Monday, April 4, 2016

Weekly Update~ "The Promised Land"

Dear Family and Friends,

   Greetings from Rwanda! Let me first testify that this place truly is the Promised Land spoken of by missionaries around the Uganda Kampala Mission. It is a whole different world than Uganda. It is a lot cleaner, it has a more mild climate, it is easier to get around town because they have a cheap, quick, bus system that runs through our area, the food is amazing, the people are as kind and humble as they are in Uganda, and the list goes on and on. I got into town Friday but, there is a lot happened before I landed here as well. Let me summarize for you the rest of my week.
Flying to Rwanda


Monday- I forgot to mention it last week, but on Monday morning, we took a taxi to Jinja and met Elders Robinson, Dlamini, Langford, and Dabb from Mukono at The Keep for lunch. From there, we drove down to the Nile River to take some cute pics and because it'll be Elder Robinson's and my last time seeing it for awhile. We had a great time. 
Nile River

Tuesday- Elder Ward and I spent the day saying our last goodbyes to a few people in our areas. I went and saw Eron, Sunday Toko, Christine, Resty, David Hadson and Reegan, and we had one last dinner with our friends from Help International which was as good as ever. I spent the rest of the night packing. During that process, I found that a rat had climbed into my small carry-on suitcase and died because of the rat poison it had probably consumed. It had probably been dead for about two weeks because when I opened it to begin putting a few things inside, it absolutely reeked, and it was rotting and being eaten by maggots and things. But, I had Steven deep clean it with soap and water on Wednesday so everything was good to go.
Friends from Help International

David, Hadson and Reegan

Wednesday- Wednesday morning, Elders Robinson and Dlamini picked us up at around 9:30. We said good-bye to Andrew, Steven, Bro. Ochitti, Elder Ray and Elder Tesch. I'm going to miss those guys a lot there's not much more I can say. When we got to the Ntinda apartment, Elder Ward and I hopped in the truck with Elder Dlamini and Robinson and met a bunch of ZL's from the mission at Little Donkey in Nsambya. Little Donkey is probably the best Mexican food place in Uganda. I got a fat plate of nachos and a quesadilla. I was a happy little Mexican boy. :) After that, we drove back to Ntinda and people started to leave. I spent the rest of the night hanging out with Elder Owen and Chifamba because they spent the night at Ntinda as well. We had a nice game of Scum going with about 12 missionaries in the AP flat at the end of the night. It reminded me of the glory days of the Cedar Hills 14th ward playing scum Sunday nights. Also... When I woke up that morning, I felt like my neck was sun burnt or something. Thinking it was a spider-bite or something, I asked Elder Ray if he saw anything but, he didn't. As I went through the rest of the day, it started hurting worse. It was super irritating because my shirt collar kept rubbing against it. That night, Elder Chabra took a look at it and by that time, a rash had begun to form. Elder Chabra told me I had shingles and put me on medicine to cut down the cycle of the virus. So, instead of suffering 10-14 days, I would only have to deal with it for 7-10. Haha I've had to take 2 pills 5 times a day and it hasn't been fun at all. But, all trials are from God and they bring us closer to him as we rely on him:) I should be on the down-hill for this by now, I'm crossing my fingers!
Andrew the Compound Guard and Close Friend

Elders Ray, Ward and Tesch

Hard to Say Goodbye

Start of the Shingles Virus

Thursday- We began the morning by doing personal study and a 10 person companion study in the Ntinda flat. The rest of the day, Elders Hatch, Carter, Shumway, Mugwagwa and I all went out into the DL side of Ntinda and worked. It was a fun time because this is both Elder Carter and Shumway's first week on mission so, it was cool to be able to experience that first full day with them. We spent most of the day tracting, but in the evening, while Carter, Shumway, and Hatch went to teach a scheduled appointment, Elder Mugwagwa and I split off to go follow up with a Mom we tracted into that day. On our way there, we saw a few guys with a basketball walking up the hill past us. When we got to the home, we got bounced so in order to pass the time until we had to meet up again, we decided to go find those guys with the basketball and see if they wanted to play a pick-up game with some missionaries. We found them a few minutes later and asked if they wanted to play and they reluctantly accepted...Little did they know, they were beginning a game with a member from the Zimbabwe national basketball team.  They weren't prepared for what happened next. Elder Mugwagwa and I went on an 18-0 run against them and Mugwagwa humbled a few kids by absolutely posterized them on a few dunks. One of the funnest days I've had on my mission. I spent the rest of the night hanging out with Elder Mugwagwa talking basketball and packing. He left the next day with us for Ethiopia. I hope I get the opportunity to serve with him soon.
Elder Mugwagwa

Friday- We left for the airport early in the morning. We were a bit late so, Brother Godfrey hauled butt haha, it was an impressive feat of driving. We landed in Rwanda earlier than we departed because there is an hour difference. We got picked up by Elder Brogan, got dropped off at the apartment, and went finding allll day. Haha it was a good first day in Rwanda.
Airplane that flew to Rwanda

Saturday/Sunday-In the morning we had ZDM then went to a restaurant after. Had lunch at an unreal restaurant and had a cheeseburger that tasted like home. Went to a primary activity after then taught a lesson in the evening. On Sunday, I was impressed with how organized the branch is. We had a great testimony meeting. In the evening, we taught a family and it was a great lesson!
I just wanted to leave a last thought from my study this week. In Mosiah 2:20-22, King Benjamin talks about how if we work our entire lives dedicated to God, and don't make a single mistake or anything, we would still be unprofitable servants to God. I'm just grateful for the power and strength God gives me each week to work as hard as I can because I know I would be nothing as a missionary if I didn't have his assistance.

I hope you all enjoyed conference. I may get to watch it this week! I'll share some thoughts next week. Also, keep the Rwandan people in mind this next week. It is Genocide remembrance week.

 I love you all,

Elder Hazen

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