Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Saturday, November 30, 2013

This week has been great!

Hey mom!

     This week has been great!! Lots of fun! There's been so much going on! We're getting fed like three times this week so you don't have to worry about us not getting a Thanksgiving at ALL! We're going over to this family called the Vanvalkenburgs and he reminds me so much of the Pearce family. We call him the manliest man to ever walk the earth because he does all of the stuff that's stereotypical of this big macho mountain man hahaha. He's like super quiet but SO nice and he's obsessed with hunting and guns and fishing and he has this big ole truck and he cuts down his own trees and owns this big pond in his backyard where he has this dock that he can fish off of and it's just so funny. So hopefully we'll get some real American Thanksgiving food. No we haven't had a lot of soul food. I mean we eat pretty much the same as back home. I think it's more when you start going south into the Carolina's and Mississippi and all of those that you start getting into all of that.
     But anyway so I FINALLY got your package on Monday!! Holy cow it took forever because of how stinking far up we are and just because of the day that it got to the office it was right in between deliveries to our zone. But because we didn't get it until then I've only been able to open my presents and we haven't had our official "party" yet with all of the party stuff, but we will DEFINITELY have it soon. Thank you so much for putting that together it was great! Exactly what I needed for my birthday!! You know me too well :) Yes, I love my ties that I got!! And yes, they are "sick" colors ;) I'm wearing that pink and black one now! And yes, the Scentsy thing was perfect! I only got teased a little bit but they were actually grateful...now our apartment doesn't smell like there's four guys living in it with no one to give it any feminine touch haha! 
     This week's been really great, though. This guy that we met a while ago (I don't know if you remember, but the one that just ran up to us while we were walking down Broadway) finally got ahold of us and we were able to teach him the first lesson! He is GOLDEN and we're so excited to see where he goes with this. He's a super interesting guy with lots of good insights and everything. Also I don't remember if I told you this in my last letter but we were able to skype a member that's in Perth, Australia!! He's going on his mission soon and one day he was on Facebook and he randomly messaged me and asked if we could talk! I've never even seen the guy before and the only mutual friend that I have with him is this little Asian sister that's in my mission that I don't even hardly know! He just said that I looked really familiar so he thought he'd ask if we'd met before. It was really cool and we got to know him and answered some questions about serving a mission and stuff. He's super friendly and we've been messaging on Facebook.
     Our area is starting to get a little life in it again after that long "drought" that we had.
Things are good with the members! Weve been teaching them a lot more and getting closer to them. I teach the gospel principles class every three weeks with Elder Rydalch and it's great! At first I absolutely hated it and was so nervous and everything but now it's a lot easier and I feel like my teaching skills are improving a lot!     
     I think that I'm over that little period of sickness that I was going through because I'm doing a lot better! Don't worry about sending me vitamins or anything. We have everything that we need in our apartment. I even bought bottle of those One-a-Day multi-vitamins for men that has like everything in it. I call it my "dirt pill" because it seriously tastes like I'm eating dirt haha! 
     But anyway...that's about how my week has been! Thank you so much for writing me and thinking about me on my birthday!!! It was so great to be able to still open presents and stuff even though it was like a week and a half later! ;) that's not your fault though! Just remember that during Christmas it's going to be super hard to get things through in the mail because that's what everyone and there dog is trying to do. I'll try and come up with a list of things that I need/want for Christmas like you asked but in all honesty, it's going to cost a fortune to send a bunch of stuff in the mail so maybe think about just sending money or little things. I really don't need a whole lot for Christmas...I'm pretty much as happy as I can be here :) You guys are so awesome, though! Thank you again for everything and I hope you have an awesome week! Love you all!

P.S sorry if some of my sentences and words don't make sense...my iPad likes to correct me a lot and it's hard to type on a virtual keyboard haha!!

