Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Final one.

Just thought i'd write a quick something before I get on tomorrow's flight. Excited to see you all back 'home', I feel like i'm getting ready to go on holiday to be honest...

I know that the Church is true. This has been the greatest experience of my life, and would give anything for another go- maybe in a couple of decades.
All went well last Sunday, and it was the greatest way to end, not to mention we went to the Kapema's for dinner as well. Grace and John are amazing, they are truly prepared and I know they will be confirmed this Sunday and will endure in the faith. They have been truly converted.

All the best till Wednesday,

Elder Jack Ford 

Pic 1 Left to right: Bishop Kapema (Baptised Grace), Grace Phiri, John Kaombe, Akasiwa Wamunyima (John's best friend and will be serving in the Cape Town Mission November 2016)

Pic 2, 'the District': Elder Olsen (California), Brother Jack, Elder Kapande (Zimbabwe), Elder Malinga (Swaziland) 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Elder Malinga's Birthday

Some pictures for you folks. Elder Malinga's Birthday. Let's party like it's your birthday.

Thursday, 5 November 2015


It's about time I got the blog running again, now i'm settled in and used with Luanshya, I have found enough time to get some of my thoughts and experiences down on paper, for you all to enjoy hopefully! This week then, wow it's been unbelievable, but through it all i've seen the tender mercies of the Lord, and specifically, how He hears our prayers and truly answers them.
This week we received a call from Sister Groesbeck, our office secretary, regarding our timely trip to immigration... in Lusaka. Copperbelt to Lusaka is around 350 kilometers, and takes roughly 5 hours due to the state of the roads in some areas. My compaion and I were required to be there at 11am on Friday, along with a couple of other Elders, Elder Abisai in Kitwe, and Elder's Majekodunmi and Madilu from Ndola, meaning that we had to pick all of them up on Thursday evening to travel down that night. The round trip was 800kms in just over 24 hours, and was the most tiring drive of my life, but it was pretty successful and accomplished a lot- including going back to Munali for the evening as we were staying with the Zone Leaders overnight! I was able to see the Zulus and the Chipashas from my old ward which made me really happy, making the trip worthwhile. We slept at the Zone Leaders flat which meant I got to see Elder Barrett again, we ate and had a nice night. 
Whilst we were down there, we received a call from Brother Daka, a member of the church from our area in Lunashya who's wife and sister we'd been teaching. He said that his wife had died just 20 minutes before of Malaria, she'd been sick for a few days, but that morning they had driven her to the clinic, but she died before they could treat her. We'd been teaching Lucy for a while, she knew all of the lessons, had a testimony, and was preparing to be baptised, she just struggled for transport money due to her living in Mpatamatu, nearly an hour from the church. It was a complete blow and surprise, my heart sunk, that day was really tricky, being in Lusaka and not knowing what to do or what to think.
We attended the burial this morning, it was a sad moment, this one was much more personal than the Tembos funeral a couple of weeks ago, we knew Lucy very well.

Two funerals in three weeks- not a good run for us.. and it very nearly was three.
Okay, that sounds more dramatic than it is, but it was a possibility for us. The day after we arrived back from Lusaka we were driving to a members home for Family Home Evening when we were broadsided by a drunk driver. I am certain that if we weren't driving the Isuzu tank we could be dead, he hit us going about 70kmh. He was overtaking us on a single carriageway in the half-light and claimed he saw a person walking in the middle of the street, so he quickly dodged it and smashed straight into the front right fender of our truck, pushing us a couple of feet away from a huge ditch. No injuries for anyone, only the whole side of the truck was damaged- he drove away trying to run, but we caught him and got his details before he sped away again as we planned to go to the Police Station. Fun times, but the Lord protected us- sometimes i'm glad people pay their tithing :)
So, could've been 'Three Funerals' in Zambia this month, but luckily on the Lord's errand, God protects His own. I am certain that when the ordinances are done for Sister Daka, she will accept the gospel and be with Brother Daka in the Celestial Kingdom, and Elder Mohlakoana and I live to fight another day.
Hope you have a wonderful week. We are going back down to Lusaka tomorrow for exchanges with the Assistants, so pray that we get there and back in one piece...

