Monday, November 25, 2013

"View of the Northern Lights, Potsdam Winter, New Calling, Missing "the Coop" but "All is Well!"

 Hey everybody. After a week of canceled appointments, sliding in the snow, notes left on doors, frozen eye brows, and amazing miracles, Saturday came.
Let me give you a little run down of how Saturday went.
6:30 am. wake up. First thought that runs through my head, "Oh my gosh we get transfer calls today." Needless to say, I was stressed. This phone call basically determines your life. All morning Sister Hansen and I are stressing, yet telling ourselves that we are staying and that we won't get a phone call until late at night.
9:30 am. The phone rings. It's President Wirthlin. He tells Sister Hansen that she is staying and that she is becoming a Sister Trainer Leader. Then he pauses. "Hang on, let me find where Sister Langford is going...." I'm on edge. Probably going to pass out. "Oh Sister Langford, you are going to Norwood, Potdam branch..... oh and you are also a Sister Trainer Leader..."
So that's the news kids. I'm going to Potsdam and I'm going to be a Sister Trainer Leader.
Here are the things I've heard about Potsdam. (Aka what every single person has told me)!
-Its cold.
-I'm going to freeze.
-I will turn into an Eskimo.
-I better have a warm coat.
-I will probably be able to see the northern lights.
-It's cold.
and my personal favorite...
-that sounds like a really gross soup.
So yup. Potsdam is waaaaaaaay up near the Canadian border. Haha perfect place for winter. But in all reality, I'm way excited to be going there. As for being a STL, (Sister Trainer Leader), I'm way nervous. I've been having a lot of anxiety about the whole matter, but I also know that I can be strengthened through Christ.
This morning while getting ready the song, "Come, Come, Ye Saints," came on. The second verse hit me hard...
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight.
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell-
All is well! All is well!
I know that I had been ready to fly the "Coop" and how I was ready for all this, but it's still nerve wracking and overwhelming. I know that I will need that fresh courage and strength from my Heavenly Father. This is a time for faith not fear. I think what I have really learned this week more than anything else is that God loves me. That this is His plan.
And despite some of the hard-times in Cooperstown there will be so much I will miss. As I got up to bare my testimony for the last time in the Oneonta Branch I was truly hit with the realization that these people have changed my life. That because of what I have done, how I have served, the trials that have come, I am a different person. I am so grateful for the people here. Especially Grandma Dorothy who bakes us cookies and tells us stories and glows when we read the Book of Mormon. And the Hopkins family who is going to the temple this week to do baptisms for their family. Especially them.
I am excited for this new chapter of my mission in the frozen tundra of Potsdam where I will be able to see Canada. I love the gospel. This church is true. Amen.
Sister Langford


Monday, November 18, 2013

" Not coincidental, puppies & cocoa, Mr. Clean & the Plan of Salvation & Patience in our trials."

Hey everyone.
So another week has come and gone. Did I not write this blog like, yesterday? Anyway, this week happened. There were some ups and quite a few downs, but we keep the faith. Keep going as always.
So lets talk about the ups...
1. We did have a really cool experience this week. So we were going to find a less-active who lives in the Elder's area, but the Elders have been sick and couldn't visit her. Well, it was really crucial that we visited her that day, but she wouldn't answer her phone... so we had to go by the random drop by tactic. Well we were on our way, and our GPS took us a really weird way to get there. All of a sudden I had a strong feeling that we needed to stop at this house, and knock on the door 3 times. Well we go to the house (which looks minorly abandoned) and knock.... once..... twice...... three times...... no one comes. So we get back in the car and drive on. And I'm thinking, well why did we stop here? The house was clearly abandoned. No one was coming. We just wasted all that time for nothing. Well, right then we pulled in front of this Less-actives house. Literally one second later, she pulled up behind us and got out of her car. We jumped out of our car to talk with her. Well we had a good chat and set up and appointment. Just as we were leaving she said, "Wow, it's really lucky you stopped by right now. I was going to a doctor appt and had come back to grab my phone. You caught me in this 1 minute window!" That was pretty humbling. We may not always know WHY Heavenly Father inspires us to do things, most of the time we won't, but if we trust that the Lord has a plan for us, it will all turn out ok :)
2. So whenever our District Leaders call us at the end they say, "Is there anything we can do for you?" (remember how we got them to sing?) Well, recently we asked for "puppies, hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies" just as a joke of course! Well they show up at District meeting with a box of hot cocoa, a bag of chocolate chip cookies and these little rubber puppies. It probably made my week.
3. Well, here's the news kids, we find out about transfers this week. Well I was sitting in the car with a member and all of a sudden I realized how much I am going to miss the people of Cooperstown when I leave. I mean, of course there have been struggles, but I truly realized how much I love the people here. Especially people like the Hopkins and Grandma Dorothy. So, its not like I'm saying I'm for sure getting transfered or anything, but when it eventually happens, I will be sad, but also comforted to know that I did my best to help them!
Some not-so-ups....
1. So... this week was hard. I sometimes feel like I don't know why more amazing things aren't happening. Sometimes I just feel like, "WHY DOES NO ONE CARE!" It can be rough when you work your hardest all week and only teach one lesson. ya. But throughout this week one thought has really stuck with me
"Its always darkest before the dawn."
Sometimes we think we can't do it anymore and its right then, that God lets us know what we can do! When looking at this week from a day to day perspective, it was rough. When looking at it from an eternal perspective, it was a chance to grow. A chance to develop more faith and patience.
Patience: The capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. To do God's will and accept His timing.
"....and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord" - Mosiah 24;15
"... We count them happy which endure..." - James 5:11
I do have faith that through Christ, we can be strengthened. No one said every day of this life was going to be amazingly, spectacularly easy. To quote Jeffrey R Holland "Welcome to the church. Welcome to the gospel. Welcome to the life of apostles and prophets. Welcome to the life of the Savior who knows quite a bit about cups from which one does not want to drink." I know that our situations may not always change and get easier, but WE can change ourselves. We can have more faith, patience, hope, and trust in the Lord. We can be happy not despite our trials, but because of them :)
Ok who is ready to laugh?
1. " Our most progressing investigator thinks he is a wizard!" - Elders
2. "Good news sister, today its a toasty 38 degrees!" - Sister Hansen
3.     *while teaching the Hopkins the Plan of Salvation*
        "But what about the people who are in Jail when Christ comes?" - Travis
         "Well Jesus isn't going to let them out!" - Jamison
        "So our bodies will be completely perfect!" - me
        "Like Mr. Clean perfect?" - Travis
4. "I think you are a rad missionary!" - Sister hansen
     " fat.... but rad." - me
So that was the week. Aaaah. We keep on keeping on! Have a blessed week :)
Mmmmmmm bye now.
Sister Langford


