Monday, January 27, 2014

Little mishap with my clippers. It will grow back!

After a long bike ride. New bike in the background.

Hola Familia!
What another quick week it has been here in Lujan. The days and the weeks are starting to go by so fast. Can't believe that we are almost in February, its wild. Before I know it i'll be turning 21! Old hey! It seems like there is less and less time every week to do the work necessary, but I believe that is a good sign that I am starting to enjoy the work and the mission more. I remember at the start when the days and weeks seemed like years.. especially when I couldn't understand anything that was going on. But as the language and my love for the people and Savior improve, everything is fantastic. I really can't complain at all! 

Thank you for the letters! Sounds like a great week back in Magrath with lots of things new and exciting! About time that the school is going to change, and that is awesome about Carter's tournament! Sounds like he is still quite the stud. Makes me look bad haha. And I can't believe how big Jaxon is! What a big man, haha he is awesome. 

We had a great week here in Lujan! Last Monday on our pday we went out to a airplane park with the Alvarez family. There was a playground, soccer field, and just a big field with some airplanes. It reminded me a ton of southern Alberta! Just big and open. We were able to enjoy some time playing soccer and hanging out. There was also a ton of peacocks there! We enjoyed about 15 minutes trying to get pictures with them and their feathers fluffed up haha.

Last monday we also received bikes! So now we are rocking some sweet beach cruisers! They aren't exactly beach cruisers.. but they are just one speed bicycles, I'll be sure to send you a picture next week. They definitely make it a lot easier to visit people. We can do a lot more with our time now. The only problem is we can't ride them on dirt streets.. which is like every other street. So we have to find the best routes to every place on the cement streets haha. The other night we had about half hour left and we wanted to visit one more family before we finished the day.. so we were riding our bikes as fast as we could. There was about 5 dogs fighting on the side of the road, and the moment that I was about to pass them of course they all bolted across the road. I ended up hitting one of the dogs hard with my bike.. which nearly sent me flying over my handlebars! It was crazy. But luckily the dog.. and me, survived with no harm. That was definitely my thrill for the week!

Oh one more. I sent you a picture of my hair. Bad I know. I wanted to cut my hair the past pday, and I have done it before myself. So I had the guard on the razor, but I took it off to clean the razor before I used it. And in my moment of forgetfullness, I didn't put the guard back on, and I cut my hair practically bald! It was so bad, we had a good laugh. But with a little help of my companion we were able to fix it all haha.

We were also able to see a lot more success this week than we have been having. We have been praying a lot to really know what to do, and how to find people. There are always ways to find people to teach, but I have really learned how important it is to find them the Lord's way. We had the feeling to start looking for all the inactive families in our area. We were able to find 3 or 4 really good families, who had some troubles within the church or in their lives. It is sometimes hard to see the things people get offended over, things so little. As you sent me from the talk of President McMahon last weekend, there are many excuses to leave the church. We as humans are so imperfect, but really our relation with God is so much more important than 1 or 2 problems we may have with members. We need to look past these little imperfections and see the perfection in God, and in the church. As we learn from Mosiah, those who have the truth and "intentionally sin" will in reality be judged much harder then those who do not have it. It really is a grand responsibility as missionaries, and as members to help these people come back to the church and renew their promises with God.

We have been teaching an older lady named Susanna who really wanted to come to the church this week, she also has the desire to be baptized as well! We planned for a member to come pick her up on Sunday.. but the member wasn't able to. So we were there at her house without a car, and in reality I thought she was going to say she didn't want to go anymore. But she just said "No problem I'll walk!". It was awesome. A lady 70 years old walked about 15 minutes to the church because she had such a strong desire to go! It was awesome to see the desire and willingness she had as we walked slowly with her to the church. It really taught me there are no excuses not to go to church. It's necessary every week!

I'm so excited you have decided to read the Book of Mormon with us! It is awesome, I love reading it. I finished reading it from when I started the mission, and now I'm reading it again.. but the truth is every time I read I find something new and great! It's such a special book and I know you will be blessed a ton as you read it. I challenge Jordan and Carter to read it too :) If you can't keep up with the schedule we are on, at least read a little bit everyday. I can guarantee you it will help with the smallest to the biggest things in your lives!

