Monday, February 23, 2015

Another Change in Bluefields and Miracle Baptisms.

Elder Roney Leaving Bluefields

Familia y Amigos,

How is everyone doing?  I hope all is going well where ever you are.  This week was a super awesome week.  There were cambios (transfers), and we had some baptisms and it has been raining a ton so I’ll tell you a little more about it.

First of all is cambios.  On Tuesday we got the call that Elder Roney was going to have cambios, so we had to pack him up super quick and throw him on a panga (boat) to get a bus to Juigalpa in time.  They called us at like 1:00 and the last panga leaves at 3:00 so he had to pack up pretty fast.  We walked him over to the panga place, said goodbye and then got back to work.  I worked with a member for a couple hours but then he bailed so I had to go and work with Elders Soifua and Rodriguez in their area.  The next day I found a member to work with me all day, so I was just trying to lock down the two possibilities (possible baptisms) we had for Saturday.  He just kind of followed me around and didn’t really help but I was able to get the baptisms locked in.  

On Thursday I got my new companion and his name is Elder Naisbitt!  He is from Utah and went to Copper Hills High School.  He has 14 months in the mission and is the new DL here in Bluefields.  All is going really well with him.

My new companion Elder Naisbitt
After a hard week last week the Lord really blessed us this week.  I was able to see His hand in the work we were doing.  We were able to bring 10 people to church and had 2 baptisms.  The baptisms didn’t really go so smooth though.  The past 3 days it has been raining non-stop so we’ve been getting super soaked.  The investigators both live out in the middle of nowhere through roads of dirt so with the rain they all turned to straight mud.  We went early Saturday morning to get the pila (baptismal font) all filled up and then went to get the investigators.  As we got there, they told us that one of them had left early in the morning to go and visit her aunt and they had no idea where she was.  We decided to come back later because she was going to have to come back home at some point to sleep.  Long story short, we trekked through the mud in the dark without any light (I forgot the flashlight) and found them.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to get baptized.  After a while talking about her concerns, she realized she did want to be baptized.  It was a long trek back through the mud to get to the church and she was finally baptized at like 8:00 at night.

Muddy roads lead to...

...muddy pants and shoes.

It seems like lots of people have just been falling from the sky to get baptized and I know that it has been because of our hard work here.  The Lord always blesses those who do their part and they give everything to do it.  Like Elder Duncan said 2 weeks ago, ¨the Lord doesn’t require a lot, he requires everything.¨  As we continue to work we will see the blessings here in our area.

I hope everyone has a great week and I love you all!


Elder Hanson

Coconuts at an Investigator's House

Monday, February 16, 2015

End of Another Change...

Me, Ayoleth's son Chris, and Elder Roney

Familia y Amigos,

How is everyone doing?  I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s Day!  I totally forgot about it until it was actually Valentine’s Day and then I remembered.  But I hope everyone is doing super well!

Anyway not much really happened this week, it was actually kind of a rough week. We have had a hard time finding people here in our area.  We find some super awesome families who have already been to church 2 times, and a bunch of other people who are ready to be baptized, but they always live in the area of the other Elders here in Bluefields. So we turn them over to them and they get to work with them.  We haven’t really been finding a ton of people in our area and our investigators aren’t doing so hot.

This Sunday as we went to get each one of our investigators for church, but as hard as we tried, nobody would come.  Everyone pulled the classic Nica excuses, about how they had to wash the clothes, cook, and the classic, ¨voy a llegar¨ (I’m coming).  But none of the people ended up coming.  Pretty much all of the people that we were teaching just didn’t want anything, which means a lot of our hard work with the people went down the drain. 

Anyway, when we got to the church we had 8 new people there.  A member had woken up early and walked from her house to a part of our Area that we didn’t know existed and brought 7 people.  Another family where all the members weren’t baptized also just showed up.  We were super grateful for the member and knew that it was definitely Heavenly Father’s hand in our work here.  These are the people that our Heavenly Father wants us to teach, so we are going to teach them.

After church we went and put fechas (baptismal dates) with a couple of them, one of them was super pilas (ready) and could maybe be ready to be baptized this Saturday, as she has been to church 3 times and is just lacking a little bit of the teaching.  So we will see what happens with her.

Ayoleth is still waiting on some papers for the marriage, and it is a super complicated situation so who knows when she will get baptized.  She is super ready, reading the Book of Mormon everyday, but the whole marriage situation is really messing things up.

I wanted to share a quote with you all that my mom sent me a couple weeks ago that has helped me this week and might help you all.  It is from Richard G. Scott, and it says, “Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously.  When those trials are not consequences of disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11-12).  He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit.” 

Other than that, not much is happening.  Cambios are this week so I could have a new companion the next time I talk to you guys!  I’ll let you all know what is going down.  And if you see the McDonalds charge on the Card in Managua, it probably means that I had cambios (which is really unlikely) but who knows!  Anything could happen!  Have a great week!


Elder Hanson

Elder Roney at a cool cafe we found to eat at in our area

Monday, February 9, 2015

Gira de Mision con (Mission Tour with) Elder Kevin R. Duncan

Thanks Granny and Grandpa! I finally got the Christmas package you sent me!

Familia y amigos!

What's up?  How are you all doing?  I hope everyone is enjoying life, and enjoying all of the blessings that we have.  This week was a pretty spiritual week, I'll let you all know what went down.

