Monday, February 25, 2013

 Awesome Mission Birthday & Prayer Challenge
February 25, 2013
Hey everybody. I'm so sorry. I just didn't have time to create much of a blog last time :/ Well, I'm better this time! I've got a lot more time today so I'll use it wisely here and try to make up for lost time!!

First off, we had a little exchange with the zone leaders and Elder Packard took over the area and did fantastic! He's so solid! Man these 18 year old missionaries are just coming out ready to work and get the ball rollin! We had a big meeting up in Raleigh the next day for all the zone leaders and district leaders, and I got to see my dad! (Trainer). He lives by a gym and goes to it every morning around five thirty so he was looking younger and skinnier than I remember! That was a really good 4 hour meeting in which I was really able to take a lot away from it to bring back and apply to our district, which in just a couple weeks is going to have 4 sets of sisters instead of one... set of sisters... I have bundles of them wherever I go! Haha oh and just a little side note, while I was in Newbern we passed by Nicholas Sparks' house. No big deal though ;)

Anyway, it also happened to be my birthday last week, and it was on Saturday. It started out really good! I opened some of the presents from the family, one of which was a ¼ lb. Peanut butter cup, which I ate instantly. (Not a good idea).  We also went to breakfast at Hardy's courtesy of my companion, and then we went out and found a new investigator whose already reading the Book of Mormon and is excited to come to church and learn more! Always the best birthday wish on the mission! After that, the member we were with found out it was my birthday and took us to Golden Corral for lunch! (It's been a big food day) where we happened to see the Reece family (who we live with) while we were there. She came up to me, slapped my face a couple times softly and said happy birthday. Haha! Mom's just can do that huh? So after that, we tried to continue working and not fall victim to our oncoming food comas. We visited an investigator getting baptized, and talked to her husband, and he's reading the Book of Mormon and seriously considering joining, and will as soon as he gets the answer. He's reading and praying about the Book of Mormon sincerely so we have high hopes! After that, we went on down to the Yost's house for a while. Then we went to a lesson,  just kidding,  I'll say more about dinner. DINNER AT THE YOST'S WAS FANTASTIC! We walked into the Yost home, and they had a little happy birthday thing hanging up with party hats everywhere, and some Reese's Peanut Butter!!!!! That stuff is DAAANG good!!! After we ate dinner, there was also... RASPBERRIES!!! One of the greatest fruits God's given us on this earth!!!! Not to mention the Reese's Ice Cream as well! Good grief I got spoiled sooo bad...I had a bit of a selfish birthday! We put one candle in all of the raspberries piled on a plate, and turned off the lights to sing! By the time the lights went on they were almost gone! Man they were sooooo good!! I ate them a little too fast, someone said something funny, and I may have spit some out.. haha oh man... It was a really good time. THANK YOU YOSTS!!! They sure spoiled me and I'm very appreciative of it :) We went to a lesson afterwards with another and had a great lesson and helped him commit to the steps he has to take to be baptized, and then got home to find a package on the stairs from a Katie Kirkham... Can't argue with that to end the day well :):):) Haha and inside was a box of life!!! I was overly spoiled on my birthday!!! I”m so grateful for everything that everyone has done for me and I pray that you'll be able to feel the blessings that come from being a charitable giver! I love you all very much! Thanks for helping me push onto the 20's! We'll see how these go ;)

Well, birthdays come and go, and the mission carries on!! After church the next day, we drove back up to Newbern so that I could interview 3 of the zone leader's investigators for baptism. They were ready, and it was my first time doing that... it's weird and a little scary to think that You're trusted from God to make the decision if these people here are ready to make this promise and covenant in their lives.. The last thing you want to do is put someone through a promise that they're not ready to make, especially when that promise is with God -_-. But with some prayer and preparation, I was able to interview them, and found them all ready to be baptized. It's great to see that people are really changing their hearts and preparing themselves to enter into the kingdom of God :) it's a good place to be, so I'd like to see a lot more happening! So that was neat, and because of this crazy week we haven't really been able to do a lot of planning for next week, so I feel to an extent, we're flyin by the seat of our pants here! But we're getting there ;) President Burnhisel in the meeting said something pretty bold, but very true. He said the thing that will change your life the most, and will become the most valuable thing you learn on your mission, is the power and ability of goal setting and planning. Interesting how those two things, above everything are the things that bring the most change and growth in our lives. Of course in high school classes you learn about why you need to set goals and plan and what not, but I've gained such a testimony of the importance of goals and planning!!! If you leave the apartment, without your goals prayerfully embedded in your head, your plans are going to mean nothing, and will not be nearly as effective or successful, because when you don't believe or apply the goals you set, you're denying the godliness in you :) so they're pretty important.

