Monday, March 11, 2013

Vacation to Kolob

Hey everybody!
First, to the spiritual part of the week: There were a few moments of sheer brilliance this week, including a couple of lessons to some active members last night. As we prayed about these lessons, I had the topic of love come to my mind. My companion felt we should share a specifc scripture about the baptismal covenant. We prepared a special message about love being the greatest motivation to be faithful to our covenants and fulfill them to the utmost. As we taught, we asked some questions that really felt inspired, like they were meant for that moment, and the members taught themselves the lesson in their answers! It was great. I understand the difference between a lesson where the Spirit is present and one where it isn't so much more clearly now.

Right after that lesson, we had another miracle. We had a few minutes in between that appointment and our second one, so we decided to try a former potential and work in her area. At her door, she less than kindly informed us that she was not interested. As we worked in that area, we just didn't feel right about it. So, we left and walked to the area of the next appointment. We only had time to knock on a few doors, but the last door proved to be a miracle (funny how that works, right?) A Russian man opened the door. Upon understanding that we couldn't communicate, he summoned his Estonian roommate. We testified immediately of how our message helps people understand how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We had a great conversation and got an appointment to bring him a Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, he'll be moving back to Estonia soon, but plans on moving to Kerava as soon as he finds work again. As we were parting, though, he simply turns to us and says, in his own, slightly broken Finnish, "kiitos, se oli vahva." [thank you, it was strong] We know he felt the Spirit. He had so many chances where other people probably would have turned away from the conversation, but he felt something different while we spoke.

Earlier in the week, we were also led miraculously to someone prepared, this time in our own area. As we approached the area where we had planned to contact a family missionaries had talked to a long time ago, we saw a man shoveling snow. When we saw him, we waved. He waved back and came over to talk with us. Right when we found out who we were and what we were talking about, he got a phone call, and said something in a language we didn't understand. We thought we had lost him, but he said, "wait, I need to go give some keys to my friend, I'll be right back." So we waited, and sure enough, he came back. He invited us up to his apartment and was excited to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon. He's from Israel, so we technically can't teach him until President comes to interview him, but we're hoping we can get that figured out soon. He seems really interested.
Some more good stuff:

Tuesday we went to Lohja again. Really excited because we had a bunch of lessons set up with some new investigators. But, sadly, they all fell through. One of them we called during the day to confirm, and she hung up on us. Not a good sign. Sure enough, when we rang the doorbell, there was no answer. When we called, we could hear her ringtone through the door, and hear her silence it to make sure we couldn't hear that she as home....bummer. But, the day was saved (or at least my spirits were) by the dinner appointment we had. First off, corn bread and chili. Forgot how much I like that stuff. Then, during the spiritual thought, I got a taste of what I'm sure every family night was like when all four of us were small. The kids wouldn't sit still, they kept complaining about the other one sitting on "their side" of the couch, etc. All topped off by Elder Manwaring almost getting bit as he tried to pick up the dog that he thought was a nice, friendly one. He may or may not have squealed.
Thursday we showed up for a meeting with a less-active and the first thing he asked was, "hey, since I didn't make it to sacrament meeting, could you guys bless the sacrament right here for me?" Well, we weren't that rude. It actually gave us a good chance to explain the authority of the priesthood and the organization of God's church, something he's had difficulty understanding in the past. Later, he told us that he won't be able to meet next week because he was going on vacation. When we asked him where he was going, he said, with a straight face, "Kolob." When we asked how he was getting there, he said simply, "the angels are taking me." Ummm...
Anyway, overall, life is good, things are going slowly in our area, but we're grateful for all the miracles we see every day. I love you all.
Elder Hansen

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