Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter

Hei kaikille,

As I reflect on this week, I'm grateful for how the focus on Easter made it so much easier for me to focus on my purpose here as a missionary. I'm also grateful for the way people responded to invitations - all of them! It seemed like we couldn't miss with invitations this week.

Last week, I mentioned the investigator that we thought was missing, since we hadn't been able to get a hold of him. Turns out it was only for a day because his phone was stolen, he turned up later that afternoon. Funny how I always tend to overreact about things. He's doing wonderfully, though. He's very excited to be baptized. He tells us every time we see him about how he's changed as a result of the gospel, and how he feels so much more joy in his life every day because of the things he has learned. He's quit smoking. He even pulled out a pack of cigarettes and tore them up right in front of us. He's changed visibly, too. His hair is groomed, his clothes have changed, the earring and stud in his eyebrow are both gone. Almost all of this is the result of good member friends. He has one that introduced him to the gospel that he calls every week to ask questions. He has friends at church that he loves to see. Teaching him has helped me learn how to make better plans so that investigators have friends throughout the entire investigation process.

We had six investigators in church between the two companionships here this week! It was great! It took a lot of coordination between the two of us, as well, with arranging schedules and trying to find ways to meet all of these people and bring them to church. The ultimate goal is, of course, to have members bring them, but when we get some help from Heavenly Father and find them and invite them Saturday night, sometimes we don't have time. Two of the investigators that were in church were found the night before and agreed to come. All we have to do is invite! If we don't invite, they don't come. But if we do invite, the worst thing that can happen is that they say no. We have nothing to lose by just inviting everyone.

The same is true for baptismal invitations. I had a great chance to learn more about inviting when I was on exchanges with Elder Ingersoll this week. We had planned a lesson that was pretty generic, but then felt better after we changed it and tried to make it more specific to the investigator. When we read these other scriptures, selected after more prayer and study, the investigator just sat back and said, "Ahh, I get it now." Then, we invited him to be baptized and he said yes. We set a date with him, and he's continuing to meet with the missionaries until God tells him that that is the right day. We did have to tell him that he wouldn't be baptized unless he was ready, but because we had role played just that, it was all very smooth. Role plays rock.

All in all, elämä on ihana [life is wonderful].


Elder Hansen

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