Thursday, April 26, 2012

In our failures we find the greatest success

Family, friends, saints, sinners, warriors, kung fu masters and everybody in between,

This week feels as if it has passed by in seconds. I'll just go straight to everything that's been on my mind lately as a missionary. Hong Kong, said without any intent to produce negativity, is not an easy place to serve a mission. I'm not exactly sure what I expected, if anything at all. But for whatever reason, I did not predict that so many people would be so unwilling to even experiment on the prospect of further truth, deeper knowledge, and greater happiness.

To explain a little how this thought was brought about -- you may recall that in my last letter I spoke of a "golden investigator" who we taught last week. In that lesson, I remember the Spirit feeling the
way it does when you're walking past the threshold in Costco on a hot day and feel the massive air conditioner pleasure you with sweet, blissful, cool air. It was so apparent, and it was so exciting to see him recognize the Spirit working in his life. He never answered our calls again, and fong'd us at the next appointment. Disappointing? Terribly. Why did he do it? Not sure, but we expect he got anti'd by family members. Apparently that is somewhat frequent in Hong Kong. We've been fong feigei'd a ton this week, even by those we already have somewhat of a good relationship with. On the
bus to my area every day I talk to people, get to know them, do everything I can to relate the vision of God to their lives, and watch as they smile and shake their heads when I ask them if they'd be willing to simply ask God if He actually exists. Why not? Seriously, why? This I have asked myself many times throughout the week.

I no longer question the existence of God. I, like everyone, have had my moments. I wonder where He is, why do I seem to fail when I do something right, and what direction I should go. But I can testify to anyone with certainty that God is real, and that He is among His children. It is difficult for me to explain how I know, but I feel His presence so often. I feel Him when things seem to be going
wonderfully, and when I'm on my knees at night begging Him to forgive me for my inadequacies, to help me become better. I know He exists because the more I serve Him, the less I care about myself. I'm not here for me, I'm here for Him. I don't want people to listen to me because I want throw them in a pool and increase my own personal success statistic. I want them to feel God right beside them, lifting them up in their greatest sorrows, helping them overcome their greatest fears, and become true children of God. (Mosiah 18:22).

If any of you have time, I invite you to read one verse of scripture. Mosiah 18:26. The first thing Alma did after baptising the mass of people was ordain priests and elders to go teach the gospel. I related this to me, as I go out and proclaim the good word. The verse says that they were "not to depend on the people for support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God." When I read this, the Spirit rushed through me. I've only been here
for what, 3 weeks? I need to continue in my labor. My ability to teach with power and authority is largely measured by my diligence in obtaining God's word. I realized that I need more patience. Things I used to deem failures are no longer failures, but ultimately successes. What a success it has been for me to realize that through what seems a failure, God will build me up and help me more fully recognize His power in my life.

I hope it all made sense. I testify that God makes us strong through our weaknesses, and gives us success through our failures. If we continue to only seek Him, we will eventually understand that our
failures really aren't failures at all, because we are fulfilling our purpose.

May you all be blessed with success and joy in the coming week!

Love, Elder Hazen

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