"Make no small plans: This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together....We will see the time when we will baptize hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands...In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the Southern States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people." President Spencer W. Kimball

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And Home Again

Last Email

End of Days Frustration

May 26, 2015

Nothing is really happening. We are just chugging along. Nothing is not really happening.
This week I have to go on exchanges with my district leader who wants to go on exchanges for 4 times the norm. I suspect it is to get away from his companion. But now I have no authority to tell him he is wrong and that is not what he should do. I already had him read in the white handbook which should have done it, it is very explicit. But he always gets what he wants and this is what he wants.

Both this week I am with him and then the next I am with his comp 8 days of exchanges in the next 14 when it should be 3, maybe.

Monday, May 25, 2015

FROM PH: Don't Overstay your Welcome

Memorial Day edicate
Sent Date:  Monday, May 25, 2015
Author:  President Hansen

Dear Elders and Sisters,
I have really enjoyed visiting with you over the last few days. You are all great missionaries. I love spending time with you.

Please be thoughtful of members and investigators today and always as we go into their houses. Remember that they have things planned and so you must not impose on their time. With members stay only the amount of time that you have been invited for. If you invite yourselves to send letters, don't stay for more than an hour. If they haven't been clear ask them, "Do you mind if we stay for about an hour to write our letters?" With investigators be even more careful of their time. A half hour is a reasonable time to spend in their homes. When we spend longer they feel stressed and don't know how to get missionaries out without offending them, so they will start to make excuses when you ask to visit them next time.

Here are a few excerpts from letter the missionaries have sent this week:
------There was this lady that came to church for the first time and in broken English she said to us "I want to get baptized. You'll help me, yes?" I was so taken back. She wants to be baptized on June 6th! Her name is Eddy and she told us that all her life she has been searching for the truth and she has felt that she has found it.

------this car pulls over and a woman says, "Hey! Come here!! Do you remember me? Yall walked up to me and my neighbor when we were on her porch last week!" I recognized her and she went on to say "My name's Vonne. Here's my address. Come and see me. Do y'all have a brochure or something I can read in the meantime?" biking sisters We biked out and it was SUPER hot and humid. Like I thought I was going to just melt away. I prayed for just a little bit of cool rain. I put my head down and started biking harder. All of a sudden, I felt all these drops on my feet. I got excited! But when I raised my head, I realized that the drops I felt were the drops of sweat dripping off my head and arms on to my feet... I just laughed... :)

------She opened the door and said "oh I thought you were my neighbor, but come in anyways." She got us water and made us comfortable. She said that her daddy is a Baptist Preacher, and she has always been curious. She is married and they have 2 daughters. We taught her the Restoration of the Gospel and she was just soaking it up. She offered a kneeling prayer and asked for God to direct her. Then she stood up and with tears in her eyes she said "I prayed last night that God would point me in the right direction today." She went on to say "when I was praying I was thinking more like he would point towards those I could serve. But I can see that this is His answer to what I literally asked for." We set up a time so we could come back when her husband was home, he had majored in Christianity History. Kind of intimidating but we came back. We taught him the Restoration and talked about it. He then said it just makes sense that there would be a Book of Mormon and a need for Restoration.

------so Elder _____ put the address in and we started driving when we arrived at the address we had put in we realized that we typed the wrong address in. To be honest I was a little frustrated and in my head I was thinking, come on kid how hard is it to put the right address in. Well I turned around and started to get back on the main road, and right then I had a feeling that he were there for a reason. So I turned the car around and pulled off the side of the road, then I turned to Elder _____ and said we were sent here for a reason, lets find out what it is. We knock four doors and nothin... so we knock on the fifth door and this guy answers and immediately I knew that we had been sent here to talk to him....He also told us that he wants us to teach his buddies as well,

------At this families house they had people coming and going while we taught four people in the home and out of nowhere this lady comes up to me and asks me about what we were talking about. I summed up what we were talking about and I addressed all their concerns and questions as I read in 2 Nephi. It made sense to everybody. I was saying things that were exactly what they needed to hear. When I was done reading and explaining the lady Margaret was in tears. Her family laughed at her crying. She is catholic and said before that she is really catholic but when her family asked why she was crying she said with tears in her eyes "It’s true, It’s true, What they said is true."

Monday, May 4, 2015

FROM PH: More Flirting :(

Telephoning Elders and Sisters
Sent Date:  Monday, May 4, 2015
Author:  President Hansen

Dear Elders and Sisters,
I am still hearing of missionaries talking on the phone with the opposite gender. Several leaders have told me that they need to counsel with sisters. On page 33 of the Missionary Handbook it says: "Do not telephone, write, e-mail or accept calls or letters from anyone of the opposite sex living within or near mission boundaries..." While there are exceptions for reporting to mission leaders, when we turn those calls into social calls or counseling sessions, we are breaking mission rules.

At the bottom of the next page it says, "Do not counsel missionaries of the opposite sex, even if you are serving in a leadership position..." Sisters, if you are having problems call the Sister Training Leaders , Sister Hansen or even call me.

Please, stop the social calls to other missionaries. It is not fair to your companions or to your commitment to the Lord.

If you feel this is a problem please, call me and let's discuss it.

Remember Every Friday at 9AM the whole mission will be praying at once for families to join the church a 9AM. The Fridays Prayer for Finding Families  will continue for the next few weeks. Elders Muhurla and White had a great experience last Friday right after praying for success in finding families.

