Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy May Day (late), Mother's Day (early) and Anniversary Mom and Dad (right on time)

no hei,

This week was full of so many miracles I need to be grateful for. Unfortunately, some of them just haven't quite come to full fruition as of right now, but we remain confident that as we rely on the Spirit we will one day see the blessings come to the lives of these people.

Our branch has reached out in love to fellowship a foreign family that lives in the same building as a family in the ward. Their love has led to a desire of a few of the family members to learn more of the gospel. We had the opportunity to teach one couple in the family this week and, although the entire lesson had to be taught through a translator, the Spirit touched us all. This man found answers to many of his questions, all of which relate to the message of the restoration. The Questions of the Soul really are out there in people's hearts and minds. In addition to teaching, the branch has helped this poor family temporally. Friday, we had the opportunity to go put together a bed that members had donated to the family so that the five children who live in the home would have a better place to sleep at night. There was a warmth that filled all our hearts in seeing the wonderful joy of those children as they rolled and jumped on this new bed. Christ-like service and love can and will fill the entire world with this kind of joy. It is the only thing that truly can conquer all barriers.

We also had the opportunity to contact a referral this week that we've been holding on to idly for two months. We've been praying for the wife in this couple to have a successful recovery from her lung transplant surgery, which happened in such a miraculous way as to really strengthen her already strong faith in God. We been praying for them for all this time, but had never felt right about when or how to contact them. Friday night, during our planning meeting, the Spirit told me, "Now is the time." It was a feeling so strong that I could not ignore it. So the next day we biked nearly five kilometers, in the rain, to try to contact these people. Needless to say, during that entire bike ride I was questioning the purpose and validity of that prompting. But eventually, we arrived. We knocked on their door, explained who we were, and explained how we had been praying for them with their friends. We then told them how their friends had suggested we come by and offer to serve them, thinking it must be difficult to continue life as normal with all the stress of major surgery and recovery. They replied that there wasn't much we could do for them right then, so I simply asked if we could come back the next day and share a message about families. They said of course! We met and talked with them about the Book of Mormon (turns out he had actually been meaning to talk to his friend, our Branch Mission Leader, about the Book) and how it blesses families. It was a wonderful discussion, but unfortunately they decided that meeting with us isn't necessary right now and said they would call. It hurt, but I know we followed the promptings of the Spirit, so I have to believe that we acted right and we simply need to wait for the Lord's timing.

Another miracle we saw was with our Chinese investigator, Bobby. He loves the church, but for the first time this Sunday he realized that the Holy Ghost can speak to him in Chinese! I was shocked. He has investigated for over a year now, been taught all the lessons, been with us in church, read the Book of Mormon in Chinese, and still somehow had gone without the knowledge that Heavenly Father understands all the languages his children speak. There was so much joy as that realization hit him.

In other news, I bore my testimony in Swedish in testimony meeting yesterday. I was sitting there feeling like maybe I could, but by the end of the meeting I still hadn't so I decided to just sit back comfortably. Just them I made eye contact with our BML and he motioned with his head for me to go up. So I did. It wasn't perfect Swedish and I didn't say anything too special, just a really simple testimony. But at the same time I had a small amount of only-slightly-justifiable-righteous pride at doing it in a third language. Feel free to judge me on that one.

Can't wait for next Sunday! We've set up time to Skype from a member's computer!! So excited to talk to you!

Love as always,

Elder Hansen

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