Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thirteen months!

Yeah, as of yesterday, I've been a missionary thirteen months. Pretty rainy again today, so I figured I could be bitter about it by raining on your respective parades too. :P Just kidding. But it really did freak me out when I realized how old I am. People keep making jokes about me going home soon, and I don't like it.

While studying the scriptures one morning, my companion and I were led to Moroni 6:4-6, talking about the organization of the church, keeping records, and why we attend sacrament meeting. I thought it was so interesting that Moroni says their names were taken "that they might be remembered" and that we go to church to partake of the sacrament, "in remembrance of the Lord Jesus." The first thought that came to my mind as I read was Christ's teaching in Matthew 22:37-40, in which he states that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, and the second is to love each other. Isn't it wonderful that on Sunday we have the opportunity to show our love to each other as we "remember" each other and visit with each other each week, while also showing our love for the Lord by remember Him by partaking of the sacrament? This strengthened my testimony on the importance of having uplifting experiences for our investigators at church. Not because we want to "entice them to be baptized," but because that's the way it should be anyway!

I loved that thought especially while I was sitting in church on Sunday. Fast and Testimony Meetings are always wonderful. Kevin was enthralled the whole time. He loved it, and so did I, because the Spirit was so powerful. We had so many simple, beautiful testimonies of the Savior and His gospel. I got to translate again, and was actually pretty pleased with my effort this time around. Testimony meetings are always harder. There was a member sitting in front of me translating into Russian, and after the meeting she told me she had been listening to see which of us was translating faster. I guess a little friendly competition never hurts right? Hmm....haha. Oh well. I'm totally learning Russian next, by the way. I love hearing that language.

We had a fantastic district meeting with President and Sister Rawlings on Thursday. It ended up going too long, and we missed our bus and had to stay an extra night in Vaasa (which meant a 6:00 am bus ride back to Pietarsaari) but the meeting was worth it. We focused on the way we teach people, and what it means to focus on their needs. Mostly, we used the example in 1 Nephi 11 where the Spirit of the Lord teaches Nephi. We also talked about the need to really be excited when we meet people. This needs to be the coolest thing in the world! And it is so it should be easy!

In other news, Kevin is doing great, except that we're probably going to have to move his baptismal date back a week....because there's a wedding party scheduled for the same day in the chapel! hahaha I thought that was a pretty good reason to have to move it. And pretty random.

Running a bit behind today, so I have to wrap up, but I'll close with the goof-ball moment of the week. Elder Oberhansley and I were eating our traditional weekly ice-cream and assorted Finnish pastry (we've been trying a new one every week for a few weeks now) and making our weekly report to our district leader. During the call, a dispute arose about some erroneous detail, and Elder O and I began going on about it back and forth. Elder Hunt told us we sounded like an old married couple, which of course led to the question about which of us had to be the woman. I finally won by telling Elder Hunt that Elder Oberhansley shaved his legs (which he actually did, except he missed a spot so there's one, poor, long stretch that's still long). 
Moral of the story is that eating ice cream makes everybody happy. And the Finns eat more ice cream than anyone else in the world so we're probably going to buy some more today.

Love you all so much.

Elder Hansen

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