Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mar. 28, 2015

 Playing soccer at 6:00 A.M.

Ready to fight the Lamanites with the sword of Laban.

Hey everyone!!
Thanks a ton for the letters this week, they were awesome. Sure do love you all and am super grateful for the support! Sounds like life up there is great. To bad the boys couldn't go all the way but 4th in provincials is still sweet, and that is way cool the girls won! Hope volleyball goes well for ya bro, I'm excited to be able to watch you next year.

Well this week was exciting for sure! We started training in the mornings with a member in our ward.. his name is Brother Echeverria.. he is so funny. He is huge into fitness and boxing. We decided to start twice a week, so this Monday and Thursday we went with him to run and do other exercises. Lets just say it was my first time running in 19 months.. and on Monday I totally puked after haha. Nothing like trying to get back into shape.

We have had a super awesome week here in the mission and Elder Collins and I are very happy about how everything went. We had a couple of special trainings so we were super busy! This week we drove out to Chivilcoy and did a training for the 2 Zones out there.. talked a lot about the importance of baptizing, retaining, and reactivating to help the church grow here in Argentina. Elder Collins and I talked about how we can focus on baptism more.. and how this can lead us to have more success in the mission field.. I love this one quote.."If they really understood "the gospel" as the Lord has defined it, they would talk about baptizing all the time. They would talk to everyone. They would think about baptizing, they would talk about it, they would dream about it, and most importantly they would teach everyone about it." It's SO true! So we ended up putting pictures of Christ being baptized above our beds to think and dream about baptism haha. It may sound corny but it's actually so true, our thoughts become our desires!! And I really have come to understand that everyone needs to be baptized.

This week was also very interesting for me personally. I learned a ton about the personal desire one must have and how one needs courage to be a missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ. First off because the other day some angry man spit in my face and talked really bad about us. I can tell you the old Elder Hansen would not have walked away haha.. but I am so grateful for my Savior and for His example and courage, and I am grateful that I have learned have to follow this example. That was one lesson I learned. The other was Thursday when I did divisions with Elder Vera. I was really really sick. I dont know if I have felt that bad the whole time Ive been in the mission. At about 1:20 we were eating lunch here in the office and I decided to go alone and pray. I prayed that the Lord would bless me with strength to at least to make it through the day, and told Him that I had the faith by the time we left in half an hour I would feel good. It was incredible what happened.. as we prayed before we left to work I felt a peaceful feeling, and also felt a wave of energy and enthusiasm come over me. I was able to work the whole day with Elder Vera and it was an excellent day.

We had to move Rubens baptismal date because he had a little set back with one of his commitments last week, but he is progressing so much and the change that he has made is incredible. He is one of those people who is very smart and wants to know a lot before he commits, so we know that when he gets baptized that he will be a strong and firm convert! He has accepted to live the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and he is praying about tithing still.. but he understands the importance and is going to accept we know it.

We are also working with a lady named Laura, she is super awesome and is excited for her baptism on the 18th.. we had the coolest miracle with her the other day. Before we started the lesson she said "can I ask you guys a question?" and we said of course.. and she said "Its always been a dream of mine to baptize my 2 daughters in the mormon church, but I heard that if they want to get baptized I need to be baptized first right?" it was incredible! We were shocked.. but said yes of course you should show the example to your daughters. Her daughters are only 6 and 4, so we kind of explain that whole situation.. but she finished being super excited to be baptized and has stopped drinking already to be able to do so!

We have a couple other great people who we are working with too. We have Karina who is still waiting for her divorce papers but they should be here next weekend si o si.. and her son who is 11 Marcos has a fecha for the 11th of April. Those 3 are pretty much for sure for April and we have a couple other great possibilities who we are working with. Norma is one of them, she is super intelligent and is just waiting for an answer and is going to go to church for the first time tomorrow. Gabriela and Leandro are another married family who we just found last week.. they are super nice and they have been reading a lot. Well more Gabriela then her husband, but we are trying to focus on the whole family!
So I don't know if you have all hard but the church has launched a new program called "Because He Lives" its just like the "He is the Gift" program and its gonna be HUGE! im stoked. There is a new video and it's unreal.. here I'm gonna send you the link.. .. such an awesome video!
Hey i gotta run lots to do but thank you all for everything!! Love you guys a ton and am so grateful for the support. Hope you all have a great week and never forget how much I love and pray for you all :)

with love!
Elder Hansen.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mar. 21, 2015

I bought myself a hammock!

