Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 73 - Happy Birthday to the Best Mom in the World!‏

Oh glorious day!
I first want all of you to know that today is truly the best day of the year.  Today is the day that Laurel Hafen, the best mother in the world, was born, just a couple of years ago. :)  Happy Birthday, Mom!  You really are the best, and I am so grateful for all you've done for me.  I don't know who'd I'd be without you, and I don't think I want to know, either.  Your testimony and your example have truly changed my life, and I am eternally grateful for those and all the other incredible gifts you've given me.  I love you so much, Ma!
    There are lots of great things going on this week!  Tomorrow is also the birthday of an amazing person, my Grandma "Honey".  Even though she's not here to celebrate with us in body, I know she'll be able to feel all of our love for her.
    Thursday is also the day of American, or real, Thanksgiving. :)  One of our YSA members is being very kind and making us a real turkey dinner, so I'm very grateful for the opportunity to join in the festivities with all of you!
    Saturday's also pretty sweet, since Lana is getting baptized!  We had a great lesson with her on Saturday, and she seems as good to go as ever!  We'll be having one more lesson with her on Tuesday, and then her baptismal interview on Friday.  We also had a really cool experience in the lesson on Saturday, because her sister, Lisa, showed up.  I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but Lana has been feeling quite a bit of opposition from her family because of her meeting with us, so it was nice to actually meet a member of her family.  It turns out that Lisa had actually met with missionaries.... for a long time.  It was a while ago, like 8 years ago, but she still remembers quite a bit, and even keeps in touch with at least one of her missionaries.  We're hopeful that she'll come to the baptism, and that Lana's example will have a positive impact on all of her family.  It's been a real blessing knowing her.
    Other than Lana, we really don't have anyone else who's progressing.  I know that the people the Lord has prepared are out there, though, and I can't wait to find them!  It's amazing how much the He providesI just wanted to share this week how truly beautiful it is to have the Holy Ghost as your companion. 
   We went to the temple on Friday, which is one of my all-time favorite places to be because of the Spirit that I always feel there.  It's nice to be in a place where the Spirit can move and communicate so easily.  He helped me feel and learn some things that I think I needed to feel and know.  There's also no feeling in the world like receiving a prompting from the Holy Ghost, and actually acting on it!  I had the opportunity to act on a very small prompting this week, and the joy I felt was so pure.  Parley P. Pratt once said something about the Gift of the Holy Ghost that I really love,"The gift of the Holy Ghost quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being".  It's true.  I'd invite all of us to do whatever we can to make sure we have that companionship all the time.
    Thank you all for your emails and your love!  I hope you have a great day and a great week.  Congratulations to the Flyers for another state championship!  Keep fighting for the cause of Dixie!  I love you all.  Be good!  Have fun!
Elder Hafen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 72 - Just a Little Cold

Hello All!
     First off, Good luck Flyers!  I know you can take state again!  Also, congratulations to the cast of Tarzan.  I've heard nothing but good about the show, and I'm sure you all did a fantastic job!  Time is sure flying fast, but I'm glad it's bringing more and more good things.
    Things are great here, just a little cold.  Today it's actually not even bad.  It's warmed up to -2 Celsius, which is a lot better than -18.  It's beautiful, though.  The great thing about Calgary is that even though it's freezing and there's snow and ice everywhere, it's still sunny with a gorgeous blue sky.  I love it!
    I'll warn you in advance that this'll be kind of short, and that's partly because of all the great emails I got today.  Thank you everyone!  It means a lot to know that people actually remember me. ;)
    Another reason this will be kind of short is that we are no longer teaching two of our investigators.  We had a lesson with Ishan yesterday, and he really doesn't have a desire to know if this really is the one true church.  We dropped him on good terms, though, and I think we'll still see him out to activities and such.  We were also supposed to have a lesson with Crystal this week, but that didn't happen, and then we got in touch with her yesterday only  to find out that she wasn't really interested anymore.  The Law of Chastity isn't a problem for some other churches, so she's decided to go an easier route.  Pretty disappointing, but it's all good.  Even though we have to bear disappointments and challenges in missionary work and life, I've really come to know here that the Lord will always provide for our needs and for what He needs to accomplish his work.
    It's not all gloom and rain clouds, though, because we've still got Lana!  She's progressing marvelously well, and is still planning on being baptized on the 29th.  We met with her a couple times this week, and she accepted the Law of Chastity, the Law of Tithing, and the Word of Wisdom no problem.  She does drink coffee, but she knows it's bad for you, and I don't think she really wants to be drinking it anyway.  She's truly awesome.
    I think that the Lord is teaching me the importance of being bold and unapologetic about the truth lately.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to redeem all men from our sinful and filthy state, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way for us to access that power.  It's the only way!  How grateful I am for that!  As it says in Romans. "For I am not ashamed‍ of the gospel‍ of Christ: for it is the power‍ of God unto salvation"!
    I love you all, and I hope you all have a fantastic week!  Remember who you are!  Be good!  Have fun!
Elder Hafen

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 71 - Lest We Forget, Lest We Forget

