Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I guess that's what happens when you pray about things! ;)

Hey everyone! 
So this weeks been super good! Nothing super exciting but two days ago we had this AWESOME zone conference where President Morgan spoke to us about the whole idea about consecration. I've been feeling lately that I'm just a failure when it comes to missionary work. It's not that I'm not teaching anybody...it's just that I can easily tell that I don't have the same fire that I had when I first came out. I just feel sluggish and I felt like it was just gonna drag out like that for the next 16 months. But after the zone conference, it gave me a new spark of fire that got me going again. It just makes me excited to do missionary work again.
The other cool thing hat happened this week was that we had this thing called an APF which is where all the missionaries in the zone get together and all work in one companionships area for a couple of hours. Me and elder Wang were in charge of this weeks APF and what we decided to do was make a survey kind of thing that had a few questions about their relationship with god and stuff. We prayed about the questions that we were gonna ask them and then we wrote me all down and made a survey sheet. But what happened was we couldn't print out the papers because the printer wasn't working...so what we decided to do was just walk up to people and ask them the questions without a sheet to go off of. It was awesome!! We all split up and went to different areas of Harlem and asked people these questions. It was so cool! People were a lot less reserved when we were just like "yeah we're missionaries and we just have a couple of questions were asking people. Do you have a couple of minutes?" It was actually really weird how okay people were to talk to people. I guess that's what happens when you pray about things! ;)
But yeah...so that was pretty much everything exciting that happened. Sorry this isn't the most exciting or lengthy letter, but everything is just good! I couldn't really ask to change anything. I'm loving my mission, I'm loving elder Wang, and I'm loving the work!
Lina is doing well. We haven't had a chance to meet with her yet this week but Elder Wang and Elder Wilkins will be teacher her tonight! (We'll be on a split) 
I love you all so much and can't wait to see ya on Mother's Day!! Have an awesome week!
-Elder Stafford :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Word From My Sister, Erin

Most girls' heroes are Superman or Captain America or the "hot guys" on posters. Guys who have big muscles, a perfect smile, and perhaps even superpowers. But my hero happens to wear a white shirt and tie, carrying his scriptures, and wearing his missionary badge. Elder Cade Stafford your my hero and my role model and I have always looked up to you. (Oh and you scored bonus points because you do have big muscles and a perfect smile) (;

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Have you ever felt emotionally or spiritually drained?

I have met so many people on my mission that look so...exhausted! There's something about feeling weak spiritually that transcends into feeling weak physically. I don't think that any amount of sleep or medication will help in the long run...but what are some "cures" you've found for the spiritual "flu"?

An "interesting" experience this week

Hello family!!

Things have been going really great this week! I mean nothing too special happened. Things are just always good on the mission, I've learned. It's hard to be sad if you don't let yourself be sad!
Without fail something strange happens every day, but I am absolutely horrible at writing in my journal so I forget. I know I know...I'm a terrible person! It's just so hard to have to sit down and write after a long day! I just wanna lay down and relax! I will be better, though. 
The weather is getting better! I swear it snows every other day...and it literally has pretty much. There is so much slush and ice on the ground that it's not even funny.
I am always tired, though. I've heard it's just a city thing because we don't have cars and were ALWAYS walking somewhere...but this is ridiculous.  It never seems like enough!!

