Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sick Week...

Hey everyone!! So I'm sorry to say that the escalation of crazy things
happening to me finally came to an end this week haha. This week was
devastatingly boring.

On Thursday after weekly planning we went and played two games of
basketball. We lost both times so it was pretty disappointing haha.
After the game we went home and we made some food. I made some
couscous stuff out of a box. After we ate I went to bed and as I was
laying there my stomach just started feeling horrible. I ended up
throwing up like 7 times that night and into the morning...it was
pretty horrible. Sorry if that was TMI ;)

So we ended up staying home for the next few day which was terrible!!
There is so little to do in your free time as a missionary and there
is only so much scripture reading you can do haha. But anyways so what
was really terrible about it was that we just so happened to be sick
during the weekend, which is when we teach all of our lessons!!!
Ahhhhh!!! We had to cancel like two really important lessons and a
dinner appointment :( it stunk. Everyone we teach is either going to
school or working like crazy during the week, so the weekend is he
only time we can teach them!

We did have a good day on Sunday, though. We were able to teach Toese
right after church, and then we taught Cali after that. Cali has been
feeling a little nervous about setting a specific baptismal date, so
we were able to talk with her about that. She's just really scared
that it will be a super big lifestyle change and she's worried about
making commitments that she might break. She also had another concern
that was kind of funny. She told us that she's never really even
thought about having kids, but she's worried because she thinks we all
have a bunch of kids haha. We challenged her to pray everyday for an
answer to what she should do. It was crazy because she said that she
already got an answer from Heavenly Father that she needs to get
baptized but that she's just scared to do follow through with that
answer! Ah are are kidding me!! Haha girls.... ;) JK!

Oh so one super exciting thing that's happening this week is that we
are going to be having a meeting tomorrow in the city with two general
authorities about iPads and online proselyting! I'm super stoked! Our
mission is still kinda struggling trying to figure out how to best use
this resource that we've been given, so two guys from the Seventy that
are like in charge of all missionary work in the church are coming to
give us some direction. Can't wait to tell you how it goes!!

Well, sorry that I don't really have anything else to talk about.
Today was fun! We played a bunch of games with the zone. Well, I love
you all so so so much! Have an awesome week and be safe! Enjoy all the
warm weather! Dang I've been hearing about this crazy good weather
you've all been getting! Meanwhile we're over here still dealing with
snow and 8 degree weather....lucky ducks..

With love,
Elder Stafford

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Holy. Cow. This week was soooo awesome!!! Oh my word so much happened
I don't even think I'll be able to remember everything!!

So, the first thing that happened was actually a knife to the heart
haha. So I don't know if any of you know, but this last Saturday was
the NBA All-Star game. This year it just so happened to be in New
York.......but it was in Brooklyn so it was out of our mission. So
while we were leaving a basketball game one night, we were talking to
a potential investigator we had, Wheeler, and he was like, "hey, what
are you guys doing Saturday?" And we told him nothing super exciting.
And he was like, "you guys wanna go to the NBA All-Star game with me
and a buddy?" .............we just about died. He told us that, and
our hearts literally shriveled up and died. We told him about our
mission boundaries and that our p-day is only on Wednesday and so
there's no way we could go. He was like, "aw man...are you sure? Isn't
there someone you or I can talk to and we can pull some strings and
stuff to get you guys to go?" And so that night we called the APs when
we were reporting weekly numbers, and we told them about it and we all
just about cried together hahaha. They were just begging our
forgiveness and kept saying over and over again, "I hope you know how
much we want to say yes to that!!" Haha we just laughed about it and
knew there was no way President would let us. There was just too many
things on the line to go. It wasn't in our mission, it wasn't on a
p-day, and so many other things. So we forgot about it until the next
day, when Wheeler called us up and told us that he also had tickets to
a "Meet the Players" party on Saturday that WAS in our mission. Yes,
as in we would go to a party where we would get to hang out and play
games with the best basketball players in the entire
world......AHHHHHHHH,!! We freaked out and called the APs and told
them and they were like, "you know...now that it's in our mission...we
actually think President might let you do that. You could just switch
your p-day from Wednesday to Saturday for this week, maybe?! And so we
were just freaking out, but then right as we were about to call
President Morgan to talk to him about it, we get a text from Wheeler
that says, "hey guys, I hate that I have to tell you this, but the
party is actually on Sunday...not Saturday." ...........NO!!!! Oh my
word we were so sad.... our heart got ripped out and torn to shreds
TWICE!! In less than 12 hours!! We were so sad...so sad...

BUT! Heavenly Father totally made it up this week! We saw SO many
miracles!! So we actually have 4 investigators with baptismal dates,
with two that are very close!!! We could have 6 baptisms in the next
two transfers!!!! Can you believe that?!

