Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Imagine for a second that I was a "life doctor". If you came to me and
needed a change in your "spiritual medication" (aka you need a
spiritual change in your life), I would write you a prescription for
something that can help with almost any symptom. You can pick it up
any Sunday at your local LDS or "Mormon" church. Who knows, you might
like it so much, you'll want to keep coming for more!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New area! New state! New companion!

Hey everyone!

So as you might know, I've been transferred out of
Harlem and put into the Newtown, Connecticut ward. It's an awesome
place and I love it so far! It was a little weird to be taken out of
Harlem so soon, but I'm sure that I'll adjust to non-city living fast
enough. It's weird to be in a car again! Haha
My new companions name is Elder Nielson. He is from Hurricane, Utah
(and it's pronounced Hur-ri-kin for those of you not from
Hurricane...I guess people there are very picky about how you
pronounce their towns name haha). He's only been out on his mission
for 13 weeks so he's still pretty new.

Connecticut is a lot different from NYC! There are so many trees!
Almost every single person in the ward is super rich, as well. We've
had dinner with a member every day that I've been here and almost
every single house is super big, super fancy, and super expensive
haha. Everyone is really nice, though. The members just love the
missionaries. I guess there was a big argument a few weeks ago on who
was going to feed the missionaries that week, because everyone wanted
to have us over! It's pretty nice for us, though ;)

We've been doing a lot of less-active lookups because my new stake is
having a "month of rescue" where the stake has a goal of perfect home
teaching, perfect visiting teaching, and having everyone on the ward
list visited by a member or a missionary. It's really cool because
everyone is actually trying it and excited about it!

Right now the people that I remember the best that we are working with are:
Sister Tirrell, who is about 70 or so and is a less active that is
wanting to quit smoking. The couple lessons we've had with her have
been pretty good. Hopefully we'll be able to be a good influence on
her to stop.

Mary Buzak, who is an investigator of about two or three weeks. She
got interested in the church after she was invited by the missionaries
to an online discussion on Facebook. I guess she really like them and
she likes that our church is so open to talk about God outside of
church. She's Catholic and has expressed that she doesn't want to be
converted, but that she just likes when we come over...we'll see
though ;)

Brother Caserta, who is a less active...but only because he's very
home bound. He has a really bad hernia that keeps him in bed for the
most part. We go over and read scriptures with him.

Other than those...we aren't teaching many others. The sister
missionaries just opened a new area in our ward so they pretty much
took a lot of the people that the elders here were teaching because
they were females. Guess that just means we get to do some finding!

I got to bare my testimony in sacrament meeting on Sunday! That's only
the third time I've had to get up and speak in a meeting!!

So yeah, besides just getting to know the ward and people we work
with, there hasn't been anything super exciting happening. It's been
kind of rough for me this week for some reason. I've been feeling
pretty down lately for some reason. I just gotta push through it,
though! I know The Lord will help me! Prayer's going to be pretty

I hope you all have an awesome week and stay safe and warm! It's
finally starting to get a LITTLE warmer over here (even though it
still snowed a little yesterday...just a few flakes). I love you all!
You're my favorites!

-Elder Stafford :)

Lina...my favorite investigator!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

A lot of you have probably been wondering why I have been posting a bunch of "religious stuff". Yes I am a missionary, but...I just wanted to say that it isn't because I "have to".
There is a song we sing in church called "Scatter Sunshine" that talks about how there is a lot of gloom and doom in the world, and how we should "scatter sunshine" throughout the world to brighten it up a bit! Thanks Sis. Lisa Shepherd Tovey for the reminder!
I love that! THAT is why I do what I do  Oh, and YOU can do it too! It's easy!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Hey everyone!!!

So....something that I WASNT expecting happened this week!! On Saturday we got transfer calls like we do every 6 weeks and I was the least nervous about this call than any other call before. For good reason! I thought for sure that I'd be staying...like for sure. But turns out...the Lord only wants me in Harlem for two cycles!! I'm going to........Newtown, Connecticut!! I literally don't know anything about Newtown except that all of the missionaries that go there love the ward and love serving there. It's also the place of that super sad school shooting last year in Sandy Hook. So yeah...that's pretty much all I know! I'm going to be super busy crazy allll day so I won't be able to write much more. I just wanted to let you know and also apologize for sending such a weak letter! I love you all so much!! Have an awesome week! :)

-Elder Stafford :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

I was walking down Lenox Ave. today and saw this sign...and it really just confused me because it seemed like an oxymoron. HOWEVER, after I walked another 10 feet, it made a lot more sense! It just got me thinking about perspective, and how I tend to not see the big picture when I go through trials. It gave me a little reminder that I sometimes just need to take a few more steps before I complain about a problem I am facing. 

My week in a nutshell!!

Hello everyone!! I hope your week was good! Mine has been pretty awesome! Very interesting! So this week I'm just going to make things easy and break things down day by day. I've actually been a ton better at keeping my journal updated so I can actually remember things that happened! :)

We had an awesome lesson with Lina over at the Chinatown ward mission leader's house. He is a student at Columbia University so he lives right in our area. It was a good lesson about the Plan of Salvation that was taught pretty much all in Chinese. I just kinda sat there, smiled, and tried not to fall asleep haha. After that we went to Walter Rane's house for dinner (he is the famous painter that paints pictures of Christ and such...look him up! I'm sure that you'll recognize his paintings! They're in pretty much all of the chapels around the world.) And then we had ANOTHER dinner at these ridiculously crazy cousins' house hahaha. They are just...crazy. I can't even explain them haha

Was pretty normal. We went on an APF (a finding activity where everyone in the zone works in one companionships area for like 2 hours) and we went and looked up this less active but he wasn't there, so we went tracting and found a few more potential investigators! I still love tracting the most. No one believes me that I love tracting so much but I really do! Tracting is where all of the interesting stories happen ;)

Was crazy....... Elder Hincapie (the Elder that I live with) has been having a lot of troubles lately. Some of them started becoming way too far out there and started to REALLY affect the rest of us. I won't go into any details just so I don't give away any sensitive information. But anyway, he got ET'ed (emergency transferred) to another area and we got another elder to come in and be companions with Elder Wilkins (Elder Hincapie's original companion). We then went to Silvia's Restaurant (this pretty famous soul-food restaurant here in Harlem) for dinner to celebrate one of the elders's birthdays.

