Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Area: Leon Valley/9th Ward
Companion: Sister Nicholette Scott

I know we passed Christmas already, and the new year is not quite here, but close enough. At the very beginning of the year, President Slaughter told us what his vision for us was.

President Slaughters vision for 2015:
 1. Become fully consecrated
 2. Bury your weapons of rebellion
 3. Develop a pure heart.

In December of 2014 I had been trying to articulate what my goals for the year would be. Seeing as the entire year of 2015 would be spent on my mission, I wanted this to be special. I tried and tried to come up with something good, but it always ended up being too complicated. Then President Slaughter presented this to us. I threw out all of my ideas and plans, and simply adopted his vision as my own. It has been in the forefront of my mind ever since.

And now 2015 is coming to a close. With the power of the spirit and a clear conscience before God, I declare to you that I have become fully consecrated, I have buried my weapons of rebellion, and I have developed a pure heart. God has shaped and molded me. I thought I was a disciple of Jesus Christ before, but I had no clue what it really meant. I now know what it means and I can testify that "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." (3 Nephi 5:13)

Preach My Gospel states, "Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish. Through goals and plans our hopes are transformed into action. Goal setting and planning are acts of faith."

"The ultimate measure of success is not in achieving goals alone but in the service you render and the progress of others". (PMG ch 8, pg 146)

Goals should be used to focus outward and not inward. As we are focused on serving others, we find much more meaning to life and become more like our Savior. Which should be the ultimate goal.

I love God. It is him whom I serve. I will gladly give all that I have and am to build up his kingdom.

Sister Record


One week felt like way too long. We had a glorious reunion. The
best Christmas present I could ever imagine was to see Sister Risenmay

Sister Scott and I in front of the Christmas tree. We had an amazing Christmas!

Christmas Eve at the mission home.

Sister Scott opening one of her Christmas packages. We both got one of those scarf things from a kind member. We weren't sure how to wear it at first... It turns out, it's not a scarf it's a shawl. Ha ha!

The San Antonio missionary conference with Elder Piño. He's sitting
next to President Slaughter. I'm standing behind and between President
Slaughter and Elder Piño.

We had a wonderful discussion on the different names of Christ, the
doctrine of judgment, the noble and great ones, and the meaning of
Christmas. I love President and Sister Slaughter. They are so

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Final Transfer!

Area: Leon Valley/9th Ward
Companion: Sister Nicholette Scott

My dear family and friends,

I am officially in my final transfer. I feel very lucky that this transfer is a unique 7 week transfer since the last one was shortened. I have been moved to the Leon Valley and 9th wards in the west zone. Which is not too far from the south zone where I previously served. In fact, when I was with Sister Powell, we were over the sisters in this area. I got to go on an exchange with Sister Jenkins here and saw some wonderful miracles. This transfer I have been released as a sister training leader. President Slaughter is calling it operation "spread the music". I have been asked to spread the music. To help those I'm with catch the vision. I don't feel any different than I did as a sister training leader, I still feel the same. Just like when I was first called as a sister training leader I didn't feel any different than I did the day before. I've learned that there is no such thing as "ranks" in the church. I am grateful for the different opportunities the Lord gives us to serve in different ways. I am excited to learn from my sister training leaders this transfer. I am preparing for exchanges with them and will ask them all the questions I can think of. Because I know that they are pondering and praying about how they should reach out to us. They are receiving revelation on our behalf, and I'm eager to see what is in store. It is a tender mercy to have Sister Pito, my previous companion, as one of our sister training leaders. That was no accident. The Lord knows exactly what he is doing.

It was very hard to say goodbye to Sister Risenmay and Valley Hi/Heritage, but the Lord prepared me for it in ways I would never have expected. He comforted me, and gave me the eyes to see when I've needed it most. He has heard my prayers.

As you know, In Valley Hi we were teaching {H}. They're still teaching her, and she is preparing to be baptized very soon. I might have mentioned a while back that one night Sister Risenmay and I stopped by and she had her great-nieces and nephew over. These kids were currently living with their grandmother, {H}'s sister. But that wasn't in our area. The kids have no religious background or upbringing, so {H} kindly had them listen to everything we said. And they loved us! {H} told her sister about the experience and wanted her to also meet with the missionaries. {H} has been trying to get her sister to go to the LDS church for a long time. A few weeks after that visit, the kids wanted us to come back. We didn't live in their area, so we tried sending them off as a referral, but it never really worked out.

Well, now I have been transferred to this area, and I realized on Friday that {H}'s sister and family live in the Leon Valley area! We went and visited them on Saturday. Come to find out, Barbara (her sister) told {H} that she didn't want to meet with any other missionaries other than the ones that had touched her grandchildren. She wanted {H}'s missionaries (Sister Risenmay and I). And the Lord sent me here for my final transfer... When the kids saw me, they were ecstatic and gave me a hug. We will begin teaching her shortly. What a miracle! I know that I have been sent here for many reasons. I have a testimony that the Lords work moves forward, unhindered by mortal limitations. We have taught several families in the last few days. Apparently the work was moving slowly before. But I see no evidence of that now. We have been finding people everywhere, around every corner. I feel very blessed to work with the ward members here as well. It's strange to know that I'll only be here for one transfer. I have never been in an area for only one transfer so I feel a sense of urgency to get things moving. And let me tell you, they are moving. Miracles are happening in many forms, and will continue to.

I am so grateful for all that I've learned. I know that the Lord loves me. But more importantly I know that he trusts me. As he does all who are true followers of his son Jesus Christ.

"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:14)

This is my deep and abiding testimony.

I am ready to sprint to the finish line now, and for eternity. All in!

Sister Record


This is one of the cutest dogs I've met on my mission. He wasn't
annoying... most are. He randomly lifted up his paws and held them on
my hand for the longest time.

The Ayala family. Brother Ayala is one of our ward mission leaders,
and we absolutely love them!

This was one of the hardest goodbyes. We both wanted to be
companions for one more transfer, but we understand that the Lord
knows best and has another wise plan in mind.

Sister Fullam, Sister Risenmay and I. We were a trio for three days
after Sister Fullam sent Sister Bills home.

This is my new companion. Sister Nicholette Scott. She has been serving for 8 months, and is from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Miracle Street

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

Dearest family and friends,

I know I say his every week, but this week has been spiritually edifying and full of miracles! We had another lesson with the {C} family in which we showed "A Savior is Born" and taught the plan of salvation. We decided to go over it again with Brother {C} present because he was on call the last time. It went incredibly well! The spirit was so strong in that room as the message of Gods plan for them rang true to their hearts. Throughout the lesson, we mentioned the need for baptism by proper authority. As we taught them about inheriting the Celestial kingdom we explained that this is where our families can live together forever with God. I think everyone's heart was pounding as we extended the baptismal invitation. It seemed as though eternity stood still as the words, "Will you be baptized as a family?" left the mouth a representative of Jesus Christ. I felt a chill in my bones at the thought that these words were coming out of my mouth, but was a unified invitation from both my companion and I. We turned to Brother {C}, as the patriarch of the home, for the answer. He turned to his wife, who's eyes welled up with tears. He took her hand and quietly asked, "What do you think?" There was a moment of powerful silence. Sister {C} whispered, "I want to be forever... We have to be forever." She cried even more. He lovingly put his hand on her cheek. Then they hugged. That was perhaps one of the most tender moments on my mission. As I reflect on this moment, I can feel all the same emotions that we did when we were there. He turned back to us and nodded his head. He said yes, and that he wanted this for his family.

I was also touched by the tenderness my companion showed towards them. She choked up as she described the love she has for her family, and how we have come here on our missions to help other families become eternal. Amen! I love Sister Risenmay dearly.

They came to church the very next day and were welcomed by the ward. They have already changed so much since we first met them. I am eternally grateful for the ward members reaching out to them. Investigators and less active members are often very fragile when they first start coming to church, so it is essential that they are properly cared for. The ward is doing a wonderful job at taking them under their wing.

We had the privilege of hearing from one of the Lords anointed, Elder Rafael E. Pino. He's of the quorum of the seventy and is one of Christ's special witnesses. I will never be same. He did a conference for the missionaries here in San Antonio and on the border, then another one for those in Austin. We also had a special leadership conference for the MLC to attend. It was a delight! He does speak English, but he chose to speak Spanish the entire time and have one of the elders interpret for him. In the San Antonio mission conference I was deeply impressed by the interpreting. Elder Piño was so patient and masterful at teaching us and his interpreter. The spirit taught me much as I watched the two of them. Elder Piño told us in English, "He is my voice. Direct your comments and questions to me." He told his interpreter to stand by him side by side, and say everything he says. He repeated the phrase "he is my voice" several times throughout.

Likewise, I am the voice of Christ. As are all who have entered into the covenant of baptism. We are not perfect at mimicking him. In fact, sometimes we translate wrong. But as we align ourselves with him, watch him carefully, and learn his ways, we become more and more like him. He can then trust us to really be his voice. Let's hope that we are living to the light we've been given so as not to misuse the opportunity to be the voice of Christ.

He says, "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
(John 10:14, 27)

Do we know who our shepherd is? Do we truly follow him? Or do we just say that we follow him. What is a true follower of Christ? The answer is simple. Those who are are filled with charity, the pure love of Christ.

