Monday, November 25, 2013

November 18, 2013

Things are going great here:) Another amazing week with even more help and blessings from the ward. It is just an absolute miracle and I am so so amazed at how things are going. We are completely safe over here and there is no clean up or anything from the typhoon, it happened on a different island but there are a lot of families here that are from that island and havent heard from their family and it actually has helped us get into some doors because of the plan of salvation and people have kind of gained a greater understanding of the reality that life is so short and they want to know the plan of salvation so that a good thing:)

My companion's name is Elder Montejo and his family was on the island that got hit by the storm but he heard that his family is safe. We are staying busy and that probably helps so that he doesn't dwell on his family.

There really is nothing better than teaching by the spirit. We are contacting lots of people and starting to see this area bloom and blossom into a beautiful tree spring unto everlasting life. I know that sounds cheezy but that really is a good way to describe. All the members come up to us and set appointments with us so that they can introduce us to their friends, man this is so so so so so so so so so so so so so much better than tracting and the people are so so so so much more receptive. and they already have a friend in the church which means they won't fall away, this is just so great.

As we taught most of our lessons this week we really discerned that most people we taught don't really know God. As I use my list of questions of the soul to begin teaching the number one questions lately have been, is there a God? and does He know me? Its the best feeling to help someone understand that there is a God and to help them pray and sincerely talk to HIm for the first time. We taught this 18 year old boy with no parents to take care of him and he is normally so quiet and shy but his face lit up as we read scriptures and assured him and testified that God knows him and loves him. He can get to know God even more every day. In general conference it was said more than once that the most precious thing is our relationship with God. I know this to be true. It brings peace direction and help and is the very source of revelation, which without revelation all would be darkness and guesswork. 

I was reading in Moroni 7 about every good thing and how every good thing comes from Christ or else no good thing could come to man because they are naturally fallen. By faith in Christ we lay hold upon every good thing. If we lay hold upon every good thing and reject it not we will surely become a child of Christ. It makes me so happy to think that all the pretty colors I ever see, every smile I ever smile every good thought and good feeling comes because of Christ's atonement for us. BY faith in Him we understand the source of all good and we cant become or lay hold upon good without letting go of the bad. for example If I always choose good I will not have time to bad, and the bad things I did before will be forsaken by laying hold on every good thing. It really is just a huge process of repentance  Once we find something good or better we let go of the dark and take an extra step into the light and become like Christ and accept the source of all good:) When we accept good or better things we also accept the source from whence it comes:) 

Love, Elder Blackham

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 11, 2013

I was transferred to Taguig. Which is right on the border of the Manila Mission but I am now on the opposite side of Leguna Lake but still on the side of the lake. It just was windy here and a little rain but we didnt get affected by the typhoon that much at all so I am doing great!!:) It is a lot more city here but I love it:) I love this area so much and things just took off running when we got here!! The first couple days we got here we really felt we should visit all the members and just give this area our absolute all and we set a high baptismal goal upon arrival, I know that the cities are well known for being low baptizing areas but who cares this is the Lords work which means we are entitle to His help.  we knew that if we had the faith that we could turn it into just the opposite. All it needs is faith because faith is power and action, and if we use that power which is God's power nothing is impossible because nothing is impossible to Him therefore it is not impossible to us if we use His power. I know we can reach it. I read a talk by Gene R. Cook about faith in Jesus Christ. If we have the hope and set a high goal and look with eager optimism in everything always having faith in Christ on your mind you will achieve so much more than you thought you could. This is really what everyone is searching for in life that really is what everyone is searching for and looking around with faith miracles happen. Just in these few days that we have been here we have gotten 40 referrals which is unheard of. Also the bishop that everyone said was lazy, when we visited He was so excited to get the work going and said that He could see the excitement on our faces as we were walking up to visit Him. the ward and has been giving us families to visit and it has just been the most amazing thing:) Visiting so many family and just in the few days me and my companion Elder Montejo have been here it seems like an outpouring of excitement and the spirit here. This one sister who is not a member and has never known missionaries walked up to us  and said" my husband just died and I am so sad, but I saw you and I think you can help my family" and said to come back on Thursday at 2pm. This is amazing:) Its all because of faith.

