Monday, November 28, 2016

Weekly Update~ "Help Thou Mine Unbelief"

Dear Family and Friends,

I'd like to start off my quoting a poem by Meade goes as follows:

“Father, where shall I work today?”
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then he pointed out a tiny spot
And said, “Tend that for me.”
I answered quickly, “Oh no, not that!
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done.
Not that little place for me.”
And the word he spoke, it was not stern; …
“Art thou working for them or for me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee.

This week, Elder Grant and I were jacked up on a spiritual high after participating in Mission Leader Conference on Wednesday, and the Zone Conference with Elder Hamilton on Saturday. However, before then, we needed to do a bit of repenting. Going into the beginning of the week, Elder Grant and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves and about the success we've been having. We may have even crossed the line to being a bit prideful. On Tuesday, in the afternoon, maybe out of a spiritual prompting, we received a random call from one of the AP's, Elder Manquele. On the phone, he asked me to take a guess on how many new investigators we were finding on average a week. In the Uganda Kampala Mission, the standard of excellence for this key indicator is 7, and Elder Grant and I were falling a bit short of that the previous weeks. Elder Manquele asked if we could align our average with the mission standard of excellence and I accepted. To be honest, I don't know why he called, but after I hung up and told Elder Grant, we were both feeling a bit frustrated and dejected. Our thought process was something along the lines of, "Don't they understand what we're doing here? We're doing a great job. Why don't our leaders recognize that?" 

The next day at Mission Leader Conference, the biggest thing I took away from the meeting was that we need to sustain our leaders and the Priesthood keys they have. President Collings talked so much about that and about how we as leaders need to convey the messages we receive from President exactly, "nothing varying" He and the AP's also talked about the importance of constant finding so we as a mission are able to accomplish the goal for baptisms we set together.
We have 495 baptisms for the rest of the year. 495 baptisms in one month. 

However, as President and the Assistants spoke with boldness and confidence, I understood that their words were inspired from God. I understood why they called Elder Grant and I and invited us to repent and improve. I was astonished at their words, and I felt a desire to help the missionaries of our zone catch that same fire. 

Later in the week, Elder Hamilton visited Rwanda Saturday Morning to begin his mission tour. Before the main conference, he pulled all the leaders into a room together and we had a discussion for 45 minutes. The main theme of this discussion was to talk about how leadership in the church is different from leadership in the world and discussed principles of leadership in D&C 121. He talked about how we are no better than anyone else and how leadership in the church isn't a hierarchy. I think because we are young and imperfect, we as missionaries get caught in the trap of aspiring for leadership or recognition. As I was reading from the beginning of the Book of Mosiah, I read about how we are all the same in God's eyes and about how meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Yet, I'm thankful for a God who, even though we are meaningless, is mindful of the one and puts him or her in exactly the right situations that are crucial to their ultimate progression to become like our Father in Heaven. There is one final quote that I loved from Elder Hamilton. He said, "Heavenly Father doesn't have some A-Team waiting in the wings to carry on or finish our work. We aren't the JV team. We are all he has and he's going to work with us to bring about many mighty miracles" I'm extremely humbled at that opportunity.

BTW, Ask me if I was asked to drive Elder and Sister Hamilton to the airport.  Yep, coolest thing ever!

I love you all,
Elder Hazen


Car Trouble

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