you [C]?" He stopped and said, "How do you know my name?". It turns out that someone named [C] used to live in that house. This man had never met with missionaries before and was taken aback when we knew his name. We got to talking. We shared a Book of Mormon with him and told him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He's a nice, sincere guy in his 20's who's looking for direction in his life. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and check out the website on the card. We bore testimony that God loves him and is aware of his circumstances. We told him that God knows his name. The last thing he said before we left is, "God works in mysterious ways". It was such a neat encounter. We got his phone number, and we told him we'd give him a call so we could answer questions and teach some more. Here's the weird thing. We went back to his house a couple days later and the woman who answered had no idea who [C] was. We tried the house next door but it was empty. The phone number he gave us was the wrong phone number. We're not really sure where to find him again, but we'll keep trying. Maybe we were on a different street than we thought we were. It was a cool experience to talk with him. Hopefully he'll read from the Book of Mormon and find the missionaries again.

On Wednesday we had zone meeting. That is always really fun!  After zone meeting we stopped by the [A] family, who had been referred to us by a family in the ward. We've known about them for a long time, but he's so busy, we could never set a time. They were all home, so we taught the Restoration. It was really powerful because their hearts were receptive. They were open and listening. What a wonderful family! We so look forward to teaching them again this week.

We had an interesting experience contacting a referral. We knocked on the door and waited, then knocked again as usual, and a man came out around the back. He started yelling at us. He asked us what we were doing and said we shouldn't be here and that we had to leave. He thought we were soliciting something, and was pretty mad. We gracefully apologized and were on our way out. He was still talking so we kindly explained that one of his neighbors knows them and told us how wonderful they are and we just wanted to meet his wife. He softened after that and was nicer. He said he would go get her, but she would probably be 10 times more mad. She was actually really nice and accepted a pass-along card. Situations like this happen on occasion. We can't really avoid them all. It's amazing how a soft answer turns away wrath. And how "charity never faileth". He was much softer and kinder when we didn't fight, but apologized and respected his request for us to leave. We felt good after we left because we did what we needed to do and resisted the natural urge to be offended. The spirit was definitely with us.

Also, had a funny experience at a members home. We laughed so hard after! We were getting ready to leave. As she reached for the door I thought she was reaching to give me a hug. Sooo I gave her a hug when she was really trying to open the door for us. She gave me an awkward pat on the back and we left. Sister Felix looked at me and said, "she was reaching for the door". We laughed so hard in the car there were tears in our eyes. Lesson learned; things happen sometimes that are just plain awkward, but those are the most hilarious experiences if we let them be. Enjoying life! It's fun. :)

Hymn #185 [Reverently and Meekly Now] is my new favorite sacrament Hymn. It felt so personal when we sang it in sacrament meeting yesterday. It feels like the Savior speaking directly to me. I encourage y'all to read it and apply it to yourself. I'm so grateful for life, I'm glad to be here, and am so glad that I have and will continue to progress. Line upon line, precept upon precept. It's comforting to know that Lord loves me for who I am now, but more importantly, he loves me so much that he expects me to continue to change and become all that he has designed for me to become. He is my rock. "His love demands my soul, my life, my all." That is not easy, but it's worth it.

I love you all!

Sister Record :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Your Faithful Elephant

Area: Converse
Companion: Sister Sarah Felix

Good afternoon!

I'm learning so much! I wish I had more stories for y'all this week. There are a couple good ones. Sorry it's a little shorter. :)

Sister Felix had MLC (missionary leadership council) meeting this week, so I spent the day with Sister Farmer, whose companion was also at MLC. I learned a lot from her. She's always so open and cheerful. While we were knocking on doors, we ran into someone who wasn't really interested, but Sister Farmer asked if we could pray with her. After we did, her whole attitude changed and the spirit was there. Sister Felix and I are doing that more now. It really brings the spirit, and often opens up more interest. We had a neat experience praying with someone. She was having a hard day and wasn't interested, but let us pray with her. After we prayed with her, the spirit was so strong and she asked us questions. She even referred us to one of her neighbors.

The weather is getting a little colder but still fairly warm during the day. We're going clothes shopping pretty soon so I can get warmer clothes! On Wednesday it rained all day long. It was actually really fun! I don't think I've ever experienced an all day rain shower. We had District meeting that day too, and decided what everyone's spirit animal is. Haha! The animals in our district are, a fox, a mole, a bald eagle, a koala, a black bear, an elephant (that's me!), a gnome, a house cat, a sea turtle, and a red wolf. :D It was really funny to hear what everyone's was.

