Elder Hansen is serving a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among the people of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Monday, August 29, 2011


how is everything going.  Sorry for writing right now, i wasnt sure when we would be writing, but seriously no worries, maybe you can dear elder and it will arrive this week, but if not, that's alright, i will read last week's letter and it will still serve me good.  The days seem long so i can't remember what i did in the morning, let alone what i read in the letter last week, haha.  No, i enjoy hearing from you, and i hope that everything is going good.  All the latinos left today, except for a couple that are going to serve inside guatemala.  It was pretty emotional for all of them it seemed like, and we had a good departure devotional.  I really got to be close with acouple of them, and they were awesome.  They helped me out alot with espanol.  This week has seemed to be kind of slower for me in spanish though.  I think because alot of other things were going on, so i didnt have as much time as i would have liked to study spanish and stuff, but it's alright, i've heard that in the field it's alot easier and helpful to learn spanish, even more than the mtc.  It's hard to tr4ack your progress in the ccm, just because you don't have a moment to reflect as much, but i know i've come a long way in everything, so it's good.  I'm not worried about spanish, i'm just worried about learning the gospel and everything else.  i have written in my journal quite a bit, probably every two or three days here, but there's not much time, but i'm gonna try and write more in it. 
    I had a good experience with my companion Elder Lund when we were teaching in what is called CRE.  i can't remember what it stands for, but it's basically practicing teaching, and usually it's with a teacher who plays a role of someone they knew, or someone they know.  But this week, one of our teachers invited her friend, cousin, and sister and stuff to volunteer for this.  My and my companion taught her friend, he is really active in the church, so we taught him about prayer, the importance of reading the scriptures, and the atonement, and it went really good.  He said he felt really good, and thanked us, but that was my good spiritual experience for the week.  BTW, kind of how the CCm works, is there's three groups of people, the nortes viejos, nortes nuevos, y latinamericanos.  The latins leave always with the old nortes.  The way they have it now is any sisters serving in centroamerica come here after three weeks in provo, and any Elders serving in GUATEMALA come here after three weeks in provo.  I think they're starting to change that next month or something.  I think now they will have any elder or sister serving in all of centroamerica will come here after three weeks in provo, so that will be really exciting.  I think i've come to be really close with mostly everyone in the old norte group.  We're all going to serve in either Quetzaltenango or retalhuleu.  Tomorrow i think we're leaving at about 8 in the morning after we eat breakfast, so i'm packing right now, and my bags weight a ton, so im glad that i dont have to fly, like some do to go to panamá or to salvador and everywhere else.  i like living off nothing, cause all the clothes i have to pack are just some church shirts and pants, and a couple of t'shirts, so that's good.  I'm really not nervous right now, just anxious to see who my companion is and to see what the mission is actually about.  It's seemed like a long two months ( yes, today is my two month mark), but at the same time looking back, idk where the time went.  Where heard a talk by Elder Holland called no regrets, and as always, he made me feel guilty that i need to be working harder and need to pick up and not let a moment of the mission pass me by.  I want to work the best i can, and change the most that i can. 
   i'm excited for the temple dedication, although it is a ways off.  It's on dec. 11, and i heard that it is so beautiful. It's up on a hill and at night you can see it from everywhere, so that's cool.  The first area i want to go, honestly, is Quiche, i think that would be awesome.  Hey, you should forward me shane's e'mails when you get them, i would like to read them also.  Everything is good here, though, and i think i'm as ready as i could be.  It feels like every place i go is like home, so it's hard to leave everyone and everything for just one companion, but i'm excited to leave this couple hundred square yard area or whatever it is haha.  Let me know how everything is with harvest and if you got done.  I just realized it's two days or whatever until september, so good luck with potato harvest.  Tell me how romney, jared and alysha are and anyone else you can think of.  I know this gospel is true, and hope that i will have strength and faith to share that with others.  I've realized it's all about faith, but not only in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but faith in yourself.  The days i think i can't do it, it's true.  I know it's kind of a cliche saying, but it's a different thing to try and put it into action, but it makes life easier when you do.  Good luck with everything, and thanks for the candy and postcards and pictures.  I gave the postcards to these two lationos, and they love especially the potato one haha. Life's great, and have a good time and enjoy this week. Adios, y disfruten todos que hagan.  Se que esta semana irá rapido, y espero oir de ustedes proximo semana. 
Elder Hansen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

that was when I realized I could understand spanish...

