Monday, August 25, 2014

"Horse racing & crazy hats, prayers answered, rear ended for a purpose?, baptisms coming, & Press Forward in Opposition!"


Another week has come and past. Another Monday here for me to ramble for a little while and try to rack my brain to remember every cool and interesting thing that has happened in these 7 days... and all I can remember is the time that we went out for a run in the morning and saw a lady asleep on the stairs with a bowl of chicken. #newyorkprobs

Ok I lied, I do remember a little bit more.

The randoms...

1. Currently in Saratoga there is this thing going on called "track season". Basically it just means that EVERYONE in the world is here to watch some horses race. I don't get it. This week was a very special event called "Travers" apparently it's a big deal. Don't ask me why. But, on the day of Travers we did enjoy ourselves by running past the track and seeing a bunch of fancy people and horses. Also, everyone was wearing fancy, dramatic hats. Welcome to Saratoga.

2. We got rear-ended this week (more to follow on this story).

3. This week begins our 3 day exchange. Should be exciting.

The work...

1. Remember how I am a firm believer in praying for specific things? Well recently we have been praying that we would be able to teach a member's friend. This week a member approached us and was like, "Hey sisters! We are having you over for dinner this week... and also there will be an investigator there for you." We were both just like.... I'm sorry what? This is what a real referral is like?

So we went to the dinner and this girl is incredibly prepared. She is 17 and best friends with the member's daughter. We invited her to be baptized on the first lesson and she said "yes!" Then when we asked her why she said, "Because I want this to be a part of my life forever and I want to be married in the temple." SO GOOD. Then when we asked her when she said, "Well, I was thinking before school started because I wanted to be able to be a part of seminary, but then they told me I could be in seminary without being a member, so I'm not sure." We pretty much died out of joy. Also, she is planning to go to BYU next year. So great. Seriously though, prayer works.

2. Glenn is getting baptized this week! HURRAY! He has made a lot of progress just in the short time I have been here. He seems committed and is inviting a bunch of people, so we are very excited for his baptism this weekend :)

3. Ok remember how I said that we were rear ended? So here is the story that accompanies this event. We were stopped at a stop light, going to see an investigator, when all of a sudden we got hit. It was like, the baby-est hit in the world, and the damage was so so minor. But, because it was a mission car we had to get out and talk to the guy and get all the info and blah blah blah. So all this ended up taking about a half hour.

When that was all done it hit us, that that must have happened for a reason! But what was the reason? Were we supposed to meet the guy who hit our car? Were we NOT supposed to be where we were going at the time we would have gotten there, so Heavenly Father delayed us? OR were we supposed to be where we were going later?

We weren't sure.

So we continued on our path, praying that Heavenly Father would guide us. Well we got to the investigator's home, and no one was there. So we tried their neighbor, and nothing. So we got in the car to drive somewhere else, and all of a sudden the thought came to my brain, "go back". But I thought, go back where? Then the thought came "go back, and I will guide you." So we flipped around and just started driving, not really knowing where we were headed. Finally we ended up at these apartments that we had tried tracting a few days earlier, with no success and not the happiest feelings. But there we were. We prayed again, and we both felt really strongly that we were supposed to go to this apartment. We went there, and no one answered. So we knocked again. And still no one. So we were really confused. We left and knocked all the apartments around, and no one was interested. So why were we there? Why had this series of random events happened that led us back to this apartment complex that frankly, we never wanted to come back to.

My answer is, I still don't know. We had to leave after that to make it to a dinner appointment. But here's what I do know, when Heavenly Father prompts us, we follow. Sometimes the reason is really obvious. Other times, we have no idea why we are doing or saying the things that He advises us to do, but we do them. And sometime down the path, a miracle happens.

4. In other news, Heavenly Father has shown us so so so many tender mercies. We had a lot of finding time this week, and each time it would go something like this,

knock on a bunch of doors

everyone is grumpy haters.

we feel kind of bummed.

Then I say, "We gotta keep going, because whenever there are a bunch of haters that means that someone great is just around the corner!"

next door we knock,

new investigator.

So press forward in opposition. That's what I've learned.

5. Also, we set Kieran with a baptism date! He is doing so great. We've only been teaching him and Ashley for like 2 weeks, and he has already read in the Book of Mormon all the way to Jacob! So good.

Anyway, that's all for this week. Just know that we are blessed and happy here in Saratoga. There are definitely many good things to come.

Sister Langford

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Leaves changing, ballet shoes, endorsing Mini Missions, & lessons learned from John the flea!!"


