Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baptisms Coming! & Eu sinto falta comida chinesa

Ha! Rick's face is priceless. Well it sure is interesting to see where Rick is going. I´m sure that he´ll have a really funny accent (or two) when he calls/gets home. We´ll also have some time to clown around before he´s off to the field.  
This week has been great. We´ve been working with a family for a couple weeks and this Saturday the two young boys of the family will be baptized. Their dad wants to get baptized and so does the mom (she just doesn´t know when) and they are going to go to the Church and always make sure the boys stay active. One of the boys is only eleven years old and during our last lesson he bore testimony about how he felt that the Church was true upon his first visit. My companion gave him a scripture case so that he could carry his books to the Church and he cried and hugged my companion. 
A nice single mom has also accepted baptism and wasn´t at the Church this week but we bet she´ll come next week. 
Life has been good. I´m going to finish the mission here in São Pedro. Friday we´ll have zone conference and I’ll bear my testimony in front of the zone. That´s gonna make me cry.
I´m not trunky. However ... I can´t wait for the day I´ll be able to eat Chinese food.   
About that picture - no mom.  That´s a Brazilian Elder who some people confuse me with. If the picture were any bigger you´d see it´s not me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bright future

Well I´m sure Rick will get his call this week. I´m anxious to know where he´s going. I can´t believe that Mckenna will be speaking Chinese. That´s awesome. I remember the story I heard at the CTM of an Elder who wanted to give up because of problems learning Portuguese. His instructor told him to give it one more chance and he agreed. The funny thing is that the next day, the instructor sent him to study with the Elders who were learning Chinese. After just a few hours the Elder ran up to the instructor and told him that he´d have no problem learning Portuguese.
Elder Hollandsworth and I will be getting home on the same day. I would assume that Elder Jensen will be there too, but I don´t know.
Recently we found a family and yesterday they came to Church. The couple and their three boys seem to really be enjoying things there. Ciçero wasn´t at Church yesterday but I think he was out of town. We´re teaching the non-member spouses of a few members and the future looks bright.  The father in this family that we´re teaching offered a humble prayer after our lesson on Saturday and it was really great to see the spirit instructing and inspiring him. 
Time was passing by real fast but now not so much. That´s good because I´ve been wanting time to slow down a bit here towards the end of the mission.
Love, Elder Hanson

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's going well

Well this week we found a new family. They are fantastic (before I get you too excited though, they didn´t come to Church yet). They really felt the spirit and liked us and the member that we were teaching the lesson with. At the end they all went out to the front of the house and watched us (big smiles on their faces) as we went away. We found this family through a member. He was giving a ride to some people he worked with and he put on some Church hymns. One of the women he works with started asking questions about the Church and said that she felt so good with those hymns in the car. He took down her address and we went with him to visit the woman’s family. They were going to go to the Church yesterday but something must have gone wrong. 
Ciçero came to Church! He shaved and got a haircut. He´s looking sharp. I´ve seen that he´s changed a lot and has a genuine desire to follow Jesus Christ. 
The mission is hard but very rewarding. I know that if I wasn´t here there´s so many things that I wouldn´t have learned. From big lessons to little things I´ve noticed, the mission has been so important to me and I knew even when I was just starting that what I´ve learned and the changes I´ve experienced are things I couldn´t get anywhere else. I don´t know how many BIG miracles or experiences I´ve had but there´s so many times I just feel grateful to have the gift of the holy ghost and for knowing what I know. 
I remember waking up this week and saying my prayers and just feeling so grateful for that very real communication that I have with my Heavenly Father. I have come to know God the Father and Jesus Christ and I really recognize Christ’s role as Savior and mediator in my life. It´s also been in this area that I had one of my strongest testimony building experiences. I was in our small apartment about to go to bed and I just felt the real truth behind what we do. I felt the spirit so strongly. It was something simple but undeniable. 
I haven´t baptized many. But most of those I´ve baptized are active and prospering in this Gospel. Another miracle is my ability to speak Portuguese. People confuse me with a Brazilian sometimes and I can understand  everything, I can testify and I can even joke around. I know that this is a miracle because it required a lot of prayer at the beginning and now I pick everything up like a snap. 
Correct my grammar. I know that some of what I´m typing seems weird. It´s because I don´t usually speak English around here.

