Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Broadway musical...New Investigator Family...Toese is SO ready!!

Hey everyone!! 

Sorry it's so late! Today has just been soooo crazy!! I
just got back from...a Broadway play!!!!! At the end of our missions,
we get to go and see a play if we would like. We went to see Les
Miserables!! It was so awesome!!!! We were in like the very very back
in like the cheapest tickets you could get, but they were like just as
good as seats that you'd pay $250 for! It was great! It's like my
favorite play of all time so it was basically a dream to be able to
see it in New York City. It was incredible how talented those actors
were! They just sang their hearts out and didn't mess up once!
Definitely an experience I'll remember for a long time.

So this week was the last half of spring break. Blah. It was pretty
ridiculous haha. We just had nothing to do as far as teaching goes.
Everyone was gone! So we took care of a lot of administrative things
like interviews and splits and planning and stuff. It was fun! We
still ended up having some way cool experiences this week, though!
Although they did mostly happen yesterday haha.

So yesterday we had probably the most interesting lessons that I've
had in my entire mission. I don't know if you remember how I talked
about that lady Kris that we tracted into that is like Hindu, but
wants to learn about Christianity? Well she invited us over for dinner
yesterday and it was so cool!! Her son and her husband were there too.
So these people are like the most brilliant, intellectual, classy
people I think I've ever met!! The husband is in his 60s probably and
is from England. He is a genius. The son is around 25ish and is an
even bigger genius. He recently received a $250,000 scholarship to
literally any school that he wants to go to to get his Masters Degree.
He just knows literally everything...I'm not kidding. Not only are
they geniuses but they're classy, too! We walk into their living room
and the walls over covered with GORGEOUS paintings that were painted
by Kris!! And I'm not talking about modern art, a bunch of lines on a
paper kind of paintings...I'm talking like stroke-for-stroke copies
that she painted of some of the most famous paintings in the world and
of landscapes that are just magnificent!! Holy cow! And then all
around the room is the husbands collection of old old old phonographs.
Like, recordings of Teddy Roosevelt's speeches kind of old. And then
there was a big glass display case of probably 100 old watches that he
has collected. He has a pocket watch from 1734!!!! Can you believe
that? Yeah...so this family isn't messing around at all.
So not only did we have fun looking at their house, but we had like
the coolest lesson with them in the whole world!! They just started
asking us questions, and one of them led into us teaching them about
the Restoration. They just soaked everything up like a sponge, and
then they wanted to go deeper into everything, and so we just talked
about the Restoration and the Great Apostasy and all that for a good 3
hours. And it wasn't them just like ranting or anything...we had like
a legitimate, humane, intellectual conversation with them and they
LOVED it. Absolutely loved it. They like fell in love with us haha! By
the time we said goodbye, they were just so sad to see us go, and Kris
even gave us this hug bear hug when we left!! So we're going to go
back on Monday and teach them about the Plan of Salvation! We're so

So then after our lesson with them, we bolted over to the place where
we had institute so that Elder White, our district leader, could
interview Toese for baptism!!! WOOOO!! He is SO ready to be baptized.
He just knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the right thing
for him to do. He just loves Jesus Christ and the restored Gospel so
much. He's a stud!! He's going to be baptized this Saturday!! So that
was our other miracle!

Well, sorry this is so rushed, it's just really late and I gotta go! I
love you all so much! Have a terrific week! :)

-Elder Stafford

 Me and a horse cop...yes they really do exist!

Look mom!  I'm in the musical!!  

Miscellaneous Times Square pictures 

 In front of the theater

 Picture of the seats and the chandelier...and a girls head in front of me

 Super intense Les Mis poster

Blurry picture of the stage

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Break is Here...Where Did Everyone Go?!

Well, it's come!

Spring Break is here!! Which means......no one is
here for us to teach!! Haha this has been the most boring week ever!!
Every single one of our investigators and about 3/4 of the branch are
all gone this whole week until Sunday!! The only one that isn't gone
is that lady, Suzie, that we see every once in awhile. It's super
frustrating, though, because guess what? She's sick! So we can't even
see her! Goodness...oh well! We're looking forward to getting all the
administrative stuff out of the way that we've been putting off, and
also finally having time to go tracting or something. Now that it's
getting a little warmer, we were thinking about doing "service
tracting" where we just wear normal clothes and our name tag and go
around asking people if we can help them do anything around their yard
or anything. Now that it's spring cleaning time, we're hoping people
will be down for that and not just weirded out by two guys knocking on
their door asking to do yard work for free! Haha

We were able to see Cali before she left for spring break! Guess where
she's going? Utah!! Haha isn't that funny? She's going with Ashley,
her best friend, to go see Temple Square and all that. Isn't that
sweet? We taught her the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. Got
through both of them okay without any concerns or problems...phew!
She's so solid and ready for the gospel!

