The Path of Christian Discipleship

The Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, 3 August 2015

Baptism!!

Hello again! 

So, our investigator, 진호 was baptized yesterday!! It was a wonderful service, filled with the Spirit. He returned from youth camp on Saturday, during which he made some friends from other wards; two of them traveled to our area to attend our ward and support him at his baptism. I think this motivated 진호 to share his testimony during the fast and testimony meeting, which surprised all of us, including his mother, who tapped my shoulder as he was walking up to the stand and asked "is this okay? He is not even baptized!" I assured her it was great. 

He shared a wonderful testimony, in which he expressed thanks to his mother for leading him to this church and to all those who taught him and welcomed him into the ward. We then had the baptismal service, and after having to repeat the baptismal prayer a couple of times (I was a little bit nervous ...) he was baptized! He was beaming the entire time ... I was so happy for him. After the service, he was showered with gifts and walked away with two big cakes (we bought him a cake, not realizing that the Relief Society President had also bought him a cake). I am very happy for him. He is a wonderful kid!

You were right, it is transfer week! My new companion is Elder Watts, who used to be my zone leader a couple of transfers ago! He is a wonderful missionary and I am looking forward to spending my last transfer with him. We have very high hopes and goals. Elder Watts is from Highland, Utah and is maybe a foot taller than I am... Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but he is very tall! He surprises a lot of Koreans on the streets; they look up from their phones as they pass him and gasp, or scream softly!! I am so very excited to work with him; there are few people I would rather finish my mission with! 

I can't think of much else to write. I hope you all have a great week! I pray for you always,

Love, Elder Higham

These are the only two pictures Dallin sent this week ... gotta get on that boy!

The only Elder we know (other than Dallin of course!) is Elder Moon (seated), Dallin's last companion who just went home.

Candid moment.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Korean Superstar!!

Hello everyone!
It was good to hear from all of you this week! Thanks for your emails and letters ... it sure is nice to get real letters. Mom, seeing the picture of Elder Nemelka and Elder Higham 2.0 put a giant smile on my face! I love those two people .. thanks for sending those to me!
We had zone conference last week, which was thoroughly entertaining, to say the least! We focused on working effectively with ward members and had several trainings, which included a talk by a well known figure in Korea named PJ Rogers. He served in the Korea Seoul West mission, after which he came back to Korea and became the first Caucasian to get an MBA in Korea. He then proceeded to get a PhD, all in Korean, and lived in Korea for 19 years with his family.
Brother Rogers trained us on Korean the language and culture. He was hilarious! I haven't laughed that much in a long time! I had a pretty neat experience during that training. Brother Rogers gave me his phone, to keep while he was speaking, as he was expecting a call and delivery, so I was holding his phone during the training. Brother Rogers has a very big network in Korea, and he actually was part of the conversion of one of Korea's biggest basketball stars, 우지원 (Oo Gee Won). So, he started to talk about his experience with 우지원 and not two seconds later literally, the phone that I am holding gets a call - from 우지원!!!!
Probably none of you understand the significance of this situation. It was pretty much the equivalent of having Lebron James or Kobe Bryant call the phone that you are holding! I didn't have time to answer, because not a few seconds later, 우지원 walked into the room!!! Turns out he was in the building all along and came into our training for a special appearance!! 
Wow! We all got to see one of Korea's biggest star athlete and basketball legend, and then Elder Moon and I got to tell our basketball fanatic-fan investigator, 진호 (Gene Ho) about it! He literally freaked out he was so excited about the fact that we got to see 우지원 ! Our investigator is doing really well and has made such progress. I have been so impressed with the sacrifices and the progress he has made. He is such a great kid. And he's definitely committed to get baptized this Sunday, right after he gets back from our stake's youth camp!!! smile emoticon

I am so grateful to be here in Korea to experience all these wonderful things. I love you all so much! Thanks for all your caring and support!

Love, Elder Higham
p.s. sorry about the terrible English, I typed really quickly! Oh, and check out my companion (Elder Moon) and I in genuine Korean military uniform!! It's the genuine deal, no?! 


