Monday, November 25, 2013

"In the Zone" in Wilmington, Unwanted Cereal Boxes Get a Home, & Coming Closer to Christ!

Whoa... So for those of you who don't know, last Tuesday, I was transferred and here we are somehow out here in Wilmington, NC!  My new companion is Elder Mayberry from New Mexico! I know him already and love him! He's got one more transfer and is fighting to deny it ;) You'd never be able to tell though.  He's great!

I LOVE the new area, nice and chilly ;) 30 degrees at night.   Two great wards to serve in including a YSA ward.  This is going to be good, Plus, as a zone leader, a little benefit, I get to go down to Jacksonville, my first area, on exchange!  That'll be great!  I also have a car all the time now!!
It's sooo great being a zone leader! There are so many great ways that we get to reach out to these fantastic missionaries! There's so many of them! I've got some good stories!

First off, heading to the ward mission leader's house, we became engaged in a great conversation about the wondrous reality of how little we know, but how blessed we are for the knowledge we have. As I've served my mission, I've developed a firm testimony in the power of the Holy Ghost, and the specific prompting that it gives to serve as it is felt. Probably my personal favorite, was after a great lesson with the Ward Mission Leader's family, as they began to pull out cereal boxes that they didn't like and no longer wanted.... Ohhhh Hooo welcome to WILMINGTON!!
The day I got here, we went almost straight to a meeting in which we were to give a thought to the Stake President and all the bishops in the area. There was a special spirit to see so many of these bishops combined together, in the purpose of missionary work. We gave a thought on the power of love, and the power that it has to cast out all fear... Ohhhh boy. Welcome to WILMINGTON!!

I was also able to see one of the missionaries that I previously trained, who happens to be in our same district! What a blessing it is. The Lord has been so kind, and has given me so much in the last couple days.... I cannot express in words how powerful the atonement of Jesus Christ is... The more you learn, and the more you understand, the more it just begins to make sense... The roots of faith, can never be too deep. How unsearchable are the depths...  It's truly great to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to think that our job, is to make the choice people have to make, as easy as possible. Think of all that Christ has done for us, how easy he's made it for us. He's taken the road himself, he's gone through all of the hardships, and he's lived the life, so that we can have full trust in his simple gospel, to guide us towards happiness. The ONE thing that we have, is our own choice, just like our investigators out here... The second someone says 'Yes I will do that', it's our duty to help them feel just as we do.  We feel the joys and the blessings that come to us instantly as we keep the commandments of God. It's incredible! It's hard to imagine all the joy that Christ must feel as he sees us make simple steps closer and closer to him. I wish I had more time to go on!

As I mentioned, we now cover both a YSA branch and a ward.   Our bishop's on fire with what he's done for this area!  He announced over the pulpit for all the congregation to teach someone in their home... It's been great! Well, there will be much more next week! I love y'all so much and am so grateful for all y'all have done :) Till next week!
Love,  Elder Langford

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Extreme Lyrics, Possible Upcoming Transfer, Showing Zone Leader Love, & Road Kill!"

Hey there everybody!
So I'm still in shell shock mode from being called to be a zone leader! It's been a fantastic week though that's brought about a lot of good change:) 

Also, we're being treated today to a good squirrel and deer meat feast tonight on the way out, so can't argue with that!
One of the sweetest things one of the people we met with today said, that repentance, as she learned throughout the years, can be put simply as, "most than words". I couldn't help but look back to that song by extreme, and coordinate those words with our relationship to the Savior. "More than words, is all you have to do to make it real, then you won't have to say, that you love me, cause I already know."
Our President just sent us a little document that talks about how a writer from BYU said that faith is the ultimate principle, and that repentance is the ultimate doctrine... It's so true! If we continue to live and to try and change for the better on a day to day basis, we'll grow farther than we knew we ever could!
Transfers are in the next week.  It's a crazy thing to think about seeing this as possibly the last week here in Mebane. 
Pretty sweet dinner appointment.  We got to eat dinner with Elder Vanpelt from the best two years.  Sounds like there's a chance of a sequel coming out! What's that going to be called, "The Best Four Mission Presidents?"  Who knows, but he's got a great family, and I've got to say, he reminds me of Uncle Michael! Great family.
Nothing has been as surprising this week, as has been the fact of how I've been able to see the Lord preparing me to be a zone Leader... He's cracked the whip, and is putting me into shape! I know that as long as we can help every single missionary feel the Love that we have for them and for the Savior, that everything will fit into place, and all will be well. Love changes hearts faster than anything else I've seen in the mission. I can honestly say that anything successful that I've done on my mission or in my life, can be traced back to simply, how can this help someone else? There's love in everything that we do, deep down even sometimes! If we can just get all the Missionaries to focus on that purpose of love, and why they're doing what they're doing, then all will be well! Easier said than done, but I've got a probably good 18 weeks to get that ball a rollin!
I love y'all so much! I'm headin out now to go get some fresh road kill food!
Elder Langford

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A New Calling and the Power of Love (Not the Huey Lewis kind)!!

