Monday, July 27, 2015

Normal Week in Trinidad!

Bus selfie going to the office

Familia y amigos,

Que nota??  I hope all is going well, things are going good here in Ciudad Sandino, but not much has really happened.  Elder Salmeron and I have been working hard, trying to find some new people that will actually progress.  This month of August here is going to be a big one for the mission, so we are trying to find people so we can put in our part.

News on the Mission, things are going really well this year.  We have a goal as the mission for 2000 baptisms this year, and as of June we had 1099.  In May the mission had 275 baptisms, which was the most ever in the time of President Russell.  The mission is still pretty young so we are looking forward to more success here in the next months.

On Monday we finished P day doing a couple of baptismal interviews in another area.  That went well, one of them ended up lying to me which caused some problems later in the week, he didn’t end up getting baptized.

On Tuesday we worked in the area, tried to find some new people.  Cool story, 2 Thursdays ago we couldn’t really find anyone to teach.  In the morning I had prayed and asked that we could find a family of 4 to teach.  It was a rough day, things weren’t really working out, but we knocked this door and this guy answered.  He told us he was busy (which here in Nicaragua means that they don’t want anything) but he told us he wanted us to come back to his house on Saturday.  We went back on Saturday, put a fecha (baptismal date) with him.  So on Tuesday we had a lesson with him, and turns out he has a wife and 2 kids.  Prayer answered.  We put a fecha with the wife, and we haven’t been able to talk to the daughters.  He came to church this last Sunday but we are working with them so they can all come.

Wednesday I did divisions with another area in my district.  We found a cool family, put a fecha with them and they ended up coming on Sunday to church.  The area is kind of slacking, but they were the only ones this Sunday to complete with the 6 in church so that was good to see.

On Thursday it was a normal day of work.  We found this lady who has raised 23 grandchildren because her children just dump them on her.  She is in a really tough situation, can’t read but prayed and asked if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  She really wants to go to church, and sadly she couldn’t go on Sunday.

On Friday we had district meeting, that turned out fine.  I gave someone else the class so it was more chill.  We didn’t have a baptism on Saturday, and the turn out on Sunday wasn’t so hot.

Today we went to the office to buy some scriptures and to see if there was any mail, no luck. :(

This week will be a week of finding, might have a baptism but probably not.  Thanks for everything you all do, and everyone who has already wished me a happy birthday. 

Love you all!

Elder Hanson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Multizona, Sandinista Revolution

Familia y amigos,

How is everything going?  This week ended up going really well, we found a few people to teach, like 1 or 2 that might progress, had a multizona (multi-zone conference) and just overall a good time.

On Tuesday we had the Multizona.  It ended up being a really good day.  I had to give a class on using the scriptures in the Multizona and had to play the piano. The multizona lasted from 9 until like 5, so it was a pretty full day.  In the morning there were messages from Sister Russell and President Russell, which were really good. I learned a lot from the messages and from stories that they shared.  The topic that President Russell shared was about Keeping the Sabbath day holy and how we can, as missionaries, help our investigators to keep it holy by going to church.  I think that a lot of times we take Sunday for granted, when we should really respect the day and remember the Lord in everything we do.  I have definitely learned how important the Sabbath day is here in the mission.  After we had little classes, and then we got to watch Meet the Mormons, which was awesome.  The movie was in Spanish and I’d like to see it in English some time.  

In the night Elder Kleiner came and did the baptismal interview for one of the investigators I had, his name is Kevin.  He wasn’t sure he wanted to come to church a week ago, but it was super important that he came so that he could get baptized.  I had to be really direct with him about it but he ended up coming with us.  Then we just kind of threw him in the interview.  He was a little doubtful of some things and we were having a had time finding time to teach him every lesson.  Anyway, turns out that in the interview he told Elder Kleiner about his brother that had died from a drug overdose a couple of months ago, and what he really needed was the Plan of Salvation.  We were going to teach it the day before the interview but he wasn’t home.  He passed the interview and had the desire to do be baptized.  We finished teaching him everything and got him baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.  There weren’t any huge problems, except for he didn’t tell his mom that he was going to get baptized, and she was pretty angry Sunday morning when she found out.  He went to church in a white shirt and tie that we gave him and that night was asking us when he could get the priesthood.

On Wednesday I did divisions with some elders in my district and on Thursday it was just a normal day.

Friday we had district meeting, another normal day, and then Saturday was the baptism.  Nothing else really happened during the week, and we were blessed to get 6 investigators at church.  Sunday was also the celebration of the Sandinista Revolution, so a lot of people went to the plaza for all of the festivities.

Today we played a little baseball with the ward because nobody worked today, so that was fun.  This week will just be a normal week, we don’t have any baptisms planned.  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Hanson

My District (Trinidad 1)
A little kid I met at the pulperia (store).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Church Attendance Struggles, District Meeting Surprise

Luis' baptism

Familia y Amigos,

How is it all going?   I hope everyone is doing well at home, things are going well for me here in la Trinidad.  I am doing well, I got the area down but right now we are just working on getting some new investigators.  We have found some cool people, but the problem is just getting them to church.  I am still trying to find out the best way that I can get people to come to church here, so that has been my struggle recently, but other than that things are going well.

