"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, March 30, 2015

FROM PH: Desks and Telephoning

Recent training from SLC
Sent Date:  Saturday, April 4, 2015
Author:  President Hansen

Dear Sisters and Elders,
Many of you were able to attend the training in Denham Springs. It was such a revelatory experience for me. I hope you all are still digesting your notes and changing your old habits to reflect the new direction that we are going.

Many of the instructions dealt with details like which way our desks were oriented, and others dealt with major things like, how do we teach the discussions. I would like to have all of you help spread this information to the rest of the mission. This is how we will do it: At the Zone Conferences that will be held over the next two weeks we will present this material and do some demonstrations for the other missionaries. Please, practice all these techniques: presenting the Book of Mormon to investigators, Teaching with the pamphlets "what do you see?", helping people to repent by asking "will you" questions, watching  the District as game film, how to use member present  experiences, how to plan and use Area Books, getting investigators to pray at the end of the Restoration Lesson, short lessons, etc.

If you will all try to make these principles habits that you can demonstrate we will have a successful roll out.

Thanks for all you are doing to build the Kingdom.
President Hansen

Sent Date:  Monday, March 30, 2015
 Author:  President Hansen
Dear Sisters and Elders,

I am always so grateful for the desires of the missionaries to obey every rule with exactness. You are a marvelous group of missionaries that I wouldn't trade for any other group in the world. I love you for your willingness to comply in every way.

I wanted to clarify the telephone policy in two minor ways:  1)  Sisters can report to the District leaders at any time. Please keep the calls professional and to the point, 2) Elders and sisters in the same area can call to coordinate visits,  etc., with the same limitations.

Thank you for following these principles, letter and spirit. I promise great blessings come with obedience to these and other minor principles. see Matt 5:19 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be   called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

FROM PH: Shameless Flirting (It's a bad thing)

Elder-Sister    Sister-Elder phone calls
Sent Date:  Saturday, March 21, 2015
Author:  President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,

I am so proud of each of you. I know how hard it has been for you to have faith to find and to open your mouths to everyone. As I said in the transfer meeting the results of this effort have been breathtaking. We have tripled our baptisms and confirmations from just a couple of months back. Tripled our new investigators and quadrupled our contacts found since we started tracking those. That is spectacular. The thing I love most is reading the letters that proclaim the joy of tracting and finding.

I feel like we can still improve. If just a few more missionaries get on the finding crusade we could triple the number of baptisms again. That would make or mission very respectable in the Southeastern US Area. Three contacts a day per companionship and a half hour of tracting per day would work miracles.

One other thing I feel we need to change in the mission is the flirting that has become much more open and I hesitate to say, shameless. It is a real problem. As in all of these issues most missionaries are doing just fine, but there are so many cases that we need to deal with it for the whole mission. I feel like the missionaries who are here to serve the Lord should not be flirting with other missionaries. Let's stop this right now. We get the bills from Sprint every month and I see the number of calls from missionaries to other missionaries, frequently elders to sisters or vice versa. The bill also shows us the time of the calls and the length of the calls and I am frankly embarrassed for you. We are going to continue to monitor these calls and if the opposite gender calls don't stop, I will have to take other measures to curb the flirtations. (like no combined elder sister P-days????? or blocking calls, etc.) Elder to elder and sister to sister calls should be kept to a minimum as well, and should be only to deal with investigator and work issues, not for social calls and nothing after 10:30.

NO ELDER-SISTER CALLS. The only exceptions will be to ask for a blessing in times of need (to Zone Leaders only) and to report numbers( to District Leaders only). In both of these cases the calls will obviously need to be just a minute or two in duration. For other issues, sisters can call the Sister Training Leaders or the Assistants. Call me or Sister Hansen anytime day or night. I will never feel bad about you calling me.

Let's look for joy in our missions in doing the work of the Lord and not in things that detract from the work. I love you all. Please take this in the way it is meant, to move the work of God forward so that we love the experience of being the Lord's servants, so that we love being dedicated to the greatest cause ever.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sorry to Wake You Up

Weekly Letter - 17 Mar 2015
Sent Date:  Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Author:  Andrews, Zachary Jacob President,

First of all sorry that we woke you up last night for that unimportant concern. They were absolutely losing their minds on the phone. But none the less it was a simple call and i didn't make it. I am excited for this new transfer and all the new lessons and struggles that it will bring. Everything is good and we will work as hard as we can to find more and to do better.

