Monday, December 3, 2012

A teaching pool

Hey Everybody,
Well, this weekend we invited a woman that we've been visiting and reactivating and her husband is frequenting and investigating the Church. The same man who visited last week didn't make it this week but he should be at Church with his wife next week. We managed to get a lot of semi active people to come this week. Another great thing is that I just found out that there's a nice lady who wants to hear our messages and be baptized (I haven't met her yet) that we're going to start teaching this week.
We usually just eat something at home on P-day but we have some investigators who make lunch for us on P-day so we shared a message with them today it's going well.
There's a ton of Christmas decorations in the center of town. I'll make sure to take pictures. There's no snow... It's sooooo hot today. I feel like I'm melting. The funny thing is that my companion is kind of chubby but he's from a place that's usually even hotter and so he barely even sweats. I, on the other hand, suffer in this heat.
One of the ladies in the ward was talking about how her daughter was taking the disscussions but she (the lady) would hide herself inside the house and didn't want to hear. Then she said how she was going through a lot of problems and heard one of the Elders talking and said it just sounded right and she entered in the main room and starting listening to the message. Now she's baptized and happy. It's nice to hear some good stories from time to time.
The branch is small but we're fighting to make a difference here. I'm trying to work as hard as I ever have.
I know that this Church is true.
As for whether or not Rick should head out before I get home or not, I'd say that's up to him. One thing that's funny is that the mission passes by fast and that after the first while there's not really any homesickness. I think that when I get home it'll be a lot different but I don't think Rick will percieve it too much if he's out working hard. But it's all up to him.
- Elder Hanson

Monday, November 26, 2012

Good week

Well this week we found a bunch of families and one investigator went to Church (it´s been a while since that´s happened) and his wife will be coming with him next week. We also have a few more young couples who should be coming this next week.
It was great because we´ve been visiting a few inactive members as well and we´re trying to reactivate and complete these families.
Practically the entire small branch want to go teaching with us. We don´t usually get many references but we got a couple this week.
I went on a devision with my Zone leader ... Man that guy works hard! I actually learned a lot from him.
I´m trying hard out here.  I love this Gospel.
 I have to go to Santa Maria today so I can´t talk much.
Love you all.

November 19, 2012

So they say São Pedro is pretty rural and small but compared to the majority of the other areas I´ve been through (most of them were small towns) it´s pretty developed. It´s just a little ways away from Santa Maria which is very developed. It´s funny because when I told them all the areas I´d passed through some Elders said that I got just the "holes" of the mission. It´s like they say though, it´s the missionary that makes the area. I liked a lot of the areas that I passed through and I´m liking this one.
This last week was slow but the good thing is that a few of the people from the branch want to go with us to teach some investigators this week. We just need to find some good investigators. Some of them accept our visits but it´s hard to say if it´s going anywhere.
So I couldn´t tell you that Thanksgiving was just around the corner because they don´t celebrate it here. It´s called Ação de Graças and they sort of know what it is but no one celebrates it here. Well the mission is passing by fast! I remember when I called home last Christmas and another Christmas is already rolling around the corner.
You asked if I wanted anything for my birthday or Christmas. Surprise me. Too bad you can't send root beer, it doesn´t exist here!
So It was a slow week but the good thing is that we got a few people who were semi inactive to come back to the branch and we found a few young married couples this week. We haven´t had too much success lately but I´ve been strengthening my testimony a lot and my companion and I are getting along together well. 
I hope Rick's getting his papers in.
... I miss turkey...
Love, Elder Hanson

Monday, November 12, 2012


November 12, 2012

Well this week was pretty interesting. We have a few new investigators. Unfortunately, no investigators went to Church on Sunday. The good thing is that they have a pretty decent percentage of active to baptized members here in São Pedro. Unfortunately, these last few years few of the new baptisms have stayed active.
We have our meetings in what used to be the police station which is on the top floor of a bunch of shops - including an ice cream shop. It´s actually pretty nice inside and the only funny thing is the baptismal font which is like a tarp-ish tub stretched out on pvc-pipe. It´s got a machine that heats the water up though. 
The works not going anyway fast. The numbers of new investigators and everything for the missionaries in São Pedro were never very high but we´re trying to increase our numbers and success a bit more every week. It´s been so hot out! Today it´s actually tolerable.
Our meeting house is real close to a big catholic church and the funny thing is that there´s a Saint on top but they put the wrong saint on top. There´s supposed to be some famous saint on top of the Church and some Saint of harvest in the middle of some field in the middle of nowhere. They switched them. So there´s some random farming saint on top of the Catholic Church in the town square. 
we live in a real nice apartment which is on the top floor of like a ...well it´s certainly not a mall but it´s a place with a few stores on the bottom floor. There´s a gate to our floor so instead of just locking our apartment door we can lock the gate. MY companion and I woke up at one in the morning on Sunday because somebody who I´m assuming just had to be drunk broke the gate. We thought somebody else would handle it so we didn´t go out to see what it was. We just heard the noise and the next day saw that someone had pried the door open. I think he lost his key and didn´t feel like calling someone to unlock the door so he just managed to bend the steel bars somehow...(I think we have a super human living on our floor).
It´s extremely hot out and of course the members - and all people here - eat egg salad (Super heavy) during every meal. I don´t like mayonnaise! Of course it´s the first thing the members tell me to eat. I´m not trying to complain about food or hospitality of the members or anything. Just this one thing I ... well I´m learning patience. 
Love you all.
Elder Hanson

November 5, 2012
I´m in a small town not too far from Santa Maria. It´s a part of the Santa Maria stake. It´s a tiny branch (around thirty attend) but it´s got some nice people in it. My companion has been out for a year and 3 months . I´m senior companion. This week has been pretty good. The reference we got from the LZ is working out. They seem to be really receptive people and this week we´re going to challenge them to be baptized. The father in the family has two sisters who are members of the branch so they can help. We painted a house this week for a nice old lady who will be moving in to the branch. Unfortunately, there´s no member families moving in the area. The good thing is that I get to find some families to bring to the branch.
We´ve set some goals for this month and we´re going to work real hard. The mission president says that we have to imagine that we´re the first missionaries who ever passed through the area. We had a great zone conference last week and I learned a lot. I also ate a lot of ice cream. It´s just not the same as American Ice cream (It´s too...icy or fake or something). I tried making a float with Sprite and it just made me home sick for a root beer float. I also ate pizza this last week. While it´s not the same thing it´s really pretty good. =)
Mom, as for the nap, it was on a P-day.  The lady who cleans our apartment is a nice old lady in the branch who has nothing to do so she likes to clean the apartment. I always keep it tidy anyways. The funny thing is that she gets disappointed if there´s not at least something for her to do there. That´s why I´ve been doing the dishes and everything but I´ve also been leaving some books on the table in a (exaggerated) disorderly fashion. She doesn´t Iron our clothes so I´ve still got some responsibility. You said the pictures seemed old. Not really, they are from the beginning to the end of my time in Quaraí. I´ll make sure to take lots of pictures here in São Pedro do Sul.
Love you all

