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.
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