Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekly Update~ "Another Day, Another Dollar"

Celebrating Pioneer Day at the Gilette's
Rootbeer Floats 

Dear Family and Friends,

"Another Day, Another Dollar!"
That quote seems to have become our district theme as we start each new day. The mission myth that days seem to begin to blend together the longer you're in the field is applying to me at the moment. These last few weeks have felt like one long day haha every time my head hits the pillow in the evening, I find myself at my study desk again in no time at all then, out the door for another day of work. No complaints, though. I feel like I'm becoming a better missionary each and every day as I have been making a more constant effort to make my studies more meaningful and take something I learned and apply it to my proselyting that day. 

This week my testimony that blessings come when you do what you're supposed to was strengthened greatly. This week at the beginning of the week, we were having difficulties making plans with our investigators and confirming appointments in the morning, forcing us to spend most of our days tracting and street contacting. If you've been out in the field, you know the feeling of dread when you're sitting at your study desk at the end of companionship study at 10 in the morning and you have an empty planner with no plans staring back at you. If I've learned anything in Rwanda, one of the biggest things is that finding new investigators through your own efforts is an act of faith and you have to put your trust in the Lord to take care of you throughout the day to have people to teach. Sometimes, these days end in zeros, but when you do what you're supposed to and get out of the apartment and give yourself the opportunity to find someone new and allow the Spirit to speak, most times you end up successful. That's one of the biggest reasons I love missionary work: you can never go wrong if you're putting forth your best efforts. The blessings came at the end of the week after a week filled with numerous hours of gate knocking and stopping people on the street. We got a referral from some missionaries in Uganda to a family from Burundi. The father of the family has been working in Uganda for the past 8 months and the mother and three daughters have been in Rwanda living as refugees finishing high school and doing other things. We went over to teach them on Saturday morning and we were able to bring a member, Philimon, to the lesson with us. It was a wonderful lesson and the Spirit was present and I know that if we were looking for ways out of working earlier in the week and were wasting time, we wouldn't have been prepared to have the Holy Ghost with us. All 4 of them accepted baptism dates for later in August. It was just another thing that proved to me that the Lord looks out for his boys:)

This upcoming week, Jean DaMo, Egide, and Issa are all being baptized. I've told you guys about Jean DaMo and Egide already, but I know that they're more prepared than they were before for baptism so it was a bit of a blessing in disguise that their baptism got postponed a few weeks due to their busy schedules from preparing for their exams. They've begun to work with us teaching lessons. It has been a real pleasure being around them. Issa is an investigator that I began teaching with Elder Nambale. He used to be a Muslim and we found him while we were on the bus. He has been in the village for a few weeks taking care of his sick mother, but returned about a month ago. He hasn't missed a week of church since he has come back and he is another guy who is more than ready to be baptized. 

This week in my studies, I finished the Book of Mosiah and began the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. Of course, because of my fascination and love for the Atonement, once again, I had to ponder the power of the Atonement in the lives of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. The Book of Mormon explains them as the very vilest of sinners but despite that, they were transformed into the best missionaries in Nephite history and were able to bring mighty changes of heart to many nations. They were able to preach the gospel of repentance of baptism with power and authority because they themselves were able to feel of the blessings the lifting of the burdens of sin brings. I'm grateful to be called in that same work. 

I love you all,

Elder Hazen

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