Monday, July 17, 2017

Now Let Us Rejoice in the Day of Salvation

 



I don't think anyone really understands how much fun my mission is. We are in the only 8 elder district. We are in very high populated areas, which means fire inviting for hours every day. We are preparing for a temple. Baptisms are a weekly event. We all love to work and have fun. The 7/11 next to the church knows all of us cause we all stop there several times a day and we also magnetted a missionary nametag to this cardboard cutout of a famous person here and everyone thinks its funny. Anywho, I'm just really enjoying my time here and don't want to leave Minburi ever. There are too many people here I love and don't want to leave, many who are not yet baptized.

This past week has built upon my witness of the Savior's Atonement. It becomes more and more real as I apply it more to my life as well as so many other's lives. I see it's reality, and it brings me so much joy seeing the light it brings to people's lives. พ่อเรียน is one of those examples. Just a couple months ago he hated life and family and the world and just sat and yeah. In just 2 short months, his life has been completely changed around. His number one motive in life has become his family and his desire to be with them forever. He loves Christ and is always watching Bible Videos at work. I could say so much about this amazing man. He has brought me so much joy. Seeing him smile is literally touches my heart. He is my best friend. He is preparing to baptize his daughter next week who will turn 8 years old. I am so happy.

Minburi is finally getting going. Our 4 elders here are working hard, and seeing so much good happening. Our influence is being felt everywhere and the members are seeing their potential and this place is about to explode I am way happy.

Our amazing Brother Bee is always saying that 'he's a priest now, he has to share the Gospel.' He invites all of his customers in his job as a taxi driver. His number one desire in life is to serve others. He is always saying that money doesn't matter to him anymore, he is happy now. But he is still okay on money haha. He is going to be an amazing leader in the church one day. He has another job as a constructing manager. He's driven us around and shown us many very beautiful buildings he was in charge of. It's impressive, but even more impressive is his leadership and participation in the church already.

The Atonement is real. I have witnessed it over and over. This week as I have focused my studies on understanding more the pain and suffering Jesus went through, I have felt more the power of the Atonement. I have desired more to share the message of the Atonement. It has brought me so much joy seeing it WORK in God's Children. I have been addicted to the song 'Now Let Us Rejoice' all week as we have seen so many people become better. I really do rejoice in the day of salvation for these people that I love.

We had a week straight of floods but then this week it was just really hot everyday. I'm not gonna talk about the heat because it hurts and I don't wanna sound like I'm exaggerating haha.

I wanna challenge you to not just study the Atonement, but try to understand more what Christ went through. It will strengthen your relationship with Him and your desire to serve Him.

I feel like a few of the million reasons I was called to Thailand is to completely build a hatred against sin. Specifically idleness. It makes me so sad how people just do not do stuff. My favorite word is Potential, and I preach Potential so soooo much here because potential is important. I got too many thoughts on this topic haha.

Ask yourself everyday:

Am I going to be amazed or amazing?

Have an amazing week. You are good.

ຮັກເຈົາເດີ 💙

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ

Monday, July 10, 2017

Believer

I've shared this before, but I have done it again. I listened to the April 1998 General Conference this past week. It is the greatest one, and it is also the first one to occur after Elder Higginson was brought to this world. I recommend it to everyone. 

What this transfer has taught me so far is to be a problem solver. Heavenly Father has given me hundreds of a wide variety of situations in which I have to be a decision maker and go forth in Faith. God is helping me to build confidence in myself, handle serious situations, and also help my influence reach out to others. This is very good haha.