 Check out this super cool ally-way-blocker that we found in Monticello.  Don't worry...
Elder Rydalch wouldn't let me go in there like I wanted to...psh!  Yeah right! haha

This is a super cool lake right by a member of our branch

Me and Luis Santiago.  He was a member of our branch but he went back to the Dominican 
Republic.  He's soooo cool!  We're gonna miss him!

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

"We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become when they receive testimonies of the gospel of Christ."
-Thomas S. Monson

And I'd like to add by saying that we need to develop the capacity to see OURSELVES as Christ would! We are not perfect yet. Surprise! 
Our loving Heavenly Father has provided a way for us to humble ourselves and become better: the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
How have you seen this change take place in your life?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Facebook message from Akayla

Today is Thanksgiving, so I would like to share just a couple things that I am thankful for. To start out, I would like to say I am so thankful for my Savior. For the atonement of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that I have that I am never alone. I am so grateful for The Book of Mormon, and that I have it so available to read whenever I want. I am so very thankful for the amazing opportunity I have to go to BYU-I. For all that I have learned so far, and how much I've grown. I am so grateful for my best friend Elder Cade Stafford. I don't know what I would do without him in my life. He is such an amazing example to me for choosing to put the Lord first. He helps me want to be better, and I am so lucky to have him. I could go on, and on, and on... but last of all, I am so thankful for my family. For my incredible mom Angela Johnson Ferrara, and amazing dad David Ferrara. For my wonderful siblings Corina Ferrara,Tanner FerraraAdriana Ferrara, Annalisa Ferrara, Mariah Ferrara, Elora Ferrara, Leandra Ferrara, Landon Ferrara, and Mason Ferrara. I have the best family in the world! It's been so nice being able to be home with them! I have missed them terribly! I would be lost without them! What more could I want?! I am the luckiest girl alive! Happy Thanksgiving everybody! 

Facebook message from my sister, Erin

Well since it is thanksgiving, I want to say what I am grateful for. I am truly thankful for The Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without Him, my life would be incomplete and I know that he loves and care for each and every one of us. I am also grateful for the opportunity to have such an amazing brother, Elder Cade Stafford, on a mission. Even though I miss him tremendously, he is serving the Lord willingly and I know he loves Him with all his heart. So that is what I am grateful for this year! (Besides food) Happy Thanksgiving! (:

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

We'll...it's that time of the year again! So I'd like to share a few things that I'm grateful for.
First and foremost, however, I need to say that I am so grateful for my family. I can't express how good it feels to know that I have so many people back home supporting me. My parents Kirk Stafford and Shauna Spain Stafford are the two greatest people I know. I would not be the person that I am now if it weren't for them. (Not that I'm that great still, I'm just a lot better than I would have been without them!) They've been the best parents I could ever ask for. I've put 'em through a lot of stress and they've always handled it perfectly. I also wouldn't be able to live without all my siblings...even though they drive me crazy sometimes 
Next I am grateful for my best friend Akayla Ferrara. She is the most Christlike person I know. She's been there with me through thick and thin...and the love she's shown me is something I'll never be able to repay. I really would be lost without her...so hopefully she sticks around 
The last thing I'd like to give thanks for is this mission that I'm on. I've learned more in these last five months than I have in my whole life! I've got a while to go but it seems like so little considering how fast it's flown by so far!
I'm so grateful for a lot of things and I'd never be able to list them all off...but as I go throughout the rest of this year, I'm going to try being more grateful for things every day, because it's my opinion that the more we show our Heavenly Father our thanks for the blessings we do have, the more willing He'll be to give us more blessings! I'd encourage all of you to do the same!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

I LOVE this quote! Just as with trees, the more adversity we face in our jobs, relationships, families, school, and even our faith...the more that we can grow from it! We'd have some wimpy trees if they didn't have anything fighting against them!
So just remember something that my best friend wrote to me in a letter this last week: We can do hard things! We ALL can! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

Heaven would be a pretty lonely place if it was only you there! Our job here on earth is to also help our brothers and sisters make it back as well 

"While it is important to have our thoughts inclined toward heaven, we miss the essence of our religion if our hands are not also inclined toward our fellowman."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

Interested in your family? I should hope so! Go to familysearch.org to find, learn about, and share your family. It's FREE! and is home to the world's largest database of family names and records. Check it out! 

