THE VISION OF THE SOUTH

"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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Member Presence

Sent Date: Monday, December 29, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

President,
Man talking to my parents for the 3rd time was weird, I have been here for a long time. It really doesn't feel that way at all I still feel all new and shiny.... Well not so shiny; Anyway, this week with Christmas and then Elder Walker getting sick we where less than 100% but there was some very important things that happened this week that I would like to share with you. First is Monday at a Family Home Evening, Donal and Angie and us were invited, with a little inviting on our part to a members house. So here is a little thing about Donal and Angie, they are kids, scared kids at that. So on the way to the FHE they were having a literal panic attack. I was just sitting there in the back smiling. We walk up to the door to them saying every single excuse they can think of, I knock and it was about 2 minutes till they where having the time of there lives. We had to leave at 9 and they STAYED AFTER WE LEFT. HA. Awesome. Now they have friends beside the missionaries and The Bishop. It was a good week. We got lots of thinks done, and will continually work to diligently.

Love ya,
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Monday, December 29, 2014
Author: President Hansen
I am so glad they are making friends. That is what makes the member presents so valuable.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Talk to You Soon!

So I got a new companion. Elder Walker, he is a really cool guy. I am really excited for this transfer especially for Christmas! I am super excited to talk to everyone on Thursday! Super, super excited. I will be calling from the Paz's house, I will call at 1. I am super excited.
 
This week Angie was baptized. It was amazing to see her finally be baptized. It was a really long time in the process. Angie was super excited and Donal is super excited about the church now. He is going to become an elder next month I am so excited!! so sick. It was a really good week. 
Mini Golfing on P-day





Nativity and Sacrament

Dec 16 at 11:00 AM

Fish Stories


Life as a Zone Leader and Jimmer

NOV 28, 2014
This week was good. There has been a lot going on. Lots of problems in our Zone. But we have been figuring them out.
 
The best thing about being a zone leader is that we are super busy and I have to do things that are really hard and it pushes me, really pushes me super hard. I have to make calls and do things that I never thought I would. I like it a lot.
 
The other side to being Zone Leader is life in the fast lane; so many problems, so many issues, so much drama. Elder Drollinger and I are lucky when we get in on time and when we do we come in and fall asleep in our proselyting clothes. I mean really and truly I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve these amazing missionaries. I am humbled everyday by their testimonies and their spirit. Don't take the wrong message away from this, I am working hard.  I absolutely love it every part. The good, the bad all of it is amazing. I just am in need of some council. Life could not get any better. Reallly and truly.
 
This week I went on exchanges with the Jefferson elders.  It was really cool; they are really new and it was funny to see them and their view on the mission and everything. I really like going on exchanges. Anyway life is really good. We have Angie who is going to be baptized on the December 20. This is a really big deal because this date marks several Elders entire missions. It is amazing to be here at the end of this great process.
 
This week was really fun we where knocking doors and we go to knock and we hear someone chanting in Spanish really loud. It was weird so I peek in the window, and there are four women standing in the room praying in Spanish really loud. So we listen to what they are praying about, and they are praying for answers so I look at my companion and say, "Dude we are about to answer their prayers."  So we wait and wait and then they stop.  I smile at my comp and knock on the door and they answer and totally shut us down... Hard core. We were like, are you kidding me!! So we moved on and kept working, good day. Life is all about finding little things. Missions especially.
 
Love y'all let me know if you have any questions!!
 
Elder Andrews 
 
PS Jimmer is in our ward.
 
 

Angie's Baptism

Sent Date: Monday, December 22, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

President,
This week was Angie's baptism. Amazing. It was a really awesome experience. I was super excited that Elder Yardley well Klynt could come back and baptize her. We really had some awesome miracles. One of the most awesome things that happened was that Donal is all of the sudden excited to advance in the priesthood. They are so excited to be members of the Church and the ward is accepting them.

The Zone is good. No problems at all.

I am loving this, life is good. I am excited for this transfer and all that will happen. We have
been having lots of members come out with us.
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Monday, December 22, 2014
Author: President Hansen
You sure have. Good job with the Member Present Lessons

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Member Involvment

Sent Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

President,
This week was good, as a Zone we have been trying to ask more members to come out with us. Elder Drollinger and I decided to set the example and so we have. We have been asking lots of people to come out with us. We have seen lots of success from that as far as building relations between the members and the investigators, and other less actives. The others missionaries have been asking people to come out with us. Awesome blessing are coming from it. So Angie is going to be baptized this week, we are super excited for her. Elder Yardley, well Klynt Yardley is going to come and visit for the baptism. We still need her to be interviewed I don't know if you have time in you scheduled for that but if not maybe one of the Assistance could.

I am excited for this new transfer and all the things that I can learn and for all the challenges that it will pose. Let me know if there is anything that I can do to improve I am working on being EXACTLY obedient. I know that there is blessing from it that is why we are working so hard to show our Zone the blessing.
Love ya,
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Friday, December 19, 2014
Author: President Hansen
I love you for your diligence and obedience. Six member present lessons makes me so
happy. I know the Lord will bless you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sister Drama

Sent Date: Monday, December 8, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

President,
This week was really good. I went on an exchange to Covington with Elder Porter and then to Mandiville with Elder Trainor. They are both really good missionaries. It was interesting. I was happy to do the exchange with Elder Porter he is really a cool guy he is really new and that is hard for him. He is scared, I mean a mission is really scary, but he is learning lots and I know that he will learn. Elder Trainor is doing really well up there. That District is really good. So we talked to Sister Allen for a long while after ZTM. She is worried about Sister Roberts and Elder Drollinger and I afterwards where talking about why Sister Roberts is even out here and we think that she doesn't want to go home. Because it isn't the same. Matter of fact her whole home life is completely changed from what it was. So we are constantly trying to help her. She needs a foundation, people in her life that are constant and that are Family. She doesn't need council, she doesn't need to be yelled at she need the people around her to accept her and love her for who she is. Now of course like in all family relation you try and correct her if she is doing something wrong but she needs love President. But her district is so dysfunctional. Their are lots of problems in that district.

President I am so excited to try and help these missionaries reach their full potential. They are awesome. Our ZTM was really good and everyone did the 2 day music fast, they really liked.

We also have a fun little competition going on for morning fitness. I am excited about it you will see some of it tomorrow, were we will announce the winner for this week. I really do see a change coming in our mission. the culture is changing and people are starting to work towards a little bit more ambitious goals something i want to start doing is making sure everyone sends in their numbers to you through this program.

Everything is great. We would like to know if you could interview Angie for baptism before the 20th? Thanks for all you do. Love ya thanks for everything. Really thanks for caring, i know it means a lot to all of us.
Elder Andrews

PS I know this is cheating but I am really nervous about this transfer especially as far as Elder Drollinger and I are concerned.... Any hints that you would be willing to give? Pennies for the poor??

