Week 30. General Conference, April 2014

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!! 

This may be a short one. But let me start by saying:   Hi. I love you. 
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Twice a year, every year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a General Conference. It’s a world-wide, televised, online-streamed, and radio-aired conference in which church leaders address the world on topics of import and on the matters of the heart, the soul, the gospel, and the purposes of life. The messages range from inspiring to humorous to heart-wrenching, and circle all the way back to being inspiring and just…marvelous. If you didn’t have a chance to view this most recent Conference last weekend, I’d love to invite you to check it out!
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It is available on-line, on-demand, here:  GENERAL CONFERENCE 2014
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In the meantime, let me give you a brief run-down of some of what I took away from conference. It was incredible. 
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  • We, as children of God, are eternal beings. That means, by the sheer consideration of our true natures, we are not programmed to be ok with endings. That’s why they are so hard for us. The end of the life, a relationship, a chapter of life, etc. is naturally uncomfortable for us because we are actually built for eternity. Therefore, any of those endings that may seem final, fatal, or unbearable, shouldn’t be viewed as “endings,” but rather mere “interruptions.” It is not an ending, but a beginning. The timeline of eternity is full of “eternal beginnings.” 
  • In life, we all carry heavy loads. Burdens and trials and disappointments. But just like a truck stuck in the snow needs enough weight to gain traction, we need weighty loads in order to gain spiritual traction and move out of being stuck in a trial. The load is what provides the traction that gets us moving towards brighter days, greater strength, and lasting happiness. 
  • This life is but a speck on the timeline of eternity. Much  as the Olympians who have only 4 minutes to run in a bobsled, the luge, a swimming pool, etc. to reach the culmination and result of their months and years of training, we have been trained to be here at this specific time for a specific reason, and we need to spend our relative 4 minutes of time on earth in a way that makes all of that worth it. That is possible as we turn to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and live His gospel. Keeping an eternal perspective in sight as we spend our 4 minutes makes that all a little easier. 🙂
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ is wings because of the “healing in His wings.” We are lifted by His infinite Atonement.  His Gospel is not a checklist. It is in our hearts. It is a way of life. It is not weight. It is wings. This reminds me, especially with Easter coming up, of this scripture in 2 Nephi 25:13, which reads:

“Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead,with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name.”

Anyway, I’ll stop with my thoughts and let you discover some of your own. I hope you enjoyed watching conference or enjoy seeing it after the fact! So many incredible things are available as we listen to these inspired messages! 
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The last few weeks have been full of many wonderful things. We have been so busy! With 14 congregations, we have a lot of area and work to cover. We have a growing number of people that we are working with and we love it! 
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Transfers are coming up next week. I will let you know what the outcome is! 
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I wish you all the best in all things, always. 
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Much love and rice and beans, 
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Sister Hansen
Missionary family portrait:   Trainers, trainees, and a future missionary

A missionary family portrait:
Trainers, trainees, and a future missionary

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Week 29. P.S. It’s April Fool’s Day… Be nice to each other!

2014.04.01.WindAdvisory

Hello everyone!

It’s another blustery day in St. George, as Winnie the Pooh would say. But seriously, it has been so windy here! It’s been ridiculous. Last Sunday, while working in our area and heading to church, the wind nearly blew us away! We were struggling to walk down the street and the dust whipping around into our eyes (ouch!) was pretty intense. And it rained here and there a little. And poured at one point. It’s been a blast! I love St. George in the Spring!

If I thought we were busy when we were covering 7 congregations, well…seven is nothing, now that we have 14. We love how much work we are getting to do! We never have a chance to even think the word ‘bored,’ let alone feel bored. It’s the best blessing!

This last Sunday we had the chance to speak in a Young Men/Young Women combined class in one of our wards. It was a fun opportunity. We were asked to talk about how they can be missionaries now. We boiled it down to five things. So, all you youth that are reading this, (Is anyone actually reading this? haha), listen to this! Actually, HEY!! EVERYONE, listen to this!!

