Monday, October 27, 2014

First Baptism!!

Family and Friends,

How is everything going at home?  It has been a pretty good time here in Nicaragua.  It has cooled down a little bit this week (doesn’t mean I’m still not super hot) but it is still super humid and it has rained almost every night.  The rain is super hard and it kind of stinks during lessons because you can’t hear anything.  Everyone has tin roofs so the rain is just super loud.  It is especially hard when it’s a different language that you don’t know perfectly.  But all is well and I’m having a good time! 

I know you were worried about what I am eating but we eat meals 2 times a day, only on some days we only eat one.  I found some Cap’n Crunch at the store and bought it to eat for breakfast.  I’m super stoked. We mostly eat chicken here and there is some gross food but I just try to down it. 

You were also wondering about where I live and if there are any bugs or animals that sneak in. There are a million ants in our house which kind of sucks and I have a ton of bug bites on my ankles from them but its all going good.  There is also this cat in our house that likes to poop so we have to clean that up sometimes.

I’ll tell you a little bit more about what I have to do every day.  We have this thing called the standards of excellence.  They are goals that we are supposed to meet everyday as a mission, and that is what we pretty much try to do everyday.  Anyways we are supposed to teach about 7 lessons, have 12 contacts per person (a contact consists of sharing a gospel principle and an invitation) and bring 6 people to church every week.  We have been doing pretty well with this but it is hard to get 48 contacts with 4 people. The language is coming along super well!  I have a lot to learn but am able to teach which is good. 

Anyway this week was pretty good.  Not much happened Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday.   We had zone conference on Friday, which was super great.  In my last email I think I said that our zone was the worst number wise, and we are trying to raise it. My zone is super tough.  Everyone here goes to a church, so we mostly teach the restoration.  The people aren’t very accepting, but that is super relative because I know how hard some other missions are.  Real life is definitely hard. So it was pretty much just a pep talk to encourage us to find people to get baptized.  It was super great to meet the whole zone and do practices and stuff. 

Everyday we worked on our baptism prospects for Saturday, but not all of the baptisms worked out and bunch of them fell through so we just pretty much worked with Ana and Gregoria.  We are working on a bunch of people, and try to place about 3 baptismal dates every day.

Just a little bio, Ana has been listening to the missionaries for 7 years.  She told us that "she doesn’t have an answer" but with 7 years of missionary lessons you would think she did.  She has a daughter on a mission and a younger daughter who is baptized. This type of person we call a jarron azul (blue jar) in our mission, because they show us a movie on the first day about a blue jar, and how the person in the movie did everything they could to get the jar, never giving up.  That is how all the missionaries have worked with Ana, never giving up.

Gregoria is a super nice lady who does our laundry.  She is super quiet and before us supposedly didn’t want anything to do with the church.  Missionaries had been working with her for a while too.  Her problem was that she wasn’t married so we had to get that all done.

My first day here we placed dates on both of them for the 25, and were super determined to baptize them.  On Friday they both had their interviews.  Gregoria was easy because she wanted to get baptized, but Ana was pretty hard.  She was in the interview for 2 hours, and one of our APs was doing the interview.  He was doing everything to resolve her doubts and finally she decided to get baptized.  Our AP said she was the biggest jarron azul in his whole mission.

Anyway, both of them ended up getting baptized on Saturday.  I got to baptize Gregoria, which was super awesome.  We were all super happy because she got married right before her baptism.  We baptized Ana later in the day.  It was awesome.

Mom, we have a piano here but it is electronic and doesn’t work so everything is acapella. It stinks, not going to lie. 

Everything is going super well here and I hope everyone has a great week!  This email was super scatterbrained, sorry.  Love you all!

Elder Hanson

Last day at the CCM with my teachers

Gregoria's Baptism
(Elder Kleiner, Elder Hernandez, Her husband, Gregoria, Me, Elder Collado) 
Streets of Jinotepe - Watch out for the "sleeping" dogs!

Elder Kleiner, Elder Collado, Elder Hernandez, Me

Streets of Jinotepe from our house

Gregoria's baptism

Me and the Cap'n!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Family and Friends
How is it going?? I am finally here in Nicaragua and my assingment was to Jinotepe, Las Villas.  It is a cooler area of the mission but it is still blazing hot here.  We sleep with fans on ourselves and our house is a little small but everything is going great!  I have 3 companions, its kind of weird.  The ZL's are my companions so its a little complicated.  My companions are Elder Collado from Costa Rica, Elder Hernandez from Guatemala, and Elder Kleiner from Mesa Arizona.  They are all super awesome.

I only get 45 minutes to write here so I'm going to make this super quick here.  Got to the mission home on Monday at like 10 in the morning.  We had traning all day and it was great.  We practiced some things with members at the mission home, and then went to the AP´s house which is huge and slept. 