At the Mercado Central!

Hey ya'll!

Thanks a ton for the letters this week, sounds like a pretty intense week! So crazy about basketball, too bad they came up just a bit short but it sounds pretty exciting! Good for them. Always good to see the family is doing well, you guys are the best.

Argentina is as great as ever. My birthday was great, thanks again for the videos are for all the support! I definitely appreciate it a ton. I got spoiled on my bday. On that day a new missionary came from the US. so in the morning we went and picked him up from the airport with President and Hermana Robertson and then spent the morning training him about the mission. President always takes the new missionaries out to eat, and since it was my birthday they took Elder Collins and I with them. I feel so spoiled. So we went out to a restaurant for some lunch with President, Hermana, and the new missionary. It was super awesome. I ate fish for like the 2nd time in 19 months. Crazy eh. I thought being close to the ocean I would eat a ton but its not super popular here. Then a couple members made me cake so pretty much every house we visited we ate. I finished the day with zero desire to eat. It was a great day though.

Today we went to a place called "mercado central". Its a super famous outdoor market here in Buenos Aires. It is gigantic. It has rows of fruit and all kinds of food and then it has a ton of little shops and places to buy clothes and whatever you want. So I may have spoiled myself and bought myself a birthday present. Hope thats alright with you guys. Just a little something to remember my sweet Argentina!

This week was super exciting as well. On Wednesday we did divisions with the Zone Leaders in Ramos Mejia. I went to their area (La Tablada) with Elder Puschel. He is actually from Vancouver! His parents are from Chile, but he has lived in Canada almost his whole life. He is super awesome. He was like a famous rapper before the mission. Such a stud! haha. But we had a great division and I learned a ton from him. It is always super cool to go with other missionaries and learn. They have a couple ghettos in their area that are super crazy.. one is called "la villa santa vega" and it is literally like a maze. Their are just buildings stacked up and there is no space in between them, and their are just little pathways here and their. It was like another world! We taught a couple awesome lessons though. They have an investigator who is getting baptized next Saturday who is awesome. The cool part is that he only has 1 leg, showed me that the church really is for everyone.

As far as our area things continue to go greatt. We have had a few struggles with some of our progressing investigators but they are still right there, we have so much faith that in these next couple weeks they will get baptized. Jonny who was pretty much a for sure for the April 11th relapsed and did drugs and now moved out of his moms house and they haven't heard anything from since. It was a really sad moment for us, I really couldn't understand I was so in shock. Sometimes it is so hard to see how people choose poorly, but we have lots of faith that he will come around. His mom is still doing well and so is his little brother, we are working with them so they can get baptized in April still. Ruben is still doing good, he is one of those investigators that once he gets a testimony is going to be really strong in the Gospel. The truth is that he has a testimony, but as I said before doubts it. He really wants to get baptized... yesterday he said "how does the baptism work exactly, I want to know because it's next week right?" so that was super cool! The only problem is that he has a few doubts about prophets, and he drank a little last Sunday so he is right there, just needs to stay strong and I have so much faith he will get baptized.

