Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 23, 2015

Elder Schoonover and I

Our Zone in General Rodriguez

Hey fam!

Happy Father's day again dad! Hope you had a good weekend, I'm sure you got spoiled as usual!

How are you all doing!? Hope life is good up there in the great white north. Things are getting pretty chilly here, sure nothing compared to Canada but I've become a wimp. After those Argentine summers I can't handle the cold haha. It is definitely worse on a bike, but I just bundle right up and life is good! We have had a great last week here.. lots of good stuff has happened!

So like I sad yesterday we went to the temple as a mission! So incredible. Then we went to the office and had a "family home evening" all together. It was awesome... such a special day. They had some missionaries share their conversion stories, they were pretty amazing. I am always so amazed by the faith and the courage of people who go out on a ledge for the gospel.. I feel like I always had it so easy. We then played some games, it was a blast.

As far as our area is going, things continue to go well and we are continuing to work and pray for miracles. We have been finding a lot of new investigators, just have been having some trouble in helping some of them progress. It really was hard for us the first 2 weeks to work with members for a lack of knowledge as far as their schedules, locations and capabilities.. but we have been trying to really involve them more. We know it is going to make all the difference. We do have some great news though, Oscar and Andrea set a marriage date last Monday! They will be getting married on the 17th of July and then baptized on the 18th! They will also be getting baptized with Maria (Andrea`s mom) and then we are working on 2 of their nieces and nephews right now who live right next to Andrea and Oscar. We had a big noche de hogar with them on Saturday, and we were about 11 people in total, and they all went to church on Sunday after so that was pretty special! It is awesome to see the power of families and how important they are, and how they are all coming to church together. The ward is super excited, and so are we. We are gonna plan a reception for the weekend that they get married! The other day we had an incredible lesson about the temple and the importance it has, and we really tried to help them see that the temple is the final goal.. not baptism. So we are excited about that. 

We are working with an awesome less active family as well, the Merlees family. They also went to church for the first time in over 6 months. They are a family with a ton of potential. They went to church for 11 years in Paraguay, then when they moved here like 4 years ago they kinda lost the desire to go. We have been working with them and they have responded really well, they have super strong testimonies just have fallen out of the habit.

Besides that just working a full and trying to do all we can to hasten the Lord's work. It's amazing to see His hand in everything. We have been studying about faith a lot in the mission and it has been pretty powerful. Just to see how much the faith of one can do, and how our faith has to be based in Christ. I hope we can continue to grow in our faith everyday.. and as we do so we will see so many miracles! Take care!

With lots of love, Elder Hansen.

June 15, 2015

Hola Hola!

What a great week it has been here in General Rodriguez. We continue to be so blessed by the Lord, I really do marvel at the blessings he gives us. I have felt very privileged to work this week, we started with a fantastic Zone Meeting last week. We have awesome leaders here in Lujan.  I have also felt blessed to continue to watch Elder Schoonover grow. He is a great kid and such a hard worker. He is very humble and willing to listen which I love, he has a desire to apply all that he can. His Spanish has gotten so much better as well... i feel so jealous haha my Spanish took like 4 months to get better! He's a natural.

So the other night we had a pretty crazy little encounter with our bikes and a car and almost got robbed haha. But the Lord definitely protected us and we got out with any problems, just a bit of a destroyed bike. But we are all good so don't worry :) 

As far as our area things have been going good. We have a couple of really great people prepared right now. We have a couple (Andrea y Oscar) that is going to be married and baptized in July, they are really solid and are going to church every week. The other night we had a really special lesson about the temple and they have such strong desires to go one day. They are super special. One of our challenges is that the mom of Andrea has a baptismal date for the 27th of this month, but she expressed a desire to get baptized with her daughter. We have been praying a ton about what to do, we are trying to looking for the Lords will. We aren't sure yet what is going to happen but we know it will be great either way, we are super excited for this family they have SOO much potential.

