Monday, December 4, 2017

Loving Lao

So news about this week...
I set the new Lao elder banana record and ate 18 at branch presidents house.
We are fulfilling goals through faith and seeing soooo many miracles. Social media is helping so much.
We signed another deal with the Ministry of Health and will be teaching the deaf kids more officially and often.
We got 6 new investigators this week so far. Getting new investigators out of Sunday is unheard of.
The members and elder relationship was really awkward but we are rebuilding that and have been gaining trust HUGE and it's working and the white members are proud.
We teach the deaf kids English. Mostly we just talk to them and learn together. A few of them can hear a little bit and so we help them to speak a little. These kids are the best. They've grown up smiling and being super enthusiastic and moving a lot and using their face to express themselves and so they all just have the cutest smiles and are so happy.
John didn't want anyone to know but I am putting it here anyway. He was made 2nd Counselor in the Branch Presidency and he is the District Leader. Sure love this kid. He always says he has 24 months left, since he got to Lao. He's down to 23 months now. But really, 8 MONTHS!!!  I love the experiences he is having.

Friday, November 17, 2017

dream of making our escape


I love you.

I say this every email but it has been a very eventful week. I love serving somewhere where each day has something super crazy and fun and new and awesome in it.

Us 4 Elders do a lot of switching off, even throughout the day just to get to certain assignments and appointments, etc. Monday I was with Elder Johnson and we watched as the President of China flew in and drove to the Lao Presidential building. It was really fun. There was thousands of people dressed up in classic Lao clothing and everyone was holding China and Lao flags. Speaking these people's language makes everything soooooo fun. It's funny cause they think it's the most amazing thing in the world when a white man can speak Lao. 

Sister Bounmii passed away. She was the sweetest, most loving person ever. I'm not saying that in a cliche way at all. She literally was one of the most Christ-like people ever. She is a pioneer. The very first Laotian member ever. She brought the Church to Lao.

Her funeral was a really great experience, so many people spoke of experiences and her love and especially her love for the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. She was even buried with it. I am so grateful to have met and known her.

There have been many many festivals and celebrations the last several weeks. The Lao culture has quickly become my favorite. I love the music, the food, the people. I feel so good just being here.

Hmong New Year is coming up this next week. And the Lao Rocket Festival.

Also Christmas. Yay!

In a testimony given by President Tiangsak at the funeral, he shared many scriptures and special insights that were so neat. One scripture I have pondered a lot about is Alma 37:46. He focused on the last two lines.

The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.

I have really loved thinking about the word look. There are sooooo so many good examples of the word 'look' in the scriptures. Look it up in the Tropical Guide. Here are a few that were shared in district meeting with great thoughts as well...

Mosiah 18:21 3 Nephi 13:22-23 Alma 33:19-22 Alma 5:15 D&C 6:36 Helaman 8:13-15 1 Nephi 18:16 2 Nephi 2:28

Look and apply.

I love the concept of looking to the Savior, with an eye of Faith. What this means to me is looking with hope. Keeping a grasp on that goal, that plan, that potential. As we consistently Look, we will consistently be uplifted. It is easier to overcome temptation, harder times are more worth it, the good times are even more good, God and His Spirit are more welcomed with us.

So how can we Look?

I've thought of a few ideas, and I'm sure you can add to this which I would love if you did.

Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually.

Physically, I would loooooove to have more pictures of the Savior around. Moving into a new house in a country where pictures of Jesus would get us sent away.... yeah we just don't have any but I will be getting a lot for inside the house haha.

Mentally, constantly thinking of the Savior. Doing as He would. But even more, one thing I love is trying to pray as the Savior would. This sure helps me look to Him more.

Spiritually, focusing studies and the sacrament and anything you can on building your relationship with Him.

My commitment to you is to Look Heavenwards. Allow the Lord to teach and inspire your heart and your mind.

I love Lao and Christ and the Book of Mormon and oh yeah especially Alma 5 go read that and I love Baptism and the commandments and life and everything yeah and you (:

Sorry that's all. 

You know I love you so.

Look Heavenwards

Love Elder Higginson


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

every moment is a symphony

I've been waiting to smile,
Been holding it in for a while.
I'll take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child.
cause I'm On Top of the World.

