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!

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