Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 18, 2013

Dear Mom,

Just reading the letter was a roller coaster in and of itself. That's pretty crazy that all that happened just last week but if that's the will of God then so be it, come what may and love it:) IT is just so much better to love God;s will. 

Any ways this week was pretty awesome and fun:)!! Life is pretty much the greatest as usual. Lately I have been learning more about trials and about the Lords absolute love for all of us. Also about how the gospel is true:)!!! We talked to a Muslim this week and he totally explained a lot about their religion and it was super cool that it made my testimony of the gospel grow. The reason why it was so cool is that it was so unexpected that my faith would grow in the gospel as a result of hearing someone else share their beliefs. I learned truths about the gospel when hearing this man speak about it. Really everything testifies that this is the true gospel, even other religions as we are open and listen to them.  

I also learned about how important questions are that we ask to ourselves. Like, what can I do more? or What can I do to feel the spirit more fully in my life? What are some things I can do right now to serve the Lord? It helps us open our mind and the spirit touch our hearts and impress us on things that we can do better in our lives. How can we come closer to the savior today? It helps big questions like how can I become more like the savior, that requires life long goals be broken down into little daily questions that will help us achieve our big goals in life:) I know that as we ask little questions like this every day we will be impressed every day about little ways we can do better and grow:) The gospel is not complicated, there is not a billion things all the time its simple doctrine acted upon and then witnesses given to us by the spirit that cause us to learn, to grow and to become. It all starts with 1. learning doctrine by the Holy Ghost. 2. Acting on those principles 3. Then the spirit testifies its true and our understanding and testimony deepens and expands into conversion:) 

By the way I don;t even have a scar from the stitches on my brow.  I actually kinda wanted a little one, for the memory and it looked kinda cool. But I am still happy haha. Its kinda of incredible because my eye was swollen shut the first 2 days and stitches and now nothing. The injury was a an inch long which doesn't sound big; but to be above your eye it looks big haha. 

What's cool too is I learned one of my favorite ways to OYM (Open Your Mouth)  to people is by walking next to them at the same pace until it's so awkward someone has to break the ice. It sounds weird but it works really well, just walking with people, then they say hi or ask a question and then we start talking, next thing leads to another and we have an appointment to teach. It's pretty cool. Or sitting next to someone. All that good stuff:)

So nothing super new this week.  We just had lunch with two of the area presidency because they live in my area so might as well utilize their skills. Its just super fun trying all these ideas for finding because I have a peculiar area. I am kinda a guinea pig for the mission as far as trying all the finding ideas I can come up with, and ideas are a fun thing. This way I can say I tried absolutely my all in this area including all my ideas haha. I am learning more how to serve with my mind and not just my strength and might:) 

Love, Elder Blackham

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

(Note from Elder Blackham's Mom:I have decided that "ha ha"  actually means...."Don't freak out mom because I know you will!" )
Dear Family,
I got stitches this week,ha ha! 7 of them on the upper left corner of my left eye, haha.  Now that's a funny story, I didn't get home from the hospital till like 2 in the morning, haha.  But don't worry, it actually looks cool and nothing is seriously wrong.  I have no problems opening my eye all the way and it's totally fine :)  What happened was that I was trying to show my Filipino roommate how to do a cross over in our apartment.  Our apartment is a little longer than arms length wide.  Haha and it turns out my comp was doing the same thing the other direction and we bumped heads really hard. He got a huge knot on his head and I got stitches cause I am taller and was hit right on that soft area right under your eyebrow. After letting my roommates try to rap it several times with zero success, which was also quite funny, I said lets just go to the hospital. It actually looked pretty cool. 

This week was just quite an adventure looking in sky scraper offices and trying to meet with councils and heads to present the message to people. We didn't really have any luck but we found out a ton of information:) So I am excited to tackle this week with all I got and just teach like a ton of people the gospel of repentance and salvation:) This is so much fun. We have to be super creative to find those leaders and such. We can't just randomly talk to them it has to be with a reason. like playing basketball, or sitting next to them at a table or asking them for directions. :) Its really fun!!:) I am really just learning to love people! It's just so much better to ask about people's life and their family and spend time with everyone than anything else I could be doing.  Every single time you talk to them the gospel naturally comes out when you ask about their family or ambition or anything:) It is so totally a way of life:)
Anyways my stomach is miraculously better:) and its awesome:) Its funny because I accidentally ate plastic this week too, haha. It has been an accident prone week, but don't worry I am very protected. by the Lord. 

Mostly this week I have been learning about the beautiful Plan of Salvation and about how real our potential is to become like Heavenly Father, through the Holy Ghost testifying of it to me. Also I am learning in more depths about the family unit in the eternities. That the family is the social unit of all eternities, that Heavenly Father is a Father and we are his children and we are just following that pattern. Then it continues to eternities and eternities bringing immortality and eternal life to all. OH what a beautiful plan. All this I learned by the spirit:)
Love, Elder Blackham

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Dear Mom,

This week was pretty crazy, we found a lot of sub-division in my area with tons and tons of gigantic houses. We found some members in there that go to the foreigner ward. They gave us Mexican food which your body craves like none other here in the Philippines because everything here is so sweet and sugary. Yea we get food!!! Normally I eat canned food and rice haha so that will be a step up!! So anyway it turns out my area is a very special area because of all the subdivisions with gates and such. We will have to work off referalls and meet with subdivision councils and leaders high up in the Philippines and present presentations to them to allow us to find in these gated communities and do as much as we can. Because of the Area focus we will spend most of our time doing this. It is so exciting and fun, I feel like Ammon having the opportunity to teach king lamoni and his preists. 

So I have a new companion and his name is Elder Esteves he is a Philippino but he is from San Francisco, California. Haha He is so great! He is in his third to last transfer but its so awesome, we are best buds and yet again another comp that is an answer to my prayers, I am sure all of my comps will be that way, because the Lord will always put us in the place we can learn and grow the most:) 

This week I have been learning a lot more about the link between confidence and humility:) That sounds weird maybe to some people but humility is a deep more pure confidence that comes straight from the Lord and your testimony of Him, while other confidence could come from yourself. That is the not so great confidence because it thwarts the spirits ability to teach us and help us grow and be instruments in the hand of the Lord. I also have been learning to pay attention to the Spirit more and have had very personal witnesses of the spirit and have written down the ways I can recognize them and how it has felt so that I could recognize the spirit again and again. There has been so much revelation about the area this week and I think its mostly because I have been realizing more and more deeply my dependence on the Lord. A scripture that explains this very well is Moroni 8:26 "...and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost..." :) 
The Holy Ghost has become a closer friend because I have gotten to know him more and learned more what I needed to change to hear him and recognize Him more in my life:) There truly is no greater feeling and witness.  Its as if the arms of God have come down and held me and led me and guided me and strengthened me. I feel true joy is a gift from God that is given through the Holy Ghost as we exercise our agency in righteous ways that are in line with His will. Then as we become more like Him the spirit can be with us more thus we can be more happy all the time and until we are like Him and there is never a moment that the spirit leaves us:) Which is our purpose here in this life, to progress and grow and become like Him so that we can live in His presence again for eternity:) How simple and how beautiful!!:)

LOve YOus All So much!! and I appreciate the prayers of everyone:) 
 ELder BLackham:)