Sunday, March 8, 2015

Called to Serve

 Hello My dear friends and family!!! I love you all! Been a good week. Not too chaotic but a bit.
On P-day we got a bunch of veggies and made moms old salsa recipe! Was SO good! Elder Moore and I enjoyed it! We took it to district meeting and they all liked it as well! As usually happens... ha. We had Stake missionary coordination meeting this last Tuesday night. I thought back to the old days in Maryland heights when I used to fall asleep during them with my trainers. haha. Now I actually have the responsibility and am involved in the conversation! Pretty cool. Quite a power group, you can feel a bit intimidated. President Howes, the Stake President, and the Stake High Councilman for missionary work! Was a good meeting though! on Thursday night we had a zone leader conference call, so US the Assistants and all the other Zone leaders, we were out getting a chocolate and raspberry calzone 10 minutes before and the moon was bright and big, so I took a picture of it amid the hurried state we were in! This morning we stopped at 7-11 to wash the car ang get gas. They had a sweet deal where you could buy 1 chocolate milk and get 2 more for free! So we got some "Mint Choc Milk!" Was pretty good! Like mint hot chocolate.. just not hot! ha. Tasted nice... That is about all the funny stuff for the week... I will get on to the good stuff now!
    My core experience with God this week has come from several different places. I kept thinking of Elder Laurensen while we were on exchanges. We were at a Samoan family's house for dinner, he helped my bridge a culture gap I have struggled to build most of my life. He gave me a few pointers and afterwards he told me, "Elder, the reason I told you to do all those things was so they would like you and (this is the line) See that you really are here just to serve!" I was grateful to have a kind leader that just wanted to serve me! I have thought about that most appointments since then. This week I remembered a quote from a motivational speaker and NFL legend, Ray Lewis, that I quoted in my farewell talk. "I am just here to serve, I am only a servant." He was applying it differently but in a gospel or missionary mind set it was striking. Also, this morning we were able to teach seminary. I have read and even taught about Ammon in the Book of Mormon time and time again. I know service is a good way to help people and soften their hearts. However With these 2 experiences in my head I realized, I am only here to Serve To help out, to lend a hand. I know I have been serving a mission, I know people say I am serving God, I know we perform community service. But I thought of the way Ammon acted. He really as just there to benefit those he was around. Not to "kill 'em with kindness" and start teaching them, (although he likely hoped for that) but because he just wanted to Love and give to them. It is a whole attitude change. Very humble too. It doesn't matter about me, just about others, Namely Gods Children. We are here to serve God, yes. But whether it it is him or his children it is the same., and that is how we Serve Him, by serving, giving, loving, and helping all his children. Not so I can teach them... but so they are happy.
   My experience this week in teaching as Jesus taught: I have learned much from the great example of Elder Moore. I have learned the art of supporting your companions testimony with your own. By the mouth of 2 witnesses it shall be established... not by one testimony then another totally different testimony. Supporting and sharing our teaching is what we have been starting to do. The spirit is able to flow across us to each other and the spirit is teaching one lesson through us. Undoubtedly part of it has to do with our focus on sincere prayer and asking for the spirit to work THROUGH US to help those we teach to make correct choices.
   I found great Joy and satisfaction in speaking in Church yesterday! It was faith building to feel the spirit aid and guide us as we prepared talks on short notice. However, as soon as I was speaking and sharing my inspiration it was great. I could feel the spirit. It was definitely not the most elequently and properly delivered talk... but I felt the spirit calming me. I was happy to be speaking. I enjoyed it. I do not know if many people were uplifted, I am sure a few were and many would say they liked listening out of kindness. But it uplifted me. I was happy to speak and attempt to serve.
  I love you all. I am grateful for all you have done for me. It has taken this massive village to raise me to be who I am today. You all have played a bigger and greater part than you will ever know. Thank you!
               Elder Ford

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