Monday, September 30, 2013

Elder Valdez and I in our apartment

My new companion from Guatemala

Hey family! 

I just want to start by letting you guys know that I am doing great! Lots of changes in my life but I cant complain at all! Its good to hear from you guys and to hear things are going well! I'm so proud to call you guys my family, you are such great people and I am so grateful for the examples you have always set for me in my life. With volleyball, church, service, work, its sounds like you guys have a lot of stuff going on but that's good. Glad life is exciting and fun. I always look forward to hearing how Carter is doing. Glad you are still doing well bro and having lots of success in volleyball! I'm sure you are still as good as ever! Everyone hear thinks I'm sooo tall, so when I tell them my brother who is 16 is taller then me they cant believe it haha. Have you grown at all? You better be at least 6 4 by now! 

We only have an hour and a half each week to email, and we have to read a message from the president and respond, so I figure from now on I won't reply a lot to what you guys say. Obviously I will read it and comment a bit but its easier if I don't comment on everything. I always feel sooo rushed during email time haha. But I would still love to hear about the important stuff going on back at home, and I will keep everything and everyone in my prayers. 

President Carter is awesome. Because I came in 2 days earlier than the other missionaries I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him. He expects a lot of us, but he is a very loving and knowledgable man. He talked about golf a lot haha, he said he used to golf all the time when he lived in Florida but he hasn't golfed since he has been here.. so its very unlikely I will either haha. But it's all good. We went to their house on Thursday and it is super nice. Him and Hermana Carter are both super great, they have a very strong love for the missionaries which helps this feel like home.

Oh Argentina. It is such a different world than Canada but I love it. So yes my area is called Lujan, it is about 80 000 people. But the area we are in is mostly just houses so it has a very small town feel to it. I love it. My companion is about 5 foot 6 probably, maybe shorter. He is so short it is hilarious, we look like David and Goliath. His name is Elder Valdez and he is awesome. He was actually born in Toronto, but is Guatamalan. He has lived there since he was about one. He is super nice and outgoing so it is a lot of fun, but he is also very focused and a hard worker, and he does speak English very well. Its definitely better than my Spanish. His knowledge of the gospel is very immense so I learn a lot each day. He helps me a ton with my Spanish, and makes me say stuff during our lessons which is a struggle. But it is very good. Our pension (house) Is very small but its got everything we need. It is just us 2. We have a little dining and study room, tiny bathroom, our bedroom, and then about a 5 foot backyard haha. It is sweet though I do like it a lot. We don't spend a lot of time there. Its weird here, they don't eat dinner! We eat breakfast on our own and then usually a hugeee lunch with the members, and then we don't eat again. It will definitely take some getting used to and I'll probably lose some pounds but I know it will be good. When we get back to our pench at 9 each night I usually make some food. By the end of these 2 years I will be a pro chef! Although it took us about 45 minutes to whip cream by hand the other night, it was a struggle! It is funny how much fun I get out of the little things now. But being here I have already learned to appreciate every little thing in life. Oh and one more thing, I get to wash my clothes by hand! Whoot haha. So today will be my first experience with that. Should be interesting. It's not too cold here, our pench only has a portable heater so it gets a little chilly at night but with my sleeping bag and blanket I am never cold. I am more worried about the summer months, I am going to die of the heat I'm sure.

Missionary work is definitely hard, I cant lie and say that it's not. We walk so much every single day. Its like Europe all over again haha. At times it can be a struggle to stay motivated, but I know its important that we do. My first day here we walked so much and had very little success. It was about 8:45 and we could have gone back to our pench, but we decided to go to one more investigators house. We went there and had a fantastic lesson, I think it's Ether 12:12 that says after the trial of your faith you will be blessed. And that definitely has happened many times already. Things aren't going to be easy, but through persevering and trust in the Lord we will be blessed.