October 29, 2012

So a couple of weeks ago when I said that my companion was going to be transferred by emergency...that didn´t end up happening. Basically someone in another area was supposed to switch with him for one reason or another (I think the Elder in the other area wasn´t getting along with his companion) but it didn´t end up happening. So I finished my time in Quarai with the same companion - Elder Williom. I had six months in Quaraí and now I was transferred from there to São Pedro do Sul. I had to leave my investigators for my other area. That´s okay though because the work was going along real slowly and now someone else will breathe some life in to the area.  
My companion in the new area is Elder Soares. He´s not the companion that I would have had if the emergency transfer had happened. He´s a good, humble guy. The apartment is clean...oh and we have a nice lady in the ward who cleans our apartment for us. When I arrived here last night my companion was telling me that we don´t have that many people that we´re teaching and the people are not really coming through with commitments. The good thing is that last night I got a call from my Zone leader and he had a reference for our area that should work out. I also made a contact with a nice lady at the grocery store today. We´ll see how it all works out. 
This is the first time I´ve been in an area that doesn´t have a chapel. We have a small branch and apparently we meet on the second floor of what used to be a police dept. This is going to be fun!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Devin's twenty cents worth about Conference...and other things

Well, Conference is interesting in other countries. It´s just like we do at the chapel. They set up the projector and everything. Of course because of the time differences, the times get a bit funny. Priesthood Session gets over at like midnight here. It´s great because it´s the only day we get to stay out late. It´s of course much more awesome because we get to hear the words of living Prophets. So it´s all the same as at home except there´s like an option to change the language. Translators speak live over the speakers and it´s like they are speaking Portuguese (Of course the mouths don´t match up). The other funny thing is that the video doesn´t change, so when it gives the lyrics to the Hymn that we sing as a congregation it´s all in English and the members don´t sing. It´s also tough because the audio of the English lyrics throws it off. I sang sort of softly in English with one of the Brazilian elders who knows English enough to follow along.
So I lit up like a Christmas tree when I heard the Prophet announce the news. I think we were all thrown a bit off guard. It was great to see that they showed some of the youth reactions in the Conference Center. So we had to stick around in between conference sessions and they showed some Church news in the chapel. It was a Press Conference that was translated from English to Portuguese. I got the chance to translate for the other Elders who didn´t understand. The conference explained more about the news. I immediately thought about Rick. Rick should go as soon as possible. As soon as I got out here Í felt very strongly that I should have come out earlier. There´s a lot that passed through my mind before (like "I don´t know two years is a long time") but it all got clear early on in the mission. Back at home I felt like maybe I wasn´t ready, but the truth is, the Lord and the work prepare you. The only way you learn is doing it. I think that if Rick goes out now, it will give him a great advantage. Another thing is that as soon as I got on the plane for the mission I thought I´d get real anxious or homesick but I just took it a step at a time and felt good. At the MTC you don´t feel home sick at all (It´s a lot of fun). Then you get to the field and things start to sink in but you just get in to the work and it goes well. I´ll have to wait a bit longer to see him but the Mission will pass by so fast for him and we´ll be telling mission stories over dinner in no time. It´s great to just be involved in the work. It´s a big load off your shoulders and you don´t have to stick around the house doing nothing. I love the friends and experiences and the way that the mission shapes my life.I´m positive that the number of Sister missionaries from the states will more than triple in the near future. Before they all felt that 21 is a long time to wait. Now they can get home around the same time as the guys. The other great thing is that the number of missionaries in the field at the same time will climb. It´s now around 58 thousand. As the number climbs the converts will too and many other youth will be off on missions.
There was a bit of a flood here. I´m really close to the River Uruguay and every few years when it rains hard it overflows both there and here in this small town. It got a few blocks around here. The houses are all fine though and it never got anywhere near our apartment or the chapels.
Last week and earlier today I had internet problems so I couldn´t write before. I remember that Adam always had good things to say about his mission experience. Another good reason that I´m out here is now I can understand some of the things he felt. This week, the other set of Elders in the district had a baptism. It was the baptism of an 8 year old girl and her nine year old brother. The dad did the baptizing. We were at the Chapel to help and we sang that "I like to look for rainbows" in Portuguese as a district. The other great thing is that the senior couple missionaries sang too. You´d love them. They are some of the happiest people I´ve seen. The way they just have fun as they serve is inspiring. When the kids were baptized, it was terrific to just see the ordinance and to feel the spirit. A baptism always strengthens my testimony of the restoration. I found out that the majority of the people I´ve baptized so far on the mission are going strong and have callings in the ward. There´s a family that I taught which has a mom that´s teaching primary and the dad is the young men’s leader. They also give cake to the missionaries once in a while...that´s good too. 
Love you guys. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nothing yet

RATS! We were really hoping to hear from Devin this week and get his scope on how he felt about conference and the new age approvals for missions and his brother Rick most likely going sooner than expected.  We assume he must've had zone mtgs and he'll catch us next week.  -Joy

New companion coming (emailed Oct 1)

Well this week was terrific...during the week. When Sunday came around almost none of our investigators went to Church. It´ll all work out though. By the end of this transfer I´ll have been here for six months so we can almost be positive that I´ll be transferred next transfer. There´s another four weeks until next transfer. My companion will be transferred as part of an emergency transfer tomorrow. This means that some other Elder had to switch out of where he was at and they picked up my companion because they had to trade someone. I hear my new companion will be awesome.
The funny thing is my companion can not stand the Elder who he will be companions with. I smell another emergency transfer soon to follow.  
So the work is slow but we did challenge a few people to baptism this week and I really felt how true our message is and how much the Lord really loves us.  I´m learning to really love others and understand them.
This week I started reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese again. I had already read it a few times in English and once in Portuguese but then went on to study other standard works. After Zone conference this week I started to read the Book of Mormon from the start again. I´m learning a lot more this time around and my spirituality has been getting better. I even feel like my countenance is changing for the better. I´ve been reading out loud sometimes which really has been helping my accent. The Book really does have power. 
I love this Church and it´s Doctrines and I love my Heavenly Father.
I have to help my companion with the Transfer.
- tchao, Elder Hanson

