Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Latest From Calexico

What up fam!!!

We have had a super crazy fun exciting disappointing awesome week!

Wednesday was exchanges. Which are sooooo awesome!! I was with Elder Stecklein in my area. I learned so much!! He's such an awesome missionary. We taught a couple of really good lessons, like one to Hermano Garcia, who we were having a hard time getting to focus. And he kept forgetting everything. It got really frusterating... but then he told us he had 2 strokes, which explained everything. We were a little more patient after that! I learned a lot about being upfront and bold, but still loving. That night we had correlation with our Ward Mission Leader Halim (whos the bomb!!). He's so legit. After that we had splits with some of the young men. I went out with Omar Barron whos a super awesome guy! He's a less-active senior! We didn't necessarily have a ton of success, we just street contacted in one neighborhood. But we had some good talks and hopefully he will start coming to church.

Thursday was a crazy day. Just unusual. We had a bad battery in our car so we had to go to Pep Boys. They took like 2 hours just to change the battery so we napped in the lobby.  Later that day we went and talked to a less active named Hymie. He hasn't been to church in a really really long time, so he might not even be a member, but he says he was baptized. He has really bad memory loss. I'm not sure exactly why. He says he loves to read but can never remember what he reads, but he always keeps trying. His parents and family are JW, but he goes to a Catholic church. This made for an interesting discussion. He has some really interesting views on religion. We will help him sort those out :) There was a huge rainstorm on Thursday!! Tons of flooding and some crazy strong wind!! It was awesome though, and the rest of the day it was like 70 degrees. It was glorious. I'm so used to 110+ degrees that I wore a jacket the rest of the day, haha when it starts to cool down this fall I'll probably freeze.

Friday- We had district lunch at Hungry Harries, which turned out to be pretty darn good! And a good deal! We then had district meeting, I cannot say enough how much fun our district is. They're the best. That night we kept talking to everyone, so we added a solid Investigator who was about to run. His name is Angel Hernandez. He came to church on sunday and hopefully we will have a chance to teach him a super good lesson this week. He's legit. And then we met the ZLs in El Centro for another exchange. This time I went out to Brawley with Elder Thompson.

Saturday- Saturday was awesome, I learned a ton while I was on exchange with Elder Thompson. He's a great missionary. We taught some really good lessons. We also ran into two separate people who didn't know how to read in English or Spanish, which makes it real difficult to teach. but that's okay. We had an awesome dinner with a cute older couple, Elder Thompson calls them his grandparents. They made some really good Carne Asada. The Tortillas were so dang good!!!!

Sunday-I was pretty happy to get back to Calexico (I never thought I would say that). I just love my area and my comp and my district. Sunday morning we went out to wake people up for church, we had a big focus on getting people to church this week. So many people answered the door and straight up said no to going to church and a bunch who just didn't answer the door... so that was disappointing. But Angel ended up coming!! the Guy we added on Friday! He's so legit. Idk if he liked church, he dipped out right after sacrament but hopefully we will talk to him soon! Church was awesome this week. Daniella Silva gave her farewell talk, she leaves for Barcelona Spain soon. She's so awesome. They're whole family is Dynamite! They are super solid with referrals and member presents. And Hno silva is absolutely hilarious. She gave an awesome talk!

Monday- Today was another weird day schedule wise. We ran and went to help build a fence at a members house. It was so humid!! I felt like I really wasn't even working that hard, just swinging a hammer, and I was dripping sweat the entire time. The fence was beautiful though. While we were there we got a call from a less active named Hno. Ontiveros. He said he was worried about something, but he never really said what. So we stopped by there after Service. Turns out both he and his wife had a dream that the Elders weren't eating enough, so they felt like they needed to call us and feed us. So we ate with them and had a really good conversation about the book of Mormon. He had a sweet version of the Book of Mormon that had historical pictures in it. We had to go finish studies and then we went and talked to some of our investigators who didn't go to church. We threw down, and they will for sure be coming next week!!!!!

