Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seperate Experiences

Hello My wonderful and supportive family and friends! I am so grateful for all of you and your prayers. I am happy that you enjoy my e-mails. It makes it even more worth it. This week has been good.
I had the fortunate chance to go on exchanges with the Zone leaders and put that vision into action. We taught 8 other lessons, and during evaluation saw 3 separate occasions where we missed our chance. All adding up to 11. The goal I or vision I set. the lord blesses us when we set goals and follow through with them. I love learning. It is a blessing. I also have 4 Elders In the district to go on  exchanges now, so that is fun. I have to start earlier! ha. I was able to go to Dural with Elder Nalawas this week. he is from Vanuatu and amazing. He is quiet but a good missionary with great desires. It was a pleasure to serve with him! I have included a picture for you. :)  Other than that not too much has happened in the past week. Work work work. We taught 25 other lessons. I was amazed when I was reporting numbers last night. But it is not about that as we aall know. But I do feel happier talking to more people.Lots of moments to learn from...
  This week for my core experience I want to contrast 2 separate occurrences. The first. We set up an appointment with a man that was a bit argumentative but I had faith the spirit could wrought a miracle. At this appointment we never had a chance to invite the spirit. He was angry and set to disprove all we said from the get-go. The spirit was gone, absolutely. I was nervous and angry. We tried all we could for an hour to invite the spirit into our conversation and begin teaching the message of the restoration. It was a lost cause. He would not even let us pray, we know what kind of spirit entices a man not to pray... It was obvious he was trying to waste our time and even crush our beliefs. He tried to make us feel guilty once we told him we had to depart. He was wasting our and the Lords time so we dismissed his statements and went along our way. The experience effected me for the rest of the night. The prayer my companion offered helped. The spirit,or comforter, was brought back to us. I still was amazed and could not believe this man and his cause to (try and stop us from sharing the message." Eventually the sacrament the next day and the talks following cheered me back up. But it had a negative impact. As contention, slandering, ridiculing, swearing, and other unclean and impure acts always do...  I want to consider that while looking at this service opportunity I took part in this week. We showed up to the members home to see a rather dingy and dimly lit hall-way. Step 1: scrap the walls of excess glue and paper. The walls them selves seemed a bit livelier but not much of a notice could be taken other than they were a bit more smooth than before. Step 2: Wash and scrub the walls. It was interesting. We used water. It didn't really seem to get our tools that dirty but the walls were very noticeably lighter. In fact the whole room was a bit brighter. Step 3: Primer. As we changed the actual surface of the walls to white It was incredible, to me at least if no one else, how much brighter and happier the room was. It all looked cleaner, spirits were all up, it had a good impact, and the potential of the hall way and walls was huge now. What I can conclude from these 2 experiences is great difference we can have on ourselves, our family, our community, and our world if we slander, degrade, and destroy.. And the Great difference and legacy we can share with those same paries if we Uplift, Clean, Prime, and Purify. Purify our motives, purify ourselves and our acts, so we can uplift, (help to) clean, and prime others to do the same. I believe that is also part of our great calling and commission as missionaries.
   Teaching and striving to be Christ like is a long process. It requires diligence and patience. I am striving AGAIN to follow the spirit in all I do. We can understand the obvious consequences. I have experienced them.. unfortunately we are not perfect. I am trying to once again recognize the spirit always. Instead of thinking.. "nah I got it. I know what I'm doing.. I've been our fora almost a year and a half now." I need to humble myself and let the holy Spirit guide as the hymn book tells us. ha.
   The mission has had a huge impact on me. I know see the great importance of the church in my life, community, and world. it is not just tradition anymore. It is deep inside of me. I have had many experiences that have truly shaped me into who I am and who I am meant to be. I have learned many life lessons, Obedience the one I have told most of. It was a BIG humbling hurdle for me. I was thinking of that this morning actually on my walk to the library.. funny how that works. In the MTC I struggled with faith. Coming into my mission I had concern an doubts. The growing influence of atheism had grown huge around me. Now, I have been given the opportunity from the Lord to truly learn of all that he does for me and truly see his hand in my life! In the negative experience I told you about earlier I did have some positive experiences... He asked "what would it take for you not to believe in God?" I Answered I will always believe in God. Then I Know he is there. I wish I had answered using the lyrics from one of my favorite hymns, I have mentioned it before. I feel it is more powerful and accurate of what I hope to get across, "I will always be Faithful and True!" My sacred Grove? My Sacred Grove is my Mission really. My sacred grove is repenting after newly arriving in Sydney. My sacred grove is diligent obedient work in Port Macquarie with my trainer. My sacred grove is helping close member friends understand the importance of the Book of Mormon in their Family. My Sacred grove is being blessed by lord to be apart of a miracle, a family finding the truth, the Restored Gospel, they have been searching for. My sacred grove is Finding my vision. My Sacred grove is The Australia Sydney North Mission.
Thank you all so much. I am so grateful for my chance to serve. I appreciate all you do. HEAPS of love! until next time...
             Elder Ford

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