Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Doing Some Good Old-Fashioned Tracting

Hey everyone!!!

So this week was probably one of the least exciting
weeks of my mission haha. It was still a good week, but there was just
literally nothing going for us. This area is another one of those
where we don't have many people to teach. The people that we do teach,
though, have been investigating the Church for years. The guy that
were teaching tonight has been having missionaries come over for like
4+ years or something like that. He knows that the Book of Mormon is
true, he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet...but no matter how
many times we tell him, it just doesn't click that he needs to change
his life because of that. He goes to this other Protestant church
every week, and doesn't see why he needs to be baptized in our church.
But he'll get there eventually...maybe.

We do see a few less active guys that are all really cool. One guy
were really hoping starts to come to church again soon. He's a great
guy, but just needs to feel his testimony come back. Right now he just
doesn't feel ready to see everyone and come to church again. It's so
sad, though, because you can totally tell that it's just pure laziness
that keeps people like that away. He even told us that if he started
to come back to church, he'd have to start doing a whole bunch of
other stuff, and he just doesn't want to put in that work. But he
loves us coming and sharing a message, so we'll keep working with him.
We've been doing a lot of finding lately. Our week is pretty much full
of looking up potential investigators and then tracting for hours
around them. It's definitely not the most effective thing in the
world, but we can't afford to just sit on our behinds and do nothing.
President Morgan has promised us over and over again, too, that if we
just get out and do some good old fashioned tracting every day, the
Lord will bless our efforts. He might not always do it through the
actual tracting, but he'll bless us in other phases of the work as

The weathers been beautiful lately so that's been really nice. It is
getting really really humid some days, though. I'm pretty sure that
when I go back to Idaho, I'm going to dry up and crack in half because
my bodies so used to this wet, humid air!! Haha

Well, only four more weeks to go, before I head back home. That's
still so crazy to me! That really snuck up didn't it? I still feel
like a brand new missionary some times, but it's been really cool to
just notice the difference in how I act in certain situations that I
would have two years ago. I'm a lot more comfortable talking to
strangers, which I think will help me in whatever job that I happen to
go into. The Lord has definitely helped me grow a bunch, and a hope
that I've let Him do everything had planned for me out here. I just
know that I've come to this mission for a very specific reason. I'm so
happy to be out here serving Heavenly Father at this time in my life.
I wouldn't have it any other way! I love all of you and pray for you
often. I hope you all have a terrific week and you enjoyed your
Memorial Day weekend! See ya!

-Elder Stafford

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

1st Week in da Poke!...with Elder Unice

Heyyyy everyone!!

So, I promised that I'd talk a little bit more about my last week in
West Point before I talked about this week so here goes:

So Mara baptism was awesome!! Our investigator Danielle was there
along with another one of her friends....annnnd Sabrina also came!
Sabrina was this investigator that we had towards the beginning of my
time at West Point and she just kind of fell off the face of the
earth. She ran into some questions about the church and heard some
rumors from unreliable sources, and just kind of stopped meeting with
us. But she came!! And she really really liked it! I was able to get her
email so that we could keep in contact after I left. I'm hoping that
I'll be able to convince her to start meeting with the missionaries
once the school year starts again. But anyways...the baptism! The
spirit was really strong and I think that she really really liked it.
Brother Platt was the one that baptized her, because she's known him
for quite a while actually.

So then the next day, Elder Quentin L Cook came to speak to us!! Oh my
word...it was so incredible. That is probably one of the most
memorable experiences on my mission so far. It was so incredible how
tangible the spirit was. You could just feel so strongly that that man
is a man of God. It was crazy. He spoke a lot about the sacrament
surprisingly. He gave some really incredible insights. One of my
favorite points that he pointed out was this: a lot of people think of
the sacrament as a renewal of your baptismal covenants. This is
true...but if you think it's only that, then you're missing the point.
The renewal of our past baptismal covenants is just a part of what
we're doing. We're really, in fact, making brand new covenants with
God, not just renewing old ones. Those aren't his exact words, of
course, but I just thought that was a good way to think about it.