I love you all. I pray for you everyday. Keep working hard, being examples, and following the life of our Savior and I know you will always find the happiness you deserve! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Hansen.

Monday, January 20, 2014

At the baptism of Jorge with Presedente Peralta, Elder Toledo and me.

My District in Lujan!

A sneak peak of Sister Carter putting together the birthday gifts for the missionaries. Looks like Skittles!

Hey Fam! 

Thank you so much for the letters this week. I always love the support that I feel when I read your words. I can see a change in you guys every single week, a change spiritually. It really is an amazing thing and I couldn't be more happy. There is nothing greater than this Gospel, and I love to see you all thriving in it, doing your best to improve everyday! Sounds like the weather there in Canada is wild! Can't make up it's mind. I can tell you that the weather here knows what it wants to do, burn me haha. I have never experienced heat like this in my life! I think when we went to South Carolina is was hotter.. but that was for moments at a time. Being out in the sun all day in these clothes definitely is tough, and I have never sweated more in my life! Gross I know. But I love it, it's all a part of the wonderful experience.

Carter you are a stud. Keep up the good work, I'm always so proud when I hear of the things you are doing! Make the best of every moment you have. 

I know the girl that bore her testimony that was baptized, I don't know how to spell it.. but her name is Notando. Something like that? She came to Family Home Evening and Institute with us in the summer. About 5 other youth, and me were able to give her the first dicussion one day. With the help of President Dudley. We were able to share our testimonies and brief experiences in our lives, that is so awesome she got baptized!  

We had a great week in Lujan. As you know transfers were on Wednesday, and since you didn't see my picture that means I'm still in Lujan! I was so happy when we recieved the call and they told me I was going to be here another transfer, Elder Toledo is here as well! Tuesday night we went to the house of the Alvarez Family and had a "goodbye" dinner you could say, everyone thought I was going, including me. And not gonna lie it was hard, I was close to tears. The bond that you form with people through the Gospel is amazing, and so incredibly strong. I never knew that I could form a love so deep for people that I haven't known for that long. It is defintely one of the greatest, and most special parts of the mission. At their house on Tuesday they wanted me to say a prayer in English to bless the food. I was excited to be able to say a prayer where I knew the language for the first time in 5 months, but I seriously couldn't do it. It was the most Spanglish prayer ever, half English, half Spanish. I can't imagine what it's going to be like after 2 years. We had a good laugh about that.

On Friday night we had a Family Home Evening with the whole branch in the church. About 40 people showed up I believe. We did karaoke, and man it was a blast! There was definitely some good laughs had there. Elder Toledo and I sang a really weird Spanish song that I didn't understand much at all, but it was all in good fun! Definitely was a nice night to relax and enjoy time with the members, we were also able to bring a few investigators, who really enjoyed the activity as well. Bringing non members to activities really is the best way to slowly introduce them into the church! I know its hard in Magrath, but if you ever have the chance I encourage you to do it!

Jorge was baptized on Saturday! It was such a special day for him. He was so excited, and all went great. He was so happy, it has been cool to see him progress so much in just a short period of time! So we had the baptism at 4 in the afternoon, which is during their siesta (When everyone takes there afternoon nap) haha. So the only people that went to the baptism was Jorge, Presidente Peralta, The Hermanas, and us. For a moment I felt bad that nobody else came, and also that Jorge's friend didn't come because he was sick. But Jorge was so incredibly happy, it really did show me that the number of people, or the "hype" of the event really isn't what is important. The promise that he made with God is what really is important. It was cool to see him and his excitement. A man with little experience in the church taught me a lesson quite neat. He taught me what's really important in life, that the size or quantity isn't important.

I am so grateful for all of you. I pray for you always that you will continue to have the happiness and success that you deserve, and that our Father in Heaven wants for you. I hope that everyday we can continue to use the Atonement in our lives, it really is the greatest gift we have in our lives. We can use it to better ourselves in every moment, and we can use it as many times as we need too. We only need to humble ourselves and have the desire to change. I have seen so many humble people change their lives completely, and it has given me a new view in life. I hope that we can continue to rely on the Lord in every part of our life. He loves you, and so do I!

