Thursday, July 31, 2014

Week Five - Only a Few Days Left in Mexico


Glad you had a great time in Utah! Those pictures look so fun! This week has been pretty uneventful... just the same old same old! 

 I miss Mike, glad to hear he is doing well though. He went through the temple and spoke in church :) I´m proud of him!  

Only a few days left! All of our district leaves for the field at 2 am on Monday morning except for Elder Fazio and me. We will get Monday to just hangout with our teachers, prepare to leave and do some last minute studying. Then we leave the CCM on Tuesday at like 2:30 am. 

I got the same information you did in a letter from my Mission President!!! After they pick us up at the airport, we get to spend the day at the mission home and be trained by the mission leaders, eat some good food and get a good night's sleep before we are introduced to our new companions and assigned to our new areas the next day.  I´m super excited! A little nervous because I have no idea what to expect, but mostly just super excited!!! 

I'm glad to hear you are working with the Elders in the ward.  Try to help the Elders out as much as you can! I regret not doing more for them now. The ward makes a huge impact on missionary work! Try to greet and welcome the investigators when you see them at church!

As for this week the only real exciting thing was getting a new teacher. One of ours was heading back home to visit his family, so we won´t get to see him again before we leave. All of our teachers are great. Our new teacher is a sister, shes super sweet! She´s great, always plays fun games and is one of the nicest investigators we have gotten to teach. 

Last night we had another crazy crazy rainstorm! It flooded super duper bad, but then this morning it's all gone, crazy mexican weather!! Elder Bounds got sick this week, but they gave him some sketchy Mexican drugs and now he feels better. haha.  We´ve gotten to be pretty good buds. We teach well together too, finishing each other's sentences and stuff. I´m gonna miss him when we leave!

We also had a really great lesson from our teacher about Helaman 5. He has some of the best insights into scriptures! Talking about how Helaman taught Lehi and Nephi to be great missionaries, and they taught with such power, and helping us to do the same when we get into the field. It was awesome! And its really fun to understand what he is saying in Spanish, because he gives such great lessons when he speaks his own language. I´m gonna miss Hermano Ramirez! He's coming to San Diego for Thanksgiving! Hopefully I´ll be in an area close and he can come sit in on a lesson or something. We are buds! 

Hopefully next week I´ll have more interesting stuff to share about San Diego and those adventures!!! 

Love you all!
Elder Hansen

Friday, July 25, 2014

Week Four

Dear Family,

This week was a little bit uneventful. The days are really starting to run together. But I'll hit some highlights. 

Last Saturday- we taught TRC, which is when real people come in and we teach them, most of them are members. We taught Hermano Ramirez´s brother. His family is so awesome!!! We also talked to his mom about how he was a trouble maker when he was a kid. Its fun to actually be able to understand what people are saying in Spanish!! 

This Monday we lost another one of our father districts, its always sad because you become pretty close to them. but we are also very excited for them! We also had a crazy hail storm Monday afternoon, and it flooded a lot here. It rains so hard sometimes!! Lately the weather has been pretty warm and sunny though!

Tuesday we had a devotional and our very own Elder Santana gave the closing prayer, in which he thanked the Lord for the wonderful words of... ¨Elder... uhhhh Valasquez? no... Valenzuela...Si!!!!¨. and he started laughing in front of the whole CCM. Its so like him though. It was pretty funny. Thank you for the Krispy Kreme Donuts!!!!!!!!! They delivered them to us on Tuesday.  You guys are the best!!!

Wednesdays or P day Eve as we call them are pretty fun. Last night we invented class soccer, with a little homemade ball and goals made out of chairs, which was pretty fun! And me and Elder Santana are going to make a golf course and use our umbrellas as golf clubs. We know how to have fun. Hermano Ramirez, our teacher was able to get me a bag to take my books and CCM stuff up to San Diego. He is such a great guy and is so generous! 

Being district leader is great because my district is awesome. They have no problems and are just awesome, so it's fun to work with everyone :) Some of the other districts would be a serious challenge so I'm grateful for having a wonderful district. 

That brings us to today! Our second to last P day. Already got my laundry done!! So more time to relax! Volleyball is super fun! We play every day for Gym time. And we are gonna play today too. Its so fun!

Glad to hear everything is good back in the states!!! Give everyone my love!!! 

Love you guys mucho! Would love to hear how everything in Utah is going for ya!!!

Love Elder Hansen

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week Three -

Hola family and friends!

I'll start with last Friday I guess...we pretty much just wake up and study, get taught by our teacher, attempt to teach in Spanish, attempt to learn Spanish and in between we eat meals and get an hour of exercise.  Our new thing is playing volleyball as a district.  It's super fun!!!

Saturday is the same as Friday except we do service instead of gym time. This week we helped clean the showers in the locker room, everything is already clean though so it's pretty easy. The staff here are mostly church members so it's cool to talk to them. The Mexican people here are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Especially the LDS ones here and at the temple and stuff.

