Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Letter Four - MTC

We're halfway there. It's going well here in the MTC. 

My companion just did something to his knee. It is probably a hyperextension but we have to miss temple time to go get it checked later today. Haha. So my district doesn't play any sports so I always go with the other Thai district to exercise time. But today my district decided to have some fun (,:  I was serving the volleyball like the pros (because I'm a pro) and had like 7 straight aces. So finally when the other team got a turn to serve, my companion was up. He tried to do it how I did it and his very first serve landed on his leg weird and for a couple hours we had to get him feeling better. So yeah now he's on crutches. He's a real good guy though haha.

I have had some really good experiences and opportunities through being a Zone Leader. (Also I got a certificate for it as well). 

One night I was headed to bed but Elder Bunker and I ran into this Elder who had just gotten to the MTC. Oh boy his back story is amazing. Up until tuesday of this last week he wasn't planning on showing up to the MTC. But something prompted him. So he left Jamaica, his only family member which is his mother, and brought only some church clothes and money. Before he came here his older brother who lives far away told him that he would make many good friends on his mission. I am honored to be one of them. He's about 5'10". He is black and very very spiritual. He got here and found out that he would be a Solo MIssionary here. That hit him hard, but as the days have gone by he has found that being a solo missionary has helped him realize that Christ and the Holy Ghost are his companions. It is also hard for him because his residence which is two doors away from mine is in the middle of all the Asian missionaries. (He will be serving in Belgium). So he is the only Deutsche missionary, let alone non-asian missionary in our entire hall. But I have made sure he has felt loved and has friends. He is a really neat kid and I wish everyone could meet him. He got his own endowments taken out yesterday. He has asked us a lot about the temple and about the mission life. He has asked if I could pray with him and yeah he is real great. 

I don't feel like a Zone leader yet. I was already friends with like all 60 something missionaries in our zone before, but now I have gotten to know them better. Our Zone consists of Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, and probably a few more I have forgotten. It is really cool. There are really amazing people in our Zone and especially in the Thailand districts.

I am now able to read the Book of Mormon in Thai Script. It is the neatest thing. I still don't understand everything but learning the Alphabet has helped me memorize and learn a lot faster.

Many Elders have the nicest things to say to me and I'm so grateful for it. Sometimes I have gotten real hard on myself and suddenly someone will randomly compliment me on my singing or spirit or oh boy it comes at the perfect times.

I have so much to share and again can't remember much when Email time eventually comes around. Thank you for the prayers. I miss you a whole lot, but Heavenly Father has helped me to have a persepective on the blessings and impact of a mission. I love it. I am so excited to get to Thailand.

I love you




-- 
------------
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission


JKH photography 😊
I marked those 3 scriptures before going turning twelve and doing baptisms. I remember marking them but I hadn't remembered these scriptures til I randomly turned to them one day this week. Crazy how I drew a Thailand Flag in my scriptures 6 or 7 years ago!

Zone Leader

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Letter Three - MTC

This week has been great.
We have started getting a lot into the alphabet and script. It is so complicated but I am still getting it and understanding it really well.
Of the many things I am made fun of about here, one is my handwriting. I get called a printer and type writer because I guess I can write really suay (beautiful) and in many many different kinds of fonts. I'll include an example in a picture.
Anywho, the older Thailand Mission group left yesterday. It was a hard goodbye because I became such good friends with every one of them. But I will probably see many of them again. 
Thailand is such a unified group of missionaries. I love it.

Well if I had to choose one spiritual thought to share for this week, it would be about the Holy Ghost. I had to write a talk on How to Recognize the Holy Ghost. During my studies and through pondering, I have been blessed with inspiration. For some reason I worry a lot about worthiness here. Like I am sure many or all missionaries do, but I let it get to me sometimes and I do not know why. I know I am worthy. Anyways, Elder Bednar gave a talk a while back. My Thai Teacher showed us it and oh boy it was perfect timing. Basically he said that we should not be worrying about whether the Spirit is with us or not. If we know we are worthy, then He will be with us.

