Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Update~ Missionary Work is Unsuccessful Unless You Do It The Lord's Way

Dear Family and Friends,

Missionary work is interesting, in the fact that no matter how much you may know about this gospel, how many times you've read preach my gospel, how many scripture masteries you passed off in seminary, or whether you're a junior companion or an assistant to President, missionary work is unsuccessful unless you do it the Lord's way. 

When the Savior walked the earth, he didn't spend his time convincing those who opposed him that he was the foretold Messiah. Rather, his message was one of invitation, to increase their faith, as he went about doing the Father's will. In a similar sense, we've found that when our intent is to increase people's faith in the Savior rather than convincing them this is the only true church, we've had more success. As Elder Chifamba and I have been making that our focus and humbling ourselves, our discussions have been less contentious and more spiritually uplifting.  This has given us the opportunity to testify of the Atonement with more power and authority. As I've shared many times before, I testify the Atonement can and will change even the most natural of men and will give strength to break yokes of bondage no matter what they may be. Testifying of the Atonement is the best part of being a missionary and this week I was able to often. We taught a man relapsing into old drinking habits, so grieved by it that is brought him and myself to tears. We taught one other man so fed up with financial problems that he began to pray to God not for strength, but that he would take his life so he didn't have to deal with the stress any longer. We taught another man who is a refugee who's family is being kicked out of their apartment because they can't pay rent. The thing that makes the gospel so beautiful is the fact that it can help in EVERY situation imaginable through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love the power I feel when I have the opportunity to promise people blessings as a servant of Jesus Christ.

I am also grateful for the power of the fast. This weekend, the mission and the Kampala North Stake united in a fast that the Lord will prepare people to accept the gospel. President had a conference call with the Zone Leaders and read Isaiah 58 with us and went verse by verse and shared thoughts he was having. It was extremely spiritual and I would encourage you all to study that chapter to better understand the doctrine behind fasting. As part of the fast, we had a stake missionary fireside and participated in a missionary choir as part of the program. We sang Joseph Smith's first prayer and the spirit was absolutely present. I think Pres and Sis. Collings posted it on their blog if you want to watch. 
Missionary Choir

Yesterday, my companion and I attended a meeting with my mission president, and the stake president of the newly formed stake. It was extremely powerful to see two sets of Priesthood keys working together, receiving revelation on how the kingdom of God can continue to progress in this country. We set a goal to invite each member to bring one referral to the missionaries each 6 months. If there is 40 members in a ward, that is 80 referrals a year. If 60 were baptized and 45 were retained, that is tremendous growth. We all came away edified and humbled to be used as tools by the Lord. We are looking forward to another great week!

Elder Hazen

PS.  Patricia, a member of the ward planned a birthday surprise for me, she came with a cake after FHE and had a few people get up and say nice things about me. Then she talked about how I'm one of the best missionaries she's known because I'm the only one who got her sister who's less active to read the Book of Mormon. It was really sweet!

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