We have a quick and very good week. 

Right now we are in two trios. But we kinda switch around a lot and end up with 3 duos or 1 foursome and one couple and etc etc haha. We're just like one big 6 Elder companionship. It's good.

I made $15 off of a bet to eat this super big mexican burrito type thing with only my hands (it was not meant at all to be eaten with hands) but anywho I am now $15 richer.

Been helping some of our students with trigonometry and calculus and everything like it this last week and wow I can't believe how much I've already forgotten but also how fun it is to bring it all back to memory. Like there's so many lil formulas and stuff like that. Don't think I'll ever forget it now. Blessings of a mission. 

Can't stop thinking about the blessings of the temple and how excited I am to go inside again one day. The Lao people are a perfect example of putting importance in the temple. They are so amazing in their goals and desire and action to go. President Johnson is the one who interviews for temple recommends for the Lao people and he says that they always cry in the interviews. They are amazing.

Elder Cheney and Elder Saunders did a bunch of Hymn translating before I came to Lao and Elder Cheney and I just finished it so that was fun. I don't know why but I was just really good at finding spelling mistakes in it, even ones that Lao people couldn't find. Niiiiiiice. I gotta be less judging haha.

I am hoping you can understand what I am going to talk about next. Have you ever played Mario Kart? In one of the versions of Mario Kart, there is a game mode called 'Time Trials.' The objective to this game mode is only to race through the map as fast as possible. Your fastest time will appear as a ghost every time you race that same map. So For some reason this game mode fascinated me and I loved it. Naturally I am a pretty competitive person. I love competition. I love sports, and I love making competition out of everything I do. Not because I want to be better than others, but it just makes stuff more fun haha. Anywho, but what about this time trial mode. I didn't really ever enjoy 1 player games because I always wanted to play with others. But time trial playing against myself? 

I have been able to more see how my mind works as I have been a missionary. One thing my mind does is comparing myself to others often. In a way that I'm trying to live up to expectations or be as good as someone else at something. I naturally want to be good at everything. But a downside to this attribute is that sometimes my mind excuses me in my weaknesses when someone better than me at something isn't 100% or has a shortcoming. It's hard to explain. 

The first example I could come up with is in basketball. Since another really skilled player wasn't playing too well, my mind would then feel that it is okay if I don't play as well. It's as if my mind both feels bad for them, and feels like I then don't have to do my best.

I don't know if any of that makes sense, but it is this bad habit I have that I call "playing with competition." I know many people have it, and it is a 'potential-crushing' thing. It must be overcome.

So what I learned from this silly Mario Kart game as I've randomly pondered about it is that how well others perform and do in life should not affect how you live yours. Racing against myself over and over allowed me to correct those bad turns and drifts I took. This allowed me to even more perfect the good aspects in my skills. Comparing me to myself allowed me to more quickly, consistently, and appropriately become better and fulfill my potential.

I still look to so many people as great examples and strive to be like them. But I am trying so hard to not let others excuse me from anything I'm not doing my best in. I had a lot of thoughts about this in my journal that prolly made sense but anywho this is all for now haha (:

Everything you do, do the best you can. Don't let anything outside of you take away from what you do. That isn't potential.

Best is potential.

I love you (: 💙

up and up and up


Monday, October 23, 2017

up with the birds

Four events that took place this week...

1. Elder Saunders and I were in the middle of a conversation when suddenly his bike messed up and he went flying with the handlebars and landed on his head. He then slid on his face for a bit. I was so scared and screamed and ran back to him. When I reached him he stood up. He was bleeding a lot, but talked and acted fine. I let him take my bike, and eventually we got home. But after a few strange comments and questions from him, Elder Cheney and Saunders took off to Thailand to get to a hospital. He received stitches and had a minor concussion.

2. Elder Cheney and I turned 2 bunk beds into 3 story bunkbeds. No one had Faith in us at all. We even got some bad comments about it. But after it was finished, everyone loves it. It's pretty amazing and I'm really proud of it.Elder Cheney and I take the tops. We have to awkwardly climb up like 8 or 9 feet, but its kinda turned into us jumping from side to side to get up. And then in the mornings, we have to be really careful cause we usually wake up around 5:30 and we're really drowsy, so getting down is a lil scary but its fun.

