Friday, May 24, 2013

May 6, 2013

This week was pretty awesome, my companion was sick so we were not able to work that much but I am so grateful for what we were able to do, and I felt such a great joy and manifestation as I administer to others. I simply cannot stop smiling sometimes and I am taken back by the joy of surrounding your whole life on how you can bless others and help them in their lives. I love fasting as a missionary and praying because the blessings are so immediate and it's almost as if the windows of heaven are right there in your own apartment. Most of your prayers are for others and to fulfill God's work, to fulfill what He wants as a steward of the area where you serve, and if you pray for yourself its for strength and gifts to help others:) There is no greater joy, I know it:) 

One thing that I learned in my study this week was about how I can better keep my covenants:) I was studying about purity and being cleansed through Christ and followed footnotes which lead to the priesthood and covenants and as we keep our covenants we are more cleansed by the Holy Ghost and our prayers are more likely to be fulfilled because of our righteousness.  But, always the best blessing ever is the blessing of being cleansed and pure before the Lord. So I was like thinking to myself what are all my covenants with the Lord, I was surprised that I had to think to remember them and then I looked them up to make sure and I wrote all of it in my notebook. Then I asked the question how am I doing and what can I do better to keep my covenants to the Lord? I wrote down what I could do better as I pondered and honestly evaluated myself and my strivings to serve the Lord. Then I made a goal that every time I take the sacrament and every Sunday I will account to the Lord and rewrite the covenants again so I can keep track of how I am keeping my promises to Heavenly Father. As I did this I felt  as I took the sacrament with the strivings and thoughts to fulfill my covenants and need of help to better fulfill them, that I was in the temple. A great feeling of peace and strength came over me comparable to being in the temple and I could not ever stop smiling the whole day:) I promise that as we take the effort to remember our covenants we will be more pure and more clean before the Lord. We will feel to sing the song of redeeming love, over and over again in out lives. Our prayers will be more answered because we are more prepared and clean to receive the blessings and we will always learn what more we can do for the Lord:) 

April 29, 2013

Things are going great this week. I was able to cut my own buko (not sure but I think this is a coconut) and drink out of it and it was fun. Yes we had a baptism and it was wonderful a less active member became active and baptized his wife and it was really beautiful. The priesthood ordinances are so wonderful and they are such a great blessing. they bring about salvation and just to think that God grants that power unto men is incredible:) I am so grateful I get to bless others and preach this gospel. I love to teach so much:) I always learn so much and I feel I often get more out of teaching than the people that we teach. I wish they got more.

 I am really fasting and praying for this area and I know that prayer changes things. I love to fast and receive new insight and understanding for my calling and for what God specifically wants me to do. This work is so connected with Heaven. I walk into a home for the first and have no idea what to say but as I listen I always know what to teach the spirit helps me know and whispers to me the deep desires of those we are teaching. For example I will say... Sister.. I know you are looking for blank in your life and that would mean so much to you, and i am so happy and excited to tell you that through the Gospel and using the atonement that you will obtain those blessings that God so dearly wishes to give unto you and that you desire:) Is that not the most amazing thing anyone could get to do at just 19 years old to people they just barely meet? Haha I think that it is just simply wonderful. 

At the same time it blows my mind that the Lord entrust this most amazing work with such simple and young weak things of the world such as I. I am so grateful He has felt to preserve me and allow me to work with Him in this most sacred calling. Some of the things I am doing in my study is highlighting the parts that talk about opposites and every time it mentions the redeeming power of Christ. It fills my  soul with joy and confidence that the Lord does and has and always will save and redeem. It so often states the bondage of people in the Book of Mormon, that they were surrounded by dark and so often because of faith and repentance they are are in the light of the Lord and the chains are loosed over and over and over again the Lord loves and saves:) I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

April 21, 2013

This week was absolutely amazing!:) The Sacrament is exactly what I needed and the atonement is what everyone needs its a one size fits all:) I felt the very grace of Christ enter into my heart this sacrament because the Lord knows I have been giving it my absolute all!!  I felt absolutely and totally clean and renewed and I am so excited to take it again next week:) 