Bonjour my friends.

Does anyone else have their mind blown every time they think about everything that can happen in a week? Just one single week, SO MUCH can happen. This week was a perfect example of that. I'll try and focus on the super cool stuff that you would care about.  How the leaves are already changing color, or how I ate peach cobbler ice cream by the gallon, or how there are giant ballet shoes all over town that I like to take pictures by.... oh wait...

First of all...

Last Monday evening we got a call from President Wirthlin telling us that we would have a mini missionary with us from Wednesday to Monday... and good news, it was my home girl, Jade, from Potsdam! So she has been living the missionary life for the past 5 days. It has been so fun and such a good experience. I'm not gonna lie, I had some moments of panic and stress, but overall, it's been a blast. If anyone has the opportunity to go on a mini mission I would soooo recommend it. EVERYBODY GO ON A MINI MISSION. ok ok.


This week was also Zone Training Meeting. Sister Lloyd and I had the opportunity to train on faith to find, which is probably my favorite topic so I was really excited, but also nervous about it. Thankfully, our training went great. The spirit was really powerful and it was so cool because by the end of our training everyone was already adapting the "as if" principal into their lingo and at least 4 people bore their testimony about our training. It was super awesome to see things like that happen. Its's just one more blessing about being a Sister Training Leader. It definitely makes you stretch to your limits, but it's been a really blessed calling for the past... 7 transfers...

Also in our training, we shared a story that I thought I would share with you all, since it's fun and also inspiring :) It goes like this...

There once was a flea named John. John was a super cool flea, for a lot of reasons, but most importantly because he was the highest jumping flea in all the land. John could jump so high that sometimes the other fleas thought that John could fly. One day John and all his flea friends were jumping around when a human scooped them up and put them in a jar. Now, this was no problem for John, because he could just jump on out, but then the human put a lid on the jar and screwed it on tight.

At first, John continued to jump as high as he had before, but after a couple of times hitting the lid, he realized that it wasn't as fun as it was before. After a short time, John became conditioned to jump just below the lid of the jar. Even after the lid was removed, John only jumped to just below the lid.

Now, nothing had changed physically in John. He still had the ability to jump far out of the jar. Yet, in his mind, he had forgotten his potential. He had set his expectations lower, and he could no longer accomplish what he once could.

Sometimes in life, we are like John. We have the ability to be great, to exceed every expectation, (remember, in the pre-earth life we were like John, before he was put in the jar), but sometimes in life we have experiences that put a lid on our expectations. We lower our expectations, we settle, and we live far below our potential.

Thankfully, we still have the potential to be great and to remove those lids! That's where faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement comes in. Through Christ we can succeed and exceed all of our expectations. It is all through Him.

Thank you all for indulging my story time. Now back to the miracles of the week.

1. Our new Investigators K & A.  It blows my mind that it was less than 2 weeks ago that we met them. They are doing so amazing and progressing like mad.  They have both been bearing testimony to us of how much more peace they have felt in their lives since meeting us. They have felt so much guidance from the Book of Mormon. It's such a blessing to see them grow.

2. Mr. G. is also doing amazing. He has switched his baptism date to Aug 30th so that he can find an apartment to live in before his baptism. His face seriously glows every time we talk with him. It's amazing to see someone so changed by the gospel.

3. Another little story. This week we had an evening where pretty much everything fell through. We were feeling a little discouraged for one reason or another and feeling a little pointless as we walked around. Finally after feeling hopeless for about 5 minutes, we decided to pray for direction. As soon as we finished praying, we looked up and saw two guys sitting on the steps of an apartment complex. Instantly we both started to walk towards them. Miraculously, we were able to teach them the restoration and you could tell that they both had been prepared to meet us that day. They are now both investigating and doing well. For me it was just another tender mercy from the Lord. Just Him reaching out to me when I was feeling a little discouraged and lost.

4. We found many other people and miracles come out like crazy... but I'm low on time, so just know that this week was blessed and I could go on and on and on and on.

But here's one funny quote...

"One time, I had an ice cream breakfast for sandwich." -Sister Lloyd

Another great week to come!

Sister Langford

Monday, August 11, 2014


Hello all my friends.

So much news this week that I don't even know where to begin. ahhhh.... hmmm.... Ok I think I have an idea.


