Monday, July 30, 2012

Hello everybody,

I hope everyone has had a great week celebrating the 24th of July and
enjoying the hot summer weather. It has been anything but hot here.
We've had to wear jackets a few days. The summer here is pretty much
over so it's back to the long sleeve shirts and jackets. We've had a
very busy week with lots of different things going on. This transfer
is going to go by so quickly.

The work with the Chinese is going very well. We've taught a lot of
new people once or twice but none of them have really progressed yet.
We did get to play basketball with them on Tuesday though. I'm so out
of shape! I don't think i've ever been so sore in my life. It was so
much fun though. Chinese people love the N.B.A so they were all
wearing they're LeBron James jersey's and their fancy shoes. They were
trying to do all the pro moves too. Sometimes I just had to laugh
because it was pretty funny to watch. We got a few phone numbers from
it though and we'll probably play with them again this week.

On Wedneday I went on exchange to Barrow-In-Furness (the town names
are so weird here). Barrow is on the northwest coast of England so we
were right next to the sea. It was the first time in my mission that I
had been away from the big city's. All i've ever known is Stockport,
which is in the Greater Manchester area, and Preston which is the
biggest city for quite a ways. Compared to these two Barrow was very
quiet. It had some pretty amazing scenery though. They develop all
kinds of weapons for the military in Barrow. They have a gigantic
factory there that half or the town is employed by so I got to see
some pretty cool things. I saw Battleships and submarines just sitting
in the harbor. I was like a little kid when I saw them. I just got so
excited! The missionary I was with was jsut laughing at me. I got some
pretty good pictures of them though and some pictures of the coast.

On Thursday we had a multi-zone training in Chorley. We learned a lot
about the changes the mission is making. My first six months we had
very rigid rules. For every situation there was a rule or something to
rely on. Now we are taking that away and just relying on the White
handbook and personal revelation. It will allow us to use our agency
which should allow us to experience more growth. We talked a lot about
the importance of obedience.

We talked a lot about overcoming the natural man as well. I learned so
much from that training. It was given by the Assistants to the
President and they said that "The natural man cannot be overcome in a
comfort zone". I've really learned how true that it is. The natural
man will try to find a way to make itself comfortable. If we want to
experience personal growth it will be by the death of the natural man.
Each missionary was invited to make a personal banner of how we were
going to re-commit to overcoming the natural man. I chose the quote
"the path of least resistance makes rivers and men crooked." I'm going
to do my best not to take the easy road or shortcuts. At the end of
the training they left us with a question. "Am i choosing the easier
wrong or the harder right?".....Boom.

The very next day we had an chance to put these things into action.
I've never been so frustrated in my life. We were walking down the
street and we passed by two men. One of them got down on his knees and
starting yelling and then grabbed me around the middle trying to hug
me. haha It was hard to stay calm. After that Elder Chan and I were
speaking to some Chinese people and a pack of teenagers came up and
just stood behind us. One of the girls ran up and kicked me. haha. I
didn't know what to do...awkward. After she kicked me they all ran
away. They came back a few second later. She ran up to Elder Chan and
took his glasses right of his face and ran away! Elder Chan and I had
to chase her. haha She threw them in the garbage can! It was pretty
crazy. We set up appointments with the Chinese people we were speking
with though. I think they felt bad for us. haha. Either way though it
was something we'll both remember.

We've got another exciting and busy week coming up. I got all the post
that was sent to the mission office address so i'll try and respond to
the letters I got today. I hope you all have a good week. I love you

Love Elder Ford

1. Chen Shen(my favorite chinese member!)
2. Battleships!!! (Barrow)
3. The coast. Looking into the Irish sea in Barrow
4/5. Sunday night in Preston

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