Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas Dear Family and Friends! ☃❄

Hey everybody! Merry Christmas, I hope you are all having a great Christmas week so far! I know I am.

Sorry for some of you who haven't gotten an email from me yet, I just barely got the list of emails, but I hope you have been able to keep up with my mission a little bit from the blog.

So this week in Penasquitos has been crazy! It's been awesome but crazy. Last week was transfers, so I said goodbye to my last companion Elder Augusto as he went home and Wednesday we went to transfer meeting to get my new companion!

My new companion is Elder Maughan from Provo, Utah. Some of you might remember that about a month ago Elder Maughan and I went on an exchange out in Ramona for some training, so it was sick to get a companion I already knew a little bit! He's a stud, he's been out for about 5 months. This is is second area, I'm the second oldest missionary in the zone based on time in the mission, which is SO WEIRD! I'm about to hit my 18 month mark.. Elder Maughan and I are having a ton of fun together!

The assistants asked us to not teach zone meeting until after transfers so Elder Maughan got to teach his first one two days after he got here. He did great though, we taught about the atonement. It was one of the most spiritual zone meetings I've had on my mission so it went great. I love reflecting on Christ's birth and mission this time of year, especially as people are together as families and are more open to talk about those things. We have seen some cool miracles in the mission with Christmas.Mormon.Org as well, so check it out and share it! The little videos on there are great :)

Sunday we had our Christmas Programs in church which were awesome. We had some really great musical numbers and talks given in both wards.

Yesterday was the Mission Christmas devotional. It's so fun to get altogether as a mission, see some musical numbers and get a chance to eat together. It's always fun to see my old companions and friends I've served around in the mission. That is always a highlight.

I wish you all a merry Christmas! I love and miss all of you!

December 15, 2015

Tchau to the Portuguese :(

What's up family! It's been an adventure this past week! Lots of interesting days, I don't think we had one normal day!

It all started with dinner last pday, we had dinner with an awesome family, the Riches. They fed us some massive steaks! I'll include a picture.

Wednesday we had exchanges with the Tagolog Elders in our zone. Love those guys. I had Elder Martinez in our area, we had an we some day. Taught a bunch of lessons, it was a fun day.

This weekend we had a mission tour, from Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the presidency of the seventy, it was awesome!! It all started on Thursday with a mission leadership council. It was awesome, we talked about lifting others without trying to take their burdens away, and how Christ does that. I love that concept, that he never takes away our load, but he lifts us and strengthens us so that we can lift it ourselves. That night we had more stake (people have been really stepping up their dinners for elder Augusto's last week).

Friday we had some more mission conference in the morning, tons of good stuff, they talked about planning a lot, and how much it applies after the mission as well, not just on the mission. That night we had a fun lesson and dinner with the Jamchis at the Pomeroys House. I'll include a picture with the Pomeroys and the Jamchis.

Saturday we wrapped up the mission tour, it was crazy to have 3 days in a row interrupted by the meetings, it was because Elder Clayton had to be in Tijuana with President Uchtdorf for some Part of the Tijuana temple dedication.

Sunday was awesome. Elder Augustos last Sunday in the mission. He spoke a little in both wards, everyone was really nice to him as he prepared to leave. We had a final dinner for him at the Raymond's house which was great. Then we had the stake Christmas program at the church.

Elder Augusto flew out today.

I'm hanging out with Elder Thueson, who's companion also went home. We are hangin out playing ping pong and basketball. Elder Fiso and his companions came to our zone to hangout. We miss him still our zone is getting blown up this transfer. Each companionship has someone leaving so this next transfer will be a fun adventure.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's the end of what's been an exciting and eventful week out here in beautiful Penasquitos! I love it out here, the weather is perfect! It was 75 and sunny yesterday!! ☀️ I now think I'm freezing when the temperature drops below 50 in the morning... I'm officially a converted San Diegan.

This week has been a super busy and interesting one! This past week Elder Augusto was pretty sick but he's been a trooper and he's powered through. He's finishing the last week and a half of his mission strong. We've had lots of administrative things to take care of, stake member missionary coordination packets, checking out apartments and all the meetings that go along with it, so it's been busy in that sense. But we have also been busy with missionary work as well.

Plus Friday Elder Augusto had the first half of departure activities, so they had a temple session and I got to wait around out there with a couple other elders. Then after that we had Mission leadership conference and then we saw the Jamchis and had dinner with our bishop and that was pretty much a typical day this week, running around everywhere.

We have been working a lot with the Jamchi family. They are an incredible family and I learn so much from them. They are so fun to teach and be around!  We finished up with the lessons this past week and finalized all the plans for the baptism. Alex, who was baptized in August baptized his wife Shana and two daughters Jordyn and Savana.

They were so excited for the big day. It was an awesome baptismal service. So many people came we had to move it out of the set up relief society room where the baptismal font is to the chapel so everyone could fit. The ward has been incredibly supportive and have really been instrumental in bringing this family to Christ. It's awesome to see a ward family come together! Elder Fiso got to come back for the baptism, and we did the intermediate message while the Jamchis were changing. The trio made a comeback! Haha it was super fun. We still miss him.

A Couple cool things with the baptism. Cara, an investigator of ours came to the baptism with a member friend of hers and really enjoyed it. I think she really felt the spirit there and she also came to the ward Christmas party afterword. She's so cool and had a really great time meeting the members. Also the Jamchis went out to eat after the baptism and a struggling member of another ward overheard them talking about the "stake center" and thought to ask what ward they were in. The Jamchis were all excited to talk about their baptism and the light of Christ was really shining through them as they were able to talk about how the gospel has blessed their lives and brought their family closer together. The other ward's bishop was sharing this in our stake coordination meeting and shared about how much that experience helped the member see the importance of the gospel in her life and the happiness it brings. It was a cool side miracle. The Lord puts people where they need to be so we can all feel of his love in one way or another.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy December

Hey family and friends! Its been a fantastic week this week, I hope everyone had an awesome thanksgiving! I'm so grateful for all of your love and support!!

We had a great week, started off by an awesome pre-thanksgiving dinner with the Agle family on Wednesday with turkey, potatoes, stuffing and all the good stuff, that warmed us up for thursday! We also had some awesome lessons with Jen Youkel and the Jamchi family, they are doing so good! It's awesome to see them progress, especially as they read the Book of Mormon.

We had an awesome thanksgiving, did some studies, weekly planning and then had a sweet first lesson with some new investigators. We went to our first dinner with the Wongs, I'll include some pictures, it was awesome, lot's of family there so it felt like home :) We had another dinner with the Marin family, Martha is our investigator. Man she is such a good cook!! We had some dang good dinners.

Friday we did a little bit of christmas crafting with a member of ours sister Kenney, she's awesome. We took a time-lapse video, I'll include that in here :) We helped some members move, which is always fun, unfortunately they are moving out of our ward. For dinner we had some more thanksgiving, so we are turkeyed out!! But it was good, I have no regrets. It was awesome because the Pomeroys had set up all their Christmas decorations and lights, I'm so pumped for Christmas!!

Saturday was a good busy day, 2 coordination meetings plus a district meeting and teaching appointments in between. We had another lesson with the Jamchis, I can't say too much how much I love that family. Jordan, Savannah and Shana are so excited for their baptism! And Alex is excited to perform the ordinances.

Sunday was an awesome day at church! We got to talk about the new Christmas initiative #asaviorisborn in both wards, and in Penasquitos 1st ward we had president Schmitt there to present and teach with us which is a little nerve racking but was really  fun too. It was awesome, I think he really helped get the ward even more excited for the work and for Christmas season. I hope you all have had a chance to check out and share the cool videos and stuff! We had dinner with the Leavetts (from Alberta), she made Elder Augusto's request since he goes home in 2 weeks. It was homemade lasagna, homemade bread, with wheat they ground themselves and homemade apple pie. It was probably one of the best dinners I've had since I left momma's cooking 17 months ago. After that we had the baptismal interviews for the Jamchis. It's all good to go! We are so stoked!!!

Those are some of the main highlights from the week!! Things in PQ are awesome, the work is going good, We have some good stuff going, Elder Augusto and I are having a blast. Things are awesome.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey friends and fam! Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!

Hope everyone has had a fantastic week this week!! I have for sure. It's been a super awesome week!

Last Wednesday I got to go on exchanges with Elder Child in Scripps Ranch, and it was super fun. They live with an awesome member family, the Hansens. They have a super fun house and their little apartment is super cool. We were walking back to the house after an appointment and a little car pulled over and it turned out to be my ward mission Leader's wife from Sweetwater. It was crazy, she was working in that neighborhood and couldn't figure out how to get out of the neighborhood. It was crazy, what are the chances I'm on exchanges in another area, and we happened to be on the same street that she was driving on, it was a cool little miracle and testimony how the Lord puts you where you need to be. It was also just a super fun day. After planning we went down and talked with the Hansen's a little bit. Brother Hansen is a Lawyer so I wanted to talk to him a little about his career. It's pretty sick, he has some awesome stories. At the end we had "family prayer" and went to bed. It was so fun.

Saturday was such an awesome day!! We got to go to the temple with Alex Jamchi, who got baptized in August. We did some baptisms for the dead which was awesome since its been so long since I've done them. Elder Augusto and I baptized eachother. Alex had his father's name to do which was absolutely awesome. We are also teaching his wife Shana and two daughters Savannah (10) and Jordan (8) who will be getting baptized soon. His son Austin is awesome too but he's just 6 :)

Sunday was sweet. We had 3 investigators at church. Shana and Jordan and Savannah loved it, plus our investigator Martha came too. We had a sweet lesson about eternal families and the family proclamation. It was perfect for both the Jamchis and martha. Other fun experience Sunday. We had dinner at the Tolleys, sister Tolley and we figured out that she knew you mom! I will include more about that in your personal
email ;)

Monday was MTEs, which is where we have a training meeting in the morning and then in the afternoon we do exchanges with 2 other zones. I got to go down to Ramona with Elder Maughan. It was sick, he's a stud. He's a pretty young missionary but hes already a beast missionary. We taught a couple sick lessons, and we were just walking down the street like 50 yards from the church, and we saw a guy so we started talking to him a little bit, and he's like, you have a church around here? and we did, really close so we gave him a church tour and he's coming to church on Sunday. It was sick. Today we had the follow up meeting where we talk about all the miracles we had, and then we
played ball with President Schmitt and we've been running around doing pday stuff :)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for all my friends and family, I'm thankful for the gospel in my life and the joy it brings, and more than anything I'm grateful to be a missionary!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hey family and friends! The end of a great week here in Penasquitos!

Last Wednesday we went to transfer meeting and dropped off Elder Fiso, it was pretty sad going there to lose a companion but not pick one up. Transfer meeting is always kind of fun because you get to see all the changes that President makes and lots of times there are some big surprises. So that was interesting, not much happened in our zone but we welcomed two new sisters to the zone! One from the Philippines and one from Mexico, which is cool!

Wednesday night Cynthia got baptized in the Sweetwater branch, which was awesome so Elder Augusto and I went back and saw that, plus I got to teach the intermediate message with my Canadian friend Elder Neilson. Since Elder Cloes did the baptism and was changing I got to help out with that, it was a good refresher on my Spanish :)

Friday Elder Thueson came with me on exchanges, we had a good time! Did some service, taught some good lessons. It was a fun day!!

Sunday was sick too, we had church, Shana our investigator came which was awesome, she's been coming for a while with her husband Alex (he got baptized a couple of months ago). Alex is a beast!! They have three kids (6,8,10) who love primary too. It's an awesome family. Alex is going to the temple this Saturday to do baptisms for the first time, he's really excited to do the work for his dad especially. We are stoked to go with him.

