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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's time happy? (Elder Morford's first transfer!)

We (missionaries) got to play soccer with a local high school team here in Tamale.  We lost, 3-2, but it was a good game!

I am being transferred. I never thought I would miss these people so much, but the people of Tamale are so powerful, kind, and generous.  Sister F fed me my last meal in Tamale: the biggest bowl of Fu-fu I have ever seen.  She also gave us treats and things like that, but what made me really sad was that on Sunday, everyone got up and bore their testimonies about how the missionaries had touched their lives.  Never in my life have I felt such an impact.  I knew that missionaries were essential to the conversion of the people, but I had to remind myself that all of these people sitting in the Chapel were all converts and had the impact of missionaries in their lives.  Sweet is the work that we, as missionaries get to do, and the lives that we get to be a part of.  These people are so amazing and I will miss them.  But God has plans for me, in other places.  

I am being transferred to Suame, Kumasi, and i might be serving with another American, cool right? :D

Many times have I cried to God.  Many times have I cried to God for my family.  And many times have I cried to God for the well-being of the people of this world.  I am having a "Nephi" kind of experience here on mission, and how grateful I am to God for that.  

I know I am sending pictures, a lot, but I don't have time to tell stories for each one. Maybe when I get back we can all sit around the table and go down memory lane.... :) 

 This mission has taught me so much, even in the first 3 months I have been here.  I am grateful to God for making it sweet for me.  Life here on mission is so much fun and so rewarding, but it's also very hard.  Seeing the spirit in the lives of other people is a special witness... but that's what we are. That's what we should be: witnesses of Jesus Christ.  No matter how hard life gets, or how scary Satan may be in our lives, there is always refuge in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I have a divine witness and testimony that He does live and He does care that each one of His children return back to Him, with honor.

May we, as His chosen servants, and children do the work willingly, pressing on with steadfastness in Christ is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Morford

PS- I thank you all for the package that was sent to me!! I love you all. :')

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

There are times when... you might feel aimless?

November 30, 2015

Chris found out this week that two of the girls his age that he's grown up with here are engaged to be married.  I think it was a little bit of a shocker even though he knew this kind of thing would likely happen.  It is also snow time here and the holidays are upon us.  I hear that the months of training and the first holidays away from home are the hardest times of a mission, generally speaking.  I think he's doing AMAZINGLY well and seems to be really happy.  It's not surprising to read a few less-than-positive musings this week, though. :)

I wrote him a letter after this email.  He won't get it for a month but his time on email is so short (a total of one hour to read all the emails, write everyone, including the mission president with his weekly report, and upload the pictures you see in the posts) that sending him anything of worth through that medium is lost in his rush to make the only communication he can in a week (and he has a lot of cute little siblings..and big ones...that write him separate emails every week and he is so sweet to answer every single one).

In the letter, I told him that he is in a crucible ('s almost 99 degrees there all the time with humidity of the same numbers!) of learning.  That though life is going on here at home and others seem to be "progressing" he, too, is progressing.  Satan may tempt him to feel that he is doing the "same thing" for two years while life moves on at home, but the reality is that he is moving along just as much as anyone else...maybe more so considering the rapid growth and learning that happens in the type of situation he is in.  He is being tutored by the Lord and is exactly where he should be.  I know he doesn't question that, but if there is ever a doubt, I want him to know his mom knows it, too.

The first picture below goes well with the first thoughts he wrote here.  :)


These days are hot.  Very hot and dry.  I sometimes lose sight of this mission and why I am here.  I keep having to remind my natural man (Mosiah 3:19) that I am not here for me, I am here for God and the people whom I teach and for their welfare.   This land is so pretty and majestic.  The people I serve with both missionaries and branch callings are amazing.  We keep pressing forward having steadfastness in Christ with a perfect brightness of hope and a love of all men.  I am reminded time and time again that God cares about me, my family and those whom I teach.  Therefore, He will look after me and take care of those whom I love.  We each can have our own personal strong testimony if we rely on God and His matchless power.  

