Sunday, February 23, 2014

Meeting A special Witness Of Christ

 Getting the opportunity to shake hands with and listen to Elder Nelson speak was great! It was a long 24 hours of riving, but it was well worth it! He is a funny man. He and his wife gave excellent talks. Elder Nelsons was more of a training than a talk. He asked a few people to come up for him and answer some questions. It was great!  
  This week we were able to help Sylvie tear up her carpet and put hard wood floor in! She is our investigator by the way. We had on of the members of the District presidency (in our branch), Our Branch President, Elders Quorum President, our Branch Mission leader, and several other brothers in the ward there all working and offering service. We planned to be there for a a few hours. It ended up being a 7 hour job! ha. Even with all of us there! It was quite the service project! We had fun though, it was a good time. It was all good and finished looked great when we were done! Sylvie even cooked us lunch too! A little "Barby" as they say here. Or BBQ as we say in America! ha. 
   We had President Howes new 2nd counselor in the mission presidency come and speak in Sacrament yesterday. WOW is all I have to say. He is an exceptional & god-loving man. A fantastic member of the church. It was great to meet him. 
   My core experience with gods this week... hmmm... I was thinking about that this morning and I couldn't figure it out. I finally decided that God is trying to tell me something or teach me something and that I do not know what it is. Something needs to change, but I am not sure what. I am trying to be as obedient as I possibly can. At times, due to others choices & peer pressure, it can be difficult. I am trying to be the best example to all that I can be. I want to have the Holy Ghost with me always! I know I do not though. I am seeking and monitoring why. Trying to discover what is holding me back. So I do not know what the Holy Ghost would have me do today. I assume Missionary work; teach and find new investigators. So that is what I will try to do!
  I am trying to improve my teaching by just letting them talk. For so long I have been listening and just tried to make the lesson "Yep, uh-huh,"then move and  make it GOSPEL GOSPEL GOSPEL! It doesn't work though. We were with a  member at a teaching appointment and the next day he asked, "Do you think she will be baptized on this day? We both knew the answer was ""no." We then saw her again this week. I just talked to her, and let her decide when the next appointment was, and things like that. I still kept the lesson a bit roped in, talking about what we planned on, but she was much happier and easier to teach. Sometimes people just need to go their course. 

I love you all! Thank you for your support in anyway you have given and do give me. 

   Elder Ford

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rainy days in Australia

 It has been raining all weekend. On top of that no one has wanted to answer their door... haha. So it was one of those weekends! Gotta love it. Makes the good times good! It makes it really humid too! ha. So, that is fun... i guess... If you're into humidity. ha. It has been a good week though! We have done some good things and Elder Punu has met pretty much everyone now. So, that is good! We have been doing well! Had 25 lessons last week. We were driving around looking for people on a new list of less-actives and there was a sign that said "Newport Island" so I HAD to take a picture in front of it! haha I figured dad, if no one else would get a good laugh out of it.
  We have the great opportunity to hear from Elder Nelson from the Quorum of the 12 this week! So that means Elder Ford gets to drive down to Sydney and back in less than 24 hours again! haha I am happy with doing so though. At least this time we will have the Taree Elders with us, we are supposed to take them down. Regardless, it will be an amazing opportunity to hear from an Apostle! It is a very big deal and quite an experience we are fortunate to have! We are all eagerly awaiting and working until Wednesday!
   President and Sister Howes came up this week for interviews. It was great to talk to them 1-on-1! They both asked me about Missouri and how I felt about it. I told them what I tell everyone else, It DEFINITELY was for a reason! I made friends with incredible members, missionaries, and Recent converts that I plan on staying in contact with most of my life! I was blessed to be able to stay there for the time I did. However, I am glad to be here now and wouldn't rather be anywhere else! President commented on how it confuses him because he thinks I am a young missionary but then realizes that I am actually an old missionary! I didn't think 8 months made me an old missionary.. but alright! ha I am so grateful for them and their love for the missionaries they lead!
    My core experience with god this week... I see know that I have a little responsibility, in taking over an area. I now have to stand up and do. I have to lead through the area, not follow through the area. I think this chance has definite potential to exponentially increase my effectiveness as a missionary, if I respond correctly and follow the spirit that is. I have been thinking a lot this past week of how I should handle things and how I should work. I feel that I can either grow quickly or back down from the nervousness that comes from new responsibility and become stagnant in the work. Obviously I hope to achieve the first! I am trying to be the best I can be.
   To teach as Jesus taught, I think I need to be more understanding and more bold. Tell people they need to change and understand why they don't want to. It is natural to be hesitant instead of bold. the natural man is an enemy to god. The right thing to do is hardly and usually never natural. That is what I aim to do. Hopefully I can be bold enough with myself to make myself change! ha
  I can't really pin one scripture that inspires me. It changes as does daily life. I guess If I had to narrow it down to 2 scriptures I would choose Ether 6:10 (the verse I quoted in my piece for the Book of Mormon web page) & 2 timothy 2:3 which reads "Thou therefore endure hardness , as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. "   Why? It's simple really, endure! Fight to the end for Christ.

