Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hey fam!!!

Looks like it was quite the week, wow!! Congrats to Carter and the whole team, as well as the girls team. Looks like it was a pretty successful year in volleyball in Magrath, what a nice feeling! Definitely felt proud of the little bro after seeing the pictures.. I guess I'm the outcast who never won the prov. championship haha. But that picture is so cool.. so awesome that dad and carter won the same trophy. A full a full! Cool to see as well the support of the town, awesome that they got behind you and showed so much support! We are definitely blessed to live in such a great place!

Well another week has come and gone in a blink of an eye. It has been pretty successful as always. First off is that I received an hijo here in the office! His name is Elder Moore, he is awesome.. such a nice guy and a great missionary. So I will be training him over the next few weeks and then heading back out to the field! It is bittersweet, I really have enjoyed the office and learned a ton but I am super excited to get back out there and work. I am definitely trying to prepare myself as much as possible. The thing I will miss the most though is the blessing to be in contact with all the missionaries. It has brought a true light and joy to my life getting to know so many missionaries, it is awesome to see so many young kids working together for the same cause. I will also really miss President and Hermana Robertson. I really do feel like they are apart of my family, and Hermana Robertson reminds me a ton of you mom haha. I have been so blessed to work beside them for the last 4 months.. they have taught me a ton. But off to work we go :) It will probably next transfer when they send me off.

Speaking of the Robertson's yesterday they invited us over to their house because it was american thanksgiving! I had no idea obviously haha.. but we went over there and celebrated as a staff. Unfortunately turkey is pretty much impossible to find here.. but we ate chicken, stuffing, potatoes, corn, cranberries, pumpkin pie... a classic thanksgiving dinner! It was awesome. They are great people and so loving. After we played a couple matches of ping pong between us all.. I have definitely lost my skills haha. We took a bunch of pictures on the mission camera but the Hermana Robertson has it, I will try to send you them next week!

In our area things are doing good. Mom mentioned the new video "He is the Gift" and this is actually the focus in all the mission's in the whole world! We have 10 cards to give out everyday to people to invite to visit the web page and watch this video. It really is such a special time of year and its awesome to see how the church is coming together to try to remind the world the true meaning of Christmas. On December 8th all of youtube is going to be covered with videos from the church and also all of the tv's and propaganda in times square! It's amazing how the Lord is hastening His work. So we are working really hard with this right now. Talking to the members and in reality everyone about this program and how we must remember Christ this Christmas season.

Speaking of Christmas we talked about the family Skype. It is going to be the normal 40 minutes, and we can do it the 24th or 25th. I will be sure to give you more details later.. but just let me know how these days are for you and when you will be free. I will probably be in a different area so it will be kinda hard to plan but oh well right! haha.

We have a couple good investigators we are working with right now. Just struggling to commit them to go to church. We have been praying lots for them though. Nikolas and Emilce have been hard to contact as they have been out of town almost all this week. She really wants to get to know the church though, he is a little more hesitant but with time I know he'll come around :) haha. All the good things take time right? We have been working hard on finding families and we feel like the Lord has been blessing us a ton. Families are always harder to commit and help progress but it really is what the Lord needs to help build His kingdom.

I also bought myself some pretty slick new shoes today.. they came out to about 70 dollars.. pretty cheap eh. They are some brown dress shoes. Early Christmas present..  thanks family haha.

Well I hope you guys have a great week and enjoy this great time of year. It truly is the best. I love Christmas and I love my Savior so much. I hope that you guys can do something special with this program and this video.. even if it's just sharing it on facebook. I know that as it says in the scriptures "by small and simple things great things are brought to pass". I really do testify that this is true, and invite you all to do something small and simple this Christmas season and watch the Lord do something great.

Love you all, have a great week!
Elder Hansen.
Saturday, Nov. 22nd letter

With Elder Flores

With "Nacho"

In Sister Llarena's backyard

At the Llarena house

With the Sister Missionaries

Hola Fam!
It was so great to hear from you guys this week, sounds like its been a pretty incredible couple days! So awesome that the boys and girls won Zones! Congrats bro that is super exciting, so glad to hear that it went well. Wish you guys all the best in provincials. I'm excited to hear how it goes! Sounds like it was quite the trip up there. Reminds me of the good old hockey days haha. That's one thing I don't miss too much. But enjoy it and hope things go well today!

Don't worry my toenail it is fine. I really don't know how it started I think it was just a mixture of things. I will just be more careful from now on... but the toe is a long ways from the heart so I think I'll be good to go :) haha.

