Monday, August 25, 2014

Glendale Week 53 *August 18, 2014


This week has just been very full of little amazing experiences that
have really made it all worth it. I know that not every day is going
to be completely full of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities but little
things throughout the whole week really do help.

We are still continuing to teach Vanessa and things are moving along
really well. We had a lesson on Tuesday with her mom there and also
her little sister. We had four members come with us to this lesson so
was kind of like a mini conference with guest speakers I guess you
could say. It was really funny because we were planning on teaching
the 10 Commandments and didn't really know what to do with this many
people but we decided to make it more of a game and gave each person a
commandment, that they had to memorize and do a hand signal for and
then we all just went around the circle and showed the commandment
that we had and talked a little bit about each one. Elizabeth had the
Commandment number four which is to keep the Sabbath day holy. And the
hand signal for that since it's number four is to hold up two rock 'n
roll signs on each of your hands which uses four fingers and you say
"don't rock out on Sundays, go to church." It is pretty funny to hear
her say that and she made sure that we all got a good laugh out of it.

On Sunday Vanessa had her baptismal interview with the zone leaders
and everything went really great. She was really nervous about having
to answer questions and talking to a stranger but we assured her that
everything was going to be okay and we even went over the questions
with her the day before. When she came out of the interview her face
just kind of beamed and you knew that she was excited and happy that
she was able to be baptized. Her baptism is set for this coming
Saturday at 2 o'clock and she has asked her Sunday school teacher
Brother Peterson to baptize her. I thought at first that it would be a
little sad that I wasn't able to do the baptism but I know that she
will have a better relationship and a longer lasting relationship with
brother Peterson because he lives here. I know that that is what the
church is all about. Relationships that we build with other people as
well as the relationships that we build with God. We cannot be more
excited for her and especially excited for the example that she is
being to her mother and also to her younger sister.

Once every six weeks we get to go and exchanges with the zone leaders
and it's always a fun day. When I had first come out I had a district
leader named Elder Barrus. I had been out for just under three months
and he had been out for just about a year when we met for the first
time. Well he is now my zone leader and has been out for 19 months and
I am a district leader and have been out for a whole year and we got
to go on exchanges on Wednesday. The whole thing seemed nostalgic. We
just remember all the times we had together before and the
relationship that we had built then. He is a really fun kid and just
loves life and is happy to be here so it's kind of contagious. We had
a super great day filled with wonderful teaching opportunities as well
as having fun on our bikes. He's in a car area so every opportunity he
gets to be on a bike he really takes full advantage of it. He was
jumping up and down curbs and just getting into mischief. For dinner
we went over to our investigators house named Amber. They fed us
fajitas and some tres Leche cake but in the end they had a little
surprise for us. They opened up the fridge and pulled out some Korean
delicacies one being kimchi and the other being dried anchovies. Just
for your information kimchi is cabbage that is been soaked in vinegar
and salt in a big jar and then they bury that jar in the ground for
six months and then take it out and that is what you eat. So basically
it's fermented nasty vinegary cabbage. They made me put a whole huge
chunk of it in my mouth and I think I lasted only but two seconds
before I had to spit it out and go into the bathroom without throwing
up. The droid anchovies were a different story. they weren't as bad
and I was able to stomach them but they were just so fishy tasting it
was it was not a pleasant experience.

The weather has been pretty humid here lately because of the monsoons
that we've been getting. It makes it a little sweaty but not as hot
which is always good. But the best part about the humidity in the
monsoons is by far the sunsets. There is really pretty and big puffy
clouds that just make it an unbelievable site. I try to stop as often
as I can it take pictures of the sunsets but you can only have so many
pictures of sunsets before there going to start looking the same.

