Sunday, May 10, 2015

Winter's come... but come ye back When Summers in the Meadow

Hello, dear loved ones, and HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!! I am grateful for all the mothers that have made the biggest impact of my life! I would list you but the list is far too long! It has been a good week! We had a Preach My Gospel study with the richmond sisters. It went well. Gained some revelation for our own area as well! We had lunch afterwords and walked through an ally back to our car. There was a graffiti ninja turtle.. had to take a picture! We aso had a zone service prject up in Katoomba, The Blue Mountains It was scenic and fun! Almost all of us trained up so Elder Moore & I had to take a picture at the station. I took a few pictures afterwords so I incuded ne for you!
   My core experience this week came from a song. A song I have listened to for a long time in my mission. A special rendition of "Danny Boy." It is not as sacred to me as some of the hymns I  have mentioned in previous e-mails, nonetheless it holds a special place in my heart. Some of the lyrics were a bit more symbolic recently. Let me share.

"O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside.
The summer's gone and all the roses falling.
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
winter's come and all the flow'rs are dying,
And I am dead, as dead I well may be,
O Danny Boy, the stream flows cool and slowly;
And pipes still call and echo 'cross the glen.
So if you've died and crossed the stream before us,
We pray that angels met you on the shore;
And you'll look down, and gently you'll implore us
To live so we may see your smiling face once more"

There are a few points I seek to draw on here. The First, The summer is over here in Sydney. It is moving into winter and all the trees are dropping leaves and the flowers are starting to dwindle and die. So it is with my mission. The summer, or life and excitement, are a nearly over. I am on my "deathbed" here in the mission, my last area, my last week. But come yea back when summers in the meadow! In sandy Utah it is sunny and 75 degrees, the summer is beginning to burst and so are the flowers and bright colors. Indeed you could say LIFE is about to start. I recognize that this a the parable of my life. My time here is coming to a close, but I will return to a life that has just begun! The post-mission life. Do not worry, I am fixed to do all I can this week with my remaining time as a duly ordained minister of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! It was a thought I had and desired to share. The mission is a big parable of life, and I am returning to the spirit world to teach and uplift.
   SO once I've "Died," as we missionaries say, there will indeed be angels to meet me on the shore. Loved family members and friends. Some of which are shortly departing to serve missions. In a symbolic way, I pan to "look down and gently implore" them and the missionaries I LOVE still in their service, to serve so they may find success in and return from their missions honorably. I have grown in love largely for the up and coming generation of missionaries. Such life and excitement is found in them! There are great things in store! Inevitable death is no reason to slow down and enjoy the dying roses. I plan to serve well, and give it my all. I know the Lord will bless & guide us by the hand us as we evermore effectively Hasten his work!    Teaching as Jesus Taught. We have had a different spirit with us this week while teaching. I cannot pin it... Other than just following the spirit and teaching to needs. We were inspired by the fireside we attended recently and decided to teach abut trials in our lives. With every lesson it has had a different out come as the needs of the people changed and everyones trials were different. It has been a great week in teaching. I was blessed to be able to do the same with Elder Lonitenisi. He came up with the same lesson all n his own and it was just as powerful.
  SO much Love for all you mothers and Everyone! See you on Memorial Day Sunday! :) Ofa Atu!
   Love,       Elder Ford

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Missionary Spirit

   Been a good week! We had Mission Leadership Council and Zone Training Meeting this week! SO it was fun. Lots to do and prepare. Got it all done and had some good meetings, also met with and had the chance to help train all the ward mission leaders in the Penrith stake! At Zone training meeting I gave a training about things that changed my mission and included a new smash approach the city zone has been trying out. It is all focused on helping people to understand Our Purpose as missionaries "To Evermore effectively invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end." You introduce yourself as a representative of Jesus Christ, state you purpose, and then ask if they have faith, if they feel they have repented, and so forth. Super Smash! The missionaries love it and they say they are feeling the spirit all day. Fantastic! There was a big missionary fireside last night. SO I got to see all these missionaries it was fun. A few weren't able to bring investigators... so they couldn't come but it was fun to see those who were there!  A good reunion with ma Boy! Elder Nathan and my "Grandson" Elder Kafusi! Took a bunch of pictures with missionaries... this one had the most people in it so I included this one. I also thought it would be fun to take a picture of us going to the library this morning... so here ya go! Hope all is well!
    My core experience with God this week has been rediscovering my mission miracles! I have been writing my report to turn in at the end of my mission. I have been blown away at the amount of experiences I can recall and the spirit I still feel from them. Some more memorable and changing than others. However, all bring the same happy and joyous feeling. I am grateful for the chance I have to write and reflect. It helps me realize what I can do now and it strengthens and builds my testimony stronger, even though it's my own stories! ha. I can see the Lords hand behind everything in the spirit has brought back to my remembrance to write. The Lord chastens and reproves, he shows tender mercy, then he refines, and the spirit performs through us. The missionary spirit is amazing and something we take for granted all too often! In fact, it is something we lose or lose sight of all too often.. We can and DO see miracles everyday if we are willing to follow. "What more can he say than to [us] he has said..." 
    My practice in teaching as Jesus taught this week came from a call to help out in Primary! It was fun to see their programs running and feel the fun that they experience in their childhood spirit. We were able to teach about the Gospel: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. It is challenging to teach simply but to give them more than they already know... the spirit works so easily with a young willing child. I was reminded of one of my favorite songs..."He said Suffer the Children to come to me." The savior was the master and he LOVED the children. I was grateful for this reminder and experience. To be the Lords representative doing as he himself did...
     If I had only one sentence to transform someones view of the Gospel I would say something like:... The Gospel is not meant to restrict because the Grand Creator, God, is all about Freedom!
  I Love you all more than you know. Thank you for your examples to me. I am Grateful!
           Elder Ford

"Come What May & Love It!"
               -Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Out of my stoney griefs Bethel I'll raise!"
               -Hymn No. 100

p.s. I am getting so fat...   :( ... hahaha