Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekly Update~ "I am One With the World and The World is One With Me"

Dear Family and Friends,

   If you're wondering what my email subject is about, here is a disclaimer. It has nothing to do with what I'm about to write, it's just a direct quote from dear Elder Alexander Ray that I thought I'd like to share. When you get locked down in your apartment for 4 days straight, you get a bit stir-crazy and it messes with your head…but before I get to that, I'll tell you about what happened in the week before the presidential election festivities.

   On Tuesday, we had surprise Zone Leader exchanges. Elder Tesch and I were able to work with Elder Robinson and we had a great day. We went out and taught a few lessons and had dinner with our friends here in Lugazi who are here helping out with Musana Jewlery International and are here on humanitarian trips! At the end of the day, when we closed, he gave us a few things we could improve on. My biggest takeaway was that I can always improve on patience throughout the day when people give us a hard time, and he urged us to continue improving each and every day on our missions so our growth is upward for the rest of the time we are here. 

   On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to go to Mukono for interviews with President Chatfield. I love the time I'm able to talk to him about my questions and concerns and am grateful for the insight he shares with me. We also were able to finally view the worldwide missionary broadcast which was unreal. The biggest things I took away from that is that Jesus Christ's should always be on our lips. We always need to be ready to powerfully testify of him. I also wanted to share something that President Chatfield shared in his closing remarks. It is called the Fellowship of the Unashamed and it really impacted me. It is hanging in my study room above my study desk (at the end of my letter). 

So…now the fun stuff during our lock down, the Lugazi district participated in a variety of activities including-
  • Playing catch in the front yard with Elder Ward
  • Playing rounds and rounds and rounds of cards, 
  • Sleeping
  • Studying
  • Jumping off our balcony onto mattresses (which my mother doesn't approve of)
  • Having a bonfire in our front yard
  • Taco Night
  • Learned Guitar
  • Elder Tesch lit his hands on fire with hand sanitizer
And many more things. Needless to say, we probably had the most fun out of anyone in the mission. 

   I wanted to share one last thought. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about taking counsel from the Lord. I have been looking for ways to improve myself week by week and I constantly reflect and ask those around me for ways that I can better myself. Obviously, there is no better person to ask, than our Heavenly Father. As Elder Lawrence taught in his talk last October, "What Lack I Yet"? He talks about how the Holy Ghost can inspire us in ways to improve. The principle is the same in 2 Nephi 9: 28-29 and Jacob 4:10. Lately, I've been working on building the faith to act on the things that the Spirit inspires me to change so I can continue the process of steady progression on my mission. As Elder Lawrence counsels, the best time we can do that is on Sunday when taking the sacrament. I would challenge all of you to review Elder Lawrence's talk, read the scriptures I suggested from the Book of Mormon, and get on your knees and sincerely ask something you can improve on so you can feel the influence of the Spirit more in your lives. I testify that as you do that and you act on the promptings you receive, you will receive many blessings.

I love you all very much. Thank you for your continuous support,
Elder Hazen

Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit
Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has
been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow
down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense,
and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight
walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions,
mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or
popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised,
regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by
patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my
way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted,
or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the
pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of

I won't give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I've preached up, prayed
up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I am a
disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop,
preach until all know, and work until He comes.

And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear for "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the
power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.." (Romans 1:16)

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