Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Elder Langford's Challenges for the Week: September 24, 2012 

Hello!  Ok sorry again, it’s going to be a short one. I’ve worked it out to possibly get more time next week so I can write more to you next week!   This week went by faster than I could keep track… It really feels like Monday was yesterday… do I say that every week now? It’s pretty mind boggling how time soars out here! This week was a week of much, much biking. Pretty sure that my legs are going to be superhuman by the time this is over!

First off, I would invite anyone who’s up to it to check out ‘Jesus the Christ’! I just finished it a couple days ago and It’s an amazing way to get to know your Savior better, and unimaginably, gain even more love and appreciation for all that he has done for all of us.    It’s not exactly a picture book, but it’s great and worth the time! 

 Again wish I had more time, but I’d just like to take a little time to stress the importance of setting goals!!  Progression in anything is all about making goals, and keeping goals. I’ve seen sooo much progression out here as I have written weekly goals that make me stretch, and make me change, that’s exactly what’s been happening. I see a difference every single day, as I look over them, and make a sincere effort to accomplish them daily. This is probably somewhat of a ‘no-duh’ to some people I’m sure, and is also something I wish I could’ve caught onto years, and years ago. So even if it’s just one goal, I challenge everyone to set a goal this week, that somehow makes you uncomfortable, makes you stretch, or makes you change, and to look at that goal every single day, and make plans, to do it every single day! I promise you’ll see the difference and grow from it! Someone gave a talk in church about how the natural man’s tendency, is to find the easy way out, and then get back into the comfort zone. I know that by setting goals and sincere prayer, that we can fight through that, and always keep busy, always stretching, and always progress in becoming more prepared to meet God. I hope this made sense, it made a lot of sense to me! I’ve set (setting a goal right now) to take better notes, and prepare a more effective, detailed blog of the week! You’ll have to be the judge if that actually happens! Haha I love you all soooo much and wish that I had more time to tell you more about the week!! Keep on being who you are, cause you’re all great. Super great. I love you!!!!  Elder Langford

Monday, September 17, 2012

Elder Langford's North Carolina News:
 September 17, 2012

I don't have incredibly long to type today, but there was so much good! Two days in particular were just incredible so I'll focus on those!
So Saturday was so amazing! We met this lady from El Salvador, and she was so solid! We brought a member that spoke Spanish with us, because there was a little bit of a language barrier, but she was so golden! She wants to read the whole Book of Mormon, and just wants to know more! Plus the member's excited as well, and will be coming every time we can meet with her, plus we've already found some really good people to friendship her into the ward! It's really looking great for her! The desire and open heart are definitely present!

Then we had another great meeting with this lady that we'd met on the street as well, and she was so great! So solid! She just sucked in what we had to say, and she asked us if we really believed that we had been put in her path for a reason, and we bore our testimony that psssh, of course we were! We taught her the restoration, and she took it all in so well, and is reading the Book of Mormon, and just soaking it in! Near the end I just told her how much we cared and loved her, and she really felt that we meant it, not as a pass-along-invitation, but as truth, because we were there to give her the best thing that we possibly could!
We also ate at golden Corral AGAIN, and are tomorrow as well... Good thing we have exercise time! Haha I'm using every minute of it!
I wish I had more time, but Sunday was incredible as well! A less active that we taught who hasn't been to church for ages, bought new church clothes, read 10 chapters the night we told him to read daily, and just loved church! He participated and just wanted it back in his family's life! His wife isn't a member, but is interested in the lessons, and we're teaching her Wednesday! It's been a week of such miracles! Back to church, someone gave the most incredible talk that really touched me just about taking the initiative, and doing things before your compelled to! I actually found her afterwards and stole the talk so I could take it home for myself! I'll try and send a copy home because it had a really big impact on me! The members as well are so friendly! I know most of them and love how we can talk closely and laugh together, and really have that trust with them.
One of the more important things I've learned about this week, is that these miracles didn't just appear one day. All of these great things that have happened, have been from diligent and hard work trying to find investigators, and do a lot of things to get to know the members better, and gaining their trust in the missionaries. It's been so inspiring to me to see what increased work and diligence can do, and the changes that come from it. As we continue to work our hardest, giving as much of our agency as we can to the Lord, that's when he's blessed us the most. This was a very rewarding weekend, and I pray that it doesn't stop there! We're only going to keep trying harder, and strive for more miracles in this field sooo ripe right now!
In two weeks, my trainer is leaving, and I'm taking over! Just like that! I've really striven to take the advice a missionary I met on the first day at the airport gave me, saying to never hide behind your trainer, and just sit back..   Especially these past couple weeks, I've been striving hard to learn better how to do it all on my own, so that I can be ready when I take the lead! Should be great! It'll definitely give me a chance to take on more responsibility, and show the Lord that I'm ready to get to work!! I love you all so much, but have to go, because I have five minutes now to write to the President... Haha!  Oh P.S.  I saw a firefly! Pretty awesome!  Love you!!  Elder Langford

Monday, September 10, 2012

Elder Langford's Weekly Update:  September 10, 2012

 Go great to read Jeff's emails every Monday.  We missed him last week because the public library was closed for Labor Day.  So great to hear from him today. 

