Monday, December 29, 2014

Multizona, Apostasia, Late Night Baptisms, and Happy New Year!!

Me with My Snowflakes on Christmas!

Familia y amigos,

Whats up?  How is everyone doing?  I hope all of you had a great Christmas and you are all enjoying the snow.  That’s awesome that you’re having snow!  I had a dream that I was skiing last night, I went off a jump, felt the drop and everything and woke up from falling off the top bunk hitting my knee on the ground.  It hurts super bad today but I’m just glad it wasn’t my head.  I’ve been taking ibuprofen but we don’t have any ice.  I’ll be fine.  Its pretty swollen but I’m sure the ibuprofen will help with that. 

Here we had a pretty good Christmas.  I had a great time talking to my family and just hanging with my companions.

I want to thank all of you that wrote on snowflakes for me.  I loved each and every one of them, and it was probably the best present that I got.  I feel so blessed to have so many people supporting me.

Anyway this week was great.  We had a multizona (multizone conference) on the 24th.  It was super awesome!  We listened to a message from Presidente Russell, had an awesome meal, played some games with the other zones, and then had a slideshow of our families.  Presidente Russell y Hna Russell were super generous and gave us some awesome gifts.  It was awesome to be together as a mission close to Christmas, get to know some more people, and to feel the spirit!

We met this crazy guy this week, who is puro apostasia (pure apostate).  He is a pastor for one of the churches here.  He was trying to tell us all of this super weird stuff about Joseph Smith and every idea he had was super dumb.  His main problem with Joseph Smith was that he was saying that the timeline of Joseph Smith having "the vision" and when he restored the Church didn't match.  It was dumb.  The most crazy of his ideas is that missionary companions are always a North American and a Latino because the North Americans are brainwashing the latinos.  He told my companion to wake up and realize what was happening.  It stinks because there is a super positive person who lives in his house, so we´ll see what happens with him.

We had 2 baptisms this week, both on Saturday.  They were Herty's wife and Ana.  The baptism of Herty's wife went super smooth and everything, and I'm sure she's going to be a faithful member here with her husband.  Ana was a different story.  We went to interview her on Friday and she told us that she had to go to work, and was saying that January would be better.  She passed the interview and everything but her work was the only problem.  On Saturday the APs were in Rivas and came to talk to Ana and Milagro about being  baptized.  Milagro decided she didn't want to be baptized this week.  We had 6 misisonaries in their house at 9:30 pm talking to them.  We asked Ana what was stopping her from being baptized that night.  There was nothing so she was baptized at about 10:30pm Saturday night.  The harder part was her confirmation.  She called us on Sunday and told us she was at work and her boss wasn't going to let her leave to come to the church to be confirmed. We were super discouraged but when we showed up, she was already in the church.  A miracle for sure.

After our baptisms we’re pretty empty for investigators right now. We did meet this person who came to church on Sunday, and she had all of the lessons in San Marcos, a city super close to here. We're going to try to baptize her this Saturday.

We don't have any plans for New Year's and we will be working all this week, there's no rest!  I'm sure the streets will be dead, but theres nothing we can do about it!  We will have to figure out what to do!

The zone finished with 19 baptisms for the month of December, the most in all of 2014.  We're working hard and have great plans for this next year.  I don't think we reached the mission goal for the year, which is a bummer, so I'm sure well be working even harder this next year.

I hope all of you have an awesome New Year this week and I love you all!

Elder Hanson

Going in for my flu shot
Multizone Conference (Elders Hayes, Naisbett, Trinidad, Hernandez, Collado, Benson, Sacalxot and me)
Multizone Conference

Reading Letters from Home at the Multizone Conference

Elder Collado and me

Hermana Russell, Presidente Russell and me

Elder Hernandez, me, Herty, Herty's wife, their family, Elder Miculax, and Elder Sacalxot

Elder Miculaz, Elder Hernandez, Ana, Ana's family, Elder Sacalxot, and me

Monday, December 22, 2014


Familia y amigos, 

How’s everyone doing in the 801??  I hope everything is going super well for everyone and you are all enjoying the weather.  Word on the street is there’s not a ton of snow, which makes me happy because I’m not missing anything!

This week was a little rough.  I got my first Christmas present, Monday without p-day.  We just get an hour to write and that’s it.  We're trying to reach our goal here of 1800 baptisms for the year and its not going so hot.  So we’re working hard trying to get people baptized this Saturday!

Not much happened this week, we didn’t have any baptisms, and have still been trying to find new people to teach.  This week we have 3 possibilities for baptism, which is super awesome, and I know it is the best gift that they can give to our Father in Heaven. 

