|Sister Hansen, Sister Kerr, Sister Woodward, Elder Armstrong and President Hansen|
|These 2 Southern Californians will now be serving together in New Orleans--Elder Glauser and Elder Joubert|
|Sister Astle and Sister Boehme|
|Looks like the Senior table! The Hastings, Bibles, Nelsons and Elder Fontenot|
|Sister Butterfield, Sister Biver and Sister Hockemier|
|Sister Smith, Elder Trainor, Elder Andrews and Elder Martell|
|Elder Hillam, Sister Widdison and Sister Masteller|
|Elder Smith and Elder Brown, standing, and Elder Brimhall and Elder Fowler--the white shirts are Alexandria Zone Leaders and the suite are Denham Springs ZL's|
|Elder Peterson and Elder Perazzo|
|Elder White, Elder Stewart, Elder Madsen and Elder Wittig. Elders W & W will be leaving us tomorrow:(|
|Sister McEntire, Sister Hunter and Elder Trainor|
|Elders Anderson, Dye, Perazzo and Simmons|
|Elder Murhula and Elder Jean Louis|
|Sister Ririe and Sister Wood|
|The newest elder, Elder Armstrong, and his trainer, Elder Morrell--They'll be the Dynamic Duo!|
|Sister Hansen with Elder Simmons, Elder Armstrong, Elder Morrell and Elder Airplane Toone|
|A Rose among, hmm, more roses--Elders Barker, Condie, Smith, Nield, Browning, Southward, Gosch and Sister Pearson|
|Elder Raines, Elder Mills and Elder Wise|
|Sister Greer, Elder Jacildo and Elder Fowler|
|Sister Earl and Sister Worthington|
|Sister Masteller, Sister Widdison and Sister Dixon|
|Temple Square Sister Merrill and Sister McMullin|
|Elder Peltzer with origami made by Elder Barnes|
|Elder Gordon, Elder Andrews, Elder Cooley and President Hansen|
|Elder Richardson, Elder Lehr, Elder Brimhall and Sister Bible|
|Elder Cooley and Elder McCutcheon|
|The LaPlace Elders--Elder Whitmarsh, Elder Brosnahan, Elder Whittier, and Elder Dobie|
|Elder Abbott is leaving Baton Rouge :( after 9 months and will be serving with Elder Ralph in Ponchatoula|
|Elders Nield, Condie, Browning and Gosch|
Then Sister Hansen continued by saying that God knows something you don't. He knows things beyond our comprehension to understand. Before the Hansen's come on their mission they lived way out in the Boise countryside. They'd taught their dogs to not go off the grass on their property because of coyotes and other critters, and the dogs were good to stay where they were supposed to, including the littlest one. One day her son came over and brought his dog who didn't know the rules. He took off, leaving the "safety" of the yard, and the Hansen's dogs all followed--a serious case of peer pressure. All of the dogs finally returned, except the little one who never came back. They'd taught her what she needed to do, even though she didn't understand, but they'd just wanted her to have a happy earthly life.
She quoted D&C 130:20-21 and thoughts from Pres. Uchtdorf. "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated--And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." That's what God wants for us--to be obedient and happy and return to Him. Some people think that God has lots of blessing locked up in heaven, withholding them. He is constantly raining blessings upon us, but we block them with fear, doubt and sin--like opening an umbrella. By following His commandments we close our umbrellas and receive blessing He wants us to achieve. and can return with honor. That's what we (the Hansen's) want for the missionaries.
Final "Words of Wisdom" from Soon-to-be-Released Missionaries.
Elder Ryan ~ Be yourself, wear a smile, help others and enjoy yourself. I wouldn't change anything. Embrace the hard stuff then get over it! There's no better feeling than knowing that someone you've baptized now holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Elder White ~ The mission is awesome and so are you. The mission is awesome, so don't get blue. When life gets rough and tough to bear, buy a pack of abitas (root beer) for all to share. Take a sip, pass it around, and if you're sick, waterfall it down. High five and look around. The Mormon Missionaries run this town. If you don't like my poem, I don't care. I'll be on the beach somewhere! (Elder W wrote this.) Cherish the friendships you make. You won't get them anywhere else. I have a strong testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Learn to apply it in your life. Don't let it go to waste. He took upon himself our pains, etc (quoted Alma 7:11-13). This is the message we have to share. It's incredible! Use it!
Elder Wittig ~ Understand the difference you can make in others' lives. My dad was a great example in my life. He raised his family in the Church, loved us, held the Priesthood and blessed us with it, taught us to go on mission. My dad's a convert. Think about the lives you can change. My older brother said I wouldn't like my mission if I can't get along with my companions, so I made a promise to him that I wouldn't gossip about or talk badly about my companions. I can hay that I've loved all my companions.
Sister Betts ~ One bit of advice I'll give it to love the people you serve and serve with. You know you did a good job on your mission when it's worse leaving here than it was leaving home. This is the hardest thing you'll do, but you can do it because of the Atonement. Let what the Savior did change your life. His love changes people and it changes us.
Sister Lucherini ~ My acronym--GAPS. G for gratitude. If you're grateful, you can get through anything. A for Attitude--not the arrogant kind, but have a good attitude. P for Prayer. Have it regularly. S for Service. It's how we got in doors and brought less actives back.
Sister Pearson ~ Set a vision of who you want to be at the end of your mission. I wrote 4 things for myself:. 1) Understand the Atonement. 2) Understand Miracles and why God blesses us with them. 3) Listen and act on the spirit. 4) I missed this one:( Two other things I've learned: 1) Learn how the power of love affects people. When you love others you represent the Savior. Ask yourself, "How well am I loving these people?" 2) Being a missionary is the best thing I've done. The Atonement can help you overcome hard times. Be humble and diligent and God can take you from ordinary to extraordinary. I have a picture of the Savior. On it is written, "What have you done with my name?"
From Preach My Gospel: "More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." From Pres. Uchtdorf: Happiness is a destination. It's also a path.