Sent Date: Monday, December 8, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Tell me why I am interviewing Angie for her baptism? Abortion? criminal? sex change? :)

Sent Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
No no no she has just had all the missionaries in the area teach her so she needs either you or the assistants to do it. Right she needs to be interviewed by someone that hasn't taught her right? That is all we were thinking about. She should be good.

Attn: Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Sister Training Leaders
sent Date: Monday, December 15, 2014
Author: President Hansen

Dear Mission Leaders,
I have been noticing lately, many missionaries being lax with the mission rules; not following the schedule with exactness, listening and playing worldly music, going places and doing things that missionaries shouldn't do, etc. I know that none of these things seem too evil but I have come to know that the Lord will not bless us to achieve our purpose as missionaries if we will not give up the things of the world and commit ourselves without reservation to His work. By contrast I promise in the name of Jesus Christ that if we give ourselves completely to the work with out keeping one toenail in Babylon, The work will move forward here in a miraculous way.

We need to become better finders, teachers, nurturers. We are already seeing great blessings but we can see more. I need leaders who can not only teach these principles, but live them. Let me know if you can support me by living up to your holy callings.

I love each of you with all my heart,
President Hansen

From Sister Hansen
Sent Date: Monday, December 15, 2014
Author: President Hansen

Hello Everyone,
It was so great seeing all of you this week at the specialized trainings and later at 3 of our stakes' Christmas programs!!

Wow, they were all really impressive and really brought the Spirit of Christmas to the audiences. It was also wonderful to see so many of our missionaries perform and help out and even organize some of these events. I especially appreciated the help with the meals and clean up at the trainings!

Just a reminder about a couple of things:
When someone is performing or speaking, please don't get up or talk to another person unless absolutely necessary. Don't congregate in large groups of missionaries at ward or stake events. Of course y'all love seeing each other, but remember that we need to be looking for less actives, investigators and even fellow shipping members. It sounds weird but it almost seems a little clicky, like we like each other more than those around us.

I love walking into a building and seeing you wonderful missionaries. If I ever feel down or tired, all I have to do is shake your hands or get some hugs and I am regenerated. You radiate goodness and the Spirit. You have so much power in you, it is tangible!!!

I hope y'all have a wonderful week and a great Christmas!
With so much love,
Sister Hansen

FROM PH: Radar Up

"Radar Up"
Sent Date: Monday, December 8, 2014
Author: President Hansen

Dear Sisters and Elders,
You are all so great. I love getting your letters and seeing your amazing growth and success week to week.

I was talking to a Stake President this week. He told me that he was with a new convert who was talking about her children and grandchildren. He asked her if any of them knew anything about the church, to which she replied that they didn't. They lived near the convert but hadn't been invited to the lessons or the baptism. President Stock said that he felt like sometimes we were missing the easy opportunities to find and teach people that are right in our path. I love the thought of what happens if we just become more aware of asking members, investigators and less actives all the time if they know of someone who would benefit from our message. Sometimes a specific question like, "do you have any family members who we could talk to about the church," is a better way to ask the question.

Yesterday in church, I talked to some long term investigators who had invited the missionaries to meet their parents at Thanksgiving. The investigator's father loved one of the missionaries from the first minutes and the connection that was made eased the fears of the investigator about their parents reaction to their joining the Mormon Church. They were talking about their baptism with more confidence because they had included their parents in the circle.

Let's ask more questions about family. Let's invite people to share the gospel with their friends and family. When some one comes into a room or crosses our path Let's talk to them about the message we have. Bold missionaries are successful. Let's all be more bold. It has been gratifying to see the numbers of investigator lessons being taught go way up these last few weeks. I was pleased to see that even with the holiday, the missionaries were successfully teaching and finding. I am so proud of the missionaries in this mission. Thank you for your dedication.

Here are some of your thoughts and experiences this week:
-----He (district Leader) told me some tips about tracting and he said to always have good thoughts and think positively while you're tracting! So I decided to just have a good attitude and if people were going to reject us and be mean, I was just going to let it roll off my back. Well it was amazing! We had such good conversations with people, received phone numbers, and we are going to follow up soon. A few people rejected us but I noticed when we are happy, and people see that, we have the Spirit with us more!

-----President I hope missionaries in our mission understand that there are so many people who are prepared to hear our message God has prepared them and as we exercise our faith in him and his work we will be put in the paths of those people and find them, teach them and Baptize them, THIS IS A BAPTIZING MISSION!!!! As missionaries we need to plead with our Heavenly father in prayer and ask him to help us find those people who are ready to hear the message of the Restoration they are everywhere! Everyone needs the message we have to offer.

-----Another thing I have felt I need to do better is to be BOLD with our investigators. I think that is why most of them have stopped progressing. I love the talk "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" and it really rings a bell when it says that we as missionaries are so afraid of offending people, we forget to SAVE people in the process. That is so me! So I am going to try to pray for help and change my ways this week.

-----I don't know if you remember, but when I left on my mission I was the only active member in my family. In my family there is me, my mom and dad, one older sister, two younger sisters, and a little brother. My younger siblings are 7, 9, and 11. My dad was baptized at 8 and then became inactive. My mom has become inactive since she married my dad in 2009. Well my mom is now going to church with my younger siblings, and my younger siblings are taking the missionary lessons and they are all three going to be baptized when my little sister turns 8 on December 6th!!! I am so excited!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Change the Culture of the Zone?

Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

President,
This week I went on exchanges with the Jefferson elders it was really cool they are really new and it was funny to see them and their view on the mission and everything. I really like going on exchanges. Anyway life is really good. We have Angie who is going to be baptized on the December 20. This is a really big deal because this date marks several Elders entire missions. It is amazing to be here at the end of this great process. This week was really fun we where knocking doors and we go to knock and we hear someone chanting in Spanish really loud. It was weird so I peek in the window, and there are four women standing in the room praying in Spanish really loud. So we listen to what they are praying about, and they are praying for answers so I look at my companion and say dude we are about to answer their prayers. So we wait and wait and then they stop I smile at my comp and knock on the door and they answer and totally shut us down... Hard core. We where like are you kidding me!! So we moved on and kept working, good day. Life is all about finding little things. Missions especially.

The Zone is doing good a few problems but for the most part they are small and easily solved. We are working really hard, everyone is. So I have a question and I don't know if you will be able to answer it. How do I help change the culture of this Zone, and this Mission. We talked about this a little bit in our interview but, I would just like to hear some more of your thoughts. Currently my plan is to lead, I personally am going to try to break the mold. However I also have a Zone to think of. So I will pray and try to help them.

