Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Goodbye MTC, Hello Fragrant Harbor

Leih sihkjo faahn meih a?! Ngoh heui Heung Gong! (Have you eaten yet? I'm going to Hong Kong!)

To confirm, the MTC Choir will be singing in the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. Record it. The likelihood of you seeing my face is large apparently, they ask the cameramen specifically to cover the faces of all the missionaries so that all of our mom's have ample opportunity to weep. We'll see how that turns out. Oh, Elder Steele is also in the choir. Such a funny guy, I run into him here all the time. In fact, this morning when we all went to breakfast after choir practice, I came to my table and he was just sitting there with my companion. He shrugged and said, "Lost my companion." Haha! But I guess that's not supposed to be funny. He found him.

Mom, thanks for replying to my billion questions. I know I send you an overload of things to respond to. And as for my blog, I don't know what to name it. Seek revelation on that or something. "Learning to fly in the Orient" sounds good, although the stereotype may be unappreciated. Don't do that. Brian can think of a good one.

I think I received a letter from every person in my immediate family this week, including Katie and the kids! And then plenty of very good friends. I loved hearing from all of you, and will do my best to reply in due time!

I'm leaving to Hong Kong in less than a week now -- it's official. Mom, apparently I get to call home from the airport. So be awake on Monday morning. It'll probably just be for a few minutes to confirm everything is going according to plan. I can't even tell you how excited I am.

I don't know a lick of Cantonese, I probably don't even understand half of what I should about the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's going to be way hard, and I'M READY TO GO. If there's anything I've learned here, the greatest success will be in the process, not the result. My will is the only thing I can truly give, and the Lord will go before me. Time to fly.

I wish I could express how grateful I am to the MTC and for the things I've learned. I really feel like a new man. Or maybe just a man instead of a kid. But I'm still just a kid, I guess. But I'm a man though, seriously. I wouldn't trade my opportunity to be here for 12 weeks for anything. The things that I've learned about myself and the perspective that I've gained in that short time will be invaluable to me in the mission field. The best part is that it wasn't just some inspirational teacher or a series of fiery devotionals that have helped shape and prepare me -- it was all God. I did it myself by turning to God and letting Him teach me everything. That's the basic message I'm going to bring to people: God speaks. You just have to be willing to hear His voice. As He spoke yesterday, He speaks today, and He will speak forever. Every missionary who comes to the MTC learns essentially by their own willingness to accept God's guidance. I know now more than ever that God is more involved in the smallest portions of our lives than we could ever imagine.

Elder Oaks came and spoke to us last Tuesday. I've gotten into the habit of writing down the thoughts that come to me and inspire me when the prophet and apostles speak instead of writing every detail of their talk, and I find that I recognize revelation a lot more clearly that way. This General Conference I invite you all to pray for revelation from the Spirit and write down your thoughts and impressions. Do not waste your paper trying to catch the nitty gritty details, because you will compromise your ability to listen. You will find that some of your thoughts may appear extremely off topic from what they say, but they will be invaluable to you personally because they are the words the Spirit has for you. I know I can't get an answer from all of you, but will you commit to doing that this conference? I promise it will bring you more blessings and more revelation from the Holy Ghost on how you can become better and improve upon the challenges and concerns in your own lives. It has been a huge blessing to me and taught me how to listen to the Spirit, and I know that God has something to say to all of us.

Everyone, pray for my safety. This could possibly be the last email you get for two weeks; I don't know when my P day will be in Hong Kong. But more importantly, pray for the people of Hong Kong to open their hearts to the message that I've done everything I can to prepare for them.

The gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is the most important gift any man or woman can receive in this mortality. It is constantly having the words of Christ at your side, leading you on "amidst th'encircling gloom." I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. I would that God might delete the wickedness that enters my frail mind, and help me always walk in peace. We are all God's children. He is our Father, and our lineage is Divine. I pray that we all may become more worthy of His love as our perspectives expand. I pray that as I enter the "gateway to the orient" that God will put the eyes of Christ in place of mine, that I might find those people ready to receive His glad tidings.

May the Lord bless and keep you all! Gayauh!

Love, Elder Hazen

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