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I can email on Mondays and I would love to hear from you. My email address is:

michael.deford@myldsmail.net

Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/8/2017: Week 30 Bi-Weekly Weekly ... Ugh




 I hate getting behind... so much work to catch up. But people get mad
at me when I don't so... here we go.

So two weeks ago... stuff happened. Nope. Too long ago, don't
remember... alright. All the way back to the 24th of April. So after
Pday things... and don't ask what we did for Pday cuz I honestly just
have no idea... we went to a lesson with J and I which was
grand... I actually slept through most of it but whatever. At the
end we asked them to ask their mom if they could be baptized on May
27th. We then contacted our whole district, the other district and a
bunch of other people, their foster parents etc. to pray and fast that
her heart would be softened. The whole ward was gonna’ fast for it. So
we were hoping. But more on that later.
We headed to J2s house next. His step dads records are still
missing... so we finally have it official... his records are gone. So
he needs to be rebaptized. So we needed to talk about that... and
getting their family to the temple and all of that. I think we
actually watched the Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration movie. So
that was really good.

Next day was a little sad... we went down to Emery but no one was
there for us to see. So... kind of anticlimactic. But we did eat with
the local seminary teacher... who's also in the bishopric, and by the
end I was signed up to sing in their ward for Mother's Day. So that
was fun. Oh yeah, and did I mention we were carless? The car also had
to go in for repairs finally so we were walking for several days. We
got a ride to Emery but then it didn't do any good. Anyway we went and
talked to the G’s about an investigator they've been preparing
to meet with us. We had dinner with them a week or two ago. It was a
good visit... they're one of those families that you visit and you
just kind of never leave, they're a ton of fun. And they're friends
are really right on the cusp. They had some unfortunate experiences
with missionaries and the church in the past and we've been working to
overcome that.

Wednesday was just normal nothing to report. Oh except transfers I
guess... I think that was that day. Beats me, I stayed right where I'm
at. Or maybe that was the week before, I can't remember now. But
anyway Thursday, DTM like normal, then sightseeing/lunch with Elder
and Sister Saling, our senior couple. We were gonna go to Fattys, a
restaurant in Castle Dale (which as a side note, used to be a freebie
for missionaries until it was bought out by gay men who are against
the church) when we got there it was packed full so the Salings drove
us around some and showed us the burn memorial among other things.
Turns out one of the mines near us had the worst mine fire accident in
the US and there is a memorial on the way to Joes Valley honoring
those who lost their lives. It was actually pretty cool. It also
started snowing while we were up there... which was bizarre. But
anywho, eventually we went back to Fattys and some delicious food. One
benefit of the change of ownership was that the food became
exponentially more tasty. That took most of the day so we had a
lesson, dinner, then performed brain surgery on another yearling Bull,
creating a new steer. Tate (Bishop Weber of the Blue Hills Ward) calls
it brain surgery because you change its mind from "Ass to Grass" (his
words, not mine, and he's a bishop so I can say it ;P) After that we
went back over to the G’s to fix their piano. It's an old
style player piano, so we took it apart and adjusted the body
mechanics so the action wasn't interfered with any more. Then I got to
use the wonderful piano tuning kit that my mom procured for me for the
first time. I don't know if all of you realize... but my mom is the
best.

Weekly planning and then finding... there are a couple trailers in one
of our trailer courts that we think might have potential... but we
can't ever find them home. We've literally been trying for weeks and
haven't caught them home at all. Grr. That gets old real fast.
Saturday was interesting... we got up early and left for Emery, we got
to participate with the D’s (which mostly means watch because they
had way more people than they needed) as they branded all their
calves. More adventures. The whole rest of that day was essentially
finding, and inviting K to church. Her mom said she wouldn't go
because she had to be in the right mood for church, but K agreed
to be picked up by J2 and his family (they used to go to school
together) which was awesome and it sounded like it went super well. We
actually went back to Emery for dinner with the whole crew that helped
with the branding which was fun.

Sunday was interesting, I performed in the MILLSITE Ward at 9, sang, In
That Holy Place, and as soon as it was over we headed straight back to
Emery again to speak in their ward at 10. They were doing something
where each of the missionaries currently serving from the ward sent
home a letter, a talk essentially, and they had their younger brothers
read them in sacrament meeting. It was actually a very cool
experience, and I think it gave those boys a much needed opportunity
to reach out to their friends and family from home. We stayed for
classes that day and had a fantastic Gospel principles discussion about
Tithing, followed by a combined lesson and discussion on choosing to
be offended. It was great... and to top it all off they had a linger
longer potluck right after wards which we also were able to
participate in. The Bishop also set up to have me perform in his ward
as well on Mother's Day. So let it begin. Oh yeah and right after
sacrament a lady (the one who gave me the organ before) asked if I
could also perform at the nursing home and do a couple of numbers a few
days before Mother's Day. So really, a good day. The correlation
Meeting and all the other normal Sunday things. I'm certainly not
complaining.

