Monday, February 23, 2015

Tiwi, Learning and the Joy of Teaching

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Melissa Rowley

Good afternoon!

We've had some fun stuff happen this week. We had a zone conference on Thursday. The mission has installed a Tiwi device in every single vehicle. It's quite a brilliant invention. It's connected to the car in some way and it monitors whether or not we have our seatbelt on, if we go over the posted speed limit, and if we're driving recklessly. It mentors us when we do something wrong with a robot voice. Each week a report goes into the mission office and to the mission president. It has a GPS in it to track down where the car is and what all the posted speed limits are. There are three colors. Green, yellow, and red. Green is good, yellow is potentially unsafe, red is unsafe. If we become get too many offences we're no longer allowed to drive. We log in each morning with a card. Basically there is no getting away with anything because this device tracks it all. If someone were to unplug it, or not log in, the mission office is aware of that too. The church has been using it more and more because it decreases the amount of accidents significantly. At first I was a little nervous, but it has really helped me focus and drive well. It only went off on me once because I forgot that we can only go 10 miles per hour in the parking lot.

Anyway, that was kind of long and unimportant, but I thought that maybe you'd appreciate the safety precautions they're taking. One other unimportant thing: cockroaches are gross! Luckily I've only seen tiny ones...

Sister Rowley and I have been learning so much together. She is such a gem! She has a strong desire to be a consecrated missionary. I've really enjoyed watching her grow and become more consecrated. She's a little quiet by nature, but says some of the most profound things. As we've been together she's really grown in confidence and boldness. She has a wonderful fountain of knowledge and truly desires the salvation of souls. One of her greatest strengths is how teachable she is. I feel really grateful to have her as my companion. It's humbling to notice that the way she looks at me is the way I look at Sister Felix. I'm so grateful to be able to give back in such a way. I am learning so much from her.

Yesterday we had a neat experience visiting a less active woman. They live in an old apartment complex. She has a lot of health problems and was asleep on a hospital bed in her room. Her Nephew, who's active in another ward let us in. When we went in, I put my hand gently on her shoulder. She eventually stirred and woke up a little. We told her that we love her and she said she loved us too. It was hard to understand because she was so weak and still half asleep. She expressed concern for not coming to church in so long and how it's probably to late for her to change. Or something like that. We told her that it's never too late. We read from the Book of Mormon to her, and than sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". We prayed with her as well. The spirit was so strong in that room.

Right now, we're working on finding more people to teach. Our current teaching pool is small. Working with the members and talking to everyone is key, and that's what we've been trying to do. The other day we talked to a man mowing his lawn. Initially we weren't going to because he couldn't hear us, and it was a little awkward to walk up to him, but we did. And we were able to share some restored truths with him. Something that I love to do when we introduce ourselves is to say, "We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have been called by a prophet of God to represent Jesus Christ in sharing a wonderful message with you." We then go on to talk about a restored truth. Such as the Book of Mormon, the apostasy, the priesthood, etc. What ever the spirit moves us to say. It is amazing because that statement is so clear, it cannot be misunderstood. The spirit is so strong each time we do that, whether they accept it or not. The reason why it's so powerful is because it's the truth. We set a return appointment and talked to his girlfriend a few minutes later.

We also talked to a lady who pulled into her driveway. She was still in her car, so it was initially a little awkward. I felt no hesitation. We walked up to the car and waved at her. She opened her door, and was really nice. She listened for a second but wasn't interested. Even though she wasn't interested we feel blessed for talking to her any ways. The Lord has called us to open our mouths. To stand as witnesses of him at all times, in all things, and in all places (Mosiah 2). I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here, to serve the Lord, and to feed his sheep.

Sister Record

All in!


 Eating a Jolly Rancher. I had that thing for several weeks because every time I wanted to eat it, it was an inconvenient time to have a blue mouth. As a missionary, it's really hard to find a good time to have a blue mouth. :D

The Valentine special ice cream

Not sure where that face came from. Ha ha! (Sister Rowley and Sister Record)

Yay! (Sister Rowley and Sister Record)

Sister Rowley, Sister Adair, and I

Elder and Sister Adair
Sister Record
 This was after exchanges when we were exchanging back. Sister Rowley was in the other car and didn't see me coming. I was just so excited to see her again that I popped my face up to her window to say hello. :)

We see deer all the time. Every day. Sometimes in even bigger groups.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Enabling Power of the Atonement

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Melissa Rowley

Hello there!

Right now I'm on Elder Adair's ipad. (Elder and Sister Adair are the Senior couple who live in our apartment complex. We do laundry at their place.) So I'll have to send pictures next week. Sorry this update is going to be kind of short, it's hard to type on an ipad, and the library is closed today.

