Sunday, December 25, 2016

Kamphaeng Phet - Christmas

As simple and amazing as Christ's Gospel is, I love how deep it goes as well. Recently, I have really enjoyed reading from the Teaching's of the President's of the Church. They have so many simple, happy truths... as well as way deep doctrine that really makes you think. Pondering is so good. Always be pondering for good. Allow the Lord to teach and inspire your heart and your mind.

2 Nephi 19:6 or Isaiah 9:6
      For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Was a very interesting Christmas for sure. Nothing like the rest I have had. Even the ward barely recognized it as a different day. But sure gave me a different perspective on what Christmas is. Gave me a whole lot more time to focus on Christ and I love that.

Matthew 26:41
     Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Just a real good reminder to keep your Spirits clean, treat YOURSELF with some respect (: That's all. Matthew 26 is so good. If you haven't read it lately, try it out.

Also a very good recommendation I have is to read in Preach My Gospel: The Book of Mormon, Chapter 5. Read through it, and then approach The Book of Mormon in a completely new way. With more purpose than you have ever sought from it before. The Book of Mormon is amazing. The Book of Mormon answers the great questions of the soul. As we read it, the Spirit will guide us. We will be open to blessings and revelation. The Book of Mormon is the number one thing you should go to if seeking revelation (which should be Always). The Book of Mormon helps us understand that God's commandments are only guideposts to a happy abundant life. The Book of Mormon can help with anything. I have learned that personally and continue receiving more and more that testimony. Help others feel the spiritual power of The Book of Mormon. Study and utilize The Book of Mormon in a consistent and humble way so that the Lord can communicate to you and that you might learn and apply His will to your daily life. Seek out the unmistakable witness that it is True.

Well, I had my first dreams in Thai this week haha. Twice. The first, I became a District Leader this coming transfer and trained a missionary as well. It was way cool.

I just really want to get the message to everyone, Start Now. Begin now. Strive to come closer to Christ. Strive to follow His commandments with exactness. Strive to make your study and prayers more sincere. As I have tried to do this, I only realize more and more that this Gospel is true. It brings so much hope knowing that I can rely on the Gospel even if times are hard. Along with gaining more testimony, you WILL be shaken by Satan more and more. This is a truth. That is what he is set to do. But he also tries to make you think he really isn't there. That both Christ and himself are just a myth. Don't give in. Along with ALWAYS knowing Christ and Father are real, never ever ignore the fact that Satan is real too. Use that knowledge against him. As you are shaken more and more by Satan, as long as you handle it right, your faith will grow so strong.

I am slowly but surely learning the many true purposes of a mission. It is a real good feeling. More to come.

We had a pretty interesting Christmas party. I won UNO 4 out of 5 games with about 10 people. Also won Monopoly twice. Nice. I made a new friend named Men. He is 14, but is like the only Thai basketball player I have met here so far. Wish sports were a bigger deal here haha. Anywho, I'm trying to take advantage because we literally never exercise and I am going crazy since I never get to play sports. Men invites me to play basketball since he plays pretty often and I'm excited to play again. I share the Gospel with him in return even though we haven't gotten to playing yet. There's like this Professional Thai League that plays on this outdoor court in my area almost daily. One day I want to go challenge them all haha. Challenge them to baptism as well of course.

Christmas Eve, we had a random black dude named Frankus stop by 'just to say Merry Christmas.' Way good guy. We talked about God and stuff for a while. He absolutely loves the Holy Bible, and God. Then he went off on a way long tangent about God and how no one needs church they just need God. Never once said anything against our church, just saying weird stuff. For example, 'you could be God, I could be God, he could be God.' It went on for a while and the moment I felt inspired I immediately blurted out 'Have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?' He quieted down and said 'Nope.' So he was introduced to it, we explained it is another book just like the Bible, that testifies Jesus Christ is real. I explained the 'other sheep which are not of this fold.' It was good. We sent him on his way with a Merry Christmas and a big smile and wave. Hoping he truly finds out the truth for himself and stops by again one day.

Had a cool thought one night. Can't remember if it is from the scriptures or what but it just came to my head.

       He believes in me, even when I do not believe in myself.

Always remember that truth as well. Just remember everything, okay?

2 Nephi 25:23 
      For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ...for it is by His grace that we are saved.

Learned some crazy Thai dialect with two of our investigators one day. Called the Yisan Language. That was fun.

There is nothing better than being a missionary.

Keep your flame burning - Brother Lamar Bangerter (Thank you for that, I will never forget it)

I love you (: 

was so good getting to see and talk to you this morning.

"And I held your hand through all of these years, but still, you have all of me"





--
เอ็ลเดอร์ยอหนขิมบัลฮิกกินสัน
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kamphaeng Phet

Faith,
Behold, all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves with sparks, walk in the LIGHT of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled.

I'm going to start out by talking about food. I ran out of MSF, in the middle of the month. I drink almost a gallon of milk a day. I eat equivalent to 7+ meals a day. The members watches me in awe, and wonder 'where the heck does it all go?' Well I am a walking wonder. Because even through all this, I have only lost weight. Real confusing. But food is good haha.

During one night, as I ate 3 plates of chicken steak and a bunch of fries... I explained my favorite movie to a few ward members in Thai. Interstellar. Used all my vocab up to the very limits but wow it was so cool to explain such a deep, confusing, awesome movie, in a completely different language. Only thing better is explaining the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in a different language. I love it. 2 Nephi 9:13 'O how great is the plan of our God!' 