We have a couple good investigators. Mario has been to church 4 weeks in a row, but he is having trouble quitting smoking. Once he can quit he will be completely ready for baptism. So we have to work hard and pray for the Lord to help him stop. We also met a man named Omar last week, who ended up coming to church with us. He is definitely interested, but because of a few problems in his life he has had trouble believing God is loving and showing faith. We have been able to help open his eyes a little though, he said a prayer the other day too which was awesome. I know I felt the spirit strong and I'm sure he did too. Even though I can't understand everything the spirit touches my heart daily. Last night we went and taught a less active lady named Rosalia and her non member husband Alberto. Their house was very small and had no lights. We sat around their beds using candles for lights to read from the Book of Mormon. And it was seriously such a neat experience.

With the spiritual come the funny times too. Our first 2 days here we had a mini missionary with us, which is just a young man who is getting ready for a mission.. ours was named Hermano Calderon. So we were teaching a lesson, and we were ending with a prayer so as we went to kneel the mans dog jumped and bit Hermano Calderon right in the leg! I had to try so hard not to bust out laughing but it was seriously so funny. The dogs here and wild and everywhere! Like the deer in Magrath! But worse. I also met my first snake.. (which is a girl who is interested in the missionaries for different reasons). I think it's called a snake cause they try to lure you away like Satan did to Adam and Eve haha. She wanted to get me and my companions number which was interesting. But we explained that we aren't allowed to have girlfriends or relationships with girls. Also the other night I was washing my feet in our house and Elder Valdez asked me if my feet fingers were dirty, I literally died laughing. I then explain they were toes. He is awesome.

Yesterday at church there was about 57 people which I guess is a lot, there is usually about 40 I believe. It was so different than back home, but at the same time it was the same spirit and the same love as back home. It's pretty much custom for the missionaries to have to speak every week. So I was asked about 2 minutes before the meeting if I would, and of course I said yes. So I had to give a 5 minutes talk with only my Book of Mormon. I have no idea what I said, but with the Spirit I talked for about 5 minutes in Spanish and bore my testimony. It was a neat experience, I was super nervous I can't lie.

I love you guys! I hope I covered all of your questions. Lots is going on but life is great. Life is all about attitude. No matter what happens I know this is the Lords work so I will always do my best to be on his errand. Thank you for everything you have done for me. Keep being awesome.

Love, Elder Hansen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sister Carter has posted a few pictures of the new missionaries on her blog.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My 1st companion

Doing a little shopping on my 1st day

With President and Sister Carter

1st apartment

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hola familia! So tomorrow is the big day and I'm super excited! We just have 5 minutes to write our families and let them know that we are leaving tomorrow so this will be short. So my president is supposed to pick me up at 7:30am tomorrow! I'm a little nervous, I'm hoping the president won't be expecting me to be able to speak in Spanish. haha. Its gonna be so awesome though, I'm excited to meet him and start the real work! And to meet my companion and those coming down from the Provo MTC. My next Pday probably won't be till next Monday, so don't expect an email from me on Thursday. I love you guys, keep the faith and know that I'm doing great and loving each day. 

