Monday, August 6, 2012

Letter from Elder Hanson 8-6-12

Dear Fellow Brothers and Sisters,

Good morning Elders and Sisters, I am grateful for the opportunity to write to each of you, and express my love and to share some thoughts and impressions that have been on my mind a lot lately.  First off, I want to express the great love that I have for each of you.  You are my brothers and sisters and it is such an honor to be serving next to all of you.  I just think to myself, a few years ago I never knew nor did I ever think that I would be serving next to people like you, but now I am here and I am truly amazed at the royal army that is here in the California Santa Rosa Mission.  That royal army is made up of ordained ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, if they obey and work diligently will be able to fulfill many of the divine purposes of our Father in Heaven.  I testify that our calling and commission is to help others to come unto Christ, and to contribute to the completion of  the great and divine plan that God has for each of His children.  I love being a missionary and I recognize that the Lord has blessed me so abundantly throughout my mission. 

The Spirit is the most powerful, direct and constant guide that we have in life that is able to touch our hearts and minds, and to guide us in righteous ways throughout life.  Therefore Elders and Sisters, let us qualify ourselves to have that Spirit with us ALL the time, and be led in this work ALL the time by Him.  I know that through this divine principle is real success in missionary work found.   As it states in Preach My Gospel page 11:  “You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.”  I know that each of us can tell when we have the Spirit and when we don’t, and what drives away the Spirit and what keeps Him with us.  It is my hope and prayer that each of us can be obedient and to do what is expected of us as missionaries and throughout the rest of our lives, as disciples of Jesus Christ.  I think back on experiences that I have had, in which the Spirit has directly guided me to the Elect of God.  I know that as we do what is expected of us such as being obedient, praying multiple times a day, working diligently to contact everyone we see,  and inviting others to follow the Savior’s perfect example, each of us will be led to the Elect of God.   That is the promise that God has given us and really that is why we are called and set apart to have a higher plane of thought, so that we, through that power and authority can find those whom God is preparing every day.

In order to find the Elect of God, we need to do just that FIND them.  We cannot find them through disobedience or doing things that are contrary to the dignity of our calling.  They are found as the principles of obedience and sacrifice are applied, and we actually try to find them.  I did a little calculation this morning which has helped me catch a better vision of the principle of talking with everyone.  This is not to say that everything is a calculation, but I pray that each of you will really take this to heart and open your minds to this.  If every companionship in the mission was to contact at least 7 people a day, that would add up to 567 people that would have the chance to hear the Gospel.  Now let’s say that only 3 of those 7 people are interested and set up a return visit.  That would add up to 243 of our brothers and sisters that would be able to hear the words of the Savior again.  Just think about how huge that would be if all of us were able to contact at least 7 people a day.  I testify that miracles will happen and we as a mission will see the power of God manifest before our eyes.  I love the people here in California, I’d have to say some are very unique, but each is a precious and chosen son or daughter of God.  I also know that each of you love these people, now let’s go and show them our love by talking with them about the Restored Gospel and helping them recognize the love the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for them. 

I have always loved the story of the Stripling Warriors in the Book of Mormon.  They are great examples to me of how to be courageous, firm, and steadfast in my faith.  I think of those young men who so willingly gave up there hobbies, families, and other things they enjoyed doing, to fight for the cause of liberty and truth.  In the book of Alma we read this account:

 44 Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?

 45 And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites.

 46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.

 56 But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war.

They were ready to go to battle and fought with great strength and courageous efforts.  Like them we all need to serve God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength.   I love each of you so much!   Just seeing you makes me so happy and I am so grateful for the great examples that you are to me.  I love my Savior Jesus Christ, He is my ruler and my king, forever and ever He will reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  I testify that what we do is essential to the salvation of our brothers and sisters.   Let’s act on the capacity that we have as ordained ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I love you Elders and Sisters, you are all so special to me, and I am eternally grateful for the profound influence that each of you have had on my life. 

Con amor su hermano,

Elder Hanson

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