Monday, December 30, 2013

"Merry Christmas with Awesome Members and An Awesome Testimony of the Gospel."

Hey everyone! Oh what a week this one has been. It always throws you for a loop when you have a holiday in the middle of the week, but we keep going strong! Honestly there isn't much to talk about this week... but let me give you some highlights!
1. CHRISTMAS!!!! Christmas was a really good day. We definitely started our day by jumping out of bed and saying "HAPPY CHRISTMAS" in the good old fashion Brittish way! We had a great day saw A LOT of members and ate A TON of food. So that was good! And its always good to chat with the fam as well! I must say, I am so grateful for the members up here! They just accept us into their families. It was so nice to be able to spend time with people who helped us feel at home! 
2. Floyd was finally confirmed! Floyd is officially a member of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Hurrah! Floyd is such a great example. When we told him that we were bummed that he would have to wait a week to be confirmed he just said, "Well, the Lord has a plan!" It was really great of him. Also he has been making everyone in his household watch the church movies we give him! So good. He's already on his path to missionary work! 
3. We FINALLY got in contact with some of our really great investigators! WE had some really powerful lessons and the spirit was there! We just keep praying that we will be able to start to get people to progress!!!!
Well, those are the highlights :) In all honesty, this week has been really hard. I've been pretty stressed and I've just been trying to deal with all that stress! But this morning, I was thinking about my testimony and this is what I wrote down and want to share with you all :)
I feel like it really strengthens me to think about Joseph Smith. Not only his example and all he went through, but what he did. I especially love thinking about The Book of Mormon.
 Whenever I doubt, there is one thing I know for certain, Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon. There is no way a 14 year old boy in the 1800's could sit down and write that book in a matter of months. It would be impossible even for the greatest of scholars and writers. Even they couldn't mimic such a book. And thats because its true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it. 
Knowing this simple truth creates a snowball effect for the rest of my testimony. Because, since the Book of Mormon is true, that means Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And so is Thomas S. Monson today. It means that God loves me and will always be watching out for me. It means every other aspect of the gospel is true. And how could it not be? Does anyone have a convincing reason not to believe? Oh sure, It may at times seem easier, or more fun, or less work, but think of how much joy comes from the gospel. Think of those times when you felt that peace and saw that change in someones, (even your own), eyes. Has living the commandments ever made you sad? I know this church is true, and even if it weren't there, there is nothing better to turn to. Where else will you find such high standards and people willing to follow them? Where else will you find such a strong spirit? Where else will you turn if not to God? The dark and lonely paths, the great and spacious building, NEVER leads to the fruit and joy of the tree of life. 
So, though the fog may at times be heavy, though the pull to let go of the rod may be strong, you hang on. Because hard as it may seem, it will only get worse if you let go, and easier if you hang on. I know Christ is my Savior. I know because of him, I CAN DO HARD THINGS. This is the truth. Never let go. 
I love you all and I love the gospel and being a missionary! 
Sister Langford

Monday, December 23, 2013

"In Ice & Snow, the Baptism must go on!" "I'm 20!" & "Service increases the Christmas Spirit!"


HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Oh my goodness where has the time gone? Its Christmas THIS WEEK. Can I say I'm pumped? Anyway, this week has been very eventful so get ready to hold on to your seats. Shall we begin?
The random facts:
1. ZTM. Aka Zone Training Meeting was good times. We made the long (10 minute) drive to Potsdam in the -15 degree weather. Good times. But we had a very uplifting meeting focused on the Christmas season... so no complaints.
2. Exchange with Sister Reid! Sister Reid is the greatest and our exchange was so fun! She got to come join me in the lovely town of Norwood. I had my first opportunity to take over the area and it went really well. A random family ended up letting us in and then pelted us with 1000 questions while one of the teenagers tried to get us to swear. Good times.
3. Caroling. That's right. We joined the Young men and women in a nice caroling extravaganza. it was fun, and cold, and very Christmas spirited.
4. So good news everyone. St Lawrence County was under a "state of emergency" due to a serious ice storm. So what does that mean? We weren't allowed to drive our car or really go anywhere for 2 days. It seriously put a damper on our missionary work. It was like this, imagine the entire town of Norwood covered in a 1/4 inch of ice. #icestorm. And then it was like this, frozen hair, canceled church, and slippery side walks. It made for a good weekend is all I'm saying. THANK GOODNESS they lifted this state of emergency so we could go out today! To quote one of the elders here, "In my time in the North Country they have over reacted about EVERY storm. So you are fine."
5. This morning we spent an hour digging our car out of the snow. So I'll let you decide what I think about the weather up here.
The work:
1. Oh my gosh FLOYD WAS BAPTIZED! It was such a blessing that it ended up going ok! A huge storm came in and EVERYONE was telling us to cancel it. But we said, "Nope. if Floyd can get here, the show goes on!" Well thank goodness he made it! There was such a sweet simple spirit as we watched Floyd enter the waters of baptism. I will be forever grateful I could be part of his journey.
2. Can I just say, the Lord truly blesses us when we are willing to do whats hard. On Sunday morning we were feeling really bummed. Church had been canceled so we had NO IDEA what to do all day... especially consideting the looming ice storm. Well, we finally concluded that we should just go out anyway and see who we could find in Norwood. THE FIRST potential we tried to see let us in. We had a super awesome lesson with her. She said she wanted to learn more and that she wanted to read the Book of Mormon. Here's praying we can help her and her family progress! She reminded me so much of Trish and I couldn't help but think of Trish's progression in the gospel and hope the same for this woman!
3. We picked up a new investigator! Her name is Brandi. She is 9. She is crazy yet endearing. Did she remind me of Emmalee? Maybe. Anyway, we met her through her grandma. Also, Brandi tends to think that sister missionaries are really, really, really, great.

