Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Cherish the challenge of your language"

Terve Minun Perheeni!! [Hello Family!] 

Thank you all so much for all you letters and all the emails. You guys are the best! 

Dad, thanks for everything you send me, from sports to church publications, lesson plans to forwarded emails from certain people. It's all great and I love reading it. Don't worry about any of it being distracting. I've learned more than anything here how to focus well and not let anything get in my way. That learning did not come easily, but let me tell you the story of how I learned it. 

Thursday night was one of the worst nights of my entire life. It was also one of the best nights of my life because of how I learned and grew over the course of one evening. We went to the Training Resource Center for the first time Thursday night. It was so hard. I was completely unprepared. I tried hard to study and prepare a lesson, but I just couldn't focus. Worse still, the Spirit was not with me during that lesson, so I couldn't even just open my mouth and let it be filled. No effort on my part means no effort on his part. When I came back to the clasroom to prepare to teach our "progressing investigator," Sisar Beckwith noticed I was really frustrated. She sat us all down and had us read D&C 35:13. That struck me like a needle prick right in my heart. Either that or like being hit in the head with a sledgehammer. Kinda a mix of both, if that makes sense. It's true. We are weak, but He will make us strong. We are unlearned, but He will teach us. Our second lesson that night went amazing, we even "committed" our "investigator" to baptism by the end of the night. We must never give up on the Lord's errand. All the effort on my part, means all the effort on His part. And when I have his complete backing, I know I can do all things. Really, the only reason I work as hard as I do is so that he will work hard through me. It is not about me. From that night on, I have been more open to the Spirit, more diligent in my study, my eye has been more single to His glory. 

I've also learned there's a big difference between being open to the Spirit and listening to the Spirit. Kinda how there's a big difference between having your phone in your pocket waiting for a phone call and actually picking up your phone and calling. I'm making long distance calls to the Spirit all day long, I don't care how much it costs. 

So we've moved on from soccer at gym time and we're playing volleyball now. Yours truly is kind of a beast, but Sisar Shreeve puts us all to shame. Volleyball is the one thing elders and sisters can actually play together, so it's fun to have our whole district (all five of us) together. Anyway, I did have my one moment of glory. Game point, last game for the day. Jump-serve, game-winning ace. Yeah it was pretty cool. 

Hey so this is something I've been working on for a little while now and I want to get as many opinions and suggestions on it as I can. The Book of Mormon (cliff notes version?) I don't know what to call it but here it is: 

1 Nephi 1:14,20 
2 Nephi 2:6-7 
2 Nephi 29:8-9 
2 Nephi 31:10-12, 19-21 
Mosiah 2:41
Mosiah 5:2 
Alma 5:14 
Alma 32:28-43 
Alma 33:22-23 
Helaman 5:12 
3 Nephi 11:6,7,9-11 
3 Nephi 27:20-21 
Moroni 10:3-5 

Like I said, I want and need suggestions on this. It's not perfect, but I want to make it perfect. Any of you who read this, try this out and write to me to tell me what you thought, what you felt, and what you think should be added, subtracted, or changed. 

Finnish is coming along slowly, but surely. I love this language. We had a devotional last night where we were told to "cherish the challenge of your language." Great advice, and something I've really been working on. Just one fun story: I accidentaly mixed up the words for "how" and "who" so when pretending to be an investigator I asked how Jesus is rather than saying who he is. Whoops. But other than that I'm learning tons and remembering a lot. Flashcards are inspired. One of the things Sisar Beckwith explained is that Finnish is a bit like a pyramid. We have to build a huge foundation and learn hundreds of words and grammar principles before we can feel like we know how to say anything at all, but once we learn those things the higher levels are actually a lot smaller and less complex to learn.

I love you family. This church is true. I know that Jesus is my Savior. 

Mina rakastan minun perheeni. Mina tiedan etta Jeesus Kristus on minun Vapahtajani. Mina rakastan hanen evankeliuminsa ja kirkossa. [I love my family. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I love his gospel and church.] 


Elder Hansen

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