Love, Elder Hansen

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hey family! One day I will try to write you an email in all spanish and let you try to figure it out... but maybe not today haha. I think that would take too long for both of us to figure out! Thanks for filling me in on life and sports! Its always nice to hear what is going on around the world. We don't hear much here, the odd thing about soccer and the world cup preliminaries.. all the teachers talk about how Argentina is the best! I bet by the end of my mission I'll have a serious love for soccer.. it will be interesting to see. Sounds like summer is starting to wrap up over there.. we actually get to go on the computer each day to do a program called TALL.. its an online language program, so i have a weather app i check occasionally to see Magrath. Just getting ready for another winter hey? I don't think I'll miss that too much. The weather here is crazy too.. we had one day about a week and a half ago that was 28 degrees and sooo humid. It felt easily hotter then any day we had back home this summer and its winter here! The teachers said it was nothing compared to summer, so I'm definitely going to die this summer! The humidity is intense for a Canadian boy like me.
PS thank you for the candy!! haha i was so surprised when I saw a huge package sitting on the table for me. Best family in the world no doubts! It was a great surprise though and Ive been enjoying the taste of home! My companions love it too and say thank you haha. When did you send it?? I actually got it last thursday about 2 hours after I emailed so i never got the chance to say thanks till now! But i appreciate it.
Carter sounds like you are living the life! Volleyball, road trips, toga! What more could you ask for! I'm glad you are having fun though, definitely the point of life! As much as you need to focus in sports and school just enjoy it! That tournament sounds intense but it's awesome to hear that you guys are always right up there contending, even with the bigger schools. Shows a lot about your guys heart and dedication! How are practices going these days? Dad running you through the ground yet? Cause if he isn't he should.. haha. Cart man I want you to know I play basketball everyday here, so in 2 years when I get home I'll be ready to take on the MHS high school basketball star! Well I guess ex star since by that time you will be graduated! CRAZY. haha I will definitely get owned but those were some fun times we had on the drive way this summer! Even if things did get a little intense at times I loved it.
It definitely gets harder and harder each week in here to think of stuff to write about. The first couple of weeks i wrote in my journal everyday, now its like 2 or 3 times a week. Please don't hurt me mom. Things are just so routine that its hard to think of new exciting things. I just try to write down feelings or interesting lessons we had... but Im not so good at the whole feelings thing yet. One day.
As for your questions. I sleep on a bed that is probably 6 feet long, but the bed frame is about 6 foot 6 . so i am just small enough to squeeze in it haha. I actually sleep like a baby on it because I am so tired at the end of each night. We have bunk beds and since I'm the senior companion I sleep on the top! Takes me back to the good old days of sharing a room with Carter! haha. I never did hear from Carson so maybe try to Facebook him or something? If he doesn't get it thats ok but I would love to hear from him and see how his preparations were going and if he has gone through the temple yet! Do you guys know much about him??  I don't really play hymns much down here mom so I am good for now thank you, if I ever need it I will let you know!
We have never actually seen any other missionaries while we are tracting, but we have seen a couple of members which has been cool. In the compound we stay in there is the MTC, Temple, and a hotel across the street for people who travel a long way to come to the temple. Its actually a sweet set up, there are big groups of mormons that come every once and awhile, some from 20 plus hours away! I can't imagine having to do that, some serious dedication. So there are sometimes kids running around and we talked to them. But we go to the hotel sometimes to help clean for service and we saw 2 missionaries that were actually serving in my mission! We never talked to them long but one was from Minnesota and one was latin. I just told them I was in their mission and that I would see them in a couple weeks! haha. Those are the only missionaries we have seen, but i know a couple other people have seen some while they are proselyting.
Yes we do go proselyting with our MTC companions, so its me Elder Smart and Elder Oliver each week. A trio is interesting but its fun. I think its gonna be weird when I only have one companion, in just 5 days! Crazy.
