Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 7, 2014

This week I have been in Manila for the entire week, haha. I just got back to Mindoro today which was like the hardest thing ever! To be out of your area for 7 days when your teaching pool has reached 40 souls was really hard.  Well the Lord has his hand in all things and as we do cheerfully all in our power we can stand still with the utmost assurance that His hand will be revealed in our lives:) (D&C 123:17). 

I was able to go on exchanges. We were there for Mission Leader Conference but because the airport is under construction there are only three flights that go to Mindoro the whole week. Mon. Sun. and Fri. MLC was on Thursday, so we got there Monday.  We were supposed to leave on Friday, but as we were in the plane and about to take off, they decided to cancel the flight. So we were not able to leave until Monday.  We did have cool experiences on exchanges with missionaries. Finding and teaching the gospel; It just blows my mind how many people are willing to accept the gospel:) As we were on the plane to go to Mindoro before they announced it was canceled I was trying to talk to a couple about the gospel and as I was doing this a person on my right tapped me on the shoulder and just asked for a Book of Mormon and asked me to explain about it:) I just got so happy and he was from Arizona which its really weird to see people that are not from the Philippines that want to talk to you. 

We also were able to do finding with missionaries in Quezon City. They said they were having a hard time finding people to teach especially in the middle class people of their area and they pointed to a place on the map and then I said, "Let's go finding there today!" So we went and every one we spoke to accepted the message. Even people you never would have thought would. It was simply amazing. I believe it was because of Jesus Christ:)

 Well mom, I am excited to work here this next week. We just got done with playing volleyball on the beach for a zone activity, it was awesome:) 

Love, Elder Blackham 

June 30, 2014

I just flew back to Mindoro from Quezon City where we had Mission Leadership Council and it's been a blast. This past week was a week of miracles here in Mindoro. Elder Robison and I have been having so much fun and the Lord has been blessing us with success. I really enjoy going out and doing the Lord's work and the greatest evidence is the Holy Ghost in my life:) 

Just a cool experience, we were teaching a family about the Plan of Salvation and the wife and husband just decided to talk about how they have been fighting and arguing when we aren't there.  So, we just taught about how the gospel blesses families and at the end we knelt down and prayed together and re-committed them to do this every morning and night. When the prayer was over they were both crying and filled with love:) The spirit was so strong and I got to be a part of their learning that the gospel really does bless families. 

Also we were teaching the same lesson to another family and then the father asked what Heavenly Father's name is, I told him Elohim.  Then Elder Robison my companion explained that God doesn't want to be called that; He wants to be called Father. Then he referred to the life of the father we were teaching, and asked "when your kids talk to you, would you want them to call you Von, or Daddy?" It would be so obviously weird to call them by their first name, it would be kind of disrespectful. I realized too or the spirit was teaching me that it is so important to call Him Father because it means that we have a relationship with Him. If we just called him by His first name it would not mean we are tied to Him through and unbreakable bond of love.  Not calling him Father instead actually separate us from Him. It was just a cool ah ha  moment for me as we were teaching where the spirit taught me more deeply the truthfulness of the way we pray:) 

In personal study I have been having such wonderful experiences about the Restoration of the Gospel. I have been thirsting for a greater testimony of the restoration and as I have been studying it things have been becoming so clear to me through the Holy Ghost that this is the only true church with all the truth and necessary ordinances for salvation. Reading from the Bible strengthens my testimony of the Book of Mormon so much and also just running into so many different religions, none of them have proof that its true, they all have their own version of the Bible and argue. But for us it's very simple, there is only one Book of Mormon and one version only that states the truth found also in the Bible but without the Book of Mormon you still don't know.  It's still almost guessing. I know that the restoration is true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is his true successor and holds the Keys and authority necessary for prophets. I am so grateful for what I have. Nothing is more precious than testimony and that's what I am realizing too. 

Love, Elder Blackham 

June 23, 2014

Out here in Mindoro things are just really going well. We are consistently finding many new people to teach which helps us focus on those who really want to be taught and understand the gospel. I just love teaching so much. I feel there is no greater call than to teach. Every problem I have ever heard has always been solved with more knowledge and understanding. We taught the Plan of Salvation a lot this past week which means everyone's mostly progressing. I love teaching this and seeing their eyes open up and there is this deep familiar feeling to them when we teach the Plan of Salvation simply. I usually tell a story and then show them their role in the story.  When they learn this it's just indescribable to be there and to ask them how it makes them feel to know what we explained to them. It really helps them keep commitments and to overcome their concerns when they know and understand their purpose here on earth and their potential. I have seen it empower them to do things they normally could not or had no hopes of achieving. I am so grateful for the plan of happiness. It really does make people happy. 

Following up on those who I gave study journals too was really great too. In a few verses they wrote a lot how it related to them and how it made them happy. I don't need to teach over and over again the importance of reading when I teach them to have experience and write in a study journal the way I do. When they write their experiences in a study journal I know for sure it will work when they do do it and they will feel the power in their lives. 

We found a family that we are teaching now and have been to church a couple times. They are the most beautiful family. We all kneeled in a circle and prayed as a family and the father prayed. It was so beautiful the Father was crying and was so happy to kneel as a family with their five kids and pray. I couldnt help but to peek as we prayed just to see how beautiful it was to see that image of a family kneeling and praying together. It is so sad though because they are not married yet and the wife is being told not to listen by her preacher brother. So we are going to do all we can. In the end it is up to them but it really hurts because the wife is not joining the lessons lately and man it just hurts to love people. It really hurts. 

ELder Blackham