"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
"...pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ..."
(Moroni 7:45-48, emphasis added)

I know for myself that charity never fails. I have seen that again and again. It has turned stone hearts into soft clay. It has dispelled contention, and brought seemingly opposite personalities together in love and unity. Not only that, but it changes lives. I have felt him "fill me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh." (2 Nephi 4:21). May I say again with all of my heart, I am, because of him! He is my shepherd and I will heed his voice as well as be his voice for all to come and see.

Sister Record

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Savior is Born

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

It has been a wonderful week! Hearts are soft this Christmas season and lives are touched like no other time of year. Christmas time is the best time to be a missionary! It's almost as though the lights and the excitement ignite in each person a desire to love God and partake of His light.

Last Wednesday our district leader inspired us with this profound insight. (Paraphrasing) 'Right now, there is a Father who is on his knees begging for guidance for his family. There is a mother in tears, pleading with God for her and her children to find refuge.' We are the Lords servants, sent to find them. We are "like unto angels of God" with a divine commission. May we never forget the greatness of our call! As full times missionaries, but more importantly, as members of Christ's church and as covenant Israel, we were born to gather. That day I had an exchange with Sister Fullam. I felt in my heart that we were going to find the searching Father that very day. In the car, I looked at Sister Fullam and said, "We are going to find that Father or Mother today". The spirit bore witness to our hearts of our purpose.

While we were stopping by some people, none of them were home. We began walking back to our car, but not without having our eyes, ears and hearts open to anyone else we could talk to before leaving. Across the street we saw a somewhat rough looking man walking to the bus stop. The street was a very wide street and usually bustling with traffic. This time there were no cars and we were able to cross with ease. We approached him and began talking about Christ in this Christmas season. We found out that he was going through a really hard time, and seemed to be barely hanging on, only because of his faith in Jesus Christ. We showed him "A Savior is Born" and watched as the spirit worked in him. Tears filled his eyes. He knew immediately that we were sent from God. We testified to him that God knows his circumstances and that we represent the Savior in bringing this glad message. He readily accepted a Book of Mormon and agreed to read it. He was deeply touched and could hardly contain his emotions as we offered a prayer for him. Sister Fullam and I walked away in awe of what the Lord had just done for this man. We don't know for sure if he's a Father, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was. His faith was lifted, and we hope to begin teaching him soon.

A Savior is Born

Last week I mentioned the family of 6 that we met. The {C} family came to church yesterday! When we first met them, Brother {C} offered a beautiful prayer, pleading for understanding and ability to guide his family in this new path. We were not expecting them to come to church, so when we saw them we could barely contain our excitement. It was a miracle! Those kids have almost no religious background. So coming to church is completely new to them. We were so very grateful for the members who went out of their way to say hello and help them feel welcome. That is so very vital. I hope no one ever lets somebody go unnoticed. It is a tragedy when someone who's heart is already fragile leaves because no one would lend a hand of love.

We had a lesson with them after church about the Plan of Salvation. We look forward to the day they are baptized and become some of the best kingdom builders!

{H} is doing fantastic. The only thing keeping her from being baptized is that her family isn't in town until January. She is going to be baptized though. No doubt about that. {A} and {T} are doing well. We lost contact with them for almost two weeks, but finally taught them again. {A} is as excited as ever and is still reading the Book of Mormon.

I am grateful for the knowledge we have of the Savior. He is our Redeemer. He was born in Bethlehem and was laid in an animals feeding trough. Also known as a manger. He is Alpha and Omega. He lives. Because he lives, I can sing the song of redeeming love.

I love you all!

Sister Record

All in!


Monday, November 30, 2015

No Rotten Lemons

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

My dear family and friends,

What happens when you squeeze an orange? Orange juice comes out. What happens when you squeeze a lemon? Lemon juice comes out. What if the fruit is rotten? Then very stinky juice will likely be squeezed out. In our most recent transfer meeting, President Slaughter counseled us that often times the Lord puts a bit of pressure on us. Just enough to try our faith, and prove our obedience. "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (Abraham 3:25) He then asked a stirring question. When the pressure hits, what comes out? When we have trials, when the Lord squeezes us a little, what comes out is what's inside. Let's hope we aren't rotten fruit. The words of our President proved to be inspired as we have had a very trying couple of weeks. This week in particular.

If there is one thing I've learned on my mission, it is the value of pleading for spiritual gifts such as charity, patience, faith, etc... I think that a common view among people is to avoid praying for patience or humility. I've heard people say many times, "Oh don't pray for patience, because the Lord will give it to you." Of course he will! He is the giver good gifts. Why would we not want to plead for the very attributes that allow us to become more Christlike. The scriptures teach us that we should seek correction. Seek light and truth. Hunger and thirst after righteousness. And ask, "What lack I yet?" So I do with a love for God and a desire to become like his son.

