Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Smile or Something

Weeell hey there!
Dad. Happy birthday!! ...right? I'm almost postive. Pretty positive. You look good. And thank you so much for the letter.
I'm not sure I want to even bother mentioning it, because every time I have a feeling I tend to be wrong. I think I'm going to be moving next week to a new area, because I've already spent four transfers in my "baby area." I really don't want to leave, in a way. There are too many things that I've seen start that I want to see finish. Chances are I won't see Vincent baptized, although he's well on his way to the waters. It's profound I guess that the point isn't to see everything from start to finish, but to see that everything is a part of a bigger plan that isn't ours. It's a blessing to realize that no matter what you do, it's going to be a long process -- a process which, if endured well, usually has more blessings as it unfolds than when it is "finished." But nothing is finished, right? Once one person is converted, their baptism isn't the end! They merely begin a lifelong process that leads to eternal happiness. There is more to life than 80 some-odd years of constant battling for a sense of satisfaction. True satisfaction was never meant to be temporary or limited to your own efforts. True happiness has always been eternal, meant to extend beyond the limits of the grave, and provided by Somebody who went before us. If we're Christian, why don't we have crosses on our churches? Because we know that Christ's ancient ministry didn't end on the cross. We declare that He lives! We declare that the love of God is restored in these times as it was in times of old, and that Jesus is the Christ. And that, is the greatest message since angels declared the birth of the Savior.
This week has been great. I feel happy. I'm tired as crazy, but I just feel happy. Everything is clear, and it all makes sense. I had an interesting experience on the street the other day as I was finding with Elder Wu. As I was walking, instead of seeing just one person as a target for contacting, I started to notice the people as a whole as they walked by me. Something in particular that struck me was the nature of the faces that passed my view, and how much depth lay beneath the eyes of each person. Forgive me for getting all philosophical, but it really struck me when I realized just how much you can tell about a person by looking at their face in only a matter of a few short seconds. There are a LOT of frowns in Hong Kong. People here really don't realize it's a small world after all. I realized in that moment that I've been so foolish to have been so negative about the merits of street contacting. I've been foolish to complain about it's ineffectiveness -- although there are more ideal ways, sometimes we have that extra time on the streets that we have the opportunity to smile at these people! It came to me in a simple sentence, "If these faces are ever going to chance, you can start by smiling at them." We can let other peoples frowns make us frown, or we can smile until they do. I can't even begin to describe how happy it has made me to smile at people and just watch them try and hold it in!
Everything is awesome. We attended a stake talent show on saturday where me and a sister did a guitar/violin jam and sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Recording next week.
May God bless you all. Keep a good attitude, it's nearly the only thing you have the ability to control in this life.
Love, Elder Hazen

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