Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekly Update~ "Gratitude and Tender Mercies"

Dear family and friends, 

I can honestly say that this was the most spiritually uplifting week that I've had on my mission thus far. I sit here in awe and filled with gratitude for the tender mercies that I've experience this week. One thing that Elder Grant and I have been doing since we've become companions is list the tender mercies we saw from the Lord's hand throughout the day. It is something that we are going to begin to apply with the zone when we take reports from now on.
RJ and His New Companion Elder Grant
Late last week, during companionship study, Elder Grant showed me a talk titled "being purified" (I've enclosed a picture of it).  It basically talks about how a missionary receives counsel from his priesthood leader to take a day entering into an attitude of prayer and fasting, make a list of things that keep the Spirit from being a constant companion throughout the day, then begin a 40 day fast from these things. He counsels the missionary to plead the Lord each morning for strength to resist temptation, and each night, account to the Lord how well you did, and if you did something on the list, figure out why, promise to do better, then ask for more strength the next day. The purpose of the "Purification Fast" is to change our basic desires to align our will to the Lord's, to help our Spirit flourish, and to prepare a place for the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion. Elder Grant and I began our fast on Tuesday and I came up with a pretty lengthy list that continues to grow. Since we've begun, my prayers have become more earnest, heartfelt, and sincere. I've seen some of the blessings already. My thoughts have become more filtered and focused on others, my love for those whom I serve with has increased, I feel happier, the Spirit has guided us to prepared individuals, and the Spirit has assisted more in our lessons. Let me share a few of these experiences:

-On Friday, we had Zone Conference, which was an extremely powerful meeting no doubt attributed to the preparation of the Elders and Sisters. After, Elder Grant went with the K1 Elders to conduct a baptism interview while Elder Majawa and I taught a lesson way out in Narnia. 
After, Elder Grant and I went to teach lessons to two families. The first lesson was with a media referral who found the church online that we had taught twice before. We were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation When we reached his home, we found his brother there as well because Jean Pierre invited him over to listen to us. The brother's name was Ephraim. We began teaching the Plan of Salvation as planned, hoping the things we were teaching would make sense to Ephraim as well. Mid-way through the lesson, everyone was understanding well aside from the occasional question from Ephraim. However, before we could continue, Elder Grant and I received a prompting to pause the current lesson and share a brief Restoration lesson. This prompted many questions from Ephraim, especially about baptism. He questioned the need to be baptized again, like most people do, but Elder Grant and I bore testimony on aligning our will with God's and doing things his way. Everyone in the room was listening intently and was visibly feeling the Spirit. Even Ephraim, determined to hold his position, couldn't stifle a smile. The Spirit confirmed that our words were true, even like it says in the Book of Mormon about Nephi teaching, "They could not disbelieve our words".
Zone Conference
 -The following lesson, we read the Book of Mormon with Edith and her son, Allen. As we discussed with them, the same Spirit entered the room as we committed them to pray about their baptism date on the 16th of October for confirmation. 

-This week, my love for the members' help in this work has increased. Elder Grant and I have been focused on using members capable of fellow shipping our investigators. I can think of 3 specific experiences where certain lessons would not have gone nearly as well without a member present. Joseph Omba was able to communicate with one of our potential investigators to find where he stays, jumping out of the car periodically to ask pedestrians on the road if we were heading in the right direction. Eric Habimana was able to translate a great lesson with his sister and brother in law. Heritier was able to offer a few powerful testimonies. President Collings has sent more missionaries here in Rwanda this transfer for the sole purpose of getting members more involved with missionary work. He promises to send more missionaries here and if they continue to step up like they have thus far.  President predicts that a stake will be established in Rwanda within the next 3 years which gives me chills.

I'm becoming a better missionary personally than ever before. However, I know that I am nothing, and as Ammon, I boast in the strength of my God who gives me power every time I plead with him that my tongue will be loosed that I will be able to bring just one soul to the knowledge of this Gospel.

I love you all
Elder Hazen
RJ finally got his hump day package, all Packagesgoto Uganda and
you have to wait till someone goes to Rwanda to get them!

RJ's Favorite Item from the box- Chocolate WonderBall
Other Favorite- Kipper Snacks!

No comments:

Post a Comment