Thanks so much for everything.
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Talk about all the baptisms that are taking place, about how the mission is becoming more obedient, about how the number of lessons with and without a member present is increasing. Set an example by the things you say and do. When you see someone breaking mission rules stand up to them and let them know it is not acceptable. Teach correct principles in all your training. Follow the spirit in all you do and pray for your missionaries.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

FROM PH: 40 Day Fast

Sent Date: Sunday, November 30, 2014
Author: President Hansen

Dear Missionaries,
We understand that last year y'all did a "40 Day Fast" from something that was keeping you from being closer to Christ, in preparation for the general authority's visit . This January 12, Elder Teh, of the First Quorum of the Seventy is coming to our mission to do a tour and speak to us at our zone conferences.

If we start our fast this week, it will be about 40 days till Elder Teh's visit. This fast is personal and can be whatever you feel is holding you back Spiritually. It may be an obedience issue, or maybe a fast from negative thoughts about yourself, other missionaries, the work, the mission etc. You may want to direct your studies to help in this fast. You may or may not decide to share your ideas with us, but know that we will be praying for your success in your endeavors.

We love you all and pray that the Spirit will be your constant companion to help you through whatever struggles you are dealing with. We are here and at your service anytime.

You are the best!
Love,
President and Sister Hansen

Saturday, November 29, 2014

FROM PH: He is the Gift

He Is The Gift pass along cards
Sent Date: Saturday, November 29, 2014
Author: President Hansen

Dear Sisters and Elders,
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We sure did. We loved spending time with a bunch of missionaries from Baton Rouge.

As we prepare to give out the pass alongs over the next few days, I wanted to give you a few thoughts. We might say something like, "This video is really special and will bring the true meaning of Christmas into your Holiday season. If you really love it you may want to share this video with your friends on Facebook and other social media. We would like to come by in a couple of days and see what you thought about it." That gives us a chance to turn the giving of the cards into a finding experience.The Church is counting on having people share this message on their Facebook pages so that the message can spread to many more people and maybe go viral.

We can give a couple of cards to members to give to their neighbors if you think they will give them out, but remember they have their own cards in the December Ensign. Also share the video with less active and and recent converts. The Church is launching a youtube takeover so after that you can ask everyone you see if they have seen it. Don't be afraid to watch it with them on their iphone or ipad. Share the Nativity video or Joy to the World video with investigators. Talk about successes with members. Tell members about success stories from sharing the cards.Invite people to church Christmas programs, etc. We can have fun with this over the Holiday season and have some missionary success if we are bold share with power.


Here are some excerpts from the letters:
-----So we took this member (an awesome guy who's only been home from his mission like 5 months so he still has the missionary fire) to Doug's and had a REALLY great discussion. The member is a convert, so you could tell that Doug was really intrigued by what he had to say, and they built a really good friendship. The member and Doug became such good friends from that one visit that they've made plans to have dinner together and i know that that will prove to be a huge blessing for Doug and his conversion. Bringing members to lessons can really make these big differences, we need to do this more.

-----We invited him to be baptized and said he would but wouldn't set a date because they hadn't decided if they wanted to get married or not. So we told them that was what God wanted them to do is to be a family and that though they may be fighting and struggling Christ can help them overcome that. Then we decided to do something bold and teach the Law of Chastity. Neither of us had ever taught it before and yeah it’s awkward but we just decided we needed to be bold and help them get their life together. On Friday we went over and it was awkward to start since the girl knew exactly what we were going to do when we passed out the pamphlet. We thought they might be angry with us and drop us but about halfway through the lesson they whisper to each other and stop us and ask what they have to do to get married. Man it was a miracle!!! It was so awesome to see them make that decision. They told us that they wanted to thank us for helping them see they needed to change their lives. It really showed how being bold really helps.

-----We were teaching... (one of our investigators who is dating someone in our ward) and we asked him if he had been reading the Book Of Mormon and he said that he hadn't. Elder _____then asked him if his girlfriend broke up with him (that is how we met him) and he wasn't allowed to come back and he couldn't meet with us would he still pursue the church and he said yes but he didn't exactly know why, I told him it was because he was feeling the spirit, which is the same feeling he gets when we come over and teach him and that it will always draw him back.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wedding! (Not mine)


PS  I am good. Thanksgiving we have some stuff to do.  All I need is the stuff that I asked you for last week.  Yeah, I come home June 11th.  Sorry I have known that for about a year.   I haven't told you that?? Sorry.

Zone Leader

SO here I am in Metairie and I am driving a Toyota Tacoma!! BOOM!!! This area is awesome.  I have heard about this place forever so it is awesome to be here. I am just running around trying to learn the area. It is crazy though because I am in a big old ward for the first time in my mission.  It is weird.

Busy Day, Happiness is a Choice

This week was crazy! It stared out with District Meeting which I am not going to lie, it is super nice not to have to prepare for. Then we went on exchanges with Kenner Spanish.  We biked around with Kenner and that was fun to get to know another area.  It didn't help me learn mine but hey, half a loaf is better than no loaf. Then during the exchange the APs called  us and told us the topic for ZTM.  Normally we have a big old meeting but Pres was in Florida at a conference this weeks so they just assigned us something it was Happiness.  I guess our mission is having lots of problems with depression so we got to try and help them.
 
Exchanges ended on Thursday so we had to plan 1. the ZTMs and 2. the wedding that is this Saturday. So we run and do all that and just like every night we come into the apartment at 9:30 on the dot completely exhausted and just like every other night our phone explodes with every missionary needs something. Friday we have ZTM.  I was super nervous but it turned out really well. Then we can finally go see people. Then Saturday night at 10 I get a call from the High councilmen and he wants me to give a talk in church so I say sure...and then Church. 
 
This is what church is when you are a Zone Leader.  You go to PEC.  Then church during which you teach a class, give a talk and then as soon as you are done with your talk, you translate for the High counsilman that missed his calling as an auctioneer. Then coordination, 3 hours of it haha. Now I know that sounds a lot like complaining but it is not. We are busy. I have opportune abilities to serve so many people. I am learning and growing in was I didn't even think possible. Life is awesome. Be happy it's just a choice, make it.

Elder Andrews

PS LOVE Y'ALL


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Wedding

Weekly Letter - 24 Nov 2014
Sent Date: Monday, November 24, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

This week we planned a wedding. We started a family, it was amazing! They are so happy. We were talking to them yesterday and it was amazing to see the change that just and earthly marriage can such a difference. Their daughter was so happy. She was ecstatic to have her family together. It is so cool to see how she understands what is going on. We planned, set up, and cleaned up we did everything for this wedding they just showed up but it was so worth it!! Seriously one of the best days ever. Now she is going to get baptized in a two weeks.

