Monday, August 21, 2017

unique

Hello from beautiful Kalasin. I love this place. It's like Kamphaeng Phet and Ubon Ratchathani mixed together. It's a small town, with the most humble and nicest people. I am in love with this place, and the Branch, the food, work, everything.

I didn't want to leave Minburi ever, but coming here to Kalasin for a little bit is actually an answer to prayers. There is so much good happening in these next few weeks. I get to be with an amazing Japanese companion, Elder Fukino in the greatest area ever. We get to work our best and baptize all of Kalasin together. We have Zone Conference and I get to see two of my best friends ever, Elder Rosenvall and Elder King, before I leave in a few weeks. It's been raining every day, all day long since I got here. And it's not just rain, it's like a million firehoses dropped from the sky. My camera, several books, and yeah lots of stuff are kinda destroyed... but I love rain and its so worth it. What a blessing.

But yeah, the only pictures I have are a few people sent me randomly today.

One thing that's really been on my mind a lot on my mission is 'weakness.' In this training I'm currently taking, the very last lesson talks about feedback and correction. It talks about how as a teacher, it is important to give feedback on your student's skills and progress. It's amazing how much I've learned spiritually from this training to be an English teacher. I wish I could share it all. As I went through this lesson, I could not get the phrase 'God shows unto us our weaknesses, that we may be strong.' As a missionary, my weaknesses have been right in front of my face. Sometimes it is too much, but I am grateful for it. It is so much to have desire and become a better person when the problems are easily observed.

I have pondered and thought about this a lot. How important it is that our weaknesses be made known to us. If we don't know the problem, we cannot fix it. Our weaknesses being made known to us is for our benefit, and for better.

As God helps us by helping us see our weaknesses, we are doing the same as his servants. As missionaries we are constantly warning others of the consequences of their sins and weaknesses. We help them recognize what they do wrong, but we do it with love like God does.
And it's not much of what they do wrong, but it is about what they can become. God helps His children see their weaknesses, that they may achieve their potential. Our all-knowing Heavenly Father could just fix our problems on the spot. But think of how much better it is to have us do it ourselves. What would we learn if we had nothing to overcome or nothing to try to make better?

As members of God's church, it is our duty to take part in God's work. What I mean is that we must be helping other's recognizing what they're weaknesses and be better. This sounds way weird and for some sounds rude. But if you truly do love somebody, you desire for them to progress and achieve their potential. Corrective feedback done with love is one of the most loving things you can do for someone. And you have to be reasonable. I will include the 5 points from the training lesson about giving feedback.

Timely
Appropriate
Regular&Standardized
Balanced&Structured
Positive&Honest

Be someone who helps others fulfill their potential. But more than that, be someone who can take criticism and make the best out of it. It will take humility, and it will be so worth it. 

The way I've mostly thought about it is between me as my parent's child. I wasn't the best son, and I did not take feedback well at all. I know I was not good haha. But just what I've been pondering lately really humbles me, and I want to help you and the family. As children, I feel the first thing we must realize is how much our parents love us, and everything they do is because they want us to be the best we can be. They do it out of sincere love, and desire for our potential. Because of this love, parents seem to constantly be criticizing or correcting children.

How I think of this all is from one lesson in engineering class back in High School. I wish I had the visual for it, but basically it was about a module that has an input, and an output. The module takes in the input information/electricity, then decides if it will reject it, or send it through the output. The output can be anything. It could be a tool, or music, or lights. Something amazing! We should be taking all the information about us, said about us, shown to us, and turning it into a positive output. Don't ever reject any of it. Because any portion of rejection disallows turning information into positive outcomes. Rejection is when we feel bad about ourselves, or react to those trying to help us.  Wow this made no sense haha.

Thai culture is so neat and crazy. But one thing that I find really cool is how straight forward speak to one another. People in everyday conversations will just tell each other what is wrong with the other. I'm told multiple times daily everything wrong with me haha. But the Thai culture part of it is not to make anyone feel bad. The reason they speak so straight forward is because they want to help the other become better. They want to help others get rid of their flaws.

