Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekly Update~ "The Lord Chastises Those He Loves"

Dear Family and Friends,

There was nothing out of the ordinary accompanying this week of missionary work in Rwanda other than a few rather strange events that happened to Elder Nambale and I this week.
  • On Tuesday, Elder Nambale and I were driving with one of our members, Heritzier, to drop a suitcase off at K3 that they forgot after spending the night at our apartment Sunday night. On our way there, there was heavy traffic and we were stopped completely for a few minutes. We noticed that there was some commotion up ahead and saw that groups were gathering and people in the bus up ahead drawn to something in front of them. Just then, we saw the police load a woman and her child who were stark naked into a detainees van and traffic continued as usual.
  • Elder Nambale and I were tracting on Saturday morning and we knocked on a certain house. As we were waiting for someone to answer the gate, I looked down and saw a fat chameleon climbing up my leg and it scared the crap out of me. Haha I jumped around a bit and shook it off, then Elder Nambale and I watched it climb up a tree and it blend colors.
  • Enjoy these pictures of two overloaded trucks: something that we see daily here in Rwanda and Uganda. I hope it paints a picture of what driving is like here.

  • On Sunday, we were invited to Kato's home, who was confirmed on Sunday. He had us over for a confirmation celebration and he destroyed us with food. After we ate and shared a spiritual thought, Elder Nambale was outside with his kids and was grabbing something from the truck and while the keys were inside, Elder Nambale turned his back for a second and the kid slammed the door shut...

Okay...these experiences weren't even that bizarre or interesting, But I had to write about something.

This week, during my studies on Thursday, I was going through old conference issues of the Liahona and I found a talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson that I was drawn to about how the Lord chastises those whom he loves. There were a few thoughts that hit me hard. First was about correcting others. For me, I have never been one to correct other missionaries when their behavior isn't aligned with mission rules. My point of view has always been that everyone has agency and every missionary knows what they're supposed to be doing since we have it beaten into us from day 1 in the MTC that we need to be obedient. If missionaries aren't going to obey, they know what the consequences are and they're going to reap what they sow so there's no point in wasting time in correcting others and potentially damaging a relationship. But, President Boyd K. Packer said, that if the situation arises in which you need to correct another's behavior and align them back on the straight and narrow, but don't take that opportunity, it is selfishness and pride on your part. Now I'm not saying I'm going to go out of my way to correct other missionaries in my zone, but if necessary, I need to have the love for the missionary and say something. There is a right way to do everything and it talks about how to correct others with love in D&C 121. 

In addition, I also learned about self-correction. I will always be someone who supports the point of view that the lessons learned in sports carry over directly to life. I'm thankful for the times I spent pestering my coaches after a start or outing in a baseball game and asking what I could've done better. I realize that we need to be just as concerned about our performance in the mission field and in life. We need to constantly be evaluating and re-evaluating and repenting and applying the enabling power of the Atonement in our lives. Correction is directly correlated to our salvation and as Elder Christofferson says, "no one who denies correction or chastisement is worthy of the celestial kingdom." I'm thankful that the Lord chastises those he loves and that he sometimes does it through others.

 When I came to Rwanda, I was having success, but not as much as I could've been because I wasn't being EXACTLY obedient. I remember one of our first few weeks, Elder Packer gave a training on accountability and though I wasn't doing anything awful, I felt sincere godly sorrow and I kept having the re-occurring thought that I didn't want to go home and in years to come have my children ask me about my mission and have feelings of regret that I didn't do everything the Lord expected me to accomplish in my two years of service. From that day, I repented, and I feel like my mission has changed for the better and has made me the missionary I am today, nearly 6 months later. 

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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