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catch Up

Last week the internet in this small town wasn’t working so I couldn´t email you guys. 
We found a new family! A Mom a Dad and an eight year old Girl. They are great. We are trying to get them married. Beatriz´s son Williom is going to Church and activities and this week we´re going to commit him to baptism to complete the family. The work is moving slowly. There´s a terrific young man named Fabiano that wants to be baptized but it´s hard to find him at home so while he goes to the Church and the activities we still have to teach him some more before he can be baptized. We´d been planning to baptize Christian who´s just turned 18. He´s more active than a lot of members. Unfortunately, his mom wouldn´t allow him to be baptized before 18. Now that he´s 18 it appears that she still intends to kick him out of the house if he gets baptized. I find it funny that she thinks he´s not old enough to make such a decision but she baptized him as a baby in another church when he was much more conscious of his decisions (Sarcasm).The funny thing is his mother thinks that even if she doesn´t get baptized but allows her son to get baptized, SHE will somehow be forced to pay tithing.  My companion and I have tried to discuss things with her but she doesn´t accept our visits. I know that the Lord will will find a way.
This week there was a parade here in Quaraí. It´s a small town and rarely has any one out on the street but during this parade practically every inhabitant was either part of the parade or watching. Every school and every grade marched in the parade. Doctors marched, dentists marched, and at the end the Military showed up too (Tanks and all). There was even some dump trucks and cranes. I forgot to tell you that the race for mayor and other political positions is going on here in Quaraí. While it would be pretty funny in a big city like Santa Maria, it´s hilarious here. Here you need Zero education or training. You just run for mayor. Practically everyone is running. A few members are running too. It´s funny because every third house has a sign with the owners face on it saying what political group they are and that they want you to vote for them. If you have money you can afford to pay a bunch of cars, trucks and motorcycles pass by (ALL DAY) with speakers blasting out your political song. Some are funny but most are pretty bad and no matter where you are this is non stop. Thankfully they don´t do it when I´m trying to sleep. There´s a guy from the Church who is running for mayor and he´s crashed in on our lessons three times already. He just walks in and starts pulling out his graphs and pie charts and starts to give his bit. He knows he´s interrupting and just sits down and starts it up. I find it funny that he served a mission and should know to skip a house and come back to it when we´re there. Of course he crashed a lesson when we were with the branch President discussing marriage. He said "I´m fishing for votes" and the President replied "oh... we´re fishing for souls." Of course I wanted to just say a prayer and leave before he started up but he didn´t let me get a word in about it so I patronized him the entire time. 
The works hard but rewarding. I  know that this Church is true. I say Church but it´s the Restored Gospel of our Savior. I´m glad that Our Heavenly Father Loves us enough to have restored his Gospel and I´m glad to have been born in a time and into a family that has the Gospel. I love preaching it and teaching it. You´d think I´d get sick of teaching the same things every day but I always feel the spirit and learn something new. I´ve seen the changes and peace that come from living the Gospel. The more I study the scriptures and the doctrine the more certainty I have of truth of our message. I´ve felt the spirit testify so strongly in many lessons that we´ve given. Some people don´t exactly understand the spirit when it testifies. I find it confusing that some people even cry from feeling the spirit but they refuse to be baptized. That´s all part of it though.  OOOh I almost forgot. There´s going to be a parade in celebration of a war that they had in southern Brazil. There´s going to be a weeklong celebration and there´ll be a parade of a bunch of people in traditional clothing riding on horses.  I will send pictures from the other Elder´s cameras in the future. We´ve never gotten the right cable sent to me.
 Love, Elder H.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Slow Week

So Becca is going to have another girl? That´s terrific. Well, everything here is fine. We have a few possible baptisms but the works going pretty slow. This week was Sister Philipelli´s birthday. There was an activity in her honor and everyone went. There were tons of people there and it was a really special night. Elder (Her husband) gave a short speech in front of everyone. It was great.There was food there so naturally some inactive members came. 
I felt the spirit very strongly in testimony meeting this fast Sunday. We attend sacrament meeting for two branches so I got double helpings. There´s been a great deal of funny little things with my companion and the other companionship, lot´s of inside-jokes. I´m happy and appreciating the mission and the spiritual orientation I am receiving. I´m studying the scriptures a lot and the New Testament is making more sense this time around. This week we made soup and one Elder made brownies that didn´t really turn out. I also ordered a pizza that wasn´t any good =(. Not too much has happened this week. This might be my last transfer here. I hope that everything works out with planned baptisms before I have to leave.
Funny News: An Elder got chicken pocks while on the mission. He´s fine now though. 
The Mission President will swing by to interview us this week. I´ll make sure to take advantage of the interview. 
We had to fly through p-day today and I don´t have much time to write. I love you all.
- Elder Hanson

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Então... quer dizer que... Sam Nelson casou-se? Que legal! (Translation from Portuguese to English: So you mean to tell me that Sam Nelson got married? How cool!) I´m excited to hear that Sam Barlow is going off to serve already.
Well we´re going to baptize a young man named Fabiano. He really listens during the messages and understands them. We still have to teach him more but he accepted a date for next month. There´s also a young man named Cristian who already knows everything. We just have to sit down with him and mark a date. He stopped us on the street the other day to tell us he´d been thinking about it a lot.
I was reading John the other day and when I came across verse 18 in chapter 21 I got emotional. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not."  I always get that way reading that verse. I know it's not exactly about this but it´s true that the Lord changes us and we do things that we wouldn´t normally do if it weren´t for Him.  He stretches and shapes us.
We had an activity at the Church. My companion and I invited about half the city and there wasn´t a single non-member who went. It´s tough but we´re still chippin´ away at things. The work goes on.
One of the young men I taught in my first area named Julian was baptized about a week after I was transferred from there and is active. He found out where my old companion Elder Andrade would be at on Sunday and went to Sacrament meeting in another city to visit Elder Andrade.
We played ping pong with the branch President today for P-Day and  we had lunch with the Philipelli´s (married couple missionaries). They are great and have three potential families to baptize...the couples just don´t want to get married... That´s normal here. That´s okay though, the Philipellis have a history of successfully marrying people! Wish me luck this week.

I would love a new razor" =)
I´ll have to send Rick some Brazilian deodorant. It´s so awful.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Well we had district conference here in Quarai on Sunday. The mission president spoke and presided and then on the next day we had a mission zone conference which was again with President of course. P-day was moved today.
Some of the youth that we´re working with really are pretty special and we´re going to mark their baptismal dates for two Saturdays from now. One of them just turned 18 and while his mom didn´t want him to get baptized before (she thought he was too immature to make the decision even though she baptized him as a baby in the catholic church), now it should all work out for him to get baptized this month.
It´s been pretty decent weather and some days have even been pretty hot. Winter seems to have ended already. I´ll be staying this other transfer in Quarai. I don´t think I´ll be staying here more than three transfers.
Last week there was an activity at the Church where we watched some movie called "facing the giants" it´s about football and it´s obviously by some other Christian Church. You guys should check it out because it´s funny.
There´s apparently a blind guy in Quarai who´s faking it. I said hello and asked what his name was and he told me he didn´t have a name and uncomfortably scampered off. He now crosses to the other side of the street from very far away when we´re around. He has no way of knowing it´s us.
Lot´s of people were already baptized in Quarai. It´s a small town and has a pretty weak number of people who are active. If you got all the in-actives together you´d have a few stakes. Lot´s of people just don´t tell you they were already baptized. Lot´s of the really strong members just don´t live here anymore. For instance there´s a couple from here that are serving as mission president in Porto Alegre now. The leadership here is in up to their eye balls in work and reactivation but they are all dedicated great people.
We´re trying to find a few families to baptize.

