Sunday, April 27, 2014


G'day, G'day how ya' going'?
   Good good....
I am doing good! This last Friday was low and behold! Another public holiday! haha Much like memorial day. It was Anzac day. Australian New Zealand Army Commemoration Day. Or some thing like that... Everyone was off work again. So that was cool... they had a big thing out at The Entrance (which is a city name in our area) but it was at like 5 in the morning... needless to say we chose to sleep in. We got the car serviced this week, talked to some people on the courtesy bus and gave them a card.. so hopefully something came out of getting the car serviced. ha We had zone Conference that was fun! Always good to see President and Sister Howes as well as the Assistance. you enjoy every opportunity to learn as a missionary. I prepared a good and personal talk for it and of course I did not get called on.. haha. Oh, well. Now I have it if I ever need it! We taught one of our Investigators several times this week. She has a baptismal date set for Saturday and she is pretty excited. She is our primary presidents cousin. Our primary president has to translate sometimes for us. ha. They are both from the Philippines and so sweet! Sister Johnstone (our primary president) and her mother feed us sometimes and it is amazing! haha. they are just the nicest of people. I keep thinking about the missionaries from the home ward serving in the Philippines and wondering how their efforts are going... We are starting to get involved in family history so we can help people with their own tree's. I am wondering if I will even have anything to do, because Grandma Ford is pretty muchva pro and got it all done. ha. I am grateful for the family I have... we had a big combined activity with Toukley ward on Saturday morning. We all had a big "Canadian breakfast" then cleaned the chapel and the rest of the property. It was good we got to talk to and set things up with different ward members, including the family history consultant. W got to work out with the member in our ward that was a personal trainer again this morning. Me and Elder Orr have fun there.. haha.
   President Howes has asked us all to write miracles and submit them so the office can another Miracle book for the mission. this is the entry I submitted:
 It is cliche to say, but we see miracles everyday on a small scale. We really do, missionaries are blessed and taken care of, especially when we are diligent! I have a greater miracle to brighten your day with however. Let me set the stage...
Me and my trainer visited a less-active sister that had recently moved into our branch. She had a fine testimony which she shared with us, as well as her story. After we got to know her she said, "Ya know, you really oughta go tracking around here!" She proceeded to tell us about a few neighbors that should be open to listening. She was particularly serious when she told us of the man a few houses down, "he is a bit of a drugie, but a nice fellow" the sister told us. We were needless to say very grateful for point in the right direction. We knocked on all doors on her street. The man she spoke of was not home. We left a plan of salvation pamphlet on the door. As we continued to tract the street out for some reason I wanted to get rid of all the stuff I was carrying, several pamphlets and a couple copies of the Book of Mormon. I am usually not this wasteful... but for whatever reason I left it all on random pouches or verandas. Nothing really came of our efforts, a few people told us to go away... the usual tracing experience. A couple days later we even got an angry phone call because we left a card some someones door. Amazing that a CARD would upset someone so bad! Anyway, back to the miracle! My trainer got transferred a short time later.
Through out the next transfer we struggled with finding... not one. During week six we made our way back down to the same area as we normally did every week. We visited the missionary minded less-active sister (that is hard to imagine isn't it?) sister last as part of our routine day in the outskirt of our area. As we were getting back into our car for the hour long return journey to our flat, I see this older man sitting on the porch she had told us to go to weeks back. I instantly made judgment, "no, he wouldn't be receptive. he is probably just an angry old man like the rest of the neighborhood was..." So, we embarked back home. We turned off the street when the prompting came "Go back and talk to him!" I say out loud, "I feel like we need to go back and talk to him..." Me and my Companion both make excuses again. "Nah he didn't want to talk to us or we would of said something." We got several kilometers away and into a different city even, when I get the same prompting a second time! I tell my companion, "If I don't go back this will haunt me in my dreams. I am sorry but I have to go back!" We turn around despite the wasted "k's." We park in the same spot, start walking up to his door. His little puppy runs out so I start to play wit it and use him as an ice breaker with the gentleman. He reads our name tags, "Oh! You are the ones that left this on my door!' he exclaims. He reaches over and pulls out what else but the pamphlet me and my trainer left a transfer ago. Turns out, he had read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet twice, got a hold of the Book of Mormon we left on his neighbors porch, had read the whole introduction was a good bit into 1st Nephi. He became our new investigator in over six weeks. I got transferred the following Monday. I have recently received word that this miracle has a solid baptismal date and will become the Branchs first recent convert and baptism in over two years!
I testify to all who read this book and the world, that the Lord prompts us through the Holy Ghost, to visit the people he has prepared to receive his gospel. ALWAYS follow promptings. Even when they seem silly, you may be on the brink of a miracle! Miracle s DO happen today. Especially in the Church Of Jesus Chris Of Latter-Day Saints, Gods Restored Church on the earth today! I so testify in the Sacred and Holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
-Elder Ford
I hope you all enjoyed that story. I love you all! I thank you for your support and pray for you each night!
     Elder Ford