3. Yesterday, Elder Cheney and I fled again to Thailand (my multiple Visa is finished yay) and picked up 2 new Lao Elders. Lao is missing soooooooo much stuff that Thailand has but also has a lot Thailand does not have. The two countries and languages are actually really different. They try to stay really separated and the two don't have the best relationship. Anywho, I spent  a lot of money on food. Especially at 7/11. Even picked up some milk cause its cheaper there. Was also to make some phone calls to my Thai friends that I haven't been able to since being in Lao and that was the best. Anywho, we eventually returned and now temporarily have 6 Lao Elders and it is so fun. The two older ones will leave in a few weeks and then it will be us 4 for the next year or so. Then I'll stay an extra year since I'm still a greenie.

4. After a night at the Church, Elder Saunders and I headed home. A minute into that bikeride, I heard this lil baby crying sound that was coming from the gutter. We pulled over and it was this lil baby cat. We decided that God's will was for us to help this poor kitten have a better life than to leave it to die in the gutter. So we pampered it way hard, let it sleep inside the gated area of our house, and then dropped it off at a Buddhist Temple the next morning. I'd say it is the only cat I have ever had positive feelings for hahah. I loved it. Robby.

So we do get to teach the Gospel a lot more than I make it sound. It's just really restricted and we can't talk about it publicly. We can only teach at the Church. And there is no inviting at all, sad. But what we do call as our 'inviting' is picking up these Gold colored lids that are on water bottles. So pre-story is this company named ຫົວເສືອ (TigerHead) that literally owns this country. Lao is really anti-globalization but somehow Pepsi Co. snuck its way in through this company. This company owns eeeeeeeverything. They have monopolized this country. It's not right. But it's K. Anywho it is their 20th anniversary in Lao and on all their water bottles they put these special gold lids on them and if you collect them you can get prizes. So we've been doing that as we bike places and when we get water, etc. And we have accumulated almost 2,000 lids. That's inviting. Sorry today is kind of an email about the unproductive things we do haha.

I decided what I want my first meal to be when I return to Utah in a couple years. A triple baconater, with a large vanilla frosty, and a large fry. Just a question I was asked and answered this past week. That would be nice. Also a nice, classic Chicken Pot Pie. That's all.

When I was in Minburi, every few weeks or so this member named Jeff Rock would come to our ward. I think he is so cool. He gave this one talk one Sunday that really inspired me. He began by talking about the missionaries and how we go home and tell everyone that it was the 'best two years.' But then several years down the road, they're still saying to everyone that that was their best two years still. He used the scriptures and taught everyone about how every year should be better than the last. Every month, every week, every day and so on. He didn't mean that the significance of the mission should be less than other years of our lives. But what he meant was that we should always be living life, every day, making the best of it. Anywho, one day I'm going to think more about that talk and try to write it down word for word because it was a lot better than I make it sound. It was something the Thai people really need to hear and also something I needed to hear. Today is the day. 

One good thing I've found about Atheism is that everyone I know that believes this way, still lives trying to make the most of this life. They try to live as long as possible, and how they do that is by trying to live a positively influential life that lets their legacy live on after they die. This is a good way to live for those of us who know the reality of God's Plan of Salvation. Atleast this is how the couple atheist people I know live haha.

Really learning a lot and trying to do better in prioritizing and organizing my life. I love it.

Everyday has so much potential. But so many days go by in everyone's lives without fulfilling that.

As we focus on now, and less on the past, and less on the future... I feel that we can more maximize our days, years, and lives. It is always good to look to the future with hope, but we should never let that make us think that we can procrastinate, or put off what we could be doing today. And the past doesn't matter as we use the Atonement of Jesus Christ and build upon ourselves using that. It takes Faith to think like this.

Christ has taken care of the past and future, so focus on making the most of today.

There we go, finally figured it out haha.

What A Blessing

I love you so

Elder Higginson


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


General Conference was just the greatest. I love the reminders and wisdom and understanding we are given by our amazing Church Leadership.

