Friday, June 10, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 7 Días más y Ya me Voy a casa (7 more days and I'll be home)

What's up fam and friends!!  We have had a sick week, this past week.

It all started last Tuesday after our pday activities, we found a sick family of 5 that is super solid. The Bautista family. We met him on the street the week before and showed him a video from Easter. He loved it and said we could come back. So on Tuesday night we taught their whole family (Mario, Estela and their three kids).  It was awesome. Their kids are super polite which makes a huge impact coming from some niños from 7-11 years old. They are super cool.

Funny story from this week-sort of. So we were walking down the street and I saw a girl out of the corner of my eye on the porch of an apartment. We were getting in the car but I turned around and we started talking to her. She was trying to get back to Èl Cajon, which is kind of far away, she had just enough money for the trolley and was super thirsty. We shared a little bit about the gospel and gave her info for the missionaries in El Cajon and decided we would go get her some water from a store close by. We went and bought a couple waters, a sandwich and an apple and rushed back to give it to her. Elder Laws bought the drinks and I paid for the sandwich and apple so they were in separate bags. Keep in mind all she really wanted was some water. I handed her the one bag with the apple and sandwich. She opened it and said "I'm so thirsty" then took a bite of the apple. I didn't understand why if she was thirsty she wasn't drinking the water, but we gave her directions to the trolley and went about our way. We continued visiting and teaching people for about an hour until we went to pick up the other elders for a ward activity. They sat in the back and picked up a little grocery bag with two water bottles and asked "what's this from?" Elder Laws and I looked back in horror because we realized we had given her only the bag with the food, not the drinks. We immediately flipped around to go find her, but it had been about an hour and a half since we had left her. We said a prayer hoping we could find her and went back to the porch where she was sitting, she wasn't there. So we drove up and down the street and WE FOUND HER!!!!! She had a good laugh about how confused she was about the lack of water but was so happy to get the water bottles...We were so grateful we were able to find her because we thought we had totally left her hanging.

Other experience that was oddly similar and equally satisfying- We went to teach a member in a shelter type thing down town. She invited her friend to a little family home evening which was awesome. We sit down and get situated in the lobby and of course there is all sorts of commotion. Last week we had a visit during our lesson from the K-9 unit, we didn't skip a beat. This time a young man sat down in a bench near us and asked to use our phone to call and check on his mom. We let him use it and when he came to return it he sat next to me and launched into a really sad story about how he ended up where he is. By this point Elder laws shifted toward Hermana Vasquez and her friend Maria and was teaching the restoration by himself while I'm consoling this poor guy (Courtney is his name). There really wasn't much we could do for him. He had come to San Diego and everything he had had been taken by a guy who was going to help him. He was crying, he had nothing but the shirt on his back. We left him with a subway gift card and a restoration pamphlet and that was all he had to his name. We felt bad as we left, we just wanted to help him out. We went and taught a less active kid a really good lesson, then had a few minutes before the end of the night.

We ran home as fast as we could and grabbed what we could. He mentioned he lost his bag so we got a couple of side bags, threw in what clothes we could and ran back to the shelter. Unfortunately by the time we got back it had been an hour and he wasn't there. Keep in mind this is downtown San Diego. We said a quick prayer that we could find him and then took off driving, we decided to go by the library because that's where he had gone early he said. The Padres game was going close by so there was some weird traffic. We took an accidental left turn where it was illegal and ended up in a loop that got us a little lost but when we were stuck in there we saw him!!!! What are the chances? In a city of millions we found him and gave him the stuff we gathered. It was an awesome tender mercy to be able to find him and give him just a little bit of stuff that we could.

Yesterday we also met a super cool new investigator named Veronica (different one). We are hoping to have another lesson with her this week at the Mormon Battalion. She's super cool and super open. Just what the area needs right now. Those are just a few of the awesome experiences from this week.