Monday, August 13, 2012

From week July 31 to August 6

Well this week we had six investigators in sacrament meeting! The week was a bit unproductive but today is the start of a new transfer and no one from the district was transferred. This is good because I like the members, my companion and the senior missionary couple. We had lunch with the senior missionaries today. The president from one of the branches that we´re working in also had lunch with us. he´s a cool guy. 
Well Beatriz´s son Williom came to Sacrament meeting. We´ll see how it goes down. Christian and Fabiano are two young men who - if everything goes right - should be baptized two weeks from now (after the district conference).
We play ping pong on P-days in the chapel now and a lot of boys come to the church to play soccer. It was great because this week we invited some of the guys for a short message in the chapel and we used a chalk board to teach.
Fabiano is one of the young men who´s taking the messages and goes to the Church. He really seems to understand and to grasp things. He´s following through with commitments.
I hope you´re all happy at home. I´m happy here and chipping away at things.
Is the ward growing over there? Good luck at girls camp Mom.
Love, Elder H.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pictures of Beatriz's Baptism

Well, this week was interesting. There´s a boy named Christian who should be getting baptized within the next two weeks.  There was only a couple people who went to Sacrament meeting this week. We plan on a combined baptism with Christian and a few other youth on the same day. We just have teach a few more principals to make sure they are all prepared.
We really want to find a family. As soon as we baptized Beatriz we started inviting her son to things. He went to a Super-Saturday. I hope he starts going to the Church on Sunday. We hope to complete the small family!
I´m studying and understanding a lot of principals in the Book of Mormon and the Bible that I didn´t understand before. I´m humbling myself and want to become a better missionary. Hold tight because I´m going to send a few pictures your way.
Love you all.
Pictures of the Zone

 Beatriz and Elder Hanson


Monday, July 23, 2012

More good coming up

We came straight from Morning Ping-Pong in the Chapel, to lunch, to Internet so we didn´t bring our camera´s this time.
There´s one youth named Christian who wasn´t able to be baptized before but on the 9th of August we will baptize him. His mom never let him but now he´s turning 18. He´s got a good head on his shoulders and know´s the Church is true. His mom won´t do anything drastic but she won´t support him in his decision I´m afraid. We´ve been teaching him in the chapel. We´ve also been teaching other youth who are coming to seminary and soccer at the Church. We teach with the chalk board. It´s great because everybody understands a little better. We should be able to baptize four this next month. We´ll see how it goes.
Beatriz´s son Williom is sort of a wallflower and didn´t want to come to the Church or activities just yet. One of the branch girls came to invite him to a super Saturday and he loved it. He´s going to go to the church now. We´ll start teaching him too. 
Last week on P-day we had lunch at the couple missionary´s house. Elder Philipeli (The husband) told us that, in his last area,  he had baptized Xuxa´s sister and that she would come to visit for lunch. Xuxa (pronounced Shusha) is like a pop singer for kids that used to have her own popular children´s program. She´s so famous that even today people/tourists visit her house that she lived in as a child (the house is located in a city that belongs to the Santa Maria Mission). My companion was so excited and we ended up telling our branch president about it because it was random/funny. Our branch President wound up crashing the lunch just to see if it was true. Then our district and the branch president found out that she (who came to lunch) was just a nice lady and wasn´t Xuxa´s sister. Elder Philipelli fooled us.
Today we had the best lunch and we went with one of the Branch presidents, President André. My stomach is happy.
I love this Church. I know that it´s true. I´m reading the book of Mormon for the zillionth time. I always find more truth and light in it. Sunday we taught a woman who´s recently returning to the Church. Her family was strong in the Church and now she´s the only one who goes. She was the last one to go in active but it got hard when no one went with her. I shared the part of the message that King Benjamin spoke about the  Life of Christ and what he would go through. I feel like everyone was strengthened and that her family will return to the Church.  
  Love, Elder Hanson

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good things

This week we baptized Beatriz! She smiled so big and really felt the
spirit when she came out of the water. She stayed in the water for a
bit just feeling the spirit. It was terrific. We´re going to try to
baptize Beatriz´s son and get him involved and integrated with the
youth. He´s a bit of a wallflower but it´s only a matter of time I
think. We played ping pong with a bunch of young men at the Church
today. We´re going to be baptizing some youth! A lot of boys are
accepting the messages. I´m starting to like the people and the
branches here. I´ll have to send pictures next week because I´m short
on time and we have to go.
Love, Elder H.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baptism Coming Up

So Beatriz is really excited about her baptism. It´s exciting because she really seems to understand the importance of the commandments and she has started really liking our visits and her time in Church on Sundays more and more. The spirit is really working in her. We as missionaries conduct a "practice interview" sometimes before the baptismal interview to make sure that the person understands the concepts. We asked what having a modern day Prophet meant for her and she said that she was glad she knows now that this is the Church of Jesus Christ (we had her read 3 Nephi 27 about the name of the Church) and that Christ really loves her.  I´m glad that she understands that prophets and revelation are proof of the Lord´s love for us.
We’re going to start reactivating a family and the mother was never baptized. The Dad said that when he first met the missionaries hedidn´t think they would come. He told them that he had no time for anything and if they wanted to stop by it would have to be seven in the morning (he didn´t really want them to come). Then he told us how two elders showed up bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 7 in the morning.
The married couple missionaries are doing great.  They baptized last week and have a baptism marked for next week on Saturday just before Beatriz´s baptism. The sister missionary of this couple has become President of the Relief Society in one of the branches because she´llbe around for months (the couple isn´t transferred often) and she can take good care of the calling.
My companion and I are taking care of two branches since this transfer started and so our area already was big but now it´s huge. We´re trying to visit in-actives and we are visiting with members of the Branch Presidency and the District Presidency. We might baptize some young men if everything goes right. They started coming to Church because of soccer but now they are going to Sacrament meeting sometimes. We´re going to visit them with a member boy this week.
I know that this Church is true and that I´m being extremely blessed for my missionary service. The Lord really does make "The weak things of the world come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones" (Doctrine and Covenants 1:19) When I got here I had so much trouble speaking the language and I was prideful and had to change a lot just to get along.  Now I´m still learning and getting better but there´s alot of rewarding changes that have taken place out here.
Love, Elder Hanson

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Working Hard

Well, today we went to Artigas again. The district wanted to see what things were like there. It didn´t really catch anyone’s fancy but we took some pictures of things. We also took pictures of the Chapel there. I´ll see if I get a chance to send the pictures this week (it takes forever to load things here).
So my companion is a Brazilian named Elder Willion. Nothing out of the ordinary.  He´s a real kick and a nice, nice guy.   He´s also pretty short.  He also does an outstanding impression of the Mission President which even the married couple missionaries found funny.  Our District leader is an American who´s got about a year and seven months in the field and he´s training a Brazilian. The new Elder is a funny guy. Tomorrow we have zone conference and I´m real excited. On the fourteenth of July we have Beatriz´s baptism. Beatriz is really progressing! She reads everything we give her as an assignment. Sometimes she even reads it twice then in the lessons she explains everything to us. She accepted the word of wisdom and seemed to really understand it. The one thing is that everything seems to make sense to her from a logical stand point because we explain things and she´s keeping her commitments. I just don´t know if she´s REALLY prayed to have an answer but she´s progressing more and more. 
Everything is going well.  We had six teen-aged boys in sacrament meeting. We´ll try and teach their families. Then it appears that the married couple have a baptism (person they´ve been teaching) next week.  So my language skills are getting pretty stellar. More and more people here in Quarai compliment me on my accent or confuse me with a Brazilian. It´s really a blessing from Heavenly Father. The gift of tongues is real.
So I´ve had the chance to go and do a lot of visits with the missionary couple and with some of the leaders here in the district. The second councilor to the district president has a car and once aweek we go out and are able to teach a lot of lessons (these are mostly to in-actives) it´s inspiring because even though the number of in-active members here is startling and most of the active members don´t do home teaching, he goes out with a smile and always visits the most people possible.  I also found out that one of the well loved members from here in Quarai is serving as mission President in Rio.There´s a guy who owns a really awesome restaurant that really likes the missionaries. We keep trying to teach him. We´ll see what happens! So there was a newspaper article that said how Quarai´s entire population is 3.7% Mormon.  That´s a lot of members.  Now there´s one strong branch of ninety and the two weaker ones (which both have forty) that my companion and I are serving in. There´s alot of in-actives but the truth is, that a lot of the members just went to other places. There was a guy who got baptized here then moved away and then he released a song that´s pretty dang famous here (They even play it in the background of soap operas). It´s a one hit wonder though. The majority of the of the mayors (the current and the former) are in-active members.  I´ll try and send home a map that has all the LDS named streets. Zion street is where we have one of the chapels.  It´s hard because so many good people accept the visits of the missionaries but run in to a wall when they try and come back to the Church because they are embarrassed or some silly little thing like that.  We´re learning to just be patient and follow the spirit. We´re managing to reactivate some people and things are going well.
Love, Elder Hanson