Anyway, I don’t really have any stories or anything so I’m going to tell you about one of the people we’re going to baptize.  Her name is Ana and she is the sister of Lupe.  When we first started to teach Lupe, right after Felipe’s baptism, Ana didn’t want anything.  Lupe was super hard to teach too, but Ana wouldn’t even listen to us.  Slowly we started talking to her and finally we got her to commit to come to church.  She would always say, ¨I’ll come to church but I’m not getting baptized.¨  Anyway, after her first time in church she said that she loved it and it was the best church she had ever been to.  She accepted fecha (baptismal date) and we’re trying to help her stop drinking coffee!  She has a baptism date for this Saturday! She’s super hilarious and is always fun to teach!

Anyway that’s all I really got for this week.  Pray for these people to get baptized please, we really need them!  I love you all and hope you all enjoy your Christmas.

Always remember the real meaning of Christmas.  Make sure you descubre la dadiva (Discover the Gift), acepta la dadiva (accept the Gift), y #comparteladadiva. (#SharetheGift)  Love you all!  

Sorry this week was super busy and I don’t usually carry my camera so I don’t have any pictures!

Elder Hanson

Monday, December 15, 2014

One Week Until Christmas

Elder Hernanadez and Me

Familia y amigos,

Que nota?  I hope everyone is enjoying the weather in Utah, I heard its a little bit warmer.  Sounds a little bit like Nicaragua!

Anyway things are going super great here in Nicaragua, the weather has been a little bit cooler these past couple of days, and one night all of my companions wore sweaters, hahah!  It’s like unheard of to wear sweaters in any other area.

This week went super great, not much happened but I have 2 experiences to share.  First of all last Sunday we were walking to go and teach and this person came up to us and asked what the requirements were to be a member of our church. She told us she had a family of 5 that wanted to learn.  Anyway we looked for her house for like an hour one day and couldn’t find it.  The next day I was looking in antiguo investigadores (old investigators) because all of our investigadores (investigators) aren’t doing too hot, and I found the person.  Turns out the exact situation happened about 6 months ago and the missionaries visited, and everything was a huge lie.  They had an address and everything so we visited the people, they are huge Testigos (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and they were shocked when they saw us in the door.  Stinks that they are all liars but I thought it was kind of funny.

The other happened yesterday, we were trying to find new people to teach and this guy let us into his house.  We started como comenzar a enseñar (getting ready to teach) and were talking to him.  This guy was literally perfect.  He told us that for the new year he was thinking about joining a new church, and the night before he prayed that he would have direction in his life.  I know that we were an answer to his prayers.  I probably won't be here for the majority of the teaching, but it was a cool experience and lesson where I definitely felt the spirit.

We had interviews with President Russell and it went great. He told my companion I was doing really well and told me to keep working hard and baptizing.  We have interviews every 3 months and he interviews all the missionaries at around the same time.  Everyone in our district was interviewed on the same day.   I know that two other zones, Carazo y Universitaria also had interviews this week.

We didn’t really do anything today on p-day. We just wrote letters and then went to buy stuff.  I finally found a PSG jersey and bought it, and I also bought peanut butter.  Jinotepe kind of stinks because there isn’t anything cool to go and see.  One thing is that there are a lot of pizza restaurants.  Every p-day is kind of the same.  I have heard that in other zones there are awesome things to do!

The rest of the week not much happened, we're working with Ana, Lupe’s sister and she is super awesome. We're working hard here in Jinotepe, and time is flying by.  I hope all is well at home and everyone has a great week!  Love you all

Elder Hanson

And remember, #ComparteLaDádiva (#SharetheGift)

Me and Elder Sacalxot (Elder Scheffler with the photobomb!)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday Miracles

Familia y amigos, 

Que tal?  I hope everything is going super well at home.  I had a great week here, it was stake conference here, and I don’t really have a ton of pictures for this week, sorry!  But it was a good week, here’s what happened,

I went to Rivas on Tuesday with Sacalxot, and worked with the hermanas there.  Cool experience, we went to the house of a Recent Convert, but she wasn’t there.  Only her grandma.  Supposedly the grandma is usually grumpy but she was super nice.  We were sharing El es la Dadiva (He is the Gift) with her, and she was super receptive.  We asked her what the best gift she could give to Heavenly Father, and she said I don’t know.  My companion was whispering fecha fecha fecha, and so I said, baptism is the best gift.  She was super receptive, and has a fecha (baptism date) for the 10 of January.  It was the easiest fecha in all of my mission!

Wednesday through Friday we just worked in our area, not much to say.  We found out that Herty is teaching his wife the lessons, which is super cool.  She has a tough schedule to work with but she has been to church 3 times so we're trying to get her baptism set.