Then Sunday night we had a mission president's fireside. It was in Spanish too, and I got to go sing in the choir. I love those things!! We get to see a bunch of the elders we have served with, plus it's always great to hear the testimonies of the recent converts that come.

Monday was an awesome day!!! We call them miracle Monday's. We talked to a couple of really great and promising people in between appointments who are really open to the spirit and open to learn more. One of which is from 10 minutes away from, where Elder Augusto is from in Portugal. I wish I got a picture of Elder Augustos face when he said where he was from, and then I got to sit back and chill while they talked in Portuguese. It was pretty cool. He was super nice too. Then later on we had a really awesome lesson with Alex's family in a members home (the Grants). It makes a huge difference to have the lesson at a members house, it was awesome. We talked about the plan of salvation, and teaching with kids present we taught it very simply and I feel very clearly, it was awesome to see how the plan of salvation just clicked in them and then we set the rest of Alex's family with a baptismal date for December 5th and hey are super solid for it. We are stoked for that family and their progress.

Today we went and hiked up to potato chip rock as a zone which was pretty cool! I'll include some pictures.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What's up everybody!! Already came to the end of my first transfer here in Penasquitos, it's crazy how fast time flies. Got the transfer news today and Elder Fiso is leaving :/ Elder Augusto and I are kinda bummed, but at least we still have each other.

We had an awesome week this week! We were able to add 4 new investigators which is awesome because finding new investigators is the hardest part about PQ for sure.

We started teaching Shana and her daughter Savannah on Monday at a member's house which is awesome. Shana's Husband Alex was baptized a few months ago, we are excited for him to go to the temple this month as well for baptisms.

We also started teaching Kara, who we met on the street, she just moved here pretty recently with her husband from the Midwest and she doesn't have a job yet so she's got a ton of time to read the Book of  Mormon, which is awesome. We didn't even know but her neighbor, Sister Jones, invited her to a service project a couple months ago and she loved it. That was an awesome miracle to find her.

We also started working with Brother Lundin, who just came back from a military thing in Yuma, his girlfriend is a member and he's an awesome guy, so we are going to help them get married and baptized, because she really wants to get sealed in the temple. Which is awesome!!

Tons of miracles out here in PQ, the members are still awesome, when we don't have a dinner they call and order a pizza for us even while they are out of town, or they drop off food which is SO nice.

Taught a sick Zone meeting yesterday about catching the mission fire and becoming  master finders, planners and teachers, it was a lot of fun! Teaching training is probably the best part of being a Zone Leader.

Hope everyone has an awesome week!!

Elder Hansen

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3, 2015

What's up family and friends!!

It's been an awesome week out here in beautiful Rancho Penasquitos. I love this place. Lots of cool stuff happening here in the area. The wards are amazing and the leadership of the ward is awesome.

We've really been seeing Miracles, especially as we pray more frequently and are looking for the Lord's guidance throughout the day, we keep meeting people we know the Lord wanted us to meet, which is the best feeling ever. Knowing you listened and acted upon a prompting and were exactly where the Lord wanted you to be. If there is anything I've learned in the past couple weeks it's this: That the Lord truly does know and love us each individually, and his hand is in every moment of our lives. He knows what is happening each and every moment and is there for us.

Last week our president had us set a goal for how many baptisms we were going to have before Christmas, or in our case before Elder Augusto goes home (December 15). We set a lofty one, especially for these areas. The cool thing though, is that as we have been praying and working towards it, we have seen people fall into place and have the names to back it up.

One of our miracles is Martha Marin. Her daughter Rebecca got baptized earlier this year, and she has been taking the lessons for a long time, but just hasn't had the desire to be baptized, despite having many spiritual experiences. Last week we texted Rebecca to see if we could stop by and teach her, but Rebecca said she was busy. 15 minutes later we got a text saying we needed to come over because Martha wants to get baptized!! So we did  and she does, we are now working with her to set a date, she has pneumonia though so we haven't been able to see her too much. It's awesome to see how the Lord touches people's hearts and allows them to be open to the gospel.

Other miracle- Sister Youkel our investigator with a baptismal date came to church and she and her husband had their baby blessed. That was awesome, we know it was a very spiritual experience for her and her husband who is coming back to church after years.

Lots of other cool stuff is happening, we are finding new investigators, old ones are opening up and becoming more receptive, we know the Lord is blessing us as we put our trust in Him.

We had lots of fun on halloween, we had an awesome dinner with the Henry family. Brother Henry served in the Mountlake Ward on his mission in 1962! So it was cool to talk about that. Plus she served dinner in a pumpkin. It was really good. It was a rice/beef creation which she also roasted in a pumpkin. It was super good and really festive :) I wish I got a picture of it. That night we didn't get a single trick or treater... it was kind of sad, we even had our bowl of candy ready, but we used our time well (we had to be in the apartment by 6pm) and played lost of hide and go seek in the dark plus
made brownies and read the Book of Mormon. Good times.

Anyway-Life is good out here, the work is hastening and the wards are amazing. I love you all and hope all is well! I love the gospel and more than anything I love sharing it with those around me! Have an awesome week!! :)

Elder Hansen
The Chick Magnet!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 27, 2015 Happy Halloween

What up family!!

Happy Halloween!! We've had an awesome week up here in beautiful  Peñasquitos. Hope all is well with everyone.  Started off an exciting week last week with an exchange with one of our district leaders into Tagalog work. That was an adventure. Elder Martinez and I had a good time, even though I really couldn't help him in any Tagalog situations. Haha it was a fun day, and we got to drive all over the mission since they cover half of it.

Thursday one of our members, sister Peterson took us out to lunch, we always love  that! Then we had weekly planning, we recorded our entire companionship inventory on video and something kind of funny happened so I'll send you guys a clip. Elder Fiso is a prankster.. Haha we also had a good dinner that night, mom you should be happy to  know that we are getting fed well. Probably too well. :)

Friday was awesome, we had a special mission leadership conference because brother Mike Hemmingway, the director of proselytizing from the missionary department was in town and agreed to do a little training.  It was awesome. He talked a bit about how we need to counsel with the Lord in everything (Alma 37:37) in missionary work especially and outside. He also talked about how important it is to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. And it's really easy to get in a routine as a missionary and forgetting to really focus on the spirit, and it's something we have been trying to apply since last Friday.  Afterwards we had dinner and then we had the trunk or treat for PQ 1st ward. It was super awesome to see all the members who invited friends and meet their non- member friends, we will be following up with them soon to see who we can go see.

After the party we had like half an hour left so we prayed to see where the Lord would have us go. All three of us got the Impression to go to one family, which we knew we couldn't knock on that late, but while we were over there we met Kyle, who is a super prepared guy, we gave him a Book of Mormon and he will be meeting with the YSA Elders soon.

Saturday was a super busy day, had coordination meetings for both wards. Both our ward mission leaders are studs by the way! And then we had district meeting, plus PQ 3rd's trunk or treat Halloween party. Met some cool non-members there as well.

Had a pretty typical Sunday- 6 hours of church, dinner and a couple of appointments fell through. Did splits with an awesome couple that night though and were able to add a new investigator, Nick who is the son of a member.

Yesterday was kind of a of those days when you have something super awesome planned and then it falls apart but you just laugh and move on.  We had a three way split planned, which was awesome. But early in the day one of the appointments cancelled and then as soon as we split another one cancelled, but Elder Fiso couldn't really do much but stay at the members house and wait for us to finish with our ward mission leader brother Gosch and then Elder Augusto and I went to our appointment.  Ours was busy because they had a newborn. All we could really do is just laugh. It was a good idea though :)

Looking forward to Halloween, we will be in early just hangin out, studying and preparing lessons and stuff. Hope you all have a good one! Love hearing from you all! Thanks for all the love and support! :)


Elder Hansen
Elders Augusto, Fiso & Hansen - Men in Black?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 13, 2015 Feliz Cumpleaños

Feliz Cumpleaños Elder Hansen (Happy Birthday)

October 13, 2015

What's up family!

It's been an awesome week out here in Penasquitos! The wards out here are absolutely amazing and so fired up about the work!! It's awesome.

This past week we have been getting to know the members and stuff, Elder Fiso only has 1 transfer here so he is still getting to know the people with us. We had coordination meetings with both of our ward mission leaders, who are awesome. They are just taking care of business in both wards! It's awesome to see how great things can function when
the ward council really works together.

I went to church for the first time in the new area because of conference. It was sweet. 6   hours of church plus 2 ward councils made for a long Sunday but it was all really good. We had President Holmes of the Young Men's general presidency there. He did a training up here and then visited both of our wards for fast and testimony meeting which was awesome.

Fun experience in the second church (Penasquitos 1st ward) our assistant ward mission leader brother Knapp's mom was there and she's from Mexico, so brother Knapp and I switched off translating for her. That was pretty tough but really fun. Then she decided to go up and give her testimony so I translated that over the pulpit which was a little bit scary. haha but it was fun! :) I also translated Gospel Principals for her so I got a good 2 hours of practice in which was good since it's straight English pretty much from now on! Since we are in English wards we don't teach in Spanish, but we run into Spanish
speakers on the street and we refer them to the Spanish Elders over in the Poway branch.

We gave a sweet zone meeting on Friday about Faith. Based it on a talk given by Elder Bednar called "According to thy faith" It was given at BYUI in like 2000. 

(FYI  Elder Hansen has been called as Zone Leader as part of his latest transfer but never really mentioned it in his emails to us until we asked him later in another email).

That day I was also on exchanges with a new Elder in our district Elder Thueson, he's super cool, we had a really good, busy exchange.

We have been doing tons of Service out here too, it's been great. Life is good! 

Love Elder Hansen

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What's up dear friends and family! New transfer, new area, new wardS, new companionS, new language, still tons of fun!

Lots of changes this past couple of weeks have made for an exciting time! So transfers were Wednesday, needless to say I was very sad to leave the Sweetwater Spanish branch, Elder Cloes and the awesome investigators we were teaching. We all             headed out to transfer meeting and I'm always suuuper nervous for transfers...we have no idea what's going to happen to us     except that one is leaving so it's a big old surprise. President reads off the lists of missionaries getting a new companion and   announces who is going there to be their comp. Most of the areas that we had predicted had past when we got to the Penasquitos 1st and 3rd ward area (English) where Elder Fiso is serving and BAM out of nowhere president threw a curveball and that's where I went. It was a huge surprise because it's an English Zone leader area, but it's also really happy news because Elder      Fiso is a blast and a stud missionary. Not only do I get to work with Elder Fiso from Hawaii but we get Elder Augusto out here  with us, he's from Portugal. It's a pretty diverse trio. haha

I served with Elder Fiso out in the Imperial valley, he served in Brawley while I was in Calexico, so we were in the same zone. I  think I probably included a picture of him in an email home last November because we went on MTEs in the valley and I got to  go to his area.

More about the area-so the area is awesome. Penasquitos is out towards the north east part of San Diego. It's a really nice area up in the hills on the north border of the mission, we border with the Carlsbad mission. The wards are awesome from what I've seen. Obviously I haven't been able to go to church and meet everyone but all the members I have eaten with and taught with   are amazing. The best part is they are super fired up about missionary work out here! It's a night and day difference from my     last area, gated communities, big houses and hills and mountains off in the distance. It's pretty sweet though. Plus we are        covering 2 wards instead of half of a ward like I was before. It's crazy.

Our companionship is having a super good time. It's a lot of fun out here with these two. Elder Augusto goes home in like 2     months, Elder Fiso has about 6 months and I have about 8 months left. (where did the time go...?)

