Monday, August 31, 2015

Consejo, Multimission Conference with President Russell M. Nelson

Elder Naisbitt, me, and Elder Merrill

Familia y Amigos,

Que nota?  I hope all has been going well.  This week has been super wild and I only got to work in my area 1 full day, so that was great.  The lord blessed us a lot and we were super blessed on Sunday.  I’ll let you know what happened.

On Monday Elder Hartley and I went to our district leaders area, and I did an interview for him.  I did the interview of the wife the night before but he wasn’t home so we had to go back out super far to find him.  He passed which was cool, so we were excited for the District Leader because he is having a hard time right now.  We got the text during the day that we would be having consejo de lideres (zone leader conference) the next day in Managua so we got ready for that.

On Tuesday it was consejo.  We got up nice and early to catch a bus to go to Managua, to be there at 8 in the morning.  It was fun to see some of my old companions there like Elder Kleiner, Elder Roney, and Elder Naisbitt, along with Elder Collado and a couple other friends like Elder Merrill and old zone leaders that I have had.  During the conference we talked about the mission and mostly got ready for the mission conference we were going to be having with the North Mission on Saturday, so that went well.

Wednesday we had a little problem, my companion went home.  That was sad so we wasted a lot of time getting him ready to leave and everything.  We are a trio right now, so our area is really going to suffer here.  We have to go to Boaco every week, so that leaves our area empty every Friday, and also means that one companionship can’t go and do divisions.  We are trying to find members to work with but it’s not working out so hot.

Thursday was the day that we had to work in the area.  We tried to find people to teach but it was a very unsuccessful day.  Frustrating.  We are just trying to get the area rolling but we have had setback after setback.  Trying to find new people.

On Friday I spent my whole day trying to get that family that we had interviewed earlier in the week baptized.  His mom from Spain called, a lot of resolving doubts and stuff went down, but por fin (in the end) they got married and baptized.  Our DL hadn’t even arranged an abogado (lawyer) so I had to go through all of that to get them legally married before the baptism.  Count them as my converts ;).  The elders from Bluefields came on Friday too so it was cool chillin’ with Elder Olsen from my group por un ratito (for a little while). 

On Saturday we got up at 2:30am (I got an hour of sleep) and we headed out to go to the conference.  They asked us to be there early so our mission could get up front, but we were super far away so our seats weren’t the best.  President Russell M. Nelson gave a great talk, about how we as members can master the doctrine, and what topics we can master.  He went through the Guide to the Study of the Scriptures (GEE en espaƱol) and went through the topics.  I don’t think it exists so I am going to tell you the topics in Spanish, sorry!  They were, abraham, convenio de (Abrahamic Covenant); caida de adan y eva (the Fall of Adam and Eve); convenio (Covenants); expiacion (Atonement); familia (Family); investidura (Endowment); jesucristo (Jesus Christ); (pretty sure I’m missing some here); templo (Temple); vida eternal (Eternal Life). I will let you know what the rest are next week.  I would encourage you all to study them and master them, just like I will be doing.  That’s all that went down!  On Sunday we only had 6 people committed to church and we brought 7, don’t know how that happened but it was awesome. 

Things are going great, can’t believe I hit 1 year this week, but I am loving the mission.  I hope you all have a great week, love you all!

Elder Hanson

Our investigator who cuts our hair.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Boaco, la ciudad de dos pisos

Familia y Amigos,

I hope all is going well, this week went pretty well here in Juigalpa.  I was in the area most of the week, just holding down the fort while Elder Hartley was in Bluefields helping out there.  We had some good time to contact and find a couple of new people to teach, and helped out a couple people that we already had.

On Monday we finished up the night working in the area, my companion’s knee has been hurting him and some other things so President on Sunday told us to take it a little slower in the street.  It held us back a little, but we tried to do all we could.

On Tuesday, Elder Hartley left for Bluefields and so the area was all ours.  We had a pretty successful day contacting, and put a couple of fechas (baptismal dates). It has been pretty much reopening an area here so we are taking all we can get.

The same with Wednesday, but it was more successful because the two people we put fechas with ended up going to church on Sunday, that was awesome and a blessing.

