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."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mar. 29, 2011

Dear Mom and family,
What a week! This past week the Lord's was quite obvious.
About a week and a half ago He led us to M, Filipino lady. So it all starts out that we were leaving our church where we teach most of all of our investigators and went to our bus stop. Waiting there too was M. We began to talk and teach about Jesus Christ's Restored Gospel and continued talking on the bus. We eventually exchanged phone numbers and set up an appointment. We came to her apartment with an older member and taught. She accepted her Tagalog Book of Mormon and promised to read and pray. We set up another appointment for the next day. During the first teach she shared how crazy busy she is, working two jobs and all. So I had a gut feeling that she did not keep her commitment to read because we met the night before she went to work, and that did not leave enough time for her to sit down and read and pray. Well we met and asked about her reading and praying. She said, ''Yes I read and prayed. I read during my lunch hour at work.'' When I heard that my heart almost jumped out of my chest. That is commitment. Even though she has a crazy life schedule she made time for something that she feels is important. Then we taught her simply how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through Joseph Smith. The Lord led this teach through His Spirit and M accepted everything even BAPTISM. She will be baptized in April. Now more than ever I need you to pray for her so that we can consistently meet and help her prepare for baptism. Thank you for your prayers

Elder Hamner

Monday, March 21, 2011

21 March 2011

Dear Dad and Grown-Up Sisters

Dear mom and lovely family (yes mom you are lovely too...often you impress me by how much)

This past week the pace of missionary work in Helsinki just keeps speeding up and up. There is one definite reason to stay organized, plan well, keep your peace so the Lord can perform miracles through you. That is my simple testimony.

First about our investigators. The Lord has blessed our investigators exceedingly. A, who will be baptized on Saturday after general conference, is progressing very well. You can see in his eyes and feel from his testimony that the Lord has and continues to change him into a better man. He has stopped smoking and we will be doing our best to help be ready. We will be focusing on improving his relationships with the members so there is no sudden break after baptism. Then T, whose girlfriend is less active now coming back, came to church for the first time. It was a Kodak/precious moment when I saw him walk into church. We have been working with them to come but they did not feel ready until this past Sunday! Oh if I could properly describe the inner joy of seeing someone for whom you pray for make simple but huge steps back Home. This work is most difficult but also the most rewarding.

Power of Learning by the Spirit:
President Brown recently has taught us in a week-long leadership training meeting which has changed me. Each time I come to a training meeting my understanding, testimony, and personal vision grows. My sights go beyond the treeline and into the heavens. In other words the Lord has enlightened my mind and heart to see more of what He sees. He helps me see what is my next steps to personally become more like Him and bring as many others along for the ride. And as I have followed the inspired counsel the Spirit is more present and I have more power to bless others and overcome weaknesses. I share this because of General Conference coming up. This is crucial time to prepare our minds and hearts to really hear, see, and take to heart what Heavenly Father wants us to become. Please ask him what questions you need to bring and what you need to do to prepare your hearts and minds. We cannot prepare our hearts and minds without His help.

Finding Miracles:
This past Saturday we were traveling to a funeral of a less-active man who we taught and actually went to the wrong place. So we asked for directions and eventually caught the right bus to the right church. During the trip we saw a different part of Helsinki (suburbs not just downtown). It was snowing and Elder Esplin and I called this one of our adventures up north. Unfortunately we did not make it in time to the funeral but it's alright. He (Heavenly Father) has our back. So we headed home and we walking from the train station when we saw a father, pregnant mother, and child walking in our direction. They stuck out for some reason and we talked with them. Sure enough they just moved to Finland and reunited their family after some time. The next day we met and they are now investigating! The Lord has good plans for them. When I entered their home on Sunday I felt the power of humility and faith in their home. They have good hearts. Their simple desire to survive in life humbled me and I look forward to our next meeting.
One note about that: the importance to ask for the gift of discernment in order to recognize the elect because there are so many people in Helsinki if I were to talk with everyone then I could not get from one appointment to another in time. The Lord is blessing us to find.

Prayer Needs:
Please pray to protect A before his baptism. T that he will gain the faith to set a baptismal date. J to understand the need to be baptized. Thank you for your faithful prayers. Miracles are happening. Records
are occurring. The Lord does lead this work and we are just conduits/instruments to bless others.

Vanhin Hamner
Thank you for the CD. If you don’t mind I gave it to Aki to help him keep the spirit in his home especially before baptism. I love you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mar. 14, 2011