Yesterday we had Mission Leadership conference, which is with the Assistants, the Zone leaders and sister training leaders.   We talked a lot about faith and helping the  missionaries we work with exercise and increase their faith, which leads into some of the things that really stood out to me about conference.

Elder Anderson's talk in the priesthood session talked about faith. He opened by saying "The Savior perceived the strength or weakness in the faith of those around Him." to one person, Jesus said "Great is thy faith." To others He said, "O ye of little faith." With that, Elder Anderson asked the question, How does the Savior see Your faith." You can take that two ways.. a measurement like "little faith, or great faith" Or how our president phrased it... "Based on your actions, how does the Savior SEE your     faith?" or, in other words, "How is my faith evident in my actions so that it is visible to the Savior?" This is the penetrating       question that we are currently pondering. He also asked "When was the last time that you read the Book of Mormon from cover-to-cover? Read it again. It will increase your faith." And our mission has taken that and put the goal of reading it cover to         cover between now and Christmas.

The other thing that stood out a lot was PONDERIZING by elder Durant. I hope you all accepted the invitation as we have to      ponderize a scripture once a week! I'm stoked to do it, we started as a companionship.

Don't forget Elder Holland's awesome talk about mothers. I LOVE YOU MOM!

Anyway there's what I got for today. I love you all, I love the work, it's going great and I'm having a blast. Keep the pics of         Harvey and company comin! I love em!

With love,
Elder Hansen

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hey fam! It's been a great last week here in Lemon Grove. I'm glad to hear things are well with Amber and the baby. CONGRATS!! 

Transfer news is in, and I´m packing my bags and heading out I'm kinda sad, I'm really going to miss this branch and all of the people I taught and worked with. Not to mention how much I'm going to miss Elder Cloes. We are both kind of down about this, but that's the way it goes in the mission, when you start feeling comfortable and in a rhythm the Lord puts His plan into play to make us stretch and grow. 

I've learned a lot here in the Sweetwater 3rd branch, I've been here for about 6 months and it has absolutely flown by! This branch has a ton of potential and I'm stoked to see where it goes in the coming months. I'm sad to leave these investigators behind but I'm happy to know I've planted a lot of really awesome seeds with the people we have found and taught here. There are big things to come in this area. I'm excited and nervous of course for transfers, you never know what could happen... We are in full transfer prediction mode, but it really can't be predicted. The Lord always has plans that we just could never predict.  
We are working with largely the same group of people. Eduardo and Cynthia and Raquel and Paola and Julio are all progressing well and we love to see them learn and grow in the process, I'm excited to see what the future holds for all of them and the other wonderful people in this area. 

It's been a good day here even though I'm sad to leave. Haha here's a pic of me and Elder Carlson my trainer at the airport and me and Elder Laws and Elder Cloes on the top of a hill in the sun. We are hanging out today because Elder Carlson was Elder Laws companion and he went home. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hey fam, it´s been another good week in Lemon Grove, California.  Just started the last week of the transfer, these past 5 weeks have absolutely floooown by.

This past week we've been working with pretty much the same people, it's been kind of hard to find new investigators but we keep going anyway. Eduardo is doing well, still working on helping him to grow his faith and set a new baptismal date, he looks great and has come so far!! He and the guy who he rents from--Jose came to church on Sunday. They're funny guys, they are the ones that started to call me Chicharito, which means little pea because of the soccer player, but now they call me Chicharote, which means big pea.  haha  they say my eyes look like his eyes...    Image result for chicharito

Saturday we had more Lengua for dinner :) A member family-the Quinonez's made us tacos de Lengua. They prepared it a little different than Eduardo but they were super good too. We are helping their little 8 year old Angel get ready for his baptism in the next couple weeks.

Sunday was awesome. Raquel and Cynthia and their daughter Melanie came to church with us! (Melanie is like the friendliest little 2.5 year old ever). They had a really good experience. We had the privilege of teaching  gospel principals super last minute because our teacher wasn't feeling good--he told us as we were walking into the class..we taught about obedience. It wasn't too bad. Later on we had a mission president's fireside in Chula Vista so we went there for that, it was good to see a couple of people from the old ward although there were a few people that weren't there that I was hoping would be. I got to see my "mom and dad" from that ward, the Quintero family, I'll try to send ya a picture. Hermano Espinoza was also there who is one of my favorite people I've met in the mission.

Yesterday we had dinner with the other Quinonez family-they're brothers. She asked what we wanted and Elder Cloes said Aguachiles, which is his new favorite thing. It's shrimp which is cooked, but not really cooked. It sits in lime so the acidity cooks it, it's really good. We also had shrimp ceviche which is similar, just that the Aguachiles is made with chiles. so It's spicy. We love Mexican seafood!

Can't wait to see my little nephew! Send me pics and info asap!!

Love you tons!

Elder Hansen

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

 My Comp decided to play a game of "stack stuff" on me.

 Zone Conference

 The new International Zone t-shirt I designed.

Hey fam! 
It's been an awesome week here in beautiful Lemon Grove. It's currently pouring down rain which is a pleasant surprise!!

We started this awesome week with Zone Conference last Wednesday which is when Our zone and the Chula Vista English and Spanish zones get together and we get some awesome instruction from the members of the mission presidency and president Schmitt.

This time we talked about working with members, and how essential it is in missionary work that members work alongside us, we are on the same team. We talked about working with our ward and branch leaders and how the bishop or branch president   holds the keys for the work and needs to have a high vision for there to be success. After that he needs to work through the    ward mission leader, branch or ward council and the missionaries to bring to pass his inspired vision. We have been putting all of that into action this week, we got together with our branch president and set some expectations and made a plan and talked about it in ward council.

