Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015


I guess this is it.

I think I've mentioned this before, but there is a former mission president serving another mission in Hong Kong, and when he told me about his going home experience he said simply enough "I was happy I did it...and I was happy when I went home."

I think I can echo that. I don't want to demean or to lose focus on the work that's yet to be done this week, because there is plenty to do. We have some great things lined up for the week.

I'm grateful for the last few weeks I've had with Elder Henrichsen. We have been consecrated, diligent missionaries. He is a great example to me. In this mission, if you have 2 or 3 investigators at church, it was a really solid week. Yesterday, we had 10. The highest I've ever had on my mission. This area is rolling, and hopefully it will keep exploding.

I've loved my time here as a missionary. I guess more important than any words I can type is the testimony I leave by the way I carry the change after I get home. There will be bangs and bruises...but what I've come to know is that the Atonement is real. And it applies to you.

RM doesn't mean Retired Mormon. It means Returned Missionary. And after so long of hearing Dad tell Sarah to stay away from Returned Missionaries, I'm finally coming back to be one of them. That's interesting.

This week should be full of good times though. Elder Daculug and I go into the mission home on Thursday morning, and then we will have our checkout, have lunch with President and Sister Hawks, go to the peak, have dinner, then go to bed...then about 11 a.m. my flight leaves, and then I get home at about 2 p.m. It will be the longest 3 hour flight of my life. 

Well...I guess the most important thing I can say is that I know He lives. I know the Book of Mormon to be true, and the keystone of our religion. Lose yourself in the gospel, because nothing but beauty will come of it. I pray that I will remember what I have felt in the China Hong Kong mission for the rest of my life, and into the eternities. I pray that what I learned here will bless my family. I pray that I will continue to grow, and that I won't stop until...I don't know, when are you supposed to stop? I guess I'll find that out later. 

Love is key. And I sure love you all. See you this weekend.

Elder Spencer Hafen
China Hong Kong Mission 2013-2015

May 10, 2015

Well, this has been a pretty spectacular week. I'm loving serving with Elder Henrichsen. He is a consecrated, focused, dedicated missionary and I am grateful for his example for me. It's nice going in to the last few weeks in my mission having a companion like him.
For my first 9 weeks in this area, we never had a single solid baptismal date. But this last week the miracles have been pouring in right and left. In the space of a about a week we went from 0 to 6 progressing investigators with dates, and know that there are more yet to come. We are so incredibly grateful for the blessings we've been seeing. The changes in people and the way the gospel is touching their lives so far surpasses anything that we could possibly do on our own. The gospel changes people in a way that we will never even fully comprehend. Isn't it just wonderful?
Calling home was nice. I'm excited to get to spend more time with everyone and not have to worry about time limits.
This last week at church we had 8 people attend, which I think...I can't quite remember, I don't remember numbers very well, is one of the highest I've had my whole mission. Hopefully this next coming week will be even better.
The Filipina ward that we're serving threw a surprise farewell party for Elder Daculug and I. It was a little bit frustrating...because surprise parties don't tend to fit very well into missionary schedules. But luckily they called while we were eating dinner so we were able to come for the last part of our dinner hour before heading back out. It definitely was an interesting experience being surrounded by Filipina women singing about how beautiful I am. I don't know if that will ever happen again, so I'm savoring the moments as much as I am allowed by missionary rules to do so. And I'm not entirely sure that they knew that it wasn't our last week...and we'd be seeing them the next week too. Oh well.
I wish I had time to just sit down and tell you play by play every single miracle that has come into our path. But there just aren't enough keys on the keyboard. I am keeping a good journal though, and will make sure that I share everything I've learned as much as possible.
All in all, things are good. Next Sunday will be my last Sunday, and then the following Monday will be the last time I will email home. So buckle up. I sure love you all, can't wait to talk to you next week and then see you soon.
Love, Elder Hafen

May 3, 2015


So, still working hard. Elder Young hit American soil a few days ago and now my new companion is Elder Henrichsen, his family has moved around a lot and is currently living in BeiJing where he lived before his mission. He is actually another Mandarin missionary, so of the 10 or so Mandarin elders, 2 of them are currently serving the English branch. Pretty cool. He is a stud, really a great missionary. I prayed hard that my last companion would be one that is optimistic and focused and a hard worker, and I was very blessed.

I had an interesting thought. More than 2 years ago, we sat around guessing where I was going on my mission. I guessed a country called Zambia in Africa, mostly because I thought it was ridiculous. And I am in Hong Kong, and I'm teaching a girl from Zambia. And a girl from Kenya, then one from Madagascar tomorrow. And from Guatamala...and Mexico...and Hungary...and Italy....this is more international than Pit Bull. (If you don't get that one...he's a singer who calls himself Mr. International. Don't worry about it. He's not that great.)

On May 22nd, the only two missionaries going home are Elder Daculug and I. Which is pretty special. We started together in the MTC, and now we are living in the same apartment and will be leaving together. When departing missionaries go, they get to do a temple session with President and Sister Hawks and then they all go up to The Peak together. Originally President was going to have us go with the group departing before us so we wouldn't have to be alone, but in the end it got changed so Elder Daculug and I have President and Sister Hawks all to ourselves for a day. It will be a dream come true.

But there's still lots to get done before then. I'm not too worried. Things come when they come. Just keep working hard, praying hard, and being obedient. All is well. 

We get to play some ping pong today and eat lunch with a deaf member, Sister Chan who is amazing. She was the first deaf baptism in Hong Kong, and just received the endowment in March. Couldn't be a cooler cat. Do they still say that?

Oh well. Things are good. Excited. The best is yet to come.
Love you all.
Love, Elder Hafen