Saturday, February 17, 2018

Elder Fjelsted letter

Dear Friends,

This week we called dozens of handicapped people across the country of Lao, including Lepers, victims of war, and random elderly people, in order to help distribute wheelchairs for DIC. A couple days later, we did some 'product control' and had a look at the new set they're making. Then we got to ride them down a ramp and back up. The brakes on mine weren't working so it was pretty scary because I almost hit a van. Good thing we tried them out first and a handicapped person didn't end up even more handicapped because of the impaired brakes. We also taught lots of great English classes and are off to a good start of the new term. For those of you who haven't gotten on board yet, DIC is what keeps us here in Lao. Usually we don't have this many DIC obligations, but this week the senior couples needed some extra help.

But the real reason we're here is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. Despite our unique circumstances, we've found ways we can do this while keeping the laws here. We went and encouraged some of our investigators this week. We send our investigators and recent converts scriptures to read all the time. We had a great spiritual thought at family home evening about how the gospel can heal us. We got to visit some members that we haven't been able to get to know as much. One of our investigators was interviewed for baptism this week and passed! She will be baptized this Sunday! Her name is Sanya. Her mom was baptized a few months ago. We've been teaching her forever but we didn't want her to get baptized just because her mom told her to. So we kept teaching and sending scriptures patiently and then BAM! one day it was like a spark went off and she was suddenly interested and now she's ready.

We also saw a camel.

nothing was the same

Now I, Elder Higginson, write somewhat as seemeth me good;
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would liken the scriptures unto yourselves, and ponder these things in your hearts.
The Love of God has been on my mind. 
What I love the most and really am trying to be better at is pondering.
Pondering to me is like conversating with the Spirit.
When I pray and study, pondering takes over and my mind is taken away on a spiritual adventure. The experiences I have are like Nephi's in 1 Nephi 11, except the being taken away into a high mountain part haha.
The Spirit knows my desires, and He is constantly telling me to Look and Look.
Anywho, one thing I loved from this last week was reading about the Love of God.
Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
As ya prolly know แล้ว, the Spirit here is talking about Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the literal, physical proof of the Love of God.
I love teaching the Plan of Salvation. God created this plan for us and our progress. We sin though, and cannot return to Heaven if we are unclean. But because God loves us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior. The Love of God.
God gave us Jesus Christ because He loves us.
Through Jesus Christ, we also feel of God's Love.
Whether we are experiencing repentance, being comforted in trials, or experiencing the joy of life and family... this is the Love of God.
Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
One more neat thing was visiting with a member named Jim Lee (who is a big golfer 😊😊😊). He told us about the question that made him both interested in and converted to Jesus Christ.
Why do you pray to Buddha? Jesus Christ prayed to a higher being, and so did Buddha. So why do you pray to him and not that higher being?
He spoke of how he feels praying is and how it should be done and that has helped me so much.
Praying should be a special Father and son experience. Hey dad, how are you? And I miss you.
We should talk to him as we would to our fathers. We kindly ask for advice and help.
When He speaks, we do not interrupt.

Thanks for your love.
I invite you to liken yourself to the scriptures more. Let the scriptures ask you questions and challenge you to be better.
Look Heavenwards.


Bye love you.
💙

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຫິກກິນສ້ນ
အယ္လ္ဒါ ဟင္ကင္စန္

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Living Lao

We began English classes again after a long break. Hard getting used to the schedule but its good. I love serving others and seeing them learn and grow.
Life is good. Lao is good.
So many things happen daily where I think: ' Before my mission, this is the last thing I thought I'd do as a missionary. '
Such as watching our investigator's baptismal program in the US over skype on a projector in the sacrament meeting room with about 14 people.
Or leading out a group message with a few monks and talking about good things.
Getting a passport that says 'issued in Laos.'
I have a long list.
Make life interesting.
Mosiah 8:18
I love you 💙

Friday, February 2, 2018

Eternal

I am going to start off this email with a tribute to my companion, Elder Fjeldsted. Figured I may as well since this is our 3rd transfer as companions haha. He went to BYU before serving. He was leadership in the Student Association. He is from Minnesota, which is home to many many Lao and Hmong people. We are in the same MTC group, and also we both sang at General Conference together. We have so much fun together and I have learned so much from him. 

We both are into 'attributing' everything to the Spirit. Any random thought that comes into one of our minds, we will just go and do it. Sometimes the same prompting will come to both of us at the same time. We both focus really hard on recognizing the Spirit and acting on it immediately. Sometimes it takes us to do crazy things or be late to places, but it always ends with neat experiences and positive results.