Onto proseltying this past Saturday. So to answer your question dad our first 2 weeks we were in the same area, then for our last 2 weeks we switch to a new area. So this past Saturday we had a new area and it was actually in the Buenos Aires West Mission! So sweet that I was able to proselyte in my own mission. I told everyone in my district to get as many refferals as possible so I could baptize them all next week when I get out into the field! It was another cold day but thankfully the rain stayed away this time, it was much easier to talk to people and there was way more people out on the streets. We had a lot of success early on which was nice, we were talking to people like crazy, but nobody really seemed super interested. They just want to know what we have to say, but as soon as we talked about the Book of Mormon or anything that didn't go along with their Catholic religion they would say no thanks that's not for me. So although we were getting lots of contacts we weren't having the success we wanted. We stopped for a bit to eat, and then after we said a prayer and were feeling something good would happen. But it was even worse, the next half hour nobody would talk to us. But we stayed positive and then finally our prayer was answered. We met a really nice lady in her 40s, she wasn't overly interested but she wanted to know about our church and what we believed in. We talked to her for a good 15 minutes, but the same thing she wouldn't take a Book of Mormon because her husband wouldn't like it if she came home with one. With about half an hour left before we had to go we finally met a person who was really interested. She was in her mid 20s, and her "really good guy friend" whatever that means, that was with her knew about the church because his mother was a member. But we ended up talking to this girl for 20 minutes. We taught her about God and his plan for us, we talked about the Book of Mormon, we taught her how to pray. It was actually so interesting. As much as we have had success before she was the first one that really just had that light in her eye. She said she would pray about the Book of Mormon and start reading it! We were way excited about that. It was definitely a good day, but its crazy how just one person can change it from good to great. We are definitely going to try to go back by her house and visit her on Saturday to see how she is doing! Although it will be our last chance to see her, I think it will be sweet if we are able to teach her again and see if she is progressing. It makes me excited to get out into the field and start, were you can actually build real relationships with your investigators. Crazy that in only 5 days i will be out of the MTC and off into the real world! I'm super excited but also a little nervous, but I know that it will be great. It will definitely be an overload of Spanish but it will come!
We actually did see a golf course on our way driving to proselyting dad. It was sweet.. it seemed like a decent course but since it was just there winter it was definitely a little brown and not in peak condition. It made me want to golf so bad haha. But you quickly forget about those small feelings because we are so busy.
Thanks for the thing on the Atonement and the Spanish quotes! I wish I knew if they translated over correctly haha. I can tell the overall meaning of what they are saying but the word for word translation is impossible still. The amount of stuff we learn here in the MTC is amazing. I wish you guys could sit in on one of our lessons and see the knowledge and the power our President has. He has taught us some stuff that I could never imagine, and its so hard to remember it all but its so cool. I have definitely started to desire to learn more and more about the gospel. I cant lie when I say i was never a big scripture reader back home, but now our hour or personal study where I just can read my scriptures is one of my favorite parts of the day. I love Elder Russell M Nelson's talk. I cannot imagine being Christ and going through all those things. I admire him for going through those things for us, and because it was the will of the Father. We learnt about how when Jesus was on the cross and said "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  Because it was the first time in Christ's life where the Father completely left him. Christ had to go through these things on his own. I have really started to appreciate and recognize the Atonement so much more in my life. People out in the world know nothing about it, and its cool to be able to share with them the fact that they are able to be forgiven of all the wrong they do.
I love you guys so much and appreciate your example. Keep being the amazing people you are and I know the Lord will bless you. I know the Lord loves you. Thank you so much for raising me in this church. It is a blessing to me more everyday.
Since we leave the MTC on tuesday we get some time either monday or tuesday to email oor families and tell them we are leaving! I'm so excited. So I will talk to you then and give you more details!
Love, Elder Hansen.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hola familia!! Man do I love hearing from you guys each week, it is so nice to be able to hear what is going on back in Magrath with everyone. Its weird being secluded from the world but I know why its necessary and I actually do like it a lot haha. I thought i would miss all the electronics and communicating devices but i actually don't.. its nice to just focus on someone 100%. but don't get me wrong i still do love hearing from you guys.
Its weird another hockey season is starting and I'm not playing. I'm excited to hear from Russ and see how he is doing! Expecting him to have at least 40 goals this year! haha. That is so awesome about volleyball Carter, sounds like you are dominating out there, keep up the good work! Looks like you guys should be one of the favorites to win it all, so just work hard and I know you guys will be pull it off! Make sure you update me on each one of your games I'd love to hear every week how you are doing!
I'm so sad I missed Mitch's homecoming talk, I'm sure he did a great job! I would love to hear from him and know how he's doing and how he's adjusting to the hockey life back home.. I bet its super weird! I already feel like it would be weird and I've only been out a month. Crazy I've been out a month today! Ill be sure to write Chase a little message and say hi and ask how he is doing! He is such a cute little kid and it melts my heart that he said that. haha.
