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, November 29, 2010

Nov. 29, 2010

Dearest Mom and family
This past week the Lord has performed miracles. First, the Lord led us to one man-TDearest Mom and family
This past week the Lord has performed miracles. First, the Lord led us to one man, T, who has had the mightiest change of heart that I have ever seen. When we met him tracting, he invited us in and had a spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon in which he saw and felt the power of the book. Ever since he has become a new man. He has stopped or stopping his bad habits. He even refers to himself as being a week old because this life change. He also said that God has given him this opportunity to change and if he doesn't take it then he might be lost forever. Just in the past week, his faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has grown exponentially. He set his baptismal date for December 18th and just full of happiness. Though his family and friends have rejected him, he holds strong by saying, ''It doesn't matter, I have my God.'' Wow, what faith!
Transfers! Elder Peterson and Elder Grimm (from Espoo) will be continuing the journey with T. I will be going to Espoo with Elder Leppard, from England. Elder Leppard is from my MTC group. I am very excited for this opportunity. I love that elder. Transfers are always bittersweet but it is life. I love Elder Peterson and have learned much from him and his excellent example.
Thanksgiving was very fun. It was during zone conference and I took plenty of pictures. I will be sending some in the near future.
Hope you soak up this Christmas season. It is magical.
Elder Hamner

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov. 22, 2010

Dear Mom and Family
This past week was quite eventful. K was baptized and confirmed. We had district meeting in Rovaniemi and visited Santa Claus afterwards.
Currently in Oulu is looks like winter but according to the Finns it is still fall. (ps I laughed when a Finn wished us a happy fall when there was 4-5 inches of snow outside) This next week we have zone conference in which Elder Peterson and I have felt to focus on the most basic principle- God is our Loving Heavenly Father and what that means, how greater understanding of it will affect our entire understanding and testimony of the gospel, and how it applies to working with members.
As I was writing a thought came to mind, as the year is coming to a close with our most celebrated holiday-Christmas. This is great time to review our goals for this year and check our progress. As we take time to review and allow the Lord to teach us, our vision of what the Lord expects for the remaining of the year will be brought to light. This is an act of faith. Let’s exercise more each day.
Elder Hamner

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov. 15, 2010

Dear Mom and Family

The Lord's hand definitely was evident this past week. It was the four day leadership training in which for four days President Brown teaches us, we role play, then after the training we go out to work in Helsinki. One central theme that stuck out from the training was how everything we do in the gospel, we do to received more of the Lord's spirit. President Brown outlined the main parts of the gospel which helps us qualify more of the Lord's spirit.

1. Atonement
2. Prayer
3. Book of Mormon
4. Church Attendance (especially sacrament meeting)
5. Word of Wisdom
6. Law of Tithing
7. Law of Chastity

When we are more obedient to any one of theses then the Lord will bless us more with the Spirit. For example, when we apply the atonement more in our lives by improving, developing Christlike attributes, and forgiving others then we will have greater guidance from the Spirit which leads to eternal life. Another example and a little more simpler, if I am to eat more healthier and exercise then I will feel better and the Spirit can then be with me more. Sacrament meeting- I prepare myself for this most important meeting that the Church has more us which if approached with the right reverent mindset, the Lord will bless us even more of the Spirit.

These past couple of months, Heavenly Father has been helping me improve in this areas and I have felt the Spirit become my companion even more. We can always increase the measure of the Holy Ghost within us. Always. That is one of my favorite things about the gospel. We can always improve. Also this is something that has helped me. If our deepest desire is to have the Spirit more with us so we can bless more people, the Lord is more willing to bless and aid in this tough but simple life commandment-keep the commandments and the Lord will shed His spirit more upon us. Interesting that that principle is repeated twice every Sunday in a special simple prayer which we call the sacrament.

These were my thoughts and feelings this past week when President Brown was teaching and helping us see the real picture of life- Life is a part of the gospel not the other way around.

Also this week, I. was baptized and the branch just loved her so well. This branch is doing very well at this time in embracing recent- converts. Also this next Saturday is K.'s baptism. Please pray that he will be protected from all evil which will attempt to prevent this miraculous ordinance from happening.

