Monday, April 18, 2016

"Weekly Update~ "Snacks, Chocolates, and Burgers"

RJ's New Apartment in Rwanda


Bedroom with Mosquito Nets

Dear Family and Friends,

    This week, our district was sitting around our living room and talking and I asked Elder Nambale and Elder Nyambita what they think of when they think of America. Elder Nambale replied, "Snacks, Chocolates, and Burgers. I have never been around an American who doesn't like eating snacks or chocolates, and I know all you eat in America is burgers and McDonald's and chicken nuggets." Haha I couldn't disagree!

    This week, Elder Nambale and I were able to get back to the normal schedule and we had a really nice week with some strong lessons. At church, we watched the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference which was nice because Pecos, Jackie, and Jean De Mo were all there and they all enjoyed hearing President Monson speak after teaching them about living prophets on Earth today. Pecos has a wife named Eunice and 2 little boys and they are both planning on being baptized in 2 weeks. He is a guy who loves the Savior Jesus Christ and loves reading and learning in our lessons we have with him.  We may have him baptized a week before his wife because Eunice missed church due to her having a responsibility in the choir at her other services. Jackie and Emable are another couple we found and they love everything we've been teaching them so far. The only problem is that Emable works weird hours during the night and doesn't get home until the morning so he sleeps like all day making it difficult for him to come to church.  His schedule changes this week though so, he promises he will be at church this week so they can continue to progress as a family! Jean De Mo is just a stud YSA who has been coming to church for over a year but, hasn't been baptized yet. Every time we teach him, he already knows everything so, it's more of a review for him. We hope to have Pecos and Jean baptized on the First of May. It was nice to see that session of Conference again and enjoy President Uchtdorf's talk.

    We had the opportunity to go to 2 different members' homes this week. Joel fed us posho and mukenne which was a nice throw back to the food I had in Uganda that I was missing. Andrew fed us pasta with potatoes, beans, and avocados. We had a great time at both homes and I'm grateful for the relationships I'm building with these people!

    This week was also Elder Brogan's birthday. He chose to eat at a Chinese restaurant near the church and it was super good. Elder Nyambita made him a cake so after feasting, we made our way back to the apartment and sang to Elder Brogan "Happy ZL Birthday".

    On Saturday, Elder Nambale and I were expecting a lot of solid appointments,but when we called to confirm, everyone bounced us and told us they were unable to meet. We decided to stop by at a couple's home for a surprise visit. Adolf and Zawadi had been taught by Elder Myers and Nambale before but, had never been to church. We decided to re-teach them the Restoration and emphasize to them praying and asking if the message is true for themselves. When we began talking about prayer, we had a great discussion and I really feel like they understood that God answers their prayers.   And that if they ask in faith, they will receive an answer. We decided to pray with them together. After Nambale said a beautiful prayer and I felt the Spirit so strong. I felt a confirmation for myself that we taught that lesson with power and authority and I know that if they act on what we asked them to do, they will receive confirmation that what we taught them is true. 

    Later in the evening, we had the opportunity to go to the K3 branch and watch Meet the Mormons. It was a great evening and it reminded me of when I watched it a week before I left with all my family the night of my mission farewell. It brought back such sweet memories.
Meet The Mormons

    This week I noticed how much people look at Elder Nambale and I when we walk on the street. Whether it be waiting for a bus, or moving to an appointment, I always feel eyes are focused on me. I got to thinking about it and I realized how important it is that I am always mindful of my calling as a servant of Jesus Christ so these people can recognize me as one. I'm very grateful to be serving these people of Rwanda. Today I went through the Genocide Memorial.  All I can say is it was just plain brutal…they didn't leave anything out they just told it how it was…so many innocent lives lost, it's sickening.  I thought about how much these people have gone through in these past years. Literally everyone has been impacted in some way by it.  But, I gained such an appreciation for these people and I feel so lucky to share with them the Gospel.  I'm grateful to carry a message of hope and peace that can bless these families so they can know for themselves they will be with their families again.
Genocide Memorial

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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