Monday, March 31, 2014
"Complaint with Mother Nature, Awesome Conference, STAYING, "Ketchup"on my blog, Tours of Outer Darkness, & Unfinshed Story."
Oh my stars. I would like to begin this blog post with a small complaint to mother nature. You guys. It seriously snowed 10-12 inches Saturday night. A WHOLE FOOT. And do you know what they went and did? They canceled church. That is the third time that's happened since my time in Norwood. I just want to say I'm so done with winter. Ok. I'm glad I could get that one out of the way...
On a positive note...
I'M STAYING IN NORWOOD FOR ANOTHER TRANSFER!
I'm pretty stoked about it! That means I will be at least 6 months here too. I'd be surprised if I had more than 3 areas on my mission. But that is so ok because I am pretty much in love with this little north country town.
So this week was.... pretty interesting. Honestly, not my best week of missionary work. Buuuuut... we keep going strong. Let me tell you about some of the stuff.
1. EXCHANGES. Hey so we went on exchange again this week. I had the joy of working with the wonderful Sister Curtis again in Norwood, which was so so fun. Ah I love that Sister to pieces :) We had such a good time, many laughs were shared. Sister Davis got to go on exchange to Plattsburgh with Sister Malavasi. Get this, Sister Malavasi is from ITALY. So that's pretty exciting. She is among the funniest people I have ever met in my life. No one can figure out if her crazy humor comes from being Italian, or if its just her. Love it.
2. WOMEN'S CONFERENCE. Did you all watch the Women's Conference? Ah man it was so so good. We had a wonderful little "Slumber Party" activity before and then watched the broadcast. It was so fun. But... we invited one of our investigators and oh my goodness. Lets just say that after the "I am a child of God" video she yelled out " DUN DUN DUUUUN..." gotta love the North Country.
3. MISSIONARY FIRESIDE. We also put on a missionary fireside for the youth of the branch. It was so so sweet. I think it really got the youth excited for missions and the spirit was so strong. Plus, leave it to the elders to make it super hysterical. Goooooooood times.
1. Investigator E. Well.... She has taken many a step back which is pretty disappointing for us. We keep praying that things will look up, and we still love her to pieces :)
2. Let's just say we had a pretty interesting experience with a less-active and leave it at that.
3. THIS SNOW IS RIDICULOUS. Ok I'm sorry.
1. Investigator D. We had the most bomb lesson with him. We did a church tour with him and taught him about the priesthood and baptism and all that amazing stuff. He was just so happy to be there. We finished in the chapel and committed him to be BAPTIZED. The spirit was so good. We are seeing him again today, so hopefully we can keep him going strong on the path.
2. Investigator Couple. They are still just so so solid. We had another wonderful dinner with them and taught then about keeping the Sabbath day holy. And you know, they totally would have come to church again... if we had had church :/ But they are seriously making some awesome progress! We had the funniest lesson with them (quotes to follow).
3. THE EXPERIENCE. Ok. So here is my cool, yet unfinished story, so hopefully I will have more to it next week... but here's the first half. So once a month we volunteer at a food pantry in Madrid. Well I prayed before we left that we would be able to find teaching opportunities from our service and that we would be able to recognize them. There are always a ton of people there, so you would think it would be a good finding opportunity. Well we got there, and they were a bit short staffed, so we spent the entire two hours carrying huge boxes of food up the stairs and to peoples cars (that was our workout for the day). Well every time we would come back down I kept noticing this younger girl with a new born baby. She had been to the food pantry before and I had talked to her... but never gave it much thought. She just kept smiling at us, every time we passed. When we left the food pantry that day, I realized, "Oh my goodness! THAT was who Heavenly Father wanted me to talk to... and I didn't. I was so bummed. I had no way of finding her again. No address, no phone number, I didn't even know her name! Anyway, I was feeling pretty lame and prayed that we would be able to find her again. LAST MONDAY we are strolling around Walmart, when who should we see but THAT GIRL. So we stopped and talked to her. Just small talk, she told us about her baby.... but she walked away before we could bring it back to the gospel. TWO opportunities missed. So... then I was feeling pretty bummed. and that's where to story ends. BUT. I have faith that this week (or at least soon!) we will find her. I'm telling you, Heavenly Father put her in our path for a reason, and when we see her again, she is not getting away without a message of Jesus Christ! So let's all pray that I will soon have a sweet end to that story. But either way, I know Heavenly Father heard and answered my prayer :)
1. "What if I just wanted to do a quick tour of outer-darkness? Like, 'and to your right you will see darkness, and to your left you will see... more darkness."