One thing I found really cool this week was in Preach My Gospel. In the Plan of Salvation Chapter, it says: God's whole purpose is to enable each of us to enjoy all His blessings.' How special is that. Us compared to God, we are nothing. But He wants us to literally have everything and more. So He took His time and created a plan for us mere mortals (dust of the earth). A really simple plan. And really, anyone who doesn't follow it is really silly. Not only is is simple and easy, but all it does is help you to be a really good person. 
A few paragraphs later: our Purpose in this life is to have joy and prepare to return to God's presence.' What an amazing truth that is. The first thought every time I read that I have is: ' how sad it is that that is literally all we have to do, especially compared to God's purpose.' But really it is so simple and so so special. I love it. I like to add after that line: 'and bring as many of God's Children with us as we can.'

Here is a checklist I made for our life here on earth:
-gain a body
-be tested
-walk by Faith (which includes ordinances and covenants)

As stated by God, that is all we have to do to become like Him.

What A Wonderful Life

2 Nephi 11:4-7 Behold, my soul delighteth...in the truth of the coming of Christ, yea, my soul delighteth in His grace, and in His justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death. There is a God, and He is Christ, and He cometh in the fullness of His own time.

Through the Atonement and living the Gospel, we become worthy to enter the presence of our Heavenly Father permanently.

Jesus Christ literally 'stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins.'

Heavenly Father 'can apply mercy {when we have repented and endure to the end} and welcome us into HIs presence.
I love the line: welcome us into His presence.  It feels so good to have someone up there who loves us so much, and does so much for us, although we don't do too much in return. Nothing can pay Him or Christ back. But he still will 'welcome' us into his presence. Just the thought feels so good haha.

Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are honestly too kind. What can we do to show our gratitude?

Light the World

I love the scriptures. I love prayer. I love the standards, doctrine, teachings, values, missionary work, literally everything about the Gospel. It is so real.

We did one of my favorite things a few times this week and that is going to make new friends. We biked around the town quite a bit on last Tuesday. I had us stop at this school and we just walked into the gymnasium where a class was taking place. I made some new friends. We hung around for a while,  I talked about our Church and invited them to learn before we left. They were really excited. It is so cool what you can do as a missionary. And as a tall white kid haha. No one believes I am 18.

We have done a lot to prepare and celebrate the birth of Christ. And to bring others to the True purpose of this Christmas season. We taught some good lessons, went to a Christmas celebration at a protestant church. Honestly there is just so much I do in a week that I never thought I would ever do in my life. Thailand is awesome. I love being a missionary. There is so much to share and even so little time to even write it in my journal.

We had a Zone Conference up in Chiang Mai. It is cold up there. Way cold. It was very unexpected. Such a cool place up there. Had the funnest day. I have made so many missionary friends too and it was so good to see so many familiar faces. Hadn't seen a white face in a while. (;

I'd say yesterday was the best day for sure. We taught 3.5 lessons. Also got to talk this cool member through anxiety. He has depression, anxiety, and bipolarity. Way crazy but such an amazing person. It is sooooo fun and makes me feel like I have purpose so much talking to him. He brought a white friend with him last night to the church. Her name is Brin. After a while, I talked to her for quite a bit. She has grown up in North Carolina. Has never met a Mormon until she met the one Brother. Says she was real confused because Mormons don't have the best stereotype back where she lives. She said she is a different kind of religion like atheism where she doesn't believe in any religion and doesn't believe any can be proven true. Anywho I was just being a friend to her. Then eventually I snuck into the Gospel. Told her about an experience I had when I was little and had another kid tell me a bunch of bad things about our church. Anywho, can't remember exactly but I snuck in the Plan of Salvation and the Light of Christ etc. Eventually she said: you have really changed my opinion on mormons. You guys are amazing. It feels so good being here like I just have no sense of being uncomfortable here even though I thought I would, and you... just have this something about you. Like you are just so... chill. Like you have good vibes and you just have something good about you." I quoted that. It sounds weird but I explained to her about the Holy Ghost and a bunch of other stuff. And I got to bear my testimony, in english. For the first time in forever. It felt so good and she really felt something. She said she wants to come back the next day. So so cool. The Gospel is True.

Well, that's about it. Pray and read your scriptures kids. It'll do good to ya haha. Seek that revelation.

I love you!

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ยอหนขิมบัลฮิกกินสัน
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Transferred.

We knew we wouldn't hear from John on his usual p-day because of a Christmas devotional but then we didn't hear from him for two weeks. Finally he wrote and said that he got a call from a missionary from the MTC thanking him for his love and example and told him he was going home. A while later, John got a call from the mission president that he was moving John up north to replace a missionary who was going home.  He packed and left early the next morning for his new area.
John is struggling a little bit because his companion doesn't like to work much and it makes it hard. I fear that this new companions work ethic may have added to the feeling and eventual leaving of the previous missionary.  So sad.
John misses his old ward but says he is doing great and is trying to stay busy studying and learning.  He said he had too much on his mind and it was easier to send pictures of his journal instead of write so we were lucky to read about nine pages of his journal.  He writes a lot in his journal. It helps him relieve stress and frustrations. We're happy he has found ways to work through some of the hard things.
I'm forwarding the one little email we got with pictures.
Thank you friends and family for your love and support of John!! He feels so much gratitude for every one of you and has been amazing at recognizing his blessings while on this mission.
We love you too.
Love, John and Tawnie

From John:
Bangkhen is gone. I have been moved to kamphaeng phet. It is a way cool place. There aren't any other missionaries within 3 hours of us. It is a small town in the middle of nowhere. People every where talk and look at me like they've never seen a dang white man before. It's funny but I love the people here.
















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