Monday, August 12, 2013

Aug 12, 2013

Hey everyone!
It's been another crazy busy week. We were up at the British Pageant almost every night this week, Tuesday-Friday. It made the week feel really short. We would leave Liverpool at 6:00 and we wouldn't get home until close to Midnight. It about killed us because of the lack of sleep but it was worth it. Everyone we took to it felt really good about it and it's already starting to open up some doors for us. I wish you all could have watched it!
The full mission conference was insane. We had the entire mission packed into the hot and sweaty Manchester Stake Center. We had Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Russel M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve plus Elder Kearen and Elder Evans of the Seventy. Their wives all spoke to us as well. In total there were eight speakers to fill about 3 hours. It wasn't near enough time. As soon as they walked into the room you could tell they were different. Jeffrey R. Holland is just as intense as he is in person as he is at General conference, There was so pulpit pounding and head shaking.
One thing all the missionaries learned that I don't think we all comprehended was how much they loved us. Each of the 8 speakers was in tears when they told us how grateful they were for us and how much they loved us. Elder Holland was in my opinion the best though like always. He started off by saying, "50 years 10 months and 25 days ago I first stepped foot on this little Island. Since then my life has never been the same." He said that in those 50 years there hasn't been a single day where he hasn't thought about his mission. This is where the pulpit pounding started. He told us over and over not to waste a single minute. "NO REGRETS" he kept saying. I was sweating just listening to him, or maybe it was because the chapel was hot. Either way he was intense. Elder M.Russel Ballard was in the mission as well but he didn't come to the conference. We saw him later that evening at the British Pageant.

Elder Holland shared this scripture that I've really come to know is true. Mosiah 18:30  And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.
He said that this this man obviously really loved the land of Mormon because of the experiences that happened there. For me you can replace Mormon with Manchester and it has the same effect. It's weird when people in the streets ask if you like the area you're serving in. When you say yes they are so surprised. To the average person Liverpool, Preston, Newcastle, Stockport and all my other areas probably seem like nothing special, But to me, just like Elder Holland said, they are special because they are the places where I came to know God. Crazy how that works.
I got to go back to Newcastle this weekend for the baptism of Alan, Lisa's husband. It was such a good experience. They're finally unified. I remember when Elder Sutton and I were teaching Lisa at first he wanted nothing to do with it. We would ask Lisa if he would be interested and she would just laugh. Well he's a different person now! They're working towards the temple now.
This next week should be a pretty normal week. Our area is in a bit of a mess since we've hardly been in it and we haven't been able to do any of the exchanges with other missionaries. We're back to hitting the pavement this week. Pray for us! Thanks for everything!
Love Elder Ford
Picture: Alan's baptism.

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