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!