We have an investigator Walter who also had a baptismal date for the 28th of this month, but he literally hadn't seen him for like 2 weeks. He's always working or at his moms house since it's really hard to have contact with him, but the great part was that 2 days ago we finally got to sit down and talk to him. What was even greater is that we helped him remember why he wanted to get baptized and he is still really excited. He understands he might need more time but he is excited to do what is necessary to make these steps. We have a couple other good investigators as well that we are working with. One is Oscar. He has had one of the toughest lives I have ever heard of in my life, yesterday he was telling us about it and I literally felt so sad for him. His dad was abusive so he practically grew up in the street, when he was older one of his twins died, and after that his wife left him. It has all been super hard for him to let go, and I really have no idea what he must feel or what he has gone through.. but I do know their is also hope and that the past is the past. That is something that we are helping him to understand. That the Lord has always loved Him and been there waiting to help him. He needs to go through a lot of repentance but he is making the right steps. He went to church last Sunday and loved it! He said he felt so great so that was super awesome.

Last Sunday was also very successful for us when it comes to reactivating. There was about 3 less active or inactive families that went that we have been visiting. It was super special to see how the Lord touched their hearts and they made the choice to go.

The other day I was reading again a talk by Elder Bednar called "The Character of Christ" and it has to be one of my favorite talks. I don't know if you guys have ever read it.. but I am going to attach it and sent it to you all so you can. It just has such a deep powerful meaning and it really has helped me change my outlook on my life, and on my Savior's life as well. The mission is one of the best environments to try to develop this kind of love and character, I come way short but it has been such a blessing to try every day to put others before myself. I hope you guys enjoy this talk and that you can feel the joy that comes with putting others first.

Love you guys so much. Thanks for always putting my needs before your own, I will forever be grateful for this example.
Elder Hansen.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mar. 14, 2015

 With some of the Elders going home. my pants are so big now I'm so skinny haha. I'm going to get them fitted.

 Us at "Siga la Vaca" with President and Hermana Robertson!

 5 AM trip to the airport with the office elders! 

Lunch at President and Hermana Robertson's house with the missionaries going home.

Hola Hola como están mis queridos!?

Thanks for all the videos! They were super awesome, I laughed pretty hard at some of them, you guys are so weird haha. I definitely laughed super hard at Paxton´s video. Please tell everyone thanks who sent in a video, and let them know I love them! I definitely felt your love and support. So crazy I'm turning 22. Can't believe it. Time sure does go by fast when you are enjoying yourself. Don't think we will be doing anything to crazy for the big day, just going out and teaching the Gospel :) the best gift one could ask for! We are planning on going to the mall today for P-day, so maybe I will spoil myself and buy something... But you guys know me.. probably won´t happen. I hope Carter and the boys do well in their game tonight and make in to provincials! I will be thinkin of ya bro!

This week FLEW by! But seriously. So like I mentioned last week (well in the letter I never sent) that this week was transfer week again. Can you believe that I've already been in the office for a full transfer again? Incredible no! So as AP the responsibilities are quite different than before and I really enjoyed it! On Saturday we got to go with the missionaries going home, and took them on a bit of a tour. Just to a park down town where President said a couple words and then we took some pictures. After we went to President´s house and had a testimony meeting, ate lunch, played some games. Then they asked President and Hermana for adivce in what they should do when they get home (this is when Elder Collins and I left the room.. haha) we have to stay focused in the mission still! It was a super awesome experience though and I learned a ton hearing from their experiences. Then we took them all to the airport. It was pretty crazy, a little sad as well. We dropped Elder Webster off so that was really weird, will miss that guy. He has become a great friend of mine. So we were out till about 12:30 in the morning dropping missionaries off at the airport... Then on Tuesday morning we got up at 4:30 to take the last missionary home, and to go pick up the new missionaries! I felt like I didn't sleep at all! But it was so cool to be there as the new missionaries arrived, just to see the excitement in their eyes. And also to see how confused and lost they were. Brought back a lot of memories haha. So we spent all Tuesday with them getting to know them, talking about their lives and why they decided to come on the mission. We also did a lot of games and some trainings here in the office and President talked to them a lot about the mission. The highlight though is that we left with them to go do contacts in one of the parks here! So Elder Collins and I did some demonstrations and then we gave them all Book of Mormons and went out with them to the park to talk to people! It was super fun. Just to see how they overcame their fears to talk with others. Especially those with the language barrier. It was a cool experience though and a lot of them gave Book of Mormon´s away, after they were all super content. It was a big testimony builder for me, just to see how our personal talents really don't matter. or even if we speak the language, but if we are worthy and have the desire the Lord is the one who does all the rest.