But anyway...one thing that was interesting this week was our little run-in with a guy named Edward. He went onto Mormon.org and said that he wanted a free bible...so a week or so later, we get a text on our phone from MTC Referral Center telling us his information and everything so that we can try and get him his free bible. So we go over and he's super friendly and nicely tells us that he already bought one. So of course, because we're already talking to this guy, I tell him who we are and what we do and that we have a message for him about the restoration of the gospel. This makes him have a puzzled, almost interested look on his face, so we ask if we could maybe come share this message with him. He kind of reluctantly says yes and so he lets us in. We sit down at his table and start asking questions about, "so where ya from?" "What's been your experience with religion?" "How have you seen Jesus Christ's influence in your life?"...stuff like that. And so, he just goes off. We sat there for like an hour and a half just listening to this guy tell his entire life story. He tells us about how he was once gay, how he's been fighting it for a while and how Jesus helped him out of it...and it was cool! But then he starts getting into how whenever he'd go to church, he'd get "hit on by guys" and the preacher would be "hittin on him from the pulpit" and when he'd walk down the street "men, women, and children would always be hittin on him non stop." It was very strange. So we had to go, but we asked if we could come back and he said yes and said, "I know I just talked for a long time so next time, I'll let you do the talking."
So we gave him a Restoration pamphlet and asked if he'd read it and he said yes. So we come back Sunday and right off the bat, he picks up where he left off and explains that he's writing a commentary on the Gospel of John and how he's done lots and lots of research about all different religions and starts going off on what he "knows" about us. For like an hour he talks about how he knows everything about God and how we can't tell him anything that is true that he doesn't know and says that the only reason were talking to him is to get him to come to our church so we can get publicity from him (what??). It actually started getting heated because I was starting to get upset and said some things that just kind of fanned the flames. After a little bit, though, I realized what I was doing and started to relax and just let him talk. As soon as we could find an opening we told him we had to go and so...we went. It was so ridiculous. Ugh...some people are just so crazy and prideful and illogical that it makes me really worry about what humankind has become. But it's fun! Lessons like those keep life interesting and it give us something to talk about so they're fun!

Things really are starting to look up, though. It seems like just lately, we've been having a lot more success and a lot more chances to share the gospel! It's really neat! We had an AWESOME lesson with Lina yesterday about the restoration and it was incredible. We decided that she was ready to hear it and even though we knew we were going to have to explain a lot of things along the way because she doesn't have a background with Christianity, we went for it. It was a great decision and it turned out to be an awesome lesson with some awesome members that helped us out with it and it was just overall great. I am so excited for Lina. She is absolutely amazing and sooooo prepared by The Lord to hear the Gospel. :)

Its so cool to see how the spirit works. And how even though me and Elder Wang aren't nearly perfect teachers, investigators are still able to understand and feel the Spirit...or at least I am!
Speaking of Elder Wang, he is sweet! So he was baptized when he was 11 in China. When his parents were newly married, they came to California with his dad's boss along with 50 other business men. While there, they had lots of conferences and stuff, but (their boss being a member of the church) they also were taught the discussion in big groups of like 15-20 people by a set of mandarin speaking missionaries each. All 50 of them ended up getting baptized and when they went back to China, they went to their different towns and set up units there. So that's kind of his story.
He lived in California for three years with his family before the mission, so his English is good. He's been out for a year and we've been having some success! Lina is definitely why he was sent here, I believe, but we've also had the chance to talk to some Chinese people. We don't have any investigators, though, so we're still gonna be looking! We had a lesson with a Chinatown member that lives in our area yesterday and I just about fell asleep because I just had to sit there, not knowing anything they were saying! I think I even fell asleep during the closing prayer!

But about the fruity pebbles...
Haha yeah that was actually taken awhile ago when I brought a box of cereal to the church for lunch one day (don't judge me mom!). I was just looking through my pictures and thought that I'd turn it into a post! I'm glad Ally loved it so much hahaha :) she's so cute!

Well...besides all that nothing super exciting's goin down. I'm just so excited to hear about everything that's been going on with you guys!! I love hearing about what's happening over there...doesn't make me feel so far away. I love you all so much and can't wait to see ya again. I mean I've almost been out for 8 whole months now! What the heck?! Time is literally flying by. Hahaha as I wrote that I thought of Captain Literally off of the Studio C thing....... :) but anyways! I love you and pray about you all the time! Have an awesome week!

Your Elder,
Elder Stafford

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love the area! Love the people! Love my companion!

Hello family!