The week before last, I was deeply inspired to not just pray for, but plead for greater patience, love, and humility. I felt a total submissiveness to the will of the Lord and a pure desire to grow. A couple days later I got quite sick. For almost an entire week I have been sicker than I ever have my entire mission. This past week we proselyted for a total of about an hour, besides Saturday. Saturday we were able to be out all day. This morning as Sister Risenmay and I reflected on the experience we have had we were reminded of a scripture in Mosiah 24:15 "...the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." This scripture speaks the exact words of my heart. I will never cease pleading for gifts of the spirit and I will always strive to "submit cheerfully to all the will of the Lord".

Saturday was miraculous. We taught several lessons, and found 7 new investigators all in one day, which is more than we've had in one week in a long time.

Yesterday was the most interesting day. Sister Slaughter instructed me to go the the Urgent Care that morning, therefore missing our first ward. We had planned to do a musical number but had to text our pianist and postpone it. I probably couldn't have sang well anyways. After receiving the diagnosis, I was given some medication. We were able to make it to our second ward but I barely made it through. Let's just say that I couldn't stand for more than 10 minutes. We were both supposed to give the lesson in third hour, but we were afraid that I would faint... So Sister Risenmay gave the entire lesson. I learned a lot about companion unity. Even though she was the only one speaking, we were one. Her words were mine and it was the message the Lord wanted us to share. That evening I received a powerful priesthood blessing from our district leader and his companion. The spirit filled the room as they laid their hands on my head. As he gave the blessing I knew what was coming. For a moment I asked myself, do I really have the faith for that to happen? I told the lord that I did. These words followed. "In the name of Jesus Christ, we command you to be healed." I couldn't hold back the tears as the warmth of the spirit enveloped my heart. Immediately I had strength to stand. The illness left. I could breath completely normal and I was able to get up and move. I have an utmost surety that the priesthood is the power of God. It heals. I am grateful for how the Lord provided for us in so many ways. At the Urgent Care we were able to talk to 4 people, mostly workers. At the pharmacy we talked to the man standing in line behind us. We shared the gospel with them. This week we found more new investigators then we have in a long time, part of which was a family of 6. Even though we were probably out for a total of 12 hours. Most of those hours were on Saturday. We had enough miles on our car to get around without having to use our bikes. God is so good! We have never grown so much as a companionship than we have this week. And now, we made it over the mountain.

When the pressure is on, what comes out? For us, it was a strengthening of faith, hope, and devotion to the Lords work. I have never loved the Lords work more. The fire is burning in our hearts. Our ability to stay focused was increased and we did serve with all our hearts. I can assure you that I will never stop pleading with God for patience, humility, charity, etc. "Come what may, and love it". Heavenly Father knows what he's doing and I trust him. He will not give us anything more than we can bear as we rely on the Savior Jesus Christ. This is my testimony.

Sister Record


After dinner with the Thuesons. They are fantastic!

A beautiful Thanksgiving dinner layout at a part member families
home. Yes, we had two Thanksgiving dinners. I was stuffed after the
first one, and we had about an hour between that one and our next one.
Luckily my stomach expanded to fit more the second time around.

We had great fun visiting with Cathy on Thanksgiving day. We were
given a lot of left over food, so we made a plate and shared some with

It's starting to get cold here in Texas. :)

Sister Record and Sister Risenmay at Urgent Care. Sister Record is doing much better.

 Sister Record, St Nick and Sister Risenmay

Umm... St Nicks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Anytime, Anywhere

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay
There is nothing better than knowing that our efforts are bringing others closer to Christ. We never know what kind of difference we're making in the lives of those around us. As we truly live the gospel, we let the light of Christ shine. Sometimes we touch people in ways we would never expect.

For example, earlier this week Sister Risenmay and I had just finished weekly planning. It was about 3:00 when we were leaving our apartment. We were putting the bike rack on our car and loading up our bikes, when a gentleman drove up and asked, "Where are you going with those bikes?" We were taken aback at first. For a moment I thought he might have been a member by the way he talked to us, but I could see that he wasn't. He wanted to know if we knew some biking routes because he and his wife had just gotten bikes. He proceeded to tell us that every morning when he goes to work he sees us after we work out in the gym. He then started asking us a lot of questions about what we do as missionaries. We were able to share more about the Book of Mormon with him as well as why we became missionaries. It's really neat to think that even at 7 in the morning, when we're all sweaty in our work out clothes, people notice. The message we send is not necessarily in the words we speak. It's more about who we really are. Our actions speak louder than words.

