Wednesday, September 26, 2012

hiya everyone! 

Sorry it's taken me so long to email. We've had a pretty busy few days. Things are going fantastic though. Lots of good things are starting to happen. So.. On to the highlights of the last week and half!

Last Wednesday was an adventure. We went to pick up three new Chinese speaking missionaries from the Manchester Airport and welcome them to the EMM. It was pretty weird being back there. I don't really remember my first day in England to be honest. It was a all a big hazy blur because I was so tired. It was great to see how excited they were to get out into the mission field after 12 weeks in the Provo M.T.C. I even wore my Chinese name badge that I got serving with Elder Chan for the special occasion. We let them sleep for a bit and then we got to take them out on the streets for their first experience with finding. You should have seen the fear in their eyes. I've totally forgotten what it felt like to be a new missionary. They were so excited! They had such fresh faith and it taught me a lot, They also got their first taste of discouragement when people rejected them. It hurt to see how shocked they were that people didnt want to listen. They'll be great missionaries though.

Thursday we added Elder Beard to our companionship. We now call it the all powerful tripanionship. It's been so much fun serving with two other people that I came out with. I'm not sure if that's ever happened before in the history of the mission. Needless to say, we laugh a lot. If i had to describe Elder Beard I would say that he's a lot like a young Chris Farley. haha. We're really meshing well though and having an extra person has helped us with the big workload.

We had our Zone Conference on Thursday as well. I learned quite a bit from it.President Preston did a training on "hope" which is something that I'd never really thought about before. He started by showing us a picture of an ant and a rubber tree. He asked us what they had in common. Nobody had any idea haha. Apparently there is a Frank Sinatra song that says everyone knows an Ant can't move a rubber tree plant, but they have high hopes. Preach My Gospel says that hope is "an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill his promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. When you have hope you "work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for you good. Moroni 7:40-48 teaches it perfectly i think. It highlights the relationship between Faith, Hope, and Charity.

One missionary asked "what's the difference between Faith and hope?". I thought about that for awhile. You can't have Hope without faith. You can't have faith without hope. and we learn in Moroni 7:46 that if we don't have charity we're nothing. The three are inseparable. It reminds me of the Godhead. We know that they're three separate individuals but that they have one central purpose and one mission. After thinking about it for awhile here's what i came up with. Faith is our Actions. Hope is our desires. Charity is what we become. Three different things, but inseparable.. It was a good training.

I'm pretty pleased with the way the work is going this transfer so far. I feel like we're far exceeding the low expectations that have been set in the past. We're even surprising a few people. People will say things like "Office Elders don't teach or baptize." Then i call them to repentance and humility. haha. It's a process but things are turning around here.

As of right now we have three solid investigators. Kathir, Victor, and Jovanna. Kathir 

Kathir is a Hindu man from India. He was a Former Investigator that I called and set up an appointment with, He's very willing to meet with us and attend church. He loves it there. The challenge is building faith in Christ since he's coming from quite a different background. He's an I.T person who's actually published two books with a 3rd on its way. It's safe to say that he's so smart!

Victor is amazing. He initially didn't want to meet with us when we met him on the streets. He said he wanted nothing to do with Religion. He has studied Christianity all his life and didnt like it at all. He lived in Greece for awhile where the Greek Orthadox church is pretty dominant. He was pretty surprised when we agreed with a lot of the things he was saying on the street. he didn't believe in a lot of the false doctrine out there and was quite interested with what we had to say. He's writing a book on Christianity so he was pretty interested towards the end. He's heart was softened so much! At the end of the prayer after the first lesson he was in tears.

Jovanna is a miracle as well. Also a Former Investigator. She is from Italy and grew up with a Strong Roman catholic upbringing. She grew up in a nunnery!. She had a lot of trials in her life and got sick for awhile. She picked up the Book of Mormon while she was sick and read quite a bit of it. She already believes it's true, We just need to meet with her more frequently. She's super busy so we've only been able to meet with her once a week so far.

We've also been working a lot with the youth in the Ward. I've been talking a lot with a recent convert who is 18 years old. He wasn't really sure if he was wanted to go on a mission but we've been talking a lot with him and taking him out teaching. Now he's preparing for a mission. He'll be fantastic too. such a strong testimony. We took him teaching with Victor and he set the tone for the entire lesson.

Things are going great here. I'm looking forward to General conference. The count down started 3 months ago here! it's more exciting than Christmas! It'll be a good one. Prepare yourselves. I love you all. Thanks for the support!