Dear Mom and Family This past week has been AMAZING!!! you are thinking ''Why is that?'' Well I really cannot describe adequately but will do my best. This past week was a four day Leadership Training where President Brown taught us about the fundamentals of teaching. It started each morning at 9am and ended around 4-5 pm. During which President Brown would teach about different aspects of teaching and then we would apply what we were learning by role playing. However the part I would like to share is the purpose of church meetings-receiving revelation.
President Brown has taught us that before any church meeting we need to spiritually prepare for it by prayerfully pondering and studying the scriptures about what we need to learn. Then as we work to prepare ourselves the Lord can soften our hearts to hear the message that He wishes to give to us. There is evidence of this in Mosiah 2 where the people of King Benjamin prepare themselves for ''general conference'' by performing temple ordinances. Then King Benjamin in verse 9 gives us all counsel about spiritual preparation for each church meeting where he asks us to ''open [our] ears that [we] may hear, and [our] hearts that [we] may understand...'' We by ourselves cannot soften our hearts but the Lord can perform such a miracle. Last week the Lord helped soften my heart to hear the message that I needed to hear. Now I am working with Him to apply it. That is my challenge to you: please prepare for general conference to hear the message that Heavenly Father wants you to hear. I love you and please remember that the road to increased faith is not easy but soooo worth to travel. :)
Currently, A is still fighting with tobacco but he is making good progress. He has relapsed but we are working with him to overcome. Thank you for your prayers. Teaching him has been such a tender mercy. As he has shared his testimony about how he has felt the peace that comes from repentance my testimony has grown.
At this time we are very busy teaching. The Lord is helping us find more elect as we have been working with the members more, striving to be more obedient, and improve our teaching. It seems that as the work moves forward more and more time goes faster and faster. So we become more and more busy I am working with the Lord to help me simplify how I do everything: from setting goals, to planning teaches, teaching in district meeting, and studying. As I have done this the Spirit is more with me. I love it!
I love you all and look forward to your email next week
Elder Hamner

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mar. 7, 2011

Dearest Mother and Family
This past week has been fabulous. Though crazy life can be with all kinds of things to do the Lord wants us to keep our peace. That is what I feel is right to share about this past week, ''Keeping the Peace''.
If we can in the midst of chaos be able to keep our peace and hear/recognize/follow the promptings of the Spirit even when there are all kinds of distractions around us then we can enjoy even greater measure of the Holy Ghost.
One of the greatest tools to keep the peace is prayer. What an amazing gift to call upon Our Loving Creator whenever, wherever and have personal communication. Ohh how the adversary wants to cut this line of communication. In order to battle this we with our investigators have been emphasizing the basics like scripture study and prayer especially when temptations come up. And it is music to my ears when investigators like A say, '' Whenever I get the urge to smoke I read from the Book of Mormon.'' Wow my heart just swells up as I see and feel investigators grow and become ''new creatures''. The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ changes us all into what Heavenly Father sees within us. It is a beautiful process of refining.
I love you all and thank you for your prayers. Miracles are happening.
Hey I got your package today THANK YOU!!!!!!
Elder Hamner

P.S. Please keep praying for A and J. Both are fighting tobacco and J alcohol/coffee. Please pray to give them greater strength to resist and overcome these addictions.
Hey I got your package today THANK YOU!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mar. 1, 2011

Dearest Mom and Family What a wonderful week. The mission is full of ups and downs. And Heavenly Father loves us so much to allow us to experience both so we can grow and then help others through similar trials.
Well, this week A officially stopped smoking! Thank you for your prayers. He received a priesthood blessing some time ago and we have been working with daily. He has slipped up but we just love him and help him set the goal again so Satan does not come in to discourage. He is such a boozo. Anyways A now is a great support to his brother and sister who are now investigating. J, his older brother, has a baptismal date and just wants the peace that comes from the gospel. What a tender mercy to be instruments in their lives to help bring the Savior's peace. That is one tender mercy I am so grateful see people become transformed by the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Also, this past week we received a referral from the mission office of someone who referred himself to meet with the missionaries. Upon receiving the referral we contacted it and eventually met M this past Sunday. In the first teach I asked him why he wanted to meet with us, and he shared how he wants away from the darkness or in other words depression. Then this past Monday we met with him again and I asked him what does happiness mean to him and he shared that he would not know. That hit me hard. We, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are blessed beyond measure and we need to find these people who long for happiness but do not know where to find it. I know that there are more people like M but rarely will they openly express it but as we live the gospel and invite more people will be blessed. Member missionary work is a blessing and yes challenging. But the Lord always provides a way when we are willing to obey.
To relate this, my testimony of ''you get what you pay for'' has grown ten fold as I have worked with Heavenly Father to move the work along in each assignment the Lord has sought fit to give me. If you really want to perform miracles through the power of our Savior you can. I know it and know everyone has been invited by the Lord through His sweet, gentle, powerful messenger the Holy Ghost to do better. I invite you do better because I love you. Our Mission president has invited us to do better and continues to do so even when record numbers are happening in Finland. To illustrate this, our mission president has received word that in the MTC they are teaching about the success of the Finland Helsinki Mission as a model of hard work and faith to perform miracles. The reason is that finding has improved 45 times and the effectiveness rate is improved dramatically. It used to take 91 new investigators found to have one person be baptized. Now it is 19 new investigators per baptism. That is miraculous! I do not share this to boast but to build, encourage, and inspire. This is the Lord's will and He has performed miracles in this land. We could not have done anything without Him.
I hope this helps you see and feel how the work is going in Finland. I love you and so grateful that I have the privilege to write to my family...yes MY dear family.
Elder Hamner

PS funny story- my new companion- Elder Esplin is 6 weeks old in Finland and I love him. He is a hard worker and loves to speak Finnish. Well this past P-Day Elder Esplin put away the groceries while I was busy with something else. Then later that evening when I was getting ready for bed I was in the bathroom to get my retainer when I noticed vanilla sugar next to the Q-tips. I then asked my companion why he put the vanilla sugar in the bathroom and he thought that it was soap. It smelled good why not soap. Well we had a good laugh about that and learned some new words.

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.