Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dear Family and Friends!
Hey It was so great to hear from you guys! Sounds like it was a great week, glad to hear that it was a good week of volleyball as well! Sorry I didn't write the other day, we didn't have internet in the office for the past couple days.. plus we only had like 2 hours for our Pday because of the baptism!

That's the great news! Teodora got baptized on Saturday and was confirmed a member of the church yesterday! It was amazing. It has seriously been such a blessing to be a part of her life and to be able to share the restored gospel with her. She had some really hard challenges in her life a little over 6 months ago which really had a hard impact on her. She rarely left the house for a few months, and really didn't feel a lot of purpose in her life. It's amazing how the gospel can bring one so much hope, and how our Savior can heal us both physically and spiritually.

During the time we have known her she has been so receptive and willing to change, depending on what she personally feels. That's one of the greatest things about her, and about the conversion she has had. We have been trying to teach in a new way which allows the people to be more self reliant and depend more on their own agency. and not just simply "listening and do exactly what the missionaries say". We have been there every step of the way guiding her and helping her, but all the choices she has made she has made them on her own! She has gained such a strong testimony, and has such a strong desire to one day enter the temple.

The service was great as well, just a nice simple service.. she was super emotional! Her sister Juana (who is a less active member) came to the baptism and is going to start coming to church again. It has been amazing to see how their relationship has changed.
Besides that the week was good. Just working as usual, loving every second and trying to become more like my Savior. It really is a blessing.
I was thinking a lot about trials, and the hardships we pass through in life when I read a talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell the other day, and this quote really got to me.

"Obedience on our part can bring us face to face with new challenges which we need but do not want, challenges from which we may even be running away. Obedience helps us to pioneer beyond the past... Our transitory disappointments are real, but the missing letter from home is not really comparable to the delivered message from heaven, the good news of the gospel. Today's unmet hunger for a few more friends must not be allowed to obscure the marvelous reality of the forever friendship of Jesus for each of us. Do not let uncertainty about how others seem to feel about you this week get in the way of how God has always felt about you."

It is such a blessing to have grown up in such a great community, and to be surrounded by such great people in the mission. More then just thinking about friends, I think this quote really speaks out about leaving behind the things of the world and trusting more in the Lord.. who has always been, and will always be there for us. I have never felt more certain about my Heavenly Fathers love for everyone of us. Hope you guys know how much I love you too. 

Have a great week, love you all!
Elder Hansen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Posted on Facebook: Having lunch with the missionaries in our house on Argentina Mothers Day. (19 Oct 2014)

Querida Familia,

What a week it has been! Glad that things are good up there, sounds like Carter is still putting on a show on the volleyball court, haha. I am glad that his team is doing well and enjoying their time together. Something super important.

That's awesome that the Heninger's cousin got called to the mission in Cordoba. He's gonna love Argentina. It's the greatest! As far as food, it's pretty simple. Lots of rice, meat, and pasta. I love it. Asado is one of the most prestigious dishes here, it's like roast beef but they cook it on the BBQ and it's unreal. They also love their milanesa, which is a breaded meat or chicken. I use my sleeping bag in winter yes, get's a bit cold.. so I think its something good to bring. As far as things I could need I will think and let you know.

I have been reading and watching the Conference talks over this week and I have really been touched by the talks. This week I have really been trying to think about Charity, and developing a true love for others. I think this is one of the most important things in life, and it is a attribute that will makes us become more like our Savior. I truly have been impacted by the talk "Are We Not All Beggars" by Elder Holland. I especially love this part..

"For one thing, we can, as King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn’t that why this compassionate ruler asks, “Are we not all beggars?” Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us"

After reading this talk I have really had the desire to make a difference, and to give to those who need. Living in Argentina has opened my eyes tremendously and I would literally do anything for the people here. I sometimes joke about how during the mission has been the first time I'm sad that I'm tall.. because I can't give my clothes away haha. But more then just this, when we truly have a caring heart we can make the difference in the lives of so many.

In the mission things are still going great. It has been a bit hard for us lately to find new people to teach, but we are still working hard and seeing lots of miracles. Teodora is doing awesome! She is set for her baptism for the 25th of this month. She has been receiving her answer little by little as she has learned to press attention to the small whisperings of the spirit. The other day we had a Family Home Evening with her and 2 other families in our ward. We had a lesson, played some games and then after we ate tacos! It was great! During the lesson she announced in front of everyone "I'm working towards my baptism next Saturday." It was so awesome to hear as she shared her testimony and her desires with everyone! Her desire and conversion really has come through the Book of Mormon, she has pretty much read every single day since we have started visiting her. I am super excited for her and for the fact that she will be making this amazing promise with God, and that she will become a member of the church. I have gained such a strong testimony about baptism, and the importance it is that everyone takes this step in their life.