Like I said its weird I've been out a month today. According to our president he wants us to be fluent in 3 months.. so according to him we should we a third of the way there. I don't even feel close at allll haha. But thats ok, I'm learning lots each day. I find it easier and easier every time I try to talk with someone. We got a new group of latinos in yesterday so we were trying to help them settle in and they didn't speak much English so we had to do most of in it Spanish. It made it tough but it was a good experience. I don't know how you felt after a month dad, I'm sure japanese is much harder to learn.. but the stuff we are learning now is so frustrating. We are learning subjunctives right now, I don't even know what that is in English so its quite interesting. haha. I also had to give a 5 minute talk in Spanish last sunday. about 90% of it was in Spanish, and then I said some english words that I didnt know how to say. I remember the first sunday when we were here and the people who had been here 4 weeks gave their talks, I thought there was no way i would be able to do that in 4 weeks. but sure enough I can, with the Lord and great teachers we learn so quickly!
To answer your questions. My shoes are doing good! Both are really worked in and pretty comfortable, my feet do get a little sore from being in them all day but its getting better. We only get to take pictures every other Sunday, so I have been taking lots of pictures on those days.. I think I'm going to take my camera when I go proselyting on Saturday. We aren't supposed to look like tourists, but i figure if there is something awesome I will take a quick picture of it. There are no new Canadians with the new group of missionaries, it is just me and hermana Drew and the rest are americans. We are highly outnumbered but we both have Canada shirts we wear pretty much everyday haha. We can print off the emails we get which is nice, I don't print off all of them.. usually just the ones i don't have time to read then I can respond to them the next week. I don't need anything that i can think of, plus i won't be here long enough to receive it anyways. Once i get to the mission home and where I'll be staying i can let you know if i need something!
So on to the proselyting. It was another great day but wayyy different than the last time we went out. We woke up to it absolutely pouring outside, and it seriously didn't stop all day. So we all got our rain coats and umbrellas and just sucked it up and went out. And when i say pouring it was seriously pounding down, i could hardly hear when the rain was hitting the top of my umbrella. The streets had about 3 inches of water everywhere.. so we had to jump through puddles and try to find whatever dry ground we could to walk on.. was an adventure. It definitely made it difficult to proselyte because there was pretty much nobody on the streets anywhere! The odd person here or there, but they were in too much of a rush to stop and talk to us. So we started knocking doors to see if we would have any success that way. We were walking up to this guys house and he was standing in the entryway, and when he saw us he kind of left... we decided to be annoying and knock anyways. He answered the door and we told him we were missionaries, and we talked to him for about 2 minutes before he actually let us in his house. It was a tiny little cement apartment with 2 rooms and a disgusting bathroom that smelt like an outhouse. We went into one of the rooms and his friend was in there, probably in his 70s, wrapped up in a blanket super sick. We talked to them and shared a bit of a message about Gods purpose for us, and then we talked about the book of mormon for a bit and he said he would read it. I had the prompting to give his friend a blessing but i couldn't think of how to say anything in Spanish, i felt so dumb so i didn't ask but now i wish i just would have and not worried about the language.. but it was a learning experience. But we did ask them if we could offer a prayer for them and they said yes, it was a short but powerful prayer and they were very acceptive. I then asked the guy if he would like to be baptized.. yes baptized haha. We are taught you are supposed to ask people to be baptized almost every time you talk to them even though they will almost always say no. When i asked this guy he said, si amen. I don't think he really understood what i was asking him though haha.
So we went back out in the rain for about an hour and had no success.. we decided to eat lunch and we had to walk for about 15 minutes to find a place that was dry enough that we could actually eat there. it was a struggle... once we did find a place when we were done eating it was tough to motivate ourselves to get back out in the rain, but we knew its what we had to do. So off we went to knock some more doors. about a half hour later we knocked on this guys door and he opened up, and when he opened the door i could see inside and he had a giant hole in his roof that the water was just pouring through! We asked if we could help him and he said no, he said that he would love to talk to us and invite us in but he couldn't right now.. so we left. We weren't more than 50 feet away when we were inspired that we had to go back. So we went back to his house, said we are sorry to bother you again, then we asked him for his name and address so we could come back and visit later. We then left him with a book of mormon to read. It was cool how accepting he was when we went back and bothered him again.
