Sunday, November 18, 2012

People in Need, Miracles, and Prayer

Hello all,
It's been another great week up in Hung Shui Kiu. The Spirit is really brooding over this land; people have been walking in on church, accepting chapel tours, self-referring themselves to our free English Class, and several people are progressing towards baptism. Our first English Class up here, only about 4 weeks ago, had a total of 5 people attend, which in some places in the mission, is considered a success. I remember when I was in Aberdeen, sometimes for 2-3 weeks in a row nobody would show up. Last friday, we had 29 people attend English Class, and only about 2-4 of those people were members. We had to split classrooms and have all the missionaries in our district working together to make sure that everybody had a quality, satisfying experience.
Last week we found an old woman on a roof on a patch of farmland in the village that neighbors the church. I was afraid to call out to her at first for fear of scaring her and causing her to fall off, but with a little faith I opened my mouth and called out to her. She turned out to be the most hilarious and sweet little lady we've ever met. Her back was acutely hunched over, I swear like an 80 degree angle, and she daily engages in physical labor by herself. I couldn't help but thinking she looked like a muppet, by both her appearance and her cheery personality, and she loved us from the start. We offered to come serve her and help her out with the work, and she invited us back a few days later. We came with our whole district wearing "Mormon Helping Hands" jerseys and I tell you, I don't think I've ever been as elated about doing physical labor as I was for that first hour. But our joys were cut short -- a man came in and told us that it was his land and without even asking us what we were doing or why we were there he called the police on us. The woman ran up to me, grabbed my hands and looked into my eyes while she described to me that this man ruined this little farm and would frequently beat her. I looked at her helplessly. The native missionaries talked to him and explained that we were here to help the old woman, and he said that she was senile and always intruded on his property. We said we were sorry, and not wanting to get ourselves or the Church involved, we quickly left after the man cancelled his call to the police. It was a really sad experience, knowing that there was nothing we could do. There is a great need for more love in this world, and there were more talks in General Conference this year that talked about service than anything else. The call of the prophets is to find those in need, because there are too many who need it.
Soso is progressing towards baptism. Yesterday he came to church humbly praying and intently listening all through Sacrament Meeting. I was impressed at his comment after both the opening and the closing prayer when he said, "Wow, they prayed... fast." He has so quickly understood the nature of our communication with Heavenly Father that it seemed odd to him that at church the members would offer such a quick and ritualistic prayer up to Heaven. We must always remember that in all things we do, especially at church, represent both our individual spirituality and the church itself. People watch, and they notice. We should all take time to sincerely reflect the way that we communicate with Heavenly Father, in public and in private. One thing I've really learned in my service is how to pray. Odd to say, I've done it my entire life. When we learn to pray sincerely, always, we are given the added blessings of heaven. Miracles have begun to happen here, and I know it's a product of our prayers -- prayers that have been offered because we truly wanted them to be answered, and had faith that they would, not because we were told that prayer would help.
I know that this is God's work. God bless you all in your individual pursuits to come closer to our Father in Heaven, and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Elder Hazen

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