Just remember how much your parents love you. Allow your parents, and others, to help you be better. Don't you ever miss an opportunity to learn and be better. And don't miss an opportunity to help another person be better with love.

I love you!

Alma 18:27

a head full of dreams
a heart full of love
💙
--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What a Blessing

One of my favorite parts of God's work is inviting. Inviting in Thailand is so fun. I love going out and meeting the world. I love inviting other's to learn about Christ. I love talking to hundreds of people every day with a goal to make them happier and better. Don't be surprised when I go inviting when I get home.

For a while, I have been focusing on developing more the Christ-like Attribute of Charity. I love Charity. It is simply diligently keeping the first two Great Commandments. Love God, and Love His Children. As I have worked on this, sometimes I find myself thinking, "what can I actually do to have Charity?"

It seems really normal for people to just think about donating or giving money to the poor, others, or something like that. Buying gifts, giving gifts, etc. I've been trying to discover how to be more Charitable in a non-temporal way. No worldly things. Sometimes I have stressed or worried cause I may not know what to do.

Anywho, what I learned and how I did was so neat to me. I would like to explain to you one of my favorite people on this earth. พ่อเรียน (Pah Rian) who is so so amazing. His wife, Nova, was baptized and confirmed back when Elder Bastian and I first cam to Minburi. She is way neat, and not too many weeks later, her 8 year old daughter was baptized. Pah Rian was pretty Buddhist and caught up in so much oh my goodness. He had no desire to learn or even go to church but he did agree to go to the baptismal service of his daughter. It was pretty good and after we pretty much forced him into learn with us. We gave him a quick, straight-forward lesson on repentance. We also asked Sister Nova, in the lesson, how she would feel if her husband got baptized and her response was most excellent. He said it wouldn't be possible, but agreed to try prayer and repenting. A few days later, we found out that ชมพู่ (the daughter) was not even 8 years old yet, and so that she would have to be baptized again. It was funny. We would visit Pah Rian once in a while but not too much progress. He loved watching church videos, and reading and trying to understand the pamphlets... but they didn't mean too much. Not too long later, Elder Xaiyavong and I decided to start serving him more often by helping him and his wife pack up their shoe store. One day, we presented a plan to him. We told him that his daughter needs to baptized again when she is 8. But that we wanted him to baptize her. All he did was laugh. But then we made a plan with him right there what he and we are going to do for the next however long it would take for him to be ready. We taught the Plan of Salvation and Eternal Families and quickly his failing relationship with his family turned around. He developed love for his family, and they became his motivation. As we saw him being happier, and eventually making it to church; we then taught him the commandments. He accepted them so well and made the changes necessary and repented. It is so amazing seeing the light that was working in him. The week came, and he was ready. Pah Rian was baptized. That day was one of the best of my life. After the program, everyone surrounded him and hugged him and put flower necklaces all over him. That baptism got the Minburi ward excited for missionary work. They all love him. Pah Rian has so many people supporting him and loving him. Not too long ago, he literally thought no one loved him. He's got his family, the ward, and God covering his back. The following week, he received the Holy Ghost. He said he literally felt the Holy Ghost enter him and be with him. Then 3rd hour he received the priesthood. Afterwards, he baptized his daughter on her birthday. It took him a few tries but it was such a neat experience. He continually progresses and repents and he is so good. This last Sunday, the usual random stress and worries came. The random thought bugged me, 'Is he going to be able to go to church for the rest of his life for reals?' (Minburi ward needs to have more fun during church) Anywho, in Elder's quorum I don't remember what the topic was or anything but Pah Rian said from the back of the room: "Oh Sundays, the only thing I want to do is be at the Church. Why would I want to go work or do anything else." He's just so good.

Any day I overstress or feel not too well or anything, I just call up Pah Rian and go hang out and share a thought for a half hour or an hour. I always feel better. I love hanging out with him. He is my proof that the Atonement is real. He is so happy, and I am too.

