Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekly Update~ "Lord, Is it I?"

The Life of a Missionary

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was an enjoyable week. Early in the week, Elder Mumba
suffered from a bit of sickness so it slowed us down a bit but we
worked hard later in the week to make up for it.

This Saturday, Elder Packer and I went on an exchange. It was surreal
thinking about how 10 months ago, we were sitting in the MTC as
companions day-dreaming about the mission field and imagining what
missionary work was REALLY like. It was a great experience being able
to work with him. Elder Packer and I have become very close over these
past 2 transfers so it was nice to be able to joke around and have fun
while tracting and teaching some strong lessons. We got to cap off the
evening by visiting Jimmy, one of their recent converts who was
baptized shortly before I got to Rwanda. I think I've talked about him
before, but any time I get to visit and sit down and talk with Jimmy
is a treat. This time we visited him, we reviewed about the Law of
Tithing and we re-committed him to live it, even though it's hard, and
promised blessings like good Preach My Gospel missionaries haha. We
then got to talking about his conversion story and he told us how much
he loves this Gospel and that if someone his age came up to him and
shared this message with him, he probably wouldn't have believed them
and he talked about how grateful he is for the missionaries and the
Spirit they brought into his home. It reminded me of a quote President
Brigham Young said that's mentioned in PMG. It basically says the same
thing Jimmy said. I also want to relate this experience to an
experience I had yesterday. Yesterday, Elder Mumba and I were tracting
and we knocked on a certain gate and a man and his son opened it. They
both spoke English so naturally, we were excited. But all of a sudden
he began interrogating us and asking things like, "who are you to talk
about Jesus to me? Are you Jesus himself?" And "Who gave you the
authority to preach this Gospel?" Haha I took this as an opportunity
to bear witness that we have a living prophet on Earth today who
called me to this work and even though he slammed the gate in our face
shortly thereafter, I began thinking about the magnitude of this.
There are over 75,000 missionaries serving around the world at this
time and I can tell you that each of these young adults aren't the
most learned or elite or strongest public speakers around. However, we
do have something special. We have the perfect message and we have
been set apart by the holy Priesthood and have been called by a living
Prophet of God. Despite our inadequacies and flaws, it what makes our
testimonies so powerful. As the Lord makes weak things become strong,
we are able to bring the Spirit into the home of these people and
cause a mighty change of heart. It blows my mind every time I have
thoughts like these.

This transfer, I've learned so much about pride and how much I need to
develop humility. I always think about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount when
he talks about pulling out the beam in thine eye before noticing the
mote in the eye of our brother. On mission, it is so easy to point our
finger at our companions when things aren't going okay in the
relationship even though we are making mistakes that contribute to
tension as well. I testify that as we focus on removing the flaws in
ourselves before focusing on the imperfections of others, there will
be greater happiness in companionships- missionary and eternal. I'll
share more thoughts about this next week. In the mean time, review
President Uchtodrf's conference talk, "Lord, Is it I?"

Today is the anniversary of the passing of my Grandpa
Melendez. Anyone who knew him knew how much he loved this gospel and
how much he loved his family. Since I've been on my mission, I've come
to realize how important both of these things really are and I've feel
like I've grown closer to him since I've been serving. I know he is
with me each day as I proclaim this Gospel to the people of Rwanda.
I'm sending my love to my family- Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, who loved
him as much as I did and especially to my Grandmother.

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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