This week went by super fast, and for the majority of the time we were just contacting and trying to find some people that will be willing to keep their commitments.  Tuesday was a normal day in my area so I just worked with Elder Salmeron.

On Wednesday I went and did divisions with one of the Elders in my district.  Their area is like a 20 minute ride in mototaxi so I worked with an Elder named Elder De Leon.  He is from Guatemala, and he has a super cool conversion story.  He was baptized like a year ago and now he is here in the mission.  He is a hard worker and they have some cool people there in their area that are preparing for baptism.

On Thursday we just worked again in our area, still finding people.  And then on Friday I had a nice surprise.  It was district meeting as normal, and Elder Kleiner told me that he was going to be coming.  I thought that it was going to be a chill laid back District Meeting because the APs came last week, but it wasn’t.  I was there on time getting everything ready to start and next thing you know President Russell and Sister Russell showed up.  Definitely not expected.  I was prepared and everything so there weren’t any problems.  Who knows who will show up next week!

Saturday we had a baptism of this guy named Luis.  Elder Olsen and Salmeron were kind of teaching him.  They had dropped him because he was preparing for a baptism before, got interviewed and everything but the day before his baptism he drank.  So they gave him another chance.  But the day of his interview they showed up, and he was drunk.  So they dropped him.  When I got there, I didn’t know anything about him, or what had happened so I just put a fecha (baptismal date) with him.  We saw a big change of heart, and he ended up getting baptized and confirmed. When we got to the church to baptize him there was nobody there, and it was closed.  Here in this Area we don’t have keys to the church, so we had to call someone to open the church.  Kind of sad that nobody showed up.  I ended up having to baptize him and then just finish working in my wet clothes.  We don’t really have time for extra excursions to the house so it was a nice way to finish off the night.

Sunday we had the struggles bringing people, typical Nicaraguan Sunday!

And this morning I had to go to Managua for a choir practice.  We have a Multizona (multi zone conference) tomorrow, and last night at 11 Elder Collado called and told me that I had to play the piano for the choir.  I also have to give a taller (workshop) at the Multizona so we will see how it goes!  I love you all and hope you have a great week!  We might have a baptism this week, we will see what happens.

Elder Hanson

PS This week, the 19th is the day of the Sandinista Revolution, so it could get crazy!

Elder Salmeron`s shoe broke working in the rain, so we took a picture

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th of July!!!

Happy 4th of July

Familia y Amigos,

I know that the 4th of July already passed, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy 4th of July.  Things are going really well here in Ciudad Sandino, and I am loving it here.

This week was a pretty good week.  On Monday night Elder Kleiner came and did a baptismal interview in my area.  It was cool and kind of weird working with an old companion again, but the investigator passed the interview so all was good!

On Tuesday we just got to work. In the morning we had a meeting with all of the district leaders in the Zone so that we could all get on the same page and get to work in the month.  Our goal is 35 baptisms, so we will be doing all we can to reach the goal.  There are 20 missionaries right now in the zone, so it is a pretty high goal.  Elder Salmeron and I contacted a lot, trying to find some new people to teach.  We found a couple, but not really anyone has turned out to be super cool.  I went and did a baptismal interview in one of the areas in my district.  The guy was doubting the Book of Mormon hardcore, so it was definitely a testimony builder to be able to testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  It was hard to resolve his doubts but in the end he ended up getting baptized!

On Wednesday and Thursday it was the same contacting, not really anything too great happened.

On Friday it was my first district meeting here in Trinidad, and of course there was a nice surprise.  The APs ended up showing up to the district meeting, which wasn’t too bad because my district is doing well, so they came and helped us out a little.  Elder Collado wanted to work with me too, and I was doing divisions that day so we went and worked in one of the areas in my district.  All went well and it was a successful day.  He gave us some things to work on, which was definitely helpful!

On Saturday it was the 4th of July.  We didn’t really do anything fun or exciting but we had a baptism which was great!  His name is Jimmy, he is 14 and told us he wants to go on a mission.  Super awesome.  Everything went smooth with the baptism.  But nothing can ever go perfect with a baptism, so Sunday we had some problems.

On Sunday we passed by his house and his family had sent him to the market to buy things.  That pretty much meant he wasn’t going to get confirmed.  We had the faith that we would find him, so we passed by 2 more times.  On the 3rd time, we realized that he had come home, but was hiding from us.  He didn’t have any clean clothes, and his family was being really dumb.  His older sister even dumped her baby on him and left so that he wouldn’t be able to go.  Luckily his mom showed up, he gave her the baby and went in dirty clothes.  It really affected us bringing other people too, so we didn’t do so hot.  We ended up with 6 people, but it was like grabbing people off of the street.

That’s all that really happened this week.  You are all in my prayers and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Hanson

Pizza on P day!