Tuesday we went out and worked.  We woke up early and met at a chapel in San Juan and worked with the district there that day.  We studied, ate lunch, and then went out and contacted and taught.  It wasn't that bad and I wasn't too nervous so all is going well.  We went back and slept at the AP´s house again.

On Wednesday it was Reunion de Cambios.  Crazy stuff.  All went super well and I met my new companions.  They are all super cool and we´re having a great time here.  We got to our area after eating some McDonald's (which was delicious) and started working.  We placed 3 baptismal dates in my first day, I placed one of them.  She has 2 daughters that are members and her baptismal date is this Saturday.  Hopefully it all works out.  We have like 5 or 6 baptisms planned for this Saturday so we will see how many of them actually work out.

On Thursday we just went to work.  We have a couple investigators here, but they are all not really progressing so we´ve been trying to find more.  Our Zone is the lowest in baptisms and everything so we´re trying to raise everything here.

Friday the same happened.  Just study and then lessons all day.

Saturday was good, we went around to everyone and invited them to church, along with a lot of contacting.  We are still trying to get to know the area, but it is huge.

On Sunday all morning we went out and got all of our investigators to try to get them to come to church.  We got 9 to come but there were a couple that didn't show up.  Probably going to go visit them later today and machete them.

Today we just hung out.  Played ping pong and then ate pizza.  Things are awesome here and I hope all of you have a great week.  I can't load my photos now so they might have to wait until next week.  Everyone try to keep your emails short so I can read them.  Love you all!

Elder Hanson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Elder Hanson Made It To Nicaragua!

New Missionaries with Presidente y Hermana Russell

Distrito 10E

Distrito 10E

Distrito 10E and one of the teachers (Hermano Palma)

The Elders and Hermano Palma 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Conference, Jerseys, and Travel Plans

Familia y Amigos!

How's it going??  As many of you know, it's my last P Day here in the CCM.  WAHOOO!  Can't even describe how happy I am to get out of here.  It's been the longest shortest 6 weeks ever.  As much as I love/hate it here I cant wait to get out.  Anyway this week hasn't been too eventful, but I'll tell you about some of the things that happened.

First of all, I fixed my suitcase.  When I picked it up in baggage claim when I arrived, there was a HUGE crack down the side of it.  I had no idea what to do.  Turns out they had super glue here in the Tienda, which also came with this putty stuff.  I super glued the crack together and put the putty stuff over.  It's rock solid. All it has to survive is the flight to Nicaragua and then I should be fine.  I'll send a picture later.

Also, I got my travel plans!  So stoked.  I get on a bus Monday morning at 2 am and then fly out of here at 6:20.  I'm making a stop in El Salvador and then will be in Nicaragua by 9.  I'll have 2 days of training and then get to meet my Trainer.  I can't wait!!

Anyway, nothing really has happened this week.  On Friday it was a typical day, just studying and everything. Everyone was super excited for General Conference so the day went by super slow.  It has kind of cooled down here and it reminds me of Utah weather.  In the mornings there is the fall chill in the air and it felt exactly like conference at home would have felt like.  It was great because everyone was super excited for conference so there was just like a happy feeling here.

On Saturday we got to watch Conference.  It was an awesome and super spiritual day because we just pretty much watched and then had personal study time.  I'm going to share some of my favorite talks from each session.  In the morning session I really enjoyed Lynn G Robbins talk about which way we face.  This can definitely be applied in all of our lives.  In the afternoon I enjoyed Jörg Klebingat's talk about things we can do to make our lives better and be more confident before God.  I would encourage everyone to go read the 7 points he gave. In Priesthood Session I enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk titled, "Lord is it I?"  This helped me to really think about things in my life that I need to change or get rid of.

On Sunday I went to the morning session in spanish.  I was the only white kid in the room (flashback to kindergarten) because I went with Elder Nave who isn't really white.  We had a devotional right before the session about specific prayers, how we can ask Heavenly Father for specific things and if we have faith He will give them to us.  We said a specific prayer that we would be able to understand the words of the prophets and be able to apply them to our lives.  When we walked into the room, they were playing music and the spoken word.  I kid you not, I did not understand ANY of it.  Elder Nave was the exact same way.  However, the second conference started, I understood almost all of it.  It was crazy.  Specific prayers are real and they work too.  Go read Genesis 24 to find out how to say a specific prayer if interested.  Remember "Sea pues" (let it come to pass) in your prayer, and have faith that it will happen.  Anyway my favorite talk from that session was President Eyring's about how we can receive personal revelation today.  And finally in the Sunday Afternoon I really Enjoyed M. Russel Ballard's talk about staying in the boat.  Everything was great about conference, there was so much to take in. I cant wait to review the talks and be able to learn more.