I got to go on a split in Monticello finally!! Back to my home! I went
with the district leader down there, Elder Nagel, and had an awesome
day! I got to see some of my favorite people! We taught this less
active guy who's trying to come back to church, but just has some
questions that have been bothering him. We were able to help him out
though, so hopefully he'll decide to start coming again. Then we went
and taught Brother Vacarro, (remember him?) the super old Italian guy,
a quick little lesson and also taught him some English. Then we went
and gave this really cool blessing to one of their investigators who's
mom had passed away the day before. She didn't even know me but she
asked if I would give the blessing so I did, and it was really neat.
She absolutely loved it. It was so funny because as we were leaving we
asked if we could say a prayer, and so we asked who she'd like to say
it, and she points at me and is like, "I want HIM to do it! He's good
at it!" Hahaha it was so funny :)

But yeah, other than that, not a whole lots been goin' on here. I'm
still loving being with Elder Neuerburg!! He's a super cool guy and we
get along great. 2 months and we haven't gotten into any sort of
argument or anything. We just have a mature relationship where we can
talk freely and openly with each other about what we're thinking and
we both try and listen and understand. It's great! It's soooooo nice
to finally have a companion like that again. I was gettin' worried
because for a while there I was on a stretch of companions that just
did not click with me haha. It's good to have a real friend again!

Well, I'd better get going but I hope you all know just how much I love
you!! I keep you in my prayers. Have a great week!

-Elder Stafford

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Backpack Challenge, Demon Dog, and Pancakes

Alright so unfortunately I don't have a ton of time to write this :/ but I hope I'm able to go over everything that happened this week!!

So this week was a little different, in that we tried to start seeing more of the cadets in our branch. Really they are the key to missionary work, here, so we want to broaden our friendships with all of the cadets, so that they will want to feel more open to introducing their friends to us. It was really cool! We're having them do something called the "backpack" challenge. So cadets take their backpacks everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. So the challenge is that they have to put a Book of Mormon in their backpack and they CANNOT take it out until they give it away. We make them promise to do it, and so far everyone we've challenged has accepted!

So we went to look for this less active woman living in Highland Falls, and we didn't really know where exactly she lived, just kind of a general location, so we decided to just go tracking in that area until we found her. Well, the first door we went to didn't go so well. So we walk up this steep flight of stairs to this little apartment. It's pretty scary looking on the outside. There's cans of beer everywhere and there's trash on the porch and it doesn't look like it's been painted in 50 years and it just looks like a dark, unhappy place to live. So we knock on the door and wait there for a minute. It's pitch dark inside the building and we don't hear anyone, so we turn to walk away. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something in the window on the door, and so I turn back and standing right there in the window, just looking at us...is the scariest, ugliest, most terrifying dog I've ever seen in my life. It was this ugly grey pit bull and it had yellow eyes and it just looked like a flipping demon!!!! It scared the HECK out of me!! I don't think I've ever been so startled in my life. It was just so scary because it didn't make asound. Usually dogs bark or something, but this one was just not there one second, and the next it was standing on two legs just staring at us. I legitimately thought it was a demon or a monster or something. So scary.

So we got two new investigators this week! A 15 year old girl in the branch has a friend that was over at their home for dinner when we were there, and I guess after our dinner, she had told her friend that she'd want to learn more from us...so we went and had a lesson with her on Thursday! It was pretty good. It's super hard to teach the Restoration to shy, quiet people, because they never have any questions or comments or even concerns that can lead to spiritual discussions. It's almost just like we're giving a wrote presentation...so frustrating. But it was good!! 
On Sunday a girl that is friends with Toese and a bunch of other cadets that go to the prep school came to church! She really enjoyed it, so she decided to join us for our lesson with Toese. It was an interesting lesson for her to come to because it was Toese's very last lesson before being baptized after spring break!!! We taught him about the temple, eternal marriage, missionary work, callings, priesthood organization and auxiliaries, and went over the baptismal interview question...so quite the list!! She actually really liked it, though, and so we set up an appointment to start from the beginning with her tomorrow!! So wish us luck!! :)

Ummm...nothing else super exciting really happened this week. I ate 11 pancakes at Denny's onMonday!! Me and Elder Neuerburg got into a contest with the all-you-can-eat pancakes we ordered...and we both tied at 11. We really had to go and we were both pretty full, so we decided to stop. (Our prides just wouldn't let the other person beat us so we both would have just eaten until we puked... ;) haha)

Well, that's about it!! Sorry this is so late, I wasn't able to get wifi until after our dinner appointment!! I love you all so much! Have a terrific week :)

-Elder Cade Stafford

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pre-departure Forms Already!!!