Love Elder Ford  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sept 10, 2012

Dearest family and friends

This week was pretty good. We've been keeping pretty busy here. There's a lot to get done but not enough hours in a day. It's really the first time in my life i've wished that the days could be longer. But we're managin with the time we have.

We were able to travel up to the northern half of misison this past week. I saw A LOT of the coast. We travelled up to Kendal in the Lake district then to Barrow-In-Furness, then to Blackpool. It's was really good weather and I got a few nice pictures. We stopped on the side of hte road real quick and i picked up a seashell as well. haha.

This last sunday I gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting in the mission field. I've been able to escape for 8 months but they finally got me. Luckily I was the 3rd speaker and only had ten minutes. It was really easy because my topic was prayer and the holy ghost. It was just like I was teaching an investigator...instead there was jsut 75 of them. No big deal. The Macclesfiled ward is fantastic. It's the closest thing to our ward back home that i've been in so far. The poeple here really are like one big family. Everything meshes together very nicely. 

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week. I sat down with President Preston today for a little while. I wanted to be able to see what his expectations were for me and what his vision was for me in the office. We talked about how being an Office Elder in the mission is viewed as kind of a negative thing because of some of the missionaries that have been here in the past. He told me he sent me here to do missionary work. We're really going to try and re-organize the way we do the work here. Things have really slipped from what they used to be. 

I feel very strongly that there is someone here in Macclesfield that is ready to be baptized. President has given us some very good names of people for us to stop by. We're going to make it happen. Keep us in your prayers. Thank you for all of your support. I LOVE YOU!

Love Elder Ford

1. The View of Macclesfield
2. "Mattress toss"
3. English coast
4. our mobile home
5. Elder Barnes and I
6. Pondering
7. Classic

Sept 3, 2012

Hi everyone,

Things are rolling along here in the mission office. Not much has happened since my last email. haha. I'm still not used to the new assignment. I feel completely lost here! It's like being a new missionary all over again...except i'm not doing missionary things.

Today is my first full day in the office. We'll be here at least 3 days a week. Probably monday, wednesday and friday. The other days we'll be traveling up and down the mission being the emergency service/repair men/ taxi. Any spare time we'll try and find people for us to teach in Macclesfield. We're always going to have something to do. I feel a little lost in the office. I finnaly understand the feeling mom gets when she is trying to figure out how to send an email. haha. (relax mom, it's just a joke). ..but seriously. I should have paid more attention in my 7th grade computer tech class. I might have been able to figure out how to deal with a spreadsheet. 

One thing i really like about the office is how involved we are in everything. We work very closely with president Preston and the assistants. We get to know everything that's going on in the mission way before any one else and sometimes we get "top secret assignments" haha. Also the place where we live in Macclesfield is probably the nicest in the mission. Super nice kitchen, Big living room and study desk, Fancy shower, and A QUEEN SIZE BED! it's a pretty nice change from the smelly Preston flat. Elder Barnes has a California king sized mattress that i tried talking him into giving me but her wasn't feeling to charitable. haha. 

We had some time last night to drive around Macclesfield and find some people. Macclesfield is a small town with a lot of small villages surrounding it. We drove out to a village in a place called the Peak District. It was very beautiful. It's a big change being out in the country when i've been in the busy cities my entire mission. If i was to live in England it would probably be a place like Macclesfield. The ward here is fantastic too. 

We really don't get a P-day in the office. There's no time. President told us to have P-day whenever we get time, which isn't often so emails might be a bit sporadic. If you want to send anything send it to the mission office while i'm here.

England Manchester Mission
Spring Wood Suite G5
Booths Park
WA16 8QZ

Love you all!

Elder Ford

Aug 30, 2012

hello everyone,

This next transfer is going to be a crazy one!I'm transferred to.... the mission office! I was shocked. it was the last place i expected to go. my companion is Elder Barnes from Rigby, Idaho. He is in my same group. I don't have much time today because there is so much stuff we have to get done. This is going to be a far different experience than the rest of my mission so far. Doing office work, and driving all over the mission fixing things.

This might be training me to be a professional mover or something because we've already moved two sets of missionaries! haha. So weird...

Speak to you soon.

Love, Elder Ford

Sep 1, 2012

Hey everyone

Sorry the last email was so short. Things have been crazy here. We've driven over 400 miles in 2 days! I've pretty much already seen the entire mission. This next transfer or two is going to be very different than the last few. 

