Monday, December 30, 2013

Elder Fords Australian Christmas

City in New South Wales, Australia
 Hello family and friends!
All is well here in the land down under! I am enjoying the warm days but not enjoying the loud kookaburahs (that is a bird, and I am not sure If I am spelling it right) at 4 in the morning! ha It was wonderful to talk to family and friends briefly on the phone. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and enjoy watching the college football games on new years day like I used to! ha. 

 We had zone training meeting up in Coffs Harbor this last week. The zone leaders gave some inspiring trainings on HOW to do missionary work more effectively. We then had zone P-day, where we played laser tag and went to a really beautiful out look. there was a cool "sky-pier"where you could see EVERYTHING! Transfers were this week, I am staying in Port Macquarie with Elder Tsai. It will be fun! We are starting to teach with a lot more unity and power.
   My core experience with god this week again several smaller things piled up to make a principle known to me. The first was when me & elder Tsai were listening to a talk given by Carol B. Stephens this last general conference entitled "Do We Know What We Have?" A marvelous talk about the restoration of the priesthood and the endowment. I was then reading a bit out of "Our Search For Happiness"by M. Russell Ballard where it was again talking about the mighty power of priesthood and it's restoration to the earth. We also taught the restoration lesson twice this week, both times the spirit was stronger than I have ever before taught with. The power of the priesthood was on my mind a bit to say the least... We had the opportunity to give a blessing to a father of a home this weekend. After the blessing he said he felt much better and didn't cough once the rest of the time we were there. Yesterday, we were speaking with single sister in our branch, she said when her child was young he developed whooping cough and almost died, but was saved due to "vaccines and a WHOLE LOT of priesthood!"The statement was one of faith and struck me quite hard. I have always heard stories about the priesthood and blessing and miracles. It is usually an "Oh, wow. what a nice story" kind of thought. However, with all my studying and the experiences we (me and Elder Tsai) had had this week I realized what power we have here on the earth. The Power to Act in GODS Name. The words from Sister Stephens talk are in my head the last couple of days, "Do We Know What We Have?" that was my core experience with god this week.
   I have realized the importance of the spirit in teaching. It is near impossible to teach as Jesus taught without the spirit. I have been trying to slow down and have the spirit a lot more in out lessons this week. The outcome? HUGE! This week we taught the restoration (a lesson I have taught countless times in the last 6 months) more powerfully than I have ever before taught. Simply, because of slowing down, helping the people to understand what we are saying slowly and more boldly  The spirit is much stronger, it is undeniable in these lessons. The investigators are much more receptive and understanding. The spirit is EVERYTHING. 
   We went to visit a man on Christmas eve. He has no family, is somewhat old, and has some word of wisdom issues... he was a bit down in the dumps... We brought a Christmas message and the spirit into his home. Before we left he was singing and playing Christmas songs on his guitar! We were walking out the door and he said something along the lines of "I was feeling blue earlier, but you guys have changed my whole day. Merry Christmas!" It was so pleasing and enlightening to see such a mood swing on such a great night
   The Christmas season truly was great! I hope you all have an amazing new years! I love you all. 

      Elder Ford

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