Monday, May 13, 2013

"Service to Others"

Update from Elder Langford: May 6, 2013

Hey everyone,
Whew! I have so much to write!

My mom would  be so proud of me! I’m pretty OCD about staying organized and actually keeping the house clean. It’s great! I feel that there’s so much that needs to be kept so that the focus can remain on the work. If something is all messed up and jumbled, then that’s going to slow us down, so we’ve gotta clean the inner vessel if we’re ever going to clean the outer! Haha yeah I hate messes now… I’m pretty crazy organized. 
My new area was struggling… I found out, that there was a lot of down time, and a lot of procrastination… and just not a lot of organization!!!  A lot had to be changed…It really helped me realize what I have to do if I’m to be successful in my life, and how I need to always step it up, stay organized, and on-top of everything, doing it as soon as I get it, so I can actually be ready for all the things I’ll have to take on in the future. It’s been a lot of stretching for me, but the difference is incredible. I’ve never felt so strong on the mission, or in my life before. I know how to fully apply myself and do my very best at something. That’s been the biggest change since I’ve been out here, is just knowing how to be able to PUSH myself in to doing what needs to be done, in the best way possible!!! I’m reminding myself of my mom and it’s kind of freaking me out ;) haha actually I really like it, and feel that I’m finally unlocking what she's been trying to teach me all these years ;)  Thanks mom!

This was a crazy week… I can’t believe all the things that have happened in it… just blows me away… This started off as the hardest week and most discouraging week I’ve had in my whole mission. I was quickly able to identify that I had a decreased sense of hope, faith, and charity… and it felt empty… like there was some kind of poison through the veins, spreading all over and sucking the desire to serve out of me… Honestly, It’s the lowest I think I’ve ever felt… it lasted like 3 days! We still did the work and were having some success, but it just, didn’t click inside. Then there was this change, and it was a complete 180. I’ve gained a lifelong conversion, of what I need to do every single day, to continue to have faith, hope, and charity in all that I do for my Savior. Through this refiner’s fire, I’ve been able to recognize my goal for this life and all eternity. It came to me so clear and I’ll never forget it. Everything we do, will never be our best effort, or our greatest potential, UNLESS, it’s main underlining goal, is to benefit someone else. Be it immediately, Like a random act of service, or more importantly, LONG TERM, as in doing your best to learn how to become successful, because you want the best for your future family. Anything we do, can only reach it’s fullest potential, if it is out of love for someone else. Love IS perfect faith. Faith is the double sided process of believing in something and acting on that belief. Love propels you to compile and think of every good thing you can possibly do for others, and if it’s true charity, you’ll then DO all those things. This is how we progress. If we are constantly doing every good thing that we can think of to it’s fullest, then it inspires us to new things, and opens/expands the minds, to show you a higher step, the next step. Coversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ is literally to LOVE God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, because if you develop charity, you will do your very best in every aspect of your life to please and gain the trust of your Savior. This has helped me conquer every single fear I’ve ever had up to this point. I KNOW that if I strive to do my very best, that I can feel the comforting peace of the spirit everyday, confirming to me that my Father in Heaven has accepted my daily offering and sacrifice, and that’s all that matters in the long run. Serving others! I never fully understood how deep it goes! It’s been in my mind for years, especially prevalent  on the mission, but never as deep in my heart as it is now. My purpose and goal as a missionary, and for the rest of my life, is to live my life in the ambitious purpose of serving others.  This is our purpose on earth!

We’ve been able to see miracles this week from the transformation that have helped to solidify this change. We met an investigator that said she’d be willing to hear the message we shared. She was extremely humble and ready to hear the message. She’d been going to a lot of different churches, and was striving to find the right one that she could raise her family in. We were able to teach her, and testify of the power of the Book of Mormon. IT was such a sweet moment as there was a pause, and we asked her how she was feeling, and she said that she felt that peace and comfort that she so desired, and wanted to feel for the rest of her life. We were able to bear very direct testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost, and the difference it will make for her life. She accepted baptism, came to church, and said that she would like to become a member. The spirit has been guiding us,and we’ve been extrememly humbled to see how the Lord’s hand has worked in this area. I’m so grateful for his aid, for without it missionary work would be impossible.

We also are teaching a 25ish year old who is a medic in the army. He’s fantastic! He admitted at first he let us come back and teach him because he felt like everyone always would say no to our message and he’d just be nice -_- but now on his own, he’s been reading the book of Mormon, went to order a triple combination, drew a picture of the tree of life when he was reading it (that was a surprise), and is trying to live the word of wisdom… he’s so elect and ready to hear the message! And the craziest part was, is he and his girlfriend were simply sitting on their porch, right by our house, a level up, and I had seen them out of the corner of my eye thinking, nah… ha we’ll just get out and carry on and bike to some potentials… it was an awkward angle, we were already going, but I rebuked myself, and did it anyway! Haha and we’re so glad that we did! He’s great and we can’t wait to see what he’s read and marked in his scriptures next!

Ohhh and the power of prayer. I want to touch on that really quick, I don’t have too much time, but there have been two specific instances where my testimony on the power of prayer has grown immensely. I don’t know if I talked about this last time, but I set a goal, everyday, to pray for some type of service opportunity, and then to increase my faith and to account with myself, I would write it down every night. Be it a blessing in the hospital, carrying out a stressed out mom’s garbage, helping a Pre-missionary learn how to study the scriptures, or helping an old lady carry an ironing board on the bus, the Lord has ALWAYS put an opportunity there, if I just search for it. Now it’s become more of a natural thing to always constantly search for what I can do, and it’s really helped me come to the conclusion that being in the service of others is the way that we can lose ourselves to find ourselves! Also, we’ve been praying a lot for increased member involvement in the missionary work this last week, and we’ve been able to see it happen! Ahh miracles!!!! Anway out of time, but I love you all so much, and promise that I’ll try my best to serve everyone of you to the best of my ability! God bless you all!  Love, Elder Langford

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