My companion is Elder Barnes. He is from Rigby, Idaho and is in the same M.T.C group as I am so it should be pretty fun. These last few days we've been up to the northern half of the mission and the very southern half. We've also been on the coast in Wales. We had 20 new missionaries come in the transfer and a lot of new areas opened up so we have a lot of work to do. 

I'm not sure exactly why I've been put here yet. I'm not sure if it's training me to be a professional mover or something. I've never moved so many mattresses in my life! haha. I've also had to build a few bunk buds so i got to practice my handy man skills.(which I really don't have). We've been driving up and down the mission in our gray van (her name is Flo) helping out other missionaries. We're kind of like the mission emergency service. Example: first day, we get a call at 7:00 in the morning, someones phone isn't working. So we had to drive and deliver them. It's crazy. We hardly have any time to proselyte though. 

We have an area. It's a town called Macclesfield in the southern half of Manchester. It actually borders the far end of the Stockport boundaries. We don't get to spend much time there though doing normal missionay work. We either running up and down the mission, or doing office work. They have a bunch of projects they have us on I guess. Not sure what those are yet though. haha I'm pretty clueless. I just get in the van and go.

We really don't have a P-day in the office. Things are all over the place. We've been told to have a P-day whenever we have time so emails may come at random times during the week. Also since I'll be in the mission office quite a bit you can just send all post to the office address. I hope everyone is having an amazing week! I LOVE YOU!

Love Elder Ford

(This post is out of order. Notice it actually takes place a week prior to the previous post!)

Aug 13, 1012

Hello Everyone!

This week has been pretty eventful and full of miracles. We've seen a lot of good things happen and we're keeping VERY busy. Things are rolling forward.

We've been extremely blessed this week with a lot of miracles. Every week we do something called a "weekly focus" were we try to apply a certain principle in our missionary work and then we report on it to our leaders. This week we were envisioning people that we were supposed to find that day. To do it we set the alarm for 6:28 and then lay in bed for two minutes and just try to envision a person that we were supposed to find. IT WORKS!!! The first day, I saw in my vision a chubby Chinese girl wearing glasses standing outside the library. You better believe she was there! Elder Chan envisioned an African lady carrying shopping bags outside the Chinese Buffet and when we went there....she was there.

The biggest miracle happened on Thursday though. I envisioned a black haired English girl. We didn't have any time to speak with people that day though because we were rushing from appointment to appointment. We only spoke to one person who was right outside our apartment. Her name was Emma, and she is a black haired English girl! haha. We spoke to hear for about 5 minutes and then she said "I know this might be weird because we're strangers but do you want to come back to my place for a cup of tea?" haha. BOOM! We taught her on the spot and saw her the day after that. She is really good. She's going home for a few weeks then she'll be coming back to Preston and we'll start teaching her again.

...This week was just great. I got to go to the temple for the for the first time since the M.T.C. I'd forgotten how fantastic it is. I might live in the temple when I'm home. Funny story though, the morning of the temple trip the zone leaders called us and reminded us to bring our temple recommends. I thought it was no problem, then I remembered it was in my wallet...that was STOLEN! haha. I panicked. The temple president came and took my name and then disappeared for a few minutes then came back and told me i was all clear to go in. He must have done a background check or something. I received a lot of revelation during our session. A bit of my patriarchal blessing suddenly made sense to me. it was fantastic.

We got our mail after the temple too. Nothing like a package from home!.. and Orange sauce from Panda. Elder Chan and I have been loving it. It is his first experience with American Chinese food. He actually likes it better. Bad news though, I can feel myself gaining weight. I think I've pretty much gained back the 23 pounds i lost in Stockport. I feel like a whale. I'll probably end up in a bike area next transfer and die.

Saturday was another super busy day. We had to wake up early to catch a train to Manchester to the mission home. We were planning for the Chinese activity coming up this Friday in Liverpool. We are planning on doing an Olympic theme. There will be lots of games on more importantly lots of Chinese food. It should be quite the adventure. After the planning meeting we caught a train back to Preston, Had a dinner appointment with the Senior Couple here, and then went to a members house to watch our 90 minutes of the Olympics.

