Monday, December 8, 2014

"Denial-Panic-Excitement-& Denial, a Followed Prompting, Amazing Palmyra Trip, Realization in the Sacred Grove, & Sister Langford bids you a final missionary adieu!"

THE LAST MELON.

BLOG.

Ok. I've put off writing this email as long as my hour and a half of allotted email time will allow.

Deep breath.

OH MY GOODNESS. THIS IS MY LAST EMAIL AS A MISSIONARY. I'm going to be honest, it doesn't really seem real. I go through these phases...

the first is denial.

then panic.

then excitement.

then denial again.

then just really, really sappy.

So anyway, That will be an outline for how this email will also go. Let's start with some denial that this is never going to end.

This was a really good week of missionary work. We taught a lot of lessons, and we saw a lot of progression from our investigators. But I have one awesome story that I want to share in particular. So last week, Sister Mason and I were driving down the road. We were stopped at a red light when I looked out the window to see what was going down in Saratoga. Just then I noticed two women, walking down the street with a baby in a stroller. Instantly I thought, "We should talk to them." But then I thought these things, "ok, A: We are in a car on the other side of the road. How would we ever go about that? and  B:  It's sooo cold. I do not want to get out of this car. and then C:  We have somewhere to be. So when the light turned green, we kept driving down the street. We got to our destination, parked and I just knew that we needed to go back. ASAP. So without further discussion I turned the car around and parked down the street from where we saw the women walking. Then we got out of the car and started walking towards these women. Well we came face to face and I pulled out my best and most awkward OYM approach, "Hey! can we talk to you for a minute?" The older lady kind of dodged me by saying, "oh sorry we need to get the baby inside." But I wasn't going to give up that easy. Not after I had turned the car around to talk to them. So I said, "Oh. Well can we give you this card?" The older lady kept walking but the younger one stopped and we got to talk to her. We bore testimony of the importance of our message, and she said we could come back. Then she said, "I've been looking for something like this." Well, this week we have taught this lady 4 times. She has had so many amazing experiences and is totally progressing in the gospel! I am so grateful that I followed the prompting to go and talk to her. I'm excited to see what will happen with her.

Ok now some panic.

OH MY GOSH GUYS. I'm going home. Oh my goodness oh my goodness. (deep breaths)

Now some excitement!

HUUUURRRRRAAAAAY! (at this point you can imagine the part in Tangled where she keeps going back and forth on how she feels) 

Now lets talk about Palmyra.

Ok. That place is so so awesome. We started the day by getting to go to a session in the Palmyra temple. Then we went to the Book of Mormon printing press, ran up the face of the Hill Cumorah (while it was snowing), went to the Joseph Smith farm, then to the Sacred Grove, and finished with a tour of the Peter Whitmore farm. It was such a great day... although all day I just kept thinking,  "Why am I even here? I'm not going home." haha. Hello denial.

Let me tell you though. My absolute favorite part of the trip was getting to go to the sacred grove. When we got there, it was getting dark and it was snowing. Pretty different from when Joseph went out there to pray. But the spirit there was so incredible. I took some time to just sit down by myself and ponder and feel the spirit. Man it was powerful. As I pondered I had this realization:

When I left on my mission, and really throughout the course of my whole mission, I have thought, "What can I give to the Lord. What can I do for Him?" Which is great, but then that sometimes leads to the stress of thinking you didn't do enough for Him. As I sat, and pondered I realized that my mission wasn't about me giving to Heavenly Father, or anyone else (although that happened and it was amazing.) My mission was and is one of the greatest gifts that Heavenly Father could have ever given me. Of course, there have been ups and downs, but my mission has forever changed my life. I couldn't think of a greater gift from Him.

Well, I'm going to finish now... with SO MANY mixed emotions. My mission is the best thing that has EVER happened to me. I am just filled with so much gratitude for everything that it has been. Ahh, I wish I could explain it all in the blog post.

But I'll see you all soon.

XOXO,
Sister Langford 

Monday, December 1, 2014

"Headed to Palmyra, Celebrated 18, Thanksgiving X 3, Coffee Shop Talk, No Tomatoes in Fruit Salad, Call 911!!, & Kaitlyn & kitty litter save the day!"

BLOG.

Hello everyone. Bah! I just had a small panic attack where I realized I only get to write one more of these things after this. Ok. Deep breath.

Let me tell you. You are all in for a treat this week. You think last week was a crazy week... oh man. It only gets better. So let me start by getting a few things out of the way.

1. I GET TO GO TO PALMYRA TOMORROW AND I AM SO STINKING EXCITED. I think I am more excited for the Palmyra trip than anything else at this point. We drive down to Utica tonight, so you won't get to hear about it all until next week. But it will be sweet, and I am way stoked.

2. I HIT MY 18 MONTH MARK THIS WEEK. weird. The elders keep using this against me. Anytime I say anything to them they say, "You don't even count anymore. Just go home." Rude! It's a pretty weird fact. But don't worry. We celebrated my 18 month mark by going to a really fancy restaurant. Sister Mason got a 30 dollar steak. haha. And lest you think we used our MSF for that, we actually tracted into the owner and he let us eat there for free. :)

...and speaking of eating.

3. THANKSGIVING. We had 3 meal appointments back to back. If you think I was dying you would be correct. By the last one I seriously couldn't eat another bite. At every meal they kept saying, "Oh we have so much food! Please go get more!" and we kept thinking "Guys. we still have 2 more dinners after this one!" Let's just say I would be fine if I didn't eat turkey again for a year!

4. The Saratoga ward got a new bishopric. So that was exciting talk of the week. The new bishop is Bishop Eucker and he is way way cool, so we are very excited. Our old bishop is now the Albany stake patriarch. Anyway, random cool news.

Now let's get into the good stories.

1. Ok I can't not start with this story. So.... remember my story last week about the lady who threw the puking cat at us? hahaha. Well, here's another story about her. So this week she invited us over for dinner. So we said, "Ok, make us dinner!" Well, everything was going ok. She was frying some chicken and making some rice. Now let it be noted that there was WAY too much oil being used to fry this chicken... but we let her do her thing. She finished cooking the chicken and set it on the table and then we were just waiting for the rice to be finished cooking. We sat down at the table to share our spiritual thought before dinner started. As we started in on the message all of a sudden we hear this huge "woosh" I look over and see some crazy flickering lights. "OH MY GOSH! I THINK SOMETHING IS ON FIRE!" We all ran into the kitchen. Well, she had left the oil on the burner and it caught on fire. She started freaking out. Thankfully we all knew not to put water on an oil fire. She tried to grab another pan and smother the fire, but the flames just kept coming on the side. Then she yelled, "CALL 911!" Sister Mason ran out of the room to call 911. I was just thinking... oh no. Her house is going to burn down. What do we do? The fire was now climbing all the way up the wall. Black smoke was making it hard to see anything at all. By pure inspiration I knew what to do! I ran to the living room, grabbed a container of kitty litter, (of course), and threw it on the fire. And thank goodness, we got the fire out. Then I ran back outside and filled the kitty litter bucket with snow and dumped that on it too, for good measure. Then we all ran outside just as like 6 fire trucks pulled up. Oh my goodness, we were dying. The fire fighters went in and blew all the smoke out and everything was ok. I think the best part of the night though was when we were standing outside, it's snowing like crazy, and they turn a spot light from one of the fire trucks right on us and the lady we are with just says, "Well, now this is just embarrassing." OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS. We have dinner with her again this week. Pray for me. ;)

2. Ok, here is another good story. Thankfully this one is a little less life threatening. So last Monday we had set up to meet with this guy at a coffee shop in town. Yes a coffee shop. Well, we meet him there and sit down on a couch in the middle of the shop. We start teaching him the restoration and it goes ok. It was pretty loud in there so it made it hard to really focus on the spirit. But nonetheless we got a return appointment with him and it seemed like a good evening. We were about to stand up to leave but another guy had sat down near us and had listened to our whole conversation. He goes, "I'm sorry you can't leave yet! I have GOT to pick your brains for a minute." Well... that sounded good to us, so we sat back down. We ended up having a pretty good conversation with him. He was pretty into trying to throw anti at us and argue, but it all ended well and we gave him a Book of Mormon! So then we finished that conversation and were about to get up and leave again, but another guy had sat down and was listening to THAT conversation. He goes, "Oh no, you can't leave yet! I have to ask you some questions." So we got into a nice conversation with him as well. With him though, it was a really uplifting and kind experience. He kept just commending us for what we were doing and telling us that we may never know all the good we do. That we are planting more seeds than we could ever know. It was really awesome and uplifting.

