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!







Monday, 26 January 2015

Effective Member Work

Hello again!

I hope you all had a fabulous week! I sure did! What a great privilege it is to be serving a mission in Korea! I'm sorry David, but it is better than wherever you are going to be called, unless, of course, you come to Korea! Ha ha! I will pray that you get called to 부산 Korea Busan Mission! :) I am so excited for you to get your mission call ... to Korea! :) Not long now and you'll know too where you're going, huh? Exciting.

We had the opportunity to go the temple this past week, which is always a wonderful experience. We had some free time after going through the temple on Thursday, so we got everything done last week that we needed to around the apartment (our house is spotless!) So today on pday, we're thinking about going screen golfing. Screen golf is an activity that is perhaps unique to Korea? Don't know that I've seen anything like it anywhere else. It's basically a room with a big screen that displays a golf course, with a spot to hit an actual golf ball with an an actual golf club against the wall. Apparently, there are sensors on the walls, which allow the screen to display fairly accurately where the ball would have gone. After that, perhaps we will go to a bathhouse, or play ping pong! It has been a long time since I have done something fun like this on pday!

I talked with President Morrise at the temple this past week, where he informed us that he felt inspired to make working with and finding through members the major focus of our upcoming transfer period. My heart leaped for joy! He sent a text to all the zone leaders the other day, inviting us to prepare for the next mission leadership council by thinking of ways to work more effectively with members. Elder Lee and I have been working on this for a long time, so we are quite excited! I feel confident that our mission is being lead by the spirit; it is such a wonderful feeling.

We also attended a Stake Presidency Meeting yesterday, but were unfortunately not given a chance to report on the status of the missionaries in the stake (we didn't force any comments, in consideration of Korean culture, so I think they forgot about us). We were however, able to hear some concerns the bishops and ward mission leaders in our stake have regarding the missionaries, which we plan to address in the near future. 

One major complaint mentioned was missionary tardiness. David (and whoever else is preparing for a mission soon), please make sure you exert every effort to be on time to appointments - especially with members! Punctuality is a very simple way we can gain and maintain trust from members, especially considering the vast majority of 18-20 year old kids perhaps do not yet understand how to apply this principle very effectively.

After discussing missionary efforts in the stake, we observed a presentation on the combination of our wards and stakes, which lasted much longer than we anticipated. I think they forgot that we were there, because after the meeting, a member of the stake presidency told us not to disclose any information we received at the meeting! No worries, since we didn't understand most of it anyway, as the discussions were fast and somewhat heated! :P I am happy with my own little stewardship right now :) 

Our Vietnamese investigator, 진수홍 is still progressing very well! We had a high councillor from one of my last wards come to give a talk in our ward this week, where he praised 진수홍 in front of the entire congregation for his commitment to learn about the church. I think his public mention of our investigator really made him feel welcome and included. It will be a bit of a push to teach all the lessons before his baptismal date, but if he keeps accepting and progressing at this rate, I think he will be good to go for Feb. 14! Here's hoping!

I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Higham

With my former companion, Elder DeMille  

Another day at the office! :)

With a fellow Canadian, Elder Payne.

Charity Never Faileth

Hello, hello! 

It is always so good to hear from you all! I hope Ben is alright! It's never good to travel to the hospital in an ambulance! I had a similar experience this week, but will talk more of that later (don't worry mom ... all's well).

We just got out of a lesson with our Vietnamese investigator, 진수홍. He got very busy after accepting his baptismal date of February 14, and therefore has not been able to meet for about a week and a half. We are not quite sure if we will be able to help him be baptized on the date he agreed to, but we taught the plan of salvation and the word of wisdom today and discovered that he has no concerns whatsoever following the commandments and standards we taught him ... which is a miracle! He is progressing well.

We also picked up another investigator through a referral we received from a less active member. His name is 손유철 (Sone yoo chol). He works as a police officer and works two days on, then two days off, so hopefully he will have some time to meet!

On Thursday of this week, I saw the spirit work through my companion and I quite visibly. We went on exchanges with one of our district leaders and I had the chance to take this wonderful missionary to my area for the day. We normally conduct the training portion of exchanges during companionship study in the morning, and this exchange was no different. I felt impressed to talk about "charity and love." So I shared some of my thoughts and we read about charity in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel

As I began to talk of ways we can effectively demonstrate charity to our companions, my temporary companion shared that charity was a major topic of his studies recently. He'd been having some struggles with his companion recently and consequently had been studying charity to help their relationship. He opened up to me and shared many of his thoughts and feelings and I was able to guide him to find some things he can apply in his relationship with his companion.

