What's going on? Everything here is going really great. It is a bit tough because we are not seeing the "success" that I would like to be seeing but we are seeing big changes happen everyday in ourselves, the ward and those people that we come in contact with. The Lord really does have a plan for all of us. I want you all to know that. He is there for us all the time and is putting both people and things in our path to help us grow spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have been learning a ton about myself over these past 2 months that I know for a fact would not have happened if not for me making the leap of faith and serving the Lord on a mission. At first I thought that it was just going to be all hunky-dory and I would just float around on a cloud bringing people to Christ because that is all you hear about from returned missionaries. You only hear the great times that they had or the spiritual experiences that go on in this chapter of their lives. I didnt have an older sibling that went on a mission to learn from so I had this image of a mission in my head. Let me be the first to tell you that although my days are filled with great things there are still plenty of trials that I go through physically but maybe even more in my own head. I have found that I am getting in the way of the Lord working miracles through me. My head is in the way and I try to think about things that dont matter. I have come to the conclusion after hearing the quote "Lose yourself and go to work" a 1,000 times that that is EXACTLY what I have to do. I am glad that I have figured it out this early so that I still have plenty of time to make the necessary changes.
I have always been a pretty curious person and I love asking the seasoned missionaries questions about their time out here in Arizona so I can better my own mission experience. I believe that every missionary has different trials and they all need to figure different things out. My missions is the most physically, emotionally, and spritually demanding thing that I have ever tried to do because you are constantly looking for ways to better yourself so that you are not the reason for someone not hearing about the gospel. It is a wonderful blessing to have the spirit with you so strong all the time. It makes self evaluation very easy and useful. I have a long way to come but I can already see a change in the way I see others, the way I talk to others and the way that I act. I now know why you only hear about the good things from returned missionaries. Its because the good things outweigh the bad things 10 to 1. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to talk about the gospel so openly and freely. I truly see the difference in my life because of it.
I am also very thankful for the priesthood which I hold and the ability to administer blessings. Today we had the great opportunity to give a blessing of comfort to a lady whose father had passed away last night. He lived in Bolivia and this woman could not afford to fly back there to see him. She could not see her own father be buried and that really was hard for her. We went over to her house with our Bishop and he gave the most beautiful and comforting blessing I have ever heard. The spirit was SO strong and I was glad I was worthy enough to stand in that circle and be apart of it.
Thank you all for the love and support. It really means a lot to me. I also want to publicly share how much I love my family! They are my whole world and I know without a doubt that I would not be the person I am today without them. My mom writes me a letter every week without fail and let me tell you, those letters along with all the other letters that people have written me are my most cherished possesions out here on my mission. I love reading them and they make me feel that I am doing some good for people back home without actually being there.
Until next week. Adios!
Elder Cole Safford
|Beautiful Arizona sunset|
|High waisted sweats and dress shoes. Nice.|