Later that night as I reflected on the experience I just kept thinking about the difference between the two men who had wanted to talk with us in the coffee shop. The first proclaimed multiple times to be a Christian. Yet, all he did during our conversation was try and pull down our beliefs and make us feel bad. He even tried to tell us that WE were anti-Christ's. Yet, the second man, never once proclaimed a particular faith, or even a strong belief in Jesus Christ. YET, he was kind, supportive and built us up. The difference in the two conversations was so stark. I guess it goes back to the saying that, "Going to a church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car." The second man had something that the first man lacked, and it was the Spirit. It was kindness, it was seeking the goodness where ever it may be. It reminded me of what WE BELIEVE. that, "if there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy we seek after these things." Anyway, I just learned a lot from the experience. and they are these things...

one- If you hang out at a coffee shop, people will invariably want to talk religion with you.

two- (this is a quote from the second guy we talked with): "knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad"

three- Being a disciple of Christ is SO MUCH MORE than wearing a name tag.

3. Ok... sorry everyone because this is getting really long, but just one more awesome thing. GLENN'S BROTHER IS GETTING BAPTIZED. He even has a baptism date for December 27. We are so excited. It has strengthened Glenn so much. Man. That guy is such a bomb missionary.

Alright, well I'm going to get going. Trying not to freak out. We will deal with that next week.

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Picture Frame Salvation!, Flying Cat Vomit, Ladder of Faith, & My Blog gets Read!"

BLOG.

Hello everyone.

Oh man. I seriously have too many good things to write this week I don't even know where to start. Is it sufficient to say that this week went fast? I know you guys. I seriously say that every single week. But it hasn't been more relevant until now. I seriously blink and it's like "oh hi... it's been 4 days." weird. Can it also be sufficient to say that I am semi freaking out? Ok cool. Just wanted to make sure that we got that out of the way.

Now let me tell you about the week.

Let's start with the interesting situations, because you guys... there were SO MANY.

Situation one:
We went to go visit a less-active member... who is a little bit OCD and VERY dramatic. Like you guys, I've never met a more dramatic person in my life. Anyway, we get to her home and we are ready to invite the spirit and help her testimony grow. Well, I was trying to clear a spot on the couch to sit down... but it was kind of hard. So I ended up sitting half way on the couch, half way on the arm. As I sat I consciously thought, "DO NOT KNOCK ANYTHING OFF THE COFFEE TABLE OR SHE WILL SERIOUSLY KILL YOU." Just as this thought entered my mind, I saw my coat brush up against a picture frame and knock it to the ground, shattering it into a bunch of pieces. "NOOOOOOOOOO!" I thought. All I could get to come out of my mouth was, "Oh my goodness, I am SO SORRY." She then proceeded to sob. And tell me I was a horrible human being. And then equate the breaking of the picture frame to her husband being murdered. You guys, it was rough. So now I have been charged to fix this picture frame, or never show my face in her house again. So basically, her eternal salvation is riding on my ability to put together a picture frame. Darrrrrnn it. All we can do is laugh it off and pray that I NEVER BREAK ANYTHING ever again.
Situation two:

Also visiting a less-active member. This lady is pretty much hilarious in a way that is kind of hard to explain. But let me tell you this story and it may make some sense to you. So we went over to her house yesterday to read some Book of Mormon with her. We finished reading, and the spirit was really strong, all was going well. WELL THEN, her cat, (one of her 20), started walking on the back of the couch. As it did, it started to cough. Now, the less-active member was sitting on the couch and we are sitting in chairs right across from her and maybe only 2 or 3 feet away. So she notices the cat start to cough and yells, "NO! DO NOT THROW UP ON THE COUCH!" So she SHOVES this vomiting cat off the back of the couch and it comes hurdling right for us. Thankfully, the cat, and it's projectile vomiting missed us by a hair. Then the cat scurries away and I look at the less-active and say, "Did you just throw a puking cat at us?" She then looks at the cat and says, "Dude, that's messed up." Then we all proceeded to DIE laughing at the situation that just occurred. You guys, it is SO OFFICIAL, I am NEVER owning a cat.

Ok. Now on a more spiritual note.

This week was super great. I don't know, we just had a lot of great things happen and a lot of things to boost our spirits.

1. We got to teach seminary. Which... was kind of rough because we had to wake up super early. But it really set the tone for the week. We taught a lesson on exercising faith, no matter the outcome. We talked about how our faith, and how much faith we demonstrate should not be dependent on the outcome. It just really brought some peace to me in knowing that, even if I don't see a million people baptized, or a miracle every 5 minutes, I should not decrease my faith.

2. We had Zone Conference. Elder Kacher of the seventy came and talked to us. It was so awesome. He talked about A LOT of things, so it was somewhat overwhelming. I wanted to take it all in and apply all of it... but then I was like, guys, I only have a few more weeks. So the main thing that I took from it is something he called the ladder of faith. He compared where our faith was to the rungs on a ladder. How sometimes, we are way at the bottom and our attitude is, "I can't do this, I am a terrible person." But I guess what hit me the most, was the top two rungs. Second to the top was, "I can do this, and the Lord will help me." which is good. But the very top rung was, "The Lord can do this, and I can be an instrument in His hands." See the difference? So often we put the pressure on ourselves. We think that WE need to do it. But no. This is the Lord's work. He will do it. We just have to trust Him and we will become His instrument.

Also at Zone Conference I had a chance to chat with a sister who is brand new to the mission. Cool thing is that she went to Lone Peak. Other cool thing is that she read like my entire blog before she came out haha. She wasn't the first missionary to tell me that, but it was really sweet what she told me. She told me that reading my blog had helped her to learn so much and that she felt prepared for her mission because of the things I shared here. That was a really sweet tender mercy for me. Just to know that I have helped more people that I ever can know.

3. I got to go on exchange with Sister Lloyd. It was a blast everyone. I learned so much. I also got to teach Glenn's mom, with Glenn present. It was such an awesome experience to see how much he has grown and that NOW his family is investigating. We have also sent missionaries to his brother in Texas per his brother's request. SO AWESOME.

Well guys, there are so many other things that I could write about, but I'm low on time and you are probably all bored of reading this... so we will adjourn until next week.

I love you all! I'm gonna keep going strong!

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Let it Snow, Under a month left, Stages of Book of Mormon Conversion."

B.L.O.G.


Hello hello hello.