Well things are great hear.. we are a full right now with everyone. The Hermana Robertson is helping us do a serious spring cleaning of the office haha, their are a ton of old stuff here that we need to get rid of so we will be spending a lot of our P-day working but it's great! It is fun when we are all together and working, something I enjoy rather then something that is a chore.

Hope you guys have a great week and know how much I love you. I have gotten to the part where my emails can't explain how I feel about the mission and my Savior. but I have no doubt in my mind that this is the only way we can be truly happy. There is no other way to return to live with our Heavenly Father, and how grateful I am to be apart of His true church today. I loved President Monson's talk "Guided Safely Home". I know that Jesus Christ is OUR good shepherd and that he loves us, and is the only way we can make our way back home.. this really is my prayer and my testimony, that we can develop our relationship with Him and come to understand better His eternal love.
Love you guys so much, off to work :)
E' Hansen

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hey family!

I loved your letters and the pictures so much this week! Thanks so much for sharing your conference experience with me, it looks like it truly was a great spiritual experience for everyone. That is so awesome that you got to meet the Carter's, they are great! Hope you gave them my love, I have such a special place in my heart for them. Glad that the trip went well and that you could enjoy listening to the our modern day leaders. I was truly amazed by their words this past week.. especially Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Lord, is it I?". This talk really had a serious impact on me and has had me thinking this past week about my mistakes and my weaknesses, and how important it is that we all purify ourselves.

I loved this part a lot: "But those who want to improve and progress, those who learn of the Savior and desire to be like Him, those who humble themselves as a little child and seek to bring their thoughts and actions in harmony with out Father in Heaven - they will experience the miracle of the Savior's Atonement. They will surely feel God's resplendent Spirit. They will taste the indescribable joy that is the fruit of a meek and humble heart. They will be blessed with the desire and discipline to become true disciples of Jesus Christ."

I can't explain how much this has been part of my mission. I feel like the Lord has humbled me a lot and has truly shown me my weaknesses. It isn't always easy, but as Elder Uchtdorf explained if we ask ourselves sincerely "Lord, is it I?" with the mindset of wanting to change and recognize our mistakes we can desire this taste of indescribable joy. It's not easy, to admit our mistakes, but it is the way that the Lord has instructed us that we need to humble ourselves and learn. I feel that my greatest desire in the world is to be a disciple of Christ and try to follow in his footsteps. I hope that you guys can listen to this talk and the other ones as well. I wish I had time to talk more about conference but time is short!

We had some investigators go and watch the conference as well which was fantastic! It is a great tool to teach about the Restoration and about a living day Prophet. We are so blessed to be guided by Thomas S. Monson, and wow are his words powerful. I was so happy that our investigators got to listen to him.

We have had some serious help from our members lately, they have been so awesome in supporting our investigators. We watched the Saturday afternoon session in the Quiroa Families house which was awesome. But at the same time Teodora wanted to go to the session in the church. So we called Hermana Llerena to ask if she could join her. So she went to the house of Teodora and picked her up and they went to the conference together.. and our Teodora loved it! She really has made such great progress, and has been so prepared by the Lord. She has now been 5 days with smoking cigarettes and has been reading and praying every single day! On Tuesday when we had a lesson with her she was still having doubts about baptism. She wants to get baptized, but just isn't sure that she is ready. So we talked a little about the requirements of being humble and being clean, and we left her with 2 Nephi 31 to read. 

On Thursday when we went over there we started talking and she mentioned how she had been feeling very alone (because her sister works all day) and that she would like to feel more company. About a week before this lesson we mentioned how receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost would help her with this, and it is what we receive after baptism. So on Thursday we asked her how being baptized could help her feel closer to God. She paused for literally 30 seconds, and we just sat there in silence waiting, and letting the Spirit testify to her. During this time she was staring at her Book of Mormon, and then she started to read "repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism - yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost." (2 Nephi 31:13)

The Spirit was so strong in this moment as she realized for herself that baptism will bring the Spirit and the needed company into her life. So we simply asked her... "Teodora, what can you do to receive the Holy Ghost?" and she paused for 5 seconds more, and then said "I have to be baptized". It was so powerful. The words of the prophets in the Book of Mormon can testify and do miracles that we can't, and I have gained such a strong testimony of this. She has a date for the 25th of this month and we are doing all we can to help her fully prepare!