Saturday was Stake conference and Elder Ochoa, a Seventy, came and talked to us.  They pretty much chastised the members for not helping the missionaries with baptisms and other things going on in the Stake.  It’s nice for us as missionaries because now we don’t have to do it.  It was pretty good, but the asistencia (sorry cant think of the word in English [*attendance*]) wasn’t too great.

Sunday there were a lot more people. Elder Ochoa was here because our Stake got a new Stake Presidency.  Presidente Russell was there too and he spoke.  He shared the Dadiva (He is the Gift), which was cool.  Anyway the miracle that occurred, we woke up super early to leave the house at 7 to bring people to stake conference.  As we were visiting investigators pretty much everyone rejected us. Sunday was the purisima, the day when everyone worships the Virgin Mary. People go wild and scream, sing, and light off fireworks.  Super weird.  Anyway we had like 2 people because everyone else said they were catholic and were celebrating.  It was terrible.  We went to our house to pray because there was nobody.  We asked that we could bring 8 people to church.  And when we got there, some members had brought people, and we had 8.  Super awesome and a testimony builder.  We also went to the Christmas devotional and brought investigators there too.  Overall it was a great Sunday.

You guys are always asking what I eat so I thought you might like to see my favorite snack here, they’re delicious!

Plantain Chips-My favorite
I also eat graham crackers and yogurt for breakfast!  The grandpa special!  I had to eat cow liver the other week but it wasn’t too bad.  My favorite food here is queso frito, tajadas, gallopinto and this salad that they serve.  It is super awesome.  We get it like once or twice a week.  Super delicious! The salad is like pickled cabbage, pretty much shredded cabbage in like vinegar I’m not sure.  Tajadas are plantain chips. They’re pretty long, sometimes We eat a lot of chicken though.

That’s all I really got for this week.  I hope all of you have a great week, and Ill write you next week!

Love you all,
Elder Hanson

Sorry, I don’t have any good pictures this week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nuevo Compañeros!

Happy Thanksgiving (Elder Sacalxot)

Familia y Amigos,

How are you all doing??  I hope you all had a great week, and you are all enjoying the cold Utah weather!  This week on my missionary account thing it had the temperature here, and I didn’t even realize it was 85 degrees.... Who knew someone could be super cold when it is 70 degrees…I’m going to die in the cold winters in Utah.

Anyway, I got new compañeros this week!  Cambios are cool here.  On Tuesday the ZL get a phone call with all the people who have cambios.  All of these people meet in the morning on Wednesday and take a bus to Managua.  Only the people that have cambios go, not the companions.  So on Tuesday we got a call that Collado, Kleiner, and Chicas (DL) and a couple others had cambios.  Elder Hernandez and I are staying here in Jinotepe. On Wednesday morning they all went to Managua.  In Managua there is a reunion, called reunion de cambios.  Presidente Russell shows the numbers and stuff for baptisms, goals and such.  He shares a message and then reads off cambios.  It usually goes from like 8 to 11-12ish.  So everyone came back after reunion de cambios and I had 2 new companions!  Turns out Elder Collado is the new AP (his mission is going to be hard, 14 months of no sleep).  Kleiner is finishing up someone’s training in Managua.  Anyway, the names of my new companions are Elder Sacalxot and Elder Miculax.  They are both from Guatemala, Sacalxot is from Quetzaltenango y Miculax from the ciudad (Guatemala City). So, it is 3 guatemaltecos and me in my house right now!  Sacalxot is the new ZL and has been out a year and the other kid is new!  I worked with Sacalxot my first day in Nicaragua and he is super awesome!!  He had a pro soccer contract before his mission with signing bonus and everything but turned it down for his mission.  He is super cool. The language is coming along super well. It’s weird just having Spanish in the house but I haven’t really had any problems! 

This week was definitely hard, we don’t have a ton of investigators right now so we’ve just been finding puros nuevos (new investigators).  It stinks because nobody really wants to listen.  Were working hard and trying to find new people this week!

We had a baptism this week of this lady named Silvia.  She is super awesome and has a great testimony.  This week we have stake conference, and a general authority is coming, because they’re getting a new stake president.  It’s going to be Elder Ochoa.  I’ll let you all know how it’s going.

Anyway we got these pass along cards called “El es la dádiva”  I don’t know exactly what it translates to (I think “He is the Gift”), but I hope everyone is remembering the real meaning of Christmas in this upcoming season.

This email is super short, but I don’t have a ton of time.  I love you all, and have a great week!

Hey mom, just wanted to let you know I got all 7 packages you sent!

Shoutout to my boy HJ for leaving to the MTC this week!  Everyone keep him in your prayers!

Elder Hanson

Silvia's Baptism (Elder Hernandez, Elder Miculax, Silvia, Elder Sacalxot, Me)
Elder Hernandez and Elder Sacalxot