On Thursday we were able to do a couple visits with the Branch President here.  Every Thursday we do visits with the Elders Quorum which is something that I really like.  We are able to get the members involved in the work a little more, and the members are able to have a couple more friends.  We went with a family that we are teaching and were able to explain 2 Nefi 31.  At first we were just teaching the couple.  The wife is a little dura (hard), she doesn’t really accept us a ton, but the husband is really progressing.  Anyway we were watching the Restoration with the husband one night, and his mom came in and watched it with us.  She was really interesting and we invited her to pray.  Two days later we passed by, and she told us that she had a dream of her walking into the church, and that she wanted to go with us on Sunday.  She ended up going last week and also came this week, we rolled up in the back of their truck which was funny.  The Branch President is pleased with our work which is good.

On Friday I had to get up early to go out to Boaco to do district meeting.  In addition to being Zone Leaders, me and Elder Hartley are also district leaders in Boaco.  There are just 4 hermanas (sisters) there, and no Elders and it is pretty isolated.  It is like an hour and a half bus ride out there, and it is a really cool city.  I wouldn’t mind being there.  It is up in the mountains and is a little colder.  I will attach some photos.  Anyway I worked there for the day, did some interviews and helped them out. 

Saturday we had another unexpected trip to Managua, and then Sunday we had church, and I did some interviews too.  Things are going well, and I hope all of you have a great week!  Pray for the zone so we can get to the 30 baptisms we need.  Thanks!  Love you all!

Elder Hanson


Me and my comp by the park in Juigalpa

Monday, August 17, 2015

Puro Chontales

Familia y Amigos,

How is everthing going?  Things are going super good here in Juigalpa, Chontales.  This area of Nicaragua is kind of the cowboy center, so it has been a little interesting. 

This week they had a huge party where everyone came from everywhere with their horses and there were rodeos and stuff all week.  There were also a lot of parties, and the main place they had them was a couple of blocks away from our house.  It was pretty crazy walking home every day, but the craziest thing that they did was during the rodeos.  They pretty much had a rodeo going all week long, but the most interesting part is that in the arena thing, they threw a bunch of drunk people in and then would let the bull out.  Obviously some of the people did not have the coordination to get out of the way and got trampled, but it just didn’t make sense to me why they would let people in like that.

This week wasn’t that great, and we lost a lot of time in the area so it kind of suffered.  Monday night me and my companion went and worked with the Hermanas in their area.  I was supposed to do an interview but the lady hid, and the husband isn’t supportive so it didn’t work out.

Tuesday was one of the 3 days I worked in the area.  We went out to this family super far away that had been going to church.  The head of the household doesn’t want to give up smoking, and the kids won’t really do it without the father, so we kind of had to drop them.  We had given him so many chances.  The worst part is that the family (like 7 people) were the people that we had for baptism this month, so we kind of are going to take a hit.  They are super far and probably won’t be going to church after baptism anyway so we will survive.  We have an investigator that is the older brother of a convert and he is doing well, so we are working with him for September.

On Wednesday we just contacted more.  My companion started having a little pain on Monday, and it got worse on this day.  We called the nurse and she told us we had to go to the hospital on Thursday.

So on Thursday we took the 3 hour bus to Managua and went to the hospital.  We stopped and had a nice lunch, and then went to the cita (appointment).  Things went well, but Hna. Russell called us and told us that we had to stay the night.  I was planning on going to Boaco on Friday, so that killed the plans there, and it meant that we would be losing another day in the area.  We went and worked with the APs in their area and then stayed the night with them.  It all went well, and we went to the cita the next morning.  We found out there wasn’t really anything we could do so we went back to the area and got home late on Friday.

On Saturday we just tried to get some new people and commit everyone to come to church.  We found a couple of cool people but like always, everyone says yes until Sunday comes around.  Sunday was successful, we got the 12 people to church and have a couple of new people progressing.  The zone is doing well, and we are trying to find as many investigators ready to progress towards baptism as possible!

Thanks for all of your prayers, and I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Hanson

Monday, August 10, 2015

Juigalpa... I'm Back!!!

 Bautizo (how the nicas say bautismo);)

Familia y Amigos,

First of all, I want to wish my mom a Happy Birthday, Love you lots and thanks for all you do!!!

Well, after thinking that I wasn’t going to have changes, I ended up having changes. I got the call on Tuesday that said that I would be having changes and training, so I said by to everyone in Trinidad (not too many people) and then packed up to go.

