Sunday, February 22, 2015

What Do You Have?

Been a great week! Great Week! Started off with P-day roasting a Pig at eh Fine familys! Great Tongan family! They gave so much for us. It was a great experience. Live pig i the morning when we showed up.. in our belly that evening! They taught us how to make Otai!  A tongan drink! Amazing! Here  are some great pictures! Lots to do! Heaps of shotgun exchanges and P. my G. studies! Real Busy! And we are going to Mission Leadership Council today. Wearing a suit like 9 days in a row.. fun stuff! Gotta love it! Serving the Lord and others...
     My Core experience with God this week comes from 2 occasions. "You don't realize what you have." I had a dream earlier this week. I was in the car all was normal I was wearing a white shirt and tie, all was well. Until I noticed I didn't have my Missionary tag on. I kept feeling looking for it! Feeling as if all hope was lost and my commission was gone. I felt like crying.... I am not a crier. You generally do not feel anything physical during dreams... I could feel the sadness and evidence weeping building inside me. I woke up and realized it was a dream. I realized the meaning of the dream quickly, as one with such an experience would. I have a great power and responsibility. I don't think I fully realize what I have.  The 2nd occasion came from the Elder Bednar conference. It was great to see him personally and hear so many ask and answer his questions. I thought I had a fantastic question! Slowly as everyone else was asking questions I was contemplating my question. Slowly, amid all the answers and requests for knowledge that had no relevance to what I intended to inquire of, I got the answer in my head and recorded the revelation, so it would not be lost. The answer I need to be more sincere in my prayers and stay sincere instead of always getting lazy, vain, and repetitious. I wondered how I could keep a zeal and commitment after I had already learned this lesson twice in the last 18 months. The answer came louder. Prayer. Prayer was the answer to it all. I again recorded all the information I had received. I tuned back in to the meeting, they were talking about asking inspired questions, before revelations came they were talking about Elder Bednars fears for our generation. Later in the meeting, I was happy to raise my hand when Elder David A. asked anyone to raise their hand if they had received an answer to a question that not one else had asked or talked about. He and us all were amazed at the # of hands that up. I LOVED when he said "That is a miracle just as Powerful as the parting of the Red sea!" What a true statement. Between these 2 experiences I have come to realize a bit more fully What I have, what power the Lord has given me, and the Great abilities He blessing me and Us All with. Out of that conference I decided I need to obviously prayer more sincerely rather than routinely. And more importantly to help people ACT. The ability of extending commitments is such a valuable tool and thing to do! WE need to help people act!
   Teaching as Jesus taught. I Learned HEAPS from reading the Talks assigned to us to read and all the preparation that took place for the 2 mission conference. I loved the Talk "Learning by Faith." All of the insights were so useful especially to us as missionaries. I hope to be able to help anyone we teach, Investigator, less-active, or full time missionary, to Learn by faith and act as an agent for themselves. As Elder Bednar identified!
I love you all! Thank you for your support! It's busy at the library!.. time is running short my friends! At the Library!
        Elder Ford

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Miracle Exchange!

Elder Ford, Elder Tonne, Elder Moore
Elder Laurensen, Elder Ford

Been a good week! Felt so long but so fast at the same time! haha. was great! Our district leaders stopped in after their District leader training. Was good to see them! We took some pictures. Here is a picture of Us and Elder Toone (in the middle). Me and Elder Moore. The assistants came for exchanges on Valentines day so we all wore red ties! haha. It was funny! People commented on it! it was funny. I didn't know the area too well but luckily Elder Laurensen served there earlier in his mission! So he was able to show me around a bit! Was good. He is a great Elder Great Elder!
The work went well this week. Not too much to report. It sounds like you are all doing well. glad to hear it! Dad found the chapel here in minchinbury on google maps as he always likes to do. ha. It is fun to see. Not too much else to report...
   This week my core experience with God, I would say, was going on exchanges with the assistants. It was great to learn from them and see how missionary work should be! I felt uplifted and inspired. We didn't have the best plans but we went forward with faith and actually did quite a bit and accomplished our exchange goals. being and talking with Elder Laurensen I learned a lot about our Savior and our role as leaders. I realized I need to rise to the level of what is expected of me. I felt the spirit and was happy, I felt that I needed to "Rise to a new sense of commitment" as Preach My Gospel says. This combined with the Elder Bednar talks we have been assigned to read lately have helped me to see what my "weapons of rebellion against God" are and encouraged me to let go of and bury them. This is how I am overcoming any distractions keeping me from holding to the rod and progressing. I am striving to continually focus on the words of Christ, as I taught others to do as a District Leader. I realized there is more expected of me than I have been living and doing. I want to establish the Lords vision for this zone with Elder Moore. If you have any input on how we can help inspire these great missionaries, please let us know.
   Jesus knew the People and how to work with them. This last week I have met many new friends and families here in Minchinbury. I hope seek to know everyone in this big ward so I can help the ward to grow. If we know the people, we can help them to learn. If we can help them to learn they will be more than willing to fellowship and rise to a new sense of commitment as we all should. That is how a true Zion like community runs. Everyone helping and learning and growing together, bringing everyone with them. I can see Mighty Penrtih excelling with Members Present at all teaching opportunities. MP. Just a thought. Being like Christ the master, and KNOWING the people, not knowing OF the people.
   I love you all! Thanks for all that you do for! I truly love each of you!
           Elder Ford

