Monday, April 28, 2014

One of the great families here in my area! The Familia Pabon! So great. He is an ex missionary so he loves to help us.

Hey Fam! 

What a great week it has been. Thanks for the letters and for your words of encouragement! Love to hear that you are all doing well. You guys are just living the life hey.. I'm starting to wonder if you guys ever work up there ;) nah you should come to Argentina.. they seriously have a holiday every week, they have it made! Lot's of time off from work and school. With golf, volleyball, and a little cleaning sounds like you are managing to stay nice and busy though. Glad to hear.

That is so crazy that Elder Gorham.. Zach I guess I can say now, got home! And that Elder Stringam gets home this week! Where has the time gone? He wrote me today and said "this is the last letter I will write to you as a missionary" how sad. His letter was amazing though. He gave me some great advice and tips as a missionary who has seen his time and has a lot of experience. He sounds like he is sad to see it go, but super happy with the work he has done. What a blessing it is to have such great friends.

I am so pumped for you Carter! That is incredible. Amazing that you guys were able to succeed so well! Sounds like a tough loss in the final but I'm sure it was a weekend that you will never forget. The championships are always nice, but the memories and the friends you made will always last a lot longer! So proud of you bro!

Mom last week you asked about the siesta. It's a pretty serious deal here. You don't have to close your store or shop, but if you leave it open you will pretty much have 0 business. They all close at about 1 o'clock, and open back up at 5. So they have about 4 hours to eat, and take a nice afternoon nap haha. I think dad would like it here. It's pretty hard as missionaries as we continue to work all day long. Those hours from 2 to 5 are difficult to find people to teach. So we usually try to set as many appointments as possible so we don't have to use a ton of time clapping at houses when everyone's sleeping haha. The size of my ward is anywhere between 80 to 100 people, so yes a little bit bigger than Lujan. With more members we do have more lunches as well mother haha. We eat with members pretty much every day. There are about 4 or 5 days a month when we don't have anything.. then Monday's. So I'm good :) 

This week was tough here in Marcos Paz. We definitely didn't have a lot of time to work with all the reunions, and a few responsibilities we had to take care of.. but the work always goes on! With the time we had we did all we could to make the best of it. Every week we had "numbers" that we need to complete. They help us make the most of our time and help us have something to strive to complete.. which in turn ensures us that we always have people we are teaching and helping. This week we were pushing it till the last minutes to complete our numbers.. what a trial of faith! It's been amazing to see the difference that I have seen through the mission. I know that with the Lord all is possible, and that we can't fail. Sometimes we may not have as much success as we would like, but that doesn't mean we aren't succeeding. Preach My Gospel gives us tips as missionaries in "how to know" we are having success. It's based on our obedience, and our willingness to do all we can while doing the will of the Lord. I think this is a principle we can apply to all parts of our lives. Life is tough. But if we truly trust in the lord, obey his commandments, and be worthy of the blesses we can live with the surety that we are doing all we need to do in this life. The other day I was reading in the Ensign, and it was taking about the importance of the Conference Talks.. and how they are our guides for 6 months. I want to invite you guys to have them at home and read them whenever possible, I know that every word is inspired by our Savior himself and you will be blessed as you follow the counsel our leaders gave us!

Yesterday Sandra Mansilla (aunt of Sebastian) went to church.. they are the ones who went to the temple the other day. They are awesome! They have been having a lot of problems in their lives, and it's been cool to see the changes they have been trying to make. It's awesome being a missionary. To be able to invite the Spirit and the Savior into the lives of others. We are just the instruments, and as they accept what we are bringing they really do all the changing themselves! They all have dates for this month to be baptized (there are 4 of them) it would be so amazing to see them all make this amazing step!

Thank you guys so much for everything! I can't thank you with my words for the support and love I feel. I have been thinking a lot about the same things in life.. and the difference they make. I know sometimes we think they are useless.. but I know they change the lives of others. Saying hello, offering service, and helping others.. especially as members of the church of our Savior.. it is our responsibility. I know that if we try a little harder to be examples and servants of him that we will bless the lives of others. We never know who is passing through a tough moment and needs just a little more. That little things can change their lives. Thank you so much for the "little" things you do for me. They have shaped my life and led me here.. how blessed we are!
Have a great week.. love you all!