I feel like there is getting less to talk about, just because days here are getting pretty routine. We do learn a lot each day but I'm not gonna bore you with the Spanish lessons we are receiving haha. Im sure when I'm out in the field I'll have a lot of experiences to share with you guys.
I just wanna finish with my testimony about the prophet Joseph Smith! We watched "Joseph Smith the Restoration" movie last Sunday, and it was incredible. Its funny how before my mission i never ever watched church movies and now I love them. You guys should watch this movie, it's about the life and trials of Joseph Smith, and it definitely had my eyes going a bit glossy at certain points. I really do know he is a true prophet of God. I want to become like him in the sense when we found out the truth, all he wanted to do was share it. I do have the truth in my life and I do want to share it, but I've been praying for the burning desire to share it with everybody I come in contact with. I love you guys and hope everything is going good! Thanks for being such great people and good examples. I loved your talk dad. I'm blessed to have parents who are so strong in the gospel. It's been the biggest blessing in my life and I see it more everyday! Take care.
Love, Elder Hansen.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello family!! So good to hear from you guys. I seemed to totally forget about the outside world until Wednesday night, then all I can think about is hearing from you guys and knowing what is going on back home! Glad to hear everything is well and things are still as fun as ever! Always a lot of fun in the Hansen household, that's the way we do things. Glad to hear that school is going well, its always a sad day when summer comes to an end but i actually do miss school a bit haha. MHS is where its at! 
I cant wait to hear about Mitch, I've been thinking about him and been wondering a lot this past week, i would love to get a copy of his email that i could print off. He's an awesome guy and i look up to him a ton. I cant imagine how hard it will be for him to get back into hockey, 4 months was hard enough for me I cant imagine 2 years! But I'm sure it will be an interesting adventure for him and I'm excited to hear about it. PS How is Russ doing? I just realized i dont have his email so could you send it to me so i can write him, please and thanks. I also need Carson and Jasons emails, I should have been on that stuff before i left but oh well. Thanks!
Ahh the Blazers, seems like just yesterday that was me haha, such a weird feeling but that's awesome. So pumped that Landon fought, now i cant wait until Connolly does the same! I have told some of the missionaries here about me playing hockey and they alwayssss ask me about fighting, I've told them that I've probably been in about 15 fights in my hockey career and they think its so awesome. They want to watch them on Youtube so bad, they are funny. I told them they aren't anything special. That is so awesome that JC signed, doesn't surprise me though. I just told my companion about it as I read it and he was freaking out haha, cant believe how much money that is. He then asked me if that could have been me.. I said probably not but we will probably never know! And thats alright. I do miss hockey, but staying so busy and focusing on the work here has helped a ton. It hasn't been too bad at all being away, definitely pray all the time for comfort for you guys and myself and I can feel the Lord blessing us everyday.
Atta boy Carter!! I'm stoked you got your license! haha its funny that you failed but no big deal, rather have you be cautious than a maniac! Enjoy the Focus, I've had some good times and many good road trips in that baby! Treat it well and continue on the legacy! Its a thing of beauty. That's so awesome that you are starting varsity, I had no doubts that you would be. You are an incredible athlete and can do whatever you put your mind to! Thats what I love about you. Keep working hard and want to be better everyday, and mostly enjoy it! Sports are so fun and you will have some incredible memories. I know they helped me become a better person and they will help you too! Teach you how to work hard and get along with others, and that will really help as you go through life.
The temple here is awesome. I wish i could send you pictures more often but the next time might not be until I get out in the field, but I'll try to send you one of just me if i can. and ill also let you know my favorite scripture asap, probably next week! There's one that i have grown really fond of since my time here. The video in the temple here is the old one, I've heard about the new one as well but it will probably be awhile until they get it down here so i don't know if ill get the chance to watch it, hopefully during my mission I'll get to come back here though! It would be sweet if we were able to come down here as a family one day and go through it. Listening to it in all Spanish was super frustrating, not gonna lie I had a headache by the time it was over from trying to focus so hard. haha.
Spanish has really come along good this last week, I'm starting to be able to understand what they are saying and i feel like I'm pretty much caught up to most of the people here. Its still a struggle everyday though and I have to work hard at it. Some days we will go over 3 or 4 different grammar principles and its super overwhelming. But when we teach our investigators I've noticed that I'm able to just talk more then read from my book, I'm getting better at putting sentences together. Me and my companions try to learn 10 new words everyday, on top of the ones we learn in class.. so our vocabulary has increased a lot.
