Monday, July 29, 2013

July 22, 2013

Thank you for the Happy Birthday things and all of the love and support you give.  It's cool how the Philippines celebrates birthdays; it is the exact opposite of the United States. In the U.S. you receive gifts and are treated kindly but in the Philippines you are supposed to give everyone else gifts and a good time and be nice to them. To be honest I prefer the Philippines way because it is a celebration of what makes life great; and that is the people around you and your family and such. I will be taking my zone out to eat later today because it's only 8 people in my zone, and I want to celebrate the Philippines way!  But, I am not going to lie the other way is pretty awesome. I think in all the best is the Phil-am way haha. The mix of both. Any ways as far as this week things continue to be great and growth and learning blossoms all around. Thank you so much for the music I have been longing for that for so so so long. Oh my goodness thank you. 
The work in our area continues to progress and I am excited to see what the future holds. Lots of people that were not progressing are now making progress and it is really amazing to see the blessings of the gospel in the lives of others. I am learning so much more about how to be a better teacher and to allow people to seek learning by faith. I am learning so much more about the power of the atonement. We know that it is infinite and that so is its power, but we have no idea what that entails. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon that helps give me a better understanding of what that means. It really is changing my life here and I had an undeniable witness and experience of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as I read the chapter when Christ comes to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. The spirit was so strong and I felt like I was there and great peace entered my heart with a feeling that was saying to my heart.. yes this really did happen. It was a quiet, peaceful,  but powerful feeling. The stories of the Lamanites who actually delighted in bloodshed, then through the atonement, were willing to die before they would shed the blood of their brothers. It helps give you strength and understanding, by saying to ourselves.. if the atonement could help these people in this way and turn away from their sins and they were a terrible people, then maybe it can work for me... and then the seed is planted and as we exercise our faith it will grow and we will come to know that it does work for us and that we can change and come unto Christ:)  I know that the Old and New testaments are true too. The whole gospel is so amazing, its not just a part its the whole thing:)  I love to teach repentance so much. This week we taught repentance to a woman and it was just incredible. She was so happy to know how to repent and experience the healing of repentance. If I ever feel a gap between me and God or I am ever sad, or anything at all I find the best solution is repentance. I know that seems weird but it is what heals and makes every thing better it allows us to access the atonement and humble ourselves before God and see the world through a whole new view. We come to know how important we are, and that true joy and freedom and peace and that we fulfill our purpose here on earth by repenting and changing and becoming what God wants us to become. Anyways this Sister that we were teaching was so so so excited to repent and to feel the blessings of the atonement in her life. It is so cool when an investigator says things like ... SO if I do this.. then I will get this. In her case she said "so if I repent sincerely and this way then I will feel peace and joy and be given strength to overcome the trials in my life?" and then we could promise her yes:) It was so great. So yeah,  this week has been amazing:)
Love Elder Blackham,

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