Monday, January 21, 2013

January 14, 2013

The tender mercies of the Lord are amazing.  One of the greatest lessons I am learning is the blessing of partaking of the Sacrament and the strength and change I feel when I partake of the Sacrament worthily and renew my covenants. I make it a point to read and study about the atonement every Sunday and ponder on all that my Savior carries for me and all the burdens He frees me from:)

I was recently reading Mosiah 14 and I love the verses 4 and 5 so much:) As I read those verses over and over I replaced every time it says our or we with my and I:) The atonement is so personal and I would challenge anyone to read that chapter and to replace the 3rd Person with the First Person let the spirit fill your heart with the Love God has for you.  We can receive so much strength from the Savior:) As I would repeat these scriptures in my mind through out the day I couldn't help but tap into a real power beyond my own, and speak and love with more energy and love and joy:) 

The Savior truly is our personal and loving friend, and we are perfectly understood and he knows our pains and has bore them.We can never ever say, no one understands me, no one knows how I feel, because there is the One who does; the One who is there, the One that can free us from all those feelings if we allow Him to comfort us and carry our burdens and give our heart to Him :) 

The greatest battles of Faith I am finding are with our own selves and our unwillingness to give our all to the Savior. If ever we feel discouraged or we feel down and we are tearing ourselves down more- that is satan trying to tell us we are not good enough or deserving of the Love of God, we are not worth the time.  But I promise and assure everyone, myself included, that we are worth the time, we are worth the atonement of Jesus Christ, His perfect life, His love, His all and everything for us to come back to Heavenly Father, clean, and like Him:) 

To everyone who feels down, that is what the atonement is for.  To anyone who wants to give up, don't; the Savior has never and will never give up on you and Heavenly Father wants to see you again:) Let his peace and grace enter into your hearts, through exercising your faith, repenting always to change and become, renewing your covenants constantly and letting Him bless you by doing so, listening and receiving the Holy Ghost more in your life by doing so:) Then strive harder and harder even unto the end of your lives that ye do not shrink and finish the race and forsake the prize even eternal life:) I Love this gospel and I am so grateful I can be a missionary for the Lord in bringing to pass his great purposes and I cannot help but to smile and be filled with joy even to overflow in my trials, that they allow me to be more humble and rely more on the Savior and use His strength because I am so weak.
Right now it's really just so much fun!  We talk to almost everyone we see about the gospel and I just love people.  How boring it is to just pass by others without getting to know them and how you might help them in their life. We are getting about 4 or 5 new investigators every week.  But all of their only available times for discussions are on Saturday or Sundays so we just spend the whole week finding people and then go on splits and do all we can to fit tons of lessons on Saturday and Sunday. 

Eric (the investigator, not my brother)  is still progressing really well. He is so awesome and I know he will go on to do amazing things, he is just so amazing. Something funny is that in his house they don't have clocks and go off the position of the sun.  Haha. That's wierd but cool, he just looks at the sun and then goes to school or anything that he has be at at a certain time. 

This week was pretty awesome, many many adventures haha.
Elder Blackham

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013

We are teaching a boy named Eric thats sixteen and he loves the gospel. Its so awesome, he says he feels so so happy at church and I just love his simple acceptance and understanding of the gospel. He is getting baptized on the 16th of Feb. He asked if he can be mormon and catholic and basically I said we are adding to his knowledge of Catholicism but essentially no you cant. He said that thats not what he wanted to hear but thats totally okay with him and that that's what God wants for him. We also found a less active this week as we prayed and found inspiration to go to a specific street. We were just walking when someone yelled out "Mormons"  which actually happens a lot but we went up and talked to him. He said he was baptized in the ocean and he loves the church but didnt know where the church was when he moved here and that he has been here five years and hasnt gone to church. He said he prayed just the other night if mormon was the right church and to send missionaries to him if it is. Then the next thing he knew we showed up and now he has gone to church and is baring his testimony to everyone he meets haha. So things are going so great!! The Lord is lifting me up in every way:) So yea basically this is the best ever!!
I also have been studying diligence and have been loving it!!! It really is the way we show the Lord our true desires and give him our whole heart. It is really the secret to achieving anything we ever want whether it's serving the Lord or getting good at basketball  But serving the Lord is the best no matter what. I love to show Him that I love Him. That I am grateful and no matter how tired I am or whatever it will keep going on in the greatest cause ever:) The focus this year is establishing the priesthood here in the Philippines because establishing the priesthood establishes the church. SO now every time I see anyone that could hold the priesthood I go and talk to them and share our message. Its so much fun finding people:) It truly is an adventure:) So that's whats up this week. OH and our less actives are going to church now so that's awesome too!!
Love, Elder Blackham

Sunday, January 6, 2013

December 31, 2012

Here in the PHilippines World War 3 just happened over New Years and it was crazy, ha ha! It sounded insane and fireworks go off from everywhere 4 hours before and after New Years, we even saw a ton when we were out yesterday. They really know how to party it up here in the pines:) We haven't been able to get a lot of work done this last week because I was sick and we had zone conference and the Holidays we weren't allowed to proselyte that much for safety reasons. But I am happy as ever and learning tons and tons of amazing things!!:) I am about half way through Jesus The Christ but I started a couple months before I left on my mission. I am just taking it slow and I don't move on till I know how I might apply it to my life. 

I am going to be with my comp another transfer and he said I would be his longest companion, haha. So that's interesting. I feel a great amount of hope and excitement in my heart for this new year and it is so amazing:) I am so excited to just keep on workin and that the Holiday season is over so that we can work a ton more and people won't be gone and it will just be sweet!!!  I am so grateful for the power of the atonement to free us from not only our sins and guilt but also our weaknesses and shortcomings to help us become more than we are:) 
 Its so simple:) Matt. 11:28-30:) Faith makes the whole world beautiful and hope anchors us to the gospel and to good works:) As we use the atonement we gain a personal realtionship with our Savior and come to know Him personally and as our friend and Savior:) The more personal experiences you have with Him and the more you allow Him to be in your life and help you, the better your relationship will be. I know that through Him all things are possible and we can overcome all and become what we came here to be:) In the name of Jesus Christ Amen:)

Love, Elder Blackham

December 24, 2012

This Christmas was amazing!! I wish we could have gotten more work in, the mission rules at this time is to not work so much and be home at 7:30 every night because its dangerous, haha. People are so giving and wonderful here in the Philippines, if you are their guest you are given all they have without asking anything in return. That is the culture here and its so humbling to be in it. Lately I have just been learning a ton about Charity and how charity truly is the greatest:) I think to have charity is to think and feel as Christ does:) If we do that then we would of course act and be like him. You can act like him but to be him is greater and I think that starts in the true fabrics of our thoughts and feeling and love for Christ and submission of our will to his:) We cant just give we must love to do it to be like Christ and we do that by giving our heart to the Lord and allowing to change us. Its so so so hard but oh it is so so so so worth it. Notice how there is one more so on the worth it part:) Any ways I ate so much I feel sick, haha and I definitely feel the Love of the Lord and all who love me during this Christmas season.
Love, Elder BLackham