Love, Elder Hansen!

Monday, April 21, 2014

17 hours away from the good old Magrath.. and look who I found roaming the streets of Argentina!!! What a stud, he's grown so much it's crazy. Tell the Evans family he's doing great :)

With the parents of the Torres Family (and Kirah) at the temple!!

Hey Fam!

Thank you for the letters as always. I love to hear that things are going well every week, and to be able to feel the love and the power of your testimonies. Always gives me the biggest smile. Looks like quite the bipolar week you have had up there in Canada! Is it sad that it doesn't surprise me at all? We definitely had a change of weather here as well.. for one day at least. It was miserably freezing 2 days last week, and then this week it was back to hot! I'm definitely enjoying the cooler climate we are having, I will have to see how I deal with my first winter.

I love that you guys are always trying to be together spending time as a family. I definitely have gained such a strong testimony of the power of family. Every Tuesday we have a District Meeting, and now I have the privilege to direct it and give a small presentation. It's amazing to feel the guidance of the Lord help me know what I should say and do to bring out the potential in myself and others. This week I shared the story of the Anti-Nefi-Lehis. With your letters it put my small talk back into my mind, the importance of family and supporting one another. They had a true conversion because they were never alone in what they did. Whether it was Helaman telling them not to break their covenants, their sons fighting in there place, or listening to the words of their mothers. Their life long conversion was based on the strength of their families. How grateful I am to have you guys support me. I know we are blessed and strengthened by each other every day.

To answer your question dad with my new calling I have the privilege of being "over" 3 other companionships. Just in helping them, taking their daily stats and knowing all the people they are teaching. Its a little stressful at times but I have learnt a ton in a short period of time. I have learnt just how much work it takes to be a missionary, and the importance of really "being here" while you are serving. I don't have much time to think about anything else except the mission and serving the Lord with all my heart, mind, and strength as well. It's awesome.

We have some great families we are working with right now. It's always such a testimony builder to see them grow and have desires to change. The real miracle this weekend was when we were able to go to the temple. The Family Torres, and the Family Mansilla (Aunt of Sebastian) came with us! So we had about 6 investigators, and in all their was 101 of us that went from our ward! It was amazing. We had such a good time. We had a picnic outside the temple on the grounds to start, then we were able to do a tour of the temple, ccm, and other buildings in the area. As we were waiting to enter the waiting room to show our investigators, you will never believe who I saw.. Elder Evans!! They just got back from proselyting as we were sitting outside the temple waiting. Man he has changed a ton, it was awesome to see him. We only talked for about 2 minutes, then we went in, but it was definitely so wild. We were then able to enter into the waiting room and have a lesson with about 15 people. The power and spirit of the temple was amazing, and to be able to teach with the presence of the Lord is something I'll never forget. I love the Temple so much, and have no doubt it's the house of the Lord.

We had a good Easter here. Enjoyed a nice little chocolate egg that we bought haha and as always we were able to preach the Gospel and the importance of the resurrection and the plan God has for his children. Always is the greatest gift of all. I hope that you guys were able to feel of his infinite love for everyone of you during this special time of year. I definitely was thinking of you guys yesterday :) How grateful I am for my Savior. Who died for me, for you, and for us. I enjoyed what you said mom. The suffering, and death of our Savior is so personal. He didn't just suffer for everyone.. he died for every single one of us. Personally. It is the most personal, and important thing that has ever happened. I know that the Atonement is real, I have felt it so much in my life during the mission, and seen it literally change peoples lives. I hope that we can all use this free gift to become better everyday. To repent, and be forgiven is the most liberating thing in the world. And as we read in D&C.. those who repent of their sins and abandon them, the Lord will remember them no more. I know that through this we can truly have our eternal family. That we can live together, and continue to share time with each other, and have the fullness of joy that our Father in Heaven has for us.