Oh and before I forget, I believe this was also the week of BYU
graduation. So my parents were actually in my mission right next to my
former area for my sisters graduation. So they were able to visit just
a couple of my favorite people while they were there. Haha and anyone
who thinks that means you're not special because they didn't visit
you, they had a very tight schedule and only saw a couple people. I
really love you all, and just wait, I'll be back.

Alright week 2

Monday... we basically just played games with Castle Dale all day.
That was ok I guess. But that evening I had a fairly unique
opportunity as a missionary. My older brother had emailed me some time
ago to see if there were any way I could participate in a Anniversary
surprise for our parents. I asked President Hodgman and he gave me a
green light. Peter had taken my mom’s favorite song, that always
reminded her of my dad, the Glory of Love by Peter Cetera, and he
arranged it for us siblings to sing and record. It was my job to play
the piano, then everyone recorded themselves singing, and Adam played
the horn. That was an adventure, let me tell you, just trying to
figure out how to record it. I actually started on everything before I
left Provo and it seemed like everything lined up. I met a member with
a beautiful professional recording studio in his house, and he was
willing to donate time to make it happen, I played with a band of less
active RMs that was just starting and playing that style of music...
then I got transferred. Haha so then I had to figure out how to do on
my iPad. I ended up having to use the family History Memories app to
record them as stories then have Peter download them form there... but
anyway, it worked and it got done on time. So for those of you who
don't know, last Monday was my parents anniversary. So my sister
collected pictures of my parents and made a slideshow to go with the
song, and we presented it to them, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8n3qVOASxA)
I even got to skype in because my
mission President is the BOMB. So I actually got to see everyone and
talk with them and stuff... and I get to do it again in about a week
for Mother's Day... good times.

Tuesday was a lot of the same from before... a bunch of finding and
still no luck with most of the people we were looking for. Just can't
catch them at the right time I guess. Wednesday was better, we started
by moving some furniture for our WML, had lunch with the Salings, went
up to Huntington for a baptismal interview for a super cool kid named
T. He was 9 and a little shy but seriously, super cool. He passed
with flying colors and really seems ready to take this important step
of baptism. Thursday was Zone Training Meeting which was forever....
and then we had an extra meeting for DIstrict leaders as well... and
it made us miss an appointment with one of those people we've been
trying to get forever... that was pretty sad. And we had been
planning on exchanges... but we canceled for that lesson which then
didn't happen, and we cancelled dinner... but then we were home... so
the Grub Box it was. Luckily it's good, but it's nice to be in
someone's home and get to know them and uplift them as well. Then
there's Brother Stressing. He's our newest ward missionary and he has
had quite he rough life... but you wouldn't ever guess. He is from
California and just loves the Gospel, just seeing him makes me smile
like nothing else, I love that guy. Anyway we took him with us to go
visit a less active and a potential investigator... and he was so
excited. We didn't have to do anything he did it all. The less active
has just about every animal and is a pigeon breeder, he's actually
made his own breeds even. Super cool guy and Brother Stressing really
connected with him in so many ways, it was great to watch. Then we
went to visit a referral, JT, he had had some pretty serious
family struggles come up lately, he's an older widower and we were
able to visit with him as well. We talked to him about eternal
families and he seems happy to have us come back. We planned to come
do some service on Saturday with him and it was just a good day. I
love brother Stressing.

Weekly planning... oh shoot I forgot something again, the lady who
asked me to perform at the nursing home, either Thursday or Friday,
she called us to set up a time she could drop off the music she wanted
me to do. We set up to meet at the chapel during weekly planning since
were there anyway. She thought we were gonna’ be outside so she thought
we forgot and told us to pick it up from her later. So we went to what
we thought was the nursing home... turns out a senior citizen center
is something else. But, we talked with the nice ladies there and they
helped us out and invited us to come over whenever we needed lunch or
something to eat. They also said they do lunches on Mondays, and we
could come talk to people then. So we finally got to the right place
and got the music, two songs for the Friday before Mother's Day,
nothing crazy. So then this weekly planning we decided to stop by the
senior citizen center for leftovers and had a great talk with the
woman there. Her brother was actually visiting and they're all in our
Stake. We talked with them and then I sang, a Heaven On Earth, as a
thank you for lunch. It was really a special experience.