  I love you all!  thank you for your support!
     Love, Elder Ford

Monday, February 10, 2014

The 8 months of Training is now over!

After 8 months of being on a mission, I have finally gone through the "first 12-weeks"book with my actual trainer. ha, took me long enough. We had to do it once I got here. Elder Tsai was transferred to Ashfield, a Chinese speaking ward in Sydney! My new companion is Elder Punu from Tahiti. He speaks a little English... but mostly French and Tahitian. I am excited. He is a great missionary and is excited to be here. He loves to surf so I might have to pull him out of the water at some point.. ha just kidding. I drove the the 2 hours down to Newcastle on sunday night, from Newcastle to Sydney on Monday morning, and the 5 hours from Sydney to port that afternoon. It was intense! ha. HEAPS of driving! It was fun. You get the hang of it pretty quick. you have to... ha. I have had a few close calls! It is scary... there is a lot of news about missionary car accidents coming across the web from president howes.. so I am taking all the advice I can! It seems like everyone is doing well. glad to hear that. I met an elder from Kentucky on sunday night and it made me wish I knew more about grandma ford and here life... I know she is from Kentucky LOVES UK basketball... but that is about it! again, I am starting to understand the importance of family history. He kept talking about skyline chili... to me skyline is a high school so I was lost.. ha. oh and he said he is in the Ohio Cincinnati mission boundaries back home. My dad was born in Cincinnati! oh wait that's all I know... again.. ha. But I do know a bit! I do need to know more about my family though... on both sides..  Either way I am excited for the changes around me, with the changes comes chances to grow!
    My core experience with god this week came from working with others and going on exchanges. I learned a lot from other missionaries this week. How to be bold, invite to baptism, promise blessings, and take over an area. Each of these things are something truly frightened me. I was very scared to do so. As we role played and experienced things it was easier, made more sense, and gave me more courage to do what I have been told I need to do. I feel that I can now do these things better and more effectively. I can do my work, or more correctly the Lords Work, better now. Missionaries CAN do great things! I am excited to be growing and learning. I have great opportunities coming to me right now, I aim to grow from them. Taking over the area will be interesting. I have only taken over an area once. It was while I was visa waiting (I prefer the term visa-working by the way) and I had only been in the area for 3 weeks... It seemed to die after I took it over... I got some great council from older Missionaries though and now feel more prepared and excited.
  In my teaching I am trying to be more simple. While, deep and complicated lessons may be "cool" or interesting... they are not needed in missionary work and will only lead people to be confused. I am trying to be more efficient and by doing so trying to be more simple. It seems like it is the right path. It is also causing me to think about lessons more.
I wish you all the best!~
   Elder Ford

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is it Super Bowl Monday here? no. It is not. No one even talks about it....‏

Hello Friends & Family!
  This week has been good. We did a TON of service. well... I'm in Australia so I should say HEAPS of service! We helped a member in our branch move 2 days in a row, both days until 7:00-ish. We worked on another members farm. We mowed a non-members lawn and talked to them for a while, They are friends of a senior couple who is going to be serving in the family history center in SLC in April! SO that is cool. After moving all day 2 days in a row, my hands have never been more raw than they were that night! ha. They were pretty red. I included a picture of my hand.. and the house that we had to haul everything out of the front door and down the stars of. ha And of the BEAUTIFUL sunset god rewarded me with that evening! ha I am starting to drive here now. So that is scary. Today was my first day of driving in Port. Man, it is weird. I get nervous! ha. Frightening. Definitely gonna take some practice!
 Hear the big game is Seattle vs. Denver uh? well, not that I care out here... but I would like to hear that Seattle won. ha. 
    My core experience with god this week was that we really do help people, even with eternally small and temporal things. We had the opportunity this week of helping our Relief Society President, Sister Horner, move homes. It sounded like the usual mormon move job. However when we arrived it was apparent there was a LOT of moving to be done. It took many truck and trailer loads! We spent the majority of the day helping her and her son, our moving Branch Clerk, move all of their possessions. That evening as I shook sister Horners hand and said goodbye, I saw more gratitude in her eyes than I have seen from anyone in a long while. This service made me realize how important our (even small acts of) service are to people and how grateful they are. I was so happy to have helped, and greatly humbled by her response of "Thank you so much. I cannot even tell you how thankful I am!" That experience mixed with us visiting a very less active man, who sometimes seems hopeless due to his word of wisdom issues, showed just how grateful people are for us. When we came to this mans home he said, "I have been wondering where you have been it has been a while." That evening he showed us all the reading and inspiration he had received from reading King Benjamins remarks to his people before he died. It was great to see him so happy to share his experience with us.
  I am trying to teach as Jesus taught by REALLY praying for my investigators and really understanding their needs. It seems to be working. I am more able to understand what they want & need, as well as just talk to them more simply & directly. It is really helping me. I am trying to focus on them more. SO far it is proving to be effective. Who would have guessed that listening to Preach My Gospel would improve my skills? ha.