hey family,
it's good to hear from you all.  i didnt get that package yet, but im sure it will come this week.  if not dont worry about it because 4they said that they would forward anything that came our way after we left... i think, haha.  But i think my p day is probably next wednesday, im not sure though, but ya im pretty sure i'll email you on wednesday, or so because im leaving tuesday in the morning probably around 8, thats when the last group left anyway.  i just got a haircut today, so thats exciting, the guatemalan barbers that they have come here are really fast haha.  it rained quite a bit too.  We're driving to quetzaltenango.  im pretty sure that the mission presdient drives up or something and gets us all.  i heard it was only 4 maybe 5 hours drive from the city.  Its really not that far, it's just that its up in the mounatins, so im sure some roads are rough or something.  i'm glad to hear that grain harvest is going good without me, haha.  Driving combine and everything is fun.  i hope jared and alysha had a good first few days.  thats so crazy that they started school already.  this past month has flown by, i think alot faster than the first month.  im excited to go into the field and anxious to see who my companion is and everything.  on monday we went out contacting again.  We werent sure if we were going to, but we ended up going to a place a little ways away called camp marte, Aunt jody may know it.  I think we talked to about 5 people, and we got three referalls.  One guy let us into his house and we talked to him.  He just said he's happy with his church and is glad that we're out teaching the gospel and stuff.  I asked him if he had a family, and then told him that in our church, families are able to be together forever.  I think the spirit was there, so maybe he will have some interest in the church.  Idk, im still new at this, haha, but i'll eventually get a grasp on things.  This week was really good for language.  A primary group came, they do every two or three weeks or something, and a couple of latin missionaries talked to them, and i understood almost everything that they said.  That was when i realized i could understand spanish.  It was great, and ever since then, i've been able to understad alot of what the latinos say.  In church and everything, or when President Steimle talks, I can understand almost everything they say.  I seriously need to widen my vocabulary though, and i know that that will come with time, but as far as gospel stuff and in class, i can understand alot.  That doesnt mean i can speak it though, its just getting used to structuring some sentences and how to put words together that i need to work on.
     When we went contacting, it was just me and my companion Elder Lund going with each other, so that was a little nerve racking at first, but i knew that i would have help.  He's still working on his spanish, and he's a great companion to have.  President Steimle had a friend come over and tell his conversion story to us last night in a meeting.  He was from Argentina and he and his wife talked.  President Steimle read out of his journal a part where he baptized a family, and one kids name was Carlos.  They guy that was there last night was Carlos, and he and his wife are going to serve as counselors or something, idk, for the costa rican temple. It was cool just to see how long friendships can last aftr a mission, and how much good that Carlos had done in his life because of his conversion. 
     Today i went to the temple and it was good, the last time until quetzaltenango gets dedicated, which i believe is on the 11 of december, this Elder from San Marcos told me.  So i found a new love here, and that's candy haha.  This little store comes to the ccm every week and sells lots of stuff along with candy, and it's like i have a sweet shortage or something because it's the only thing on my mind when prep day comes.  But the food here is seriously really good, and i have ice cream every meal, except breakfast, so i dont know why i feel like i'm lacking on sugar, but i guess i am.  i dont know if i have gained weight, my jeans are a little tight, but that's probably the last thing on my mind anyway.  But ya, just a random though for you about my life haha.  Thanks for sending me those addresses and i hope you were able to add elder deuel as one of my friends.  One more address, what is shane's, i feel like i should write him more than one time as he's on  his mission, so that would be great.  I think everything is good here, once i get to quetzaltenango, i'll try and send you some pictures of the ccm and stuff, and the view from my classroom and bedroom.  i hope i can be a good missionary, and help people understand the importance of this work.  I know that it's true, here in the mission that's all i think about is the gospel, so i'm always looking for answers, and for ways i will be able to help investigators.  Love you all, and good to hear about the teachers that jared and alysha have.  I love bowen and hallie, and it's so fun to hear about them, i hope my spanish can be as good as his english.  Have a good week, and next time, which is weird to think about, i'll be writing from the field hopefully.  Thanks for your supports, tell everyone hi. 
love yo uall,
Elder Hansen