Have a great week!
Love, Elder Hansen.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hello Fam! 

Thank you for the letters and the package! I was able to receive it yesterday and open it up today. I am so grateful for your guys and your willingness to show your love, all the stuff I received was perfect and greatly appreciated! So thank you! I don't know when I will be using my bank card again, but the next time I use it I will be sure to let you know if it works, and I'll be sure to put it away after I use it too haha.

Thats crazy about Russ, but super exciting! I'm sure he will love Seattle, I always enjoyed playing there. It's a great city with lots to do, and thats nice he has some ex teammates there, I look forward to hearing what he has to say. And it's nice he will be able to enjoy the playoffs, it's the best time of year! Speaking of hockey I was able to receive a letter this week from my team. They sent me a Christmas card, and a bunch of them signed their names with a little note. It was so great! Nice to know they thought about me, I really do love them all so much and will never forget my time as a Blazer!

We have had a good week here in Lujan, I don't have too much to write this week but I'll update you on what's happening. We have some investigators named J••• and N•••••, they have 4 kids and are great. But as we started teaching them, and they started trying to do their part everything in their life started to fall apart. As they started to read the Book or Mormon and pray at night, he lost his job within a week. As we talked to them it really made me think to myself, why do these kind of things happen? And the only thing I could think of is the power of Satan. As he knows that someone is trying to make the right changes in their lives, and look for the happiness in the Lord, he attacks their family in any way possible. He's not going to try to influence a family that isn't interested in the truth. It really is amazing to see the power he can have, but I know that our Savior always has more. Sometimes we need to go through a little bit of adversity and hardships to prove our willingness and our faith, and then the blessings come. As we taught them this principle, we invited them to continue to pray and read, and just the next day a man came by and offered J••• a job! What a miracle. Usually our answers come slowly, but sometimes the Lord is willing to answer us in that moment, and really bless us because of our diligence. They still have a lot of work to do, but we are praying that this small miracle will help them continue looking for the truth in their lives. When things get hard always remember this principle Fam! I know that this life isn't easy, but our Father in Heaven is always waiting to bless us.. we just have to do our part. Sometimes it's a little more then we want to do, but its always worth it!

Tomara (One of the daughters in the Alvarez Family) was able to give a talk yesterday in church! She is just 13 years old, and has only been active in the church for 2 months! Awesome hey. We were able to help her prepare her talk this week, and it was such a neat experience to be able to listen to her share her feelings. She talked about her life when her family was inactive, and how the church has brought them so much closer together. Now they want to spend time together and do things as a family. It was amazing to listen to her simple, but powerful testimony. I am so grateful for the chance I have had to be able to witness the change in this family! They are incredibly spiritual and I love them so much.

J•••• was also able to pass his interview for his baptism this Saturday! So we are pretty excited about that. The influence and power of God is amazing. There really are people out there extremely prepared to receive the Gospel, we just have to find them. There is a quote that I have up on my wall in the apartment that says "We will be held accountable for those who we don't find that had been prepared to receive us". Somedays the mission is hard, but as I see this quote it always gives me the extra drive to do what is necessary. The Lord is always doing things for us, and preparing people, and we have to use every minute of the day to find them and bring them to Christ. I have a strong testimony that the greatest people we find on the mission are always the ones we find at the end of the day, after we have worked hours and had no results. It is my prayer that we will always look to help our Lord bring his children back to his presence. And I am so grateful that I can dedicate my life to this cause.

We have transfers this Wednesday. I have no idea what is going to happen, but I am ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me. Whether I stay in Lujan or head out to a different area, the work will go on! I love you all, I will update you on the changes next Monday. Continue to be awesome and examples to all those around you. I pray for all of you everyday. May you continue to receive the blessings you need. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Hansen.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cutting grass on a vacant lot by the church with Rodrigo. 

Hey Fam! 

