Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

Things are going great here:) 

Always there are so many miracles and I am so grateful to be here and a part of this work. One of our investigators that has really been progressing and is the one who sometimes testifies that she knows what we are teaching is true has just realized that we are inviting her to change her entire life:) It was a pretty cool, she is very very smart, because most investigators don't recognize this until they are about to be baptized. It was really cool and the spirit is so strong, and you could tell in her eyes that she realized how important this was and how life-changing this is and the effort it will require. I am so excited to teach her more and see her progress. 

We finally got the conference talks and i just love them so much. My favorite ones right now or the ones I am studying right now are about being accepted by the Lord and the other one is called the words we speak. Conference talks are always exactly what I need when I need it and open a new door of understanding and spiritual guidance as I feast upon their words:) I love this so much:) 

The best and most gratifying thing as a teacher is when someone understands. But really only the Holy Ghost can impart that true knowledge to the heart but its so great to be a part of it:) teaching and learning is so much a way of life and not just a missionary thing, I will do it with my children and I just love learning and teaching and finding and, well just pretty much everything about life!!! haha  Especially the wonderful powerful things pertaining to salvation. You can live better tomorrow that you did today, the hurt and pains of today can be swept away as you live the gospel today:) Why wait?! I have no idea, haha.
Elder Blackham

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 9, 2013

(The first paragraph is a reply to Mom's question about how Elder Blackham gets water.  We heard the water there will make you very sick and drinking to much of it can give you worms.UGH) 
The water here is bad but we filter the water with the filters that the mission provides so we are all good and set:) And if I get a worm it is just that much easier to lose fat haha. 

This week was amazing. Really gave it my all and I learned a ton. Life is so much better when you look at the big picture and have an eternal perspective. We taught the plan of Salvation a couple times this week and I just love it so much. It is so amazing to see the faces of the investigators as their faces light up and shine when they learned where they came from, why they are here and where they are going. It seemed to fill all of their longings to know and I felt so blessed to be able to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in bringing this priceless knowledge into their lives. 

I love also the part at the end of the lesson when I testify to them that we would not have this knowledge if it was not for the restoration of the Gospel. I get to testify about Joseph Smith and that because of living prophets we can know and understand the truths of the gospel and the plan of salvation, because otherwise it would just be a mess of opinions, but this is the truth and the Book of Mormon solidifies the correct doctrines of the Bible so that it removes all doubt about the truths found therein. Its just so amazing this message:) 

One of our investigators that I didn't know if they understood everything, testified to us that she believes that this is true and that she feels in her heart it is right, and that it answers the questions she has always been longing to know:) She was glowing and it was just incredible to be there and to feel the spirit and to have the opportunity to bring this into her life:) There were many times this week that this happened, another time we were teaching the restoration to a family and the mom randomly asked where do we come from? I almost exploded with joy and we proceeded to then teach the restoration and she just loved it and the cool thing about it is that you can't gain a testimony about the plan of salvation without gaining a testimony of the restoration:) 

We were also teaching another family about reading the scriptures and trying to teach them how to study and gain knowledge and answers on their own. As we were teaching about the vision of Nephi and the first thing he did was desire to know. We taught how important desire is, and then in our first lesson with him the 18 year old boy Romel said, "I really want to know how to know and thank you for teaching me about this."  It was just amazing, there is nothing better than being a missionary:)  

It's just a blast to let go and lose yourself in the work:) This week was just so amazing, in one of our days we taught 8 lessons in one day, and I know it's a blessing that the Lord has given us for our obedience:) I am so grateful for the strength He gives and as I strive to serve Him He shows me my weaknesses. But it's just another mountain to climb:) This week in my scripture study I was reading in Alma 36 about repentance and how it all came to pass because first remembered in verse 17. I learned a lot about remembering Jesus Christ and in order to establish our life on Him we need to first remember and think about Him more and more in our lives. I also leaned that it is easier than we think it is in Alma 37:44-46:) Wow isnt the Gospel amazing!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 3, 2013

Things are going so awesome here. I love my trainee so much!! He is so awesome and has such a great desire to serve the Lord with His all. Something that happened this week that was unexpected was that on Sunday I named and blessed a new born baby. There is a less active family that we have been teaching that has gone to church for the last couple of weeks, and they asked me to bless their baby. I thought that they were joking but when I showed up to church and they called me up to bless the baby, I soon realized that they were not joking at all. The baby's name is Avherie Jhamie Jonson Bancoro and she is just a couple weeks old and the cutest little thing in the world. I was pretty nervous because naming and blessing a child is a pretty big deal.  I am so grateful I was able to do that. I wish the Father was able to because that would have been so much better, but I do feel blessed to be able to have done that.  I really wanted to bless that new child with absolutely all that Heavenly Father wanted to give. I will never forget the love I felt from Heavenly Father for her. 

We have had a pretty awesome week and worked our tails off every single day!! I am working my trainee and myself to the bone!! The Lord is abundantly blessing us and I am so grateful for Him:) 

One of the things I learned this week was the power of honesty and humility in your efforts to serve the Lord. I love to serve the Lord and when you are totally honest with your weaknesses it allows you to face them with the help of the Lord. When you are 100% honest with yourself and the Lord about your weaknesses; it's as if the barriers between you and Him fall away and His power, help and love flows freely into your heart and strengthens you in all that you do:) Things will always, always, always work out better when doing what the Lord wants than doing anything else. So many times we are nervous and I love how President Monson puts so much emphasis on having courage because its our courage that allows us to follow what the Lord wants no matter what and show our love for Him, show Him the crowning characteristic of Love to Him which is always loyalty. Loyalty because no matter what happens we obey and we strive to do His will:) So yea things are going amazing and I am having a blast!!
Love, Elder Blackham

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

May 26, 2013

Things are going great!!! I love having an anak and training:) Its so much fun and we are getting so much work done. I swear I am learning more than my trainee but that's how its supposed to be:) He is a 5 foot 1 inch Filipino named Elder Gako haha he is 21 years old too. He is so so so so cool I love that elder. He is so humble and tries his best and does not cease to impress me. One of the stories that happened this week was that we heard some news about a lady in our area who had lost her son, and her son was in his 20s and died unexpectedly. Well we got the news from a sister in the ward and then later that night we went to the wake. A tradition in the Philippines is that they never ever leave a dead body alone. So they usually keep the body in a casket with glass window on top to view the deceased person and then people are there 24/7 to watch and to mourn for the lost life. So we went and found the mother who was of course crying and mourning for the loss of her son, and it is really hard for her because she had also lost her husband and another son previous to this one. But as we were there it was absolutely quiet except for sniffling from crying and such. I didn't know what to say at first because its such a big deal to administer to those who mourn and I was really nervous I would say something wrong. Then I kinda put myself in Her shoes and wondered what I would want to know... then the spirit prompted me to speak. I opened my mouth and was able to promise her that the gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge of His plan for us can fill every gap everything that is missing in our life. The Tagalog I used uses a deeper meaning for missing something, but the spirit was so strong. I testified that she can know without a doubt they will be together again through the ordinances of the restored gospel and that God loves us and will never abandon us. It was absolutely amazing to see her smile. After sharing some of the blessings of the gospel with her we left with a prayer and asked when we could return to teach her more and now we will be going back this week to share more:) We take for granted so much the wonderful truths of the gospel. Any ways there were just so many things that happened this week that were amazing but this one I felt I should share:) 

Love, Elder Blackham