Friday, October 23, 2015

Oct. 12, 2015

Hi Fam,

This Week has had its ups and downs. Monday was good… I got a haircut from a member in our Ward - she works at a beauty salon. Honestly Mom I like your haircuts better. Also I had to go on exchanges with Elder Denny. He is in the other companionship in our ward. His companion, Elder Weller, wrecked on his bike and hurt his hand so he couldn't bike. Elder Weller went with Elder Sevilla in our area. It was cool to learn from another Elder and see how he was able to talk to people. Anyways…in the past week the other Elders have wrecked four times. I'm just glad I haven't had an accident. On Tuesday we went tracking and met a couple people. One was a family from Iraq and what was interesting was that even though they were Muslim they were pretty interested in Christianity. Also we had a lesson with one of our investigators S. It was good - I just hope she will keep the commitments she made. Wednesday’s are rough because we don't have time to find people because we have service midday and then our meetings with the ward mission leader that evening. Thursday was good - we had zone meeting, which was helpful learning different ways to be more effective. We also meet a man from India. He owns a small online company from his home and he actually wanted to give us job interviews - it was pretty funny. Friday was a little disappointing. We had been trying to get in contact with her but we couldn't until we finally dropped by her house. When she opened the door we talked to her for a minute and then she said she wanted to give the Book of Mormon we gave her back. We said she could keep it but she said she wasn't going to read it. It was a disappointing experience but we knew Lord was with us, because as we left the apartment we met a young man named S who was pretty interested and from what he told us about himself he really needed the gospel. I think Heavenly Father gives us those experiences to help lift us up and give us that hope because there are so many people out there that need the gospel we just have to find them. Saturday was fun because I was on exchanges. It ended up that I was on exchanges with another new missionary Elder Metcalfe. He had a back injury that stimulated a joint disorder, so he struggles going up stairs and his joints hurt in the cold, but his desire is definitely there and he pushes himself. I also got to drive which was a little weird because it’s been over a month without driving. Sunday we taught a man from Nepal - it’s difficult because he speak barely any English. Anyways the work is moving on and it is great. This week I have been ponderizing a scripture in 2 Ne 4:19 "And when I desire to rejoice my heart groaneth because of my sins nevertheless I know in whom I have trusted" I love this scripture because I trust my Savior and because of his Atonement I can let go of my mistakes through faith and repentance. It truly is the Miracle of the Atonement.


So the food situation is tricky right now because the ward made a real push to schedule meals for us and so we actually have a bunch of meals scheduled now but, the problem is they are with the other companionship in our ward, which isn't allowed by mission president mainly because he doesn't want the sets of Elders to talk to each other instead of the members. The thing is the stake president says its fine for the members to have meals with more than one set of missionaries. So we don't really know how it’s going to work out. But some of the members do drop by with some groceries which are fine. There is a member in the neighbor ward that collects food from food banks that the food banks were going to throw out and gives the food to all the missionaries from the stake. That's why we have a lot of canned food and our Cupboards are full with food.


Oct. 19, 2015

Hi Fam,

Monday- So I sent my shoes to a cobbler in our area and it only cost 10 dollars to fix them. We cleaned up our apartment, but for some reason it always gets messy in the middle of the week. We also taught a lesson today with the L’s. Sister L is a less active member but is trying to get back to church. Her daughter is 14 and wants to be baptized which is great so we've been teaching her daughter the discussions. This lesson we wanted to emphasize the importance of reading the Book of Mormon so we read 3 Nephi Chapter 11. I could feel the spirit very strongly as we read but it was difficult helping them recognize the spirit.


Tuesday- Today was my first Zone Conference It was a great experience and the theme of it was “character.” I have been working on changing my own character myself. Lately I have been working on Charity. As I am working on it I can see how important it is as a missionary to not worry about myself but worrying about others. It was also great to hear the departing missionaries’ testimonies. The interesting thing was there was a difference between the missionaries that had really worked hard during their missions and didn't want to leave their mission and some of the missionaries that were more disobedient who said that their mission was a great experience. One of our AP's loved his mission so much he had convinced himself he wasn't going home at the end of this transfer. It made me realize how much opportunity I have in front of me and made me have an even stronger desire to work harder.


Wednesday- We were very busy today. We found two new investigators, and we taught two part member families. For one of the part member families we taught from the “Family a Proclamation.” It was a great lesson and was great to see that this family really agreed with the principles.


Thursday- Elder Sevilla was dying to eat at a Pho? Restaurant so we ate there for lunch. We ate dinner at a member’s home. It was interesting because we found out they were both blind. But they are very faithful and have really great conversion stories.


Sunday- After church we had a lesson scheduled with a new investigator S. It was a really good lesson and she is interested in finding out for herself the truth. The only problem is that she doesn't understand the Book of Mormon.


I hope y’all are doing great. I just want to leave my testimony that missionary work is so great. I learned that even if people we talk to aren't very receptive our message sticks in their mind. We talked to a man we had seen a couple weeks ago and he said he had been thinking about us lately. I think that is so cool.


My Ponderize Scripture this week was Moroni Chapter 7:45  “And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”


Have a great week!