Love ya, thanks for all you do!
Elder Andrews

Sent Date:  Friday, March 20, 2015
Author:  President Hansen I am always happy to be called.
Let's keep our missionaries in their areas working as much as is possible. As leaders, lets try to keep them from finding ways to not be productive

Sunday, March 15, 2015

FROM PH: Finding Finding

Finding, finding and finding
Sent Date:  Sunday, March 15, 2015
Author:  President Hansen

Dear Elders and Sisters,
Since the mission has caught finding fever, I thought I would share some of the miracles that have been taking place. I think it was Elder Halstrom who said, "faith to find means; go and find." Thanks for all your faith and hard work this week. We are teaching lots more lessons to lots more investigators and having more baptisms and confirmations. "The field is white..."

From your letters:
------we had a referral that just wanted a bible, so we took it to her and we were able to teach her the restoration. When were about done teaching I said, "don't you think it is pretty important to know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet?" and she said, "well yes". So I dropped to my knees and said, "lets pray about it" and everyone got on their knees and we went around the circle and everyone offers up their own prayer to know the truthfulness of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and when we got to the lady who was the last one to pray got done praying, we just sat there and the spirit was so strong at that point, she lifted up her head and said, "I feel the spirit" and I explained to her that was Heavenly Father testifying to her that everything we taught them was true and she was super excited!

-------This week has been really great! We found 6 new investigators... We went and sat down by a lady with a small son and then soon, she said that we actually stopped by her house months ago and that she is interested. We are seeing her this week. Then we went to a Black History Celebration with one of our investigators moms. His mom called us up to speak last minute so we were able to bear our testimony and talk about our church in front of a group during this celebration. After the celebration a lot of people came up to us and were interested in learning more. I know God is preparing those for us to teach.

------We had 19 lessons this week which is a record for both of us and it just encouraged us to be even better this week. We know we can hit 20 or more and we have the desire to do so and to find more people. I'm so excited!

------We are teaching almost a whole apartment complex which started out as us conversing with people outside their apartment. Then, they would invite their neighbors over to listen. Its awesome!

------The miracle that topped it off for me this week was counting our numbers at the end of the week. I've never been so close to accomplishing such high goals on my mission. I've never had this many progressing investigators, never seen this many people at church, never had this many people with a baptismal date, and I've never taught this many lessons. We taught 16 lessons without teaching any members and that is the most lessons I've ever taught in this area. We have even more coming as well which is so amazing and I can't believe how blessed we have been.

Monday, March 9, 2015

This week...who cares my brother is going on HIS MISSION TO CHILE!!!!!

I just watched Nathan opening his call and I just cried like a little baby just then..... WOW that is amazing!!
Sorry I didn't mean to do that [not write for 3 weeks]. I am doing well.  We have spent a lot of time tracting and talking to people. It was so much fun.  The thing about tracting is that it sucks for the first 3 houses then it is super fun. We finally got in contact with a bunch of PI's; it was a super good week. We also had MLC and then ZTM after that and it was like my 7th ZTM. I really like my Zone they are the freaking best. But my life is good. I am learning so many things and guess what, when you are on the other side of the country my mom is still right about everything.  And I still think she is not until I'm proven wrong, every time.
I don't know what stories I have. I don't think I have any. But this week I interviewed two people for baptism. One of them we had to go to Baton Rouge to interview a Spanish guy up there. He passed with flying colors. That was awesome.  The spirit was super strong and told me that he was ready as he does on all the people that i have interviewed...except one.  But I interviewed him again this week  and he passed! It was super amazing to see the difference in the spirit. 

We have this less-active family that we have been working with the whole time I have been here and they are awesome.  They have been coming back to church. They love us and it is super fun. They have been doing all the right things. It just shows me the power of the spirit cause we have showed up testified with the spirit and then the spirit works on them until they do the right thing. 
I am comps with Elder Walker. Hale is in the district. I really like this President, he does a good job. Sometimes I don't get everything he does but I really like him and how he runs things.  He really does stuff well.  
We also did and instruction on Focus last Friday. I dipped into the knowledge of art that you gave me and had them look at a picture of Jesus, like the one on PMG, and then squint their eyes and ask them what they saw. They all said it was Jesus. It was cool.