Anyway, then Monday Elder Sperry left.  He pulled through with the jerseys and I got a couple.  They're kind of cheap but what do you expect for 100 pesos.  This place is turning into a ghost town because everyone is leaving and nobody is coming.  My zone which had 6 districts when I got here and now it is down to 2 which is super boring.  We got a new district yesterday, but we leave pretty much Sunday night so it will be even more boring without us.  I also got my travel plans on Monday.  No joke it was like Christmas

Tuesday we had a devotional, it was alright.  Conference was so overwhelming it was hard to take in any more.  Wednesday was P Day eve so everyone was stoked, but it was just normal studying.  My teacher tells us awesome stories from his mission that just make me even more excited to get out into the field.  I'm ready.

I hope everyone has a great week.  I am going to get to email again on Saturday but probably won't send a group email out.  You all might not hear from me for another 9 days after that, because my P day will be Monday.  Thanks for all of the love, prayers, and emails.  Talk to you soon!

Elder Hanson


La Cancha

My awesome suitcase fix

Jersey selfie

Me & Elder Nave

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Allergic Reactions, Chiles, and Chopped Hair

Familia y amigos,

What a week.  Time is flying by here in the CCM, and I've definitely learned to love it.  Even though the food stinks, its a dedicated prison, and I have companion problems its still great.  My teachers are super awesome, and I love them both.  My afternoon teacher Hno. Hernandez has been a huge help to me here and is always pushing me to do bigger and better things.  I'm grateful for my teachers here.

Sad news, my favorite district in my zone left on Monday.  They were the coolest.  All of them are going to california, and some of you might know a couple of them.  One of them was Elder Seeborg who went to alta, played lacrosse.  Cool guy.  Anyway their district leader's name is Elder Frame and he and his companion were two of the funniest people I've ever met.  They would tell a story everynight before zone meeting, and they were always hilarious.  They'll be missed, but they handed down a nerf basketball hoop, a football, and some jam and peanut butter which have been greatly appreciated.  Good news though, nobody new in the casa so we survive another week!!!

You all are probably wondering about the crazy title, so I'll give you a rundown of my week.  Friday is always pretty boring.  We've titled it P-day hangover because nobody can focus.  Everyone is too busy thinking of home and are super tired and injured from cage soccer the day before.  Saturday was good, it was fast sunday again.  Here in the CCM we start our fast after lunch on saturday, and then eat after sacrament meeting on Sunday.  It was super easy.

Sunday was a great day.  It was Fast sunday like I said and I got to bear my testimony, in spanish of course.  It was overall a good day, and we got to watch the Joseph Smith video.  Movie night on sundays seriously is the greatest.  It comes second only to P-day.  We also watched a devotional from Elder Bednar on the character of Christ.  It was given a couple years back on Christmas day, I dont know if you all will be able to find it, but it was really good.

Monday was pretty good, but I found out something about myself.  Turns out I am allergic to guayaba, the fruit.  For breakfast, they have these yogurt things which are pretty good, but they have a guayaba flavored one.  My first week here I had one and my throat tingled a little but I thought it was just the food because you dont know what to expect here.  Then last week they had actual guayabas.  I had one bite of one but it was super bitter so I didnt eat more, and my throat tingled again but since it did that with the yogurt I just ignored it again.  Finally, on Monday my afternoon teacher had this drink that looked really good.  He offered me a taste of it so I decided to have one.  I took a tiny sip and it was good, but just went about my day.  My throat started getting really irritated and started closing up, but I had a cough so I though it was normal.  It killed to move my neck, and for dinner it was really hard to swallow my food.  I didnt know what was up.  Buuut I put all of the events together and realized I was allergic.  Nothing super serious happened and I popped some benadryl and ibuprofen when I got back to my casa, but I'm glad I found out here rather than in Nicaragua.

On Tuesday my afternoon teacher brought us chiles to eat.  They weren't too bad at first, but my mouth was definitely on fire.  Kristy would have loved them.  My whole body was pretty hot and I was sweating, but it was fun.  Haha! I could have done hotter so I think he's going to bring us some hotter ones soon.  We also had another devotional from Elder Bednar on Tuesday.  It was a rerun from right after the mission age change.  He talked about a way to take notes.  I would like to share this all with you because general conference is this weekend.  

During each talk, Bednar talks about how there are 3 aspects to identify
1. The doctorine, the teachings of the talk
2. Invitations
3. Blessings

If we find each of these in the talks we will better be able to apply each talk to our life.  He also said something that hit me.  He said that if an investigator were to ask what our modern day apostles were saying, and we couldnt answer, it would be like not believing.  Make sure we know what our latter day prophet and apostles are saying.  Our Father in Heaven loves us all and wants the best for us, so he will give us answers in conference if we want them!  Just remember that!

Wednesday was great just because it was P-day eve, and then today not much has happened.  I got my hair cut and they pretty much buzzed it but whatever.  I got it cut this week so it would have a little time to grow out before I left.  I only have one more P-day here which is awesome, I cant wait to be in Nicaragua!

Hope everyone has a great week, I will talk to you all soon!

Elder Hanson

Guayaba (Guava) Juice

District 10C
More of 10C

Hot Chiles 


After...(What Happened??? Those barbers only know one style, super short!!)