President and Sister Slaughter have a member friend who's a doctor. Sister Slaughter was telling us a story about how one of his coworkers who is not a member noticed some sister missionaries outside pushing their bikes in the rain. This woman was deeply touched by their devotion. Those sister missionaries probably had no idea that someone was watching them. But this woman was so moved, that she took a picture and sent it to the doctor who is a member, who then sent it to Sister Slaughter. Sister Slaughter talked to us about how we are missionaries wherever we're at.

Are we holding up the light of Christ? We covenanted with God at baptism that we would "stand as witnesses of him at all times, in all things, and in all places we are in." (Mosiah 18:9) Are we keeping that covenant? Even when we're stuck in the rain, or hot and sweaty in our workout clothes. When we are singing in the car, or buying groceries at the grocery store. Or in the privacy of our home. What about when the hearts of those who were once faithful fail them? Will we also falter? I can say with all of my heart that I never will. I love the Lord, and sustain his prophets. My heart will never fail me, because it belongs to the Savior.

Lately we've had the opportunity to interact with a deaf man. He has been coming to the church for the past several weeks. We are not able to communicate very well with him. Even those who know sign language struggle because he seems to have a different dialect of ASL. After multiple attempts of trying to help him with little success, we finally decided that there isn't a whole lot we can do for him other than invite him in. Last Sunday one of the wards had a primary program, and he came again. We had been sitting in sacrament meeting for a while and the primary program had already started, when a member pulled us aside and said that there was a deaf man who wanted to talk to us. We went out, and simply beckoned him to come in and join us. The moment he came in, the primary was singing a song that they had learned sign language for. He sat forward and watched intently. It was such a tender mercy for him to be able to understand what they were saying the moment he walked in. Talk about inspiration! I am so grateful for that wonderful primary chorister who was inspired to teach the children sign language. She had no idea that there was a very lonely man there that day who would possibly only understand what those children sang/signed. To me, and to him, that was the most powerful sermon of the entire meeting. God knows his children, and he feeds the one. 

There are so many things to be grateful for. I am grateful for the eyes to see the miracles that surround us. I'm grateful to be a part of the greatest work on Earth and in Heaven. That is, to gather Israel. I know who I am. I love my family.

I am grateful for you all!

Sister Record


Monday, November 16, 2015

Hurrah for Israel!

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

Hurrah for Israel!

Sister Risenmay and I are together for another transfer. We are very excited to have Thanksgiving together. This transfer will be a week shorter, so that the outgoing missionaries will be able to travel before the week of Christmas. And next transfer is... my final transfer. It feels like my first 12 weeks were just yesterday.

You'll never guess who became Sister Fullam's companion. Sister Bills! She just came from Serenada so it's been great to catch up with her about everyone. I'm excited to do exchanges with them!

After transfer meeting on Thursday we stopped by the distribution center by the temple to get some needed items. I was thrilled to run into a member from the Serenada ward! We were standing in the same isle and didn't even notice each other. She turned to us and asked if we would take a picture. I looked and saw that is was Sister Perry! As we got to talking her friend kindly asked us if the mission is hard. Sister Risenmay and I both immediately responded that it's not. There was another sister missionary with us who said that it is. That struck both my companion and I. We talked about it later and found that we both do not feel that this is hard. I can honestly say that there are no bad days, no bad areas, no bad companions, no bad feelings. Period. Yes, there are hardships. I can tell you that my heart has been broken a couple times, but that's life. Those don't even weigh a speck compared to the joy and the growth of helping others. I am confident in the power and authority of my calling and I am here to spread the good news of the gospel now and forever. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a special commission to represent him and invite others to hear and accept the message of the restoration. How great is this call. It is not hard to be a servant of the Lord when we know who we are. His gospel is simple and so is his work. What is his work exactly? " bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39) Life is supposed to be hard, but it's amazing how when we lose ourselves in the service of God "his yoke is easy and his burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

The call to serve is a lifelong commission. One that I have always felt and will continue to live forever. We can all serve the Lord in this great and marvelous work.

{H} is doing very well. We had a pivotal lesson with her where she was able to recognize what is holding her back from being baptized. She is still a dry Mormon and is most definitely going to be baptized soon. She's already planning it, but is just having trouble pinning down a goal date.

While we were teaching an older part member couple, near the end of the lesson their troubled grandson walked past. I felt we needed to invite him in, so I called after him and we invited him to join us. To his grandparents astonishment, he willingly agreed. We told him about the Book of Mormon and testified of it's divinity. As we shared with him how it came to be and what it can do for him, his countenance changed and he had genuine desire to read it. We gave him a copy and he agreed to take lessons from us. Yes! I love those little moments when we get to teach someone who is placed in our path.

I love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Sister Record


This is a sister we visit on occassion. We love her!

I know it's a little early for Christmas, but we saw this sign in
Kneaders and thought it was cute.

