Monday, January 27, 2014

A Good Lamp Post

Happy birthday Jennifer! (sorry four days late) anyways this week was a really great week full of excitement. On Tuesday I got to be the senior companion for a day, I went on an exchange with Elder Kaelberer who just got her 2 weeks ago. It was a little stressful being out of my area for a day and he still doesn't really know his area. I was driving while he gave me directions "I think. . . it's that street you just passed." That's ok though we had some really good lessons together and we only got completely lost once. It was great to be able to share some of the things that I have learned here on my mission, and help him become a better missionary. I learned a lot from him about myself, and it was great to see how far I have come. He is going to be a great missionary I can tell.
On Thursday me and Elder Atkin had some good lessons we are teaching a pastor who loves asking us deep philosophical questions. It's always a good conversation with him he never wants to bash with us which is great. Later that day we taught Lisa Brinton who is still on track to be baptized this Saturday, so that is super exciting. She pretty much knew everything before we even started teaching her so we have just been helping her build her foundation of faith, so she doesn't get blown over in the storms of life. Also we taught Chris and Katherine and it went really well. It was a packed lesson with tithing, word of wisdom, chastity, and prophets. They are both doing great Chris is doing great getting ready for his baptismal date on Feb. 8th, and Katherine still isn't sure but she committed to try and give up coffee and pay tithing if she becomes a member. So that's great! She just hasn't gotten that spiritual confirmation that its true yet.
Then on Friday night the zone leaders car wouldn't start, so we went and helped them clean the corrosion on the battery and I was very helpful holding the flashlight. I guess I make a good lamp post, not really sure why. We got it started just in time to get back to the apartment by 9:00.
The next day we had a fantastic lesson with Willyam who has been really struggling to read the Book of Mormon, so we gave him a Spanish copy and a chapter to read. He came back having read not only that chapter, but he went to the beginning and read the first 14 chapters as well.
I was Shocked.
We had a great discussion about the Book of Mormon and how he can start making changes in his life. He has a long way to go, but he is well on his way. He told us out of all the books he has been reading to help him in his life "the Book of Mormon is just powerful." We are still working with him towards baptism eventually, but even if I don't see him get baptized I feel like I have help him bring light into his life that he didn't know was available.
I have a lot of great things to look forward to this transfer, and I am so excited. It's Elder Atkins birthday next month, so we get to go to the temple, 2 baptisms, presidents interviews, and a zone activity. And you can' complain about this California weather.
I love you all,
Elder Hamson

Monday, January 20, 2014

Beautiful Days

Well this week was a great week, it actually started off bad but it ended up fantastic. Nothing too exciting happened until Thursday when we had three great lessons one after another, and they all had a member present which is always great. The first one was with Sandy Dawson and she decided to surprise us with lunch at our lesson that day. We teach her out on her front porch, so we had a nice little pick-nick outside on a card table. It was a beautiful Southern California day and we had a great lesson with her reading from the Book of Mormon.
The next lesson was with Chris and Katherine which was a bitter sweet, because in our lesson asked if they had gotten an answer as to whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. Chris was excited to share that the day after he prayed for an answer he has the best day ever, he just felt great all day. He told us that he believes the Book of Mormon is true and he can't wait to be baptized on Feb. 8th. It is so great to hear is simple, budding testimony of the restored gospel. Katherine still isn't sure.
The third lesson was with Lisa Brinton who is scheduled to be baptized on the 1st of February. She is probably as golden as it gets. We don't do much other than answer some questions and help her build her testimony. The thing with her is going to be getting her family involved. They sit with us in our lessons if they are around and they are all really supportive which is great, because that wasn't always the case.
Then on Saturday we taught our investigator Willyam (that's how he spells it) we had a lesson with him in the park and we read Alma 32 with him and talked about it. It was a really great lesson and he agreed with us that he needs to exercise his faith. We invited him to our stake conference adult session later that night, and he agreed to come. He showed up 30 mins late, which was a little stressful for us, but we were so excited when he showed up. He had to leave really quickly, so we didn't get to talk about what he thought, but we will see him later this week.
Stake conference was great as well it was all about hastening the work of salvation and it was a broadcast from some general authorities to some stakes her in the LA area. There were some really great talks and I am glad that I get to be a part of this great work. The work is moving forward with or with out our help, so lets all join in together and help.

Typical Alan-prepared Lunch:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Staying Put

Well transfers are tomorrow and I am staying here in Thousand Oaks with Elder Atkin! I hear It's unusual for companions to stay together for three transfers, so I really lucked out. Our whole district is pretty much staying the same so that's exciting. Also the zone leaders are staying as well so our whole apartment is the same for another 6 weeks. Also we found out that our new mission president will be president Dell C. Felix on July 1, 2014
 I gave a talk in church on Sunday and it went really well. We have been listening to a CD about teaching by the spirit and it talks about taking no thought before hand- D&C 84:85. I studied a lot of different things that I could talk about and I had written down a few notes in my notebook on what I was going to say in my talk. I was thinking about it on the stand before the meeting and if I have everything written out on what I am going to talk about I am not giving the Lord an opportunity to speak through me. So as I got up to give my talk I left my notes on the seat, took my scripture and went with the spirit. It's like bearing your testimony in sacrament meeting you just have to do it before you have time to talk yourself out of it. It was definitely a leap of faith and quite scary, but I trusted that He would help me with what I need to say. It didn't come though until I was in the midst of giving my talk, but that is how it works. It takes a lot of faith, but it is an experience I won't soon forget.
This last week was great as far as investigators go we had one at church which is good, but if everything went how we had hoped there would have been 5. We will keep working on them though, and now that I am with Elder Atkin for another transfer they will know the missionaries already. We still are planning on a baptism on the 25th, Lisa Brinton. Everything is going as planned and we are teaching the whole family, so hopefully they will all follow after the mother's example. We have two other investigators with a date, Chris and Katherine, they are doing great still and this last week we had one of the youth come to our lesson with them which was great. It helps to have someone their age to bear their testimony to them. I have a real love for this area and for all of the people we are teaching, and I am so glad that I get to stay here for another six weeks. I love you all

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year's Hike

Well happy new year everybody. This last week was a great start to the new year. We went on a hike as a zone and hiked up to a waterfall. We had a good time and while we were there we buried our "weapons" of war. We wrote things on a piece of paper that were holding us back, things that we needed to sacrifice in order to become better. We folded them into swords and buried them in the ground never to be found again.
Then we had a district meeting on new years day, and that was great. In district meetings we just get together as a district and people give talks and we practice our missionary skills things like that. This one was a really spiritual experience and I have grown to love this district. We are all fairly new in the mission so we will see more of each other.
We are still teaching Sister Brinton and her family. She has a baptismal date for the 25th, and is really excited to be baptized. I think the family will follow after she set the example. I am really excited for her and her family.
Also this week we found a man named David and he told us he is a pastor at some christian church and he was excited to see us and told us we should come back anytime. So we went back not sure what to expect, because either he was really excited to bash with us or just a friendly person. Fortunately he was just a really friendly person and we had a really good lesson and answered a lot of the questions that he had and he gladly accepted a book of mormon and will read it.
I am doing great here and love you all thank you for all the pictures and Jen good luck with your nose :)