We watched the U.S basketball team destroy Argentina in the semi-finals. It was a lot of fun. I was the only American in the house though! The family we watched it with is from Zimbabwe, Elder Chan from Hong Kong, Elder Webb from here in England, and Elder Delaibatiki from Fiji/New Zealand. Very multi-cultural. They didn't like it to much when I put my hand over my heart and started singing the national anthem when it came on(they were all for Argentina). It felt like I was back home watching a game with a bunch of friends because there was a lot of smack talk and fist pumping going on. Basketball is the best..hands down.

We've got another busy week coming up. We're climbing Mt.Snowden as a mission on Tuesday, We've got the Chinese activity on Friday, and we have a few exchanges this week as well. The 29th(end of transfer) is going to come real quick. We should be teaching quite a bit as well. It's been by far the busiest I've been since being here. All is well here in Preston. Hope to here from everyone soon.


Elder Ford

Aug 20, 12012

More pictures!!!

1) the view from the top of snowden
2) Chinese activity, balloon battle
3) Chinese activity, crab soccer
4) The famous Elder Chan

Aug 20, 2012

Hi Everyone,

This week has been the busiest week of my mission so far. It's crazy how fast time has gone. It's already the last P-day of the transfer! A lot of really good things were going on this past week and we had a lot of fun.

The hike up Mt. Snowden was a really good experience. It was pretty rough in all honesty. haha. We woke up at four in the morning to get on a 4 hour bus ride to North Wales. Everyone was pretty dead to begin with. It was actually a pretty tough hike, a lot harder than I thought it would be. It didn't help that it was raining like crazy too. I only had a hoodie and basketball shorts so I was soaked the first five minutes if the 4 hour hike! haha a lot of people were having a pretty tough time on the mountain. Freezing cold and tired, but we pressed forward. We were all looking forward to getting to the top because there was supposed to be a really good cafe were we could get warm, but when we finally got to the top the Cafe was closed! It was pretty heart breaking but funny at the same time. We stayed at the top for about five minutes, sang a hymn, then hurried back down the mountain. That was on Wednesday and I still don't think that I've dried out properly.

The Chinese activity was a great success as well. We played a lot of fun games and ate some really good food. It was a good chance for all of the Chinese members and investigators to get together and make new friends. It really helps them to see that the Chinese population in the church is really quite big. We had about 60 people there,  which is actually a lot less than they had at the last activity. We've seen a lot of positives come from the activity with one of our investigators, Trista.

We kept really busy all week! We had exchanges with the Zone Leaders, a 2 hour train ride to Barrow-in-Furness and back for a baptismal interview, and we were back in Liverpool on Saturday for a baptism. All of our spare time was spent teaching. Time goes by so quickly when you're busy. I just barely realized I hit the 7 month mark this last week.

There's only a week and a half left of this transfer! I'll probably be moving to a new area. No clue where it will be though. Transfers are pretty exciting. I'm ready to start a new adventure. I hope you all have an excellent week. LOVE YOU!

Love, Elder Ford

1) The long bus ride to Snowden (Elder Barth)
2) Right on the Coast
3) Taking a rest
4) Model shoot?
5) It was raining so hard that the trail turned into a river.
6) We got all the way to the top and couldn't see anything. We were in the Clouds!
7) Elder Chan and I at the top of Snowden

Aug 6, 2012

Hi everyone

I hope you've all had a really good week. Nothing super eventful has
happened here. We're still trying to find some really good people to

We played basketball with all of our Chinese again on Tuesday. It was
really fun. I played a whole lot better than I did last time, still
pretty rusty though. Some people came up to me after and asked me if I
wanted to play on the UCLAN(the university in Preston) basketball team
haha. The basketball here is very low quality.

We also had the chance to attend the mission home fireside with one of
our investigators last night. It was pretty crowded so all of the
missionaries had to sit in the kitchen together so we all just talked.
I talked to Elder Thomas for quite awhile. He just left Stockport but
he said that everything is going really well there. It's so nice to
see former companions and other people you worked around. It brings
back so many good memories.

Other than that nothing else is really going on! The next two weeks
should be really busy though. We have all sorts of activities coming
up. We're going to the temple as a zone on Thursday, we climbing Mt.
Snowden(it's really more of a hill) in Wales next week, and we have a
few planning meetings a big Chinese activity coming up this month in
Liverpool. We'll have a lot of teaching appointments as well. Plus we
got to watch a bit of the Olympics! I'm planning on watching the U.S
get an easy gold in the basketball.

The next few weeks will definitely fly by. This has been such a quick
transfer! It's already half over. It ends on the 29th and then who
knows where i'll be!? I hope everyone has a fantastic week. I love you

Love Elder Ford