Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Update~"Happy Easter!"

Dear Family and Friends,

    First of all, I'd like to say Happy Easter. This Easter season is one of my favorite times of the whole year because we get the opportunity to reflect on the greatest acts of love in the history of all the Earth. I express my gratitude each week for the Savior's atoning sacrifice but I'm especially grateful this week. I was reading conference talks from April 2015 and I came across these words from President Uchtdorf that I really enjoyed about the suffering in Gethsemane and the resurrection and I shared them with Winnie, our recent convert last night. I thought I'd include it at the end of this email as well. I bear my brief testimony that I know the Atonement was suffered for each and every one of us personally and that as we use the enabling power of it in our lives on a daily basis we all can live with our Heavenly Father again. I'm also grateful for the doctrine that families can be together forever. I am always quick to bare testimony of that to my investigators and let them know how much I love my own family back at home and that through covenants made with God, they don't ever have to separated from them.

    This week, our friends from Help International went home and we had one last dinner appointment and one last friendship photo shoot so enjoy these in all their high quality glory.

    Thursday, we had a zone-wide...yes, zone-wide exchange. Elder Tesch and Ray traveled to Mukono early in the morning where everyone met up and then went their separate ways. Ray proceeded onto Seeta with Elder Bemis, Tesch stayed in Mukono with Elder Dlamini, and I spent the day with Elder Robinson in Lugazi. I always enjoy working with Elder Robinson because I learn so much from him. We made sure to spend an hour of the day finding new investigators which proved to be successful because we set return appointments with 2 new families. Later in the day, we visited a guy named Edward, Elder Tesch and I found while contacting a few days previous and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a neat experience being able to teach with Elder Robinson because I haven't taught with someone older than me on mission since my second transfer. The spirit was definitely present in the lesson and when Elder Tesch and I followed up with him on Saturday, we got to give him a priesthood blessing because he was feeling sick and he was at church the next day! I'm thankful for the opportunities I have to learn from my leaders!

    We also contacted a guy named James this week. He was sitting outside his home and is the next door neighbor to a former investigator.  As we were walking by I told Elder Tesch, "We'll contact him someday". As we passed, the Spirit basically kicked me in the butt and we turned back and taught him the first lesson. He really enjoyed it and we followed up with him last night and taught him about the Book of Mormon and we set a baptism date in April. 

    Yesterday, Elder Tesch and I were contacting after church and we met another Father of a family named Julius. We taught him the Restoration as well and after we finished and extended commitments to read and pray.  He expressed to us how he and his family had been praying for a change that will bless them.  We basically let him know that if he put serious effort into praying and asking if the message we taught him is true, this Gospel could be the change he has been seeking.

    This week, I also had a first on my mission. When teaching one of our investigators, Charles, we were sharing about the Book of Mormon and he began to bash with us a little bit. The Spirit was leaving so I bore testimony and began to leave and he told us to take the Book of Mormon with us that we left with him two lessons ago. It reminded me that not everyone is going to accept our message and everyone has their own agency. I couldn't help but feel sad for him. However, because I now the blessings the Gospel could've brought to their young family and I wanted them to experience it more than anything.  These experiences I've had has shown me that the principle "Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept" is applicable to all things. As a new missionary, I never dreamed that I would be training another new missionary and extending baptism dates to people I found on my own efforts through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. As I've learned new skills and my testimony has grown, I know the Lord is giving me more responsibility as I continue to progress on my mission. 

I love you guys so much. 
Elder Hazen

"The Gift Of Grace"
On Easter Sunday we celebrate the most long-awaited and glorious event in the history of the world.
It is the day that changed everything.
On that day, my life changed.
Your life changed.
The destiny of all God’s children changed.
On that blessed day, the Savior of mankind, who had taken upon Himself the chains of sin and death that held us captive, burst those chains and set us free.
Because of the sacrifice of our beloved Redeemer, death has no sting, the grave has no victory, Satan has no lasting power, and we are “begotten … again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Truly, the Apostle Paul was correct when he said we can “comfort one another with these words.”

No comments:

Post a Comment