Monday, December 26, 2011


So it´s 8 in the morning over there right now. I was very glad to have the opportunity to talk to you guys yesterday. I had a lot more that I could have said in the time instead of just sort of blabbing but it was great to hear everyone´s voice and I had a good Christmas. I hope everyone is enjoying their day after Christmas. So I thought I´d thank everyone for all the cards and packages and care with a mountain of pictures. ooops... I spent all my Internet time getting frustrated trying to upload pictures but it´s being silly today. Love you guys
... I´ll have to send pictures next week

Monday, December 19, 2011


So right now it´s 2:30 here in São Borja and on Christmas at 5:30 I´m going to call.  Some members have computers\laptops but don´t have internet at home because it´s semi expensive. Some people have internet but I don´t know that they have a webcam. Everyone just goes to the internet cafes here and pays like a buck an hour. They have webcam (I don´t know how good it is) but I think we´re just going to call  through the chapel that´s in the downtown area.  So you guys should call the chapel at five (It´ll be a different time for you). The number is 34313675 and you have to dial the area code first which I THINK is: 5514. The Sister who gave me the number wasn´t absolutely sure about the area code but I´m pretty sure that´ll work out and if not I´ll collect call home and give you the right area code quickly and then you call here. Ohh.. The call is limited to just forty minutes. I got a package that it looks like the ward (The Rice’s and some youth) sent to the CTM. It looks like it got there a little after I had left and the CTM just now sent it to my mission address. Two envelopes, a Snoopy Christmas book that plays music a P-day shirt and a mountain of bright pink cards came from Mckenna but I haven´t gotten anything from the family yet. [You've gotta be kidding! I sent it 4 weeks ago. (-Joy)]  I´m starting to teach some Elders here how to speak English and I get a bit muddled up speaking English sometimes. I end up mixing a bit of Portuguese and English but one Elder is learning really well. We’re trying to find people. So between the three branches, there´s about 100 people who attend regularly and there´s more than 2,000 members here and it´s a city of about 60 thousand people. I counted not even twenty in attendance at the last sacrament meeting in my branch and It´s hard to get references or teach lessons with members. We're also having trouble finding complete families. I´m sure something will work out. My birthday came and went. Didn´t really feel like a birthday but it was a good day. I got a tie from someone in my ward. It´s like a tie for people who don´t know how to tie ties so it´s got a really weird pulley system behind the fake knot. Lot´s of people buy these because no one here uses a tie for more than the occasional funeral or wedding reception so no one knows how to tie one.  I KNOW THAT IT WAS EXSPENSIVE! I think the minimum here for a tie is about forty dollars. My district leader bought me a tie clip\pin. The holidays are rushing by and ... it just doesn´t feel very Christmas-like. I´m going to sing in a Choir in Portuguese and Latin at the chapel that´s downtown.   Looking forward to talking with you!

So here we´ve got me doing a family night with a part member family and another part member family. Then we have me in  front of the tree. We´ve got some glamm-shots of me in a tie that McKenna sent me. then we´ve got me goofin´off in the p-day shirt and my district leader and his companion. Oh and my Birthday dinner that some Sisters from the ward sent over.

Elder Hanson

Monday, December 12, 2011

No Webcam communication on Christmas.....AGHHHHH

So we´ve been teaching a young man named Juliano the lessons and he´s been progressing pretty well. He said a good closing prayer for one of our lessons that I think showed that his relationship with Heavenly Father was getting better and he understood (at least pretty well) the plan of salvation. Unfortunately he didn´t make it to Church yesterday. I´m still holding out hope for him. He´s one of the only people who seem to want anything to do with our lessons. I´m really getting better with my memorization and use of the scriptures in
practice. I can pull out lots of stories that fit well in lots of different situations. I´m also reading faster (I could do this but I can read faster AND retain now.) in both languages.
Christmas is right on the horizon. I have so much to do that I don´t have to sit in the house waiting for Christmas.  Time is just passing faster than fast. Just imagine, I´ll be able to give you guys a call on Christmas. So because it´ll be Sunday I won´t be able to use a webcam or anything like that because the only way to do that is paying in the internet place by our house.  [WHAT’S HE TALKING ABOUT!!!!  DON’T PEOPLE HAVE WEBCAMS AND INTERNET IN THEIR HOMES??!??!  I WANT TO SEE HIS FACE!  RATS!!!!]
As for decorations...there aren´t any. Occasionally you´ll see a house of the wealthier people with a wreath on the door and I already saw that someone spray painted their trees red and white but you almost couldn´t tell Christmas time from any other time of year here. There
are some decorations in the downtown area. I was at a big Relief Society activity recently with the Elders (We were asked to give talks and then to serve food afterwards) and on the way home we saw a few things all lit up.  They say that normally it´s either turkey or ham on Christmas. It seems like turkey is the bigger deal for Christmas. I´m holding out hope that we´ll have turkey at the members house where we´re going to eat for Christmas.
Weird foods: I ate capybara. It´s like a huge guinea pig. I didn´t know that it was illegal to hunt them when I was eating it. But I liked it.  Turns out that this rodent I ate is the largest living rodent in the world.
So I have to gather up all the pictures from the other Elders and we still have to take more Christmas pictures. I already took pictures of our tree. Other than this one pic, you´ll have to wait.
Dad, I miss our talks, drives and trips to fish and chips. I´m really liking the independence and rewards of being out here. It´s funny because my Mission President is always saying that your Mission is the best preparation for the rest of your life. I´m trying my best to plan and to achieve goals. I know that I was a handful and a prideful person many times. It´s being the Lord’s Fisherman that really has taught me a lot. I´m learning a lot out here but I´m glad you and mom always put up with me and did better than the best to raise me. I still remember when you and I were in the car together and you turned to me and said about our family "It´s forever Son". I knew that that was true and I still know today.
So my hair was getting pretty big at the last big mission picture. I tried cutting my hair the day before but it didn´t work out and I couldn´t cut it the morning of the conference/picture. So yeah I look like a lion. You´ll be pleased to know that my hair is regularly maintained in the standard and that this was just a fluke.                 
Love, Elder Hanson

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blessings are available to all

So this week I had the opportunity to see the baptism of two people - a young man and a little girl. I gave a small talk on the ordinance of baptism. It´s exciting to see that, no matter what part of the world you´re in, the Spirit testifies strongly of the truth and the Lord extends His covenants to all His children.
The work's been slow lately, we´re starting a new transfer and ready to work Hard. I know that the Lord's elects are out here. It´s a bit discouraging to see how many people have been baptized into my branch and left the Church shortly after in this year alone, but with work and faith the members start to stay strong in their faith.
I love the Church and I´m really working hard to follow the inspiration of the Spirit and teach how I need to teach, not how I might think I should teach.  We never get any members to come with us to meet investigators, that would help if they did.
I bet Christmas will be exciting! So I´m not sending pictures this week but next week I´m going to get together pictures from my camera as well as the cameras of other Elders and I´m also going to decorate for Christmas today. You´ll have to see the decorations next week.
It´s constantly hot. It will get to be well over a hundred degrees here during December. The language is coming along. It´s an uphill battle in every sense, but I´m loving it.    
In answer to your question, I haven´t ever seen a Brazil nut here. Who knows if they actually grow here.
Love, Elder Hanson