We also committed a man named Tommy Andrews to baptism... No relation. So awesome. He is so excited. It is going to be so cool. The Zone is really good Elder Drollinger and I are a little worried about the Laplace District. They are doing good but there are a few points of concern. Really though our Zone is doing really well. No problems. I am learning so much as a Zone Leader. It is interesting to face so many different challenges. Life is good.
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Friday, November 28, 2014
Author: President Hansen
What a great week.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Busy, Happy

Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

This week was crazy! it stared out with District Meeting which i am not going to lie it is super nice not to have to prepare for. Then we went on exchanges with Kenner Spanish and i went and biked around with Kenner and that was fun to get to know their area it didn't help me learn mine but hey, half a loaf is better than no loaf. So exchange ended on Thursday so we had to plan 1 the ZTMs and 2 the wedding that is this Saturday. So we run and do all that and just like every night we come into the apartment at 930 on the dot completely exhausted and just like every other night our phone explodes with every missionary needs something.

Friday we have ZTM i was super nervous but it turned out really good. Then we can finally go see people. Then Saturday night at 10 i get a call from the High councilmen and he wants me to give a talk in Church so i say sure... and then Church, This is what church is when you are a Zone Leader you go to PEC then church in which you teach a class, Give a talk and then as soon as you are done with your talk you translate for the High counsilman that missed his calling as an auctioneer. Then Coordination 3 hours of it haha. Now i know that sounds a lot like complaining but it is not. We are busy. I have opportune abilities to serve so many people. I am learning and growing in was i didn't even think possible. Life is awesome. Be happy its just a choice, make it.

President Hansen this is the life!

Sent Date: Monday, November 17, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Translation is tough.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Awesome Area, New ZL

Weekly Letter - 10 Nov 2014
Sent Date: Monday, November 10, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

This area is awesome i have heard about this place forever so it is awesome to be here. I am just running around trying to learn the area. It is crazy though because i am in a big old ward. It is weird. I am super excited to be ZL and serve all these wonderful missionaries. This week i have been studying about love and how we can love others better and i like what Jesus says in Matthew 22:39 and i like how there is two parts one love 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. We all look at this and see I need to love my Neighbor I need to love everyone . But it says "as thyself" so we need to love everyone including ourselves. WE need to one realize how awesome we are. We need to have love for ourselves. if you increase your love for others the love you have for yourself will increase!

Purpose Driven Missionaries
Sent Date: Monday, November 17, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Sisters and Elders,
As most of you have noticed it was a very busy week for Sister Hansen and me. I was able to read each and every letter, but I didn't respond because there was just not enough time. I am so proud of you though. I am seeing a remarkable level of commitment and desire in the missionaries. We are seeing more lessons taught and way more of the lessons taught are to non-members.

An amazing number of you talked about how much excitement and fulfillment you had through finding. I know that tracting is not the most fun of the things a missionary does but as we learn to find and teach on the doorsteps, it prepares us to know how to convert referrals to progressing investigators. The Lord is blessing our mission because of your work and faith. We are seeing missionaries become way more purpose driven, spending way less time "member chilling" and way more time productively teaching investigators.

We pray that this week we will all continue to grow.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

FROM PH: Short Member Visits

Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
I have really loved reading your letters. They mean so much to me each week. I always think, what amazing missionaries are in this mission.

In my contacts with President Stock and President Burkhardt I have learned that the members of the stakes feel like missionaries that stay at a member's home for more than the one hour time allotted for dinner appointments are being less faithful. Both Presidents expressed the desire to have missionaries show they know their purpose and demonstrate to the members that they have places to go and people to see and that they can't linger at member's homes. I had an investigator tell me the same thing this week. He said that the missionaries teach him and when they leave he feels the spirit leave with them. That wouldn't happen if the missionaries finished the lesson and then lingered at the investigator home and didn't leave after commitments, testimonies and prayer.

I know that this is true too. Let's keep all of our member visits short and to the point. Watch the blessings come and our lessons become more spiritual and purpose driven with both our members and investigators. Short lessons and dinner appointments lead to baptisms.

Just a few notes from the missionary letters. I am trying to keep this shorter:
-----It was kinda crazy at the beginning because the grandma was the only one paying attention and people were walking in and out and all and then Linisha said something about how she knows about our church and started asking about Joseph Smith and so I answered a question and testified of the Book of Mormon and it's purpose in helping us know the Doctrine of Jesus Christ but also being a witness that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet called of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. The whole atmosphere changed and the Spirit was really strong. Linisha was SO excited! she was so happy and was asking if she could be a missionary and saying she believed everything we were saying and she was just smiling so big. I asked her why she was so happy and she said, "I don't know all I know is 10 minutes ago all I could think was about how tomorrow at the bus stop this girl is gonna get it! and now I don't even care, i am just happy and I can't stop smiling!" It was SO COOL to see how the Spirit completely changed her whole attitude.

-----(I) had this idea that we should invite her to have dinner at a members home with us. We had a dinner appointment with them that night and they have a daughter Shelby's age. I called and asked the member and she said that would be fine, so I texted and asked Shelby. She said she would enjoy that so she drove us out to their home. It was super awesome! The dad is a convert to the church and he joined when he was 19 (Shelby is 20) and living here in (name of town). He ended up sharing his conversion story after dinner and then went into a personal experience he had in the MTC, when he really learned for himself that all of it was true. It was definitely spirit led. When we left their house Shelby said she really enjoyed it and she felt really good in their home. I was able to testify to her that it was the spirit she felt and she can continue to feel that in her life.

-----When I first got here, all they (the members) would talk about is how dead the area is.  Now, I don't think I've heard one remark like that. The Lord is pouring out His Spirit and it has been wonderful. I think the members are starting to see that there is hope here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Another Day, Another Lesson

Transfers!! I am leaving and going to Metairie with Elder Drollinger. I am nervous about my new calling and transfers. I am just a little bit scared because my new calling is to be Zone Leader...scary.  I hope I will do a good job. But I am excited!  Another day, another lesson! It is all super cool.

This week we have been working really hard and I have been so tired.  Super tired!  It was really drawing on me. But then, like a miracle that only the misinformed can appreciate, Day Light Savings came to the rescue. Miracle! Anyway I am really sad to leave.  I really love this branch a ton. It has been an amazing time to be here and to meet the people that I have met. Today I have just been saying goodbye to everyone and it is super sad. This is truly an amazing place.  I have learned so much. But now I have to go somewhere else to learn and I am so SO excited for that!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Life is Awesome

Weekly Letter - 04 Nov 2014
Sent Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

This week we have been working really hard and i have been so tired super tired it was really drawing on me. But then like a miracle that only the misinformed can appreciate daylight savings came to the rescue. Miracle! Anyway i am really sad to leave i really love this branch a ton. It has been an amazing time to be here and meet the people that i have met. Today i have just been saying goodbye to everyone and it is super sad. This is truly and amazing place. i have learned so much. Ha but now i have to go somewhere else to learn and i am so SO excited for that!

