Monday, April 28, 2014

"Wal Mart Baggers in Pre-mortal life, Playing in the mud, Discovering the missing bible pages, making lemonade & keyboard & drums needed at church??'


WHOA... Great things this week! I guess good things happen when you decide to go on an exchange with both the assistant and with one of your district leaders in a week! Haha...Crazy...
There was a big chain of miracles in the last couple of days! It started on...

We were able to get a bunch of YSA's together to play some basketball during preparation day, and had a great time fellow-shipping, and putting up our own against the best that their army had to offer on the court. We've been teaching one of the member's room mates for a while, but he recently dropped us due to, "some political displeasure with the lobbyings of the church's liberalistic beliefs on some specific attributes and beliefs...." Needless to say, it was sad to see him go.  (especially with the confusing reasoning).  Sometimes the Lord simply calls us to plant seeds in the hearts where the soil is still culminating. He'll access it when he's ready :)

I went with Elder Curtis on an exchange, and we had a blast! On our way back from meetings, we decided that we'd stop at Five Guys, to get some food, in an area which happened to be one of my old areas. We just happened to see some good members there that were kind enough to pay for us!  We had a great talk with them and found that one of their sons was about to be deployed.  We told them we'd put him on the temple list. He's one of the marines whose been deployed more than 5 times in the last couple years... He's in special forces and has a lot of secret things to do for us over there. So that was fantastic! We ended up teaching a lot of less active families about connecting your family with scriptures.  How we sometimes forget that the most important things are those we love, and that the words of eternal life give us that good click back to the unseen reality of that.
Then we visited and had a really good time role-playing with the Relief Society President.  We told her to think about a normal conversation you'd have with the bagger at Walmart. She did it, and was super nice as always. Then we said ok, "picture him as one of your good friends in the pre-mortal life, telling you that he would be born without the gospel, and would need someone to at least remind him of the Savior, because life would be hard to live righteously, as he didn't have that knowledge." She did it again, and took the extra time to make him smile and feel loved. We all felt the spirit, and the importance of seeing everyone as a child of God. THEN...

Crazy day!  We went to what I'd say was the best district meeting I've been to on my mission! Elder Young talked about the Holy Ghost, and then it all went silent, as he asked inspired questions, about obedience, and love. Many people there, including myself, were able to testify about the importance of Love and obedience in this work. The best part was a break off role play, where my companion, (still the assistant at the time), and I, were told simply to minister unto one another. I felt prompted to talk specifically about the example he would set particularly to his sister, and the changes he would bring to their lives through his service. He told me that he's been waiting to hear that almost his whole mission, and that was a confirmation for him. It feels so good to be able to know that we can be the Lord's hands in helping people answer their questions, especially Missionaries :)
Then the real craziness began... the district leader and I, after leaving a great free golden corral buffet, went to go and see a less active member preparing for a mission. We were led to this dirt road, just covered in red clay. At first, Elder Young  was able to get out and help us get over the big spots, but then we came across this decently sized puddle... We navigated around it as much as we could, but we uh, kind of... got stuck in a giant mud puddle for three hours... Haha!!  We did all we could, rolling up our pants and trying to slip some wood underneath the tires, but the car didn't want to budge! We called a YSA member that saved the day by towing us out... We got to our dinner appt a couple hours late, but they understood and had a good laugh, making it all worth it in the end ;)

The NEXT day, because we'd got stuck in the mud and weren't able to get to his house on time, we went by again, and saw that he wasn't there, but that his friend was, just sitting there smoking a cigarette. We talked to him and found out he was a Rastafarian!  (Just a couple differences in our beliefs), ...After a good long discussion, he said he'd read from the Book of Mormon. He read 3 Nephi 11 and looked up at us, and told us that we'd found the missing pages of the bible, and that he would like to come to church with us!!! WHOA! We totally got stuck in the mud for the right reason for three hours :D  It was a good feeling to know that Heavenly Father took some of our crazy moldy lemons, and still squeezed us a nice glass of lemonade.  ;)

Skipping down for time's sake. So the guy from Thursday, and his friend, CAME  to church!!! :D It was so good to see them both there!! He said afterwards, that he loved the service, but that, "the music is terrible! man... y'all need a keyboard, and some updated music. Other than that. It was alright."  All we need is a primary program and he'll be converted.  : )

We also noticed that some of the sisters were having a bit of a rough time as well, so we were able to give them a blessing.  They're  powerful servants of the Lord. I could feel the words coming to me. I'm grateful for the many opportunities I've been given to bless others in this area. I've also been able to see so many great examples of faithful members living the gospel, especially on an army base. They love and work together so closely. It's inspiring to see.

