Sunday, December 22, 2013

Peoria Week 4 *December 16, 2013

Hey hey hey. How is everyone doing today? 

This week has been just absolutely wonderful! For the main reason it was my birthday. That is really weird to think that I am already 19 years old! It seems like a year ago that I was turning 18. Crazy how fast time flies by. On the bright side I am in the last year of my "teen" years. That will be something to look forward to. Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! It really meant a lot to me. One tradition we have in our family is to put up handmade signs all over the house for peoples birthdays. Well I thought that I would miss out on that this year with me being gone and all, but as great as my family is they sent my companion a secret package that had all these signs and posters and things in it. He woke up a few minutes early and put them all up around the apartment. As I woke up he started to record me. At first I didn't even recognize that anything was done. But slowly I looked around and saw all these signs. I had no idea what was going on and I was trying to figure out exactly how this could have happened. The video is pretty great! You can totally see me piece it together in my foggy 6:30 AM brain. It meant so much to have all those signs. You really don't realize how great things are until they are gone. But in my case they were not actually gone... Make sense? 

I was able to go to the Mesa temple with my mission this week as well. What an amazing and powerful experience that was. The entire room was filled with just missionaries. I know that the Lord was pleased with all of us and I could really feel his presence there. Members of the wards we serve in provided family names that they needed to get done. How great would it be to have 250 of your personal family names done in one day? I know that we were the answers to someone's prayers and I was happy to get to do that. When we got into the Celestial room we got to give a hug to our mission president and his wife. She does so much for us and I was so excited to hug her and tell her how much it all means to me. It was a tender mercy of the Lord for sure.

This past week we have really been looking for opportunities to share Christmas messages with people. Christ is a pretty common belief among people so this non threatening message is a great way to break down some of the barriers that people automatically put up when they see white shirts and ties. I know that we are planting seeds in people that future missionaries will come along and harvest. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and all that he did and continues to do for me and my life.

I just want to publicly give a shout out to my parents and to my sisters for their love and support on my birthday. They always know how to put a smile on my face and make me feel like 2 million dollars. They are they best family and friends that I could ever ask for.

Every transfer the District leader goes on an "exchange" for the day. Either you go to his area and then his companion comes to your area with your companion or the other way around. I got to go to his area with his newer companion that has been out for about 2 months. He has been having a tough time with missing home and was thinking about leaving the mission field. I have been through something similar even though I have never thought about coming home, so I felt a need to help him. I absolutely love this elder to death and he has so much to offer the people here in Arizona. We get along very well and I was able to help him see the blessings that will and have come to his life already. I know that he will make the right choice. It just went to show me that I can bless peoples lives even if they are members of this church or even missionaries. I know that this is a great gift from my Father in Heaven and I intend on using it to the best of my abilities. 

I love you all and wish you a very Happy Christmas!

Elder Cole Safford
December Birthdays

At the Temple with Brother and Sister Taylor and Elder Zaugg

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