Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 17 - A White...Halloween?

Hello All!
    Yes, it snowed.  Your little desert dweller is having to adjust to negative (Celsius) temperatures and all this white stuff, and he loves it!  Being cold and wet isn't always the best combination, but it's so wonderful to see the beauty of the wonderful world that our Heavenly Father has given us. (Especially when it goes from being an amazing almost 20 degree sunny day to -2 degrees and dumping snow the next. ;) )  I do love it, though, even if it is going to take some getting used to. 
    The work here in Raymond is just great!  Elder Lauzon and I are really trying to get a lot of things happening here, and we taught quite a few lessons last week.  The wards are starting to get more involved in missionary work, and it's wonderful to see this change throughout the entire church!  With the age change, the change in the Sunday School curriculum, the "Hastening the Work" broadcast this year, and the church's continuing emphasis on missionary work, I can't wait to see what happens, both to our church as a whole and to us as individuals.  It's gonna be good! :)
    Our investigators are doing just great.  We have started to meet with Meagan and Caelin separately now, and had a couple of really awesome lessons with them on faith.  Faith is something I've learned a lot about myself on my mission, but it's definitely something we have to grow, and sometimes that's a trial, but in the end it's all worth it!
Joe is doing as well as ever, and I really hope that the next few months can be a time of healing for the relationship he has with his mom and step-dad.  It's not the funnest of situations, and there are a lot of hard feelings on both sides.  I just hope everyone can try to do the best they can do, and not worry so much about the imperfections of everyone else involved.  I'm really grateful for the family I have. :)
    We had a great lesson with Shaidon last night to finalize everything for this coming Saturday.  We went over the baptismal interview questions, and it was wonderful to hear his testimony and understanding as well as those of his grandparents and especially his dad, who were also there.  As we were going through the questions, I was wondering a bit what must have been going through Shaimus' mind.  He has a testimony.  He knows the church is true.  He just isn't living exactly how he should be at this time.  Towards the end of the lesson, however, he told Shaidon how proud of him he was for making this decision, even though he knows his dad(Shaimus) isn't perfect.  Shaimus also helped Shaidon's little brother say the closing prayer, and it was one of the most tender things I've every heard.  Shaimus may not be worthy to baptize his son, but he's a good father, and he loves his children.  That's plenty of reason to love and respect him.
    As I was studying this past week, I came across a couple of scriptures that I'd linked in the past.  They are 2 Nephi 26:22, and D&C 43:9.  It really made me think about the way I need to live my life, especially as I examine myself and try to find ways to improve.  In 2 Nephi, it says that Satan tries to lead us down to Hell with a "flaxen cord".  He's not going to jump out of the bushes and try to wrestle us down and tie us up!  He's too subtle for that.  If he can, he's going to make us skip along down to where he can finally bind us "with his strong cords forever."  Our Heavenly Father is not so subtle.  He tells us in D&C 43,"and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me-" Satan's goal is to bind us, but we need to beat him to it.  We need to lash ourselves to the iron rod, and then make sure we don't let go no matter how innocent the reasons for doing so may seem.  We need to be constantly vigilant to ensure Satan hasn't found our weak spots and started to lead us along.
    I love you all!  Have a fantastic week!  Good luck to the cast and crew of "Peter Pan"!  Be good!

Elder Hafen

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