Hey everyone,
Well, time=0, so I’ll give some good highlights!

So this past Sunday, I prayed for Humility… Haha always a great idea when you ask the person that knows it best, the problem is that he gives you exactly what  you ask for…
Yesterday morning, I had the prompting to study responsibility… I broke it down a bit and saw that it truly is "to be ready to respond, or to always have the ability to respond to whatever happens around you."  Sounds to me like faith to always do, to always respond! So during our companionship study, we got a call from President, and He asked to talked to me Privately. So I snuck outside for a second and I’m pretty sure, still debating if this was a dream or not, BUT HE CALLED ME TO BE A ZONE LEADER……. Haha! I almost asked him if he was serious… but at the same time,it’s been incredible to see how in just these last couple weeks, I’ve been striving to be more receptive to the Lord’s will, trying to do more of what he wanted and less of what I wanted… 
 I have such a firm belief in the Reality of our Savior, and his enabling power that he gives every single one of us. As we come to Him, the ultimate source of true power (love), we find the way that we are truly able to do all things. That’s going to be the path I’m going to depend on more than ever as I try to influence the lives of so many missionaries. I remember when I was becoming a district leader, that my previous trainer mentioned to me that these callings of leadership have an effect far greater than simply guiding… They are for their eternal welfare and I’ve been able to see missionaries change the course of their lives through the Great power of love. Not the Huey Lewis kind but the Christ like love that changes hearts. Ahhh time’s going to run out.  I love you all and I’m so grateful for all your prayers, letters etc.!! Thank you so much!  I’ll need them all :D
Love, Elder Langford

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweet Old Ladies & Helping People Change!!

Hello everyone!
 I have to start out with one of the small and simple miracles that made my entire week. (Ok actually 2 things!)
1.    We were biking home after a great contact with this man, and as we
were it was raining a bit, and I was just pondering how we can really sky rocket the progression of this area  so I offered a little silent prayer on the bike. Our complex is right next to an elderly home, and as we were passing by it, I saw this old lady, in the rain,
with a walker, holding a huge black trash bag… I thought psshh… are you kidding me? So we biked up and politely confiscated her garbage from her and took it back in. I know without a doubt that it was an answer to that prayer. The feelings of gratitude and peace were overwhelming, and it was a great feeling almost like a pat on the back saying, “This
is why you’re here”.  It’s so easy for some to get caught up in the ‘thick of thin things’ as President Monson tells us, and it’s incredible how quickly our imperfect logic on how to be successful and how to do this work just melts into your heart when you put that full
effort into love for the people. I know that when Christ is the foundation for our work and all we do, that we are given just that much bigger of a perspective that he has, that everything happens for a reason, and that all of our afflictions are for our good. Someone
who truly loves us, (can’t help but think of my mom), doesn’t change the situations we go through, but shows us how we can be the change of our situations. Every single person out there has that power to change, and it’s our duty to be an example of what our change of heart has made of us. Sweet old ladies do things to you… ;)

2. My companion, who is a bit on the more of the “ I’m terrified to bear my testimony” side, was in a round about way, set up by me to promise to go up there if this little kid did (who always does). As we sat in sacrament meeting, sure enough, the little kid ran up, bore a great testimony, and sat down. I looked at Elder Campbell and he kind of chuckled saying “Ah I can’t do it, you don’t understand…” I felt a prompting to whisper back to him, “Say a prayer, he does!”  He did, went up, and bore a powerfully simple testimony. I’m so grateful for the courage that my companion has, and I couldn’t  help but notice, as we went to a family's home for dinner, his increased giddiness to share the message, to talk to the kids, and to interact more. I’ve been so blessed on my mission to not only see those whom we work with change, but many of the missionaries that I’ve worked with change. It
makes it all worth it. Every bike ride, every rainstorm, every door slammed in your face, is nothing compared to the Love that Jesus Christ places in your heart. You never know who you’re serving your mission for… you never know what effect your actions have, but One
thing I can always promise you is, that God is love, and every extra effort, benefit of the doubt, or just care and devotion that we lend to others, will change them. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but down the road when they turn to their Savior, they will remember all of those that have reached out in service to him, and be forever grateful for that love, an example you’ve shown, from the change he’s given you. I wish I had more time, and I wish I could just let you all know how much I love and appreciate every one of you. I’m nothing without my Savior, and without the love and support I’ve received from so many in the past years of my life. I hope that my dedication and sacrifice can be enough for the master’s grace.
Ahhh, gotta go! Love you all soo much :D :D
Elder Langford
PS:  Bolut? So good!!