In my talk, I said: "We are all here as missionaries. In order to be here, you are worthy. I feel like we are surrounded by so much of the Spirit all the time that we are getting used to the feeling of the Holy Ghost. And because of that, it may make us worry about if He is with us. If you know you are worthy, then know the Holy Ghost is with you. Instead of asking 'How to Recognize and Understand the Spirit?' We need to recognize the importance of the Holy Ghost. 

He is up there with Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. He does so much for us. He is always with us or trying to be with us. He gave up having a physical body so that He could bless everyone. How amazing is He? He does things for us similar to Christ. We cannot underestimate what Christ did for us, but I feel like everyone needs to recognize more the importance of the Holy Ghost.

Well that's all. I got called as a Zone Leader. Guess I'm the Branch President's favorite child (;
No haha. I'm having a really great time. One Elder that is preparing for Singapore came up to me late last night. He told me how much he looks up to me and is amazed at how I am friends with absolutely everyone. It was funny because I've felt like I look up to him and he actually is someone who is friends with everyone. Anyways, he concluded saying that he had prayed to know if I was the right one to be called as a Zone Leader just out of curiosity and he said that he received confirmation and revelation that it is supposed to be.

So yeah, I guess I am fit for the job. I do not feel fit for it at all but I am excited for this opportunity. Thanks for all the prayers and support. I love you so much (:


--
------------
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission
Here is one of the older Thai's wearing my nametag. Remind me to tell you about Thai-ser-cise.

Been saying good bye to lots of friends. Dang flash. Spencer and I said good bye last night.

The Forbidden Sword (if you look at it you will be injured soon or sent home early). The Zone Tree. The Zone Crane. And there's many other things I got passed down but yeah I get to take of these now. haha.

The Zone Flag.

Here is a sample of handwriting. haha.

My Bed. (we switched a couple nights ago).

And this is me. I probably missed a lot but keep writing me. I love you!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Countdown


Jolie made us a countdown.  A jellybean a day.  730 jelly beans.  Some days are good, some days are yucky, but all together make life beautiful. 
Komgrits friend is Johns teacher and he was kind enough to snap a picture and send it to Komgrit who sent it on to us. 
He looks tired and this picture makes me worry a little. I'm hoping it was the moment and not really how it makes me feel. 
I sure love this kid and the longer he is gone the more it bothers me how long it will be until I hug him again. 💙

Writing Home

August 15, 2016

Dear Family,
Now that I have finished talking about myself, it is time to talk about the Lord and only Him. He is the reason things can go well, but He is also the one who helps me through the hard days here. When I talk about hard days, they aren't actually that hard. Mostly in the moment, stuff will get to you and you'll feel down. But the worst thing is how hard Satan has been working on me.
Frequently, Heavenly Father will make His presence and spirit known to me, but then He lets me on my own for a while to test my faith. He releases me with a goodbye like I said to you almost two weeks ago, says to remember Him, and tells me that He will be supporting, praying, and waiting to hear from me. Satan has shaken my faith a few times already here. But that is really Heavenly Father testing me. He tests us by allowing us to be tempted and shaken by Satan, but how we react is what Heavenly Father is looking at.
Through many times here where I have been stressed, down, confused, or even shaken, I turn to God. Everyone needs to turn to God. I need to dwell less in the thoughts Satan gives me and turn to my Heavenly Father even quicker. I think all need to learn this. Anywho, just some thoughts.
Turning to Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost has saved me so many times. Not that it has gotten real bad. But always have Jesus on your mind. Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost as well.
Through my personal studies I have learned that Christ needs to be The Focus. I have learned so much more detail of Repentance, the Atonement, and the Second Coming. Lots and lots of amazing things I hadn't learned or though of enough before.
Today we started learning script. I'm getting it so good and I am enjoying it so much. I also love helping the other missionaries. I love helping them understand. I've even taught my teachers some stuff. haha. They're such great people. They are Brother Saunders and Brother Terrell. Saunders is our main. We have had some deep conversations together. He knows Komgritt and Nick Heslop. Him and I are already good friends and have so much respect for each other.
One more thing, having two laundry bags helps soooooo much. Like right now I have time to write while the others are separating their laundry. (Thanks to grandma)
Thank you mom for everything. I meant it when I told you two Wednesdays ago. I am so grateful for every little thing. Throughout my whole life and especially helping me get set for my mission. I love you. :)
Sometimes I get stressed because there's so much to say and no time or convenient way to say them. I am excited to share my journal with you all in two years.
Anyways, keep writing me a lot. Thanks for your letters mom. I love it. I'll be emailing you tomorrow. Love you!
elder john k higginson

