Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The mission is good!! Happy Easter!

Hello everyone!!

I hope everyone had an awesome Easter!!!! It was such a special experience to be able to be out on my mission during Easter! It's unfortunate, but Easter is one of the few weeks where most people feel an obligation to at least go to church. It was cool to be able to see some people that we haven't seen at church in awhile come!

On Thursday we just kind of ran around doing what we always do. There is a lady that we see every Thursday who's eyesight is absolutely terrible, so we go over there and read the scriptures and listen to talks with her.

On Friday we had an APF (area proselyting focus) where we got a big sign that said "what does Easter mean to you?" on it and we stood in downtown Danbury and held that up and tried to talk to people. It was mostly meant to help the elders and sisters in Danbury out, so it was good to find a couple potentials for them to teach! We had a lot of fun and lots of people were able to see it, so I would consider it a success!!

On Sunday it was Easter!! It was great! We had an awesome service at church with lots of singing and talks on the Resurrection. It was beautiful! Then we went to celebrate it with this super nice family! They had three adorable little girls that made me miss little kids and babies so much! There was this adorable 1 year old that absolutely won my heart haha :) We got to watch them hunt for some eggs and then we had a nice dinner with them! It was a good Easter. Oh my word and thank you so much for my Easter package!! It was perfect! Once again, you're trying to kill me with all of the junk food but I appreciate it so much. Thank you.

On Monday we had an AWESOME meeting with President Morgan. The whole upstate part of the mission was there and we actually talked all about...guess what...FAITH! It was amazing! The exact thing that I'd been wanting to find more about, we talked about!! It was great! It got me so pumped!! :)

So yeah...other than that, it's been a pretty normal week! I mean it's still the normal ups and downs of missionary life, but things are great! I can't believe that transfers are already next week!! We'll be getting trainer calls tonight if any of us are training, and then we'll get transfer calls on Saturday! This cycle flew by so fast!

Me and Elder Nielson are both doing good. I'm happy, he's happy. The mission is good!! Have an awesome week!! I love you all!

-Elder a Stafford

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Happy pre-Easter!! To celebrate this awesome day, my companion and I will be hosting an online chat centered on Jesus Christ. He is our personal Savior, He lives, and we want to share that with people! I love Him! Join us tomorrow at 10:00 am on Facebook! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I am one happy missionary lately!!

Hello everyone!!!

I am one happy missionary lately. Things are still hard, the stress is
still overwhelming sometimes, but overall, I just feel happier. It's
kind of funny...I've been praying so hard for so long that I would
have a stronger desire to do missionary work. It's not that I don't
want to do it...it's just that I know that with it comes along stress,
exhaustion, and disappointment. Recently, though, I actually look
forward to getting out of the apartment to go and work. Waking up in
the morning is still one of the hardest things to do in the world, but
after that horrible thing is done, it's pretty easy to shower, eat,
and start studies. I have noticed, as well, that if you have a subject
that you are interested in learning more about, it makes you more
excited to study it. It's actually really ironic because I've been
wanting to study the same thing as Garrett has. When I got his email,
it actually answered some of the questions I've been having!! I've
also been thinking a lot about faith. It's always been an internal
struggle for me, on what faith can really do. I've always wondered,
especially when there is a hard investigator we're dealing with, where
the line is that you draw when it comes to faith. How long and how
much faith are we supposed to put into an investigator's progressing? If
they just won't progress, at what point do you say, "alright...enough
is enough. Our time is going to be better spent on someone else."? And
what about people that still seem like they need to be met with, but we
just don't have enough time?
So yeah, that's my question that I would love to hear your answers to:
When do we have more faith, and when do we use our heads? Does that
make sense??

My week has been a lot better, though...and I'm sure things will get
better and better! Not that they're bad...but things can always get
better, right? We've been doing a lot of finding this week. Well...we
wanted to do a lot of finding this week. On Thursday, we had
interviews with President Morgan and a great meeting with a senior
couple in our mission. This was the shortest interview I've had on my
mission! It was pretty much, "how's your area doing, Elder?" "Are you
getting along with Elder Nielson?" "Awesome...you're doing an awesome
job. Keep it up!" And that's about it! haha I'm not really sad that it
was so short, though. I LOVE President Morgan...but I knew that he had
a lot of interviews to do and he was already super behind. I expressed
that I genuinely have felt much happier. It was cool because as soon
as he asked me how I was doing personally, I just went off about how
I've been feeling happier. I didn't even think about it. That just
kind of shows me that I really am...and I'm not just imagining it ;)
After the interview, though, we had a big, nice long talk about how to
keep our apartments clean. I loved it! Believe it or not, mom...but I
am much much cleaner than most people. I hate feeling like the place I
live in is dirty. I'm pretty bad about being "cluttered" like how I just
kind of throw my clothes on the floor and such...but never dirty. It's
hard to keep it not dirty when it's only you and someone else cleaning
for four or more people.

