Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Become as a Little Child

Leih sihkjo faahn meih a?! (translation for mom-- Have you eaten yet?!) ((Common Cantonese greeting in Hong Kong))

"Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kindom of heaven." (Matt 18:1-4)

I love this scripture. Something I've been thinking about lately is about the character of a little child. Mosiah 3:19 carefully goes over a few of them, but one quality that has stuck out to me is their inherent and unexhaustive ability to spout of questions! Questions are extremely important to me. So often I think we accept what we are given without asking why or how. I know that in life everyone goes through phases of looking back on their life to re-evaluate everything they've ever learned and ever been taught, to wonder how they got to the point that they are now. I know I am in one of those phases of my own life; I am frequently having the most random memories of my past and realizing how my experiences are merely puzzle pieces that are put together one by one, day by day. The joy I have knowing in retrospect why I have had these experiences is shaping my transition to become a better person. That's why I believe it is so important to ask questions, and to ask them to God. God is a God of intelligence, and He does unfold His mysterious to His children. But we HAVE to act. Pray like crazy. Read the scriptures. Do what He asks. Find joy in the simplicity of God's instructions -- for in their simplicity you will find the truly profound. I can promise you that, because I experience it every day. Do not be afraid to ask why or how. I believe that the way we learn best is not to walk into church, into a temple, into a gospel related class, or by the edge of your bed at night and expect God to give us revelation. Always come with a question prepared like a curious child who is willing to believe on the things they are taught, and God will only give.

Thank you for the emails, Mom, Dad, and Trevor! Zach, I expect I'll hear from you soon then? Ask mom about DearElder. Then I can get it during the week. Sorry to hear about your experience at Banff; but I must say I admire the creativity. Tell me a little something something about it. Brian/Katie, how is everything?

So, my companionship and I have run into a bit of... bad luck, this week. Suffice it to say that one of our investigators dropped us.... In the MTC. It was very discouraging at first. You see, in my pride, I initially see it to be something extremely sad that I can't retain an investigator in the MTC, where they are merciful to their missionaries who struggle to speak the language. I didn't expect it to happen, but I realize now that it makes sense. We had at least 12 lessons with him and we never really got him to commit to anything. Perhaps we didn't find his true needs or help him realize the relevance of the gospel to him personally.

But now I see it as an opportunity. I know I'm called to this work, and that God will provide. I want to help people so badly! It continues to be a struggle every time I realize how difficult it can be. How truly little I know. But I have faith that I will learn how to better teach this gospel, and that my companionship will learn as well, so we can teach together in unity through the Spirit. I said above how I recall memories of my past frequently, and how they give me insight to who I am and how I've been shaped. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for the great blessings I've been given. I'm grateful for a mind to learn from the mistakes I've made and the shortcomings I've had and continue to have.

Opposition and imperfection are necessary to achieve freedom and perfection. I know that repentance is a huge step in moving forward; repentance should NEVER be something to regard with negativity. It is continually and constantly allowing yourself to change in accordance to God's will to become BETTER. To become more WILLING to mourn with those that mourn and to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. As disappointing as it is to lose an investigator (as if I even knkow what it means to face rejection yet, haha) I'm grateful that God is providing the opportunity to step it up a notch. Shoot, I'll step it up three!

Personal study is my FAVORITE time of the day. It's my personal time with God. I cannot even believe how much I can get out of one verse of scripture, and then go back to it a week later and see something different. God speaks, and the heavens are not sealed! It is my hope that the Spirit will teach through my words, whether written or spoken. I invite you all to open your hearts, write your questions down, and go to God. Have faith and trust in Him, and never "lean unto your own understanding" because I promise that will always change. But I can witness with the energy of my heart, as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ, that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I love you all and wish you the best. Be strong, and press forward!


Elder Hazen

P.S. Is President and Sister Ludwig (Nauvoo) getting my emails? I would love to contact them or hear from them.

P.P.S. Ok seriously. Tyler and Abby. ELWOOD. You have five days to get me a letter announcing yourselves to me, and I'll pretend like I didn't hear it from somebody else 2 WEEKS ago.

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