Well, sorry for the big build up -- V. didn't get baptized on Sunday. I was so sure he was going to, he has a personal testimony.
So... I'm still not sure when he's going to get baptized, but I know he's still diligently pursuing the goal. He came to church last sunday dressed in church clothes (without us telling him) and he brought his parents. Maybe God is just providing a better way for V. and his whole family. I can't really complain anyway, it's not my baptism. And V. brought two of his friends to meet us in the past week. And so the work rolls on.
There's just too much to learn out here. I don't really even know how to express myself anymore. I can't tell any of you how often the phrase "I don't even know anything" comes to my mind. It's an interesting phenomenon when you're young you think you own the world, but the more you learn and the more you experience the more you realize that you actually haven't the slightest clue what is going on. Coming out here is helping me to realize that I am really nothing. We read many scriptures that compare us all to the dust of the earth, or even less than the dust.
It's interesting to see how everything can be counted. Everything we see and comprehend is ultimately finite; it's numbered. And all these things fit within a certain order. When the wind blows, the leaves of the trees will rustle accordingly. When the Sun goes down, you can bet it will come back up in the morning. Every person that populates the earth, every tree of every forest, and every drop of water of the sea are finite. As many as there are of anything, they are counted, and they obey the laws of the universe. They obey the laws the God has set in order. But you want to know something interesting? I don't always follow these laws. I've got that rebel in my soul that says I want to do it my own way. I've got too much pride in my heart sometimes to let myself realize that sometimes the dust really is better than me, because dust absolutely obeys the laws of nature that God put it in.
Honestly put, I've relied way too much on myself and the products of my own efforts to measure my success. I learned a great lesson this week when, after ultimately feeling dissatisfied with myself even when I've been throwing in all my effort, I asked my companion to give me a blessing. I felt immense power inside as he spoke simple words of comfort that the Lord wished me to know. You might say a simple truth was awakened inside my heart: The work I'm doing isn't my work. I didn't come on a mission for Garrett Hazen. At least, that's not what God had in mind. As I've been doing His work, I've felt disappointment and frustration for my failures. But if I'm really doing God's work, who am I calling a failure when I've done my best and not everything works out?
I know that this work is real. It's as "real life" as real life is going to get. The power of God is real. The Book of Mormon is without a doubt a divine witness of the Savior, His reality, and His atonement. I am truly one of the weakest men in the world. But in my weakness, let it be felt with power in your hearts when I say that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and He is with us every step of the way.
Love, Elder Hazen
People burning stuff in the streets for ghost festival
Elder Wu and I in Aberdeen
Picture with me, Elder Wu, and investigators
A card for an investigator (a violin with tuners and a bridge that represent the steps of the Gospel of Jesus Christ)