Anyway, it's been a great week. Well, It's sadly go time my friends, but I will be back next week!  It will be the start of a transfer.  (Which will last forever!)

Love,  Elder Langford

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Happy Easter & The Savior's Resurrection should be the center of our lives."


Hello everyone! I'm soo sorry that I need to leave so soon like this, but actually we just didn't have the time today due to some crazy circumstances. We had a YSA gathering all day and we have a dinner appointment tonight.  So the emailing time has been cut to 0.

But anyway, this week was great!

Easter was very nice.  We had dinner at the Dunn's  house. They're great people. So good. You'll have to meet them sometime soon. They're recent converts and just fantastic people.

I also got to give a talk in sacrament about the resurrection of our Savior! How great must it have been for him to be able to ascend back to his Father, whom he had just felt forsaken from, and to be able to have his own personal time with him. I can only imagine the sublime embrace they had. That's got to be on the biggest 'I did it" Moments of history. I testify that our Savior truly lived and died for us, so that we could live our lives till our death for those whom we love. Because of him, we have so many things! My companion and I were talking about how so many times in our life, as we grow and mature, we can say, "wow, the Savior really did everything..." and as our perspective and knowledge in life grows, "WOW the savior really did do EVERYTHING"... It becomes more and more visable as we continue to align our lives with him as the years go by, that truly our happiness comes from our closeness to the lights. He allows the sun to shine down, giving us the light of everyday. I love to think of the sunshine that we can have in our souls, that never has to set, that never has to dim or diminish, but simply grows and grows until we have found the 'day star' within us.  As Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:18 or 19 or 20, just like a seed, just like a sunrise, just like that really good slow cooking crock pot on fast Sunday, as we endure this life well, we shall look towards the growth of our faith, and recognize the fruit that is truly delicious to the taste. In our imperfect state, we can easily forget how this feeling is, if we begin to partake less and less of the fruit. Never stop watering the seed, never stop feeding the fire, never stop your progression, standing more and more in the limelight of the Eternal perspective.

The more the Savior is the center & focus in your life, the more that circumstance and situational trials lose their luster and glow. I know that through the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, that we all can look at a limitless future of the eternities.

As we focus on his sacrifice for us, we can imagine how a God of love feels, using his sacrifice for others sakes in our lives, helps him feel the healing of every bruise he suffered on our behalf. He truly treaded the wine press, and will rule among the sons of man. can't wait! Yet we can, and wait we must.  With the Hope of Eternal Life, and the mansion's prepared above for those that focus on helping others get to their own.

Alright... need to take off but GREAT NEWS I love you all so much! Happy Post Easter!

Elder Langford

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Pollen everywhere, YSA Baptisms, Hope your Biology teacher lives!, Focus on the roots-not the branches, Favorite Toy & the Ressurection."


What a great week it's been down here in Fort Brag!  It just keeps getting better and better.

It actually isn't that humid yet! Its more of just completely covered in pollen right now... Haha!  It's all over everywhere, and it's played a number on my eyes. I've been scratching them, but I'm finally going to just throw in the eye drops and leave them be. :)

This week in particular, we have been teaching one of our investigators.   She's been so faithful, and has lit her Book of Mormon up with highlighters and notes she's had as she's been exploring the words of Christ. She asks the best questions, helping us learn by the spirit to find the best answers. We were eating pizza with some of the YSA's, (Little Caesars of course), and she mentioned some concerns that she had. She told us that her family was talking about how they would like her to be baptized in her church in Jacksonville, NC (which happens to be located a block away from the church down there").  She has felt that this was the right church to be baptized in, yet felt a lot of pressure, and wasn't sure what she needed to do. We had a great lesson on priesthood authority. We have an analogy and asked what if her biology teacher was killed, and all her books, class outlines, and curriculum were tossed in a fire, how hard would it be for some student called up, having no authority to teach, to get it right?... and even if he had bits and pieces, helping kids to walk out with partial knowledge, it wouldn't give any college credit, or any future help for their education. She  understood it really well, and talked about how this was an answer that would have to come from God, not us, herself, or her family. We met with her a couple days later and began to talk about the plan of salvation. It was a fantastic lesson. We were talking about the kingdoms of Glory, and towards the end she paused and said, "whoa.... I have that weird feeling again... " "I'm going to be baptized here on the 26th of April, if y'all are still good for that?" We all came to a consensus of YES.