If this really what we say it is shouldn't we set our expectations higher. I feel some people live way below the joy and peace and success they could have enjoyed if they would have just believed that they could. That sounds cheesy but it is not when it is applied to the gospel, if we act expecting the Lord to help our actions will increase greatly. Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and not seen. Therefore the greater the hope we have the greater the evidence we will see and create through our actions. Like wind when the wind is strong you can see the flags moving a ton and its obviously manifest that the wind is truly there. If we work with high expectations and hope our actions will also jump to a higher level and the evidence will be great and effect the lives of everyone around you. So to summarize things are going great and I love the challenge to turn this into a fruitful zion:) 

Elder Blackham

(My mom wanted me to post an article about some Sister Missionaries who were in Tacloban. If you want to read it, here is the link )

November 4, 2013

( A few days BEFORE Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines)
Transfer day is tomorrow and everything was great here in Angono:) I will miss it so greatly :) I was so blessed to be here and learned so much! Like so so so much and I love learning it really is life changing to learn something new and apply it into your life because every time you do that your life becomes new in a way and better and changes.  I will white wash another area which means both the elders before will leave and my new companion and I will start again. THere is nothing better than change and repentance:) 

Jovie and Grace were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday and when we visited them that night it touched my heart when they looked at me with sincerity in their eyes and said thank you  Elder; as if to say thank you for my new life as a disciple of Christ. I will always remember that, and Brother Robert named his new dogs after me and that was flattering but we all know it is all the Lord:) He deserves  100% of the credit, I will go my entire life and never convert anyone because it is the spirit that converts people through the Grace and light of Christ:)
This week in the book of Ether I was reading  in the famous chapter 12 when I came upon the verses when it describes that through faith the veil is taken over our eyes and nothing is withheld from us. Imagine how much more simple things we could see if we faithfully walk through each day. 

Also in the Faith in Jesus Christ section of preach my Gospel it says when we have faith in Jesus Christ we look for ways to be more obedient. We show our love for Him by turning completely away from our sins. I know that by removing and finding all of our sins we remove everything that separates us from God:) We must be actively engaged in our own salvation and not just sit and wait for ways to obey more or strive to be comfortable, we should actively move towards God.  I promise there is no greater feeling in the world than feeling the Holy Ghost and knowing that you are accepted of God:) Becoming clean is the simplified way of saying that:) I testify that in the name of Jesus Christ amen:)
Elder Blackham

Sunday, November 10, 2013

October 28, 2013

 Things are going great being here in the vineyard in the Philippines. This last week was a really rough week because we were not able to work hardly at all, Elder Afu was sick on Tuesday and we still pushed in 4 lessons but went home early, then I was sick on Tuesday and then he was sick again on Thursday.  Then on Friday we went to the mission office to take care of some business and that's so far away, and then on Saturday we went to TayTay and then had to weekly plan because we weren't able to on Friday.  Sunday we had tons of meetings with other wards too. Only got in one lesson, so... yea not being able to go out and work is every missionaries night mare. The weight on your shoulders as a servant of the Lord even though your sick just seems to get heavier and the things you need to do just add up. Then it's hard not to get discouraged if someone was not able to progress because you weren't able to visit them and well... you get the point. But the good news is that the church is still true and the atonement was performed for all of us and when you think about that there really is no reason to be sad:). 

I am so excited for this week and all the possibilities. Every day is another chance to meet a new person or maybe even a family that wants to hear about the gospel and come unto Christ and be perfected in Him:) I always say to the new missionary in our apartment "There is nothing better than being a full time missionary, you meet random people you have never met every day and try to get them to change their lives completely" That just sounds so much fun to me, it is a great honor and no greater a cause than this:)
Love Elder Blackham