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, August 30, 2010

Aug 30, 2010

Dear Mom and my precious family
This past week a miracle happened in Oulu. The Lord blessed us to find a chosen vessel. It is interesting because we followed up on some potential investigators but they were not home so were driving back and a certain apartment building came to my memory. So we drove there and as were knocking on the first door, M. was just entering her apartment. She invited us in and as we taught, initially, she was skeptic because this seemed too good to be true. She even had studied some anti-literature. Well, it was funny how on the second lesson when we mentioned baptism she stopped us and said no but still curious about the message because how she has tried all of the world's ''cures'' for depression and other personal trials. Then on the third teach when T. A. came and shared her conversion story, M.'s heart just broke because Sisar A.'s story is almost identical to M.'s. During that teach we extended the baptismal commitment but she said, ''I'm not ready'' but committed to come to church. We had another teach scheduled on Saturday of the same week. But before that teach we sent a text message to see how she was doing and she responded with joy! She said that ever since that teach with Sisar A. she prayed that Heavenly Father would take away her doubt and stubbornness. And after that she felt this joy that she had never felt before. She said that she has just been the happiest ever. She has read the Book of Mormon ever more intently because through the reading she knew the feelings came from it. Then when we met on Saturday we asked her about the text message in order to confirm her feelings and show how she has a testimony. She said with a beaming smile, '' Yes, I believe that this book is true.'' After that we extended the baptismal commitment and she accepted. Then as we were concluding the lesson she told us to continue. I could see through her eyes this child-like humility with a spiritual hunger to eat a spiritual horse. M. allowed the Lord to change her heart and M. came to church this past Sunday where the branch just welcomed her with open arms. M. has found her refuge from the world. What a tender mercy to be a part of it.
I love you. Always remember that
Vanhin Hamner

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aug. 23, 2010

Dearest Family

This past week, Elder Peterson and I spent five days in Helsinki for the Simplified Curriculum training- new course to apply Preach My Gospel better and help us become better teachers. During this training we had hand-on training with President Brown as he helped us practice, evaluate, and re-practice. What a dream come true! 28 years of seminary teaching experience!

For example, one portion of the Simplified Curriculum is teaching people, not lessons. During it President helped us practice asking inspired questions and answering which at first you wonder, ''How can you practice that?'' I thought the same thing. Then President showed us how during lessons we need to go to Heaven throughout the teach. For example, when an investigator asks a question before we answer we take a second and think what is there motif, go to heaven, and do our best to discern so that we answer the question that should have been asked. I hope that made sense. Well, the role playing went very well and the entire training was miraculous. President Brown said that if we learn to apply the principles within this training throughout our lives it will be such a great blessing to ourselves and to others, especially our families. Some of the principles: Revelation through Prayer, Revelation through the Book of Mormon, and Revelation through church attendance I have been focusing on and they have proved to be great blessings already.
This past week our Russian investigator, I. came to church again and shared with us a fantastic dream. She said that a few days before she came to church a second time she had this dream. In which she was with a group of people and everyone received bread (sacrament), but then she expected the water to come next but nothing came. She asked the people and they said there is no water. So she went to the faucet to get water but nothing came. Then she remembered at that moment that there is water at the Mormon Church. She woke up after that and a couple days later came to church where she received both. Also she is told us, after we asked about her reading, that is studying the Book of Mormon not reading! When I heard that, I was grinning similar to the Grinch but with much better motives :)
Thank you for praying for our investigators and for success. I love you and don't ever forget it. You are too good.
your eternal brother and son
Vanhin Hamner

