Monday, February 20, 2012

1 Month Down!

I hope everyone has had a great week! I know I sure have. I miss all of you a ton but I’m starting to get used to it out here. I can't believe I’ve already been gone a month. it doesn’t seem that long... but it does seem that long at the same time. It's weird. I can't explain it. ha-ha. I’m sure anyone who has served a mission knows exactly what I’m saying. The Days feel like weeks. The Weeks feel like days.

Things have been going a lot better in the Stockport area. Things are really picking up. There is only one ward here and so we have 4 missionaries serving in the same ward boundaries. The other elders live on the other side of the town though so we don’t see them a lot. The members love the missionaries. We always have people willing to have us over for dinner which I’m SO grateful for. I'm getting REAL sick of peanut butter are jelly sandwiches. Shopping here is hard because everything is so much more expensive. You really have to be careful with your money.

Since I’ve been out here I’ve met some amazing people. I’ve also met some not so amazing people. haha. There will always be a few people each day that will yell at us or start bible bashing against us. We’ve been told to just wish those people a nice day. ahah it's so much harder to actually do it. I’ve had to work on it

The amazing people I've met make the rude people disappear in your mind real quick though. It's so amazing. I’ve only been in the field a week and half and I've already seen miracles.

One of those miracles names is Gerald Dwyer. I told you a bit about him in my last letter. Earlier this week he told us he no longer wanted to be baptized. He said one of his friends told him that Mormons are too persistent and that we were going to brain wash him. We told him that it wasn't true. He said he still wanted to go to church but he wouldn't be baptized. It almost killed me to hear him say that.

We met with him at a member’s home a few days later. We felt really strongly that we should teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We really focused on the gift of the Holy Ghost so he could see what baptism could really do for him. We each shared personal times in each of our lives when we were grateful to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. The spirit was so strong there. We asked him what he thought about all of it. What he said is legendary. haha " I think i need to join the Mormon church". BOOM! haha. It was amazing. He's been reading from the book of Mormon every day and is starting to gain a strong testimony

Last week I mentioned about the kid who showed up to church, Herman. We taught him this week as well. He also committed to be baptized. Unfortunately he's 19 which is Young Single Adult age and all YSA age people are covered by the assistants to the president. We told him that someone else would be teaching him on his next visit and he didn't like that very much. He said “I feel like god lead me to you two!" So me and elder Corbin we'll be going on splits with the assistants and one pair will go teach Herman to introduce him to one of the assistants. I'm secretly hoping he'll be persistent and only want us to teach him :) haha.

Another miracle happened just last night! We met a young man on the bus named Danny. We talked a bit on the bus and we both got off at the same stop. He agreed to sit down with us for a bit and we ended up teaching a full restoration lesson on the spot. He was so prepared to hear us. He said that he had just started praying again the week before. The spirit was very strong, especially when we recited Joseph Smiths first vision. I don't think anything brings the spirit quicker or stronger than using Josephs own words from the first vision. It's Amazing. Danny also agreed to baptism. We set up a return appointment and walked with him for a bit. He said he was going to meet a friend. Eventually we turned a different direction to go to another appointment we had.

Later that night during call-ins the other elders in Stockport asked us if we taught a young man an on the spot restoration lesson. We told him that we had. They told us that they met a young man named Alex at the bus stop and taught him a full restoration lesson on the spot as well. They also committed him to baptism too. Alex said that he was just waiting for his friend at the bus stop. Right after he said that Alex’s fiend walked up to them with a book of Mormon in his hand. It was Danny!!! They both looked at each other and were like "no way". They had been planning to meet up but were both taught by missionaries at the exact same time. It blew my mind when i heard that.....amazing!

Things are going really well for me out here. I've still got so much to learn but I’m doing my best. I’ve learned more in this past month than I have my entire life! I love and miss you all very much!

Talk to you soon!

Love Elder Ford.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentines Day from 1st Area

February 13 2012

How is everyone doing?! hope everyone has an amazing valentine’s day tomorrow! Just wanted to let you all know how much i love all of you!

Congratulations to Kyle! Going to Louisville Kentucky! That's so cool. He'll be great

Mom and dad told me that little Carson’s baptism is coming up this week too. That’s awesome! He should be so excited. It's such a big day for him. Congratulations buddy!

Well to catch you up with me a little bit. My first area is stockport. It's a huge town/city on the outside of manchester. It's kind of in an older area...I think. haha. I really couldn’t tell. Everything here is so old! It’s much different over here! I’ve definitely had a bit of culture shock. It’s safe to say that America is definitely the place to be. USA!

