Monday, July 1, 2013

The Lord Prepares His Children

July 1, 2013
We've had a wonderful week!
I have very little time, but I have a short experience I'd like to share.
3 weeks ago, shortly after I began training Elder Young, I felt burdened with the pressures of helping a new missionary become as powerful and effective as possible in the least amount of time. We were sitting on the double decker bus going back to Siu Sai Wan in our area, and I was exhausted out of my mind. I had been intending to take the bus all the way to the end of the route to get some sufficient shut-eye while it lasted, when all the sudden the pressure of keeping my companion always on his toes and being an example of diligence came over my mind with enough intensity that I rubbed open my blood-shot eyes and grumbled to Elder Young, "Ok, let's get off here." I didn't know why I really needed to get off the bus until the first person we talked to was a woman in her 40's who stopped to talk with us. Her name is Carmen. She said that she'd been praying with her son a lot, but she didn't like any of the Christian churches she had associated with before because she felt like they were fake or in it for the money. She didn't like sharing her special experiences about God with people that she felt wouldn't appreciate it. It was a short contact in which we exchanged numbers, and Elder Young and I both felt impressed that the person we had just met was very important.
For the past 3 weeks since meeting her, we'd scheduled her twice but she ended up not being available. We still felt good about her, and finally we met with her this past Friday. When she met with us, she invited us to her home and began to share with us that ever since she'd met us on the street, she's been praying more with her son and telling her family that they need to meet us to learn more about God. She said she used to always ignore church people, but in order to prove to us that she trusted us, she took us to her home (which is a HUGE gesture of trust in Hong Kong). She said that she had had heart surgery twice and that she told God if she lived through it, she'd do anything. She's married with a 10 year old son. She said that she could see the innocence and sincerity in our eyes, and when she was "warned" about us by other family members, she didn't listen. She believes that with all the experiences and events that have occurred in her life up to this point, she believes that God has sent us to her to tell her what she needs to do to follow Him and Jesus Christ, and that she really wants to join our church with her son.
Of course, Elder Young and I were blown away at this announcement and also the several spiritual experiences that she shared with us. As we shared our experiences together, it became evident that she recognized us as servants of the Lord. I know that the feeling to get off that bus was a prompting from the Holy Spirit to find Carmen. It was so sudden, and although it initially felt like an almost annoying reminder from the Lord to be diligent, it was also a divine arrangement to meet a precious soul the Lord has been long preparing to receive the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We told her that learning the gospel is a family affair, and something that can be a huge blessing to our families. So she invited us to come over later this week for dinner with her husband and her son.
I have prayed hard daily to find families, and have come home many days feeling very empty-handed. But we have been diligent in our prayers and the offering of our patience, diligence, obedience and faith in the Lord. I am a witness that it always pays off in the end, that the Lord listens to our prayers, and He knows the thoughts, desires, and intents of our hearts. If we are faithful, He will always fulfil His promises to us.

Elder Hazen

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