Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 20, 2014

Things are doing great:) We have been having tons of success. We have a few new families that we are now teaching consistently and are progressing and its so so so amazing:) I love it so much:)

I love to see people question and wonder and ask to know things. THis one family just had so many questions about the plan of salvation in our first lesson so we decided to start teaching that instead of normally teaching the restoration first, it all goes together anyway. Their questions were like "how will I know if I can see my husband in the next life? or my children? What is the purpose of life? Where did we really come from? How do you pray?" I just can't stop smiling when people are excited and ask  the perfect questions ever:) Haha I almost had palpitations in my heart again!  Haha, joke, but seriously I get so happy to teach :)

The best thing ever too is to help some one discover true repentance for the first time. Repentance really touched some of our investigators this week :) They are so amazing:) They poured out the their heart in understanding to us this week. We taught the Plan of Salvation also to a sister who had a baby and then her child died three days later. 

We are just having the time of our lives out here, my e-mails must sound unreal and stuff because of all that happens and all the great things like every week but that's just really how it is going right now. I know it's because we are trying our best to be exactly obedient and to do all we can to help these people:) All blessings come from obedience to the law in which those blessings are predicated:) We aren't special or anything this is the same priesthood and Church as in the time of Christ so we can expect these things to happen if we obey:)

Elder Blackham

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

The beginning of the letter is a reply to Elder Blackham's Mom regarding the problem he has been having getting sleep due to the fact he lives next door to pig slaughtering house and can hear the pig screams throughout the night.  The italics is what Mom wrote to Elder Blackham: (I am really concerned about your lack of sleep and exhaustion.  I am still studying about prayer.   I have learned that I need to be specific in my prayers.  So, this week I have been specifically praying that you can get sleep and be rested and that you will not be woken up by the screaming pigs.  That is a pretty specific prayer for me.  I am working on my faith, so I am not sure that I have enough faith to make this happen.  But, I am daily praying that you can get rest and not be woken by screaming pigs.  Has it been any better?)
I actually have been getting more sleep and I have been surprised why I haven't heard the pigs for a while. SO your prayers are working :)

It's just so fun to be a missionary.  The baptism of the Nebit family will be next Saturday and we have quite a few lined up for the next two months. This really has been a miracle because when my companion and I got here and whitewashed the area we had no one to teach and the history of the area was not good either.  But, we prayed and fasted and believed that if the Lord could do anything, why not His work? :) SO, we just put our nose to the grinder and it's just so amazing what the Lord can do if you just put your trust in Him:) 

This last week we had a lot of great experiences with investigators. One investigator had a dream about the temple and His dead father was in there waiting for Him. He said he saw workers there dressed in all white and it was so cool. This investigator had never been to the temple and did not understand his dream.   We then explained his dream to him.  He said he had asked many different people about the dream.  They had tried to explain this dream but he new their explanations were wrong.  He told us that he knew and felt that what we said was right. We explained about temple work and work for the dead and it was cool to see His face light up.  Wow that was just a really cool spiritual experience:) 

We also taught another lesson to this family who wasn't taking the lessons so serious. I just got super upfront with them and was constrained by the spirit to just pour my heart in explanation and pure testimony. I love this family so much, I explained the Plan of Salvation and our purpose on earth and the requirements for the 3 kingdoms. I explained if they want the lowest kingdom, they don't have to do anything.  I told them if they want the second kingdom, they just need to be good and follow some of Christs teachings. But, if they want to make it to the Highest kingdom and be together as a family they must have faith in Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. I explained that is why we are here as missionaries in their home.  I told them we aren't there just to visit because it's fun.  We are there to change their lives through the gospel and that they can't make it to the happiest and best kingdom (which is the kingdom of God) without the gospel.  But, that with the gospel they can be together forever:) It was amazing!  They went to church as a family the next day for the first time without us even asking them to come to church. They just really wanted to do so. I was just amazed at the change that happened to them. The next day we saw them, they were so engaged in the gospel and I feel and could see they set the goal in their hearts to be a forever family:) They now ask us to come back and remind us instead of us reminding them:) 

I learned a lot this last week about how to love others and how to love the Lord and to give more of my heart to Him. It's hard to explain as a missionary when these changes you feel in your heart happen. It's just I see things differently and feel about things differently and understand things differently as I am striving to give my all. I feel more calm and more peace. I feel it when I testify with the power of the spirit and my heart and there is no greater feeling. The Holy Ghost is guiding us in everything, and I know that the happiest and most successful missionary is just the missionary who has the Holy Ghost with Him. That comes as we give up our desires and just desire what the Lord wants, as we constantly align our life with Him, and are constantly accountable for our covenants and everything we learn and feel what we must change to be more accepted by Him. I guess this week I was blessed to feel the change in my heart that I am searching for and trying to obtain, and that the Lord though His spirit is telling me that He is pleased:) 

Elder Blackham

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 6, 2014

Things are great!  It was kinda a rough week or just a slow start this week but then it turned out all right in the end. Elder Montejo and I are really trying to rise up and step it up. 

I am just so absolutely exhausted, haha. But its so much fun. The Lord has been quite literally been my strength this week. Even though I am exhausted, as I submit to His will, things and stress just seem to go away and I am encircled in the arms of His love. I am just the luckiest Elder ever because I have a temple inside of my mission, very spoiled as a missionary. I can't imagine going through the mission without the strength help and revelation that I feel when I go through the temple:) 

I really like what it says in 2 Nephi 4:32 about how when we have a broken heart and contrite spirit that the gates of Hell are closed to us. I am really trying to learn how to have that all the time.  I am understanding that it doesn't mean that you are super hard on yourself;  it means that you are just really trying and willing to change. The sorrow that brings discouragement comes from satan and is not Godly sorrow.  The sorrow that leads to action and renewed commitment is Godly sorrow:) 

I really like how the gospel is the answer for everything and is the key to accessing the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and I love how families can be together forever:) I love finding new people to teach because it allows us to open up a whole new world to them. We get to find out what they want, what their dreams are,  what's important to them.  Then we let them know that they can access the atonement of Jesus Christ through the Gospel and that they can be healed and that they are loved more than they know. I love to see the look in their eyes:)

I know this is true, I have had undeniable experiences and blessings from the Holy Ghost. The gift of testimony is a key to getting the gift of eternal life which is the greatest of all gifts of God. Even if I didn't know this was true I would want to know.  The blessings are so amazing, the feelings are undeniable and the love is so great:) 

Love, Elder Blackham