Let me begin by saying. OH MY GOODNESS IT SERIOUSLY SNOWED THIS WEEK. I couldn't help but singing, "It's beginning to look a lot like Potsdam!" Although thankfully, everyone is assuring me that Saratoga is NOTHING like a good old fashion Potsdam winter. I don't think I could endure another one of those. But yes, the snow has stuck and winter has arrived. I busted out my heavy coat and then a small tear glistened on my cheek.

in other news,

This week I hit exactly one month left until I arrive home. bah. Let me just tell you, the stress has begun to set in. I mean, it's just both exciting and terrifying all at the same time and it just leads to this ball of anxiety in my chest. I keep going forward though. No worries.

Ok.  Let me tell you a few very exciting things about this week.

1. Glenn has officially invited his parents to take the missionary lessons and they said YES! hurray! Only, they live in Clifton Park, which is not our area. BUT the cool thing is, Sister Lloyd is currently serving there, and she is one of the missionaries who found Glenn! So it is exciting for her to now be able to teach his parents and have Glenn sit in as the member present. Glenn is way cool guys. Also, I'm going on exchange with Sister Lloyd this weekend, (very excited), so hopefully we can teach them together :)

2. We are still meeting with our Mexican friend. He still doesn't speak English. But we have been bringing all the Spanish speakers in the ward so they can translate for us. But I keep thinking, "Man, it would be nice if my mom and dad were here and could just teach this guy!" Haha. Also I keep thinking, "It would be cool if I could understand what you were saying right now!" but what do you do?

3. We had a really bomb lesson with this old guy. He had met with missionaries about a year ago, but had ended up dropping them. Well we went back, (and thankfully we had our friend Katie with us who just got home from her mission), and we were able to teach him the restoration. It was such a powerful lesson. He told us he was thinking about becoming a Jehovah's Witness, but that he had never felt anything like he felt with us before. It was awesome. But then a couple of days later he called us and was like, " I don't think you girls should come back." Guys, we were so frustrated. What is this all about? We find seemingly solid people, and then teach them an awesome lesson, and then they drop us. Well, we had had enough of that, and we were close to his house... so we decided to drop by. We got talking to him and he said, "Yes, I just don't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet." So I said, "Well, did you pray about it?" "no" he says. We then testified how he could never know and never feel that peace that he felt before if he didn't pray about it and keep meeting with us. He was still hesitant. So then I said, "So, you really never want us to come back?" "Well... I guess you girls can come back sometime next week." It was awesome. I know that the spirit really does help us when we put our faith in Christ and never just give up!
4. I also had a really awesome experience this week at District Meeting. Our meeting was focused on the Book of Mormon. During the meeting our district leader gave us a couple of minutes to sit and think about our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and then if we wanted to we could come up and share. As I sat there thinking I gained this revelation that I thought was pretty cool.

I think my understanding and testimony of the Book of Mormon has come in stages.

Stage one: Believing. All growing up, I liked the Book of Mormon, I believed it. It was all good and cool. I believed it, because I was taught it and it was there.

Stage two: Testimony. In high school I started to have questions. I started to actually read the Book of Mormon on my own and pray about it. I received an answer from Heavenly Father that the Book of Mormon was truly God's word. I had gained a testimony that it was true. I would never doubt that. Even if I didn't read it every day, or understand everything, I knew it was true.

Stage three: Conversion. Then, in my college Book of Mormon class, and most definitely on my mission, I have become more converted to the Book of Mormon. No longer do I just know it's true because Heavenly Father told me so and it logically made sense. Now I have had experiences reading and feeling its power. I have seen it change others. I LOVE reading the Book of Mormon now. I understand the stories and I strive to live it.

Anyway, that is my story for today. Like I said, this week had  A LOT of ups and a whole lot of downs. But I have felt Heavenly Father's help and my understanding of what the Atonement means to me has increased. I guess it's just another experience on the pathway to Christ.

That's all I got guys.

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

"That Darn Cat, No Hablo Espanol, Gluten Free Waffle Love, Ups & Downs, & Sweet Member Missionary Experience."

BLOG

Hello friends.

Hmmmm... well, let me tell you, this was a fast week. I mean, aren't they all? But it went pretty quick. We have some great things coming up this transfer that we are very excited for. And hello, this week was obviously sweet. Every week is sweet when you are in the Lord's service. Ok. I'm rambling... I guess I'm not sure where to start.

I'll start with a funny story.

Ok. So we were over at a less-active member's home. We are teaching her and her boyfriend. Anyway, we are sitting at the kitchen table and their little cats keep jumping up on the kitchen table. Well that is obviously not an acceptable thing for a cat to do, so the less-active kept picking it up and throwing it off the table. Well we had gotten to a really spiritual part of the lesson, the less-active is bearing a really sweet testimony and RIGHT THEN the dumb cat jumps on the table right in front of my face. Well, I am trying to keep the spirit there, so I try and gently nudge the cat off the table so there won't be some big scene. Well that went horribly wrong. Apparently said cat is not very graceful, so when I nudged the cat it slipped of the table, tumbled on one of the chairs and fell hard on the floor... making a lot of crashes and booms. So much for being discreet. Well then everyone started busting up laughing... it took a minute or two to rein the spirit back in, but hey it ended up good. Ugh cats. They seem to be the bane of my missionary existence.

Other random things that happened this week (some happy... some not so much):

-We taught seminary and had to wake up very, very early and then had to study in our car.

-Alina dropped us. Very sad.

-We found some new investigators.

Ok, I have to provide a few stories right now because these are too good. One of these said investigators is this Mexican guy who lives right below us. He tried to talk to us to ask us on a date (awkward) but unfortunately we did not speak Spanish or understand what he was saying. So we set up a return appointment with a member of the ward who is from Chile and she pretty much took it away, which was nice. Anyway... he is now somewhat interested in the gospel, (as far as we can tell... again, no hablo espanol), But we have to have people who speak Spanish come with us to teach. haha, oh man. Also this morning he was like standing at the top of the stairs waiting for us when we went and got our laundry. It was pretty awkward and scared me so bad. Ah... I'm stoked to see how this one goes.

The other investigator is a really old, yet sweet lady who talks A TON. (Like any good New Yorker does), but we had a really powerful lesson with her. She even expressed that she has felt like she is missing direction in her life and was confused why there were so many churches around! So awesome. We are excited to see where that one goes.

-It was the Primary Program, which is always a joy.

-Sister Mason ate a glutten free waffle,  (oh.. did I mention Sister Mason is glutten free?),  and she cried for joy.

- I was told I look like an old hippy from the back. I died a little inside.

-We are teaching member missionary lessons to a bunch of the members here. I'm sorry but I just have to tell you about this one little girl in the ward, because this is too cool. So both her parents are RM's and clearly talk about their missions a lot. Also, this girl is like 7. So one day, all on her own, she decided she wanted to be a missionary now. So she got all dressed in her "missionary clothes" then she made her own name tag out of paper, which she pinned on her dress. Then she read her scriptures and prayed for someone to share the gospel with. Then she went to her mom and said "Mom, will you take me to the park? I have been praying that I can be a missionary and I know that Heavenly Father will let me be one today if I can go to the park." So her mom took her to the park. Well, no one was there. So this little girl was very sad. She sat on a bench with her little scripture stories book and started to read it. Just then another little girl came and asked her, "What are you doing? And why are you dressed like that?" Then this little member girl got to share her testimony with her new friend and read scripture stories with her. I'm sorry, but how cute is that? I died. I was like, "Man, I wish I was as cool as her!" Anyway, EVERYONE DO MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK. :)

-Glenn's parents came to church AGAIN. So happy they stayed for all three hours.:)

-Glenn received the priesthood. :)

-Many investigators are currently avoiding us. :(

-But! We have been finding a lot of really cool people :)

Anyway, that is pretty much my story for the week. I am really grateful to be serving here. I know that Christ loves me and helps me everyday!

Talk to ya'll in a week.

