Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Only Getting Hotter...

Familia y Amigos,

How is everyone doing?  This week was a pretty good week, we got a lot of things done here in Bluefields and had a nice visit from President Russell.  I will tell you about it all.

This week though it has been super hot, I have literally been sweating so much here.  Supposedly this is just how the weather is this time of year.  It is super duper hot until like the end of May when the rain comes and cools everything down.  The people here are kind of suffering because everyone relies on their posos (wells) for water.  Every time around this year it gets super hot so the wells dry out.  It has kind of been a problem here, so I just hope the well we have doesn’t dry out!

This week we were blessed enough to have 2 baptisms here.  Their names are Kevin and Sheneidy.  Everything went really smooth, so that was nice.  We prepared them well, they passed their interviews, got baptized and confirmed without a problem. They were both references from members, so I decided to see how many of the baptisms I have had were references from members.  Turns out that every baptism that I have had has been a reference.  It made me realize the importance of working with members, and how you can't be a successful missionary if you just work on your own, you have to work with the members.

We should have baptisms this week but we will see what happens there.  Our investigator pool has grown and is all right now.  Things are going good training and I’m learning a lot.   

President Russell also came this weekend to make a visit here in Bluefields and to interview us.  He got to see the 2 confirmations that we had which was cool, and the interview went really well.  He told me I was doing a good job here, which made me feel good. I need to keep working hard, being bold, and with obedience I know that the Lord will continue blessing me here.  Things are going pretty well, and although we continue to have trials, things always work out. I’m grateful for all of the things I have learned here on the mission, and I am going to keep working hard here.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Elder Hanson

Monday, April 20, 2015

Roney's back, snowmen in Bluefields too

Familia y Amigos,

Well, sorry to bore you again, but this email probably won’t be that great either.  Nothing really happened this week in Bluefields and it has been a long week of just contacting and trying to find people to teach and baptize.  We have been doing a little more street contacting as we have found that house contacting hasn’t been that efficient.

So Elder Roney (my old companion) is Zone Leader here in the zone that I am in, its called Zona Juigalpa, so the Zone Leaders are supposed to come every month.  They haven’t come since January so they decided to finally come to see how things were going.  I got to work with Elder Roney and spend a little time with him, which was weird being with my old companion in the same area.  It feels like just yesterday we were together for the first time!

Elder Passey and I have just been working hard trying to find people.  We got a couple of references from some members which were cool, and we will see if they actually end up progressing or not.  This month of April hasn’t been that great in the whole mission, and a lot of people are focusing more on May because it is a month with 5 weeks to baptize.  The 5 week months get a little crazy, and the attitude is just to get everyone to the water.  The last 5 week month was in March and I think the mission as a whole, like 160 missionaries or so baptized a total of 243 people or something like that.  We are trying to break that in May.

On Friday I did divisions with Elder Rodriguez and got to meet a couple of the people that they have there in their area which was cool.  I probably will get to know all of Bluefields before I leave here which will be awesome, knowing more than just my half.

This week we have 2 baptisms that should go down so that will be nice to have a couple people to baptize here.

I heard that it snowed in Utah, so we made some snowballs and snowmen, I hope you all enjoy them!  Have a great week and I love you and miss you all a lot!

Elder Hanson

P.S. - This guy from the US came and is investigating the canal that they are soon to build here in Nicaragua, so he took some pictures of us all.

Snowmen in Bluefields!
Snowball fight!!
Good to see Elder Roney again
Just chillin' in the hammock
I sure miss this boy!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Puro Bluefields

Here is a picture of my district

Familia y amigos,

Well, I’m just going to tell you now, this email probably isn’t going to be too long because not much really happened this week.  The weather is still super hot here, and we have been sweating a ton.  I don’t really know if I have been losing or gaining weight because the members give us a TON of rice, I never knew so much rice could exist.

Anyway this week was a week of finding people.  We didn’t really have a ton of people to teach so it was a lot of contacting in the street and trying to get into houses.  It wasn’t the most successful week though, we put a couple of fechas (baptismal dates) but they weren’t very positive people.  I want Elder Passey´s training to be a positive experience of baptizing while he´s in his training, like my experience was, but who knows if it will happen.

We have a couple people progressing for baptism, like 4 or 5.  They are preparing for the last week this month and the first week of May.  After a long week of trying to find people and committing them to church, we didn’t really have a ton of fijo (committed) investigators who were going to come.  Sunday mornings are the worst, because all of the pressure of the whole week is on your head, to decide if it was a week of success or not.  As we went to each of the houses of the people we had committed, nobody was ready, not home or just hiding from us.  We went to church with 4 people, which is alright, but the Lord blessed us with another 5 when we got there, with 2 of them that are ready for baptism.  We went and put fechas (baptismal dates) with them for the end of this month.

I know that as I work hard here in the mission, that the Lord is going to bless us.  We have been trying to be obedient and I know the Lord blessed us because we are working hard and making sacrifices for Him.

Other than that not really anything happened.  We aren’t going to have a baptism this week, but should have one on the 25th.  It will be another week of finding, so keep us in your prayers that we can find some people! 

I love you all and will talk to you next week,

Elder Hanson

One of our converts here

Monday, April 6, 2015

Out Here in Bluefields for Another Change!

Elder Passey and me

Familia y amigos,

What is going on?  I hope all of you had a great Easter Sunday, enjoyed General Conference, and each had personal revelation in ways that you could improve in your lives.  Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about what happened this week.

So on Tuesday we got the call for cambios (changes/transfers) and only Elder Naisbitt was going.  We weren’t really expecting it because, like I have been saying, Bluefields is like a 6 month sentence and it doesn’t happen too often that someone is only here for 1 change.  We got him all ready to leave and sent him off in the panga at 3 pm. I didn’t have a companion so I worked with a member the rest of the day.

I ended up having to work with a member for the rest of the week, which was a little hard.  On Wednesday we got the call about who all was coming and everything.  I am finishing the training of an Elder here named Elder Passey.  He is from Washington and was in Masaya with the Zone Leaders there for the first part of his training.  I am the new District Leader here, which just means a little bit more responsibility and more things I need to do.  Elder Passey got stuck in Juigalpa. Because of Semana Santa (Holy Week) there were no busses or pangas so he got here about halfway through the afternoon session of Conference on Saturday.

Nothing really happened here as far as the work goes because of Semana Santa; it was super dead here.  Everyone went to Corn Island or Bluff to go to the beach so nothing really cool or awesome happened.

Crazy story this week, that family that was supposed to get baptized is probably not ever getting baptized.  One of the members here is family with the Father of the family.  He was asking me about why he didn’t get baptized and everything and I told him what had happened.  He told me that he was really surprised when he heard the family was going to get baptized in the first place, because the father had just gotten out of prison and is a drug dealer.  Looks like I won’t be going back there! hahahah.

Conference was super awesome.  We were blessed to be able to go to every session because we brought the people we needed to.  President Russell asked that we each bring 4 people to Conference, so we were able to find enough people to watch it.  In a couple of cases I just grabbed people off the street so I could watch it.  We ended up getting 19 people to come to Conference!  I really liked the Saturday afternoon session in particular, it was really good.  One of my favorite talks was from Dale G. Renlund, especially one of the things he said.  He said we should evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying.  While we may have struggles and difficulties in this life, but if we evaluate our situations, repent (repenting isn’t a bad thing), and keep trying, the Lord will always bless us.  I would encourage everyone to go and do the Personal Interview that M. Russell Ballard did in priesthood session, evaluate this, then repent, and keep trying.  This will help us all to grow spiritually in this life.

I love you all and hope you all have a great week,

Elder Hanson