Coming up in November we have the Phoenix temple dedication. It's a
great opportunity and a great privilege to be able to be a missionary
in this area while that is all taking place. We have learned what our
role as missionaries will be during that time and we are learning what
the youth are going to do for the cultural celebration. Everybody is
pretty jazzed about it and talking about it all the time. It's a great
missionary opportunity for the people here to invite their friends and
to talk with them and show them just what we believe in and why we
build temples. I know that a lot of great things are going to come
from this and I'm already seeing a lot of blessings come from it.

We played softball for a zone activity and felt it necessary to go to
goodwill and get all dressed up so that's what the amazing outfits
are. Enjoy.

Well I love you all and hope you have a great day and week!

Until next week,
Elder Cole Safford

Enjoying the Arizona sunset

Rockin' the Goodwill

Glendale Week 52 *August 13, 2014

Why hello there!

The past seven days has been chalk full of funny little moments as
well as amazing spiritual ones. I think that I have been missing out
on events that I am apart of because my brain has been someplace else
as they were taking place. I have really been working on being where I
am when I am there. When we have a lot going on we tend to try and
multi task but often that leads us to be caught up in our own head and
just going through the motions with our bodies. It's a tough thing not
to do but I am determined haha. I don't know why but I feel like I
have to share my little personal findings with all of you. I think
it's in the hope that I can be a help to someone struggling. I just
don't want you to struggle with something that I have been working on
or found a slight solution too you know? If you don't like it I can
just tell you about my week and not go in Cole the philosopher, but if
you don't say anything I will just keep going haha.

Anyways we had an amazing lesson with Amber and Tim. They are not
married yet but have been together so long the state of Arizona sees
them as common law married. Amber cannot be baptized if they are not
married so we needed to talk to them about this before we get too
close to her baptismal date. We really wanted to help them see into
the further as to where they want to go and where God wants to see
them go. That is to the temple of The Lord of course. So we prepared
and shared a great lesson on the temple and the blessings that come to
our lives as we continually go and make the promises with God. Tim was
really excited and wanted to jump right into it but Amber had a few
reservations about time and it all happening too fast. To be honest I
was so happy that she said that. It shows that she really cares about
the decision she is making. She wants it to be the right time and at
her pace. Wonderful. I couldn't be more stoked for her. And them. They
are a great family and will be so much happier when they make these
promises together!

Our other investigators are Rachel and her 15 year old daughter
Vanesa. They are both so ready for the gospel. Rachel has a few hang
ups but nothing that time won't heal. Vanesa on the other hand is
progressing so rapidly. She used to be a little shy but has opened up
a to. And is so happy now. The young women's program in our ward has
helped SO much. They are always inviting her to things and giving her
rides. The young women's president is simply amazing. She is so upbeat
and so willing to help all in need. She is the person that Vanesa
really needed. I was just privileged enough to get to introduce them.
Vanesa is set to be baptized on August 23rd! She is excited and we are
excited for her. Big things to come in her life. She will be great.

We are continuing to have the best member lessons ever. The ward is
completely behind us and trusts us which is great. You know what they
say... It's takes a long time to gain the trust of those around you
but just one poor choice to lose it. We are trying not to lose their
trust for future missionaries sake haha. It's the worst when a ward
doesn't trust it's missionaries. Not much gets done. But we have the
trust and are using it to get work done. Plus our ward mission leader
is doing good things. He knows how to talk to people and how to get
them on board with what we want to have happen.  Funny story about
him, we asked if there was anything we could do for him and he said
"wash my car." So on Saturday afternoon we went to wash his car. He
had the idea that we should also wash the neighbors cars. We all went
up to the door and this was his pitch. "Hi. I'm Mr. Taylor your
neighbor and these are some youth from my church. Today is their super
service Saturday and they need to get 10 hours of service so that they
can get their service patch. Would you help them by letting them wash
your car?" Hahahaha you know what... It worked. And we got our service
patch!! Finally!

Side note I hit 3000 miles on my bicycle on Wednesday! Crazy.