Then, we had a baptism for another YSA who had been an "almost" member his whole life, and had somehow lost, or not received record of being baptized. He didn't have a change of clothes, nor did he have a white selection of... underclothing.... so we had to double up on his baptismal suits, and had a great baptism none the less.  :)

If you haven't watched conference, you should toootally watch it -  I noticed many trends about how the storms of life are coming upon us, how we need to be bold in "showing our faith', and how most importantly, our faith needs to be centered in Jesus Christ, with no substitutes. There's  a lot of branches, leaves, and fruit on the big tree of the gospel, but as the storm comes, we need to remember that the true power of it all, comes from the root of our Savior. It's sad to see how people get so caught up and hyper focused on a branch, that they lose sight of the root, and fall away as the branch does in the bigger storms. Always put Christ first, and don't place your foundation upon anything else, no matter how nearest to the truth it is. I love Alma's council: "Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ."(alma37:33)

One of the members that we were having dinner with asked us, if we could, to incorporate the resurrection into our lesson we were having with them. We had a packed day, with nothing preplanned, but as we sat at their dinner  table, our minds were working hard... I felt a feeling of peace, and knew that something would pop in there. As we sat down for the lesson. We asked the kids, if they had the opportunity to give every kid in the world, their favorite toy, with the promise that it would never break, fade, or become boring, would they do it?  They said oh yeah!  Then we asked the kids what their favorite toy was.  They mentioned a skateboard. We told them that it could only happen, if they would be willing to give their favorite toy to us, and allow us to go break it in half, and throw it in the trash...  They said no way! We then talked about how Our loving Heavenly Father had to sacrifice his son, in order for all of us to have the chance to return to live him, and to inherit the graceful gift of resurrection that he provided for us. It was a very touching lesson, and the spirit was strong! It's moments like that that make everything worth it always and every time forever and just yeah.  So good.

Well, not as good, is the fact that my time is done!  Great to write to y'all! Keep up the good work and remember, if you haven't watched conference, you need to watch it -_-
Love you!  Elder Langford

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Not Hiding my "talents" under a bushel, Baptisms coming, Great General Conference, & Serving Fellow Missionaries."

Hello everyone! So sorry, another short blog today due to a baptismal interview.

Man, The time is going way too fast... I'm trying to soak up as much time as I can before my mission is done!

We have some great investigators.  Our main investigator is doing great! She watched general conference, and is meeting with us again this week. She's committed to baptism, and has such good, real, intent. We had a great discussion as to why Nephi had to kill Laban and that was a great conversation. She's fantastic, as well as a couple more people that we plan to help make covenants by the end of this month! :)  Things are going really good!

So my mom will be proud of me.  I actually sang and played 'I Am a Child of God" for our bishop and his five daughters at his house on Sunday.  There's a small but plausible chance I maybe singing a musical number in sacrament meeting!!... Me...Haha...doing that... Weird how the mission totally takes all fear and darkness out of you like that.

So did everyone enjoy general conference!  Hard to pick out my favorite talk. Ahh, so many good ones.  First off, did you notice President  Monson looking a little sad? :/  At least a bit more burdened down? He looked a little, stressed.. I've been praying for him, He seems to be doing alright, but idk... he's probably got a lot on his plate with the work hastening... I noticed in many talks, he mentioned more times than usual, a tender mercies towards whatever he's trying to go through at this time.

Looks like it's hot down in Mexico for the family.  The weather's been off and on here. I'm a little sunburned as well, and now the pollen's hit so everything is covered in yellow, everywhere. Then it rains and it turns a little greener.  It's finally raining and chilly again. It's a good humid cold right now, but the heat's coming back...

One special experience out of the many that we have gone through this week, was after Elder Holt and my first zone conference down here.  One of the missionaries came up to me, and we went on a quick exchange as we were putting the TV away.  He told me that he'd been really touched by our teaching, and that he wanted some help.  He explained how he came out without a testimony, and had started to gain one, but never felt happy... I had such a touching talk with him about how to regain and feel the love of God. It really changed him, and I felt the spirit testify, that that was exactly what he needed! What a blessing it is to be able to assist him.  :).  Ahhh, I have to go.... so many miracles!!!!  I'll rehearse next week :) Sorry so short. 

Love you bye!!!!
Elder Langford