Monday, August 20, 2012

Elder Langford's Update August 20, 2012   2 Months into the mission!

Elder Langford and his companion Elder Fowkes!

Hey everyone!
 This has been the fastest week so far in the mission! It flew by, and I feel like I was just here typing this like, yesterday. The days are long, and the weeks are short. Doesn't make sense, but it does at the same time. Somehow. but it's been a great week! We biked through a storm, and were litterally soaked to the bone, so that was fun!! I didn't know how much it could really rain out here! It just pours down sometimes. A lot of our planning and calling time this week has been for preparations for a baptism that was scheduled for saturday (18th). We had planned out everything, plenty of people were coming, lots of good friendship, someone had refreshments ready and there early on, and we had a nice chat with him  a couple days before.  He said he wanted Elder Fowkes to baptize him, and me to comfirm him! I was pretty excited the whole week knowing that I actually got to confirm someone a member of the church. I was really excited, and a bit nervous to do it in front of the whole sacrament meeting.
 Throughout the week, we had a lot of lessons fall through, and a lot of investigators who have just been dodgy and not really willing to commit to the things that we ask them to do. We were actually teaching this couple for the first time on their porch outside, and the whole lesson was great! we taught with the spirit, and the lesson was so simple and made clear sense what our message was, and what we were trying to do. As I asked her to read a part of the Book of Mormon, she stood up, and said that she wanted to be respectful, but had to leave because she'd been really offended by our message, and couldn't really listen anymore... haha that was a surprise... It was a good experience to me to see that some people just aren't ready for the message, and it wasn't something that you did wrong to them, or a specific thing that you said. People have their agency, and can use it accordingly. I've learned that there are three main things that you really need to stay far away from on the mission. Those things are Discouragement, Doubt, and Pride. These things, especially out in the field, are such powerful tools that the adversary uses against us, and as a missionary, it's so dangerous to let any of them get to you, because without that faith that the spirit directs you where to go, what to do, and what to say, we really cannot become effective missionaries. It's hardest, but most important to realize them when we have situations such as that one, where it wasn't something we did wrong, but just her choice not to accept it. We also had an investigator who mid lesson just started going off an nitty gritty things, and literally tried to find a way out, so that he didn't have to hear the message. It's sad to see, especially when there's a lot of work from members and us to see someone stop with the lessons. But, if a mission was meant to be easy, there would be no growth! Plus you never know what kind of a seed of faith you have planted when you leave. Someone, somewhere, in the future, will give them a chance when they're ready. I sincerely believe that, and know that God loves us all of us, and gives us all many chances. so sometimes, you simply have to be grateful for being one of the chances, but not always the one that invites the spirit that changes their heart.
Anyway, the baptism was all planned out and ready to go, and we had met with him earlier in the day, and actually took him to another baptism as well that same morning as we met with him. He was ready to go and we were really excited for him! The baptism was at seven, so we were there at 6 filling up the font and getting everything set up, with a couple people already showing up. Around ten, fifteen minutes later, he texted us and said that it wasn't going to work out. His wife, who had been apathetic about it the whole time, had decided, due to some other unrelavant marriage issues, and put her foot down and told him that he either went to the baptism or stayed w/ her that night.  He had to do what was best for him and his family. We're definitely not here to split up families, so we told him it was understandable, and have been trying to contact him since then with not much luck. It's been a challenge, but really I've found so much comfort in just knowing, that we've done all we can do, and when he's ready, we'll be here. Everything happens for a reason, and maybe when the time comes around his wife will be ready to receive the gospel as well. It's just ironic because the greatest thing for their marriage would be the church, and committing to that eternal family, and finding eternal joys and goals for each other. We talked to one of the bishopbric members about how much he loves his wife, but knows how much harder it would be not knowing that marriage was eternal, and how much that strengthens them everyday.
My spirits are high though!!! We've had  an investigator who speaks little English, mostly Spanish, who has been growing and growing everyday, and reading from the Book of Mormon all the time, and was actually there at the almost baptism. We had a lesson with him earlier that day and were planning on taking him to it, and he said he wanted to get baptized that day! haha We told him that was amazing and were so excited to prepare him for it when he's able to be ready for it! He's been a blessing to me. Seeing his path that he's taking to the gospel. We had a lesson with him last night, and he just started crying saying he wanted to change, and that he knew he had to change. He wanted to be a better person, and follow Christ and be baptized and have all these blessings. He's giving up and sacrificing so much, and is trying his very best. I've seen both sides of the spectrum this week of closed off minds, to real, pure hearted intent. I was almost overwhelmed myself at the lesson, and can really feel God's love for him, and how badly he wants him to be able to come unto him and be a partaker of the full blessings of the gospel, and become a true representative of Jesus Christ. It's always amazing to see how positive every day can be, when that's what you focus on. It's been a week of a lot of progress, and I'm loving it! Through the hard times, a smile with a hymn in your head, keeping it up high and staying humble, make any situation a great one. AAhh out of time.. I love you all so much! Always stay positive through everything, and search for the light in any situation, never the darkness! Never let doubt, discouragement, or pride get in the way of the child of God that you are, and how blessed you can be through that! Love you! Till next week!   Elder Langford (Jeffrey)

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