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, October 31, 2011

Great week.

Hey family,
we had a great week.  I´ll tell you about it later on.  But that´s awesome that jared´s gettin his eagle.  I told him last week how great that was, because alot of kids in their lives don´t do much, don´t have goals, but that´s aweoms that he worked towards that and got it.  I am getting the third package on wednesday cause i know the zls have it.  But thanks for that, and like i said, don´t worry about the speed or anything of them getting down here, because they come fast.    Also, i don´t need anymore email addresses i don´t think, maybe garret mackay´s i don´t think i have his.  BTW we get an hour to write, so usually i have time to write to 2 or 3 friends or siblings. 
   This is my normal schedule, wake up at 630, exercise then get ready and at 730 have personal study, then at 830 we eat.  Then at 9 we have companionship study for 2 hours, because with the new traininig program, the greenis and trainers have 2 hours.  then we proselyte or whatever, if we have appointments it´s better, or we contact.  And then at 1 we eat lunch with a memb er everyday, then at 2 we have language study for an hour.  Then at 3 and onward we proselyte, and usually everyday we have 2 or 3 firm apointments, and the rest we visit inactives or members or other investigators that we don´t have an appointment with. Then we come back at 9 or 930, more like 930, and plan and eat.  We never eat dinner until we come back, which i like, because it gives us alot more time to proselyte and everything.  usually i just have like a ramen noodles or cereal for dinner. 
    But my apartments one of the nicest in the mission.  The bed is just fine, i´m pretty comfortable on it, and i don´t really wake up sore.  i take meltonin now because i just wanted to see if it worked, there was just a bottle in the apartment with like 20 pills, but i think that´s helping me sleep better, not that i wasnt before, but i think it helps, haha.  But at first i hated the apartment and everything, but now it´s pretty much home, so it´s good.  Also, moemoes tenango, an area in our mission, has the worst living conditions in central america for missionaries, so i feel fortunate now, haha. 
   That´s great that you went to the temple mom and dad.  I think we´re going to the open house on the 12th, we just have to bring 10 investigators, but the ward will pay for their passage and everything.  But some of those 10 can be R.C. so we should be able to go.  Changes are on the 20th so i may be able to go to the temple open house twice because the wards also going on the 22nd, so i´ll see what happens.  But the dedication noone has told us anything about that.  I´m thinking that we´ll just watch it from our chapel or st5ake hosue or something. 
   Anyway, i´m sending some pictures of the baptisms we had.  Ya, this week we had two baptisms!  That was great.  And remember how i said that the president came to an appointment with rogelio, he also came to the baptism.  I think that´s pretty rare to have the president go to a baptism.  It was a great service.  We were a little worried about Amilcar, the 17 year old kid that got baptized, because he smoked and drank a little and just had terrible friends.  We acdtually didn´t want to baptize him, cause we didn´t think he was ready, but he told us that he wanted to be baptized, and he actually changed a ton, you could just see it in him, and when you talk to him, how much he changed.  he´s still kind of a punk, haha, but that´s alright.  i´m pretty sure i told you about his family in the last letter, and that they live in the middle of the forest, but that´s alright.  Anywya, rogelio gave his testmiony and it was really strong.  He said he was just thinking one night or something about if god really existed.  And when he thoughtj that he just prayed really hard, and then felt the spirit tell him and testify overwhelmingly to him of the love of God and that these thing were true. It was a great testimony.  o, also, i baptized rogelio and Elder Rodriguez baptized amilcar. 
   As a missionary, i feel different than what i thought, because really we don´t do much.  Or in other words, we are always working hard, but if the investigator doesn´t want to change, they won´t we can´t force anyone to change.  Mostly, it´s up to the investigator, and in the case of rogelio, he searched long and hard, and pretty much had the book of mormon for 20 years, so he´s been on a long journey. Just as a missionary, we can be obedient and work hard, but it´s up to the investigator to choose.  It´s great though to see people change their lives, and it´s almost hard to believe.  It was a great week though.  Thanks for writing and i hope that everything goes well.   love you all and good luck with everything.
Elder Hansen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