Slooooooooooooow mail delivery :(

Hello everybody!! It's been a pretty good week over here in NY!! To start off this email I thought I'd just answer some of your questions:

Did you like your presents?

-I actually havent even gotten anyone's package yet!! Because I live out in the dang boonies we only get our mail like once a week from the office (maybe)...and that's usually Friday...so I have to wait a whole 'nother two days to get anything!! It's been killing me!! It was actually a really good birthday. Even though I'm 2000 miles away from home and I don't get to see anyone I still felt special! I got "Happy Birthday" sung to me like 3 times so it was great hahaha. Thank you so much for the package, though! I have no idea what's in it (even though you kinda told me hahahaha ;) ) I am still so grateful!! You guys spoil me WAYYYY too much!! :)

Do you usually go out that early?

-So about that lady that we scared...it was actually like 7 o'clock at night or something like that so it wasn't in the morning. We usually leave the apartment at about 1 or 2 or something by the time we've studied, eaten lunch, and worked online. The lady isn't really interested at all but we actually had a super cool lesson with her husband! He was the one we were really looking for because he said that although he doesn't want to be converted or anything...he really is interested in finding out what Mormons are all about because he doesn't really know anything about us! We had a really cool lesson with him explaining some of our basic doctrines and stuff. He said that he's even read some of the Book of Mormon when he went and stayed at the Marriot one time (go figure). He said that he fell asleep reading it but it was still cool! haha He said that, again, he doesn't want to be converted...he's just interested. But that he'd call us when he's read a little bit more of the Book of Mormon and/or he wants to know more. Hopefully he does!

So are there really wealthy neighborhoods in Monticello too?

-There are actually quite a few really nice neighborhoods OUTSIDE of Monticello. The actual town of Monticello is kind of "less fortunate"...there aren't really any decent houses there. The surrounding area, though, has a lot of really nice summer homes for Jews and for really rich people! We've been thinking about doing a lot more finding in those areas because we've pretty much squeezed as much as we can out of Monticello.

How big is your area actually?

-My "area" is HUGE! It covers an entire county! It would take like an hour to drive from one end of it to the other! Of course we usually just stay in the town of Monticello. (Actually I guess it's called the "Village of Monticello". It's so weird! New York doesn't have any towns! It's all "villages"...kind different)

That is so exciting about your ipads and smartphones.  Man, you really are spoiled!!!  Do you have them yet?

-Yeah, we're super stoked with the whole iPad thing! It's still kind of in the works of really taking off but we're already starting to see the advantages of them. We put all of the people we're teaching's information on them and all of the lessons we've taught them. (a new, modern, area book) We also have all of the members' information, ALL of the literature that the church has to offer on the Gospel Library app, and all sorts of other stuff! Me and Elder Rydalch are actually going to have a Skype lesson with someone in Australia tomorrow!! He's already a member but he's getting his mission call in a week and he wanted to ask us some questions! It was so weird that he messaged me! The only mutual friend that I have with him is an Asian sister in our mission that I don't even know that well. He messaged me on Facebook the other day and was like "hey are you cade?" and I was like "uh...yeah. Have we met before? I don't recognize your name or face or anything" and he was just like "sorry you just seem really familiar so I thought I'd ask if maybe we'd met before!" I was so random! But we got to talking and after a while he asked if we could maybe talk over skype and have a lesson! He's like 21 or something and he just graduated college and now he's going on a mission! This should be interesting!

So how was your week?  Anything exciting?

-Other than that...nothing new has really happened! We haven't really found many new people to teach yet but we're working on it! Things are still just trying to chug along! We've really been trying to work a lot more with the branch by visiting members' houses and less-actives' houses and stuff and it's actually worked really well! We're trying to squeeze some referrals out of them but they just don't seem to want to give us any!!

