Sunday, November 16, 2014

TRUE Discipleship

   Hello my dearest Loved ones!
 Good week. Good week. We had the new arrivals follow-up training! So we went back to the mission home for a day of training and follow-up. Mostly to check if us trainers had been doing our job right, haha. Taught Elder Nathan perfectly we got away with everything!!! haha jk. Nothing we need to "get away with!" was good though! We got to see Elder Crump and Elder Paratta again, so it was a fun reunion! We also ran into Elder Saga who I lived with Tuggerah! So we had to take some selphies! haha. Love that Elder! So humble... so humble.Last p-day we went to the other ward in the districts WML's house. he is famous around the mission for his cars. SO famous that i actually heard about him before I left SLC. When grandpa took me to Mr. mac we were taken care of by man named Brad, from tasmania! Who told me about his friend Bro. Bailey! He gave me his card and wrote the name down. It stayed in my wallet for 17 or 18 months until last Monday! Pretty fun. I gave it to him and told him the story and smiled! Was good. But back to his cars, several ferraris and mustangs! Classic mustangs! Elder Ford was excited to see all of it.. haha. took a few pictures! Thought I would share it! We are still trying to visit everyone on the Normanhurst ward list to invite them to and notify them about "Invitation Sunday!" Which is on the 30th of November. It should be Sweet! It is all the talk in the zone and district it is mentioned in every meeting and visit we and ward members have/make! Exciting!
   My core experience with God this week came from the New Arrivals follow-up training me and Elder Nathan attended. It returned memories to my mind of my own New Arrivals training, 1 year ago today. I was reminded of the immense guilt I had from bending and breaking White Hand Book rules in my visa-waiting mission, and the change that followed. With the added knowledge and experiences I now have plus the new few additions to the training... caused me once again feel that I need to be better & change. As we listened the an extended and missionary focused  version of one of my favorite conference talks, "The First Great Commandment" given by Jeffery R. Holland, I was once again given a vision. It seems scary and intimidating at first, but the reality is true. I cannot go back. I cannot go back to the life I used to live, I cannot return to my "nets,' I cannot go back to my old ways, my old thoughts, any of it. Yes, I will return to my home is Sandy, Utah. But If I return unchanged or slip back into old habits and become a victim of spiritual digression... all of my efforts and mission ultimately is in vein. Thoughts popped into my heads as we read the words of The Apostle Paul, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." This scripture always seems to hit with such force... In a sense we must and have promised to leave behind all of this, all our childish things, and live a life devoted to and centered on  being a TRUE disciple (follower) of Jesus Chris. Going where, doing what, saying what, and being what he himself would Go, do, say and be. I felt the spirit so strongly as all of these thoughts occurred. I always want to improve and progress spiritually and do was I am told to return to the presence of the Father as we all do and want. In that moment it was easy to make the decision. It took a whole meeting and full-length MTC talk to give me such zeal. We all have experienced that. It wasn't 'till a few days later that I realized, largely and and more real-ly, recognized just how hard it will be to maintain such zeal and dedication upon returning home and all through life. it was late in the evening we were getting dinner from a small take-away shop. There was a television playing the top 100 pop songs. I had forgotten how catchy and fun modern music can be to listen to. As we walked out side there were some kids long board skateboarding on the road lit only by a few street lights in the warm spring evening air. My mind was flooded of memories and thoughts and flash backs. I wanted to skate down falcon drive in sandy at 1 AM in a cut-off shirt listening to modern music so bad. As we past them... I could think only of Jeffery R. Hollands version of Christs interview with Peter the Senior Apostle. "Do you LOVE me? DO you love me more than all of this? .. what I need... are disciples! To preach my Gospel"  and to keep my faith! I hope and pray.. that I can chose to LOVE my savior and forsake sin (not that skating or music is a sin) so that I can be a TRUE disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, or Lord and Savior. 
   Teaching as Jesus taught. We are trying to be more humble. We are slowly coming to realize, as I recently said, that we are focusing to much on Joesph Smith, and not enough on the Savior! We are trying let go of the "our church is right" approach and serve our Savior. Focus on Christ. Doing what leaders ask even if we don't understand or disagree, listening to others views and not forcing our own. Boldness but Humble is what we are trying to find the balance between. We will find it if we focus on our Savior!
   I LOVE you, all of you! Thank you for being a part of m life and doing so much for me!
     Elder Ford

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