We've been teaching a less active couple, Brother and Sister [V]. They are so amazing! She speaks very little English and he speaks some English, but we always understand each other perfectly. They are so sincere, and have made a goal to not only be active in the church, but be fully involved and get sealed in the temple. She needs to get her work situation taken care of so they can come to church. We read The Family: A Proclamation to the World with them, and the spirit was so strong! We love them so much! They are well on there way.

It's good to be a missionary! Talk to y'all next week!

Your Faithful Elephant (Sister Record)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Preaching and Pepper Drool

Area: Converse
Companion: Sister Sarah Felix

Good morning!

This week Sister Felix and I decided to ride bikes because we reached our mile limitation on the car. It was the perfect day to do it. The weather was beautiful. It's technically fall here, but it's still very summer-like. The leaves don't change color or fall off unless the tree is dead. It's nice that it's still fairly warm. We've really been doing a lot of "preaching by the way" this week. It was fun to apply that as we rode bikes and tried to talk to everyone we saw. In one neighborhood we rode down, a woman on the other side of the street waved us down and called out, are you Mormon's? Sister Felix and I went over and talked to her. She said she was on her way out, but wanted to learn more about our religion. She said she was thinking about "converting". We were pretty excited, got her phone number and set up a time to come back. It is so interesting how the Lord places people in our path. I am truly coming to understand on a deeper level the importance of trusting God's promises.

This weekend our stake had stake conference. The theme was hastening the work. All the missionaries were invited to the adult session on Saturday. It was amazing. The youth were involved, and the spirit of missionary work was so strong. President and Sister Slaughter were there and spoke. Elder Greer, of the seventy spoke. Sunday was amazing as well. I took a lot of notes. One of the impressions that sunk deep into my heart was to trust in God's promises. The spirit reminded me of words from the Father's blessing I received just before leaving for the MTC. That is that there are people waiting specifically for me and the love that I have, and that as I am exactly obedient, I will see miracles. Those promises apply to all missionaries, but the Lord promised those things to me through a priesthood blessing. Elder Hamula of the seventy came to our mission a couple weeks ago. One of the things he talked about is the faith to succeed. We all have the faith to serve. Now we need to let go of our pride, and have the faith to succeed. It has been such a blessing to follow this counsel, and see the fruits that come as a result. He also talked about complete consecration. I've been focusing my studies lately on what complete consecration is, and how I obtain it.

On Wednesday, we met a woman outside her house who only spoke Spanish. Sister Felix knows enough Spanish to introduce ourselves and give out pass along cards.We met this woman and she invited us to sit on her lawn chairs. She then went on and on talking in Spanish. We did our best to understand some of what she was saying and be interested. Somehow she thought we could understand her. We had un Libro de Mormon with us. I didn't really know how to help her understand who we were and that we wanted to give her one. The only thing I know in Spanish is 3 Nephi 5:13. I don't know how to spell it in Spanish, so here's the English: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life."

Sister Fleix and I did the best we could, and offered her a Book of Mormon in Espanol. She accepted it. She was very interested in the pass-along card that had a picture of the Salt Lake City temple on it. I hope that she reads the Book of Mormon and wants to learn more. I really want to learn Spanish now! Someday, maybe I will. I also want to learn ASL. That way an can communicate with most people.

Earlier in the week we ate dinner with the [C] family, who is part Thai. Sister [C] is from Thailand, and Brother [C] is pure white. :) They fed us some delicious Thai food! She toned down on the spice for us. None of it was really spicy. There were these garnish peppers that looked really interesting. We weren't expected to eat them, they were just there. I asked Sister [C] what it was. She simply said, "a pepper". I asked if it was spicy. She got a mischievous grin on her face and said, "try it". Sister Felix chanted, "eat it, eat it!" I already told her jokingly that I don't give into peer pressure. Ha ha. But I was curious about the pepper. I knew it was going to be spicy by the look Sister [C] gave me, but took a bite. I probably took a bigger bite than I should have. I didn't feel anything at first, but pretty soon my face heated up and my eyes started to water. It was HOT! Really hot! The hottest thing I have ever eaten. I tried to contain myself. I couldn't even hold still. Sister Felix saw my eyes watering and died laughing. It was really funny. Eventually I couldn't stand it and asked, "Can I use your bathroom?" I drooled in the sink for about 5 minutes. Ha ha! Dad, I thought you would appreciate this story. And mom, you're probably rolling your eyes. :)

I'm so grateful to be on a mission. I love being a missionary! All in.


Sister Record