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, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

Dearest Gorgeous Mom and wonderful Justin, Jordan, Kaity, and Karlie

This past week was crazy, edifying, and miraculous. As we were on the trains Elder Henderson and I were either teaching others or ourselves when time allotted. On our train from Oulu to Kuopio I met this one older lady, Mi, who was going back to Kouvola, my greenie city. As we were talking we came upon the subject of the bible and she expressed how she is disappointed how the bible is losing its meaning and power because of all the many translations. Upon that I introduced the Book of Mormon and taught how this is a record that God has brought forth to help us know which is Christ's church and original doctrine. When I gave her my copy of the Book of Mormon, she noticed it was my only one and denied it out of politeness, but I assured her that I can get another one in Kuopio. She was very grateful. After our discussion I returned back to my seat next to Elder Henderson and noticed that Mi was reading the Book of Mormon more about 20-30 min. I was praying that she would feel the Holy Ghost and accept the message. Then towards the end of the train ride came down the aisle two girls who were selling strawberries. Mi then bought one box and gave me and my companion half. I later told Elder Henderson that was the fastest I have ever reaped the ''fruit'' of my labor.

Besides that train ride, the Lord has blessed me in many ways. My love for this people is growing daily. This land is full of precious people. What a blessing to be here.

Elder Henderson and I did receive our change calls. He is now one of the assistants to the president and Elder Peterson from Kuopio will be my new companion. I truly love Elder Henderson and look forward to loving Elder Peterson.

Also about this new program from the First Presidency. Its purpose is to help us become better teachers and they have simplified our training so that when we met for zone conference, district meetings, and leadership training there is time to practice what is taught, evaluate, and practice it again. I am looking forward to this. This is where lasting progress occurs.

Accountability is an amazing principle of character. In the world no one wants to take accountability unless it makes them look good, hence gold is more common than character. It takes character to stick to a goal and accomplish it. And it takes more character when a goal is not set, to analyze why it was not accomplished, and then accomplish it.

I am grateful to come from a family where action is taken to improve and love the Lord. That is what matters.

Vanhin Hamner

Picture with Elder Causse.
Elder Causse is in the 1st Quorum of the Seventy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Dear Wonderful Mom, brilliant brothers, and sweetest sisters,

That is so crazy that summer is coming to a close soon and fall will be beginning! I am doing my best to savor every moment. And this next week Elder Henderson and I will be traveling most of the week all around Finland. We start onTuesday going to Kuopio (eastern side of Finland), then leave for Helsinki (southern) Wednesday night, after which we go to Pietarsaari (western) on Thursday night and return to Oulu (northern) Friday night. The reason for the traveling is district meetings, a baptismal interview, and mission leadership training meeting in which President Brown has received something from the First Presidency to change the way training occurs. The focus of it is to improve our teaching abilities. I am so excited for this program. I will definitely write more about it when President shares it this next Thursday.

Saturday was M's baptism! It went so well. It feels so good when you see someone who you have prayed your guts out for, studied for every need you find out about, and done your best to help the ward be included, and to see them enter the waters of baptism. What a blessing the Lord granted to Oulu. M was so ready. She was dead set on it even though there was resistance from mom and a recent tragedy with her brother. She is an excellent example of when life kicks you, to kick back. Her confirmation on Sunday also went well. Our branch president performed it as Elder Henderson and I participated. In that prayer he said some things that he could not have possibly known except only through the Holy Ghost. Also at the baptism we had a former investigator who came and asked about the details of getting baptized! I will keep you updated about him-Br (a native Swede).

The Lord is moving His work forward here. I love each of you so much.

Vanhin Hamner

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

Dearest mom and family

This past week has just flown by. We had splits with the Kuopio elders and it went great.

Something happened today that was pretty crazy. It being P- Day had this big service project to help this older couple at their summer cottage. The whole story started when on Sunday we met this Finn (lady) who was accompanied by 3 Spaniards. The Spaniards spoke some English to explain that they are from Spain, not Madrid....sorry Elder Ketchum, and they were staying with this older couple who have never visited church. Apparently they have been friends (couple and Spaniards) for 25 years and visit each other periodically. So these Spaniards are members and invited us to help them do some yard work and introduce the missionaries. While there working on the yard four languages were spoken: Spanish, Finnish, English, and Swedish (older man being Swedish). Yes the lesson after dinner was quite fun. I hoping someone could have thrown in another language but I guess four will due :)

I love you all. Remember how much influence one person can have on so many. The rock thrown into the lake ripples farther than the rock thrown in the water can see. Only the Thrower can see it all. I know we all can do better in allowing the Thrower work through us.
V. Hamner

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Dearest Mom and family

This past week was quite miraculous. Let's start with the beginning of last week. M., almost 18 year old girl who has been up north for the past 3-4 weeks, returned. We were able to meet with her and we set a baptismal date for July 17th! During that teach she testified how the gospel came just at the right time in her life because she was depressed and about to take a scholarship for the violin even though this was not her dream but other's. She expressed how the gospel has given her the peace that she has never felt and yearned for. She is happiest that she has ever been. The whole teach was spectacular. She is ready to be baptized. But because she has committed it seems that the adversary is doing his best to stop it. This past sunday her brother got into a car wreck where he ended in the hospital. M. found out about this at 6am sunday morning. She doesn't live with her family so she couldn't go visit him but just wait and hear back about his condition. Despite the circumstances, she came to church when it was fast sunday. President Brown, who was present with Elder Causse (Europe Area Presidency), noticed M. in the congregation even though he had not met her before. He said, '' She stood out from all the other members.'' After the meeting a member pulled Elder Henderson and I aside and informed us about M's situation for we knew nothing about it.The member asked M. if she wanted a priesthood blessing and M. said yes but let the elders do it. So Elder Henderson, President Brown, the member, and I gathered in a small room and gave her a blessing of comfort and counsel. Before the blessing M. was trembling and almost fainting because if she lost her brother from the car wreck then that would be her second brother , but after the blessing she was at complete peace. She, afterwards, went to Relief Society where she bore her testimony and invited all to her baptism! The Lord definitely protected her from the powers of the adversary.

Then Elder Causse visited the north zone where Elder Henderson and I were instructed by him for 12 hours= 6 hours zone conference, 3 hours zone leader council, and 2 hours for local ward meeting in which we were invited. It was a spiritual feast. I will be sharing more about what he taught next week.

I love you all
Vanhin Hamner

Sunday, July 4, 2010

video - Beautiful Kuopio

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.