"Maybe there's a gift shop and you could get a shirt that says 'I went to outer-darkness and back and all I got was this lousy t shirt" - Dinner at a members home.
2. "So you are telling me I can't tell even little white lies? So if you come in here with all your crazy warpaint on your face am I supposed to tell you you look nice?" -Nels
3. "Yes I know I have fallen a bit behind Nels in my reading!" - Jo
"Ya, you are like the family of tomatoes walking down the street and the baby tomato falls behind. So the dad tomato smacks him and yells 'KETCHUP!' " - Nels
4. "#whydowebringherwithus" -Sister Davis
Well, that was the week everyone! Oh my goodness I almost forgot! GENERAL CONFERENCE IS THIS WEEK. How stoked are you all? AH! Ok well, to get you excited I'm going to finish with a quote...
"This is HIS general conference. I promise you in His name that if you pray with a sincere desire to hear your Heavenly Father's voice in the message of this conference, you will discover that He has spoken to you to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence." -Robert D. Hales
Monday, March 24, 2014
"Coldest Winter in 95 years, 5 investigators at church, and our Investigator was "Jimmered" in High School."
BLOG.Hello my friends! Norwood in the spring time is going so so good. Oh wait.... it's still below freezing. Last week our mission president said this is the coldest winter they've had in New York since 1919. I'm super glad I could be a part of it all....
The rad missionary stuff...
1. GUYS! We had 5 investigators at church this week! It was so good and so stressful! Ah man, I love it when people say they are going to come to church... and then they actually do it! Its seriously the best! ok... let me tell you who was there and what they have been up to!
#2: Oh man. He is so so so solid. We had a super bomb lesson with him this week and he was like "yup I'm going out of town for a few weeks in April, but when I get back I hope to be baptized, and I've already found which church of yours I will attend while I'm out there!" Its people like him that make me love being a missionary!
Monday, March 17, 2014
"Not Lake Placid by Coincidence, New House, #missionaryprob resolved, & "When Will We Baptize Again!" Lyrics!"
Hello my dears,
Another week has come and gone. But seriously, this week was super great. I went to Lake Placid (mini Park City), we got snowed in, we attended a super stellar Zone Training Meeting, aaaaand, we found out we are going to move into a new HOUSE. So these are the things that we are excited about. But let me tell you about the wonderful missionary moments...
1. Remember how I told you last week about that member's brother who asked us to teach him last Sunday? Well, we taught him this week and it was soooo good. He told us that there was nothing that could stop him from joining the church and that if/once he joins he will "never stop coming". Solid. So basically we are super excited to see how his progression goes.
2. We picked up another new investigator. She seems really cool and we are excited to see where things go with that. Haha thats all there really is to say about that one. I know, you all were hoping for a super cool story. Sorry kids, they can't all be super cool stories :)
3. OH MY GOODNESS. Remember one of our investigators from last week? Ok. So this week she was feeling a little wary again. She was basically having the exact same concerns that she was the last time we saw her... the concerns we thought we had resolved, #missionaryprobs
She was hung up on the idea that we thought we had to earn our way to heaven. So we turned on the Talk, "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox... and all was well. I'm telling you, if you haven't watched that, go watch it NOW. Anyway, she is back to being super solid! We are so, so, so excited to see her continue to progress in the gospel :)
4. Other new investigators came to church! We totally thought it would be a huge obstacle.. but we invited them to do a church tour on Saturday, which went really well. At the end we asked them if they would come to church the next day... and their response was hillarious...
