Monday, September 30, 2013

Trees & Faith, Bringing People to Christ On and Off Line!!

Hey everyone,
Here’s the blog of the week! I just want to start off with the importance of having a firm foundation in your testimony of Christ. Everything that he asks us to do is a blessing in our lives.
I was running this morning, and I got bored, and decided to try and find a way to liken faith to a tree… IT was random at first, and it took me a little while, but a thought came to my head, that when a tree takes in water, the water doesn’t necessarily go to the leaves,but through the roots, and travels to the leaves, giving the tree it’s necessary nutrients. It knows what is most important, the roots that lie below the ground, unseen by the world. The power of the tree however, comes from the nourishment that the roots receive. How unstable would the foundation of the tree become, if all of it’s energy went into sustaining what it had made?
Without proper energy to the roots, the tree would soon fall, defeating the purpose of even receiving water in the first place. It’s important to remember, that as we seek after hidden
treasures and exercise our faith, that our ‘tree of life’ will grow and prosper.  Faith precedes the miracle! Go for fat roots, not fat leaves.  A man told me in Jacksonville once,  in his booming preacher voice, “Man,  people go into them buildings, and get FAT on the
word! They get FAT! The need to get out and EXERCISE their faith!”
Classic. Analogy of the day!

This week, we were able to see a great change in a man’s life. A less active member who came to church last week, came out to a dinner appointment, with these two sweet, wise, aged women. We talked about their conversion to the church, along with his recent coming back to church. One sister talked a great deal about love, and how that is the greatest gift that God
has given her, the ability to think of and serve others. He was definitely touched by the spirit, and has since been asking to take him back on these exchanges with us! He texted us that he’s been born of God. He really has come a long way from the first time I met him, and our next steps are going to be to help him ditch the cigarettes! ;) We’ll get there when we get there! Just goes to show that the best way that you can help anyone, is to show them love,
appreciation, and kindness.  As told by many, it doesn’t matter what you know, until they know how much you care. Opening up the heart, and truly finding the understanding of these people, is what really makes the difference. Our purpose is to give the Holy Ghost that opportunity
to knock on the door to their heart, in a way that they have to accept or deny. It is the best opportunity of happiness that we can give to anyone.

Also, as we were teaching a little girl who was about 14 years old, we asked her how Christ had helped her through her life. She went on to relate some particularly hard trials that the average 14 year old hasn’t had to endure.  We testified to her that Christ has suffered for all of our sins, and has felt all the negative feelings we’ve ever felt. She paused, and looked up and said, "Really? I didn’t know that…"
It was a great reminder of the power of this message that we share, that Jesus Is the Christ, and that He has gone down the paths of our lives. You can imagine how much walking He’s done… The hymn that comes into my head is, "‘I Stand All Amazed." Because of the paths that He’s walked, we get to be as Peter walking towards the Savior, seeing his loving call to come unto him, to live as he lived.  We need to continue to live faithful so that when the waves of the sea come with the deep water and darkness of night,  we will never drown out the faith that we
have.  Faith works!
Also, I’d like to mention the wave that our ward has caught into missionary work! In our third hour at church, we had a combined meeting, and it was incredible! It was all about missionary work, and how everyone could share it in it’s many different forms. The 2nd counselor actually
brought in a tv, and got on facebook to email someone in the class! Missionary work is all over the place now! It’s gone completely viral and the members are really picking up on it.
Speaking of viral work, I’ve also had the chance to get back on my facebook here and there to
do some online tracking.  Going page to page, I found one of our workers at the history place in Morehead city. He would take us every week to go do service at the history center. He was always hesitant for the message, but recently, he’s requested to talk to me over face book. I can’t wait to see what possibilities are opened from it!
Ahhh! the blog time is always gone before we knew it.   I love you all so much, and want you to know that I have such a powerful testimony of online/offline missionary work!!  As we put forth all we can do, our efforts are lifted higher by our savior! (2 Nephi 25:23) Have a great week! Watch general conference and stay
Awake -_-    

Love, Elder Langford

Monday, September 23, 2013

Facebook Worthy, Being in the Right place at the Right Time & Life"s Movie!!

