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.