Transfers were last week so that was probably the biggest change. They were supposed to be on Wednesday like usual, but because of the crazy snow we've been getting lately, President Morgan postponed it until Thursday. That has never happened before! It was  actually really nice to be able to actually have a sort of p-day on transfer week. I never feel like I get a break those weeks because it takes such a huge chunk out of the day to go to those meetings. We're finally back to a 6-week cycle after doing a 5 week and then a 7 week cycle! 
Elder Wang is so awesome! He's super foreign! It's really cool to be with a Chinese speaking missionary! Ne hao! Wao she chuan jian she. (Hello! I am a missionary.) haha :)
I love the kid....he's super funny and just a good guy. It's so funny though because he and his mom are like super into Essential Oils so he's ALWAYS doing something with them. He's always either putting them in his food or on his face or smelling them, or drinking them or putting them in this machine that puts them into the air or making pills out of them to cure sicknesses (I'm not kidding either) or something else!! Hahaha I swear I always smell like oregano or peppermint! It made me think of you, mom haha :) it just seems like something you would get really into :)

This week has been pretty...slow? But also busy? It's weird! We haven't taught many lessons but were always doing something! Yesterday we went out searching for Chinese people in Harlem and it actually went well! Know where we went to go find them?? Chinese restaurants!! Haha we actually found one lady that we had to pass off to the Chinatown elders but...it was still cool! It's so funny because I have to just stand there and smile while Elder Wang just goes to town with his Mandarin! It's great!

This week we were able to teach Lina a lesson over at some members' house! It was really good! We had another backup lesson on God and why we worship him. The members did a really great job helping us and fellowshipping them! Derek's being a stinker and not coming to church or any of the lessons but...I think Lina will be a good influence on him after he recognizes how much her life is changing!

This week we also got to paint Sister Dickeys walls in her apartment! Have I told you about Sister Dickey? She's so awesome! It was cool to help her make her apartment more homey and better looking.

I was also able to borrow a Quo'ran from a member in our ward. It's the holy book that the Muslims read and......after looking through it for about an hour.......I'm really glad I'm a Mormon. Man...like it was just really weird and strange and just....weird. 

That's about it as far as things that went on this week!! Nothing super new! Love the area, love the people, love my companion so it's all good! I hope everything is going well for you! I love you all! Keep me in your prayers.

Your Elder,
Cade :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Best cereal in the world - Fruity Pebbles.
Best message in the world - Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Best way to eat the cereal - in a huge bowl.
Best way to get the message - read AND pray about it.

Best time to eat that much cereal again - never. (Don't ask why)
Best time to read the scriptures - ALWAYS! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Jesus loves you! Jesús te ama! Jésus vous aime! 耶稣爱你!Иисус любит тебя! ישו אוהב אותך! Chúa Giêsu yêu thương bạn! Jesus liebt dich! যীশু আপনি ভালবাসেন! Jezi renmen ou!

No matter who you are, what language you speak, or how many times you've stolen from the cookie jar...Jesus loves you! His love is not limited to how righteous you are or whether or not you go to church. Do you agree? What are some of your thoughts? 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Recently I received a new companion named Elder Shuai Wáng. He is from China and is probably one of the coolest guys I've ever met! Together we'll be talking to people all over Harlem about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can bless the lives of EVERYBODY, all over the world! We may come from two different sides of the world, but the message we love to share with people is the same.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My "zebra companionship" with Elder Wang

Hey mom!!

So the day is here!! I can't believe that's it's already been 7 weeks!! It flew by so fast! I'm definitely starting to believe people that say that as soon as you leave your first area, time flies by so quickly! It's been fun with Elder Edmunds. He's a really great companion! He's pretty strange with a lot of things but other than that we haven't had any problems really. Of course change is always good! I think the reason Monticello seemed so long was because I had the same companion for so long. 3 cycles is about the max for companions to be together.
My next companion is Elder Wang. And guess what...he's from China!! Isn't that cool?! He's a Chinese speaking missionary so what we're called now is a "zebra companionship". That means that if we find anyone that speaks Chinese, we'll be teaching them as well! I might have to learn a little Mandarin this cycle! :)  He seems like a cool guy. Different...but cool. I've only ran into him a couple of times. I'm actually really excited. I've heard he's very funny. I consider myself a pretty chill guy so I can generally get along with anyone unless they're like rude or sarcastic or abrasive in any way.

