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.

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