67. I am the one who has been blessed

March 16, 2015
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Dear Friends and Family,

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This may be the shortest post of the past 18 months. It seems like as time has gone by, my posts and emails have been getting shorter and shorter. I have found that in talking with my companion and other missionaries, their experience is the same. My mind gets deeper into what I’m doing and then emailing becomes less and less important. But I feel like I have learned and am learning what is most important.
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I have kept a little book of thoughts the last portion of my mission. Right now there are over 100 little thoughts that I have jotted down: phrases I loved, thoughts that passed through my mind that rang true, lessons learned, things I learned about myself. It ranges anywhere from #1 which reads, “Ranch dressing is good on pretty much everything”– an important thing to know, apparently — to deep and meaningful thoughts about the Atonement and God’s plan for me. My point in telling you this is that I have learned what I really want. I want to know that when I reach the point in my eternal timeline when I see my Heavenly Father again, I want Him to know and I want to know myself that I brought love to the world.  That I was an influence for good.  That I did what He needed me to do, and that I gave my heart. I hope that I can say the same about my mission.
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Over the past few days and weeks, I have been doing all of my “lasts.” Last testimony shared in a zone meeting, last coordination meeting, last weekly planning, last Preparation Day (TODAY), last, last, last, last… But I have learned what will “last.” I may not have been a perfect missionary. I may have made many mistakes, missed many opportunities, not always been perfectly obedient or diligent, or whatever. But I have learned that what will last is the testimony, the witness, that I have gained–that now burns in my bones.
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Christ lives. He truly overcame this world so that we might overcome it. He loves us. He is the Son of God, a God who has a plan to bring about the eternal life and eternal happiness of His children. I have served Him these 18 months, endeavoring to bless the lives of His children, and in the end… I am the one who has been blessed.
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One of my favorite missionaries in the Book of Mormon, Ammon, put it this way in Alma 26:
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“1 My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla — [or Boise, perhaps?] — that God would have granted unto us such great blessings? 

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2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell? 
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3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.”

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One of my companions taught me the principle of the seed. You can count the number of seeds in an apple–5 or 6, maybe. But you can never count how many apples come from one seed.
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“What great blessings has God bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?” I cannot.

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And so I leave you with a scripture that seems to be brimming from my heart:
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“Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” 3 Nephi 5:13.

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I have loved this work. I have loved this time. I love the Lord.
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I love you.
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Sister Hansen
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