Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

My companions and me

Familia y Amigos!

How's it going everyone??  I hope everyone is having a great week, starting up holiday season this week with Thanksgiving!  Make sure you all eat lots of food, and be grateful its not a huge mountain of rice!  Just kidding rice is great, just a little annoying when we have it every day. Buuut anyway everyone enjoy that pumpkin pie and turkey!

This week was pretty good, last week here with Elder Kleiner and maybe mis padres (my trainers).  Rumor on the street is that Collado is going to be the new AP but we're not sure, I'll let you all know this next p day.  Chances are I stay here in Jinotepe and finish my training!  We find out tomorrow at about lunch so we will see!  Here's how my week went.

Tuesday Collado had the dentist again, its like a weekly occurance, and we just worked in that area.  We needed that time to work in our own area so we had to work extra hard the rest of the week to make up for it.

Wednesday we placed a fecha with Tania's husband, for the 20th of December.  He has un monton de preguntas (a ton of questions) and we are trying our best to answer them all.  He is really the only thing that is standing in the way of Tania deciding to get baptized.  We interviewed Lupe y Milagro, but only Lupe had the desire, Milagro has a bunch of doubts and fears, so we are working with her this week.

Thursday Kleiner and I worked in the area because the ZLs were in Managua at consejo con Presidente (meetings with the President). 

Friday I went to Reunion de Distrito (District meeting) en Rivas, not much happened there and it was super hot as always, and was super nice to come back to Jinotepe.  It just feels like home here.

Saturday was the baptism of Lupe, and all went good with that!

Sunday Tania told us that she got her answer, and wants to be baptized this next Sunday.  We're super stoked and if all works out we'll have 3 baptisms this Sunday!  Super stoked!

Today we had a district activity and the Hermanas cooked for us.  It was great!

Everything is going super well here.  I hope all of you enjoy Thanksgiving, and really give thanks for all you have. One thing I have realized here in Nicaragua is that we have so much. The people here literally have nothing but are so happy.  Always be thankful.  That's all I got for this week! 

Love you all!

Elder Hanson

Lupe's Baptism

City of Rivas (notice volcano in the background)

Cool Nica Sunset

The Hermanas cooked a delicious lunch

Some P Day dominos with the district

Monday, November 17, 2014

Miracle Baptism!!

Herty's Baptism

Familia y amigos,

Como estan? (How are you?)  Espero que todo estè bien! (I hope you are all doing well!) This week was super awesome, and time is flying by.  Today is the first day of week 6, and time seriously is flying.  This week was a little warmer here and it rained 2 days, but not much has changed, I´ll let you know about my week!

Tuesday was a great day. We found this guy named Herty on Sunday at church. Long story short he listened to the missionaries in Costa Rica, but 1 week before his baptism he had to leave.  His uncle lives in our area (he lives in the area of the Hermanas and has another house in the area of our DL, super confusing and is starting problems) so we are teaching him at the house of his uncle so it will be our baptism. He had been listening to the missionaries for 4 months and has a super strong testimony.  We placed a fecha for this Saturday that just passed, and placed a date for his wife for the 13th of December.

Not much happened on Wednesday.  Elder Collado had to go to the dentist again in the morning, so I went to Masaya with him.  The busses weren't as crowded as last time (22 people in a 15 seater) so it wasn't too uncomfortable.  Before my mission I hated being packed in close with people but now its just normal.  I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I was lucky enough to eat Papa Johns on the way back.  Our area has been difficult lately because the ZLs have been working in other areas because bautismos have been falling, but we just worked hard for normas (our goals/standards).

Nothing happened Thursday too.  Hernandez and I did weekly planning in the morning, and then we just worked the rest of the day.  Herty had his interview, and passed.  There was a little conflict over whose baptism it really is, but we taught him first so it was ours.  We spent time trying to find people because a lot of our invesigators are not progressing.  The problem is that the Nicaraguenses will commit to anything, so really 15 Nica fechas (dates) is about 5 baptisms. 

On Friday we just worked super hard with our investigators and got stuff ready for the baptism.  We're having problems with Tania because supposedly her Pastor found out that she has been listening to us.  Her husband plays the piano at her church, and when the Pastor found this out about Tania, he told her husband that he was "unworthy " to play the piano.  The husband is mad at us and told Tania he doesn't want to talk to us because we will sway his beliefs.  Sounds like a family baptism to me.

Saturday was the baptism of Herty and of course something had to go wrong.  It was Seminary graduation and they had a huge party here at the Stake Center after so there was loud music.  Of course they turned it up right when he got in the water.  Whatever!

He got confirmed Sunday, and we brought 5 investigators to church.  Some investigators tried to lie to us and told us that they came but we didn't see them.  We have 3 possibilities this week and I hope they all pull through!

Hope everyone is doing well, I love you all!

Elder Hanson

Herty and his family

Elder Chicas (DL), Elder Hernandez (ZL) and Elder Collado (ZL)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pizza Hut and a Baptism

Miguel's Baptism
Familia y amigos,

Que honda?  Everything is going super well here.  I had an awesome week and am stoked to tell you all about it.  Just to start out I'll tell you about the weather here.  It is like cold.  I shiver sometimes.  And every time I’m cold I just laugh because it’s like 70 degrees. Haha! but when we wake up it's pretty chilly outside, and at night too.  There’s a nice breeze sometimes, but I think it's hilarious because I never thought I'd be cold here in Nicaragua.

