63. We are what is in our hearts.

February 9, 2015Tree of life heart
.
Dear Friends and Family and Associates of all other kinds…
.
As I sat down and opened my emails today, I found a message from a friend that I met at the Vistiors’ Center. She shared a story with me that I wanted to relate to you.
.
She said:
“I want to share something really cool with you that I learned in an Institute of Religion class.  We were talking a lot about desires. We’re reading the war chapters [in the Book of Mormon] and getting a lot of lessons out of them.  A girl spoke up and she said that an MTC leader told her this while she worked there.  She was frustrated because some of her lessons were really powerful and then some just weren’t.  She didn’t know what she was doing wrong so she went to ask her supervisor.  He asked her why she thought some lessons that went so well? She said, “Because I know they’re true. I’ve lived them and I have had personal experience with them.”  He asked her why the other lessons weren’t like that.  She didn’t really have a good answer.  And he replied:
 .
“‘We teach who we are.  We teach what is written on our hearts.  It’s not just our behaviors that need to be in line, but it’s our desires.  And everything needs to be below God.’  So then she did that, and was amazed at the progress she was making! She was so happy and learning so much, and about a month later, she saw him and said, “Oh, thank you so much.  My whole life has changed!” He said, “But be watchful, because He will test us to see if we really want Him. He will let us see if we want anything else above Him. He will test our desires.” And then I guess just a little bit later, there was a really hard trial in her life to see if she really would put God first.”
.
Her message and story about a lesson on desires came at a perfect time.  I’ve had this thing with studying “desires” for quite a while now on my mission. It started when a bishop gave a spiritual thought about it in a ward council. He talked about what we learn about desires from Nephi’s account of the vision his father saw in 1 Nephi. Nephi has desires to know the mysteries of God, etc. and the angel keeps asking, “What desirest thou?” In 1 Nephi 13:8, we read about the desires of the “great and abominable church.” I’m reading in Alma right now about how the pride cycle was actually started by the desires of the people. In Alma 4:6-8, it begins because they set their hearts upon riches. Their hearts determined their desires and where there heart was, there was their treasure also. But in Alma 1:30, there was no pride because their hearts WEREN’T set upon riches. This is sort of like stream of consciousness blogging.  I hope it makes sense.
.
david-a-bednar-largeBut anyway, this quote from Elder Bednar sort of drives it home. He said, “Thus, our hearts–the sum total of our desires, affections, intentions, motives, and attitudes–define who we are and determine what we will become.” A wise young woman I met on my mission once said, “[The Adversary] goes after our hearts because our hearts determine our desires, and our desires determine our actions.”
.
So we are what is in our hearts. It’s akin to “we are what we eat,” I suppose, but a little deeper. Ok, jokes aside, I love this. What is in our hearts will determine who we are and what the Lord is able to do through us. Freedom can come from knowing that your heart is in the right place, not that you are always perfect. Our desires will determine what we do and who we are and that is the greatest freedom–knowing that our desires are aligned with God’s. And that can begin through prayer and through seeking the Lord in your life.
.
A brief update before I close: DSC01814-2
.
I am staying and finishing my mission in the Washington Fields Stake. It is surreal to think that this is my last area and my last weeks and my last everything else. My last companion is Sister Archambault. She is from Manitoba, Canada. We’ve been friends our whole missions and never guessed we’d be able to be companions! We’re having a blast and seeing miracles. She pushes me to be better than I’ve ever been and hopefully I’m not ruining her. So it works.
.
We rode bikes for the first time on my mission this last week. That was always a dream of mine! And it has come true! Weird dream, but hey. Pictures to come… maybe. 🙂
.
In just the month of February, we are looking forward to two baptisms, a sister I taught in a previous area going to the temple for the first time, and many more miracles, laughter, tears, and greatness.
.
I am sad/happy/confused to think that I am in my last transfer. I have 5 weeks left and it is craziness. My mission has been so full of exactly what I know the Lord needed me to do, experience, understand, etc. And I am so grateful. It has definitely changed my heart.
.
I love you all so much! I hope you have fabulous weeks, a fabulous February, and see the hand of the Lord in your life DAILY.
.
Much love and rice and beans,
.
Sister Hansen
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s