We had the neatest lesson the other day. We facetimed with ແສງເພັດ Saengphet, and his wife and family was with us at the church. We taught about temples and eternal families. It was a great lesson and bearing testimony of these two things felt so amazing to me. It felt so good, and I miss the temple. And I LOVE eternal families. We then asked ແສງມະນີ Saengmani if she had anything she wanted to share. She gave the most real testimomy I have ever heard.

She said and I quote: I know what these Elders are saying is true. I don't really know the temple, and I have never been; but I feel it is good and true. The members who have been before talk and testify of it and although I have never been, I know it is something that we need to focus on. Ths Spirit has told me all this. 

Saengphet then said: which temple would you like to get sealed in? I'll let you choose.

It was so neat. Although they're separated now, they will get to be together for eternity. It was so neat seeing their true love for eachother and desire to follow God as a Family.

He gets baptized in a few days.

Because of that lesson, their daughter ຊັນຢ້າ Sanya has finally had a desire to learn and progress.

Family.

We have started wearing differently designed nametags. They have a picture of a family on them.

Although we cannot have the Savior's name on our chests, we will represent the next most important thing. Family. Also it contains the word Charity; the Pure Love of Christ. 😊

Along with my nametag, I changed my name to ໂຢຮັນ Yohan which is John's name in the Bible. Haha.

Saengmani also asked if dad is half chinese or half asian somehow haha. Niiiice.

I am so grateful for Family. Before my mission I may not have shown it, but you are the most important thing in my life. This Hope of an eternal family drives and changes people. It drives and is changing me as I preach it to the world. I know that Families can be together Forever, and I will do whatever it takes to receive that. I Hope we all will. I love each one of you. 😊💙

Families are Forever
ຄອບຄົວເປັນນິລັນດອນ
ครอบครัวเป็นนิรันดร์

2 Nephi 2

Up & Up

Love, 
Elder Higginson

 




Friday, January 26, 2018

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XZuo7Rh3csFCdzI8BZjg1UQ5I-NKbAZa/view

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Deaf Homie. Rice picking. Brother See.

This is one of my deaf homies. Before this picture i walked up there and he had a mask on cause he was doing welding work. He saw me and took it off and i realized he was crying. I hugged him and we talked for a while and then played on the wheelchairs he was making. It broke my heart. I dont know what he was exactly crying about, but i do realize how hard his life is and how hard even things like work are when you cant hear. I helped translate stuff for him to his boss. I love him. He plays on a professional National Lao Deaf soccer team. Travels all of southeast asia when in season. He is amazing.

Number two is us after picking and replanting rice.

3 is Brother ສີ (see). He lives at the church because we legally we must have someone at the church at all times. The Thailand office and the construction company for the church have been bashing him over and over and tearing him down. He is the reason they didnt tear down the sacrament room and from many things getting stolen. He sure has been a blessing to the church. Through many afflictions, his testimony has pulled through. This is him reading his massive set of scriptures. Oh boy I want to tell you all about him, he is amazing and so much is going on here. Have been having many meetings with the company and Bangkok and President. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Charlie Brown

Recognizing blessings is one of our duties here on earth. There are countless moments in each day of our lives that we can credit to God. While we are here on earth to learn self-reliance, we still are constantly receiving help from Him.

I have been so blessed to be here in Lao with 3 Elders who are constantly recognizing blessings and help from the Lord. There are so many amazing miracles and events here that I sometimes do not immediately recognize is from God. But Elders Fjeldsted, Hansen, and Johnson are soooo so good at attributing these to God and are so good at giving thanks and then taking advantage of these blessings.

I need to be better and I hope we all can DO better at this.

Anywho.

Each week I look back and think: this has been the busiest week of my life.

My favorite part was Facetime teaching Saengphet yesterday. Saengphet is the husband of Sister Saengmani here in Lao. He lives in Tennessee. I have been in contact with the missionaries there through Facebook. Because of this I have been able to help in translating and teaching and with questions. Yesterday, Elder Fjeldsted and I were able to get our first whole lesson in with him. We had 4 missionaries in the video chat. He speaks English well, but for Gospel words Lao was better. We finished up the other Elders Restoration and taught Plan of Salvation. It was really good and the Spirit was there. Elder Fjeldsted and I teach really great together its good. At the end we updated the Tennessee Elders on what we taught. Saengphet is amazing. He has had some hard times in America like switching jobs. He is trying to get the rest of his family over there. His number one drive in the Gospel is because when Saengmani learned about temples, she wanted their family to be sealed together. And now that is what drives Saengphet to work harder and also be diligent in the Gospel. I have never met him in person. But we sure are really good friends already. Thankful for the tools God has blessed us with to accomplish His work.

The other Elders are doing really great with him.

The Lao members are still the best. Too many examples and stories I am stoked to share.

I love them.

The Lord is my Light

Elder Higginson 💙