Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Week 43 - Another Shenanigan‏

Hello All!
    Another wonderful week has come and gone, but the snow has come back for more!  Haha, It's really not too bad, the snow is normally gone in a day or so, and I really think that Spring could possibly perhaps maybe be right around the corner...I hope.  The work is good, our wards are fantastic, and the gospel is the greatest.
    Elder Bensing and I had lots of fun this week, one memorable experience being Elder Bensing almost giving an old man a heart attack when he knocked on his door and tried to scare him, thinking it was the members who lived next door.  He's such a fun guy, and I love him!  Our investigators continue to do well and bless my life.
    Tethloch and his little sister Nyamal are all set to be baptized on May 10th!  We met with the family yesterday and got the program all set up.  We also taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it's always so great to see the understanding and faith that little children can have.  We can all learn a lot from them.
    We met with Jody this week along with his fiancĂ©e, Leann, and had a great lesson with them.  We're hoping his divorce will be finished soon, and that he'll be all ready to be baptized at that point.  I think he's got a way to go, but I'm sure he can get there.
    We were also delighted to see Julia and Drey (I think I spelled it wrong last week) at church yesterday.  We had arranged a ride for Drey there, but we weren't sure where Julia was or if she'd be there, but she was there and ready to go when our Ward Mission Leader came to give them a ride.  They both had a positive experience overall, I think, and they especially enjoyed the music.  They are such good kids, and I hope they gospel can help them get far above the circumstances they are currently in.  I know it can, and I know it can for all of us, we just have to let it.
    The H family is doing well.  Elder Bensing met with them on Tuesday while we were on exchanges, and we were also able to do a little service for them this week.  They're awesome, though, and we're hoping to see them soon.
    Today I wanted to talk a little about the Spirit of Elijah.  This week we met with one of the members of our ward so that he could help us become a little more familiar with family history and how we can use it in missionary work.  As he was showing us and teaching us how to use Puzzilla (an awesome new family history tool) along with Family Search, I was able to do some work on clearing up some information for my ancestors.  It was really nothing too big or important, but it was awesome!  I remember that in the past General Conference, the Spirit of Elijah was defined as the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the eternal nature of families.  I love that so much!  I was asked yesterday why I decided to come on a mission, and I realized that that is one of the biggest reasons; because I know that I have an eternal family, and I know that we could all have that!  I want to share that.  I want to be with all of my brothers and sisters in glory with our loving Heavenly Father and our beloved brother, Jesus Christ, who we would all be lost without.  I am so grateful for that knowledge, and for my amazing family.
    I love you all so much, and I hope you have a wonderful week!  Be good!  Have fun!

I love ya, eh?
Elder Hafen

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 42 - Cold Feet

Hello All!

    Another week has come and gone, and one with one of the best holidays there is!  It's been a wonderful Easter week with a lot of opportunity to reflect on the Savior and His incredible sacrifice for us.  Not just us as a whole, but for each and every one.
    It's been a fun week and a hard week, just like a lot of the weeks in the mission field.  We had typical, crazy Calgarian weather, with beautiful sunny days and a crazy full-out blizzard.  Elder Bensing also got to experience what a lake that has been frozen all winter feels like when he put his feet on the ice to see how thick it was and sunk up past his ankles instead. (The members we were at dinner with were kind enough to let him use their dryer, so it all worked out. ;) ) The work also continues to go well.
    I'll tell you right off the bat that we were able to see Julia again!  We stopped by her townhouse complex on Friday, and found her at home.  We were able to teach her a lot of the first lesson, and it was awesome.  She's had a hard time reading from the Book of Mormon so far, but she knows that there is something missing in her life right now, and she wants to change!  The Spirit was there, and I hope she continues meeting with us.  Another miracle as far as Julia goes, her friend, who's name is Dre, also participated in the lesson, and when we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, he couldn't but it down!  We'll be meeting with them again this coming week, and we hope to see some amazing things from them.
    Tethloch continues to do well.  We taught him and his family yesterday, and it was wonderful.  Tethloch's little sister, Nyamal, will be turning eight soon, and so she and Tethloch will be baptized on the same day!  That means that their date has been changed to May 10th.  It's been wonderful to get to know their family a little better.  They're really great people.