Another thing that has really hit me this last week, is the power of prayer. Now as we all know, prayer is fantastic and does miracles! But how much do we pray? If you were to think right now of the average times you pray everyday, is it really that much? How many minutes, or seconds a day, do you give to your Father in Heaven in communication?  I remember very well a week on my mission where I just felt very hopeless and a little lost on what I needed to be doing, and how I could bring the spirit back into my life. I studied hard on the spirit and was brought to the necessity of faith to posses it. Faith is action, so I thought of the everyday answers of prayer, scripture reading, and church going, and how those simple things when used constantly allow us to keep our baptismal covenants, and allow us to receive the Holy Ghost as we do so. That next Sunday, we sang, “Did You Think to Pray?” and that was that push over the hill! I've made a very sincere effort to focus on praying almost all the time for everything, and I can promise you from personal experience, that the difference is unquestionable. When you pray more frequently, you are literally allowing yourself to receive God's personal will for you all the time, and as you act on your prayers, you will have sincere hope and happiness in all you do, with the assurance of peace that you are doing exactly what your Father in Heaven would have you do. Ahhh gotta go, but I challenge everyone to think of that average number in your head for just a second, and times it by two or three!!!! Pray 2-3 times as much as you do now on a regular basis, and you will feel the difference!! That I testify and promise to you!! You'll never know until you try, and once you'll try, you'll never stop :) I love you all!!!! Thanks again for a great birthday! Good-bye until next week when I write and send this to my mom and she puts it on the blog for you to read, again!!! Keep up the good work y'all!
Love, Elder Langford

Monday, February 18, 2013

Too busy to blog this week!!
February 18, 2013
Hey everyone,
Sorry I don't have as much time now :/ I have to write a lot more to the President now that I'm training and the district leader. I think from now on I'm going to be a bit more frugal with my time and just have it all ready to write right then.  I'll get better at this... Haha it's been a little bit of a stressful week, but it's been good! It's amazing how the mission really just picks apart all your weaknesses... I mean, when you pray to be guided by the spirit, and to have the spirit in all things, sometimes in order to get what you wish for, you get to go through a nice batch of refiner's fires :)  So yeah it's been a long week, but it's been really good one at the same time!

Elder Packard's doing great! He's the perfect companion! He's made it real easy to train! He's 18!  He's full of energy and if you didn't know it, you'd think he'd been out here a year already.

Hey ran out of time today!!!! AHHHH!!
Just know that it was 36 degrees and humid... biking to the church in the morning was noooooooot warm to say the least... um, So i gotta go. I know this was really lame, but I love you all and will hopefully write more next week! God Bless :D :D Keep on praying!
Love, Elder Langford