This week i read Judges and i really just love how the Lord never gives up on those gosh dang stubborn Jews. They do something dumb and the Lord bails them out. The whole time i was reading it i was thinking ya bunch of idiots what are you doing shape up be good, but then i thought, how many times has the Lord had to bail me out and done it EVERY SINGLE TIME. We are super luck that the Lord loves us. We are soooooooo lucky that we have someone to bail us out every single time without fail. We need to learn to rely on him and also realize that we are relying on him. LIFE IS AWESOME.


Sent Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014
Author: President Hansen
I am so excited to work with you on the mission leadership council.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

We Got Fed!


Faith is a Seed


Allergic to Bees

This week was cool! We had an awesome FHE with all the Hispanics and it was such a success!! We had tons of people come and it was so great! I also learned that I am allergic to bees..... I got stung on the hand on Wednesday. Thursday I woke up and my hand was huge.... So I looked on the Internet to check out what I should do. It said that after 24 hour it is actually  a problem so I waited and it got worse and so I got some Benadryl and spent conference extremely tired. But this week was awesome! We had a lesson with a family that is really prepared and I am really excited to show them and everyone here the amazing messages that were shared in conference!!

Conference was amazing. The messages so inspired I had so many themes that came out to me. I would invite you to join me and review conference over and over again to see what things we missed. Something that I didn't do before my mission was review conference after conference weekend. I really enjoy the time in between conference that we have to review and see what we need to know for the next 6 months. One theme that I got was Follow the Prophet cause he is the Prophet. So let's read his words and follow them!

Love ya

Elder Andrews

FROM PH: Happy People

Happy People
Sent Date: Sunday, November 2, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
This is something that Elder Ruesch found on lds.org that I thought was helpful. It's 10 things that Supremely Happy People Do:
1. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people. Joy is contagious. People are four times more likely to be happy in the future with happy people around them.
2. Happy people try to be happy. When happy people don’t feel happy, they cultivate a happy thought and smile about it.
3. Happy people spend money more on others than they spend on themselves. Givers experience what scientists call the “helper’s high.”
4. Happy people have deep in-person conversations. Sitting down to talk about what makes a person tick is a good practice for feeling good about life.
5. Happy people use laughter as a medicine. A good old-fashioned chuckle releases lots of good neurotransmitters. A study showed that children on average laugh 300 times a day versus adults who laugh 15 times a day.
6. Happy people use the power of music. Researchers found that music can match the anxiety-reducing effects of massage therapy. (mission approved music only)
7. Happy people exercise and eat a healthful diet. Eating a poor diet can contribute to depression.
8. Happy people take the time to unplug and go outside. Uninterrupted screen time brings on depression and anxiety.
9. Happy people get enough sleep. When people run low on sleep, they are prone to feel a lack of clarity, bad moods, and poor judgment.
10. Happy people are spiritual.

Lets have a happy mission. Here are some ideas from letters that I received this week:
-----I love Elder _____ and his love for time. Even if we have 45 min before we have something we have to do or somewhere we have to be he always has the desire to go out and try to see more people and to use every minute that we have to doing missionary work. Yes I am tired and yes some days I just want to fall over dead but we have found more investigators in those sort 15-45 minutes of crunch time than we have in one whole day of seeking referrals and finding Ideas. I can truly say the Lord blesses us so much more if we are using His resources to the fullest.

-----We had a really productive week we hit 19 lessons and managed to get a less active to come to church. We are working towards be more exactly obedient. We have been seeing the fruits.

------The commitment I left her was to read the intro of the book of Mormon and the first chapter of Nephi. We asked her if she was able to do that and she said yes. She said she actually read the first page of the Book of Mormon all the way until Chapter 5 in First Nephi. She then told us she took notes on each chapter. She showed us the notes and they were the thoughts she had on the chapter and the questions she had.... Then after that she told us she knows this book is true and that Joseph Smith really saw God the Father and his Son and translated the BOM….We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved the repentance and baptism part and how she can be clean. She started tearing up when we told her she can be baptized and her sins can be washed away and then receive the Holy Ghost. Riley her husband worked things out with the Bishop and can baptize her on November 22.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Feed the Love

Sent Date: Monday, October 27, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
This week we felt the love and when i say that i mean we got FED. 14 times a lot. twice a day. Yes they love us. We have been working hard and i am loving it! I am kinda scared that i am going to get transferred and especially because this transfer only has 5 weeks i just found that out yesterday. We have been working really hard our Branch Mission Leader is kinda freaking out so we have been helping him with his new calling. Running around working so hard, I have been having so much fun. Lots of people are choosing wrong things and not keeping commitments but we are working hard to teach them the importance of this awesome Church!!
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Author: President Hansen
I had better move you out before you gain 50 pounds.

Sent Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
good timing i was looking at a +20 man oh man..

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FROM PH: Elder White

Productive Mornings and Afternoons
Sent Date: Sunday, October 26, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of you over the last two weeks. We feel like we are the most blessed mission presidents in the Church to have such a wonderful bunch of missionaries. Elder White, a zone Leader from the Lafayette Zone brought up concerns over how to productively spend your time in the mornings and early afternoons when many people are working or running errands.

Here is what he said,
-----”We have tried formers, potential investigators, and looked up new people on the roster and have had no luck. So honestly, for the past few weeks on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Monday p-day, Tuesday is usually district meeting, Thursday weekly plan, and Sunday church so those 4 days you use up those hours) we will take our lunch break from 10 to 11, and honestly tract one neighborhood for 2 hours with maybe one or two people even answering their doors and we will then go to another neighborhood and tract for 2 hours with a similar outcome. With the little success we've been having with tracting in the mornings, I have been thinking … if it's our most effective use of time for those hours… so few people answer their doors… I have a feeling this is a mission wide problem--missionaries (especially elders, since sister missionaries have more people to see due to the fact a good majority of women are at home during those hours). Thanks a lot President, looking forward to hearing what you have to say about this.”