December 22nd:
Huge shout out to everyone who sent me birthday cards and gifts. You made the day good! Even though the day was spent trecking through the snow it ended up being a real good day! In the evening one of the members in our branch came and picked us up (since we still weren't allowed to drive) and we and a nice birthday dinner! They even made me a cupcake tower! It was very fun and made my birthday great! So grateful to have such awesome members here in Norwood!
The Christmas Spirit:
So here's a story. This week I had been praying for two things
1. Charity towards this one investigator of ours
2. To feel more of the Christmas spirit.
Well thank goodness Heavenly Father answered both of those prayers. We were in a lesson with said investigator and they were going off about how hard Christmas was going to be this year, how their paycheck had been cut and how they didn't know what to do. All of a sudden I had an overwhelming feeling of peace come over me and I thought, we need to help this family out. Some how, we need to help. As soon as we walked out of the lesson I told Sister Bezzant what we needed to do. Lucky for me she goes along with all of my crazy plans. So we contacted the local food pantry and got A TON of food. Then we went to some stores and bought a couple of little presents for them. Then we did a secret drop off. I don't want you to think I'm telling this story because I think what we did was cool or whatever. I know that this was an opportunity from Heavenly Father to become better. I know that he answered my prayers by giving me a chance to grow. That chance to serve helped me gain more charity towards this investigator, and invited the Christmas spirit into our missionary work. I know that if we ask, Heavenly Father will give us chances to be better. To learn and to grow. We need only act.
I am so grateful for this Christmas season where we can grow closer to Christ and remember his birth. To quote President Monson, "To better understand the Spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last
syllable and it becomes the Spirit of Christ." I know we can all have the spirit of Christ in our hearts all year long!
Thank you everyone and HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS



Monday, December 16, 2013

"Weak Northerner Effort, Sister Sleepover Fun, Christmas Pageants, Christmas Blessings when we sacrifice for others."


Well hello there. 

This week was rather eventful so hang on to your seats. Are you ready for all the news? Ok good. 

The randoms:

1. YOU GUYS. It snowed a ton here. Literally one ton. Haha just kidding. But it happened over night. Saturday night we go to bed with some light flurries of snow fall, the next morning... BAM. we are spending 45 minutes shoveling our car out of our drive way. Plus I must say that I was disappointed by the North Country's weak effort at braving the snow. Only 25 people came to church (and keep in mind that 8 of those people are missionaries). Lame. I expected more from these Northerners! 
2. This week I got to go on a wonderful exchange with the lovely Sister Miller. I spent a lovely day in the village of LAKE PLACID. Lake Placid is so smooth. It's like New York's version of Park City. So cool. They even held the winter olympics there in the 80's. Its cool.... literally. But it reminded me of home to be tucked into the side of the Adirondack Mountains. Also, I found a ice sculpture there... and a Gap. So that was all very exciting. 

3. Pageants! I swear Christmas pageant's are the missionary event of the season. Thus far we have attended two, and will be attending another tonight. So that's good. The one our church put on was very cute. But want to know what the best part was? SISTER CHURCH (MTC comp) and SISTER SMITH (trainer) CAME AND THEN WE HAD A SLEEPOVER AND IT WAS SO FUN! and that's all. 

The jokes:

1. While eating dinner with a member they told us we needed to "rock and wiggle" like a sumo wrestler to stretch out our stomach's so we could eat more. um....

2. "I'm makin' a Birthday cake for Jesus. So ya'll had better be there!" - (how we get invited places for Christmas). 

3. "His house should probably be condemned....but he has a sweet dog so..." - Elder

4. "He looked exactly like Floyd.... except he had a mustache so he was way different" - Elder

The uplifting:
1. FLOYD IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK! He is very excited and so so so ready. I'm so happy I can be here when this happens! Its weird to not have taught him the entire time, But I still know that there's a reason I'm here now! I'll keep you posted on how the baptism goes!

