Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 11, 2016

Our great friend, Marty Hill, passed away.  I let Chris know in my email to him:

Mother... I am so sad to hear about Marty. But he lived 9 years longer than he was expected to and he has touched that many more people's lives over that time. How grateful I have been for the opportunity to know him and his family.  May the Lord bless them in this time of need.

This week we taught 23 lessons, have 11 new investigators, and have 5 baptismal dates just for the month of January. Crazy right??? This mission is pretty powerful.  So, this week we taught a man named Bro. Ruben who had just seen the church and came and visited.  He was so blown away in what we believe that he came up to us right after church and asked where he could learn more.  We then taught him the next Tuesday.  He chose to drop everything he was doing that was not in line with the gospel and live a life that God would be proud of.  He said that that was his goal, to make God proud of him.  He broke up with his girlfriend, he told his boss he wasn't working Sundays, and just things like that.  It is so amazing to see the gospel change someone so fast.  may the Lord bless him.

I love you and I hope everything is going well with the family! I love you all!

Elder Son

Pounding Foo-Foo

My lock screen pic for the week

This little girl reminded Chris of his little sister.  He sent her this one.

I am so very happy to be here in this mission and I am so happy that I could have the experiences that I am having on this mission.  Many miracles have happened and many sad things have happened too, but this miracle I would like to talk about is very special.  

My companion and I were having fun during the Holidays, not exactly being obedient.  Then, both me and my companion made it a goal that we would finish 2016 strong so we kept on the schedule and finding things to do to further the work instead of having fun and goofing off.  Now, this past Sunday was a blessing.  We usually have 1-3 investigators come to church, but this past Sunday we had 6!! Also, 2 new investigators every day that we were working, one of which is very serious about The Church just after a week and a half of knowing about it.  He is reading the Book of Mormon and knows that everything we teach is true.  

The Lord is behind this work, and is doing amazing things.  All we have to do is be willing to accept the calling to do His work through us.
How grateful I am for this work.  How grateful I am for the Spirit and how grateful I am for the experience to learn and to grow.
We have had fun on these Holidays, and so here are these pictures. I hope you enjoy them. :)
I love you all and I hope that you take time to remember the Lord this year, all the way through!!
Elder Morford

Happy New Year in Suame!

A few letters between siblings on January 3, 2016:

From 5-year-old sister:

Dear Elder Bro,

How's it goin' there?
Do you still have that sickness?
Are you feeling well, or not?
What's your companion's name?
Where is your companion from?
What is his favorite food?
What is your favorite food there?
What is the grossest thing you've eaten there?
Have you seen a stray horse before?
We clanged pots for Ghana's New Year. Did you hear them?
I love you, Chris!!

Clanging pots for Kumasi's new year.  A little early for the US...I'm sure the neighbors were wondering...

Everything is great here!! We have had so much success and help from the Lord!! :D It's great to know that God is there for us... :D
I am feeling fine! XD No more sicky-sick for me! :)
My companions name is Elder Amakye (A-ma-chee) and he is from Ghana, Central Region.  He's a great teacher and 24 years old. :D
My favorite food is Fu-fu and Teset.  And the grossest thing I have seen or eaten is intestine soup... yum. :P
I have seen a stray horse. It looked like it should have been starved to death!!
You banged pots for me for new years??!! I thought I heard somethin... I'm sure it was you!! ;D
I love you.  Stay amazing!!

In response to his 16-year-old sister:

This week we had an amazing experience this week! We had 6 investigators at church and this boy who is about 19/20 just came to church one day and wanted to know more.  We then taught him and gave him a Book of Mormon and he read it... the intro and then prayed about it.  He said never in his life has he felt so peaceful and he knew that this was the church of God.  It was pretty cool!!
Then there is the opposite... this man didn't believe in the Bible, nor that Jesus was alive... It was sad because he was so confused, he kept contradicting himself... not fun nor easy to listen too.  He refused to believe and pray about anything we said. Sad huh?
I love you and keep being the amazing person you are!

