13 April 2014


Hannah has a new companion:  Macall Bowden.  Hannah loves her already.  I know that great personal sacrifice was required in order for Sister Bowden to serve a mission.  I’m so grateful that Sister Bowden was, and continues to be, willing to put the Lord first in her life.   Much of what Hannah has learned, and the growth she has experienced as a missionary, are because of her companions.

And “thank you” to the members in Montgomery, Texas.  You have made time to go with Hannah and her companions on teaching appointments.  Thank you for your dedicated service to the Lord and your own efforts to hasten God’s work.  Hannah continually marvels at the blessings that come because of the efforts of the members.

Next month will be Hannah’s one year anniversary as a missionary!  I’m thinking of sending her some materials from the newest Fun & Faith catalog from Oriental Trading to help her take her missionary efforts to a whole new level.  Although Oriental Trading has many exciting themes to choose from, I decided that the Wild West theme would be appropriate for a Texas missionary.   Just imagine how welcome investigators will feel to see a WANTED BY GOD –REWARD (awaits in Heaven) poster with their photo on it to greet them on Sunday!  I’m still having trouble, however, deciding between the bandanas (Logo:  Giddy-up with God), the bandana print pencils with boot erasers (Step Up Your Faith), or the Clothespin Horse Craft Kit (Galloping in His Glory). 

Hannah continues to experience the Lord’s tender mercies.  She has had so many choice and sacred opportunities to witness first-hand the miracle of conversion and to see people she has come to know and love receive the ordinances of the gospel.  And with the passing at the end of March of her beloved grandfather, Edward Bonner, her testimony of the eternal nature of families was reaffirmed. 

Her testimony of service was also recently strengthened.  After an appointment fell through, Hannah and Sister Bowden were tracting, and approached a house where a man and a woman were working on their porch.  As soon as the Sisters were spotted, the woman called out, “Now is not a good time.”  Hannah responded, “We are just in the area doing some service.  Can we help you?”  Hannah says that the couple’s disposition immediately changed.   Hannah and Sister Bowden (as they didn’t have an extra hammer with them that night) made an appointment to return the following week to help paint the porch and share a gospel message.  After the return visit, regular discussions have followed.  This couple is prepared for and excited about the gospel.  Hannah observed that even small acts of service have the power to change hearts and minds.  No wonder we were admonished during Conference to be kinder, to love better, and to pray for opportunities to serve others – and then do it. 

Speaking of General Conference, Hannah says some of her favorite talks were:  Elder Holland, President Uchtdorf, and Bishop Stevenson.

She’s asked each member of her family to follow up on Elder M. Russell Ballard’s challenge to exchange thoughts and insights on Preach My Gospel with a missionary.   I bet you’re thinking:  “Thanks a lot for reminding me of another thing I’m supposed to be doing.”  You’re welcome.