    Rick and Cindy are doing well.  We had a lesson with them this week, and were able to answer a lot of the questions that Rick has had about baptism for a good 50 years.  Isn't the gospel great!?  We also started teaching a family I'll just call the H's.  They're really kind people.  The mother is a very strong born-again Christian, but the father and son seem to be more interested, and we'll hopefully see them learn more and progress!
    This week, we also got to participate in a couple of seminary classes.  We're lucky enough here to have seminary buildings and release time seminary for the kids in high school.  In the class, they concentrated on the Savior's visit to the Nephites in the Americas.  The passage of scripture the teachers really emphasized was 3 Nephi 11:11-15. In verse 14, the Savior says, "Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world."  The Savior was inviting them to receive a personal testimony that He really was the Son of God and their actual Savior and Redeemer.  He gives us the same opportunity and invitation.  We may not be able to thrust our hands into his side or feel the prints of the nails yet, but through doing our best to diligently live His gospel, we can gain a testimony that is just as certain and strong as was the testimonies of the Nephites who saw Him.  I know that's true, and I hope that our Heavenly Father continues to bless me with a growing testimony of the Savior.  I know He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Master, but I know I can know it more surely!
    I hope you're all doing well.  We're children of God, He wants us to be happy, and He's taught us how to be happy in this life!  Live the gospel, I beg of you, and you will be happy!  Thank you all so much for your examples and for your love and support.  I love you all so much!  Be good!  Have fun!

I love you all!
Elder Hafen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 41 - Divine Help

Hello All!

    Can you believe another week has gone by?  They go by so quick, I can't believe it.  It's been a packed week, but another great one.  I've really learned this week that the Lord's hand is in this work, so how could it not be a great week and a great work!  That doesn't mean it isn't hard, but it's more than worth it, that's for sure.
    We've had a great time getting to know our wards a little better over the past week, and it's been great.  We have some really great wards with some wonderful, friendly people who are more than willing to help (and feed) the missionaries.  It's pretty fantastic.  We were also able to have interviews with President Nicholas this past week, which is always a good experience.  He's such a wise, kind man, and his guidance and leadership have really made a difference for me.
    Our investigators are also doing well!  The big news of the week: Tethloch got permission to be baptized!  His mother signed the paper this week, and now all that's left to do is continue through the lessons and have a baptismal interview.  He's such a great kid with a really sincere desire to follow Jesus Christ. (He's very excited for his baptism. :) )  
    Anthony, who Elder Bensing found while we were on splits, came to church yesterday, which was great!  I think he really enjoyed himself, and we're hoping to be able to meet with him this week.  Sadly, he may be moving soon, but we're hoping to see him progress and be a treat for the next missionaries to teach if that happens.
    We also had a lesson with Cindy this week, Rick wasn't there, which went well.  We talked a bit with Brother Mullen, her boss and fellowshipper about her, and she is apparently just waiting to be baptized.  She just needs to decide about some things in her life first, and then work through them.  She was also at sacrament meeting yesterday, and seems to be doing well.  From what she told us, Rick is also doing well.
    We weren't able to meet with Jodi this week, but we're hoping to soon, and see how he's doing. I just wanted to share with you a bit of a miracle from this week to show you how I've really seen the Lord's hand in this work.  On Saturday, we were going around one of our wards trying to contact some potential investigators and less-active members we haven't met yet, and we felt like we should go stop by a less-active member who we'd had an appointment with the night before, but it hadn't worked out.  We knocked on the door, but we didn't get an answer.  Then, as we were heading back to our car, a girl who lives just a couple doors down started talking to us.  Her name is Julia, and she is 14.  She used to be baptist, but no longer goes to church because of some things that seem inconsistent and wrong to her.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share with her a bit about the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon.  We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and set up a time to come back and visit with her and her family yesterday.  Sadly, that appointment also didn't work out.  Sad, yes, but it's okay!  It was such a testimony builder to me that the Lord is guiding us in His work.  I am so grateful for that, because I know that I would totally ruin this work if it were left up to me.  I love Him so much for that.
    Well, you're wonderful.  Thank you all so much for the blessings you've been to me in my life.  I'm so grateful that the Lord has blessed me to be able to know such wonderful people.  Have a great week!  Be good!  Have fun!

