Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekly Update~ "Listening to the Spirit"

His New Ride
New Shirt for RJ

Keeping up his Baseball Skills

Dear Friends and Family,

This week we were able to baptize Winnie. She is the first in her
family that we've been teaching to be baptized. I'm so grateful I've
gotten to meet with them over this past month because visiting them
always proves to be a highlight of my day. The service was wonderful,
as nearly all of our members stayed behind to support her. The
reverence in the service was noticeable as all the children stopped
crying and fussing and there were no campaign trucks that drove by
blasting music. I was able to perform the ordinance, and after, she
bore a wonderful testimony. I know that without a doubt she was ready
to make this step in her life and she is going to make a strong
contribution to this branch and will continue to be a wonderful
example to the rest of her family.
RJ, Winnie and Elder Tesch

Elder Tesch continues to improve each and every day. I wanted to share
an experience we had this week. Last week, I was talking about how
spiritually sensitive Elder Tesch is and how he pushes me be better at
paying attention to the whisperings of the Spirit throughout the day.
On Wednesday, we got bounced from one of the appointments we made with
a family we have been teaching, so we sat down and began to make some
phone calls to see if we could visit someone else instead. Andrew was
working with us as well. As I began to punch in someone's phone number
into our phone, Elder Tesch and Andrew both pointed to a lady about 50
feet away standing outside her house cooking dinner and both suggested
we talk to her and try and teach her. I looked up, and immediately got
the same feeling they must have been feeling and decided that'd be a
good idea. Long story short, we taught with power and authority and
found out she had a few concerns with the churches she saw around and
we invited her to pray about our message and invited her to be
baptized March 6th which she accepted. Again, I'm thankful for how
much assistance we receive from the Lord and the Spirit as we go about
doing his work.

I was able to give a talk this week on Repentance and it was nice to
share the things I've been learning from the Book of Mormon with the
branch. Elder Tesch gave a wonderful talk on Heavenly Father. This
week, I continued my studies from 2 Nephi and I wanted to share what I
learned from chapter 2. In this chapter, Lehi talks about the fall,
the atonement, and gaining salvation and I realized how connected all
3 of these events are and how essential they are to the Plan of
Salvation. It also explains why agency was necessary to the plan as
well. I am grateful for Heavenly Father's plan of redemption and for
the ability we have to make our own choices in this life. I'm thankful
for Adam's choice to partake of the fruit because though it made it
possible for us to experience pain, suffering, and death, it's through
the experiences we are able to have on Earth that make us better. I'm
eternally grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his Atonement
for us. In Brad Wilcox's Continuous Atonement, he describes an
experience he had while having an interview with one of his
missionaries as a Mission President. The missionary was feeling
discouraged with some past mistakes he made before his mission and was
wondering why the thoughts of his mistakes had to remain in his
memory. Brother Wilcox took a marble egg off his shelf and showed the
missionary and told him that the dark lines, representing sin, in this
case, were the reason why the egg had beauty. It's the sins in our
lives and mistakes we make and the weaknesses, that when overcome
through the power of the Atonement, make us more beautiful to our
Heavenly Father. I have a lot of lines, but I'm thankful to keep
working to overcome them.

Enjoy this photo of me sporting Noah, the drunk man's
jacket he so kindly gifted to us.

I love you all
Elder Hazen

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