Monday, April 29, 2013

April 22, 2013

Hey everyone!
It's been a crazy week! So much has been going on. It's hard to believe its already P-day again. Time is flying by. Today is the last P-day of the transfer. We have our transfers next wednesday. Elder Sutton and I are hoping we both stay. :) We'll see what happens.
Last moday was pretty crazy. We had an appointment with one of our Recent Converts named Jozef. We were waiting for him at his house and he didn't show up. Twenty mintutes later he showed up to his house and he got mugged. Some homeless man jumped him and stole his bike and wallet. We had to stay with Jozef to help him with the cops because he hardly speaks any english. Crazy World...Mom's probably terrified right now. Englands not that bad...relax.
This week taught me a lot about life and missionary work though. We had zone trainings this week so Elder Sutton and I had to prepare a training. We did it on goal setting which is something i'm pretty rubbish at. I learned a lot about setting goals though. I've been realizing these past few weeks that I don't really have and huge goals or plans. haha. I'm a loser. We talked a lot about setting SMART goals(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound). We related it to eating an elephant, one bit at a time. It was pretty fun. I got mom's package at the training as well. Double Stuff oreos...classic. Elder Sutton and I went crazy on them when we got home. haha.
I've been studying the latest CES devotional from Elder Bednar as well "That we might not shrink". I've had a few chances to share that with people throughout the week. It talks a lot about our faith not being based on our circumstances. It tells a story about a young couple who was just recently married when the husband was diagnosed with Cancer. Here is my favorite part of it.
Two days following the operation, I visited John and Heather in the hospital. We talked about the first time I met John in the mission field, about their marriage, about the cancer, and about the eternally important lessons we learn through the trials of mortality. As we concluded our time together, John asked if I would give him a priesthood blessing. I responded that I gladly would give such a blessing, but I first needed to ask some questions.
I then posed questions I had not planned to ask and had never previously considered: “[John,] do you have the faith not to be healed? If it is the will of our Heavenly Father that you are transferred by death in your youth to the spirit world to continue your ministry, do you have the faith to submit to His will and not be healed?”
I frankly was surprised by the questions I felt prompted to ask this particular couple. Frequently in the scriptures, the Savior or His servants exercised the spiritual gift of healing (see 1 Corinthians 12:9;D&C 35:946:20) and perceived that an individual had the faith to be healed (seeActs 14:93 Nephi 17:8D&C 46:19). But as John and Heather and I counseled together and wrestled with these questions, we increasingly understood that if God’s will were for this good young man to be healed, then that blessing could only be received if this valiant couple first had the faith not to be healed. In other words, John and Heather needed to overcome, through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “natural man” (Mosiah 3:19) tendency in all of us to demand impatiently and insist incessantly on the blessings we want and believe we deserve.
We recognized a principle that applies to every devoted disciple: strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in our lives—even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted. Certainly, John and Heather would desire, yearn, and plead for healing with all of their might, mind, and strength. But more importantly, they would be “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [them], even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). Indeed, they would be willing to “offer [their] whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26) and humbly pray, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
He also say that "Not shrinking is more important than surviving". I saw this in action yesterday when we visited a member of the church who was terminally ill with cancer in the hospital. We talked about his conversion story and his love for missionary work. He's only been given a few months to live but his biggest concern was whether we had any investigators at church that day! He is a spiritual giant. He gave us some advice as well. He said don't wait untill it's to late to reconcile yourself with someone. He said that he wasn't afraid of dying and that he knew that good had missionary work for him to do on the other side. He looked at us and said with a wink "I'll be miles ahead of you."
Thanks for everything you do for me. I love you all! I hope you all have an amzing week. I'll speak to you either next wednesday or Thursday. Love ya!
Love Elder Ford

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013

Hey Everyone!
Wow it's been a pretty crazy week. Elder Sutton and I feel like we've been all over the place this week. It's been a bit of a trying time as well. We've learned about quite a few missionaries in our zone who are struggling a bit. We've been fasting and parying for different ways to help. We went on an exchange this week with one of them and we should be going on a few more in the coming weeks. I'm really learning a lot about how to love people. Elder Sutton is such a great example of that. In the past I only loved those I chose to love, everyone else I was bothered about. It sounds horrible I know. That's changed a lot for me throughout this last year. It's really crazy the things you learn out here. It blows me away when I think about it a lot.
I love serving with Elder Sutton. It's so fun serving with someone in your own group and someone you feel like you know so well. We're both praying for a 2nd transfer together. :) These last few days we've been going through our journals seeing where we were at this time last year. We've had some good laughs reading through our new missionaries worries and experiences. Things like refusing to put a side part in my hair. haha. We're both loving the work right now. I feel like this is kind of my prime time in the mission. Summer is coming up, I'm serving with another experienced missionary. The work is going to explode.
Things are going well with all the people we're teaching. Lisa is doing great!(She usually reads this once it goes up on hte blog. HI lisa!) haha. We went to the mission home fireside with her last night. I love those firesides. It's pretty much a testimony meeting for people who are learning about the church. Recent converts get up and share their testimonies and experiences. All the missionaries are usualyl crowded in the kitchen because there isn't enough room so it just becomes a missionary reunion! It was good to see a lot of the missionaries that I hadn't seen for a long time.
I still haven't seen Elder Hollands most recent talk. I was devasted when we didn't get to watch it. I've read over bits of it though. It sounds so good!
"Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.
So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we."
Enough said! Well I can't remember too much else of what happened this week. My brain is fried! I hope you all have an amazin week. Love you all!
Elder Ford
P.s. we just moved into a new flat. here's our address!
2 Manchester Court, Federation Road, Burslem, ST6 4HT, England

