Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekly Update~ "The Lugazi Rat Trappers"

Elders Wearing Heart Sunglasses from RJ's Valentine's Day Package

RJ's New Friend to Play Ball With

Dear Family and Friends,

   This week was a busy week that was difficult at times, but very fulfilling. It's weeks like these that I appreciate the times of trial because I know it's in those times that I'm growing the most. The first part of the week was spent shaking some of the cobwebs off because it had been nearly a full week since we had gone proselyting and taught anyone. We spent a lot of our time making contact with our investigators and trying to stop by for small visits.  But, we found ourselves getting bounced more times than we were actually teaching. In those cases, we went and visited some recent converts in attempt to get some referrals, but we weren't having much luck with that either. By the time the evening rolled around Tuesday, Elder Tesch and I were feeling discouraged, defeated, and exhausted.  So, we began making our way home. During interviews the previous week, in the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast, Elder Clayton talked about how important it is to seek referrals, but also spend as much time finding on our own efforts. As we were walking home, that thought popped into my head so I suggested that we go and do some "finding". We began by just walking around aimlessly and talking to every single person we saw.  And as we did so, I felt better and better. Near the end of our hour of "finding", Elder Tesch and I both stopped at a house and both agreed we needed to knock on it. When we did so, an older sister answered and we made a return appointment. We followed this pattern of setting aside time to find on our own efforts for the rest of the week and we had our fair share of success. I'm not saying that all experiences where we feel the Spirit leading us to someone turn out to be successful, but I know we are supposed to talk to certain people for a reason.  Whether it be to plant a seed, or teach them a few lessons.
Our struggles reminded me that there is good to every day no matter how bad it may seem. I was also reminded that as President Uchtdorf says, "our attitude determines our altitude".  This week at church, even though we were successful in finding and teaching, our church attendance for our investigators was less than we would've liked it to be. But, as I looked on the bright side, I felt a lot better as we had one father of a family come to all 3 hours of church. In order to be a successful missionary, even when people don't accept our message or keep commitments, It says in Preach My Gospel, "You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith and hurt the work".

Enjoying the food at a Wedding and RJ's New Haircut!
  This week, on Elder Ward and Ray's side of Lugazi, one of their investigators got married to a member of our branch so all of us were invited to the introduction ceremony. Haha- I can honestly say I haven't eaten that much on my mission and it destroyed us. Elder Ray had so much food, he had to break the streak and use his first longdrop of his mission. All the kids in the village had a good time as they saw a Mzungu (White Person) emerge, relieved, from their local public restroom. 
The Longdrop Public Restroom
   So lately, we have been having a rat problem in the Lugazi house. We used to see one in our kitchen every once in awhile, but it has progressively gotten worse. On Wednesday night, I woke up with about 2 of them running around in our room and we as a district got a bit fed up with it. So, Elder Robinson, our Zone Leader, gave us some advice on how to trap and kill them. He told us to fill our wash basins with water and put food inside with a broom on the side leading up to the top. Since Saturday, we have killed a grand total of 3 with many more to come. Last night our kill was a team effort, as we saw one run under our fridge. We then brought everyone into our kitchen, closed all the doors, and armed ourselves with brooms, mops, and shoes. Elder Tesch coaxed it from out of our fridge, then I threw my shoe at it which momentarily stunned it, then Elder Ward pinned it under a mop and Elder Ray finished it off with a heavy blow to the head from his shoe. It was definitely a highlight of the week. Enjoy this photo of our victory with our deceased friend. 
The Rat Trappers
   Tomorrow, the mission is starting a 90 day BOM reading challenge. If any of you want to read the BOM before your missions and want to do it with me, you are welcome to it!

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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