Anywho the rest of that day was more lessons, working with K and
J, then having an in depth discussion on rebaptism and the temple
with T and W. Saturday we started out by going to J’s house
and fixing his sprinklers and then going back to his backyard and
collecting some wood for a neighbor of his who has been helping him
out. More on her later. Her name is C. Anywho back to Emery again
to practice with Bishop Gardner, he actually wants to make the Emery
Mother's Day performance a duet so that was fun. Although his daughter
started playing, Breath of the Wild, literally just to taunt me. Turns
out they have kind of an extended family band that performs
occasionally, were gonna’ go around the end of this month. We tried
again to go finding and catch those people home... one of them was...
the one we were supposed to have a lesson with and missed. *sigh* but
then we followed up with the G’s one more time about KM,
and they said she had actually asked to come to church. Turns
out it's her husband who is kind of holding things back, so blessings
are oh so very real. So they were planning on coming to church. But
then Sunday we found out that he had realized he didn't have a white
shirt, and he said that out of respect he doesn't like to go to church
without a white shirt. So he ordered one and they'll be at church on
Mother's Day... get this... that's the ward I'm singing in. And she's
a new mom. The Lord loves me... and he love the people even more.
Don't ever forget that. In spite of me, He always serves them. And he
makes me better in the process.

So anyway, the rest of Sunday was great, the whole Stake was fasting
for missionary work and it seemed to explode our Correlation meeting
after church. There were more things talked about there then I think
I've ever had in any Correlation meeting I've ever been in. It was
awesome. Then we ate with the bishops family in the MILLSITE Ward. And
his son plays the guitar. And they're having a Mother's Day date
dinner on Thursday as a ward... haha so guess what I'm doing? Yep...
singing with their son and another priest in the ward playing guitar.
Haha this is gonna be quite the week I think. We've got a bazillion
service opportunities and some new potentials, good lessons, and like
5 performances or something like that. Oh and I got asked to sing in the
Dutch Flat Ward in a few weeks.

A couple other things I can't remember when happened. First we've been
slowly working with A and KF, but while we were trying to
set up a lesson she said she wasn't sure she wanted to meet anymore...
but with the providence of the Lord, just like A back in Provo,
He turned that situation into a blessing. Now we have a better lesson
schedule set up and we should begin teaching in earnest tomorrow. Also
I forgot Sunday, we met with the Bishop of that ward and talked about
how we can work with them all. It's good.

Also we got a txt from the sisters in Huntington, a referral from
their WML in Elmo. His son and his girlfriend just moved to Ferron.
His son is less active but has a strong testimony, and they said his
girlfriend isn't a member. So we stopped by, and he asked if his parents had
sent us... haha awkward. So we got talking with them, D and
E, and their friend L who was there as well. Turns out D
is working on becoming an Elder. He has some roadblocks but he's
trying. And E claims to be a member... but we're not sure.
However she wants to have her baby blessed so we're pulling her
records and we can check on her membership. D also asked us to
dedicate his home, and give blessings to himself, E and L.
Then he requested that we start having lessons, twice a week. Haha
what a cool guy.

Anywho... today we had another cool experience, we helped a super
active older lady move in with her older less active son, and
his nonmember wife down in Emery. We're talking so super active, that
she had her records personally moved last week, called both RS
President's (a new one was just called and we love her) and the bishop
to confirm visiting and home Teachers and get people for her son and
his wife. Before she even moved in. Anyway the cool thing was that his
wife has never been interested and refuses to be... but she was so
complimentary today and as we were taking a break from moving things,
she thanked us and said, no she wasn't converting but she was gonna’
bring her mother in law to church and she'd maybe "stay and chat". We
kept talking with her and helping her with other things around the
house and asked her if she'd come to church and she said yes. You
should've seen Brother Daltons face when we told him. His eyes bugged
right out of his head. And once again... she's coming when I sing in
their ward for Mothers Day. So that was cool. And then we went to a
funeral and talked with some people... that was good, more service and
connections. Then we went and performed brain surgery on two more cows
with brother Dalton. The bloodiest bulls with the most meat I've seen
yet. Yum. We're ready to share with the district now :)

Anyway thank you all for the prayers and the love, I love you and the
Lord does too,
Elder DeFord

Lots of pictures of kids in the email this time










4/24/2017: Week 28 New District Pday One



So.... imagine I'm doing all of this in an English accent. Cuz I am.
Right now. Like, legitimately. I'm doing it right now. Out loud, as I'm
typing. And... just so’s ya’ know, Elder Baker and I have been talking
like this pretty much nonstop for, like, a week. So, last night, he has a
bowl of ramen, stands up, looks into his bowl, and announces for the
world "A bloody spider just died in my soup" and walked away. Anywho,
legit, we've been like talking this way forever now, and I can't stop. I think I may
have a condition. Yeah. I legit can't stop. It's an addiction.