Monday, April 21, 2014

Revelation of Old

Hello Loved ones!
  Sorry for the later e-mail. In Australia Easter is not only a Sunday Holiday. It is celebrated in the form of "Good Friday" on Friday, were everyone is off work. Easter Saturday where everyone is off work,  the usual Easter Sunday and Easter MONDAY! where you guessed it! Everyone has work off! ha. The Aussies will try to get out of anything for any reason so Easter is a good enough reason for a 4 day holiday I guess! ha. Good Friday or my birthday was a Good Friday! I didn't tell anyone and me and my companion went out for lunch at a nice BBQ restaurant. I bought. It was a good day. Sister Howes called in the morning and said happy birthday as well as Elder and Sister Fiel that evening to SING happy birthday! ha. My companion was curious why such people were calling for. He imagined it was a problem or home matters I was sensitive about.. ha. at 10:25 pm I flipped my license on his desk and said that's why these people called. Then I got up in bed and started praying. I hear him say "is something wrong with it?" goes quiet again. all then sudden "IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY?!?!?!?" he was mad i didn't tell him and got our district leader in the other room and so after I said AMEN i looked up to see the 2 of them standing there arms folded with angry looks on their faces. it as so funny!! haha they told the family we had dinner with the next night and they ended up making me a cake and stuff. it was pretty funny! A good week though!!
    This last week I have been thinking about conference. I kept thinking back to the Temple celebration I was a part of for the Draper temple. The celebration was held in the conference center, so seeing the setting again brought back joyous memories. It brought back a decision I had made. I was furious one day after coming home from middle school because I forgot I had to go and practice the celebration down town. I had "plans." and didn't want to go. After I returned home my mother noted how happy I was and that she was glad I had such an attitude change while I was gone. The spirit was obviously there as we sang of the temple in that practice. I felt it prompt me to change. being so young I had not experienced this before. I followed. I now see the blessing of following this prompting. YEARS later. Similarly I remember a family friend that was like an older brother to me, Brother Schwendiman in my home ward. He always followed the council given at General Conference. When I was younger I did not understand such dedication. It was "just something they said at conference." Seeing his dedication to following promptings to the.. less dedication of following promptings of other examples in my life... I can see the difference it has made YEARS later. Complete differences. I am reminded of President Uchtdorfs talk years ago about how a plane 1 degree off can make the biggest change in destination. this stuck out because following EVERY prompting is on my list to start doing for my "40 day fast." It is incredible to see the lord motivate you through general conference and your own personal experiences. the lord helps us to change no matter how hard we struggle.
    I am trying to make my points flow much better while teaching. As with anything I do it takes me a while to change. I am getting better. I ask my Companion how I am doing and he helps me to improve and tells me what I did right. I am blessed to have a caring companion. We are teaching better and notice the huge difference it makes when we and our points flow steadily. I like to teach.
    When I look at this past conference I remember 2 talks mostly. Elder Zwick of the 70 speaking of how we need to "let no corrupt communication proceed from our mouths" struck me. I need to continue working on changing the way I speak to show that I am a representative of Christ. Also, President Halstrom of the presidency of the 70, who spoke in priesthood. When we can't change because "it's just the way we are" we lose instantly and the adversary wins. If we give in to commonly accepted practices in this world we CHOKE our priesthood power. That is what stood out to me this last conference. To evermore effective change self and honor the priesthood I hold.
Sorry there are no pictures this week.. I for got my card reader at the flat...LOVE YOU!!!
   Elder Ford

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why do we put things off?

Hello my dear friends and family!
   I love you all so much. I hope you are all taking notice of the theme to stand up for your beliefs and to stand strong in the adversary whirlwind. Conference is always fantastic a s a missionary. the priesthood session was probably the most powerful session to me. It seemed to have a very special and intense spirit to it. I for got my usb-SD card reader so I cannot send pictures this week. I am sorry I will have to send more next week! Things are going well here and all is well. It is starting to get cooler here an now feels much like October weather. That is good. I just do not look forward to the constant rain!
    My core experience with god this week... I am starting to notice more and more experiences with god and now having to determine which to shre. This past week we had a different missionary in the flat due to exchanges. Our wonderful and charismatic zone leader came to swap with our district leader for the day. We learned many things and enjoyed the time we were able to spend with our friend. One lesson stood out to me though. Elder Kiwa said they were going to clean the apartment at some point today. He then started to pick up what was around him. The result was a 4-elder cleaning session that got a lot of well needed work done. The apartment was not overly dirty, but we did think it had gotten a bit to far and had the desire to change it. That was it though. We had the desire to change it, but we just didn't change it until someone started. Relating to missionary work there are so many things that we know how and want to do, but just don't. As missionaries have a desire to be better, but don't due to one thing... habit. All it took was one person to pick up a few things for us to decide to clean the whole apartment. We just have to DO. We always think, "Oh, we will clean on p-day" or "oh, we will be better on the rules next time." Why? we just need to CHANGE habit. and DO. I have been writing about the same thing for weeks now in my letters. Hopefully I am starting to understand. I need to change and do. I have a desire to do better and be consecrated, but I am not in the habit of it yet. Why do we put things off? Once again I realize... I need to change.
    My teaching skills sometimes seem stagnant, not improving. That is NOT good. This week what stood out is the importance of preparing and communicating with your companion before the lesson EXACTLY what you will do and cover. We taught the plan of salvation twice this week. One was planned out who would cover what points and the order of the points. the other we just said "Plan of salvation again!" we missed several points and went out of order. The importance of preparation is absolutely necessary.
      There were two quotes that really hit me on Sunday during general conference. "How I wish I had a second chance to be kind!" and ""Resolve to do better than we have in the past." the past is behind us, it may still haunt us. We need to repent, learn from it, and "do better." Again, for months I have been talking about change. It tends to go along with everything I am learning in the mission from leaders and personal study. We as individuals, as a mission, and as The Church need to "do Better Than we have in the past!"
  I love you all. I apologize for the short e-mail... darn libraries time restraints!
   Elder Ford

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Taking Christs Name Upon Us

Sorry if I already sent this... The  library kicked me off when I was trying to send it last. So I don't think It sent. However, now I have more time. Thank you for your patience!
  1st to answer the big question you all had this week... Conference will be aired next weekend in the chapel at the regular Utah times. So that will be nice but also... kind of annoying not to hear them yet. ha ALL is well though! haha. I am letting whatever may come, come, and loving it! Right? Well, we live with a missionary from Melbourne (pronounced Melbin here), and he is always ragging on America and saying how wrong we are about everything and how much better Australia is... so Me and Elder Orr decided to put Ol' Glory right above our desks. Which are in the main room of the flat. haha. We thought we were pretty funny... There is some promotion on Slurpee here and they gave this upside down lookin umbrella thing out to give you more Slurpee's for free! Pretty sweet! I was on exchanges this week and didn't have the car, which meant we got to take a little ride next to Tuggerah Lake. Beautiful! It was nice. There is a cool part of our area called the Entrance ( I am sure Blake has told you about it) that I will try to get some good pictures of as well! We got to see the Toukley sisters baptism this weekend and it was great to be apart of. Since they only have 4 sister missionaries in the ward Elder Blames, our Aussie district leader, was asked to baptize him, as well as confirm him. We all had to go because we only have one car for both Tuggerah companionship, the same happened for Toukleys sacrament, since that is when the confirmation was. We went to 6 hours of church yesterday. (minus the time for meetings) I felt like I was back with the zone leaders in Maryland Heights Missouri, when we went to 5 hours each week! it was good. Who doesn't love to be in 2 fast Sunday meetings?
    My core experience with god this week... It would have to be a mixture of two things. The first, seeing the Toukley Sisters Investigator, Brother Aubrey, be baptized and start on his path back to the father. What an extraordinary thing. He was cleansed from any and all sin, then given the gift of the Holy Ghost the next day. He had a powerful experience that day and the next. You could see it in him, the light of Christ shining! He told a few people, I being blessed ti hear, of how he felt. His testimony was deeply strengthened. It was incredible. Undoubtedly this motivates me for my own area, Tuggerah! However, that is not the core lesson this week. The gospel principles lesson we were a part of discussed the Priesthood. We all were able to share how the priesthood blessed our lives or how having the priesthood blessed our lives. The theme around the room was Priesthood blessing. I felt to share how being able to pass and serve the sacrament was instilled in me ans a deacons quorum president. I thought back to those days and remembered the joy I felt when being part of that sacred duty. I was reminded of it much in my service in the small branch I recently served in. I did not understand it fully as a young man though. It has only been on my mission that I have fully realized why it is so important. The next day we were able to deliver the Sacrament to a recent convert in our ward at a rehab center. She was so touched to have received the sacrament. It was important to her. I was blessed to be able to aid my heavenly sister in this way. The baptismal ordinance & covenant, and the renewing of it through the sacrament touched me this weekend. We are taking Christs name upon our selves. We partake of the bread representing his body. It digests within us and becomes a part of our body. Christ literally becomes a part of us. we should be and need to be worthy of that honor. The atonement of our Eldest Brother is incredible and never ceases to amaze. I am grateful to serve others and help them receive the blessings of that sacrifice through the Sacrament. I said last week we need to change, just as our body itself changes when we partake of "the flesh of Christ." We need to choose to spiritually let him become a part of us.
    I am trying to improve my teaching by creating an atmosphere where the spirit can reside. Where the spance is sacred and not profane. The blessings are obvious and evident. It would dramatically change my and my companions teaching. I correct myself it would dramatically change the SPIRITS teaching, through us. i aim to be more effective in my teaching, i want to help people change and make Christ a part of themselves and their lives!
    An unexpected event while contacting this week. we were walking to an appointment talking people we saw on the street, and this lady kept talking to us. unusual. We were able to share with her some subtle truths, and hopefully bring the spirit into her day. She took a card and a pamphlet. Unusual for Catholics in this area. the miracles that happen when you just do what you are supposed to... talk to everyone and follow the spirit!
   I thank all of those who have already expressed and offered Birthday wishes! Better early then late.. haha Thank you. I love you all! Enjoy your week. God Bless.
    Elder Ford