Monday, November 11, 2013

Service Brings Blessings & Seek out the Mini-Miracles and Tender Mercies!!


Hello everyone! It was another crazy week in Cooperstown. (just kidding, it really wasn't very crazy at all). But, some really great things did happen, so you probably want to know about them.

But first can I just say that I need to have a chat with whoever decided all these random holidays should be placed on Mondays. And then who decided that all the libraries are closed. Like what's with that? Don't they know that missionaries need to email? cmon.

Ok but for real. Here are the Cool missionary joys:

1. Ok. So remember last week how we felt prompted to rake that ladies leaves and it led to good things? And remember how she was like "Hey! I may have a friend who could use some help too!" and remember how we thought that we would never hear from said friend? Wellllllll.... SHE CALLED US!  And get this, her husband is a former investigator. Like seriously, what are the odds? So we went over and helped her bake cookies, (sister service), and we got to talk with them quite a bit. Who knows what could come of it! We are going back this week to help her again! #blessings

2. I got to go on exchange again to HAMILTON! which was the greatest. We had some good times, taught some lessons and learned a ton! I'm always grateful to see new places and learn from other missionaries :)

3. Well, you were probably wondering about the Hopkins family. Haha! maybe not. But here are the amazing things that have been happening with them...

    - Trish is loving her calling, and has been talking to tons of people about being Mormon. Its great.

    - Our branch president gave Ray a calling in boy scouts even though he isn't a member! and better yet, RAY ACCEPTED!!

    - Cody tried to give a Book of Mormon to one of his teachers! How cool is that? The teacher gave it back to Cody, but hey, A for effort.

The Hopkins are the greatest :)

4. We had a really cool experience last night. We went over the the Bruneau's to eat, but we had a bit of extra time so we went over to see Grandma Dorothy (she hasn't been feeling very well).  So we read with her a chapter in the Book of Mormon, just right where she was reading. It ended up being the most perfect chapter on The Gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was so strong and you could just see and change in Grandma Dorothy when we were done. Its crazy how the Lord really does answer our prayers through the scriptures!

5. We also found a really cool potential named Jeff.

6. And we re-picked up a  family as investigators. We had been teaching them when I first came out but things got.... crazy! But we are back to teaching so hopefully good things to come! Its so cool how the Lord has been blessing us and helping us fulfill our goal of at least one new investigator a week! So far its happened every week!

Random events...

1. You guys. I'm not even kidding right now. IT SNOWED. like, stick to the ground, freeze your eyelashes, snowed. It was crazy. BOO FOR WINTER!

2. One day we were walking down main street trying to talk to people, and we see this really well-dressed guy. So we think, hey let's talk with him about the gospel. So we round up our courage and go 'hey!" and he says "Hey sisters! I'm a bishop in Rochester, want to go to lunch?" Haha! what? A lot of crazy little blessings :)

The Giggles....

1. "oh don't worry. The keys are in the purse, but not of the purse" - Sister McGregor (on exchange in Hamilton)

2. We were in the library and all of a sudden I see a guy wearing a University of Utah sweatshirt. And I was like, hey that's not normal in New York. So we went to say Hi! (assuming he is a member) So we say "Hello, are you from Utah?" and he's like "you could say that" then awkwardly walked away. Just goes to show you can't trust anyone who goes to the U! Haha!!

