"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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

FROM PH: Garments

Sent Date: Sunday, July 27, 2014
Author: President Hansen

Dear Elders and Sisters,
As always, I loved reading the letters from all of you who wrote. It is inspiring to see the power of our Father in Heaven and His role in this work. I feel that we are being blessed because of your willingness to obey the Missionary Handbook and the rules that the Church requires of its missionaries. I haven't established any rules of my own. I am just committed to live every rule that the Lord's divinely inspired leaders have asked us to follow.

This desire to follow the white handbook with exactness is yielding blessings throughout the mission. It is great to see how the work is accelerating in almost every area. In several missionary letters I heard "I don't understand the rules but I will follow them with all my heart." That is my feeling exactly. Thank you for your faithfulness. I feel truly blessed to be associated with such wonderful men and women and to witness each day your love of the Lord and your desire to be the best missionaries you can be. I was reading about the prodigal son today and thinking about how you are all out finding those who are lost, the less active, those who have strayed and even those who have never known the Father. I wondered what would have happened if the "prodigal's" brother would have met him at the gate instead of the Father. I am afraid that happens too often in the Church. Even with our companions. We should all be like the father, not like the brother. We don't want people to come to church and be met with judgment instead of love and relief. Thank you for your great love and examples to the members.

A couple of little things,
1) When we pray we speak to the Father in the familiar form in English, "Thee, Thine and Thou". This is respect language. When we write, we capitalize any noun or pronoun referring to deity; "God, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Lord, even He, His, etc." It is a hard habit to get established, but it is worth it.
2) Your garments are sacred. "It is expected that members will wear the garment both night and day, according to the covenants made in the temple. Members should not adjust the garment or wear it contrary to instructions in order to accommodate different styles of clothing, even when such clothing may be generally accepted. The garment should not be removed for activities which might reasonably be done with the garment worn beneath the clothing."

-Temple recommend questions. The garment is symbolic of our putting on the Lord, and when we take the garment off for lounging or not putting it back on right away after work out or athletic activities we are symbolically "taking off the Lord”. Many people prefer to wear the garment for sports activities. Also, please treat the garments with the highest respect. Don’t leave them lying around the apartment or let them fall on the floor. Obviously, it is necessary to remove the garment to swim. Keep that one for future reference. :)

Sister Hansen and I really love each of you with all our hearts and want you to have the Lord's unqualified blessings as you serve Him in this great work.
President Reed

From President Hansen: Fishermen

Author: President Hansen
We were going down _____ Ridge which is a street we've been working a TON lately, so we've talked to a bunch of people down there. As we were biking, I felt like everyone was saying hi to us, giving us a friendly wave, we knew a ton of the people because we'd talked with them in the past. There was a tangible change in the neighborhood while we were coming through, I could really feel like we had made a difference. Even though we haven't found any new golden investigators (yet) or really any super solid contacts, there has definitely been a change wrought in the eyes of these people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They see us a bit less as those weird Mormons who all they want to do is drag you to the font and baptize you, and more as people who are really trying to be there to help and share what we hold so dear.

Herman, allowed us into his home. Cathie asked what I thought was a really inspired question. Really quick back story- she was there when he got baptized and when he got the priesthood. Anyway, so she asked him if he remembered why he worked so hard to get the priesthood. In that moment, tears filled his eyes, and he said, "So I can baptize my kids". Cathie asked him if that was what he still wanted, and he said yes. Sister _________ and I were able to discuss with him how the church is a place for the sinner to be healed, not for the perfect to flaunt their perfection. He continued to cry, and when Cathie asked if we could come back for a family home evening, he said yes. He has two little girls and his wife is not a member. He told us how badly he wants the spirit to be in his home. I know that the Lord will bless him as he puts forth his best efforts. We should be going back next week. That was definitely a spirit led lesson.

Some fishermen are away from home for twelve hours and have their line in the water for ten hours. Other fishermen are away from home for twelve hours and have their line in the water for only two hours. This last type may wonder why they do not have the same success as others. “The same principle applies to missionaries, whom the Master called ‘fishers of men.’ A missionary’s line should drop into the fishing water the moment he or she leaves the apartment” We came to a conclusion that when we leave those doors to our quarters, we will be selfless the whole day. Nothing will be for us, but for our Savior and His children that he will place before us.

Missionary was not getting anything out of the scriptures then dove back into the scriptures. It seemed like the verse came alive! The scripture is 1 Nephi 10:19. It says: For he that diligently seeketh shall find, and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times, as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come. Wherefore the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

If I want the lights on, and know that the switch is going turn on the light, but am too lazy to walk over and flick the switch, then my desire and belief are in vain. I don't get the light. So, in conclusion, You gotta want it. You gotta believe that you can get it. You gotta work for it. (In other words, you gotta diligently seek for it)

Monday, July 21, 2014

FROM PH: Shane Boswell

Shane Boswell
Sent Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Author: President Hansen
We had a strange experience in the Natchez Ward yesterday. A man came into the building and started giving counsel and admonitions to the leaders and missionaries.. He was in his mid thirties and his name was Shane Boswell, black hair, 5'9". If a man matching this discription wants to meet with you to show you how to do missionary work please refer him to a local leader first . Also, call me and let me know what is happening. He is probably alright but it sounds a little unstable and we want to keep the missionaries safe.
President Hansen

Sent Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I have really loved reading all your letters and visiting with many of you over the last few days.  You are truly a special group. I have loved to see your desire to do what is right and your love for your investigators and each other. The letters show that you are really working hard to find new people to teach and that miraculous things are happening all over the mission. I finally figured out how to use microsoft word so I can add some excepts fro a couple of your letters. This is pretty different from the Macs I have used at home but I am getting the hang of it now. I will include more next week.

