Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sister Record is Safe

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Raelynn Pito

Sister Annelise Record​ is safe in Texas. She is in Georgetown which currently is about an hour away from any of the damage and flooding.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Lord Trusts Us

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Raelynn Pito

Transfer: Staying in Serenada with Sister Pito and getting a third companion.

NOTE: Just want to let y'all know that we're okay. We are with the Adairs. Haven't seen a tornado yet. We think we're good.

Man, the Lord sure does trust us.... We got our transfer calls yesterday. Sister Pito and I will be staying together in the Serenada ward, we'll be receiving a new companion and be tripling in to the Georgetown area. So we'll be covering two areas, one of which will be a "white wash". Excited? Well... yea. Amazed that the Lord keeps making me do things that I didn't think I could do. Uh... yea! It's definitely humbling. I'm excited to be with the Adairs in the Georgetown ward. I think this white wash will be easier than the last one since we'll be in a trio and have Elder and Sister Adair with us. This will be my first trio!

We have seen a lot of miracles this week. But I'll start with a funny story. We were visiting a less active woman in the ward whom we've never met. She lives in an assisted living place. We arrived in the evening so she was in bed when we got there, but not asleep. She had a wheel chair next to her bed. She was so sweet, but we quickly realized that she was senile because she wasn't making sense when she spoke. She would say a few words, but not complete any sentences. We sang a hymn for her and offered a prayer. As we were leaving, we held her hand and told her we loved her. As soon as Sister Pito took her hand, her eyes got real wide. She did a cute little gasp and said in her soft old lady voice, "Wow, she's brown!" We had to grit our teeth not to laugh out loud right then. But when we got in the car we laughed and laughed. The one thing we could understand from her was how brown Sister Pito is. Ha ha!

We had a wonderful time helping a family do family home evening this week. There is a 9 year old and 4 year old girl. We talked about baptism, and following Jesus Christ. To illustrate, we played follow the leader. There was a spill on the floor that I made sure to step carefully over. We talked about how when we are baptized, we follow Jesus Christ. As we strive to follow him exactly, and say we're sorry when we make mistakes, we can avoid slipping on water and getting hurt. Or in other words, falling away. Sister Pito showed a neat trick with water, pepper, and dish soap to illustrate what happens when we repent. It was so fun! I love kids!

About two weeks ago we met a woman walking down the street after picking her kids up from the bus stop. We approached them, and she initially seemed cautious. She started crossing the street as she saw us coming. We crossed over, and talked to her. She was nice, but not super committed. On Saturday we finally went to there house and taught them the Restoration. Her boyfriend joined us. When we talked about Joseph Smith and his search for the truth, she started to cry. She told us about an experience she had the other day where she felt God's love for her strongly, and that she was feeling it again as we spoke. She told us that she knows this is a sign from God. We invited them to church. They said they would come. Of course we hoped they would, but we've had such a struggle getting people to church that we weren't fully expecting them to come. During the opening hymn, they came in! Sister Pito and I were so excited, we jumped up out of our seats and walked with them to a place to sit. They brought their 8 year old daughter, who during the meeting asked her mom, "Where is God?" To which she responded, we can feel him. They stayed all three hours and interacted well with the ward members. How my heart was filled with joy! After primary the little girl told her mom, "Mom, we can hear him too! With his... holy... his holy, his spirit ghost!" They must have learned about listening to the holy ghost. It was really cute. This family is destined to enter the fold of God through baptism. They are so prepared!

We also started teaching a family who's son has been warmly fellowshipped by the young men in the ward. Their hearts have been softened as the boys have accepted and befriended their son who normally struggles socially. He is a fantastic young man, who shared his testimony in fast and testimony meeting his first time there. I'm really grateful for the youth in this ward who reached out and who share their testimony with people around them.

There have been many faith building experiences this transfer and this week. There have also been moments that caused me to have to re-learn what faith is. I now know on a deeper level what it means to have constant faith. Having constant faith does not mean that we don't face discouragement, or that we don't feel sad from time to time. But it means that even when we face times of heartache or weakness, that we trust the Lord and keep going. My heart had ached a couple times. This transfer, I thought a during those times that because I felt that way, my faith must have been weak. Now I know that faith is to hope for things which are not seen, which are true. (See Alma 32:21) I am so grateful for the refiners fire. And for what it takes to have true faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am a witness of his love for me, and each of his children. I know that he lives, and that he is aware of our needs. As we trust in him, we will see miracles. I have.

I love you all.

Sister Record

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Decisions Determine Our Destiny"

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Raelynn Pito

We learn from President Thomas S. Monson that "decisions determine our destiny". The decisions we make truly do have a lasting impact on our lives, our families lives, and the lives of those we come in contact with.