I did have a birthday dinner yesterday with the Senior missionaries in Oulu in which a delicious chocolate cake was made. I am still smiling because it was that good:) Also this Tuesday we have a dinner appointment with another family. Plus a family Hyvärinen from Kouvola, my first city, sent chocolate for my birthday. I miss that precious family.
Time has come to an end and hope that the Spirit helps deliver this email the way it should the heart.

Elder Austin Hamner

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov. 8, 2010

Dearest Family:)

This past week flew as fast as some of those Finns speak- lets just say lightning:) Earlier this week we had splits with the elders from Kajaani in Oulu, our city, during which the Lord guided my companion and another elder to this man-S.. They set up an appointment and Elder Bradshaw ( from Kajaani) and I went the following morning (ps still splits). As we were teaching the Spirit helped us say certain things that softened his heart and helped him embrace the message. At the end of the first lesson in which we focused on the Book of Mormon, he promised, ‘‘If I come to that point of receiving answer that this is true I will be baptized.'' I assured him by saying, ''I know that God will answer you when you do so sincerely.'' During the teach the Spirit would whisper to me when something would hit home for him. Then we would camp on it. Lesson: by focusing on people the Spirit can testify more strongly and help you fulfill their needs. This principle applies to all teaching- missionary work, home teaching, visiting teaching, teaching children. It is all about the one. The Savior did this perfectly. He knew how to teach, care for, and love each one perfectly. That is a worthy goal to strive for.

In addition to what I have written, I thought you might enjoy some funny stories: 1. while I was at a member's home there was a little boy playing with his grandmother and I asked the little boy, ''Do you like Mummi (cartoon for children)?'' but I said ''Do you like Muumi (mom)?'' Fortunately the mother was not there, but the grandmother and us had a good laugh. 2. While on splits we were making eggs and an idea came to mind to add cayenne pepper like I have done in the past. So I searched for it but could not find any. Then I remembered that Dad sent me cayenne pepper tablets. So I took one tablet of ''unknown powder to the other elders'' and added to some of the eggs. Two elders thought I was going crazy for a moment adding drugs into the eggs. I eventually told them the truth but it was fun to see their reactions.

Thank you for your email. I appreciate it and look forward to hearing how the Lord's hand was a part of your week.

Elder Hamner

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov. 1, 2010

What a great time to be on the earth!
As I reflect upon the significance to be a missionary I am humbled greatly. My eyes to the significance and importance of service have been opened tremendously. I remember reading in Jesus the Christ that the Savior received all His supreme power because He did it not Himself but for others. As a missionary this is a priceless opportunity to serve and give your all to others. Then as we do so the Lord magnifies our abilities and talents by the Spirit. Then as I have dwelled upon that principle of 1.service and 2. how God will use us to bless others and at the same time build us, I now look at all the callings in the church and opportunities to serve others with a greater perspective. This life is very short and the Lord blesses us with many opportunities to serve in which we help God in His vineyard (see Jacob 5).

This week was quite fruitful. Sister I, bapt date Nov 13, moved to her new apartment where the members helped make it easy for her to transition. Also her non-member daughter was there to see how the ward loves her and just want to serve.

K., Y., came to church and is progressing so well. His countenance is much more full of peace. He also fits in well with the members. This past Saturday he came to the Young Single Adult Halloween party. In addition the ward is doing a good job of loving him UP! He is still on track for the 20th of Nov.

This past Saturday we were following up on a referral from the sisters and the referral was not interested. However the referral's neighbor was interested. She just moved to Finland within the past month to study has always believed in God and Jesus Christ. So then after a short teach Saturday he committed to come to church. He came, with the help of the members giving a ride, and enjoyed church. We taught about the Book of Mormon and he accepted it very well and promised to pray about it.
Personal Study:
This past week I spent about five days in Jacob 5 and the Lord helped open my eyes to how involved He is in missionary work. He does lead it, and I just need to follow His counsel and ask for the needed blessings for the Finns.
I love you and life gets better each day! Love life by serving and learning

Rauha (Peace) :)
Elder 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.