Wednesday was transfer meeting and I'm still with Elder Collins. We are having a blast, I am enjoying my time with him so much. He really is one of my greatest friends, we have a ton in common and we just enjoy working and enjoy the responsibilities that we have. It definitely makes life so nice! President and Hermana Robertson took all the office out for dinner yesterday, they are such incredible people I can't wait for you guys to meet them some day.. they are such a special part of my life. We went to a restaurant called "Siga la Vaca" which in English means "Follow the Cows" haha. It's an all you can eat meat restaurant and it was really good. I went to town on the osado, matabre de pollo, matabre de la pizza, pollo, chinculin.. just the good stuff ya know :) I will send you a pic of us all there. Love it so much!

I feel so blessed to be a missionary and to be apart of the lives of so many amazing people. These past couple days helped me to have gratitude for life, and for the progress that our Heavenly Father allows us to make. I could reflect on where I was when I first got here, on where I am now, and where I want to get. It is so cool to reflect on the way that the Lord works in us. I was reading a talked called  "the 4th missionary" by Lawrence Corbridge the other day and I came across this quote and wanted to share it...  "Just give it up. Surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. Turn it all over to Him; all of your desires, wishes, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him, who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins, and for your weaknesses as well.Trust Him that He will make of you, immeasurably more, than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God."  To me it's interesting that me that we can make out of ourselves something good, something that is acceptable. But the Lord can make something incredible out of us. I really do know this is true, and it's incredible to see how the Lord can change us if we LET Him. I know that if there is something you guys want to achieve, you just need to give all you have to the Lord and He will be the one to help you achieve your goals.

We have 2 great investigators that are progressing for baptism for the end of this month. One is Ruben and the other is Walter. Ruben has a testimony, it is just a matter of trusting in himself and realizing that he knows these things are true. He is just very hesitant sometimes. We are working with him though and he is progressing very well and has plans to go to churchon Sunday. Walter is such a nice genuine person, but he just is never home. We works a lot so it has been really hard to have contact with him, but he has a sincere desire to be baptized so we are really trying to help him understand the importance to put the Lord first in everything. So his progress is good just a little bit slow.
We are also working like crazy with Karina, who needs to get divorced and then married. She wants to get baptized like crazy though and her divorce is getting close to being finished. The awesome part is that we are teaching her whole family. Right now her 2 sons Jonny (23) and Marcos (11) both have baptismal dates and they are both progressing really well. Jonny tried to commit suicide a couple weeks ago, and since then he has been a new person. He has been so humble and attentive to the Spirit and to the things that we teach, and he really has a sincere desire to change so he never goes through another moment like he went through. They are a super special family. Karina´s future husband (Cristian) is also less active so we are working with him and he went to church last Sunday which was really great. It was so awesome to see the whole family there! They are super special.

Besides this we have a couple other families we are working with. It has been super rewarding because we have been praying and focusing on finding and teaching families, but we are finding a ton that are juntados. They are great people, but have a ways to go before they will be ready to receive the Gospel, so we are looking for new people to teach everyday!
Well life is great!! So happy. We are running to the mall so I'm gonna head out and enjoy the day with the office staff! Hope you guys are all doing great. Never forget that I love you with all my heart and I pray for everyone of you. I know that we are blessed when we are obedient to the Lord's commandments and when we truly are humble and submissive. I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves us, and this is what brings me the most peace and joy every single day of my life.

I love you all, 
Elder Hansen.

Mar. 7, 2015

 Daiana´s baptism, us with her and her parents! They´re next :) haha

We cooked a ton of pancakes last week for a meeting with all the zone leaders!!

Hey all! 