I'd like to take a moment to pay tribute to my Grandma Record. Yesterday Sister Pito and I got to teach the Beehives (young woman ages 12-13) on strengthening our testimony. I felt impressed to share with them a bit of my Grandmothers story of faith. So I've been thinking a lot about her. I hope she doesn't mind that I share this. My Grandma came from a broken home. Things were rough and she didn't feel a whole lot of love. If I remember correctly, around the age of 12 she kicked out of her home. Life was full of uncertainty for her. Never sure of where to turn for support or love. She married at a young age (15), and had my Dad shortly after (16). I can only imagine the sadness and inadequacy she felt. When she was about 26 or so, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came and taught her. They showed her a new way of life. They helped her understand more deeply God's love for her, and introduced her to eternal, restored truths that would not only forever change her life, but thousands of lives. Though it was an emotional ride, she made the decision to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. She paved the way for her children to have a better life. She was a wonderful mother and wife. She raised her children with faith and love.

My life would be very different if it weren't for her. Because of the amazing woman she was and is, I am here today. My family is strong in the gospel and sealed for all eternity. I am here, on a mission, doing the Lords work, and being an instrument in his hands in touching lives. I am forever grateful for Elder Schmidt, one of the missionaries who taught her, and who baptized her. If he had not served a mission, my family wouldn't have the blessings we have. I'm sure that I would not be serving this mission. Thank you Grandma. And thank you Brother Schmidt, wherever you are.

Every decision we make literally has an impact on thousands. Alma 26:22 says "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing -...it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance..."

This transfer I've learned a lot about who I am. There have been some growing pains, so to speak. Sister Pito and I have learned so much about communication. Ha ha... We love each other, but being as different as we are did require some effort in working together, and some growing pains. She is so incredible. I love her faith. I'm beginning to see the beautiful things that have happened in the Serenada ward.

We've been sharing a Mormon message lately called "The Hope of God's Light". It's about a man who didn't believe in God. But then his life came crashing down.


Once again, decisions determine destiny. I'm eternally grateful for my decision to serve a mission. I love the Lord, and I love this work!

All in!

Sister Record

P.S. Transfer calls are coming this Sunday... We're pretty sure something's going to change. We won't speculate, buuut I'm just sayin' I've been here for three transfers and Sister Pito's been here for one. So we'll see.

Also, we should be getting some form of technology really soon... :) More news to come.

Love y'all!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Walk Through the Park

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Raelynn Pito


What a precious opportunity to video chat with y'all (my family) yesterday! I thrououghly enjoyed it. The part that meant the most to me is when we knelt in prayer as a family at the end. I was filled with emotion as I had the opportunity to pray for each of you by name. There is nothing like kneeling in prayer with my family. Again, Happy Mother's Day, Mom! :)

This has been a wonderful week! I saw fireflies for the first time in my life! We were getting out of the car when Sister Pito said, "*gasp*, fireflies!" I jumped out of the car to see. At first I couldn't see anything. But than I saw them. Little flickers of light in the dark. It was so magical. We were standing in that persons yard for 5 minutes looking at them. Luckily their house was dark. I don't think they were home. I feel like my life is complete now. I have seen fireflies. :D

There have been so many miracles this week. The fact that we had about 18 lessons for the week was incredible. Most weeks we've had maybe 6 or 7 lessons. The numbers aren't really what count, but that just shows what amazing things have been happening. One of those lessons we had was with a group of redkneck boys ages ranging from 17 to 30. We approached them when they were outside in the middle of the day, dirty from head to foot from working with cars and what-not. (There were other nieghbors around too.) They were somewhat immature, loud, and obnoxious. But when it came to us talking to them about God and the Book of Mormon, they were very respectful and listened. We showed them "Because He Lives", taught them about the Book of Mormon, and gave them each a copy. There was one man in particlar who seemed very focused as we shared our message. He seemed like the leader of the bunch. He must have been 29 or 30. He was the dirtiest of them all, but looking in his eyes, I could tell something was clicking with him. There was a brighter light there than in the others.

On a seperate occasion we felt impressed to walk through a park. We saw some kids playing on the playground. As we walked past them, we saw a woman sitting at a picnic table looking at her phone. We approached her and introduced ourselves. We talked to her about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before showing her "Because He Lives", she told us that she had been looking at faith quotes just before we showed up. After watching the video I felt like I should ask her why she was looking at faith quotes. She thought for a moment and said, "Can I ask you guys a question?" She proceeded to express her concern that she hadn't been baptized. It's a big commitment that she just doesn't want to do unless she can be all in. We taught her about how Chirst was baptized. When Christ was baptized, he didn't just go to anyone. He went to someone who held the Priesthood, which is the power and authority given to man to act in God's name. We were able to tell her that she can be baptized in the same way, by the same preisthood, which was restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. It was really neat to watch the light go on in her eyes. She had to leave soon after, but she agreed to meet with us.

As we were following the GPS to a certain address that same day, I took a wrong turn without even realizing it. I pulled up to a spot where I could turn around, and discovered a neighborhood of mobile homes that I have never seen before. I'm not sure if missionaries have ever been there because we don't have a single address from that street in our areabook (the book where missionaries record names and addresses). It's kind of out in the country where we don't have a detailed map for. We decided to park and knock. Almost everyone we met in that place was receptive. We met two woman in particular who were very kind and open. One of them was battling cancer. We visited with them for a good 20 minutes. I'm pretty sure that some angels took the steering wheel without me noticing and turned that car onto that street. It's a country road that's easy to not see, and we were obviously supposed to be there. Wow...

