Monday, November 30, 2015

Penosa Thanksgiving cena y la busqueda (the search)

Just a typical day on the mission.

Familia y Amigos,

I hope that all of you guys had a super great Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for all of you and all that you do for me.  This week was a pretty good one, and by pretty good I mean it was the usual stuff, and nothing too bad happened. We didn’t end up having consejo, and we decided to get to work in the area and not lose too much time in Bluefields, so I didn’t go either.

I’m not going to go day by day here because it was about the same.  There was a lot of contacting and trying to find cool people that would go to church.  We found a good number of people throughout the week that accepted us, a fecha bautismal (baptismal date) and were kind.  But of course then Satan tempts on Sunday morning so not a ton of them came.  We have found that people here just don’t really understand a couple of things, one of them being commitments, another being commandments.  We have been really trying to simplify our teaching and to try and help them understand, it has kind of been working, but not a ton.  We feel like the people don’t really understand the concept of God, so we are starting from the beginning.  It is interesting to see that a country that is so "religious" has a hard time accepting that God controls everything and is willing to bless us if we keep His commandments.  We are trying to help the people understand so they can receive the fullness of the gospel, but there are some hard hearted people here. :)

On Thursday it was Thanksgiving and let me tell you it was the most penoso (pitiful) Thanksgiving ever.  We started off the day eating some pumpkin bread, that was good.  hahah We got 100 extra cordobas each ( a little under 4 dollars) to spend on Thanksgiving "dinner" (ended up being lunch) as a zone.  So the whole zone is latinos, and there is nothing to do here in Juigalpa so we just ordered pizza for the zone.  Super lame but whatever!  We lucked out because Elder Merrill had a friend from Managua who works for the church who was going to be out here working at the church, so he took us out to a super nice restaurant and bought us a nice dinner.  It didn’t end up being too big of a bust, and we had a good time so that is what matters!

Friday I went out to Boaco for district meeting, taught about how they can get to know better their investigators and complete efficiently. Eficacia (efficiency) has been a big focus of mine and Elder Merrill's lately, and the missionaries are having a hard time with that too.  I’m glad my dad always taught me that we should get the job done right the first time, so we don’t have to worry about doing it over again.  Good life lesson.

I really enjoyed studying 3 Nefi 27 this week, I would encourage you all to go and read it, along with the JST of Matthew 16. I like verse 26 that talks about how we have to reject every worldly desire, and keep the commandments to be able to follow Jesus Christ. We need to change the things that we don’t want to change to be able to have success in our lives.  I know that if we do it we will be blessed.

I hope all of you have a great week, enjoying the Christmas season.  Love you all,

Elder Hanson

Elder Merrill and his friend from Managua
A mission can really wear you out sometimes!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, entrevistas, lets get this place rolling already

Elder Medrano, Elder Hanson, Elder Merrill and Elder Smith with new members
Familia y amigos,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I hope that you guys all enjoy Thanksgiving this week and enjoy something that isn’t rice and beans!  I’m thankful for all of you guys, and all you do.  Thanks for your prayers and everything.

Anyway this week not much really happened.  Elder Merrill and I are just trying to lift this zone up, and we are not having too much help.  We have some good district leaders.  Elder Miculax, the Elder I was with in my training is the District leader here in Juigalpa and he is doing a great job.  He is definitely getting people up and moving, even if they don’t like and or want to do it.  I don’t understand why people don’t want to work here, they are just wasting their time if they aren’t.  We worked a couple of days in our area, on Tuesday and Wednesday we worked hard to contact and try to find some people.  Before I was just kind of going to whatever house in between citas (appointments), but Elder Smith and I this week started just contacting every single house on streets, even if they were closed.  We found a couple of people, but not too many.

This week we also had interviews with president Russell.  They went well. As a zone leader, you have like 3 interviews, one before the whole zone goes in with the other ZL, then the personal, and then the interview with the other ZL at the end.  So interviews went pretty well, there were a couple of issues in the zone and we ended up being there until like 7pm.  I don’t know how, even though you just sit around all day, it is so exhausting.  I went around and checked all of the houses with Elder Kleiner and Hna Russell which went well, the whole zone passed.  My interview also went well.  We mostly talked about contacting people because that has been the main desafio (challenge) here in the area.  He gave me a couple of ideas that I can use to find new people.  He said he was proud of my progress and that I was doing a good job.  My 2 interviews with Elder Merrill also went well.  He wants the zone to get moving, and was asking us what we needed.  We are working hard to do it, we are just finding a little opposition and having to push the missionaries.