I probably should've gone to the Provo mtc for some language training. It’s a foreign language! There are so many different accents and dialects it's not even funny. i sat through all of sacrament meeting yesterday and I didn’t understand a word! haha. The language is so weird. People from the town of Liverpool have one of the worst accents. they sound like they're literally choking on every word. ahha. It’s been a challenge so far. i can honestly say that I have zero desire to come home with an accent. My goal is to get them to talk like me! the people here are convinced that they speak English and we speak American. haha still a bit of a rivalry going on I think. ahah

We’ve been doing a lot of bus riding. That’s our main transportation. I had to dish out some serious money for a monthly bus pass too. We do most of our contacting on busses too. I’m still not very good at it. It’s extremely awkward to be constantly moving up and down the aisle and changing seats when you get rejected. ahha most of the people you go to already over heard what you were saying to someone else. it's something I defiantly need to get better at. Finding people to teach is probably my biggest obstacle. It’s tough to just walk up to people and to start talking to them about the gospel. I just need some more practice

We’ve had a few good teaching appointments so far. One night after we got done having dinner at a member’s house we knocked on a few random doors just hoping to get lucky.

We knocked on a man named Gerald's front door. He let us right in! First thing i noticed was how many books he had. Piles and piles. He had to move stacks of books off of the couch to find a place for us to sit. We ended up teaching the whole restoration lesson to him. The most powerful part was the joseph smith story. We asked him if he believed that Joseph smith was a prophet of god. He said yeas without hesitation .and....... He committed to be baptized! We set a date for march 10th so we'll see how that goes. We still have quite a ways to go but i know he can do it.

We walked to his house again Sunday morning to pick him up for church. Unfortunately our ride fell through. We had to walk all the way to church. And it's not like Utah where there's a church on every corner. I’m talking about walking for an hour! (Joys of being a missionary) haha. I almost died.

He really seemed to enjoy church though. He was a pretty hardcore catholic so everything was a little different for him though. He only could attend sacrament though because he was going to his brother’s house for dinner. even more amazing thing happened on Sunday.

About a week and a half ago elder Corbin talked to a young African kid on the bus. i guess he was completely drunk. Elder Corbin invited him to come to church and got his contact information. He said his name was Ryan. Elder Corbin knew he wasn't going to come to church and he didn't. But he went yesterday we were so shocked! he stayed for all three hours too. He actually knows a guy in the word and so he sat with him during classes. Afterwards we talked to him for a bit. He asked for a book of Mormon. He was so excited. He told us that his name was actually Herman. He said that he lied to elder Corbin because he had no intention of coming to church. He said that on Saturday the Holy Ghost told him he needed to come to church... I couldn’t believe it. ahah. He’s a really good person and I’m excited to start teaching him.

That's pretty much all that's been going on with me. I’m just trying to get used to it our here. I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. i love you all very much and I want to hear from you! The best way is to probably send everything to the mission office.

Correction on my current address though. It’s actually Romany court. Not Romney court. I don’t know if it really matters but though i should just throw it out there. Love you all very much and I can't wait for the day I get to see you all again but until then I’ll pray for you every night. God be with you till we meet again.

Love Elder Ford

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Skyler's First Area: Stockport

February 9th 2012

hi everyone! 

i've survived the mtc and i'm out in my first area!. my first area is...drumroll....the city of Stockport! 

My first companion's name is Elder Corbin. he's from marrieta california. he's a pretty good guy. he's been out for about a year now so he know's what he's doing and is doing his best to show me the ropes. 

the last few days have been really eventful. we woke up at 5 yesterday. the busses came really early to ship everyone out to there seperate missions. it was really hard to leave. i really grew to love the mtc and made a lot of friends there. i thought the mtc was hard work, i didnt know anything!

the busses took us to president prestons house where we at breakfast and had some trainings and a personal interview with him. he is awesome! during our trainings we practiced a lot of role playing. i hated role playing! we do it all the time at the mtc. its something im getting used to now though. ahaha.

after that we went to the stake center for our transfer meeting to find out who our trainers were and where we'd be serving. there is about 120 missonaries in our mssion and about half of them were there. a few of them were on their last transfer and would be going home then next day. they looked so much older than me! you could tell they are were awesome missionaries and knew exactly what they were doing. they were a great example to me.  all of us new missonaries were scared out of our minds. i was terrified the entire day! i hope i can adjust to mission life as quickly as i adjusted to life at the mtc.

when we found out we were going to stockport we dropped out stuff off at the appartment and then immediatly went out finding. in this area we ride busses to get everywhere so we mainly talk to everyone on the busses. and we talk to EVERYONE. its crazy. i'm really not used to it because it goes against what i've been doing for 19 years where i don't want people to bother me and i don't want to bother anyone else! it's really tough because it seems like almost everyone is an extreme athiest. they won't listen to a word

i need to practice getting good at rejection too. haha. for some reason i just figured everyone would hear what i was saying and say yes. 