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Elder Langford's New Companion!!
February 11, 2013
OOOOOOk, I got only a couple minutes here, and I didn't really write too much to home.  I was a little focused on the crazy week that just happened! But next week I'll do better. Basically, on Tuesday, I went up to Raleigh to drop off Elder Moses, and to pick up Elder Packard!!!! he's a newbie from West Haven, Utah! He's fantastic!!! He's got so much enthusiasm and is just ready to go out and preach the gospel! I hope he never loses this greeny spirit he has.... so much green power... he's like Green Lanturn!  So things have been going really well being a district leader! The Lord TRULY carries you... I've felt I've grown so much in this last week, and it is through the guidance and direction of the spirit that I've been able to do all that I'm supposed to as a district leader. I've gained such a strong testimony of teaching by the spirit, learning by the spirit, and just living by the spirit. It's incredible how when you really put your personal feelings and desires away, and really let your purpose become the same as the spirit, you're able to testify and say the things that you can know with a surety Jesus Christ himself would say if he were there. I've come to realize how truly dependent I am on the Lord, and how humility is so key to being able to have confidence and power in the work. It's ironic how humility, submitting our self to the Lord, allows us to become the people he wants us to be, and to access, as he directs, the powers of heaven necessary for your investigators. WHEW! The mission changes you! Haha it's great! It's been such a faithful week of focusing on just following the spirit's guidance, as to where it wants us to go, what it wants us to do, and what to say. Being responsible for the growth and uplifting of my district has brought me to a higher level of love and care for these missionaries. I'm striving to be in tune with the spirit as much as I can, so that I can help them with exactly what God wants for them, and that together we can all reach the potential for our areas, and the personal achievements that only through the lord we can obtain... I know that I'm definitely not perfect, and it seems that as I try harder to be better, sometimes the things that I truly stumble with come out more in view. It's been such a blessing to see how through my weaknesses I have been made strong. This is a pretty long paragraph. I'll definitely have more specifics on the going ons in the area next week, but basically, things are going fantastic :) As long as the spirit is able to dwell, then no matter what hardship or trial I have to suffer, I can press forward with a perfect brightness of hope. The reminder of the eternal perspective from the Holy Ghost can shatter the frailties of our temporal discomforts! So strive to keep the Holy Ghost in your life to guide you, because it is through him that we shall have a brightness of hope, helping direct our faith (actions) in Jesus Christ. Ahh I have one minute left but I just thought I'd say this because it made an impact on me.
Having faith in Jesus Christ means basically three things.

1. You know he's the literal son of god and the savior of mankind.
2. You recognize and realize the necessity of following his gospel
3.  You trust in his promises and all the blessings he gives us.

Ask yourself then, if you knew without a doubt these things were all true, how would you change your actions in everyday life? Food for thought! That's what faith is! How we change actions according to the knowledge we have of these things!

Gotta go love you all!!! Byyyeeeeeeee
Monday, February 4, 2013 
Hey everyone,
Okay.... so I forgot my other planner, my old planner, that had all the stuff I wanted to write down to you... hmmm.... well... there's some new news I guess this week. First off, ah man I really can't remember too much... It's been a really good week!  We've been able to talk to a lot of people and a lot of members, and have developed a lot more friendships!  An investigator, after some further discussion of some points, is ready for baptism! She should be getting baptized in the next two to three weeks here! She's been a great miracle! At first she said she really wasn't too interested, but she actually came to church to check it out, and absolutely loved it! We've been teaching her for a while now, and she's so ready to be baptized! We're extremely happy for her!

So another little tid bit, Elder Moses and I were making some phone calls, and had a little talk, and decided that probably the hardest job in the mission field, would be to be a district leader, and a trainer to a new missionary at the same time. My first companion was the district leader, and my district leader now was doing the same thing. Sounds like a crazy idea right? So last Thursday around 9:40, I got a little call from the President, telling me that HE WANTED ME TO TRAIN AGAIN AND BE THE DISTRICT LEADER OF THE AREA!!!!! I told him he had the wrong number. Haha not really, but I said something out of pure shock that I don't even remember... so yeah as of tomorrow, I'm going up to Raleigh to probably get a possible (probable) 18 year old missionary, and then conducting a district meeting on Wednesday! Ooooh man... now it's a party! So we'll see how that goes... It's definitely a push of responsibility. Hope fully the area doesn't burn down to the ground :D we'll see what happens! Anyway it's been quite a shock, and will soon turn into a reality! Haha a prayer or two this way is always acceptable :) I'm grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to become a minister to these great missionaries in this area ( half of them got transferred so I'm just banking on the other half being good as well... -_-). Becoming district leader while training's a pretty big mantle, but I know that the way (and the only way ) that this is going to work is through faith in the Savior. I know I'm going to grow (some white hairs) faster than I ever have, and that somehow this will make time go by even faster than it did before. I'm grateful for the chance to serve as the district leader for the Harker's island, Havelock, and Morehead city. It'll be neat to get to go to the island now for exchanges! So that's probably the big thing, oh and we got golden corral again. Goood stuff ;) I love you alll sooooo much!!!!!! Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee we go!!!!!!! I gotta get up to leave at four thirty tomorrow for Raleigh... I may just sleep in my church clothes... haha Love you again!!!! Take care! Stay active (this church ROCKS)!!!