On Friday I went to Elder Miculax´s district meeting, he did a good job.  I stayed in the area with Elder Medrano and we got to working, found a couple of families that were cool at first and kind of ended up being duds on Sunday, but it was nice to have a couple of positive people for 24 hours!!

Saturday we had the baptisms, it actually ended up being only one on Saturday. Elder Merrill and Elder Medrano went and passed by at like 1, and he was leaving to go do a "mandado" (an errand).  That is always bad news. He said he would be back at 4 right on time for his baptism.  We got there at 4, he wasn’t there and we called him.  He answered and said he was busy until later so we went and baptized our other investigator, a little kid.  He ended up having some job he had to do all night long, and didn’t get home until like 4 am (that’s what he told us).  

So what we did is on Sunday morning we got up super early, like 4:30am, got dressed and then just posted up outside his house to make sure he didn’t leave, woke him up at like 6am, and got him baptized.  He was telling us that he needed to go home to sleep and that he was going to get confirmed in the afternoon but we just did what we have learned best from the nicarageunses, and we “bailared el mambo” (danced the mambo) with him until like 9am so he could get confirmed.  It was a huge blessing that the guy got baptized, really a miracle so even though we haven’t found too many people, the people that we are teaching have been baptized which is nice.  We had not too many people at church but we are working to find new people. We had a couple problems with the sisters in our zone at night, which was fun to deal with, but we are back into the routine for this week.  If we don’t have consejo (leadership training) I will be going to Bluefields! :) That will be a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving!!

I hope you all have a great week! Your prayers would be appreciated so that we can get this place going.

Elder Hanson

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bus hopping and no more trio

Familia y Amigos,

This week was an all right one, not really anything big happened, but I had a fun experience on Friday that I’ll let you know about.

On Monday we got a new companion here, it is Elder Medrano from Corpus Christi Texas,  He has about a year in the mission so it is nice that we aren’t in a trio anymore.  He is willing to work hard, and is a funny kid so he should make things a good time.

The APs came down on Tuesday to pick a sister up that had a personal problem, Elder Martinez wanted a quesillo (a tortilla with cheese, cabbage, onions and cream) of course and it was his birthday, so we celebrated it a little with him.  That was kind of fun. Nothing else really happened until Friday, which was a crazy day haha.

On Friday I made the weekly trip up to Boaco to do the District meeting and then work with the sisters.  It was the typical day of following the sisters around, went and animated the possibility for baptism that they had, and then just kept following them.  It was kind of a routine day, right until the end.  So we can’t stay too long in Boaco because we always have to take the bus home, and we usually end up getting home a little late.  I left Boaco at like 7:30 because I thought that it would give me enough time to get home right on time.  You have to take a 20 minute bus ride to the empalme (fork) of the road to boaco and the road to juigalpa, and then switch buses to go to Juigalpa.  So by the time we waited for the bus down to the empalme, and got to the bus stop it was like 8:30.  There was a bus there waiting but it was super full, and we knew (or at least thought) that another bus would be coming so we decided to wait.  We waited for like another hour, and finally a bus came, so we just got on it, because they all go to Juigalpa (really bad thinking).  Elder Medrano was with me and he claims to have said something, I didnt hear him.  But next thing we know the bus is turning up to Boaco!  We realized and got the driver to stop, hopped off and started sprinting because we knew another bus was coming, the last one.  Luckily we got there right as it was passing by, flagged it down and got back way too late.  Once again there weren’t any seats so it was a fun ride :)

We didn’t end up having that baptism this week, we have 2 possibilities for this week so we are working hard with them.  The work is still going all right, we haven’t found too many people yet so we are just looking for some positive people! President Russell came to our branch on Sunday and we didn’t really have anyone so it was kind of embarrassing but we are working so there’s nothing much else we can do.  Our best investigators have some major problems, like super big so we`re helping them to repent and change.  Other than that nothing much is new.  This change is flying by, don’t know where it has gone.  I hope you all enjoy this week, love you all!

Elder Hanson

no pics this week.... sorry!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Consejo, 8 week training, exigiendo

Leadership Council
Familia y Amigos,

How is everyone doing?  Things are going super well here, we are finally getting the zone rolling, the area is fine, getting a little better, and the comps are doing great.  This week was wonderful as I had to travel to Managua 2 times.  Yes! Here is a little bit more about it.

Tuesday me and Elder Merrill had to go to Consejo de Liderazgo (Leadership Council) in President’s House in Managua.  We got up early and we caught the bus at 4:30 am.  The best part is that when we got on the bus, there were no seats.  The only thing you really can look forward to on that bus ride is sleeping so we were blessed to stand up for the 3 hours it took to get there. :)  When we got in the taxi to go to the Capilla en San Juan, I slept for like 30 minutes and that was it haha.  Consejo went good, it was chill, the mission is going to reach the 2060 but we´re working hard for the new raised goal of 2300.