Elder Bro

December 28, 2015: After the Christmas call...

We loved talking to Chris on Christmas Day, hearing his accent (yes, he actually has an accent!) and hearing his testimony.  He told his siblings to keep being obedient and faithful.  He was emotional talking to his 10-year-old brother about the example he has been to Chris, then admonishing his 8-year-old brother to follow that example.

Here is an excerpt from the email he sent to that brother on the 28th:

I hope you realize how much you, an 10 year old boy, has touched your older brother's life.  I see in you a man and a true patriot to or Lord and Savior.  How grateful I am that I have a brother like that.  Please, continue and be a great support to the family especially while I am gone.  Just know that God is watching over you and the family, and continue to be a force for good. 

He finished his hour-long conversation on Christmas Day admonishing the family about the importance of having hope.  He reminded us to keep our faith in Christ and always have hope in Him.

His call came in the middle of a most moving and life-changing time for our family as we loved and supported our friends through the greatest trial and tragedy of their lives.  Some of the comments in the email the Monday after Christmas refer to this situation which he was fully aware of

Dear Mom and whoever may read this,

I do not have an accent, I swear. ;D  Haha, that's funny to think that... I would... really? I have an accent? Cool! :) 

In all seriousness though, this "thing" about our friends is tearing me up inside.... I wish I could be there to help him and the other children, but I guess I can help them in other ways.  When I get back, I have some plans... :) These people are so amazing and I just kind of ask myself, why did they have to go through this?  The answer in my mind is that because amazing people have to go through hard things.  This is kinda unbearable, but I hope that they are getting through it alright.

This mission is very hard.  It is mentally, physically, and emotionally tasking.  There are elders that really don't care about the rules, ones who think Pres. Cosgrave should not have a say in how they do things, but you know what I think?  God put us on this mission because he knew we could handle it. So what am I going to do?  I am going to try to be that ONE.  Yes it is a very lonely number, but you know what?  Jesus was ONE when He accomplished the Atonement.  David was ONE when he took down the biggest threat God's people have ever faced.  If God has ONE willing to do the right thing and fight for the right, then He will allow them to be that ONE tool in His hands in order to shape their history.

I want each and every one of you to know that you can be ONE, not just in the world or feel alone when standing up to wrong, but ONE with God.  How grateful I am for this chance I have had to celebrate the ONE who has changed the course of each of our futures: Jesus Christ.  Reach out to Him and become ONE with Him.  This is my prayer.

Elder Morford/Son/Bro

Where's Elder Morford?  Can you find him?  Zone Conference in Kumasi a week before Christmas

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Few Firsts: Christmas Away From Home and Malaria

A compilation of emails and pictures the Monday before his first Christmas away from home, 
December 21, 2015:

We had heard from Chris' mission president that he was "fatigued" at the recent zone conference.  It wasn't until we received his emails a few days later that we learned he had contracted Malaria (he mentions it in his email to Lucy below).  

During our phone conversation later in the week, on Christmas Day, I asked him if he had been taking his Doxycycline.  He said he had been taking it but awoke one morning to 47 mosquito bites on his arms.  He was told he had a mild case of Malaria because he had been taking his Doxy.  

Throughout these emails, his head was hurting terribly.  A few communications weren't completely coherent so the best are included here.  

This was a hard time for Elder Morford.  I told him if he can make it through his first Christmas away from home with Malaria on a mission in a third world country...he can do ANYTHING!  :)


From Lizzy:

M: What do you want to say to Chris?
L:  I love him!
Nastia: Do you want to say something about Christmas?
L: Me love Christmas tree!
M:  What else do you want to say?
L: I love you, Fris On a Mission (that's your new name)!  I love dinner!

(That was all I could get out of her while she was climbing up on a chair and doing flips over the back of the couch over and over.  But, she did run over, breathlessly, to say these things to you.)

Lizzy-isms for the week:

*Lizzy was lying next to Patty on the green couch.  It was quiet for a while, then Lizzy said, "Patty, no you good blanket!".

