Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week four - Bangkhen

Hey la familia
This week was real successful and I love it.
On Monday we went to the tramp park. Way nice place and one of the Elder's from SVU and I had a dunk contest the whole time. We also did a lot of calls that night. My Thai is coming well, I am so blessed. I set up quite a few appointments throughout the week with less actives and former investigators.
Personal Studies are the greatest things ever as always. Tuesday came across Doctrine and Covenants 18.  I marked down verses 13-24, but more specifically 28, 31-36, and 40-45. I could go on for a while but the two I'll say something is verses 28 and 31. Just real great and then 31 quotes me directly. I am THE TWELVE.
We were at the mall for district meeting at Swensen's ice cream, as usual. Then everyone went to the bathroom so I stuck right outside next to an arcade. I kinda gave in to the claw machine game and won a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal my first try. All the elders came out and were like 'WHAT? HOW?' Then they had me go again with their money. And again. And again. Haha. I won 4 straight times and they were shocked asking why I'm so good at everything. What can I say? (,:
Haha. We taught some lessons and had a good day.
Next day I went on a switchoff because there was a district and zone leader meeting at the mission office. Elder Weaver is a DL. So I went with Elder Wilcox who just lives in Farmington! We're good friends so we just contacted all day doing the funniest, funnest games and strategies. It was a good time.
This last week we have had the coolest rain storms. It's not even rainy season, but they're soooo cool. Rain is one of my favorite things ever and oh boy, walking and inviting for an hour or so in your church clothes in the hardest rain this world has ever had is sooo fun and sure felt like one of the realest mission experiences so far.
Just typing a lil bit from my journal. Wish I could just send you the whole thing. Got 112 pages going. More storms, lessons, a huge rain vortex, real awesome experiences with investigators, some real encouraging moments, etc. We have started waking up early, like 5:00 am, so that we can teach a certain investigator. It's awesome though. We get a two hour gym time right before lunch cause of it.
More awesome study experiences, late night conversations, ohh yeah.
We met with this LA who immediately loved us and stayed around with us all day Friday. Not kidding, Elder Weaver and I probably walked 40 kilometers this day. Our church is a 48 minute walk and we did that walk 8 times! As well as finding houses and investigators in other places also! Soooooo exhausted but it's missionary work and it feels good.
Had some of the loveliest sunsets ever. And oh boy waking up early is sure worth it cause I sit out on the porch and watch the sunrise every day. I've got lots of pictures, be ready.
Elder Weaver and I finally got to buying new sheets for our beds. We ended up not being able to buy them because we only looked at the expensive places. It was one of the most uncomfortable times of my life. Wearing matching clothes, following your friend around and having a million workers help you pick out some sheets cause that's what Asians do. They want to help you buy their stuff. So we keep looking for 2 small twin sized or so sheets but they keep offering us saying "we need just one sheet. And here is a biiiiiig king sized one that will be great!"
And also kept bringing up like big combo sheets with pillow cases and plush blankets etc. Yeah I'm going to be straight up, lots of people think missionaries are just a bunch of gay couples so yeah that's all.
My nametag melted in the heat, more studies, lots of gym time, more staying up way too late talking, haha.
Kinda got a lil too down on myself. We had a realllllly good Saturday with a lot of investigator and less active lessons. We are up to 10 investigators with possibly baptizing 4 of them this next Sunday. Really good lessons but Satan got to  that night. BUT...Heavenly Father does look out for everyone because next morning I had in my mind that 'it's going to be a lovely day.' Still was feeling quite weird but we got to church and very very unexpectedly had 5 of our investigators there. They just showed up! It was awesome! I love them all.
Thai people say my Thai is very good and I speak chat (clear). And in a baptism photo yesterday they said I look like some model, I didn't know who the person they compared me to was haha. Watched some basketball (,: Just had a really good, exhausting week. 