Wednesday was changes, and they have changed it up a lot.  The meeting is super short if you aren’t training, but I found out that I would be coming back to Juigalpa after a long 1 change outside of it.  I am now companions with Elder Hartley, who is from Idaho and was trained by Elder Collado too, Elder Salazar, who I am training and is from Costa Rica, and Elder Vasquez, who is from Guatemala.  Elder Hartley has one more change than me in the mission and we are the Zone Leaders together here.  It is a similar situation like my training, where there are 2 zone leaders who are each training an Elder.  The rest of Wednesday I had a training meeting, which was until like 1, and then we took the 4 hour bus back to Juigalpa.  Yay for being far away!  We contacted the rest of the day.

On Thursday we just contacted more.  I kind of have to learn the area by myself, and we lose a lot of time in the area because we are constantly doing divisions.  We still have to complete norms (goals) for 2 companionships, which is super hard and isn’t really going to happen.  Which means 12 in church, a la grande (oh my goodness).  We didn’t have a ton of success, but we’re working hard!

On Friday I went to the District meeting here, it was all right.  The zone isn’t doing the hottest right now, but we are trying to lift it up.  Our goal for the zone this month is 40 baptisms, so we will see what we can do.

On Saturday I had a baptism, a 9 year old son of a Menos Activo (less active) family.  They didn’t really want to support him in the baptism but we got the mom to come to the service, hopefully she starts coming back to church.  He is super funny, they do piano lessons here every day at the church, so he is learning and loves it.

On Sunday we went around for the investigators.  Things went mas o menos (more or less) there but as a zone we completed the norm (goal), for the first time in 2 months!! That was definitely a miracle.  We will be looking for new people to teach this week, and working in the zone.

That’s about it, I love you guys a ton.  Thanks for all of your prayers, you are all in mine.  

Have a great week!

Elder Hanson

Me and my new comp

Monday, August 3, 2015

Birthday and Stake Conference

Happy Birthday Elder Hanson

Familia y amigos,

Que honda??  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  Not really that much happened here this week, it started out all right, and ended not the hottest but everything is going good!

On Monday and Tuesday things were pretty normal.  We were just trying to find some new positive people to teach.  We have a couple right now, but our big problem has just been getting people to go to church.  It is sad that we have to be passing by for people 3 or 4 times in the morning on Sundays, and then waiting for them to go.  We are working hard, but that has been our main roadblock here.

On Wednesday I did divisions with an area here in my district. Things went well with them, we found a couple people but they didn’t end up going to church so that stunk.  They have been baptizing up a storm, so they are just trying to find new people to teach.  Something funny we have been doing here, that gives us a little laugh, is that everyone likes to yell stuff at us in English.  So my companion always says, "he doesn’t speak English, he’s not from the US!" Haha it is funny to see the people’s faces because they always get a little discouraged.

On Thursday was my Birthday, so that was cool.  There is a tradition here in Nicaragua that they throw eggs on you on your birthday, so when I came back from divisions in the morning, the other elders in my district were waiting in my house and I got 10 eggs to the head.  Later in the day, some converts threw flour in my hair, and a member gave us some dinner at night.  Overall it was a good day!

Getting egged for my birthday!
On Friday we had zone meeting, I had to give a class because one of the Zone leaders had a bacterial infection in his intestines so he was in the hospital.  It went well, was laid back and we are looking really good for this next month here.  Every Month with 5 Saturdays and Sundays President Russell does a BBQ for the zone that has the best ratio of baptisms/missionary.  Chances are that I am staying here this change so we are going to be working hard this change to win the BBQ!  In the night we had cake and a pizza from this place called Price Mart, which is the exact same as Costco so that was good.
The Zone, to my left and right are the other 2 DLs, and to their left and right are the ZLs. 
Pizza and cake from Price Mart.
Saturday we had Stake Conference, we had to go to the Priesthood session.  The general authority, Elder Valladares gave a really good message.  He talked about the church's plan of autosuficiencia (self-reilance), and how it really is about progression.  In order to get to the celestial kingdom, we should be trying to progress daily, and always try to be progressing.  I really liked that because it applies to missionary work, and everyone in life.  Are we progressing spiritually and temporally?

Sunday was the main session, that went all right, but then other than that we just got back to work, trying to find new people to teach. Changes are this week, and I think I will probably be staying!  I hope you all have a great week, love you!

Elder Hanson