Later that evening, when Elder Lee and I were back together, we went to visit a family we had been trying unsuccessfully to visit for a while, and whom I felt impressed to visit in our planning session the night before. Not only did we successfully visit them this time, but we also met with a less active member who introduced himself to us en route to our visit - as well as one of my former investigators (both of whom live in my previous 부평 area). We were able to refer both of these people to the Elders in 부평 area

These random appointments put us slightly off schedule, so we had to decide whom we should visit of the two other members we put in our planners. Elder Lee and I both felt impressed to visit an elderly sister who recently lost her husband. On our way to her house, we witnessed a man get hit by a car! 

I will not include any of the gruesome details, but we were the only ones there to help this injured man and the shaken young man who hit him with his car, both of whom were understandably distressed and in shock.

Walking home, I was filled with the spirit, knowing that I had been an instrument in the Lord's hands to help accomplish His work among some of His children here in 인천. It was a good feeling.

I send my love! I hope you are all doing well. I love this gospel; it brings me such great joy to be laboring here in this little part of the Lord's vineyard. I know this is the Lord's work!


Love, Elder Higham

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Every Member an Investigator!

Hello again

I hope you all are doing well. I am running out of things to include in these emails! We have one investigator and the rest of our efforts are focused on enabling members to participate in missionary work and to become self sufficient and strong in the gospel. Our investigator, 진수홍 (Geen soo hong) has a baptismal date for the 14th of February next month!! He works every night from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., so it's quite difficult to meet him given his opposite schedule. Nevertheless,  he makes time to meet with us at least weekly and comes to church right after his shift every Sunday. Also, he works in a factory and since he doesn't have much time to do anything else when he is not working and sleeping, he reads the Book of Mormon in the intervals of the conveyor belt here and there. He is from Vietnam and just a wonderful soul! 

Our mission complement decreased this year to 150 missionaries, so we will be losing a significant portion of our missionaries in the near future. We will lose even more here in 인천, as the stake presidency decided to combine a couple of the wards in the stake. This new combined ward, which by my estimation will include roughly 180-200 members, will attend services in the giant mega-church they are building. I have never seen a church quite like this one. I have not seen the renovated Kentwood chapel, but I would feel safe to bet this church is around 6 times as big as the building you now attend! I don't know what we will do with all of the space in the building! I fully support our Stake Presidency and will try my best to help this stake in any way needed, come what may. 

We have Zone Conference tomorrow, during which we are planning to train our missionaries to work more effectively with ward members. From our observation, most of the missionaries get frustrated when members do not participate in missionary work as they hope, therefore they concentrate their efforts elsewhere. Our goal is to have missionaries treat members more like investigators, where they work and teach them gospel principles fundamentals of missionary work. We even made a slogan to accompany our training: "Every Member an Investigator." We figure if missionaries start to contact, prepare for, teach, and visit members as well as they do all of those things for investigators, we missionaries might have a better influence in building the church here in Korea. 

I don't know what else to write, but I do have a request! Please, please, please, do your home teaching! Whoever is reading this, do your home teaching! It is such a simple program, but it is absolutely critical in participating in the Lord's work. Please do your home teaching! :) 

Love you so much!
Elder Higham

Monday, 5 January 2015

The Power of Everyday Missionaries

Happy New Year! 

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's party! Instead of partying here in Korea, they all wake up very early and hike up a mountain to see the first sunrise of the morning. As missionaries, we have permission to accompany our ward members to hike the mountain in the morning, but as we did not receive an invitation, we unfortunately did not get the chance to participate. 
Following the hike, everyone gathers together to eat a big meal. Also, everyone turns a year older in the New Year, so I am now 21 here in Korea! However, you apparently do not turn a year older until you eat a bowl of 떡국 (I don't know how to describe this in English!). I suppose I am still 20, since I have not eaten 떡국 yet! But I guess I'm still only 19 by North America reckoning! :)

We received our transfer calls this week: both companionships in our house will stay the same. It is, however, always difficult to say goodbye to several of our zone members each transfer! But such is the life of missionaries!

In my modest attempt to entertain you all, I will mention an experience I had with one of our district leaders on exchanges this past week! While Elder Bodily and I were talking to people on the way to a member visit, Elder Bodily offered to shake hands with one man on the street who was clearly intoxicated ... at which point the man, who wobbling down the street with his hands in his pockets, pulled a can of beer out of his pocket and placed it right in Elder Bodily's hand! Elder Bodily stood for a moment, surprised and not knowing what to do, then gave the can back to the man, who proceeded to give him a big hug and continue on his merry way.
I could not help but laugh, both at the sight of a stunned missionary with a beer can in his hand, and at the man, completely severed from controllable conscious thought, offering a great big bear hug, then continuing to struggle down the street, trying in vain to rid himself of the shackles that impaired his basic motor skills!! Good to find humour and laughter in the simple daily experiences!