Monday, February 9, 2015

6 Questions

Hello my wonderful family and friends!! It is a day late yes. I was transferred! I left Elder Nathan and all the great missionaries in Baulkham Hills! I grew to love it, I will miss them, but on to the next one! I am now in the Minchinbury ward in the Penrith stake!  Pretty cool. It is in western Sydney and it is my first time out west. I have only heard amazing things about the ward, everyone at transfers kept smiling and saying "wow... you'll love it!" That usually happens but it seemed more legitimate and real than normally. I am excited. I now am with Elder Moore. He was born in Texas, but grew up in Guam, and will be going home to Brazil. His dad works for the FBI, counter terrorism or something... Should call him Elder Bauer, hey? haha 24... Ages since I have thought about that.  He is great though! A legend! I have looked up to him for a while so it is cool to be his companion, I think he will be an assistant before his time is up! I do not have a picture of us yet since we were crazy busy yesterday! Had to help some missionaries get to their area, move bags and stuff, plus do some Zone stuff. SO yea.. way busy yesterday. Sorry... Picture next time!
   This week there are a few experiences I could write about. However, I think the one I could best illustrate for you has to do with my new calling or assignment as a zone leader. As I began to pray this morning I kept thinking of one thing. Sister Howes. Her words about my companion from yesterday were playing over and again, "he needs a companion, not a backpack." I pondered on that for a moment or two and began my study. I felt prompted to read a bit about Callings and Authority in the topical guide and Bible dictionary. I was obviously led to D&C 121. I was reading through it and I thought of zone leader examples from my past, many of which have actually served in the Minchinbury ward, and the outcome of their examples. Between the two, mostly the scriptures, I learned much. The gist of what I learned can be put simply as follows. I was lead to write down 6 questions I and the Lord want me to ask myself before I make any decision. 1. Is it Hypocritical? 2. Is it Patient? 3. Are you doing it for them, or for yourself? 4. Is it Loving? 5. IS it what God and Jesus Christ would do? 6. Then should you do it? By so doing I can easily detect if I am being a righteous Priesthood leader. If am truly being a representative of the Savior to those I have been given responsibility for. I was greatly humbled this morning to realize a bit more about the trust and responsibility I have been given. Also how to fulfill all that the Lord wants me to do here.
   Teaching as Jesus Taught. This might not be a particular skill, however I feel it is right to share. I heard a song by the Mormon Tabernacle choir this past week. Towards the end it was building and building to it's climax and eventual close. I thought about that and how it is similar to the Saviors mortal ministry. He got more bold, taught more people, taught more personally and with more spirit than ever before. Until his final service of said ministry offered at Gethsemane and Calvary. I Realized that is how I am to be. I spoke on Sunday about "Forgetting yourself and getting lost in this great cause." I have a great chance to do so and follow the Saviors example by building and building, improving and progressing, lifting and strengthening higher and higher until and inevitable end. The focus being in the building portion. The work.
   My mission thus far has been great! I am so grateful for all that I have learned and all the families I have been able to be a part of and strengthen. I have learned much, I have shared much. It has had a bigger impact on my life than anything else I have ever done before! It has helped  me to really know God. It has helped me repent. It has helped me realize what I need to be and what God expects of me! It has increased my intellectual capacity. It has given me many close friends with deep bonds. It has prepared me for the rest of life. My mission has gone great so far! It could undoubtedly it could have gone better to this point.. missed opportunities and promptings not followed.. That is part of the learning process though! I could not be the missionary or person I am today without having those experiences. It is the same reason we still feel pain even though we are forgiven. To help us learn and remember what we have come from and how the Lord has helped us!
 Thank you all for your love! I appreciate it!
       Elder Ford

