Monday, February 24, 2014

District Activity last pday, we played soccer and I repped my country Argentina! 

Hey Hansen Clan!

What an exciting week back in Canada! I can't lie I gave a pretty hard fist pump when I read that Canada won the gold medal in both the women's and the men's hockey! How exciting. I'm a proud Canadian haha. Sounds like lots of good things happened this week, I'm glad to hear that you are all healthy and happy and busy as ever. Lots of good times in good old Magrath. 

Those rings are awesome! You will have to keep it nice and polished for me. I did remember Russ' birthday and was able to write him a quick note the other day. You will have to tell Lillie congrats from me! That is so awesome, and thank you for the photos! Always nice to see some familiar faces!

You will never believe what showed up the other week. My other package from Christmas! Haha talked about delayed mail.. but after all hope was lost it showed up, just a solid 3 months late. But I was able to open it today and thank you for all of the gifts and the candy! They will definitely be enjoyed. I know the kids here in Argentina will love the little Canada souveiners (I don't remember how to spell that word) the kids here are also so grateful for those little gifts.

We had a great week here in Lujan. Another hard one, but it was definitely good. On Wednesday we had the greatest Family Home Evening with the Familia Alvarez. They invited 2 of their cousins who are investigating the church, and together we all watched the Restoration of Joseph Smith, and then after we had a lesson about it. It was such an amazingly spiritual lesson. After we invited them all to pray about it, the family that is members, and their cousins as well. We also committed them to pray about it to ask if it is true, and really did happen. I can tell you I have a testimony of the Restoration, but that night I prayed and the most amazing thing happened. I literally felt like their was something growing inside my chest. Usually the answers come through small things, but this what a big outward experience. It reminded me a lot of the scripture in Alma 32:27-28.. the one you shared in your Christmas letter mom. About how we need to experiment on the word, and if it is good and we allow it, it will grow like a seed. I can tell you that I literally felt like a seed was growing inside of my heart. It was such an overwhelming, peaceful feeling, and I truly do know that Joseph Smith restored the church.

On Saturday we had the chance to have an open chapel in the other church here in Lujan. A senior companionship travelled quite a distance and brought a ton of things. So them, and the missionaries here in Lujan (10 of us) with the help of the members put on this open chapel. It was a presentation of the church and the different classes and things we do, and about our beliefs. About a 30 minute presentation. We had invited a lot of people to come, and during the presentations we were out in the street inviting people right there to come in and listen. We had a lot of success! There were about 8 different sessions, each with quite a few members and non members. It was cool to be able to help people get to know the church better, and then invite them to recieve the missionaries in their houses. If you go to (not sure if its or org.arg) but it's for argentina.. and you can see some pictures that they are going to post! 

The mission definitely is up and down in it's moments. But I really have never had a moment to complain or be sad. But one of the hardest things of the mission is people that recieve answers, or feel the spirit, and then deny it. It's so hard to watch. We had 2 baptisms planned for the past Saturday. Both people who had recieved answers that the church is true, and then denyed it. There really isn't anything sadder or harder to watch as a missionary. As we try to bring salvation to these people, and do all we can to help them we build such a strong bond with them. As they grow in the church and their testimonies strengthen, it's amazing to see the change of heart they have. But they always have their agency, and it's hard to see them turn away from these promptings and feelings because of influences.

I have learned how small these promptings are from the Holy Ghost, and how important it is that we are always listening and living worthy to receive them. I know that these small promptings really can change our lives, and give us all the guidance and direction we need in our lives. As we learn to listen and understand them, the Lord will lead us down the path he knows is best for us! I pray that we will always ask the Lord for what he knows is best for us, and not what we want. And I know if we do this he will reveal his will for us.

We have transfers on Wednesday. I have the feeling that I have spent my time here in Lujan, but you never know. I am excited for whatever may happen and look forward to making the best of whatever the Lord has planned for me. I love you all, keep being examples to all those around you. You are an amazing example to me every day.

Love, Elder Hansen

Monday, February 17, 2014

Doing some training at the church before our interviews.

Talking to Sister Carter while we wait for our interviews with President Carter.

Fishing with the Federico and the YM on our last P-day 

The Alvarez family and some cousins.

Hey Fam!