Oh, and do you remember the shoes I came out with? I am quite proud of
their wear and tear. I still have them, and I think I'll keep them
forever... (It's kind of gross if you look too closely.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mission Pearls

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

It's another bright day, here in the TSAM!

Never underestimate the influence the light of Christ has on others. What happens when we turn a flash light on in a dark room? The light overpowers the darkness. Correct? Yes! If two people were in a dark room and one was standing on the opposite end from the one holding the flashlight, would that person be able to see the light even though they aren't holding it? Of course!

The reason I share this is because earlier this week we were teaching {A} about the plan of salvation. At some point during the lesson she got to talking about how she has seen missionaries many times in the past. She told us that a few months ago some sister missionaries in Del Rio approached her while she was grabbing groceries. They asked if they could help. She said she didn't need help. The sisters talked a little about the gospel. Even though {A} wasn't open right then to hear much, it left an impression on her. She remembers that moment clearly and has never forgotten it. Now, a few months later, she's working towards being baptized. I asked her if one of the missionaries was tall with long dark hair. She said yes. I am almost certain that my previous companion, Sister Montclair is one of the missionaries that talked to her. That may have seemed small and insignificant to those two sister missionaries, but look where {A} is now.

{T} and {A} both have been out of town. We hadn't seen them for a week. She told us at the beginning of the week that she would text us when she gets back. We never got a text from her so we texted her the morning after they were supposed to be back and got no response. We decided to stop by that evening anyways. When we stopped by she had barely been home an hour and would be leaving again the next day. It turns out that their phone wasn't working properly so they could receive our messages, but not respond. She was so happy that we still came. The lords timing is always perfect. She has been reading AND comprehending the Book of Mormon. It is amazing how she just soaks everything up!

If y'all have not read about the tree of life in 1 Nephi 8 and 11 lately, I would strongly encourage you to. Without going too much into the symbolism, the rod of iron with the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life is right in the middle of the great and spacious field. Which is the world. The path is not away from the world, it is in the midst of the world. Temptation is all around, threatening to blur our vision of the tree of life. There are many in the great and spacious field, or the world, who are "pressing forward that they might obtain the path which led to the tree..." There is a gate that one must enter to enter the path to eternal life. That is repentance and baptism by one holding the priesthood authority of God. There are others who wander instead, to the great and spacious building, which represents the pride of the world. They mock and point at those who are partaking of the fruit of the tree. Those who are in the field are not necessarily in the building. Many of them are searching for the light of the gospel.

2 Nephi 2:8
"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah..."

There are some who, even after entering the path and partaking of the fruit of the tree of life, forsake what they once knew because they are ashamed at the mocking and pointing and pride of the world. They leave the path. There are others who simply become so overwhelmed by the mist of darkness that they sit down in despair, not knowing what to do next. It is those that we must take by the hand and say,

"..Be strong, fear not. Behold your God will come...
"Then shall [their] eyes be opened, and [their] ears shall be unstopped"
(Isaiah 35:3-5)

Once again, they will see the light of the gospel. They will remember what they need to do to obtain eternal life. And what is it we must do to obtain eternal life after we have entered the path? Endure to the end.

"And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
(2 Nephi 32:19-20 see also vs. 17-18)

They just need a guiding hand. Don't ever give up on those whose faith is weak.
"...for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them." (3 Nephi 18:32)

In answer to your question about my "mission pearls", I certainly have a string of them. In fact I probably have several strings of them. But here are just a few:

1. Charity, or the pure love of Christ, never fails. It is not something that we are capable of giving or feeling on our own. It is a gift from Heavenly Father. Not only must we gain charity for those who are difficult to love, but we must gain charity for those whom we instantly love. Love is one thing, charity is another. If we only love someone, eventually that love will die. I've learned that charity must be sought after in every relationship.
2. We have the power to choose. We have the responsibility to choose Christ. When we break the commandments we are bounding ourselves to the devil and limiting our agency.
3. Remember Ammonihah
4. God blesses us with weaknesses so that we may have the best chance possible to keep our covenant to remember him. Weaknesses and trials are so merciful. When we are baptized, we covenant with God that we will always remember him. When we don't, we lose his spirit. God gives us weaknesses so that we have opportunities to remember him. We overcome them though the savior.
5. My family is eternal. Both my current, and my future family. I will never settle for less.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Sister Record


Last Monday we went and got shakes at Tealicious.

Before MLC us, the zone leaders, and Sister Smith went to the
temple (Sister Smith was invited to come since it's her last
transfer). We got up super early so that we could have time to go.

Sister Schoen! She was the relief society president in the Converse
ward when I was a brand new missionary. I see her every MLC in the
institute office.

