The Path of Christian Discipleship

The Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, 12 December 2014

An Important and Impactful Work

Hello Hello! 

It snowed!!! :) What an exciting time of year! I love winter! It was such a strange feeling to be so late in the year without snow! I am so happy! :)

First, before I forget, I do have some things I would like to share with my priests in Red Deer. :) I trust that the missionaries there taught of the importance of follow-up while extending the baptismal commitment. We extended a baptismal commitment this morning (which is why I am late to email). At first, our investigator flat out rejected us, but after asking a few questions to determine why he rejected the commitment, we discovered that his rejection was based purely on a lack of understanding.

He is Vietnamese and we are American talking about the gospel in Korean, so there are bound to be some misunderstandings :P He thought that we wanted his to get baptized right then, but after explaining that we want to help him learn and understand more first, he was much more open. If we don't follow-up on our commitments, even when we extend them, then we will not be able to teach effectively to our investigators' needs. 

As far as other suggestions, I would have liked to know how to work with ward council and with ward leaders before my mission, as they are the starting point for relationships in the ward, as well as the key to coordinating missionary work with the ward members. I very recently learned (and am still learning) how to work with ward council; it would have been nice to know what ward council is. Also, I didn't even know that PEC meetings existed before my mission. It would have been nice to get a better feeling for how wards work, because I didn't learn that very quickly on my mission. 

I am very curious to learn how the missionaries in Red Deer work with ward members. That would also be something to have the missionaries teach, since, from what I can remember and hear from emails, they seem to work with members quite effectively in that mission. If you could, I would very much appreciate it if you asked the missionaries how they work with members, or if you share some experiences in meeting with them. How often do they visit members homes? How many of those meetings are meal appointments? How do they prepare for messages to members?

I identified in Preach My Gospel this past week three major inhibiting factors in members' participation in missionary work: fear, a lack of knowledge/experience and lack of people to share the gospel with (for members that have been in an area for a long time and have tried to share the gospel with most of their friends). I wonder how the missionaries there deal specifically with these concerns. There is also another inhibiting factor perhaps unique to Korea that I would also like to hear your opinion on: the men here leave for work at 9 in the morning and don't return until 9 or 10 at night, most days of the week. Needless to say, this makes it hard for them to accept visits from us, as well as have family home evening. Thank you!

Anyway, we have not yet set up a computer for skype, but we have a recent convert in mind. He is going to enter his 2 year military service soon, so he does not have a job and has plenty of free time :) Now we just have to figure out a way to use his computer without asking him... 

I have not yet received any of your packages, but I am so glad to hear that you received my package! Did it arrive in good condition? I almost sent it by air; the lady at the counter saw I was a foreigner and tried to get me to spend the extra money to send it by air, but luckily I knew the vocabulary that I unfortunately do not know in English for "to send something by boat." Maybe there is no specific word for a phrase like that, Koreans love to be specific. It would have cost me around 60 dollars to send it by air, but the boat was only 16! I sent about two months ago, so I am glad it got there on time! :) 

I still have not yet found a micro sd card reader, but I my new camera has wifi, so I will see if I can send the pictures directly through email from my camera. 

I don't have much more time, but I will share one experience I had this week. We agreed, rather reluctantly, to meet our investigator at a restaurant for dinner, instead of the church, where we normally enjoy a more peaceful and quiet atmosphere. Despite the noise of the restaurant, we proceeded to follow up on his commitment to read the restoration pamphlet, then began to discuss some simple principles of prayer. Immediately intrigued, our investigator stopped us and quickly finished his meal, with the intention of going back to the church where he could formally learn how to pray.

Such innocent and genuine enthusiasm sparked in me a burning realization of the importance of my calling, which is to invite others unto Christ. I taught a man how to converse with his Father in Heaven. To most, and admittedly for the majority of my mission, this seemed a simple, insignificant reflex of missionary work, yet pausing to contemplate its eternal significance stimulated a fresh appreciation for the trust the Lord places in me to accomplish such an important and impactful work.

I hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Higham

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