Spread the Word

Spread the Word

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 :)

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