XOXO,
Sister Langford

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Troll & UFO Sightings in Saratoga, Mormons & Weed don't mix, Sister Disney Princesses, Amazing Baptism, & 17 Down & Finishing Strong."

Hello errybody.

The weeks in Saratoga keep rollin' on by. We had some pretty hilarious interactions this week. I'm not really sure where it all came from... But let me give you a couple of scenarios to just think on.

We have this investigator who is.... a little eccentric. I mean, this lady has a bunny that just roams her house. Also, she told us she saw a troll in the forest... and a UFO. Then asked us with a VERY serious face, "Have you guys ever seen a UFO?" uh....

Also, we OYMed this guy (probably in his 20's) who was just chillin on his porch. He proceeded to tell us that he couldn't join our church because he like to "smoke weed and get high."  He told us he would become a Mormon when he was 40 though! haha. We actually ran into this same guy just now as we were walking into the library. Once again he told us he didn't come to church because he was "smokin' weed." Oh man. The people of Saratoga.

What else? What else?

Those are the main weird interactions. I don't even know you guys.

In other news, it was Halloween this week. Let me tell you what we did, WE WEEKLY PLANNED. It was pretty lame. Then we called our district leader to ask him a question and all the elders were just chillin together having a party. It was not even cool. But on the plus side, Sister Mason and I got creative and dressed up like Disney Princesses :)

Ok. Onto the missionary work.

1. GLENN GOT BAPTIZED! I think the majority of this email will be dedicated to how awesome Glenn is. Ok where to start? First of all, Glenn set a goal for himself to finish the entire Book of Mormon before his baptism, and you guys, HE DID IT. How cool is that? Then, he invited AS MANY people as he could to his baptism. He ended up have 5 family and friends there, including both his parents. His baptism was such a sweet experience and there were so many people there to support him. Then at the end, Glenn wanted to share his testimony. He got up and he said...

" I want to thank everyone for coming out to support me. I want to thank the sisters for all they taught me. I really enjoy the lessons and I have learned so much. I also want to say that I just finished reading all of the Book of Mormon. It has changed my life. And because of that book, I know this church is true."

It was so sweet. I seriously don't know if I have ever smiled so big as I did when Glenn bore his sweet and simple testimony. I felt like such a proud mom.
Then, on Sunday, BOTH HIS PARENTS CAME TO CHURCH. And, they stayed for all three hours. They had such great experiences which was super awesome. After relief society his mom came up to us and just gave us each like 4 huge hugs! She just kept thanking us for all that we had done for her son. She told us, "Glenn has always been interested in religion, and he's always been searching for something. And you know what? He's found it. I'm so proud of him. I know he will be surrounded by the kindest people I've ever met." It was so sweet. There hearts were totally softened.

Then last night Glenn texted us just to say how thankful he was to be a member of the church. Then he told us that he knows it is true and that he can really feel the spirit with him. It was so so sweet. Just the transformation that has taken place in Glenn's life is so amazing! It was such a good baptism and I am eternally thankful to have been even a small part in it all.

Oh no. See? I took up all my time talking about Glenn.

Ok. There was one other thing I really wanted to write about. Also yesterday at church, the lesson in Relief Society was on missionary work (always a favorite!) and the RS president asked if we would bare our testimonies on missionary work and how our missions have influenced us.

Well I stood up there, all ready to say something cool and inspiring and what not. I led out with "I'm Sister Langford for those of you who don't know, and I've been a missionary for..." and then it hit me you guys. I've been a missionary for SEVENTEEN MONTHS. Officially 17. Finally I spit it out "... for seventeen months. And you guys, I hate saying that." And as I said that, I just started to cry. I don't even know where it came from. But I guess it just really hit me. I'm coming to the end. I think that there are just so many mixed emotions surrounding that sentence. SO much gratitude for everything I've learned. For the people that I've met. For the incredible and amazing experiences that I've had. For the really, really hard days, for the miracles that have poured down... just for all of it. For the miracle that my mission has really been to me. And then, the sadness that it is really almost over. That in not too long, I'll go back to being a normal college kid with responsibilities other than just preaching the gospel. And it's a really hard reality.

I remember not too long ago, calling one of the sisters who was going home. I called the night before transfers. I remember saying "How are you doing?" and she said "kind of sad." and I said, "Why?" and her response really hit me, she said "Because I just really, really like my mission." It's true guys.

But don't worry. If you think this is me being trunky, rest assured that it is really quite the opposite. I think I just am really appreciating all that my mission has been, and just grateful that I still have a month to serve!

Holla for one month!

Ok, well I better stop writing.

XOXO,
Sister Langford

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Last Transfer-Staying in the "Togo!", Baptism on Sat, Fasting for Investigators, FB Teaching, & Eat More Ice Cream!"

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Hello hello hello.

October is almost over... and so is this transfer. Hello what just happened? Was I not just beginning this transfer? I am not happy about this speeding up of time. It is really just not working out for me. But anyway, my final transfer as a missionary starts this week. Oh wow. That just kind of sank in. My final transfer. bah. So here's the news on the transfer.... SISTER MASON AND I ARE STAYING IN 'TOGA! So not a very eventful transfer call, but I am excited to finish here. So many good things are happening. In a small twist to the plot, I am no longer a Sister Training Leader. What??  I know. It's weird for all of us. President actually told me all this on Friday when we were in Utica for Return and Report. He proceeded to announce to the whole meeting that I had been an STL for over a year, the longest of anyone in the mission, and then afterwards he called me over and told me that my service was done! haha. At first I was a little bummed, (hello no more MLC car trips!), but after considering it, I am grateful to be able to JUST focus on normal missionary duties my last transfer. Oh also, our zone split. So now we are in the Albany North Zone.  (Although we are pushing for it to be called the Saratoga Zone) and the Zone Leaders will be in our unit. So that's kind of fun.

Now onto the good stuff.

1. GLENNNNNNN IS GETTING DUNKED THIS WEEK. Very excited about it all. On Saturday he had his baptism interview. He just kept telling us how much more ready he was for baptism this time. And how he is grateful for the extra time he has had to prepare. It's so true. There is an enormous difference in him this time. Plus he has been reading the Book of Mormon like mad. He is almost done with Helaman. We are so so excited for this Saturday!

2. Also, the Less-Actives that we are working with are doing SO GREAT.  One of our favorite Sisters came to church this week. It was such an amazing blessing! Another Sister also made an appearance AND Sister M came last week. Just, so many good things happening in that respect.

3. AND we found an investigator on Facebook! I think we are the first to do it in the mission, so that was very exciting! Props to Jeff for giving us the idea to message people who like "the Bible."  We messaged about 10 people, and we got a response back! We are now teaching this lady over Facebook. Hurray for modern technology!

4. To be honest, a lot of our investigators and recent converts have really been struggling this week. Those who were really progressing and doing well are now avoiding us. It's kind of frustrating. We continue to work hard and have been fasting and praying for a miracle in their behalf. It's really a bummer to see. But as we were fasting for our investigators, we got back in contact with one of our Recent Converts, and we found a new investigator who seems really solid... So prayers are answered. Sometimes in different ways than we expect.

Anyway, I am just grateful for all that my mission has been. Yesterday we got to teach Young Men and Young Women's. It was cool to share my experience of choosing to come on a mission and then what my mission has meant to me with them. I would never change my mission for anything! SO GRATEFUL for this month and a half I have left to serve!

Well... its probably time I go...

OH WAIT!

One quick President Wirthlin Quote....

"Music sooths the soul... and so does ice cream. Everyone eat ice cream."

XOXO,
Sister Langford

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Pumpkin carving, B of M inspired verses, investigator miracles, & never let go of the rope & endure to the end."

