Doctrine & Covenants 93:1

"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jan. 25, 2010

Rakas Perhe

25 Jan 10

Wow January is coming to a close. Quite crazy. This past week has been amazing. We found 3 new investigators and one of them is just goldern- Jesse 23 yr old (just the kind of person Pori needs!).
The Lord is blessing our efforts so much and in many different ways.
This past week was Kieli Koulu (language school) where Elder Pond and I traveled to Helsinki (4 hr train ride one way). It was great for Elder Pond was able to go to the temple and I was able to ask langauge questions and develop better langauge study plan. I had a blast for I was with my MTC group (all missionaries when they reach their 6 month mark have a kieli koulu).
This is something special about buying produce in Finland. Most of it is imported therefore more expensive but you get from the best source. Let me provide some mouth-watering examples. I just had a dinner appointment where the member prepared Norwegian salmon with mashed potatoes (maybe my favorite meal since being in Finland), grapes from Greece, bananas from panama and Ecuador, and even Froot Loops from America (which costs 8£=$12). Don’t worry I don’t waste money on Froot Loops but quite funny when a missionary gives in to the tempation.
I have a pretty funny story. We found a english speaking investigator and so we had the first lesson teach-the Restoration. So Elder Pond and I prepared accordingly. When the teach came we were ready, I felt confident for it was in english. No sweat it’s my native tongue. However as we taught I was having trouble teaching-organizing my thoughts to make them coherent. My companion, who’s been here for a few weeks, took over and did a superb job. Afterwards we just laughed. The greenie teaching the trainer. It was a great experience. We grew even closer after that.
Training is such a blessing. The Lord is tutoring me much concerning how to be a better companion and trainer. I remember in the MTC when Elder Holland spoke to us regarding the Divine Companionship of the Holy Ghost. He challenged each of us to commit to be a divine companion- strive EACH day to follow the promptings of the Spirit, live worthy to receive this so needed divine guidance, and be the best companion one can be or in other words….divine. Everyone can be more ‘’divine’’. We can express more love, smile more, maybe even just say a quick prayer for someone who needs it.

I love you all and very much appreciate your prayers. They are heard and answered. I know for a surety that is so.

Vanhin Hamner

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jan. 18, 2010

Rakas Perhe
18 Jan 2010

This past week the Lord has blessed me so much. I feel His presence when everything seems to be too much and then I remember He is there. The peace is invaluable. To feel the Savior’s love lift when everything may pull down is such a testimony booster. Recently, I have prayerfully studied President Utchdorf’s talk ‘’The Love of God’’. Very powerful. One point of that talk that blows my mind is that love is a measure of our faith. Really ponder that and let that whole talk engulf you. I promise that we can all develop more love. Missionary Work is so much fun!

This past week we had a dinner appointment with a family. This is a spectacular part-member family. We set a goal with them: in two weeks on the 31st of Jan we will have found a family that lives near them that we can teach in their home. We will be tracting in their area these next couple of weeks. Please plead with the Lord that either we or this family find a family we can teach in their home. As we do this I believe it will help the dad (non member husband) start investigating the church. This is a worthy goal that Heavenly Father wants us to achieve. We can do this.

My testimony of answered prayers has grown significantly. I have felt the sustaining influence of the Holy Ghost in even the simplest requests.

Currently, we have some fantastic investigators.

Also, I thank you for all your prayers. They are felt. They keep me going. Know that I love you.

I apologize if my English sounds kind of weird. My companion even mentioned that sometimes I speak some crazy English. It’s quite funny. For example how to say get baptized in finnish is ‘’mennä kastelle’’ which directly translated to English is ‘’go to baptism’’ so we ask our investigators literally ‘’will you go to baptism?’’

I love you.
Vanhin Hamner

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jan. 11, 2009

Rakas Perhe

11 Jan 2010

It thrills my heart how you are all doing. Currently training is going so well. I love it. Elder Pond and I are learning so much from each other. Its funny how two people from complete different backgrounds (he is the surfing type from California) can gel so well when united in a greater cause.

Also in Finland there is some American food available for purchase but ridiculously expensive. For example one box of Fruit Loops = 8 euros that is equivalent to $10-12. That is almost a good steak dinner. Don’t worry that’s just food from the States, I buy the 1.74 euro cereal.

The Lord is blessing us greatly in our finding efforts. We have one investigator with a baptismal date- Janne Nurmi. Also we just found 2 families- Matthew’s family and Pahamäki family. This work is so exciting!
We also found one investigator in the downtown area when is was 18 degrees C. Not many people around but the Lord guided us. He is from Romania here for work and only speaks English. We are currently working him to gain that precious testimony.

Lastly, President Brown told us of his interview with Elder Bednar before he (Pres. Brown) came to Finland. Elder Bednar spoke about his son who also served in Finland that he (his son) and his family prayed for him to receive the gift of tongues every day and there should not one day go by without pleading with the Lord for the gift. This is my request to you. Please plead with the Lord that He will bless me specifically with the gift of tongues. The Lord has already blessed me tremendously but I know He expects more. Therefore lets do it. The Lord is on our side. What better leader?!

Elder Hamner


AJ described this picture as "just beautiful."
It looks like there is a beam shining down straight from Heaven.
Finland :)

Everybody looks a little cold but look at how
big the snowflakes look in the background! Beautiful!
The car looks frozen to the road!
It is amazing that they start out there!

At the district meeting in Turku, they all went caroling.

This is the tree of Life.

Dec. 29, 2009

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jan. 4, 2010

Rakas Perhe
4 Jan 10

This past week has been amazing. The Lord is teaching me so much. One lesson He is helping me learn is to always be calm when things go sekaisin (in disorder). For if we don’t then the Spirit cannot abide with us. For example, the washer broke so we need to get that fixed. So I am studying some vocab to talk with the repair man.

This past Saturday the temperature was -21 degrees C (-3 or -4 F). It was crazy. We could only be outside for 30-40 minutes until we had to come inside and warm up. By the way I was wearing two pair of thermal during it.

My companion Elder Pond is just who I needed. I love him so much. Training is such an unique experience. For you must remember how it was when you were a brand-new elder and then do your best to teach Finnish/ how to be a Preach My Gospel missionary in the most simplest manner.

The Pori branch is full of Pioneers. It was one of the largest wards in Finland around 1950 but a lot of people moved out.

I love you all. Please plead for the Spirit each day for It will lead you aright.

Vanhin Hamner

PS (New Year Resolutions ----key: review goals often and diligence is key) The best progress is made a little bit at a time over extended period of time. That is the Lord’s way for us ‘’line upon line’’

Rakkaudella Porista (with love from Pori)

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Thought

‘’Vision without a task is only a dream. A task without vision is but drudgery. But vision with a task is a dream fulfilled.’’ Bruce C. Hafen

Helaman 5:12

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.