It was absolutely amazing to go counsel and learn at MLC (Mission Leadership Council).

There were a lot of sisters at MLC this time because President
Slaughter invited a few who are on their last transfer.

We were all in the MTC together!

Everything is definitely bigger in Texas

Spent some time at the Mercado today.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Will You Go With Me?

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

Dearest Family and Friends,

First of all, I'd like to ease any concerns you may have for me about the weather. It has not affected the area where I'm serving at all. The only weather we've had is a little bit of rain. In fact, there isn't even any humanitarian work for us to do close by. We're safe. I do hope we have an opportunity to help out, but right now, there isn't any damage close to us. We've actually had some pretty nice days. I do admit, we had some crazy thunder in the middle of one night, but the next day was clear.

Once again, my heart is full as I reflect on the past week. The miracles never cease, nor will they ever.

{H} is doing very well. She made it to church yesterday and came to the ward she actually lives in for the first time. Thank goodness we're over both wards, and the ward was very welcoming to her. It was a wonderful fast and testimony meeting. About half way through she leaned over to us and said, "If I go up, will you go with me?" Um... Absolutely! We readily agreed. She went first and as she introduced herself she stated, "I'm not a member yet, but I'm a work in progress." She pointed at us, then proceeded to tell a story that not only blew us away, but the entire congregation.

First, let me tell you our side of the story. Thursday night Sister Risenmay and I felt that we needed to stop by her house. It wasn't a solid plan, just a thought. One of our appointments fell through, so we went right over to {H}'s. She welcomed us in with her usual kindness. She happened to be babysitting her great-nieces and nephew (ages 14, 8, and 6). She gathered them around to hear what we had to say. We shared the Mormon message, "Our True Identity" by Pres. Uchtdorf and talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. We testified that we are all children of God. {H} was very touched by that message and thanked us. She asked the children some questions to check for their understanding. We gave them each a picture of Jesus Christ with the children, and she told them to keep it in their backpack where they could always have it. Before leaving we gave them each a hug. We knew it was spirit led and it was good to talk to {H} in person again. In the car after that visit, we both felt very peaceful and happy.

Our True Identity

Now, here is {H}'s side of the story as told over the pulpit. I'm paraphrasing, of course. That morning was a rough morning for her. She wasn't feeling well, and then her niece called and asked her to babysit the children. She already had plans for the evening, but she didn't know what else to tell her because of the situation, so she took them in. These kids have very little spiritual foundation and have a hard life. When we came, it was an answer to {H}'s prayer because she was trying to figure out how she could help them. The 14 year old in particular needed that message and was truly touched by the spirit as we were there and as we gave her a hug. {H} was moved to tears as she was describing her observation of her niece. She then declared, "I know that this church is true". She bore a beautiful testimony of the gospel. You would think she was already a member.

After she bore her testimony, Sister Risenmay and I bore ours. Almost everyone was in tears. The spirit in that meeting was so pure and penetrating.

We had a sweet, well-intentioned member of the ward approach us and say, "You have had so much success lately". Her kind words were appreciated. However, we are not the ones who made all these things happen. The Lord is. We were simply there, acting as his instruments. We just showed up. He is using us all to accomplish his purposes. Success is not always seen. I know more than ever that success in the natural man's eyes is very different than success in the Lord eyes.

I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity to serve in the Lord's vineyard. It is a privilege and a blessing. It's hard to believe that I'm approaching the end of my mission. I want you to know that my testimony in a bonfire that cannot waver. "I'll never, no never, no never forsake!" (How Firm a Foundation, Hymn 86, verse 7) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been restored. It is the very organization that Christ established on the Earth with each of his prophets. Of this I testify and give my life, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Record


We volunteer at the food bank every week as a zone. It's really fun!

We went shopping at members home who is part of a modest clothing company created by a member of the church. It was perfect! She gave us an amazing discount since we're missionaries. That's where I got my cute new flower dress.

Left to right: Sister Risenmay, me, President Slaughter, Sister Slaughter, Sister Smith, and Sister Fullam. Sister Fullam asked President Slaughter if they could do a question-answer session with us. He was more than happy to. They both drove down to our church building and we discussed the gospel and marriage stuff for an hour and a half. Sister Slaughter even brought pie. It was great!

The district.. :) Ha ha.

I got to go on an exchange with Sister Winn! She's my "step-sister". Meaning, she was trained by Sister Felix and then Sister Felix finished my training. It was a fantastic exchange!

Sister Record and Sister Risenmay: It's Halloween, and a beautiful day for bikes!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Miracle of the Day... Every Day

Area: Valley Hi/Heritage
Companion: Sister Sara Risenmay

You will not believe the miracles that have transpired! Let me just say that the Lord IS gathering his children from the four corners of the Earth. And he is gathering his children here, in the Texas San Antonio mission. To be even more specific, here in our area. I am not kidding when I say that EVERY DAY we are seeing miracles. We have so many investigators right now.

