Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 69 - Miracles Not a Few

Hello All!
     Winter is coming, and I can't believe it's happened that fast.  It seems like just yesterday I came up from Lethbridge in the middle of a snowstorm, and now it is coming back.  We've gotten a few little snow falls this week, and we're back to sweater weather, but I'm loving it.  There wasn't too much snow, but there were tons of blessings this week pouring down from heaven, and I wanted to talk about those.
    I told you a bit about Cole last week, and he's doing well.  At first, I wasn't sure if he really saw us as any different from all the other Christians running around and saying they "have" the truth, but we had a lesson with him earlier this past week, and he really opened up to us.  He talked about the decisions he's made that he regrets, the hopes he has for the future, the way he feels about himself, and it was so easy to see how the gospel can help him through it all!  There's a chance that he'll be moving soon to find a higher-paying job, and his current work keeps him busy on Sundays, but I just hope he'll be able to see the blessings of the gospel, and come unto Christ.
    Another night this week, we were at the stake center practicing for a "Whose Line is it Anyway?" activity we'd been asked to be a part of by our YSA ward, and some members of another ward let us know there was someone in the foyer who just wanted to learn about us.  We went out and met Ishan.  He's from London, and is Sikh.  He's 19 years-old, and has been going to a lot of churches trying to learn what he can.  He was prompted to come by the chapel once before, but didn't find anyone there.  The next time he felt like coming, we just so happened to be there.  We taught him a little about the Restoration that night, and taught him the next day as well.  He came out to the "Whose Line..." activity on Friday, and made it to some of priesthood meeting on Sunday.  He says he's not going to "convert", because he's quite loyal to his upbringing and his religion, but we're hopeful he'll find out for himself the truth of everything he's seen so far, and I know he can!
    On Saturday, we were supposed to be really busy teaching lessons, but a couple fell through.  We still accomplished quite a bit, and had a great lesson with Mauricio, but didn't quite have the day we were hoping for.  Then the elders in the Valley View Ward let us know about someone they'd tracted into that day.  It was actually a family whose names are Luke, Crystal, Nicholas, and Aidan.  Luke and Crystal are just a young couple with 2 year-old twins, Nicholas and Aidan.  Elder Wilson and Elder Stanley (the Valley View elders) met them earlier in the day on Saturday, and found a lot of interest.  So, they arranged to come back later with a member.  They had a great lesson with them, and found out that they are just about to move into our ward boundaries.  I'm sure that was probably a bummer for them to realize, but they let Elder Rigtrup and I know about them, and were really gracious about the whole thing.  Crystal came to church on Sunday, and realized she had a friend who is actually a member of our ward!  She was asking me about the sacrament before, and was wondering if she had to wait until she was baptized to take it.  We're going to meet with them tomorrow, and I can't wait to see, even more than I already have, how much the Lord has prepared them to receive the gospel!
    This week, and my entire mission, have strengthened my testimony so much that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ truly are at the helm.  They know what they're doing, and if we let them, they'll make us instruments in their hands in doing their work.  They'll also provide us with incredible blessings on top of opportunities to serve.  A lot of people just attribute those things to luck, but, as our YSA Elder's Quorum President said yesterday, "I don't believe in luck.  I believe in blessings."  I do too, and I am so grateful for the blessings I've been given.  I just hope I do what I can to be worthy of them, and use them how I'm supposed to.
    I love you all so much.  You're some of my greatest blessings, and I hope you're receiving all the blessings you deserve in your lives. (That's a lot, in case you weren't sure. :) )  Have a great week!  Be good!  Have fun!
Love ya!
Elder Hafen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 68 - Transfer Day

Hello All!
     First off, Happy Birthday (tomorrow) to the best big brother there is! 