The C******'s are doing a lot better! Of course they still have their little "situation" where they're living together...but they've had some progress! D*****'s divorce is finally coming along and B***** is going to be able to come to church for three weeks in a row, now!!! It's sweet!!

You sent us a picture of you and some guy and said that it was one of your investigators.  Which investigator is it?

That guy that I took a picture with is J****!! hahaha I thought that I might be leaving the area so I wanted to get a picture with him!

You're on Facebook!!! Haha mom what are you doing????? You said you'd never do that!! ;)

Haha well...I'd better get going. Thank you again for the packages and thank you for the emails!! I love you all! :)

-Elder Stafford

Oh and P.S. could you maybe switch the picture I have for my picture on the Blog?  That's a terrible picture of me hahaha :) Thanks!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

So I'm interested in something...what makes all of you believe in God? This may sound like a silly/random question but I'm genuinely interested! I've met a whole lot of people here in NY that genuinely do not believe that there is at least "someone" or "something" that is the Creator and/or Father in Heaven of everyone. So I'd like to hear what you all think! What is it that makes you have faith in God?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

"Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world."
—Ether 4:14, Book of Mormon

When we turn our hearts to our Heavenly Father, we're able to gain a larger perspective on life and see ALL of the blessings He has given us...great or small 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We're going hi-tech!!

Hello again my wonderful family!!

Wow...reading over my last letter I wrote to you this morning, I just realized how little sense some of my sentences made! Haha! Sorry...I was really trying to hurry because I had to go to our transfer meeting. We got permission to email a little bit after p-day was over so I just wrote a few people that I didn't get a chance to this morning and I just wanted to write you guys another little note! Today was super exciting and we found out a little while ago that we'll be getting our iPads this Friday!! Yes, IPADS!!!!! So every missionary gets an iPad that they'll use for doing Facebook, email, updating area books, maps, lists of potential investigators, member sheets, scriptures, EVERYTHING! So now we won't really have to carry around anything! It's going to be soooo nice! No, we don't get to keep them after the mission! Haha!! Oh and then each companionship will get an iPhone that we'll use as our planner, phone, GPS, and other stuff like that. It's going to be sick! The Church is really breaking the bank on us! We're so spoiled ;)...ahem...blessed, I mean :)
Anyways...so today was really good. President Morgan gave a really good talk on being happy. He said that if we don't look around and see paradise...we need to repent and start changing the way that we look at this work because this should be the happiest time of your life so far! It would be ridiculous to not be happy when you're serving the Lord 24/7! haha :) it really kind of hit me hard and let me know that I need to stop being so selfish and just lose myself in the work! I've been SO focused on me, me, me lately that I've lost sight of what I'm out here doing! It got me pumped! Wooooo! Ahem...sorry...
But yeah...so I've been doing really well and this week has been great!  Nothing super new has happened...just trying to stay busy! I better get going, though. Gotta go buy food for this week! I love you all! :)

-Elder Stafford

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The verdict is...I'm...not being transferred!!

Hello loving family!!!!! :)