If you want to see what being a Lao Elder is like,

This is my favoritest video ever...

The government shut us down from doing videos though :/ oh well.

Missionaries have been here since 2013. I am Elder number 29. Yay. Senior Couples have been here for 20 years now.

I love Lao and Thailand.


Favorite Talk: Elder Stanley G. Ellis

Do we trust Him? HARD IS GOOD.

Opposition is opportunity.

I could go on forever about how much I love his talk. I feel like it's exactly what I've been trying to tell everyone lately but finally Elder Ellis just simplified it and put it out for everyone. Homie.

I was hoping to get a new message out of conference. Honestly lately I haven't really had too many questions and have been real content with my Faith and Testimony. But obviously I'm not doing good enough because what I got out of Conference is exactly what I've been trying to work on the last several months.

Positive Perspective. Finding Blessings in Opposition. And Gratitude.

We learn the best lessons in the hardest times. Hard humbles us, strengthens us, tests us, allows us to prove ourselves, and I also believe hard usually ends up with a good story haha.

Finding blessings in opposition has led me to see how important Gratitude is. All of our opposition, weaknesses, flaws, and trials "have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things." It takes so much Faith and Trust, but I Know it is true. Anything afflicted on us can potentially be for our gain. It's only up to us. Nothing can hold back our eternal progression but us. Our oppositions are more opportunity for us to know God.

The 10 lepers came to know the Savior because of their trials. They had that opportunity to prove Him and come unto Him. But only one glorified Him. Many people feel as though we are entitled to have our opposition taken from us. That we are supposed to be healed or supposed to have our burdens taken away from us. I say we should have gratitude for them.

I've had several experiences since coming to Laos where I'm intending to do the right thing by being obedient or serving another and it backfires way hard. Haha. I can tell God is really trying to help me find blessings in what most people wouldn't call blessings. I'm learning to trust and have patience. (: and I am grateful for that.

I loved President Eyring who spoke of putting aside fixing our own trials to help others solve theirs. This pure love will bring solutions to your problems.

Like I've said before, I'm still working at this positivity thing and am not at all perfect at it. But on the good days, it honestly is life changing and makes every little thing about life so much better. 

17 Verily, verily, say unto you, ye are little childrenand ye have not as yet understood how great   blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheerfor will lead you along. The   kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulnessshall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred foldyea, more.

So if you haven't heard me say it a million times, we don't get to share the Gospel all that much. But last night, a Brother asked to meet with us. And lemme tell ya, any chance we get to share the Gospel... we go hard.

He wanted to meet with us because while he had made a mistake. And he feels so sad and wants to be better. Anywho we had a great lesson with him and at the end the Spirit put together this testimony that He had me say before we closed that I want the whole world to know.

"I can't remember where in the Book of Mormon this is because I'm reading in like 7 different spots. But recently I read about a Prophet who was rejoicing because his people were being pretty humble. I can see that you are very humble and have a real desire to be better. Like that Prophet, this makes me happy. I am happy you are humbled and feeling this guilt. Every story in the Book of Mormon about Repentance, ends in pure joy and happiness. And I can add my own witness that that is true. Why I have joy from this is because it means you are about to have a very special and great experience. I am excited for you. It's amazing how everyone sins, and it is bad. But it also gives us one of the greatest experiences ever. That is Repentance. Don't stress, and know that only good will come from this. I am grateful for Repentance in my life, which comes through Jesus Christ. The joy of Repentance is because of Him. I know He lives and loves us."

Something along those lines, but anywho it ended up with him being in a good mood and excited to repent and that made me happy. He gave me a big emotional hug before he left.

I love Repentance and I am so grateful for it and all the other opportunities Christ gives us to feel of His love and joy.

Anywho, just a few of the small thoughts I've been having. I'm grateful for Conference and a Mission and all the time I have dedicated to God. I love pondering all day long about how amazing this life is that God has given us.

I would that ye should look to the Savior, and hearken unto His great commandments; and be faithful unto His words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of His Holy Spirit. Because it maximizes your potential. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls.