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A House

GOOD MORNING (insert your last name here) FAMILY!!!!!!!!
I just thought of that home renovation show.. Extreme Makeover! That's it! ha. And how they would yell that at whoevers house they were going to renovate.. then I thought of Nick petty yelling it at his pet mice in 7th grade! ha. Good times... It is still good times here as well! Had a great week, Had zone training meeting. Our Zone leader, Elder Watts, made us all take a picture out in the rain! ha. It was funny. Cheerful attitudes everywhere! SO many umbrellas! If I get  picture I'll send it to ya! ha. was good. Went on exchanges and saw some miracles. that was good! Enjoyed that! OH! So this lonely older man we visit didn't answer his door on Friday for our appointment which he never misses. In fact he calls us if we are 5 minutes late to check if were are still coming. He wouldn't answer his phones, no one knew were he was. We were the last ones to see him and that was on Wednesday. It got to Saturday and no one had heard from him still. His phone was dead at this point and we were beginning to get a bit scared. Our Elders quorum president called the police and they broke in. Nothing. Everything seemed to be in order. the only thing gone was him. All of his cigarettes 9we are working with him for that..) his phone all there.. But not him! We were baffled! Looking around for a crazy old man! the hospital had no record of him we called several times to a few different hospitals on Saturday. Nothing. WHERE DID HE GO? He could be dead in the ally-way nest to the R.S.L. for all we know!! haha we got a call from our Elders quorum President Sunday morning saying he called the hospital one more time and got connected to someone with his name but no one answered... so we went up to have a look. Well what do ya know. he had been in there since Thursday evening when he was in a struggle for breathe at the shopping center! my goodness.... relief! Found him with a big desire to quit smoking... the Lord finds ways to humble those that need it...he is safe though. We are visiting him again tonight! phew.. funny story for ya!  In other news I got my watch fixed this morning! Got a new battery and it works better than when I first got it! ha. pretty cool! Excited about that. My wrist felt naked! I was able to go on exchanges for the last time with Elder Spicer! From Queens land. he was my zone leader in Coffs and is now my district member. I have learned heaps from him and he goes home in a week! Also, me and Elder Nathan made a home made camera mount out of blue-tak in the car! So we can take pictures and record funny videos while driving. Do not worry.. the driver is always alert and focused on the road. Here is a picture for you laugh at! ha.
      My core experience this week came again from Studying "Preach My Gospel!" I was in the effective study chapter and in the course of my hour I was lead to read a lot about knowledge and its importance. I enjoyed reading much from the Book of Proverbs. (1:20-33; 3:13-26; 4:1-13; 8:1-36; 15:14;) The bit that stood out most to me most, however, was Proverbs 24:3-4, which reads:" 3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches." I do not claim the exact intents of the author but my thoughts were interesting. I pictured a house. It is established by the parents, Meaning they set the rules. This probably comes from my imagination of having a future family and intending to create a sacred environment as D&C 88:119 says:"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." Anyway... that is how it is established, by the Children understanding (as proverbs says) and applying the principles they are being taught. Learning and living the basic principles of the Gospel: Faith, Repentance, Prayer, Sacrifice, Baptism, ETC. That is when the house is established and the knowledge is obtained, thus furnishing our lives with precious and pleasant riches (the joy that comes from true gospel living). Now, "what does this have to do with you Elder Ford?" You may, rightly so, be asking. I understood a bit after reading that the parent of the House is our Heavenly Father and we are obviously the small children striving to understand the BASIC principles given us by our maker. That is how we will establish the house of God, or Bethel we will raise as I have been saying recently. By continuing to learn and apply what we have been taught. By improving and progressing until we reach the point where we can become Like the our creator, like our Savior. We cannot selfishly take in all we can and not help our brothers and Sisters to improve and progress eternally, or we are not raising our Fathers house, we are trying to raise our own. Thus, we must teach, we must Invite others to com unto Christ and be perfected in him.
   We have been teaching using stories and poems a bit. We try to use resources we have and almost teach in parables. The savior often taught in this symbolic way with great power. We are trying to teach similarly to our members. the result is good. The spirit is strong, the confusing doctrines of the kingdom become just a little bit more clear. I am happy about it. I feel the ward members are gaining a bit more respect and trust for us. Which is essential do bringing to pass the Lords great work in Normanhurst as you well know. It has been successful.. funny what happens when you follow the example of Jesus Christ.
   We have been rehitting the survey while tracting this week. It is great! It defuses that fear people have when they see missionaries at the door. It can instantly get you right into a gospel conversation with them feeling comfortable and willing to learn more. It has been worth while. This is the only area where I  have had success with the survey.. and it has been great success! ha. It is, I would say, my best way to find, using the survey that is. it works on the street and it makes tracting a bit better. We have enjoyed it.
I LOVE you ALL!...HEAPS!    Please don't forget that! I wish I had time to write you all individually but the time does not permit. Whether friend or family, I Do love YOU! Thank you for your support.
           Elder Ford