So guess what...I am being transferred to........MONTICELLO, NY!!!! Hahaha I'm staying here another cycle with Elder Rydalch and at first I was actually really disappointed but now that things are moving along again and everyone is over the "transfer laziness" (everyone just kinda gets a little sluggish a little before transfers because it's so nerve-wracking to find out if you're leaving or not! After a few days I'm actually looking forward to another cycle here! I mean, yeah, I'm kind of disappointed that I'm not spending Christmas in the city! But we will definitely go to the city on a p-day or something to see the tree though!!!
But yeah...so this week has been really crazy and just kinda "blah" with transfers and everything but it definitely is starting to pick up again!! I just have to tell you one funny story before I leave though!  Sorry I hardly have any time to write this morning because we have to go down for transfers. So we went to this lady's house at around 7:30 in the morning and it was still dark outside.  We walked up to her door and clicked the little doorbell thing but didn't hear anything.  They were obviously pretty wealthy because the house was HUGE   but we weren't sure if the doorbell had worked or not. So we just kind of stood there for a little bit waiting just in case, when we heard someone coming up to the door so we thought that it did , indeed, work. So we're just standing there waiting and she opens the first door and she's got these three dogs on leashes and she's about ready to walk them. It turns out that she didn't hear the doorbell and she was just going out to walk her dogs! So through the glass door she see's two pretty big guys dressed in black, big coats just standing there looking at her in the dark of the night and she's not expecting it AT ALLLLL!! She lets out this loud yelp and she just goes pale and covers her mouth and her eyes are like golf balls!! She was sooooo terrified because she thought we were going to kill her or something! We (mostly me) felt soooooo bad!! We just apologized for like 5 minutes hahaha...so afterwards I went and bought her a little cake and wrote her a little note apologizing again and dropped it off the next day. Haha it was really funny!.
Anyway...I'm so sorry but I have to go now.  We've gotta drive to transfers but I love you all so much! have a good week!

-Elder Stafford :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Missionary Message" from Elder Stafford

Elder Cade Stafford
Hey everyone!! So, as you know, my mission has been authorized to use the internet as a tool to spread the gospel across the world. What do you, as members of the Church, think would be some good ideas to accomplish this. Remember, we're all in this together. Please comment on this or message me any ideas that you have had, or that you've heard of people doing. Thank you! God bless 

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Hello there everyone!!!

This week has been craaaaaaazy!!! I swear it's been the weirdest mix of crazy, sad, happy, exciting, depressing, and everything else.
So last Saturday, as some of you may already know, we went to a zone conference (which is like a huge meeting where like 4-5 zones get together and hear from President Morgan and his wife and some missionaries and we get a training on missionary skills and such) and we got the HUGE news that our mission is now authorized to be an "ONLINE PROSELYTING MISSION". This means that from now on...for like an hour a day or so...we go online on sites like Facebook, Blogger, and our email, and we do what's called internet proselyting. So now when we get a new investigator or we meet someone on the street, we can "friend" them on Facebook and we can teach people over the internet with things like chat and Skype!!! This is super cool because in our day and age, people aren't really willing to let complete strangers into their home to talk to them about God (especially in such a sketchy place as New York)...but they are willing to just chat with us on Facebook or email. We're hoping that even though it's been kind of slow lately...things will start picking up when people get the hang of it, people get more comfortable with it, members start referring their friends to our "page", etc.
Another thing that's cool is that we'll be able to communicate with members, less-actives, and investigators more easily. For some reason people just get super weird when we call them or drive to their home personally, but it's totally fine to just message us on Facebook or write us on our wall.
My trainer and first companion, Elder Witbeck, is now a zone leader in South Manhattan and he did something SOOOO cool with this new internet thing. He and the rest of the zone and even a couple surrounding zones got together in Union Square and drew a HUGE chalk drawing of the plan of salvation! A member then took a video of it and put it on YouTube and it has like over 30,000 views in like a week! It got on the news in Utah and was put into the Deseret News and tons of people (members and non-members) saw the video of it because it got so big! It was huge! :)
So yeah...super cool and exciting.
Other than that...we had a cool trunk or treat on Friday...I went on a split with the zone leaders on Thursday/Friday...we had stake conference.
I did kind of go through a breakdown on Sunday night...I just...didn't feel happy. It's been a super stressful week with investigators and potentials dropping us and yelling at us and all sorts of ridiculous stuff...but I'm fine now and doing a lot better. I feel happy again and ready to work. :)
Well...I better go but I love you all!!! Tell Derek happy birthday for me! Give 'em a big kiss on the cheek and a hug for me (muahahaha you're welcome Derek ;) ) And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!! BOOOOO!!! ;)

-Elder Stafford

A conversation with Elder Stafford (via Email)

This is a "conversation" (via email) that we (his parents)  had with Cade on his last P-day:

Mom:  "How are you doing personally, Cade?"
Cade:   "I'm doing well...I don't know if I told you this in my letter last week or not but I sort of had a breakdown where I was just not happy at all.I don't know, I guess I was just kind of angry at the world, but I'm definitely doing a lot better now. I'm starting to learn what makes me truly happy and what doesn't.
Dad:  "It's good to hear that you're getting through it, Cade.  One of the messages that keeps sticking out in my mind is the teaching of the Savior where He teaches that we have to take up our cross "daily" and how all of life, but especially a mission, seems to be needing to conquer your attitude, thoughts, and everything else over and over again on a daily basis.  It's amazing how you could be flying on top of the world spiritually and emotionally one day and the next you're not doing so well, huh?"
Cade:  "I know it's crazy! It's like we're always supposed to be so happy and jolly because we're missionaries and we're serving the Lord...but serving the Lord 24 hours a day is HARD!! It's definitely a battle to fight every day! I was actually reading about that scripture a little while ago and it's super powerful!"
Mom:  "I'm glad to hear that you are learning so much about yourself.  Isn't it easy to see, now that you are on your mission, how a  mission can truly teach you so many things about life and about yourself.  It definitely opens your eyes wider than they've ever been before.  We love you so much and are proud of the great man you are becoming."
Dad:  "Remember also that Satan is desperate to disable you because you have so much potential to harm his kingdom.  So it's best to quickly recognize where those thoughts and feelings are coming from and to cast them out as quickly as you are able and to not let them linger."
Mom:  "It's normal to feel the feelings you are feeling, Cade, so don't think there's something wrong with you.  It IS hard to do what you are doing.  Remember the quote, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."  The longer you serve, the more you will understand and appreciate that concept."
Cade:  "Yeah I totally agree! Everyone always says here that "it's not just about the mission" because everything we learn here is for ourselves. I mean, yeah we're helping other people and we're doing our best to give them some of the happiness that we have, but I think missions are really also for us! All the stuff that I'm learning I can trace back to an instance where it'll help me in my job or with my family or any number of other things!"
Mom:  "Yep, you're definitely right.  My mission definitely helped mold me into the person I am today.  (This is Mom btw)  I look back and am so grateful for ALL of the experiences I was able to have...the good and the ugly.  The hard times especially helped me grow closer to the Lord and to learn to have more faith in Him.  It helped me realize who really is in control down here on earth and that we need to just show him that we are willing to go through what he has in store for us.  This, I think, is the best way of expressing our love for Him."
Cade:  " Yeah I totally get it now! Gosh...we're gonna have so much fun telling all the weird stories I have when I get home! Which reminds me...I was just thinking about this the other day and I think it would really help. Something that I think that you and dad could do more is tell more stories of your mission and what it was like with all of your companions and all that. It's something that I wish I'd asked you more about."
Mom:  "You're so right Cade.  We DO need to take more time sharing our own mission experiences with all of you.  When you first left on your mission, I read my journal alot because I wanted to remember the things  that you are experiencing now.  I've left my journal out on the coffee table in the family room for anyone to read at their leisure but I don't think they have.  Dad just said that maybe they think they SHOULDN'T read it because it's a "journal".  I guess I never told the kids that I left it there for them to read!  Duh!!  But you're right.  We are going to do that.  If you felt inspired to tell us that then we know it came from the Lord.  Thank you for that advice Elder Stafford.  That means a lot to us."
Cade:  " Thanks so much you guys!! I love getting all of your guys' little words of encouragement. They mean a lot!  I love you."

Then a few minutes later he added this:

Cade:  "Hey it's me again! So I think you knew that you were going to be getting this email eventually but...I'm gonna throw it on you a little sooner than expected. So....a couple of my slacks that I bought before the mission (my black suit slacks aren't bad but they're getting pretty tight) don't fit anymore so I'm down to only like 2 pairs. Plus my jeans that I brought don't fit anymore and I also need a few more items of winter clothing including winter boots that I still need to find.  So, if possible, could you please send me some extra money this month so I can have some comfortable clothes to wear?  Sorry! I'm getting fatter faster than expected!! :( ....Ahhhhh!"