The Flia Alvarez sent me letters the other day for my birthday! I was almost brought to tears reading them. What a blessing it is to be apart of the lives of such amazing people. It is why I love the mission so, so much! They told me to say hi to you guys, and say they always think about our family :) I can't wait till you guys get to meet them one day. Federico also was able to be ordained as an Elder! Crazy how fast the time passes, he says he still has a huge desire to serve a mission, awesome eh! 

Hope you guys have a great week. Always am thinking and praying for you guys. May you feel this love in every moment! I know this is the Church of our Savior without doubt! Take care!

Love, Elder Hansen!

Monday, April 14, 2014

With my new companion Elder Puentes from Mexico.

Hey Fam!

Thank you so much for the letters once again. Sounds like a great week in Canada topped off with some nicer weather. Nothing to complain about there! Always happy to hear that you guys are busy and working hard.. and I guess I can consider golfing as hard work too. You guys are the best, thank you so much for your examples to me!

We had a great week here in Marcos Paz! It went by crazy fast. On Monday we had a great Family Home Evening with the Familia De La Rosa, a member family here. They invited a family of 5 that are their neighbours, and then their son invited his 2 friends. So we had a family home evening of about 15 or more people! It was awesome. They cooked torta fritas (they're like scones) pizza, cookies, and all kinds of stuff. We were in charge of the spiritual part of course :) haha. We shared parts of the Proclamation to the Family and it was awesome. I seriously love sharing about the family and the importance it has, and the blessings the Lord has for them. I think my testimony has come from the amazing family I have! As I teach I always think about the great times we have had together, and it helps me have a special spirit and desire to bring those blessings to others. After we played some charades and some other games. It was such a legit night. I have gained a strong testimony of the importance of Family Home Evening. It really is such a sacred night for the family.

Yes on Wednesday we had transfers! I totally forgot to write about it last week, the time passes so fast and I totally forgot that they were coming up so soon. Elder Muñoz ended up leaving, he was sad to leave but its part of the mission. It's always hard to see your companions go but it's the will of the Lord. I now have a new companion named Elder Puentes (which in english is bridges). He's a good guy! He's from Northern Mexico, about 2 blocks from the border of texas so he's been to the States to visit family a lot. He has been out about 16 months in the mission. We get along well and I'm excited to start working with him. I also had a nice little surprise on Wednesday. I was announced District Leader.. I was definitely shocked. I never would have expected myself to be a leader, but I feel pretty honoured that the Lord has placed his trust in me. I'm excited to be able to help and serve other missionaries! Also on Wednesday I was able to talk with Elder Valdes for about an hour. It was the first time I've seen him since December, he's doing really well and goes home so soon! The time really does fly by. Oh and yes I received my package! Thank you so much it was awesome, you guys are more than generous :)

This week we saw 3 great families come to the church with us! The Flia Torres went as usual, they are rock solid in the Gospel it is so awesome to see. Sebastian came (our recent convert) and his cousins that we are teaching came too! Also we had a lady named Fabianna and her 2 sons David and Martin come as well. It is awesome to be able to work with families. As a mission that is what we are focusing on more then ever. It's a blessing to be able to work with people that want to be with their families forever.

I really don't have much to write this week. It has been a crazy fast week and I know the time is only going to go by faster! The other day we had quite the storm of wind and rain.. I'm not gonna lie I was quite chilly! We left the pension at about 10:30 and it was quite warm out so I left with only a sweater. By about 3 o clock we were about 45 minutes from the pension and the storm started to come. Man is the wind cold here! It ain't no chinook that's for sure haha. We kept working though and I really felt the Lord bless us for our diligence. I'm sure winter will be a little bit tougher to work in but I'm looking forward to it!

I love you all and thank you for everything you do for me. It truly is a blessing to be part of our amazing family. I'm so grateful for Dad and his desire to share the gospel with others, and especially sharing it with you Mom. I know that it has blessed the lives of us all and will continue to bless the lives of tons of people. I pray that you always remember the things that are most important in life and I know that the Lord will bless you if you do. I love being here. Wish you guys all the best, have a great week and know that you're in my heart.

Elder Hansen.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Got a new companion. Elder Puentes

                                         At the transfer meeting. I am still in Marcos Paz.

Hey Family!