Hey everyone,
It’s me again. GREAT WEEK this week! I actually wrote down some highlights, so hopefully I can more fully portray how great this week was, so that you can all learn by faith, as well, how great this week was.
It started off with a bang! Just a couple hours after we finished emailing in the library, we had a late night lesson with an investigator that Elder Smith and I months back had met on our bikes, gave him a card, and we didn’t really get that “come back tomorrow and baptize me” feeling. Many weeks passed by, and we
continually tried to stop by and catch him at home, as just that potential investigator in the back of our planner. Then, we finally met up with him one night, but sadly, he was heading for the shower, and since the spirit can’t dwell in filthy temples, (and he was in his towel), we rescheduled, and gave him his time. We came back Monday
night, and found out his background.  We learned that this man was indeed a man, who still skates, ski’s, runs mud runs, and works at an outdoors shop giving ski tours! He almost sounds like my dad Minus the skating. SO we shared with him the restoration, and got his background of religion, seeing how he’d tried to go to all of these different churches, and putting together with his own wisdom what his interpretation of it all was. He really related to Joseph Smith, and as we invited him to read and pray about it at the end, we asked him how he felt. He said that he felt Illuminated. We of course started saying prayers of gratitude in our heads, as we helped him to understand how those feelings were from the Holy Ghost. He agreed and said that he’d had familiar feelings as he’d gone to church in the past. He accepted a baptismal invite, and he’s now reading and praying about the Book of Mormon! We’re seeing him again tomorrow! It’s always incredible to see how the Lord prepares people, and then slowly but surely, he puts you in their path, when they’re ready, and when he thinks you’re ready (not always when we think we’re ready).  We never know when someone around us is ready to hear the Gospel, and needs that message of hope in their lives. We do know however, that as we pray for those situations to occur, that the Lord will put people in our path that are ready to receive that message.  Even if it’s just a spoonful at a time, you could take part in feeding someone the full bowl of capn’ Gospel Crunch, so never be afraid to share, because the Lord knows you’re ready, and that’s why he put you there!! He loves all his children and wants us all to take part in the salvation of our brothers and sisters. There’s a lot of them! AND WITH THAT BEING
WE’RE ON FACEBOOK!!!!! The North Carolina Raleigh mission has been selected and chosen as one of the piloting missions for facebook online proselyting!!! We get about an hour a day to do all sorts of things that y’all get to do everyday, except we’re still preaching the gospel!!  We’ve spent the last week beginning the cleansing process of our facebooks… it’s ridiculous, and quite the long process… IT’s a
nice walk to almost every single memory you’ve had in the last couple years, but hey sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven!  With his new tool (for missionaries), we’ve basically been told,  (and very trusted with), the spirit of the law, and making sure we do things that are in tune with our purpose and the spirit of our calling. We can talk to investigators online all over the world, having members join us for lessons! We get to CHAT online! Has anyone ever done this before? It’s a breakthrough! We'll see what happens in the next couple weeks, but basically, we get to facebook a bunch of people for an hour a day, trying to spread  the effort in bringing the gospel to all of the world. We won’t be able to talk too much outside of the missionary work, but we could in the near future here, help those future missionaries such as Alex or Hollie, get on and have some missionary lessons and discussions with us online! WHOA…. They failed to mention this in the MTC… I remember when I got excited when email switched from an hour to an hour and a half -_-. 
IT’s a great honor and a trust to see that they have allowed our mission to be one of the  first to try it out, and we’re going to give a good effort to not ‘mess it up’ and see the fruits that come from doing so!  MY testimony is going viral!  Joseph Smith truly meant the gospel would penetrate all of the earth, and I know that this is just the next step in the great rolling forth of the gospel around the world. The snowball’s started to pick up speed, and the hill just got real steep! We’ll have to let you know some success stories about it next week! So soon to be future missionaries,  keep your facebook clean and ready to purge, because it stinks have to do it on your mission -_-
Few things could top a great news like that! EXCEPT… a less active member coming to church this week after many weeks of encouragement, and many years (10-15) of inactivity! His mother passed away in a traumatic event.  He came to church this week, overcoming every fear and just stepping into the Light. IT was incredible to see him there! The ward really embraced him and he wants to continually come back! Seeing the difference this has made in his life is truly a blessing, and
a reminder that it’s never too late! We’ve told him so many times in so many ways, that it’s never too late! He wants to change his life and prepare to find a wife and ready himself for a temple marriage. It’s a humbling feeling to sit back and think how much God loves all of his children and ‘esteemeth all flesh as one.’ I know
that He loves all of us, and desires us all to continually live and take the next step of faith in our own lives, be it coming to church, forgiving someone, sharing the gosssspelllll, Going to the temple, starting on that talk, or whatever his next step is for you!   I read a scripture today that says that Christ sees the past, present, and
future, all as the present. It’s all right there in front of his face, and he’s been there. IT’s almost as if he’s not only watched every single movie of our lives, but he’s also played every, single, role.
He knows you better than you know yourself! He’s seen the outakes, and knows how you’re going to messup many times! If we strive to live by his teachings, he will surely guide us as the director, to the next scene of our lives, and help us get the most out of this Movie we’re in! because really, That’s all it is! There was a life before and
after the movie so  do your best and listen to the director!  It’ll take action but it’ll be worth it! Ahh time’s gone….. I love all y'all so much!!! Keep on keeping on, and never stop trusting in him who is mighty to save!!
(like us on facebook!! XD)
Love, Elder Langford

