Hey everyone! 🙂 Morning!!! How is it going?  For me I am doing pretty good here in Bothell.  The weather has been amazing this last week which was a huge surprise!  Everyone said that 2 weeks ago was the last of summer and then we had almost sun everyday this week?? HAHA I just hope we can keep it but my thoughts are that winter is coming!  I guess I will just wait and find out soon.  It is October and in a few weeks it will be Halloween which is just crazy because I want to go get costumes and pumkins and candy and I don’t really think that is allowed here haha 🙂  I guess I will just have to be a poor missionary for Halloween!!!!! (and everyday after that) LOL!
 
This week was actually a pretty good week but it kinda stunk too because I caught a cold!  On Monday we had some fun and went grocery shopping (yup so much fun right?)  Then we went home and wrote our letters which was nice because I had a lot of writing to catch up on with my friends and family writing me letters.  Eventually we had to stroll down to Great Clips because I needed a haircut pretty bad.  Hair seems to grow on your head and your face even quicker on a mission which isnt cool cuz mine already grew fast back home!!  After my haircut, we got ready and went to a members house for dinner and of course what did we have…. Salmon (bleh!)  I ate it of course but I made sure that I took a bite of cheesy potatoes with it haha! 🙂  Everyone tells me that I will go home liking fish but if anyone knows how much I hate tomatoes might know that there is not hope for seafood!  After dinner we met with the other Elders in our ward and had blessings.  Elder Brooks wanted a blessing and asked me if I would give it so I did and then Elder Holman received a blessing from Elder Brooks.  It is amazing to be able to exercise the priesthood just like that and become so close with the other Elders and get so close with them here.  There is nothing like a relationship you gain on your mission.
 
Tuesday was probably one of the best days I have had on my mission.  We had interviews in the morning so I had the time to talk with our mission president, President Choi and his wife, Sister Choi.  They are the sweetest people ever and just express their love.  They were able to give me advice and help me get through my struggles and trials.  Something I thought coming out on my mission was that temptations, trials, struggles, etc. would get easier and better when I got on my mission because I was in The Lord’s hands, boy was I wrong!  Satan works even harder on The Lord’s servents.  It is definitly not easier out here on a mission, if not even harder.  Thankfully The Lord blessed us with support and loved ones around us to help and strengthen one another.  My knowledge and understanding may not be that strong but I do know that people in my life and family relationships are my most important thing in my life.  President and Sister Choi are so loving and have helped me and are continually helping me through my struggles which is so amazing!  I just love them! 🙂  After our interview, Elder Holman and I went to work and had 6 lessons on the side of the street.  I am not going to lie it is kind of weird on the side of a busy road when you teach a little bit and pray but whatever it still works 🙂  We also went back and saw Bettina and it was scary and crazy.  Bettina has been through a ton in her life and always seems to bring trouble to her life.  She showed us her journal and the last few pages of it was her questioning whether or not she should be alive.  This is when it becomes scary because anything wrong could have her end her life.  Bettina wants to be close with God but she struggles a lot in life.  She is struggling really bad and we actually are having her meet with our Bishop just so she has someone to talk to because Im not so sure how safe or good it is to have young men deal with someone who is questioning their own life.  After meeting with Bettina, Elder Holman and I went and taught Karl.  Karl is the boy that we put on date right on his doorstep.  To much surprise, Karl read what we asked him to and invited us right in.  Karl was receptive to the lesson we taught but still doesnt know if there is a God.  He invited us to come back on Tuesday so we will see how he is doing tomorrow and see if he has progressed at all.  After visiting Karl, we went and talked with Stephanie.  Stephanie is great but she just doesnt know how to change or doesnt know why she should change.  She knows that change would be better but she is very deep into her smoking and her worldly pleasures.  We have faith in her and I believe that just by stopping by and seeing her she notices a difference 🙂  Hopefully something will spark her soon.  After seeing Stephanie we went and saw another investigator, good ol Lisa McCoy.  Lisa was outside in her nice dress doing service for her neighbors and planting tress.  Elder Holman and I quickly hopped off our bikes, took the shovels from her and did the work for her.  Lisa is the sweetest lady and just has an amazing heart.  We talked with her and her friend Chris and left a blessing with them.  We set up time to go back and have another lesson with her because she is the person that is just waiting for her answer from God to act on her answer.  I cant wait till she gets that answer because I know that it will bless her life even more.  When we left, we went to the church and received a call from a less active family, the Madrigals.  The Madrigals have been trying to come back to church but Satan has been working on them strongly.  Brother Madrigal called me and asked if we would go over to his house when we could.  Brother Madrigal and his wife Sherrie have a son that isnt even 2 years old and they live with Sherrie’s parents.  Sherrie’s mom tried to commit suicide earlier in the day and he needed us over to his house because he wanted his home to be blessed and dedicated.  Brother Madrigal told us that his house has not seemed normal.  He has a sister in law that use to live at the house and do witchcraft and a brother that smoked weed all the time.  Not only did Brother Madrigal feel the darkness of the house, we could feel it too.  There was one room specifically that was way colder than the rest and it was the room that witchcraft was performed in.  Now, none of us really believe in that stuff but he told us that his son would keep pointing in that room and scream “See…See” and then run away and it started to concern him.  You could feel that something was not right, so Elder Holman and I used our priesthood authority.  Something I never would have thought or never seen done, we went to each room of the house, raised our arm to the square, and commanded all evil things and spirits to leave immediately in the name of Jesus Christ.  This was when I had the comfirmation of my testimony that this church is 100% true because of my authority.  Once all the rooms were done, we went to the front door and commanded any unclean or evil spirit to leave the house immediately and suddenly this house seemed warm.  Elder Holman and I started to get tears in our eyes as we used our priesthood.  We walked to that room that was once really cold, and the room was no longer freezing cold.  There is no possible way that what happened was false.  The church is true and the authority has been passed down to us!  We took turns giving the family a blessing and I had a special priviledge to give Ethan, the baby, a blessing.  This was so powerful and hit me so strongly that I had tears in my eyes.  Not only was I blessing a little baby boy for strength to grow up in the Gospel, I kept seeing into the future.  What I mean by this, is I kept thinking about blessing my own child.  I cant wait for that day that I am able to bless my own family.  This experience with the Madrigals confirmed my testimony and really hit me hard with the Spirit.
 