Love y'all
Elder Andrews

All Better, Thanks!

Weekly Letter - 09 Mar 2015
Sent Date:  Monday, March 9, 2015
Author:  Andrews, Zachary Jacob President,

I just want to start out by saying thanks for all that you did for me this week. I was really kinda having a hard time on Monday, when I sent that email. Then your call helped me to get over it and try my very best to do my duty as a missionary.

But this week I interviewed two people for Baptism. One of them we had to go to Baton Rouge to interview a Spanish guy, Elder Drollingers investigators, up there. He passed with flying colors. That was awesome the spirit was super strong and told me that he was ready as he does on all the people that i have interviewed... except one but I interviewed him again this week  and he passed! It was super amazing to see the difference in the spirit.

We have this Less active family that we have been working with this whole time I have been here and they are awesome, they have been coming back to church. They love us it is super fun. They have been doing all the right things. It just shows me the power of the Spirit cause we have showed up testified with the spirit and then the spirit works on them until they do the right thing. Elder Walker really likes them, he kinda taught them when he was here getting trained and for a while after that
The Zone is doing good a few minor problems but just enough to keep life interesting. Me and my companion are doing really well we work really well together. He is a good guy. He is kinda sick of the Drama in our ward, I mean he has been here for 7 transfers. Crazy. The Zone is awesome i love it!

Did you find out about the the whole Confirmation thing?

Thanks President!
Elder Andrews

Thursday, March 5, 2015

FROM PH: Sisters Butterfield and Hansen

Sister Butterfield and Sister Hansen's notes from the MLC
Sent Date:  Thursday, March 5, 2015
Author:  President Hansen
General Ideas
• Start with "We are representatives of Jesus Christ" instead of "We are missionaries" or say God has sent us here....
• “We have a unique message for the world”
• Talk to them about their families and then ask "Do you want to be with your families forever?"
• Instead of asking the investigator when would work for them, suggest a time such as "Can we come over maybe tomorrow or the next day?" Is it better Tuesday or Wednesday? to try and avoid people wanting to schedule appointments a week or more after original contact and therefore forgetting their great experience.
• When asking them to invite other people to your appointment say “The reason we want you to invite other people is because we know this message will bless everyone’s life. This reminds them that our message will bless their lives and also gives them motivation to invite people.
• After your companion teaches or testifies, you testify that you felt the Spirit while they were speaking. Ask the person what they felt while your companion was speaking (especially after quoting first vision or other scriptures). The Holy Ghost only testifies of truth.
• Say "I know" instead of I testify or I witness, which may sound foreign to people here.
• When you read a scripture with someone it brings the Spirit like nothing else.
• Hand them a pass-along card and ask them to look at the picture and ask them questions about it. Ex. “What does it look like Jesus Christ is doing? He is inviting all of us to come unto Him and one way He does that is by giving us prophets again.
• Let me tell you a story: There was a boy named Joseph Smith…”

Family History 
• Ask them where their family originates from.
• Ask "Did you know you can be with your families/ancestors forever?"
• Share a family history story about someone who gave up something to join the church "I am who I am because of my ancestors."
• Show people that they can find positive things in their family through family history.
• Always connect it to the reason we do family history so you can teach a principle.Tell them about the Spirit of Elijah( It gives all people the need and desire to connect with their ancestors) Mal 4:5 and 6  Ask:  Do you have a family member who was an anchor, who helped pave the way for those who came after?  Use family history to connect to Plan of Salvation/Restoration Someone who wonders does God really care?
• Share a personal experience and testify.
• Explain why God gives us trials.
• If they say they don’t feel like God has answered their prayers in the past or they feel like they don’t see God in their life, testify that you have been sent from God to show that He loves them and wants to bless them.
• Even if aren't close to God, He wants to be close to them!