This was just one little miracle that I wanted to share with you guys. Sorry my letters are so short but the work of the Lord must go on :) Just know I´m loving life so much and this is the greatest work I have ever been apart of. I know my Savior guides this work, I feel his presence everyday of my life and it is a blessing to feel and to know that He lives and loves everyone of his children.

Hope you have a great week! You are all in my prayers.
Love, Elder Hansen.

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 4th, 2014 (Sorry I'm a little late on this post)

This is the Quiroa family who we watched conference with today and made brownies for them! They baked us cake, milanesa sandwiches (milanesa is like breaded chicken) they are awesome. She's an inactive member we have helped to start going to church and her husband isn't a member but he's progressing pretty well.

Hey everyone!

Sounds like everything is going great back at home, glad to hear from you guys again! Thanks for all the words of support. That is awesome that you guys are going to be able to go to conference, will be such an amazing experience for sure! I have seriously been so excited all this week to be able to watch all the sessions, what a blessing! You will for sure have to say hi to the Carter's for me. The Ashton family will also be there (the one's that trained Elder Flores and I in the offices) you will have to say hi to them as well. Hope you guys enjoy the experience and the huge blessing of listening to a modern day prophet, I seriously can't think of anything more important or more sacred.

Another week has flown by in the mission. Today we have a short P-day because we have to leave soon to go watch conference. I honestly can't even remember what happened this week haha, it all goes by so incredibly fast!

First off Teodora went to church last week and she loved it! She has changed sooo much in just 2 weeks! She is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and has really learned to love it a ton, it is amazing how much it helps with ones conversion. She also has gone from smoking 2 packs of cigarettes everyday to just 2 or 3 cigarettes, it's been a miracle. She set the goal to stop by this weekend so we are praying for her lots! She is super excited about the conference as well, she wants to go today and tomorrow! So awesome. She has definitely been able to feel the difference in her life as she has started developing her relationship with her Savior and trying to obey His commandments. The other day we saw a pretty big miracle with her. We went on splits (I went with our Bishop and Elder Flores went with our Bishop´s kids) and Elder Flores went to Teodora's house and taught her. So she lives with her sister named Juana who is a member of the church. But this day Juana was out working and ss they were teaching Teodora alone she was talking about how she was still struggling because she was home alone all day (because she doesn't have a job) and this was making it hard for her to stop smoking. During the lesson Juana showed up at the house and started listening in on the lesson. So Elder Flores and Bishop´s kids were talking about how if she puts her trust in the Lord and obey his commandments she would find a job. As they said that Teodora said "you're right, tomorrow I am going to go out and look for a job" but as she finished her sister Juana said "oh no you're not... today somebody I worked with said they needed some help, you start working next monday." Oh it was such a miracle. As they told us about it after I was so extremely grateful for the mercy our Heavenly Father has for His children. The worth of every soul really is great in His eyes.

Like I said at this time I was with our Bishop and we went to visit a less active lady who we have helped reactive, and we are also teaching her husband. He is a great guy, but is very deeply converted in his beliefs of the Bible and nothing else. So that day we talked about the importance of the Restoration and how we are guided by Prophets today. We ended up inviting him to watch conference this weekend.. so today we are going to his house and we are going to watch it on the internet! I also promised him we would make brownies since he loves them.. so this morning we cooked them and I can tell you they didn't quite turn out like yours mom.. but they will do the trick haha.

As I said the time is short, but I just wanted to share these 2 quick stories with you. Things are great here in the mission. I am learning more and more everyday. I love the Book of Mormon, day by day it has helped me change and strengthen my testimony in our Savior Jesus Christ. I just started reading it again and I have already learned so many new things, it is incredible. I have also come to understand the importance of the Atonement in my life, and in the lives of others. As we work so hard with people to help them repent and change their lives I have come to see how loving the Savior is towards everyone. I can't even express my gratitude for him. I know I have made many mistakes in my live, but I know that through him I have and can be forgiven.. as can we all. I hope you guys enjoy conference a ton and listen and apply the words and advice of our living day leaders. I know they are guided by Christ himself.

Have a great week. Send all my love to everyone.

Love Elder Hansen.