Monday, October 28, 2013

Dr. Pepper & the Gospel, Duck Embros, and Belinda Carlisle was right!!

Hello everyone!!
OHHH gosh… I have plenty to type in not plenty of time… hopefully I
can get a good jot and tittle in before time’s up here.
First off, Elder Zwick, along with Elder Pino came to our mission, and for the first time, we had a full mission conference! They were pretty tall spiritual Giants to say the least! He talked about how as he walked out to the plane to come here, Elder Oaks told him to tell us how much they all loved and cared about each and everyone of us… PLUS, He mentioned that Elder Oaks was the one that probably called almost all of us to this mission! Holy revelation... He just kept throwing out more things that stung every one of us (I’ll just
speak for all the missionaries) right to the heart… He also mentioned Elder Ballard being requested by the PROPHET to lead the prayer in the prayer role about missionary work, and he mentioned that through our trust in the Savior, the members would be able to trust us. They told us many stories, and one being the announcement  he made to us that our mission president, was the BEST one in all the world… He said he’s met with, and seen all the new mission presidents coming in, and that President Bernhisel, was the best… whoa… I couldn’t help but agree! Not that I know many, but just like the gospel, I don’t have to go lookin for better when I’ve got the best right here! I’m so blessed to serve in this area! Plus it was quite the reunion seeing every single missionary who hasn’t passed on from the mission yet at that gathering!! It was so great! They truly inspired us with their words, and Elder Pino, who was talking to us in Spanish, being translated by a missionary (oh you know he’s got a lot to write home…), asked him to step down, as he bore his powerful testimony that Christ lives, that this is His  church, and that we are hastening his work at this time, as his servants. What an honor!

We had a great dinner with  a recent convert in the ward, and we managed to snag her ladder from her to and made a great analogy about the atonement and cleaning out gutters with  a broom on her roof (oh..only teaching by the spirit!) Also, we invited her to share her testimony, as an investigator joined us for dinner. IT was so great to see how her simple testimony changed his perspective, and allowed him to also feel the great spirit that she possessed. We also got fed by Sister Kinnin and her sister. They make the most amazing Phillipino food. They also had us try an authentic Phillipino appetizer called ballot.  (See pictures in the blog)!  It is actually a fertilized duck embryo. A bit thick in the middle but not too bad!!
Ah, and, there is NO better third hour meeting at church, than talking about charity, while hearing the primary practicing behind you in the chapel, Like a song from the 80's says, "Heaven is a place on earth!!"  I’ve never felt such a strong feeling of love and a realization of purpose! In that same class, I was also led to give an analogy, which to me, has changed my life, and the way I look at Dr. Pepper…

Did you know, that there’s plum juice, in Dr. Pepper??  Pretty nasty… In fact, if someone told me to come and try a DR. pepper, advertising that it had plum juice, I Probably wouldn’t drink it! Sometimes, we look at the great gospel that our Savior has given us, and solely focus upon that plum juice, thinking how is this supposed to make me happy? How is this ever going to taste good? what kind of a crazy drink is this? The adversary works hard to try and pull reality our of proportion, having us put all our time and focus on a little bit of
plum juice, or something that doesn’t make sense to us in the gospel…
If we focus on it enough then it leads us to cease drinking living
water (Dr. pepper), then we’ll never understand how good it tastes!
And the great thing is, we don’t even have to know why it’s in there,
but just that it tastes delicious! As President  Uchtdorf says, doubt your doubts before you faith!  Drink it!!!
Agh time’s a gone today.. I love you all sooo much!!! Can’t wait till next week to talk about everything that we’ve got planned!!
Happy Halloween!!!
Love, Elder Langford


Monday, October 21, 2013

New Building & week of Miracles!!

Hey everyone,

Haha!! Oh I’ve used so much time already…. Never enough emailing time!!  This was a WEEK OF MIRACLES!!!

As always! Don’t even know where to start… the excitement for the new church building in this area keeps on snowballing! (See picture on my Facebook page)! So many members are ready to drive less than a half hour to church (like we Utahans), and so many members are going to be able to make it back once it gets closer! We were meeting with the bishop, and he  said  that members will be calling us.  Needless to say, the ward’s going great, and the work is also better than ever!!

We had a spirit filled lesson a couple nights ago with two 19 yr. old boys. As we were sharing testimonies of the Book of Mormon and how it blesses us on a daily basis, he paused and said, "timeout… time to get serious…"  (gotta love that as a missionary when they take you seriously :D)  He went about telling us that he wakes up just angry, just mad every single day… that he’s never happy, and that He just doesn’t really feel God’s love or the purpose in Life. We were able to bear solemn testimony about the Love that our Father  has for him as an individual. The spirit spoke a profound statement that sparked some real food for thought…

God has the ability to give us anything that he desires, keeping in mind that his main purpose is our ultimate happiness….