2. New investigator.  This lady  is probably the coolest investigator ever. Her mom was recently baptized. At her baptism, she felt the spirit so strong and realized she needed it in her life too. Since then she has been so solid and amazing. We had a really great lesson this week with her. Here's praying we can help her make the changes necessary to partake of the gospel! SHE IS SO GREAT!

3. So here's a cool story. Sister Bezzant and I were out trying to contact potentials. Well we go to a potentials house, knock on the door.... wait. Then we hear someone yell "COME IN!" (ugh. I hate it when people say that. like hello awkward situation. They act all surprised when you walk in and they are like "who are you?" and I'm like.... um you don't know me.... I don't know why you said come in. Awkward!) So anyway, we enter the house. The lady comes over and we ask for the name of the potential. Well she says "Sorry he doesn't live here." So then like any good missionary would, we start telling her who we are. She goes, "Oh you're Mormons? I love Mormons and the Mormon religion! My aunt is a Mormon and I used to live in Palmyra!" I'm sorry what?  Anyway she was in the middle of dinner but hopefully we can teach her soon! its those small tender mercies that keep me going you guys. 

...and a Christmas message:

So hey did you know that Christmas is in 9 days? Crazy. I'm getting way excited that's for sure! But this week we were told an incredible Christmas story. 

Let me set the stage first...

That morning I was having kind of a rough day. Like just feeling kind of blah. So I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me feel his love and recognize my purpose more. Then for lunch we went to a member's home, Sister Bond. We shared a Christmas message with her then after we were talking. She said "Sisters, I want to tell you my favorite Christmas memory and how I know God love us and blesses us."  So we consented and she began to tell this story....

It was many years ago. Back when her now grown boys were just kids. Sister Bond was very low on money and didn't know what she was going to do for Christmas. She pooled all her money and realized she would only be able to buy maybe one gift each for her boys. She went to her sons and told them they could pick one thing that they really really wanted for Christmas. She left the boys to think about it. A few minutes later the oldest boy came out and said "Mom, do you think we would have enough money to buy gifts for the family down the road?" The family down the road was struggling even more than they. The Bonds had tried to help them out on previous occasions as well. Sister Bond thought for a minute then said, "Yes, we could do that. You realize that means you wouldn't get any gifts for Christmas right?" They said that was ok. The boys had a wonderful time as they went to the store and picked out presents for the family down the street. They wrapped the presents and then a few days before Christmas, anonymously dropped them off at the family's door. 

The next day, Sister Bond was in the kitchen when she heard a knock on the door and a car speeding away. She went out to see who was there. When she opened the door she saw a huge box FULL of presents for her boys. Each boy ended up getting around 8 or 9 gifts. 

Sister Bond then told us that that single memory has meant more to her than any other Christmas story. She knew that because they sacrificed and did what the Savior would do, they were blessed. She said that she knows that God is there. That he is willing to bless us. That he loves us. That when we do what's right he will always, always bless us. 

That story touched my heart and I knew that it was an answer to me of how much Heavenly Father loves each of us! I know that if during this Christmas we focus on giving to our Savior we will be blessed 100 fold. 

And that was the week. :) HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY :)

Sister Langford



Monday, December 9, 2013

"Didn't end up at Arby's cuz I love Roast Beef", "Building an Ark," and....Invitation to Sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!"

Blog Blog...
Well, another week has passed. I feel like this week was waaaaay busy.... yet there is nothing to talk about. Basically the week was filled with driving and meetings and snow and meetings. Don't worry. We did some missionary work in the midst of all that. Wanna hear about it?
OK. Here are the random goods....
1. MLC. So this week we drove all the way to Utica for Missionary Leadership Council. It was definitely good times. Only bad news is that its a 3 1/2 hour drive. So within two days we were in the car for 7 hours. Awesome!!! Also, we took the Elder's truck and crammed 6 missionaries into it. So that was pretty rough. Buuuuut..... we had some really great times.
      - Utica! Thursday evening when we arrived in Utica we got to hang out and work with the Utica sisters which was a blast. One of my friends from the MTC is currently serving in Utica so we had a ton of fun together. We taught this less-active member who was seriously exactly like Minnie from "The Help" except she was like 85. She was fantastic. She made us watch the movie "Together Forever" (it's pretty cheesey).  I definitely recommend it if you are looking for some quality entertainment.
      - The meeting. MLC ended up being very motivating and inspiring! I'm very excited to start putting my STL (Sister Trainer Leader), duties into action!
     - The drive home. On the way home we had an awesome experience. We were driving and naturally got pretty hungry. (3 1/2 hour car rides do that to ya).  We decided to stop at Arby's. Well we went in and ordered our food and all was well. Well then out of the blue the cashier looks at me and says, "I feel really embarrassed. I know that I need to go back to church." We are all like.... "um... sorry what?" Apparently her daughter is an active member of the church and for a long time she was going every week (never baptized though).  She was like, "I guess this is the Lord's way of saying its time for me to go back!" So cool! The Lord definitely puts us in the right place at the right time!
2. Ok are you ready for the very, very, very, best moment of this week? Good.
We enter the lesson with our investigator. He seems very subdued for some reason. We are confused.
We sit down and say, "Hey! How have your prayers been going? Gotten and answer yet?"
He says "Well I have a story for you. I wanted someone to build me an ark." Naturally we are confused.
We are like... "What?  an ark?"