I Love you so much
Take care of the children
Keep the family close
believe in miracles

Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission

​promise my eyes weren't closed .012 seconds before

​learnt from my father
​wish cameras were better at picking up real light haha

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Week Three in Thailand

It was a really good week. We are finally settled in and working and it is already paying off.
We are wearing white shirts, black ties, and a black ribbon on our shoulders. We are well and safe.
Monday we emailed then got a ton of pizza and ice cream. Had family night with a really nice sister. Then got home and heard World War 3 had started. Haha. So we had a lot to think about all week including long discussions of the 2nd coming. We heard a lot about Russia and China from some people in our ward but turns out it isn't true. haha.
Tuesday we went to the gym, the sauna, and then took a looooong cold shower. Then we went to the Sister's and they had me dedicate their house. It was cool. We had district meeting and watched a bunch of sweet Thailand Bangkok mission videos and also watched that one video about the restaurant owner who bails out the young boy who is stealing medicine to help his mom, then many years later the little boy (now a doctor) helps out on a huge hospital bill for the restaurant man. But what was way cool was when it first turned on, I could understand what they were saying, and I realized that it was Thai! Then I noticed Thai writing all over and yeah never knew that video was of Thailand so that's  niiiiiice (,:
That night we taught English. Then taught a lesson to บอน. She is doing soooo good. She is loving The Book of Mormon. I asked her to commit to baptism and she said after she studies the Book of Mormon some more. But then we had her say the closing prayer. It was amazing. We asked how she felt and she said 'I feel warm.'
Next day it rained like all day. We got back into inviting and a lot of people were interested. Thailand is looking a lot more happier besides the black. Twice a year all the students from the huge University which is near our area have a project where they are supposed to interview a white person in English. The missionaries and the church always volunteer to let them come over to the church and hold these. So we did that. Then one of the students asked: how do you become a member of your church? so we taught her baptism, showed her the font, then brought her and one of her friends into a lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Commandments. They liked it a lot. They also committed to prepare to be baptized. So we will see where that goes, we teach them again tonight.
That day I also re-came across Mosiah 4:9-15. I love those scriptures. I challenged many people in the ward to read verses 9-12 every day. They are so powerful and give me so much hope, happiness, and faith. Believe in God! There is nothing better.
Also check out 2 Corinthians 5:7... not only is it powerful, but it also has a smiley face in the scripture!!! oh boy.
One visit we had with a less active was soooo cool. We got there and it's this super run down house. We talked to sister มีง for a while. Elder Weaver and the sisters asked me to share a scripture, so I chose my favorite Alma 37:37. 
    'Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and He will direct thee for good; yea, when thouh liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that He may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.'
I bore my testimony about trust in God and about the importance of prayer. After that, Sister Ming told us that lately she has been wanting to feel God's love again so bad. She said that her family has really been struggling and didn't even have money to buy food. So she prayed really hard and soon after randomly found a 100 baht bill on the street. She immediately felt God's love and knew she needed to regain her relationship with God. She said that our message was perfect.
Friday I read the Joseph Smith History-while also looking up all the bible scriptures both him and the angel Moroni reference. It is sooooo cool and it all makes so much sense and there is nooooo way it isn't true. We set up English class signs around the city and also did the usual inviting. That night we spent an hour and a half in the back of a taxi with an insane taxi driver. We were headed to do a switch off with the Zone leaders. The taxi drivers are all sooooo crazy but so fun to talk to.
We were up til 2 or 3 telling stories, because Thailand missionaries have some really insane stories. Especially when they serve up north where it's like ancient tribes living everywhere. That following day, I went on a splits with Elder Hancock who is a ZL. We taught 6 lessons, invited a ton, and visited many people. We also got 10 new investigators as well as committed most of them to go to church yesterday. All of our lessons were really special and were with really neat people. We'd sit on the floor of their houses and just talk about the Gospel and it was the most enjoyable thing ever. That night I realized again how much I love Thailand, this gospel, and how grateful I am for the opportunity to be here. I wish so bad you were here, so I could show you ever little detail and everything about Thailand. I love it. Another thing I realized on the switch off is that the area I serve in is like the most uncultured and boring in all of Thailand. You go 15 minutes in any direction and you'll run into soooo many crazy temple, monks, and other cultured stuff. But our area almost has nothing. I still love it though! Just really looking forward for my whole mission I loooooooove it. Wish I could tell you about each lesson we had that day, they were everyones first lesson as well. So you're welcome ZL's. I got you 10 new investigators haha (;  Elder Hancock and I had a good, busy day.
Last thing, I couldn't get away from my calling. I conduct the music in Priesthood Quorum every week now. Also I play the piano for some things sometimes too. It is a good time though. I am so happy and 
Yesterday we got two more investigators for a total of 7. And all of them are doing really well and love the gospel. There's just too much to say. Last night we 'coincidentally' ran into one of the trainers at our gym. He is this huge Thai dude. (All of the events leading up to us running into him were so miraculous). He immediately said he wanted to come to our church and learn about our gospel. Way good dude. Heavenly Father is bringing us the elect. It is so fun and feels so good to bring others unto Christ.