Let’s talk about some things we could do during less productive times during the day:
1) We can do finding activities at universities, parks, downtown, libraries, etc.  Some missionaries talk to fishermen fishing off bridges. Ask big issue questions to initiate conversations i.e. “Do you think that we lived before we were born? What is the purpose of our lives? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die?
2) We can do service for less actives and investigators. Make sure the service is meaningful. Try to make the service two hours or less. We aren’t trying to fill in time with service, there needs to be a missionary purpose to everything we do.
3) When we set appointments, always offer daytime hours first, “For our next visit would it be better to see you in the morning or the afternoon?” You don’t offer the evening hours, make them ask for them.
4) Always make your appointments with people who are unemployed, retired, night workers etc. for your time before 5PM.
5) Have a weekly service opportunity where we give service in a community setting: a homeless shelter kitchen, a community garden, Boy’s and Girl’s Club, etc. These would not just be for service sake, these would be finding activities.
6) I have known many missionaries who have a bus pass who do finding on the bus. Talk about the big issues: Importance of families, God’s love for us, Why there needs to be a prophet on the earth today, etc. Talk loud enough that some of the people around you can hear, too. Tell them you are Mormon Missionaries pass out cards like they are water. Let’s make our daytime hours way more productive. Maybe all y’all could give me some ideas that you have done that have been helpful and I will pass them along to the rest of the mission. We need to “hasten the work of salvation.”

Here are some great excerpts from some of the missionary letters:
-----And we just "happened" to show up on J'avien's (the grandson who had passed away) birthday planning to review the Plan of Salvation. How crazy is that! I'm a firm believer that there are no coincidences. God totally knew that she needed to hear that message again because she'd been feeling pretty down. I hadn't even recognized the Spirit in that one, but I'm glad we followed it.

-----Friday night we went and saw a less-active who LOVES having the missionaries over. It’s probably been years since she's come to church but we thought we'd stop by anyway! Well she's definitely a character and we had a good time and we talked about hope and how being close to the Lord is what brings hope. Well we were sitting in sacrament meeting and I looked over and guess who I saw????? This less-active and she smiled over at me! I don't believe I've ever had a happier moment. That was so incredible!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FROM PH: Standards

Standards of Excellence
Sent Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Your letters are so fun to read. I look forward to hearing from each of you every week. As I was reading through your letters this week I noticed that there was some confusion about what the Standards of Excellence are, and how they are different from the goals that we want each of you to set for your own efforts. Goals should never be set for anyone else. They are personal.

Your areas and assignments are different so I will never judge any missionary based on how their numbers come out. Please don't compare yourselves to any other missionary. It is not fair to you or them. The Standards of Excellence are just guidelines to help missionaries to see what is possible for the mission as a whole to achieve, Some being higher and others being lower that the standards. The standard of 20 lessons per week is already being surpassed in many areas of the mission. It can't be done without hard work, but many other areas that might be seeing very few lessons are also working very hard. They have my respect as well. The SoE is meant to give you guidelines for setting goals that are achievable, but a reach, in each of your assignments. Use them as you think is appropriate.

Set your own goals. ***Goals should make your work more fun.*** Remember they are only for you. I won't think badly of anyone for where they put their goals. Please, make your goals achievable. Don't think that the Lord will bless you more for being unrealistic. Goals are to help us to do our best and have the thrill of achievement. Ask Heavenly Father to confirm to you if your goals are acceptable to Him

Here are a few of the highlights of this weeks letters.I could have picked dozens of different ones as well:
-----We have been trying new things and we are really focusing on talking to everybody. I mean everybody! We noticed that we had a tendency to talk to random people like in the store or on the street, and we would just skate around our purpose as missionaries and about our message. We decided that we wanted to actually tell people about our message and what we do no matter what if we are having a conversation with them. It has worked awesome! We were tracting today and we saw these two construction workers working on the road. I said let's talk to these guys and Elder ______ said, "go for it". So we started talking to them and then we told them about how we go around and talk to people about Jesus Christ. We told them a few parts about our church that distinguishes us from other churches, and then we asked them if it was something they would be willing to learn more about. They both said yes!

-----We had just tracked a street and were at the point when we were just ready to give up and to return home. I said "One more Elder _____!" So we started walking to the right side of the street to the next house. Elder _____ quickly says "Nope, I feel like we need to go left, to that house." He points at a specific blue house about 200 feet away. "That one." We get to the door step. We were thinking of just doing the normal approach about the Restoration of the Gospel. We noticed on the door, some writing. It reads "Family is a gift that last forever." We got pumped. Eternal Families. So I knocked on the door and we bore witness and testimony that we know families can be together forever. He seemed very intrigued. We set up an appointment for the next morning. Throughout the appointment the spirit was extremely strong, flooding through the room with every doctrine we testified of. Eric could feel it. The lesson went amazing. Then they gave us their names and numbers! It was a really cool experience!-

-----I have also found that my performance throughout the day is dependent upon how good my personal study was. The days that I have truly been on fire for have been the days that i have had the most powerful spiritual experiences in my personal study. I thrive off of feeling the Spirit during personal study-- I really do.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bees

Sent Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
President,
This week was cool! We had an awesome FHE with all the Hispanics and it was such a success!! we had tons of people come and it was so great! I also learned that I am allergic to bees..... I got stung on the hand on Wednesday. Thursday I woke up and my hand was huge.... So I looked on the Internet to check out what I should do. It said that after 24 hour it is actually a problem so I waited and it got worst and so I got some Benadryl and spent conference extremely tired.

But this week was awesome! We had a lesson with a family that is really prepared and I am really excited to show them and everyone here the amazing messages that were shared in conference!! We are so excited. Seriously Elder Peterson is super excited and it makes me excited and then we just Run! We have found a new family and they are ready. He works a ton so that is a struggle but tonight they are going to get a baptized!
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Congratulations! Sorry to hear about the bees.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

FROM PH: Sheep

"All we like sheep"
Sent Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
General Conference was so great! I am always inspired when I get to learn from the General Authorities of the Church. I go away feeling like the Lord is at the head of this great work and that because He is at the head, He will guide us to those who are prepared to receive this message. I also feel like the leaders of the Church and the members around the world are praying for the success of the labors that we are involved in. I feel the influence of the prayers of the thousands of members who are anxious to see us succeed. The other day, Elder Bluth was talking about the shepherd who left the 99 to search out the lost sheep. (Matt. 18:12) That is what we are all about. He is searching for the one. Are we part of that search? He then referred me to Isaiah 53:6 which says, "all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way..." We are all the lost sheep that Christ must rescue. Our most important convert on our missions is ourselves. We must be changed and transformed to follow the Lord.

As we contact people this week remember that we must always edify and uplift, not argue or bash. Strive to have the spirit and to leave its influence in every home we visit. We are recovering the lambs of His fold.

Sister Hansen and I got to spend some time with about thirty two of the Baton Rouge Zone missionaries over the week-end, which made us so thankful to be serving with you. We love each of you. We feel like the more we know you the more we love each of you. Sometimes we know your weaknesses and imperfections, like you know ours, but that only helps us to love you more.