On Wednesday we just worked in the area and tried to find new people.  We are trying to work more with less actives and have them give us references, it is working ok, but we haven’t seen huge success.  It was a normal day.

On Thursday I got to go back to Managua with Elder Smith for his 8 week training.  It went well and we ate Burger King again, I think I eat that like 2 times a week with all the times I have to go to Managua. We got a seat on the bus so that was nice and I slept the whole way there. They verified the training program and I passed so we are in the clear. We got back at like 5, worked and then Elder Merrill and I planned for zone meeting (again).  We are really trying to get the zone animated and baptizing so the meetings are helping out.

Friday we had zone meeting.  It was good to get the zone together and to talk about what we have for baptisms this month. We talked about preguntas inspiradas (asking inspired questions) (I feel like we talk about this too every week but people just won’t learn to use them!) and then did some practices doing them.  We are trying to put a bigger focus on families, because families contacted means families teaching which means families in church and in the end family baptisms.  Things are going better in the zone and we have seen some miracle baptisms just pop up for the missionaries’ obedience.

On Saturday, we went to the baptism of the hermanas, they had 5 in total.  Things turned out well and we just committed people to church.

On Sunday it was the usual routine, people lying about going. We got a good amount of people, and the zone did well too!  That was good.  We are working hard and might have a baptism this week.  Other than that not much is going down. We are a trio now so that might slow down the work.  I love you all!

Elder Hanson
Twinner ties for zone conference, what are the chances?
They both must have wonderful mothers with fabulous taste! ;)

Monday, November 2, 2015


Elder Hanson

Familia y Amigos,

What is going on?? I hope that all of you enjoyed Halloween and found something fun to do!  This week was a pretty good one, it was cambios (transfers) so that was always fun.  On Tuesday we got the call, and found out that Elder Naupoto and Elder Vasquez were going to have changes.  Pretty much half of the zone too, as lots of people finished up their missions.  Me and Elder Smith knew that we were going to stay so we helped them get packed up.

After a sleepless night (we have to get up so early there is no point in sleeping) we got on the bus to go to Managua.  We got there early and got to say hi to everyone, that was fun.  I think I told you guys, but the changes meeting kind of changed. They used to announce everyone and their companion of the whole mission.  The thing took like 3 hours, but I guess they decided that we were wasting time so now they just announce the ZL and their companions and then they tell the ZL who is in their zone, you get them on the bus and tell them their areas and comps on the bus.  Anyway Tuesday night we had all been thinking about who was going to be with who.  A couple of the ZLs had changes, so we were trying to guess who was going to be with who.  Turns out that my new companion is.... Elder Merrill!! We thought that we might be companions, but didn’t really think it was going to happen.  We are both stoked!

On Thursday we just got to work and contacted, not much happened there.

On Friday I went to Boaco to work.  They look like they are doing better, really improved this week in church so we are happy about that!  They have some missionaries that are animated to work so that is good. I went with Elder Peterson, Elder Merrill`s son from Morgan, Utah.  He is a cool guy who has a desire to work.  We stayed there all day long, and got back late. I was so exhausted.

On Saturday we went around and committed everyone to church.  It looked like we were going to have a good Sunday, everyone was excited, but of course Satan always takes a hold of the people Snday and they don’t know what to do.

On Sunday it was a rough day.  Nobody wanted to go, or they weren’t home.  Here are some of the fun things I found on Sunday morning.  I went to an investigator’s house and her pastor was there waiting for me, that was fun.  I am so sick of people trying to fight with us, I just listen to them and then say thanks these days.  I went to another house where the guy told me he was confused and wouldn’t go to church because the night before he had seen members from the church at a disco... which means he was there hahaha.  I thought that was funny.  It started raining and then he said he can’t go out in the rain.  It was just straight excuses from him.  We got a couple of "ahi llego, no se preocupe" (I’ll be there, don’t worry) which always means they aren’t going to go, not much we could do there.  And of course a lot of them just weren’t home.  It was a fun Sunday, a nice welcome for Elder Merrill.  We are working hard to find new people.

This week we are going to have consejo (leadership council) on Tuesday, and then I am going to have to go to Managua again on Thursday for a training meeting for Elder Smith.  That should be great.  I am excited for early mornings and long bus rides! ;)  I hope that all of you have a wonderful week, I love you all!

Elder Hanson

I sent Elder Hanson ingredients to make his favorite...
Pumpkin Bread!