Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Establishing Zion

Mom, Family, Friends
Dad. Some Chinese guy told me he thought you looked like Steve Jobs. Don't worry, I look like Jim Carrey, Zach is the most handsome of us all, and a few weeks ago some investigator told me that the only difference between me in my family picture from 2010 and now is that I have more wrinkles. Thought you'd all like to be updated on our aesthetic improvements and celebrity comparisons.
Wow. I'm really sorry. Looks like last week my email never went through because I had attached too many things. I just spent over half my email time trying to attach pictures and stuff and it kept rejecting me. It's extremely frustrating -- I hope my recordings (both of my testifying and teaching in Cantonese and of the song Come Thou Fount) and at least SOME pictures went through.
We've been working hard in Hung Shui Kiu. Finding people on the street here is really difficult because compared to Aberdeen there just aren't nearly as many people, and tracting isn't of much use because Hong Kong is really good at gating up their houses and estates. However, I did have my first whirl at knocking doors in Hong Kong a few days ago. Some of these places are really creepy. Sometimes you look in the window of a house and it's pitch black except for these dark red light bulbs lighting up pictures of their ancestors. I'm not going to pretend like I didn't feel fear. Knocking doors out here isn't very welcoming.
Elder Farnsworth and I are really focused on the members in our area. We've been constantly visiting them and sharing messages with them and strengthening them as the new ward begins to open. We have been getting really excited lately as we've spent extra time formulating a plan for the new ward. We've been praying and seeking a lot of inspiration, and we've felt that the Spirit has really been working in us and helping us find direction in the new area.
Here's the plan that we are preparing to present to the new ward: Once a week the missionaries visit every willing family in the ward for 20-30 minutes to teach them the principles in Preach My Gospel. That's it. We're preparing to leave with them a promise that if we can unite as "one heart and one mind", missionaries and members, they will witness many of their friends and family enter the waters of baptism. And we're going to have the members baptize them. Something Elder Farnsworth told me I thought was incredibly profound -- he said that when he went into the MTC he made a goal never to enter the waters, but to always have the members do it. He's failed twice, he says. But the point is very clear -- we're all in this together.
So that's it. Elder Farnsworth and I have a very big vision for the establishment of Zion in Hung Shui Kiu. We're not just out here to find people on the street, bring them in and baptize them. We can't overlook the responsibility we have to the members -- to help perfect the Saints and to unify them in this glorious work. When this is accomplished, the collective effort of both the members and the missionaries will bring way more people to the waters of baptism than a group of kids in suits and dresses running around in a foreign country. Of course, that isn't said to degrade our calling. As much power and authority we are endowned with to preach the glad tidings of our Savior, we can't and shouldn't do it on our own. A vital part of our calling is to do all that we can to unite with the members. We missionaries shouldn't be afraid to pull straigt zeroes in our Key Indicators for a few weeks if that's what it takes to focus on unifying, exciting, and blessing the members in our area. The Spirit has confirmed this truth in my heart over and over this week. Zion can be everywhere.
I know that you all have General Conference this week -- I don't get it until next week. I invite all of you to pray and to ponder what message is being prepared for you. I know that the Prophet and the Apostles pray daily for you and for what message this world needs right now in October of 2012. I know that they are prophets, seers, and revelators. I know that their words will be evidence of the restored Gospel, of the living Christ, and of our Father in Heaven. They are prepared for you, are you prepared for them? Think of any question you want God to answer that you need in your life, pray about it, and seek it this conference. If you do so, I promise that through the words of one of God's servants, you will receive your answer.
I know it's all true.
Love, Elder Hazen

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