Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 74 - A Sad Farewell

Hello All! 
First off, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope it was a wonderful holiday for all of you with lots of friends and family and realizing how blessed you really are.  Oh, and Pumpkin Pie.  That's pretty good too.  We weren't deprived of a good ol' American Thanksgiving, as one of our YSA members made us up a very delicious one.  I've now had 4 Thanksgivings on my mission.  Jealous much?  Haha, it's been a great week.  I'd also like to send my love to my Great Uncle Denny's family.  His funeral was this past week, and I know this isn't an easy time. 
    Well, it's transfers, and I'm off again.  I suppose I shouldn't have been expecting anything different, since I'm always in my areas for three transfers.  I'm pretty sad to go, though.  This has been a really awesome area, and I will miss it, and especially the people here, a lot.  I've learned so much here.  My testimony has been strengthened.  My conversion to the Savior has deepened.  I think I've grown quite a bit.
I'm also grateful for this new chance to learn and grow and improve, though.  I'll be transferred back to the southern part of the mission, which means I'll be quite a ways from Calgary.  I'm really excited to see where I end up, and there's even a chance that I'll go back to West Lethbridge for this Christmas. (I would be alright with that. :) )  We'll find out what happens on Thursday, and I'll let you all know next week.  Wish me luck!
    Some surprising news from this week: Lana wasn't baptized.  It's a bit of a long story, so I'll try not to leave you in suspense too long. (She should still be baptized.)  We had a lesson scheduled with Lana on Tuesday evening.  It was going to be our last lesson before the baptismal interview.  We went by, and she wasn't there.  On the door was a card from her, thanking us and the members who have fellowshipped her for everything we've done for her.  She explained in the card that her family had not been too excited to hear that she was getting baptized, and because of that persecution, she had made sure she wouldn't be there for our lesson.  We assume she told her family that she had decided not to get baptized to get them to back off.  We were a little disappointed, as you can probably imagine.  We tried getting in touch with Lana a couple times, with not luck.  Finally, on Friday night, we caught her at home.  We arranged to come back on Saturday night, and she explained everything then.  It's kind of hard for Lana to express things verbally, so she had written us a letter talking about what had happened and why she'd done what she'd done.  We were hoping her family would be understanding or even supportive, but they weren't...at all.  They had all turned on Lana, and done and said some pretty nasty things.  Lana was in no way resentful towards the church, and she still wanted to be baptized but everything was really hard on her.  We had a really great discussion with her, and recommitted her to baptism on the 13th of December, her birthday. :)  She came to church on Sunday, and I think everything should go according to plan this time. (knock on wood.)  Lana is great.  And I'm grateful for the chance I had to know her.
    We also had a couple of potential investigators just show up at church on Sunday.  It was kinda cool.  We'll hope things work out with them.
I wanted to write today about the blessing of each other.  D&C 18:15 is a scripture a lot of people use for missionary work, and something interesting about it stood out to me.  The verse says, "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"  How great shall be your joy with them. This life was never meant to be one we went through on our own, and the next one isn't either.  I hope and pray that I will be able to see and be with and have joy with each and every one of you, and each and every one of the people the Lord has blessed me to know on my mission.  I'm trying to be better about loving everyone right now, and I encourage you all to do the same.  There is so much to love in every single person.  Are we not all children of God, with the very real potential to become like him?
    I love you all so much!  I hope you have a fantastic day, and that your week is great, too.  Be good!  Have fun!
Merry Christmas!
Elder Hafen 

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