In consideration of the New Year, I set some goals that I would like to share. Our district leader, Elder Hale, had us complete an activity last district meeting which he found in the back of chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel, which served as the foundation of my New Year's Resolutions. He asked us three questions, prefaced by a prompt to consider our last day in the mission field, to which we then responded.
The first question was: "What do you want to say you have done as a missionary?" My reply: I want to say that I exerted a consecrated effort to firmly establish the roots of God's kingdom here in Korea alongside the Korean people. The second question was: "What do you want to have become?" I responded that I want to become a dependable man, whom the Lord can trust with His work. Finally, to the question, "What differences would you want others to notice in you?" I answered that I would want people to feel that I care for them more profoundly than I care for myself.
I decided to refrain from very specific goals for the entire year, instead allowing myself to set weekly and monthly goals to achieve the general vision outlined in my responses to these three questions. I suppose, this will allow me to continuously evaluate my efforts in achieving what I desire to achieve this year, specifically before the end of my mission. 
This next experience is somewhat related to my previous remarks, as it outlines more specific efforts to achieve my vision to help the members of Korea establish the church in this area. Somewhat identical to the Susan Fulcher case (I am not sure if you are familiar with this case study, but it's a true story about a full-time missionary, Sister Fulcher, in Boston found in the book The Power of Everyday Missionaries), Elder Lee and I felt it would be a good idea to invite some of the members we have been closely working with recently to share a testimony reflecting their experiences with missionary work. Most of them refused for various reasons, but our bishop's wife shared a beautiful and powerful testimony of her experiences setting goals and performing missionary work for her deceased father and for her mother, who currently lives in 대구, but will return to 인천 in three months. Her testimony invited the spirit powerfully and demonstrated a wonderful example of member missionary work to the rest of the ward. I was so happy! 

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week back at school!!! 
Love, Elder Higham

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Pleasant Little Miracle

Hello!

Thank you for sending such a great email, mother! It brings me such great joy to hear of my family doing the very thing I am striving so desperately to help members do here: share the gospel. I will pray for you and your missionary efforts! I cannot begin to imagine the miracles we would see if every member of the church reached out to some friends the way you are currently reaching out. 

I looked at the book "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" the other day, as it was in our house and quite appreciated what brother Christensen mentioned about being qualified to find the people whom God has prepared. He mentioned wards and individual members simply taking seriously the command to share the gospel and veritable miracles that would ensue. He suggested that we must qualify ourselves as individuals and wards through our faith and our actions to have God trust us with the people whom He has prepared to hear the gospel. Conversely, he asserts that we disqualify ourselves to ever succeed in missionary work if we become complacent and do not demonstrate a consecrated effort to magnify our callings and share the gospel. I admit, I am not quite sure how this relates to your missionary work and, in retrospect, I am not sure why I included this, but I hope it becomes useful in some form.

It was nice to talk to you all this week. Seeing all of you ready to celebrate Christmas finally made it feel like Christmas! We had our ward Christmas party later that evening, which included our ward members presenting all three missionary companionships with a massive box of food, for which they had all secretly fund raised!! We were all surprised and very much grateful for their sacrifice, which was a testament to their goodness. We have a wonderful ward! 

We have been making more of an effort to work with the ward members lately, which resulted in a pleasant little miracle yesterday. We had planned to visit three members Saturday evening to share a message: our bishop's family, his second councilor with his wife, and another single lady in our ward.

We did not make any formal arrangements to visit them, as we find member visits are most successful when we make the effort to first go to their area and then call them immediately prior to visiting (that way they are less likely to make excuses to avoid a visit from us!). 

At church, however, the second councilor asked us if we would go with him and his wife to deliver some boxes to the very single lady we had originally planned to visit! We had lunch with all three of them, after which we were able to share a message with them. 

Also, immediately after church, the bishop's wife approached us and invited us to dinner at their house that evening. We were then able to discuss and help them with some of their goals for missionary work - just as we had planned to do! It's so wonderful to see the Lord's hand directly assisting His work in this manner, and to be a part of that small miracle.

I said everything else I wanted to say on Wednesday! So great to talk to you all!

Love, Elder Higham :)

What a blessing to be able to go through the temple every transfer!

My current comp: Elder Lee



Elder Hale and I.

If there's one thing Koreans have mastered, it's public transportation! Their subway stations are veritable museum works of art ... and all of their public transit is light years ahead of ours in terms of efficiency, technology, and infrastructure. It's really a pleasure to experience.

Just another day on the streets.






Our ward Christmas party.


The food package the ward fund-raised to provide for us! So blessed!! :)