Monday, June 25, 2012

Staying put

Well there are six Elders here today in Quarai, and tonight all of them will be transferred except for me. I´ll end up with Elder William(s?) who some people think is from Argentina but I don´t know that many Argentinians with American names. It´s going to end up with just two sets of missionaries now. Then there´s also the married couple missionaries who are here and they´re going to stick around.
We went to Artigas today. It´s the town in Uruguay that´s on the border with Uruguay and Brazil. It´s more developed than this small town that I´m serving in but it´s not that HUGE of a city. They have sixteen Elders just there though so they´ve got to be baptizing and having success. We saw a couple sets of missionaries there today. Spanish and Portuguese are not the same! I understood pretty little and they understand Portuguese less. We took a few pictures including a picture of the big entrance at the bridge which says "Welcome to Artigas"  in Spanish. I´ll have time to send them next week.
Best of luck to Rick in finding a job.  The Lord will bless him for his mission.
About the article in the NY Times, my rebuttal: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." JS Jr.
I´ll catch up with you all next week I love you very much.
-Elder Hanson

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picture Catch-Up!

So we are going to go to Urugai but didn't end up going there yet.  I'll make sure to take pictures when we go there.  So this week we marked the baptismal date of a woman named Beatriz.  We're going on a ton of visits with the branch and district presidents.  The work is going well.

Here are some pictures of me back in Sao Borja with Elder Carmo

The Elder in the middle is Elder Jannsen. He looks American but is Brazilian.
These kids were in a primary program.  I taught the kid in the red shirt in Sao Borja and now he and his family have been baptized.

Here are some pictures I hadn't sent from Christmas.  The Christmas tree is a ladder with stuff on it.

We found this shiny rock (crystal).
A few recent pictures from a parade.

This is the cat that stalks us.
And the horse in front of our apartment.
This is our branch president.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Manaus Temple dedication

The dedication of the Manaus Temple was yesterday and the cultural celebration was Saturday. Dieter F. Uchtdorf was there with Elder Cook and Elder Costa. At the celebration, President Uchtdorf began his small speech on Saturday with a few simple words in Portuguese (comovi, stuff like that) and then the translator took care of the actual talk. The funny thing is that the translator got a little mixed up when translating some of the things and then got embarrassed which led him to get more mixed up. Presidente Uchtdorf thought that maybe the translator by his side wasn´t managing to hear him very well so he pulled the translator in and put his arm around him and began speaking slowly. This just wound up with the poor guy even more embarrassed.Presidente Uchtdorf held up one of the funny party hats that they gave him and said he´d treasure it and then he told everyone to have fun. On Sunday President Uchtdorf and his wife, along with the other authorities and their wives, did the corner stone ceremony then he invited small children to participate as well. The translator managed to follow him this time but Presidente made a lot of jokes and he´s sort of a nut, which is good.The dedication was incredible and the prayer and speeches were powerful. There was a showing of basically all the parts of the temple inside and out. It´s speechlessly beautiful. It seems like it´s absolutely huge. I know I want to go there someday because it´s a very beautiful very special temple. Our investigators couldn´t go to the dedication as it was only for baptized members. It´s so cold here. This is actually the nicest house I´ve lived in yet but being that all houses are made of brick and Quarai is the coldest city, It´s been tough. Winter is starting and no matter how many layers I put on, the cold kills me. We have space heaters in our rooms but if someone takes a shower while they are on, the shower doesn´t get hot or the power goes out all together. Six people need to take a shower so basically everyone is just cold during morning study. I was going to take a bunch of pictures but we didn´t get the chance.
My time is short today, I’ll catch you up more later.
Love, Elder Hanson

Monday, June 4, 2012

Plugging along

Well, today we´re going to Uruguay. I´ll make sure to take pictures. So I had never noticed before but there´s a big Angel Moroni really close by our apartment on a telephone post.  He´s got wings - and real angels don´t of course - but he´s got a trumpet and it´s definitely supposed to be him. In the other Elder's area, there´s a Zion street, a Zarahemla street and Brigham Young and Joseph Smith have their own streets too.
We had three investigators in Sacrament meeting yesterday. The group of people we´re teaching is really growing. The district president wants to do some visits with us later this week and also has a reference for us.          
My companion says I use some words that no other American uses. In other words I´m developing a good vocabulary. I´ve started reading Church manuals to find out how to speak more intellectually and I read Donald Duck comics to find out how teenagers speak.  
This week the married couple missionaries -The Philipellis (Brazilans) - came to Quarai. They´re going to serve in the three branches here. My companion and I did visits with them a few nights ago. They are going to be able to help with the unmarried couples. These missionaries have already helped many people get married.  
The mission President visited for interviews yesterday. We talked about how this year can really be something special.
There´s really nothing better than a mission. It´s great to really help and get to understand people. I´ve also never laughed so hard in my life as I have some nights in the apartment after planning sessions. Six missionaries in one apartment is alot of fun. One bathroom on the other hand is tough. Rick: I found out the mission president is one of the biggest Whitney Houston fans ever. He´s now not as intimidating as he once was.
   Luke´s right when he says it´s special to hear someone´s first prayer. I always get a little emotional because it´s so easy to feel the spirit in those moments. I also really try my best to take advantage of those few moments during the sacrament each week.
   The couple that I baptised back in Tancredo Neves has already gone to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. We´ve starting to exchange letters so that I can always check up on them.
Today we´re going to eat lunch at the missionary couples house. CHURRASCO! Then we´re going with them to Uruguay. This last week there was an activity where we missionaries watched "Up" with people from the three branches. I don´t know what it is but I love watching movies in Portuguese. There´s something about the accents. The Church films are awesome in Portuguese. It´s funny though because there´s that Church film "Finding Faith in Christ" and the guy they got to do Jesus´voice is terrific - but - when he goes to do the parable about leaving the ninety and nine for the one lost sheep, he´s supposed to say "When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing" instead he says "When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, delicious" You can tell when the guy reading the lines sort of thinks to himself "wait...that can´t be right."
I love you all. I´ll fill you in on other things later.
- Devin.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Renewed my Visa