Pah Rian is also how I learned how to have more Charity. I try to talk to everyone as I invite and help others come unto Christ. But seeing a man like Pah Rian become who he is now, even more gives me the desire to give everyone a chance, second, or third chances. People who seem less likely to accept or even respond to me talking to them are the people I now love the most and work on the most. 

Charity is giving all of God's children a fair chance. Whether in missionary work or anything else. Charity, as the scriptures say, is the Pure Love of Christ. Pure. 100%. There is nothing that holds it back or takes away from it. There is no judging, or expecting anything in return. There is nothing happening other than our love. Let's make this world better.

I want to share my testimony on our living Prophet and Apostles. I know they are men of God. I trust, sustain, and love them. I am so grateful for amazing leaders who devote their lives to bringing hope and happiness to the world. These men have God's Priesthood Power. They lead and guide us today so that we may have happiness and return to live with God with our families. Please strengthen your testimonies in these called leaders. They are amazing.

Love, Elder Higginson 💙

you know i love you so

tonight maybe we're gonna run
dreaming of the osaka sun
oh, dreaming of when the morning comes

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ

Truth

So last night we finished english class, and we went to eat stake with Kris. As we were walking to the restaurant, the songs 1. Praise to the Man and 2. We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet came to my head. Kris and I are good friends, he really is a good day. But when these songs randomly were stuck in my head, I knew it was God telling me to prepare to put up a fight and defend the Prophets. It was amazing how I immediately recognized why that happened. So we went to dinner and not too long into conversation, he attacked. I learned a lot from last night. Kris truly desires to make others happier, but he also has not good spirits around him I can feel whenever I'm with him that have a purpose of tearing others down and their testimony. He said a lot of stuff and everything I would answer or say in return would immediately shut him up and he'd change to a another topic and attack. God's Spirit was with me last night and it literally felt like a raging fire. My testimony was unreal last night. But since I have felt so sad. Kris and I understand the Gospel and the Church in a very very similar way. It's just that his took the wrong path and mine took the climb haha. He's smart, but last night he kinda proved where his desire and thoughta are. It's sad. But wow so much good happened last night afterwards. I was studying and pondering so much and the Spirit just was with me. Anywho, yeah that's all.

-- 
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ

Monday, August 7, 2017

keep on dancing all life long

For a long time our mission was averaging about 45-50 baptisms a month. Back in March, President Johnson prayed and felt inspired to set a goal of 85 per month. He has made effective changes and our mission has become very productive. It took us several months to reach our goal, but in July we finally made it. Our mission baptized and confirmed 116 of God's children in July. This work is amazing. We have an amazing mission President who knows what's up. Heavenly Father is blessing us and Thailand.

Back when Elder Bastian and I were companions several weeks ago, we would always be saying 'What a Blessing.' These three words always followed something that you usually would not call a blessing. Anytime we would get frustrated or down, the other person would say 'what a blessing.' We did really good at keeping each other's attitudes in the light. The truth behind it is that these hard things in our lives really are blessings. These moments are always love opportunities to grow. We should and I do love these opportunities. Anywho whenever one of us would get caught up on something bad, the other person would say 'what a blessing' and then we both would and we'd go forward happy or usually just laughing haha. It's simple, it's silly, but it has so much power behind it. It is spreading through the mission.

Thou knowest the greatness of God; and He shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

This simple phrase found in 2 Nephi is one of my favorite in the whole Book of Mormon. I have a strong testimony on it. As we look back on trials we have gone through, we are almost always grateful we had gone through those things. We for sure may not enjoy them in the moment, but as endured well they will be for our gain. We will be grateful for the experience and lessons learned.

Many scriptures in the Book of Mormon are translated in a way where I actually like the Thai version better sometimes.

ลูกรู้จักความยิ่งใหญ่ของพระผู้ เป็นเจ้า; และพระองค์จะทรงอุทิศความทุกข์ ของลูกให้เป็นพรของลูก.

Child, you are familiar with the greatness of God already, and know that He will consecrate thy afflictions to be thy blessing.