Woman Investigator: "We were talking about this in the car ride over. I said to him, 'You know they will probably try and get us to come to church tomorrow... what are you going to say?'"
Us- "What are you going to say ?"
Man Investigator- *silently stares at us*
Woman Investigator- "He said yes."
Boom. So there they were at church.It was sooooo good. Plus it was District Conference. So that was pretty solid!
5. I had THE COOLEST experience while I was on exchange in Lake Placid with the wonderful Sister Bowen. So morning time rolled around and we had made plans to go out to one of their farther areas to find. Well just as we were leaving we got a text from a random lady. Sister Bowen recognized her as a former investigator who had been taught a ton and just wouldn't progress. So this lady asked if we could come over and help her with her vacuum (people are random). So we decided we should go over right then. We went and helped her with the vacuum a bit and then we started talking. She started telling us how her life had not been going well. How ever since the missionaries stopped visiting her, she had felt this emptiness. She then started to go on about how her son was mistreating her. She felt so frustrated because she was doing so much for her son and he ignored her and was disrespectful and on and on. And all of a sudden, the spirit hit me hard and I knew exactly what to say to this lady I had only known for 20 minutes. I know what came out came straight from God. I said, "You know how sad you feel when your son ignores you, how sad do you think you Heavenly Father feels when you ignore Him?" She just got this look on her face like someone had just spiritually slapped her, (kind of like how you feel after listening to an Elder Holland talk), and she said "You are right. I want to start meeting with you guys again." WHAT!? It was so, so, so, awesome! I seriously know that I was in Lake Placid that day for that exact purpose. I was able to say things through the spirit that she needed to hear. It was so so awesome!
Well, that was pretty much the week. But before I leave, please enjoy a song, written by Sister Langford and Sister Davis.
"When will we baptize them?" (to the tune of "when will my life begin?" from Tangled)
6:25 the usual morning line up
Run and jump and crunch 'til we're fit and lean.
Shower and hair, get dressed and do our make up.
Change again and by then its like 7:50.
And so I'll read my book, in chapters two and three.
I'll add a few new notes into my P. M. G.
We'll sing a song and pray and talk and basically
Just wonder when will we baptize them?
Then after lunch its knocking and walking and tracting.
teaching the word, even when appointments fail.
Restoration and the Plan of Salvation.
Then the gospel, maybe commandments, law of chastity, word of wisdom?
Then we'll re-teach the lesson they didn't understand
We'll tract that street again, I'm sure there's someone there!
And then we'll knock and knock and knock and knock again,
Still in the area I started in.
and I'll keep wonderin' and wonderin' and wonderin' and wonderin'
When will we baptize them?
Just like it did on that weekend last year.
What is it like when they're all dressed in white?
Now that their sober, President might just let them go!
Have a rad week! Love ya!
Monday, March 10, 2014
Oh my goodness you guys this week was insanely awesome. Can I go on for 1000000 years about how much I love being a missionary? Ok thanks. So lets get to the story.
This week Sister Davis and I were really struggling with the idea of dropping a bunch of our investigators. It's seriously the worst thing to do. You don't want to give up faith on these people... but seriously they aren't going anywhere. It's a real inner battle. So when we were weekly planning we finally got up the strength to drop some of them. But when we did it, I felt ok about it. I received a confirmation that Heavenly Father wouldn't leave us high and dry but would help us find new people to teach. So we went forward with faith.
THE NEXT DAY.
