Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Monday, June 30, 2014

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Elder Cade Stafford
Elder Cade Stafford added a new photo: ""Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith."
-Thomas S Monson

And remember...even when we don't have as much faith as we'd like...we are in Christ's hands. And He has perfect faith. "

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My year mark is tomorrow?!?!? What the heck?!?!?

Wow I'm super exhausted.....

I just got back from walking around the city for the first time in 4 months!! Elder Fuller, who is going home in a few weeks, went to the Statue of Liberty today. Me and Elder Prestwich tagged along so we could come to the city too. We dropped Elder Fuller and Elder Higbee (another elder going home soon) off in Battery Park and then we walked way up to Chinatown, went up to Time Square, then to Rockefeller, then up 5th Ave a little ways, and then all the way back over to the subway station we needed. Now I realize how expensive it would be to go to the city without having a Metrocard. A Metrocard is a little yellow card that you swipe to get onto buses and subways in the city. The missionaries in the city all get money to buy a monthly unlimited pass, but for those of us that are "upstate", we have to pay for individual passes. It costs $2.50 every time you enter the transportation system!!! Crazy! So to save as much money as possible, we just walked everywhere haha...so my feet are killing me. It was a lot of fun still! Oh my word, though.....summer in the city is a little...immodest. Everywhere you look there's some rich white girl or lady dressed in super immodest, revealing clothing. It was bad. I mean it felt like it was 100 degrees and 10,000% humidity...but still...put a shirt and some actual shorts on! Sheesh!

So this week was really good. We got some actual work done in our area! It was a really rough week as far as lessons last week. Only 4..... That's really bad. I'm definitely not a "numbers" person, meaning that I try and not look at the amount of lessons we had that week when looking at success, but that's still pretty low. We're looking to fix that this week though. 

We had three good lessons with people just on Monday! We asked our bishop to put together a little list of people that he'd like us to go visit, so we decided to knock a few of those off on Monday. One was with a super less active family that we had dinner with. The wife is really active and plays the organ/piano in sacrament meeting, but the husband and son are both pretty inactive. It's really sad because this family was like born and raised in the church but something happened with church that pushed the husband and sons off the deep end. They were all really good people. The son definitely didn't seem interested, but we were able to have a nice conversation with the dad.

Something really cool that we noticed was when we got on the subject of family and then into ancestors, the dad just went off on all these really cool pioneer stories from his ancestors. He got really excited and into the conversation as soon as it shifted to family history. It's cool to see how the spirit of Elijah is totally real!! :)

Then Monday night I woke up at 2 or 3 in the morning and I felt horrible. I had that 24 hour flu like really bad. So Tuesday was kind of a bust, but we were able to work out a small split with some other elders so we could still help some members move that needed it.

Hopefully an investigator that the sisters gave to us will work out on Saturday!! Apparently he really wants to be baptized, he just needs to marry his fiancé or move out of the house (which isn't very likely...they have a child together) so please pray for us!! We also might be getting a referral from some members so hopefully that will work out well. Things are definitely getting better here! We just need lots of prayers that we will be able to find people to teach! That's pretty much the biggest thing we need right now!

I'm doing well, though. I got a little stressed out a few times, but that's normal. Elder Prestwich is doing awesome. Training isn't nearly as hard with him because he's already such an awesome guy! I better get going, though. Sorry to everyone I wasn't able to write a very personal email to. This Wednesday was just crazy! I love you all so much! You're in my prayers! Have an awesome week! :)

-Elder Stafford

Oh and P.S. My year mark is tomorrow?!?! What the heck?!?!


Email from a member:

Cade says hi!!  He is at our house having dinner

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First week of training is over...phew!!!!