So this week as we were out teaching the gospel we obtained a new investigator and it was so cool. I have taught people how to pray before but this time was amazing not because it was any different but because I allowed it to enter into my heart just how amazing this work is:) We taught that God is our loving heavenly Father and that he loves to hear us and speak with us and we taught about how the Gospel blesses families:) We invited her to pray and ask if it was true and then we told her to not be shy in asking questions because we want her to come to know all she wants and can, and that we are here to help:) Then she looked at us and kind of quietly, as if she was a little embarrassed but as if she has wanted to know for the longest time; she asked how do I pray? As we taught her to pray her whole countenance lit up and we invited her to pray right then.  Normally people shy away but she accepted and then began to pray and as she prayed the baby in her arms stopped crying and the room got quiet.  There was a thick peace and comfort about the room and tears could not be restrained, it really sounded and felt as she was pouring her heart out to the Lord, like she had wanted to talk to Him and now she finally can like a dam filled up with emotions and longings and then finally breaking and flowing freely and without restrained. As we left the lesson I said to myself, "I taught someone how to pray!" Then I said it again a little louder and then louder and then it finally hit me all that just happened. We had taught one of God's children how to pray.  Now if this is not one of the most amazing things in the entire universe,  I mean someone that before did not know how to commune with their Father in Heaven can now do so freely and joyously. I was absolutely ecstatic and I know this work is true:) I love it so much!! 

I also beat a big New Zealander at a chicken eating contest at KFC this week so that was pretty awesome, I am really proud of myself, haha. 

I am doing absolutely amazing!! I am having a blast and I love teaching the Gospel so so so so so so much. It changes lives everyday and it's God's work and glory and I am part of it, every day:)!! For the rest of my life:) The Lord is blessing us with much success at the moment:) I also have had special witnesses from the Holy Ghost that this is truly the work of the Lord and His Kingdom here on the Earth. Every day Heavenly Father is putting more and more drops of oil in my lamp and the Flame is growing brighter and is becoming the Lords flame and not my own:) Infinitely bright:) 

Love, Elder Blackham

ps. I just got your Easter package haha I guess it really just took a long time to get here

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013 
        I hope and pray you understand that not only is the mission different than what I expected, its a thousand times better!! and I wouldn't ever even hope for anything else. I hope you know that when I have hard times, I am never sad, ever. The mission is so much fun, a complete blast and adventure!  I love to serve the Lord and do all I can.  My ability to smile and have joy increases every day as I obey and become more like Heavenly Father, even though it is so very much little by little and will take longer than this life permits, I have never been happier, ever. I cannot express a portion of my feelings and my joy and experiences in English or Tagalog but that doesn't matter so much because Christ knows what I am feeling and understands me and loves me perfectly:)
This week was totally amazing. There is no greater joy than stepping outside the apartment to go and serve and administer and bless our fellow brothers and sisters and love like none other. I love so much the Book of Mormon and I gained an extra special witness of its truthfulness as I read and read and read because my companion is still sick.  But we must not be idle and waste the time of the Lord so read I did, haha. Wow its was so so so amazing:) I felt I was really there and was totally lost inside the Book of Mormon and wow that is such a good place to get lost. I came to know my Savior more and how He knows all of us so individually and His power to redeem and forgive and oh how often he spares those who repent. The Lamanite nation had been murdering and plundering and killing since the beginning but even though all that, when they repented the plan of redemption did take effect in their lives. It says they were the most wicked of sinners and then in the same chapter, Alma 26, it says that there has not been a people that loved God and their fellow brethren than these. Wow how great the power of the atonement is, we underestimate it so much especially in our own lives to forgive ourselves and others and repent with our all; to bury our weapons of rebellion deep in the earth. Some times we are as Laman and Lemuel or even Lehi when Nephi broke his bow; we get really discouraged when we sin and complain about our weaknesses and frailties, but Nephi didn't worry or murmur, he just made a new bow and did the best he could to make things better, even it that meant painful but needed repentance. Some people might say they cannot bury them, it's too late, or they cant forgive themselves or for whatever reason its hard.  But it doesn't matter how hard it is, what matters is that it's possible, that the atonement is that powerful and we can change, and are never doomed to be a certain way, or permanently stained, the Lord can do it all, one size fits all:)
Oh and I would like to tell you that I am training and tomorrow I will get my trainee:)  I am excited because I know I will learn so much from him and I love going back to the basics because it is the basics that are the foundation of further growth:) I love this so much!!! In the name of Jesus Christ amen:) 

-Elder Blackham