Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 17, 2014

Well this last week I was in Pasig and Quezon City, we had a lot of fun. There are just so many people to teach in the city  because there are so so many people inside of the city haha. So I enjoy it a lot because there are so many chances to open your mouth and speak with others. I saw a baptism over there too and its so amazing to hear the testimony of this newly baptized convert because he talked about the dramatic change of heart that he experienced. Every aspect of his life has changed for the better. 

I am learning a lot about how important it is to organize yourself and to prepare every needful so that you don't run faster than you can and walk farther than you have strength. Organization really helps things be more efficient and effective. I understand why the Lord's house is a house of order because it allows us to be more in control and understanding of everything that's happening. I also really see that when I have to deal with missionaries that do not sustain their leaders.  Those missionaries are kicking against the pricks. In the end they will see that they could have just let go and followed and would have enjoyed and done so much better instead of living and serving with anger and regret. There are so many changes in the mission and it's such a great lesson and example to me on whether we will sustain and follow our leaders and trust in God or not. Another thing I am learning is the simple joy of the missionaries that do obey. They just simply seem to not have any problems. Of course they still do have struggles,  but it just doesn't affect them as much and they have this inner confidence and power that allows them to reach higher and to do more.  

I think its so cool how you are doing missionary work over there, while I am doing missionary work over here. This whole church, gospel, everything we do in the church or in our families,  the way we live; its all missionary work. Whether we are teaching our own children, or teaching investigators or trying to convert ourselves and teach ourselves more, or serving others, or setting an example, teaching in primary; all of it is either to convert ourselves to the gospel, or others. It doesn't matter if someone is a member or not,active or maybe even less active; we are teaching each other about the gospel and trying to help all of us return to Christ.  It's just a way of life. That's why we go to church, it's why we read our scriptures to convert ourselves and to convert others to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to partake of that fruit which is sweet and precious and delicious above all other fruit. When we catch that vision that God has for everyone it becomes easy to share the gospel because it's just simply all that really matters. If we think of the Savior, He was the ultimate missionary, and all of His disciples did the same. So, just put simply, if we are the true church of Jesus Christ and have taken His name upon us, then we live in the manner of sharing the gospel with others. When people think of missionary work they think of this big organization and name tags and blessings.  The name tag thing didn't come until... well actually I don't know when, but I know Christ never wore one.  You don't have to wear a name tag to share the gospel.  But you do have to be set apart to preach it and teach it in preparation for baptism of a soul. Missionary work is simply love, it's what shows that we treasure what we have enough that we share it with others. When we truly believe that this will change every life and this is what they want and that this really is what the Lord wants then our faith will cast out fear.  Our Love will cast out fear. The Faith will cause us to love. When you love someone the gospel will come naturally into conversations and you will wonder how to share it. Of course you will want to do it in the best way so they wont reject it, but just remember that this is the true church so we are entitled to the true help of our savior and He would not let you fail.  He loves that soul way more than you and I am sure there is no greater joy to Him than when He sees someone share the truth of His atonement, the reason for His coming, and share it with someone else whom He also atoned for. I realize that without Charity we really are nothing, that is the true test of our faith, if we believe, if we know is if we will have charity and share it. That is all Christ ever did. 

Love Elder Blackham

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 10, 2014

Things are going great! I am sorry I wasn't able to get you this e-mail sooner, I just have no time haha. 

This week we were in the mountains of Antipolo and of Cogeo. It is so beautiful up there and the work is progressing in that area of our mission. We had such a great time. When teaching the gospel to others there is this special feeling that is so contagious and powerful that feels like you are so happy that you are floating. All of the stress of anything goes away and its just pure, and light and joy:) 

I always like to interview the missionaries, I go on exchanges with, because I feel like there is a special bond and ability to administer and serve others when you just have a simple heart to heart. I love to get to know them better. 