Mowing Lawns & the Atonement, Christmas in September & Many Mini Miracles!

Hello  everybody! 
This was a great week! We had a lot of success and hard work accomplished!
We had a nice Friday, serving a member’s non member aunt by mowing her lawn, and then running to an investigator’s house to mow his lawn as well. Somewhat of a miracle happened, and I combined it into an analogy… as we were mowing this difficult lawn, with a push mower that wasn’t working too well with the tall grass, this random lawn mowing company pulled up, saw that we were volunteers.  They told us that they’d be finishing the lawn for us!  IT was great and quite the relief to see!
In life too,  after all we do, (and all of our labor on the lawn), even if we feel our work isn’t sufficient, Christ's grace truly is, and as we give our broken heart and a contrite spirit to him, He always finishes the lawn, making all of the difference towards our small performance.  (If only we could’ve used the same people for the second lawn)!!  The second lawn was even bigger and even longer! It took us a good while to cut it down. However, their friend that was living with them was curious about the message that we share, and noticed that we had a little dvd in our car. All we had was, "Joy To the World'l but hey they watched it, and enjoyed it! We’re now teaching the people that live there!  We’ll be shifting the focus back to the restoration and touch on the Christmas section a little later…!!

Those people, though we haven’t been able to meet with them, are already part way through Alma in the Book of Mormon! They read almost everyday, and have really enjoyed it so far! We can’t wait to meet with them to share more and help them see the increased benefits and truths that come from the Book of Mormon. It just goes to show that you never know who will be placed in your path to receive the restored
gospel of Christ. You never really know and IT’s incredible to see and that's why it’s important to give your best (be an example), to everyone you meet, allowing them the full opportunity to accept the message of the gospel!

We were also teaching a less active member on his porch, and he was talking about how he never really had a testimony, how he never really cared and was baptized into the church because his parents told him to and just kind of went with the flow.  We had the great opportunity to tell him that he did in fact have a testimony, that as he kept reading and praying to find that it was true for himself, that he’d be able to
see it grow. It’s always touching to see how the spirit works with everyone in different ways. He was touched, and I know that if he reads and prays, that he’ll find that answer that he so desires. Whenever the feeling comes that we don’t have a testimony, or it feels weakened, that’s a great time to remember that you do have one, that you are a child of God, and that he truly does love and care about you. The best way to maintain truth, is to act upon it, giving great power to your words.

We also had another neat little miracle.  We were doing a little survey for our general authority (Elder Baxter), coming in November, and the computer for some reason in the library wouldn’t work, and we had to leave eventually.. As we walked out, we ran into a recent convert who had just moved into the ward, and hadn’t had his records put in yet…..
the Lord puts you where he wants you!

