Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekly Update~ "Blessings Come When We Seek For The Savior's Power as Bad as We Want to Breathe"

Dear family and friends,
RJ and His New Companion Elder Moyes
 One of the oft-referred to stories of this recent General Conference was the woman who suffered from the debilitating blood condition for 12 years. I loved this story in context to President Nelson's talk on Drawing the power of Jesus Christ into our lives. Like the woman who stretched physically and spiritually in order to grasp the Savior's power into her life. There are a few experiences where I witnessed others and myself stretch this week. 

We are teaching a man right now who has gone through a lot. I have seen him bring forth many fruits signifying his repentance and becoming a new man. However, he just seems to be one of those people who can't seem to catch a break. For about the past 3 years, he has been bounced around from home to home, trying to look for a job and making ends meet. He expressed to us that after he met the missionaries, he found a new found hope in life and things began to work out for him. He found a job about a month and a half ago at a casino running slot machines and began a training without pay soon thereafter. However because of the difficulty of circumstances before, along the way he got both his national I.D. and passport stolen, which has now arisen to become a big problem. Last week, his employers requested everyone to display some sort of identification before the training ends this week. In his desperation, he came to us, asking us to spot him 40k UGX for a new passport. I felt awful for him and was really stressed about what to do. After I got off the phone with him last Friday morning, Elder Moyes and I decided to pray about it. When we finished, a story I heard from MLC a few months back came to mind. In Mexico, there was a mission president faced with a dilemma of government marriage being an obstacle to many couples' being baptized. They simply couldn't afford to pay to get it done so they continued to co-habitate. However, the leaders of the church came up with a program to cut the price of marriage. When this plan was presented to this mission president, it didn't feel right for him to approve it. He thought about it all the way to an interview with a young couple preparing to be baptized. In this interview, he discovered that the couple went three days without eating in order to have enough money for their marriage, leading to their baptism into the church. With this experience, the mission president felt inspired to reject the plan and give these investigators the opportunity to exercise faith and let the Lord provide a way. We came to a similar conclusion with this man. When we went to his home to explain why we were not giving him the money by sharing with him the scripture in Luke 8 about the woman with the blood disease, he was completely understanding and the Spirit filled the room. We followed up with him this week and he told us as he prayed for direction on how to find the money to pay for a new passport, he felt inspired he needed to sell his phone and use the money that would be coming from his job to first pay rent so he could keep the spot in the home he is currently staying in, then buy a new phone in a few months. He felt confident it came from the Lord and we were grateful to witness this man stretch himself and seek God's will.

On Tuesday, I went on an exchange with Elder Seibert. The whole day was relatively good, but we hadn't had any really faith building experiences and hadn't seemed to learn much from each other. As we were discussing these feelings on our way to our last appointment which happened to be a member whom we would be teaching the restoration in 15 minutes too, we made a goal with each other that we'd make it the most powerful lesson of the day. But, to our dismay, he bounced us. It was 8:30 PM. Usually, it's time to prepare to go home if your lesson falls through at that time. However, I felt like there was more to be done in the day. We decided to pray and ask the Lord whom he would have us visit to share the message of the Restoration too to conclude the day. We sat and waited for revelation to come. Elder Seibert, having served in Nsambya before, suggested we visit a less-active member. We called him, and he told us he was home, so we put the truck in gear and sped off to his home 15 minutes away. We testified simply of the truths of the restoration, and finished. We were overcome at the Spirit that was present. We felt inspired to ask for a referral and he immediately listed off a name from the top of his head and told us to call him in the morning to find out when we could go together to meet with him. When we got to the car, we offered a simple prayer of gratitude thanking the Lord for using us as tools to share with someone who needed that message and for helping us stretch ourselves. Truly, I know blessings come when we seek for the Savior's power as bad as we want to breathe. 

I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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