We got a HUGE snow storm last night so...transfers have been "cancelled". We were going to have them at 10:30 this morning and then I'd just hang around until my new companion got here from upstate, but now they're going to be anytime between 3 and 6 tonight. When we get hit hard with snow, it means that upstate got it even worse...and they have to drive everywhere, so there was no way we were having them until the roads were thoroughly cleared.

Derek and Lina are doing well! We've only gotten to talk with Derek at church that one time he came, so he isn't progressing very well. We've been able to have like 3 lessons with Lina, though! It's hard because we want them both to progress...but we also want them to progress together so they can help each other out. We don't want to get too far ahead with Lina because we don't want Derek to be kind of left in the dust...especially because they're both limited on their knowledge of God and Christ.

We had a cool lesson with Lina yesterday, though, and we were able to help her with her questions about what scriptures are and why we study them and the differences between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It's actually been really nice having them so uneducated with the Bible and such because then they're not so stuck in their ways with religion and how "they" (their preacher) thinks religion should be. (See 2 Nephi 29:3 haha)

That is so cool that you were both able to have so much fun together recently! Has it been nice being able to go out together alone so much lately? Better not make it a habit, though, you bums! I wish I could have seen the Kennedy Space Center!! That's so neat! Send pictures if you were able to take any! What was your favorite part of the whole trip do you think?

Oh no! That's so sad with Nana and Mammaw! I hope they're both doing okay! Poor Mammaw :( always having to be a trooper through thick and thin...mostly thick recently. She's such an amazing person. I'm so glad to be able to be her grandson :) give her a foot rub or something for me haha! I hope Nana is doing better, as well. That's super scary! So they don't know why she just fainted like that?? Weird!

Well...my week hasn't been too exciting this week. Mostly just going around with Elder Edmunds to say goodbye to everyone. The Super Bowl was this week! I heard that it was super lame this year. Football is pretty lame all the time though right Derek and Dad? Haha!  It was super crazy in lower Manhattan, though! SO many tourists that are all trying to see all the cool stuff in New York because the Super Bowl was right next door in New Jersey. The subways and buses were packed!

I hope you all have an awesome week. I love you all! Be safe in the snow if you guys have any!


Elder Stafford

...I don't even know what this is...

We are dance yelling or something...

Lookin' sexy!

Me with our zone leader who is leaving.

Me with a Sister that is also leaving.  We're not supposed
to touch each other except for handshakes so we thought
we'd be funny and take a picture like this!

Me looking like a random guy riding the subway.

Me doing Asian peace.

Me and Elder Edmunds with Sister Dickey.

She is so awesome!

Subway surfing!!!

Subway selfies!

I started this thing in our zone called "Hipster Mondays".  
(ask Derek or Erin if you don't know what a "hipster" is haha!)

These are all the Elders that did it with me :)

Us doing some artistic pictures of "Hipster Monday".

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Elder Edmunds is leaving me!!!

Hey mom!!!

Sorry this is going to be such a weak letter today...we've just tried to cram so many things into this p-day that we didn't have a ton of time to write emails. Today I wrote a pretty long email to Akayla though.  She's been wanting to know more about my life lately.  I've just kinda been writing you guys about what my week was like and not giving her any of the details.  She's just been hoping that I tell her more about what's up so I spent most of my time writing to her today :)  I can send you some of the email I wrote her if you'd like so you know all about my interesting week haha!  Today we went to this huge cathedral that was super awesome and then we went to NYU and some stores. But yeah...so sorry for the awful email and I'll talk to you next week at TRANSFERS!!! Have an awesome week!

