Thursday, August 7, 2014

Week 57 - Eastside

Hello All!
     Well, it's been a crazy week!  Sorry not to have emailed yesterday, first off.  It was a civic holiday yesterday and we weren't able to email since the libraries were closed.  I'm now serving in the Calgary East Stake in the Elliston Park ward and Franklin Park YSA ward, and it's awesome!  East Calgary, you see, is very different from my last area.  In my last area, there were a lot of affluent, white, often LDS people.  In this area...there are not.  The East is basically Calgary's ghetto, and is therefore full of lots of humble people.  It's sometimes hard to see the conditions some people live in, but it's also such a blessing to see the difference the gospel can make in people's lives.  We pretty much hear sirens every day, there are shopping carts all over the place, and I really really love it.
    My new companion is Elder MacDuff from Quebec City, Quebec.  I actually served around him in my first transfer, and he's an awesome guy.  He's French Canadian, and didn't speak much English before his mission.  It's been fun to get to know each other over the past few days, and I can't wait to learn what I'm meant to learn from him. 
    It's also been pretty crazy learning my new responsibilities.  It's always interesting getting a new calling, but I've been grateful to have Elder MacDuff here to help me with being a zone leader now.  It's been tough, but also a lot of fun. Zone Leader has been pretty good so far.  I got to get right into it, as Mission Leadership Conference was this past Friday.  That's where all the zone leaders and sister training leaders get together with the assistants and President and Sister Nicholas to discuss the state of the mission and things we could be doing differently.  One thing we talked about is something we're doing this month called "Walk and Talk August".  Basically, our allotted kilometers have been cut to a quarter of what we normally have, and we're supposed to walk as much as possible.  The goal is to talk to 1,000,000 people this month as a mission, which would honestly be a miracle, but I'm really excited for the opportunities for growth it presents all of us as missionaries!  I've definitely already gotten more comfortable talking to people.  Anyway, things are going well.  I am having to adjust to a new zone and new people, of course, which is always a bit stressful, but it's going to be good!
    I wish I knew more about the area so I could tell you more, but I have gotten the chance to meet a few people.  Last Saturday we had a lesson with two of our investigators, Maurisio and Virginia.  Maurisio and Virginia are brother and sister.  They are Filipino, and are awesome!  The missionaries haven't been meeting with them for too long, but Maurisio especially has really jumped into the gospel.  On Saturday, we were able to set a baptismal date with him for the 23rd of August!  I really think he can get there, too!
    We also have a couple of less-active members who are doing well right now.  Nick, who I met my first day here, is a YSA guy who was baptized a couple of years ago but has come in and out of activity since.  He's been out to church a few weeks in a row now, and even bore his testimony on Sunday.  I'm really looking forward to meeting some more of the wonderful people in this area.  That's always one of the best parts about a new area; the new relationships our Heavenly Father allows us to build. 
    Sunday was also my 13 month mark in the mission, which is pretty crazy to think about.  Having this little time left really helps me realize all the inadequacies and faults I have, but it helps me want to be better, too.  It's easy to get down on ourselves and become discouraged when we realize how flawed we are, especially when we know who we really are and who we're meant to be, but the Lord keeps teaching me this lesson as I'm in His service: We're not perfect, but He's still there for us.  This life is hard, but that's just so we can learn to rely on Him.  Without Him, there would be no way to be saved, no way to be really happy, no way to become better.  How grateful I am for the opportunity to learn and grow and become who He wants me to be.
    Thank you all so much for your love and support and encouragement.  You are all such blessings in my life!  Have a wonderful week!  Be good.  Have fun!

I love you all!
Elder Hafen

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