So after being sufficiently humbled by that...we all went home
and...........cleaned! Our big appointment fell through, so we
literally spent the rest of that day, and then most of the next day
deep, deep cleaning out apartment. Mom...you would be proud at how
deeply cleaned our place is haha. It was really nice! We realized,
though, that because we spent so much time doing that, our numbers for
the week of lessons and stuff weren't going to be as high. So what we
decided was that we were going to say that we had one baptism for the
week....our apartment haha

Friday was pretty normal...Saturday on the other hand.....oh my word...

So I'm pretty sure that I told you guys about the llama/goat farm that
we've been doing service at...but just in case: a couple weeks ago a
guy from another stake in Connecticut had us go over to his friend's
house to help her with some chores. She runs a llama and goat farm
that she uses to do hikes and nature walk things with kids in the
surrounding area. She's a really nice lady and we think that we'll be
able to teach her. Anyways...so on Saturday we went over again to do
about an hour or two of service. Right as we walk into the barn, she
jumps up and goes "oh my word...you're here!" So what happened was,
that right as we were driving up, she was on her knees praying to ask
God what she should do. I guess her friend bought her these $400
tickets to a class that was happening right then, but she couldn't
leave to go to it because her pregnant goat was supposed to have her
baby within the hour! So apparently, we were the answer to her prayer!
We were able to watch the goat while she went to the class
that...ended at 6 at night!!!!

It was absolutely terrifying. As she is leaving, the mom goat is like
grunting and panting on the ground!! We think she's like ready to pop!
Before she left, she gave us a run down of exactly what we needed to
do when the baby was born until she got there. As soon as the baby
started coming, she wanted us to call her and she would run back home.
What we needed to do was grab and tear the placenta or birth sac so
that the baby could get out. I guess the baby isn't out of it already
like humans. So after the baby is out, the umbilical cord should have
snapped off, but if not, we needed to tie it off with floss. Then we
had to wipe it's face off and take a sucky thingy and suck all the
mucus out of it's airways. So pretty much.....run around like chickens
with our heads cut off trying to save a baby goat. What ended up
happening, though, was that the goat stopped panting and stuff and
after a while just stood up and started eating! What the heck?! We
weren't sure if she was going to go back into labor, though, so one of
us had to stay and just sit there with her and watching her while the
other one did some chores that she said we could start on. For the
first two hours we were on our toes just waiting for this baby to
come...but after that and it STILL hadn't come.....we just kinda did
chores and checked on it every once in awhile. We couldn't just leave
because the goat could have the baby and we couldn't just call her and
tell her to come back because we were the answer to her prayer! So
yeah...we were exhausted and terror stricken...but it was fun!

Other than that...not a whole lot happened! I mean, what would be
considered exciting after almost delivering a baby goat?! haha!

We're going to be doing a lot of finding and we're hoping to have a
lesson with that lady with the dog tomorrow! She cancelled on us last
week but guess what.......she's having us over for dinner!!! That's
awesome!! Investigators never have us over for dinner. We're super
excited for this one. She has a son that's probably in his early
twenties and then a daughter that is also probably interested in the
church. I feel like we're going somewhere!!! :)

Anyways...I hope you all have an awesome week! I love you all so much
and think about you all the time (not too much though haha)! ;) And
remember: the church is true, the Book is blue, and Moroni is always
on the ball! :D

-your Elder
Elder Cade Stafford

Elder Stafford's "stake conference" talk

Cade was asked by the stake president, President Barlow, of his home stake, if he would write a message to be given at their stake conference.  This is what he sent:

Hey mom! Here's the letter I promised! I hope it's what you were
looking for! Please, please tell me if you want me to change around
anything or focus more on something else...or if it's too long or
short! I love you!

Hello my favorite stake in the world! Greetings from the New York New
York North mission!