Last night, all four elders in our house talked til really late again. I shared one of my favorite Hymns: O My Father. You should all read it together. It is beautiful. I should probably be done I have way too much to share. 

Thank you for all the love and support
I sure love you a lot

I got my first haircut yesterday from a lady in the ward and she makes ever missionary get the same one its kinda weird and she shaves a line up your head haha

​back on for a bit. the tramp place was sooooo fun. also i forgot to introduce these drinks but they are popular and taste good. that is all.

we went to the mission office afterwards. Tell Leslie and Aaron thanks soooooo much for the mail! I love them so much

Love you mom (: talk to you next week!
Check out this girl that is part of a family I taught, she made me think of Ruby soooo much haha

Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission

Also meant to include that with the long letter. We have that video on our phone haha.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mission home, companion, first area

These four share a small apartment in a high rise apartment in Bangkhen, Thailand

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Made it to Thailand

Hey there! Haven't had an email for a while. But how about Conference!? It was so good. Every talk was amazing. My favorite sessions were both Saturday and Sunday Afternoon's. I got to watch conference twice haha. So this weekend we just had... that is what we did. And lemme tell ya watching it a second time, you get sooo much more out of it. I didn't plan on taking notes again but I did and just really felt the inspiration and Spirit flowing. ANywho. How about the Choirs as well? I saw some real beautiful faces up there especially in row F seat 117 in the choir loft. He was a sharp lookin guy. Tell him hi for me.

I would say my favorite talk was probably Elder David A Bednar's. I don't want to be cliche at all cause he is almost always everyones favorite, but oh boy his talk on Christ was so beautiful and perfect. I loved the Sunday Afternoon because it was so spiritual and focused on Christ, and Elder Bednar set the tone by kicking off that session so well.

Wellllll, I am here. I am in Thailand and doing reeeeeally well. Every one of you needs to visit here sometime. Oh boy I love Asia, but Thailand has so many extra crazy's and weird traditions and etc etc it doesn't end but I love it.

I absolutely love just walking down streets and smiling and waving at everyone. Most everyone smiles back and I love it. The people here are amazing, and I wish they would be more open to the gospel. LIke they have noooooo idea what they've got in store and if Thailand weren't so strictly Buddhist, the whole country would be converted immediately. Haha.

Right now my Trainer (Elder Weaver) and I are opening up a new area. So we have no investigators and haven't had too much time to get some since we have had Orientation and Conference. But I have gotten to know the ward pretty well. I have so much work to do on the language but I can understand and speak a lot and I love it! I was thinking this morning about how it is like going through preschool and kindergarten again. Because we walked through a market and I was asking what you call bananas and apples and shapes and numbers etc it's funny.

Ah the culture is just the loveliest I wish you could see it right now. I love it and It is so meant for me to be in haha.

Yesterday was the absolute weirdest, craziest day of my life. And I'm not even allowed to report most of it home. That's how messed up it was. But it ended so well. LIke really really special. Dangit haha it's so hard to keep to myself. Just know that Thailand is insane haha.

I think that is it. I love you! So much.

Elder John Kimball Higginson

Thailand, Bangkok Mission

Also one more thing:
Thai kids are the cutest things ever. Oh my goodness. There is this one Thai girl (named Jasmine but goes by Elsa) who is Leah's age who kept messing with me during conference. She is literally Leah's twin except Thai. She is soooo smart but uses her smarts for mischief and teasing people. I forget to take a picture but she drew me a picture and wrote a bunch of words down in Thai ahha. Crazy to think all these little kids are better at Thai than I am. But tlaking to them and playing with Thai kids is the cutest thing ever. 