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Hello everyone. Welcome to the blog. I think this week will go down on record as the fastest week of my life. I feel like I just woke up and it was like "oh hey. You just experienced a week. A lot of really cool stuff happened! Oh.... you don't remember it?" I feel like that was me this week. Yesterday I sat down and reflected on the week and I was like "WOW so much happened." It's nice to actually have basically a full week of working. Ok let me give you some of the basic deets.

Random stuff....

1. We carved pumpkins on Monday as a district. I was pretty proud of my pumpkin if I do say so myself. I mean, this pumpkin party had nothing on the classic Langford gathering that takes place around this time of year, but it was still pretty fun. You may now enjoy this photo of me with my pumpkin. Sad news about New York though is that my pumpkin has already molded beyond saving. What do you do?

2. ZONE TRAINING MEETING WAS SOOOOO COOL. It was a pretty cliché idea I suppose. We did the activity where you are blind folded and then led to hold onto a rope. We had like a 20 minute course all around the church parking lot. It was weird though because along the way there were other missionaries, ones that I'm pretty good friends with, directing us. Of course there were many of them who were trying to deceive us and get us to let go of the rope. But, President Wirthlin told me to never let go of the rope, so I clung on. There were a few times that I was almost tricked.... but I never let go. At the end of the rope they had set up this room with Christmas lights and a ton of pictures of Christ. It was really awesome. As I was sitting there and reflecting on the experience I just thought that, you know, even though I clung on, and never let go, it was still kind of tricky. There were times when I ALMOST let go. But it made me feel even better when I got to the room and saw all the pictures of Christ and knew that I made it. Afterwards I was talking to the other missionaries and it seemed like almost all of them let go at one point or another. But eventually they all made it back to the room. I guess I just realized that even the very elect (missionaries :) ) could be deceived and confused. BUT, because of their strength, they all made it back. Anyway. it was a really cool Zone Training, probably the best I ever went to. It was all focused on the Book of Mormon. Plus, we got to watch Meet the Mormon's again. So that was fun.

Onto the cool stuff.

1. Well, like I just said, Zone Training was on the Book of Mormon. For part of it, we practiced reading the Book of Mormon with an investigator. When we role played it, I pretended to be one of our investigators, and two of the elder's taught me. During it, they invited her to say the opening prayer and ask for a spiritual experience. It was really awesome. We had a lesson planned with an investigator that night and we felt that we should do that very thing in our lesson. So we did. We told her we wanted to help her have a spiritual experience, then invited her to say the opening prayer and ask for one. She prayed, and we read. Afterwards, she told us how the first 3 verses of the chapter we read were EXACTLY what she needed to hear. How she felt like it was more than a coincidence that we read those verses. We could tell these had a deep affect on her and she was really thinking about them. She then told us that she had planned to write the elder's who had taught her before and tell them she was done. That she didn't believe there was a God.... and all that jazz. But she thought she should wait until after our lesson to see how she felt. She then said simply, "I think I am going to have to change that email." It was so simple, but such a powerful moment. It was amazing to see how Heavenly Father was reaching out to her, right at her breaking moment. Such a powerful example of God's love for us.
2. Brother G. Then we taught him, and did the same thing. We invited HIM to have a spiritual experience while reading the Book of Mormon, and then we read. IT WAS SO POWERFUL. For probably the next 3 times that we met with him after that he just kept saying "I still feel like the spirit is stronger with me!" So great. He is VERY excited for his baptism on the 1st!

And seriously, I have so many other things I could write about! Picking up investigators who seem very prepared. Our investigators progressing like bosses! Putting into action a very inspired plan to work better with members. Just... so many great things are happening here in Saratoga. And the thing is, they are a very different kind of great than in other areas I've served in. It's hard to explain how its different, it's just.... what the Lord needs here. This week we find out about transfers. I seriously don't know how it is that time again. There is a strong part of me that hopes I just finish out my mission here. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has sent me here, and for all the ways that I have learned and grown. There are days when I just hope that growing pains will be over and I can just be happy with where I'm at. I have those days where I just think, man it would be nice if I wasn't aware of my weaknesses and struggles today.... but especially this week as I have made it my focus to get to know my Savior Jesus Christ better, I have seen a difference in my outlook and strength. I know He loves me and helps me.

Ok. I know I know. This blog is already long and boring as it is! Haha!! Well I will said adieu for now. Keep being cool friends.

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Upcoming Baptism, Great Investigators, & you must learn "Hymns Made Easy" before Mozart."

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To my dear friends and family,

Hello.

Missionary life is going quite well. This week was kind of an interesting one. We were out of our area for the majority of the week, so I do not have too many interesting stories or incidents to report. Unfortunately it was just kind of a ho hum week. Well... it was actually pretty fun. Ok. seriously though, how many times can I contradict myself within one paragraph.

But I digress. Let me hit you with the updates.

(Remember the girl who I talked about last week who just appeared at General Conference).  We have been able to teach her twice since our initial meeting. She is seriously too cool for school. We taught her on Monday, the Restoration a little more officially. It was a really powerful lesson, and she seems really open to learning. After we prayed, we asked her how she felt. She said she felt "Weird. A good weird, like nothing I have ever felt before." It was awesome. We are so blessed to just keep having all these awesome people just fall into our laps.

Glenn: FOUND AN APARTMENT. You guys, this is the real deal. Glenn is moving out. He found a place and will for sure be baptized on Nov 1st! Such a blessing to see these little miracles coming together. He has such a desire to do good and learn and grow. It's awesome.
GA: Still a boss. We weren't able to see her all week, but rest assured that she is the coolest.
Another Fav Investigator: Also doing well. We got in a little bit of a heated discussion regarding the women's position in the church and whatnot. I think the main thing that we just keep helping her understand is that there may be things she doesn't fully understand, YET. It's because she is trying to learn the Mozart before she has mastered "Hymns made easy." You have to know and love and live and breath the basics before you can understand the more in depth parts of the gospel. She is so great though.

Bah!  I love everyone we teach.

Sister M: Is someone that I most especially love. She is a returning Less-active. Every time we visit with her I can just feel her strength and her desire to do good. She is amazing.

Like I said, not too many crazy awesome stories or miracles this week, but there were a lot of small and significant tender mercies from heaven. Sometimes I think those are much more important.

We also went on our very long exchanges this week. It was so so fun to work with Sisters Jorgenson and Stewart. I learned a lot about humility and love while I was with those chicas.

...and let me tell you my favorite quote from the exchange...

"If you guys weren't Mormon's I would ask you to get high!" -Their investigator.

ahhhhhh.... gotta love the ghetto.

Unfortunately, I don't have much else to say. I know, I know. My emails are boring these days. But let me tell you, I am learning a lot, and I know that Heavenly Father is helping me everyday. I know that Christ lives! I know he loves me.

Have a blessed fall week home skillets.

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

 

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Not winter yet!!, Cool people eat sushi, Watch Meet the Mormons, Loving General Conference & Awesome Investigators!"


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Hello everybody! Let me tell you a story about New York... it is getting COLD. I'm trying to understand why winter is already trying to make its way into my life. It's kind of ridiculous. Anyway, this has been a very interesting week... So let's talk about it.

THE RANDOM.

1. Guess what I saw this week? "Meet The Mormon's!"  You guys, it was so awesome. I highly recommend everyone go and see it. We were able to watch it at the mission office the night before MLC. It was really fun. The assistants pretended like it was a real movie theater. They were like, "I'm sorry, seating for the movie will not start for another 10 minutes." It was hilarious. But it's an awesome movie, and an even more awesome missionary tool! Everyone! Take advantage of it!