Well, first week of training is over...phew! Things are finally back
to normal!! So, as you all know, I've been companions with Elder
Fuller for the last 4 weeks or so covering two areas. Well, when I got
Elder Prestwich (my new missionary) we were put in a trio until Elder
Sprunt got back from Utah for a surgery. This poor kid's first week in
the mission was crazy!! It's been really hard to have one on one
time with him because we have Elder Fuller as well. The two wards that
we are covering have also been having lots of people move, so we've
been doing a ton of service in the mornings. We've been so busy taking
care of "errands" for the two wards that we haven't really had any
time to do real missionary work in OUR ward!! The work in the Newtown
ward is kind of on the down swing from a bunch of baptisms a few
months ago. And since then, hardly any work has been done there
because we had to pick up the Danbury ward as well. There's TONS of
stuff to do in that ward, so the past cycle has mostly just been
working there.

But now that we're back to normal, were both excited to finally get to
work building up Newtown. And guess what we're gonna be doing??
Knockin' some doors! Haha I'm gonna give this guy blisters on his
knuckles ;)

It's been a lot of fun having him, though. He's a super awesome guy.
He's really really really quiet and doesn't say much, but he's really
nice. I'm hoping well get to know each other a lot better now that
there's going to be a lot more time for me to give him the training 
and stuff that he needs. Plus we'll have a lot of time to talk while
we're walking around tracting haha.

Elder Sprunt is finally back. It's weird having four people in
the apartment again, though. Everything went really well and smoothly
with him as far as his surgery went.

It's been kind of stressful being the district leader recently. The
two Newtown ward sisters are kind of giving me grief. I'm supposed to
call the two companionships of sisters in my district every night to
make sure they made it home safe and sound and that they're working as
hard as they can and that they're happy. Well, for the past like two
weeks, the Newtown sisters haven't been answering their phone! It's so
frustrating! If I can't get ahold of them, then we have to go over to
their apartment and make sure that they made it home and aren't dead
or anything. They've just been really weird. Right before Sister
Randall left and this first week of having Sister Barlow here, they've
just seemed really secluded. They never hang out with everyone on
p-days, they never eat lunch with us when we go out to eat, and now
they're not answering my phone calls. It's really bugging me.

I also think they're a little upset at me. So every Sunday we report
the number of lessons that we teach to investigators, less actives,
etc...but this Sunday was a little strange. After calling and calling
them, they finally answered and while they were reporting numbers they
said that they had 14 "other" lessons, or lessons with an investigator
without a member there. That's awesome! Except that when I asked them
where they were from and who they were with, they said tracting.
Awesome again! Except that they also only reported one new
investigator... It really confused me because usually when you teach
an actual, legitimate lesson to someone on their doorstep, they say
that you can come back. As a mission, we strive for not only as many
lessons as we can, but GOOD, QUALITY lessons that bring people closer
to Christ. When you have an actual lesson with someone, usually it's
because they are interested. I mean you can't really have a lesson 
with someone who isn't interested right?! Of course, there's always
those people that are weird and seem interested, but then never want
you back...but that never happens very often. Especially 14 times in
one week!!

So I asked them about it and just told them that it doesn't really
mesh for them to have that many lesson and only one new investigator.
I was super nice to them and was legitimately trying to help them, but
as soon as I mentioned it, they got really defensive and seemed upset.
So I just forgot about it and didn't go into it any more. When I
talked to the zone leaders, they said to wait one more week and see
what they report, but if they're numbers are still pretty skewed, they
said to have a little interview with them and help explain what a
lesson is with somebody. It's hard because so many missionaries are
really worried about getting high numbers, so they count little
conversations and things as "lessons". I'm sure that they weren't that
bad, but they do need to know that to count it as a lesson, they have
to be a good, informative teaching opportunity where you leave them
with a commitment and can follow up with them, and you feel like they
came closer to Christ because of it.

I don't know...it's just hard to balance everything.

But other than all that crazy mess, my week has been good! I'm excited
to get to really meet Elder Prestwich and get to know him and help him
be the best missionary that he can be!! He's awesome!! I hope all of
your weeks were equally good and hopefully better! I love you all
dearly and am always praying for you. Keep the faith and stay strong!
Love you!

-Elder Stafford :)

Painting our apartment!  (notice the before and after...gross.)

Our big couches shoved in the kitchen while the carpet people put in new carpet.