Glad to hear from you all again, it's always to wake up on Monday morning knowing that I'll be able to hear from you all. I can't thank you enough for the support and the love you continue to show me. I thought that after 6 months you would get sick of writing and stop haha. I'm glad to hear that you all are healthy and happy, I pray for you guys all the time. It always brings peace to my mind to know that you are all doing well. It's crazy how fast the time goes by.

We have been having a lot of rain yes, it has definitely made for a touger month of February. People are harder to find in their houses, and not as receptive to us when the weather is bad. More excuses for them to not let us in haha, but we have continued to find success thanks to the Lord and his help. We still do ride our bikes when it's raining, we usually get absolutely soaked but what can you do right. My shoes and all my clothes are still holding up good, so far I haven't had any problems related to those things. Our fishing trip last Monday was cut a bit short because of the rain. We did end up fishing for about an hour and a half, but we only caught 2 little fish. The river was super high because of all the rain, so it wasn't very good time to fish. But it was still a blast, nice to get out and enjoy some free time with the young men and relax a bit! Definitely enjoyed it.

I actually have been hearing a lot about Canada in the Olympics. All the members now know I'm from Canada and always tell me what's happening when they see me. Part of me doesn't want to hear, and part of me does. I don't hear a lot of details, they usually just say "Canada es mejor!!" which means that Canada is the best haha. They are the best. I will always have a love for Canada, and be rooting for them in my heart!

Yes we were able to have interviews this week with President Carter in Lujan. He is such an amazing man and I have grown to love him so much. Although we don't have a lot of access to him, we receive a letter every week from him, and send personal letters back every week. Through this and the odd interview I have been able to build a very good relationship with him, and I am so grateful for him and his example. We were able to have a good talk and I'm excited for the future of the mission. Things are bright here in Argentina and I know that they will only get better.

We have still been very privileged to be able to help the people here in Argentina with their problems. They continue to struggle with the rain, but they are in a condition a lot better now. We were able to clean out the house of the brother of Hermana Alvarez the other day. There was a whole crew of us! It was a good time.

This week has been a tough week in Lujan. Although there are miracles and great moments everyday, sometimes the results just aren't there. Our investigator Susanna had some problems with the law of tithing, and now is so so for her baptism. We are doing all we can to help her understand and to gain a testimony of this simple, but very important commandment. Through this process I have learned the importance of every little law, commandment, and rule that our Heavenly Father is given us. Lots of times we don't understand why, and lots of time we waste time thinking and justifying that these rules aren't important. I truly have learned the importance of trusting in our Heavenly Father in every moment and in every thing he commands us to do. He knows us better then we know ourselves, and if we really do want to be happy all we have to do is obey. Sometimes it's tough, but I know that the law of obedience is vitally important to our Salvation.

Yesterday Rodrigo (one of the kids in the Alvarez Family) and Federico (our convert from November) both gave talks in Church. They were both extremely nervous, it was the first time they have given talks but they did great! It's been amazing to see their progress and change of heart. About a month ago Rodrigo said he never ever would give a talk in church, and if he had to he wouldn't go to church that day. Yesterday he was nervous, but excited to share the stuff he had prepared! So cool. Federico gave one of the most heart felt talks I have ever heard. He talked about the power of prayer, and the story of his conversion. That he was able to pray every day for the answer, and one day he received it. He bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard, I was on the verge of tears. What an honor it is to be a part of the lives of people so special. I love them.

I always look forward to hearing from you guys, and being able to share my experiences here in the mission. It has been such an amazing 6 months, one with many hardships and many unforgettable moments. I love being here, and there is nowhere else I'd rather be in this moment. I love you all, and hope that you continue to feel the Love of the Savior in your lives. Have a great week.

With Love from Argentina!!
Elder Hansen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

We have had a ton of rain! Walmart parking lot is completely flooded. The River is behind the trees in the back of the photo, but right now the river is up about 4 meters! Also my ballin' bicycle haha.

A member of the church gave me this awesome Argentina jersey. So nice of him. Also a photo so you can see that I'm eating a ton still haha. Ice cream and donuts, delicious.

this is my after hair.. a little bit better than the original.. but now it's completely normal again haha

Hey fam! 

