Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Colors, Bambi Down, Movie Extras & Following Promptings!!

 Hello again,
I don't know about you guys, but I swear these weeks fly. Was I not just writing this blog, like.... yesterday? Weird.
Anyway, It was another rad week. The fall colors are amazing. Ugh. New York in the fall is the greatest. So many good things happened. Of course missionary work always has its ups and downs, but we were truly blessed this week. Ok. Let's talk about it.
Missionary Joys:
1. We picked up a new investigator! Yay! It's so amazing to see things like that happen! It has truly been a struggle to get things going here in Cooperstown. Every new person we find is such a blessing! Let me tell you, this guy is so prepared! I'll keep you posted on how things go!
2. Two of our investigators set baptism dates! They are the cutest, young married couple. The husband has known for a while that he wanted to get baptized, but last time we met, the wife made a pro and con list to baptism. We were like, "Well, do you feel like the pros out weight the cons?" and she was like.... "Well... ya." So we said "Well, what are you going to do about it?" AND SHE DECIDED SHE WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED. Ugh. I love being a missionary.
3. Trish and her boys are so ready for baptism. I cannot even tell you how excited we are for this weekend. I swear. In our last lesson with them, we asked each of the boys what they were most excited for about baptism. These were their answers.
Cody (14) : "To be a member of the church and hold the priesthood"
Travis (12): "To have all my sins washed away and be closer to God"
Jamison (8): "To have the Holy Ghost with me all the time"
Ahh. They are adorable and they are going to be the greatest members. I am so excited. So blessed to have found them and taught them.
The Goods:
So many weird/funny things happened this week. for real.
1. While searching for new service opportunities, we thought we would see if we could help at the hospital in town.  (Since it basically runs this town!) So we go in and we are talking to the lady and she asks us if we would like to push around a coffee cart. Yup. COFFEE CART. We both just awkwardly look at each other like..... ummm..... Anyway, an awkward conversation followed, as you might imagine.
2. Our mission leader and his wife picked us up one night to go to a meeting. On the drive over we were all getting kind of car sick, and so over the car ride. His wife, (who is this feisty Puerto Rican woman), starts complaining about how she wants to get out of the car. Well right then, OUR MISSION LEADER HIT A DEER!  It was terrifying and hilarious. They said they were glad we were in the car because we gave them protection :) #newyorkproblems
3. (Quote by Travis): "God brought you into this world and he can take you out!"  Those kids kill me.
4. One night, we pulled into our usual parking spot along Main, and this man comes up to our car. We're like, "Wait, someone WANTS to talk to us?" but it turns out he was just telling us we couldn't walk down Main Street BECAUSE THEY WERE SHOOTING A MOVIE. That's right, a movie on Main Street in Cooperstown. Good news though, we made it in the background of a shot.  So like, if you see sister missionaries in a movie in Cooperstown, its us.
Spiritual message:
This week Sister Hansen and I had to give the training at District Meeting. Our topic was "Recognizing Promptings". Which was great. Well the most amazing thing was this week, I had a ton of experiences with recognizing promptings. Let me tell you.
1. We were driving on this super rural hill, somewhere in New York, trying to contact a referral. Well on the way up the hill, we see this guy walking along. I didn't really think much about him, and we kept driving. Well, the referrals we were trying to find, we very uninterested.... So we were like, man that was lame. So we are driving back down the hill, and I see this guy again. Out of no where, I decided to stop the car, roll down my window and start talking to this man (talk about creeper). Well he turned out to be really nice, and sincerely interested! We haven't met with him yet, but I will keep you posted on how that goes!
2. We were walking down a street in Cooperstown, and all of a sudden I thought we should go see one of our investigators, who we haven't seen in FOREVER. But, it was kind of late, (he has young kids), and we had just texted him the day before and he said he was busy.... so every thing was telling me "no, don't try and see him." But for some reason, I knew we needed to. So we went. We knocked on that door, and his wife, (who has been kind of holding him back), came to the door. We got to chat with her for a minute, and build a relationship. Who knows if we ever would have gotten to do that, had we not gone at that moment.
3. (Final story). We went to go see our investigator, Tara. We knocked a couple of times, she wasn't there. So we were about to leave, but Sister Hansen said, " No we should wait and write a note for her." So we did. It delayed us a good 5 minutes. Well, right as we were about to leave the note and get on with our day, she pulled up. Like what?
Moral of the story, none of these promptings were huge, or life changing. Had we not followed them, it wouldn't have been the end of the world. When we received these promptings, they didn't even feel like the spirit of God talking to us. It just felt like a tiny thought. Not very profound, but, we acted. Never be afraid to act. Heavenly Father gives us these "still, small thoughts" to see if we have the faith to act. We don't know God's plan, or whats going to happen, but if we have the faith to act, God will bless us :)
Well, that's all for this week.
Sister Langford