Then why doesn’t he give us a nice car, when our old one
breaks down, and why doesn’t he give us all of these great temporal
blessings?  Why do all of these seemingly big things, remain unfixed or imperfect?

This guy really pondered how deep God’s love is, and how it truly doesn’t matter what our surroundings give us, what life deals us out, or even what we’ve done. God desires our TRUE joy and happiness, through allowing us to change our hearts, and see this world as he sees it, and to see the purpose (and value) of our existence as he sees it. We talked about as we truly study his word and keep his commandments, we quickly find that these are simply enablers of happiness, to wipe away the dark, flawed perspective that are logic sometimes fogs are hearts with.

As we shared this, The other person felt inspired to share an experience of how he had attempted suicide, and almost succeeded, but felt that there was a strand of hope left in his life. He said that he knew that this book was true, he knew that
this was from Jesus Christ, and this WAS a hope that could change his life. He began to ask, "can I read this even if I’m Baptist right now?" I know it’s true and want this joy in my life.”

A man who was sitting on the steps seemingly not paying attention, asked as well if he could
have a pamphlet, and began downloading and reading all the scriptures on his phone. The other boy said this was the day he was making changes. He listed all the things he’d done, that he wanted to change and stop doing. As far as we know, he has ceased a number of drugs, and is taking big steps…

I know that the atonement is real, and that if we do as King Lamoni’s father was instructed to do, that the “evil spirit rooted within our breast, will be taken out" and we shall see God as he is, Loving & caring, always!! 
Love. Elder Langford

Monday, October 14, 2013

Facebook Proselyting Miracles, Strong & Faithful Youth & The Gall of Bitterness!

Hooo boy! Time’s a tickin today…
First off I’d like to say thanks to my mom for sending the Halloween candy! Great analogy of the Savior here.  I'm not allowed to blame her for me getting sick for eating the entire Gummy Bear/Recess PB Cup bonanza, but only grateful that she sent it all :D.  So when we have those days, and make poor choices, it’s usually not his fault… but it’s ours, with the way that we spend the gifts he gives us…!

This was another week of great miracles! (as always). First off, the
facebook kick off has really started to begin now! I was able to teach
someone that we met two areas ago, with my former companion, Elder Packard, over facebook!! Oh the things you’d never think you’d do on your mission! I thought the age change was crazy…

....WHICH, it actually was! I know this, because we had a fantastic stake
conference this weekend, Presided by Elder Giddens. He said, that he
overheard Elder Nelson say in public, (so he assured us it’s doctrine),
that this revelation has been the greatest of significance, second
only to the expansion of the priesthood in the 70’s… WHOA…. It’s no
surprise that his talk was about catching the wave, because this has
been one of the biggest we’ve ever seen! Pretty crazy..

As we know however, the real miracles, are the smaller, more
personal ones that we get to see as we keep our eyes open.  We had
someone from the ward call us last night, asking for help in teaching
one of his friends about prayer… He’s the only member of his family,
and has one of the strongest testimonies I’ve felt on my mission. It
was an honor and a humbling experience to give him some help and
advice on how he could present the message to his friend. We
encouraged him to share his testimony, and the power that comes from
it. The youth today of the church that I’ve been able to see, are so
strong. I don’t think I’d be able to have had the courage to sit down and
give a missionary lesson!

The greatest thing is, that it’s not that hard! ;)  As Elder Ballard has
told us, as we truly have a deep love for the people around us, we’ll
only be naturally inclined to bear our testimonies of the Gospel, even
if it’s just by the way we live, the way we talk, or the way that we
carry ourselves. Everyone has some light to give!

Another little tidbit before I head out.  We had an impromptu lesson
with these 2 high school kids which went really well and we set up a time to
go back and see them. When we called them back, their mom answered
saying how appreciative she was for us teaching him and the immediate
difference that he was able to feel. Haha!! She also said in her
wonderful southern accent,  how he had neeever cleaned his room like that!
The gospel blesses families. Trust in your daily scripture studies and
family prayers, and there’s a great promise that the industrious,
proactive energy will burst out of your families, stretching out to
made beds, chores, and who knows what else, with smiles and vigor!
Gotta love the gospel.

Elder Campbell and myself have been invited to
the ward chili cook off party going on this weekend! We’ve got some
great plans to somehow make something that tastes kind of good
hopefully, and douse it with ghost pepper sauce, entitled “the gall of
bitterness." So that should go great as well! ;)
Just another friendly reminder to everyone to continue on with your daily
readings and prayers, because I know and promise that as you do so, that love for missionary work will naturally come out in you! You may talk to
someone about the gospel, and not even realize it until they ask you
about what it means to go the temple.
Ahhh time’s up! Love you !!!!!!!  Elder Langford

Monday, October 7, 2013

Avoiding the "Rush" Underdogs, Awesome Mebane Members, & General Conference Hangover!!

