Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oct. 20th

Dear family, this last week has been insane!

I've learned a few things as an assistant. For example, we don't really get sleep. This last week we had our mission tour with Elder Arnold of the 70 (
First Quorum of the Seventy – a General Authority for the Church). He is an extremely spiritual and very intense man. His list of what he wanted for the mission zone conferences was long and detailed, and he expected it to all be perfect.  We spent the three days of Monday-Wednesday on a combined 14 hours of sleep, but we got it all done and it was incredible! We learned tons from Elder Arnold, and one of the coolest parts was the one on one interview we had with him!

Elder Arnold of the First Quorum of the Seventy

After mission tour, we tried to get back to focusing on our proselyting area. It's so cool to serve in YSA (Young Single Adult congregations). The English ward is pretty cool, the bishop is a former mission president so he's super awesome at helping us out. The Tongan ward is awesome! This last week, we even taught a lesson in Chuuk (Micronesian language). I can't speak it obviously, but I read out loud from the Book of Mormon in it. The person we were teaching told me it sounded exactly right. I just pronounced it like I would pronounce Spanish haha. We even got to teach a young man in Spanish, so that's good, I can still practice my language skills.

Life is super good. We stay busier than I even anticipated. Most days start before 6:30 and we don't get home until midnight, but I love it! I feel productive and feel like we're getting tons done, now it's time
to focus on helping the mission keep moving forward and helping our brothers and sisters learn about the true and restored Gospel.

Unfortunate part of this last week, we had an emergency transfer on Saturday that moved about 6 elders and sent one home, which was no fun to deal with and we felt bad for those involved, but it'll be for
their best in the long run. Elder Chappell and I spent all day long transporting missionaries and their things from one place to the other, pure craziness! (Part of his new duties as an AP: Assistant to the Mission President)

I feel like I'm going to blink and it'll already be Christmas time, can't wait to see y'all :) (We will get to Skype and talk to him on the phone that day!!!) Until next week, just know that I love y'all and you're the best family ever :) Keep on smiling!

Life is good though. Crazy, but good :) I love being on the mission!

Hey Madre! I love you! I'm sorry my email time was limited. We had a “kind of” P-day today.  We had a mission office meeting all morning, finally got some food/did some shopping, then just had a couple of hours to play ball and clean, so that's what we've been doing. But I love you! Thanks so much for your long update, I truly appreciate it and I'm so thankful to have a mom like you, I brag about you ALL the time. Seriously, you're the best. 

Love always,


(From his email to his Aunt Tammy):

Hey Aunt Tammy!

I'm glad to hear grandma and papa are healthy! (My sister is currently visiting my parents)

So my favorite part about this new assignment is the opportunity it gives me to grow in leadership skills. Least favorite part: we get very little sleep. We don't really get to follow the
(normal) missionary schedule because of all the extra assignments we have, so instead of 6:30 am to 10:30 pm it's like 6:30 am to midnight haha, every day.

We get exposed to plenty of opportunities to learn how to correct/assist the missionaries we serve over when they’re disobedient as well as plan for the mission goals and implementing general improvement plans.

Phrase of the week: no puedo esperar. It means I can't wait. Each day that's how I feel about the next. Each day is a great opportunity to learn and grow :)

I love you so much! See yah soon! Send my love to everyone back home please.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oct. 14th

Hola Family!

Here is my official mission newsletter announcement as AP :)

Elder Higgins is a new AP!

So today, we didn't get a P-Day,  this is a week where we won't get one (now that he is an AP – Assistant to the President – his P-days will not always come regularly, depending on what needs to be done in the mission office) . We have 1 hour of "free-time" today, and we have to go shopping too. much easier with a car though! (As an AP he now has a car for the first time since he has been out on his mission)

We've stayed so busy this last week. We've been super busy over here. We haven't gotten back to our apartment before midnight once this last week, there's always so much to do! And we started our mission tour today, so Elder Arnold of the First Quorum of the Seventy (a General Authority of the church) was here to speak to our mission and Elder Chappell (Scottie’s companion) and I were in charge of setting up everything, getting mics, projectors, chairs and tables setup, everything. We had to conduct ( lead the meetings where Elder Arnold was speaking), slightly nerve-wracking when there's a General Authority staring at you haha. But today's meeting went well, just have to worry about Tuesday and Wednesday now. It is kind of cool driving again, no lie, I like that part. 

I'm happy and healthy though. Slightly sleep-deprived, but it comes with the job :) maybe I can take a nap after mission tour is over on Wednesday :) 

I got congratulated by a member of the 70 today and that was kind of cool! He told me and Chappell we did a good job setting everything up, it felt kind of good, because we lost lots of sleep over it :)

I’ll try to send some pics of a cool experience we had this last week, but until then, I love y'all and I can't wait to email with you next week :)

We went downtown to pick up our iPhone 5, an upgrade from the four we have currently, and this was inside the Missionary Department of the Church Office Building. That's 350 broken iPads from all over the world, that missionaries send in because they broke them. That's why missionaries in the future have to buy their own!