Monday, September 23, 2013

"It's the Great Pumpkin", The man behind the hedge, & The Book of Mormon is True!!

Hey, hey,  hey,
I think I say this every week, but seriously, this week flew. It seems like every day just goes by in the blink of an eye. I can see what everyone means when they say appreciate your mission because it goes by FAST! Well, it was another good week in Cooperstown. Not much to complain about. I I did have some really, really, great experiences.... so here we go :)
The wows:
1. TRISH AND HER BOYS PASSED THEIR BAPTISM INTERVIEWS!! Yah, yay! They are officially ready to enter the waters of baptism  on  October 5th. I cannot tell you guys how much I ADORE their family. Like seriously. If all I could do on my mission was help their family, I would be content. They blow me away everyday. They each have such great testimonies! Ahh!!  I love it. (PS. Trish taught the lesson on the Atonement and it was so great! SHE IS THE BEST)!
2. So on Tuesday we were having a bit of a rough day. We were going around, hitting the pavement, trying to find SOMEONE in Cooperstown. We had been knocking on doors, trying to talk to people in the streets, with literally no success. Everyone was dodging us. We were feeling like, "ugh. what even was the point of walking like 5 miles and talking to all these people!" So needless to say I was feeling a bit bummed. So I decided to say a little prayer in my head as we were walking. I basically said "Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to find someone!" Right as I thought the word "someone" I looked to my right and I saw this guy who was gardening, but only for a split second  because then he was hidden behind a hedge. So I was like "Sister Hansen, let's cross the street and talk to that guy!" She thought I was crazy, because she couldn't see anyone. But she did it anyway. We found the man behind the hedge and started chatting. Turns out he had recently been searching for a church, had seen missionaries countless times, but none of them ever stopped. He said he was very interested in coming to church and learning! WHAT! THIS NEVER HAPPENS! Unfortunately, he isn't in our area, so we won't be able to teach him, but still. Does it get more direct than that? What if I hadn't prayed? What if I hadn't walked across the street and talked to this guy! Follow promptings everyone. Even if you think it wasn't a prompting. Follow it anyway.
3. We met James E. Faust's cousin. She wasn't a member and is from DC. But we talked to her and it was cool. #tendermercies
The Quirks of Cooperstown:
So this weekend in Cooperstown there was an exciting event. I'm not kidding.  You  guys will get a kick out of this. This weekend was what they call "the Pumpkin Fest". The pumpkin fest is where people grow ridiculously huge pumpkins, then have a weigh off. So there were like 40 massive pumpkins hanging around Cooperstown. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them weigh the biggest one, but rumor has it, it was close to 2000 pounds! Like what? But wait, this pumpkin fest gets better because on Sunday morning they carve out the pumpkins and then use them as boats to race down the Susquehanna River. THIS IS NOT A JOKE! We were so bummed that we missed that one! (Church is more important) ! But I hear its hysterical. Oh Cooperstown. We love you.
The Laughs:
I love being with Sister Hansen because she tries to make everything "missionary fun". We laugh a lot. That's all I'm saying.
1. We volunteer at an old folks home every Wednesday. Ah old people. This week an elderly woman just kept looking at me and saying, "Oh my dear you are so tall, you reach all the way to the ceiling!" I died. Also an old man held my hand and wouldn't let me go. I think the white handbook says something about that not being allowed.... haha!!
2. We missionaries are SO EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE! While talking about it one elder said,
"General Conference is sweet. Its like watching Moses on TV!"
3. Sister Hansen and I have taken to playing "would you rather" while were are driving places. It's hysterical. One of my favorites?
"Would you rather only talk in movie quotes for the rest of your life, or only eat turnips?"
We get pretty random. #missionaryfun
Spiritual Note:
Lets end on a spiritual note shall we? So this week I have had many an opportunity  to really bare my testimony on the Book of Mormon. I have to tell you, If there is anything I know for sure, it's that The Book of Mormon is true. One elder was telling us that he got a list from someone about all the things you would have to do to do EXACTLY what Joseph Smith did. When you look at it, you realize there is absolutely no way Joseph Smith could have done what he did, if he weren't a prophet. He had to have been inspired. I love the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland called 'Safety For the Soul" Watch it. But in it he says...
" For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history - perhaps like no other book in ANY religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died - from Ethan Smith to Soloman Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book have ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so."
I want to let you all know that I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it. If you don't know it, find out. Because let me tell you, if you know the Book  of Mormon is true, then everything else, is true too!
Ok. sorry I got preachy. #missionaryproblems
Well, I love you all! Keep being great!
Sister Langford