2. Also, I ate sushi this week. I was bullied into it. Surprisingly everyone, it wasn't terrible... but it didn't taste like much. I think everyone only likes it because they think it makes them cool.

3. and OH MY GOSH GENERAL CONFERENCE. General Conference was awesome this time around. Well, I guess it's awesome every time around... but whatever. I noticed a couple of really big themes. First of all, the theme of not getting distracted. Did you notice how many people said that? Don't get distracted by Satan, whether it's through discouragement, media, doubt, whatever. Just keep your eye on the prize. There was also a lot of talk about listening to the prophet and following him. There was a really strong emphasis on that one. As well as finding out the truth for yourself. It was a super awesome conference to have investigators attend. We had quite a few of them show up, as did the elders which was AWESOME!

Speaking of investigators showing up...

Cool Story of the Week...

During the final session of general conference, we didn't have any investigators come... which was kind of disappointing, but whatever. So the session ended and we were supposed to go teach a potential investigator... but he texted us to reschedule. So... our evening was now free. Just then, one of the elders comes up to us and says, "Hey sisters! There is someone here for you to talk to!" What? Well best surprise ever! There is a girl, around our age, who is a college student at the near by school, Skidmore (same school Alina goes to). Well she is in a religious studies class at Skidmore and for an assignment they had to go to a religious service different from their own. She was raised Catholic, but this past summer had gone on a study abroad to London where she met a bunch of students from (guess where?) BYU! So, due to those interactions, she decided to check out the church... on General Conference Sunday! So awesome! Anyway, we gave her a church tour and taught her a bit of the restoration and she was sincerely interested. We invited her to start taking the lessons and she said she would love to! So we are meeting with her again tonight. Coolest blessing of the week by far!

Investigator update:

G: Came to all the Saturday sessions of General Conference and absolutely loved it. He called it his "Mormon day" haha. He is also super stoked about his baptism for Nov 1st. He keeps saying that this time he really thinks it's going to happen and feels super great about it! VERY happy!

GA: This girl is just a champ. She also came to a bunch of conference and she even came and helped us teach. During the lesson with the other investigator we were teaching, I mentioned that she was planning on getting baptized in December and she said "for now..." We are hopefully assuming that means she wants to be baptized sooner. That girl is so solid.

A: Also came to quite a few sessions of conference. During the Saturday evening session it seemed like every talk was perfect for her. At the end, we asked her what she thought and she said it was "interesting."  We then asked if that meant "good interesting" or "what you say when your friend gets a bad haircut?" She confirmed that it was good interesting. So... that's always encouraging. We dropped her baptism date, but she has made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year! hurray!

Those are the main people I feel to update on! :)

Anyway, like I said it was an interesting week (probably bad hair cut interesting). Quite a few ups and downs. I think a lot of random stresses are just starting to set in. I must say I am very thankful for the direction and wisdom of modern prophets that we receive through General Conference!

This week we are going on our 3 day exchanges! So I will be in Glens Falls a large portion of the week, (that is Jimmer's home town), so it should be exciting!

Hasta la pasta friends.

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Autumns here, me running???, watch general conference, practically know Jimmer now, investigator miracles & thank godness Kentucky is far away!"

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Hello to all my friends out there.

New York is doing good, in case any of you were wondering. The city of Saratoga is still kickin. Sister Mason and I are doing peachy and keeping the work going strong. We had a very fabulous week this week. Many adventures and blessings. Shall we discuss?

The random tid bits of excitement.

1. We had Zone Conference this week which was super uplifting and inspiring. We talked a lot about faith and also about mastering the natural man. My family will be excited to know that my companion and I now go running every morning. I know I know. We never thought we would see the day. Anyway, it was really fun to see all the other missionaries at Zone Conference. AND best part was we got to watch part of the new movie "Meet the Mormon's" which was pretty sweet. We get to see the entire movie on Thursday night before Mission Leadership Council. I'm stoked.

2. Who watched the Women's Broadcast? I thought it was too sweet. I especially loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk. Remember how powerful his message was about Heavenly Father always loving us? It's so true.

In other news, HOW EXCITED IS EVERYONE FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE?

BEST. DAY. EVER.

3. Autumn is coming in full fledge here in Saratoga. Leaves are constantly crunching under our feet. It's pretty wonderful. that's all I have to say on the matter.

4. Ok so... this actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to write about it, and I thought you all would appreciate it. JIMMER'S DAD SPOKE IN CHURCH. Haha. Jimmer is from the ward just north of us (Glens Falls) and his dad must have a stake calling or something because he seems to ALWAYS be visiting Saratoga. It's pretty chill. So yes everyone, I have chatted with Brother Fredette. (pretend like I know how to spell it). 

The miracles.

1. I'll start with probably our coolest story of the week. Sister Mason and I were walking down the road going to go and try one of our investigators. Well we are kickin along and we see this guy outside his house on the opposite side of the street. Sister Mason wants to work on OYMing so I was like, "Hey, you want to go talk to that guy?" So we awkwardly crossed the street. We started up a conversation with this guy and he turned out to be like the most solid person ever. He totally opened up to us and we taught him the restoration. Long story short he is now investigating and we have taught him one other time since. I love how when we open our mouths, (even when its seemingly awkward), the Lord puts people who are just ready to hear his words.

2. GA:  That girl is too solid. Man. She is the best. We haven't convinced her to move her baptism up yet haha, but she is so strong. Sometimes I have absolutely no idea why we are teaching her... and then I remember that she isn't actually a member yet. TOO GOOD.

3. GL:   We set him back on a date for baptism. He has been really concerned about some things and that has been holding him back from baptism. But we had a lesson with him on Saturday after a little member girl's baptism and he was really open. Then when we suggested he be baptized on Nov 1 he was kind of shocked. He said that that was the perfect day for his baptism and when things would fall into place. So awesome to see Heavenly Father inspiring us and him.

4. A:  She is also making such great progress. That girl is too good. We had a lesson where we watched the patterns of light video's with Elder Bednar. Well the first two she was analyzing all these random things (sometimes I think she is too smart for her own good haha) and we were like "COME ON! Feel the spirit dang it!" and then we watched the third and final video. There was a really tender moment at the end when she said, "I think that's how I feel the spirit. I think it's starting to make more sense." And then I realized... Heavenly Father knows what she needs. He knows how to speak directly to her. It's comforting to know that He will give her her answer. Not me.

Now a couple of giggles.
1. We volunteer at a soup kitchen every week. Well... there are some seriously creepy guys at said soup kitchen. Every week they try and find out if we are married, they ask for our numbers... Etc... Except most of them don't really speak English, so we just pretend we can't understand what they are saying and hand them a bowl of soup. Well this week one of them came up to me to tell me that he was moving to Kentucky. AND THEN, he goes in for a hug. We then experienced a really awkward moment where I hard core dodged the hug. It was a solid day. Hey, at least he's moving to Kentucky!

2. "I really just want to grow up to be one of those ruff and rugged cowboys. You know... the kind who sits out in the woods and cooks beans?" -Elder.

Well that's all for me kids. Please enjoy General Conference. I'm excited to hear everyone's insights. In the meantime I will be trying to let everyone know that a MODERN DAY MOSES WILL BE SPEAKING TO US.

XOXO,
Sister Langford
 

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

"New Baby?, thankfully not Slytherin, Heavenly Father knows & Loves us, & B of M vs South Park Challenges!"

Blog!

Hello friends.

My oh my how the weeks fly. Last night we were on the phone with out district leader and he said, "Sister Langford, this transfer is going to go so fast for you... but then next transfer is going to go EVEN faster." My response was "Why do you even have to say that?" and then hanging up the phone. Darn everyone reminding me how old I am.