We had ANOTHER general authority visit this week.  This time Elder James J. Hamula of the seventy, which was awesome. He taught a lot of great principles. Here are a few of my favorites:

When you are rejected, you have experiences that only Christ’s disciples have. ... The Savior was persecuted, yet said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” ... Such compassion and mercy that is in Him should be extended to others.

• I tell you this in the name of Jesus Christ. You would not be where you are if there were not souls to save. Dig deeper, try harder. There are souls to save in every area in this mission!
• Promise – If you will become converted to the Book of Mormon, hell will have no power to take you off the strait and narrow course.
• Casualness – cultivate the virtue of sobriety – to be serious-minded. ... Spiritual sobriety permits you to see things that others cannot see. To see the signs of the times. To hear the word of the Lord. When there is too much noise, you cannot hear the Spirit,
which is a still, small voice that is quiet and whisper like. Connection – because Mormon was of a sober mind, he was visited of the Lord. (Mormon 1:15). To take it to the next level – let go of casualness. Have joyful countenances, but let go of casualness.
• What does it mean to be a witness of the “name of Christ” (D&C 107:23-24)?
1. Christ’s Identity – His characteristics, attributes, virtues. Every week, you take upon yourself the name of Christ. You agree “to be Him to the people to whom you are sent.” “You have got to be Him.” Through you, they see Him and hear His voice.
2. Christ’s Work and Labor. Agree to do His work. The work of the Lord is the salvation of souls – the most important work in the universe. When we say “Amen” to the sacrament prayer, we are agreeing to do His work, not your own. You serve in this work until you can’t anymore.
3. Christ’s Authority and Power. We assume the power and authority that name gives you.
• “You get no revelation unless you are willing to ask questions.”

• D&C 130:18-19: We gain intelligence through our diligence and obedience. Light and truth can be taken with us in the resurrection.
• Obedience/Diligence - permit us to gain knowledge and intelligence. The call to be obedient and diligent is the call to gain light and knowledge. You choose the degree to which you will be obedient and diligent.
• TREES. You are like trees. Trees are symbolic of our lives – we have roots, branches, and fruit. Trees grow slowly, not fast. The best trees grow slowly, to endure every weather condition. Don't resist the pruning, or being planted in another area. Have patience as you learn and grow slowly, drop by drop.
• WAR IN HEAVEN. The war in heaven continues today – it was transferred from heaven to earth. ... You were among the most valiant of all of our Heavenly Father’s children. You knew and loved Him. You gave everything to Him in that great war. Because of your exceeding love and faith, you were reserved to come in these last days, to fight again as you fought before. ... You are the noble and great ones. But you can’t do this on your own. Your power rests in the authority given you and your abiding faith. Go and exercise the same faith you did in the beginning.
• You overcame Satan by: (1) The Atonement of Jesus Christ (blood of the Lamb); (2) Your testimony; and (3) Consecration of soul (loved not their lives unto the death). (Rev. 12:11).
• Jesus was fully consecrated and fully committed.
• You have the privilege to ask God concerning your standing with Him. Then listen. We say a lot of prayers without listening. Slow down from getting off your knees. Slow down while praying – take time to listen. God will answer by: (1) feeling to your heart; thoughts to your mind. Even if the answer does not come immediately, keep listening. (2) Look for His voice while reading the scriptures. And (3) Wait upon the Lord when listening to His servants. If it seems that God is waiting to answer your prayer, God is proving you to see if you are sincere.

Sorry this was a long one. It's my last one everybody! I'll see y'all in a week!

Love, Elder Hansen

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Es que ahorita voy a hacer un mandato, mejor que vengan otro día

Note: Alex has been adding funny excuses from people that don't want to talk with them right now - that is what these headings have been each week. Try google translate if you want to try to figure out the meanings.

What's up fam and friends. We had such a sick week this week!!

I'm just going to get to the most exciting part because I can't wait to talk about it. This last week we had a visit from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It was UNREAL!!

For those of you who aren't familiar with him, here's a link to one of his talks...GO READ IT RIGHT NOW! This man is an amazing speaker, and this is one of my favorite talks of all time.