Sunday night I took a bus with my companion back to Santa Maria to renew my visa. It´s a six hour bus ride. We left at six in the afternoon and got there at midnight. We then slept in the house of the Mission Secretaries. Our bus back to Quarai was for eight at night and so after we renewed my visa and ate lunch we helped around the Mission office and did contacts in the downtown area.  So last week I introduced myself to the ward in Sacrament meeting and gave a talk on obedience. It went well. Mission experience and solid scripture study really helps with planning a talk  
Some Elders and members think I´m Brazilian when they first meet me because I'm starting to speak really well. Of course, when I speak for long periods of time, everyone knows I´m American but it´s something cool to have some people think I´m from Sâo Paulo for a minute or two.        
I've always wanted to go to college then round up a spouse somewhere and come back to carry on the Hanson line in the Shoreline ward. Too bad Shoreline is such an expensive place to live. Rick should end up back in Shoreline too. We´ll make  mini-houses of Israel. Except they´ll be houses of Hanson.
My companion goes home in October and maybe I´ll stay in Quarai until he completes his mission. Quarai isn´t as bad as people say. We´re trying to work hard and we should be baptising in no time. I´m really pushing myself to be a better, more understanding teacher. I´m trying my hardest to never lose hope, even when an area is difficult. In the end of John, Jesus says how when we preach the Gospel we have to let the Lord carry us to places that we wouldn´t have gone to before.  
I love all of you. I know that this Church is true.
Elder Hanson

Monday, May 21, 2012


I´m the companion of Elder Carmo (from back in São Borja) again. This doesn´t normally happen but it´s happening now. Elder Carmo goes home in just a few months but we´re working hard. 
I was transferred to a place called Quarai, It´s not as tough as some other Elders said it would be. A majority of the Elder´s who call it the pit of the mission have never been here. There used to be five branches and they were fifteen priesthood holders away from a stake. Unfortunately many of the members moved away and many went inactive and now there is only three branches.
Our branch is in the Center of the city and has a decently sized group of members who are active. In the other branch areas here there are streets named after Joseph Smith and Zarahemla etc. but most of the people have already heard the message there. In our branch, there´s a fair amount of people who haven´t received the missionaries before.
I know we´ll have success here.   
The area is large. We´re on our way to baptizing a young man (18 years old) and he just needs to come to the Church again and progress a little more but he says he wants to be baptized. We´re doing a lot of contacts here to try and find new investigators.
We live really close to Uruguia and some of the other Elders went there today for P-day. I think we´ll go next week and we´ll take pictures of some things around there. There´s supposedly lots of cheap stuff around there.
We´re living in one decently sized apartment with two other companionship's (we´re six in total) and unfortunately there´s only one bathroom. How fun.
I think I´m going to eat some Churasco today.   
Love ya!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Phone Home...

We spent a nice afternoon talking with Elder Hanson. He truly is loving every minute of his mission.  He shared many spiritual insights.  His testimony is growing abundantly as he is helping others to find theirs.  He works with leadership in the Church who are young in their callings but are learning.  He is always busy and is happy that he is.  Since they're always on the move, he's really thin but says he loves the food, other than things with mayonnaise.  Fall is just beginning and soon it will be cold there until about September.  He will be transferred on Tuesday, May 15 and at this juncture, didn't know where he will be.  Although he will miss out on up-coming baptisms in TrancredoNeves, he knows transferring is all part of the mission and is looking forward to the next part of the journey.  Since he talked to us on Sunday, he wrote a short excerpt this week:
Well I loved talking to you guys yesterday. I won´t be able to
find out about my new area until around 3 or 4 in the afternoon here.
I´ve already talked to you guys a whole bunch because of Mother's Day
and I´m a little busy today. I will go visit some of the people who
have dates marked for baptism and I´ll also visit the recently
baptised couple. It will be tough leaving this area. I love this
Church and I love this work. Stay strong at home and remember to pray
for me.  Love, Elder H.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Oi Family,
I hope everything is going well at home. This last week was a lot of
fun. We had a family night with some investigators and Lucas and
Lenize were there. Lucas bore his testimony and said how he´s only been a
member for about two months but he´s happy to have been baptized
during the "dispensation of the fullness of times".  I was real happy
to see that he´s already progressing and talking like he´s been a
member for more time.
We had scheduled for a member to give this older woman who´s our
investigator a ride. About twenty minutes before Church she called and
said that she was on the other side of town. We ran to the members
house to tell them about the change. They went to where the woman was
supposed to be and didn´t find her.
We´re teaching a few people and we should actually baptize this month.
Knocking doors is bearing very little fruit. We´re on the hunt.
I´m hoping to stick around here for the next transfer. I love to see
Lucas and Linize and we´re helping them study and progress. If I stick
around I´ll also be able to hear what they think of their first temple
trip when they do baptisms for the dead.
Cross your fingers for me so we can find new investigators this week.
I´m in a hurry.
So six thirty here in Santa Maria we´re going to call. It will be
right after Church. I think we´ve got about four hours difference.
Anyways `ll call you on Sunday. Love - Dev
 Love you guys,

_ Elder Hanson

Monday, April 30, 2012

Elder Holland Came!!

On Friday Elder Holland had a fireside especially for families while
us missionaries had to work. Saturday we had a fireside especially for
missionaries. The entire mission was there. We all took a group
picture with Elder Holland (They haven´t emailed the picture yet).
When he entered for the picture he playfully hit one of the Elders on
the head with the papers that were rolled up in his hand. We all
briefly shook his hand after the picture. He knew I had to be American
and so he said "You look great. How you doin´ Elder?" I stuttered a
bit because I almost responded in Portuguese. Then he complimented me
by saying "I like your curly hair".
He told us in the fireside how we couldn´t draw near to the lord with
our lips and have our hearts far from him at the same time. He gave us
an Apostolic Blessing that´s hard to describe, amazing. The other speakers were
also great.
Sunday with the apostle  was terrific. We had our new convert couple
there and they really know and feel he´s an Apostle of Jesus Christ.
Elder Holland spoke in the Chapel in the downtown area which is like twenty minutes by bus from our area.
The Conference was Friday, Saturday (Just for missionaries then later
just for leadership) and Sunday.
We´re going to baptize a 60-ish year old lady (Who´s SO SWEET) named
Cleuza. We´re also going to baptize a girl named Bruna and her little
brother. Bruna said nothing would stop her from getting baptized. So
we´re excited.
Unfortunately none of our investigators could go to the Church Sunday
because of a funeral for the grandfather of a friend of Bruna and her
brother and then Cleuza's brother has been sick.
I´m really strengthening and renewing my faith. I´m doing everything
to apply what the Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland said. I´m happy.
You can send the package. I never told you, Mckenna sent me a package
when it was it´s hottest here on the mission and the candy came
through fine. I think a big box the candy doesn´t have a chance to
melt. Kind of like that concept Pam taught us about keeping Popsicle
boxes together in the car on the ride home.