Thursday we had weekly planning and stuff-its always kind of a long day because we have to spend a lot of time inside the       apartment. We also had dinner with our branch mission leader and the sisters here serving in our ward. Hermana Robledo       made carne asada and pollo asado and she makes awesome salsa and guacamole. It was awesome. Then we had coordination which was good! People in the branch are getting a lot more motivated to work. We had an awesome lesson after with Julio and Paola, plus little juliette. They are such an awesome family! (Pics of us with them later on)

Friday we had a couple sweet lessons with our investigators Raquel and her daughter Cynthia. It's cool to see how the Lord     has prepared them through trials and life  experiences to receive the gospel, especially Cynthia, and they are super stoked! We also had an awesome lesson with a less active member who we just met. He's super friendly and really fun!

Saturday we had dmeet (district meeting)! We talked more about working with members-there is a sweet talk called "It's a          Miracle" by Elder Anderson that we talked about. Our branch president had a birthday party for their daughter. She turned 14-it was awesome.   It was princess themed and there were lots of people and lots of good food!  While we were there we got one of the best phone calls ever ... that the speakers weren't going to be able to speak so they called us, the missionaries, to give the   talks the following 15 hours before the sacrament meeting. We talked about prophets and the restoration. It went      pretty well.

There's a little summary of the week! Love you all!

Elder Hansen

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The end of another awesome week here in Beautiful Lemon Grove, California!

Elder Cloes and I are still having a blast out here in the Sweetwater branch!  

Here are a few highlights!  

We are teaching an awesome family consisting of Juliet (1 year old), Paola and Julio. They are awesome! They are a lot of fun to teach and this week we were helping them get the first birthday party of Juliet all put together. We were helping them glue ribbons on jars, little "Juliet" stickers on stuff, marshmallows on a stick and other crafty stuff. It reminded me of getting things together with my crafty mom and sisters! We got permission to go to the party even though it was out of our area. Birthday parties are a huge deal in Mexican culture. They rented out a hall, had tons of decorations, dinner and even a mechanical bull. Unfortunately we didn't participate in that... :/ But it was packed!! We helped serve food and we were running around helping Paola and Julio as much as we could. It was cool to see all the Mexican traditions. Piñatas, Mexican dulces (candy) and the tradition when they throw quarters out to the crowd. We came up on some extra laundry money for the week :) There was lots of good food and it was cool to meet all the friends and family. We were definitely the only white people there. haha  

We have been teaching Raquel, she's doing awesome! She's always so grateful for everything we teach her and everything we do. She says we are like her sons. This week we also started teaching her daughter Cynthia, who is super nice and cool! It's an awesome little family. Cynthia has a crazy little 2 year old who is always running around and having a good time. She falls down a lot but never cries. Just sticks her hand out and waits until someone helps her up, then she dusts herself off and goes again!  

Eduardo is still doing really good. It's cool how he has started to recognize the changes he has made, and how much better he feels now. We had an awesome lesson with his neighbor Jose as well. He is feeling pretty down and lonely since his mom died recently and all of his kids are grown. He has really been humbled and it's cool to see the spirit work on him.  

I can't remember if I mentioned the best restaurant ever!! Bankhead Mississippi cooking. We went back as our pre-fast meal and man!! It was just as good this time. It's like takin a trip to the south. Had some baked chicken, fried chicken and smothered chicken plus smothered potatoes and Mac N Cheese. It was good preparation for Sunday.  

Sunday we went to lunch after church with some members that I met in Chula Vista, the Gallegos family. They are so awesome! Side story-I had some really good pistachio ice cream and pistachio popsicles in Chula and ever since whenever we run into a palatero I ask if they have them, they never do. But after we finished eating Hermana Gallegos was like what flavor ice cream do you want? Pistachio or I don't even know what she said afterwards because she lost me at pistachio. I started acting like a child because I was so excited. But anyway I had my pistachio ice cream and she bought me a whole container of it this week :) haha 

Since we have a car it has been a lot easier to get out and meet the members and eat with them :) we get fed quite a bit now.  

I love you dear family and friends! Thank you for all of the love and support!  

Elder Hansen

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hey family!

It's going to be a quick email this week, but it's been an awesome week! A picture is worth a thousand words right?

Things are going great here in Lemon Grove! Still teaching some great people! We currently have 3 with a baptismal date and we are still finding a lot of awesome people! We got a referral from the English elders this week, her name is Alica and she is super prepared! She had been talking to her boss and has LDS family, and we are super stoked to go back and teach her this week!

Tonight we will be eating tacos de lengua with our investigator Eduardo (Tacos of tongue). 

They are actually delicious.

This is a taco de lengua. It's actually really good. When we come back, we will eat some. 

Love you family!

Elder Hansen

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 25, 2015

Hey family happy Tuesday!!

It's been another awesome week out here in Lemon Grove California. We've seen miracles everyday and we are still stoked to be here doing the Lord's work.

This past week was pretty crazy with transfers. We are very happy we stayed together. Even though neither of us were transferred we got to go to transfer meeting since we had to take a car down there, with all the mission downsizing lots of stuff has changed! It was a crazy transfer meeting, but we got a bunch of our transfer predictions correct, that was exciting. The zone we are in got smaller because of the decreasing number of missionaries in the mission. In our Sweetwater zone lots changed. Our district is now made up of all the spanish missionaries in the zone: us, the Zone leaders (Elder Laws and Elder Carlson (my trainer who goes home next month)), the sister training leaders Hermanas Huefner and Chamberlain (served with both of them in Chula, they're great) and the Mormon Battalion sisters Hermanas Gross and Martindale (also great). Needless to say we have the best district ever. In the Zone we now have English, Spanish, tagalog, and Lao speaking missionaries. We were just Spanish before.

We is the international zone now.  It's purrty cool. The cooliest part was the other day I was taking a nap during lunch and I had a vision about a zone t-shirt with all the zone's languages (Lao writing is pretty cool). Elder Cloes and I got right to work making sketches of my prophesy (Elder Cloes said I sprung up out of my dream like Lehi) and today we went to this shop called Laostars to make it a real thing! It's gonna be awesome and I'm sure president Schmitt will be coveting one as well ha.