Lovin' Autumn & We're Mermaids!"

Greetings from the big NY!
So can you believe it? Another week has come and passed here in Cooperstown. I tell ya, time fies out here. But, I am loving it. Can I also just say that fall has come in full force this week and I am loving it. Fall is officially my favorite season. Amen!!. This week started out a bit rocky. Like I said before, taking over the area and being in charge is hard. Way harder than you would expect. But the good news is that the Lord is on our side! So let me tell you some good things that happened this week...
The goods:
1. We had to change Trish's baptism date to October 5th,
in between conference sessions. Let me tell you, this was not at first a good thing. I was stressed, because it was kind of my fault for not getting things scheduled in time! I was way bummed that we were pushing it back, and really felt bad. Stress had set in. Well then Trish came in, being the little spiritual giant that she is and told us that she felt like Heavenly Father needed it to be pushed back so she could bear her testimony in sacrament meeting before she was baptized. She also said that it really is for the best. We concluded the Lord works in mysterious ways, but we are SO EXCITED FOR THE BAPTISM!!! Its going to be great.
2. We had a really great exchange in which I got to finally leave my area! Wooo! I spent a lovely day in Hamilton, NY.... and let me tell you, I want to serve there. The people were angels (I was randomly hugged like 3 times), and we got to talk to college students, and its like a real city!  Like, if I was sent there next, I wouldn't be upset!
3. The Harvest Fest! So some members in our branch own a huge apple orchard, so they do this activity where they invite the branch and who ever to come eat and pick apples, then they donate the apples to local food banks! It was a great activity pluuuuuuuuss.... (sub bullets)
     ~We got to pick apples
     ~Eat free food (did I eat like 6 cookies that day? I can neither confirm nor deny)
     ~Interact with the branch
     ~Wear pants (you thrive on these moments as a missionary)
     ~PLUS, Trish came with her husband and mom and we had a super great time!
4. WE PICKED UP A NEW INVESTIGATOR! Oh my, this is such a blessing because it has been FOREVER since that has happened. Getting the work to move here in Coopstown is difficult. But, we have taken a new perspective to find people and we pray that we will continue to see things happen. So who is this investigator you ask?  This is someone we met in my first week of the mission? Well, we are back in contact with her and she is doing AMAZING! She told us that every time she prays for direction, as to what she should do with her life, we knock on her door the next day. She said its happened like 4 times, so she knows that there must be something there. The spirit was incredible in our lesson with her, and we have very high hopes for where it can go!
5. Trish told us SHE wants to teach the next lesson, On the Atonement, To her sons. and she just wants us to back her up. I died with joy and love for her.
The life lessons:
I always have to have a spiritual thought right? (Comes with the calling). Anyway, this week I had been feeling a little down. Like I said before, Sister Hansen and I have been doing everything we can to try and find new people. We have made a goal to not tract, or tract as little as possible. While other activities are much more productive in the long run, they don't seem to yield as immediate of results. I was then listening to a talk by Elder Bednar in which he said the phrase "Do you have the faith NOT to be healed?" and I was thinking of it in terms of a mission. like, "Sister Langford, Do you have the faith not to find?" In other words, do I, or do any of us, have the faith to completely turn it over to the Lord. To let whatever happens, happen and know that it's  in the Lord hands. To completely trust in the Lord and his timing. Its easy to have faith when we are constantly seeing miracles or seeing things progress, but how much more amazing is it to have faith when things aren't progressing, when life isn't peachy. That's real faith. So even though it may seem backwards to have "faith NOT to find" That is what I have been working on. I know that by taking the path we are, things might be slower, but the Lord will bless us, and that I am not taking over the area, but the Lord is.
The laughs:
*while on exhange in Hamilton. Pouring rain. Knocking on a trailer park door*
Old man: "who are you?"
Sister McGreggor: "We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"
Old Man: "what?"
Me: "We're the Mormons!"
Old Man: "You're mermaids?"
Me: *laughing* "even though we are soaking wet, we are actually mormons, not mermaids"
We knocked on a door that had a sign that said "No Jehovahs" and I said "good thing we're mormons!"
Sister McGreggor: "its ok for us to do socially unacceptable things, we're missionaries and we're sharing the gospel dang it!"
Sister Hansen: "We are going to be so prepared for life, like a mission is just a year and a half of super awkward moments"
Well kids, that was the week. It was a good week, there were some good times. I keep hoping that things will continue to get better and we will continue to have faith in Christ!
Sister Langford

