Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sister Y's Baptism, Miracles, and the Eternal Love of Heavenly Father

All I really have to say to anybody right now is Merry Christmas.
Heavenly Father is giving us the most amazing Christmas gifts right now. I've never had so many people to teach my entire mission. In fact, I've actually been praying harder recently hoping that we won't let any people slip through the cracks -- it's not even Open House yet and our load is as big or bigger than most in Hong Kong right now. Hung Shui Kiu is miracle town; something miraculous happens every day. We used to complain trying to find every possible way of escaping finding on the streets all day, and now finding time is precious with all the records to keep, people to teach, and members and leaders to follow-up with. It's incredible. President Hawks has sent out a call for all missionaries to pray for 8 specific things in order to "draw on the powers of heaven" in our work. As our faith has increased, our prayers more humble, and our righteous desires magnified, almost immediately the Lord has poured multitudes of both blessings and miracles on us.
Sister Y got baptized yesterday. It was the first time I'd ever baptized anyone, and the water was pretty yellow for some reason so it may or may not have been biproduct from the neighboring bathrooms, but she came out of that water beaming.
A few days ago we became a little worried because Sister Y still hadn't answered her phone after leaving on her trip to Mainland. It was already Friday and we had a baptism to schedule, so on a whim we looked at the vague address she filled on her baptismal form and set out to find her at about 8pm. Because we weren't familiar with the area and Chinese addresses aren't particularly clear, we spent a while knocking random doors in a concrete village at our best-guessed location. Just as we'd about given up and walked back onto the street, Elder Farnsworth saw her riding her back and stopped her. She had just come back from Mainland and had no minutes on her phone, so she was unable to contact us. With the very unlikely circumstances in which we ran into her friday night, I am convinced that the divine hand of providence was with us. Turns out she was planning on extending the baptism to a later date.  She got baptized on Sunday. She told me right before that she was so excited she couldn't sleep all night before, and she looked so happy afterwards.
S. will be getting baptized next week. He's such a stud; he showed up to his baptismal interview in a full suit! I wish you all could have seen what he looked like when we first met him, always wearing T-shirts 35 sizes too big. His testimony is so strong. I about jumped out of my seat when he told us the goals that he had written up on the wall in his bedroom: get baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, receive the priesthood, go to the Temple, go on a mission, and endure to the end. All of these are complete with an empty space at the side for check marks.
We have a lot of other miracles coming in for our ward. Hung Shui Kiu will actually be having two baptisms next week, because the Sisters taught an investigator who lives in our area who will also be getting baptized. The baptism will count for us because we no longer have sisters in Hung Shui Kiu -- and what's more, the neighboring area had a husband and wife who were so golden that they received all the lessons in just a couple of weeks, but they had two houses, and they chose to fill in their address that is actually in our area, so the following week we'll have a couple also baptized into our Ward. This couple, by the way, is so on fire that they constantly bring new referrals to the missionaries. So, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, along with the two that Elder Farnsworth and I found, we have 3 extra free baptisms!
Pray for us that we'll be able to successfully work with our ward members to ensure that all of these miracles are managed. With great blessings come great responsibility; now more than every we can't be lax in our efforts. I feel the pressure to be more focused than I ever have as a missionary. I think the answer to why I care so much about these things and all these people can be summed up in the following experience with a less-active member we've been meeting:
Recently Brother Leung has been coming to church, but he's been having a lot of deep questions about the Plan of Salvation, ultimately saying that he wants to progress but doesn't feel like he has the potential. After spending a good time delving through the scriptures, he seemed to be more satisfied, and I decided to tell him that I knew that God loved him. He said, "Really? ... I'm not so sure." I don't think I'll ever be able to describe the feeling that came over me at that moment when I looked into that man's eyes and felt the indescribable love that Heavenly Father had for him, and I told him never to believe that God didn't love him, and as His witness I testified right there to him of that love. I nearly cried at that moment, realizing that the most profound moments for a missionary are the times that he or she witnesses of the simple and eternal love that Heavenly Father has for His children.
Please, never forget that you are children of the Almighty God, the Eternal Father in Heaven. Your potential is eternal. I know that He lives, and that Jesus is the Christ. Expect miracles in your life. Remember the Savior this Christmas.
Elder Hazen

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