Monday, March 11, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013

Hiya everyone

It's been a busy week. It feels like it's gone by so quick but the things we did on Monday and Tuesday seem like it was so long ago...pretty weird. I don't get how that works. So anyways... I guess I'll tell you about my week.

On Tuesday I conducted my first baptismal interview with someone. It was different being the person on the other side of the table asking the questions. It made me feel old.. It was a really great experience though. We went travelled on the train to Southport to do the interview. His name was Tony and he was in his 70's. It just proves that you're never too old to change. I read something from Jeffrey R. Holland said about change."You can change anything you want to change and you can do it very fast. That’s another Satanic deception that it takes years and years to repent. It takes exactly as long to repent as it takes you to say, “I’ll change”—and mean it. Of course there will be problems to work out and restitutions to make. You may well spend—indeed you had better spend—the rest of your life proving your repentance is genuine by its permanence. But change, growth, renewal, repentance can come for you as instantaneously as it did for Alma and the Sons of Mosiah. Even if you have serious amends to make, it is not likely that you would qualify for the term “the vilest of sinners” (Mosiah 28:4) which is Mormon’s phrase in describing these young men. Yet as Alma recounts his own experience in the 36th chapter of Alma [Alma 36] it appears to have been as instantaneous as it was stunning.
Do not misunderstand. Repentance is not easy or painless or convenient. It is a bitter cup from hell. But only Satan who dwells there would have you think that the necessary and temporary discomfort of acknowledging your sins is more distasteful than permanent residence there. Only he would say, “You can’t change. You won’t change. It’s too long and too hard to change. Give up. Give in. Don’t repent. You are just the way you are.” That, my friends, is a lie which comes from desperation. Don’t believe it." ("For Times of Trouble" Jeffrey R. Holland). It's so true. I've felt it and I saw it in the baptismal interview. 
We had such a great Zone Conference in Chorley on Wednesday. We had Elder Stephen Kerr from the seventy there. He's from Scotland and he's hilarious. We talked about so many different topics that really helped me. He used the story of Nephi going to get the brass plates to highlight a few important points. The first was about the importance of record keeping. It's something a lot of missionaries struggle with, myself included. He specified the importance of our Area Books and our personal journal. My journal hasn't been the greatest so far in my mission. I read through all my entries for my first year one day in Blackburn when Elder Reali was sick. Some of them were pretty lame! Elder Kerr told us that our Journals should be like out small plates of Nephi were we write the things of our souls. He said that our posterity doesn't care what the weather is like. haha. so true. He really pounded into us the importance of records. he said this, "Records are so important that within the fist eight pages of the Book of Mormon somebody gets there head cut off because of them!". Everyone laughed pretty hard at that one, mix in a lot of hand animations and a Scottish accent and your in for a show. 
He taught us another principle from that same story. It was about the times when we just have no idea what we should do. He told us that it's a good thing to be in that situation. He said that's why he loves new missionaries so much, because they don't know what to do. They rely on the spirit to know instead of experience and knowledge. Nephi tried to use his experience and knowledge to get the plates(records) from Laban. Round 1, 1 nephi 3

 11 And we acast lots—who of us should go in unto the house of Laban. And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with him as he sat in his house.
 12 And he desired of Laban the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, which contained the agenealogy of my father.
 13 And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.
Fail! Round 2, 1 nephi 3
 22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our agold, and our silver, and our precious things.
 23 And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.
 24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the aplates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.
 25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did alust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.
Fail again. Both times where he used his own knowledge and experience didn't work then... the 3rd time.
 And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
 And I was aled by the Spirit, not bknowing beforehand the things which I should do.
Zone conference are the best. You get a lot of insights from people who have a ton of knowledge. 
We're teaching some really good people right now. Some are really close to baptism. The just need one final push to get them there. We did something a little different on Saturday morning. We went fishing. haha. We got permission to go fishing with someone we are teaching and a member. It was freezing cold and even started snowing. We didn't catch anything but it was a good chance to build a stronger relationship with them. We're still working hard trying to find more people to teach. We should have a pretty good week coming up. I'll be in Southport for a few days on exchange so it'll be fun to see another area.
Thanks for all the love and support. You're the best. I love you all so much. I'll talk to you soon!
love Elder Ford
1. Casting into a tree...classic
2. Elder Peterson and Jordan. The son of Debbie, one of our investigators.

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