Monday, July 28, 2014

Change is Essential‏

 Hello familia!

                                                                               All was well this week. Last Monday we went fishing again for Elder Orrs Last p-day in Tuggerah. I caught something this time! yay!!! A big 3 kilo Salmon! Was pretty good, brother Wills had us for lunch again. :)  We got transfer calls on Saturday and after 6 months in the Celestial Kingdom Elder Orr is GONE! sad.. but all is well. I am now companions with Elder Chin Ah You, from Tahiti. He is pretty different from Elder Punu. Still has a heavy rench accent though. He lived in France for part of his life. We stopped by the Forstpointners, our RS president, Sunday night so Elder Orr could say bye. Her son hurt his arm and was asleep on the lounge (or couch as we Americans call them), so what do me and Elder Orr do? Take selfies with passed out little jaxon. ha. It was funny and his parents laughed. Sunday was the last day I got to see all of MY district. Every companionship in the Central Coast zone lost 1 except Toukley 2. They stayed. The district is very diverse again. Elder Saga has replaced Elder Lewis, he is from Malaysia. So this should be a fun transfer, definitely one to grow from!
    My Core experience this week was that change is essential! Things were going really good with Elder Orr. We had great unity, we taught well, we did a good work. Success came. However, it's started to be regular life. We were comfortable with what we were doing. While we were still doing a good work, still operating on a good level, we were not moving forward as fast as we had been or could with a change up. A big change has happened for the both of us and know we are all back at square one, out of our comfort zone, adjusting, and learning! The upward trend is back. It will be easier to "Improve & Progress" for us. there wasn't a need for change, but it is essential to keep us on our toes and ever-more alert of our spiritual growth and potential.
   Teaching as Jesus taught... We are trying to find ways to keep those we are teaching more on topic and with less room to veer of to left field. There is no problem in changing to teach to their needs, but that doesn't mean we should change our whole lesson just because the keep talking about irreverence or something else. Following the spirit is key, but helping those you are teaching to follow the spiritual message you are attempting to convey is also key.
   My missionary purpose has helped me in several ways. Ever since I have arrived in Australia and had a big change of heart I ALWAYS see the obedience message shine through in everything. SO, the first thing I recognize is that Our Purpose (To ever more effectively invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End), is that our purpose is to follow the spirit and RE-present Christ in our respective areas. Help others understand their significance in gods eyes, healing the sick, and changing lives. Not to just do a good turn daily and do what we want the rest of day. Our Purpose should drive us, but as Elder Christofferson tells us, it is difficult to get there. I believe it is the level of personal conversion. If we know the significance of Christ and His Atonement, we WILL labor with all our hear might mind and strength. That is the biggest way My missionary purpose has helped me. By giving me and understanding of what it is I am here to do and who I am here to RE-present.
       Elder Ford

Sunday, July 20, 2014

You never know!