This week I learned a special lesson about being believing and how much joy comes when you are a believer. Believing that your leaders are called of God, believing that you can be better than you are, believing in all good things, like that things will be better as we learn that God will help us in this.  Believing really causes you to rejoice. It reminds me of the blind and deaf man that President Monson spoke with that said, "The Lord has been so good to me." He could not see nor hear but yet he says that the Lord has been so good to Him. When we are believing and hoping all things as it says about the Christlike attribute charity, it will be so much easier to endure all things. There is this special spirit that comes when you believe that the Lord has been with you this whole time and  that the reason we are still alive is because He is watching over us; it's not just luck or coincidence that we breath a breath every new day. I feel that sometimes on my mission I get down and wish I could do more but then I look back with a believing heart and forward with hope and then I say in my heart, "Oh how the Lord has been so good to me:)" That little change of thought and perspective changes the whole world, because we begin to see it the way that God does. I am so amazed at how large the change is in someone's life when they simply believe and view all things with a believing heart. 

In missionary work, when you speak with people and believe that they are children of God, believe that this is what they are searching for and what they were taught in the pre-mortal life,  believe that God loves them and believe that the gospel you are teaching will heal any and every broken heart and is the answer to all their questions, believe you are teaching them the very way back to our Father in Heaven and the most important and precious things we can possibly discover; then oh how beautiful the world begins to look. The trees and clouds, smiling faces; the joy begins to open itself up unto you. Then to think that our Savior Jesus Christ Atoned so that we can live and return to an even better world. Wow its so indescribable. I wish and I am striving to help all the missionaries catch this vision, if they did they would not be afraid to open their mouth and would know where to turn when it's hard and they wouldn't disobey. They would learn that the spirit they feel is joy and peace that only comes by the Holy Ghost and that this is everything that we say it really is. and if "...for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief , and all is vain." Moroni 7:37.

There are just so many people to teach and when you think and believe that there are, then you will find them. But if you don't believe that there are so many people to teach then you will not find them. It's amazing the difference it makes to be a believer :) 

Love Elder Blackham 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 3, 2014

I am pretty excited about my last transfer.  I will get to see more of my mission now.  But I miss my old  area so much.  I miss the Nebit family, they were all baptized and confirmed:) Also the Pimentel family and the Kapoy family they will both be baptized as families pretty soon here. Wow I have seen the Lord's hand so much on my mission. He has really blessed us more than I can imagine:) 

This last week was a blast:) I love to personally serve and get to know all of the missionaries. 

This week we went to Tayuman, Angono, and Cainta to do exchanges and Cubao, it was so much fun:) I loved getting to know the missionaries and I love treating their areas as if it were my own because all of their areas are my areas too :) Its funny because sometimes you don't open your mouth as a missionary because you think, "I am not in my area." But now I never have that excuse and I love that haha. I get to meet so many people everyday, the more people I know and share the gospel with in the day and the more missionaries I meet and learn to love; the happier I am. I am really pushing myself to share and it's now not a scary thing to talk to others but a joy. I purposely put myself in situations now that allow me to talk to people like on jeepnees and trikes and just walking down the street, I feel like it is a great blessing that I do not naturally have, normally its nervous and scary even for a missionary.   I just love that every day is a working day and I dont have to be in the office haha. I seriously thank the Lord every night that I dont have to be in the office and that I get to be out working everyday.  I am actually the one who learns the most from all of the Elders I serve and their investigators.

One of their investigators in Tayuman asked  how to keep all the commandments. At first I didn't know how to answer him, but then we shared the scripture in 1 Nephi 3:7 and the spirit helped me explain a simple doctrine of faith that I have never really been able to explain very well. I told Him that the very moment that we believe that we can keep those hard commandments, or even all the commandments, is the very moment that you will be able to begin keeping them:)
Our faith has a literal effect on our abilities to do things beyond what we thought we could do. Once we believe that we can it becomes a possibility;) 

The same applies to repentance and forgiveness or being happy or becoming like Jesus Christ or many other things We must never stop believing that we can, because once we stop believing that we can, that is the moment that we lose the ability to do those things we desire. This work is so amazing!  I was studying about charity too lately because it is a Christlike attribute that I am working on.  It said inTrue to the Faith that charity hopeth all things, I thought why is that so, how does hope relate to love? Then I realized that hope relates to charity in the way we look and feel about others.  We avoid judging others and sincerely just hope the best for them:) You see what they can become and hope with all your heart they will become it and also believe that they will because charity believeth all things too. Believe that people can change and believe in the potential everyone holds inside:)  

Love Elder Blackham