Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Desires of our Hearts

The Kingdom of God continues to be established in Chai Wan. Ever since the Bishop lost his job, he just seems to have had a complete turn around. He's constantly meeting with the Causeway Bay Ward's Bishop to coordinate the huge summer activities they're planning. In the meetings I made the suggestion that they get together some street displays and increase Ward unity by getting the members out with the missionaries for a few hours inviting people and families to attend the free summer classes we'll be offering. I figured it nail two birds with one stone if we increased our companionship by 20 people or so and let them have a little fun together while they're at it. Lo and behold, we walked into our District Meeting yesterday with 4 beautiful and professional looking 8 ft. street displays waiting for us. The Ward is signed up to go finding with us this Saturday
Our investigators are doing well. We have one boy Andy, who's 17, who has now attended church 3 times in a row and has worn a suit every time. I expect consistent progress out of him, and really appreciate his sincerity in searching out truth for himself. Carmen, the woman I shared about last week, has continued to stay in good contact but we were unable to visit her last week, because she continues to have unnatural rhythm in her heart beats and has needed to frequent the hospital. I have a lot of faith in her and her family, and pray constantly that through our diligence and care we will soon be teaching a family. 
A whole mix of emotions have welled up inside me ever since I've been informed of my return home date of the 20th of December, this year. I wish that I didn't have to know so far ahead in advance. This is actually more one of those things where you'd rather they just called you up one day after 2 years and said, "alright, time to go home." I've begun to reflect on how my mission has affected me to this point, and what kind of a difference I can still endeavor to effect in myself and those around me with the time that I have left. 
A few days ago, during one of these moments of reflection, I failed to recognize something important. I began to let off some stress as I talked with my companion in companionship study, and told him how it felt knowing what you have left and wondering if what you've done has really been worth anything. There have been poor choices among those people that I've worked with throughout my mission, and they seem to be failing to hold on to the joy that they had when they chose to follow the Lord. In my frustration, I told my companion that I didn't want to leave my mission being that missionary who says, "Everybody has their agency, but hey look at you, at least you're better now." I told him that I didn't want to come to Hong Kong for me, but I wanted to come for everybody who needed God. I looked back and saw how much of my life has just been me, me, me, all the time. Even with all the success we're having now, for a small moment I felt worthless. I don't want anything to be about me anymore. I want my life to be about everybody else.
A scripture came to mind. "For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it: and whosoever loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew16:25). I see now, through experience, that when our life is about ourselves, it is a lot less meaningful than when it is about everyone else. The Savior gave his life a ransom for many, and completed the most selfless act of kindness that only a perfect being could, which is to atone for the sins of mankind. I realized the things that continue to change in me as I serve the Lord are the desires of my heart. Think of how infinite, eternal, and magnifiscent our desires are when they are not limited to only ourselves! When we lose our lives for the Lord, we begin to follow His example. We begin to forget ourselves and only care about everyone around us. It is so simple, but it is one of the most profound fruits of my labor as a missionary. The desires of our hearts are the beginning of real change and eternal growth. I believe that when we knock on the doorway to heaven, we'll be asked by an all-knowing and all-loving Savior not about how many points we got in the game of life, but rather about the desires of our hearts and how we acted upon them. We will be given according to our desires, and I can testify that we find true joy when our desires are rooted in selflessness.
Love, Elder Hazen

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