For your questions dad. The MTC is pretty warm, its usually about 20ish degrees outside, and the MTC is usually really hot. We do have AC but in some rooms... of course mine.. its broken. So some nights it gets super hot and i don't even use a blanket. but we just open the window now and it keeps it nice. We eat really good food, its similar to American but definitely has an Argentine taste, we eat a ton of meat and its all really good. Then a lot of rice as well and the odd time potatoes. I cant complain about the food one bit. All the physical activites are outside, except for a ping pong table they have inside. they dont have any instructors so we just do our own thing, it is fun though. We aren't supposed to get too intense, but we still have some pretty fun basketball games that happen. We don't get to go out on our pdays at all, we are just either in the MTC or on the grounds, and the temple is just across the street so we are confined here all the time haha. And my companions are good. We definitely all have different personalities but its fun, we learn to get along and I don't have any problems with them. Its fun to be around people with the same standards and goals as me.
Proselyting was definitely the highlight of my week though. So on Saturday we caught a bus and rode it for about 20 minutes to a different part of Argentina, we were in the area of the Buenos Aires South mission. So each companionship had its own boundaries. It was so intimidating at first but it felt so cool to be walking the streets in my white shirt and name tag. It was the most I've ever felt like a missionary. We were a little scared at first, but the first guy we talked to was actually amazing. He was a really strong Catholic, so he talked a lot about his religion and I maybe caught 5 words of what he said haha. They talk so fast and slur their words. But we just asked him a couple questions and then taught him about the BOM, he then said he would read it! It was super cool and I hope he does. We had 3 Book of Mormons and we gave them all away in about the first 30 minutes, so next time we are definitely going to be more cautious. After that guy we definitely had more confidence and we started to talk to everybody we saw, we ended up getting about 30 contacts and 4 references. So we are hoping the other missionaries will be able to go to their house and teach them. It was cool to see how humble they are, most of them are Catholic, but they all have such a strong love for God that they are willing to hear what we have to say. Once we got the hang of things our basic message was about God is our Heavenly Father, we are his children, dios es nustro padre celestial, nostros somos sus hijos. And then we would bare our testimonies about the love we know he has for all of us, and for them personally. So we talked to this one guy and he was super drunk, as we were talking to him he was all over the place and dozing off. We just asked him how he was doing and if he had a family. He said no he didn't have a family and that his life was terrible. I wish my Spanish would have been better so I could have said more, but as best i could i bore my testimony about the love God has for him, and that he means a lot to God. He maybe listened to 2 things we said, but when we said that he looked up at us and said thank you, with real intent. It was such a cool experience and i felt the spirit a ton. Its interesting how our language isn't very good, but it really is the spirit who speaks to the people. If we are obedient and try our best the spirit will do the rest. Im sure he's forgotten all about us, but at the moment i know he felt loved.
There are also sooo many dogs down here, like you see stray dogs running around everywhere you look. Its worse than Browning haha. So i guess if a dog is barking at you, you just pretend to pick up a rock and they will back away. So Elder Smart tried to do it to a dog that was growling at us, and the dog jumped towards him, he about peed his pants, it was the funniest thing i have ever seen. Had to have some good laughs as well as trying to teach people. it wasn't all good though, there were times were we got shut down and people would say they hated Mormons, but I really started to enjoy teaching people the gospel. Im so excited for Saturday.
The area we were in also looked like a "Call of Duty" map haha, rubble and worn down houses everywhere. Carter you would have loved it.
I love you guys! Hope I wrote down everything I wanted too. There is just so little time, but I love sharing my experiences with you, and I cant wait until im out in the field and have more. Things here are pretty routine, but there are still moments that are exciting. I just wanna finish with something cool I learned this week. We were talking about the Atonement, and someone asked why Christ came to our world and not any of the other worlds God created. And President Openshaw said that because we are the only world who is wicked enough to crucify our own savior. It was part of the plan and God knew this. He then showed us a scripture that said we are the most wicked of any worlds, but then he said since we are the most wicked, we also have to have the most courageous and righteous of any worlds. I thought that was pretty incredible. Just want you guys to know how special we are and how great of a work we are doing! We really are a chosen people and it's not something to brag about, but to be honored. I know I have learned to be.
I love you guys. Cant wait till next week.
Love, Elder Hansen.