P.S. Everyone loves my yeezy's :)
Also, I will try to do the thank you's but we literally are always doing stuff.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Letter Number Two - MTC

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Writing Home

August 13, 2016
Dear Family,
How are you?
So I needed to emphasize again that you should write me letters more than email. Receiving letters here is one of the most joyous feelings. Anywho. Sorry again if it sounds like I keep glorifying myself. We have had lessons on pride and I've been pretty good at being humble but every time I write home it comes out as me being the chosen one. Maybe I am. :)
Yeah we don't really have too much free time ever. But when we do, all I do is write. So right now just like yesterday and many times before, I am writing my mind. I keep getting real homesick in moments. Also I am still sick today but I'm doing a lot better.
I love each of you so much. I keep thinking of simple moments with each sibling and miss it a lot. I'm sorry kids but I miss mom and dad the most. You were my very best friends. Just like Christ, I could count on you for about anything. Believe it or not, you made me so happy. Also Ruby. And I guess Leah haha. Sure still really sad I am missing Ruby's best years. Anyways, I was going to share some spiritual stuff but I'm like out of time.
phone rag khraab khrua khaay phom
I love family of mine.
I don't know enough thai script so theres the romanized version (it's like pinyin).
I love you.
Elder John Kimball Higginson

August 13 PM
So I forgot to send this. But just wanted to let you know today was amazing. It was one of the most stressful days but it turned out to be one of the best. I need a picture of our family so please send one!! I love you!!
Elder John K Higginson
(please give the included letter to Anna Archibald)

phom phud phassaa thai
mii khwaanesug


Writing Home

Aug. 12, 2016
Dear family,
Day by day I am recognizing so much. I miss you all so much more every day. Today was hard. The last couple days I have been very sick. I thought it was kind of funny to hear many of you are sick with the same symptoms/similar. But it made me so sad hearing mom was in urgent care. It made me cry in the middle of class.
I love you all so much and it grows more and more each day. It makes me sad hearing about what is going on and I actually wish I was there to help. I have been praying for you.
What I love is that the hardest days here have also been the most spiritual. Every lesson every day gets better and better. I engage in my scriptures and ponder so deeply. I am seeking the mysteries of God. It is amazing how much I have already changed. I want all of you to recognize more the importance and impact The Book of Mormon has. I know it is easier timewise and for convenience on a mission but there is so much I want you to learn.
I have already found hundreds of lessons, stories, phrases, etc. that I had never seen or made important before. I also hope so bad any of you siblings who go on missions will learn a language.
Specifically Thai. It is so special. The mechanics, respect, and uniqueness is powerful and has actually strengthened my testimony.
Anywho, I love you all. I promise I'm not prideful here one bit. I am actually pretty recognized for being humble. (haha nooooot kidding).
The district has named me (and make fun of me):
most accomplished and athletic
most spiritual
funniest, happiest, and most likeable
knows most Thai
best singer
best handwriting
eats the most
skinniest
My district thinks I'll be the next zone leader.
(Sorry again. It is so hard not to talk about what's going good and I feel so prideful. I really love telling you about how happy I am with how well things are going).
Everything goes so good for you when your heart, might, mind, and strength is devoted to God.
I could not be more grateful for this opportunity. Every aspect of my mission is so good. I don't think I've seen a group of 8 boys get along and work so hard together. Our district is pretty far ahead from the other Thai district. I am so grateful for the mind Heavenly Father has given me. I have already had moments where I am speaking/understanding Thai instead of translating in my head. Those lessons with Komgritt helped me with the mechanics so much. The district has expressed their jealousy of how far into Thai I have gone.
I am having the loveliest time.
Keep sending mail, Dear Elder, etc. I love love love it and you. Email time is too short.
Love, john kimball higginson

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Letter number one - MTC




Hello family.
I hope you're all having a real lovely time without me because I am having the time of my life. There is nothing better for me to be doing right now and fortunately it is the best time ever.