On the plus side, this week has been very rewarding. It's been interesting, and there has been a bit of a learning curve, but seriously, all is well.

Remember how I got my baby this week?

Well, here's how it went down. Trainers sitting on one side of the room, trainee's filing in, all terrified and whispering in their heads "Not Slytherin, not Slytherin." I'm just chillin on the other side considering the fact that my stomach is currently in my feet and I am freaking out. Am I going to fail this new sister? What is her story. Very nervous. Then, my name is called and next thing I know I am hugging an adorable, eager sister by the name of Sister Mason.

And then much of my stress dissipated.

Anyway, here I am in Saratoga with my brand new companion, Sister Mason. It has been actually really great so far. Much much less stressful than I had originally anticipated. I love how excited she is to do everything. I love all her questions that I once wondered too. I love the newness of everything to her. It's all been great. Of course, there have been moments of stress, but much less than I would have thought. So far... the training and Sister Training Leader life is good.

Now here are the goods of the week.

1. G.  is seriously a boss. I have never seen someone with a more solid grasp on the gospel. This week as we were chatting with her she set herself with a new baptism date for beginning of December. We are trying to urge her to be baptized sooner than that... since she is seriously ready now. But we will see what happens. #whyisshesogreat

2. Paul. When we went to teach Paul this week (one of Sister Mason's first lessons) there was just a different feeling in the room. I don't even know how to describe it. All of his questions were real good questions, not the "guess what's in my head" kind of questions he usually asks. We again, invited him to come to church and feel the spirit there. AND HE CAME. He had a really great experience too, so I am very excited to see what happens in our next lesson. Good things happen every day.

All the other 'gators are also doing well. Another strong investigator came to church again, and we had a very powerful lesson with her during our church tour. We found a couple of new investigators who seem very promising. Good work is happening ya'll.

and the last little story...

3. We had just spent a day in the far away land of Corinth. Many good things had happened there, and we were about to head home. Then I thought of this less-active member who we should probably drop by. So we decided to put off dinner for another half hour and visit her. We started talking with her and it was clear that she was in distress. We had a very sweet moment of just testifying of the Plan of Salvation and bringing peace into her heart. The spirit was powerful. As we left we kneeled down in a circle with her and I offered a prayer. As I started to pray my heart was filled with such love and understanding for her. I knew that that love wasn't coming from me. That Heavenly Father's love for her had filled my heart and I was able to say to her what He would have said in that moment. When I finished the prayer, everyone was crying, but at the same time, we all knew that it was going to be alright. That everything she was worried about was in the Lord's hands. The peace was palpable.

As I left that lesson I really pondered on how aware Heavenly Father is of ALL of us. No matter who we are or where we are at He will find a way to reach us. I feel so blessed to have the gospel to guide me. That I know the truths of my Heavenly Father. I feel blessed to have made the covenant with my Father to mourn with those that mourn and to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. What a blessing to know that as we do those things, Heavenly Father works through us and we simple become a vessel.

Now to finish on a lighter note.

Last night we decided to go try a headquarter referral that we hadn't been able to really get in contact with. We knocked on his door... and it was his roommate... who is an Atheist. Well we ended up having a really cool conversation with this guy, and we asked him if he had heard of the Book of Mormon. His response "Well... I've seen the musical. But that's probably not too accurate." We laughed and told him that no it probably wasn't. I then said "well will you read the real Book of Mormon and see what you think?" He then said he would... then challenged me to watch South Park. Oh dear. My response was "You read the Book of Mormon and then we will talk about South Park."

We will see how that one goes! haha.

Well, I'm out. Have a fabulous week everyone!

XOXO,
Sister Langford

Monday, September 15, 2014

B.L.O.G.

The weeks in Saratoga just fly right on by. How have I already been here a transfer? In some ways I think back on everything that has happened here in Saratoga and I'm like... oh yeah.... we've done a lot. And then I think OH MY GOODNESS I DON'T KNOW ANYONE. It's all good. Let me tell you about the week before I start rambling again.

The little random tidbits.

1. I'm sick. Seriously. Again. I have dodged this whole sickness business for my entire mission.... until I arrived in Saratoga. I keep telling people it's because I'm allergic to Saratoga. Anyway, my point was that this little illness slowed me down a bit this week. I tried to not allow it to influence me too much... but sometimes you shouldn't run faster than you have strength. :)

2. Also, it's fall. This week I wore tights for the first time. Worst day ever. Ok really I do love fall... but winter you guys. Ugh.

Ok, now the stuff you really want to read about.

TRANSFERS.....

Ok. We got the transfer call Friday night. President NEVER calls Friday night. So as you can imagine, we were thrown for a loop. And guess what the word is? I'M TRAINING. After who knows how many transfers I get a brand new missionary. I'm actually really excited. Well... really I'm like Rapunzel on Tangled after she gets out of the tower and she's like "I'm never going back!" "That's it, I have to go back!" "I'm a terrible human being." "BEST. DAY. EVER." Except instead its kind of like this, "Oh my gosh I'm so excited for all I can teach to this new missionary!" "Oh no. I don't know anything. I'm going to be the worst trainer." "I'm going to be such a good trainer! We are going to work so hard." "I can't do this." "BEST. DAY.EVER." So that's been me the past couple of days. Oh yeah... I forgot to mention that on top of training I'm STILL a Sister Training Leader. #eternalSTL Sometimes I'm like, President, what are you thinking? Anyway, I'm excited. A lot of good things coming this transfer :) Also, Sister Lloyd is just going one area over. So I will be her Sister Training Leader next transfer. Very fun :)

BAPTISMZZZ.

Erin got baptized! It was seriously the happiest day. Her testimony is so strong and she is so sweet. So many of the members came out. There wasn't even enough seats for everyone in the Relief Society room. Plus Erin's mom came which was very awesome. (She's not a member) I think my favorite part of her baptism was after it was all over. I said "Erin, how do you feel?" She said "So. so happy. I'm mostly excited for tomorrow when I get the gift of the Holy Ghost. I think it will help me feel all warm and fuzzy." It was seriously adorable. I love that girl to bits and pieces. Very blessed to have been part of her journey.

Also, Jim Fish got baptized! He is in Corning. But hey, I found and taught him, so I feel like it counts. He was the one who had the huge long beard and then shaved it off to come to church! Anyway, I haven't talked to the sisters there, but it must have been a great day. It's awesome that even though I wasn't there to see it happen I still know I was a part of his journey, and for that, I am blessed.

OTHER 'GATORS

We have a previous investigator back to meeting with us. She kind of took a detour for a while, which was hard to see happen. But this week we were able to meet with her again. It was a really tender experience and it's clear that she loves the gospel and wants to make it a part of her life. We taught her with the member who originally introduced her to the gospel. The member,  is also a convert. Her testimony was seriously exactly what she needed, so we are excited to see how things go with her :)

Paul. Have I talked about Paul at all yet? I probably have. He's our investigator who is 91 and can hardly hear anything we say. It's pretty sweet. Anyway, he has been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. This past week he made it to 2 Nephi 2. He was so excited to tell us about it and the cutest part was at the top of the page he wrote in big letters "Very Best" Ah Paul is very great.

Anyway, that's basically the story of the week. Very excited for what this new transfer will hold. I'm definitely going to miss Sister Lloyd and all her craziness (Like calling fanny packs "hippy sacks", and trying to hide from me where ever we go... and everyone calling her short jokes (like shorty-pants)) But I know great things are to come!

XOXO,
Sister Langford

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Time's Flying, Baptism this week, awkward Chastity, Lord answers prayers with others, & Jacob 4:7!"