This week has actually been a lot calmer here in the office which has been really nice. We haven't been running around so much so it's made for more time to work in our area. Although we did receive 2 new secretaries this week. Elder Vera is gone so we have a new Apartment Secretary, and Elder Christensen is training Elder Rojas to be in charge of all the materials. It's crazy that we have already been in here for 4 MONTHS. I don't know where the time has gone. Normally secretaries are in the office from 4-6 months so it looks like President is starting to take us out 1 by 1. I don't know when my time will be, I guess we shall see! I do love it here a lot but at the same time it'll be super nice to get back out there in the field and work. Will definitely make the best of the time I have here though, it's been such a blessing to be around President Robertson and his wife and learn from them.

So we went this week to see the referral from our Stake President's son. It's a young couple.. their names are Nikolas and Emilce.. and they have a little son named Tomas. They are awesome! So we went there this last Monday and had a little lesson with them. It was more then anything getting to know them, seeing what they like to do and what interests them about the church. They definitely have some doubts, but at the same time they have some pretty amazing questions that show they have been thinking about these things. Nikolas knows a ton about the church but has always been pretty hesitant to go, so we will have to see if we can help him. They aren't married but they do have plans, we talked about the proclamation to the family and shared it's importance. It was really good. They definitely desire more then anything the well-being of their family and are willing to do what it takes to be happy. We are trying to plan a Family Home Evening with President Catron and his family to show them what the Gospel can do for us. We also got talking about Canadian food and they want us to go over there one day and cook pancakes for them haha. They are a pretty special family!
Teodora is doing amazing. She has been coming to church every week since her baptism and she has really come to love it. She mentioned to the another member the other day that she get anxious waiting for Sunday cause she's so excited to go to church. What a miracle no! It's amazing how people can change so much. We had a really spiritual lesson on the sacrament the other day, which really helped her understand the importance of persevering in the Gospel. We also talked about the temple and she really wants to go, she should be having an interview with the Bishop soon!

So like I mentioned Elder Christofferson came last week and wow it was so amazing.They speak with such compassion and power that you really can feel their love. He talked very simply the other day. He focused on how we can have success as missionaries. Many times we wait to get specific answers in exactly how we should work.. but I was really surprised, yet amazed by his answer. He just simply talked about the Atonement of Christ in Alma 7. And how this is the only true way we can come to love others and have success in our mission. Rather then invent or look for other ways to do the work, we should look towards Christ and try to come closer to Him. He said "none of you are unknown to Him, and as you pray none of you are strangers". He talked about how when we really come to understand the love and sacrifice of our Savior we come to understand what it is that the Lord wants us to do. I have gained such a strong testimony of this. I feel like the greatest thing the mission does is offer one the opportunity to become like our Savior, something we all need to do.

He also left a pretty mind-blowing thought with us. He was talking about the second coming of Christ and how we normally say that he won't come until the world is extremely wicked. He then said in his opinion the earth has plenty of wickedness, but what lacks for the second coming to come to pass isn't wickedness.. but prepared people ready to receive it. I was really struck by that. This is when he really try to excited us to work, and do our part to help prepare the people for the second coming. I love our leaders so much, how blessed we are to have them!

Today I was watching the new mormon message "The Refiner´s Fire" oh it's so good you have to watch it. There is one quote that I loved.. "The greater our sorrow is the greater our capacity is to feel joy". I believe this to be true. Sometimes the trials and sorrow in the mission are indescribable, but that's what makes it so incredible. I hope we can all make the best of the hard moments and look forward to the limitless joy our Heavenly Father has promised us. That really is my prayer.

Hope you guys have a great week. Love you guys so much.
Take care and go Zeniths!

Love, Elder Hansen.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hey fam!

We have had another great week here in the mission! I was super happy to hear about the awards, congrats Carter that is so awesome! An award definitely deserved for all the hard work. I hope that the Zone tourney finishes well today. I'm excited to hear all about it! Sounds like the weather is quite interesting up there as always, the other day it was like 31 here and -30 there. Quite the difference. Hope you´re all enjoying it! Some days I miss the cold!

This week has been another quick week filled with lots of miracles! Last Sunday I was actually given the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting, a sister missionary and our ward mission leader spoke as well. Missionary work a full! It was the first time I have spoken in awhile so I was pretty torn between what I should speak about. But I was definitely excited! I had been praying and thinking hard about what I should speak about when I came across a talk by Elder Eyring "A Voice of Warning". I had been thinking a lot about missionary work and the best way to express this importance to others.. and when I really thought about it all I could think about was love for others. How the true love of Christ helps one have the desire to share without being forced or obligated, but how really understanding that others need the Gospel to be eternally happy helps us become people who desire to share with our friends. This is the part of Elder Eyring's talk that really hit me, and that I shared on Sunday.

"Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing?Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you.
It’s easy to say, “The time isn’t right.” But there is danger in procrastination. Years ago I worked for a man in California. He hired me, he was kind to me, he seemed to regard me highly. I may have been the only Latter-day Saint he ever knew well. I don’t know all the reasons I found to wait for a better moment to talk with him about the gospel. I just remember my feeling of sorrow when I learned, after he had retired and I lived far away, that he and his wife had been killed in a late night drive to their home in Carmel, California. He loved his wife. He loved his children. He had loved his parents. He loved his grandchildren, and he will love their children and will want to be with them forever.
Now, I don’t know how the crowds will be handled in the world to come. But I suppose that I will meet him, that he will look into my eyes, and that I will see in them the question: “Hal, you knew. Why didn’t you tell me?”

That question really hit me. As I shared that story I was inspired to share a few personal stories about times that I was failed to share what I know is true. And how the Lord is willing to forgive us, but also expects that we learn from our mistakes and share with those who need to hear this message.

Apart from my talk Sunday's are our only day to work out in our area all day. So after church we definitely take advantage of the time we have. Last Sunday we found and taught a pretty great family, he's a captain in the army and she's a artist.. and they have a 9 year old son. They are definitely super firm in their Catholic beliefs but they were interested and had some great questions as we shared the Restoration with them. We are hoping they will progress because they have a ton of potential.

This week we also saw another miracle. Our Stake President (President Catron) has a son serving a mission in Chile. His son has a friend who isn't a member that lives in our proselyting area so the other day he sent a message to his dad saying he wanted us to visit him. For the last 3 weeks we have gone like 5 or 6 times to his house but their was never anybody there.. one of the frustrating parts of the mission haha. On Thursday we went to his house and ended up talking with his neighbor but this kid still wasn't home. So yesterday we were waiting to pick up some missionaries that were out in the mission field here in Ramos when this kid who we have been trying to contact just showed up out of nowhere and asked "hey excuse me but can I ask you guys a question? yesterday 2 missionaries like you guys showed up to my house and talked to my neighbor, and 10 minutes after they left I showed up, so when my neighbor told me and got in my car to look for them. do you know who they are??" As we asked him his name and he responded we were seriously amazed, like it says in Preach My Gospel "The Lord will guide you to meet prepared people, or he will led them to you." It truly was a sign of a miracle for us as this kid (Nikolas) accepted a Book of Mormon and invited us to go to his house. He also invited us to go to his house to eat!

Well I'm about out of time. Today like you guys heard we went to hear Elder Christofferson speak! Yesterday he spoke here in our Chapel to all the married couples so we had to clean the office like never before! haha it was spotless. And then today we had to take 240 missionaries at 6:30 in the morning to the North Mission Office. it was quite the process and I am exhausted! But it was an amazingly spiritual experience and I will be sure to share some of my thoughts next week after I have a little time to study what I learned! But after hearing his words I have no doubt that our leaders are called by God and that they speak in His name. I hope that we can always be humble and willing to listen and follow their counsels.

Have a great week. Love you all!!
Elder Hansen.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hey Fam! 

Thanks so much for the letters it was so great to hear from you all. First off congrats Carter! That is so exciting that you guys won it all, pretty impressive! It sounds like it was a pretty intense rivalry with Chinook, that's awesome you pulled it off! Looks like it is going to be another classic winter up there in Canada. The rain has finally gone away here and it's starting to get hot. I'm not sure if I'm ready.

Well this week has definitely been different. I think I saw all of Buenos Aires haha. We spent about 90% of the week preparing for meetings and helping out the other missionaries. We had changes this week so Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we were super busy doing this and to answer your question yes I'm still in the office. It's crazy it's already been about 4 months, the time goes by insanely fast. I also made about 4 trips to the airport to drop off missionaries that finished their missions. It is definitely a different experience haha, but I'm always happy to help, although it did make for some pretty early mornings.

Then we had a meeting with President and Hermana Robertson, the Assistants, and all the Zone Leaders here in the mission. It was pretty great. I learned a lot. We talked lots about the importance of being a Christlike leader and teaching more by example then by word. I love when Elder Packer taught "Speaking is not teaching". I feel like this is something I have learned a lot on my mission. I always thought that a great missionary or leader was one who spoke with big words and marveled the people by what they said. I have come to admire leaders like Moses who said: "Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." 
And I love the example of Ammon who sparked interest in King Lamoni because he was quick to do all the King asked and more. Although this week wasn't full of teaching the Gospel in words I feel like serving others is something equally important.