Love you all!
Elder Hansen

Pictures of: The Big Rain Storm, The Calexico Ward Building, The Apartment, and Laundry Time.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Hola Mi Querida Familia! (Hello my dear family)

More about the Area/District

My companion's name is Elder Daniel Carlson. He's from Kenai Alaska, which sounds like an amazing place! It's funny when people hear where we are from they always ask why we came from the cold places with no sun to the hottest place with all sun. The rest of my District is Elder Steklein from Ogden, Elder Takke from Orem, Hermana Brady from Denver and Hermana Squire from American Fork. They are all super fun. So all three of our companionships work in Calexico. There are 3 separate areas here. We have a pretty big one, and it's the nicer side of town. Elders Take and Steklein cover a smaller area because they are on bikes, but they are having a lot of success. And Sisters Brady and Squire cover the rest, and some other cities where there are Spanish speakers. All six of us are Spanish Missionaries, there is only one ward here in Calexico and it's Spanish. 

We have some awesome members here. Bishop Quiroz and his son Carlos are a ton of help.  They are awesome. As a missionary, working with members has become really important. Especially with the bishop. We are lucky to have an awesome bishop in our ward. It helps a lot!  Our ward mission leader Halim is also super legit. He's a Piano Genious, the only person in the ward who plays actually. So he plays for all of the meetings. He's also just super smart. He went to BYU and now he basically runs his dad's printing business with the rest of his family. He's awesome.  I always look forward to Coordination meeting every week. 

Our apartments aren't super nice but they aren't ghetto either and the AC works great so that's the important thing. We keep it at 68 all the time. I don't have my camera with me at the library so I don't have any pics, but I will make sure to send you some next week. We have plenty of food. We try hard to eat healthy but we do get fed by members pretty frequently and they make it harder to eat healthy. Oh well. It's just me and Elder Carlson in our apartment but the other elders and the sisters live right down stairs in the same complex.

This week was an interesting one! All last week we had things in the morning, like Zone meeting, District leaders council (Elder Carlson had to go so I did too) and a lot of service, so we didn't have as much Proselyting time as we would have liked. It's okay though we make the most out of it!

We helped this family move, the Martinez family. They were so awesome! Unfortunately they are moving to Mexicali but they are a solid referral for the Elders there. They were so nice and so appreciative of our help, and the mom pretty much has a testimony without even knowing it. Working with them was a lot of fun!

We added a couple of new investigators named Fernando (fernie) and Maggie. They are pretty cool. He just moved in so we offered to help him, but he didn't want us to. We talked to them for a while and even though they thought we were JWs, they found out we are a lot cooler than that. And he invited us to come back and "hangout". So we go back and talk a little more each time about the gospel. Pretty soon I think he will be more serious about it.

Yesterday we had MTEs (Missionary Training Experience) where the mission president comes and trains us and then after the training we go out with a coach! Elder Carlson and I were coached by one of our Zone leaders Elder Thompson. He's so awesome, we learned tons from him and from the mission president and APs. We had a lot of success yesterday when we went out and applied what we learned. We learned to open our mouths, and how to help our investigators receive revelation. We also learned the importance of getting investigators to church. When we applied this we had some solid lessons! And had a couple of cool experiences adding new investigators!

We went to visit a less active member, but he wasn't there so we randomly decided to knock on the apartment next door. She was home and she was a super nice lady named Veronica. She had lived in Utah for a while and she knew LDS people as kind and friendly, so she was happy to talk. We talked about Church and she mentioned that her son is really interested because of his time in Utah! We are going back tomorrow and I'm super excited. I think they will come to church this Sunday.

When we went out to the car it wouldn't start, which was a bummer. So we were talking to the car fleet coordinator Elder Soffe and we noticed a family in their apartment. We went and knocked on the door and it was a family Elder Carlson had talked to before! They had moved to Fresno a couple of months prior but decided to come back! We are excited to go back and teach them. They had a baptismal date before they moved.

Another cool thing. We went to visit the Ramirez family who knows the Book of Mormon is true, but has stopped keeping commitments and won't come to church. They were on their way out but said we could come back in 2 hours. When we came back, they weren't there but their older son, who doesn't usually listen too much to us was locked out. We talked to him for a while and found out they were having some family problems. He basically said (on his own) that he thought they needed to come to church to help with that.  He committed to coming with his family on Sunday. Hopefully he comes, I think this is the last little push they might need.

We are having a great time! Love the work! Miss you guys, think about you all the time. Appreciate the prayers.

Les Amo un montón (Love you a lot)

Elder Hansen

Friday, August 15, 2014

Calexico California

  .                                                                                 Alex and his new companion - Elder Carlson

August 12, 2014

Hi!!!!!! Sorry I wasn't able to make contact with you before today, the Airport was a mess.  We had to go through customs, then recheck our luggage and then go right back through security again! -  so I didn't have time to call. I'll give you a rundown of this crazy week, it's been a blast.