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the CCM

Hey family,
sounds like everything's going well for you.  The ccm is good, the weather has been the same.  not much has happened i guess.  The new elders came in, so that was good.  They all seem young, even though they're the same age, but i feel like there's a difference.  my companion is from gunnison utah, and i think their family ranches or something.  his brother just got finished with his mission in mozambique, and his parents went to go pick him up, so i feel bad that he's mission out on that, but he wants to ask the president if he can skype him or something.  his name btw is elder sage lund, and he's going to the retalhuleu mission.   I saw pictures of Malea (I think that's her name, please, please, forgive me tanner and marissa if thats wrong haha, so many things go on here, i cant remember what i did an hour ago sometimes haha)  I was able to print them out, but her hair is so thick, that's ridiculous, but im excited for them. 
     So we moved classrooms finally.  We had one upstairs with no windows that was probably the size of the piano room.  Being in there for like 4 hours a day was almost depressing haha.  But we moved downstairs, and from my seat i just look up and can see the angel moroni on top of the temple, so it's awesome.  Idk if i told you but we got new cooks, and the food is pretty good.  im always hungry after i eat for some reason, haha, maybe im gaining weight or something, i feel fat, but im gonna lose weight in the field probably so thats alright.  Im super excited to go into the field right now.  only 13 days left, and im ready to go wherever.  i cant believe its almost here though.  It doesnt really feel like im on a mission right now, just because im studying all day and everything, which is good and important, but im excited to get to the real deal full time.  Last night we heard a talk from Elder Holland that basically made me feel really guilty, haha.  It was so good though, he gave it at the Mtc last year, and he just talked about how important this work really is, and the power that we actually do have as missionaries, and it was a great booster to me.  I think im going to waterproof my shoes next prep day, but idk if i can waterproof my church shoes, and i might have asked you this already, so just let me know in the e'mail next week and ill read the directions for sure on the waterproofing bottle.  One more thing, you sent me the mission home address (and is that for packages, letters or both) but whats the pouch address too?
I was able to print off your letter beforehand so i have some time to think for a little bit haha.  I dont think i really miss those chores, especially in such hot weather.  But at times it would be nice to go and pull some weeds in the yard or something, but i did enjoy it even if it seemed like i didnt hah. oh ya also, in the letter you said you gave them your address, was that dear elder or who, haha, i wasnt sure, but no big deal.  I feel bad that Jeffrey Gomez has to wait so long, but he's gonna enjoy it i think.  Remember my friend Fernando Perez from BYU? hes goingto guat south, but i think he's coming in a day after i leave, so thats a bummer, but he might not actually come to the CCM because he already kind of speaks spanish, but i would have loved to see him anyway.  Im sorry jared and alysha that school is starting soon.  But please enjoy it, especially you jared, i liked high school.  just enjoy where you're at, and life will be great.  Be sure to let me know who your teachers are and everything.   I knew that romney was staying where i was, i pretty  much told him to, but i hope he has a good time, I did for sure, he'll be really good friends with everybody on the floor. 
   Practicing teaching and everything is going good.  I dont have all the lessons learned good enough to teach in spanish, but im working on it.  Me and my companion have pretty good teamwork, so our lessons go well.  Jared can honestly just read preach my gospel.  Its such a good book, i wish i would have studied it more and gain a stronger testimony of it, but he can read that and do what he knows is good, and be happy, hahah.  thats something everybody needs haha.  i think taking spanish in high school helped, so tell him to work hard at it next year when he takes spanish, and that would be fine just to take it junior and senior year, unless he wants to take it this year, that's when i took it anyway.  the trip to guat. helped some, and that was fun too, i m glad i went.  Well family,  everything is going good, and im still trying to figure things out, but i keep pressing on.  When i think about the family back home supporting me its a big help.  Everyone have fun, and im glad that the wheat harvest is going well.  I miss driving combine and truck right now, but i dont see how that could be better than missionary work.  Thanks for all your help, and for being such a good family, especially you mom and dad.  Im trying to do my best, and i miss you all but love you all.  Tell anyone you see hi for me.  And try and help the missionaries out in the ward with refrences or anything, sit in on a lesson with someone, and i think that will help alot. 
Elder Hansen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Week of the 9th