Thank you for the pictures! I am blown away by that rink at the Cabin, that thing is so legit. Looks like you guys are just living the life with no worries. And dad I can tell from the picture how good your form is! Now I know where I got my few skills from! Looks like things are great and cold up in Canada, wouldn´t want it any other way right. I often tell everyone about Canada, the snow, and how cold it is and they are just blown away. Most of them have seen snow once or twice in their lives, and it never was enough to actually stay on the ground. Crazy how different the world is. I have moments where I am dying of heat, but for the most part Im doing good. Just gotta learn to deal with it and drink a lot of water, but all the members keep telling me the worst is still to come.. how nice eh haha.

I cant believe Jonny got called to Argentina! That is so awesome! You will have to tell him congratulations for me, and tell him that Argentina is the best and that he will love it! Do you know what MTC he's going to report too? Its wild that those kids two years younger then me have left and are leaving to serve. So many missionaries these days, its great.

I am so sad to hear about Taylor Elliot, that is so horrible that that happened to him. He was such a nice kid, I know I only played hockey with him for one year but he always was a great guy to the younger players. I am also extremely glad for the plan of salvation. It is something we teach a lot here, and although it´s sad.. the people that have been through the hardest things are often the most receptive to the Gospel and it´s teaching. I know that his family will see him again. And even if they aren´t able to be taught by the missionaries now, I hope that they will be able to have this knowledge and this peace of mind that we have. I have no doubts that there is a life after this one.

Just like Christmas we had a regular day New Years, were able to teach and proselyte for most the day. But in the night we were able to spend some time with the Peralta´s and eat asado.. which is cow meat. It´s the thing to eat down here, it is so good. I have a lot of pictures, I will have to send you some one day. We were able to spend time there until about 9:45 because we had permission as a mission to be out a little bit later that day. The people down here are crazy about there fireworks yes. On Christmas, and New Years they all light off a ton of fireworks at midnight! On Christmas I woke up to a bunch of loud bags, but on New Years I was so tired I just slept right through it haha. I think that New Years is bigger then Christmas here, and it´s crazy how different their traditions are because it is Summer and not Winter. Definitely a different thing for me but I loved it all the same!

The picture I sent this week was one of us cutting grass by the church. Nobody owns the property so there were weeds about  8 feet high! We didn´t have a machine to use, so we got 2 machettes.. (help me with the spelling haha) and were able to cut down about half of the weeds. It was some tough work, but it was a lot of fun haha. We were able to do it with President Peralta, and Rodrigo who is in the picture. He´s one of the boys in the Alvarez Family, stud. That was our excitement for this week!

We had a miracle this week at the church which was pretty special. This past month has been tough for us, we have been able to find and teach lots of good people but getting them to progress towards there baptisms has been hard. We have one investigator named R••••••, she is great but she can´t really remember the things we teach her. She wants to get baptized but she needs to attend church another time before she can. She told  us she would be waiting for us to pick her up on Sunday morning, so we went.. and she wasn´t there. She forgot and left. We were a little frustrated as we went to the Church without her, because now we have to move her baptism back another week. But as we got the church and entered the chapel there was this man that we didn´t know, so we approached him to see who he was. And the first thing he said to us was "quero bautizarme" which is "I want to be baptized" we were in shock. He was an old investigator of missionaries before, but had some problems with his health. But now he is feeling better, and we were able to visit him yesterday and plan to help him be baptized! What a blessing from the Lord. We had been working hard and not having much success, but as we continued on the Lord placed a man in our path, a man prepared. His name is J•••• so if you can pray for his baptism on the 18th we would greatly appreciate it!

I love you guys all so much. Everyday the mission gets better as I learn more about how to do the work, and more importantly learn the will of my Savior. He only wants the best for each and every one of us. Those who have the Gospel and those who don´t. I love being able to spread his Gospel with others, and more importantly his love. Everybody needs the healing and loving power of the Savior in their lives, and I hope that you guys too are able to share it with others. I have learned the smallest things make the biggest difference, I hope that you will always remember this, and continue to be examples to all those around you. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Hansen.