This week was full of miracles. Our district leader and Sister training leaders committed us during call ins last week to spiritually plan out our day. Basically the idea is that you pray, plan your day, who you're going to see and what you're going to teach them, and then when you close, you pray and tell Heavenly Father specifically what you've planned. Well, Sunday night we did it, and Monday, we went out and saw pretty much every single person we had planned to see and experienced miracles with them. Everybody was home! That never happens! Especially not on transfer call day when everyone is usually stressed about whether or not they will be getting transferred. it was legit. so of course we did it for the rest of the week. And, guess what? Pretty much the same thing happened. :) Every day. It was fabulous.
-Sister Evans

During church I gave a talk about how to apply the Atonement into our lives without having to sin first. In a nut shell I came to the conclusion that as we do the best we can, with the Lord's help, we use the strengthening power of the Atonement. Applying this to missionaries, some Elders and Sisters may find it hard to follow a specific rule or change in there missionary work. As they work on being the best they can be and with the Lord's help it can become easy to follow. The rule doesn't change, we do.
-Elder Bennett

"Hey we should go to Walmart!" because we haven't been grocery shopping in weeks and I don't want to starve my poor companion. So fast forward to the end of shopping. We're using the self check out machine to get our stuff and this couple squeezes past us to get behind us in line. They turn to us and say, "Are y'all Mormons?"
So of course we say, "Yeah!"
"Oh cool! We saw y'alls name tags and figured you were."
"Have y'all ever talked to missionaries before?"
"Can we give y'all a Book of Mormon?"
"Yeah, we'd love one." And we explain a little about it and how it's another testament of Christ.
"Aw sweet! We'll go read it tonight!"
"Can we come by and teach you more about it?"
"Yeah. Can y'all come over tomorrow?"
And then we get their info and what not and that was about it. We called them the next day but  they were at work. So we went back on Sunday and were able to teach them the restoration. It was a real good lesson too and I think they understood everything too! Aw man, they related to Joseph Smith because they've been to so many different churches and have seen how they all teach kinda the same things but they're all different. They're really interested and want to find out the truth for themselves so it's just really cool. We didn't even get the chance to invite them to church, Melissa just turned to BJ during the lesson and asked, "You want to go to their church this Sunday?" Aw man, so cool! I'm so excited for them. It's so sweet because I've never taught a couple that are both interested.

I forgot to write down whose story this was but it was so inspiring that I included it anyway. Let me know who this was from and I will tell you all next week. I get the feeling that we would all benefit from companion study on the PMG lessons. Could you please focus some of your companion study on that this week. Someone told me that if you digest the lesson into a 2 minute lesson stating just the topic summary of each lesson and practice, saying just that until you have it cold, then you can expand on the basic outline with scripture references that seem appropriate from the scripture boxes in each heading, add testimony, personal experience, have the investigator read from the brochure, then you will have the framework for a lesson where the spirit can manifest its self. That is the goal of every lesson, to have the spirit manifest its self to our investigators and to us.

When we feel the spirit manifest its self to our investigators in the lessons we teach then we know that the Lord is working through us for the salvation of His children.

Sister Hansen and I love each one of you and we are so anxious that each of you have the best experience on your mission possible. We pray that you have an amazing and spirit filled week.
President and Sister Hansen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Extending Better Commitments

Weekly Letter - 14 Jul 2014
Sent Date: Monday, July 14, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
This week I have been working on extending better commitments. I have really seen some great blessing from my effort in this regard. We committed Telma, a less active member, to come to family home evening. People to come to Church and so many other things. It has been an awesome experience for me. Another important part of this is Promising blessings.

The District is awesome. We are really making a push on obedience. Just trying to perfect our obedience. We are going to try and be exactly obedient.

Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Author: President Hansen
The Lord will bless us as we tune up our lives.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How Many Options Can You Make Work

Weekly Letter - 08 Jul 2014
Sent Date: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
Page 249 of 358
I was confused by your response to last weeks email, but I will follow the instructions that I think were meant for Elder Herbert. We are good, the whole district is really sad to see Elder Herbert go, but that is how the mission works. We grow to love people so much and then we leave or they leave, and we have the opportunity to love someone else. Missions are cool. It was a pleasure to meet you this last week. I know you and your wife will be awesome. I am excited to see your knew ideas.

I have learned so many things on my mission, I want to share two of them with you in this email. First and my far most important, I have learned that God is my Heavenly Father loves me. I have been learning this everyday of my mission. I love sharing it with people. Two I have learned that the trick to being a good missionary is not eliminating options but finding new ones. I heard a quote that i think applies perfectly to missionary work, it was in a TED talk that i listen to before my mission. it goes something like this: "the measure of intelligence is not how many options you can rule out, but by how many options you can make work" This is something that i love. sometime the longer we are on our missions the more we think we know. but the way we show it is by not trying things. Wrong. So under this logic the best missionaries are Greenies, cause they are going to try everything, Lucky for us we don't have to waste time to try everything we have the spirit that as long as we keep our options open the spirit can guide us to do what we need to do.

I don't know if I explained myself, but Church is true and missions are awesome. I am excited to see what you will do as an instrument in the Hands of the Lord.

Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Author: President Hansen
great thoughts.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

First Letter from President Hansen

Sent Date: Thursday, July 3, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
You are free to watch and enjoy fireworks with members or investigators within your area to celebrate the fourth. I am not authorizing any contact with fireworks of any kind. Please do not light or hold or in any way administer fireworks. Please remember who you are and what you represent while you are enjoying this holiday. Also, remember to follow the guidelines in the missionary manual for when you need to be in your apartments and in every other way.
Thanks, and have a fun night.
President Hansen