Monday, 5 October 2015


Fords (and anyone else interested...),

So before I get into the week, a little bit of news. Got a call from the Assistants on Tuesday night, the day before Zone Conference. There had been an emergency transfer in Malawi for a few missionaries, and as a result Elder Barrett and I have been effected. I have been transferred to the Copperbelt Zone, to the companions with Elder Mohlakoana as the Zone Leader that side. Elder Barrett has received a new compaqnion from Matero, Elder Hiltbrand, who will replace me here in Munali, and i'll be serving in Luanshya. 

All change here, finally I get a chance to leave the cheeseboy life of the capital city and test my metal in the 'bush' of Zambia. Maybe i'll even get to see some wild animals now... 

I am really disappointed that I have to leave Munali at it's highest point, two months isn't nearly long enough, and there was a ton of potential success here, but Elder Barrett and Elder Hiltbrand will be able to do even greater things and finish all of the people Elder Sagers and I started. Three companions in two months is going to be odd, the future Prophet for 6 weeks and the future President of the United States for 3- but I know the Lord's in it, and I hope that I will be able to do all that He needs me to achieve in the next assignment. Elder Mohlakoana is a good missionary, we'll be able to work hard and see change.

So receiving that news pretty much screwed up our week, except that I was meant to leave on Saturday but was able to wangle it until Monday, meaning I could see the baptisms of John and Reuben! Really wonderful Sunday and now I can leave Ng'ombe knowing that I did all I could. 

Copperbelt then- i'll try and attach some pictures next week, but apparently it's much more wild than Lusaka, a lot more poverty and a lot less density. It covers three towns/cities, Kitwe, Ndola, and Luanshya. We will be leading a Zone of 22 Missionaries, a vast majoirty of them are on both sides of the missionary 'age spectrum.' A lot of the compaionships will be training, and the rest will be going home in the next couple of months. It's going to be a different challenge, the Coperbelt has been the least effective Zone in the mission for the past 6-8 months, and the missionaries know it. Hopefuly we will be able to inject some character into the new missionaries, whilst 'restricting' the influence of the older missionaries to an attitude of hard work and a focused goal of change, building a culture of accountability and responsibility. That's the aim anyway, we'll soon see how much influence the new kid can have...

Al exciting stuff, i'm just raring to get that side now, my bus leaves in a couple of hours and then i'll be there, taskes 5 hours, but because of traffic could take over 6, we'll see, but it's October, the height of summer, in a crowded bus with no Air Conditioning. Fun.

Ford out.


John, Jack, Reuben- Lusaka Stake Centre. 

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The quorum asunder

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The Masaka Family, Thandiwe is in blue.

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George Vincent Barrett, Republican candidate for the President of the Untied States

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My favourite picture- the Recent Converts in Munali. Love them all so much. John, Reuben, Richard, Thandiwe. 

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The only tolerable Manchester United fan, John.

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Goodbye Ingrid, she only looked good in the pitch black...

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The clown district. 

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Update on investigators and mission life

Good afternoon everyone, I know it's been a while since I've written in the blog, but I'm back, I've found time, and want to update you all on the past couple of weeks!

Richard- He's doing well, really progressing and has been helping us to teach. He had another experience with work, I don't know if I shared it. He got another job working for a Chinese construction company, and they wanted to take him and their other employees to Kafue, outside Lusaka, for five months. He quit the job because he knew he would miss the sacrament for 5 months. He felt like he couldn't do that to God. What a man.
John- Another great man, contacted us a few weeks ago and explained that he had been taught a couple of times by some other missionaries, but that he had lost contact and wantwed to resume the lessons. He was interviewed yesterday and passed. He'll be a great prospective missionary, someone who can help both Richard and Reuben.