To start off, I just want to say that it was such a privilege to be
able to grow up in this stake with all of you wonderful people. I hope
you all know how blessed you are to have such amazing leaders,
teachers, and friends here at this conference today. I wish I could be
there in person!

Throughout these last 9 months, I have learned so much on my mission.
There is a saying that goes, "the very first convert on your mission
is yourself". And I've found that to be so true. Choosing to leave my
family and loved ones behind has been the hardest thing in the world
for me...but also the best thing for me.

One of the reasons why I say this this is because I have truly been
able to be a first-hand witness to the Lord "hastening His work". The
Hastening of the Work is not just a catchy phrase the Church uses to
talk about missionary work in this time. This is real, and it is very
literal...and also exciting! Missionary work is becoming more and more
efficient, or "hastened", each and every day. Right now, I am typing
this letter on an iPad Mini that is used to help plan, teach, study,
find, communicate, proselyte, report, and many other amazing things!
And this is just a fragment of this "hastening"!

People are literally walking into our church buildings to learn about
what we believe. When I was serving in Harlem, we received almost 15
referrals from the Mormon.org website from people who visited the site
and wanted to know more. And that's from a group of people living on a
small fraction of Manhattan island...in less than 3 months!

Members are coming up to US to introduce their friends who are
interested in the Church. I've had people take one look at my tag,
smile, and then have a nice conversation with me about how they've
heard about our church before and they love what we're doing. These
things are happening and they are real!

One of the most important aspects of the "how" Heavenly Father is
hastening His work, is the preparation of His servants. All
Church-sponsored activities, church classes, and meetings are designed
to make us, Heavenly Fathers children, better: better people, better
families, better citizens, and better missionaries.

I know that we are truly a prepared people. The Lord has prepared and
is preparing us all to help others return to live with Heavenly
Father. It is through missionary work and the use of the Atonement
that we are able to further this hastening.

I am so grateful for my parents and my family for the lessons they
taught me from a very young age. It is truly in the home, through
personal and family studies, that we are able to learn the teachings
of Christ the best. I really do know that my Redeemer lives. I know
that His atonement extends far beyond our own personal weaknesses.
Each and every one of us are missionaries in this great Work, and it
is our responsibility to spread the message of faith and repentance to
the people that we come into contact with each and every day. That
doesn't always necessarily mean inviting them to an activity or to
meet with the missionaries. That would be amazing, trust me, but
missionary work simply begins with the thoughts we think...so think
like a missionary! Look for ways to be an example, share your beliefs,
and help those in need.

I truly love each and every one of you. Keep up the awesome job you're
all doing. Have an awesome stake conference!

Elder Stafford

Monday, April 14, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Watch. This. Video. IT IS AMAZING! I love Jesus Christ. It is "Because of Him" that I am able to be clean of my sins. He truly did do what no one else could have done. And He did it for me...and He did it for YOU! Happy Pre-Easter!

Because of Him
Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior. Because of Him, death is conquered, our lives have meaning, and we can live with God again. http://www.mormon.org/becauseofhim

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

For those of you that were able to watch it...what did you think about General Conference?? What was your favorite part? Favorite quote? Favorite speaker? Let the world know!

I LOVE that Heavenly Father has given us real, mortal men to receive revelation for the world. Just like prophets of old, they lead and guide us to know what we should do and how we can be better while in this crazy, crazy world of ours! 

The story behind "Juniper Rd."

Hey everyone!!

I hope you're all having an awesome day and an even better week!! The sun is finally out over here!! I can't tell you how much better of a mood I am in when it's all sunny and beautiful outside. I am definitely NOT a winter person...so to see traces of summer makes my day! I hope you all enjoyed General Conference! That was definitely the highlight of my week!! I can't tell you how much I look forward to it now! I'm not gonna lie...one of the biggest reasons I even liked it before was because I was able to sit in my pajamas and "watch church", but now, I just wait for it with anticipation the whole year!! I can't believe I only have two more left before I go home!! That's insane!
It sounds like everyone is enjoying spring so far. It sounds like dad and Derek are really enjoying it! Where's MY mustang?? Haha just kidding. It sounds like the car is coming along though. So who gets the car when it's up and running, Dad or Derek? ;)
Derek went to Prom!! Awwwwww that's cute ;) it sounds like it was a lot of fun! Tell Madeline congrats for getting to be the lucky girl!
I love hearing all the goings-on with you guys! I love the stories!

