Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Update~ "Pure and Simple Testimony"

Pedal Boda

Dear Family and Friends,

   This week was a slower week in terms of having lessons. It seemed like all of our progressing investigators were only able to meet this week on Saturday for their own individual reasons. This week was the African World Economic Forum Conference so a lot of people were busy with that. I began working with Elder Mumba this week on Wednesday and we had to treat a lot of our days like we had no one in our teaching pool. So basically, we went finding...a lot. We took the opportunity to go tracting in the wealthiest neighborhoods in our area. The bigger the houses and nicer the cars, the better:)  Elder Mumba and I made it a game throughout the week to see if we could get let into the big houses with the gates and the guards. We were successful a few times! I'll be the first to tell you that the Spirit sometimes works in mysterious ways and can give you a pump of confidence as you step out of your comfort zone. A year ago, there was no way I ever pictured myself in Kigali city in Rwanda walking through the suburbs being comfortable talking to strangers the way I am now. I truly consider it a blessing. 

   When Saturday finally rolled around, we literally ventured EVERYWHERE within the boundaries of our area from 10 in the morning to 9 at night struggling to make all of our appointments on time. One of my favorite modes of transport has become the pedal boda.  There are guys who have bikes with cushions and handles for people to sit and hold onto behind the bicycle seats and they take you to places you can't get to by bus for relatively cheap.  So, Elder Mumba and I took advantage of many throughout the day and this week.

   I want to direct this part of my email to anyone reading this who is: Thinking about serving a mission, has their mission call, or is under 3 months on their mission:
I know I'm only 9 1/2 months out on a mission, and I have plenty to learn, but I hope some advice from a young missionary will prove to be useful. During the last few months I had at home before I entered the field, I had a lot of concerns about whether I would be good enough or if I had enough knowledge about the Gospel. There were times I felt very inadequate and questioned whether serving a mission was the right decision for me. If any of you are having those feelings, or are wondering whether mission is right for you, let me be another one to tell you that you won't regret serving a mission. Not one bit. I'll be the first to tell you that I don't have a vast knowledge of the Bible or verses memorized as artillery to contend with people who oppose us and the message we share. There are many things that I do not know, and it's something that I've learned to accept. With those of you who know my nature and how I am, I am one who wants to do their best when they're focused on something, whether it be on the baseball field, or something else. 
There were multiple occasions this week that we were invited to a home and the people living there invited us just to contend with them. One was a pastor, and another was an active member of another faith. As these individuals threw all their Bible knowledge upon us, we were forced to sit and politely listen as they bashed our beliefs and the things we knew were true. A year ago, this was the exact situation I feared because of my lack of knowledge and I was afraid I wouldn't know how to respond. However, our purpose as missionaries isn't to convince people our message is right, it is to invite others to come unto Jesus Christ as they pray about the messages we share with them. What you don't know isn't important. In those times, the best thing to do is to focus on what you do and bear pure and simple testimony. As we were able to do that in these separate occasions, we were able to leave the Spirit in the home as we left and moved to our next appointments. I testify that the Lord molds you into what he needs you to become as you gain experiences. Don't worry about what you don't know or what skills you lack, if you have a desire to serve, that's all you need. Trust in the Lord to add unto you what you need in the very moment you need it.  

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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