Hey everyone. Remember how I am now in Saratoga. Let me give you a little sneak peak into what Saratoga is like. There is this street called "Broadway" and I'm pretty sure that what they did was pick up a street from New York City and planted it in upstate New York. Then, they placed a lot of really classy people and adorable houses around it. THEN they put in stores that you will not find anywhere else in New York like Starbucks, Coldstone, and Target. Then you go to church... and you guys, IT'S A WARD. Like, a real life ward. The chapel is double the size of any other I've seen on my mission, plus they had to open the accordion doors to the overflow for sacrament meeting. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED IN NEW YORK. You guys don't even know what kind of alternate universe I am in here in Saratoga. But you know what? I AM IN LOVE! Before I came to Saratoga I really prayed that I would find myself in a place where I could really connect with the people and feel like I belonged, (since I had a hard time finding that in Corning). I came to Saratoga and I instantly knew that prayer was answered. I since have had many tender mercies to show me that Heavenly Father heard that prayer.


When I arrived in the Toga we had 4 people to teach. But, all four of them are super solid and 3 of them will be baptized within this transfer.

Kat and Graceann: 18 year old girls. I haven't even met Graceann yet, but I met Kat last night. We were talking with her about her upcoming baptism and how she was feeling and everything, and I instantly could feel the spirit confirm to me that I am here for her. I know that I can connect with her and help her at this point in her progression. So I am so excited to be working with these darling girls.

Glenn: Also getting baptized soon. Super cool guy who is very prepared for the gospel. I am excited to see him grow and grow.

Paul: 91 year old man. Every time the sisters come over he gives them a cookie, apple, and two chocolate kisses. He is a funny old man. But hey, he knows the Book of Mormon is true!

So I came, and that is who we were teaching, and I was excited for these people, but I was, (and am), excited to bring what I had learned from my time in Corning. So I said, Sister Lloyd, let's find.

And let me tell you, within a two hour time period we found 5 new investigators. I don't have time to tell you all of their stories, but let me just tell you about two of them.

Kieran and Ashley: Sister Lloyd and I had been working hard all day. Let me give you the background knowledge that that morning I woke up with a wicked cold. I haven't been even a little bit sick my entire mission, and yet this day I woke up feeling like death. So after Sister Lloyd and I had already found and taught 3 new investigators, we were walking to Rite Aid to buy some medicine and tissues. As we were walking we saw two teenage kids walking toward us. At first, I wasn't going to stop them, but for some reason I did. I just said "hey! Can we talk to you guys for a minute?" and we did. Well long story short, we taught them the restoration, then the next day we taught them about the Book of Mormon. They told us that they couldn't stop talking about what we had shared with them and they felt like we had been an answer to their prayers. Then on Sunday a member came up to us and said "Sisters! I heard you met Ashley the other day on the street!" We were super confused that she would know who we met... but turned out that her mom was really good friends with this member, and this member had been working on sharing the gospel with her mom for years. Also turns out that because of that, her mom is very supportive of Ashley learning about the gospel. It's hard to type out all that happened and the long version of the story, but suffice it to say that The Lord is honestly and truly preparing people to be taught. And sometimes I think, what if we hadn't stopped them? What if we didn't have the faith to teach them right then? What would have happened? I know miracles come, when we exercise our faith. I've seen it again and again and again.

Something I've learned about missionary work... and really just about life, is called the "as if" principal. The principal is, if you want to be something, (ie, successful, happy, bold, courageous), if you want to have something (in this case people to teach) then you have to act AS IF you already have it. If you act as if you are already happy then everything you do will be joyous. If you want more faith, then you act as if you have all the faith in the world. If you want to baptize a bunch of people, then when you meet someone you act as if you are going to baptize them. It's a simple principle really, but it's seriously all about faith you guys. FAITH MAKES MIRACLES HAPPEN. I know it. I've seen it.

It's sad to me, when I see missionaries, or people in general, who live below their potential. Because we are God's children, we all have the potential to be great. But we sell ourselves short and we justify. I know that there is no set back, no weakness, no trial that is greater than God or our potential strengths.

Ok. I'm sorry about that tangent but Sister Lloyd and I are just feeling really passionate about this right now... especially since we are giving a training on it this week in Zone Training Meeting!


Sister Langford

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Goodbye Corning it's TOGA time, Facebook or Babylon, weekly Miracles, & hoping to Survive the Pack!"


Hello hello hello.

Everyone. I come bearing CRAZY news. Who is ready to hear about my crazy crazy week? Ok, we can talk about it all.