We thought this was pretty funny because for so long before his mission, Cade tried to gain weight.  He didn't like being super skinny.  So he would eat and eat and eat and drink protein milkshakes by the gallons with no luck.  I guess he's finally getting his wish!!  Ha ha!

A little "nudge" from Heavenly Father

Hey Family!
Hey! So this week has been pretty great! We got a little nudge from Heavenly Father, anyway. So the other day we had 2 investigators/less-actives that dropped us. It was pretty sad and I was pretty upset but we both think that it was good for us. We drove up to the church and just talked about what we were going to do. We both decided that the best thing that we could do would be to "cleanse" our area. For a long time (ever since I was with Elder Witbeck) we've just been visiting the same people over and over again hoping that they'd eventually get it and turn around and want to change. That still hasn't happened yet, though. So the other day we just decided to kind of start over. We let go (unless of course they come to us) a lot of the people that were just kind of not putting forth any effort on their part. We've decided that from now on, we're going to be a lot better at recognizing who really wants to change and become better and who doesn't. We were extremely grateful for that powerful, although sudden, smack on the back of the head from Heavenly Father to get us going in the right direction.
So because of all that...we've been doing LOTS of trying to find people. We've gone tracting almost every day. Tracting is actually not the best way to find people...but because our branch here is so small and they don't give us many (or at all) referrals, and because this area is actually pretty new...it's almost all we have. haha!
I've been doing great though! I feel like I've kind of hit my stride teaching. I'm not even CLOSE to being an awesome teacher and I have sooooo many things that I can work on...but I feel like I'm not all "green" any more and that I don't fumble around and mess up as much as I used to haha!
I'm getting sick (AGAIN!)...ugh...I don't know what it is but I get sick a lot now! Okay actually I know exactly what's causing it: lack of sleep, the cold, and stress. But I'll be fine! I'm loving the mission still!
I love you all! Have an awesome week!!

-Elder Stafford

Things are getting HARD!

Hello all!
Things are going great here in Monticello! It's starting to really get COLD!!!! The wind and humidity cuts you to the bone! We just gotta wear lots of scarves, warm socks, and big big coats! The work is almost equally as cold...haha. Things are getting HARD! We don't teach NEARLY the amount of people that we used to and it's really been frustrating us trying to figure out what we're doing wrong! We keep assuring ourselves that it's not our fault and that it's just been a rough patch but it's still hard! We've been trying to do a lot of finding people lately. It's so weird! It's like as soon as it started getting cold the people just got turned off to hearing about Jesus!
I got sick...again. I think me body's just trying to get used to the cold here because I'm outside in the cold way more than I ever was back home. Part of it also had to do with the fact that I'm pretty sure I got food poisoning or something a little less serious than that. Me and Elder Rydalch stopped by this little Italian bakery that is absolutely heavenly and the prices are amazing so we go all the time haha. Well this week I decided to try some canolis and within two hours I was SICK! I threw up over ten times that night...it hurt...a lot. By the third time nothing was coming out and I was just dry heaving so yeah...
The funny thing, though, is that we went and got something else from there like two days later!... :)
I think one of the most exhilarating feelings ever as a missionary is when you get a text and it's a referral from Church Headquarters of someone that wants missionaries over! Those are the BEST because it means that they really do want the missionaries over and they usually progress! That or it's just one of their friends that tried pulling a joke on them so they went onto the website and referred them just to be funny...we get those sometimes...and it's not too funny.
Well, we got one yesterday and it was so cool! They still haven't responded to our call but we're still hoping!
I have to go, though, so I hope everyone has a good week! I love you all and pray for you often! :)

-Elder Stafford :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

There are so many eternal truths to this. Go out and do something! Family is central to Heavenly Father's PLAN for our happiness...so let's follow the blueprint!
No argument here!

Photo: No argument here!