Promise I´ll take more pictures mom. Love you. = )

Monday, April 23, 2012

One year to go - and it's going great

So this week we have a few new investigators! A young woman named Bruna and her mother and then we have another family who we´re going to teach tomorrow. Today we have family night with some potential investigators too. It´s extremely exciting to see how Lucas and Lenize are progressing. We also are teaching the mother of a member. Her Name is Cleuza.  She came to Church this Sunday and then we walked with her all the way home after Church. She´s a very sweet old lady.  
Jeffrey R. Holland is coming to Santa Maria this weekend! We are going to catch the bus at five in the morning with our newly converted family so that we can get good seats on Sunday with them. On Saturday there´s a meeting that´s just for missionaries with Elder Holland and the whole mission will be there. I´ll probably be able to shake his hand! How cool.
So one of our new investigators is named Fernanda and she´s just about to have a baby! Her Father also has passed away recently. Tomorrow we´re going to teach her all about the Plan of Salvation. She wants to know what happened to her father.   We´ll also be able to explain pre-mortal life and the significance of this new child. Elder Strout got some pancake mix from home and some Maple syrup too. A lot of Brazilians don´t like them very much. Tonight we´re doing our family night with pancakes though.
Well I´ve been out for a year now. I´m able to speak really pretty well. I´m trying to work on my accent.  I love the members around here. There´s tons of problems in the ward but my companion and I are doing our best to leave the area better than we found it. I´ll have more to write about after this weekend! 
Love, Elder Hanson

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A good week!

So this Sunday we ordained Lucas to the Aaronic Priesthood. It was really terrific. There´s a real comfort and truth felt during the laying on of hands. Lucas and his family are very special. I can really feel that the lessons we teach them and the commitments and developments they are making now will be taken with them into eternity. We´ve already spoken with them about Baptisms for the Dead and they will go in a caravan to the Temple  at the end of this month to perform the Baptisms.As soon as they have a year in the Church they plan to get sealed together.
Then there´s Alana. She finally was confirmed on Sunday after not being able to be confirmed because it was conference or because she was traveling. Alana goes to Seminary and is making friends. Things are great. We are teaching an Elderly woman who is the mom of someone who´s been a member since they were 13. This woman’s name is Cleuza. Cleuza´s member daughter Elizangela helps us during the lessons and she has a six year old daughter that she brings along named Bianca. Bianca is in love with my companion and often calls him gorgeous and says that he reminds her of a Brazilian pop-star named Luon Santana. (I saw this pop-star on tv and he´s cross eyed...I don´t think she was saying my companion is cross eyed).We committed Cleuza to baptism! Should all work out!
Then there´s Fabiana who hasn´t gone to Church yet but trusts us and seems to be developing as an investigator. We´re also going to start teaching another Fabiana who has four young daughters who seem interested in the message.
I ate a single mayonnaise salad sandwich the other day at a member's house to be nice. I then said I was full and my companion said I was lying. I said that I was just kidding about being full and ended up eating four. You know, I HATE mayonnaise so much! 
The work's been a bit slow but I know it will pick up. This is the most difficult area I´ve been through, in terms of door knocking. It´s hard to get five lessons out of a hundred doors and then you have to see if they´ll progress. We´re working to get more references. So there´s six or seven chapels here in Santa Maria alone and many of them have multiple wards. It´s interesting because there´s a man in my ward who was converted as a youth and was one of around forty members in all of Santa Maria at the time.
It´s starting to get a bit colder. My Alaskan companion loves it. I´m going to have a hard time when winter really sets in.  I´m not sick now. I´ll send pictures later today. Yesterday was a meeting so P-day was moved to today.Love you! :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Good news and sneezy

Hi there,
So the confirmation of Lucas and Lenize was terrific.  I know that the Church is true.  During the confirmation, when they say receive the Holy Ghost, I really felt that it was received and that "the heavens rejoiced".  I'll let you all know about things next week.  I have a cold and I'm not feeling too well.  We find out about transfers today but I think that my companion and I will stay.  This week was tough and uneventful.  I'm a little sneezy/sick right now and I haveto write President still.
- With love,
Elder Hanson

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lucas and Lenize Baptism!

Hey There,
Well we had a baptism this week! Lucas and Lenize. An extremely
spiritual and special moment. The Baptismal service was in between the second session and the Priesthood session.  This week we also had a few family nights with Lucas' family and other ward families.
We had permission from our Mission President (who called a Seventy to make sure) to do the confirmation on the next day in between the first and second conference session. On Saturday one of the speakers at the baptism gave a great talk about the Holy Ghost and how Lucas and his wife would have this gift with them the next day. However, our Bishop announced at the end of the baptismal service that their confirmation would be next week. He wanted his whole congregation to be there, I suppose. Most of the ward was at the chapel for conference and it would have worked out fine. The problem is that now they are going a week without the Holy Ghost when they don´t need to. As a return missionary here said "It´s seven more days for the enemy to work."  I´m a bit upset but my companion is MORE upset.
Conference was terrific (I understood just about everything) and the
Priesthood session was a real call to action. This week was terrific.
Looks like there´s transfers this week but I don´t think either of us
is going anywhere.
 After the confirmation and everything, I´ll try and put up pictures.
I know I´m driving several people crazy who want pictures.
Love, Elder H.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baptism for Alana and another one coming up!

Well, this week was terrific. We had Alana's Baptism and on Sunday we had a sort of family night with our investigator couple and a member couple. We´re going to integrate them with some other families this week and this weekend we´ll have their baptism in between conference sessions. It´ll be GREAT.
Elder Strout Baptized Alana on Saturday. We took pictures but I think I´ll send them with pictures of the baptism this coming week and some family nights. Time is a bit limited today...
Ohh, my Companion and I got very sick this week. He threw up a bunch and I... spent a lot of time in the bathroom. Now we´re okay! We ate something that really didn´t agree. They also treated the water this week and a few people (possibly us) got sick shortly after the treatment.
Good to hear about things around home. I´m learning to be even more of a go-getter and I´m learning to make some compromises with my companion. We´re working together to get results.
Love, Elder H.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Short but a baptism coming up!

 So now I´ll write you for this week. The mission is going great. We have a baptism this Saturday! A thirteen year old girl named Alana. She´s terrific. We´re also working with Lucas and his family. They know the Church is true, are going to the Church and accept to live/have a testimony of all the commandments. The one thing that´s holding Lucas back from the Baptism is that he smokes but he´s very open about it and is trying to quit. We´re working hard to get references and work with part member families. Today my time is limited but I love all you guys.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another HOT week

Well this week was extremely tough, but a lot of fun. There was an activity and all sorts of fun stuff. We invited a lot of people to the activity. Unfortunately, only the normal active members went. What´s really good is that we had investigators in sacrament meeting! This week we contacted a reference we received from a member and now we´re going to baptize this person in a few weeks. Her name is Alana and she´s thirteen. She´s not old enough for seminary yet but she´s going to go with her friend this week to see how it is there.
We´re working with some young men and young women and we´re also trying to reactivate a whole bunch of people. Lucas and his family will be baptized at the end of this month. Everything is on track. 
It´s just getting hotter and hotter and should finally cool off in another month and a half (They keep telling me this but it doesn´t make me feel that much better now). There´s a lot of problems that we missionaries are helping the ward with. My slacks are getting a bit more bleached by the sun but my goodness, my companion's slacks have about had it. They have big reddish-brown spots all over because of the sun. I´m pretty sure I suffered enough in the sun last week to gain 50 wife-points. 
We had an activity this week which was a dessert night. They had my companion and some youth sit at a table and rate some of the dishes before everybody else started eating. My companion -instead of scoring them one through ten as he was supposed to, just rated all of them by saying "é bom (it´s good)". Of course this didn´t make the people doing the activity too happy.
The language is coming along more and more. Right now I´m just trying to really get things down. I still need to keep practicing every day but I already speak a ton in Portuguese and sometimes I´m even correcting the grammar of natives. It´s funny because as they say here, "No one speaks perfect Portuguese".
Cool Story: One of the Sisters here in the ward talked about her wedding and how special it was. She went to the São Paulo Temple and because she´s a lot older than her husband and I guess for other reasons too, she was scheduled to enter with her husband at eleven A.M. but had to wait on a call from President Hinckley and she wound up entering at four in the afternoon. Everyone in the Temple stopped and waited on the verdict. When the Prophet called and approved everything, all the temple workers were there at her wedding and she said that it was like the Angels of the lord were there. =) 
We're busting our backs trying to make this ward grow and we're trying to do everything in our power. I´ll try and take pictures this week. I love you all.         