So we left on Wednesday at about 8 in the morning to get on the pongas(boats).  We took the 2 hour ponga ride to Rama, and then the 4 hour bus to Juigalpa.  We worked in divisions there, and I worked with the DL there in Juigalpa who is Elder Henriquez.  It was a good time, we just went and visited a couple of their investigators and some crazy MA (menus activo/less active) who is like anti american, thinks we are all racist.  It was great.  We had to wake up super early the next morning to get on a bus at 4 am to be in Managua at 8am for the Multizona (Multizone Conference).

So we got to Managua on time and everything, and I got to talk to a couple of my old companions, Elder Collado and Elder Hernandez, my first trainers. All is going well with both of them, and Elder Collado said to send greetings to everyone.  After we had a quick breakfast we got to listen to President Russell, Hermana Russell, and Elder Duncan, who is the area president here.

He talked about something really interesting that I think we can all use in our daily lives, just as much as I can use it here on the mission.  He talked about ¨seeing the vision of the Perfection.¨ He said that if we can envision what we want in the future, even though at times we can't see it and it seems impossible, and then we set goals, that we can achieve it.  As missionaries we need to think about what we want to achieve in each of our areas, for example a stake, a ward, whatever, and then set goals accordingly. I know in everyday life, we all have a desire of where we want to be or a desire of certain things in our life.  While we may think they are crazy, if we set goals and work it is possible.  It can be things as little as keeping the house clean or to even a career, where we want to be in 25 years.  This is going to help me a lot here in my areas, and also in my mission as a whole.

As a representative of Jesus Christ I would urge all of you to actually make a vision of the perfection.  As it says in Alma, 34:32 (I dont have english scriptures with me) ¨porque he aqui, esta vida es cuando el hombre debe prepararse para comparecer ante Dios; si, el dia de esta vida es el dia en que el hombre debe ejecutar su obra.¨  
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” We need to be constantly making plans, spiritually and in our lives here on earth.  Sorry for the ranting, that's all I really got.

Things are going great here in Bluefields. All of our baptisms fell through last week but its all good, we’re just looking for new people!  We might have a baptism this Friday, and Elmer for next week.  We´ll see what happens.  Have a great week, I love you all!

Elder Hanson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Good Eats....

 Familia y Amigos!

Whats going on in the 801?  How is everyone doing?  I’ve enjoyed all of your emails recently so keep them coming!  Anyway this week was a pretty good week, kind of hard, but we’re out here still trying to find new people and everything.  It is already week 5 of the cambio (transfer) which is super crazy because it feels like I just got here yesterday, but all is well!

Anyway, a lot of stuff happened with our baptisms this week.  We had a guy named Jason that was supposed to get baptized, and we were stopping by to visit him.  He wasn’t really reading the Book of Mormon and we were leaving him tiny assignments, for example Moroni’s promise, 3 verses.  Last Sunday he said he was going to take things serious and he was going to read and pray about the book.  We went by on Tuesday night and he told us he had an answer, he was super excited and so were we.  He then proceeded to start to show us verses in the Bible that he had found, to tell us that the Book of Mormon wasn’t true, when he obviously hadn’t even read it.  He had received false revelation because he hardened his heart, was too obsessed with his bible (it was a simplified version that was translated horribly) and didn’t want to listen.  So he didn’t really have any desire to get baptized because he wasn’t ready and closed up his mind to what we were saying.  It was a bad situation and unfortunately we had to stop teaching him.

We are teaching another guy named Elmer who was supposed to get baptized this Saturday, but he didn’t go to church yesterday.  We passed by early in the morning to get him to go, and he told us he was getting ready.  We went and reminded a couple more people, and when we came back his family told us that he went to work.  We have an appoinment with him tonight so we´ll see what happened.

Ok so I have a cool experience from this week.  Ayoleth´s partner got back from fishing out at sea this week and he caught a ton of green turtles coming back in.  So on Tuesday he showed us all the turtles, I’ll send pictures and everything.  It was super awesome.  He told us that some of the Turtles were over 80 years old.  The people here in Bluefields love the meat, so they catch the turtles and sell the meat.  It’s probably super illegal but they’re Nicaraguenses and they don’t care. They asked us if we had ever eaten turtle before and if we wanted to eat turtle and, of course I said yes because its like a once in a lifetime experience.

So on Wednesday they invited us over to eat.  They eat like every part of the turtle, so I had some of the meat, the lung, kidney, liver, skin, and even the throat.  It was super cool!  It didn’t taste bad at all, it was actually pretty good, just the texture of some of the parts was weird.  Some parts, like the throat, were really chewy.  But that’s my crazy story for the week.  

...and after!

This week I have a multizona (multi zone conference) so I will let you all know how that goes.  The Area Seventy President, President Duncan, will be coming to speak.  The conference is in Managua so it will be a long trip for us.  We will leave here on Wednesday and will travel to Juigalpa.  Then on Thursday we will leave Juigalpa at like 4 in the morning to go to Managua.  Then we’ll go back to Juigalpa after the multizona and leave at 3 am to go to Bluefields again.  It’ll be a long trip but worth it!

I hope you all have a great week and I will talk to you next week!  

Love you all,

Elder Hanson

Calala (passion fruit) that I had this week.