 We also had another couple go to church yesterday, they are awesome but also need to get married. We haven't talked about that yet, but it's the next lesson plan that we have. They are a young couple and they have a lot of desires to follow Christ more in their lives. It is cool to see people and how they do whatever it takes to find the peace that comes through finding the Lord.

This week I was reading about the 2000 stripling warriors. And knowing that Father's day is coming up it made me think a lot about why the stripling warriors were as successful and faithful as they were. I love in Alma 53:20-21 because it explains their attributes.. and then its say that they were taught all these things. And if you read in Alma 27:27 it takes about their fathers (the Anti-Nephi-Lehi´s) and how they had many of these same attributes. I know that the stripling warriors were faithful because of their parents. I know that I don't come anywhere close to them, but I want you to know mom and dad that I am so grateful for what you have taught me. More with just your words, but for your examples. That you were always faithful, honest, and righteous. I couldn't have asked for anything greater. So dad I hope you have a great Fathers day, and I hope you both know how much I love you! 

Have a great week,
Elder Hansen.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 8, 2015

Elder Marple, Elder Winzenried (our roomates) Elder Schoonover (mi hijo!) it's pronounced scew-no-ver

Dear family and friends!

Well as you can see I am once again writing on Monday. My second stint in the office has come to an end and I am once again back out in the mission field! It was weird to leave the office again but I feel like it was time. Elder Belloli and I had a fantastic transfer and we gave a lot of ourselves to the mission. Will definitely miss the Robertson's like always but I am super excited to be out in the mission field... I'm out in General Rodriguez .. it is like 15 km from Lujan! It's an awesome area. Super calm and we have bikes and everything... my legs are killing from these past couple days. Boy am I out of shape!

So we entered the area in a "white wash" which means the 2 others elders left and we came in brand new. I'm with Elder Schoonover.. he's a greenie! So I have the privilege of training him, but the truth is he came pre-trained. He is such an awesome kid and missionary. He is from Saint George Utah and is 18 years old. We get along great and have been having a great time here in Rodriguez so far.
The other day he invited his first investigator to be baptized and it was a super special experience for him. He also said the first vision the other day pretty much by memory. He has so much faith. In church yesterday they didn't tell us we had to bare our testimonies, but when they opened the time to the congregation he was the first one up there to share his testimony! Was incredible, I'm excited to be able to work with him for this transfer!

Things so far in Rodriguez have been great. Like always trying to adjust to the mission life again but it has been going pretty well haha. The area is large and since we are both new we have had some struggles trying to find where we are going haha. But we just ask a lot of questions and I love it. I feel like in life, the church, and the mission that the Lord never allows us to feel comfortable.. and in that way makes us stretch, grow, and learn. This week has been the first time I have opened and area, plus doing it while training has been a challenge. Trying to plan and trying to use every minute effectively has been a challenge but I have learned sooo much about trusting in the Lord.

We have really been focusing on trying to win the trust of the ward leaders. We have already met with all the leaders and spent time with them, trying to show our sincere desire to help them. I had been praying about it a lot and I really felt that this was the way that we should go about things. Instead of directly going to the members and leaders to ask for references, we have been focused on asking who in their respective quorums need some help. We have seen some amazing results. The Relief Society President told us to go visit a recent convert who was struggling and who lives REALLY far away. After we left the President's house we contemplated it but we thought we didn't have time and said we would do it another day. But as we thought this one of the bikes broke, and our appointment called us and canceled. So we had to spend some time repairing the bike.. and when we were done our plans were pretty much ruined. So we decided to go visit this recent convert. We went, had a great lesson with her and tried to bring our love and support. She then gave us a reference, and looking for that reference we found a different married family who is very religious but has been looking for something else in their lives! It was incredible. It was a very humbling experience for us. Showed us that everything happens for a reason, and that we really are here to serve the ward. I know that doing so we will be blessed.