I hope so much to share, but I'm going to have to keep so much to myself. Everyday is a roller-coaster. There is an overall topic each week. But each day, the Holy Ghost bears witness to me of so many different aspects and topics of the gospel. It is so hard to keep up with the wonderful. spirit that is here. I have already written 12 pages in my journal. I could do more but we are so busy. 

Heavenly Father has told me many times that I need to be here. He has also shown me why in so many different ways. I wish I could just transfer my mind or at least my entire journal. There is too much I want to share with the world.

On Sunday, I came up with this quote that came to me while watching "Character of Christ."

"Your mission is not about your success, but it is about the success of Heavenly Father both in and through you."

 I had a lot of thoughts, but t's so hard to type them all out. My mind has been so active in the spirit and the language. 

I have learned many new things and my testimony has become so much stronger. I love knowing that it is only the first week and am excited to develop every aspect of the gospel and the language in me.

Joseph Smith, prayer, the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, and much more have impacted me in a really special way this first week.

We taught an investigator in all-Thai yesterday. It is amazing how the spirit works, because we barely speak Thai, yet the spirit has no language borders. We bore our testimonies on the Book of Mormon, and it was so powerful. Sister Faa (the investigator), my companion and I were in tears. We went over on our time by like 20 minutes but it was so powerful. 

Everything here is so powerful and impacts me so much. The MTC is 3,000 missionaries strong, and that is a lot of spirit and testimony.

I am grateful for this opportunity, my family, my companion, Jesus Christ, and His gospel.

I love you all.

-- 
------------
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission
(John with his ward buddy and friend, Spencer Pitt. So glad they can be there together for a short time)
(Elder Higginsons and Elder Bunker)

P.S.  Every tuesday, I might be on the same time. I needed to get on again real quick because I forgot pictures. Also sorry my emails arent too great but the circumstances just arent too great. My companion is Elder Bunker he is a really good guy who has used the atonement in a really great way and is now serving a mission. He used to live in Thailand. Anywho I love you!


Monday, August 8, 2016

First written letter home

Dear Mom and Dad (Sam, Leah, Ruby),
I miss you. Mom and Dad, thank you for everything. I woke up a little homesick and kind of miss lots of simple things. Not the messy house though haha. Hope you all are doing so good, but don't be too good because I don't want to miss that.
I have definitely felt everyone's prayers as well. It's weird because it's day 6. I can't tell if it is going fast or slow, but either way, I am having the loveliest time.
Take good care of yourselves and the kids, especially Ruby. Thinking of her makes me the saddest. I feel like there is a special eldest-youngest sibling bond. As well as that I have to miss such precious years. Funny how the next time I will get to experience that will be my own child.
I'll make sure it comes fast!!! :)
I love you!
Love, elder john k. higginson

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Set Apart




"Farewell" Sunday

We were asked in our Stake (following the Church's stance), to attend all our meetings on the day of a farewell or homecoming and limit the 'after party' where a million people show up to eat food and mingle. So we followed the counsel and it was a lovely day. John spoke in the 9:00 am meeting, followed by two more hours of church. Then we came home to prepare and at 4:30 that evening, family and a few friends and family friends joined us for dinner and visiting.
John wrote two talks. One talk was written a few days before then Saturday night John said he didn't feel good about it and started fresh with a second talk, ending at 1:30 am. At 7:30 am, the day of speaking, I read through his talk then John and lil John merged the two together. John and I were concerned at what might happen when it was presented but there was no need to worry. It was powerful and wonderful and we were so proud of him.
The first talk was doctrinal, lacking in personal experience. The second talk was personal experience, lacking in doctrine. The two together was just right.
Several neighbors and friends and family were so kind and donated to his mission fund. I was overcome with the love and am determined to be a better person. It was very humbling to have so many people show their love for John and support for his mission.
John spoke on the same day as his buddy, Spencer Pitt. The Pitt and Higginson families are both large and the chapel and overflow was packed. It was a beautiful meeting with those two and the youth speakers, Sam Reese and Matt Schmid. There were many comments about the wonderful meeting. It really was a great meeting and a great day.