He said, "Yes an ark. An "Act of Random Kindness." He said, "I told God I would know the Book of Mormon was true if someone gave me one random act of kindness. The next day, I got a letter from Sister Blevins, (the sister who was here before me), and I knew that was the random act. That was my answer. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I'm ready to get baptized."
We were stunned.
How happy is that? It was the sweetest moment ever though when he said the closing prayer and he said, Thank you for the Sisters and that I could tell them that I know the Book of Mormon is true!" I probably cried. It's moments like that that make it all worth it.

And that was the week. We also taught many other lessons. All of which were great, but not much to say. I truly am blessed to be here in Norwood working with these amazing north country people! love it.
....and here's the laughs.
1. "Hey brother Tabor! I told you that you could sing!" - me

"Ya he's so good that a couple of years ago the Mormon Tabernacle choir invited him to join in" - Branch President
"Really.... cool!" - me
"Ya... well they actually invited everyone to sing. You know... when they put the words on the screen..." - Brother Tabor.
2. Literally EVERY SINGLE DAY since I have been in Norwood someone has commented on my height. EVERY DAY. It's good times.
3. "Norwood. A nice place to live" - said in a brittish accent by Sister Wilson
Well, that's all for this week. I guess I better start stomping through the snow storm again! Haha!!
Sister Langford 

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Attack of the Killer Bird, Giant, Tall Saprano, & Potsdam temp is Cold but the members are Warm."

Hello everyone.

Well, needless to say, this week was absolutely crazy. But the good kind of crazy... right? Ok. So here is the news:

1. Goodbye to Cooperstown.
The week started out pretty sad. Just saying goodbye to everyone in Cooperstown. I definitely cried when I drove away from Grandma Dorothy and the Hopkins. It's hard to say goodbye to all these amazing people who have changed my life. But, I know Cooperstown is in good hands.

So here's the crazy story from my last day in Cooperstown. Sister Hansen and I were going to Grandma Dorothy's/Bruneau's for dinner. Well we went to knock on the door and all of a sudden a bird comes flying out at us and freaking out. Since it was stuck under a covered porch, it couldn't get out. All it could do was freak out and poop on us. So we are screaming and trying not to get hit by this bird. The Bruneau's thought for sure we were getting murdered out there. Toooo good.

2. Hello to Potsdam!
Ok here's the thing. Potsdam really is cold. Like way, way, way, cold. I should have listened to all these people. Bah, but it's ok because I also love it up here in the North Country. Here's whats happened so far....
-Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was great. We went to a couple of member's houses, the Tabors and the Garfields, who were so great and we died laughing and playing uno and.... it was one of the most fun times I've had with members on my mission. What I'm saying is, the members here are great and they make really good pumpkin pie :)

- Mr. F. Ok so Mr. F is the coolest investigator up here in Potsdam! He is great, comes to church every week and now we just have to set him up with a baptism date! We had a really powerful lesson with him about recognizing the spirit! We are really excited for his baptism. Also, he says he can tell just by looking at someone if they are a convert or a life long member. He knew I was a life long. I don't know how. Dang it.

- A less-active told me the first thing she thought when she saw me was, "She looks like Taylor Swift," so that made my week. Then when I told her I met Taylor Swift, we became best friends.

- One of our investigators daughters made me a friendship bracelet. (I'm really getting in with these north country folks).

...and that's basically the random goods.
Are you ready for funny things now? Good.
- *Investigator's 6 year old, daughter*
"What?! You can't be a missionary! You are waaaay too big! She's like a giant!"

--*Standing up while singing in the choir*
"Oh wow! You are the tallest soprano we've had in a while."

(I don't know why people up here can't get over my height. It's like they've never seen a tall person).

- Brother Tabor- "Hey are missionaries allowed to have snow ball fights?"
Elder- "um.... I don't think so..."

Brother Tabor- "Perfect. You will be defenseless. Hey elders, wanna come outside for a minute?"

Anyway, so far so good in Potsdam! I'm hopeful for this place and excited to see how things go! Ready for trudging through some serious snow :)
Sister Langford