------He told us that he used to be an history teacher at Tulane before Katrina. Randomly he had a spinal hemorrhage so he could no longer work :( he was telling us how he used to teach about the 4 major movements and one of them was Mormonism. People used to ask him if the gold plates really are real and he would always respond "Well they say they are, and I believe them." WHAT? Its gets he then goes on to tell us how he read some of the Book of Mormon and loved it, but somehow lost it in the move. You shoulda seen his face light up when we told him we could give him a new one. He was soo happy to read it again :) the elders are gunna go back and see him :)

------He looked at the picture of Jesus and then at us and said "I think that this man sent you to me. I have been working inside all day and the first time in hours I come outside y'all are just walking by. He sent you to me. You might just be looking at the newest member of your church!" The spirit was SO strong when he said that! …People tell us and promise us EVERY week that they will come and haven't come once my 19 weeks here in Luling. So the next day we were waiting in the front of the church and 10 minutes before the meeting started Mr. Eric pulled in! WHAT?!?!?

------"My son is on a mission," She said, her eyes shinning, "I've seen the boys here before but never Y'all. Are there a lot of churches around here then?"
"We have a church over on hwy 30 and there is a set of elders over each and then we're over both."
"Oh I see, I'm not a member," She explained.
"Oh," I answered, surprised and not sure what to say.
"I feel like God is speaking to me she said," tears welled up in her eyes as she handed me her number and her name. "I think I'm ready to hear it," she said.

------We went and saw him on Wednesday with our Branch President. So we went over to teach him the first lesson and it was crazy! He felt STRONG impressions of the Holy Ghost 3 times. Each time he said, "Look! My hairs are standing up!" Just talking about it I can feel the spirit. And he told us he wants us to come by every day. He is going to progress SO fast. We did not commit him to read, or come to church, or stop drinking, he is doing it all on his own! He said, "I'm going to read this, now, what time are you guys going to pick me up. Get me a ride, when does church start?... 9? Okay, I'll be ready sitting on my porch by 8, if not, knock on my door and I'll be ready!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

FROM PH: Bad Week for Numbers

Ouch! Bad week for numbers
Sent Date:  Saturday, April 18, 2015
Author:  President Hansen

Dear Mission Leaders,
It was so great to see all of you in zone conferences over the last two weeks.  I know the mission is really going to have great success with all the great things we have learned lately. We have had a couple of slow weeks after the great surge forward we have been enjoying. I think that the rainy weather and the flu that has been going around have slowed our progress. We need to make sure that all of our missionaries are not allowing little things to keep them from the work. I have heard from many who said they were not able to get out because of the rain. Help them to accomplish more, get rides, etc.  and not be stopped by small things. Also, I know that a lot of times missionaries choose service over teaching and finding. The best service we can do is to teach the doctrine of Christ.

How can we as leaders motivate our missionaries to more faithfully serve Heavenly Father? We need to set a vision of what can be done. Goals for our districts and zones that each missionary can get behind so that we are constantly finding, teaching, baptizing, activating and reactivating. Let's get our missionaries behind a program of finding daily, teaching daily and working with our ward members.
The goal the matters most to me right now is the three daily contacts with people we pass by. If we can get every missionary to do this every day the area will blossom.

All my love,
President Hansen

------(Companion) and I decided to take a faith walk. It took us 7.5 hours just to walk one block. We talked to everyone and anyone. We even helped someone move out! We had more contacts that day than we have had in a whole week! So many in fact that we lost track. Because of the Faith walk and the help of the Lord, our schedule for this week is full with return appointments.

------We have also committed 4 different people to baptism this past week on the first lessons. They all said yes!

------we were going to make proselyting Monday as productive as we possibly could ... and it was one of the best days of my whole mission! We taught so much!! We set high goals and we promised ourselves as a companionship that we would hit all of them. We hit our 5 other lessons but we weren't quite sure how we were going to get a lesson with a member present so we prayed and Elder _____ has the idea that we should go and visit one of the less actives that we are working with that lives in a big apartment complex and ask who we could go and teach with him, and he had a lady so we went and talked to her he testified and (he)said the closing prayer and said after that he will come back to church Sunday! It really was amazing!!

------This past week we have contacted so many new people and have so many new investigators! Experiences that used to be far and few between and considered huge miracles now happen daily! We are meeting so many people who are interested in the gospel and I'll be leaving at least half a dozen new investigators and several potential investigators when I leave.

------My branch president in the MTC told us something to the effect of "if you're an average missionary, your mission will be difficult. If you strive to be an excellent missionary, it will become much easier."

Monday, April 13, 2015

8 Weeks Left!

I am good! It is crazy that I only have 8 weeks left.  I am almost home.  It is crazy! Anyway I am kinda freaking out that I only have 8 weeks.  That is crazy. Then I will be home to go to Saint George with y'all and actually participate in these exciting stories that you send me each week. I am pretty excited, some days more than others but still. I will not let it become the senioritis that I had in high school but the feeling is still there.

My life is good.  Really boring and annoying but good none-the-less. The Zone is completely different because it has fewer people and way more space. So we are just trying to make it work.  I do have to say that it is WAY better like this. Fewer missionaries on top of each other pissing each other off.  I like it.  There are still some missionaries who don't work as hard as I know they can.  Nevertheless, I try to stand up for them.

Life is good, really good. This is the first Pday in a long time that I am not stressed or annoyed. So that's something. Love ya.