Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Work is Still Movin'!

Well everyone, it's a new cycle here in the NYNY North Mission. The
city is still buzzin', the people are still crazy, and the work is
still movin'! I've got a new companion, Elder Stevenson.

So this week has been pretty good! We've gotten some good hard work

in! I'm really seeing, within myself, an urge to want to always be
working hard. I'm not going to lie, it's been a big temptation for me
before to just want to hang around or stay somewhere that's fun for a
long time, but now I can tell that I am much more happy when I am
working hard and staying busy. It's a hard balance to make, because
you also don't want to stress yourself out silly...but I think I'm
getting the hang of it.

But back to what I was saying, we did some good hard work this week.
We don't have a lot of investigators, and so we did a lot of tracting
and less active lookups. We haven't had much success with the less
active lookups, but with tracting we've found a few people.......that
all don't speak English haha. We found like two people that speak
Mandarin Chinese that we were able to give to the Chinese Sisters, and
then I was able to contact someone in Spanish (in very...VERY broken
Spanish), that we gave to the Spanish Sisters! For some reason,
foreign women just love us hahaha. We were able to talk to a lady with
some kids that said that we could come back! We set up an appointment
for Saturday so hopefully that works out! I've been dying to teach an
actual family!!! I haven't taught a family since the Cardona's in
Monticello. Who, by the way, are still ROCKING!!! I write them every
once in awhile and it sounds like they are doing so good!! Danial, the
boyfriend, is finally getting the divorce with his previous wife, and
they have plans to be married this upcoming June, and then baptized
soon after!!! I'm so excited! I really hope that I'm able to go to
their wedding/baptism and then hopefully their sealing in a year or so
from that!! :) :)

So something else that was cool this week was that Elder Perry from
the Quorum of Twelve Apostles came to the Manhattan temple chapel to
give a fireside!! It was really dumb because missionaries were only
able to go to that chapel if you brought someone with you, but Greg or
anyone else wasn't able to go :( so we couldn't go to the actual
fireside, but we were able to go to the East Side chapel, which is the
one that we go to, to see a broadcast of it. Unfortunately...and I
hope this isn't to much info for anyone...I had to miss the first half
of it because I was feeling really sick after dinner for some reason
and spent a lot of the time in the bathroom. It was pretty horrible.
Sorry again for anyone that didn't wanna hear that haha. But it was
good! He spoke a lot about religious freedom and how we as Christians
need to be more involved in uniting with other faiths to bring
religion back into a greater light of our country. Religion is dying
in the United States, unfortunately, and the Brethren want us to do
everything we can to HEALTHFULLY bring it back. I can't imagine them
suggesting that we just be super religion crazy and riot in the
streets or anything, but just have more teamwork with other faiths. In
fact he highly, HIGHLY encouraged, in fact he pretty much told
everyone, to go and be involved in a website called "faithcounts.net"
I think. It's a website that links all different faiths somehow. I
missed a lot of it, so I don't know exactly what it does, but I'd
encourage you all to get on and see what it's all about!

But yeah, I'm doing really good now. Our apartment is a lot different
because we have Elder Stevenson who isn't much of a talker, and we
also got a brand new missionary, Elder Richards, who is also a very
quiet person. Needless to say, there isn't a whole lot of talking at
home, but it's good because I've been able to be very productive with
my time! Our apartment (at least any of the places that I have to
spend any time in like our room, the kitchen, and the bathroom, are
absolutely spotless! Mother, you would be extremely proud haha. I've
pretty much turned into a clean freak on my mission with the place
that I live. I'm not weird or anything where germs scare me or I freak
out if something is dirty, but I really really like to have everything
of mine in a very orderly, clean, de cluttered condition. Haha it's
kind of funny, because in literally every apartment I've ever come
into, I'm that one elder that picks up after and throws away all of
the junk that missionaries leave in their apartments. Whenever I come
into an apartment, the only thing I do for like 2-3 days of free time,
is clean. I go out and buy whatever cleaning supplies we don't have
(and generally, with an Elders apartment...there's not a whole lot of
cleaning supplies) and then just go crazy scrubbing and mopping and
dusting and sanitizing and de-clogging. It's great!! Cleaning is
actually very relaxing for me. Whenever I get really stressed or
upset, I just go and clean a room or whatever completely and I feel
much better!

