Sunday, October 6, 2013

Consistency in our desires

October 6, 2013

Elder Ford is going home this week, so I'll have a new companion in a few days. It's crazy thinking that I'm next. I've thought a lot about the type of person I want to be when I return. What type of better person I can be for the rest of my life. There is so much I can do to contribute to the building up of God's kingdom, and I think that has a lot to do with how I decide to live the rest of my life.
And I can testify to the power of member missionary work. This week was pretty slow in Victoria II, our every day branch, and so we figured we'd be pretty low in our goals at the end of the week. Until we went to Peninsula 3rd Branch for Sunday. Zeny, who was baptized last week and who I had the opportunity to confirm this week, brought 3 friends with her to church. THREE. Single-handedly. And then another member, Sister Eunice, not only brought back one of her referrals from a few weeks before who is now reading and loving the Book of Mormon, but also 2 more friends. Then two other members came up to us later introducing us to the friend that they brought, saying it was their first time at church. If the math isn't quite clear yet, that totals out to be 8 people at church yesterday without us doing ANYTHING. Needless to say, we reached our goals. However, I should make it clear that I don't believe those blessings came because Elder Ford and I sat around and waited for it to happen. I know that God sees the work, hears the prayers and knows the burdens of every one of His servants. Our obedience and consistency in calling upon the Lord directly influenced the blessings that we received.
Liza was baptized this week. She's faced a lot of challenges here in Hong Kong, and it was a blessing for her to finally enter the waters of baptism and be confirmed a member of the Lord's true church. Her faith has been inspiring. She always says that she'll never lose her faith in God, no matter what happens.
I know that there is power in consistency. I've noticed on my mission that every time I pursue any righteous desire or attempt to increase my faith, it seems that I am suddenly faced with greater opposition of some form. Whenever a force for good begins to grow stronger, Satan will always push back. That is the nature of things, and I've learned that countless times from my own experience. The key is that we trust in the Lord, make sure that our desires are righteous, and remain consistent in pursuing them even when we can't see exactly how things are going to turn out. But that's what faith is, right? "A hope for things which are not seen, which are true." (Alma 32:21). I've told you all about our recent convert, Myla, who has been so filled with faith ever since her baptism. Her husband, Rene, up until now, had always been pretty resistant to us missionaries. I decided after meeting him that I really wanted to teach him the gospel, and to teach their family. I've been praying to find and teach families my entire mission. So I've been praying specifically for Rene and Myla every single day. They are currently travelling in the Philippines for the next month, and the members yesterday said that Rene attended church with his wife there. Coincidence?
We must remain consistent and true to the desires of our hearts in order to warrant the powers of Heaven to bless our efforts. If we give up at the first sign of opposition, then I believe we can reasonably conclude our either our desire isn't true, or we don't have enough faith in God. And the best times to build our faith are in the quiet moments, when everything is going fine, and when the opposition is at its trough. Our faith isn't meant to be built by the test, it's meant to be used during the test. So do your homework, and be consistent.
I love God's work.
Elder Hazen

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