So good to hear from you all this week! Como pasa el tiempo! Seriously the weeks feel like days out here in the mission field, so glad to hear that you are all doing great though and just living up life! It really is the best isn't it? We are so blessed to be here, especially as members of the church. I love it! Sounds like ball is crazy intense, so excited for Carter! that video was unreal! I would be lying if I said I only watched it once... haha. I am impressed. I was almost sure that hoop was only 9 feet, what hops! Sounds like life is great though, makes me happy.

It's crazy I have already been back in the office for a transfer! Next Wednesday we have transfers again! So wild. I'm excited though, we have a pretty awesome part in the transfers. We get to be with all the missionaries as they finish their missions, hear them share their testimonies and everything. Then we get to pick up the new missionaries on Tuesday morning and spend the day with them doing trainings, and then we are going to go out with them and do contacts in the afternoon! Give away Book of Mormons. I'm sure its going to bring back a rush of memories haha, back to the days when I didn't speak any Spanish. The best, I'm more than excited.

This week was super incredible. First off because Daiana got baptized last weekend! It was awesome. She is such an awesome young girl. Her family is incredible too, I really do have such a special place in my heart for them It was a really cool experience though, because her uncle came and baptized and confirmed her! He also baptized Daiana´s older brother who is now in the mission. On Saturday and Sunday there was also a bunch of family members that went, and Daiana´s parents went which was awesome! Luz (Daiana´s mom) shared her testimony with us after by simply expressing her feelings. She said she knew this would help her daughter become a good person and grow up with good standards and values. It was incredible. We are working really hard with her now, so that she can get baptized as well as her husband.

As far as other people to baptize we have been blessed to find a ton of great people in these past weeks! We have Ruben who is progressing well, he went to church 2 weeks ago and has a baptismal for the 21st of this month. The other day we had a great lesson with him and he committed to live the Word of Wisdom. He has a testimony, he feels good every time he prays, reads, and every time we go over. He just doubts himself sometimes, so we just need to help him recognize the stuff he does know and not think so much about what he doesn´t know.

We also have a man named Walter who has a fecha for the 28th of this month. He is probably one of the nicest guys I´ve ever met, just has such a good heart and is such a simple man. He sends us texts often asking how we are, and when we call he always asks us how our day was and what we did. He struggles a little bit when it comes to understanding the Gospel, especially the scriptures, but it will come with time. I just know he´s prepared by the way he receives us, you can tell he is a person that already lives the type of life that the Savior asks of us.

 We also have a couple great young couples as well. Gabriel and Camila first off. Gabriel is a member and Camila isn´t. Its funny though, because she wants to get married and baptized really bad, and he is a little hesitant right now with getting married. But last Saturday we had a ward activity and they talked about marriage. The best part is that Camila raised her hand and asked "I want to get married but he doesn´t, what should I do?" it was super funny but also very powerful to see her desire. So this week he went by with a young guy named Jose who just got married and he shared his testimony. Before Gabriel said he would get married in 2-3 years, but the other day he said 3 or 4 months! So we are seeing some serious progress, and we know they will be a special part of the church. 

We also have Martin and Yesica. The other day Martin´s dad (The Elders Quorom President) blessed Martin and Yesica´s baby in church, it was super special! It's cool to see how their testimonies are growing, and that moment definitely helped them even though they aren't members yet. We also did a service project for them on Wednesday.. we helped them move so that was a lot of fun! They are pretty much members just need to get married and baptized, but they are right there! We are super excited. We also saw a ton of new miracles this week, the Lord blessed us to find like 10 news in our first 3 days of working and one is an incredible family! The dad is an inactive member and he lives with his wife and 3 kids (14 and 11 years old and one of 5 months). Im more then excited for church tomorrow, I love seeing new people come to church and get to know it. I also love the feeling that their is here, the members in our ward are incredible with the way they treat the people visiting,