Well...I better get going, but I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Keep me updated with everything that's going on with all of you. I
love getting your emails, and even if I'm not able to respond right
away, I do appreciate them all. Keep getting closer to Heavenly
Father. He really is there, and He really does want to have a
relationship with you. I've learned that a lot of the times, we can't
just wait around for Him to come and say, "HEY! I'm here and I love
you!!". Father will show you that He is there when you do things that
invite His Spirit to be with you. As you actually do the things that
we talk about in church like pray, read your scriptures, go to church,
go to seminary...He will always bless you with His Spirit. That's a
PROMISE!! And as we know, "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say,
but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." Just do what
you're supposed to do!! There's no super confusing strategy for being
happy in life. It's literally that simple. And with that, I bid you
all adieu until next week!! Adios amigos! Man I'm multilingual today
;) see ya!

-Elder Stafford

Missionary Message from Elder Stafford

Heavenly Father WILL come to our aid when we call on Him and ask Him for help. He may not just solve everything for us right then and there, but He will always bring us solace in our difficulties. How's that for a spiritual Band-Aid?!
Mosiah 24:14-15 (in the Book of Mormon)
 — feeling healthy.

Transfers already?!

Hey everyone!

So sorry that this is going to be such a pitifully small email, but I
don't have a whole lot of time, and it's been a pretty hectic day!! So
the big event this week is that transfers were today!! Yup, another
cycle has passed already. This cycle was a little short (only 5 weeks)
because our mission president had a big important meeting this next
week. This cycle that were in now is going to now be 7 weeks to even
things out and make sure we end the next cycle on schedule as soon as
possible. Boy has it been crazy... So we found out that Elder Moss is
going to be leaving me to be an office elder. :( I was so sad. He
truly has become my all time favorite companion so far and one of my
best friends. I love that weird goofy kid haha. My new companion is
Elder Stevenson. He seems pretty cool. He's from Kerns(?), Utah (I
don't really know how to say it) and is 22 years old! He's a good kid
that's super quiet and pretty slow. He just talks really slowly and
moves really slowly haha it's kinda funny, but it's alright! Maybe it
will help balance me out a little bit ;) so yeah, I'm looking forward
to being companions with him.

This last week was General Conference!! Woo! Holy cow, once again it
was absolutely amazing. There's just something special about being on
a mission and watching General Conference. It amazes me every time how
wise and in tune with spirit those men are. I truly do know that we
have living prophets and apostles living today. There's no way that I
would feel such a strong spirit as I listen to them, if they weren't.
Well, I'm so sorry that I took so long to get this email out to you.
As soon as Elder Stevenson and I got put together, he told me that he
was feeling really sick, so we went home as fast as he could to sleep.
I haven't had wifi so I won't be able to send off the emails until
tomorrow. It's been a pretty lame p-day but I really hope he gets
feeling better! What a way to start off the cycle huh? Haha

Well, I hope you know that I am praying for each of you. I'm so sorry
that this was so short, but I promise it will be better next week. I
love each and every one of you and hope you have a fantastic week.
Stay strong and remember to pray! :)

-Elder Stafford

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Feel Happy And Satisfied With The Things We Have Accomplished

Heyyyy everyone!! So this week has been awesome!! I feel very happy and satisfied with the things me and Elder Moss have accomplished. We taught the most number of lessons we have in awhile so that was nice...but we've also just grown a lot, I feel. So a LOT has happened this week and I want to be able to tell you all about it all.

So first, towards the end of last week on Saturday, our Metrocards (the cards that get us onto the subways and buses) expired. Towards the end of every month, were supposed to get the $112 dollars on our debit cards to pay for a new one. This time, though, the money didn't come until YESTERDAY! So we had like three days where we didn't have way of getting to our area besides walking. It wouldn't be that bad, but our area is really long and on the complete other side of the island!! So we did a LOT of walking this week. My feet are killing me....

But it actually wasn't bad! We got to walk through Central Park a lot and it was really cool! The best part of walking through the park, though, was what happened on Saturday night! So we had to walk through the park to go to a dinner with a member, so we went through by this big reservoir. Below the reservoir, there was just this HUGE line for something. We start walking around the water, and we hear this super loud music bumping through the park. So we stopped and asked someone what was going on, and the lady said that there was a concert playing! So every year, the city puts on this live concert that had to do with serving the community. On there website, you put in descriptions of four things that you did to serve your community, and you get put into this raffle for tickets. They give away 48,000 tickets or so every every year, and then have the concert in Central Park. Cool, huh? So we start walking and we hear a song that we know! It was "Some Nights" by fun.!!!! It was SO loud and they were SO good!! Oh my word it was so awesome!! I got to hear fun. perform live! Be jealous! ;) so in the concert, it was fun., Carrie Underwood, and Jay Z!!! I was super excited for Jay Z but he never performed while we were walking past :( it was so cool, though!!