-----He was having some struggles with his neighbor lately and said, "I hope y'all have got something to help me with that for today." So, we started into the lesson we prepared with Elder _____ taking the lead as we had planned. Honestly, I don't remember much of what we talked about, but after only 5 or 10 minutes into our lesson, Chris started tearing up. He said, "How do y'all know? Every time y'all are over here, what you have applies directly to my life, things you couldn't possibly know about. How do y'all do it?" The Spirit was very strong and we explained to him that although we don't know everything, Heavenly Father does and he guides us to share what is needed.

-----They have a full house and one of her grandsons wants to be baptized! He's 11, but his dad doesn't want him to do it until he's 18. Even she (member grandmother) was telling us that she wasn't sure if he was ready to make such a big commitment, so we just told her we could start teaching him the lessons and see if he keeps the commitments we leave with him (like reading scriptures and stuff like that) and told her that's partly how we tell when someone's ready for baptism.

-----The one man (that we passed on the street) said, "What kind of scripture ya got? So we pulled out the Book of Mormon and taught them about that too. I told him, "I can only give this to you if you'll actually read it, because it's a very special book." And he promised to read it. It was super amazing. This morning I was wondering if they were just playing us, but then we got a text from the guy, Derrick, that said he's reading the book and he wants to discuss it when we come back on Thursday. Man, I just got the missionary fire all over again and I felt like I was fresh out of the MTC.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Winning!

So this week was Tough. Like a ten; everything that could go wrong went wrong...from vomit to cancelations. It all started last Sunday we were out and getting nothing and it was hard and I decided we are going to win this week. Satan is going to try his hardest because we are at the point of doing great things and we have to win!! So I that was our theme: we are going to win!! And trust me that Satan worked so freaking hard against us this week. We fought and we won!! Diana is set up for baptism: win. We had an awesome family home evening with the Hispanics: win.   We are starting to get our strong members doing the things that they need to do to grow their branch. I am not only here to convert them but to help them do missionary work too! And that is something that these members are ready for, so I am trying my hardest to teach them how to be missionaries!!

Life is awesome! I am doing awesome. No one is getting transferred except as Sister Roberts which is interesting but not unexpected. 

Elder Andrews

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tough Week, Big Win

Sent Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob

So this week was Tough. like a ten, everything that could go wrong went wrong... from vomit to cancelations. It all started last Sunday where out and getting nothing and it was hard and I was just like we are going to win this week. Satan is going to try his hardest because we are on the point of doing great things and we have to win!! So I told my comp that we are going to win!! and trust me that Satan worked so freaking hard against us this week. We fought and we won!! Diana is set up for baptism... win We had an awesome family home evening with the Hispanics that was awesome and is starting to get our strong members doing the things that they need to do to grow their branch. I am not only here to convert them but to help them do missionary work too! And that is something that these members are ready for so I am trying my hardest to teach them how to be missionaries!!

Sent Date: Friday, October 3, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Fantastic news! Thank you for your faith and hard work.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Working Like Madmen

This week we ran like crazy. We have a bunch of new investigators and are running like madman!! I freaking love it. Life is so good when you are working like a madman. So Suje had her baby and he is a happy little kid that is so awesome!!! Life is pretty good, I am sorry my letters suck.

We also have been doing a lot of work with one part member family. They are awesome we are trying to reactivate the son and get the dad baptized!! We have been doing lots of things to help them!! 
 
Love y'all!  
 
 
Thanks,
 
Andrews

Suje's Baby

So this week we have been working hard! We went to Suje's house to see her new baby and it was interesting. We walk in and everything is so quiet, and calm and we walk over and the spirit is so strong!! It was crazy.  Elder Peterson and I were kind of confused. We were talking to Suje and the baby was just sitting there smiling and laughing!! This baby is exactly what she needs in her life. She has had such a rough run and the spirit was just letting us know that this is the Lord's way to help her. Hopefully we are here to help her too. She is still planning on getting baptized but not on our original date. We have been working really hard, and being cancelled on or having no shows like crazy. But we will keep working and doing the best we can!!!

Elder Andrews

Fast and Testimony Meeting

This week was fast and testimony meeting.  We are in this tiny little branch and had a group of our investigators there. Which is so awesome. So one investigator stood up to go bear her testimony which is always terrifying especially cause this girl really likes to bash us when we say something she doesn't like so I am freaking out...anyway she got up there and bore her testimony about how much she is feeling the spirit the whole room was in tears.   Awesome. We are going to get her.
 
We have been working like madmen but the harder we work on people, the harder Satan works on them too. So lots of stuff has been going down. It is awesome. I really like my comp a ton.  He is fun and excited and ready to go. Very refreshing.

Love,
Elder Andrews

PS I only have like 9 months left...but who's counting.
 
MOM: You better not be counting.
 
ZACH:  No, it just hit me the other day and I started to freak out.

FROM PH: Transfer Jitters

Transfer jitters.
Sent Date: Monday, September 29, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
I am so grateful to be serving in this mission with each of you. Every day. I notice new reasons to be grateful to be here with each of you. I often hear Missionaries who are worried about transfers, "what if?", "where?" "who will my companion be?" kind of questions. Other missionaries are worried about "what is happening at home", or "what will happen when I go home?".

While all these questions are common to all missionaries, we need to have faith and confidence that the Lord is watching over us and He will give us the experiences that we need in this life. This from Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes..."

Maybe we can find comfort in the words of the hymn: "I'll go where You want me to go, dear Lord... I'll be what You want me to be." Many of you will have new responsibilities, or new companions, Let's just commit to ourselves to make this transfer the best one yet, the most obedient, happy, successful transfer of our mission. Let's remember, who the Lord calls, He qualifies.

I have been as surprised at some of the transfers as y'all, but I can tell you with all my heart that this is what the Lord wants for the mission at this time. I love the wisdom and the wonderful experience s that you expressed in your letters this week. Here are a few examples:

============This is a good lesson for all of us:
-----We found out that they weren't doing their family prayers. They seemed like "oh great, just more people to see where we aren't perfect and to ask us to do more" and the mood just wasn't all that great from what I saw, then at the end I added that they were doing a great jobat church, and that they set good examples. They lit up and were more willing to do what we'd asked them to do.

-----Last Tuesday at district meeting we restarted the mental diet that Sister Hansen gave us, and looking back over this past week, I can't really find anything that I dwelled on or that I let affect me. I noticed the first few days there were times where something would enter my mind that was negative and I had to make sure I let it out and replaced it with positive and confident thoughts, but as the week went on it got easier and I got happier. It was awesome! It really lifted my spirit and my mood. I'm usually always happy but after doing Sister Hansen’s diet I feel even better. I feel healthier too. It really was so great. So I'm not going to stop doing the mental diet. I love it.