Well it´s funny that you´re going to serve a pork roast for the missionaries. Some lady from our ward was saying that because the Lord said in the Old Testament that his saints shouldn´t eat pork -and because He doesn´t change- she doesn´t eat pork. We laughed and tried to tell her that those things were fulfilled in the Lord but we were wasting our breath. 

You don´t have to worry about me messing around on the computer too much. I know that there´s all in one computers that make using a webcam/skype super easy and has some other neat stuff. I also don´t know how things have changed. I heard there´s already a windows 8. Shows how long I´ve been gone. 
Tell Rick I think the hardest thing about getting your wisdom teeth out is not even being able to slurp noodles. If I remember correctly I was eating pure broth for a while.

Love you all, Elder Hanson

Monday, February 4, 2013

Plugging along

Well I sat down today to write this email home and I noticed that the computer chair was really low and so I fixed that. Then I remembered how I always used to lower the computer chair at home and you guys hated it! I don´t have that habit anymore but it was funny to remember. 
This week we had a district meeting in a different chapel than last transfer (the districts and division were changed.) We have to take a bus to Santa Maria for district meeting and with this new chapel we had a hard time getting there on time. In fact we got there late. It´s all okay though. Tomorrow we´ll be there on time. 
This last week we also had a zone conference. I learned a lot and we tried really hard during the week. It´s crazy to think that next Zone Conference will be my last. 
We´ve got some new investigators. This week we´ll also be teaching a lot of lessons with members. 
Some lady came up to us yesterday and said that she´d love to come to Church but because it was at nine in the morning she didn´t think she´d go. She said she sleeps late and I told her to make an exception for Sundays. She said if God wants her to go this next week then he´ll wake her up. I told her that God helps those who helps themselves and she said that I was right. Then she called me and my companion hunks. That´s sort of how it would be translated to English. She used the word bonitão which means big beautiful.
Everyone has been noticing that I have some white hair already. Just like Adam and Uncle Bruce.
Cicero should be getting baptized on the fifteenth. Maybe his baptism will end up at the end of the month to coincide with an activity though. 
Love, Elder Hanson

Sunday, February 3, 2013

January 28, 2013

Well I wasn´t transferred but my companion was. I now have a new companion named Elder Mattias (as in the Apostle Matthias who replaced Judas Iscariot). He´s a lot of fun and a good teacher. He´s got another year left of his mission. I found out that one of the guys I baptized at the start of my mission - Valnei - is snow the councilor to the branch president in São Borja. Marçelo and Kelly are also a family which I taught (I was transferred before I got to baptize them) who are really active. We´re teaching a guy named Ciçero here (the same guy who we´ve been teaching a while). I gave him doctrine and covenants last week and he already read it (ALL OF IT!). Ofcouse I think he read it so fast that it mostly just left him with questions. His baptism is coming up!    
It´s a real tragedy what happened to that nightclub. I heard that it was really tiny and so when the fire happened and everyone tried to get out at the same time it just didn´t work. The body gaurds also didn´t let people leave at first because there were some who hadn´t payed yet. Because of the fire, the Church is helping out and our zone conference was moved from today to later in the week. 
Elder Hollandsworth is my District Leader. We´ll see how it all goes tommorow in district meeting.
Tell Tyler I hope he´s feeling better and that I want him to have a happy birthday. Tell Rick I´m proud of him!