So before we walked through the Park, we were at a baptism!! No not for us unfortunately... But our investigator Greg came!! It was great!! So before the baptism we had a lesson with him about Joseph Smith because he had questions about him. We watched the Restoration video...and he cried!!! It was great!! Haha ;) but seriously...I think he really felt the spirit during it. It's cool because he's like this very serious Indian man, and I didn't think he had emotions... Haha jk again :) but yeah...it was good. So then we went to the baptism and it was AWESOME!! It was for someone in the Singles Ward here and he's this really cool Asian man named Anderson and he's way cool! There were lots of people there and the spirit was SO strong! Especially when we all sang The Spirit of God!! Oh my word, I wanted to cry!! And I looked over at Greg again...and I think that he was tearing up a bit!! Woooooo!! Haha 
The baptism really helped me remember why I was out here. I kind of struggled a lot on Thursday last week. It was just a long day and some things fell through and I just got home and the stress just broke me. I cried for a little bit. It wasn't super fun. So Elder Moss was having a hard time, too, so while I was in the bathroom praying (I usually go into the bathroom to pray and be alone...it can just be hard for me to always have someone on my hip. I get in moods where I just wish I was alone. It's not that I don't like being with him, I just like my alone time sometimes), Elder Moss was praying as well. He prayed for a sign that we were doing what we were supposed to and that we are being effective enough tools for Him. So about 5 minutes later we get a call from this super obscure less-active lady that decide that she wanted to make us food! Haha soooo random. It was so cool. We weren't able to really talk to her, and she didn't speak a whole lot of English, but we definitely took it as a little sign from Heavenly Father. It was definitely what we both needed. Psh......of course God would have food  be the sign that were doing okay.. ;) hahaha he knows us way too well.....

So on Sunday we had a special visitor come to our ward! The director of the new movie, "Meet the Mormons" was there!! Have you guys heard about it?!?! It's supposed to be sooooo good! And guess what...we get to watch it as a mission on October 10th!!! We're so excited!! The missionary department in Salt Lake figured that there would be lots of people asking us about it if it gets big (which were hoping it does), so they figure that we should be able to see it and know what it's about! Woo! Benefits of being the best mission in the world! ;) No offense to anyone else's mission...especially you Akayla ;)

So then on Monday we had a zone APF!!! We all met in Washington Square by NYU and set up four tables talking about the different prophets in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Modern-day prophets. Our goal was to promote General Conference this weekend which I am SO stoked for!!! Oh my word...I tell everyone this but it's like the Super Bowl for missionaries haha :) but anyway...I think it was a big success!!! We got to talk to a lot of people!! I was able to talk to a lot of young college students that were interested in what we were doing! I talked to these two girls in college that were both super funny and cool!! They seemed really interested! Well, one said that she was set with where she is, but the other one seemed really interested in coming and having missionaries over! So yeah...it was a big success! After everyone got over being weirded out that we were there, there started to be a lot of people coming. It also helped that we had cupcakes that a member made ;) if there's one thing Mormons are good at...it's baking haha.

Then yesterday we had an interesting day. We were helping a member move her huge bed into another apartment in the East Village, and some stuff went down. So she's not that organized and she was kind of clueless on what to do, so she was like terribly unprepared. She tried to kind of set things up for us before she LEFT two days before we were to move her to go to a wedding! So she wasn't even there! So basically she left everything up to her friend, Ron, in the singles ward. He didn't know what to do because she had just called him the night before, but he consented and said he would help. So this poor guy rents a big truck to do the move and drives it over, and as he's pulling onto the curb, he misjudged the length of the truck and totally destroys the front part of the hood of this parked car!! Oh my word, it was horrible. It was right in front of a police station, so the cops got on it and had him fill out all the paperwork for it. It was bad. We were there for like 2 hours with him while he tried to help him with his insurance and stuff. He had no idea what to do, so we stayed with him and helped him out. Poor guy...just trying to do a good deed and ends up getting in a big wreck. Luckily his insurance covers it, but we still feel horrible for him! Everything worked out, though, I think.

Wow...so yeah...fun week! Well, I better get going! We're wanting to do as much as we can this p-day because it might be Elder Moss's last one! He got a call the other day asking about some driving records and stuff, so we think that might mean that he's going upstate :( we don't know, though! This cycle is a short one (only five weeks because they want next transfer to end before the crazy Christmas traveling season starts) so transfers are next Wednesday!! What the heck?! These five weeks have flown!! I hope all of you have an awesome week!! You are all so great and have been such great parts of my life! I love you!! Bye!

-Elder Stafford

 At the APF (Area Proselyting Focus) at Washington Square

Me and Elder Moss being weird after companionship study
We had this obsession of making ourselves look like old men for some reason ;) 

Found this at a thrift shop...we want it so bad!! Hahaha