This week has been rough, but it’s been an amazing growing period.
I don’t think I have ever gone through a hard time and have not been thankful for the things that I have learned and the things that I have grown from. I love the Atonement for that very reason. It gives you the opportunity to grow and progress and be better than what you were the next day. It is such a blessing that we have to be able to have someone who has been right there with us wherever we go that knows exactly where we are, where we are going and what we have been through. Our Savior Jesus Christ is real. He lives. He loves each and every one of us on this earth. We also have a loving Heavenly Father! We are His spirit children and we were sent to this earth to become just like Him. He gives us so many things in this life that will help us through the rough times and to get through this life in general. We have been given our families to grow and to gain experience with. The home, when centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end), will then become a place of protection and peace. It will become a place where the spirit resides and it becomes a place where we can truly learn and grow. I know that the home is a place where I learned more than anywhere else. I learned what it means to be a true and faithful husband and father who serves his family and lives this gospel every single day! My Dad is a perfect example of this. I have learned so much form just watching his example. I know that he lives this gospel and always wants to do the right thing. I also have learned what a mother truly is and how a wife treats her husband while watching what my mom does for our family. She teaches this very gospel and helps us stay on the straight and narrow path. I know that families can be together forever when they truly live this gospel and strive each day to become more like our Savior in all that we do and say. I know how important service is in our lives and without it we are nothing.
These are always the thoughts that run through my head when I read emails each week. I know that this gospel is real. Let me tell you of some interesting experiences I had this week that touched me and helped be better understand this gospel and helped me grow an even better love for this gospel.
This week was really amazing because we had the opportunity of being part of the tri-city mini mission experience. Each companionship in the zone had a mini missionary assigned to come out with us for 2 days and do missionary work with us. I was looking forward to this because I know how powerful this experience can be because of the things that happened to me while I was on a mini mission with Elder Johnson and Elder Elliot. We did anything and everything with our mini missionary and the best part was he kept asking us tons of questions about being a missionary and also questions that he was dealing with. We were able to help him a lot and were able to help him see that missionary work is fun and that you don’t have to be apostate to do it. I prayed the whole time that he would have an awesome experience and that we would be able to help him see the blessings of missionary service and what it does for you. We are so blessed to be in this exciting time. (I have been thinking about writing or emailing Elliot and Johnson so if you could somehow get their contact information that would be awesome.)
The next awesome experience I was blessed with was when I gave a baptismal interview to an investigator by the name of Dante. We talked about life and his experience with investigating the church. The spirit is always so strong in those interviews and that’s what I love most about them. You can really feel the spirit building both of our faith in Jesus Christ. We read and discussed Mosiah 18:8-10 (in the Book of Mormon). We talked about the qualifications of baptism and how when we have these feelings why not be baptized. I love pointing out the reactions of the congregation as Alma testifies of these things. It’s amazing. After every interview I always feel like I want to be just like those people “clapping and cheering for joy” as the scriptures describe it. They understood the blessing it was for them to be baptized and I could only imagine these people had been looking for the solace and peace and it could only be found through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what everyone is looking for, most people just don’t know how to find it. Even members of the church don’t truly understand this and how much it can truly bless their life.
We have been preparing for our zone meeting tomorrow and talking about how we can help the zone with our goals. One of President’s focuses and the thing that he constantly reminds us of is how the Lord is always out in front in the work and that there are more people out there then we are finding that have been prepared. He is telling us that we need to double and triple our efforts always to find these people. We have been praying and asking how we can help the zone see the vision and how we can help them get out there and serve. One thing I have been pondering on a lot about is how we can truly lose ourselves in this work. What it means to become an ever greater disciple of our Savior then ever before. I feel like sometimes in our missionary work we get caught up in things that hold us back. Whether it be the numbers, hitting our goals, self filled thoughts, disobedience or what have you and we forget that the best things we can be doing are getting out there and serving. I love in 4th Nephi in the Book of Mormon. This is such an example of these things. The people have been truly converted to the gospel. They are serving and there is continual peace in the land. Then slowly over time they lose that conversion due to pride or what have you and they forget the Savior’s teachings and they all fall apart. It’s the same with our mission at this moment. I feel like since we are trying to make two different cultures come to be one, we have lost the focus of just getting out and working. We had MCL a few days ago and we spent an hour and a half on a policy that one mission lived one way and the other mission another way. It took way to long and a lot of people felt upset by what the end goal was. I sat at that meeting and thought to myself, I don’t care which way this policy goes, I will sustain either way, it’s only going to bless us when we finally make a decision. I just hope we can after this meeting, get back to work, because the work is what is really going to get us through any and all disagreements on any policy. I know that when we are lost in the Lord’s work, all problems will fix themselves. That was one of my biggest take aways from that amazing meeting. I love this mission. I am so excited to see what will happen next.
Elder Hansen WKM