Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 16, 2013

I had a great week this week haha. I keep saying I am so happy and eventually I had to go to the hospital this last week because I was so happy haha:) At the Christmas conference I started to have heart palpitations and my heart was beating like 200 beats per minute. I blacked out for a bit and went to the Hospital. They heard I came from a Christmas party and thought it happened from too much alcohol and stuff like that and immorality and everything, haha.  Little did they know that we were just singing Hymns earlier and that we teach people not to do all that bad stuff. They then asked me what I was feeling before I had heart palpitations, I told them I was just feeling really happy and just moments before I was explaining to a sister that I feel really happy and then I stood up and then my heart started beating super fast. 

Heart palpitations can be caused by too much stress, too little sleep and things all adding up, they can also be caused by extreme emotions.  We were celebrating Christmas and all missionaries are tired so maybe that is it, haha.  But the medical diagnosis was that I was too happy and my heart couldn't take the happiness, haha. The emotional force of my joy was too great and created a hyped level of heart beats. So that's a pretty awesome story:)

I hope that will convince someone to share the gospel more because that's just what happens, haha. You get too happy. They also told me not to drink coffee, or alcohol and stay away from women for a while to help me heal and I laughed because they don't really have to worry about that. 

The family we are teaching and I have been sharing about is so amazing. They just keep coming to church and loving it more and more. They are really excited for Baptism and are working hard together. They stopped drinking coffee and alcohol and tea and I am just amazed how every principle we teach they accept openly and lovingly, excited for the blessings that we promise them. They keep reminding us about their Baptism. We were teaching a new investigator yesterday and we asked Him why is it important to know that the Gospel is true. He then opened up and shared how He really wanted to know who Jesus Christ was:) Then my companion and I looked at each other and smiled and said in our minds "Yes!! He is ready!"  and then continued teaching and shared John 17:3 and that by knowing Him He will also find Eternal life. WE explained how to get to know Him and how to pray and it was just so awesome. All missionaries need or actually all the Lord needs is that we ask a sincere question, just like Joseph Smith and it allows the whole gospel to be unfolded unto us:)
We know that all it takes is a sincere desire to know and that eventually He will find His answer:) 
Love, Elder Blackham

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 9, 2013

 THis week was great:) The blessings and success just keep coming, sometimes we have no idea how we are going to reach the goal but we just say to ourselves, that it doesn't matter the odds, what matters is the faith:) We just put the nose to the grinder and it all works out in the end:) 

There is a family we are teaching that is so incredible, every time we teach a lesson everything goes wrong. The baby starts crying, neighbors are yelling and partying and its so hard to focus and so loud. But no matter how bad it goes in my view it goes so great to the family and when we come back they remembered everything and are keeping the commitments and testifying on how it is changing their family. They came to church as a whole family and brought friends and extended family and loved it. It just shows how powerful the spirit is:) It is the spirit that touches peoples hearts as they strive to live the gospel and keep commitments.

It doesn't really matter how good the lesson went as long as they read, or pray as a family they will receive the blessings of the gospel. The gospel will have no effect on you until you begin to live it. So no matter the principles we teach or how we teach;  the more important is that they act and try it, then they will know. The blessings of the gospel are not something taught they are things and experiences that are caught through living it and having the Holy Ghost testify of its truthfulness to us. No one will ever be converted to the gospel without living it. That's why if you try to convince someone the gospel is true through telling someone, they can just say, "No its not, haha. But once they try it,you don't even really need to say anything because they will know it. As missionaries we just need to get out of the way of the spirit. Plan commitments first and then plan on what to teach to help them keep commitments, and you might see a lot more conversion:) 

