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.
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