Sundays are nice because they are different and a little more relaxing. We still have a lot of time to study, but in between we get to listen to the CCM presidency and devotionals and Sacrament meeting is great. Its nice now we can actually understand what people say during Sacrament meeting. Elder Bowns and I had the opportunity to teach the priesthood meeting lesson on Sunday, all in Spanish. So much fun. I love my district and zone, so the meetings are pretty great. Every Sunday we finish with a church movie which is nice and relaxing! This week we watched Mountain of the Lord. About the Salt Lake Temple. It was pretty great even though I've seen it!

Monday was sad because our father district left. They are the district that was here the longest when we got here and they were our zone leaders and stuff. We had all become really good friends with them, and its weird that they are gone. Its weird how close you get with these people in just a few weeks, saying goodbye to my district is going to be kinda hard, but exciting at the same time!

Tuesday was just another normal day... Except Elder Santana and Elder Fazio got called as zone leaders. And I was called as the District Leader! Luckily we have a great district so its just a fun opportunity to help lead and serve my district! Not too stressful or anything so far. There are a couple of districts in our zone that are really childish and some of the elders are causing some drama... They are strait out of high school and act like it. 

Yesterday was another normal day except that I told our ¨Investigator¨ that we needed to repent for our Pescados (fish) instead of Pecados (sins)... but I caught myself as I said it. He still laughed at me... lol stupid language. Also our casa ran out of good laundry detergent, so Elder Santana and I used bar soap and a washboard on our stuff, they came out smelling pretty nice and they were really soft! 

Now its P day, which is pretty much like Christmas for us!!! I love waking up and being able to talk to friends and family! And being able to relax and take care of stuff!

Glad to hear everything is going well!   Love you guys! 

Love Elder Hansen

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Week Two - The Mexico Temple.

It has been another great week here at the CCM! I see Elder Gale almost every day! The other day he helped us with the ATM because it is all in Spanish and Elder Fazio accidentally froze his account from the CCM. Elder Buzan was in our group for the temple today, but I don't think he recognized me so we never actually talked. I'll talk to him if I see him again. 

Friday-Last Friday our first "investigator" became our evening teacher. Both of our teachers are great, Hermano Ramirez and Hermano Cruz. Hermano Cruz, who is the new one is like a spider monkey. He's always talking super fast and moving around, but we learn tons from them. They are both from Mexico, and got off of their missions within the last couple of years. They are amazing! For the fourth we all wore patriotic ties, and for lunch and dinner they had red white and blue table cloths on the tables. They served us BBQ sandwiches and corn on the cob and apple pie for dinner, which was a nice treat. 

Saturday- Pretty normal day, we always start with personal study time then breakfast, and then we have language class with Hermano Ramirez. After that we work on teaching skills and teach an "investigator" who we work with for a couple weeks. Saturdays we have service activity which is a nice change. We cleaned the seats in the auditorium and the bleachers in the gym. After that we go to lunch and then come back for more study time before we go to TALL. Which is Technologically Assisted Language Learning, which is really boring but helps us to learn grammar. After TALL we have more class with our other teacher Hermano Cruz and have another progressing investigator. Then we are pooped but we study more and have a little zone meeting to close and go to bed.  

Sunday- Sundays are a great change from the daily grind, still really busy but not quite as much as a normal day. We have study time and breakfast, then Priesthood meeting, which is a lesson given by two elders completely in Spanish. Elder Bowns and I get to give it this week... going to be interesting. After that we have a little district meeting and go to Sacrament meeting. Testimony meeting was great! Hearing all the testimonies in Spanish, especially the people in our zone who have been here longer and speak better Spanish. After that we have lunch and then a class with President Pratt (prez of the MTC). Then we have studying and Devotional, which is usually a broadcast of the Devotional at the Provo MTC, this week it was Elder Holland. He gave a great talk about how to study for investigators. 

Monday and Tuesday were pretty typical days, nothing too exciting for us. Our favorite thing to do is go workout for a little and then go buy food from La Tienda... Everything is super cheap and they have some good Mexican chips and candy and drinks. 

Wednesday was cool because we got to do TRC which is when we teach people who aren't teachers here at the CCM. The guy Elder Bowns and I talked to was a 14 year old member from Mexico City. He was super cool, he talked about how he wants to go on a mission and we shared some of our favorite scriptures! It was super laid back. Spanish is still moving slowly, but its crazy how much better it is now than when I came. The CCM is definitely the best way to learn Spanish. Everyone speaks it, and everyone is willing to help!