It's not like any big changes or anything, but in Thai...sometimes it sounds and feels a lot more loving and smooth and simpler.

So yeah, my message is to just have Faith and trust. Strive to enjoy those hard moments. It's so worth it and so good. Always remember that this life is your short time to become the best you as you can...and the best way to do that is to constantly struggle and become better. Trust that God is using this time wisely and for thy gain. For thy blessing.

I love it.


Well I realized today from you that I have passed my year mark. Thank you for letting me know and I will see you in another two years.



I love you (:

💙

in you i see someone special
Homei Brother Gae but everyone tell him to receive baptism.




HALO

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ຮັກຫຼາຍ

We received the transfer calls last night. Elder Xaiyavong and I will be carrying forth the work here in Minburi for some more time. I am happy.

My trainer and his group of 14 Elders will be heading home tomorrow. I am sad. I was real good friends with most of them.

One of them, I served with back in Ubon. Elder Wankier served the last two transfers in my greenie area. He is one of the best workers I have ever met. Anywho we called last night and he updated me on that area. He said 3 of my RCs have been really helping the work and have caused another several baptisms down there. Including family. I love missionary work. A member from Bangkhen visited Minburi this last sunday and said that so many people miss me there. That like made my day. I always thought that I didn't really have an influence because of the emergency transfer that took place so I had to move quickly. But anywho I am just so happy to hear all the good going on.

In Minburi we find lots and lots of investigators. Bangkok just has so so many people and inviting is always good. So with finding lots of investigators, we get to teach the Restoration a million times and then they decide if this is for them. Our Restorations have been getting pretty spiritual and powerful. I love teaching the Restoration. My favorite thing ever is reciting the First Vision and feeling the spirit just fill up the place. This transfer, President had asked us to do a study on the First Vision and choose 3 points that are most important to me. This was preparation for Zone Conference which took place in our zone last week. It was so good. 

For my three points I chose:
1. The Gospel blesses Families
2. Jesus Christ's church and ministry
3. The First Vision

I chose these because I am a two way witness that this Gospel is meant to strengthen and uplift families. I have seen it in my family, and in families that I have had the opportunity to help in Thailand.
Jesus Christ's church and ministry is important to me as it is to most everyone else in this world. Christ led the way. He provided a way. He did the all for us. He loves us. We love him.
The First Vision is important to me. Why it is important to me is because it is proof that Christ lives. Yes it does represent the Restoration of the True Church. But more than that, Christ really does live. This shows the Jesus Christ really was resurrected. He really did overcome death. The Atonement and the Resurrection are real. All Christ did and taught, it is all true. He continues to live and love us today. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and his action to both Restore the Gospel but also prove that it is true. I love this Gospel. I love learning about church history and all the sacrifices and amazing things the Saints of those days did for this True Church. I cannot even come close to the sacrifices they gave, or that He gave... but I will try my best. 

I am happy. I'm tired and I get lots of headaches from it. We get rejected pretty hard. It's hot. We are constantly experiencing affliction and disappointment. But it's sooooo good. 2 Nephi 2:2 I am learning and growing and God is helping my weaknesses and I. I read a very good talk a while back that has really helped me in my mission. He says something like "you stroke, when you don't want to stroke any more." These words are almost always in my head. Those moments when I don't want to go any more, but just keep pushing...that is when I feel God's love. That is when I feel my relationship with the Savior strengthen. I want you to do the same.

Sister ทิพย์, back in Ubon, her favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 4:27-28. These two verses are her favorite because they changed her life. These verses taught her what real repentance is. Her first time truly repenting came from after reading these verses. Today, she is building the Kingdom of God in Ubon. She loves her Savior. I can't say it enough, repentance is real. Repentance can be used in all aspects of our lives. We become better. Repentance is from Christ and His love for us. Desire to feel of His love and you will.

Anyways that's all for today. The family reunion looks like a very great time. I'm glad that took place. Good.

I have been able to accomplish several goals I set back when I was a greenie. One of my goals yet to be completed though is to get the Laos temple built before the Thailand one. That is all.

