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, March 29, 2010

Mar. 29,2010

Dear Family...and caterpillars:)

Wow, this week has been crazy. Lahti is a beautiful city with an amazing ward....just ward not branch. It reminds me so much of home.

First of all, I will get a picture with my new companion this week, then email it to you all. Also keep sending letters and packages to the Neitsytpolku Helsinki address. Its better that way.

The Lord has blessed Elder Lytle and I so much this week. Miracles are just occuring. One night we went tracting in search of a potential investigator. So we made it to the place, but unfortunately they weren't interested anymore....Just wait it gets better. Then we decided to knock the doors around the former potential but almost all the doors were already tracted except one. We knocked and a dad with a baby boy answered. We taught about the Book of Mormon, and he was really interested. He told us during our discussion that in the past month he has experienced an ''awakening'' and right now he is trying to find what God wants him to find. We will be following up on him soon. We gave him a Mormonin Kirja (Book of Mormon) and a couple of pamphlets.What is even better is that he mentioned, ''I feel good talking with you'' and ''I believe there was no coicidence that you two came here at this time.''Afterwards as we were returning home to catch the bus, we missed the last one. Therefore we walked an hour home. Hold on, it gets better. Isn't this exciting?! As we were entering the keskusta (downtown where we live) we saw one man who was alone. We started to talk with him and it was apparent he just came from the bar. We talked, and he expressed sincere desire to change. As he was in the bar just a moment ago, he came to the realization that this is not happiness. So he left and thats when he met us. He told us that he failed the Alcoholic Anonymous program because it was focused on critizing yourself. He wanted nothing to do with that. As we discussed, taught, testified, He felt the Spirit enough to want to know more. He said that he has failed everything but I asked him, ''Do you have a desire to change?'' Hän sanoi (He said) ''Yes I do'' I replied, ''Then you can do it'' I taught how Heavenly Father will work with us as we desire and act upon it. Heavenly Father will strengthen our resolve to change as we follow the steps He has outlined so lovingly.

These encounters were no coincidence. Thank you for your prayers. For they affect many lives including the Finns who head the Spirit whispering to them. Thank you.

This next week is General Conference. I am so excited! I am still studying the General Conference issue of the Liahona from last year. So many golden nuggets!

I love you all
Vanhin Hamner

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mar. 22, 2010 Zone Conference Photos

Mar 22, 2010

Dear Mom & Family,

This past week has been quite eventful. We had district meeting in Turku (about 2 hour drive). The drive back the Lord taught me much, and I felt complete peace as we drove through the beautiful country side.
The Lord continually is guiding me along this journey. I wish I could write each precious experience but that would not be appropriate in an email nor do I have time.
I will share this though. Peace is priceless and only through the Savior can one actually taste heaven while in these earthly tabernacles.

About this week, I still make smoothies but not every day but in them I include wheat grass and when I remember wheat germ. This past week I made banana bread. Se onnistui (It succeeded!) Elder Pond liked it too. I added cinnamon to the recipe to see what would happen. This was my thought process in the baking process- I looked up in the cupboard and saw cinnamon. I thought, '' I like cinnamon, let's try it!''

This past sunday Elder Pond and I both gave talks in sacrament. The two days before church I helped him translate. Then we took both of our talks to a member to edit.

Also, I received my change call. I will be moving to Lahti to be the district leader of the Tampere District. Also my new companion will be Elder Lytle who has been in the country for 6 weeks. One thing of the many things I am looking forward to is to be in a city where we walk around and use the bus system. Two benefits-1. we are able to interact/talk with more people 2. I will be burning more calories. It is pretty tough to get cardio workout when you drive everywhere and it is too cold to run in the morning.

In addition, because this next change Elder Lytle has kieli koulu in Helsinki which means I will have the opportunity to attend the temple. I am already beginning to prepare so that I will ask the right questions, learn what I need to learn or in other words that my eyes, ears, and heart will be open to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.

If you look in Mosiah right before King Benjamin spoke the people prepared by sacrificing burnt offerings eli (or in other words) performing temple ordinances before his speech (Gen Conf)

That would be my commitment to you which is to prepare the best way you can for General Conference so that your eyes, ears, and hearts will be open to what you need to hear and apply. I am doing the same now. We must pay the price for such precious revelation. President Brown sent this quotation to me this past week in his weekly email:

“Humility is that quality that permits us to be taught from on high through the spirit or to be taught from sources whose origin was inspiration from the Lord, such as scriptures and the comments of the prophets. Humility is the precious, fertile soil of righteous character. In it, the seeds of personal growth germinate. When cultivated through the exercise of faith, pruned by repentance, and fortified by obedience and good works, such seeds produce the cherished fruit of spiritual direction.”  Richard G. Scott