Do I look like the real deal or what??!! 

My current AWESOME Korean companion Elder Moon.



 Elder Moon, and I ... pondering!



It's amazing how close friendships are developed on a mission. It's crazy.

Korean food is DA BOMB!!

Man, can't get enough of genuine Korean food! I'm going to miss it like crazy!

This was a great apartment!

Treasured Friendships

Hello again! 

Of course I have seen the district! I have seen it many times! :) It is quite wonderful and teaches very important, basic principles of missionary work. Perhaps the biggest mistake I have made on my mission is to ignore those principles, to move away from them, or to consider them irrelevant for where I am working. I suppose this is quite an easy trap for any missionary or member to fall into, to consider these basic principles are inadequate or irrelevant. I have found that applying these principles in my work as exactly as I can, even and especially when I don't understand how so doing would benefit me, has indeed benefited me far more profoundly than I could have achieved myself. 

I have been thinking about school (a little bit). I propose to do as you suggested, mom! Tours of Universities (even BYU ㅋㅋ) sound great. I suppose I am quite behind on all of this, but better late than never!

Let's see. Our investigator, 진호 (Gene Ho) just finished tests, so he can meet again. He was late to church last week, so one of the young women took it upon herself to make sure he made it to sacrament meeting and texted him several times, urging him to come as quickly as he could. I was quite pleased to see him receive that support from some of our members. 

I also went on exchanges, with my MTC companion, Elder Thorup, this past week. He has, since the MTC, become one of my closest friends. He has had such a tremendous impact on my life and continues to influence me in tremendous ways. This exchange with him was one of the most inspiring, soul-renewing and uplifting experiences of my mission. He demonstrated principles of Christ-like leadership, that I had been studying, which helped me apply those through a determined example. He has a positivity and passion for missionary work that is perfectly contagious! It was wonderful to be able to serve with him for that day.  

It is hard to believe that David leaves for his mission, the day after next! I know you will do a great job! Love you lots!

Elder Higham

Elder Thorup and I (along with our MTC teacher) nearly two years ago at the Missionary Training Centre in Provo, Utah. Can't believe it's been nearly that long ago .. time has just flown by!!

Elders Thorup, Lee and I in front of the Korea Seoul temple.



Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Valuable Lesson

Hello! 

Thank you for your email. I wish I could have gone on that Idaho Falls trip with you! That sure was a fun experience. I don't know that I have any suggestions for mission items! I would probably have to ask a new missionary. Looking back, it seems that I wished for a lot more things when I first got started. Now, I make do with whatever I have :P 

FOUR WEEKS! That is crazy! I can't believe David is leaving so soon! That makes me feel like a very old missionary ... 

We have an investigator who accepted a baptismal date, for next month. It was quite the experience. We met him by a nice, quiet stream in a beautiful park, but after finding out that we had not eaten dinner and that we had no plans to eat dinner that day, he insisted that we eat dinner with him. So, we went to a very noisy 쭈꾸미 (Fried octupus rice?) restaurant, to eat an incredibly spicy meal in a very rowdy atmosphere. I haven't eaten anything that spicy in a very long time!

Nevertheless, we exerted our best efforts to teach him the message of the restoration, which he accepted quite naturally (actually he was very excited to learn about Joseph Smith, because his name is 조동국 (Jo Dong Gook), which is "the same Jo as Joseph Smith!") He is a very interesting character, and was quite excited about his baptismal date next month! So excited for him.

I'm still in Seoul in the office district with my Korean companion. WOW!!! What a difference it makes to be with a Korean companion ... my language is improving so much faster just being with him. He's a great missionary and I'm very happy to serve with him and in the area I'm currently in: Songpa district of Seoul. Things are going GREAT!!

I was reading, last week, about the Savior walking on the water to His disciples. I have been thinking about our responsibility, as missionaries and members to lovingly correct those who may otherwise fall short of what the Lord expects of them. When I first read the Savior's words to Peter, I was a little surprised, because they seemed quite harsh. "You have no faith, Peter! What are you doing?" That is essentially what I read. Observing the Savior's interactions with His disciples, prior to that firm correction, however, I learned a very valuable lesson. 

