Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Mind of a Missionary

Hey Everyone. I'm in Hong Kong. 

There isn't a ton to report on this week, honestly, except that I'm doing well and I'm finding immense satisfaction in my work. 

I lost my wallet last week on a minibus. It was seriously so awesome because I had just about everything important in it, and the minibus had this super sketchy driver who seemed like he was itching to fill his pockets with other people's money. Better yet, there are two lines of minibuses throughout Hong Kong -- they either have a green or red flag on the front -- and I happened to lose mine on the red line. Of course the red ones are the bad ones. There is a significant suspicion raised that this line of minibusii is owned by the Triad. Yes!

The teaching aspect of our work is going well. I'd like to make a specific mention of last night, where my companion and I were sitting and teaching 3 teenage boys who were all friends and referrals of the same member in our ward. I'd also like to note that currently we have no progressing investigators that we actually found ourselves. 

Missionary work is impossible without the members. Looking back, I was seriously a lazy member. I was not extremely bold in my testimony to everyone, nor did I ever have many experiences with inviting a friend to church. I understand the fear associated with proclaiming your beliefs and sharing the gospel -- believe me, I face it every day. My friend Elder Johnson mentioned in his emails from Norway a few months ago that he felt initial fear when approaching contacts on the street. I feel this all the time. There is nothing profound I can say about it than just do it, and God will guide you. We need the help of the members; we missionaries simply cannot do it without you.

Perhaps you'd like a glimpse into the mind of a missionary. But I had better speak for myself. I pray countless times a day. My prayers are almost constantly about my investigators, and if they aren't, they are simple, fervent pleas to help me open my mouth and be a better missionary. I sit on the bus every day on the bus to Aberdeen, and wait for a new person to board the bus and sit next to me. My heart pumps every time -- I'm about to open my mouth and do everything I can to give this person a chance to hear the gospel, a chance to feel the Spirit, a chance to give place in their heart to desire things of eternal worth. Most of the time, they scoff, frantically shake their hands at me to symbolize their complete and unconditional disinterest, and pick up their phones and pretend to call someone. I sit there and pray for them.
As I teach, I pray that the Lord will just let me say the right thing. I pray that I'll understand the language. I pray my companion will say the right thing. I try to say the things that a representative of Jesus Christ would say -- a bold proclamation, a direct invitation, a solemn plea, a declaration of pure truth, an expression of deep care. 

Being a missionary increases my testimony and magnifies every truth I've ever been taught my entire life. Even when I find myself completely stumped in my own gospel questions, and I have many, my conviction of divinity doesn't lessen. Instead it grows. The very fact that I have a billion questions makes my desire for more truth grow, which makes my study more diligent, which gives me more opportunity to deepen my connection with things that are spiritual, which all increase my convictions. 
If your heart is in the right place, every single difficult circumstance you ever face will increase your ability to change your nature. I plead with God often to change mine, to extract the evil dispositions within my heart and cast them away, to destroy my unrighteous desires, and to give me the eyes of my Savior that I might see the eternity within every person I meet.

Truth and knowledge, although inseparably connected, are different. They magnify each other, but are not conditional on each other. I have found in my experiences so far among the Hong Kong people that recognition of truth has little to do with previously obtained knowledge. When I focus with my mind, my heart will close, but when I focus with my heart, my mind will open. I know that Christ lives, because I have felt His perfection abide within my imperfection as I've done all that I can to follow him. 

I hope sincerely that something I've said has been beneficial to at least one of you. I love you all, my friends and family, brothers and sisters! May the truth roll forward! 
Elder Hazen

P.S. Mom and family. I'm almost jealous of the Europe trip. Be safe and have the best time of your lives! And take me when I get home. 

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