January 21, 2013

Ivy? Well it seems like there´s some real freedom with names going on here. No one from the family will be able to criticize me when I name my kids after lesser known Bible characters (Asher here we come) or if I give one of my daughters a Brazilian name (Like Ana Paula). Of course my wife will have a say in all this too.
So we were teaching a guy a few weeks ago who was really interested but then he didn´t want to continue. The cool thing is that this same guy found us on the street this weekend and came up to say that we were right. Then we spoke with him a bit more and we marked his baptismal date. 
We´re also finding a few other people and we´re trying to reactivate some others. 
I have no clue if I´ll be transferred or not. I found out today later this afternoon.
Because I´ll be coming home on April 9th, I need to know

January 14, 2013

Well you never know where Rick could go. I heard about a guy who baptized two hundred in Utah last year. So if Rick's blessing says he´s going to baptize many it doesn't mean he has to leave the country. If he went to Brazil that´d be cool though! So my companion is here more time in the area and I think he´ll be transferred this next week but I might stay another transfer. We don´t know yet.
It sounds like you guys are having fun now that the van is having problems. With Rick having to bum rides from you guys it´s like he´s in the seminary car again. 
I´m going to try to have a good successful week. Pray for us and I´ll pray for you guys to have a successful week too.
Well there´s a week left in the transfer. I don´t know if I´ll be transferred at the end of the transfer or in the next one. Dad told me about Rick´s Patriarchal blessing. That´s exciting!
This week we didn´t really find anyone knew or anything. It was sort of cool though, because we and the members went around to the inactive men in the branch to distribute this years manual and then we invited them out to this next Sunday.
It´s hard working with in-actives but there´s not as many in the branch as some other wards and branches I´ve been through. 
Not too much to talk about this week. I love you guys. 
- Elder Hanson

December 24, 2012

Well, that investigator who was really interested is now no longer interested. We think he started to doubt some things and instead of letting us respond his questions he just backed out. We have other investigators though. The husband of an inactive member is starting to go and we´re reactivating the family. About two weeks ago this same man and his family went to Church. Things aren´t going too terrifically but I´m happy and I´m sure the holidays will be great here. There´s a member family that´s going to make dinner for us. 
After Christmas I´m going to fast a bit and we´ll try and find some other investigators because we need new ones. 
Nothing really new. The members are terrific here. We got a watermelon from a member family yesterday. It was a really good watermelon!

December 18, 2012

Well Sunday we had an Investigator. He´s the same one who came the Sunday before. He´s real interested and we have a lesson with him today. After Church we had lunch at a member family house and they had already prepared a cake for me and everything. Yesterday was a Zone Conference with a Secret Santa sort of activity afterwards. So today is p-day and that is why I didn´t write yesterday. 
Well since today is P-day we went to the Super-Market to buy some things and we saw our Investigator Ciçero just happened to be passing by in the street. We talked for him a moment and it´s good because we joked and are developing a friendly climate. We are going to visit him today at six. The cool thing is that he´s already expressed interest in doing divisions/splits with us. Of course, he´ll have to learn more and be baptized before that. Ciçero´s brother is married and was investigating the Church before I got here. Unfortunately, when the Elders and members of the Church spoke about marriage this couple just sort of stopped going to Church and disappeared. If everything goes right with Ciçero, we can maybe teach a lesson with him to his brother and his sister in law.
I don´t think I´ll be able to use a webcam this year. <insert angry scream from Devin's mother> The problem is that none of the members have one. I´ll make sure to give you guys a number on P-day that you guys will call on the next day (Christmas!) and you should buy a phone card like the last times. 
Love, Elder H

December 10 - with pictures!

Well mom,
I haven´t gotten your package yet but I might get it this week at District Meeting. We´ve had a new investigator come to Church every week for the last three weeks. The thing is that the first one who came two weeks ago is traveling and the investigator who came last week had a work emergency but I think we´ll have all three investigators and some others next week. we invited a bunch of people this week who didn´t end up coming but the investigator who did come ... well he´s new. He just sort of showed up at the Church on saturday and they happened to be having an activity (he thought it was always open and felt like checking it out) we invited him to come on sunday and he did. He seems really interested and we´ll see where it all goes. There´s a non member family who makes us lunch on P-day and they accept the messages but they are always in a hurry after lunch so we haven´t taught them much yet. 
As an early Christmas Present we took a bunch of pictures.