In my gospel studies I was studying about charity in the 7th chapter of Moroni. I was wondering why all things must fail except for charity. I was thinking, "what that's not fair to virtue or to other good things." So I pondered it and thought about it and I realized that charity is the motive behind the other principles, and the sincerity of it. In Romans 13:10 it says that love is the fulfillment of the law. We cant just keep Gods laws, we also have to keep Gods laws and be happy about it and sincere and do it because we love. Other wise it wont benefit us and it will fail. For example if everything went Satan's way we would be forced to do everything and we could not choose to follow God out of Love and freedom and choice. All of our obedience means nothing and we wouldn't learn anything.  We couldn't prove anything or grow. In God's plan we learn to obey because we love Him, then we truly gain the blessings, because it is an act of our own agency and free will. We must learn to do what Christ does while thinking and feeling the way He thinks and feels. That is what charity is. That is why in verse 48 it says we will be like Him because we have not only acted like Him and obeyed but we learned to feel like He does and think Like Him. :) This does not mean that we shouldn't obey any commandment we don't want to, it means we obey them because we Love God. As we live the commandments out of our own free will and choice our love will increase and we will learn that only when we obey can we gain that thinking, and feeling that Christ has:) 

Love, Elder Blackham

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 2, 2013

Over here we had an amazing thanksgiving:) We taught really great lessons and were able to help people come closer to the Savior. We are just having the time of our lives preaching the gospel here:) Just giving it our 100% all.

We had a couple families we are teaching show up to church and it was so amazing! They loved it and we taught them later that day and they thanked us for sharing the gospel with them. I am so grateful too and I looked at their whole family smiling at Elder Montejo and me and I couldn't help but to tear up:) The spirit was so strong as we testified of the restoration and they are reading and praying as a family and it just doesn't get any better than that. 

This man that came up to us on the street is so cool too and is so excited to be baptized and change his life:) All these things are just miracles in my eyes and I love to serve the Lord, there really isn't anyone else worth serving, because when you serve others you are also serving the Lord:) 

As far as things that I learned this week I learned a lot about the gift of discernment by reading a talk by Elder Bednar called "Quick to Observe". It really expounds on the blessings of this gift and how it can be used and how there are 4 main things or ways we use discernment. The most valuable ones are the ways we recognize good and evil within ourselves. I learned how to better recognize my thoughts and feelings to realize if my perspectives or very thoughts were in line with God or not. It really helped me feel the spirit in greater measure and recognize the things I can do better. I am really trying to learn to use it so I can recognize and help bring about the good in others and in myself. He said that this is the highest form of discernment and not just recognizing the hidden concern in statements or distinguishing the falsehood in something but to recognize truthfulness in a testimony, or in our own testimony. We need to see the good intents of others or in ourselves:) It really helped me teach and listen better:) The church is true:) 

Love Elder Blackham

November 24, 2013

Dear Mom,

This week was another great week. We really took a leap of faith setting the goals we did and it just keeps working out in the end. Every time we start the week its a big leap of faith. I am seeing so many miracles and I love helping the Lord. I am really doing my best and I love it:) 

Obedience really is the big test of this life. What's crazy is that we are always blessed more than the sacrifice it takes to obey or let go of something we normally do and exchange it for what the Lord wants. It teaches us to exercise faith and it helps us do what is right. Also sometimes we just really need to just let go. We need to just let go and trust. Take a breath and say whatever happens happens and choose to be happy and just do the Lords will:) 

We have one of the survivor Elders from the Tacloban Mission in our Zone and it is really great to have him.  There really is nothing better than serving others. 

This week one of the biggest things I learned is that we need to have personal time with the Lord everyday. I was getting pretty stressed out because of all we had to do and I was so worried about every person we had to teach and keeping track of all the referrals and all the activities we had to plan for missionaries and training. It was just building up and I started to feel anxiety and it's a lot harder to feel the spirit when you feel like that so it was rough haha. What solves that for me every time is taking a time out and just opening the conference talks, and praying and listening to Heavenly Father. That quiet time or personal time just gets me back in order and helps me just trust and do things one step at a time:) Especially that talk called being accepted by the Lord. We all just need to have personal time with Him everyday, and just ponder His will and ours, our standing and what He would say to us for that day.

I know that the Church is true and I keep getting witnesses all the time that it is in the name of Jesus Christ Amen:) 

Elder Blackham