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

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