So we got to hear from Elder Holland for about an hour and a half on Friday, it was amazing. It's amazing to hear from him when his audience is so small, and his topics so personal. He talked about the importance of missions, and how missions help us bring the doctrine of Christ out of our head and into our hearts. Here are some of my favorite quotes.

Joyful but serious” – that’s a good combination in missionary work.
• “All service in the Church is lateral.” It is not vertical. God loves the Nursery worker just as much as He loves President Monson.
• I want you to love every minute of your mission; to cherish your mission.
• “This is your apostolic moment.” You are “little a” apostles. You are doing work as close to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency as you will ever have.
• “The most important thing in the universe is the salvation of a human soul.”
• “Obedience is the first law of everything. Agency exercised in the act of obedience.”
• “You do it God’s way.” and say “Lord, I accept and do it your way.”
• When you are obedient, “that leads to the Holy Spirit.” “This is the way you work miracles.”
• “You are obedient all the time, with exactness, to the extent you can be.”
• I cannot promise you any number of other converts, but I promise and demand at least one convert – yourself. You are the most important convert.
• “You are to go home and be faithful to this (Gospel/Church) for the rest of your life.”
• “You can never go back to what you were before!”
• “You are God’s investigators and He is teaching you lessons.”
• “There is no going back!”
• “Let’s be persistent.”
• We need to get the lessons and doctrine from the head to the heart.
• We want you to have this in your soul!
• People do not know how much you care until they know how much you love.
• I want you to love the Book of Mormon!
• Work hard. Love every minute of it.

It was incredible. I don't know if I've ever been so locked into a speaker for so long in my life. At the beginning of the meeting he shook our hands and we said our names and where we are from. Directly after that he thanked us for the opportunity to interview each one of us, because he doesn't really remember our names or where we are from, but he takes a moment to look deeply into our eyes and have a brief interview with us. And you could really feel that he looked into our soul. That's an experience I'll never forget. It was like Christmas in May.

Beyond that we had a really cool experience this past week. We will see if I can make it make sense over email, it's a long story. So a couple weeks ago we got a text from some other elders asking about our meeting time and address, so we gave it to them without much thought. Someone they had talked to on the street was asking for it. Later on, last Tuesday we received a call from someone who said they were visiting from Mexico and had a referral, it wasn't from our area so we took the referral and sent it off, the man said he might pay a visit to church. Again, we didn't think much of it because we get people passing through San Diego all the time. BUT, we put everything together on Sunday. The night before we were flipping through a long list of potential investigators who had met the missionaries and hadn't been followed up with. Elder Laws decided we should go see Horacio. I rolled my eyes because I had been to that house before and found nothing but 29 Palateros (Ice cream guys), none of which with the name Horacio. But I went with it and when we stopped by once again we found no one with the name Horacio, BUT by chance we met a man named Oscar, who happened to be the guy that called us with the referral. PLUS he is an endowed member, who isn't just visiting, he's staying here to work. He's held numerous callings and is stoked that we ran into him, without planning it. He also said "Elders we will soon see how to help my friends and coworkers hear your message, there are 29 men in this house, if the branch is lacking priesthood".

He's SO COOL! His family is back in Mexico, he's here working and sending money back to his family. He's stoked to help us teach the people he lives with. We are stoked to meet them all. He's a super faithful man, he just had no idea where the church was because we meet in a school...easy to do that.

Apart from these cosas (things), Veronica didn't come to church because she was in Mexico, again. Sometimes Mexico is the worst, it takes our people away on weekends and sometimes just takes them away all together. Pero asi es la vida (but that's life). Other than that we are working on finding some new people to teach, hopefully we will have 29 new investigators from the Palatero house :) haha

A quote from Elder Mark C. Davis of the seventy who spoke before Elder Holland "If you're not having a ball as a missionary, you're doing it wrong" and it's so true! I'm having a ball. I'm loving every minute of it. The hard times, the good times, the sad times. I love it!

Love you all, hope you have had a great week!

Elder Hansen