Sunday, November 24, 2013

Following the Spirit

Nov. 24, 2013
Friends and Family,
It's only been about 3 days because of the extension of last week. Everything continues to go forward -- several of the families I mentioned in previous weeks have either faced anti-mormon stuff and family who shut them down, or have headed out of town for the holidays. Haha, I guess that's what happens when you're in International, all the people pilgrimage to their homelands during the winter months. But that's not to say we don't have the privilege of talking to cool people on the street everyday, yesterday I ran into a Jewish couple from Israel. They weren't surprised at all when I raised my missionary, "Whoa, Israel? Really?!"
I just want to share really quick about how it feels right now to be a missionary. The days and weeks are going by insanely quickly, and at night as I pray I find myself repeating (not vainly) to God over and over to please bless me with the Spirit. It's such a good thing to have my last area be a 180 turn around from what I've been used to my whole mission, and I feel more often than not that I'm doing things wrong. I feel no different than most of the China Hong Kong mission now, which is primarily made up of missionaries that have only been sent out for a few months. I feel very new, I feel excited, and I also feel sometimes like I really have no idea what to do. It's very humbling for me to have many people constantly telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing when my natural man tells me I've been here long enough to understand everything. That's why it's so important to have the Spirit.
Going with that, I think that members of the church who have access to "the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost" assume at times that they are like Super Mario running into a magic star and suddenly become invincible (and have really great two-note fast-paced background music). Sometimes we feel like we need to have constant revelation pouring into us guiding us at every footstep. Well, as a missionary, I have the constant companionship of Elder Chang, and I'm here to testify that while he is constantly right at my side I'm not necessarily utilizing his help the best I can. Sometimes I may get carried away in explaining something in a lesson and not give him time to share, or at other times when he gives me his input I don't really let it sink in. Learning to recognize the still, small voice of the Spirit, hear what He has to say and act on it is a life-long process, and my mission has been teaching me that just as much as I needed Him to guide me in the beginning of my mission, I need Him now. As long as we're worthy members of His restored church, we have the right to His constant companionship. Whether or not we act on the input that He has to give us and whether or not we let Him truly speak is really up to us. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and He confirms the truth of all things, and His input is always a bit more profound than ours.
Let us be more diligent in following the Spirit in our own lives.
Elder Hazen

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