Friday, December 25, 2015

"Merry Christmas from Africa!"

Dear Family,

Merry Christmas, first of all. Again, I have to continue on with the tradition of writing a small letter for the holidays with all of you gathered together. I just wanted to express my love for each and every one of you and I want to thank you all for making positive impacts on me throughout my life and playing a role in getting me to where I am today. As I reflect on where I've come from a year ago today, I realize I've grown up so much and have begun to realize what's truly important in life. It's not about the Instagram likes, or the High School drama, or how many runs I gave up in a game, or other things like that. It's about seeking to improve each and every day to become more like our Savior, strengthening our families to combat the evils we find in the world today, maintaining our temple worthiness and striving to keep the covenants we've made, and the list can go on and on. I'm so grateful for what I've learned on my mission so far. It's brought so many blessings to my life, more than I can describe. 

As we celebrate the birth of the Savior this Christmas season, I want to encourage you to turn outward. In the MTC, I was able to hear a talk by Elder Bednar on the Characters of Christ. In the talk, Elder Bednar described a few key events in the Savior's life where instead of falling victim to the natural man, and focusing on himself, he turned outward and was more concerned for the welfare of others. I'm not going to lie, I am nowhere near perfect in trying to follow the Savior's example in this aspect, but I know that as we rely on the Savior and the merit's of his sacrifice, we can become better.

I love you all so much and want nothing more than to be with you all today, but I know that I am where I'm supposed to be. Have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy the food and the gifts, but remember to say a prayer of gratitude thanking your Father in Heaven for the gift of His Only Begotten.

Elder Hazen

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