P day today was much needed! We woke up early and went to the Mexico Visitors center at the Temple. Just our District was on a little sprinter van which was way better than the gigantic bus everyone else was on.We sang hymns and had a lot of fun with the driver, who was like a little tour guide on our drive to the Temple. Driving through the city was amazing. Its crazy how big and busy the city was, people everywhere. The visitors center was great! Its huge! we had a tour by some sister missionaries there which was great, they have little rooms that look like an old temple or a house in Mexico, which are pretty cool! It was nice to get out of the CCM for a while. The Temple is Beautiful! Very cool. Also its the only temple in the world with the Angel Moroni holding the plates in his hand. Unfortunately it is closed for renovation so we just got to go outside and go in the bookstore, where I got some cool scripture covers. After the Temple we had lunch and hung out in the Casa while we did our laundry. Now I'm here!!!

Please give my love to the ward and all of my friends and family back home!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Week One! At The CCM

At The CCM - Week One! 

Sorry I haven´t had a chance to reply Yet!! Our P Day is Thursdays and since last Thursday was our first day we didn´t get to have a P day at all. Also I want to start out by saying that this Mexican Keyboard is very different, And very difficult to type on, so ignore the multitude of grammar and spelling mistakes por favor. 

This P day is much needed! I'll start from the beginning. Wednesday was exhausting with all the travel and everything. But they are very nice and welcoming at the MTC. After all the delays and everything I didn´t get here til like 9pm. They welcomed us with a costco pizza though :) I flew with 3 elders, one from eastern Washington and one from Utah. It was good we were all together once we were in Mexico to help each other get through customs and find our driver. Driving in Mexico is crazy. Thought we were gonna die...but we made it!! Someone said this is the second largest city in the world...crazy. Anyway we finally got to the CCM and got all our stuff and went to our little casas. The casas are pretty nice with like 4 bedrooms each with their own bathrooms. When I got to my Casa I saw Elder Fazio!!!! He´s my friend from my ward at BYU. It's so nice to have someone that I know with me!!! The rest of my apartment and district are also Great. My companion is Elder Bowns from Orem Utah. He's a great guy, and I love working with him!!!

Thursday was a lot of meetings and orientations. It was probably one of the slowest days of my life. Felt like I had been at the CCM for at least a week... but it definitely got better. We met our teacher. Hermano Ramirez. He´s so awesome!!! He's from Mexico City and served a mission pretty recently. He's a really good Spanish teacher as well as gospel teacher. Its a blessing to have such a wonderful Maestro. This was also the day we met the rest of our district! The other elders in my casa are Elder Bowns, Elder Fazio, Elder Santana, Elder Thompson and Elder Whojan. I love all these guys. They are all really fun, but also work very hard. Elder Santana and I get along especially well. He's a crack up. We all have a great time together. 

Friday was a lot of class and studying, and we also found out that we got to teach our first investigator Friday evening! All in Spanish..... I knew no Spanish. Trying to learn to give a lesson was very difficult...but it was a great experience. 45 minutes of confusion and Google translate on his phone. We will continue to teach Alexis for the next few days.

Saturday was very much the same. we spend hours on end in our classroom, studying Spanish and studying the gospel, and then trying to study the gospel in Spanish... If my district and zone wasn´t so awesome this would be way more difficult and boring. We have gym time every day. I forgot to mention that... we usually play basketball or ping pong and then get a Mexican Gatorade and some Mexican Doritos and candy from la tienda (the store) everything is dirt cheap here. New garments are 17 pesos... so like a dollar and thirty cents... Doritos are like 40 cents.

 Sunday was great. Still very busy, but it was great to take the sacrament and have priesthood meeting. Everything is in Spanish, but I was able to get the main idea of everything and its crazy how the spirit still testifies to you even though you aren't really able to understand the words being said. I lay down every night really really tired... but so happy to be here!!

Monday was more class, Spanish is coming a long...very slowly. Its frusterating to know what we want to say to Alexis, but have no idea how to say it... He's a good sport though, and helps us to understand what he's saying, and attempts to understand our terrible Spanish. I heard that he becomes our evening teacher sometime this week...which will be interesting.  

I´m sure we all said some very interesting things to him during our lessons. The Food here is beginning to have an effect on everyone in our casa. sometimes its pretty great, but sometimes its no bueno, and most of the time it comes back to haunt us. The fruit and fruit juice is great though!! Very fresh. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were basically the same as Monday, more Spanish lots of scriptures and an investigator. I´m learning so much!! I read D&C 121:6-9 this week which has become one of my favorite scriptures!! Its a huge comfort from Heavenly Father, even though the CCM really isn´t that much of an affliction, it can be hard sometimes and the Lord promises that it will be but a small amount!! He also says that "thy friends do stand by thee" (he's talking to Joseph Smith in Jail) and I know that you guys are standing by me!! and will "hail me again with warm hearts and friendly hands"! I miss everyone dearly! and hope everyone is doing well! 

Love Elder Hansen

PS.  Send the ward my love!!  I´ve talked to Elder Gale a few times, but I haven't found my other cousin yet. I also ran into Hermana Stokes a couple times which you heard about! She's awesome! So nice :) There are quite a few people I recognize from BYU here as well! The CCM is great. Pray and think about you guys always!!