Thursday, June 7, 2012

Service And Commitment

Waaa, Jousahn! Gamyaht geihou ma?
Great week, filled with plenty of adventures. Yesterday a pipe broke in the ceiling above the chapel and was pouring water everywhere, the credit card I received to replace the one I lost is faulty, we taught a bunch of lessons, I have slight bags under my eyes from being so tired lately, it's a lie when people say that they don't have orange chicken in China because it and everything like it is everywhere, and being a missionary is seriously so awesome.
Mom, Dad, Trevor -- I hope your flight was safe! You're in the part of Europe I always wanted to go! Britain. Since I don't have the opportunity to go there right now, I hope you get so down with our ancestral roots for me.
I'm so happy right now. I got a personal email from both my parents, and all three of my brothers. Part of the reason I don't have a ton of time, but I don't care. There's nothing like family to lift your spirits.
Mom, you asked me about the law professor I told about from a few weeks ago. Well, we got a text from him saying that he "didn't think [he] was ready for [our] message." Of course this was disappointing, but we'll give him time and keep trying. But this demonstrates a simple truth that I'll explain with another story:
So this law professor, Roddie, it was clear that the Spirit worked within him. In fact, it caused him to weep during his meeting with us. But as we continued to talk with him, it became clear that he was unwilling to keep commitments, and that'd he'd rather just hang out with us. To this point, regardless of the fact that he felt the Spirit, it's pretty evident that his experience with us is now forgotten, because he lacked the real intent to find more answers for himself. In other words, the pendulum has duly swung back.
However, in contrast, I'll tell you of Elder Ng and I's greatest success together. Since I first got to Aberdeen, I started working with a less active member named Choi Hingdaih (Brother Choi). He's been less active for 30 years, and is the only high priest in our ward that is less active. I remember the attitude he had with us when I first met him; he would ask questions in a very skeptical way, even in a disbelieving way. But -- and this is the important part -- he has always been willing to keep his commitments. He began coming to church, and as he continued to meet with us his attitude slowly began to change. And last sunday, without us telling him to, he showed up to church, dressed up in a button up shirt and tie, scriptures in hand. He is now preparing to take the sacrament again and renew his baptismal covenant of ages ago, and seeing the smile he has on his face constantly now is so satisfying for Elder Ng and I to see. We have watched the Spirit work in his life according to his willingness to keep his commitments.
If people don't show God they are commited to act according to the answer they receive, how are they ever going to expect God to give it? When you give someone a gift, do you not expect them to appreciate it and use it? Like Roddie, if you don't show God you care about the answer, the gift, he gives, then you'll forget even the first manifestations of the Spirit you once received. But we've helped a man who gave up on God for over 30 years reactivate and find Him again simply because he was willing to act.
It really goes to show how little we missionaries do. We are just tools for the members to use, for investigators to use, for anyone who needs help. We are called to serve, and to serve only. And I testify that there is no greater joy than serving others and helping bring forth the fruits of laboring in the work of eternity.
Have a wonderful week and engage yourself in something good. I love you all,
Elder Hazen

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