Elder Stafford's Departure Date!!

Please return as soon as possible.  It is very important, especially if you have move since your missionary came to New York.  Salt Lake sends the final plans 3-4 weeks ahead.  So the plans can change, but sometimes it is only a few minutes different.  We have really enjoyed having your missionary serve with us.

Sister Hunt
Office Secretary
New York North Mission
700 North Plains Road Ste # 315
Scarsdale, NY  10583

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

...It's About Becoming Disciples of Jesus Christ

Sorry this is so late! I wasn't able to get wifi until now!

Hey everyone!! 

This week was so much better than last week!! SO many
cool things that happened and miracles we were able to see!
The beginning of the week was a little hectic and it took us a while
before we were able to start doing actual missionary work. Thursday
was by far the coolest day of the week! We went down to Manhattan to
have that meeting with the two general authorities!! It was President
Monson and Jeffrey R. Holland!! ...........just kidding ;) wouldn't
THAT have been something?! Hahaha I would have been so nervous! But in
all seriousness, it was way cool!! The two general authorities were
Elder Evans from the Seventy and is head of the missionary department
(I can't remember his exact title) and Elder/Brother Alan (don't
remember his job but he is also over the missionary department
somehow...he is an Area Seventy, but his main job is to be Brother
Alan, who is in charge of the missionary work thing as an employee and
not a calling). They were both SO good. The witnesses of Christ that
they bore were so powerful. Elder Evans was the main speaker and he
was my personal favorite. Because we are one of the first missions to
get iPads, this meeting was to reset and refocus us as far as
technology goes. Church Headquarters has realized a lot of what works
and what doesn't when it comes to iPads and Facebook, so they've
started to develop handbooks to teach missionaries how to be safe and
effective, and they introduced those to us. The meeting was all about
repenting and changing ourselves into what Heavenly Father wants us to
be. One of my favorite lines in the whole meeting was what Elder Evans
said, "although we're going to be talking a lot about iPads and
Facebook and such, this meeting isn't about the iPads...it's about
becoming disciples of Jesus Christ."

The day after that we had a bunch of weekly planning until about 3
when we had to go to Newburgh to be interviewed by President Morgan.
While President was interviewing the members of the zone, the
Assistants gave a training which was really good. President always
interviews the zone leaders last, and because he was running behind in
the first place, and then he had a couple missionaries that have been
having some health problems, he ended up talking to them for a really
long time, and so we weren't able to be interviewed that day. We had
to wait until the next day and drive all the way to Poughkeepsie (I
can't wait to come home and hear how you guys pronounce that haha).
But anyways...it was so good! I love having interviews with President!
Sunday was a good day at church!! After church was a little rough
haha. All of our appointments fell through except our lesson with
Toese. And we were way late to that because a blizzard hit and the
roads were horrible!! Our lesson was good, though!! He's so solid!
He's planning on getting baptized probably March 28th

Monday was district meeting, MORE weekly planning (we had a lot we
needed to organize....oh the woes of having so many people to teach ;)
haha), and then we had our last basketball game of the season :( if we
had won we would have gone to the championship game...but we lost by
like 4 points :( so sad. But guess what? Volleyball season starts in a
week or so! Haha that will be fun!! :)

Tuesday was great!! Right after institute we had a brief lesson with
Cali!! Remember how I said that she's feeling really nervous about
getting baptized? Well, she told us yesterday that she now wants to do
it for sure!! She set a date for April 11th! And we definitely think
she'll be ready for that date!! :) were so stoked!

And then today we went to the Woodbury outdoor mall, which is like the
largest outdoor mall in the East coast or something like that. It's
full of stores that I am just way to poor to be going to, but it's fun
to go and look anyway :) one of the stores had a scarf...yes, a SCARF
that cost $385.....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

But anyway, I gotta get going. I love you all so much!! :) I hope you
have a wonderful week! Be safe and remember that God loves you!

-Elder Stafford