Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Weekly Update~ "Highlights of the Week!"

Decorated House

Baseball Injury

Newest Little Investigator
Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas from Uganda and from the Lugazi district!
This week was frustrating, yet rewarding. I know that all the frustrations and trials experienced are made up through Jesus Christ and his atonement. That thought has brought me comfort, especially during this time of the year when we get the opportunity to celebrate His birth. Some of the highlights this week include:
  • My district and I were able to provide service for numerous people in the branch boundaries. On Tuesday morning, we walked about an hour to a member's garden in the village and we were able to help her with her garden. It was tiring, but so worth it. Also, I was able to continue helping out with the local baseball team here in Lugazi. Again, there's nothing better than doing what I love for the benefit of others. It makes me happy being able to make these kids happy by sharing with them one of my passions other than the gospel (Haha). This week they made me hit, and the first pitch I saw, I fouled into my ankle and it started bleeding and swelling. Good times. 
  • Elder Dowdle and I have been able to receive a good number of referrals this week. Our prayers have been answered as we've been finding more families to teach. It's funny how many sets of brothers we've been able to teach lately. It's definitely an answer to prayers in another way because the branch is in need of more priesthood holders.
  • We had 4 baptisms that we had planned for this week, but all of them fell through. I was discouraged but, if I've learned anything on my mission, it's that this work I get to take part in is the Lord's work and he is in charge of it all. I know he has a plan for these people here and everything is going to work out. As I continue to do my job and allow myself to be molded into an instrument in the Lord's hands, I know everything will take care of itself.

   I wanted to share a few thoughts from my studies and things I've been pondering. 
First, I just wanted to further express my gratitude for the Book of Mormon. It truly does answer ALL questions, including questions of the soul. It outlines the Plan of Salvation and answers where we come from, why we're here on Earth, and where we're going. Elder Dowdle shared with me an experience he had in seminary this week. He told me a story about his seminary teacher and his experience with the Book of Mormon. Basically, what I got from it is that even though the Book of Mormon doesn't contain the answers to our questions directly in the words we read, it invites the Spirit which allows us to receive revelation and promptings that impact us. 

  Second, because I'm a missionary, this Christmas season I cant give gifts like I was normally able to back at home. Rather, I am able to give people an even better gift: my testimony and teachings about the restored gospel. Elder Dowdle and I have been focusing on bearing our testimonies as much as possible to our investigators, recent converts, and other members. My hope is that they are able to feel the love we have for them as well as the love our Savior has for them as children of God.

  This Christmas, I just wanted to briefly share my testimony that I know without a doubt that this Church is true. I'm thankful for the Savior and his Atonement. The Atonement isn't only for sinners, it's for everyone who are seeking to improve themselves on a daily basis. I know he truly is the Son of God and he came in this world to be an example to us on how to be perfect even as he was. I know that this Jesus Christ established his church and it was re-established through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that through him, the Book of Mormon was brought forth and that whoever pursues reading it, pondering it's message, and praying to know of it's truthfulness will receive an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that through this chruch, families can be together forever.

I love you all and wish you a very merry Chirstmas,
Elder Hazen

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