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Hey, hey.

It's Monday everyone. How does this keep happening to me? I know, I know. You are all sick of me starting off with a little blurb about how quickly the time is going but....  IT'S SO TRUE. I never would have believed it at the beginning of my mission. Every day took an eternity. Now I swear its like "Wait! What happened today? Did we see anyone? What happened?" I don't even know what to do about it.

Anyway

This week was pretty good. We went on another exchange (which was very good times).  We headed down to Utica for another missionary leadership council. Very fun. Very fun. Also, some other good things happened. I guess we can talk about them.

1. We met a new investigator who was referred to us by elders in Indiana. She was a hardcore Atheist 7 weeks ago, and now she believes in God and thinks she might want to be baptized. Seriously it is such a miracle. She is very sweet and cool. It's also fun because she is a college student, so we can relate to her really well. (I kind of think our entire teaching pool right now is girls about our age). Anyway, I've just been feeling really blessed that she literally just landed right in our lap. I think often the best people are the ones that Heavenly Father pretty much just hands to you. Very blessed.

2. ERRRRRIIIIIIINNNN. Why is Erin my very favorite person in the world? Here are her most recent updates.

First. She is getting baptized THIS WEEK. We are super excited. Her mom is cool with it, and she is very prepared. Before her interview on Saturday we were prepping her for all the questions and she just started telling us about patriarchal blessings and all this stuff. I love that girl.

Second. She told us this week that she, (and her friend Kaylea), want to go on missions. Coolest thing ever. I've always wanted to teach someone who goes on a mission. seriously. amazing.

Third. We had probably my favorite lesson of life with her this week. We taught her the Law of Chastity. So obviously we had to tell the members that that was what we were going to teach that day. So they all prepped her that is was going to be the most awkward lesson in the world. *facepalm* But we taught it and it all went pretty well. Only minor awkwardness. AND THEN Erin said the closing prayer, which went something like this... "Thank you for this very awkward lesson and please bless that we will never have to talk about it again anytime soon." SO HILLARIOUS. We all pretty much just ended up laughing our faces off. Bless that girl.

3. We were an answer to prayers. You know, on a mission, that you are probably very often a direct answer to someone's prayers. Often they don't know it. Even more often, you don't know it. But truly, we know Heavenly Father is always guiding us in who we talk to. Well, last night a member had signed up to feed us and she lives REALLY far away, so usually she will just drop it off to us. Well for some reason she asked if we would like to come there, and after thinking it through, we said yes. We drove out, had a nice dinner, and then started for home. Out of the blue Sister Lloyd and I remembered that we had planned to see a less-active member who lived out that way. We were pretty low on time, but decided to swing by. We got there and the less-active member was home. She invited us in, and we were able to start teaching her the restoration. A few minutes in she just paused us and said, "You girls don't even know. Just before you came here I had been reflecting on how trapped I feel. I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me and guide me... and then you showed up." It was such a tender mercy to know that Heavenly Father sent us EXACTLY where we needed to be that night. I always feel blessed to know that I am in the Lord's service.

In other news and on a somewhat random note, life has been good, but also kind of hard recently. Not anything huge or life shattering in anyway... but just different. A lot of obstacles to overcome. I've been praying for humility and I think that is where this is all coming from! Haha. But seriously, it's not always fun, but I've noticed myself being humbled by the Lord A LOT recently. One day I was feeling really frustrated about it and annoyed that I wasn't doing everything quite as great as I would have hoped... I was then reading this scripture in the Book of Mormon and it really made an impact. It says, "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." (Jacob 4:7).  I learn this over and over and yet I always seem to forget that this is not the work of Sister Langford. That I can never do enough of be enough to make Heavenly Father's work come to pass. But He can. Sometimes I just need to remember to take a step back and remember who is really in charge of it all.

Well, I am grateful to be here and love the mission.

XOXO,
Sister Langford

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Plans change, Success in Glenville, prayers answered, and 2nd, 3rd, & 100th chances are awesome!"

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Hello my dear and lovely friends.

Another week has rolled on past. And in case anyone was wondering, September has arrived. I don't know what I have to do to make time move a little slower. I'll see who I can talk to about that one.

Anyway, let me tell you about what went down this week.

First of all, let me tell you that basically everything got thrown for a loop. I don't actually know why we even plan things. We were supposed to go on the three day exchange this week with the sisters that we are over, but we received a surprise call on Monday to let us know that one of the sisters was getting emergency transferred across the mission... so basically the 3 day exchange was off. We had been planning to be out of our area like all week... and surprise, now we are here. Which, in someways is good... but also we had NOTHING planned. We ended up going on a normal exchange with the sisters in Glenville (which will be mentioned of more later) and then we will go on exchange with the Glens Falls sisters today. Also, Glenn had to cancel his baptism... sad day. The place he was planning to move fell through last minute. On a happy note, he still wants to be baptized, but we are waiting until he has a place to live to set a date.

Suffice it to say, this week was not my best week of missionary work. Thank goodness for second and third and 100th chances to do better the next day.

But let's talk about the miracles.

1. ERIN. YOU GUYS. EEEEEERRRRRRIIIIIIINNNNN. She is such an answer to prayers I can not even begin to tell you. This week we took her on a church tour and when we got to the baptism font we invited her, again, to be baptized. She agreed that that was something she would like to do. We then asked her if she had thought about a date. She said, "Well... I was thinking I would like to do it the Saturday after school starts." So the word is that Erin's baptism will be held a week from Saturday. I swear we have been meeting with her like every day to make that happen, but she is so so solid. We introduced her to the Book of Mormon one night, the next morning we had an appointment (literally 13 hours later). When we asked her how her reading had been going she told us that she had read the first 4 chapters of the Book of Mormon and asked us really in depth and smart questions. She is so SO so great. Ah I can't even handle it.

2. So this was not our best week with 2 of our other investigators. For some reason we had felt like they were avoiding us all week and not wanting to meet with us :( which was a sad day. So we prayed that while we were in their area that we would somehow be able to make contact with them. So we went to our first appointment, and they had bailed. Second appointment, and she had left a note saying she didn't want to meet with us. Then we are driving down the street to go to the next person on our list, and who should we see meandering down the road but our 2 investigators. Seriously an answer to prayers. We quickly got out and talked with them. Thankfully we were able to set up an appointment and teach them a little lesson. I know it seems like a really small thing, but I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Even the simple and somewhat insignificant ones.

3. EXCHANGE IN GLENVILLE. I was blessed to spend two days in Glenville with my dear Sister Curtis. It was muchos fun. The sisters there had really been struggling with finding people, and we could tell they were a little disheartened about the whole situation. When we began the exchange I asked Sister Curtis what she wanted to see happen on the exchange and what goals she wanted to work on. We decided together that we should pray to find 5 new investigators for them in the two days we had to work. Then, we got to work. During the exchange we picked up 3 new investigators, and found a TON of really solid potentials. Plus, we committed their investigator to baptism. It was so great. Then the day after the exchange they told us that they had found someone, taught them the first lesson, and picked them up as an investigator. Best news was, we had met this guys girlfriend while on the exchange. It was really amazing to see how much those sisters faith to find increased!

And now a few humorous quotes...

"You look like you could be Lil Wayne's spice." -16 year old kid trying to hit on us.

"We just like to go around and share a very special message about Jesus Christ" -Sister Langford
"That's cool. You know what I like? Bikes, and rip sticks..... and also dating." - same 16 year old kid

"Thank you for that very rhythmic knock." -random guy whose door we knocked on.

"Baptism is like a really clean shower... for your spirit." -member kid.

Well that's my story everyone. We can talk again next week.

XOXO,
Sister Langford