Conner will be turning 23 tomorrow, and I would appreciate it if you plastered his Facebook/real life with birthday wishes. :)  
It's been a good week with lots of changes.  On Thursday, Elder Mac Duff headed off to the Calgary Stake, and Elder Rigtrup became my new companion. 
He's from...the US.  That's about the best I can do, since his dad is in the Air Force.  He came out from California, but his family is living in Virginia now.  Anyway, he's awesome.  I got to serve around him for a little bit in my last area, and we're getting along great and having lots of fun already.  I'm excited for this transfer!
    We did a lot of service this week, which is always a great opportunity to soften people's hearts!  We were especially lucky to be involved in building a playground in our area.  Coolest service project ever!  We were also able to help some other people do some moving, and we hope they'll soon give us the chance to teach them about the gospel.
    We also had a really cool experience on Thursday night after transfers.  We went to deliver a Book of Mormon to someone at about 7:15, and we hadn't really had luck getting in touch with him, so it was great that he answered, and then we had until about 8 o'clock to do something.  We decided to start tracting near there.  We knocked on the first door, and got no answer.  Then we knocked on the second door, and met Cole!  Cole is a 20-something guy who invited us right in and we taught him about the Restoration.  He's a very Christian person, though he's not involved in any church right now.  He has been, but he doesn't really like the idea of organized religions.  He said he would read and pray about the Book of Mormon though, so we're hopeful that will change his mind about one church in particular.  He came out to our ward's Family Home Evening activity last night, and seemed to have a good time.  We're going to go see him tonight, and are hopeful about his progress.
    I want to share with you one of my favorite scriptures this week.  I think I may have shared it already, but it means a lot to me, and I think it teaches something we always need to remember.  It's found in Alma 38:14, and says,"Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness....yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times."  The Savior has commanded us to be perfect, and we're not.  At least I know I'm not, though I know some people who are pretty close.  Even when we're doing really well, we're still not quite there, and we need to remember that.  Only through Jesus Christ can we be made perfect.  He wants to help us through our weaknesses and unworthiness, we just have to let Him.  We need to acknowledge that they're there, because,"if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27)  We can be strong with His help.
    Thank you all so much for your good examples and your love.  I'm so grateful for all of you!  Be good!  Have fun!
Love you!
Elder Hafen

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 67 - Happy Thanksgiving! (The Canadian Variety)‏

Hello All!
     I hope you're all doing wonderfully!  We had Thanksgiving up here yesterday, and I'm so grateful to have all of you as family and friends.  We went out to a town called Strathmore for Thanksgiving dinner, and it made me think of the great Thanksgivings I've had in my life.  We all have so much to be grateful for, and I know I forget that sometimes.  Thank you all for everything you've done for me; I've learned that one of the best ways our Heavenly Father blesses us is through other people, and I've had a lot of those in my life.  Thank you.
    It's been a good week, and transfers are upon us again!  I'll be staying here, which I'm grateful for, but will be losing Elder Mac Duff to some other zone in Calgary.  It's always tough losing a companion and getting a new one, but I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store.  I know He knows what he's doing.
    On Saturday, we got to be a part of Jhannsley's baptism. (I was spelling it wrong the whole time.  My bad.)  It was a great service, and his father baptized him and confirmed him in sacrament meeting the next day.  Children are so humble and sincere, and I want to be more like Jhannsely in my own life!  He's a great kid.
    We honestly didn't have too much else going on this week.  With Jhannsely's baptism, we really don't have anyone else that's on the verge of being baptized.  We do have some investigators and others who we believe are close, but we just need to go out this week, work hard, and trust in the Lord to provide.  There's no doubt in my mind that there are people out there just waiting to receive us and what we have to share.  We just need to find them!
    There's not too much else to say, but I did want to share a scripture with you.  I finished the Book of Mormon last week, and it was awesome!  I love that book so much, and I know it was written for you and me and all of us.  I don't remember exactly how I came across this scripture, but I know it's one I've read before.  However, it seemed to have a much bigger impact on me lately.  It's in 2 Nephi chapter 26, verse 24.  Talking about the Lord, it says,"He doeth not anything‍ save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth‍ the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all‍ men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation."  To me, that's a comforting piece of information.  There are plenty of times where I've wondered why I'm being required to pass through a trial, or how I'm supposed to learn anything from a specific person/event/thing.  However, I know that the Lord makes sure His plan for us works out the best way possible.  Every moment of our lives is an opportunity to grow and shape ourselves into the person we have the potential to be.  I know that I need to remember that, and try to do everything I do because of my love for my Lord and my God.
    I hope you all have a fantastic week!  You're all great, and I'm grateful for you.  Be good!  Have fun!
Love you!
Elder Hafen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 66 - We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet‏

