Monday, March 3, 2014

At the (petting) zoo in Lujan! haha Where are the goats?

At the transfer meeting saying goodbye to Elder Toledo

I'm in the middle somewhere. Meeting with Elder Evans of the Seventy and President Carter.

My new companion in Marcos Paz 

Hey Fam! 

It is so good to hear from you guys again! You all sound so happy and enthusiastic this week! It is great the hear that you are all doing well and enjoying life. I can't thank you enough for the little things you share with me, they always help me so much here in Argentina. Sounds like things are busy with sports, work, church.. but wouldn't want it any other way right! Dad I love that 9 hours of meetings you went to, seriously like the mission life hey! The best! Mom you will have to say thank you to Auntie Sherri, that little message seriously hit me so much. I am so blessed to have so many families members who support me in what I am doing.

This week has been quite a wild ride, but so amazing. As you guys know, I was transfered.. but I was able to enjoy 2 great final days in Lujan. On Monday we went to the Zoo finally! It was quite the experience and something totally different from the Zoo's in Canada. You are able to enter all the cages and touch the animals.. The lions, white and orange tigers, the elephants, snakes, iguanas, camels, it was so awesome! It was definitely a good experience and nice to relax a little bit and have some fun. I was able to leave with all my body parts, so I would say it was a successful day.

On Tuesday I had the feeling I had spent my time in Lujan. The Familia Alvarez invited us over to their house to have one final dinner before I headed off to a new area (we all had the feeling I was going to go). We enjoyed a nice meal and were able to exchange some goodbyes and gifts.. but my favorite part is when we used the homemade snow you gave me. We made the snow and then we had a "snow fight" in their house haha. It was mostly just their family throwing it all at Elder Toledo and me, but it was great. I love them so much. As I left Lujan, the Familia Alvarez and the Familia Peralta, there was definitely some tears shed. I will forever be grateful for those families and the things they have done for me. They really did help me feel comfortable in the tough first months of the mission, and I have grown such a love for them. But I know that transfers are part of the Lord's plan, and I was at peace when I heard that I was going to get transferred. I really can't explain my love for them in words. I thought coming into the mission that the language, the food, or being away from home would be the hardest thing.. but that moment was definitely the hardest. Leaving people you love. But I know the Lord's plan is perfect and it's my time to go to a different area.

So we had transfers on Wednesday and I was changed to serve in the Marcos Paz 1 area! My companion is Elder Muñoz, he's a stud. He was born in Argentina, but moved to USA when he was 5 so he's fluent in both English and Spanish. My first English speaking companion, my Spanish might take a hit this transfers haha. But I have come to love the area in just a short couple days. We have a great house, and the area reminds me of a mix of Alberta and Bitterroot. It's like super campo (fields and trees) which is how I like it. It's definitely a weird feeling changing areas, but I have gained a true testimony that the church and the people are great in all parts of the world and I can't wait to get to know the people of Marcos Paz better.

We have a couple of great investigators here as well. We have one family named the Familia Torres, who Elder Muñoz and his other companion worked with for about one month but they aren't married. The other day we had a super spiritual lesson and really laid down God's plan, and how we can only live together in families forever if we follow the commandments. It really hit them, and they are now going to get married on the 29th of this month! We are super excited about that. We have one kid named Sebastian who's going to turn 21 on Thursday, who is also going to get baptized on the 15th of this month. He has stopped smoking and drinking, and has completely changed his life. The other night we were with him and he started having a weird anxiety attack because of all the things he's been through. We decided to give him a blessing, and once we finished he just started crying so strongly. He said "its a miracle". All the pain and bad feelings left. I have such a strong testimony that the priesthood power really can bless us so much if we use it righteously.

On Thursday as you know we had a conference with Elder Evans of the 70. The things he shared really hit me. He focused a lot on the importance of us teaching repentance to our investigators, and the importance of repentance in our own lives. I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I know the Atonement of Christ is real, and that without it there is no point to this life. Living the Gospel of Christ and applying it's teachings to our lives will bless us more then we can ever imagine. Every day we should use the Atonement and ask for forgiveness of our mistakes, and I know if we do this we will wake up each day with a stronger desire to do good and follow our Savior. It's not important what we have passed through or done, we can always choose to change right now in this moment. I love being able to apply the Gospel in my life in every moment, I have never felt so much peace and love.

I love you all. I pray and think of you guys always. I hope you have the greatest week!

Love, Elder Hansen!

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