Monday, March 11, 2013

 Optimists Always Win & Glad I Have 5 Sisters!
Elder Langford's Update: March 11, 2013

Hey everyone!

Ohhh man!! I have a bunch of things to write today!!
First off, my tennis is getting a lot better! Played today and it's not lookin too shabby! We're getting around 8 people to come every morning so it's been a good time every preparation day! I also do crazy night workouts with Elder Packard... he has P90X memorized for abs, so I'm ripping up all that southern food! (kind of)...

I also found out that we were getting sister missionaries to share our area, and also another area that's in our district! We have the biggest district in the mission, with two sets of fairly new sister missionaries...  Good thing I have sisters, or this would be pretty difficult...  Elder Packard has 5 brothers and no sisters, so it's funny to see the difference there sometimes! The zone leaders and I have also been talking a lot about how this next coming transfer is going to be huge towards the effect I have on the district... Things need to be a little tightened up and kept tightened up with all the new missionaries coming in and the things that they'll see and understand as the culture of the NC Raleigh Mission. I had a really good experience with an elder where he broke down a little bit and just laid out all that had been going on in the area. It's so key that when we're given responsibility from the Lord to lift up and bless other missionaries, that we do just that, and set the goal not to first help their area's effectiveness, but first to in a sense clean and purify the inner vessel. It's such a responsibility to be a district leader, but it comes with a lot of fruits as well, which are apparent and easy to see. I hope and pray that as we go through this next transfer, in the words of the zone leader, I don't “screw it up” ;) Haha it should be good though! I have a lot of confidence in the district and their ability to get it done!!

Oh, and I also had scallops for the first time.... and they weren't half bad! I actually quite enjoyed them to be honest!

We've also found a lot of success this week! We found a less active Spanish family that wants their 11 year old son to be baptized, and man he's making progress real quick! He's been great and is so ready to be baptized! And Elder Packard being the crazy charismatic missionary he is (that was meant to be a compliment!), was able to teach him in a way that I definitely couldn't have.  IT's amazing to see why we're all sent to our specific areas for specific reasons. If we can understand the answer to these questions, then we can become more effective missionaries in our perspective areas, by being our best selves, in order to allow the spirit to work through us in a way that is very personal and individualized to our talents, personality, and worthiness. So yeah, he's been doing fantastic, and honestly I don't feel like I'm training at all!  He's as engaged and ready to work (if not more) than I am already!

Elder Packard and I were driving to our next appointment on his birthday, and it had been a fantastic day/week already, where we'd found a lot of new investigators, seen progress from our other investigators, and had just had a really good weekly planning session to prepare and make ready for the next week. We had a little moment of bliss where things just felt like they were going into place, and the area was looking good and ready to go! At this point we definitely stopped and pondered what we had to do to be even better, and to not get comfortable. Because you can either have a mountain of success on the mission, where your success rate sky rockets for a season, and then once it's reached and you 'peak', it goes back down. Where per say, if you're never satisfied with the amount done, and always looking to fulfill your full potential for the area the Lord has given you to watch over, that's when you quit the mountain effect, but initiate more of a mountain range effect! Where the elevation stays generally the same, and just keeps on getting higher! You never want to be satisfied with good work if there's better, or even best that can be done. Especially on the mission you realize that if you want your best results, you can only settle for the best! That's that. Easier said than done right? But we're trying our best! Effort's something that everyone can give their best at!

To finish off the week with a perfect bang, Sunday night Elder Packard and I had to drive down to Newbern to conduct a baptismal interview for two of the zone leader's investigators. We got there a little early, and they walked in next. You could already tell by just looking at them that they were just sweet spirits :) ready to make the covenant with God. I first interviewed the Wife, (they were about in their early 60's) and I asked if she'd say the opening prayer. As she said it, it was extremely humble and pure, and the spirit was very strong, and plainly manifested that she was ready for the baptism, and extremely qualified. She had felt a change of heart and desire such as in Mosiah 5:2. The interview went very smoothly, and I commented on her spirituality that she brought into the room. She was so ready, and so excited to make this promise! It's great to see people with such powerful testimonies, fully ready to come and be all that our Savior asks of us. I then took her husband into interview. We also had a really good chat and I could tell he was a great guy, and that he and his wife were sweet, humbled people. We cruised smoothly through the questions and had a wonderful conversation on how real and willing our Savior is to constantly heal us, and bring us the Joy we need so badly from him. We got to the last question, asking him basically if he felt ready to make this promise and commitment in his life, and he said yes, and the spirit overcame him a bit, and he just paused for a second in pondering silence, and simply glanced up, and said 'thank you Lord'. It was one of the most touching experiences I've had on my mission thus far. I can testify that God is preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive and allow the message of the Gospel to be carried into their hearts. I have truly seen what a broken heart and a contrite spirit is, and how it changes the lives of so many people. I got to give him a nice big hug afterwards, and man... he's just ready for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and in fact craves it and hungers for it. GREAT couple :)  Anyway, can't end the week any better than that right? Great times!!!

Well, I got to head off, I need to do some dry cleaning if anyone's ever going to let us in their house again ;) Haha I love you all!!!!! Never give up the search to find how many ways God influences you personally every day! Life is all about perspective! The optimist always wins everything, and the pessimist always loses... so always win!!!! I love you!!!! Elder Langford

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