We went and had lunch with a girl we recently met. (Remember the girl in the story last week who randomly came to church after a recent convert rescued her?) So our plan was to just kind of feel out the situation, see what she was thinking about the whole situation. So we start to talk with her and she is like, "Ya, I'm ready to learn whatever you have to teach me!" So we jump in with the restoration. After we explained the first vision I asked her, "So what do you think about what we just explained?" She goes, "Oh, I know its true." um..... So then we start to explain the Book of Mormon and she's like, "Yeah, I've already started to read that, and I prayed about it, and I know its true!" WHAT?!?!?! I'm like "Heavenly Father led you here for a reason..." and she just gets so so excited and is like "I KNOW!" So then we ask her to be baptized and she says "YES!" So excited and with tears in her eyes. So good. We all seriously left on cloud nine. I literally don't think there is a single person on the whole world who is more prepared than she is.
She came to church again this week and we were all happy. We had dinner with her that night, and she seemed a bit distraught. She was feeling all these mixed emotions and was so unsure about it all. Then we sat down with her and had the most powerful lesson I have ever had a part of my whole mission. There were at least 5 times where we would say something and she would say "You don't even know... that is an answer to my prayers." By the end of the lesson the spirit was so strong and she was so excited again. I can't even tell you how excited I am for her. Her testimony of Christ blows me away. I'm SO EXCITED to keep you guys posted on her progress because she is seriously amazing.
Ok. so that would be a blessing enough. BUT THEN.
At church this Sunday we had another amazing blessing. Mr. D (a guy who has been coming to church for a while now and is brothers with a really solid member) came up to us and said, "If I want to be taught by the missionaries now, who do I talk to? um..... WHAT! So we are going to meet with him this week. I'm not kidding. You take a step of faith, and Heavenly Father literally drops prepared people in your lap. WE ARE SO BLESSED.
Ok so you thought that was the end? nope.
We went and saw Floyd this week, (as we always love doing), and what do you know, there is a new person living with Floyd by the name of Mr B who sat in on our lesson and is very interested to learn for himself. So we have a lesson with him this week too. (Ok seriously? What is going on right now?)
...and now you are like... seriously Sister Langford.... is that it?
Nope. THEN we get a random phone call from this guy who apparently the sisters had tracked into FOREVER ago and then left him with a mormon.org card with our number. AND HE CALLED US...and he wants to meet. So moral of the story. Heavenly Father really isn't joking when he says he will bless us. Letting go of those who aren't progressing is so hard, but look at what Heavenly Father gives us when we move forward with faith. #soblessed
And our other investigators seem to be doing pretty sweet too. I would tell you all of their stories... but time is limited.
So are you ready for some laughs?
1. Sister Davis and I thought it would be a good idea to make a boxed key lime pie during lunch one day. Unfortunately we don't have a pie tin... or a beater.... so we ended up making it in a frying pan and trying to wisk the cream with forks as fast as we could. It turned out like one of those pinterest fails... but it still tasted good! During the process Sister Davis said, "I feel like this is something that elders would do!"
2. We played "Don't eat the prophet" with our nine year old investigator. It went well. it turned into everyone screaming "DON'T EAT THE PROPHET!" at each other... but I think she learned what a prophet was from it! Haha
3. *at a dinner appointment. Kids going crazy and running under the table*
"I think you guys have a lot of dogs... and cats... and monkeys... and mice..." -Sister Davis
*little girl gets all serious* "You aren't joking about the mice!" - Zoya
4. We are doing a missionary fireside this week and for part of it we are doing a skit about missionary work. This is how one elder explains missionaries teaching in the MTC...
"So... um.... Jesus, he came to earth and.... Families are important... um... so.... We can become God's some day"
Well, I love you all! Thanks for all the prayers and support! They are being felt! Have a blessed week :)
Monday, March 3, 2014
Hello Mis Amigos!!
Well, to put it simply this week has been a week of lots of ups and downs. Not really from an outside perspective, but in my heart I suppose. That sounds kind of dramatic.... but let me explain.