There are times when we feel amazing, like when I got to baptize a sister.  If that is the only baptism I perform this mission, all will be well.  For we are not looking for quantity members, but quality.  If those whom we bring to the gospel will stay and believe in the words of God and His prophets, I know they will find both happiness and joy in their lives, happiness and joy that will last.

Take care, and listen to the words which have been written you. (2 Nephi 33:14-15)

Love you all, and study the word of God, for it shall be well with us in Heaven

Elder Morford

Now THAT is an African sunset!

This was my lock screen pic for the week. :)

This is when I wish there was a way to send captions on his pictures.  This is inside the church building...there must be a story behind this picture.  Hopefully he will remember what it was in two years.  :)

Looks like a fresh buzz to me.  :)

Elder Morford's First Baptism!

November 22, 2015

Sister Brink sent this email to me on Sunday, the 22nd.  How could a mom be more blessed??  Thank you, Sister Brink!!

Today was a great day at Education Ridge. We had branch conference and then 3 baptisms. Elder Morford baptized sister L. A member baptized the two young men!  Your Elder did a great job! The spirit was strong!

Sister Brink with Sister L in black and white dress and Sister L's daughter M and her friends.  M will be baptized in a couple of weeks Elder Morford said.

More members after the baptism, It was a great Sabbath day

A Thanksgiving email from Sister Brink

November 17, 2015
Early Thanksgiving meal hosted by the Brinks

All is well!  We celebrated an early thanksgiving after zone conference. Thought you would enjoy pictures.  Your son is doing well!!!!  He and his companions all moved on Saturday to a new apartment.  Elder brink and I go to Kumasi next week for a senior couples conference. So we had a thanksgiving meal early!

Enjoy your thanksgiving.  I will let you know when the boxes arrive.

Sister Brink

All seated for a "family" meal with real plates and table cloth!

We enjoy the missionaries so much!  They all work together and are learning!

Elder Smith and Elder Moford are adjusting well !  Much faster then we did!

Heads up, faces forward!

November 23, 2015

I had a dream.  There was nothing to eat, nowhere to hide, and there was chaos all around.  I woke up sweating realizing that I am away from my family and that there was something going to happen.  My thoughts kept on turning back to this and the spirit told me to start preparing myself.

Do you all have enough fuel in case something happens?  Is there enough food? What about water?  Are you prepared for the times that are coming?  I say to start preparing now, for there are things that are going to happen that blow our minds.   Just know all is going to be ok in the end if we are prepared for if we are prepared we shall not fear.  

God loves us and wants to care for us.  Reach out to Him and you will find strength.  Hope all is well and that you will reach out and help others around you. 

Elder Morford

Finally!  A laundry picture!  :)

Thanksgiving hosted by Elder and Sister Brink

I know this little one melted Chris' heart

Look closely...they swapped glasses.  :)

Gee, Elder Morford...maybe you need to be a little easier to live with??

I have started keeping one of his weekly pictures on the lock screen of my phone.  This is the one I chose for this week. :)

Good Times

November 16, 2015

There have been some good times here on mission and me and my comp are getting along just fine.  I thought it would be impossible but then we started serving each other and now we are teaching very powerfully to those who will listen.  We were going along the streets of Tamale and a man walked up to us and started talking.  He said he had found one of the pamphlets we had left with a friend and he had questions about it.  Very cool! Also, we have found a new investigator EVERY DAY this past week! Prayers are being answered!  I got to watch conference, and mom... I cried during Elder Holland's talk, realizing how lucky of a man I am to have a mother like you.

Thanks about the shoes! I cant wait! These things are being torn to shreds with how much walking we are doing!!  I also VERY enjoyed the letter that came for me! I loved all the crafts and James and Chase, the things you made me are hanging up in my room! I love them and cherish them.  The letter too Patty... man. SO great! I love it.  Thank you!  I can't wait to see you all again, and get to hug you all!

Love how prominent the Coke bottle is...totally NOT allowed in our house...but another Ghana mom told me they drink those colas to kill the parasites in their stomachs.  Maybe I can find a way to be grateful for Coke...?

Moving into the new apartment after living in the church building since his arrival

Look like a bunch of teenage boys to me! :)