What a great week you have all had in Canada. Sounds like things are as awesome as usual. I am always happy to here that you guys are happy. It really is the thing that brings the most peace to my mind every time we talk. There is nothing greater then the family and I'm so grateful for you all. Keep enjoying every moment of your lives!

I am blown away by the picture of Carter playing volleyball. What a stud. Sounds like his basketball and volleyball teams are both doing great and having lots of success. I am a proud brother and I love to show photos of him to the other missionaries here haha. I can't believe the olympics started as well. I walked into a members house and they were watching it the other day. I will be rooting for Canada from down here in Argentina! Thank you for all of the updates.

My health is still good. I feel better and more comfortable with the weather and food everyday. I had a pretty bad ingrown toe nail before, but now that we have bikes and do a lot of riding it is better. Definitely not used to walking a ton and my feet took a bit of a beating, but it has never been anything unbearable. And yes we carry a lock with us all the time. Its pretty dangerous when we are go downtown. We have to lock them up every time we enter a building.

Man this week we were riding in the train and we saw the craziest thing. When the train starts to move the doors close, but one kid was holding the door open.. which isn't unusual so we didn't think anything of it. But once the train started to move slowly his friend ran by and stole this lady's giant touch screen phone.. then him and his friend holding the door open jumped out of the moving train onto the platform. The lady ran after them but the door slammed on her arm.. She grabbed the kids leg and he fell hard, but he got up and ran away and the lady pulled her arm out of the door and it closed and she couldn't open it anymore.. so the kids got away with her phone. Crazy hey! Kinda like those days in Europe. Argentina is crazy but I love it. Little adventure story for ya

Sounds like you guys are a bit sick of the weather up there hey? It's crazy the difference of climate we are experiencing. Lately we have been experiencing a ton of rain, which makes it even more hot and humid after. I have been sweating a ton, I think I have lost a couple pounds haha. But with all the rain has come many disasters for our investigators and the people here in Lujan. As you know many of them live in very humble conditions, with walls of bricks and their floors are often dirt. With all the rain their houses are in very bad condition. All of their stuff is muddy and wet, and a few of the houses have about a foot of water inside! It's so sad. We are planning to do a lot of service projects this week with our branch to help those people that need help. It's so sad to see, but It's amazing the way they deal with their problems. They never forget to thank the Lord for what they have. It makes me think just how privileged we are, and for the moments that I took what I had for granted. I hope that we can always be grateful for the many blessings that we have in our lives.

We had a great week here in Lujan. And we were able to find many people prepared to receive the Gospel. It was awesome to see the Lord's hand in the work and really see the blessings and miracles when we work diligently and be obedient in all the little things. We had an amazing miracle with Susanna this week. We had such an amazingly spiritual lesson with her on Saturday night and she ended up going to church on Sunday. She now has a desire to be baptized again on the 21st of this month. So if you could pray for her I would greatly appreciate it.

We also met a lady and her son, who have many problems with their relationship. As we have been working with them we have seen how the Gospel really does help in every little thing. They both ended up coming to church yesterday, and it was awesome to see them sitting their together. Outside of the church they had very little unity, so it was awesome to see them spend that sacred time together in the church.

The greatest miracle of the week was Federico. The change that we have been able to see in this kid is absolutely amazing. And I am extremely humbled by his desire, and by the spirit he now has. On Wednesday night he started his papers to go on a mission!! How amazing is that! I seriously couldn't believe it when I heard, and I was on the verge of tears. I am so proud of this kid, and there would be no greater privilege then seeing someone change their live completely and then go and serve and help others. I am so grateful the Lord has given me the opportunity to be apart of his life.

I love you guys all so much. This week has been amazing. Every week the Spanish gets better, and the time goes by faster. There really isn't enough time to do the work. I love the mission and all the things I am able to experience. The good and the bad. I know the church is true and blesses us in every aspect of our life. Keep being active in the church and your callings and I know that you will only become happier. Right now we are heading out to fish with Presidente Peralta and the young men of the branch! I'm stoked.
I love you all, have the greatest week!

Love, Elder Hansen.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hey Fam!

First off Happy late Birthday Mother!! I can't believe you finally made it over the hill.. I'm sure 40 will treat you good. I hope that this year will be the best one yet. I love you so much and am so grateful for your love and all you do for me. You have been such an example of hard work and dedication, especially in the church. Your conversion has really helped me through the years, and I can't express my love enough for all that you do for me!