1. TRANSFER NEWS. TOGA. TOGA. TOGA. Saturday morning we are minding our own business, studying the word, when we get a call from the mission office. My first thought is "what the heck!?" President Wirthlin comes on and asks me to be a Sister Training Leader in Saratoga Springs! YOU GUYS. I'm leaving Corning :(. It's pretty bitter sweet, and I seriously did not see it coming. I've only served here for two transfers. It's gone soooooo fast. But let me tell you, I'm am STOKED to go to Saratoga. Apparently it's a really ritzy area about 45 minutes north of Albany (I'm going clear across the mission again), and it's known for its horse races. Plus get this, my companion is going to be the one and only SISTER LLOYD. Sister Lloyd was in the MTC with me and she is exactly one foot shorter than me. Oh yeah. It's going to be sweet.

As far as leaving Corning, it's pretty bitter sweet. Before I left Norwood I prayed that my next area would help me to grow and that I would know my purpose and be able to fulfill it. I think I told you all about that before. Well now as I leave Corning, I feel SO much peace knowing that I have grown immensely while I've been here. I've realized that God doesn't expect instant perfection from us, all he expects is progression. It's incredible. I also know that even though I didn't see anyone baptized here, I fulfilled my purpose. I did what the Lord wanted me to do. I became an instrument in His hands. Last night I was telling Sister Glenn that I hope that how I feel now, as I leave this area, is exactly how I want to feel when I leave the mission. I'm grateful for how I have changed and I'm excited to hit the 'toga where I can grow even more. But let me tell you, I am NOT looking forward to packing today.

2. FACEBOOK. FACEBOOK. FACEBOOK. Here's the OTHER big news. The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in our mission are now officially on Facebook. Dude, its weird. To quote one of our Assistants "the first time you get on Facebook it's like getting pounded in the chest with Babylon." He's not even lying. The night we got home from MLC us and the Zone Leaders hopped on Facebook. We filmed everyone's reaction as they first logged in. It's pretty hysterical. Anyway, we are still cleaning it up and getting it all figured out, but be looking for some sweet missionary posts comin' your way!

3. President Wirthlin played a song from Frozen at MLC. and that is all.

4. THE BIG EVENT. This week was also the Owego stake's "Big Event". It was so good. All the missionaries, and a ton of members were there. We ate a ton of food, hiked a bit, played some volleyball and ultimate Frisbee... it was just a gooooood day.  Did I take any pictures of it? No, because I'm a failure. But please enjoy the selfie of Sister Glenn and I wearing our hipster glasses.

So that's all the crazy stuff. Now can we talk about the miracles we saw this week?

1. Investigator B.  Dude.  We had two of the most solid lessons with her ever. The first lesson we taught her about the word of wisdom and get this, her entire family sat in. This has never happened. It was so good. And even though it was kind of a crazy lesson, the spirit was powerful. Then the next time we stopped by, we decided to read the Book of Mormon with her. After we read, she again started to testify to us how she "knew the book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet." So then I asked, "How do you know that?" She said "I don't know. I just read it, and it feels good and right. And let's be honest, if you read this book you know that no farm boy from New York could write this book." We then testified to her that if the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith were true, then so was everything else. And if everything else was true, she needed to live in accordance with it and be baptized. (Keep in mind this woman has denied the baptismal invitation like 5 times). So we asked, "Will you be baptized?" She was quiet for a minute and then said, "If that's what God tells me to do, then yes, I will be baptized." OH MY GOODNESS. It's so amazing to see the change that has come over her since the first time I met her. Miracles you guys. miracles.

2. J.   This fellow is so solid. This week we taught him the Word of Wisdom and he was not too excited to live it. He kept trying to make excuses, but it was so cool, because the member who was with us was a convert, and she offered to buy his coffee off of him!  Oh man. He's comin' along. He also made it to church again, two weeks in a row. He is seriously just going some real good places. I'm excited for him.

3. A. We did a church tour with him, when we got to a picture of Christ being baptized he just stopped and looked at it very intently. Sister Glenn said, "What do you think is happening in this picture." He responded "Baptism".  He then told us how for some reason he didn't feel like his baptisms in the past had been valid. He was looking for a more complete baptism. WHAT? So we took him in where the baptismal font is and explained to him the priesthood authority and how baptisms here and complete and valid in the eyes of the Lord. He got so excited and basically committed himself to baptism! So good!

Well everyone. that was the week. Miracles happen. I'm gonna miss my darling Corning, but I'm super excited to see what Saratoga has in store. We'll see ya on the flip side. (Pray that I don't die as I try and pack all my stuff today)! 

Sister Langford