We have been trying to get ahold of this less active family that the
ward asked us to go by but couldn't ever catch the dad. We probably
tried over ten times in the past 6 months. Nothing. Well last night we
stopped by off a whim and he was there! They were just about to play
Yahtzee and invited us in to play. It was so great. We just chatted
with them and played Yahtzee. Elder Thomas crushed us all. And I came
in a mediocre 3rd. But the more important thing was that we finally
were able to meet them. Elder Thomas is so funny. So I honestly think
he would forget his head on the counter if it was not attached to his
body aha. He will just randomly space out in visits with people and be
there physically but mentally he is gone. It is so funny. We will get
out of the house and he will be like "dude I missed all of that. What
happened in there!" Haha we always have a good laugh. Lately though it
has been him running into bushes while on his bike. We will just be
riding along and them bam. There he is nose first on some bush on the
side of the path haha. Super entertaining. He is amazing though. Love
him to death.

Well that's all folks. Tune in next week to see the adventures of
Safford and Thomas. Broadcast on Mondays from 10am to 6pm. See you

Elder Cole Safford

When I hit 3000 miles!

Our "man" tower

Glendale Week 51 *August 4, 2104

Hello. Hi. How are you?

Things are picking up here. Slowly but surely we are seeing more and more people want to learn about the gospel that haven't heard it before. It's really exciting. I don't really know what has changed. We are just working everyday trying to do what we know is right. God really does know what we need. It's interesting to see how things play out when there is no one but him to lean on. He just wants what's best for us. And patience is the key in all of it. It really is. 

We are still working with Amber and seeing the changes that she is making. She asked us last week about baptism. She wants to know when she can be baptized because she wants one of us to be the one to do it. We know for sure that elder Thomas leaves august 26th so she wants to shoot for August 23rd. It's going to be a long shot and a lot of hard work but I really think it can happen. We just have to work diligently as well as directly. It really helps in the learning process if you are just short, simple and to the point. Cutting the fluff is not easy but it makes a world of difference. Her husband has started to come back to church and he is bringing his less active mother with him which is amazing. The family is so important. We really need to make sure that the foundation we are all built on is sturdy and we are on it together. 

Rachel was out of town for the past week so we could talk with her but we asked her 15 year old daughter Vanessa if she would like to learn more and she said yes! After the first lesson she also asked about baptism. We wanted to know why he he would ask. She said it was because she was scared of making decisions and wanted help. We testified about the power of the Holy Ghost and it's role in our lives is to help us to just that, make decisions. It was a very powerful moment. She was pretty shy at first but as we have befriended her and helped her meet the young women in the ward she has really opened up. I really believe that positively talking to people helps them to believe more in themselves and really become the best they can be. Negativity doesn't do a whole lot of good. We plan to continue teaching her and prepare her for baptism on August 23rd. 

The ward here is picking up in its missionary efforts too the calendar we set up has been a hit and everyone is looks at it and helping us get appointments. Most of the appointments are with less actives but they need the help just as much so we don't mind. Any chance we can we are talking to people and inviting. Invitations are key. If we don't invite they won't act. And that's what will help them come closer to god. Acting. That's what our zone meeting on Friday was centered on. Agency. Both on the part of the investigators, members and the missionaries. It really is a united effort. 

We did some service this week. It was great. We put up a guys wall at his house! Got to use all sorts of new tools and really have fun with it. I learned a ton and it just feels good to be able to see the immediate results of my efforts. It was nice weather for the job. No one got sunburned and we all made it out alive. We topped it off with some Pizza! Classic. It's monsoon season here so the possibility of rain each day is high. Which makes me happy because I love riding in the rain! Haha

Well I love you all! Hope you have a fantastic week! Good luck to those starting school. Make this year a good one. I am starting my second year in the mission. It's like I am fresh out. I just want to keep it that way and not get burnt out! We will see. 

Until next week,
Elder Cole Safford 

I took this picture while trying to preoccupy Alex (2) and the little teacup chihuahua named Drama while we were teaching Amber haha. And don't mind the pepper in my teeth. I was saving it for later.