Monday, August 15, 2016

Weekly Update~ "The Sabbath Day is a Delight!"

Dear Family and Friends,

Another Monday, another great week of missionary work come and gone here in Rwanda. This week wasn't too eventful compared to last week, but there are some highlights to mention, of course.
RJ Playing Ball with Some Local Kids
On Tuesday, I was able to go on exchanges for the first time as a Zone Leader and was able to work with Elder Pearson, who's fresh from Uganda, in K3. I was super excited to have the opportunity to work in K3 because I've heard nothing but good things about it. The Elders there have enjoyed great success there in the past few months but are in the process of building up their teaching pool so, we didn't have a whole lot of confirmed appointments. This made me nervous because here I was, in an area I was unfamiliar with, with a missionary who is learning the area as well. We prayed earnestly and set a goal in faith that we would have at least 4 new investigators, and while we were finding, we would get let into 3 houses to teach families the message of the Restoration. We were able to see a multitude of tender mercies throughout the day and were able to see many soften their heart towards us and let us inside their homes. We were even referred to a new family by a man who attended church at their branch this last week. Long story short, we were able to accomplish our goals and I was just overwhelmed with gratitude as I was reminded once again that the Lord blesses his missionaries, especially those who need his help in this work which is more often than naught.

Elder Pearson and RJ
The week I got into K2, Elder Nambale and I visited a family he and Elder Brogan found and taught the Restoration. I believe I talked about them last week in my email. We visited them again this week, Ndarra, his sons, Joshua and Justice, and his daughter, Benedict. Elder Nambale and I have been working on refining our lesson plans regarding the Plan of Salvation and have been trying to focus on teaching the Atonement more in depth. We tried to put it into practice with the lesson with them and we were pleased with the results. We had a great discussion, with the whole family involved and asking questions, and they are genuinely interested and have been keeping their commitments regarding the Book of Mormon. All 4 of them came to church yesterday and I was ecstatic! I'm looking forward to continuing to teach them. They have been such a tender mercy this transfer.

We had wonderful church meetings again yesterday.  We had 13 investigators at church! Haha I had the privelage to give a talk in Sacrament on missionary work and teach Elder's quorum as well...oh, the life of a missionary:) Speaking of sacrament, I was focusing on making Sacrament Meeting more meaningful for myself this week and focused my thoughts on the Savior and what his Atonement enables me to do. I'm thankful for his sacrifice that allows me to overcome the consequences of sin and to repent and become better and for his resurrection that I will one day live with a perfect body with my family in heaven with my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father. The feelings I had as I was partaking of the Sacrament was a tender mercy as well. My feelings of gratitude never cease for the possibility of these wonderful blessings. We also had a baptism of Joseph, one of the people Elder Brogan and Nambale have been teaching. Apparently I made some kind of impact on him in the short 10 seconds I met him at church last week, because he asked me to baptize him...haha I was confused, but agreed, of course.
Joseph's Baptism
You may have seen the common theme of me talking about a few tender mercies I was able to experience this week. This is inspired by a lesson I had with one of our investigators last night. We went over to Edith's home with the plan in mind to review the Restoration, but after she explained some concerns she had about understanding the content of the Book of Mormon, we decided to read 1 Nephi Ch 1 with her so she would have a better understanding of the story. We moved slowly, discussing each verse one by one, until we reached verse 20. In this verse, Nephi describes that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all his children that he will give them power unto their deliverance. After reading this, I felt inspired to explain what tender mercies are, and asked Elder Nambale and Heritzier, the member who was present for the lesson, what tender mercies they saw throughout their days. We then asked Edith, and she told us she was grateful for the kind members of the church who helped her understand more about Joseph Smith earlier that day at church. I felt the Spirit enter the room as she said that and I knew that as she expressed her gratitude for the little blessings the Lord put in her life, she would continue to be watched over and feel the love God has for her. In that moment I was able to see Edith in our Father in Heaven's eyes and was able to imagine the great love he has for that sweet old lady. 

Here's a challenge for all you reading. Send me a short email within the next week describing a tender mercy you had recently. I know the Lord will bless you as you recognize the blessings he's given you and it will uplift me as well.

Elder Nambale and I are enjoying missionary work and our companionship is thriving. We are becoming better friends each day. It's truly a tender mercy the Lord allowed us to serve together again. I'm thankful to be a missionary here in Rwanda at this time. 
Elder Namable and RJ

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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