Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekly Update~ "A Stone Cut Out of the Mountain"

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry, I don't have time for a long discourse of my week, but here's a few thoughts and events from this week.

On Tuesday, we celebrated Elder Nambale's birthday as a zone by going to the Ethiopian restaurant in Elder Packer and Shumway's area. It cured some of his yearning for the homeland where he spent 9 brutal months of his mission. Here's a few pictures of us enjoying the "soggy rag" known as njera and other authentic Ethiopian food, eaten without utensils of course!

Elder Robinson gave Elder Nambale and I a challenge to contact and visit 5 members during the week. The purpose for this was to begin to bridge the gap between us as missionaries and the members of the branch. Sometimes as missionaries we fall into the mindset that we have to get all the work done and baptize the entire country, but the Lord has provided a better way in his wisdom. There is a reason why Branch Presidents are the one who hold the keys of missionary work in their particular branch. Elder Nambale and I made a specific goal to go visit President William in his home to share the Restoration and discuss about his role in the work and ours and how we can better work together moving forward. We shared the Restoration briefly to invite the Spirit, asking him to share his testimony on specific things like the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I was very pleased with how strong President's testimony is of the Gospel and as I heard him testify, the Spirit was in the room. We continued our conversation and reminded him of our support for him as missionaries serving in his branch and offered our help with anything he needed. He then told us of the struggles Rwanda has faced over these past years, especially in dealing with poverty, and he voiced his concern that the members don't understand the blessings tithing brings. He told us that if people understood the power our Father in Heaven has and increased their faith, he would lift them in their trials and would begin to support them so much so that their worries concerning money and other worldly things would disappear altogether. I was thankful for the love that President William obviously has towards the members of this branch and we committed to make tithing a focal point for the lessons we share with the members moving forward. I know that if the missionaries and the members develop a missionary work oriented attitude, then the work will begin to progress and it will accelerate like the stone cut out of the mountain and this Gospel will fill Rwanda like Elder Bednar prophesied. 
During weekly planning this week, Elder Nambale and I decided to consecrate our day tomorrow and dedicate it completely to finding new families. Please keep us in your prayers this evening.

I love you all,

Elder Hazen

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