Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Well mom, I´d like you to mark that appointment. You´re certainly right that our missions teach us more than just a thing or two. I certainly understand the scriptures a lot more. It´s exciting because every time I read them, I discover so many things. It´ll be great to see how Rick will start to understand and use the scriptures more and more. I started reading the Book of Mormon again. I´ve already read through it a few times and I read the whole old testament while I´ve been out here. 
It really doesn´t seem like I´ll be home in a couple weeks. I´m having trouble getting that through my head. My whole mission has gone by really quickly and I wouldn´t say that it´s going by slowly now but I just feel like I have to have more time here. I guess I won´t be that excited about coming home until I´m on the plane and it finally "hits" me. 
Things are slow around here as usual. We have some families that need to get married and some youth who can't be baptized while their parents don´t let them. I feel like next transfer my companion and his new companion will have a good number of baptisms though.
I guess I can´t think of much to write because I feel so weird now that I´m going home soon. Lots of people are going to make me cake and things before I go though =)
I love you guys.
- Elder Hanson 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Taking in a lot here

I feel like your prayers have been helping me a lot.  I´ve had some real happy moments this week and I´ve laughed a lot. I had an interview with the mission president on Wednesday. I told him that even as hard as it´s been, I wouldn´t trade my mission experience for anything. He said that upon speaking to some of his missionaries who have completed their missions and returned home that there are missionaries who had it really easy on their missions and come back the same as they were before. He knows I´m in a hard area and things aren´t easy but we agreed that I´ll be able to take a lot away from this. I know that I have to suffer a bit to understand what my Savior did for me. I´m sure it´s so that I can more fully understand and testify of His atonement to others. 
I found a Twix bar for the first time on my mission. It was really tiny. A little bigger than my pinky and it´s the only size they sell. The funny thing is it was about 50 cents and I had to buy it to take a picture of it. I took a picture of it next to my name tag. 
Thursday we went on the local radio show for about five minutes to invite people to come to Church. The radio station is on the second floor of our apartment building.The Radio guy (no I don´t remember the english word for this) is an inactive member of the Church. I want to help him a lot. 
On my mission I´ve tried a lot to help others and often times I´ve found that they don´t want to be helped. I´ve learned a valuable lesson from all this and that is that we have to keep plugging away anyways. I´ve cried often times because of what I desire for others but they don´t desire for themselves. I have begun to comprehend how Christ felt when he cried " Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered [thee] and ye would not!
It´s hard but it´s also been the best, most character shaping time of my life. Some families will have eternal life because of the humble efforts I was able to put forth with my companions. I also don´t think there could ever be a time where I´ve laughed harder than when I´m together with some Elders in an apartment or in a van on the way to zone conference. There´s been happy moments and there´s been hard moments and even in the hardest I´ve always felt like everything will work out because of the Rock of Christ I´ve been building upon.  
I´ve made so many true and lasting friends here. I´m also instantly liked by new missionaries and I am also able to instantly bond with new Elders.  
Tomorrow at district meeting, I will be giving a training on the use of the Book of Mormon in our contacts and lessons. It´s good to be able to offer some help to other Elders and I´m glad to have this bit of responsibility close to the end of my mission. My district leader is Elder Hollandsworth and he´s a really humble guy who says I have a lot to offer.  
On Sunday I went with my companion and some members of the Elders Quorum to give a blessing to a nice lady in the ward. She fell ill a couple of weeks ago and has steadily been getting worse. As we gave her a blessing I felt such a strong spiritual presence. Every blessing I give, I feel that it renews my testimony. 
I´m trying so hard to make the best of my time here. We´ve been reactivating a family that moved here from Quaraí. They have been going to Church for the last couple of weeks. We´re going to try to baptize their ten year old daughter before I go home. I´m confident that this will work out and I feel it´ll be a really special way to end things out. 
I love you guys. The emails you guys sent me last week really helped.  
- Elder Hanson

March 11, 2013

Cicero stopped coming to Church a while ago. He´s not progressing and we had to stop visiting him. 
One of the little boys that we were going to baptize has been coming to Church every Sunday. His family hasn´t come for the last two weeks. They think it´s too soon to baptize him or they want to all get baptized as a family or something along those lines. The parents would have to get married (which is something we want) but that takes at least a month for the papers to get back and they haven´t even started. 
One family from Quaraí has moved to São Pedro. They´d been inactive for about ten years. Now they are becoming active here and we will be baptizing their daughter who is now 12. 
We taught a lesson to a nice family yeterday. The good thing is that the branch president came along with us and it was clear that the spirit was felt there. 
I love you guys so much! The mission really does transform us. I wouldn´t trade anything for the experiences I´ve had here and I always knew the Church was true but my testimony has really taken shape here. My emails have been shorter because we´re not making much progress here. I´m sure that after I get home, some of the people 
I´ve been working with will be baptized. 
- Elder Hanson