I've been pondering about the enabling power of the Atonement, and how much the Lord turns us into instruments in his hands when we truly give our whole hearts. I know with all my heart, and with all that I am, that the Savior turns weaknesses into strengths. He succors us in our times of need, and carries us through our lives. I have a personal witness that this is true. I would not be here if it wasn't. I remember before my mission when I would practice teaching the Restoration in family home evening, and struggling to explain it clearly. I'd known about this my whole life, but when called upon to teach it, I felt like my tongue was stuck in my mouth, and my words were rough and rocky. A couple months before leaving for my mission, I received a Father's blessing. I was blessed that in time, I would be able to teach the message of the Restoration with power. That brought great comfort, and truly has come. And is still developing. Yesterday I had a humbling experience that confirmed this to me. We were having dinner with a family in our ward, and doing a "demonstration" of how we would teach the Restoration to some investigators. We told them to pretend that they had never heard this before. It was really neat. The spirit was very strong as Sister Rowley and I followed the spirit in teaching with unity. The most powerful part for me was when I bore testimony of the first vision, and quoted Joseph Smith directly. Before, the younger boys were being kind of silly and asking some of those hard questions that people ask sometimes, but when I started quoting Joseph Smith, everyone was silent. The parents had tears in their eyes and the power we could all feel in that room was undeniable. There was about a 5 second pause after. I will never forget that feeling. Looking back, I can see how that promise given to me is being fulfilled. Not only in myself, but in my companions as well. D&C 121:45 says,

"...let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall they confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from Heaven."

As virtue becomes a part of who we are, our confidence grows, and our understanding of the doctrines of the gospel "distill upon our souls".

I had a great birthday! I've mentioned before that our area is HUGE. We drove a ways out to do some work in a small town. We met a few people, and even stopped a guy on his lawn mower. Sister Rowley and I have been working on being more bold. It was a beautiful day, and the Adair's took us out to get ice cream. We had dinner with the Daniel's, who graciously took a picture of us and sent it.

Sister Rowley and Sister Record
I love you all! Again, sorry this is short. More to come next week.

Sister Record

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sister Record!

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Melissa Rowley

Sister Record celebrated her twentieth birthday yesterday on the 13th. We are grateful for this picture sent by members caring for them.

Sister Rowley and Sister Record

Monday, February 9, 2015

God is Aware

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Melissa Rowley

Good afternoon!

This week has been miraculous. Ready for an awesome story? On Tuesday we met a potential investigator named {K} who was a little apprehensive, but listened and let us pray with her. She never let us in, but we were able to set up a return appointment with her for Thursday. On Wednesday we met a couple {Couple 1} outside an apartment complex on the same street. We got to talking to them, and they were nice, but didn't seem very committed to anything. When we asked if we could share more with their family they said sure, but would only give us their phone number, no address. We just kind of forgot about them because they showed little interest. When we went back to {K}'s on Thursday, she decided she wasn't interested and gave us some of her pamphlets. She asked us not to come back. A bit of a bummer, but we had a backup. There was another potential investigator who lived in the apartment complex. As we were walking up the stairs to this woman's apartment, lo and behold, right next door this couple, {Couple 1} walked out. They were directly in front of us. So we started talking to them and ended up teaching them about the Book of Mormon. It was AMAZING!! He, in particular, was really excited about the Book of Mormon, and they both committed to read it. We testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and told them of God's love for them. We told them that God is aware of them, and that's why He sent us to them. We didn't even know where they lived! The very moment we were walking up the stairs they were leaving their apartment. What a miracle.

We started teaching a woman named {L}. One of the members in our ward invited us to do a service project at her house. Her friend {L} was there helping as well. She introduced her to us. She has been through a lot. She's had a rough life. She's searching for truth. I've never met someone so hungry for the gospel. She has such a desire to learn. She was really excited when we gave her the Book of Mormon. And when we had a lesson with her 4 days later, she had already read all the way up to 1 Nephi chapter 10! She came to church this Sunday. She was sitting with another Sister in the ward. The people in the ward enveloped her. She was out of our hands on Sunday, which felt really weird, but was so good because she was able to meet and feel the love of others. I was watching her most of the time. She listened really intently and would turn to the Sister she was sitting with to ask questions every now and then. I've been praying to find people who are ready to be baptized. And she may very well be the one. We are so thrilled to be teaching her.

Sister Rowley and I had the privilege of teaching the Young Women's class on Sunday. It was such a beautiful experience. I love Young Women's. We basically taught how to teach The Plan of Salvation. We did a demonstration with the pamphlet we use and gave each of them one. We had them act as investigators, and us as the missionaries. We discussed how we would handle certain situations. Then we had them do it. They role played teaching a principle from The Plan of Salvation with the person next to them. It was a great learning opportunity.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's kingdom on the Earth. It is true, and it was restored through a young boy, a prophet. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. We are God's children. He is our Father. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the World. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Record

P.S. It's crazy to think I'll be 20! I specifically remember sitting at the table the day of my 10th birthday. Dad had told me earlier that I was a decade old. I was holding the new stuffed dog and a pink purse that I had received, and was amazed that I was a decade old. I mused about it for some time. I thought about how someday I would be two decades old. That seemed like FOREVER away. Now, here I am turning two decades old this week. Whoa... Just think, someday I'll be three decades old. But that is FOREVER away. Or is it? WEIRD!!! Love y'all!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Great Week!