At least three times, the Savior demonstrates His intention to help and comfort His disciples, as well to show His love for and trust in them. His very first words were words of comfort: "Be of good cheer!" He then demonstrates His trust in Peter, by beckoning him out to the water where He was. Then, perhaps most importantly, He rescues Peter before He corrects him firmly. I think this is very important. The Savior doesn't stand for a few more seconds to tell Peter that he needs to improve, before He rescues him. Instead, He first shows Peter that His intention is to help, before He corrects him. 

I have found a lot more success first showing love, trust and a desire to help towards those I correct, before "reproving sharply." Important in all aspects of life I think.

It is getting warmer!!! Here comes another Korean summer!! 

Love you lots,
Elder Higham

Monday, 9 March 2015

Mission Miracles

Hello Everyone,

I talked with President Morrise the other day about my release date. I wanted to know all of my options, so that we can plan effectively for the approaching future. An extension is likely out of the question, but I might be able to come home a transfer early, depending on the needs of the missionaries leaving that transfer. He did mention, however, that he is instructed in the mission president handbook to do all he can to send missionaries home together alongside the group with which they came.
My scheduled release date, then is September 18, but it is possible that I could be released a transfer early, if I want to attend school in the fall semester. That date would be about August 7. I am informing you, because I would like to know your opinions. I recognize that there are many factors to consider in selecting a release date, especially given the difference in available universities. There might be more that I need to do, or learn in Korea, or a certain place that I should attend university. I would very much appreciate if you prayerfully considered these options and let me know what you think, so that I can make a decision. Again, it also might not work out to get released the earlier transfer, but it is a possibility. 

I did hear about the US ambassador being attacked in Seoul. I was quite shocked to hear the news, actually! I was under the ignorant assumption that Korea is the safest place in the world, cause I can leave anything anywhere and somehow it comes back to me in the mail, or I find it in the same spot several weeks later.
Children walk the streets by themselves at night! People on the street take their hands out of their pockets when you speak to them, regardless of their level of interest in what you have to say. When I heard that surprising news, however, I suddenly remembered that I am just a few kilometers away from North Korea! I still feel confident to say, however, that I am in a safer place than 100% of Canada and America. 

We had several meetings this week, which actually drained me quite thoroughly. On Tuesday, we spent 5 hours travelling to attend the Mission Leadership Council the vast majority of the day. Wednesday, after a meeting with our district, we prepared for the Zone Conference that we organized on Thursday, which lasted an extra 3 hours, due to the Zone Leadership Counsel we help with the Sister Training Leader and District Leaders in the zone, and with a few language evaluations we did with some of the newer missionaries after the training.
Then, on Friday, we traveled to 영등포 to attend a mission District Leader training meeting, which lasted four hours, after which we held a three hour weekly planning session (I had to run around the apartment a few times to stay awake during that weekly planning session). 

As I reflected on my week, however, I came to a more profound appreciation for the manner in which the Lord sustains His missionaries. Most days, I have noticed, especially our preparation days (the one day a week we have off to buy groceries, do our laundry, clean our apartment, etc) are filled to the brim with things to do, which does not allow us to rest for more than a few minutes throughout the span of the day.
I am constantly tired, yet not nearly as tired as I probably should be given how hard we work. I marvel at how thoroughly God sustains us, yet how subtle it seems, and how very infrequently we recognize and appreciate this sustaining influence.
Missions are full of miracles that are visible to those that refrain from persistently looking down with worry at the waves of adversity and instead, with anchors set firmly through troubled waters, admire the sun on the peaceful horizon. :)

Love, Elder Higham

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Transfers!

Hello, hello!

You were right, we did get transfer calls this week! When President called, he said he was surprised that Elder Lee and I will stay together in 답동 (Incheon) another transfer. Apparently, he originally arranged things differently on the transfer board (I assume that I was going to move, as I have been here longer), but he said that he could not find peace until he moved us back together. So, Elder Lee and I are staying together in 답동! 