how's everything going.  i feel bad that i wont receive your email, but i have alot to share with you, so its alright.  its been a pretty active week.  first off, my companion went home. i dont really know what for, he just told me a family emergency, so it was kind of mysterious, but no big deal.  he felt bad, and so did i, but he said he was gonna come back when he could, so i hope he can.  do me a favor, will you and add him on my FB.  do you remember my password and username? if so, his name is Preston Deuel, (yes de u e l) and hes from payson utah.  just add him, and then he can look at my pictures and stuff like that. 
  also, the CCM has a website.  I believe that it is  guatemalaccm.com  if not, then maybe google it or something, and get on and look at the pictures and stuff on there.  I am also in a video, the song is something like the la luz de something, idk, but im playing the piano, even though you cant see me, and its with a bunch of missionaries in front standing and singing, so get on and see if that works, that would be cool.  So this computer keeps freezing, ill try and get everything.  Next you can dear elder to the mtc down here for free i believe, just send it and they print it off here, so you can tell everyone that, and i receive those thursday.  you can also, i think, dear elder to my mission, but i think it costs the cost of a stamp to go to salt lake, and then pouch down to my mission.  Also, be sure to send me my mission home address. 
    You should look up a few things on the internet.  First,hear aboutthe elder that got his arm bitten or something by a lion, down here in Guatemala, i think few weeks ago, but im not sure, and also look up whats goin on with the election down here, ive just heard stories and stuff but idk whats up.  Today we went to the museo flores, because all the other elders and sisters left today, so theres only about 30 or so of us at the CCm right now and so today was my prep day.  Tomorrow, new elders are coming down, so that will be cool.  BTW the museo flores was cool and we went to the mall in guat city.  it was gigantic, one of the biggest malls ive been in,  so it was cool to see that right in the middle of guatemala city.  before that though, we went to the relief map, which is a gigantic map that's to scale of the whole country of guatemala, idk if you have seen it, but its pretty cool.  its about 20 yards or so acros, and 25 the other way.  after that we went to central market, and i just bought a jersey, cause i know that im gonna be able to buy a bunch of stuff in my mission.  it was weird to be back there, cause it seemed like i was  just there.  it was also weird because when we went, we saw the missionaries, so it was cool to be the missionary this time.  We also saw other missionaries, one set was going home and wednesday and the other set had been out for a year. 
    Today i pulled some money out of the atm, so will you just check on my bank account and make sure my money hasnt been laundered or something.  Will you also ask aunt jody if you can wash those hand knit sweaters that are so popular down here.  i think landon got one last year, im just wondering because an bought one today, and he didnt know if he could wash it or what.  im liking the CCm alot.  It seems like the spanish is off and on sometimes, but if i talk alot and hear alot of spanish, then its easier to understand and everything.  today i didnt really talk alot, because i was with gringos all day, but when the next latinos come, it will be better.  idk what else is up.  my companion and i are now the zone and district leaders, and the other two elders, my old compa Elbench and his comp kekayoha o something are the assistants to the pres.  im excited to go to my mission now, i know that the ccm time is going fly by, so im gonna try and take advantage of it.  i think im only going to be emailing two more times from heree and the third time will be in my area.  one more request, will you send me 4 pictures of el mirador that i took last year.  they will be on my external hard drive which should be in one of my boxes.  the'll be stored under guatemalan pictures or something like that.  i really want the picture of the 'swimmer' that was carved on the side of a wall, technically its a ditch, but just looks like a wall.  so if you could send 1 or 2 of those and then 2 or 3 more, that would be awesome.  Well, tomorrow im going to the temple, so im excited for that.  if you wanna send a dear elder this week instead of an email that would be awesome, but no biggee if you cant.  i dont have a mail box number or anything, i think my name should just be located on there or something.  thanks for yor support and love.  im having a great time and hope to make it better.  btw we got new cooks, and i think they are better than the last ones, so im excited for that, i love you all and hope everything is going good at home.  Jared and alysha have a fun rest of the summer and take advantage of it, go swimming and boating, but be careful, especially jared while you work on the farm.  love you and tell everyone hi for me and that im doin good.
love you all,
Elder Hansen