This week has been interesting! Our phone just stopped working about a week ago, so we had to survive without one until we were able to get a new one on Monday. It was horrible! I can't tell you how frustrating it is not being able to communicate with your members and investigators! I don't know how missionaries did it way back when! So yeah, almost our whole day Monday was going to zone meeting in Ossining (30 min drive), driving home (another 30 minutes), finding out the APs had our new phone, driving BACK where we just came from towards Stamford (45 min drive), and then driving back home (1 1/2 hour drive with the rush hour traffic....it was horrible). Yep...that was our day.

We had a super neat zone meeting though where we talked about finding people to teach. It got everyone really excited to find some new investigators. We, as a zone of about 11 companionships, made a goal to find 50 new investigators this week! That's a LOT! It's a huge goal but we're all willing to put the work in and do it! 

Because of that...guess what  Elder Nielson and I got to do yesterday...? TRACTING!! Oh boy, did I miss it. I still love it! We went around knocking on doors for about 3 1/2 hours. What we did was we both prayed, looked at a map of our area, each wrote down 10 streets, and then compared our lists. Any streets that matched up, we would go tracting on. While I was praying, I got this distinct picture of a tree in my head and then the word Juniper. Don't ask me why haha. So while I was listing my streets, I figured that Heavenly Father wants us to go tracting on a street that had the name of a tree, and more specifically Juniper. So what I did was just went through and wrote the names of 9 streets that have tree names. This whole time I was disappointed, though, that I couldn't find a Juniper St. or anything. I looked and looked and looked and was about to just write down another name, but then I found it! There was this small little street that was just kind of hiding named Juniper Rd. I was so excited! So I waited until he wrote down his, and then we compared them...and guess what...none of them matched...haha. So we were like, "well, what do we do now?", so we prayed again, and then each looked at our own and then each other's list and marked two or three streets that stood out to us. After doing that, we got about three streets that we both felt like they stood out to us. One of which was Juniper Rd and the other was this street that I had written down first that we both felt like we needed to tract. The latter was the one that was farthest away, so we decided to do that one yesterday.

So that's what we did! We tracted the whole street. It was pretty slow until it hit about 5:30 when everyone started coming home from work. We ended up getting 5 people that said that we could come back, three of them seemed pretty solid, and one of those three was AWESOME! We walked up to this house and a lady walks out with her big dog to go for a walk. The dog apparently doesn't like men, so it starts barking and barking and barking. The lady seems kind of annoyed but went back inside to put the dog away so she could talk to us. We were both kind of skeptical and thought that she was going to blow us off, but after we told her who we were, her eyes lit up and she goes, "oh yes, you can definitely come back. As you can see, nows not a good time...but I actually have a lot of family who is LDS and yes you can definitely come back!" So we set up an appointment for her on Thursday! I hope it goes good! :)

We'll probably do that kind of system of praying and asking The Lord which street we should go to instead of relying on randomness haha. We're excited!

Other than that, it was a pretty normal week. We spent a lot of time at General Conference and our regulars and finding. Once we get a good pool of investigators, we can finally start narrowing down who is most worth our time instead of just going with whoever will let us over! This week has been awesome, though!! I love you all so much! Have an awesome week!! :)

-Elder Stafford

Monday, April 7, 2014

I'm a lot happier and a lot more optimistic!

Hello everyone!!

This week has been really good!! I'm having a lot of fun and doing a
lot of work here in Connecticut. The ward here is absolutely amazing.
They are super enthusiastic about everything missionary work and love
(for the most part) helping the missionaries out with whatever they

Elder Nielson and I are doing very well. It started off being a
little hectic, annoying, and frustrating...but we've really started to
work together. I learned that a lot of the contention I was having
inside of me had to do with my own personal pride. I prayed really
hard for a while that I would be able to be more humble and allow
myself to be taught by him. He's a really good, enthusiastic
missionary that is a natural "take charge" kind of guy. Coming out of
two companionships where it was a lot of "give and take"... or even
with Elder Wang where it was kind of me taking charge because I had to
teach him the area, it was weird to not know anything and have to be
taken by the hand and led everywhere haha. It bothered me a lot at
first when he would tell me what to do (he still does it...but I've
learned that that's just his personality), but I've just learned to
accept it and not let it bother me. We are really good friends, now,
though! We're always laughing and joking around with each other. He
LOVES mind games and riddles and puzzles (he would get along with you
great, dad!) so he's always telling me a riddle and trying to get me
to figure it out!