I'm very curious as to where I was going to go, but I suppose we might find out next transfer! My MTC companion, Elder Thorup, became a zone leader this transfer, so I look forward to seeing him a lot more!

I can't wait for David to come to Korea on his mission! You will love it here David! The people are great, the food is fantastic, and the language is a blast! Korea is the best! :)

Elder Lee and I spent some time (actually, quite a bit of time) planning for the 설날 (new year) conference that we're holding in our zones this week. We were given 250,000 won ($250 dollars) by the office and I was somehow chosen to be put in charge of that money, so if it gets lost, I have to cough up 250,000 won! ... but, we are spending it today, so no worries! :) 

Our plans for the conference are as follows: we will have a training from 10-11, then together as a zone, we'll make the traditional Korean 떡만두국 soup (look it up on the internet, I don't know how to explain), after which we planned a scavenger hunt activity in China town and 자유 궁원 (maybe you can look it up, it is a fairly popular tourist spot in Incheon). Then, we will come back to the church and watch "Meet the Mormons" to finish off the day. Hopefully all goes well!

We were able to make contact with our Vietnamese friend, 진수홍, again this week and set another baptismal date for March 14. Though we weren't able to meet with him for a while, he still read the Book of Mormon, so we answered some questions to which he had not been able to find answers during that time. He is getting along well with the ward and is progressing very well. I am so grateful to be here another transfer to help him progress towards baptism. I know that it's God's will that I stay here for a short while longer, especially considering President's experience at transfers this week.

I can't think of anything else to include! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Higham


Monday, 2 February 2015

A Good Week!

Hello again,

It is wonderful to hear about the family you are sharing the gospel with! I hope you will keep me updated on how things go with them, since they sound so great. I would love to hear all about them!

I am also sorry about not taking very many pictures. We are not supposed to take pictures while we proselyte and we rarely do anything other than clean and shop on preparation day (our house is very old, so we have to clean out all the dust that collects throughout the week, to make it safe to live in!). 

I never think about taking pictures! I will, however, take some more pictures with members this week, as I would like to have something to remember them by. We also need to update some of our member records, so that works out perfectly!

We went on exchanges twice this week, back to back, both of which I went to another house for the night. So, I left our house to exchange with one of our district leaders, and then the assistants planned for me to go with Elder Nemelka (my previous companion) in the mission home, the next night. So, I had Elder Lee bring me a few extra clothes, then made the lengthy two hour subway ride to the mission home! I also had to sleep on a real bed, which hurt my back a little bit. Thankfully it was only one night! It was quite enjoyable to spend the day with Elder Nemelka and I learned a lot from him!

We also arranged to do family home evening with a family in our ward next week, for which both Elder Lee and I are very excited! The family comprises six children, which is quite uncommon in Korea. I think you will also find their childrens' names entertaining: (The 김, Kim, family) 우림(Urim) 우주 (Universe) 우현 (I don't know that his name has any special meaning, but it sounds cool) 두밈 (Thummim) 야곱 (Jacob, not too common in Korea...) and 노아 (Noah). 

They are a blast! The mother perhaps struggles sometimes with raising six children, but she does such a wonderful job. I have come to appreciate the influence of mothers more profoundly here in Korea. As I have witnessed the effects of selfless and loving motherhood and the lack of, I have also come to appreciate my own family and the selfless sacrifices that I overlooked so often when I was being raised.

I hate to include this information, but I have my tentative release date! My group is scheduled to go home on Sept. 18. That date is not certain yet, but that is quite likely when I will go home, unless President Morrise allows any of us to extend (not too many missionaries have been able to extend recently). So, I will probably be back on the 17th or 18th, but I'm not thinking about that for now. :)

Our Vietnamese friend, 진수홍 will likely have to wait another couple of weeks before he can be baptized. He has been quite busy lately, so we have not been able to teach him according to the schedule we originally made. Currently, we are shooting for Feb 28. Hopefully it works out!

If you want me to do anything else, let me know! Love you all!

Elder Higham


Here's that "virtual golf" game I described in my last post. It was fun!