I am truly humbled by your emails this week.. they may have brought a tear or two of pure happiness. I am so proud to call you my family. You guys often comment on how much you have seen me change.. but I honestly can't express the difference I see in your letters every week. You are a blessing to me. I love to see the increasing desire you have to serve our Lord and Savior, to help his sheep come back to him. What a blessing it is to have families here in this earth.. and as Elder Eyring said "The happiness of family bonds that last forever." I have been reflecting on those words a lot today. There is nothing I desire more then to receive all the fullness of joy, right along with you all. I hope that will give us all the desire to live a little better. I know as a missionary it gives me the desire I need everyday to try to bring others to this Gospel.

Happy Late Birthday Dad!!! You are a true inspiration to me. I loved your comments you sent to me this week about your mission. The mission truly is one of the greatest blessings in the world. I am so happy that you loved your mission, and that it is still blessing you today. You are such a great father. As Elder Packer was speaking yesterday he said "Of all the titles God could choose, he chose Father." I was touched by this comment. I am grateful that you honour this title like our Heavenly Father does. I know that he is proud of you.

What a blessing it was to be able to watch Conference this week! It was the first time in my life I have been able to watch all 5 sessions, and I could feel my testimony strengthened through it. It was amazing to hear the words of the Lord's given through his representatives today. As I listened to the Prophet I really tried to focus as if I was listening to the words leave the mouth of Christ himself. Elder Holland's talk was awesome hey! I hope that Carter and Jordan were able to watch it. If not they should! I loved when he started talking about God, and the high standards he has for us and how sometimes we aren't willing to rise up to his standards. He said "People want a God who doesn't demand much, one who doesn't rock the boat, or even ROW the boat!" haha I had such a good laugh at this line. It's so true. Sometimes we want it easy, but without the hardships we would never grow.

We were blessed to be able to bring 2 great families with us to conference this weekend! The Family Torres went, studs! And also a Sebastian (our recent convert) his aunt and her kids went! It was amazing. They all loved it and were moved by the power of the words which were shared. As missionaries it was nice to be able to rely on the Prophet's words to make up for our imperfections haha. His words are definitely more powerful than ours. 

As far as this week it was awesome as well.. amazing to see the blessings! We have 2 investigators that are starting to get pretty serious in the discussions. They have started to repent and change their lives. We invited them to pray about their baptisms, to know if it was the step they need to take. The next day we passed by and they told us the most amazing thing. They BOTH had dreams that night of their baptisms! As they explained us their dreams in details we helped them understand the way that God answers our prayers.. it was amazing.

As for me I'm doing well! I had my "Welcome to Argentina" just the other day even though I've been here for 8 months.. I got bit by a dog! haha about time hey? It was nothing serious. We were waiting for our investigator to come out and his dog just came up and bit me on the leg.. so random! It was just a small little thing so we had a good laugh. 

On Friday we did service for one investigator and then after we started walking to the church for our weekly soccer night. On the way we saw a couple of kids playing basketball in the park.. and instantly we had the thought to go play them. We had a nice little game of 2 on 2.. and Carter you would for sure whoop me now haha. We talked with them a bit after and explained who we are and what we do. They were sweet, we plan on going back and talking to them another day.

I love you all, and I love being here on the mission! I hope that you guys continue to be blessed for being diligent in the work of the lord. There really isn't anything more important! I want to finish with one thought from President Monson that has stuck in my heart.. he said "Those we meet in every place are those given to us to love.. perhaps you will forget the kind words tomorrow that you said today, but the recipient may remember them for a lifetime." Sometimes we don't feel like we are doing much good, because we can't literally see the fruits of our work. But I testify to you that in every small action there is an eternal consequence. Whenever we take advantage of these chances to help others it will make a difference. It's not about numbers, or recognition, it's about the desires of our heart. I am far from perfect, and I'm learning about my flaws more and more everyday. But I am blessed to be able to help, and at least to be able to do my best to help in whatever way the Lord needs. It's my prayer that we will remember this and remember the importance of Love in our lives.

Have the greatest week. You have my prayers here from Argentina. I love you and send you all the best.

Elder Hansen.