On Monday we were in a part of our area that we're not in very often. There is a memer who lives there who's records just came into the ward. She's not active, and nobody had had any contact with here. Sister Rowley and I originally received the paper with her information and tried several times to meet her but never did. Eventually Sister Rowley left, and I totally forgot about her. While we were there teaching someone else we were walking outside, when I randomly remembered that she lived there. The thought came dinstincly to my mind to go see her, that she was home that night. I told Sister Pito that we need to go see this woman. Turns out, she was home, and needed some uplifting. It was truly a miracle.

That's not even all the miracles we've seen this week. We have been abundantly blessed and led to people. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the people here, and for me and my companion. I know God hears and answers our prayers.

This is indeed the Lords work. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lords kingdom on the Earth. In it, we find the fulness of his gospel. The power and authority to act in Gods name, called the priesthood, was lost for centries when people rejected the Savior and his apostles, but was restored again through a living prophet. This is true. I see eveidence of it every day as the Lord guides us to where we need to be and the people we need to meet. I love you all, but I love the Savior more. To him, I owe my life, my heart, my all.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

Sister Record

Monday, May 4, 2015

Empty But Full

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Raelynn Pito

Keep up the great work of sharing your light and testimony. It makes a difference!

The work of the Lord is moving forward full speed, and nothing can hinder it. It's amazing to me how the Lord uses the unlikely the accomplish his grand designs. It's true that he magnifies and enables his servants.

One day we were walking through a neighborhood and knocking on some doors. We felt impressed to go to one in particular that didn't have a car in the driveway. We walked up to it and saw through the door window that the house was completely empty except for two camp chairs. It didn't look like anyone lived in it. Initially we would have passed by it, but we decided to ring the doorbell anyway. The first time, no one answered. We rang one more time, and no one answered. As we left a man came out and said, "I'm coming." He had just moved in and was painting upstairs. He was very kind and open. He left his family behind wherever he previously lived so that they could finish out the school year while he started his new job. Perhaps that man really needed that visit at that moment. I know that we were led there. Because who would logically go to an empty house? God knows that man personally, and knows that he was there and that we needed to find him. The spirit led us to knock on that door and we found someone in an unlikely place. He told us we could come back any time. So hopefully we'll get to start really teaching him soon. God's ways are not our ways.

We had quite the adventure this weekend. On Friday we briefly came home after dinner for something we needed and found that our power had gone out. We figured it was probably a minor problem that would be fixed soon. When we came home for the night the power was still out. We saw that none of the neighbors power was out, just ours. Luckily a member gave me a mini flashlight, and we asked our next door neighbor for a flashlight. So we planned in the dark with little flashlights. We didn't know what else to do. We called Elder Adair who was in San Antonio for the night and he walked us through finding the breaker. Nothing worked, and the apartment office was closed. Ha ha. It was actually really fun.

At about 10:00pm we saw that we had a voice mail from the moving Elders. (In our mission there is a set of Elders specifically assigned to move missionaries. They move every day all around the mission and proselyte in the evenings and on weekends.) They said that they would be by the next day to move us to our apartment and asked if we needed anything. Well, Sister Pito and I were really confused. We thought they were talking about moving someone else and were just wondering if we needed anything. We called them and found out that we were indeed moving the next day... :) They thought we knew already. Ha ha. So, we ended up moving all day on Saturday. It was awesome. On a mission, you learn to be ready for anything. It honestly was fun, and no big deal. Before my mission I probably would have been stressed out by such an unexpected endeavor. But now it was just another day. Our new apartment is really nice. It has new carpet, new paint, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and nice counter tops. The kitchen is huge. To me, it's luxury living compared to what I'm used to. I won't get attached though, because who knows what'll happen in a few weeks. :)

More often than not, things don't go as planned. But whatever we planned usually leads us to another person we need to meet. We were stopping by a new family in the ward who ended up not being home. We decided to knock on the homes around it. The last one we came to we almost didn't go to because the lady had pulled up in her driveway and was just sitting in her car. It's a little tricky to talk to people in their cars. We ended up walking up as if we were walking to her door, then turned around and acted as though we just noticed her in her car. Haha.. Maybe that was deceiving, but it was the easiest way to get her attention without creepishly walking up to her in her car. We talked for several minutes, and shared with her "Because He Lives". She was very touched by that. We prayed with her, and the spirit was really strong. After we visited with her the family we originally went to go see pulled up. The timing was perfect.

Like I said, the Lords work will not be hindered by any force. This area that I'm in is particularly difficult to find people to teach, but that doesn't matter. It just means we have to work a little harder. There are people prepared in every part of every land. I'm grateful to be here, I'm grateful for the love of the Savior and his sacrifice on our behalf. I know this Church is true.

As a servant of the Lord, I say this in his name, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Sister Record