*She fell off Patty's mattress (which was on the floor, so it wasn't far) and said, "Ow, dat painful."

*Oh, and Chase would like me to tell you that she got ahold of some scissors while Dad was sleeping and no one else was paying attention and cut her hair (in several places) and our dining room curtains.  It was sort of funny and sort of traumatizing at the same time.  Ah, toddlers!

Love you,
Lizzy, Mom and everyone else who contributed :)


 I love that little girl. :) Snuggle her for me!

I believe a trip to one of the few KFCs in the Kumasi area was a "Christmas" outing.  Christmas isn't celebrated there so the Americans do what they can.!

From Lucy:

Dear Elder Bro,

I'm really excited for Christmas because I'm getting candy. I am really excited because I'm going to unwrap my presents from the one who has me. I don't know who has me...I hope somebody does!

How are you feeling?  I heard that you got sick.

James got baptized.  I'm really happy because we got to watch him.

We celebrate Christmas because it's Jesus' birthday.

I love you Chris, Elder Bro!

Lucy ❄⛄


Haha, I love candy and Christmas as well! It's so amazing! 

I am still sick... with malaria. It's not fun, at all! But other than that, I am feeling fine. :)  I love that James got baptized! It's a great thing that has happened in our family. :)  I hope you choose to be baptized just like your brother. :)

I love Jesus and I celebrate it to remember Him as well. :)

Love you, Lu.

Elder Bro

Laundry time!

From James:

Hi Chris!

We are going to carol tomorrow at the Pioneer Village.  We are going to dress up in pioneer clothes and sing songs in the hymn book.  There are camp fires and there are fires and stoves in all the homes, too.  And after we carol we are going to the Festival of Lights.  

I know that Jesus died for us.  Christmas is about His birth.  

I love you!

James :)


I know that Jesus died for us too. :)  Christmas IS about His birth, which is the most important thing that has happened in history.  Make sure that that is what Christmas is about.

I love you buddy, and I thought you would like this... :)

and there is a little bit more for my artist brother! XD

Take care buddy. Merry Christmas. I wish i could be there, but ill call you guys then ok? :) Till next time.

Elder Bro
Art work sent for James

From Chase:

Hey Chris!!!

Carly the dog got in a fight a few weeks ago during dog carting.  It was a small bite but by the time she had run home she had ripped it open five times its size.  She has had to stay home from dog sledding.

We had our MCO performance right after the dogs left and it was AMAZING...except that I couldn't sing for half the performance because my throat hurt, but I was glad I was able to be there.

I love you sooo much!!!  



Hey buddy.
I feel bad about that dog... I know what it's been going through though because I have seen many many injuries in my years as a dogsledding. I just hope that she will be ok.

I wish I could be there for that performance man... I am sure it was amazing.  I mean, it is EVERY single time, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was... ;D  

Bro, there have been times on this mission that I just kinda wanna stop and come home for a while... but this is a mission I have been assigned to and I have been called before even we came to this earth... I know it's supposed to go forward.

I love you buddy.

I hope you continue being strong.


Elder Bro

Ummm...yeah.  Typical posture for an 18-year-old boy!

Elder Hill and Elder Morford finally meet!  Elder Hill's mom and I have been great friends for months now.  Our families have spent time together and we organized a large project for the Kumasi missionaries together...but it took all this time for our sons to meet in person.  They were good boys and sent these pictures to us. :)  Chris is holding his Christmas present and the replacement shoes he needed.

With his new companion, Elder A, who is a native Ghanaian from the Central Region of the country.  He loves this guy!  Elder A is the district leader and they are having a great experience together.

Good boy...he sent his momma a picture of all the stuff we sent to the mission home.  His new pair of shoes, a bag of peanut M&Ms, a box of crackers, a summer sausage and a small box of something I don't remember about...understandable since it was sent in October.  :)

Merry Christmas, Elder Morford!