Mom: My companion is from Eagle River which is close to Anchorage and he knows pretty much all of those people that you mentioned and has fond memories of them. He says that half of his high school are Church Members. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Short note but teaching is going well

So because of the meeting yesterday, our p-day was moved to today. The one family that I talked about last week is going strong and we have another lesson with them tomorrow. Their baptism is marked for the end of the month. We´re getting some references recently and things should work out well. I´m coming to really love the ward. 
My companion -Elder Strout- is from Alaska. He has six months in the field and because of visa issues he WAS serving in Provo and now has almost four months serving in Brazil. Good guy. I´m still Senior like I have been for a while. He definately speaks better Portuguese than I did when I only had about three or four months in Brazil. 
I don´t have too much to say today and I still am owing pictures to everybody back home.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time to kick up the language a notch - Gringo movin in

Well, none of our investigators went to the Church on Sunday. We´re working with a really great family. We invited them to an activity and the mom took off work. Unfortunately, one of the little girls in the ward had a birthday party and so our activity was cancelled one day before it was supposed to happen just so that everyone could go to the birthday party. We received a couple references this Sunday and we´re going to contact and teach them this week. I think that this transfer (which starts tomorrow) will be a good one.
So I´m staying here in Trancredo Neves and my companion will be transferred for an area very far away. He was wanting a change of scene so I think it´ll be good for him. I found out today about my new companion but it looks like he´s American.  Do I really speak Portuguese well enough? Does he? Well, it´ll be an adventure that´s for sure. At this point pretty much everyone can understand all the things I´m trying to say. I just need to work on polishing my abilities.
It snowed? Living here, it´s hard to imagine that snow exists. Of course it´s already going to get a bit colder and eventually it´ll be freezing cold here. There´s not really a middle ground - when it´s summer you pray for winter and when it´s winter you pray for summer. Right now, I´m in the "pray for winter" phase.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Going Well...

Ha! Mom... it really is impressive how you get yourself in to trouble
so often. (referring to multi-car accident).
Well, my companion will probably be transferred this next
week and I´ll most likely stay here. Tonight, I´m going to watch
"Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" with a family. They are
terrific, and really interested in the lessons. We´ve also got a
couple of families that I found this week when I was on division with the
District Leader. I´m praying, studying and trying to humble myself - I
think that there´s a few families here in my area who will accept the
gospel before I´m transferred out of here!
In April, we´re going to receive a visit from an Apostle. They haven´t
told us which one yet but he´s supposed to come to our stake here. I´m
also excited for General Conference. It seems like the other day that
we had the last general conference. My mission is passing by fast, too
fast! I´ll try and take pictures a lot this week because it´s probably
my last week with this companion and I have some member and
investigator families with whom I´d like to to take some pictures.
Love you all, Elder Hanson

Monday, February 13, 2012

The 'Elect' have to be here somewhere

Well, things are going interestingly. One of the families we were
working with "chose not to carry on/ take a break". So I´m not too
pleased about that. We have one family that we´re working with that
might come through on things. I´ll be going on a devision with our
district leader tommorrow and Wednesday. We´re on the hunt for new
investigators (after a lot of people went cold on us). We´re not giving
up yet. I´m praying and studying a lot. I know the Lord can work some
Elder Costa is a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and he´s the
leader/authority in the Brazil. He´s in the middle of the picture I´m
going to send. He and his wife are terrific leaders, teachers and
saints. When I introduced myself to Elder Costa I didn´t know that he
spoke English (at least not well) but he looked at my name tag and said
in English "That´s a great name, It´s almost like handsome" (That´s
right dad, it´s not just the high priests in our stake - but the joke
has caught on with the general authorities in other countries).
Not too much out of the ordinary here. I´ll let you guys know about
things next week.
Love you guys
- Devin

Monday, February 6, 2012

Elder Costa is visiting

Well things are good. We´re getting some references and I think less of our lessons will fall through this week. One of the families we were teaching has a "friend" who said a whole bunch of stuff against the Church including that we baptize in the name of Joseph Smith. Terrific huh? I managed to salvage some things and we have another lesson with the family. It should be alright.
This week we attended stake conference and wow... there was a lot of people there. The speakers were great and there was even a choir from (I think the Porto Alegre mission) The President of the Porto Alegre Temple spoke there with his wife, Our Mission President also spoke and at the end... A Brazilian Seventy named Elder Costa spoke. It was terrific. It was terrific to see a lot of people and everything so organized. When we all got up as a congregation to sing "Teach me to walk in the Light" (Which clearly has different words in Portuguese) I felt the spirit very strongly. I also felt it very strongly during all the talks. None of our investigators made it out (it was a different building) but some of the other Elder's investigators did.
Tomorrow we (The Missionaries) will have a training with Elder Costa (The Seventy from Brazil). I´m excited. The work's tough but we´re getting some references and setting some goals. The Zone has sent out some numbers that we should be matching as a zone but a lot of people are having trouble doing this around here because few people are letting the missionaries in.
I heard a new Spider-Man is coming out. NONE of you are allowed to watch it until I get home <crosses arms stubbornly>.
I´m starting to do a better job with my journal. There´s some days where there just isnt time but I´m doing better about it now. I´ll have to gather up another bundle of pictures from my companions (because they take more pictures than I do) to send home next week.
Love you all.
Mom: Could you let me know the Hillstead’s Address?   

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Stuff

Hey there family,
Well I found out that a young investigator I was teaching way back in Ijui was baptized shortly after I was transferred from there and he wants to serve a mission and get married in the temple (that´s what every missionary wants to hear isn´t it?) and after Guilhermie (who I had baptized in Ijui) started to go a bit inactive, this guy brought him back to Church. I´m happy.
So I guess I should have mentioned this earlier and I´m surprised I didn´t but I´ve been Senior companion for a while. This will be my third transfer as Senior and I´d just forgotten to say anything. 
This week we had a terrific training meeting with our mission President and lunch was good also. We taught a really spiritually powerful lesson to one of our investigator families this week. Unfortunately some neighbors did some talking and I think that our investigators got some cold feet and that´s why they didn´t show this week at Church. Still our group of investigators is pretty good and we´re going to work hard this week to add to it. My companion (Elder Santana) and I issued a training for this fifth Sunday. The Bishop and the members really seem like they want to help and give us some good references.
 My slacks are becoming dyed/bleached because of all the walking I´m doing in the sun. There´s usually not even a cloud in the sky.
 Mom: You can also tell Cemmy that I got her crocheted snowflakes. I´m only about thirty minutes by bus from the mission home.
Short post this week. Love you guys.