El Fotos

birthday week

hey family,
how are you all doing.  This week was great, i forgot about the birthday and everything that i had.  I will try and remember to send some pictures next week.  On tuesday, a family made me some cake, and then that same night we went to the bishops house and had dominos and more cake and popcorn and ice cream, so i only gained 10 pounds there.  I was so full, haha, but that was great.  Then on wednesday night, another family, the family mendez made us supper and made another cake for me! so that was great.   And then on thursday night, another family invited us to eat and we had dominoes again, so we were pretty spoiled this week.  Then on friday we went to xela for a conference with trainers and the new missionaries, my group. That was good, and then on saturday president bautista came to work with us as a companionship.  We gave a lesson to Rogelio with him, and challenged him to be baptized, and he accepted for this saturday! we were happy about that, and it was a great lesson. His wife and daughter though, don´t want anything to do with the church.  We wanted to do a service projecdt with Rogelio, but his wife won´t even let us come and do that.  He´s pretty poor too, cause he has no work right now, he´s from Barillas btw, but we´re trying to help him.  He´s probably the most humble and genuine person that i know of, and i know that the spirit has touched his heart.  Missionary works´different than what i thought, because really it´s all about if the person has a desire to know for themselves.  The missionary just kind of tells them  what they know to be true, but when the person looks and researches, that´s when they are converted.  Because really a 20 year old white kid doesn´t know much about life and everything, but it´s just if a companionship can bring the spirit into the lesson, that´s a huge part of it. 
    Also, another kid named amilcar that´s 17 said he would be baptized as well.  We think that he has some personal problems, lke smoking, but we hope he has stopped  completely.  I don´t think that i´ve told you about the Espital family, amilcar is the son.  But this lady named maria espital lives literally in the middle of the forest, about at least 2 kilometros and maybe 3 .  But she is a recent convert with 6 kids, 2 of which are baptized.  my companion and his old comp baptized them. But she is completely poor, because her house is just those sheets of plastic, ´laminas´´ they´re called.  But she sells random stuff 2 days a week, and i actually have no idea how she gets food.  They all shower and wash their clothes in a stream.  me and my comp bought those little hats from her, that she made, with strings on the side.  But amilcar doesn´t work and so we´re trying to help him get a job. He didn´t want to work before, but now i think he´s starting to change, cause he could help so much, if he worked.  But we have just been promising them that blessings will come, if they keep the commandments, and always go to church and stuff.  But I know that they are happy, and really it doesn´t matter how much money you have, it just matters how close your family is and that´s where happiness comes from.

     oh also, i´vwe had the chance to play alot more piano this week.  The last sunday, i played for the primary presentation so that was great, and now i always play for opening exercises for priesthood.  So that´s good.  About Elder Benche´s family, that is probably his mom, so idk, i guess maybe call them or something.  But ya, Elder Bench is in my mission, maybe if you sent him a package or even just an encouraging letter, that would be really nice. 
     spanish is pretty hard still.  I feel like i´m good at it, it´s just that i can´t say whatever i want cause i don´t know how to say it, haha.  But i feel like my comp is helping me alot, and i really try and talk as much as i can.  Other people don´t understand how hard it is to be fluent, and to get to the point to where you can understand almost everything, but i just think of mark and brian and evewryone else in the familoy that has learned a language, and i know i still have a ton of time to improve. 
     About el mirador, that´s just a word that means lookout or viewpoint, because it´s above the whole valley where you can see alot, pretty much like the mountain b y pomerelle.  But Al Mirador, just means to the lookout, that´s just the street sign. There´s no ruins or anything, it´s just a place that all the missionaries go and everything, just for a trip.  I hope colton homer does good on the mission, I think he´ll do great, and he has a good character and everything to be a missionary.  That´s great that you got done with the harvest of potatoes, so good luck with the rest.  This week was altogether great.  I don´t know what else to say about it.  The days are passing by pretty fast, and going faster with time.  I´ll let you know how the baptisms go and if we have any more investigators.  Mirna told us that she wants to be baptized, but not now, so one needs the urim and thummim to interpret what that means, hahah.  Sounds like brian and mark and marissa and jared and alysha are all good.  Wish jared good luck with the tryouts.  and that´s awesome about the minico football team, and hope they take state, and is perrigot still the coach?  i´ll pray for jared to do good on his assignment.  i´ll let you know if anything new happens this week and do the same for me.  love you all alot
Elder Hansen
p.s. that´s awesome about julian, i hope he´s happy with that job, and that all goes well with the family moving.