I love you, you are the best

💙

ຮັກຫຼາຍ
--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ






Monday, July 17, 2017

Now Let Us Rejoice in the Day of Salvation

 



I don't think anyone really understands how much fun my mission is. We are in the only 8 elder district. We are in very high populated areas, which means fire inviting for hours every day. We are preparing for a temple. Baptisms are a weekly event. We all love to work and have fun. The 7/11 next to the church knows all of us cause we all stop there several times a day and we also magnetted a missionary nametag to this cardboard cutout of a famous person here and everyone thinks its funny. Anywho, I'm just really enjoying my time here and don't want to leave Minburi ever. There are too many people here I love and don't want to leave, many who are not yet baptized.

This past week has built upon my witness of the Savior's Atonement. It becomes more and more real as I apply it more to my life as well as so many other's lives. I see it's reality, and it brings me so much joy seeing the light it brings to people's lives. พ่อเรียน is one of those examples. Just a couple months ago he hated life and family and the world and just sat and yeah. In just 2 short months, his life has been completely changed around. His number one motive in life has become his family and his desire to be with them forever. He loves Christ and is always watching Bible Videos at work. I could say so much about this amazing man. He has brought me so much joy. Seeing him smile is literally touches my heart. He is my best friend. He is preparing to baptize his daughter next week who will turn 8 years old. I am so happy.

Minburi is finally getting going. Our 4 elders here are working hard, and seeing so much good happening. Our influence is being felt everywhere and the members are seeing their potential and this place is about to explode I am way happy.

Our amazing Brother Bee is always saying that 'he's a priest now, he has to share the Gospel.' He invites all of his customers in his job as a taxi driver. His number one desire in life is to serve others. He is always saying that money doesn't matter to him anymore, he is happy now. But he is still okay on money haha. He is going to be an amazing leader in the church one day. He has another job as a constructing manager. He's driven us around and shown us many very beautiful buildings he was in charge of. It's impressive, but even more impressive is his leadership and participation in the church already.

The Atonement is real. I have witnessed it over and over. This week as I have focused my studies on understanding more the pain and suffering Jesus went through, I have felt more the power of the Atonement. I have desired more to share the message of the Atonement. It has brought me so much joy seeing it WORK in God's Children. I have been addicted to the song 'Now Let Us Rejoice' all week as we have seen so many people become better. I really do rejoice in the day of salvation for these people that I love.

We had a week straight of floods but then this week it was just really hot everyday. I'm not gonna talk about the heat because it hurts and I don't wanna sound like I'm exaggerating haha.

I wanna challenge you to not just study the Atonement, but try to understand more what Christ went through. It will strengthen your relationship with Him and your desire to serve Him.

I feel like a few of the million reasons I was called to Thailand is to completely build a hatred against sin. Specifically idleness. It makes me so sad how people just do not do stuff. My favorite word is Potential, and I preach Potential so soooo much here because potential is important. I got too many thoughts on this topic haha.

Ask yourself everyday:

Am I going to be amazed or amazing?

Have an amazing week. You are good.

ຮັກເຈົາເດີ 💙

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ

Monday, July 10, 2017

Believer

I've shared this before, but I have done it again. I listened to the April 1998 General Conference this past week. It is the greatest one, and it is also the first one to occur after Elder Higginson was brought to this world. I recommend it to everyone. 

What this transfer has taught me so far is to be a problem solver. Heavenly Father has given me hundreds of a wide variety of situations in which I have to be a decision maker and go forth in Faith. God is helping me to build confidence in myself, handle serious situations, and also help my influence reach out to others. This is very good haha.

