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

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