So then that next Tuesday (my last day at the Point), we got to go to
the temple to do baptisms for the dead with Mara and Toese. It was
soooooo cool! I've never gotten to do that with a recent convert on my
mission. In fact, I don't think I've done baptisms for the dead since
I was like 17! It was awesome! It was funny, though, because
afterwards I was talking to Mara about what she thought of it, and she
said that it totally caught her off guard. Apparently she wasn't
paying super close attention to what we were saying when we were
talking about the temple, and the words "baptisms for the dead" didn't
really sink in either, because she just thought that we were going to
be sitting in a big beautiful temple to just think and meditate haha.
She had no idea she was going to be doing anything like that! She did
say something really cool, though. She said that even though she was
really confused and kind of overwhelmed with how different everything
was from what she was expecting, she came out feeling ridiculously
peaceful. I really think she felt the spirit strongly. And Toese just
loved it, of course. That dudes just a spiritual giant. It's pretty
crazy how prepared he was. I love that guy!

But yeah, so my first week in Poughkeepsie has been...different. It's
honestly been kinda hard to go back to the grind of a regular,
challenging, hard area again. West Point was such a dream, and so to
come back to an area with no work going on was kind of depressing. And
I mean NO work. We don't have like anyone to teach. At all. I can kind
of see why this area is the one that's looking to get shut down next
cycle. It's been good, though! Elder Unice is...good! He's another one
of those strange ducks that I've gotten out with, but he's awesome.
He's a little strange, but in a good way. He's got a big heart, and
that's all that matters. There's really nothing too exciting about
this week. I cleaned the apartment for like 2 1/2 days straight.
Again...I just don't do well with messy places. Plus...this apartment
is literally the best apartment in the entire mission. We have
everything. Washer, dryer, stainless steel microwave, oven,
dishwasher, and refrigerator set, a full bathroom to each one of us
(mine has a walk in shower with sliding glass doors, we have a little
deck that overlooks this little creek, a piano (yes a piano, and it's
nice...so I'm really trying to take advantage and get a little better
at playing it), brand new furniture...just everything. It's awesome.
So I would just feel horrible if this place wasn't in tip top shape.
Anyways...so yeah, not a whole lot of lessons that I could tell you
about. We did a LOT of tracting. No success yet, but that will come.
We did have an interesting lesson with a guy that's been taught a
couple of the lessons. Although...we will no longer be teaching him
because he has 0 interest in learning anything about the gospel. In
fact, he believes very heavily that the entire government is being run
by the devil, every politician is a devil worshiper, and he also
thinks that he saw a pentagram in one of our churches, which is a
devil worshipping symbol. So yeah...he's nuts :/ but it was definitely

Well, I'd better get going. I love ya'll so much! Have a terrific week :)

Elder Stafford

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mara Was Baptized!! Transferred From My Beloved West Point :( Hello Poughkeepsie!! :)

Hey everyone!! So sorry that this week is going to just be a little
lame email. I don't have hardly any time because of transfers and all
of that. I will write a more detailed email about this last week in
this next week's email, but I just wanted to talk about a few of the
big things that happened!!

So as some of you might know, I was transferred from my beloved West
Point :( I was so sad to go. I am excited, though, because I've been
transferred to Poughkeepsie. It's a really good place,  so far! My
companions name is Elder Unice. So far, he's a pretty interesting
guy...in a good way :). He's a little quirky but he's funny and we're
hitting it off well!

So on Friday, Mara was baptized!! It was so good! I'll talk more about
it next week.

On Saturday, we had Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
come and speak to us. That was one of the coolest things to ever
happen to me!! He gave such amazing thoughts and insights into
missionary work and the Savior. The Spirit in that meeting was so
strong and it really increased my testimony of Christ and of
modern-day apostles.