We do have some really good investigators that we were working with that the Elders before were working with. We are working really hard to try to help Maria get baptized this month. She has a date for the 27th but has a couple of doubts, but she came to church yesterday and continues to progress well. There is also a couple Andrea and Oscar who are going to get married in July. Today they are supposed to go and set a date in order to be married in July, and then baptized after. They are sweet. We are working hard to try to get to know all the investigators as quick as possible and trying not to miss a step. I feel like it is a great way to keep us lost in the work! Always something to do.

Well just want to thank you all for your support and your love! Life in the mission is great as always. Don't even know how to explain it. It is just such a joy to wake up everyday and be able to serve the Lord. Hope you never forget that we are all His servants, and that he loves us. Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Hansen.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

May 30, 2015

 On splits with the Lujan Elders

With Brisa and her mom at her baptism. 

Brisa's baptism.

Hey fam and friends!

Hope you are all doing good and had a great week! Things are going great down here in the mission. We finished up special trainings this week, I did it almost completely losing my voice.. 8 hours of talking a day sure did take a hit on my voice! It went awesome though and I learned so much from the missionaries! They are so incredible. So during the trainings we always had about 30 minutes (Hermana Robertson, Elder Belloli and I) to prepare the lunch while President talked with all the missionaries together. We served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.. it was heaven! But we were just talking about it the other day and we made about 800 sandwiches in the past month... oh the things that one learns on the mission. Sometimes talents we never would have expected. It all went super great though!

So today was the baptism of Brisa! It was such a special day. She is a little 9 year old girl.. a daughter of a member that we have helped reactive over these couple months. Brisa has come such a long way in the 2 months that we have been teaching her. She has really come a long way as far as her knowledge, and we have also seen how the Gospel has helped her continue to grow in all aspects of her life. She is just a little girl but she has such a bright future. It has also been incredible to see the growth and change of her mom to see how she has made all the right steps to come back to church. I remember about a month ago she was struggling because she had to work lots on Sundays and late on Saturday nights so it was really tough for her to go to church. I remember that we promised her that the Lord would bless her if she did all she could to complete with the commandments. So that Saturday she worked until about 6 in the morning and then got up at 8:30 to go to church... she slept pretty much the whole time in church haha but she complete with the Lord. About a week after that she got offered a new job and has been working Monday - Friday from 2-6pm since! Today in the baptism she shared her testimony and she shared just how special that moment was for her and how it showed the Lord was looking out for her. The really are such a special family.

We are also working hard with Enrique who continues to progress and has a baptismal date for the 13th of June. He is really still looking for an answer from God but he has such sincere desires that we know it will come. We have been working hard in helping him learn how to recognise an answer, and he has plans on coming to church tomorrow. 

We also found a married family last week, they are super awesome! They have 6 kids all between 11-26! It was quite the lesson the other night. We taught them the Restoration and it was super powerful, they are such a humble family but they understood the lesson super well and we are excited to see their progress.

Osvaldo our recent convert continues to do well. He has been attending church regularly and he is planning to go to the temple as quickly as possible. He is very interested in the vicarious work because he has lost both of his parents and also his brother. Lately he has been working a ton with his family and we have plans to go visit 3 different family members of his this next week! We are super excited. It has been incredible to see his testimony grow and see his personal progress. I have felt so blessed to be able to work with him, and to see the Lord's merciful hand in this work as we did all we could to look for men to teach. We feel like he has so much potential.

So this next week is transfer week.. who knows what may happen. Im not sure but I am excited to see what the Lord has in store and ready to do whatever he needs of me. I already have 4 and a half months here this time.. and almost 10 months in total in the office.. how time flies no! It's incredible. But I have learned a ton and am excited for whatever the next step may be!

The other day I read the talk "Grateful in any circumstance" by President Uchtdorf. Incredible. It helped me sit back and reflect on my life and really ponder if I'm grateful for the things that I have. I love when he says that "the catalyst to develop any Christ-like attribute is gratitude". It's so true. I hope that even though there are many trials in life that we can always be grateful.. I know that if we do we will be happy.

I'm so grateful for all of you. Know that I love you, and pray for you all. Hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Hansen.