Monday, November 24, 2014

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


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!

Sister Langford

Monday, November 17, 2014

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


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.

Sister Langford

Monday, November 10, 2014

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


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.

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.

Sister Langford