Hello All!
     For all you down in the states, Happy Veterans Day tomorrow, and for Canadians out there, Happy Remembrance Day. Wherever you are, be sure to remember those who have gone before and fought and died to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy.  We owe so much to the people who have been willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of others.  As the Savior said, "Greater love‍ hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life‍ for his friends." (John 15:13)
    Things are as great as ever here in the CCM.  Only... it's cold.  It's about -14 degrees Celsius right now, which is about 7 degrees Fahrenheit.  After our very warm summer, I'm definitely not used to this anymore.  It's great, though!  The bugs are all gone, and snow is honestly beautiful.  Plus, I'm actually learning how to winter drive!  I would have never learned how to do that back at home.  It's pretty awesome. :)  Anyway, enjoy your autumn, everyone.
    I told you a bit about Lana last week, and she's doing great as ever.  We taught her again on Saturday, and will have another lesson with her on Tuesday.  She was at church once more yesterday, and the ward is welcoming her wonderfully.  She's still on date to be baptized on the 29th of November, and I don't see anything stopping that from happening.
    We were also finally able to meet with Crystal this week.  She's the investigator who came to church a couple weeks ago who was found by some other elders.  Anyway, it turned out she was friends with some members in our ward, so we taught her over at their house the other day.  She had remembered and understood the Restoration well from when she'd been taught it before, so we taught her the Plan of Salvation, and I think it really made sense to her.  She accepted baptism without any concerns, and is now on date to be baptized on the 22nd.  She does need to be married to her fiancee before that happens, though.  We're pretty optimistic about everything, though.  She's super awesome.
    We were also able to meet with Ishan this week.  It was a pretty decent lesson, but I don't think we were really able to help him understand the importance of the gospel and the need for one church to teach and preserve the truths and doctrines of salvation.  We'll hopefully be able to get him there, though!
    I just wanted to share with you something I learned yesterday.  We had a lesson on being in the world, but not of the world, and it was something that stood out to me throughout the day. We were reading in the President Joseph Fielding Smith manual, and he said something I really liked. "The Latter-day Saints are as a city set on a hill that cannot be hid, and like the candle that gives light to all who are in the house. It is our duty to let our light shine as an example in righteousness, not only to the people among whom we live, but to the peoples of the whole earth."  We've been given what everyone needs, and if we don't show it, how will they know that it's what they need?  We cannot be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to realize how important it really is.
    I hope you're all doing well.  Have a great week!  Be good!  Have fun!
Love ya!
Elder Hafen

Week 70 - Which Way Do You Face?

Hello All!
     Good morning from the great white north once again.  We had our first real snow storm of the fall/winter (It's basically the same thing) the other day, so it really is white now.  It sure has come back fast, but I've kind of missed it, to be honest.  I hope all of you are doing just fantastically with everything you're up to.  To the cast of Tarzan, break a leg!  I'm sure you'll be awesome.  Just remember to make the most of the time you have in Dixie High Drama.
    The work is progressing just as strong as ever, no unhallowed hand stopping it.  I'm amazed every week at the miracles the Lord shows in His work, and I just hope He keeps using me as an instrument in that work.
We had a great Zone Conference this week, and I was definitely edified.  We were combined with the missionaries in the Calgary North and the Airdrie Zones, and it turned out great.  President Nicholas and the Assistants gave some great trainings, and we also did something new where everyone was supposed to have a talk prepared on one of three topics, and then a few missionaries were asked to give their talks.  The three who spoke all talked about hope, and they gave some great talks! (Elder Law was one of them, and I couldn't help but feel some fatherly pride.)
    We got to meet with Cole this week, with our Ward Mission Leader, Paul, coming along, and it turned out great!  We taught Cole the Plan of Salvation, and he was really intrigued.  He'd never heard anything like it before, but it all made sense to him.  We asked him if he would be baptized, and he said he'd have to think about it once we helped him understand the importance of priesthood authority in performing ordinances.  I think it really changed his attitude towards us and our message
    Our other investigators and less-actives seem to be doing well right now, and we were blessed with another miraculous investigator on Friday.  The sisters serving in the Lynnwood branch called and told us about a woman they'd taught a bit named Lana.  She works as a home care worker for a member in their branch, and they'd found the opportunity to teach Lana a bit about the Restoration.  Oh yeah, and they put her on date to be baptized.  A Halloween miracle!  Anyway, Lana lives in our ward boundaries, so we went over on Saturday with one of our ward missionaries, and taught her some more, and she's awesome.  She's a pretty shy person, but she's so kind and has a sincere trust in the Savior.  She's still planning on being baptized on the 29th of this month.
As part of our zone conference, Elder Rigtrup and I were asked to give a talk on Elder Lynn G. Robbin's talk, "Which Way Do You Face?".  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it in my emails before, but it's really awesome.  In it, he's talking about remembering to always face God, and not men, and says,"the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men." I'm trying to develop more of that courage, and was trying to find some guidance in the scriptures this morning.  The Topical Guide took me to 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament.  In chapter 19, it's talking about Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.  He'd made some mistakes in remember which way he faced, and is rebuked for it.  I know I've had that experience in my life, and I think most of us have too.  The inspiring thing about Jehoshaphat, though, is that he overcame that fear that he had.  He did what he could to make his mistakes right, and then helps his people return to the Lord as well.  At the end of the chapter, he says,"Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good."  How true that is.  I know it is true, and I've seen it so many times, I just hope the Lord will help me have that kind of courage.
    Thanks for all your support and love!  I hope you all have a great week and a great day.  Be good!  Have fun!
Love ya!
Elder Hafen