Their was one little surprise miracle that happened this week. So the day before all the missionaries head home they have a "Noche de Conversos" or "Converts Night" where they invited their converts to come and say goodbye to them. We are always in charge of setting all the stuff up and making sure their are drinks and food for everyone. So I was their just helping out when I saw a couple of familiar faces come in, the Familia Alvarez! I guess Elder Toledo had invited them to come because he was going home. Oh boy it was so good to see them, and it seriously made me so happy. I didn't want to take away from Elder Toledo, plus I was just there to help out, but we talked for a little bit and they are doing so great. Rodrigo and Tamara went to seminary this whole year and love it. The Hermana Zuni is still doing great as always and helping and cooking for the missionaries. Martin and Luana are so cute and funny. And Federico is doing good as well, he had a tough period but has been working hard to stay active in the church. Sometimes just feels a little alone because their isn't a lot of youth. But it really touched my heart seeing them and knowing just how much love the Gospel can bring to the lives of the people. It has brought a love to my life I can never explain. I have no doubt that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, how blessed we are to be a part of it.

Well it has been another quick week but things are great. Time to get back to work. Thanks for everything you do for me.. I am so blessed to have such great family and friends.

Love you all, Elder Hansen.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

 The Office Staff

Me and Elder Soto

Hey family and friends!

Glad to hear from you all and to know that things are going great back at home! Tough to hear about the volleyball tourney but I hope Carter gets better and will be able to play at 100% again. I have to write a quick thanks to Sister Schipper and all the primary kids. The other day I received all their letters and questions. They were pretty awesome and made me laugh pretty hard. I think the most common question was how is the weather down here haha.. you can tell them that it hasn't stopped raining for about a week! Please tell them thanks for it, it was greatly appreciated.

Gotta love stake conference as well eh. Sounds like it was a spiritual experience for everyone.. especially dad up front their singing in Magrath's very own MOTAB. Sure it sounded great! We truly do have such amazing leaders in the church, in all parts of the world. It has been such a blessing to learn from them throughout my life and on the mission.

Speaking of leaders our Stake President (Presidente Catron) here in Caseros is awesome. He actually lives in our ward so we see him lots and have become really close to him. This past weekend we had 2 dinners with him and his family! In the one it was assistants, the zone leaders in Caseros, and then us. He has such an awesome family and are so strong in gospel and their son is actually serving his mission in Chile right now! Just the other day he wrote home telling his dad about one of his friends that isn't a member that he wants us to go visit.. so we are going to pass by as soon as possible and see if we can talk to his friend!

This week was super quick. The truth is we been a FULL week in the offices that we didn't have a ton of time to work this week. We have transfers next week which always makes for a very busy time. I have learned a lot being here in the offices. It has helped me be a bit more organized haha. But more importantly has helped me learn how to have an equal balance in life. I think before the mission I was just all one thing.. whatever it could have been. But here  I have learned to work hard in the office during the day, and then when we leave to be 100% committed to the Lord's work. It isn't always easy and isn't something I haven't perfected but I feel like it's an important lesson the Lord wants me to learn. And something that we can all learn. To have a balance between work, school, family.. but always remember which is the most important.

After Teodora's baptism we have been trying really hard to expand our teaching pool. We do have some other good investigators but nobody who really wants to fully commit themselves to baptism and living in accordance with God's commandments. We are still working with the Family Quiroa. We had a pretty awesome lesson with the husband who isn't a member the other day. For the first time he told us that he has the desire to be baptized.. but that he is scared of committing himself and not being able to complete with all that is asked. He thinks that if he is a member he has to give ALL of his time to the church and serve others. It is a great thought.. but we are trying to help him understand the Lord just asks us to give all that we can, and that through His grace and mercy we can complete with all that He asks of us.

We also have been working hard with the recent converts here in our ward. We have a couple that are having a tough time.. for the reason that you expressed mom.. because they are taking on a whole different life. We have had some success helping a few of them strengthen their testimonies. They are also a great way to find new people to teach, those recent converts are those who are always excited to share the Gospel with others. Speaking of this we are planning to have a Family Home Evening with Teodora, her sister and and some of their friends next week, should be awesome!

This morning I was watching a video on the LDS website.. .. which talks a lot about the hope and faith that can come through a life centered in Christ. I pray that we can all continue to develop attributes like our Savior Jesus Christ and always find the hope that he can bring us.

Hope you have a great week, love you all!
Elder Hansen.