Joseph Smith /Prophets  
• “What do you think it would be like to always know the will of God?” Teach how they had that in the bible. They had prophets that taught the will of God and we have a prophet again today.   • Ask/talk about prophets in the bible and how they were called. Just like Moses was called in a miraculous way (God speaking to him through a burning bush), Joseph Smith had a similar miraculous experience in these days. He lived in 1820 and he was wondering...Ask:  With all the world's problems, what would you like a prophet of God to tell you now?  Have you had the experience of being confused about which church to go to?  A boy named Joseph also had this experience.  Why would God have prophets in biblical times and not today?

Plan of Salvation
• “What do you think happens to us after we die?”
• “What about those who never had a chance to learn about Jesus Christ in this life? Doesn't God love them too? Can they make it to heaven?” 1 Peter 3:18 AND 19   1 PETER 4:6 Elder Jean-Louis’ prayer tracting
• “Hello I’m Elder/Sister so-and-so and this is my companion, Elder/Sister so-and-so. We’ve been sent here by God to leave a blessing with you in the form of a prayer. Can we pray with you?”
 • “Who among your family or friends needs our prayers right now?”
• Before you say the prayer invite them to pay attention to how they feel during the prayer.
• After the prayer ask how they feel. Ask “How would you like to feel that way all the time? We help people find and keep these feelings of peace and happiness. Can we share a message with you and your family about how you can find and have these feelings with you always?”

Word of Wisdom 
• “Have you smoked for a long time? Have you ever thought about/tried to quit?”
• Testify that Jesus Christ can help break the bonds of their addiction.
• If they say they’ve prayed for help to quit, but it’s never worked before, testify that you were sent as an answer to their prayers.
• Offer stop-smoking program, but first testify that it’s through Jesus Christ we can be freed. This brings the Spirit and makes them feel more empowered and like this attempt to quit might actually work.
• Invite them to bring other friends or family members who want to quit.      

Jesus Christ/ Atonement 
When someone notices your name tag, tell them how you feel about Jesus or ask them how they feel about Jesus.   How has He changed your life or Do you fully understand how He can change your life? What if there was a way that you could get rid of guilt or sorrow for things you have done? Is there anyone who you need to forgive to help you move on with your life? The Atonement makes this possible. Tell a personal experience about how the Atonement has helped you.

Book of Mormon 
Show them an object that opens. Interesting Box, locket  etc.  Ask:  "What is it? What is inside?  How would you find out what is inside?  Show them The Book of Mormon  Ask:  What is it?  What is inside?  How would you find out what is inside?   Possibly read 3rd Nephi 11:9-15 with them or another scripture that lets them know we believe in Christ.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Weekly Letter - 02 Mar 2015
Sent Date:  Monday, March 2, 2015
Author:  Andrews, Zachary Jacob President,

This week has been so hard. That is the thesis that I have, but despite the seemingly gloomy title I have learned lots of things and good things have happened.

I just wrote a big old letter, with this as my heading, describing the drama and the things that have gone on this week, but i realize that might not be the most constructive thing. President, I have no idea what i am doing. I wish that I did so that I could fix it but I don't know. I feel like this, in some way is my fault. This whole "situation". This is probably one of the last things that you want this email to say but sorry I'm an Andrews and we always tell the truth. And that is really where my frustration is, the lying that has been going on. I won't name names unless you ask me too, all week I have been thinking about one thing that Elder Kapishka said, and i will paraphrase, there has to be Honest in the mission for it to go forward. And it is true if someone is lying about their relationship with their companion or telling half truths to get something that they want, what good can we do. What can I do?

President I feel awful about this. AWFUL.

Despite all this everyone else is doing good, Elder Hilam really overcame his fear this week one will the contacting and working really hard then two with participating in Zone Pday, i am so happy for him. Elder Makin is a contacting monster. Really good at it. Everyone is still working out the kinks but for the most part people are doing really well. Elder Morrel and I went on an exchange this week and I was humbled by how awesome of a missionary he is. One thing that he does that i really liked is when we where going to a set appointment he would park down the street a ways so we would have to walk there and from that we got a lot of contacts. I really like that and Elder Walker and I have started doing that.

President I don't know a lot of things matter of fact i hardly know anything, but i do know that the church is true. I do know that Jesus is my Savior. AND THAT GIVES ME HOPE

Elder Andrew