All of our carpet ripped out :(

Random machine in front of a members house that had a weird sign that said, "watch that child"...so I'm watching it!

Me with a family in the Danbury ward that is moving on Saturday...they were so awesome :(

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Surprise Email!!

note from Mom: 
A couple of days ago we received the sweetest email...

"Good morning Sister Stafford!! :)  My name is Karalenn Hippen.  Hopefully you don't feel stalked!!  We live in CT and have the blessing of having your son serve in our ward!  He is so fun and such a sweetheart!  We are so grateful to have him serving in our area.  Don't worry.  We will take great care of him and keep him busy and fed! :)"

"Here are pictures from a week or two ago from when we played baseball out front before dinner."

"And here my daughter Makenzie was teaching your son how to play the ukulele :)"

"This is how thoughtful your son is...our youngest loves to collect sparkly things she finds on the road or in the woods.  She calls them her "fairy jewels".  Your son knew this and found this very sparkly button/broach and brought it over for her last week.  That was incredibly sweet!  She has carried it around all week :)"

Note from Mom:
I sent this text back to Sister Hippen:

"Hi Sister Hippen!  Thank you so much for emailing those pictures of our son, Cade, to us.  I was so happy to find out who you are!  Cade had mentioned you and your family to us in his last letter and told us that you are "the most AWESOME family" and that you guys are SO much fun!  He sure loves you guys :)  He also told us the adorable story of your daughter Pip and her "fairy jewels".  She is darling!  I can't express to you enough how grateful we are that you have taken our son in your arms and have given him a safe place of refuge and fun.  Cade does love to have fun!!  And yes, like you said, he is a very thoughtful and kind person.  We love and miss him so much but knowing that he has kind people like you and your family that love him and take care of him makes it easier to have him so far away from home.  Thank you so much and may the Lord bless you and your sweet family for all you do for the missionaries in your ward.  Take care and tell Elder Stafford HELLO!! for us next time you see him!  Have a great day!"

Sister Hippens' reply:

I will tell him hello!  His is coming to dinner tomorrow night.  I'm bummed because it will be his last dinner with us since Elder Sprunt is returning back.  I've let him and his companion know that they are welcome to come any Wednesday night we are feeding the Elders if they are free.  We'll miss seeing him each week.  It's only been a few weeks that we've had him but we all love him and he has stolen our hearts!"


I'm a "DAD"!!! Elder Prestwich is awesome!

Hey everyone!! 

So today is transfers!! As ya'll know I'm getting a new missionary and I'm so excited!! This week has been absolutely insane trying to get everything (mostly the apartment) ready for him. We've completely finished painting our apartment and then for the last three days we've been in the process of getting new carpet. It looks so good!! It seriously looks like we live Ina completely different, brand new apartment. We threw SO much stuff left behind by past missionaries away. We never really realized how much junk we had in our apartment until we cleaned it all out! So what we had to do was take ALL of our stuff out of the apartment, put it in a UHaul, let the carpet guys put new carpet in, and then move all of our stuff back into our living room so we could take the truck back. We were up until 2:30 last night trying to put most of our furniture back where it's supposed to go. It was horrible...I'm absolutely exhausted..

But anyways...that's our week. I'm so sorry that I don't have any time to email more...but President Morgan took forever to give us a training at transfers. Elder Prestwich is awesome!! I really really like him so far. He's from Pinetop, Arizona. I'm sure I'll have tons to say about him next week but for now we gotta go home!! :) I love you all so much!!

-Elder Stafford

Me and my "son" (trainee), Elder Prestwich!!  He's a boss!!

Me and Bea...the daughter of a member in the Danbury ward

She's so cute!

Me with Elder Richards

Me and Elder Pickard
These are a couple of my zone leaders in Harlem that are both going home

This week has been pretty awesome!!

Hey everyone!! 