 Good Mormon! ha.. Get it? Like Good Morning.. ah ha ha!
    How has your week been? Mine has been good. REAL good! For a Start.... THE JESSEP FAMILY WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha. SO good! They all were baptized except Ben who turns 8 in October! It was awesome! Our Relief Society Presidency had to run to Coles (the grocery store) after the actuall ordinance to get food for everyone. We owe them a lot... Sister Thompson and Sister Barrientos.. Champs! President & Sister Howes came to the Baptism it was good to see them and introduce them to the Family they have been hearing all about in our e-mails! it was great to have Bishop welcome them to the ward. They were all fantastic! Elder Orr got to Baptize Graeme, Elder Lewis was asked to baptize the twins, & I was asked to baptize, for the first time in my life, Denise and the oldest son. Special! The same pattern followed the next boy for the confirmations! We LOVE Them! It is incredible to see the great things they are doing and the changes they are making in their lives! We are So blessed to have been part of their conversion and the Lords servant in the area at this crucial time. After Cleaning up after the baptism and the after party in the gym, (ha, first one there last to leave right mom?) I was trying to help as best I could. But at every ward function no matter what I am doing, who ever I look down this is what I see (see second picture)! Little max! He is 3... so precious! he is always talking to me. About frozen or about dingos... that is his new discovery, dingos! ha. What a kid... We were getting ready for a dinner appointment one night this week and we have this big mirror in the changing room. SO we just kept being ridiculous till we were all ready. This is one of the pictures we took.. haha I hope you all enjoy it! Tis week has been truly incredible. VERY stressful with a lot to do, but a very good week!
    My core experience this week is really an extension of last week. There were MANY oppertunities to exercise and use the Priesthood power we have been entrusted with. The obvious is in Baptizing the Jessep Family. By being worthy of the Priesthood we hold, they were all able to be cleansed from their prior lives and recieve the Holy Ghost! That is 10 ordinances. Wow. Also, giving the Toukley Sisters blessing and assissting in their spiritual needs was a big surpirse. I found myself quite nervous. Then I thought about it. "Are you worthy Elder Ford?" It was a big relief to honestly & justly answer "Yes." Long story short. Always live on the Higher plane that we, as Melchizedek Priesthood Holders and Covenanted to live on. So that we may be worthy to bless and aid in the lives of others! It reminds me of al the conditional promises in patriarchal blessings I learned about this week!
   Teaching as Jesus taught. As we are now faced withthe oppertunity to re-teach all the missionary disscussions to the newest family of the Tuggerah ward we are coming up with new ideas. We feel that it would be a large benefit to their understanding if we reveresed the rolls and let them teach us the first four lessons. helping others to understand is all teaching is really. What better way to asisst in someones conversion process than by showing them how to learn for themselves! Since missionaries will leave eventually...
   Thank you all for your love and support! I am so greatful to hear from you when I get to be so blessed. I think and pray for all of you often. But not too often ;) Love you!
       Elder Ford

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Priesthood Oppertunities

 Hello My Beloved brothers and sister! You are all a motivation to me... all of you!
   This week has been good. My best pictures come from last p-day, when we went fishing with Bro. Wills. We went beach fishing, a new experience for me. Elder Orr was VERY excited. SO excited he even caught a fish! ha. It was a big one too! Ocean Salmon! We went to Bro. Wills house for dinner on Wednesday and had it for dinner along with some croc meat! Yes, crocodile meat! It honestly doesn't taste to crazy, and not to be cliche, but tastes like chicken! Honestly it does! It's weird. But good! Salmon was nice too! tasted a bit more fishy however.;)  The scenery on the beach was beautiful! The sun sets a bit early here because it is winter, so we were able to fish at sunset a bit. I got some good pictures of Budgiewoi beach and one of the TOukley lighthouse in the distance! It was pretty cool! All of them are unfiltered and with no effects. ALL natural! That is how they came out of the camera! it was beautiful!
   On my list for my "40-day-fast" is To Honor my Priesthood. It obviously helps me to change habits that a priesthood holder should not have, to know when to step in and help someone (and when to not), and to be a more Christ-like disciple. That was not the core experience this week though. This week I noticed all the oppertunities that arose to Honor my Priesthood. Whether it be by exercisng the Priesthood or simply by being a better individual than one would be with out holding the Priesthood. Oppertunities to serve others seem to be jumping out, including the members and families in the ward council. Responsibility at ward functions seems to lifting higher. Respect for self, the power we have been given, and the Godhead all have raised to a much higher level. Holding the Melchizedek, or Higher, Priesthood is more than giving blessing to someone in need. It is an Oath and Covenant to live on a a higher plane, a promise to be the manner of men we OUGHT to be, rather than the men we are currently. What a privilige the Lord has given us, not only in power but also in oppertunity to do good.
   We are truly following the spirit, The results are flowing. We are all actively taking part in the teaching, we are not just teaching more like the savior, but the savior is teaching all of us together. The members, the investigators, the less actives, and us-the missionaries. Christ is the ultimante example of teaching as we all know. As we follow the spirit he will teach us by teaching through us. We have to choose whether or not we all improve and progress in a lesson or whether we want to share our obtained knowledge of any principle in a lesson. Christ is the ultimante teacher , not us. I hope I have conveyed that thought adequately. it made sense in my head.
   My spiriuality has grown miles since I have come out on my mission. Upon entering the MTC my biggest problem was faith. Now, I see that all things ARE spiritual. Lessons to be learned from every experience, warnings before every struggle, forgivness in the atonement. I said a few times to a district leader of mine, "I don't mean to be overly spiritual but..." Looing back at that... I dont know why I said that. We SHOULD be overly spiritual, if it is possible because ALL things ARE spiritual!
   Kind of a short e-mail this week. Sorry. But I hope the quality makes up for the lack of quantity (or length). ha. I love you all!! Thank you for your prayers and support!
    Elder Ford

