Monday, October 13, 2014

Glendale Week 60 *October 7, 2014

The end has come. We got the transfer news this morning and I am
leaving. I don't know where I'm going yet but all I know is that I
have to pack my bags and report to the transfer building tomorrow.
It's kind of a scary thought, but at the same time it's a new
adventure and new opportunities for growth and development. It's funny
how a mission works. You stand up in this big room and they tell you
who your new best friend is for six weeks. I guess for some it could
be hard because they don't like to talk or share anything personal
about themselves but I have found that it's best for you to share
those things about yourself that make you who you are. We are all
children of our heavenly father and so we should get along!
Unfortunately it doesn't always happen but one can only pray and try
their best.

My time here has been a roller coaster of emotions and a lot of
learning. I would have never grown this much if I hadn't come on a
mission. So I'm pretty grateful for the support I had to come out
here. I think today in this email I just wanted tell you all the
things that I've learned in the past nine months while serving in the
sunburst ward.

The first thing that I learned is is trust. The trust that you have to
have with the ward, the Lord and your companion at all times is
crucial to to success. There is no way that it will ever work if
yourself and others are not on the same page. We are all doing the
Lords work but we all have a little different flare on how we want to
do it and that is great! We need a difference in opinion. So if you
share your insights and your thoughts on how to do a specific thing,
then you can really help the work to progress and move forward. It
takes faith to trust others with responsibility. It takes stepping
into the dark a little bit but at the end of the day heavenly father
will get his work done and I think if we have the privilege of being a
part of it then that's just a bonus are on our behalf. The work will
go forward no matter what we just have to try our hardest to progress
it as much as we can.

The next thing that I have learned about is patience. The Lord has

with. us every single day. He knows the mistakes we are going
to make. He knows where our weaknesses lie and yet he still gives us
the opportunity to make decisions on our own. It must be terribly
frustrating when we choose to make a decision that we have already
promised ourselves we wouldn't make 100 times. And yet he is still
just sitting up there waiting for us to make the right one. If that is
not a testimony of God's love for us but I don't know what it is. We
have to have the same love and patience for everyone else that we come
in contact with on a daily basis. We cannot call ourselves followers
of Jesus Christ if at the end of the day we are not acting like Christ
would. not treating people the way that they deserve to be treated.
It's not easy I promise. Sometimes people deserve to be kicked in the
butt! But it totally is worth it when we choose to be patient. We all
remember the saying "that you treat others the way that you want to be
treated." This is especially true for us as disciples of Christ with
our brothers and sisters. We were all there in the pre-mortal
existence and we all made the decision to come to this earth. It is
only a matter of time before our friends and neighbors remember that
choice. And choose to come back and to live their lives in such a way
that is pleasing to God. It really will be a great day when that
happens but until then we're going to have to go slow. We need to help
them get there because they can't do it on their own.

The third thing that I've learned, and it might be the most important
as far as missionary work goes, is the value in working with the
members of the church. As missionaries we don't live full-time in the
area in which we serve. We come and we go but as members we are always
there to talk to our friends about going to church and to help them to
have a good experience. If we will all have the mentality of
missionary work every minute of the day then we can really get some
stuff rolling. It all starts with having the faith that God will
provide a way for you to accomplish his will.  I have seen more
success in working with the members when it comes to finding then any
other method because the members know people who are not members. And
they know them personally. When members and missionaries come together
power is there. Opportunity is there and we get to change people's

I hope this wasn't too heavy for you all. I just wanted you to hear
what I have learned and what I am always trying to work on. I know
this will come as a shock to most of you but I am not perfect. I am
always working on the same things and becoming a little better each
day. I wish you all a great day!

Until next week,
Elder Cole Safford

 Elder "Superman" Stults right before he left for Brazil.

 The text that changed my fate

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