So this week has been pretty awesome!! The highlight
was definitely Friday when Elder Snow from the First Quorum of the
Seventy came to visit our mission. Every 10 months or so a general
authority comes to see how were all doing and to give us counsel and
instruction. everyone that is upstate right now came to Ossining on
Tuesday and the city missionaries heard him on Thursday.
We all got there about 8 o'clock and were there until like 5 at night
haha. We got there and ate breakfast (Scarsdale bagels like usual...SO
GOOD!) and then we met in the chapel together. He wanted to meet
everyone so we all went by rows to shake his hand, tell him where we
were from and our name. He was really nice. He is the Church historian
so I was hoping that he was going to tell us some awesome stories but
he didn't really. After 5 or so missionaries gave short 5 minute
talks, Elder Snow took up the rest of the meeting giving us talks and
then a training. It was really good!

Saturday was Dans baptism!! It was so nice and very spiritual. There
were lots of people there because a lot of people knew him because
he's been going to church for so long! We were worried that him being
baptized would be a problem because he has an absolutely horrible back
and very intense arthritis all over his body. He didn't have any
problems, though, and everything went well! A good friend of his that
had been home teaching him for like 9 years came from Newburgh to
baptize him.

After the baptism there was a talent show by the Danbury ward. It was
so much fun! There was lots of funny, cool talents. One guy even knew
how to play the saw!! And yes, it was an actual hand saw that he
played with a violin bow!! It was so cool! He played 'I Am a Child of
God' on it! I'll try and send a video of it.

Sunday was super crazy. We had 8 hours of church and meetings because
are covering both wards now. I love church...but I don't know if I
love it that much yet haha!  Luckily there was a super nice lady in the
Danbury ward that brought us snacks to eat after we were done with our

Then on Monday we went over to the Hippens house for dinner!! They are
this AWESOME family that is in the Danbury ward. They have three girls
and they are all so much fun. The youngest, Pip, is SO adorable. I
hope I can get a picture with her to send you guys! Hahaha it's super
funny because she has this thing where she collects "fairy jewels"
from the little grove of trees by their house. They're really just
little pieces of shiny rocks, glass, and beer bottles hahaha. (She's
like 5 by the way) so anyways, I heard that she did that...so I
thought I'd win this little girl's heart by running to Walmart before
we went over and buying this huge plastic crystal thing from the craft
section. I went up to her and went, "hey Pip! I heard that you collect
fairy jewels, too!" Her eyes got all big and she said, "yeah". And I
said, "well guess what, I've got a surprise for you! Today I found the
BIGGEST fairy jewel ever! I think it's the Queen Fairy's fairy
jewel." Then I pulled that thing out of my pocket and she got sooooo
excited! Hahaha she pretty much fell in love with me ;) the whole
night Pip kept coming up to me and slipping fairy jewels in my shirt
pocket. I gave her a big huge hug and told her that she was the best and
we were pretty much best friends!! :) We went over there the next day
to give Sister Hippen a blessing and she said that Pip hasn't let my
fairy jewel out of her sight :) I love her!

So yesterday was ridiculously busy. We had like 6 appointments set up
(all of them fell through) but we were rushing around everywhere and
it was sooooooo hot! It was like 85 degrees and like 90% humidity!!

Then we went out to eat with the Wens to this super yummy Vietnamese
restaurant. It was so good! I had this really delicious beef and
brisket pho noodle soup.

Things are still crazy with the two areas but it's fun! It's super
easy to stay busy! I'm doing well and I'm still loving Elder Fuller as
a companion. He's a great guy. Well...I hope all of your weeks have
been awesome! I love you all and am praying for you every day! See ya!

-Elder Stafford

Just for good measure...fist bumps are now officially accepted by the Church as an acceptable form of greeting :)

Me and my trainer, Elder Witbeck, before he went home

Me and Elder Fuller with Dan from Danbury

Me with Dan and his daughter

Me and my zone before transfers next week

Me and Curlin and his wife (members in Harlem)...he gave me some super nice shoes :)

We've all decided Elder Nielson looks like Buzz Lightyear hahaha!

Me and Elder Sprunt and Elder Nielson doing all sorts of weird poses...