Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Glendale Week 56 *September 8, 2014

Good afternoon!

As I sit here and write this email a downpour is ensuing just outside
the window! It is such an amazing thing. Rain. I absolutely love it.
We definitely do not get enough of it here but the times that it does
come are pretty special. It would be even better if brother Fullmer
had a fireplace but since hardly anyone does in Arizona I am not too
bummed. The rain will last all day but by tomorrow it will be back up
to 90 degrees and we will be out riding our bikes having a good time.
I think that has been one of the reasons I have not gone crazy this
past week. I have the ability to just hop on my bicycle and leave
everything behind. It reminds me of home and I can think so much

This past week was tough. But not in a discouraging way. In a "I want
to be more efficient and smarter so that this doesn't happen again"
kind of way. We have a ton of people that are semi interested in
learning more and they would progress greatly if we could just meet
with them on a weekly basis but for some reason they evade us. We were
unable to meet with any of them this week and it was pretty lame. We
tried and tried to get in contact via text and calling and even going
by their homes but to no avail. Normally I would be in the mindset
that I want to quit but this week was cool. I had my mind more open to
the idea that everyone has their own timetable. They all have so many
things going on in their lives. We don't know what those things are or
the weight they are carrying on their shoulders. I need to just be
patient with them. I need to show them that I care but not letting
them fall by the wayside but also giving them a little space. It was a
pretty great experience that I know will bless my life for the better.

We did however get two new referrals from a member of a different ward
for some prepared people. We gave them each a call to see if they were
interested in setting up an appointment but they answered back way
better. Each of them basically said "I am not interested... I'm going
to do it for sure. I'm ready to better my life and the church is how
I'm going to do that!" It was terrific. We were so stoked for them. We
set those appointments for this coming week so I will have to update
you on them next Monday.

I had the ability to go to a mission leadership council on Tuesday and
hear from President Griffin. He talked a lot about his vision for the
mission. He is making a bunch of changes according to the inspiration
that he is receiving on our behalf. He is really emphasizing that we
as the leaders of the mission need to help the younger missionaries to
prepare to become the leaders. He really wants us to turn outward and
help them see that they are good enough and that they know enough to
lead people. If we start to do this when a missionary is first out
then he or she will be able to be a leader earlier in their mission
and near the end they could train a new missionary and help them to
grow that much more. I am pretty excited about where it will take us.

Some of my most revelatory experiences on my mission have been while
on exchanges with my leaders. This week I went on one with my zone
leader and best missionary friend Elder Jason Barrus. I knew him when
I first came into the mission field and now we have the opportunity to
serve around one another again. We had  a great day on Saturday but
the crowning moment was just as we were wrapping up. We drove up to
the new Phoenix Temple site and just looked at the temple. It started
to drizzle so we got into the car. Well the heavens opened. It was so
perfect. We just sat in the car and listened to the rain beat upon the
roof and felt the spirit so strong. I know God loves me. I felt it
that night.

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week. Make sure to make
it great. Go out and do something that you have wanted to do for a
while now. Just do it. Don't think! Thank you to everyone that has
written me letters. I love them.

Until next week,
Elder Cole Safford

 Arizona Phoenix Temple with the rain on the windshield.

Elder Barrus and I trying to get a picture together while driving.

Didn't work out too well haha.

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