Speaking of which, he taught me how to solve a Rubik's cube last
week...and oh my word I'm like addicted to it. This last week he and I
got sick on two separate days, so we just spent like most of the day
sleeping...but on the day that he was sick, I literally spent hours
just playing with the Rubik's cube because there wasn't anything else
to do. I can solve it in like 4-5 minutes now! Pretty neat, eh?

It's really funny, though, because right before I came into the area they
just had tons of people to see and teach...but then as soon as I and
the new set of sisters came in, things changed a lot. Because we now
have sisters in the ward, all of the women investigators and less
actives they were working with need to go to the sisters. And guess who
all of the people the missionaries before me were working on
were...women! Now we literally have like 3 people we can work
with...but that's okay because it gives us room for finding!

Yesterday we went tracting for Elder Nielson's first time!! He'd only
tracted like 5 doors before so yesterday was his real first time! We
actually had a lot of success!! In only like 2 hours, we were able to
get 3 return appointments, one that sounds super good, and we got let
into a house! That's actually a funny story...and I'm super bummed about
it haha

So we actually were tracting around a former investigators house on
purpose so that we could maybe "run into him" and he would want to
start meeting with missionaries again. We knocked on his door and
these two younger guys opened up. Right off of the bat they were both
super friendly and goofy. I guess they were just the investigators
friends though, so they knew who we were so they let us in because he
thought we were there to see their friend. So we got talking to them
and they were just super fun and goofy. I felt like we were already
friends with them haha. So we were like "yeah, we've actually got an
awesome message about Jesus Christ and the Restoration if you'd want
to hear it!" And they were like "yeah, yeah, absolutely! Just let us
go get our friend and we can start. Sit down over there." So we sat
down and they left to go get their friend. We were just sitting on the
couch kind of freaking out because we thought this was going to be epic. So
his friend comes back and he definitely wasn't as excited as his
friends and was like "hey guys, sorry but now's really not a good
time." We believed him because he was holding a pallet and had a bunch
of paint and putty on his clothes. We just asked if we could come back
and he said okay. But then his parents came home from watching the
movie "God is Not Dead" or something and they were like, "oh wait, his
parents are home! We can have the lesson with them" and of course we
were like "uhh...okay!!" So we just waited until they came in and they
looked at us and were super confused. It looked like we still might be
able to talk to all of them until the grumpy wife was like "uh...where
is my son (because he went back downstairs) and why are there
strangers in my house?" Meanwhile we are thinking "gosh dang
it...there goes our cool experience" haha. So we just apologized and
asked if we could come back some other time and the husband was nice
but just said that they loved what we're doing but they aren't really
interested. We were so bummed!

The worst part was that the other two guys that were all for letting
us talk with them had gone downstairs because they were embarrassed or
something. They were so cool! We gave the husband two cards with our
numbers on them to give to them. So maybe they'll call us. It's kinda
sad...I've probably handed out like 200+ cards on my mission and I
haven't ever had someone call us back haha...but oh well! At least
they get the opportunity!

Other than that we just finished looking up all of the less actives
that our bishop assigned to us. I can't remember if I told you or not
but this month is our stake's "month of rescue" so we're supposed to
look up every member of the ward and make sure they're doing okay. We
finished the whole list this month! So we were pretty happy about
that! We ran into this really cool guy that's been a member for like
ten years but stopped going when he and his wife divorced. It's a
pretty sad story but he was really nice and it sounds like he likes it
when the missionaries come over. It doesn't look like he gets a lot of
visitors. We'll probably just try and stop by every couple weeks to
see how he's doing and become his friend.

But yeah...I'm doing great! I'm a lot happier and a lot more
optimistic. Things are slow still but the work is picking up! I'm just
so glad that I'm able to be here serving a mission. I will never look
at God and the Church and the commandments the same way again. In a
good way of course! My testimony of Jesus Christ and the Atonement
have grown so much. I have seen so many times and remembered so many
times when Heavenly Father was in my life, guiding me every step
of the way. I love Him!

Anyways...have an awesome week and stay safe! Have fun in the warm
weather we're getting! (Hope I don't jinx it!) I love you!

-Elder Stafford :)