Well, last week we had a major nerf war with the Zone. Unfortunately, a
bunch of people were cheating and there were some bad feelings afterwards.
We got to the point where we've decided we might have them as a
district but a zone is just too many people, with not enough
accountability. So that was kind of a bummer.

Also Heavenly Father really loves the sisters... we've been plotting
for weeks now to have a district breakfast in which we prepare a
variety of Rocky Mountain oysters, fried, and chopped so they look
like sausages then putting them in scrambled eggs. And of course
telling them afterwards what they were. But, every time we were gonna’
get some oysters we could use, something would happen. Generally, when
you brand calves you castrate them at the same time, same thing if
you're gathering wild cows off the desert. So right around this time
of year lots of people have "buckets of balls" so to speak. But Tate
was gathering off the desert and saving them for us in a bucket of ice
water... and his dog was coming up and eating them out of the bucket.
Then he had a friend who had some... and someone accidentally threw
his away... it just went on and on until they escaped and got
transferred out. We told Sister Perez a few days ago and she said she
would've been fine with it but Sister Bowen maybe not. Anywho...

We also got haircuts... yuck. But I'm getting used to it again. For
those of you who don't know... I hate getting my haircut. It's the
worst. But, then, we had a lesson with the J’s and their foster kids
and watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration. So that was good.

Tuesday was more normal... and more strange. We had a district lunch
at our Senior Couples house. Last minute because our oysters fell
through again, so we had to come up with something fast because we had
already told the sisters we were gonna’ have one. But it was good
anyway. Then we headed to Emery for some contacting and a lesson, we
got to teach E and his Aunt, hopefully we can get X too this
week, that would be really good. For some reason B has decided to
drop us which makes me pretty sad, he's a cool old hermit. After that
though once we ate dinner back in Ferron we got to go do two things...
record the pancake song (which yes I will send) and then I got to have my
first baptismal interview, it was awesome. His name is W and he was
so ready! I got to talk with him all about what brought him to the
church and the influence the people he knew had had on him. It was
really a great experience, I'm grateful that I'm able to be in this
position just so that I can have experiences like that. It was really
wonderful.

The next day we ate with our senior couple again cuz he normally feeds
us on Wednesdays... haha I love them, they're great. Then we talked
with T, a recent convert who's planning on going on a mission
soon, then watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration again with
the L’s and made J sit in and watch it. That was good. Then we
got to go back and see J2 again! I love that kid! He's so cool.

Then we tried to find the B’s... it's one of those awful
situations... live with grandparents, still in custody of dad who
isn't ok with church, kids wanna’ be baptized but can't yet... and then
on top of it all, Grandma has cancer... and we can't meet with them...
then she gets a blood clot. But anyway we tried to contact them... and
finally got a cell number for the grandpa which is progress. But very
frustrating. Then we read BoM Stories with K. Visited the W’s...
saw other people, ya know missionary stuff.

Oh yeah... and we had district meeting... yeah. It was interesting,
new missionaries and all. But then we ate pizza together so that was
good... only then that evening Elder Hagen started vomiting... and
only stopped a few days ago... so he thought it was the pizza because
Elder Carr felt bad too... but it definitely wasn't cuz that night for
dinner we actually ate more pizza from the same place and the rest of
the pizza from earlier... so yeah, forgot about that.

I'm totally still talking in a British accent btw.

Ok then Friday was a very long weekly planning session... barely
survived that one. But then we ate at the grub box which is always
tasty... and then had another lesson with S ... just to go to
dinner and then go to another dinner... luckily the second one had an
investigator family who came. Unfortunately, they have not had good
experiences with missionaries in the past so we
finally got to see them and sort of prove that we're normal people.
That was nice. Hopefully we can start teaching them at some point.

Ok well then Saturday was mostly just finding and looking for people.
Not very exciting. That reminds me though, I gotta txt them. Anywho...
not very exciting. Pretty boring actually. But then we went to church
Sunday and I had my first performance in Ferron. It actually went
really well... but I don't have my mic stand... it got left in Payton
and I've been trying to get it back for over a month now... it's
frustrating. Makes me wanna cry. But oh well. I'm also singing next
week now, and the week after that plus talks next week. Yay. Good
times.but yeah anyway, I'm all done now bye bye, I'll send some funny
videos

Elder DeFord

video 
Castle Dale District cover of The Pancake Song
 
Original Pancake Song from Waterford, England
video