So to start, that guy, Wheeler, and his wife became new investigators
with baptismal dates. We invited him to church last week, but he said
that he probably wouldn't be able to make it, so he was like,
"uh...could you guys like come to my house and teach me about your
church or something?" Hahaha and we were just like, "um yes.....we can
definitely do that." Haha. So we taught him and his wife about the
Restoration on Friday!! They loved it!!

Next we have Sabrina and Japhia. So Toese, our investigator that is
getting baptized after spring break, and these two super awesome
members that are going to school with him have been doing a Book of
Mormon study every night together in the hallway of their dorm. One
night, this girl, Sabrina, walked up and was like, "hey guys, what are
you doing? A bible study or something?" And they told her no that it
was a Book of Mormon study, and she asked if she could join haha! It
turned out that she absolutely loved it, so they invited her to our
lesson with Toese the following night. She ended up bringing her
friend, Japhia, as well, and so Friday night we taught her, Japhia,
and Toese...plus a bunch of member cadets the Restoration as well!!
They all loved it! So we set up and appointment to meet with them
again the following day. So we taught Japhia and Sabrina the next day
at a members home, and just talked about a ton of different things.
They are both super chatty and have TONS of questions, which is
awesome! Japhia is still a little hesitant, but Sabrina is alllllll
for it! She even talks to people at school like she is already a
Mormon haha. She even told her family that she was wanting to be

The Lord is preparing people like crazy for us to teach....it's
absolutely insane!! And it looks like there's even more on the way for
us! There's this super cool family that had three things to tell us on
1. They would love for us to come teach all of the missionary lessons
to their family
2. The mom wanted a Book of Mormon to give to a friend of hers that
teaches a bible study class that has a bunch of questions about the
3. She also has another friend that has a bunch of questions about the
church, so we are going to teach her all of the missionary lessons to
answer her questions!!

And then there was just another cadet that came up to us last night
and told us that he's been talking to a friend of his, and that she's
thinking about talking the discussions as well!! Isn't that so crazy?!
The members here are absolutely incredible. They LOVE missionary work.
They are such a key to doing all of this, especially for us where we
don't have the same abilities to proselyte as most missionaries do. We
are so blessed.

So another couple of funny things that happened:

So our other investigator, Cali, actually took a trip with the
institute class this last weekend and drove to Kirtland, Ohio!! She
said that she absolutely loved it and that her favorite part was the
temple. :)

So one day we had this CRAZY snowstorm. And it was super unlucky for
us because we had just so happened to decide to go to Middletown to
get our oil changed on our car. Well, when we got out of the place,
there was a ton of snow and it was still coming down hard!! But we had
a drive alllll the way home still. A drive that usually takes us about
25-30 minutes took like an hour and 10 minutes....an hour and 10
minutes of slipping and sliding everywhere haha...it was nuts.

So I almost passed out this week. So remember how I've suddenly
developed this thing with medical needles where I pass out if I see
one? Well it started off before I left on my mission where I'd pass
out every time I got a shot or my blood drawn. Well, it's now kind of
transformed where even if I see a needle, I pass out haha. So I told
that in district meeting in just kind of a funny, nonchalant way. And
so this elder pulls a flipping Epi-pen out of his bag and is like,
"what about something like this?" And I see it and instantly know what
it is, but I don't even hardly look at it! But because I knew it was
right there I started getting really woozy and my head started getting
all tingly and you start sweating and seeing stars like I get when I
pass out......it was so bad. I'm kind of worried about what this is
turning into!! What am I supposed to do when my wife is having her
baby and they need to give her a shot or something!! Haha "sorry
honey, gotta run!" ;) oh man.....

Well, that was about my week!!! I'm just loving it here in West
Point!! Oh my gosh I totally forgot to mention that transfers are this
week!! So it turns out that Elder Neuerburg is staying!!!! Oh my word
I was SO happy and SO relieved. I'm so tired of only being with
companions for one stinkin cycle! I love Elder Neuerburg so I'm so
glad that we get to do another one together. He's going to have been
in this area for 9 months when the transfer is over, though haha
crazy!! Well, I love you are so much! Take care and have an awesome
week! :)

-Elder Stafford

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Undeniable Answer

Hey hey everyone!!!

Sorry for the late email! We were out all day without hardly any wifi, so I didn't get a chance to send this off til just now. For p-day today we had to meet a companionship of elders down in Scarsdale, where the mission home is. Next week is transfers and when all of the returning missionaries go home, so this week is when the mission president takes all of the returning missionaries to the temple. So we met this companionship in Scarsdale so that one could go to the temple and another could stay with us. We hung out in this HUGE mall in White Plains, which was pretty cool. After p-day was over we had an appointment with a couple cadets.

Sorry if this is kind of a lame email. This week was actually super uninteresting. Nothing super special really happened for once!!

