Monday, October 7, 2013

Elder Valdez and I with the Peralta Family

Hello Family! 

What another great week out here in the mission field. Sounds like things back home are going awesome too! I'm so proud of you Carter you are a Capo! (Stud). I showed my companion that picture of you playing volleyball and he just laughed and said, you guys are so big! Its so true you look like a beast with that long hair, have you grown at all? You look good and I'm glad volleyball is going well and you are having success! It is always a lot more fun when you are winning and doing well! Dad sounds like you are quite the stud as well. Shooting a 73! One day I may be able to beat you but it sounds like it wont be for awhile! At least 3 years. You still hitting the ball 300 yards every time? haha Look at you go Mom just shaping the lives of other people at the career fair. haha, Now everyone is gonna want to be a dental assistant like you now! Glad you guys are all doing well and having success in all that you are doing.

Lots of questions but I am glad to answer them. Mom I like both of those sweaters! But since it is getting into the summer months I wont need them.. So maybe at the end of this year I can have you send them to me? Just hold on to them I guess. It is getting warmer here each day.. and I am going to die in the summer I know it. 35 and really humid.. I don't think my Canadian skin can handle that but we will see how it goes!  Oh and we are only supposed to receive 3 or 4 packages a year.. so I guess just Christmas, birthday, and 1 or 2 other times each year. Its just really expensive and a lot of work so they don't want parents sending too many. 

We actually email from a little server shop, it's a little convenience store with some computers in the back. They work pretty well.. except they take about 2 minutes to upload one picture which is kinda frustrating. haha. I don't know exactly all the stats about Lugan, I don't know how many wards there are but there are quite a few. There are 20 missionaries in our zone, so quite a few. We had a zone meeting on Tuesday so I was able to meet all of them. Most are Latinos but there are a few North Americans.. nice to hear a little English once and awhile. My companion actually speaks English really well. Its just natural to speak English.. obviously, but I try to speak Spanish to him as much as possible. Then he can help me with the pronunciation and everything. The thing that is hardest for me is the sentence structure, its all so backwards! But it is slowly coming along. My gospel knowledge of the language is pretty good, the rest.. not so much. haha. But it will come with time I have no doubt. And yes we do have an outdoor soccer court in our church! We haven't played there yet, but we want to get a game going with some members and investigators soon!

Speaking of soccer its so crazy down here. The streets are just packed with kids playing, they play it for hours and hours. One night we were walking home and there were these 6 little kids playing in the street. So me and Elder Valdez took about 5 minutes and played with them.. we just kicked the ball around it was so fun. They are so much better then me its hilarious. It is good sometimes just to take 5 minutes to have some fun while working, plus it shows the people that we really do care about them and there kids.. even if the parents don't like it so much sometimes haha.

This really felt like my first week out on my mission, because it was a full week of work. There is definitely a lot of ups and downs that happen, and its important to always stay positive. I have 2 pretty cool stories I'd like to share. First is about a man named O•••. Im not sure if I mentioned to much about him in my last email, but he's about 65 and he has some problems with his brain which has caused some problems in his body. He is the sweetest man but he has a hard time not being negative on life and his situation. So we taught him Tuesday and made a plan to return Thursday. We were walking by his house later that day and glanced over and he wasn't there, but as we kept walking I thought I heard his voice. I took about 3 more steps and heard it again.. So I told Elder Valdez we had to go back. And there he was.. he had seen us out his window and came yelling. He said he wouldn't be able to meet on Thursday but to change it to Friday. This small little thing was an absolute miracle.. the street was packed with dogs, cars and all sorts of noise. But somehow I heard this mans voice from quite a distance away, and the only answer is the Holy Ghost. It was a neat experience. Since he had sought us out to change the lesson day we thought he was super interested.. so when he returned Friday we were very excited. But he was a different man, he was angry and had been having a really bad day. We gave him a Book of Mormon at the start of the lessons which we had wrote our testimonies in, and after a lesson of just trying to help him feel happy.. He looked at the Scriptures and gave them back. It was such a heartbreak. As we left I had a hard time staying positive.. but I knew it was important to. Just 2 days later as we were walking by his house we saw him on his lawn, as we approached him he looked more than happy to see us! We invited him to conference and he came with us! It is amazing the differences people have from day to day. One day they are consumed by the adversary and the next the Lord has softened there hearts. I have learned it is important to never give up on someone! 

The second is a family named the M••••••••. I think I spelt that right haha. They are from Ukraine. So the dad is a less active member and he is separated from his wife. We just dropped by to say hi to him, but he happened to have his little daughter with him! Her name is I••• and she is 9. We taught them a lesson and committed her to be baptized on the 26th of October. After we said the 26th he asked us why we picked that date.. and we just said we felt like it was a good day. He then asked his daughter is she knew what was special about that date, and she said.. Its your Feliz Cumpleaños. His birthday! As she said this he was brought to tears, what a special moment. The spirit was strong. We just sat there in amazement, and as we asked him if he would bare his testimony to his daughter the room was filled with love. They both attended conference yesterday and he told us that he wants to baptize her on the 26th!! So please pray for them. We are very excited and hopeful for her.

I love you all so much! Thank you all so much for the support you show me each week. I know that when ever I am having a bad moment I can rely on your love to help me get through. I loved conference so much this weekend. It left me with 2 thoughts, service and love. And the question, what more can I do? I am grateful for you guys and your willingness to serve others and show true love, it has helped me so much in my life. I love you all, have a great week!

Love, Elder Hansen.

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