Monday, October 22, 2012

Thinking Is Praying

Well how about it.
This week has been gold. It's the kind that every missionary loves -- General Conference (who knew that what was once a cherished nap time now gets me on the edge of my seat), the majority of all our contacts actually following through with us, 5 new investigators, miracles in street finding, and way too much curry. Mom, that wasn't an invitation for another package of probiotics. Love you.
Happy birthday to you again, Trevor. Shin splints, eh? Those are my favorite birthday presents. Have you gotten your package?
General Conference slammed me. I felt like Elder Holland was looking straight at me with that age-old penetrating question, "Do you love me?" I cannot accurately describe the feeling it was from the perspective of a missionary to really dig down into my soul and ask, "Do I do what I do because I love God or do I do it simply because I expect to get something out of it for myself?" Without going into too much detail on the situations I've faced recently and the burdens that I carry within myself, it suffices to say that Christ Himself may as well have been asking me the question directly through the mouth of His servant. It's easy to think sometimes that the question, "How am I supposed to love God?" is a difficult one to answer. I've found that I can't revile against one of God's children, whether in word or in my heart, and then go pray and tell God that I love Him. "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me," (Matthew 25:40). Loving God means you love all of His children, that you see them all for who they can become; and "perfect love casteth out all fear" (Moroni 8:16). I can't tell you how many times I've feared opening my mouth to a stranger because I did not love them.
I had the recurring thought through all the speakers that we all need to be more immediate and prompt in exactly obeying the promptings of the Spirit. In order to progress spiritually, we must have a sense of urgency in fulfilling the whispered commands of our Master. We must never forget that the words of the Holy Ghost, those gentle feelings that we must make a better choice, are the "words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3). How many times must the Holy Ghost tell us to do the same thing before we actually do it? When we wonder why our lives aren't moving forward and we're on our knees begging for further direction, do we ever take time to evaluate if we've done the things that God has already inspired us to do? Our prompt obedience to the divinely given feelings in our hearts to do the right thing even if it's inconvenient is the quickest way to invite God's further guidance.
As for our area -- there has been a lot of success lately. It seems that even when Elder Farnsworth and I are sitting down to rest or make a call, God finds for us and makes a simple wave at a passerby turn into a message on the Restoration, complete with a closing prayer and a free Book of Mormon, eternal life included. Hung Shui Kiu is a lot different than the Island though -- not nearly as concentrated with people. We've come up with a better way of finding, and I put it to my companion this way: when you play a good old-fashioned game of Hide and Seek, you make yourslef a much more difficult person to find if you're constantly changing hiding spots. Many people are searching for the truth, but know not where to find it. If the truth keeps aimlessly wandering around, prepared people to hear it are going to have a harder time finding it. So in an area with comparitively less people, we need to secure our hiding spots in one area that is the most concentrated and start playing "Hide and Get Sought." It's my favorite game, and we've been finding so many people to teach.
I finished the Book of Mormon this week, and I started in the MTC. It was slow, but very satisfying. God confirmed many times throughout the read that the Book was in fact His word and contained His absolute and everlasting truth. I know that it is the word of God, and I know it because my testimony came from Heavenly Father Himself, and not through any clever man or cunning persuasion. I cannot deny that it is of Him. Please read it and ask Him yourself. Ask Him many times, even after you know. God will never stop confirming what is true. His peace be upon you all, now and forever, is my prayer. I love you all, and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Love, Elder Hazen

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