(excerp from Akayla's letter)

Something terrible happened at the church!! On Saturday we all came to the church to go for a walk with one of the other elders investigators and we hear the sound of rushing water and we were like "what the heck?"...so we looked around for a bit and we opened the door of the chapel garage (the church has a drive in garage for the people that have cars) and we see water just pouring out of the ceiling! A pipe burst right above the garage so it soaked completely through the insulation and drywall and waterfalled right onto the ground. There was this huge lake of a puddle on the ground so me and all the other missionaries that were there had to get big push-brooms and squeegies and try to push all the water into the three drains on the floor. It took them about 2 hours to find the shutoff valve for the broken pipe so for about two hours we had to just constantly be pushing the water into the drains so it wouldn't soak into the walls and just destroy the whole building! It was so crazy! My poor shoes were soaked completely through. I was absolutely freezing but because we had a lunch with one of the super old members in the ward named Brother Keits, we didn't have time to take the subway and bus all the way home...so we just had to deal with it until we got out of the lunch! I swear my leather shoes froze walking to his house!! My toes felt like they were going to fall off! It was definitely an interesting experience, though, so it was fun.

Then on Sunday we had this super drunk homeless guy that apparently is an inactive member from California show up at church. He stumbled into priesthood and while he was introducing himself his eyes were really wide and he couldn't even stand up straight to tell us his name! So of course we invited him to this linger-longer birthday party thing we had after church! Haha but first he went downstairs and left to go "take care of something" he said. That "something", though, was a big can of alcohol from the nearest drug store! It was a total mess...he came back and when one of the members tried to tell him to get rid of the alcohol, he like freaked out and was yelling and saying that he was a thug and that he's from Chicago and "you don't wanna mess wit' Chicago..." I think we'd actually have been worried he was going to try and start a fight but he was too drunk to even walk haha.....so we just had two guys kinda shuffle him downstairs and out the door without causing too much of a problem. So funny though! Only in Harlem......

Derek and Lina came to church though! They are so cool! We even got to see Derek! We were all worried that he was going to be this super uptight business genius that wouldn't take us seriously and was just going to be a problem...but he's awesome! He's just this super little, nerdy Chinese guy that is really smart but so nice! He sounds almost as interested as Lina and we'll be going over sometime this week! We're so excited!! :) :) :)

Were also working with this less-active 17 year old named Bernie and he's is super cool. He's just like any other teenager, though, so he has a hard time getting motivated to do things...but this week he came to church, too! All by himself! It was so funny haha he was just sitting there in a pulpit like 15 minutes before church started and he had his arms folded and as soon as I walked in from a meeting he like got all excited and waved at me and was like "I made it!" Haha :) he's so cool.

Every week we also go to this older less actives house to eat lunch. He's kind of crippled so he has to drive around in an electric wheelchair, which is a problem because if it snows at all he can't really go anywhere because his battery doesn't last long and it gets stuck in the snow! It's been snowing like crazy lately, too, so he hasn't been able to come :( he's faithfully fed us almost every week, though, and loves having us over! He really likes to watch tv, though so whenever we go over we always just end up getting sucked into watching animal planet hahaha he's so cool, though! I love him!

It is sooooooooooo cold!! I swear I'm going to die soon. If I don't write you next week just know that I'm laying frozen in an alleyway somewhere....ugh it's so ridiculous! It seems like no matter how many layers I put on, it doesn't even help!!

I just have one more huge thing to say....ELDER EDMUNDS IS LEAVING ME!!!! President called a few days ago to ask him a question about something random and as he was saying goodbye he was like, "oh, by the way, you're slated to be transferred this cycle." And then he hung up! What a bum! Transfer calls aren't until Saturday but he totally just spoiled the surprise! I'm so sad! One cycle isn't enough together! I really like the guy even though he's the total opposite of me! We get along great and this has been the first time where I feel like I'm not being dragged along and haven't had to do any dragging as far as missionary work! We actually work together!