The Path of Christian Discipleship

The Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Price Paid

Hello all:

Happy Birthday David!!!! Again, It is not your birthday in Canada yet, but it is here in Korea, so happy birthday! I hope you all had a great week! I don't have much to report on and I have no emails yet from home, from which I can form this email, so I apologize if this email is not very interesting!

This week, I came to understand to a greater extent the blessings available through the atonement of the Saviour. I first read in Mosiah chapter 3, verse 7: "And lo, He shall suffer temptations and pains of body, hunger, thirst and fatigue, even more than man can suffer,

except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be His anguish for the wickedness and abominations of His people." It is truly humbling to read of the Saviour's atonement. To think that someone so great willingly suffered so much for people so imperfect, that He might know exactly how to succor them and eventually lift them up to exaltation fills my heart and soul with such great joy. I find great comfort in knowing that He is perfectly capable and willing to help us in all of our specific challenges and concerns.

We fasted this tuesday, for our investigator 이희용 (ee hee yong), specifically to discover how we could best help him prepare for baptism. Fasting as a missionary is hard, I have discovered, particularly when you have no appointments, most of your members work until 11 at night and the weather is not as cool as you are used to! I was a little worn out and felt, more than I normally do, the pain of so many rejections and preconceived hatred on the street as we endeavored to talk to people. I fervently prayed for strength, yet my burden did not seem to be lifted in any degree. We had an appointment scheduled with our bishop, so we ventured to his house at the appropriate time and enjoyed a fabulous meal his wife made (she is an awesome cook!), after which we talked to him about how we could better serve the ward members. As he responded, giving us a few names of people to visit, I felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace and sense of contribution, which I had struggled to feel prior to our appointment with him.

Fast forward a little to Sunday. Again, we had no appointments. I was again feeling slightly discouraged. To be honest, I was feeling quite discouraged. All but one investigator dropped us, and we had to postpone his baptismal date indefinitely, since he struggles to keep all the commitments needed for baptism, and has gotten sick, so is unable to meet very frequently. We watch 'The District' videos as part of our 12 week training program for Elder Anderson, which are normally very inspiring and helpful, but for some reason, watching them this week stimulated some discouragement, as I watched one companionship struggle for two or so months without a baptism, then after hard work, having the opportunity to help someone receive baptism. I selfishly compared myself to him and got frustrated, as I have been working diligently for a year and have still not had the opportunity to see someone progress toward baptism.

So, Sunday afternoon, was a little hard for me. I again prayed fervently, but to no avail, it seemed. I wondered why I did not receive help immediately, as I have before. Nevertheless, I recognized my selfishness in the feelings that I was experiencing and continued to pour out my soul to God. Hours later, as we were about to return home, I received two simple, yet very clear promptings. The first was to work on our member book during dinner, which I had been procrastinating to do for a while, as opposed to watching a conference talk which I had been planning to do. I thought this was a little silly, as I deemed I could find much more encouragement from the words of the prophets and apostles, than from working on a member book. As I started to update information in the member book, and to write notes about the members, I was overcome with such a tremendous love for them, which spread to the Korean people in general. I was lifted beyond what I was initially expecting, which allowed me to perform cheerfully my duties for the rest of the evening.

The second bit of inspiration I received was to write in my journal in English. Lately, I have been writing in Korean, in an effort to improve my writing skills in Korean, yet I felt strongly that I needed to write in English. I found this also to be very beneficial, as it allowed me to freely express some of the feelings that had weighed me down throughout the day.

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we do not only receive salvation, but we can be lifted to overcome every single trial that we face in this life. I have come to know this fact this week. As I noticed, we are not always lifted immediately; Elder Holland, in his talk "missionary work and the atonement" that mom sent me a few weeks ago (I have no doubt that this was also inspired, as it too played a key role in my discoveries of the atonement this week), says that he feels that in missionary work, we are often called upon to, in some very minor extent "walk the road to Gethsemane," that we might know, at least to some degree that price that was paid to lift us through life's adversities ... I know this to be true.

Thank you for your emails, I just read them :) Also, thank you so much for the package that you sent me this week, with all of your letters! I quite enjoyed reading them and feasting on the chocolate that you sent :)

Love you all so much!

Elder Higham

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