It was a lot of fun to able to see you again. It’s crazy that was the last time I will Skype with the family before I get home. I guess I need to tell you about the week that I had this last week. One that I will never forget. Okay so we had to travel down to the Tri-cities to go to MLC. This was an adventure to say the least. We went down the night before and we stayed the night at the AP and Kennewick Zone Leaders apartment. I used to live there by the way. It was cool to get back into it all. Anyway we get there and it’s always a blast to see your old mission buddy’s again. Elder Snow, Elder Hatch, Elder Heldt, and many others. I love seeing old companions. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to be able to catch up on their lives and their plans after the mission. We all seem to be heading home soon. Elder Snow and another missionary that he came out with were talking about all their plans after the mission. They head home in like 3 weeks or something like that. It was sad to realize that they are going home soon. So we talked and that was the night. So the next morning we woke up and got ready for the day then headed off to the meeting. It was a power packed meeting full of the spirit. We were able to set goals and talk about the needs of the mission. We talked a lot about acting in faith and raising our eye of faith. President Ware talked a lot about what he and Sister Ware learned at Mission President’s Seminar. Elder Cook was there and apparently a lot of the brethren there had really good things to say about the mission. It was good to hear that. We have been finding a lot of success as a mission and I guess the General Authorities are following what we are doing as a mission. It made us all feel good. We had a really good lunch and then after that we went in for some more training. We are always waiting in anticipation for the part of the meeting that gets harder and harder every month — departing testimonies. Some of my biggest heroes of the mission had to speak that day and it was hard. Elder Free was the first to get up and he talked about what he felt was important to say. He shared his experience with his first day in the MTC and why he kept his orange dot on the back of his tag. It was powerful. Next Elder Davis got up and he talked about his favorite scripture and how the meaning behind it has changed as he has grown on his mission. Next Elder Snow got up. Of course it was powerful. He testified on so many things that as affected him on his mission. Last of all Elder Barham got up and talked about his experience as a missionary. He is sad to go because his favorite part of being a missionary is being able to help other people. I would have to say that is my favorite part as well. All of these testimonies were given through tear filled eyes and trying as hard as they can to stay composed. It just rips your heart out. It’s an amazing experience though one I hope I will never forget.
After the meeting I went and I got my temple recommend renewed like I mentioned yesterday and then we were off to Yakima ready to start preparations for Zone Meeting the following Saturday. We all prepared and were excited for this meeting. We were really wanting everyone to come ready to learn from the spirit and from what President Ware wanted us to talk about. The zone we are in is so awesome. We all desire to get the work done and do what the Lord would have us do. This is the first time I have seen a Zone so convicted towards our purpose and missionaries as well and becoming more converted to our Savior and His doctrine. They all came and were sitting quietly waiting for the meeting to start. We started and had an awesome meeting. We discussed what the Lord wants next for us as a zone and the directions that we need to take to get it there. It’s been awesome. The spirit has been here in great abundance as we all try and sanctify ourselves to the work. We have found as we do that, we feel the spirit more and revelation comes way more to us. Then when we act on those promptings, we are blessed to help lives change. It’s awesome. I was asked to give the training on the parable of the talents and how that relates to us a missionaries. It was fun to help the missionaries see the potential that they have and how as long as they make some progression and do all they can to improve it does not matter how far that growth might be we are always promised the same blessing. The one that had 5 and got 5 more and 2 that grew 2 more were given the same blessing in the end. They were given the opportunity to enter into the joy of the Lord. The one who did not do anything with his talents was cast out into “outer darkness”. The Lord does not expect perfection, but progression.
So random thought. I was pondering the other day about the youth and what makes a big difference in the youth that we serve around. What I have realized is the youth that are out and about being awesome examples and are living righteous principles are the ones that take the time during the day to study the scriptures on there own. That is one of the biggest differences. So Maddie, Abby and Ella — whether you read this or not, I pray that you take the time each day to partake of your daily bread and see what the Lord has in store for you in your life. This will make all the difference in the world. If I would have clued into this earlier I feel that I would have protected myself from making some poor choices. I know that being a youth is hard and there is a lot of things that come up that try and rip you form the truth. Stay firm and steadfast in the gospel and it will protect you and help you do what is right, always.
Well I really do love you all. I wish I would have pondered a little more about what I wanted to say yesterday but I guess we will be able to talk when I get home about how I have changed. That is quite a loaded question, because it is sometimes hard to recognize the growth in yourself. I will pray about what will be best for me upon my return home and let you know in the weeks to come.
Love Elder Hansen WKM