On Saturday morning (two days ago) at 11am, one of our Bishops called us and said that he had a referral for us. He told us that this young man had gotten in contact with some sister missionaries at the Independence, Missouri visitors center via He is not from Texas, but has been here for several weeks for military training. He has took all of the lessons in his home town and he wanted to be baptized as soon as possible. We told the Bishop we were on it. You can imagine our excitement after receiving that phone call. We called this young man, right away. When he answered the phone we said, "We heard that you have taken lessons from missionaries before and that you would like to be baptized as soon as possible. Is that correct?" His response: "Yes ma'am." We set up an appointment to meet with him at 2:00 that day at the church. Sister Risenmay and I were aware of the possibility of him being baptized the next day, but we figured it would probably take a week. We had no way of knowing until after meeting him. Sure enough, at 2:00 we met him and his fiancé. The spirit immediately filled the room and we both received a witness that it was time for him to be baptized soon. We talked for a little bit and found out that he had received and interview to be baptized before coming to boot camp, but it wasn't quite time. He still had some questions about prophets. But while he was away he felt a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel. We had a bit of a lesson on the sabbath day, and asked him the baptismal interview questions to see where he was at. By the end, we asked him, "So when do you want to get baptized?" His response: "Today." There was no way to arrange it any other way. We couldn't do it on Sunday because he needed to be back on base by a certain time. We called up the district leader to come interview him, called President Slaughter, and moved forward. We excused ourselves to another room. We now had one hour to organize and plan a baptism. The first thing we did was kneel in prayer. Everything was moving so fast. It was not humanly possible for us to do what we were doing in the time we were doing it. Plus we were unsure about whether it was the right thing to do. After praying, we got up and called the Bishop. Amazingly it all came together. We were able to call the zone leaders to come help us, Bishop gathered some people, we called people and created the program on spot. Our district leader and his companion told us that they were available any time during the day to help us, except for 4:00. Which was when it would be happening. Right after the interview however, their appointment cancelled. It just so happens that Elder Reimsheusul already had a talk prepared on baptism, and his companion, Elder Atagi, had been studying the Holy Ghost. Two talks, done. We had some ward missionaries help with the prayers, and a few ward members were able to drop everything and be there. It was a small, but powerful service. We both had a very peaceful feeling that this was right. Our Bishop just got back from being away, and was able to share with them some things they really needed to hear. It was perfect, and so miraculous. I have to say, I have never experienced meeting someone then planning their baptism in less than an hour. I have seen the majesty of our almighty God parting the Red Sea to allow this young man to be baptized right when he needed to be. He leaves in a week or so because he's being transferred. There was literally no other way, and it happened! It was incredible!

{T} and {A} are doing amazing. We taught them three times this week and they are really progressing. I don't know if I've ever seen someone so prepared. They came to church on Sunday, which was huge. {A} loved it so much, that she went up and met the Bishop afterwards. This was the perfect sacrament meeting to have investigators at. Which is a blessing, because an entire pew  and more was filled with people that we have been teaching over the past week. Both less active, and investigators. {K} was confirmed by the Bishop on Sunday. Getting people to church is usually a struggle. So that, in and of itself was incredible.

To put it simply, my jaw is no longer dropping each day when someone incredibly prepared approaches us. I have simply decided to be grateful for the trust God has placed in us, and get to work baptizing all these people. We are here to baptize, and baptize we will. Because the lord has blessed us with multiple miraculous opportunities literally each day. There is no doubt in my mind that his work is moving forward full speed. We are preparing for the second coming of the Savior, and he is gathering his people. I am humbled to be an instrument in his hands, and will accomplish all that he asks us to do, whatever it may be.

Sister Record

P.S. I've been studying the tree of life in depth for a couple weeks. It has everything to do with the gathering of Israel. I was going to go into depth about what I've learned with that, but I do not have time. Hopefully I'll get to share that with y'all soon. Here's one thought: In Revelation 22 John sees the vision of the tree of life. It so amazing!! You should read it with that in mind. :)

I love you all!


At the church after our first evening of bike riding. Sister
Risenmay hasn't ridden her bike yet on her mission. It was so great!
(Don't worry, we do not bike at night. The church is home base for our
car when we put up our bikes and go home.)

Sister Risenmay and Sister Record: More bike riding. This is right after a meeting with one of our ward mission leaders. He took a few pictures.

Sister Risenmay and Sister Record: At the ward party, 1 hour after the baptism.

We were also exhausted. Completely wiped out. Ha ha.

After nightly planning, we were so happy from the miraculous day!