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

im enjoying it here more and more

mom and hansen family
thank you all for the letters, dad i read your letter, so ill just reply to it on this.  im glad you had a good time on the fifty miler, i remember going on those and they were really fun.  im glad everything is going good on the farm, i hope that harvest goes well, and that you dont have too much trouble, (we always need a little bit, just to stay humble, haha).  thats too bad about shane, i hope that doesnt happen out in the field to me, but i hope also that he was able to work everything out with that.  ya, keep forwarding his emails if you can.  btw, still work on sending me my address that is my mission home address in quetzaltenango, because i still dont know what it is, it should be in the missionary packet, or on my facebook, thanks.  im so happy for marissa and tanner, thats awesome, ill try and look at these pictures, but i have hardly any time on the computer.  ill try and answer your questions, the training center here is called the CCM, which is centro capacitacion de misional i think.  its a good place.  my  teacher in the morning went on her mission to the us so she speaks fluent english, but teacher in the night, only speaks spanish, and can understand some english and speak some, but its awesome.  i love learning spanish, and i have alot more to learn, but i can get a lesson across so thats good enough for me right now.  in CRE, which is where its like a real life situation, but we just teach teachers and stuff, the lady said that me and my compaion are ready to leave next week, so i thought that was neat.  i dont think we have a choice, because we have to stay here for another 4, but it made me feel good about my progress. its not that hard to communicate with latin missionaries, most of them help out alot so im grateful for that, and last night i learned how to thanks for helping me out with spanish, haha, so now i can thank them.  spanish isnt too bad though, i can understand any one i feel like, as long as their words are clear and stuff.  guatemalan spanish isnt too fast, and they pronounce all their words.  the domincan republican in our room cuts off all his words, so its like putting spanish in a grinder, then listening to it, haha.
   the weather here isnt bad at all.  idk how hot, but way more mild than provo right now.  every day seems like perfect weather, and it doesnt rain too much either.  we get up at 630 excercise for hour, then eat, then studies until 12, then lunch, then class, then dinner, than class, than planning for half hour, than at 930 we can go back to our rooms, and then 1015 is quiet time, 1030 lights out, so its good.  people seem to be getting their packages from the states, idk how long it will take to get down here though, hopefully not too long, that would be sweet though.  i didnt tell that missionary in provo my address so he didnt send the sheets, its alright though no worries, i still have four pieces or whatever.
  8 minutes left, so im gonna tell you what happened this week.  i saw richard on sunday, that was a surprise, it was good to talk again and just to know that alot of support is coming from home.  on monday we actually left the CCM and went contacing.  it was alot of fun.  we did it for about 1 and a half hours, and i went with my latin companion, but i spoke as much as i could.  it was great, and if i wanted to say something, i just opened my mouth and said it, and everything seemed to work out.  one guy though, was drunk that we talked to.  i guess i didnt really realize it till after.  so we were talking to him, and he said that his life was kind of hard, cause he wants god to help him, and he has faith and stuff and prays, but he doesnt know what else to do.  we were in the street talking to him, then he said come over to my house.  so we walked like 15 feet, and he opened up his door.  i looked inside and just thought, o not a bad place i guess.  then he said 'entren' and my companion latino just flat out said no, and right then i felt the spirit so strong say to me that i shouldnt walk in that door no matter what.  ive never had the spirit, at least that strong, tell me to not do something.  it was such a cool experience, my stomache literally felt sick, mom, and i knew that it was the spirit telling me to not go in, no matter what.  it almost felt like a had gotten punched, not hard, but enough to take a little bit of my breathe away.  its intersting to see how the spirit works.  i dont know what would have happened if me, or my companion, werent worthy of the spirit, but i know that the lord will protect me.  it strengthened my testmony alot, and was really cool.  i hope i can live worthy to always have that, as well as to have the spirits help in testifying, etc. 
down here theres an Elder XOL (shole) and he looks exactly like jose diez haha, with a little difference, but he speaks keckche, idk how to spell it, as well as spanish, and hes a funny elder to talk to.  today were going to the temple.  i enjoyed it immensely last week, and was glad to finally be able to go and feel peace.  even as a missionary you get stressed and stuff, but the temple helps this, and is just really peaceful.  im looking forward to that.  im enjoying it here more and more, and the days are going by faster. i gtg, but thanks so much for everything, wish i could express my thoughts and feelings more.  love you all so much. love, Elder hansen