One more thing:
My FitBit didn't even last 2 days in the Thailand rain :/ I might be able to fix it but yeah. A couple wires in my heart are broke. I'm sad. But if it doesn't fix I can buy a wayyyy sweet counterfeit watch so I'm excited for that!

Also ooooone more thing:
We are going paintballing for another 3 hours today and I'm stoked for that haha.

It's pretty poor but also lots of normal. I'll send another picture. We have a washer but we air dry everything. We've got a grocery store with some good cereal. Everything everywhere is sooooo cheap I love it. I am way excited to go to a market and get a laser pointer or a ninja star or a knife or lots of stuff haha

Doctrine & Covenants 109:22-23    84:88

I got to go
I love you so much (:
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission

on top of my apartment building

This chicken is about a dollar, it is so good and it is the size of my face.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

From the mission home

First area and companion

8 October 2016
Dear Brother and Sister Higginson,
We are pleased tell you that your wonderful son, Elder Higginson has been welcomed by the Thailand Bangkok Mission and has been assigned to serve in the Bangkhen, Bangkok North Zone of the Thailand Bangkok Mission.

The missionaries arrived happy, healthy and well prepared from their MTC experience.  Sister Johnson and I hosted the group in our home and we were able to share experiences and a fine meal together while feeling the strength and conviction of their testimony. They are very valiant and carry with them a strong spirit and desire to serve our Heavenly Father.

I have sought the direction of the Lord and have chosen one of our finest missionaries, Elder Coleton Dee Weaver to be Elder Higginson's  training companion.  I believe this companion will help your son to get a great start as a missionary and to experience the joy and vision of missionary service.

Sister Johnson and I thank you for your support and ask that you continue to write weekly letters or emails of encouragement.  We promise to love and care for your son like one of our own, and to do everything we can to help him succeed and prosper as a missionary in Thailand.  We know that Elder Higginson and your family will be richly blessed by his service here.  Please pray for all of the missionaries and for the wonderful people of Thailand.

President Kelly R. Johnson
Thailand Bangkok Mission

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Made it!!

Safe Arrival - From the Mission Home

05 Oct 2016
Dear Brother and Sister Higginson,
We are happy to report that your son arrived safely in Bangkok late last night, clearing passport control early this morning. He spent what was left of the evening in a hotel room with his companion, where he will also stay this evening. He is in good spirits and is anxious to begin laboring in the Lord's vineyard in Thailand. We are thrilled to have him as a missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission family.
Elder John Kimball Higginson will join other newly arrived missionaries, together with Sister Johnson and me and the Assistants to the President, at Lumpini Park for a morning devotional. Lumpini Park is the site where then Elder Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the land of Thailand for the preaching of the Gospel in 1966. Elder Higginson will have the opportunity to dedicate and consecrate himself to this most wonderful work.  The new missionaries will be trained by Sister Johnson and me, and later oriented by the Office Couple, Elder and Sister Grange, and the Assistants to the President. New missionaries will have their first experience street contacting in the area followed by dinner at the Mission Home.
Your son will receive his first assignment tomorrow morning. Preparation day will be on Monday and he will be able to email you each week.  I am sure he will have much to share regarding his experiences in Thailand, missionary activities and his first Sunday in his assigned area. Your expressions of encouragement and spiritually uplifting email correspondence will be of great support.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions during your son's term of missionary service.
President and Sister Johnson
Thailand Bangkok Mission

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hong Kong -almost there

Hey mom! We are at Hong Kong and none of the phones are working but was just going to let you and dad know! Feeling really nostalgic being here I love this place.
Love Elder Higginson

Monday, October 3, 2016

Last of the MTC

Komgrit came to the MTC on Sept. 24. I loved seeing him. With Elder Bunker from Arizona.

Missionaries headed to Thailand. With teachers.

Sweet returned missionary sister who works at the airport and lets the missionaries use her phone, snapped a picture before boarding.