Monday, September 9, 2013

Great New Companion & Angel Moroni's Back Scratcher!!

Hey kids,
Well, a new chapter of Cooperstown living has begun. I am officially in charge of all that happens here. Can you say stressful? I have a deep rooted fear that I am going to completely fail the area... like seriously, why has anyone given me any authority? But its been good! Change is stressful and hard, but without it we would never be able to grow and learn, so I truly am thankful for this opportunity! Wednesday was the day of big changes! But before we get to that, let me fill you in on the last legs of Sister Smith and My race!
-Sister Smith packed.
-We ate at a restaraunt that was too expensive and not even good #cooperstownproblems.
-We helped a family in the branch move down the street (tons of fun plus we got chocolate and pizza out of the deal).
-A less active member told us she once was a true cat lady with 29 cats.... we laughed. love her.
- We said goodbye to one of our favorite people, the ice cream lady (she in turn calls us "the Ice-cream girls") who we visited all the time at the ice cream shop she owned. She moved back to Arizona, but we got to give her a Book of Mormon, and she promised us she would go to church when she got home. You're welcome missionaries in Arizona.
- We drove to Utica, with Sister Smith's baggage tied to the top of a rusty mini van.  Sweet!!

Then the change happened and I got the lovely Sister Hansen! I have loved having her here! Sister Hansen and I have something in common, long hair. Within the first 8 hours of us being companions we were dubbed the "long-hair sisters", the "rapunzels" and asked if "mormons can't cut their hair".... only more fun to come I'm sure :)
Well we had some good, spiritual instances. I know that Heavenly Father has been helping me out this past week. Here's what happened...
1. Trish told us a story about when we first taught her about tithing. She said she had prayed about it that night to know if it was something she could do. The next day we went to a soup kitchen together. While we were at the soup kitchen, Trish was working next to this random guy. They were talking about life and eventually got on the subject of money. Well the man she was talking to told her that what had helped him more than anything else was paying his tithing. She then asked what church he belonged to, since she had never heard of anyone else paying tithing. He began to explain that he hadn't been active in the mormon church for a while, but still payed his tithing, because he knew he couldn't go with out the blessings. Trish said she knew right then that she could, and had to, pay her tithing! That this was an answer to her prayers! Such a blessing to know that Heavenly  Father  is looking out for us and always answer our prayers :)
2. I have learned a lot about patience and faith. I know that I can't be in charge of this area, or make anything happen without my Heavenly Father's help. It all comes down to his timing. I found a quote this morning in PMG (Preach my Gospel),  that I loved...
" Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required" - Thomas S. Monson
I know the Lord is helping me, and that things will happen in his time-table, if we have faith and are dilligent!
Now for some humor...
1. One of Trish's boys asked me why the angel on temples has a back scratcher.
....and that's all I've got for you this week! Anyway, love you all, thanks for the support!  Keep on keeping on :)
Sister Langford
PS: Apparently I hit my 100 day mark! Who knew?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Autumn, Awesome Trish, Rain & Great Tasting Gospel!!