Every transfer, I try and think of one Christ-like attribute that I would really like to focus on. This transfer I chose "humility." I thought it would be great! Well the thing is, when you pray for humility, God doesn't just instantly make you humble, He gives you opportunities to become humble. Such opportunities are usually not the most cheerful or fun, but they definitely strengthen you! So Heavenly Father helped me this week by helping me realize my weaknesses, and mistakes and compelling me to humility because of them. Not to mention many of our investigators choosing to drop us this week. But let me tell you something, this week I feel like I learned much about grace and how it plays a part in my life. I know that these moments are not to break me, but to strengthen me. I really felt like this video was the story of my life this week....
(mom I want you to put in the mormon message called "the will of God" just go to youtube and I'm sure you can find it and then put it in :) )
I know that we don't have to be perfect now. Heavenly Father IS patient with our progress. I'll finish this little thought with a quote by Brad Wilcox...
"There should never be just two options; perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives"
I know that that is true. I know that my Savior really does live and love me. I know that this gospel is true and definitely has the power to change lives, as I see it change mine every single day.
Now on to the miracles of the week...
1. We had our second official lessons with our new investigators (remember, knocked on their door?) Ok. MOST. SOLID. LESSON. EVER. Nels told us that he knew we were an answer to prayers. You can see how much faith he has because he has so much anxiety and is so nervous to have people in his home, yet he invites us in and listens. ALSO. We invited him to say the closing prayer at the beginning of the lesson. He declined because he said he was far too nervous. End of the lesson, guess who said the prayer! It was so so powerful. The spirit was definitely there and prompted him hard core! Jo really related to the idea of the eternal perspective and you could see she was getting emotional over it. Ugh!! Just one more testimony that THE GOSPEL IS TRUE AND HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE LIVES!
2. Ok. Remember when I first arrived in Potsdam? When I first met this awesome lady, and she told me that she didn't even like reading the Book of Mormon, and that she wasn't sure if she wanted to keep coming to church? Well this Sunday she got up in front of the whole church and bore her testimony about how much she loves the Book of Mormon and what an amazing change it has made in her life. She talked about how her life has gotten so much better since we started diligently studying it with her. Now, I don't take any credit, but seriously, look how awesome the Book of Mormon is! Everyone, go read it. k?
3. We may be picking up a new investigator tonight. But here's the way cool back story.
There's this college kid in the branch who is a recent convert (we will call him RC for short). So one day he is hanging out on campus with some friends and he sees this girl looking lost and sad with a ton of luggage. So he feels prompted to go and talk to her. SO HE DOES. He finds out that she just moved here from Michigan to be a live-in nanny. She has no friends, no family, and was lost. So RC helps her get to where she needs to, and gives her his number if she ever needs anything. Weeks go by, he doesn't hear from her.... THEN. She calls him, says her situation is not good and she needs help. RC goes and gets her out, then helps her move in with one of the member families of the branch. This family BRINGS HER TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY where we meet her and chat with her. I seriously think she may be the single most prepared person in the world. So we are having dinner with the family tonight and we will see what happens! But seriously, how amazing is it that Heavenly Father just works through people like this Recent Convert to help his children. SO AMAZING.
Also... random fun facts...
We went to MLC (in Utica) again this week. during this two day trip we
- Went to a target for the first time in 9 months. it was so great.
- learned a new style of teaching that seems pretty intimidating, but we are pretty stoked to try it out!
- Just had so much fun with all the wonderful missionaries!
Now the giggles (I promise this blog is almost done!)
1. "I've heard a laugh just like that at the zoo!" - Less-Active
"Are you saying I sound like a hyena?" - Sister Davis
"What does a hyena even sound like?" - me
"Can you laugh again please?" - Less-active
(That's pretty much how our visits with them go!)
2. in the car ride home from Utica we thought of missionary hashtags (for our mission) for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!!
#10:31pm #disobedient #woodshed
3. "Ok, so we have them go over to their child of life... " -Elder
"WHAT?! YOU MEAN THEIR KIDS?" -other elder.
Alright. Hasta luego.