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Melissa Rowley


It's been a great week! I'm amazed at the trust the Lord has placed in us to carry out this assignment of doubling in. Doubling in is also referred to as a "white wash". It is no easy task, but the Lord has asked us to do this and I know that he provides a way for us to accomplish everything he asks us to do. It's interesting to observe the reactions of the ward. They are thrilled. I just feel like a normal missionary. It's humbling to see the ward responding with such gratitude and praise for both the previous missionaries, and for us. We were without a car for 5 days, which isn't bad at all. We got rides from members, who responded so readily. We had people signed up right off the bat.

One evening we had a young mom from the ward driving us. She's pregnant, and by the end of the evening she had to use the restroom. She had been staying in the car when we stopped by people, but when we got to {A}'s home, a potential investigator whom we had never met, this lovely Sister who was driving us had no fear. She came up to the door with us, and after we introduced ourselves she asked if she could come in and use her restroom. I was slightly apprehensive at first, but that is exactly what got us in. After that, {A} let us right in. She had two children herself, so she totally understood and was so kind. She's real funny. We were able to talk with her, get to know her a little, and share a brief message about the Book of Mormon. We left a copy with her and invited her to read it. People are very kind, and often ready to help. I'm convinced that she would not have let us in or listened to us if it weren't for this Sister in the ward. God truly does work in mysterious ways. Who would have thought?

There is a huge retirement community in our area called Sun City. So there are a lot of elderly people. It's awesome. We need to adjust out teaching style a little bit for them, because they love to talk. It's fantastic. We're really enjoying it. I've never seen a retirement community before so it was a little strange to me at first. I've really come to love it. I love this area so much. I am in love with everything about it. It's beautiful, and the people are amazing.

We're teaching an amazing woman named {R}. Her husband is a member who was less-active for many years, and she is not a member. She loves making soap and jewelry. The first day we met her she gave us a whole bunch of stuff that she had made. She's one of those people that I meet and just know that I was supposed to meet her. We look forward to when she finally accepts the invitation to be baptized. She's really close. They've been coming to all three hours of church for the past several weeks.

On Saturday we had the sacred privilege of meeting Elder Russell M. Nelson of the quorum of the twelve apostles. When he arrived, we stood and he asked that we all come forward and shake his hand individually. In an orderly fashion, we each had the opportunity to look into his eyes, and shake his hand. The feeling of shaking his hand is something I will never forget. The spirit radiates in him. I felt a rush of emotion as I looked into his face and saw the image of Christ engraven in his countenance. It was truly special to have that one-on-one opportunity. I was close to the front, so I watched him the majority of the time. He leans forward in his seat and listens very intently to whoever is speaking or singing. Each person who participates whether it be a prayer, a musical number, or speaking, he would shake their hand and genuinely thank them as they walked away. I know that the apostles have been called of God as special witnesses of Christ.

That evening was a spiritual feast. President and Sister Slaughter spoke, President Spinlove, a stake President, spoke at Elder Nelson's request, Elder Wright, and Elder Foster of the seventy also briefly addressed us. Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke for the majority of the time. His words were invaluable. He often refers to the Abrahamic Covenant. He spoke of many gospel truths. I would have to look back at my study journal to recall the specifics. One thing that really stood out to me is when he talked about how God uses the unlikely to accomplish his great purposes. It was good to be reminded that all things are possible through him. Even leading out an area that we're both brand new to. I am so grateful for this unforgettable day to meet a prophet of God.

I'm so glad to be serving a mission!

I love y'all.

Lorielle, I can't wait to use the word y'all with you. It's really become a part of my vocabulary. :)

Have a wonderfully, magically, stupendously great day!

All in.

Sister Record


Ha ha! When Sister Sadie Johnson and I were on exchanges (several weeks ago), a member brought dinner to us. We put that garlic bread in the oven and forgot about it. We came home and remembered as soon as we walked in because the apartment smelled weird. It was really funny. There wasn't any smoke like we thought there would be, everything was fine. We had to take some pictures. It's supposed to be white....

Sister Johnson and Sister Record with blackened bread

Sister Record and Sister Johnson. Blacked garlic bread.

Sister Record and Sister Johnson

Sister Record having a very serious conversation with this knight at the Mercado on P-day. :)

Knight with Sister Record
Goodbyes to Sister Foster.

Sister Record and Sister Foster

Sister Record and Sister Foster being silly

On our way to Austin! Hermana Anguilo and I came out together. We're destined to be travelling buddies. :)

Sister Rowley, Hermana Anguilo and Sister Record

Sister Record in her new area
Here are some pictures of us cleaning our apartment. It was a moment we had to capture.

Sister Melissa Rowley

Sister Record and Sister Rowley cleaning
P.S. Sometimes I struggle taking selfies. Ha ha.

A map showing several cities within Sister Record's area. It's about 19 miles from Georgetown to Florence.