i also taught my first gospel lesson today. his name was john and we talked with him for a little over an hour at his house. we discissed the restoration of the gospel. i know that he could feel that it was true but he chose to ignore it. it was very frustrating. i could tell he believed it. he just didnt want to take a chance and change his life. i felt really bad for him.

i've really stretched myself the last 48 hours. this is the hardest thing i've ever done in my life by far but i'm doing my best. i'll be in training for 12 weeks (two transfers) and i'll probably be in stockport the whole time.

it's been freezing cold here. it was snowing a bit early today. our appartment is freezing! i wanted to send some pictures but i forgot to bring me camera so i'll to try and get a few next week. i wanted to take a picture of my tiny bunkbed. my feat hang over the edge! definantly need a king size bed when i get home. 

my P day will be on mondays now. i'll have a lot more time to email now too so i'll get some better responses for all of you. i'm sorry they've been so short lately. they only gave us a half hour at the mtc. my new address is

Flat 3
Romney Court
286 wellington road north
England sk4 2qs

like i said i'll probably be here about twelve weeks.

you can also send mail and all packages to the mission office.

England Manchester Mission
Springwood suite G5                                                       
Booths Park
Knutsford WA16 8QZ

i love and miss you all very much and i want to hear from everyone. make sure to remember to pray for me and the people of england. they need to hear the gospel

god be with you til we meet again!

Love Elder Ford 

Last Day in the MTC

February 7th 2012

Hi Guys,

Today is my last day at the mtc! i've just started to get comfortable here and now they're making me leave! haha. i'm ready to get out and get started in my first zone though. when i first got here they told me that on my mission everyday will fee like a week and every week will fill like a day. its so true. i've learned more in these last three weeks then i've ever imagined was possible. it's realy is amazing. i'm doing things and learning stuff i'd never even thought about before. the whole process just blows my mind! i miss everyone o much but i'm starting to get used to being away. it's going to be hard to leave the mtc and watch all the friends i've made go to their seperate missions. because our group is so small we really have a special bond with each other.

My p day will most likely be on mondays in the field. i'll let everyone know my first area as soon as i find it out! i love you all very much. make sure you keep in touch. Your supporting words mean the world to me. talk to you all REAL soon. love you

Elder Ford

Skyler Week 2 in the MTC

Tuesday January 31st

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone has been doing awesome the last few weeks! things have been crazy for me here. it feels like i've already been here for a few months because our days are so full! I've been learning a ton and i'm just trying my best to take it all in. i miss you all like crazy! i've had some pretty homesick days but i'm trying my best to put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time.

the main highlight of the week was definantly our trip into downtown manchester for our first experience with street contacting. i can honestly say that it was one of the hardest things i've ever done in my life! they tried doing a little workshop before we left to prepare us but i dont think anything could have prepared me for what happened haha

before we left we sat in our district classroom and decided to set some district goals for number of lessons taught, number of new investigators, and a few other things like that. we loaded up our backpacks with a bunch of pamplets, pass along cards and books of mormon to hand out. we were extremely confident heading out. we realized soon we had no clue how to contact people on street! we had about a 30 minute train ride to manchester and we were told that this would be one of the best times to have a gospel discussion because the person would be sitting down for a long period of time. as soon as me and elder Bahr sat down the guy next to us put his newspaper up as if to say "i want nothing to do with you" haha. we were like fish out of water on the train. we were really discouraged and couldnt work up the courage to say anything to anyone on the train. i really was really mad at myself for not just jumping right into it but you know me. i've never been the most outgoing person and i usually keep to myself. something i'm definantly trying to work on.

when we got to the train station it was about a five minute walk to the street. it was massive train station. people here use trains as one of the main transportations. then i walked out side and saw the i've never seen it rain so hard in my entire life. i have a feeling that the mr. mac rain jacket is going to get some serious use during the next two years.

we walked right into the rain and started trying to find people to teach...also a lot harder than it sounds. everyone was moving that when you tried talking to them all they did was throw you a dirty look at you and walk away without saying anything. i was surprised at how rude some of the people were. we went to one guy and just simply said " Hi" to watch he said " Lads...leave me alone" haha seriously some people......

we walked out in the rain for a good two hours with no success. i'll admit i was very discouraged and a bit angry. we went and got some lunch at subway so we could get out of the rain for a bit and get some confidence back.

after we went on splits with some of the mtc teachers to get a little more experience and that helped a ton!

We also went on an history tour and saw a whole bunch of sites that i'll attach some pics from. the coolest was probably gordon b hinckleys appartment on wadham road.

Well i gotta go. we're all going to the store to pick up some stuff! love you all

Elder Ford