Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016 Flooding in Houston


How are you guys this week? Sounds like you guys got a lot of flooding this shot of the temple

This week i was kinda a mess. My sleeps been off, so i've been way off. Also i just barely got my money for April (today is 4/25) so i haven't been eating that well. Also no running...hoping to get back in the swing of things over the next few weeks because how your body feels makes a big impact on your ability to do the work.

This week we were still able to see a lot of cool miracles though. A member from another ward gave us a referral from one of his friends from college and she's super cool. She seemed like she was gonna be willing to progress but then all of a sudden she sent us a text that she needed to chill out and think about things for a little before continuing to meet with us :/

There was also this cool girl who we ran into who ran into major opposition from her family so we're not going to be able to continue meeting with her.

Shared the Word of Wisdom with a lady who was drunk at a 7 and she was willing to meet with us again sooooo..

Had a mom come to church with her son. Her son wanted to know what Easter was. They're pretty serious buddhists, though, and she made that pretty clear to us

My companion bought this humongous thing of bananas and ate it within a week. Like 30 something bananas. I swear he's like Yohan Blake or something.

Mommy i may be needing contacts soon :)

haha people still invite us in when we're soaked.  Luckily my bag is water proof so none of my stuff gets that wet. Singing the hymns in mandarin is kinda more normal to me now

Here's a scripture for the week: "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." - Isaiah 1:19. If we do what we're supposed to do, it will all turn out ok in the end. 

Sorry for the short message, thought pics would be more fun, let me know what you guys want to know about because im really bad at remembering interesting stuff..No idea on mothers day as of now

Love you guys and hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson

Just wanted to share Sis. Blickenstaff's moving  thoughts after the death of Elder Hampton who died after being run over by a car this week in Taiwan. So sad for his family and praying for their comfort in the weeks ahead.  (Michelle Nelson)

April 12, 2016

On Tuesday, April 12, President Blickenstaff received the phone call that every mission president fears. He was informed that one of his missionaries, Elder Hampton, had been hit by a car and seriously injured. Being a physician, from the description of Elder Hampton's condition, President Blickenstaff knew it did not sound favorable. About an hour later, we were notified that Elder Hampton was not going to survive.

I received a similar phone call 14 years ago informing me that my three-year-old daughter had been hit by a car and was gone. It was almost the same scenario. Instantaneous. Our dear baby Courtney returned to a loving Heavenly Father, worthy of the greatest gift of all, that of eternal life. You cannot want these precious ones back on the earth, because they are promised everything the Father has, even celestial glory. With Elder Hampton's passing, I was reminded of the scripture found in D&C 122:9, “Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not . . . for God shall be with you forever and ever.” I did not need to worry for Elder Hampton, neither could I want him back.

Although I have shed many tears since, I did not cry in the Changhua Christian Hospital emergency room that night, perhaps for the same reason I did not cry in the emergency room over a decade ago. Because I knew in my heart on both nights that God has a plan. It is beautiful. It is merciful. It is centered in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes everything right. It turns the most painful of all pains, the loss of a loved one, into a gift that is wonderful and amazing. Something, over time, you can be happy about and look upon as a blessing. Something, with the assurance of the Comforter, you can be at peace with. Something, with the veil so thin at times, you can know is true without a shadow of a doubt, because loved ones continue to watch over you from above.

Members, missionaries, and friends were at the hospital to comfort Elder Hampton's companion. Although I'm sure he was shocked, I could feel he was at peace. He was Elder Hampton's trainer. They had been safe. They had been obedient. They loved each other. They worked hard together. They loved being representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and they loved laboring in His vineyard. 

We soon met the driver of the vehicle. He and his wife were heartbroken. They expressed their sorrows and shed uncontrollable tears. We reassured them that Elder Hampton was in a better place, and that families could be eternal. Elder Hampton's companion was able to share the message of the Restored Gospel with them. We hope that through learning about the Plan of Salvation and prayer, they too will be healed through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Two days after the accident, they came to the chapel where we were conducting interviews for Elder Hampton's zone. I had been conducting devotionals with all the missionaries to help them understand the circumstances behind the accident, and to show them the KSL news broadcast wherein Brother and Sister Hampton share their unwavering faith and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This Taiwanese couple, in their grief, were comforted in hearing that the Hamptons were concerned for them and their well being.

We have all felt the many prayers in our behalf, from people all around the world, sustain us during this sacred time. We have had the strength to comfort our missionaries and to minister to the Hamptons. We have witnessed many miracles and our faith in Christ's Plan of Salvation has been made even stronger through this experience. We are so grateful for the enduring faith of the Hampton family, that has brought us much comfort. Listen to their testimonies anchored in Christ:
We are grateful to have served with Elder Hampton. We are grateful that he loved his mission and was happily engaged in the recent charge to all missionaries worldwide, to 'Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts." We are grateful that he strived every day to be a better missionary. We are grateful that at the end of each day, Elder Hampton wrote a brief, uplifting  journal entry and ended it with the words, "Be good OK! Love your mission!" 

On the following weekend, the investigator that Elder Hampton and his companion were teaching
entered the waters of baptism:
In reflection, Elder Hampton's companion wrote: 
My life changed on Tuesday when my companion passed away after being struck by a car on the way to the church. That night was a tough experience for me. However, I have been able to pray and receive priesthood blessings that have helped me to overcome and find peace through this trial.
At first I was very shaken up. However, as I began to reflect on my purpose as a missionary and on the Plan of Salvation, I came to see this experience not so much as a tragedy, but as a blessing that has strengthened my own testimony in the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have felt the power of His Atonement and also the power of all your prayers over this last week. Because of these things, I have been able to press forward.
I spent a day in Taichung after the accident in order to help with some of the legal matters. I also spent the day resting and reflecting on what had happened. Then on Thursday I headed back out to Zhang Hua. I am currently serving with the other ward's elders, but we are also covering some investigators from my own ward. Although it seemed a little fast to get back to the work..I know Elder Hampton cared just as much for these investigators as I did, so I know he would have preferred me getting right back to work. I especially had to go back to prepare for a baptism for...our investigator, which...ended up going great. The spirit was so strong throughout the entire service. I had a special feeling throughout the entire baptism, and I knew missionaries from both sides of the veil were present. I reflected on how as one person I knew and loved ended their mortal discipleship of Jesus Christ, someone else I knew and loved had just began theirs. 

We rest assured that Elder Hampton is still in the service of the Lord as a missionary, only in a different realm, anxiously engaged in this great work of salvation!

December 12: The MTC District

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