Reuben- Reuben is just a miracle. He once had received all of the lessons but had rejected baptism because of some Anti-Mormon doctrine that he had read. It took nearly a year of fasting and praying to receive a confirmation from God that he needed to be baptised. And so last week he came back to church for Stake Conference, felt the spirit so strong that he told us he desired baptism. We taught him everything again this week and yesterday he too passed his interview. He is also young enough to serve a mission and will be such a fantastic asset to Munali Ward. He is passionate and very sensitive to the spirit.
Carol-  Carol is a really wonderful part member who is married to a less-active named Victor. She too was at Stake Conference and was referred to us from the Sister Training Leaders. She is progressing well and wants her and her husband to live together forever- her main motivation for being baptised. She is really hungry for the gospel and will be baptised in a couple of weeks.
Donald and Malala- Donald and Malala went through a terrible tragedy, Donald lost his mum and then a week later they both lost their 4 month old baby. They called us and explained their sorrow and desire for joy. We've been teaching them for 3 or 4 weeks, and although they haven't visited the church, we taught them powerfully about the Book of Mormon, and they have great desire to read it. Lets hope that they find their testimony from there!
So these are the people that we've been meeting in the past couple of weeks, and despite our ridiculous schedule, we have two baptisms next week that we deserve for our hard work. The Lord is with us, He wants us to succeed. Shouldn't be another week like last for a while again so we should see a lot more time doing what we were called to do, teach and baptise.
So that's the area.
For me i'm feeling really good at the moment, the work is really tough but we get a lot out of the little time we have. People in Lusaka are stubborn, but we are blessed with great members who work with us at every opportunity and give us solid referrals. Both John and Reuben were referrals, and so we are feeling the blessings of the ward in our missionary work.
Elder Barrett and I get on very well, he is a funny person who I get on with very easily. It's difficult sometimes to work with someone you get on with so well because it's so easy to lose focus, I liked working with African companions because they usually kept to themselves a lot, but with Elder Sagers and Elder Barrett it's been a bit more of a challenge. Still, success and obedience is prevalent, so who can complain?
Hating life in the truck though, wedging on the poundage, lack of photos is the consequence. I keep doing my best to exercise, but it's practically impossible because we return at 10:30 every night and have to leave by 8 most mornings. But this is the mission life, and I love it, so so much. This past year has flown by and I am really worried how fast this one will go, seeing so many new missionaries come in and realise that I am now one of the 'Old breed' is really hard to deal with.
Anyway, enough ranting- Zambia is getting really hot again, October is the height of Summer, the work is progressing, and I am feeling great. Hope the same can be said for you.
Have a great week, thanks for all the emails and letters, sorry I haven't been replying, i'll repent I promise!
EF x 

No picture- forgot my camera :(

Monday, 7 September 2015


Greetings loved ones,
Not a lot of time to email today, so i'll just drop an experience and a couple of photos.
Richard- I am just in love with Richard, he is the greatest, faithful, and committed person I think i've ever met in Zambia, and here's why. As he was baptised last week, he knew that he would be confirmed this Sunday. He had recently quit his job as a security guard as he didn't like working the nights, and so had just accepted a job at a local Chinese restaurant. As he negotiated the contract they told him he would have to work from 9-7, and that he would work every day. He obviously realised that that would mean he would miss church on Sunday. Reluctantly, he accepted the offer and went to work. By Friday, he had been dwelling and pondering about the connotations of having to miss church each week, and he knew that he had just last week made covenants to stand as a witness of God, and so he decided, just days after joining, he would quit the job without pay for the 5 shifts he had already worked. He truly knows which way he faces and who he serves. He is a great example to me of someone with faith, true, unquenchable faith ion our Father in Heaven. I was grateful for the opportunity to be the person who confirmed him a member, and as I pronounced on him the gift of the Holy Ghost, I felt Him come into Richard, and as we left church that day, his countenance was different. I know that God blessed Richard with his spirit that day, and as he continues in the church, he will be one of God's choice servants in Zambia.
Sorry I don't have more to write, time is going- but Elder Sagers has been called as the next Assistant to President Erickson so i'll be receiving another companion on Tuesday, this time and Idahoan, Elder Barrett. Potatoes anyone?
EF x