My comp and I have had a good time during our lunch breaks and night time, making fat ties into skinny ties, They are pretty sweet. We know how to make them pretty fast now. We have Made like 5-6 ties each in just a few days time. We got a sweatshop goin here. We even came up with a brand name for the ties. We just combined our names...We like"Hansoes" ;) .... We are going big!

We also have a great teaching pool right now with a couple of really awesome new families that we've been working with. We have seen lots of little changes in our investigators over the past little bit of time and it's really awesome to look back and see how far they've come--little by little.

One cool family we started teaching in the past couple weeks is Julio and Paola, plus their little girl Juliet, who just turned 1. They are a super awesome younger couple who are a blast to teach.

Their daughter is super funny too! She's having a big birthday party in the next couple weeks and we got permission to go. Saturday we did a private little church tour with them, one of our members Hermana Quiñonez came and helped us out, it was awesome. They weren't able to come to church on Sunday but next week!

We are also teaching Raquel and Jesus, who are awesome! We met Raquel through a member-Hermana Castañeda. Hermana Castañeda sells stuff every Friday on a street on our area, which is right by Raquel's house so we went to talk to them both last week (mentioned in my last email) and we were actually able to teach about the restoration and then last Wednesday and Friday we had another lesson and were actually able to teach both Raquel and her husband.

This week they were sick so they weren't able to come to church, but next week! Raquel was very grateful for us and it was great to hear about how good she felt at church and when we taught, and how she recognized the spirit.

We are also still teaching Eduardo, he's doing so good, come to church like 3 weeks in a row, has left a lot of things behind him, and we have seen a BIG change in him! He's been investigating for a long time, but as our friendship has grown. He as also grown a lot in his faith and has come a long way, it's awesome to see, and it's all because of how his prayers have changed, and his commitment to read the Book of Mormon.

August 18, 2015

The transfer ended on Sunday and today we got the news.......We are staying together. Thank goodness! We were worried it was all too good to be true but we are staying another transfer here in the Sweetwater 3rd branch. Another 6 weeks in the ghetto paradise! It's still great, I'm not tired of the area at all which is kind of unusual.

This week has been a really good one! Starting off with MTEs that I mentioned last week and then we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders one last time before Elder Cardiff went home-He left today, along with one of the English Zone Leaders Elder Hirst who lives in our same apartment complex, we will miss them!

On exchanges I stayed in our area with Elder Laws, we had a good day! We got our investigator Santiago with a baptismal date again, which he lost and taught a couple other good lessons. We had a lot of fun, even though I spilled the dinner alllllll over myself that our member gave us to go. It was some really good broccoli and beef with lots of sauce and I had ALL of the sauce on my pants/shirt. Funniest thing is we ran to the church to eat and clean up and while I had my pants partially open to dry off one of the bishops from the other ward walked in... awkward but he got a good laugh out of it.

We have an awesome new investigator named Raquel who we met by way of a member. We taught her the restoration while they were selling stuff on one of the streets in our area, the member was there to testify and everything! Raquel now has a date for September 26 and she came to church! We now have 4 investigators with baptismal dates and we started last week with 0, so now the job is keeping them on date by making sure they keep their commitments to read the scriptures, pray and come to church.

Sunday was a mission president's fireside in Linda vista, which is kinda far away but we went because we were supposed to have 2 investigators there. They cancelled last minute but we already had the ride from the member. Brother Barber. His poor little car was having a hard time though- He is having trouble with his air filter sensor and his car doesn't accelerate past like 40 was an adventure getting up there but we made it with no serious problems. People were just made getting stuck behind us, even on side streets. We got a good laugh out of it.

Things are going good out here in the branch, Elder Cloes and I are happy to have at least another transfer together and we will see miracles!

I love you all!

Elder Hansen

August 11, 2015

Hey Parents! Sorry this is coming so late, it's been a crazy p-day, but a good one! 

We had mtes yesterday and today and they were awesome. We talked a lot about recognizing and relying on the spirit. It was a great topic, and learning how to seek out and understand personal revelation is key to our progress in the gospel. 

So after we had our workshop thing at the stake center (this is with 4 zones worth of missionaries) we get to exchange with someone in one of those 4 zones, we never really know who it's going to be. I exchanged with Elder Conner in Imperial Beach which is down in my old Chula Vista Zone. You might recall we exchanged once a few months ago, we were in the MTC together he's pretty awesome and we were stoked to be together!! We had an awesome day and saw lots of miracles!! It's a cool area down there in Imperial Beach. 

Today we played ball with the Assistants Elder Stecklein and Mcchesney, they are both super cool I served with them out in the Valley. It was a lot of fun! Elder McChesney goes home next week, It's the last week of the transfer....CRAZY! I Feel like Elder Cloes just got here! We will see what happens next week with the transfers hopefully I stay with him another one. 

I'll try to send more a little later since it was a crazy p-day with the meeting and stuff. Have a great week! Send me lots of pictures as soon as you can! 

Love you!!

Elder Hansen 

August 4, 2015 Una Semana Buena (A Good Week)

What up fam!!!

It's been a sweet week this week. It seems like the mission is picking up and moving faster and faster!! My 3 transfers (4.5 months) in the valley seemed to fly by, 3 transfers in Chula flew by even faster and now I'm 5 weeks into my third transfer here. Time is going by even faster!! My trainer goes home in less than 2 months. We went to the temple together today. We also had a sweet old reunion with Elder Takke, Elder Quinonez and some other friends from the mission. We plan out our temple p-days so we can go together.

I was reflecting a lot in the temple about our family and how awesome it is that you will all be there this week. I'm so grateful for the blessings of the temple and especially the blessing of eternal families.

Anyway it's been a great week. Me and Elder Cloes have still been having a blast. We have come to learn that the key to a good sandwich is a good pickle. I have lived a whole year of my mission with mediocre sandwiches because of my lack of pickles. But I've repented and turned to Vlasic bold and spicy or Famous Dave's pickles. Makes all the difference.