What happens when a missionary falls off his bike...And then lands on his iPad. No worries, it wasn't me, but thisiPad is destroyed

Thanks for being the best and most supportive family ever!

My new apartment seems great, the bed is decently comfortable.  Ha-ha we come in, fall asleep, wake up,  shower, get dressed, and leave. I am barely here :) 

Elder Chappell is amazing. I came out (from the MTC: Missionary Training Center) with him too, so we've been buddies up until now, and now we're just meshing and working hard and doing good work. I love serving with him, 

Our eating consists of lots of fast food and skipped meals (they are now over 2 Young Single Adult Wards so not many family meals). Not super healthy. We did get some bomb dinners from the Tongan ward though, and they always give us left overs, so we eat that lots too :)



(From his email to his Aunt Tammy): 
Hey Aunt Tammy!!

This last week has been crazy busy! I loved driving again, and yes ma'am, all in English (As an AP he is no longer serving in Spanish Speaking congregations). My companion speaks Spanish, so I can keep it up somewhat by talking to him :) Being assistant is very fun. It's super intense and I feel like I'll learn and grow a lot. I will probably not get transferred anymore, not 100% positive, but it looks like this is my last area!

Spanish word of the week: obediencia. Its obedience haha, just like it sounds. But we've been learning tons about that in the mission, especially focusing on Mosiah 2:41. Great stuff!

Love you!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Scottie watching General Conference in the home of Senor de Alba

Hey family!!!!

So let me just say, this last week definitely has changed my mission. That's for sure :)

On Tuesday we started our exchanges (on exchanges they pair up with another set of missionaries and switch companions for a day) with our Assistants to the President (APs), and I had interviews with Pres. Swain (his mission president) that day too. Pres. called me in, sat me down, and we started with a prayer. Then, he said, "Elder Higgins, the Lord would like you to serve as an AP." So....I'm definitely getting transferred haha. 

The new assignment becomes official!

Being an Assistant will bring an incredible amount of new responsibilities. Because it's so much, I left my area last Tuesday and have spent the whole week with the AP's (except Saturday, I got to go back to my area and and watch General Conference and say bye to people), and I've been on information overload mode trying to learn everything. To give you an example of how crazy our life is sometimes as AP's, we got here to the office to work on Transfer details (transfers occur every six weeks, during transfers new missionaries come in, those finishing their mission leave and missionaries are moved around as needed) yesterday at 4:30pm....and didn't leave the office until 12:15am. 8 straight hours of work, no dinner haha. Would've ordered a pizza...but it was Sunday. We've got 21 missionaries coming in tomorrow so lots to do with that. 

Elder Jarvis (Scottie's companion) snoozing - after conference, I'm sure :) 

It is pretty cool, I got to sit in on the meetings with Pres. Swain to talk about transfers, so I know where every missionary in the mission is going and I got to help pick some of them. (His mission has 160 missionaries and 20 Senior couples – married couples serving together)

Monday morning meeting with President Swain

I also get a car now. I got to drive for the first time in almost a year and a half last Thursday, which was awesome. 2013 Ford Focus, nothing too fancy but driving is fun :)

I love y'all and we've got lots to work on today. We don't really get a pday (preparation day) today since we've got so much to do, but hopefully next week I can try and write more. I'll send some pictures too!

iPads for new missionaries!

Elders Isabell and Chappell training Scottie on his new AP duties!

I love y'all. I'm excited for this opportunity. I know I'll learn tons! I'm sad to be leaving all the people in my last area, but it's okay, I know our relationships will last after the mission :)

The AP I am replacing is going home in 6 weeks, he's already been assistant for 7.5 months, so pres. (President Swain)  is letting him do his last transfer in the field. 

I'll probably spend the rest of my mission as AP.

I'll be in 2 wards: an English YSA (Young Single Adult) and a Tongan YSA haha....I'll miss Spanish. (He has been serving Spanish congregations and communities since he began his mission)

The wards both meet 9:00-12:00, but have sacrament on opposite ends of the block (of meetings). So it goes: 
Ward council from 7:00am-->9:00am
Sacrament in one ward from 9:00-->10:00
Classes for an hour
Other sacrament meeting
Other ward council meeting

And we don't always get a P-Day as AP’s, and sometimes it changes randomly, depending on the day. So we'll just have to be super patient there :)

And because it's YSA (Young Single adults – they don’t do much cooking!), we almost never eat with people (missionaries normally have dinner with different members of the congregations where they are serving). They give us money, we go out to eat. They eat in restaurants A LOT! It’ll be way different (he is used to eating dinner in the homes of the Spanish-speaking families he served) haha

Love you!!!!


(From his email to his Aunt Tammy):

Hey Aunt Tammy!!

Sorry it's kind of short, but we've had a crazy last week. I got called as an Assistant to the Mission President,  it is the highest leadership position you can get assigned to as a missionary (there are only two AP’s in his mission). So I'm pretty nervous and excited at the same time. 

We've got a crazy day, but I'll try to send more emails next week :) I love you! I'll send good vibes out to all!!

Te amo!