============This was from our missionaries, Elder Heber C Kimble and Parley Pratt:
-----They have these preachers whose church is called consuming fire, and we walked up and we were still like 30 yards away when groups of people started cheering for my comp and I. We were kinda confused cuz there was students everywhere. and then a bunch swarmed up to us and were telling us about how they were just condemning everyone to hell and all kinds of stuff and asked what we believed and some people were like i don’t really know what y’all believe but you guys are so much nicer we want to learn what you believe but i got class right now and we got his contact information. Then the preachers came up to us and a big ol group of people were around us, and they just started trying to argue with us and yell at us and it was seriously crazy and we just kept our cool so well, which was super surprising cuz normally i don’t stay that calm when someone starts bashing us that hard, but anyways we ended up being there for like an hour and a half and there were so many groups of people who would walk by and watch and they would be like who is winning and all these other people would be like “the Mormons! They are way nicer,” ha ha and they were all taking videos and pictures. So we pretty much just preached Gods love and the atonement of Christ and how we aren’t perfect but that his grace is sufficient for all sinners if we just reach out and partake of it. They
were claiming perfection and that they had been saved so they don’t sin anymore and were just condemning everyone and us, …But seriously it was so cool and everything that happened ended up being for our benefit and benefit of the church. Afterwards we had groups of people just like clapping for us and talking to us and asking us all kinds of questions and saying how patient we are and how impressed they were and it was too good. Learned a lot that day!
===========Wow this is awesome!


Monday, September 22, 2014

District Unity

Sent Date: Monday, September 22, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
President,
This week we have been working really hard. As a district i really wanted us to start finding more. Mostly because the sisters are inexperienced in it. So in District meeting we did some role plays and then after we went finding. The sisters are really doing lots of finding. Elder Peterson and I less so because we have tons of referrals from the members that turned into Investigators so we are going crazy trying get to everyone! It is really fun. Unity in this District is very very strong. We are working hard and doing everything we can! Thanks so much for all you do!!
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Author: President Hansen
I am happy to hear of your success. Keep up the good work.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

FROM PH: Short Letter

I'm taking it easy on you this week. Way shorter letter.
Sent Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I am so grateful to be part of this great work in Louisiana. I appreciate the way you have all embraced the new goals and direction in the mission. I asked you to limit the time you spend with your dinner appointments to one hour, to stop doing hours of service for members of the church, to stop going to the church on week nights rather than be in the homes of investigators or or less actives. The point of all these directions was to get us in front of more investigators and less actives, and to do more finding. I am seeing the results of your commitment reflected in the weekly numbers, but more importantly in the number of baptismal commitments you are reporting. Thank you. You are great missionaries. When we think of the balloon exersize, we know that we can always do better. Let me know in your letters what we can do to have better lessons and more lessons.

Here are some excerpts from your letters, they always make me proud of you:
-----If we are telling ourselves as missionaries, "alright sometime in the coming months or weeks I will start contacting more people or SOMETIME soon I will start working harder and give the Lord my all, or SOMETIME soon I will start trying harder." This is the point I am getting at, we cannot sit and complain as missionaries and expect all these amazing things to happen, if the work is tough or our teaching pool is low etc… instead of complaining we need to CREATE and MAKE good opportunities by WORKING and excising our faith and then our situation will change and we will see and find success. This work is all about faith and diligence and commitment and humbling ourselves and aligning our will with Gods and never being lazy always giving our all to the Lord, hence then we will create incredible opportunities and experience miracles daily!!!

-----We have been out trying to track down less actives... this ward has a lot of those. I’m finding that most of them are part member. They’ll have like two or three kids who haven't been baptized. Ill usually just be right up front with people, and I’ll say, "hey is it alright if we teach your children about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ?" I’m finding that most inactives have a testimony of the Gospel they just don’t feel comfortable at church... Like on Sunday we had an inactive family come to church for the first time in years, and she remembered faces, and people... but she totally felt alone, so that’s when ill snag a member to go over, and say hi to them. Less actives, and inactives are GOLDEN when it comes to finding new people to teach. I love it!!!

-----I set meaningful goals every week and every day that I will accomplish. By doing this I feel like I am successful every day, if I accomplish my goal. I may not be able to do everything, but I can focus on accomplish my goals every day, baby step at a time. Along with this, some of my goals are to pass out a specific pamphlet, card, BofM, whatever, and when I pray I pray specifically for someone to come into my path and then I look for that opportunity. I think the biggest part of it is to actually LOOK for the person. How many times do we leave our apartment with a prayer saying, "Help me to find those thou art preparing" and then not look for them? I am guilty of that. We need to be conscious all the time of people around us and then get gutsy!!


Monday, September 15, 2014

FROM PH: Help Spanish Elders

September 15th
Sent Date: Sunday, September 14, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
It was so fun to see all of you this last week. Sister Hansen and I are so impressed with each of you and your commitment to serve with all your hearts. Doctor Bean thought that we had amazing missionaries. I was so proud of all of the Zone Leaders, the Office Elders and the Assistants for their fine training. It is so fun to see the growth in each of you and your love of the work and the Lord.

I wanted to remind the English speaking missionaries to notice all the Spanish speakers that you see and forward the names and addresses to the Spanish Missionaries. They have a harder time finding people to teach. They are giving referrals to the English missionaries also. We will give you cards to hand out with the time and location of English classes as well. The English classes are intended to find people to teach the gospel to.

A member that I talked to today said that when she first met the missionaries, it was through a crack in the door. When she saw them she was immediately impressed by the spirit and knew that what they were to offer her was true.

President Stock, Stake President of the NOLA Stake told me that frequently investigators have people who come in during the lessons. He said that missionaries don't appreciate the fact that the Lord has brought these people to them for a reason. Let's not miss the opportunity to invite them to have the discussions as well.

From your letters:
----- I've always thought that being at 18 months would mean it's "go time" and that I'd just be this stellar missionary that gets all kinds of good work done. Now I'm out 18 and realize that those things wont happen on their own and that I still have lots to do. It's like in football when the game is nearing the end, the "fourth quarter push". I want to work really hard so I don't go home carrying regrets with the rest of my luggage.
-----Another thing I learned this week was the value of planning. Sometimes we only plan to see like three people and kind of just hope things will pop up throughout the day. When we only plan for three, we usually see only about three. However, when we seemingly over-planned but pushed ourselves, we actually achieved our goals of seven or eight people a day. The Lord blesses those who plan, prepare, and push themselves to be better.  But I think that's why it is hard. If you don't believe that there are laws such as the law of justice and you don't believe that certain things are sins, then you are less likely to have faith that the commandments really are for our benefit.
-----I explained that when I feel the Spirit telling me that something is true I'lI get really excited and it's like my whole body is full and I can't keep it all in. She thought about that for a second and said "thank you for explaining it to me. I've had times where I felt like that but I didn't know what it was." It was a great experience for me to realize that we just have to tell people when they're feeling the spirit because most of the time they don't recognize it.