hey mom and family,
thanks for writing, sounds like everything´s going good at home.    The apartment is nice, we actually have two bathrooms so that´s great, but still no warm water, but it´s no problem. Also, the water here runs out sometimes because all the water comes from like a spring or something, but comes to all the houses in tubes.  The tubes are no more than an inch thickk, but there´s got to be about 10 million miles of it here.  Alot of times, they´re not even covered, the tubes are just on the ground, so it´s sketchy.  But if a tube breaks somewhere up the line, then that part of the people doesn´t get water, so that´s why sometimes it runs out.  I think it comes like once a week or something, and every single house has a tank on top, i´ll have to take a picture and send it.  i´m sending some pictures now, of an overlook of a part of hue hue, and then me and my companion when we went to el mirador.  It´s kind of a weird picture with the flowers and the fog and everything, ahhaha, but don´t judge, i think it´s awesome haha.  My companion´s pretty funny, it´s just alot of times i don´t understand his stories, but that´s alright haha.  I usually have him tell them again until i can understand them.  I am also trying to help him with english and i think that´s going alright.  Alright, there´s another elder in my district from utah, but he´s half mexican so that´s why he looks brown, but he didn´t speak spanish before the mish  Where is colton homer ghoing again? That´s awesome that he´s going, i hope he has a good time. 
Also, i haven´t seen my zone leaders for about two weeks, and they´re the ones who get the packages and everything from xela, so i think i might get a package today, just in time for my birthday, that would be great.  Our bishops pretty awesome, he told me to come over tomorrow night for some cake and everything, so we´ll do that.  personally i don´t like to make a big deal out of that stuff for myself, ahha, you know me, but i really want cake. i think my comp told him cause he wants cake haha, nah it´s great though.   i remember is the good times just driving you around in the car, haha, and asking for your advice in everything.  That´s what i try and think of whenever things are difficult, just thinking how you and dad would have me do things.  I was a pretty impatient child i feel like, but thanks for having patience and faith in me. 
  I feel like my spanish will always be bad.  I think it´s an illusion though, cause that will help keep me pushing to improve my spanish.  I hear about 100 new words everyday, and try and write as many as i can.  Also, i think it would be wrong to try and bribe people to come to the open house, but i really want to go. at the ccm, one senior coupe that was there told me that they went through and there´s mayan designs and everything, it´s really cultural i guess. i also just wanted to ask, are there garments that i spandex? when you have some time, just ask about that.  also, my comp in the mtc elder bench, told me that his mom died.  i couldn´t even believe it, and i felt awful and didn´t know what to say.  He stayed on the mission though, and saw his mom´s funeral through skype or something, which i guess is the first time ever that a missionary´s done that.  I hope he´s doing better, he seemed pretty down when i saw him like 2 and a half weeks ago.  i was just wondering if there´s something you could do for his family, like send something, idk.  But let me know what you think, and maybe i´ll get his home address.  But it just helps me appriciate my parents and all they´ve done for me so thanks. 
We have an investigator, Rogelio, who may be baptzied, it´s just his wife is really cathlic, but we´re hopeing for him.  And mirna said she doesn´t want to be baptized yet, so we have no idea when she´ll be ready yet.  Other than that, the works going pretty good. I think that´s about it for this week, and i look forward to your letter next week.  Good luck with the harvest. i´ll be doing my part here.
Elder Hansen