Soldiers in the Army--an Air Force Veteran and a Missionary

This is an email conversation between Elder Morford and his grandpa, Pop, the week of Christmas, 2015:


Chris, I remember my first Christmas when I was in the Air Force, far away in Japan, with no prospect of coming home or seeing any family. We had no email in those days, of course, and certainly even a phone call was impossibly expensive...Facetime or Skype face-to-face conversations were science fiction! But, you know, I had to face it just like all the other Airmen in my unit. I think we took strength from each other and from the knowledge that what we were doing was important to be done. We got through it by just focusing on our work and making the missing of the holiday worth doing because we were engaged in something purposeful.

Your situation is somewhat like mine was in those days. You are about the same age I was. You're half-way across the world, like I was. And you've got fellow missionaries (both younger and seniors) who are there experiencing the same thing you are. What's different is that the work you're doing is vastly more meaningful, especially to your serious investigators,  than mine was. I don't want to diminish the importance of the work I did in the Air Force, but you are such an important part of the process of conversion for many. But would it matter if it were only one person? Even just one individual finding the Lord, the happiness of the Restored Gospel, and the eternal impact on his or her soul has no rival in importance.


Elder Morford:

I know that being in battle is like being on a mission.  You are striving every single day to be that obedient and amazing soldier, but it is harder than it looks. This restored gospel is really something else.  It has helped so many get back into their lives and trusting their God.  I know that I don't have too much time, but i just want you to know that this mission has been changing me for the better over time.  How grateful I am for this gospel and this opportunity.

Elder Morford

Elder Morford in Suami

December 14, 2016

This was the first email we received from his new area, Suami.  He was unable to send pictures. 

About the transfer [from Tamale], we had to wait at the bus station for 5 hours before we could leave on the bus... crazy.  We then did not get into Suami (*Soo-ahm-me) till around 7:30.  

My new companion is Elder Amakye (Ama-chi) and he is AWESOME!! I love this guy.  He is from Central region in Ghana.  He loves to work, eat, sleep and have a great time... it's great. :) the lessons are going well and he likes the way I teach.  He heard from Tamale that I was "spiritual".  I guess that's good.. :D

Suami is really crowded, not like Tamale which was nice and spread out.  I am feeling fine
... my new area is sweet!  I love the people we work with. 

Elder Son

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

He Said Goodbye to Tamale...and so did I

Sister Brink sent this photo early this morning.  She has been a wonderful friend and support while Chris was in his first area.

I have to admit that when I learned from her that he was being transferred, I had a few tears.  When I closed the last suitcases of supplies that were being sent to the Ghana MTC, I had a few tears then, too.  It took me a while to realize the reason for those emotions.  Each experience creates a little more separation, a little more cutting of the apron strings.  Whatever connection there had been, whatever familiarity had been created, was being shut down.

He doesn't experience this exactly the way I do.  He is in Ghana and is focused on serving his mission and the people there.  I'm here where things are basically the same, except that he is absent.

I have decided that, likely, I will feel this with every transfer and every change.  Whatever has become familiar will change to something unfamiliar and I will travel that little rollercoaster with him.

However, this transfer is a little different.  For these first months, I have had a substitute mom watching over Chris.  Sister Brink has been so wonderful to not only keep me posted (not too often, but enough to send reassurances and ALWAYS on the days I have needed that uplift the most), but also to watch out for the missionaries there.  She has fed them, visited them, brought them supplies...been a mom.  And I'm sure Elder Brink has been a substitute dad, too.

That time in Tamale came to an end much sooner than we expected.  The reason is because so many missionaries left the Kumasi Mission to go home (honorably, I might add) and only a few sisters came from the MTC with the last group.  So, it became necessary to close some areas of Tamale and send Chris and other missionaries to take over in other areas of the mission that needed the elders more.

So, off to Suame (don't ask me how to pronounce that...I don't know yet!) Elder Morford goes.

Thank you, Sister Brink, for being my sister and my friend...and standing in my place for a few months.  You have a mother heart and have been a blessing to me.