Mara's baptism

Grand Central Station

Me and the homies...I look puny!! Not that I'm very big...but these
guys are VERY big haha. These are all the prepsters that are friends
with Mara and Toese. They were all big parts of helping those two gain

Me and Cali

Sweaty and gross picture of us with that Poly family that we play
volleyball with. They are so awesome!! We played basketball afterwards
so that's why We're all disgusting haha.

Me and the Platts with Jacob Fryer and our investigator Danielle (on the right)

Jammed my finger pretty good playing ball :/

Us and Suzie

Me and the Ridgeways (that Indian/British family I was telling you about)

Found this on our bedroom wall one night...I'm pretty sure it crawled
out of the depths of hell...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This Was A Pretty Terrific Week!!! but...Leaving West Point???

Hellllo everyone!!

This was a pretty terrific week!! We are having
incredible success here at the Point. So Mara is getting baptized this
Friday!! Wooooo!! So Mara is a short little Japanese girl that is
going to the prep school right now with Toese and Jacob Fryer and all
them. She has been meeting with us For about a couple months now and
it's kind of funny because when she first started, she made it pretty
clear that she was Catholic and that she was going to stay that way.
That's what they are say ;) haha but seriously, she's had some really
cool experiences with the Book of Mormon and she just knows that they
are true. She always tells us that there's just something different
about the Book of Mormon from any other book...even the bible. But
anyways, so she committed to baptism earlier last week, and it was
kind of crazy because she has this ridiculously small time slot from
now until when she graduates and then leaves to go to a bunch of stuff
for the summer. Really what it came down to was she was either going
to be baptized this Friday, or she would have to wait like a month or
more before she came back here for basic training...which would still
be crazy to try and schedule. She had a little hiccup a few days ago
where she just had kind of a bad day and she was super tired and
stressed, and she just really felt like she needed to wait to be
baptized, that she was taking things too fast. We had a good lesson
with her, though, and she said that she would think/pray about it. She
did, and so the next day when we met with her, she committed to it and
decided that she really does want to! Phew! So we're super stoked for

We had another pretty cool miracle. So Jacob Fryer (the returned
missionary that is going to the prep school...the same kid that's
given us like 10 referrals since I've been here) invited a bunch of
people to go watch Meet the Mormons with him, and one of the girls
became like REALLY interested. Her name is Danielle Peck and she is
awesome! So she agreed to meet with us, and yesterday was our first
lesson with her. It was SUCH. A good lesson. She had lots and lots of
good questions and the member that we had there did an amazing job,
and it was just great. She's already read some of the Book of Mormon,
and she texted us this morning and said that she wants to meet with us
tomorrow again!! I guess when she prayed about the Book of Mormon, she
just felt really really good and then had this insane urge to read
some more. I think she's taken that as her answer!! She's already
committed to baptism! Miracle!

Sooooo...I basically have the coolest news ever. So this Saturday, we
are all going to meet together as a mission at the temple chapel, and
we are going to have a meeting/fireside thing with Quentin L. Cook of
the quorum of the Twelve Apostles!! Have awesome is that?! I'm soooo
excited. But I also need to repent a lot haha. I'll let you know how
it goes!!

So this last Saturday, Elder Nielson and I volunteered at this North
Face Endurance Challenge thing, which was a 50 mile trail race that
went all over Bear Mountain, which is right by our apartment. It's 50
miles of running up rocks and through bushes and down trails and all
sorts of crazy stuff. Anyways, so we helped out at one of the aid
stations which was a little "rest stop" for all of the runners at
about the 29 mile mark. It was so crazy to have these people run up
and they've just got blood and mud and streaks of white salt all over
their face from sweating. We just provided all sorts of drinks and
snacks and nourishment. It was so crazy what these guys eat. So in the
middle of a race like that, these runners just CRAVE sugar, because
that's like very immediate energy that they need. So they'd run up and
just start chugging Coke to get all the sugar they need. Another thing
they need is salt because their body sweats it all out. So they'd run
up and just go up to this bowl of salt we had and just grab it by the
handfuls and throw it in their mouths!!! Or they'd grab a canned
potato and just use it to scoop up mounds of salt. It was so gross!!
Haha ...but strangely...it made me really want to do something like
that! Haha idk though...we'll see ;)