Well, it has been another wonderful week of Cooperstown living. The leaves are starting to change around here, the baseball tourists are starting to be sparse.... I guess you could say autumn is upon us. Along with the leaves changing, there have been some big changes for us too! Get this. Sister Smith is out of  here. That's right. I'm taking over the area with the dear Sister Hansen! It should be great, but it will be an interesting adjustment. It's very strange when you spend 24/7 with a person and then.... you never see them.   Weird!! Also, nerve racking, and exciting.... and well, I'm gonna need the Lord's help for sure! I know the Lord supports his missionaries, so here's praying I don't destroy Cooperstown!
Well, here are the things of this week.
The joys:
I'm sorry but I just have to rant about our investigator, Trish, again. I really should just rename this blog "stories about how Trish is the greatest". But seriously. Here is why I love her....
1. She came to church. By herself. She is seriously just part of the branch now.
2. She is getting baptized and I love it.
3. She told us that she has been working on being a missionary
Let's  just say I love her. Why can't everyone be like her?
Went on another joyous exchange with my girl Sister Lloyd. Love her. I should probably remind everyone that Sister Lloyd is 4'10. We walk around together and it is great.... Well....its one way to start a conversation.
Sister Bruneau cooked us Mexican food. First time since I've been in New York. Oh how I have missed it.
The Laughs:
So one night Sister Smith and I were out tracting, when all of a sudden it started POURING RAIN.  In the way it only can in upstate New York. Well we were umbrella-less and drenched. We decided to seek refuge at a members house... but they didn't answer.... so we ran back to the car. Only to be unable to find the keys. Sister Smith was digging in her bag for like, 15 mins.... in the pouring rain.... and still, no keys. At this point I am just dying laughing. It was so ridiculous, there was no other option. We finally found the keys,  (outside the member's house), and were  on our way. Looking and smelling like wet little puppies.
Grandma Dorothy told us she was "allergic to New York". I died. I can't say I disagree.
Sometimes we bring candy to keep Trish's boys in line. Last time we went to teach, her youngest son, (who is 5),  just kept asking "do you have candy, do you have candy?" I finally asked him, "What, do you only like us for our candy" Then he looked me straight in the eye and said "Well... yeah. duh." I just laughed. Ah. You gotta love kids.
We also learned how to cook and eat eggplant.... Hey, you take what you can get :)
The testimony builders:
This week we were teaching one of our investigators and he asked us a lot of questions about why people have weird perceptions about Mormons. Anyway, it got me thinking about how hard Satan is trying to pull down the church and how sad and how mislead so much of the world is. How people try and convince me that I have been deceived. I'm like this, yes. Somehow I have been "brain-washed" to believe in something. To strive for faith, hope, charity, and love. To live morally and clean. To be an honest, true, virtuous person. I have been deceived to serve and contribute to society. To trust in God and believe in Christ. I have been tricked into having peace, love, joy and a focus on family. And well, I could go on and on. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that how blind do you have to be to see this is good. Regardless of what you have heard. How can you deny the fruits of the church? You don't have to be an expert on trees, roots, and soil to know if a peach tastes good! How is that different from the gospel? Christ himself said "Ye shall know them by their fruits" I know I have seen my faith in the gospel bring me nothing but peace and joy. I know it has done nothing but make  me better. I know that. I wish everyone in the world could know that! I truly love being able to share this message with people. To uplift them and help them know that there is so much peace, joy, and love in this world, if we come to Christ!
well, to end, I wanted to share a quote that I found from a talk given by Marvin J. Ashton called "The Tongue can be a sharp Sword" This quote means a lot to me, and hope to allow it to pattern my life. Ok here it is....
"Be one who nurtures and who builds. Be one who has an understanding and forgiving heart, who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them."
I may not be able to convert everyone (or anyone), but we can all strive to leave everyone better than we found them!
Love you all!
Sister Langford