Elder Blackham



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sept. 28 & Oct. 5

Sept. 28, 2015


So to answer your questions Elder Sevilla is from the Island Luzon North west of Manilla - Pangasinan Province, Alaminos. And of course I told him about our trip. It’s kind of funny because every time I ask something about the Philippines he says "Elder Blackham I thought you've been to the Philippines.” Also as far as how many miles I ride on my bike let’s just say my legs can get pretty sore. Anyways this week has been great.

Monday: In the MTC they always said just wait till Sunday and it will get better. In the mission field I would say just wait till P-Day because it is much needed. Also we were able to clean up our apartment and play our one and only game of ping pong before we put the table on the altar of sacrifice.  Elder Sevilla is crazy good at Ping pong but I guess that's what happens when buildings in the Phillipines don't have gyms just ping pong tables.

Tuesday: We taught a lesson to an older couple. They are very religious so it is hard to explain the priesthood authority.

Wed: Met an older lady who plays video games and taught her the first lesson. We scheduled an appointment but haven't been able to get ahold of her.

Friday: We had a meeting with all the trainers, trainees and Mission President in the morning - it was great.  One of the greatest experiences of this week was on Friday. We had our second lesson with B and the spirit was so strong. I know she was prepared by the Lord. The greatest part was that I invited her to be baptized and she said yes! It is so great to know that B is sincerely trying to make a change in her life and recognizes that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way we can truly change. Later that night we had two appointments that fell through so we went tracting. We met a guy who said he knew all about religions and was trying to tell us how to do our job. It was really frustrating because I knew he wasn't listening to what we were saying. Anyways we asked what religion he believed in and he said he believed in some sort of shaman religion where you separated your body from your spirit, but it was really just his excuse for smoking weed. That was confirmed when he said he was done talking to us because he wanted to go inside to smoke some weed. Sometimes it can be hard to look at people as children of God, but it was a good experience because it helped me realize I need to be bolder and testify of what I believe.

Saturday: Today is Elder Sevilla's Birthday he turns 23. I made him some pancakes and we put a candle and sang happy birthday. After we had a service project for a guy in the same apartment complex. The Elders next door talked to him and he said he was having a bad day because he didn't know how he was going to move his apartment. We told him we would help. We helped him move furniture and after that he asked us to move some plants in his house. I asked what kind of plants and he said he had been a child of the 70's and when Colorado legalized marijuana it had been in his bucket list to grow some so we found out he had been growing marijuana plants in one of his closets - it was pretty funny. Anyways we taught a man name P. He has been an investigator for a long time because he believes that if you ask God you shall receive. This makes it pretty hard to explain the priesthood because he believes you can ask and receive the priesthood. So hopefully once he gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon he will progress more. Also we were talking to a guy on the street and he seemed very interested so we gave him a Book of Mormon, but before we could get his info he had to run for the bus. I am praying every day that I will be able to find him.

Sunday: It was Fast Sunday and I bore my testimony. Another great experience was on Sunday, we were with our ward mission leader finding less actives in our ward. We had no success and then our ward mission leader's car broke down. We decided we would walk to our next appointment and when we got there it fell through so we headed back to our apartment and on our way we met a lady sitting by her tree and after we talked to her we committed her to reading the Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment at her home for later this week. The best thing was she didn't think it was a coincidence that we met and felt that we were supposed to meet. I was able to realize how the Lord puts us on other people’s paths.

My testimony has been strengthened so much over the last couple weeks I have seen the lord guide my path and help me throughout my mission even though we don't always understand why things happen they happen for a reason. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.


Elder Blackham

Oct. 5, 2015

Dear Family

I eat once a week at a member’s house which isn't great. But we get a lot of food from a member in fact our pantries are full of food and our refrigerator is full. We cook pretty good meals for ourselves. Elder Sevilla is a pretty good cook. And honestly I'm not sure about packages.

This week has had its challenges. We taught the first lesson to L and her Husband M on Thursday. They are really great people and are very open to the gospel. They said they felt a little overwhelmed when we taught them but they could feel the spirit, and they wanted to find out for themselves. They are non-denominational so they feel we can come to Christ in our own ways. I felt that Elder Christofferson's talk really will help them understand the need for a church. Also our appointment with B was cancelled which was disappointing. She is trying to figure out for herself the truth. We are keeping her in our prayers and have an appointment scheduled for this week. General Conference was great and there are a lot of things that I can apply to my life to help me serve as better missionary. Even though we had our disappointments Elder Sevilla and I are going to bounce back this week and give our best.


Elder Blackham

Dear Mom,

This email is especially for you! In the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference Elder Holland gave a great talk about the role of Mothers. He compared the life-long sacrifice of mothers to the sacrifice of our Savior and that next to Christ's sacrifice the next greatest is that of our mothers. As he talked I was filled with the Spirit, there were tears running down my face as I honor your sacrifice for me. Mom I feel like you don't always get the credit you deserve because just like Christ you are always serving me, you are always there to turn to, and you do it all out of love. The one regret I have is that I should have listened to you more, I should have been quick to obey, and I should have turned to you for comfort. I love you so much and I am so grateful for your example and testimony.


Elder Blackham