On Wednesday, we had district meeting and learned about revelation through prayer.  We learned a lot and had a pretty good discussion on how we can help our investigators grow in the Gospel by praying.  After district meeting, we went and tried to see some people but they didnt answer the door because I am guessing they were gone hahah.  We eventually went to the church and got picked up by Brother VanDeVenter who took us and Elaine to the Stake Center to do family history work.  Elaine was so excited with family history and I actually got to see my family history because I never really knew anything about it.  It was a really cool experience to see how happy she was and to get so anxious in preparing for when she can go to the temple! 🙂  
 
 On Thursday I did nothing.  I woke up with a major cold and felt like I was hit by a couple trains!  We had lessons planned for the day, so my good bud Elder Brooks came over and stayed with me while Elder Holman took Elder Randolph to the lessons and also to dinner at the Madrigals.  I wasnt feeling to great all day but I did get hungry so we walked up to Taco Bell and had some grub.  The day was pretty cruddy but thats okay, it happens.
 
On Friday I was with Elder Brown.  We were on exchanges and I went to Kenmore with Elder Brown.  I still was feeling really crappy so we hung around in his apartment for most of the day.  We did try and talk to some people on the street but then we got a soda at the gas station and then went back home to rest.  Im not sure if it is the flu going around here or if it is just my asthma and a cold but it kind of stinks.  Being with Elder Brown was a lot of fun cuz he is a way cool guy.  Him and I have a lot in common and we both love Elder Brooks too hah:)  The day was pretty cool and chill even though I was sick.
 
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!!! Holy crap people you better have watched CONFERENCE!!!  I will be honest, this was the first time I have ever watched every session of conference and it was AMAZING!  If you missed any session I suggest that you go online and watch the talks you missed because they were all spectacular!  I agree with President Monson when he said this is one of the most spiritual and inspired General Conferences ever! It was amazing!!!  I cant pick my favorite talk because there were so many!  Uchtdorf, Holland, Eyring, Monson, Bednar, etc.  They were all amazing!!! 🙂  There is nothing like General Conference as a missionary… it is so uplifiting! 🙂  May we all take the guidance and counsel from our leaders and act upon the revelation that we received.  As Elder Uchtdorf said, “Come Join Us!”  May we all invite others around to activities and church.  You never know what one invitation might do to somebody.  The Lord is good and we are all blessed so much!  Let us all work toward becoming a little bit better and a little bit closer to The Savior everyday! 🙂  I love you all and miss you! Have a good week! 🙂 XOXO
-Elder Ford
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