5 Things You Can Do to Be a Missionary Now:

  1. Be a friend. 

Seriously, the best way to be a missionary is to be a friend. I heard a story at the beginning of my mission about a woman whose interest in the church was sparked simply by being around a friend of hers who didn’t hide what she believed. She lived it, she loved it, she shared it. Not in a “Hey you, you have to join my church or you won’t be living right!” way. That’s just silly and wrong. But in a “Hey, this means a lot to me, I love you, and I’m going to share it with you because you’re important to me,” way. If that makes sense. Just be a great friend! That should, honestly, be common sense. We all need friends. 

In John 15:15, the Savior even speaks of the importance of friendship, speaking of our friendship with Him. He said,

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

We are called the Savior’s friends because He makes known unto us what His purposes are; what’s important to Him; why He loves us; how He wishes us to show Him love. Just as the Savior calls us friends, we should call those around us friends. Love one another. Be a good neighbor. Offer service. Lend a helping hand. Send a smile. Set an example. Be humble. Learn from everyone. Just be good to one another!

  1. Study the Scriptures.

  When I was preparing for my mission, my stake president asked me what I thought the youth of the church needed most in order to respond to this hastening, lowering of the age, and outpouring and increase in the missionary force. I said after a few minutes of thought, “A love of the scriptures, earlier on in their life.”

It’s the truth! The scriptures are the best. Seriously. I wrote about the scriptures in an earlier post; about how awesome they are. I said:

 “If you are preparing for a full-time mission, a part-time mission, marriage, college, a new job, a new baby, grand children, great grand-children, or just life in general, learn to love the scriptures. The stories told in the Bible and Book of Mormon are all-at-once classic and wondrous. There are battles, love stories, visions and dreams, kings and queens, daring escapes, sibling rivalries, blood, sweat, and tears, drama, intrigue, spies, quotes you can put up in vinyl on your kitchen walls, and most importantly, Jesus Christ. They’re really just about the coolest books ever. Let’s be honest.

 “So, if you haven’t ever read the Book of Mormon, or it’s just been a while, or it’s just been a few days or hours, I invite you to read it. Read it and talk to God about it. Don’t take my word for it. Take His. I love it, if you haven’t figured that out already, and I know that you could love it, too. It has changed my life and it has made me happier than any other book. I invite you to read what could become your favorite book of all time. It’s definitely my favorite.”



 In another sense, studying the scriptures is essential to missionary work. In Doctrine and Covenants 11:21, we are instructed to:

 “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.”

When we study and “obtain” the word of God, we will have them stored in our hearts and minds so that we can call upon them and share them when the time comes.

Ok, ALSO, consider this: John 5:39,

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Boom. 🙂 Study the scripture! Treasure up the words of life!

3. Share by the Spirit

  John 14:26,

 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

You may not always feel like you know what to say when, and to whom, but the Spirit does. Trust in that. 🙂

4. Seek God’s Help  

Pray, pray, pray, and when your knees start to hurt, pray some more. And then get up and go! In a conference address a little while ago, Elder S. Gifford Nielson said,

 “First, specifically pray to bring someone closer to the Savior and His gospel every day. You could do this by seeing all people as sons and daughters of God helping each other on their journey home. Think of the new friends you would make.”

Hey look!  Friends! 🙂

5. Prepare for a Mission

  Preparing doesn’t mean you have to go. It just means you are prepared to go. Preparing for a mission is preparing for the temple and preparing for the temple is preparing for life and for life eternal. You won’t regret it. That’s a promise.

 To the leaders of those programs in the respective wards throughout the church, I have this to say: I salute you. That is all.

Ok, sorry. I didn’t mean to get carried away, I just really wanted to share that. 🙂 I love you all so much! Look for the Lord’s hand in your life every day. It is there, I promise. Look for ways to share your light, your faith, your friendship, and your testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A testimony is gained in the bearing of it.

There are miracles here, every day. I wish I had time to write them all down for you! Just rest assured that I love where I am, what I’m doing, and everything that goes along with it. I LOVE my mission!

Happy everything and Happy April!

Much love and rice and beans,

Sister Hansen

P.S. It’s April Fools Day. Be nice to each other.

 

St. George West Zone.  Boise North and Central Stake people and Capital High School people will recognize a sister on the front row and an elder on the back row.

St. George West Zone, March 11, 2014. Boise North and Central Stake people and Capital High School people will recognize Sister Hansen in teal on the front row right and Elder Sawyer Davis on the back row, left-center.  Click to enlarge.