Tuesday- Elder Fazio and I stayed up all night until we went to the airport at 2:30am. When we went through security at the airport.  We had a while to hangout so we talked to this kid named Daniel. He spoke English so he was really easy to talk to. We talked all the way through customs at Dallas. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  He really like the verses we shared with him. We gave him our emails so hopefully he will stay in contact with us.  I didn't have any time to get food or anything in Dallas because of the short layover, so I gave Elder Fazio a hug goodbye and hopped on the plane to San Diego. There were a bunch of other missionaries to hang out with too. We landed in San Diego.  Man San Diego is beautiful.  I already love my mission and this is the place for me!  The feeling of being back in America was amazing.  This is a beautiful place!

President Schmitt greeted us, along with his AP's (Assistants to the President). We were then taken to the Mission Home, where we were fed some awesome food made by some wonderful local members.  I was starving since I hadn't had anything to eat.  We got the opportunity to nap and hear from President Schmitt and his Family. His family is so awesome. After that a few of us got picked up by the local Bishop in La Mesa and spent the night at his house. He and his wife were so nice! 

Wednesday-They fed us a great breakfast, the highlight was fresh squeezed orange juice, which came from their own orange trees in their back yard. So good!!! After the AP's picked us up we went to the Mormon Battalion site and got to go through the tour there.  It was pretty sweet! Such a nice visitors center there! After that we went to the transfer meeting. Man I was so nervous. I finally found out who my companion is and where we would serve! My trainer is Elder Carlson from Alaska, He's an amazing missionary. And our area is Calexico! It is an amazing area right on the boarder to Mexico. It is HOT here. at least 105 everyday. I've seen it at 115. We have a car which is nice, but we still sweat, a lot!! I also met the other members of my district, who are all awesome! That night we met with one member and went to a coordination meeting with our ward mission leader. His name is Halim and he's amazing. Super duper helpful. 

Thursday - First full day in the field! We had our 4 hours of study in the morning (1 hour personal, 2 hours of companion study because of training and 1 hour of language). Then we ate lunch and hit the road. We started meeting with some investigators and less actives, but its hard here because people often will not answer their doors. We did have one amazing lesson with a 19 year old kid named Angel, who Elder Carlson had met one time before but had had trouble getting him to open his door. He opened it for us and we talked to him for a while. We gave him a Book of Mormon and explained everything about it and the restoration to him. He said without us even telling him that he needed to set aside an hour every day to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon together. He's awesome. Hopefully we will have the chance to meet with him again soon. He wasn't there when we went by yesterday. 

Friday - I met Bishop Quiroz, who is really amazing. He works so hard for this ward. He's been doing all the home teaching with his son to make sure that everyone gets visited. Also I forgot to mention that we run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This has been a little bit of a struggle, but it's good for me! Also there is a big thing about eating healthy in our district. We have been trying to do that! 

Saturday - The highlight of this day was teaching a super solid restoration lesson to Ernie, a fifteen year old and his mom. She was so locked in, and we could tell that they really understood it! It was awesome. 

Sunday - Church was fun! a little hard to understand, but it was good. I met a lot of the members, and I'm having kind of a hard time remembering their names, but they are all very kind. 

Monday - Monday was rough. No one would open their doors for us. But we took Carlos Quiroz, the Bishop's son who is an RM and speaks perfect Spanish around and even though we didn't get any lessons taught, we learned a lot from him. He's awesome.

Now it's P-day!!!!!!!!! Tuesday is our P-day (preparation day - or day to do chores and write letters). We went and did laundry, got some food and now we are at the FHC! (Family History Center - where we can use the computers and the internet for email)

Love you all! Hope to hear from you soon,

Elder Hansen

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

San Diego

Alex arrived in San Diego yesterday.  We haven't heard from him personally yet but received an email and picture from his Mission President.

Dear Parents,

We are so grateful that your sons and daughters arrived safely in San Diego today.  They were a bit weary due to early morning travel, but we were able to feed them lunch, get them some rest (along with a letter written to you), and feed them again!  I was able to individually meet with each of our 18 new missionaries and am so impressed by their dedication and desire to follow Jesus Christ.  Tomorrow morning, we will assign them their first area and missionary companion.

Thanks so much for your love and support of these great young people.  It is truly our privilege to serve alongside them.

May God's choicest blessings be with each of you.

Jonathan S. Schmitt
California San Diego Mission