I love you 💙
Til Kingdom Come
Be grateful for 100% everything this week.
Inline image 1
way way way up

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Simple Plot

It is currently 5:30 am. I am beginning this email at the top of a hay-stack shaped mountain, overlooking complete beauty.

Inline image 1


We had a really good day today. And a good week. It is kinda nice when your entire proselyting area (without the proselyting) is an entire country.

We teach English to several groups of government officials, as well as many other people. We have many service opportunities daily. We kinda travel the city a lot just making friends with all of Vientiane along the way. It's a good time.

I only go crazy a few times a day when I have the urge to go inviting or teach or something. That part of it is really hard. We don't even 'officially' represent the Church and it really breaks my heart. But in another perspective, Lao people live in communism and many other strange and hard circumstances. BUt ya know what...their Heavenly Father is still working some blessings and miracles to get the Gospel to these people. I love it.

This last week has been full with a bunch of holidays. The entire city has been packed with people and markets and music. Especially along the river, where there have been many boat races. We are constantly running into people we know it's funny.

Stoked to eventually watch General Conference. Haha.

One thing I've thought a bit about it listening. Something about Thai and Lao culture is they aren't the best listeners. It's not that big of a thing to sit down and enjoy being with family or to listen to somebody. But that makes it an even more special opportunity for us. When we visit people and members, it seems as if some visits I barely even open my mouth. I just kinda sit there and listen and take in everything this person has to say. They know how to talk a loooooot. But it makes sense, because so many people have no one to talk to, or no one that will listen. I am more than happy to be there for them. I am so grateful for the times God uses me as a listener, so that I may help and uplift others. I know that being a good listener is important. Even God does a looooot of listening. Listening to another person may be exactly what they need to feel better and be better. Being a better listener will help you feel and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost better.

Make some time to ponder and listen. Potential.

I love you and am so grateful for you! 💙

Love, Elder Higginson

Until the 12th of Never and that's a long long time

good things are coming our way

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground

Something fun is that when we teach Lao people the word 'good,' they always say goos. So when we ask 'How are you?' they always say, "I am goose." Hahaha. We probably give them too much of a hard time for it, but its funny that is all. I love them (:

Lao is the greatest place ever. We also have the greatest missionaries as well. We have 2 senior companionships who travel around Laos building water wells and teaching English and doing all sorts of stuff to help these lovely people be happier. Us 4 Elders love this place so much. I have an amazing companion and the other companionship is sooooo good as whale.

It is my greatest desire to share with you all of the joy I feel because of being here and all that I experience. 

Before all of the following I would like to apologize for all the the "I's" and "Me's." This will be the only time haha. Love you.

One thing I like is that Elder Saunders is always asking me deep and/or hypothetical questions. They get me thinking a lot and I like doing that. Anywho, two specific questions I've thought about a lot but have had a really clear answer on. They are:

If you could take away all your stress, anxiety, and everything like that... would you do it?
If you could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Sometimes I feel like I want to change a lot about me, or don't want to be me at all. But what I truly do feel is that changing or taking something away about me will make me not me. (Other than changing to be more like Christ but this question wasn't like that haha). I want to be me. I have been so blessed on my mission, and in my whole life. So so so blessed. I am so happy. And the other night, I was in deep pondering. And one line of thought came to my head one night and randomly make me happy and kinda laugh.

I have learned to love life.

I still struggle with it often. I have many flaws, I make so many mistakes, and I am so so far from perfection. But when it comes down to reality, I love being me. What I am is what the last about 20 years has made up of me. I am the so-far fullness of me. I have lots of good and plenty of bad but all of it, all of me is so personal to me. I don't want anything personal to me to go away. I feel like everyone can kinda understand how personal everything about each one of us, is to us.


One thing everyone does, especially missionaries (me included) is talk about hard trials gone through or difficult times. I hear these really often, but I love it. My immediate following comment is always a question. Aren't you just so grateful for that experience? Don't you feel so much better because of that experience? Wasn't it a good memory? What a blessing. I always get positive responses. Do you see the blessings that come from opposition? This is how I have learned to love life. I have trained my mind to love Everything. Even when Satan comes up negatively in conversation, I feel grateful for him. He brings us opportunity to grow, to endure, to have something to repent for ກໍໄດ້ haha, to learn from mistakes. I'm the farthest thing from perfect. As many times I say the "h-a-t-e" word isn't in my vocabulary, I still mess up haha. I guess I'm just mentioning this because of how much trying to become a positive person has changed me and helps me feel so happy all the time, and I want everyone to be happy and know how they can be!
The Gospel.