Also on Saturday, we were making some calls to some less active members, and one of them consequentially, was doing some mulching! So we got to head on down and do some good ol’ mulching w/ them. She completely reminded me of my mother! She was talking about how she sent her son to military school because he got bad grades… (glad I got good grades!!)  They were really nice, but sadly, didn’t feel the need to head back to church because of "this and that" and other reasons here and there… It's sad how so many people can find a reason to say no… there’s thousands of them no doubt, but the reason to say yes trumps all of them every time.  Eternal Life’s in the balance for these great people, and It’s sad how Satan  has swayed them to see things such as the sacrament as a thing of naught.  Hopefully with the new building we're getting soon, they’ll head on back along with a group of other people as well.

ALSO, we were at a dinner with some members, and they happened to
mention that there was a less active family that lived close by to us
that we should go stop by. As we were biking off from our home thatsame day, we saw them out of the corner of our eyes walking back in. We talked to them, and got a dinner appointment set-up! They were Phillipino , and boy was their food delicious! I’m converted. You never know what could happen in North Carolina.

I love you all and know that you’re continually progressing closer to Christ!  Keep up the good work! Y'all need to know that I have a firm testimony of our Savior  Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can truly bring us the aid that we need so desperately on a day to day basis. He truly cares for us, and wants us to be happier, and strives to make many opportunities for us on a daily basis. I pray that we'll act upon these many tender mercies that we have been given in our lives. There is no greater work than that of bringing people to a greater knowledge and understanding of the gospel of Christ!!  As we live the commandments, we experience happiness.
Well, that’s it for today! Hope that y’all are having a wonderful week
and that all’s going well out there!! 
Love, Elder Langford

Monday, September 9, 2013

Welcome Elder Campbell, Reese's PB Cups, & Garrett's Baptism!!

Hey everyone!

I wasn't able to write a blog last week.  One new thing is that I have a new companion. His name is Elder Campbell and he's been out a little over a year.   We get along really well He's a good missionary,  a little on the quiet side, but I think just with some time and forming a deep relationship, well be able to really get talking.  He was on a badminton high school team, which is pretty interesting! He went to BYU the same year I did in heritage, and he was going for civil engineering.  We are doing good together! He's ready to work and he's very smart!

We have a great family in the ward. (The Smith Family)!! They give us rides and they went and bought our favorite foods.   She bought  gummies and Reese's PB cups. Of  course I ate the whole bag as I always do.. whoops ;)

We had a great baptism last week.  A young man whose name is Garrett! He's doing so good! I saw him in young mens and he was beaming after his confirmation.  It was a great manifestation of the Holy Ghost!

Our new area sisters have been cradled by the ward and they're working hard!
Sister Wilde is training Sister  Baining, and they're having some good success! We gave them Remi, our investigator, and she's progressing so well!  Things  are going great out here! This area is  ready to harvest!  Our ward mission leader is as excited about missionary work as  we are!! We need to take some of his enthusiasm and use it! He's off the wall on top of everything, and has helped us coordinate so much since
we've gotten here.

We've been biking up a storm here the last two weeks and we've talked to a lot of people!  We've seen lots of little miracles. 

One of our new investigators was a referral that's been staying at a member's home for a while. Hes had to go through some hard times in his life, he's turned to God, and has seen the difference in his life in doing so. Its incredible to see how excited he is and how many questions he has as we continually go over and teach him.  He truly loves the gospel, and is diving in so deep! One of the things we had
to talk about was how to find our own answers from God, and becoming in a sense, self reliant on our revelation and testimonies.  The  testimony of a missionary can only carry so far into someones life, but a personal testimony of the Gospel of Christ, changes the heart, and strengthens the soul.  

Elder Oaks gave us the initiative to become spiritually self reliant, depending upon the Lord, to help us overcome our trials and questions. We all go through tough trials in our lives, where we dont always know how to find the answer or where to turn. I testify that through learning how to receive personal revelation, and developing a healthy relationship with our Father  in Heaven, that we can find out the things that we need to do, in order to realize that we are truly sons and daughters of our father in Heaven. Imagine the things he wishes to tells us and remind us of.
Just like our own family members, the surface, once cracked, has so much more to tell, and the deep love that our Father in Heaven has for us, is a surface that we can choose to crack into, and partake of the unending love that he wishes us to feel.  I know that everyone of you is a child of God, that you're loved, and that if you dont feel that you are, there are so many that would love to remind you, especially
your Father  in Heaven!

Well, times a running out, I love all of you so much and hope that y'all have a great week!!! Take care a God bless yah!
Elder Langford