Hi everyone.  This is Kristi.  I added a few mini explanations in Jeff's blog.  My additions are bolded.    Hope you are all doing well!!

Hello everyone!! Blog time!

It’s incredible to see all the wonderful things that the Lord is giving to us on a daily basis. I think that’s a really important thing to look for in life, the every day things, and I’ve really been trying to put an increased focus on that.

Starting off with a funny story.  A few weeks ago, a lady told us that her husband probably wasn’t going to choose to be baptized. However, she was confident in her answer, when she just shrugged and said, “It’s okay, I’ll just do it when he’s dead”.  Better late than never!

Facebook has been a miracle worker for the past week… I got an email from someone that I’d taught and been around with in Morehead City.  (My second area). He would always drive us to and from our service at a museum every week, and we always had good gospel chats. He also tried to play Rush (for those of you who don't know what Rush is, it is Jeff's favorite Rock band),  a couple times… IT was pretty hard to deny "Tom Sawyer", (One of the Band Rush's Songs), but hey sacrifice is sacrifice… Through the miracle of Facebook, we were able to meet up once more!  He said that he wanted to discuss some things, possibly a little bit more offline… We talked to him a bit, and he said, that the influence that the spirit that he felt, as we had shared the gospel and worked with him, brought him closer to Christ, and he decided to commit himself to Christ by being baptized!!!..... the Baptist church!  BUT, then he said that he would like to be rebaptized in our church by Elder Packard or myself sometime, and for us to make the arrangements to get down there and work it out!!  What a miracle to see that!!  I bear testimony that we are truly influences to so many people that we don’t even recognize at times… Even just the smallest, slightest contact you have with someone, can be an add-on to the spoonful of the gospel, that will surely help the spirit go down into their hearts. This Gospel is so true!  Especially after watching a wonderful General Conference, I’m here to testify to that! The words of the prophets, seers, and revelators, are very much from God, and are for our everlasting benefit! “Look up” and search for the miracles in your every day lives. :)

We actually got a random, call this morning.  We were sent over to a member’s house, who had just moved in, to bless their home, due to the fact that her husband would be working late shift every once in a while.  

Also, we had a WONDERFUL experience as we were teaching this man! Now we’ve been teaching him for a while, and he’s presented us with a lot of deep doctrinal questions concerning the book of Enoch, the Masons, and so forth… a LOT  of thing.  We’ve
just told him over time, to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and to find the truth by the answer that God gives you. So we went over, and he again pulled out a bible encyclopedia, and the
conversation raged on, but then we read in 3 Nephi 11.   We got to verses 10 and 11, and he said that he felt a chill run up down his back… He immediately went back and read the two verses, and paused…
He looked up and asked us about a verse that we’d read in the past, "something about a promise in the book about Christ"  …. :D :D :D so we turned to Moroni 10:5, and he said, "yeah that’s it!"  It was INCREDIBLE to watch as the spirit directed him to not only read that verse, but, also, to be led  back to that promise. The Lord definitely loves all his children, and in that day, I learned that we are merely conduits for this work. Our job as missionaries, is to present an environment where the spirit can testify to these people, and can lead them back to our Father in Heaven. We are not the teachers, but the guides… as we recognize that reverence for the spirit that comes from living the gospel, it changes how we do missionary work, and the love that we have for these people.

I know Christ is my Savior, that he has felt the pains of all those that we teach, and all that we have felt as well. He beckons us on a daily basis to feel more of the blessings He wants to give us. His love is deeper than we imagine. With all the power He had, He chose to come down to earth, and to give Himself a ransom for many. He didn’t want to sympathize, but empathize with us. He knows and will forever be the way. The scripture that our investigator read said, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ”. As we show forth our faith, by the ways we live, the miracles will continue to come, but more importantly, we recognize them in greater abundance. An eye full of faith, is an eye full of joy for the things to come!!

I hope everyone had a great chance to truly savor the flavor of conference this weekend! I know I definitely did! We were so blessed by so many members! We were able to go to 3 different homes to watch, each filled with a delightful spirit.
After one of the sessions, we came to the knowledge that my companion hadn’t previously known what an underdog was… So naturally we went out to the member's swing and demonstrated, fixing one of the greatest flaws of his childhood.

We also had a great miracle last night, as one of our investigators called us saying that he had met another one of our investigators at a gas station, and invited her to take the missionary lessons from him!!  (If she felt too uncomfortable with us!!)  Haha!!  He’s so great. He also offered us 100 dollars in groceries…  Though I eat in abundance at times, we couldn’t accept his too kind of an offer! We’ve been so blessed and cared for in this area.  I would just like to say thank you to all the members in this area for their efforts in aiding the missionary work! Their efforts are incredible out here!

Well, That’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope that everyone has a really long conference hangover, and feels spiritually uplifted for weeks to come!!!

I love you all! God bless you!
Elder Langford