We did have a cool miracle though! So on Sunday we just felt like we should call as many people as we could and invite them to church. We ended up getting 6 people lined up to come to church with us!!! We were like freaking out haha. It was kind of disappointing because only our two investigators Cali and Toese came. Haha and I don't mean to say ONLY Cali and Toese in like a bad way haha. BUT, one of the guys, Wheeler, said that he might not be able to make it to church, but he wants us to come to his home and teach he and his wife about the gospel! We're teaching them on Friday!! We're so stoked.

So as for Cali and Toese. We taught Cali on Sunday after church about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved it and it was a super great lesson. Afterwards, though, we wanted to talk to her about her baptism and the logistics for it and everything, and she kind of dropped the bomb on us and told us that she doesn't really want to set a specific date quite yet. It was pretty disappointing for me because we can totally tell that she really is ready, she just doesn't think so because she feels like she needs to know and understand everything before she makes that kind of commitment. Which is good, but you also have to realize that there also needs to be some faith involved. All it takes to be baptized is a broken heart and a contrite spirit!! :)

As for Toese, though...He's doing so awesome. So awesome. We taught him on Sunday as well. He is sooooo prepared and so ready. He basically told us that he's received an undeniable answer to whether this is what he needs to do. He's so cool. 

Well, that's about all for this week. Sorry again. I hope you all have a great week, though. Keep me in your prayers!! I'm praying for you all as well! :) love ya!

-Elder Stafford

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a White...Februrary? and Words That Feel Like Christmas to a Missionary

Well, the snow has finally hit New York! It's snowed like three times
this week and each one was about 5-6 inches. We've been doing a LOT of
shoveling. We've also been able to get out and work, though. We had an
incredible week!!

So first off, we had my first MLC on Friday!! MLC stands for Mission
Leadership Counsel. On the Friday before every new month, all of the
zone leaders, sister training leaders, assistant to the presidents,
and President Morgan get together and we have a meeting were we figure
out everything that's been going on in the mission. It's was
especially cool this time because the training that President Morgan
gave was all about how to be a good leader. What a great one for me to
start off with!! It was so cool and it was so much fun!

Saturday was kind of lame. Remember how I said that we're trying to
get a sports night going every Saturday night at the Newburgh chapel?
Well it hasn't happened yet, so we were really hoping that this would
be the week to get it going, but everyone cancelled because of a bunch
of different reasons. It's been really frustrating. The whole reason
we want to do it is because there are a lot of guys that we play
basketball with in our basketball league that we can't talk about the
Gospel with because it's illegal to proselyte on the campus of West
Point. So we wanted to get them to "our turf" so that we can still
play basketball and get to know them more, but be able to openly
discuss the gospel and such with them.

Sunday was GREAT though!! Holy cow. We had a lesson with both Toese
and Cali, and they were both awesome! We taught Toese during the
second hour of church with his friends Jacob and Chandler, who are
both members. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation, which
basically outlines everything you need to know about where we came
from, what our purpose for being here on earth is, and where we are
going and what is going to happen when we die. We were able to teach
him in a classroom because we have church inside of an educational
building on West Point, so we had access to a whiteboard and stuff. We
drew the whole thing up for him and he LOVED it!! We were all able to
feel the Spirit so strong as we talked about why Jesus Christ is such
an important part of the Plan. Afterwards we asked him if he would be
baptized when he found out for himself that it was true, and he
strongly said yes!!! Wooooo!! We were all so excited for him! My
favorite line he said was, "you know guys, I would be lying to you if
I said that I didn't believe that this was all true...". Those words
feel like Christmas to a missionary haha :) it was so awesome!! And
almost the same thing happened with Cali!! We taught her after church
at a members home and we taught her about the Plan of Salvation, too!
She had so many good questions and was just so excited to learn about
all of this. After we got through she just couldn't seem to wipe a
smile off of her face :) I drew a little plan of Salvation for her on
a little white board that was in the house, and she insisted that she
take a picture of it on her iPad so that she could look at it whenever
she wanted! They are both so great! We're so excited for them both.

On Monday we had dinner at the Dattages, who are like my family in the
branch to eat dinner with. It was their little eight year old girls
birthday that day so we had a super good, nice dinner and had a little
party for her. Then we got to teach her about baptism and what it is
and what it means and stuff. It was adorable! But it was kind of
crazy. They have two adorable baby twins and they were going a little
crazy during the lesson, and the little girl kept getting distracted
talking about other stuff so it was a pretty jumbled lesson, but I
loved it!!

Well, that was pretty much my week!! I totally forgot to say that I
gave a talk in Sacrament meeting last Sunday. It was fun! I like
giving talks actually. I learn so much when I'm preparing for them,
that I feel like I learn way more than the people I'm actually
speaking to do! I spoke about why we need a modern-day prophet.

Well, I'd better get going! Thank you all so much for your emails and
your encouragement! I love you all and am praying for you every day!
Have an awesome week :)

-Elder Stafford