Monday, December 28, 2015

Weekly Update~ "Happy New Year!"

RJ found Santa in Uganda!
Christmas Morning
Christmas Morning Breakfast
Elder RJ Talking with His Family, Just Look at that Smile!
Area Christmas Party
The Way They Roll
Some of Elder Hazen's Christmas Gifts
Dear Friends and Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and I hope all you with Missionaries out were able to enjoy your time communicating with them! I was lucky enough to talk to my family for a good chunk of time and hearing their voice was the cherry on top of a perfect Christmas in Uganda. 

In the morning, after spending the night in our living room with my district and telling stories all night, we woke up at 6:30 and opened our packages. 
I wanted to let everyone who took the time to write a letter or share a few uplifting words with me this past week to know how much I appreciated it. The letters and pictures I was able to receive from my family and friends made Christmas away from home all worthwhile. I was so overwhelmed with the gratitude I have for you all back home supporting me while I am here. I may not be able to reply to them all, but I thought I'd take the time to answer a few questions that I received in the letters. 
  • Biggest Adjustment?- I'd say my biggest adjustment was learning to adapt to the culture here and sticking out like a sore thumb. The people here definitely don't mind reminding us that we are different by yelling out to us on the side of the streets, but at the same time, most people are very kind here.
  • What is President Chatfield like?- I'm thankful that this mission is being led by President Chatfield. He is a great leader and is very uplifting and encouraging to us Missionaries. He reminds us to stay focused on our purpose, have faith, and to be obedient. 
  • How is the church here?- In Lugazi in particular, the Branch is still fairly new. However, it is growing stronger week by week. I'm so excited to see what this next year has in store for this branch because the work is really beginning to pick up. 
  • Favorite part of Africa?- My favorite part of Africa right now is how ready these people are to receive the Gospel in their lives. Many people are beginning to see the blessings the Gospel brings and are eager to share the happiness they've been able to feel.
  • Are you having fun?- OF COURSE. I love my mission so much and it's brought blessings to my life I can't begin to describe
This week, aside from talking to my family, I think the biggest highlight was being able to extend baptism dates to a family of 7. We are very excited to see what the future has in store with them. This week, Elder Dowdle and I have 4 baptisms planned. I'll talk more about the people next week.
I hope you all have a wonderful New Years. Take the opportunity to start the New Year right by making goals to improve habits with scripture study, prayer, keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and temple attendance. 

I love you all!
Elder Hazen

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