Another great opportunity this transfer has given me is my amazing companion, Elder Xaiyavong. It seems as if his whole mission and all of his worries and difficulties have gathered up and led to this point, where we are companions. His Faith, his family, girlfriend, learning english, studies, inviting, teaching, being a missionary, many things have been difficult. Some think that the reason we were put together was just so that I could learn Laotian from him. But I know for sure, we were put together for me to be able to help him. We have set goals and a plan for him in everything. We have been diligent at it. And the effects are finally showing as I have seen this last week. We know God is helping us because of our planning, and diligence in our goals. Elder Xaiyavong has experienced miracles in learning english and this transfer has increased his skills probably faster than if he were in an english speaking mission. His family and girlfriend situations are doing better. He is inviting and teaching with effectiveness. I have also been teaching him piano and how to type which I have tied in to help him learn english faster as well. I've got lots of strategies going haha. At the beginning of the transfer, and through much of the transfer he was really having a hard time studying. So we read Preach My Gospel Chapter 2 together and we set a plan. We read in PMG to 'focus your studies on increasing your relationship with Jesus Christ.' We set goals, made a plan, and got to work. That same day he got caught up in these spiritual bursts and could not stop studying and to this day really cherishes his study time. I love seeing others become better.

I think this is a good truth for everyone who struggles to get their daily study in... focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Beginning with this will cause you to ponder on different questions, which will then give you the desire to and the plan to get a good study schedule going. I know that we must do our part to feel close to Him. It is off our desire and our effort whether we will personally know him or not. As we come to understand and love the Savior more, we will feel of His great and eternal power. We will feel of His Atonement. I have so so much more to go in this process, but I can confidently say that I Know the Savior lives. One thing really special to me is that I Know He understands me. He knows me. He knows all of us. I love Him.

I have been so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. These people are a great portion of the testimony I have of the Savior. Most may not get a chance to see the Savior in this life, but we can truly see Him in others. In His true Disciples we can see Him and His influence.

So one question that is really similar to a very common one I have had in my mind a lot this week is...

How do you Faith?

I've thought of it like this because Faith should be a verb, and as I've thought about this question, the typical answers come to my head... "repentance, baptism, action, etc." But beyond that, Faith applies to everything, not just the Gospel. In one of my favorite devotionals, Craig Manning speaks of Faith as it is applied in sports. Faith comes before you take any step, shot, hit, anything. How much Faith we have in our action, will contribute to the outcome of our action. I can testify of this, because I played golf. Golf is the the greatest sport which requires more of your mind than any other sport. Golf requires true Faith to succeed. I have found that when I golf with Faith in myself; no pride, just confidence... that that is when I play the best. Faith begins with how you talk to yourself. Faith in your action does determine the measure of the outcome. Anywho, as I teach God's children, I help them take many many actions. But as I focus on developing their Faith in the actions, and in Jesus Christ...the outcome always comes out better. PMG Chapter 3 and the lesson about the Gospel has 6 points to cover. They are:
1 through Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we may be cleansed from sin
2 Faith
3 Repentance
4 Baptism
5 Holy Ghost
6 Endure to the End

But many many missionaries don't teach or forget step number one. As we have focused on that number one point and developed a stronger Faith in it, as well as other's Faith in it...the outcomes have been amazing and it has been a testimony to me that it is true and of God. Anything you do, especially in the Gospel...have Faith in yourself and what you are doing. & the Savior.

Anyways theres my tangent which makes no sense. We've had a great week. We have watched that video by the DI a million times. It's called A Piano's Purpose. I love it. I'm working for them soon.

The reason I've had these thoughts about Faith in yourself is because we've been helping many people who need help overcoming something or just need help having confidence in their lives or many things like that. This can be done by Faith.

One thing way funny is when I play chess or basketball or ping pong, I'll sometimes say 'askerisk.' Which you understand what that means but everyone else in this world doesn't and its so hard to explain it for some reason. It just makes sense to me, and us. So those of you who read this and know what it means in our family, try to explain it to someone... then try to explain it in another language and see what I'm trying to do here haha. If you have a very simple definition please tell me.
 I love my family. Stoked to destroy you in basketball again soon.

Also Happy Birthday the most beloved person ever. I love you mom. 😊💙Thank you for my life and all you do and you. *sent July 13, 2017

(Her number is 801-839-6331, get her a nice gift and a happy birthday message everyone)

I love you 💙

God gave you style and gave you grace
and put a smile upon your face

go do stuff

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