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spirit IS Key

Hello my beloved brethren and Sisters!
   Happy Independence day. huh? haha it was a bit odd not celebrating the 4th oh July. But some members made it fun! We got a text in the morning from Brother Geerlings, our Bishopric 1st councilor saying happy 4th! We had District Meeting on Friday so I gave all the sisters a little American flag (all the Elders had one already). I tried not to be too over the top (which you all know for me is hard to do when it comes to the 4th of July!) because he have a Samoan sister and a sister from Heroshima Japan. that being said we asked them if we could sing Hymn #340 to close, and they were okay with it. So that was fun! We all went out and got all you can eat pizza hut after! That was fun! That night for Dinner we went to the Thompsons, we walked in the house I was holding my BIG American flag, Elder Orr was waving 2 mini moones around, Elder Evans had the American flag party tape all around him and Elder Lewis followed up the rear with the Star Spangled Banner Playing Out of my CD player! haha. It was SO funny! They got a good laugh out of that! I was pretty happy.It was fun. She said she forgot it was the fourth of July or she would have made an America cake for us. haha. Gotta love good Ol' Saints! We visited one of our Recent converts Zak, and his little brother was down visiting for school holidays, Isaiah. They are so funny! Zak is quite and calm and Isaiah is crazy and loud! It reminds me of my and my brother SO much! They even comment and say that I look like an older Isaiah. We were riding our bikes on the bike paths gain later in the week. I HAD to stop and Take a picture because it was BEAUTIFUL!!! so good!So I have had a pretty good week! real good week! On to the Good stuff!
  My core experience this week is a result of what my experience was last week. As we have been really trying to get a stronger spirit in our lessons it has made the biggest differance! Go-figure! We shared a mormon message with a family and really let them talk and express their thoughts afterwards. We used skills we had been developing through the spirit to ask inspired questions. It guided the family to realize how important family scripture study, prayer, and home evening is. Something we have been trying to do since we got here. The father is a returned missionary the motehr was born in the church, they are honorable members, but complacancy can hit and tempt anyone. It was incredible to see them find their own commitment and then to have Elder Evans boldly and directly ask them "Will you have family scripture study and prayer every night?" They couldn't help but agree to the invitation. Since the spirit was there Elder Orr promised a seemingly big blessing, but it was prompted because the spirit told all of us that it was true. After this lesson we were listening to some MoTab on the way home. So, we had kept the spirit with us, strongly. When we arrived neither I nor my companion wanted to get out of the car because we felt so good. As missionaries the spirit is usually always around us. However, the strong moments are the ones that leave an impression. I asked myself why would we ever NOT want to feel this way? We need to share this! It gave me a renewed sense of purpose. I am excited to go out and do some more finding!
 Teaching as Jesus taught... I have had a different experience as I have been giving district trainings. The spirit flows best when all members of the participating group are actively involved and sharing how they feel and what they know. It is similar to the spirit of a testimony meeting. When every individual is striving to learn from the spirit and help others do the same, revelation follows. It something we have tried to adapt into our teaching of investigators and members alike. It has really helped the spirit flow as you can tell from my previous paragraph.

   The zone conference we had recently was good. All of the topics covered were things that I had planned to train on in a district meeting that week but didn't get the time to. It was a real big "oh, wow!" moment to me to see how the spirit of revelation works. I had been prompted to create a lesson=plan, covered half of it, then zone conference covered what I did not. The next week at district meeting I was able to follow up a bit and help give more understanding as we all discussed it! Revelation and the Spirit are Undeniable

Thank you all for your love! I love you!
    Elder Ford