Thank you so much for the letters this week. They are always filled with love and are just what I need every week. The weeks and days really are starting to fly by so fast, seems like just yesterday I wrote you guys. Sounds like things were intense in sports this weekend! The glory days eh. You guys will have nothing to do once Carter finishes high school sports. Better enjoy all that running around while you can haha. New Kitchen table! Wow chettos :) Thats awesome I look forward to seeing a picture!

I totally forgot to take a picture of our bikes, but this week I'll try. By the sound of it you guys saw a picture of them though? Possibly on the blog? They definitely are nice, we can visit a lot more people and use our time better. We can't ride on dirt roads for various reasons. Partly is to maintain the bikes so they don't get destroyed, and also because the dirt roads here aren't like they are in Magrath. They have a ton of pot holes and ruts, I feel like there would be a lot of accidents. I have still avoided getting in my first crash, I'm hoping I can avoid it a little while longer.

Mom for your questions.. no I never received those socks that you sent. I think they were in the other package that still hasn't arrived.. haha maybe one day. In that package was the tree and the ornaments, candy, hair gel, and I can't remember what else. Yes we excercise every morning from 6:30 to 7:00. With Elder Valdes we played soccer a bit cause he had a ball. With Elder Toledo we usually just do push ups, sit ups, and stretches. We don't have anything to use for excercises so we just make the best of what we have. The other day we went to a pharmacia and there was a scale.. Im 92 kilos which I believe is like 202 pounds? Only down about 4 pounds.. I think I just have lost all my muscle and its all going to my stomach.. getting a bit of a belly haha.

This week in Lujan was great.. we were able to see some success as well as some hardships. We had 2 investigators that wanted to get baptized a lot.. went to church last week and everything. And both within 2 days when we visited told us they didn't have the desire anymore. One had a dream that she shouldn't be baptized, and the other had a little misunderstanding in the church as far as tithing. It really is crazy the ways Satan attacks the people that are searching for the church. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating but I know that everyone has their agency, we just have to do all we can to help them. We had really spiritual lessons with both of them after they had changed their minds and now both are considering baptism again. It's amazing how a person can change so quickly. I have learned in the mission to expect everything.. you really never know what's going to happen. But I have also learned how important faith is. We don't know the Lord's time, and there's nothing we can do to change it. He knows when these people are going to accept or not accept the Gospel, we just have to always do our part to invite them. The Lord's will is the most important thing in the mission. Sometimes it is hard to understand because as missionaries we always want success. But as we really humble ourselves we learn the importance of doing His will in all moments, and that is when we can really help His children be happy.

This Sunday was a day that was so spiritual for us. A kid named F•••••••• was able to attend church with us. He is 18 years old, and his mother has been a member for many years. She told us that she "isn't ready" to come back to the church.. she has been inactive for about 10 years. But we had a great lesson with him on Friday and he really wanted to come with us on Sunday. Yesterday in the morning it was pouring rain all morning, we went to his house and when we clapped our hands we woke him up. His mom didn't want him to leave the house and come in the rain. We could hear their conversation from outside.. but he told his mom "I want to go". It was cool to see his will. We went to the church with him and he had a great time, was able to participate in the classes and all. Fast and testimony meeting was such a spiritual experience as well. There was a family in our ward that was sealed in the temple on Friday, and the mom bore her testimony. It was amazing. It really was a meeting that was very special, with some tears from a lot of people. You could feel the spirit so strong. I'm so grateful for the Spirit and it's role it has in our lives and in our conversions. I know without it we couldn't know and believe the things we do. I hope that we will all be able to continue to strength our testimonies everyday.. and share them every opportunity we have. I know the church is true, and know that if we live good lives and follow our Savior that we can live together forever. There is no greater blessing then this. And there is nothing more special then the opportunity I have to testify of these things every single day. I love it.

I love you all. I pray for you everyday. I admire you diligence in all the things you do. I love reading the Book of Mormon and I'm so happy you are reading it with me, I know you'll be blessed for it. Have a great week. Always remember I love you and am praying for you in every moment.

Elder, Hansen.