We are currently teaching a bunch of drunks. But they're great drunks so it's okay. We love them. We have a couple investigators who we have been having a lot of fun teaching. It's cool because we can tell that we are gaining their respect and are able to have really spiritual lessons.

We have one investigator Jose, who has been investigation for a long time and came to church consistently for a while, but stopped. We had a lesson with him on Saturday, and he's been having a hard time because his mom died of a brain aneurysm. Just testifying of the atonement and the blessings of the plan of salvation brought the spirit so strong. And he went from "maybe I'll go to church" to "I have no other choice" (in Spanish of course). It was cool to watch the spirit work with him in that moment. Then we went back to see him again yesterday and helped  answer some questions about the restoration. It's been great working with him a lot.

Anyway, I'm doing great,  So glad you are as well! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Hansen

July 28, 2015

What's up fam??

We've had an awesome week this week!! Everything is still super sweet out here in Lemon Grove and the Sweetwater 3rd branch.

Last Wednesday we started out the morning by going to a class put on by LDS Family services. They have a therapist who councils a lot of people but she also offers a missionary class every once in a while and we were invited so we went. It was awesome. She talked about communication, it was something that is really made for families, but it applies to everyone. Basically it talked about how we respond to people who are in an emotional state. There are 12 really common responses that aren't necessarily the best ways to handle situations like that, and instead she offered 4 alternatives that would help the other person to feel loved, instead of feeling controlled. It was super good and she always connects everything to the atonement and the Gospel so it was sweet and it's something that I will use for the rest of my life. Especially as a dad but it can also help with companions and investigators.

After that we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders, who are in the other Spanish ward in the stake, they live in National City. I went to their area, with our new zone leader Elder Laws. He started in the Chula Vista Zone, so we already knew each-other, he's super cool! We had a lot of fun, and had some good experiences on exchanges. It's awesome to learn from one another.

To end the exchange we went to a Mexican restaurant in our area called Mariscos Altata, we go there a lot because on Wednesdays and Thursdays they have fish tacos 2 for 99cents so we hit that up as often as we can and they're huge!!! Random fun fact but the days we go there are always good days. To be honest we went there both Wednesday and Thursday... it's that good.

Friday we had district meeting Us and our four sisters! Plus the Zone leaders came to join us so that was a good time. Our district is super fun and we talked about using the Book Of Mormon and how important it is not only in knowing the church is true but in also receiving a testimony of Jesus Christ as our savior. We have been putting a lot of emphasis on the Book of Mormon with our investigators, especially in really helping them to read it and understand it.

Saturday we went and did service with an awesome family in our ward, they have been less active lately and I had never been able to meet them with Elder Gonzalez, but Elder Cloes and I went by on Friday and she invited us to eat on Saturday at their daughter's birthday party.

So we went to eat but they were still setting everything up when we got there so we did some impromptu service and helped them set up all the tables and chairs and she did a candy table similar to the one mom did at amber's wedding, so we helped her put the candy in the dishes and everything. They are super awesome and it was good service, and they said to come back later to eat lunch with them which we did, we had chicken and beef kabobs with rice and  veggies and a ton of desserts. It was super good and they gave us a bunch to take home which was really good. We are excited to teach them and help their family grow even more in the gospel!

Sunday all the people flaked on church again... but we don't get down on it! Sometimes it's kind of frustrating when they say they are going to come and they don't, but it is what it is. We can't overcome their agency.
After church there was a carne asada at our ward mission leader's house in honor of a member who just got endowed, it was awesome. we love to share time with the members plus you can't complain about carne asada tacos...

Monday was a super awesome day, we went to go visit our investigators in one area but neither of them were home, so we started talking to someone we met on the street, named Anna. It was a great talk and we were actually able to teach her the entire restoration briefly and simply right there on the street. She said we can come back and talk to the rest of her family on Wednesday. She also mentioned that she has a brother who is a member and lives in Pasco Washington. 

Right after that we had to go do a little bit of time entering all of this information into the Area book Planner app so we went to the nearby library to use the wifi. While we were there we got a text from someone with a 425 number, which kinda freaked me out for a second but it was all in Spanish (good Spanish, not Google translate Spanish) so I figured no one was messing with me. Anyway it was Manuel, and he said he had just moved from Bellevue where he had met with missionaries. So we set up an appointment to meet up at the church with them. 

So we went along with the rest of our day, went to meet up with Santiago but he wasn't home so we went to try Hector, someone Elder Cloes had talked to on exchanges with Elder Cardiff. He wasn't home but we were able to talk to his mom. WOW! His mom is awesome. She was talking to us about how she really is trying to do her best with her kids (19, 18, 10 and 7) and how she wants them to have a belief in God but it can be hard, and she's a single mom, who was in a bad relationship before and she just has really sincere desires for her family and it is great to meet people like that, so we will go back and teach them on friday and she said we will be able to find her whole family together which is great. 

After that we went to dinner at our Branch President's house (The Dominguez family). It was great. They are an awesome family. They have 5 kids (Jose, Joyce, Josy, Joyce-lyn, and Josue) It's really hard to get their names straight but basically it's an awesome family and we had a great dinner with them. I feel like we have been developing more trust with the members  lately, especially president Dominguez. 

After dinner we met up with Manuel and his wife Paola (from the phone call, the ones that moved from Bellevue). THEY ARE SO COOL! They have lived here in the states for about 2.5 months and have been meeting with the missionaries in Bellevue for the majority of the time. They are super cool, they have 2 kids back in Mexico and are just an overall great family. We were so stoked to meet them!!

Today was a great morning as well! We took our dirty clothes to the friendly neighborhood Laundromat and they came back even dirtier! We also got the usual view from the Laundromat, not just 5 but six cop cars. (I'll include the picture). 

And that's the week!! Thank you for the love and support!

You are the best!  Elder Hansen