I love you all so much!
Elder Hafen

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 40 - D&C 1:38

Hello All!

    Another fantastic week in the great Canada Calgary Mission!  It's been a crazy week with figuring out our area some more, finding some great new investigators, and of course, seeing the Lord's servants speak to us in General Conference.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster, but roller coasters are fun, so that's great!  Oh, and of course, the weather has been brightening up nicely.  Right now, it's a sweltering 16 degrees Celsius.(About 61 degrees Fahrenheit.)  I never thought I would think of that as warm.
    Anyway, the work is great, and I actually have some fantastic people to tell you about this week!  
    I'll start with Tethloch, since you already know a bit about him.  We were very pleased to see Tethloch and his family at General Conference on Sunday afternoon, and were able to go over later to visit with them.  They are such good and humble people, and they love God so purely and so abundantly, and it was great to be able to talk with them.  We also learned some great news!  I guess that Tethloch's father, who's name is James, talked with Tethloch's mother last week, and she said she would be willing to sign the permission form for Tethloch to be baptized under some really reasonable conditions.  So, we were able to set a baptismal date for Tethloch for May 3rd!  It should work out just fine, and I can't wait for him to be able to be baptized.  He his such a great kid, and has s sincere desire to follow Christ already.
Two other investigators we taught this week are Rick and Cindy.  Cindy is the secretary of one of our Ward Mission Leaders, and had been taught once before we got here.  Rick is her boy friend who works for the City of Calgary.  They've been together for quite a while, and have a couple of children and grandchildren together.  We met with both of them at our ward mission leader's home and it was a very nice visit.  They both seemed very willing to search and learn for themselves whether these things are true.  I think they both watched at least some of General Conference, and I can't wait to meet with them again this week!
    We also met Jodi for the first time this week.  He and Leanne, a returning member of one of our wards, are in a pretty similar situation to Rick and Cindy.  He's met with the missionaries before, and wants to baptize his and Leanne's daughter when she turns eight later this year.  He has a divorce that needs to be finalized, which should happen soon, and a wedding that will need to happen as well, but we're hoping he'll be ready to be baptized soon!  We talked to him a bit about setting a date to shoot for, and he came up with August 17th, so we'll hope for that day!
Overall, it's been a great week, with lots of opportunities to learn and grow.  I have enjoyed Conference so much on my mission, and I hope I'll be able to keep that attitude afterwards, but I've really been able to learn so much from it.  I just wanted to share with you some of my impressions from one of the talks, Elder Richard G. Scott's.  I couldn't tell you exactly what Elder Scott said, but I can tell you what I was taught from his words.  I've been wondering quite a bit lately about how I can best magnify the callings the Lord has given me so far in my mission and in my life, and how I can serve the people I've been called to a little better.  From what Elder Scott said, my answer is basically this: love.  Elder Scott talked about the influence people had had in his life as they had simply expressed their love and testimony.  I can think of so many people in my life who have done the same; my wonderful mother, my good and generous father, grandparents, teachers, friends, and others.  These people all have had some things in common.  They've loved me with Christlike love, and they've stayed true to what they know to be right.  I just hope that I can maybe have some small impact on the people I've been lucky enough to be called to serve.
    Well, wonderful friends and family, it's been a good week and a great weekend.  I hope you all have the ch
ance to study the General Conference talks again, because I'm sure our Father in Heaven has more to teach us from those inspired words.  Thank you all so much for your impact in my life, and all you have taught me.  Have a great week!  Be good!  Have fun!

I love you all so much!
Elder Hafen