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aug. 16, 2010

Dear Mom and Family

As I write the weather is transitioning to Fall-my favorite season. This is when some of the best memories I have ever made occurred. For example, I came into Finland in the middle of summer but by the time I got over jet-lag it was fall. So I mainly remember fall :) Also the smell of fall is another favorite.
This past week was another busy one. We traveled a lot. We spent two and half days in Pietarsaari and one day in Helsinki. In Helsinki we had zone leader council. Before the council we went to the temple which was exactly what I needed. The Peace of the temple helps your vision come more in congruent with Heavenly Father's vision. I went through in Finnish and my understanding was quickened so much that as I listened I could follow and analyze some of the grammar principles used at the same time. During the council President Brown shared with us how the mission is experiencing new records in baptisms. This year the mission has 54 baptisms and over 20 with baptismal candidates. That puts us way over last year's 48 baptisms already and we have enough time to double it. This is possible. Please pray that the Lord will lead more of the elect to us. This work requires greater faith.
I am so excited. Each day is another opportunity to bless someone else. Really that is where the true, lasting joy comes from.
Well last Sunday, not yesterday but pervious, we found this sweet older Russian lady who let us in at the door. As we discussed and got to know each other, she expressed how she has searched for truth but can not find it. (I was grinning from ear to ear because of her humility in that statement). In the end the lesson went well and she came to church. The members just loved her. One sister in our branch went to Russia for her mission and was her best friend that day. The Lord took care of her. Thank you for your prayers. Many are being blessed because of them.
My prayer is that everyone take a few minutes and count your many blessings. Our lives are full of them.

I love you,
Vanhin (Elder) Hamner

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aug. 9, 2010

Dearest mom and family

Wow, This past week was quite amazing. The Lord's tender mercies are all around and it requires us to take ourselves out of our fast-paced lives (which I am eliminating) to notice them. I have been learning this lesson over the past 3-4 months. Rush does not mean success. I used to just go from point A to point B and see if I could jump to point C in the same leap so I could be most effective. However, I was missing the mark in allowing the Spirit time to breath and use my brain in this work. As I have been heeding the whisperings of the Holy Ghost I have never been more at peace as I have slowed down. As I did, everything came more natural. My teaching, Finnish, love for life improved dramatically. I have never felt the influence of the holy Ghost as much as I do now. i know it because I feel it. My vision for the future has never been so clear. My desire to love and bless has never been so fervent as now. The Lord is truly taking care of his missionaries. I see it all around in the North Zone. Working with each elder is a blessing to learn and to love. I wish I could write every story in this letter and in my journal but time does not grant it. I trust what I feel will suffice.

Yesterday, Elder Peterson and I found a Russian lady who speaks decent finnish who expressed her desire to know what is truth and what is not. When she said that, my heart just did flips! Well, we have another meeting with her this week. Thank you for your prayers. Please keep praying that elder Peterson and i will be placed in the elect's path and vice versa. In the north we do a lot of traveling and not a whole lot of tracting and contacting in the city so every hour we do get is gold. Please also add to your prayers that we will plan better by the spirit so this comes to fruition--baptisms.:)

This past friday was Zone Conference in which was presented the Simplified Curriculum. The purpose I have already explained but it is quite big because it reduced the amount of zone conferences and interviews with President. As a result President can train us personally in our teaching! Which means Elder Peterson and I will be getting hands-on training with the 28yr career as CES teacher President Brown. Sorry I'm salivating. This is too good to be true.

Well, time is running low. I love you and remember to not do too much in a day and lose your peace. That is what the adversary wants. As we do less, we will come to find out that we will do more.

Elder Hamner

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aug. 2, 2010

Dearest lovely mom and amazing family,

Wow, this week has been fantastic. Elder Peterson is an amazing companion. It is so easy to be yourself with him. First of all, Elder Peterson has been in Finland for about 9 months and just came from Kuopio (city from the east). His finnish is pretty amazing. He is so funny and the perfect companion for me at this time. We both want to bless the Finns more than anything else. That is one thing that I have noticed with my companions. That when you focus on the greater purpose- bring souls unto Christ, all the little problems just fall away. Continuining on about Elder Peterson, he is from Arkansas (FYI his dad works for Sam's Club International...pretty cool) and was going to major in French at BYU then he got his call to Finland. He likes to run. His whole family is musically talented. His mom has completed an Iron-Man Competition. Yes the IRON-MAN or should I say IRON-WOMAN!!! In the end Elder Peterson is pretty awesome. We are definitely looking forward to this next change and implementing this new Simplified Cuuriculum from the First Presidency. This is taking PMG teaching to the next level. After this I think Elder Peterson can qualify to be an Iron-Teacher-Man.

Currently, Elder Peterson and I are searching for our vision this next change- 2 baptisms. Please pray that we will find them and teach in such a way that the Holy Ghost will change their hearts.

I love you and am living this mission up. I will be sending pictures soon.

Vanhin Hamner

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.