Talk about powerful. I love each of you so much. Keep striving to become what you promised you would be before you came to this earth.
Vanhin Hamner

PS Thank you for the recipes. I will check to see if dates are even in Finland.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mar. 15, 2010

Dear Family, and also any pets who wish to hear about Finland :)

This past week was great. We had zone conference in tampere where I was able to interview with President Brown. What a great man! He taught me some great life lessons. Then is conference each message hit home. Sister Brown taught about peace and how to attain your vision for yourself. I liked the part which she said that if you are not reaching your vision then exercise more faith to reach it. Then President taught me about working smarter not harder. By applying this principle I have found greater peace in missionary work. I love
Pori is a great city. The members take care of us quite well. One member taught Elder Pond and I how to make pulla (sweet bread) and apple cake. Both came out great though Finns like to use a lot of butter. I might be moving so please keep sending all letters and packages to the Helsinki address.

This Saturday and Sunday I was sick so I was in the apartment with Elder Pond. Wow, it was hard to just lie in bed when I felt I needed to be outside. The Lord comforted me so I could recover in peace. Thank you for your prayers I love each of you so much.

Elder Hamner

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mar. 8, 2010

Dear family,

This past week we had splits with the District leader, Elder Pettus. He is a great missionary. He goes home in about 3 weeks. So weird to think that the end comes so fast. As a result I am doing my best to live up every second in Finland. I know I can only be a full time missionary like this once in a lifetime so lets take it to the max.

I remember one speaker in the MTC who said that the mission is the best time to develop Christlike Attributes, good healthy habits, and effective routines. Also it is the best time to shed the unChristlike attributes especially pride. As a missionary the Lord is able to separate us from the world and give us direct uninterrupted tutoring about ourselves. This time is so golden. I do miss each of you so dearly but I know I need to be here...for the Finns sake and mine. The Lord has yet much to teach me. He has already taught me so much through my companion Elder Pond. He is a blessing.

Tomorrow is zone conference in Tampere. The rauma elders are coming to spend the night in Pori tonight for the mission office found it most cost effective if we just drove them there.

The weather is improving oops sorry I mean warming up :) I like the cold but cool weather is the best. The members are feeding us so well. They are amazing. I am asking for as many recipes as I can get so I can make this delicious food for you!

I love you so much
Vanhin Hamner

PS This week I am going to experiment with banana bread!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mar. 1, 2010

Dear Family,

This week has been another week filled with learning, teaching, and warmer temperatures. Its fun to joke about the weather when you are pretty close to the artic circle. Well I wish I could type every thing I have learned this week but it would be near impossible.

I will start with the beauty of a study journal. In PMG it talks about the importance of a study journal in one's personal study. I know this to be true. If you have a notebook, binder, journal, or another sort of record keeping object then Heavenly Father can help you understand the deeper meanings of certain doctrine and teach you additional spiritual truths that apply specific to you. I understand that in the beginning it is hard but through diligence once can improve and magnify one's personal study. I only share because of how much it has helped me in my personal study. Also one tip, I would recommend reviewing your study journal frequently. The amount you get out of personal study is in direct relationship of how much you put into it. Also the most beautiful parts of the gospel are the simple gospel principles.

Currently Elder Pond is doing well. He still does not like winter. Coming from California that is completely understandable. Next week is zone conference. This week we have splits with the district leader and his companion.

The weather is getting better. Elder Pond and I have gone out a couple of mornings and run. (sitä tarvittiin--it was needed). It is really wet due to a lot of the snow melting. The Finns tell us this is/was the harshest winter Finland has had in the past 10 years. I really appreciate the sun so much more now. I love Finland and I mean that. I cannot believe I have been on my mission for almost a year. I know many of you have said how the mission trains you for the future. You are so right. Every thing I have learned and continue to learn can and will be applied in the future (tulevaisuudessa).

I love each of you so much
Elder(Vanhin) Hamner

The Lord is blessing me much as I focus on the investigators and the members. My diet is getting better and better each day. I am growing wheat grass (dont worry I passed it by the president's wife) and just bought organic cracked wheat. I do not add any sugar or brown sugar to my food. Also for dinner I mainly just eat vegetables (my favorites: carrots and broccoli....dont eat the finnish celery its just not good :( Also I like to add red bell peppers to my eggs in the morning. IT is ssooooo gooooood. Mom the Lord guided me in developing this for my energy level, and outlook on everything has improved drastically. Though it is dark, cold, and wet I love it here! The Lord is tutoring me much. I thank you for your prayers.

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.