3. Ok, this was the funniest. Sister Hansen and I were standing on a door step waiting for the person to answer the door. In front of the door was two pairs of shoes. One was a pair of Adidas, the other Crocs. So Sister Hansen says "did you know that Adidas stands for 'all day I dream about shoes" and I'm like "did you know that 'Crocs' stands for 'completely repulsive, offensive crappy shoes" and then we busted up laughing. Of course RIGHT THEN the guy came to the door. Needless to say that wasn't our best door approach.

4. Things Elder's have said to us when they answer the phone...

    - "You sisters are liars and cheats"
    - "hey. what's the difference between Greek Yogurt and normal Yogurt?"
    - "Flaeg, flaeg flaeg. cepture all the flaegs" - sung in a Russian accent.

Anyway, that was the week. Nothing too mind blowing. But something that has really hit me this week is the idea that miracles can be small. I think a lot of the time I walk around thinking, "Ok, where's my miracle? Where is that crazy amazing experience?" And I don't see it, so I feel like we aren't succeeding. And then I remember the scripture that says "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."  Miracles seriously happen to us EVERYDAY. We are so blessed. I think we need to focus more on the simple tender mercies of the Lord, and less on the huge "ammon-like" miracles.

Keep being great!


Sister Langford


Monday, November 4, 2013

Loving/Hating Day Light Savings, Winter's Here, Missionary Pumpkins, & Baseball!!

 Well hello everyone.
If we are being completely honest, this week was kind of slow. Not too many crazy exciting things happened... but fear not because I always have SOME story to tell right?
So here are the random goods...
1. I got to sleep in yesterday #daylightsavings. It was the best morning of my life. Like, can we have daylight savings everyday? Except here's the bad news with that, it gets dark here now at like, 5:00.... So that makes missionary work kind of rough. But we just keep trying to be creative with ways to find people at night!
2. There was straight up frost on our car yesterday. It's cold kids. Like scraping off ice, foggy breath, 2 pairs of tights, cold. I am already dreading winter.
3. After 5 months of living in the home of baseball, I was finally dragged to the Hall of Fame. It was cool I guess. Neither of us know anything about baseball so we were like... "Hey thats a cool cow that is dressed like a yankee's fan." But hey, it mixed up the daily routine so I'm not complaining.
4. Halloween was cool. Basically we went to the hospital to visit one of the elders who had to get surgery.   Then we baked with Grandma Dorothy and then we longingly watched the Halloween parade from our window and carved baby sized pumpkins to look like a missionary. Ah, holidays as a missionary are rad.
 Ok. now for the missionary stuff...
1. Ok I don't know what this wasn't the very first thing I wrote about buuut..... one of our investigators QUIT SMOKING! ok... not totally officially. But we were told us that he hasn't bought any new cigarettes and that he feels weird everytime he smokes now! YES. Miracles do happen.
2. So we were bopping around Cooperstown, trying to think of someone we could talk to that we haven't already harrassed 1000 times. We were knocking on this door and I thought, "Hey what about that red house?" We hadn't tried the red house in a while and I couldn't rememer who lived there (because naturally I can tell you who lives everywhere in Cooperstown).  So there we go, knocking on the red house. The lady came to the door and I remembered that I had talked to her before (about sister wives.... ugh), and she said she still wasn't very interested. But then I felt like we should ask if there was anything we could help her with. She all of a sudden looked really shocked. Like, she didn't believe that we would just help her with something. So, kind of testing us, she goes, "Well, would you rake my leaves?" and we were like "YES!!!!" So, the leaves were raked. Then afterwards we got to chat with her for a while and at the end she said "Well, maybe I will join your church!" (kind of joking but hey!).  She said she wanted us to come back, and she referred us to a couple of her friends! it was the greatest!
3. We picked up a new investigator! So far our goal of picking up at least one investigator a week has been going swimmingly! This new investigator is the sweetest lady ever and she bakes wedding cakes. So... we get cake everytime we see her. Hey, I'm not complaining!
 And the jokesters....
1. Everytime the District Leaders get off the phone with us they ask "is there anything we can do for you?" So naturally we always ask for things (like doughnuts and puppies).  The other night we asked if they would sing to us... and they did. Too good. We were probably laughing our heads off.
2. Elder on drugs from his surgery... "No, seriously. You sisters are the"
3. Elder - "Think about all Christ did for you, and you can't even give the missionaries a freaking name!?"

....and an uplifting quote to keep ya'll on the straight and narrow...
"Unless you belong to a church that requires sacrifice of all that you possess, everything that you have and are, even at perhaps the cost of your life, unless you belong to such a church as that, that church could never build within you the faith that you need to obtain eternal life." - Joseph Smith.
 Mmmmmmm BYE NOW!
Sister Langford