Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014

I had the most wonderful Easter experience. Taking the sacrament on Easter Morning was such a joy and I really felt such a power. I was so happy all that day. In the bible dictionary, under Resurrection, it says that the resurrection is the most glorious message of all. I pondered this and thought about why it's so important. I discovered  that because of the resurrection, all of our joys and good and relationships and life itself, the lessons we learned, the reason we came here on earth it... it does not end. When without the resurrection, death would be the worst because it would mean no more eternal families, you can no longer feel what it's like to hug your loved ones as you did on earth. Your knowledge and understanding that you can only gain with a body, the joy you can only have with a body will all end and coming to earth would be very pointless if there was no resurrection. I am so grateful and I remember just sharing with everyone that day that Christ lives. I wanted to shout it to the world. I love the gospel and I know how to return to Heavenly Father again:) I am so happy that joy and love does not end:) 

My week on Mindoro was pretty cool too, the people there are so simple, and very much village people. The native culture is much stronger on the islands. There are not very many people, huge rice fields, and tons of water buffalo, and farms(but Asian farms). There are also lots of huts and bamboo houses and fences. It was so so so very beautiful. 

I really enjoyed sharing with the people there, but you can't share the same way with them as you do in the city. Some of them don't know how to read or write, so it's very interesting. You have to really spice up lessons and be serious and bold to help them understand. You have to really completely relate it to their life. I really felt love for them as I shared.

There was one experience where we taught a teenager with other teenagers and found out her father wasn't a member and we wanted to meet him and ask permission to teach to his children while inviting him to be taught as well. He was very happy we asked and we just started asking about his family and life and found out his wife had recently died. I felt this wave of compassion come over me as I looked into his eyes and felt a little bit of the sorrow that he had. I then opened my mouth and proclaimed to him the Plan of Salvation. I have done this before but not with this amount of love and compassion and I was brought to almost tears as I wanted him to know that he could see his wife again and this will make him happy. I felt desperate and willing to say whatever it took and do whatever it took to bless this father. He accepted with joy and the spirit was strong. We had many other great experiences in Mindoro this week. It was great and very humbling experience to see such simplicity in life. 

In response to how I motivate people to keep commitments there are many ways. It really depends. When they don't keep a commitment I act completely devastated, and then  apologize that I didn't teach them well enough and tell them that they do not yet understand how important the commitment is, because if they did, they would do it. I re-teach the commitment and ask them what prevented them from keeping it.  Then we come up with solutions together. Another thing that helps is giving them a baptismal date, because without it there really is no reason to keep the commitments, because there is nothing they are working towards. Also you must teach the doctrine with clarity and always remind them and follow up with them. However important we treat commitment is how important they will treat it so you must do whatever you can to help them keep it. Another thing is that you must be very specific and have them keep commitments that will help them be converted. Instead of just asking them to read their scriptures, I like to teach them how to study their scriptures, by starting with a prayer and keeping a study journal and then close with a prayer and to write down how they feel. When I invite people to repent I tell them to write down all of their sins on a piece of paper and repent of every single one. That is certainly more powerful that just inviting them to repent without teaching them the real deep process. I don't read the list or anything but it helps them understand the importance of being completely clean and feel the difference more in their life, and when the baptismal interview question comes around they can say yes with full confidence about the one that asks if they have repented of their sins. So I hope that answers the question:) 

Elder Blackham
ps. My companion Elder Balolong will go home tomorrow because he is ending his mission, and my new companion is Elder Hall the one that knows the fenners, isnt that crazy. My health is amazing so dont worry. :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment