Monday, October 5, 2015

Elder Morford arrives in his first area--Tamale

So, it's been a bit of a transition for the Momma over the last week.  Chris left the MTC about a week ago and we got lucky and found out where he was sent.  The other families had to wait until this p-day to know where their sons had gone.  It's been almost a week and a half since our last communication with our sons.

Not having the daily pictures and blog posts from the MTC was harder than I thought it would be.  I had some moments of sadness that really hurt my heart and they caught me by surprise because I'm really glad he's out serving the Lord.  I didn't expect to feel sad.  But I think there is a mourning process that we all go through as we send our children on missions and that process looks different for everyone.

One thing I still know, hurting heart or not, I wouldn't want anything to be different for Chris.  I know that it is only when things are hard that we grow.  Christ's example, besides loving with a perfect love, was to be strictly obedient to The Father and to do hard things...even when it may be tempting to back out.  Chris is learning to do this and I wouldn't want anything else for him.  He will be a better man, a better father, a better servant, a better son of God for it.

Chris wrote some wonderful letters to his little brothers.  To his 10-year-old brother, he admitted that he wished he had spent more time learning to work hard:

You are an amazing worker, Buddy, and I know you will go far if you continue that path.  I wish I could have done more when I was younger, to prepare me for hard work, but that's not what I did.  All I wanted to do was have fun.  That is not what life is about though.  Its about enduring the hard trials well, and having a good attitude while doing it.  Right now, my trainer doesn't like me, he's only been here for 4 months, and we are having some struggles.  And what did I do to prepare to get to this point?  Hardly anything.  And that is what I want to tell you...prepare NOW so that later you can have the best experience you can.  

I love you buddy.  Keep up the good work and the Lord will bless you.  I know that for sure.

Hope all is going well for you and the family.  I love you man!

Your proud older brother, 
Elder Morford

Though Tamale is spelled exactly like a favorite Mexican food dish, there is no relationship between Tamale and Mexican food...except the heat.

Chris has a trainer from Nigeria.  It's not all a bed of roses when you're adjusting to mission life, but Chris is trying to have a good attitude.

From Elder Morford:

Hi there!

I think reality has hit me full blown in the face, hard.  Like if you don't know what I am talking about, go hit yourself in the face with a shovel.  Then you will know. :)

I am here in Tamale (tom-aw-lay) and enjoying the people.  We are currently teaching 13 people the gospel, over the course of the month.  We have 2 new investigators and am just enjoying the fact that I am here!  It has rained hard here as well.  

This brother is one of the guys that has come to church and I met him for the first time this week.  He is so legit! 

I also met a sister with a baby at church and she is such a sweet lady. Both are coming to church regularly now.  The brother is being baptized here soon... after one lesson.  He had a dream that Joseph Smith handed him a Book of Mormon and then asked him what he was going to do with it.  This brother said he woke up shaking and knew that this gospel was the truth.  Sweet story!! 

This little baby is the cutest thing on the planet... well, she number 2 counting my baby sis as 1... ;D

Sister and her baby

Number 1 cutest baby on the planet

On Saturday, my companion didn't know the way to one of our lessons we were going to teach, but the Spirit guided him there.  It is crazy that just over the course of the first 4 days, there have been miracles. 

 I think that the Lord is testing me because my trainer is only 3.5 months into his mission and he LOVES controlling everything of mine (family, you should know I don't like this... ;),  but through His grace am I learning patience and long-suffering.   

I got a new haircut too! I was tired of the long locks ;) that were keeping my head roasting, so I had Elder Smith cut them for me... :D  I feel so much cooler now.  Thanks, Elder Smith!

Elder Morford's mother has not seen this haircut since this boy was 4 years old.

I am praying to the Lord that He may show me the way through this mission because I cannot do this on my own. At. All.  But by grace we are saved ONLY after all we can do as His children.  So, with that, I'm trying... hard.  And I could use all the prayers I can get! Bless you all for being so supportive of me and even though I am 3/4 around the the globe, I can feel that Love expounding with everything that I do.  May God bless you all and strengthen us in times of need.

As I have gone through this time, here already on this mission, I realized something. I know I said this before, but It takes 10,000 hours to become "perfect" at something.  and do you know how many hours a mission is, when I am awake? 10,280.  So, we as missionaries become MORE perfect at teaching and learning the gospel than something else we could be doing.

God bless you all, and please, read the scriptures, bear your testimony to someone, just do something that can get you closer to the Lord and He will bless you for it.

Elder Morford

P.S. The skies here and the kids here are SO AMAZING :)

His sky and nature pictures always make him seem close...they are his favorite.

(Momma's absolute favorite picture so far!)

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