Ugh so transfer calls are happening this Saturday!! Holy cow...this
cycle flew by so stinking fast. I'm almost on my very last cycle of my
mission...that's crazy. I have such mixed feelings about Saturday. I
want to stay in West Point so badly. Like SO badly. But idk if I'd be
able to do another cycle with Elder Nielsen. I love the guy to death
but it's time for a new companionship. We get along well, but I just
really need someone that understands me and I can connect with.
So we also had MLC (Mission Leadership Counsel) meeting, which was so
good. But in it, President Morgan said that almost all of the "old"
zone leaders in the mission are going to get released to make way for
the new leaders to get ready for our new mission president. So unless
I'm one of the rare exceptions, I'm probably getting released and
going somewhere else for my last cycle. :/ I don't know how I feel
about that. I just love this place so much. I will always have a piece
of my heart at this school.

Well, Ive gotta get going, but here are some more pictures from last
week and also from today!! I love you all so much! Take care and have
a great week :)

Me and Elder Nielson inside the Cadet Chapel. It is one of the most
beautiful buildings I've ever seen. It's so cool!!

Just me in the chapel

Me at 6:00 in the morning at the Endurance Challenge...Yes, I look/felt very tired haha!

Mom sent me a Cinco de Mayo package with a bunch of good stuff for a "mexican" 
dinner.  So naturally, I took a selfie of us making it ;)

 Our goofy zone...haha. So the reason one of the elders is holding
an iPad is because his companion just recently went home for surgery
on his knee, which he hurt playing soccer a few weeks ago :( he'll be
back soon though!!

Oh Goodness Mother...

Oh goodness mother...you can't stop spoiling me can you? I got your
Cinco de Mayo package and it was awesome!! Haha so much fun!! I'll
send you a picture of it in my mass email, but I just want to say

So the other thing that I was hoping to talk about was a good time to
do our Skype call!!! :D I'm so excited!! For me, around 4pm (my time,
2pm your time) would probably work best. I can't remember what time
you guys have church, though, so is that too early? If so, we can move
it to a little later! Let me know! Love you!

Monday, May 4, 2015


Dear Brother and Sister Stafford

Dear Missionary Parents and Families,

We express to each of your our deep love and gratitude for the privilege of serving the Lord with your devoted, hardworking missionaries. We’re inspired daily by their faith and testimonies. As the Work of Salvation continues to hasten, our missionaries are being guided by the spirit in their finding and teaching efforts. We thank you and express our sincere appreciation for preparing such wonderful young women and young men.

In July, our mission, and the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, will be blessed to host the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as a part of their 2015 Atlantic Coast Tour. The Choir will perform at several venues during their stop in New York. Several parents and family members have inquired as to the possibility of our missionaries being able to enjoy a Choir performance and asking if tickets could be purchased for their missionary son or daughter.

One of the several venues in which the Choir will be performing is at Yankee Stadium on Friday evening the 3rd of July. The Choir will perform several numbers before the game including the National Anthem. The Yankees organization has been extremely generous to the mission and reserved 240 seats at a cost of $16 per seat, (Normally $50.00). The money will be drawn from each missionary’s monthly allotment.

President and Sister Smith have approved attendance as a mission group and missionaries will enjoy the Choir, a Yankees game and a third inning introduction - welcoming the Sister and Elders of the New York New York North Mission to Yankee Stadium. Hundreds of other members of the Church from around the area will also be in attendance which will make for a memorable evening.

Please do not purchase Choir tickets for your missionary for any other performance. Our missionaries will have other responsibilities at performance sites welcoming visitors and representing the Church.

If you have questions you are welcome to call the mission office at 914-722-4105.

Thank you for your continued faith and prayers in behalf of the incredible missionaries serving in the great New York New York North Mission!

We’re forever – Loyal to the core!


President and Sister Morgan