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Love Guatemala

Hey fam, what´s going on,
it's good to hear from you.  For dad, sounds like the harvest is going good, but i hope that all will go well with that.  Hope that the weather will allow you to finish and everything.  I can´t even imagine that there´s snow, because here, the weather´s always exactly the same basically.  Maybe try and send me a picture of the new  tractors you got too, if you can, or if not, just wait till mark comes up or brian and they´ll do it for you.  I was actually thinking of brian the other day and how hard czech must have been for him, or for anyone.  spanish, alot of words are the same, and it´s easier to understand then talk, but czech, i can´t even imagine, but he´s way sharp so i´m trying to follow his and marks´example.   Mom, i´m jealous that you´re going to grandma camp, that´s awesome, though, ahha.  And when you say that you are having withdrawals, can you imagine my withdrawals, haha.  nah, it gets better as it goes, so i know that you´re taking care of my sobrinos, (nephews, but not necessarily masculine, it´s like hermanos is for siblings), and that their favorite uncle will be returning in a few short 21 months.  But anyway, this week was great, guess what, we had two baptisms!  One girl named gabriela is nine years old, and her mom is mirna, so hopefully mirna follws next, and then a man named Alrio.  He´s 70 years old, and is alone, and lives in the house of his nephew who said if he got baptized he would kick him out, so we´ll see how that goes this week.  We´re going to visit him tonight, and bring him to a fhe, so if he has any problems, he´ll let us know. I baptized alirio because he asked me to, and then Elder Rodgriguez baptized Gabriela, it was a good experience.  Also, for the baptismal font, we had to fill it up before, so it got filled pretty good, but then the water ran out.  It does that here, i´ll explain later, so it was raining and we figured that was a blessing from Heaven, so we got the garbage can and the mop bucket and filled it with water running off the roof, and then dumped it into the font. I love Guatemala, we told the bishop after and he just laughed haha.  But don´t worry it was sanitory, it´s better than baptizing in a river or something. the water was pretty cold, but everything was alright. 
    I´m sending some pictures and a video of the house.  Today, as a district,  we went to El mirador, or a spot on top of a mountain, so that´s where a few of the pictures are.  and also, i´m sending some of the baptism as well, there was another girl that got baptized but she´s a written member so her dad baptized her, that was good too.  About our ward, it´s great.  It´s pretty much normal there´s about 150 members that attend each week, or less depending, but it´s great for missionary work.  The bishop is awesome, and is really responsible and everything.  I just feel kind of like a member of the congregation, and no i haven´t talked yet, and usually for fast sunday, we just give time for the members to talk.   we have amission leader, and ward missionaries that help us too, so all of that funtions pretty good. i asked my comp about halloween. and they don´t have it i´m pretty sure, but i think they celebrate day of the dead on the 2 and 3 of november, but i´m not actually sure, so i´ll let you know when it happens.
  i don´t feel that old, so i can´t believe i´m turning 20, also that´s awesome about colton homer, where´s he going again?  let me know how everything goes this week, and thanks a bunch mom for everything you do, i´m looking forward to the package.  Life here is just normal, and i usually forget i´m in a different country altogether.  Lovew you all, and tell everyone hi for me, i´m praying for you all and hope you´re doing the same.
Elder Hansen

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3

Hey family,
it´s good to hear from you.  Conference was great.  We watched it at the stake cent, Brasilia, in english.  And i watche dwith 6 other north americans.  It was way good.  I liked elder cook´s talk too, and elderHales, i think, where they t5alked about God knows the intent of your heart, and he´s always on our side, so it doesn´t matter what else happens, as long as we´re trying our hardest.  I really liked those.  It was fun, it really was like the super bowl, probably better actually, cause it was sort of a vacation day, so it was good.  We watched all 5 sessions, it was great. I have a picture, so i´ll try and send that, i hate these computers though.  We use them at an internet cafe, and they´re pretty good, it´s just hard to send pictures and everything.  Everything here is going good though. The daughter of mirna and this other guy might get baptized this week, so i´ll let you know how that goes.  Alriro, the other guy, is 70, and is kind of senile, but i think hearing the missionary discussions has helped him.
  Our apartment is pretty nice i feel like.  It has a stove and microwave and sink and everything, but the stove doesn´t really boil water, cause it doesn´t get hot enough, but it´s all good.  It has two bathrooms, which makes it nice, but i´ve been taking a cold shower for more than 2 weeks, cause the heater thing on top of the shower burnt up, and then the mission hasn´t bought a new one yet, and all this. It´s good though, i actually think that i burnt it up because nobody told me how to use it, but that´s alright haha, i´m paying the price now.  oh ya, on my fb page, i meant write that i am able to email anybody i want, because the mail here is so bad the president said that we could.  In most missions, they can only email family, and write letter to everyone else, so that´why. But what is the email of cheri and romney, so i can email them next week, o and also the email address of natessa. 
  i saw a picture of malea the other day, haha, what a cutie, but i´m sure she´s growing up fast.  Sounds like all is going good at home, and that harvest is good as well.  I hope bowen and hallie get feeling better, that´s no fun to be sick, haha. But i haven´t really been sick here, the food hasn´t affected my stomache as much as i expected so that´s good.  The language is going good too, i´ve realized i will never be able to speak perfect spanish like i thought, haha, but i´m still gonna work hard at that.  my comp aqt the ccm was named preston Deuel, so if you have time or whatever to look him up, that would be good.  usually on p day, we play football right after email, so we´re going to do that in a little bit.  I ´ll try and send pic tures, idk when, but ya, it´s probaly better just to mail me hard copies, i think that would work better.  Thanks for everything family, and you´re always in my prayers. it´s fun serving,  We have choppped wood, and last night we pushed out a car that got stuck in the middle of the street, because the roads have huge pot holes in them, kso that was fun..  one more email, Garrett Mackay´s haha.  I´ll try and write more next week, as well as send pictures, it´s just hard to get them on here and everything.  i´m working hard, and it gave me comfort to know that my whole family was together watching conference at exactly the same time as me and feeling the same feelings that i was.
Elder Hansen