April 8, 2013

Hey everyone!
It's been a super busy week. We've been all over the place but it's been a great adventure. We saw a lot of amazing miracles, and had a lot of fun. I think I've literally been laughing for the past two weeks straight!
We had to travel up to Manchester twice this week. It's about an hour in the car so it was a pretty solid drive for us. We went to Stockport so Elder Sutton could take his driving Theory test. After three times of failing it he finally passed. Fourth time is the charm I guess. I give him a pretty hard time about it. Funnily enough while we were there we ended up getting a parking ticket for parking in a No-parking area. haha. I saw the sign....i just decided to chance it. Didn't work. Oh well. It was so much fun being back in Stockport, my very first area! It felt like home. We stopped by a few people I was able to teach while we were in the area. They were pretty surprised to see me. It's been almost a year since I was there. Time goes quick.
We had to go back up to Manchester the day after as well to go to Zone Leader Council at the mission home. It was an all day thing were we pretty much just talked about the needs of the mission and talked about the changes we needed to make. The best part was the meal Sister Preston made. She's a mean cook.
We moved flats for most of the morning Saturday. Our old flat was a dump, so it's nice to be in a new one. We spent the evening watching the Saturday morning session of conference. we had one session Saturday night and the priesthood session and two other sessions on Sunday. We didn't get to see the Sunday afternoon session because it was on too late(9:00-11:00). I didn't get to see Elder Holland! I heard his talk was great though. I think President Monson's talk in the Priesthood session was my favorite. I got a few answers to some of the questions I had from it.
Everything is going great here. I'm loving Newcastle and the work. Thanks for all of the support. I love you all!
Love Elder Ford

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March 28, 2013

Hey everyone,
Well another transfer has come and gone. Elder Peterson and I saw a lot of miracles and a lot of good things happen in St. Helens, But now it's on to a new adventure with some new responsibilities. I've been transferred to area number six! The City of Newcastle-under-lyme.  Odd name I know. It's about an hour and half south of Manchester. This is the furthest south in the mission that I've been so far. I'm serving with one of my best friends in the mission! Elder Sutton from Centerville, Utah. We're in the same M.T.C group and he was one of the first people I met at the airport in Salt Lake to leave for England. We sat by each other on both flights here so we've had a really great friendship our entire missions. I was so excited when I got the transfer call to find out we were together. There was ample amounts of fist pumping, needless to say. haha. My U.K driving license will get put to good use as well because we have a car. English roads can be pretty dodgy, buckle up.
I wasn't expecting to leave St. Helens at all. I've now had two, six week areas. Pretty crazy. Elder Sutton is my 10th companion as well. I'll be serving around some former companions as well so I'll get a chance to go on a few exchanges with them. Pretty exciting! This transfer is only a 5 weeks transfer so it'll go by pretty quick. It's going to be a fun transfer.
We had our transfer meeting in Manchester yesterday. 27 new missionaries and only two going home. We opened up a lot of new areas. I think we have over 30 coming in next transfer as well. The work is picking up. It's an exciting time to be a missionary.
The Easter season here in England is huge. There are a lot of holidays this weekend. Because it's a special time a year for us, we've been studying the last week of the savior's life as a mission and on Saturday to commemorate the gospel being preached to the spirits in prison on the Saturday after the Crucifixion, we're doing a consecrated finding day. We we dedicate the entire day to finding new people. We'll be hitting the pavement hard! It should be a day full of miracles.
Well nothing much else to report here. Things are going great. I'm just trying to find my way around in a new area. Luckily we have a G.P.S, i don't really pay attention to it though. We've taken all kinds of wrong turns already haha. I'll talk to you on Monday again! Love you!
Love Elder Ford

April 2, 2013

Hey Everyone,
Sorry for not emailing yesterday. It was a Holiday(Easter Monday?) so everything was shut down. It's been a really busy week here in Newcastle. There's been a lot of really good things going on. I'm loving serving with Elder Sutton. It's honestly like serving with one of your best friends. So much fun!
We've seen some big progress this week with a lady we're teaching named Lisa. A few years back she had some bad experiences with religion that made her bitter with God. She convinced herself that god wasn't there. Her son ended up getting baptized awhile back so that's how she came into contact with missionaries. She's been looking for reasons to not believe in the church but the other night she stayed up reading the Book of Mormon for 4 hours! She told us the next lesson that she knew it was true. It was crazy. The spirit was so strong. She's going to get married to her partner on May 25 then after that she'll be baptized.
I'm starting to get a feel for the area. Newcastle borders another pretty big city called Stoke-on-Trent. It has a pretty big shopping mall so I'll probably leave Newcastle with my pockets a bit lighter. The English style is just too good. Feel free to send me money :) Just can if you want though.
Easter was great here. Elder Sutton did a musical item for Sacrament meeting. He's a way good singer. He's going to try and teach me but I'm pretty hopeless. We'll see how that goes. Honestly this week was such a blur. I don't remember much that happened. It seems like I don't even have time to think anymore. haha. Well I hope everyone is doing great. I love you all! Have an amazing week and I'll speak to you on Monday.
P.S Get ready for General Conference!
Love Elder Ford