Mom asked about our schedule.  In the morning, we have personal study from 8 to 9, companion study from 9 to 11, and from 11 to 12 we have language study.  At 12 we have lunch until 1.  Then we work from about 1 to 9 at night.

Time here is flying by.  Cambios are in 2 weeks, and even though it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll stay.  It's just wild to think about how fast time is passing. My companions are great and I’m having a great time with the other missionaries.  One of the other North Americans in my district, Elder Scheffler, is from South Ogden.  He loves to fly fish too so we’ve been talking about that this week!

Anyway, I had a great week.  I’ll just start with the days.  On Tuesday Hermana Russell (mission presidents wife) came out to Jinotepe and did a video interview of how the mission has changed our lives.  We were 4 of 12 missionaries she picked and it was crazy to think how much the mission has changed my life in only 10 weeks.

On the way to Masaya
Wednesday Elder Collado had a problem with one of the teeth in his mouth.  I got to go to Masaya, which is like 20 to 30 minutes outside of Managua, and 30 minutes from us.  We go on buses when we have to go longer distances and so we took the bus to Masaya.  It was crazy! There were 22 people in a 15-seater bus.  I had to stand up the whole time.  There was some dude spooning me from behind and I was leaning over people.  It was terrible! Masaya is the nicest part of the mission.  There were people with BMWs and Audis.  It was a lot nicer. 

Anyway, Elder Collado had to get a root canal, which stinks for him, but it was awesome for me because we got Pizza Hut.  It tasted just like normal Pizza Hut, super delicious.  It was like the same price too!

Pizza Hut!
We also stopped by one of the stores there and they had an amazing selection of cereal!  We didn’t buy any though because it was too expensive. It was hilarious though.  Elder Collado didn’t know a lot about the cereal and asked me which was the best.  I told him to point at the Krave! Hahaha! I hate Krave!

Elder Collado with the Cereal!
Thursday and Friday we just worked super hard with our investigators.  Elder Collado and me walked our whole area.  It is huge.  It kind of stinks because it is just like this huge long street and our house is at the top.  When we leave in the morning everything is downhill but we have to climb it when we want to go back in the night.  Our area has been receiving a little less work because the ZLs have been worrying about other areas.

Saturday I got to baptize Miguel.  There is a rule that we are only supposed to get in the water and do the baptism 1 time in the mission, but we couldn’t find anyone to baptize so I got to do it!  It was super awesome.

All of my investigators are doing well, we might baptize one of Miguel’s daughters this week, but if not for sure the week after.  The mom and aunt of Felipe, the kid who was confirmed here my first Sunday, are progressing and they have a baptismal date for the 22nd.

On Sunday we got 6 people to come to sacrament meeting, so everything is going great.  

I hope everyone is doing well at home!  Let me know how you all are doing!  Love you all!

Elder Hanson

Lunch Today!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Another Week In Paradise!

Thanks for the package Jones Family!

Friends and Family,

How is everyone doing at home?  I hope everyone is doing well, and not crashing too many cars (Ri, but I'm glad everyone is safe) hahah.  I don’t really care about the car I'm just glad everyone is ok. This week flew by.  With so many things to do everyday and investigators to teach, you just get caught up in the week.  Today is actually my 2-month mark here in Nicaragua, and this week is halfway through my first cambio!

I would first like to send a shout out to JJ and Lewis Jones from Connecticut for the package.  It had a bunch of food in it!  It was awesome.  It was just what I needed. 

Not much happened here, I got to go to Rivas on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with one of the ZL's, Elder Collado.  Rivas is super hot, close to the lake, and you can see the volcano.  I forgot to take pictures but it is cool!  It is like 30 minutes to the border of Costa Rica, and supposedly there are some cool beaches.  Obviously I'm not allowed to visit those.

Our purpose of going was to set an example for the DL there.   It was great.  We placed 8 baptismal dates the first day.  It was crazy.  The DL was blown away.  Anyway we have a goal in our zone for 50 baptisms this month, which is super high considering the average the past 2 years is like 12-15.  Our number last month was 18, the highest in 2 years.  We're all working super hard to achieve this goal and to raise the zone. Things are going great!

Trying to reach our daily contacting goal can be crazy.  I contacted a whole bus this week, it was a great time.  I was always embarrassed before my mission with stupid stuff like that but I have had no fear here.  I can talk to any person, any group of people, and I don’t even care what they think about me.  I'm not going to see the majority of them ever again and maybe they’ll remember the white kid with Spanish that isn’t exactly perfect! 

The weather has really cooled down here.  It rains almost every day, but one of my North American friends in my district went to Managua today and he said it was super hot.  Our area is supposedly "blessed" because of the weather, we have dinner appointments occasionally, and because we haven’t even had the time to contact our whole area.  I'm stoked to keep working here. 

That’s all that really happened during the week, and we didn’t have any baptisms on Saturday.  We have 2 planned for this Saturday, but probably only one will work out.  The one that will work out is the husband of my first baptism.  He is super awesome.  We leave pamphlets and reading assignments in the Book of Mormon, and then when we come back he pretty much teaches us the lesson.  He is an example to me and my companions of how to obtain a strong testimony.

I know that if we read, pray, and ponder like it talks about in the introduction of the Book of Mormon we can obtain strong testimonies, just like my investigators.  I am loving it here in Nicaragua and the work is going super well.

This email is super short but nothing really exciting happened here, so I hope all of you are being adventurous at home or on your missions.  I love you all!

Elder Hanson

Eating at "Tip Top" with the District

Our Bedroom

Elder Collado

Getting an Early Start on Christmas!