Hello everyone,

So It's been a nice two weeks! We've been out biking a ton and have been talking to a lot of people.  I've just been writing little bullet points in my planer of things that I should write home to yah! So I'll try and stay organized here.
First off, we met this guy named Frank, and he's been through a whole lot!! He has dialysis a couple times a week, and has some form of disease in his foot, which they're trying to stop. They've had to amputate three of his toes so far. So he's got a lot going on to say the least! We stopped by and asked him if we could help with anything, and he said he had this huge project in the shed he needed help with! We went over to help him, and we had to help him walk with a cane and wheelchair slowly to the shed, because he had just gotten back from having two dialysis days in a row. We arranged some stuff, and were walking him back to his house, and his legs just gave out. We had to carry this 260 pound man up the steps to his home, and onto his couch... It was super hard, but through faith and saying a prayer, we were able to get it done! So that was good! We went over again about a week later to help him again, and had some extra time before he was ready to go out.  We were able to teach him about the restoration and whole first lesson. We left him with a Book of Mormon, telling him to read and pray about it. Then I had the thought to give the baptismal invite ("will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?"), which ha seemed a little bold, but I did it, and he accepted! That was good! It was a reminder to me that when the spirit tells you to do or say something, you just need to do it and have faith that it was meant to be said! That was a great experience, and we are looking forward to teaching him again next week! We've got high hopes for him! P.S. There was a HUGE spider on his house! (look up banana spider)!!! that's for you Hollie ;)
We also had a really good meeting as a zone that really made me think. We read a scripture, and we talked about how when we are comfortable on the mission, it is an act of pride... pretty intense! But if you think about it, when we lean back and think we've got something, we give up the chance to learn and continually grow. That was a big thing for me that I think applies to a lot of the aspects of life. It's not about getting somewhere and then flat lining in life, it's about continually finding ways to grow and improve, and staying close to the Lord, humbly allowing him to direct and guide you to ever increase in ways you wouldn't, if you just assumed you were 'comfortable' in it already! Let us not get comfortable in our scripture reading!
Another great story is an investigator, who had been antied several times, who had comitted to coming to church.  Afterwards, has been coming, and has really enjoyed it! She even set up a day to take us to Golden Corral (I kid you not we've been taken there 4 times, with two more on the way next week... seems to be the place people like to take two bottomless pits)! So we met with her before we went, showed her the restoration DVD, and talked more about the church.  She said that if she came to know of the truth, that she would be baptized! That was a great miracle, and we're hoping to continually meet with her and help guide her path towards that goal!
Speaking of food, we had 2 days in a row last week where we had two dinners in the same day by different people, one of those being Golden Corral... Haha doing my best to keep the weight off, but I mean two dinners a day isn't a consistent aid to that goal!!! We've been fed well though, we're getting some good food from everywhere! Probably my favorite still was eggs, rice, beans, and this incredible sausage and gravy, ALL mixed together! Man. I'm literally drooling, because I haven't eaten lunch yet today/!!  (P.S. This maybe a surprise to many, including myself, but I'm actually starting to really like mashed potatoes... missions really do change you!)
I've had two exchanges, where my companion has left me, and another comes in from another area, leaving me to make all the plans, and basically take the lead in the whole day... It's pretty crazy when you have to plan out twelve hours, who to see, what to do, where to go.  It's a great growing experience, and they've gone really well! I'm ALMOST feeling good about him leaving for good in three weeks, and being replaced with someone new in the area! Crazy. Plus there's a possibility that I could be training a missionary in like six weeks! Growing happens fast out here!!!
One more thing I got time for.  We've been teaching some lessons to this in-active lady who's really been through a lot. In a nut shell, she used to be a caregiver for handicapped kids, and one of the kids made up a big story about abuse, and now she has had those kids taken away, barely gets to see them, and has a court case facing abuse trials... We think she'll win the case no problem, but still won't be able to be a full time care giver for them anymore... Such a sad story there... She lives alone and has had a smoking and coffee addiction for a while. She's literally one of the nicest, most humble people I've met. When we went over, we took a new member of the ward who was actually looking for a place to stay. He has this very outgoing, always smiling, and very friendly personality! He actually did all the dishes after she fed us spaghetti before we could!  During our visit, he mentioned he was in the search for a place to live for a bit before they moved to Hampstead, and she immediately offered her house! It had a whole extra upstairs, and she said that he and his wife were welcome! He said he might check it out, and turns out on our next time coming down to meet her, they had moved in! So that was a blessing to see that! They've helped each other grow, and they've been soo good to her! They've all loved being with each other, and we're so happy that we were able to help that miracle! But that's not even the best part! After a couple meetings, she gave us a call out of the blue, and said that she was done smoking and drinking coffee, and that she wanted a priesthood blessing to help her stop. That has been SUCH a miracle! So incredible. She was willing to stop cold turkey. It's so amazing to see the happiness and guidance the Lord puts in our lives as we seek it out! She had been reading scriptures daily, and just felt it was time! We gave her the blessing, and it's almost been a week, and she's been doing great! Hasn't had a problem, and is firm in her decision! It's been a week of so many miracles! I'm loving working here, and am growing exponentially! Growing up is weird.... I can feel it happening and I feel all adultish sometimes... That's a pretty good and necessary thing though, so I'm glad it's happening!
Looks like I've got time for a little more to write. Saturday we literally biked all day long. We seriously biked through most of our area! Pretty tiring! We would stop somewhere at a house, and I would seriously sweat little puddles... It's a furnace out here! A big, fat, wet, furnace! I've never drank so much sweat in my life! Thought 'Y'all' should know that. Anyway, I love you all sooo much!  I just want to let you know that the work's going great, and that I love to talk and tell you about it! This is the hardest, but most rewarding work I've ever done!

Love,  Elder Langford (Jeffrey)