We also have one other miracle. We were walking in the street on Tuesday and we felt the impression to knock this one door. This man about 50 years old came out and after talking a bit he invited us to talk to him. So we sat down and he started telling us about his life, and I can tell you it hasn't been easy. He has spent time in prison and has really had some tough times, but he is so prepared. Just 2 years ago his mom passed away. So the other day we were talking about how he could live with his mom again in God´s presence if he prepares now. But we also said how he needs to be clean to live with God.. and he said "it´s true, that´s why I want to be baptized". It was INCREDIBLE! We didn´t even mention it, he just said it himself. It was such a powerful moment, and then we invited him to a baptismal date. He also read like all the introduction of the Book of Mormon, The 3 and 8 witnesses, and the first 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon in like 3 days! He was telling us by memory too, it was super cool! Their are so many prepared people we just have to find them!

Well out of time, so many things to do but I love you guys! Thanks for all you do. I love this work so much, and love my Savior more then I can explain. I know that when we are obedient we are blessed. Last week we talked about this to the whole mission, and since apply what we taught the Lord truly has poured us with blessings, more then I can explain. I know without doubt that the Lord is aware of your struggles and also your desires, and as you put out a constant effort everyday to be a good person He will bless you. 
Have a great week. All the best.

Love, Elder Hansen!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mar. 2, 2015

Hey all!

Thanks a ton for the letters this week they were awesome! Sounds like life is pretty exciting up there! First off dad bought a new truck!? super crazy, I didn't even know you were looking for one.. you were missing "White Lightning" or something? Now we can take another road trip out to Regina.. but this time at least with some AC haha. And sounds like Carter is still just ripping it up in sports thats so cool, the man! Crazy how fast the time goes by no, and that the basketball days are almost over. But I'm super excited that I will be able to watch you next year! Will be so cool. Also congrats on your talk bro I heard it was awesome.. can you send me a copy I would love to read it! Thanks so much for your testimony mom, I appreciate the strong person you are and for all you have done for me! You guys are just the best.

So this was another week of absolute miracles. The Lord is so extremely merciful, I can't even explain it. We have been so blessed. So last Sunday we saw a bunch of sweet miracles in church. Daiana went to church with her dad (it was his first time) and then Martin and Yesica went, Karina as well, and then we had 2 new investigators named Ruben and Walter who both went! So it was such a special day! 

During the week we saw some pretty special miracles with some of these people as well.
On Tuesday we had a lesson with Ruben and we taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was super spiritual, and as we got to the part about baptism he said "I have never been baptized before, but I have been thinking it would be pretty important" wow I was seriously left in shock. We then invited him to be baptized on the 21st of March and he accepted! He feels like it could be a little fast and wants to be prepared but we promised him that the Lord will help him feel ready, wow it was incredible!

Right after that lesson we went to teach Martin and Yesica, and we had a super lesson planned out. They aren't married.. yet, that is haha. So we planned to teach a mixture of eternal families and how baptism is the gate to being able to live with God and our families again. We invited a member family with us which was super awesome, they shared their testimonies and it was super powerful! So as we talked about families they said all they desired was to live together forever, and to have peace in their lives. We then shared a scripture and invited them to be baptized and they accepted! it was super awesome! Then we explained the importance of marriage talking about the temple, and we invited them to get married as well! haha. They said they want to, but they need to think about it a bit.. so that is super exciting! We have some super awesome investigators.

Daiana is also going to get baptized TODAY!  We are super excited, its going to be tonight at about 7:30.. and we have a ward activity today at 6:30, so its going to be an awesome night! All of Daiana's family is going to be there and lots of her family that are members are going to participate in the program! I don't know if I told you that her brother is serving a mission in Peru right now, but anyways he is super excited and sent the family a letter last week. Also they have a family friend who baptized Daiana's brother who is going to baptize her today! So its gonna be sweet, Ill try to send you some pics when I get the chance!

Sorry I'm out of time we have to go fill the font! But yesterday we went to dinner with President Catron, it was super cool to be able to go there again, such a special family!

Hope you guys have a great week, love you all a ton, thanks for everything you do for me and for your great examples!

Love, Elder Hansen.