Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Weekend of Conferences

 Hello beloved friends and Family!
 This weekend we went to District Conference. Drove up Saturday morning, had a priesthood session at 3, dinner directly after, and General Saturday night session following. We crammed 12 missionaries into 1 apartment and stayed the night! The next morning we had The General session. where The district presidency, the temple president from Sydney and his wife, and the 1st councilor in the mission presidency and his wife , and of course President and sister Howes all spoke! We had a big lunch after wards in the chapel, and then after the lunch the missionaries had a zone conference from 1:30-8:30 that night! With a dinner included from Sister Howes. We then again had a 12 Elder sleep over in the Coffs Harbour missionaries "flat." We drove back this morning and got back about an hour ago! So it has been quite the weekend! ha. We put a bowl of sugar on the patio or "veranda"as they are called here, and the birds came to eat it. They went crazy it was funny! One of the assistants told us they flip out... and he was right! ha. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery this week! it was pretty nice! It was great to be in a big congregation this week. I felt more at home. I truly love and miss my home ward! I think of all the people that were my neighbors or leaders and am so sorry I was such a punk all the time. but glad they love me anyways! ha
 My core experience with god this week was a bit odd... On Friday we left our apartment to travel to Kempsey for the day. As soon as we started driving something wasn't right. I kept feeling like I forgot something. Five minutes away from the apartment we got a text saying our dinner in Kempsey had been cancelled that night. I continued a little further. Something just still wasn't right. I pulled over and started to pray. I said Amen and waited. Nothing specific came to me. I thought Well, I am going to go back and check out the apartment. We drove the 10 minutes back home., climbed up to the 4th story living quarter, and entered. All was well, Just as we left it. I said "okay..." and we were off again. WE went on that day to Travel up to the farther lesser reached parts of our areas. We did have a successful day. But to this time now, I still cannot figure out what was wrong and why we went back. I was thinking as we left to get back in the car, that maybe that was the blessing itself. Nothing happening may have been the blessing. Maybe it put us in the right time at the right place... But either way. That day turned out well, as we received a miracle referral,  "Ironically" the phone call came right as we were coming into town and passed the place where I turned around to drive back that same morning. The lord has mysterious ways!
   My best practice in teaching as Jesus this week came from a role play in the Zone meeting last night. After the role play, It was clear that I need to calm down and think before I talk. As Sister Tautaoli (i apologize if the spelling is incorrect) noted that had that been a real lesson the investigator likely would have been really offended at what I said. I need to calm down... I have always seemed to have a problem with thinking before I talk. It was a common joke with my friends back home, Not in a mean way. I hope to keep improving my teaching.
   If I were to give advice to a missionary it would have to be... just follow the rules. You hear these stories about how missionaries don't follow rules and do whatever they want, "but still have success." Fables I tell you! I have been on both ends of the spectrum. Following the rules WILL and DOES effect EVERYTHING you do. It doesn't seem like it when you are disobedient, but when you DO choose the right, you notice it big time! I can definitely stand and testify of that!
I love you all! I hope all is well on your front!

    Elder Ford

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