Was pretty normal. Because church starts at 1:00 for us, when we get out the day is already pretty much over. After talking to members for a little while, we just went over to a members house for dinner.

We had an awesome district meeting and then ate lunch together as a zone. After that we went and saw Bernie (a less active we are working with), and then tried to see another less active but we weren't able to, so we saw another less active and her son! Haha (if you didn't guess already...we have a lot of less actives)

We started out at the church and then left to go see a person we ran into tracting the other day, but ended up seeing someone we had run into on the subway a few weeks ago, so we just rode the subway with them until they got off so we could talk with him. Then we rode the subway back up to the church and had an AWESOME lesson with Lina. She is so cool! We taught her most of the Plan of Salvation that we never got to the other day and it was really cool! She kept saying, "I really like that I can continue after the physical death". After the lesson, we invited her to be baptized and she said that she would...but that she doesn't want to say yes until she feels like she knows everything she needs to and she feels like she's ready. That's totally fine because we'd rather have her say that than just say yes to say yes and then go less active in a month haha. But yeah, she's doing super good.

Other than that, I'm doing pretty good! Things with Elder Wang are...okay. He really really misses Chinatown...and it's starting to affect our relationship and his relationship with the zone. He's been kind of rude to everyone because he thinks that he's one of the "special" Chinese-speaking missionaries and so he's just going to leave us all in a cycle or two and go back to "where he's supposed to be" as he would say. He's just not putting his heart into the work here really... It's super sad but I wish that he'd at least try and act like he's interested in the work here. He never really asks me any questions about the people that we're working with; he just goes from appointment to appointment and let's me do all the work. It's fine, though...it's just how it goes. Other than that, I'm loving my zone and I'm loving serving here in Harlem! The people here are great and it's been so nice to be out in the warm sun we've gotten the last few days!
I love you all so much and I can't wait to see you in like than 15 months! (Yikes!) have an awesome day!! :)

-Elder Stafford

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Hey so just for your information, there was an entire building that
just exploded about a block away from our apartment. There's probably
going to be something on the news about it but please don't worry. I'm
totally fine. I think quite a few people are either hurt or injured so
please keep them in your prayers.

We were walking the opposite way to go do some service when we felt
the explosion and all the buildings shook. There was a huge plume of
smoke and lots of sirens and helicopters. No missionaries have been
hurt or affected by it as of now so that's good.

I love you all! Keep the people of New York in your prayers. As of
now, 17 people are injured and 1 dead.

-Elder Stafford

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Jeremiah 37:20 - Therefore hear now, I pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee, be accepted before thee...

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

As I was walking to go get a drink at the church here in Harlem, I saw this beautiful painting of Christ at the end of a long, dark hallway. It got me thinking about how much Christ is that "light at the end of the tunnel" for us. Through Christ, all those "dark hallways" in our lives will not even be remembered. There is just so much to love about Him!   taken at the Harlem chapel

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Boy, am I glad I'm a member of the church...

Hello everyone!!

So this week has been super good! Not a whole lot has been different.
It's hard to come up with things to tell you because it's pretty much
the same every week so I feel like I'm just repeating what I've said.
We were able to have a pretty cool lesson with a Chinese girl that is
actually one of the Sisters investigators (why we aren't teaching her
is beyond me considering Elder Wang, my companion, speaks Chinese).
She's another one of those people that doesn't have that solid
Christian background, so it was a lot of fun to tell her about who God
is and everything.

A few days ago we were interviewed by a girl that is going to school
at Columbia University and is writing a paper on the age change for 

missionaries. She's focusing mostly on the female side of the event, but 
asked us a few questions about how it was for our side. It was...weird haha.
I wasn't used to having a full-on microphone shoved in my face while someone
unexpectedly throws random questions at me. After that, we went to go
look up a referral that we got from church headquarters. It ended up
being a black Muslim man that just wanted a Spanish and English Bible.
We ended up talking to him for about an hour about how he got involved
with the Muslims. Boy, am I glad I'm a member of the church...idk if I
could live in that culture.

Then, we went to dinner with one of my dad's associate guys that was
interested in what we do. He took us to this SUPER expensive restaurant
called Tao. It's like this New York, Asian, night club, restaurant
thing. It was super dark and the music was playing pretty loud but it
was a lot of fun! I'm pretty sure that between the four of us (myself,
my companion, That guy, and his brother) we easily ate about $300
worth of food! We talked for about two hours just about what we do as
missionaries and what our day consists of. They weren't super
interested in the message we have to share, but they very kindly declined
meeting with us specifically about our message.

Other than that, we didn't do anything super exciting, just the normal
stuff. Sorry this is such a wimpy email but I gotta get going! I love
you all and hope you have a good week!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

The other day I saw an advertisement that said, "You just proved that ads work." and it had a phone number you could call for this advertising agency or whatever...but it actually got me thinking (after I got mad that I fell for it and looked at it)! Aren't all followers of Christ a sort of "ad" for Him? No matter what, people can't help but notice us. Wouldn't we want them to like what they see?