Another great opportunity this transfer has given me is my amazing companion, Elder Xaiyavong. It seems as if his whole mission and all of his worries and difficulties have gathered up and led to this point, where we are companions. His Faith, his family, girlfriend, learning english, studies, inviting, teaching, being a missionary, many things have been difficult. Some think that the reason we were put together was just so that I could learn Laotian from him. But I know for sure, we were put together for me to be able to help him. We have set goals and a plan for him in everything. We have been diligent at it. And the effects are finally showing as I have seen this last week. We know God is helping us because of our planning, and diligence in our goals. Elder Xaiyavong has experienced miracles in learning english and this transfer has increased his skills probably faster than if he were in an english speaking mission. His family and girlfriend situations are doing better. He is inviting and teaching with effectiveness. I have also been teaching him piano and how to type which I have tied in to help him learn english faster as well. I've got lots of strategies going haha. At the beginning of the transfer, and through much of the transfer he was really having a hard time studying. So we read Preach My Gospel Chapter 2 together and we set a plan. We read in PMG to 'focus your studies on increasing your relationship with Jesus Christ.' We set goals, made a plan, and got to work. That same day he got caught up in these spiritual bursts and could not stop studying and to this day really cherishes his study time. I love seeing others become better.

I think this is a good truth for everyone who struggles to get their daily study in... focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Beginning with this will cause you to ponder on different questions, which will then give you the desire to and the plan to get a good study schedule going. I know that we must do our part to feel close to Him. It is off our desire and our effort whether we will personally know him or not. As we come to understand and love the Savior more, we will feel of His great and eternal power. We will feel of His Atonement. I have so so much more to go in this process, but I can confidently say that I Know the Savior lives. One thing really special to me is that I Know He understands me. He knows me. He knows all of us. I love Him.

I have been so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. These people are a great portion of the testimony I have of the Savior. Most may not get a chance to see the Savior in this life, but we can truly see Him in others. In His true Disciples we can see Him and His influence.

So one question that is really similar to a very common one I have had in my mind a lot this week is...

How do you Faith?

I've thought of it like this because Faith should be a verb, and as I've thought about this question, the typical answers come to my head... "repentance, baptism, action, etc." But beyond that, Faith applies to everything, not just the Gospel. In one of my favorite devotionals, Craig Manning speaks of Faith as it is applied in sports. Faith comes before you take any step, shot, hit, anything. How much Faith we have in our action, will contribute to the outcome of our action. I can testify of this, because I played golf. Golf is the the greatest sport which requires more of your mind than any other sport. Golf requires true Faith to succeed. I have found that when I golf with Faith in myself; no pride, just confidence... that that is when I play the best. Faith begins with how you talk to yourself. Faith in your action does determine the measure of the outcome. Anywho, as I teach God's children, I help them take many many actions. But as I focus on developing their Faith in the actions, and in Jesus Christ...the outcome always comes out better. PMG Chapter 3 and the lesson about the Gospel has 6 points to cover. They are:
1 through Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we may be cleansed from sin
2 Faith
3 Repentance
4 Baptism
5 Holy Ghost
6 Endure to the End

But many many missionaries don't teach or forget step number one. As we have focused on that number one point and developed a stronger Faith in it, as well as other's Faith in it...the outcomes have been amazing and it has been a testimony to me that it is true and of God. Anything you do, especially in the Gospel...have Faith in yourself and what you are doing. & the Savior.

Anyways theres my tangent which makes no sense. We've had a great week. We have watched that video by the DI a million times. It's called A Piano's Purpose. I love it. I'm working for them soon.

The reason I've had these thoughts about Faith in yourself is because we've been helping many people who need help overcoming something or just need help having confidence in their lives or many things like that. This can be done by Faith.

One thing way funny is when I play chess or basketball or ping pong, I'll sometimes say 'askerisk.' Which you understand what that means but everyone else in this world doesn't and its so hard to explain it for some reason. It just makes sense to me, and us. So those of you who read this and know what it means in our family, try to explain it to someone... then try to explain it in another language and see what I'm trying to do here haha. If you have a very simple definition please tell me.
 I love my family. Stoked to destroy you in basketball again soon.

Also Happy Birthday the most beloved person ever. I love you mom. 😊💙Thank you for my life and all you do and you. *sent July 13, 2017

(Her number is 801-839-6331, get her a nice gift and a happy birthday message everyone)

I love you 💙

God gave you style and gave you grace
and put a smile upon your face

go do stuff

--
เอ็ลเดอร์ฮิกกินสัน
ແອວເດີຮິກກິນສ້ນ

Monday, July 3, 2017

doubt not fear not