Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Update~ "General Conference Edition 2: The Gospel Is So Simple!"

Dear Family and Friends,

I testify that there is no greater joy that comes in this life than from living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I rejoiced over the weekend as I received answers to personal questions, but more so when I saw investigators and recent converts discussing with us and others around them about the notes they took and the impressions they had listening to modern day prophets and apostles. I was amazed, because it wasn't easy for most of them to be there. Many told me they had been sick the previous day, or they were traveling and got home early in the morning, or were working overnight, but they exercised their faith nonetheless to be there on time to hear President Monson speak and announce the temple in Kenya. That was such a tender mercy. What added to my joy was during the break listening to a group of recent converts talking to some of our investigators about how happy they were when they were baptized and encouraging them to begin down their own covenant path. 
Andrew's Baptism
The constant thought I had while listening to the Brethren was this line from a scripture found in 2 Nephi 25:4:"For behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn." As we reviewed with Andrew, one of God's elect sons who was baptized this weekend, what he had learned at conference, he told us he loved all the words spoken, but a lot of the topics were things he had learned already from his pamphlets he had been reading. Isn't it great the gospel is so simple? As Elder Cook explained, a foundation is built slowly, one brick at a time, precept by precept, here a little, there a little. We believe in a Godhead governing the universe. This Godhead is comprised of three separate, distinct, beings. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The Father and the Son have bodies of flesh and bone as tangible as man's and the third is a personage of Spirit. They are united in their work, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of God's children. That is their goal, and their plan, is the great Plan of Redemption. Part of this plan is coming to earth and experiencing a mortal life. We have been given guides, or a care package, to navigate this life, and part of it, includes living prophets and apostles. I'm thankful for the counsel received this weekend from these chosen servants of God directed to help us in this mortal life. I loved how the brethren got back to basics. Truly, as Elder Clayton emphasized, no matter what our trial or tribulation, simple acts of faith such as reading the scriptures, praying, and sabbath worship will solve all problems, even if these simple acts of faith have no correlation whatsoever to them. I also loved the talks on the Holy Ghost. When Elder Stevenson talked about Fernando and his young family and the peace that overcame him upon his discovery of the fatal accident that took his wife and young unborn child. It was what I felt when I discovered Grandma Melendez passed away in January. I know the Holy Ghost is the Comforter. The biggest thing I took away from the conference, going back to Elder Cook's talk, a life of discipleship, devoted to the work of the Lord and following his will is lived one righteous action at a time. I know that the Lord is patient and loving and rejoices in each of our righteous choices and the fact we are even trying. I know that when I or others fall short of expectations, I can take solace in the fact that our Heavenly Father doesn't look at us with the eyes of the world, but for what we can become. I know if I take it one day at a time, I will be able to look at others with these same eyes and have that same love Heavenly Father has for me.

Transfers are this week as well as MLC. Elder Moyes, a man like unto captain Moroni, will be my new companion and I am looking forward to it more than anything. I love you all.
Mission Leader Conference
Mission Leader Dinner
Little fountains in the middle of the table
Huge Lazy Susan to feed all these Missionaries

Elder Hazen

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