Hello All!
     I hope you've had a great week and a truly inspiring General Conference weekend!  (Congratulations to Elder Deric Beacco for being in the awesome missionary choir!  It was so good to see him) Conference is such an incredible blessing, and I wish I'd though of it more as that blessing before my mission.  For two days, about 10 hours, we have the opportunity to hear from God's servants.  And, as He tells us in D&C 1:38, "whether by mine own voice‍ or by the voice‍ of my servants, it is the same."  Man, He really loves us to give us that chance to hear His words!  I learned a lot, but I'll share more about that in a bit.
    The work is going well as always!  We were pretty busy this week with meetings and other mission-related stuff, but we were still blessed with chances to help people come unto Christ.
    Jansley is all set to be baptized on Saturday.  We have one more lesson with him, then his interview, and then he's good.  I continue to be grateful for his sweet and humble spirit; he's just a good kid.  I know we have a lot to learn from our younger brothers and sisters, and it's always a privilege to be able to teach one.
    We were also finally able to see Josie and Clayton again yesterday!  They've been going through a rough time lately, so we went by yesterday evening to drop off some cookies and see how they were doing.  We had a good time with them, and will hopefully be going by for a lesson on Wednesday.  Though they've gone through a lot of trials, they've let it humble them and lead them to Christ.  I wish I was better at doing that in my life.
    Mauricio and Audrey are both doing well.  We saw each of them at General Conference, and they seemed to enjoy it.  I'm sure that's got to be a crazy new experience for them, but I know there was something in it for them, specifically. 
    I bet you probably noticed that there were a lot of talks about prophets, and especially President Monson, during Conference.  I don't know why that was, but I'm sure there's a reason.  Whatever the reason, I wanted to take the opportunity to bear my testimony of President Thomas S. Monson.  There is no question in my mind that he is a prophet of God.  I've been given a pretty cool blessing as far as that goes; at least while I've been on my mission. Every time General Conference comes around and President Monson stands up for the first time, the Spirit testifies to me that he is a prophet, and that I need to listen to him.  I finished reading Ether today in the Book of Mormon, and I realized more how important it really is to follow the prophet.  In chapter 13 of Ether, it talks about the prophet Ether, and a promise that he made to the king, Coriantumr.  Coriantumr and his people, the Jaredites, were a very wicked people at this point, and they were destroying each other because of that.  In verse 20, it says, "the word of the Lord came to Ether, that he should go and prophesy‍ unto Coriantumr‍ that, if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people—" If he did not,"they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself... ; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr."  Coriantumr didn't repent, and the Lord's promise was fulfilled.  The Jaredites were completely destroyed.  If Coriantumr had repented, it wouldn't have happened.  President Monson is just as much a prophet as was Ether, and if we follow his counsel, we can be saved from the evil of the world we live in today; we can be saved from destruction and a lot of sadness.  I encourage anyone who doesn't feel like they know we have a prophet in President Monson to ask God if we do.  He'll tell you.  I know that.
    Thank you all so much for your emails and your love.  I've been blessed with so many good, righteous, kind, and loving people in my life, and I hope you all have a great week!  Be good!  Have fun!
Love ya!
Elder Hafen