Anywho, what my thoughts have been are towards those special experiences that you always want to share. I feel like most people have felt like this before. Where you have a really special personal experience and want others to feel and understand exactly as you did. I feel like this way too much and it drives me crazy. I used to always take the easy way out and just say "oh you'll understand when we're in heaven." But it isn't like that. Maybe we can try to mimic other's experiences and do what they did to try to understand how they felt. But it won't be the exact same.

I guess the best way to help explain is a mission. It is the best! There's so many things that add up to make it a special personal experience. Thailand, Laos, the cultures, the mission culture, the languages, the people I meet and their influences on me, revelations and spiritual experiences, things I've learned, mistakes I've made, inside jokes, just everything. It brings me so much joy and I desire nothing more than for everyone of you to fully understand and experience it all how I did and do. But you can't. It's hard on me because it's true. The closest way for you to accomplish that is by serving your own missions and making the most of the experience. Every one of us can only make our own personal experiences. They are never the same as others, but we will be able to understand how important and special those personal experiences are to other people as they are to us.

So this is a big part of what has taught me to love all of me and to love all of  life. All of my good and all of my bad... influences each and every one of those experiences that are so dear to me. What I am makes up experiences and makes them special to me. 

But the experience that is most personal to me, as well as everyone is our own entire lives. Nothing is more special to me than my life. God's gift to me. Our lives are what create, form, and make up who we are and will be. Our surroundings, the people, culture, religion, everything shapes us. It's what has made me and continues to change me. That's why I wouldn't just randomly want to change me. Change is something that happens naturally. And when we follow God, we change naturally in good ways. We should always be striving to be better and reach our potential. But that is a lil hard when you don't love yourself or don't love life.

Have some confidence. Good things are always coming our way.

Anywho, I wish I could share All of my thoughts and experiences with you. None of what I've said makes sense at all haha.

But one thing that learning all of this has shown me is the reality of God and His Plan of Salvation. Sorry to go a lil deep here but through Joseph Smith we learn that 'What we are, God once was. What God is, we may become."

I completely have Faith and believe that God, our Heavenly Father had a very eventful, amazing, personal, special, learning experience in that time. He loved it and desired soooooo so much that we could understand. But the best way to help us understand His experience was by sending us off to make our own. It took Faith to do it, but we all accepted it trusting that it was going to be as good as He told us it would be. We would struggle, make mistakes, and experience disappointment. We would have to live by Faith to truly make it Our experience. But all of that just makes it good and personal to us. If ya just think about it. God sent His Son Jesus Christ anyways to make up for all the silly things we do. It's so fascinating.

None of this makes sense but I know that the Plan of Salvation is real. It takes sooooo so much Faith. But if we follow The Plan and make the most out of us as we can (potential) it makes life so much better, and the life to come.

It'll be all worth it.

You're all amazing. 

Especially if you made it through this letter haha.

We have been going on some exciting adventures. Rode some elephants, went to a temple in the middle of nowhere, found a cave, biked a total of 160 km in two days, went adventuring with President Johnson and some of his family. Oh yeah we moved houses.

Lao is a straight service mission. We don't get to teach the Gospel very often. It breaks my heart. Especially because we teach English to some of the neatest people ever who would be so much more if they knew their Savior. But I still love losing myself in service. Sundays are crazy as usual. We only have two hours of Church and sometimes I think it's a lot better than three hours. Don't tell me I'm apostate haha. We teach a looooot of Gospel on Sundays. I love it. I've been teaching by myself quite a bit. Gift of Tongues is real I promise. We have the most amazing investigators, along with the members.

It's hard not being able to freely share the Gospel. But being here has also brought me countless blessings. 
Hope you have a lovely conference weekend.

I love Lao.

I love You.

Elder Higginson

2 Nephi 33:6

Til Kingdom Come