“The time of Hastening the Lord’s work is now.” – Elder Russell M. Nelson

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 7, 2017 - "Are not my days few? Cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little..."

Well, It's my last full week as a missionary and it feels really weird! It's exciting though! Even though the end is near we are still pushing along doing the same things that we normally do! This week we were able to teach the Peruvian Family twice and on Wednesday they fed us Ceviche! (It's fish cooked in lime juice by the acid, it's good trust me) The lesson went well though, they ask a lot of questions especially about the Word of Wisdom and Eternal marriage and we keep telling them that they have to have the basics before we get to the really "cool" stuff. :)

Let's see... what else... Well, we got a random call from this Less Active guy that has a really messed up life. He is living proof of the scripture at the end of the email. Anyway we had an interesting lesson with him.

In other news, on Saturday I taught both the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation in Spanish. It was both Elder Te Hira's and my first time teaching the Plan of Salvation in Spanish, and I think it went well considering the circumstances! My Spanish is rusty and may have a few Creole words thrown in there but I can communicate! Que Milagroso! (What a miracle!)

Also this week we went driving around town with the Branch President and the Clerk in search of, "The Perfect Milkshake" and for some reason we ended up at McDonald's... (Key West isn't known for it's milkshakes apparently...) Anyway, then we drove up to Sugarloaf kKey to visit one of the members that just had surgery. We had a good visit, but because of the long search for the milkshakes we didn't end up getting home until 10:15 at night (sorry President) but it was good. It's nice having your Branch President as your neighbor and landlord, especially when you come home and he says, "Just in time, I was grilling you guys some Lobster...." yummy :)

Also last thing, Ricardo, a recent convert, was ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood on Sunday which is great! He is awesome, we are like best friends.
Okay the real last thing, My last thought, "Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe." (Alma 32:16) 

How much less heartache and pain would we go through if we didn't have to be compelled to be humble?! How much easier our lives would be if we humbled ourselves without having to be chastened by the Lord? Christ spoke the truth when he said "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matt 23:12)

-- Love you guys!
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

Me and Cicso (just for you Kaylee!)
Elder Te Hira looks like an actor on the "Flash" that Kaylee has a crush on :)

A bad sunset pic our the back window, but it gives you an Idea of what we see everyday

Branch President Rengiil and his family

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 31, 2017 -"...rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly..."

Aloha Main-landers!

It's a party down here in Key West! Elder Te Hira and I are having a great time down here in the Islands! I will give you the highlights of the week. This past Wednesday we taught a member referral family that lives on the military base that is from Peru! They are really awesome and we had a great lesson with them! Then on Saturday we had a Fish Fry for our Branch Activity. President Rengiil, the Branch President, spearfished a bunch of Hogfish and Grouper and we helped fillet it and fry it. We fried fish for about 3 hours in preparation for the activity! It was a blast though. The entire Stake Presidency came down and President Garns, the new Mission President and his wife came down too! We had tons of fun, lots of food and games! On Sunday our Buddhist investigator, Marada, came to church and we had a member present lesson with him and President Garns! It went really great! One of my favorite lessons that I have ever taught! After Church we had our interviews with President since we are so far away from the rest of the mission, and those were great. It's too bad I only have 1 transfer with President Garns because we get along great!

That was about it for the week, the rest of the time included a lot of biking and no one home but we are starting to see some success here in Key West, or as the Haitians say "Ki Wes".

Now for my last thought:

"And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth. And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands." (Alma 24:17-18)

In connection with this scripture, I also came across this quote in the "Lectures on Faith" that I believe correlates, “Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation;"

Neal A Maxwell said, "If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do." 

Therefore in order for us to grow and develop, God will ask us to give up the things that are hardest for us to give up, but how often do we do that? Someone once said, "If you were accused of being a Mormon would there be enough evidence to convict you?" It takes discipline, humility and trust in a Heavenly Father in order for us to sacrifice the things requisite for our own perfecting.

In the words of  Elder Jörg Klebingat, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your spiritual confidence before God? Do you have a personal witness that your current offering as a Latter-day Saint is sufficient to inherit eternal life?"

It is my hope that we will all be able to find things that we, like the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's, can sacrifice in order to grow the faith necessary for our own salvation! 

-- Love 
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

At the Fish Fry! Elder Hansen hard at work, 
while Elder Te Hira fans the food to keep the flies away :)

President Garns at the Fish Fry

The sticker on his shirt says, "I climbed the tower!" 
Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum
That's some tower, he's almost higher than the palm trees!

Their view from the "tower" at the Museum. Paradise!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 24, 2017 -"...but care... for the life of the soul."

Hello All,

Things are going well down here in Key West. We are running into a lot of roadblocks but we are working through it! We weren't able to find anyone this week and it was hard to even find people to talk to. There are a lot of people that are on vacation, either visiting Key West or live here and are on vacation elsewhere, so it's a struggle but we are holding on. We are hoping that we will be able to make some progress with some of our eternal investigators here in the Branch and have a miracle right before I go home! 

This week we helped an older couple clean up their yard, which is a little different in Florida when you are working with palm trees and banana trees and using a machete! It was fun though! Another day this week we were a little low on miles so we had to bike 9 miles to an appointment and they weren't there.... so we biked 9 miles back down the Keys. It nearly killed Elder Te Hira. I think he would have preferred one of those boats from Johnny Lingo, or maybe a cow... who knows! We cover 30 miles of islands south of the Marathon branch, but have few miles, since we have to travel so far for meetings and transfers, so we bike a lot.

Anyway, it has been UNBEARABLY hot lately, it says it's only 93 degrees but it feels like a thousand... It's good though. Lots of water... and sweat...

In my studies this week I came across a couple scriptures that I would like to share, 

"And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy." (Alma 22:15) "Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full. Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul." (D&C 101: 36-37)

What I love about these scriptures is that they both mention Joy. If we are willing to give up the things of the world, and care for the life of the soul, more than we care for the things of the flesh, then we will be able to have Joy, Eternally!

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Hansen and Elder Te Hira are the Southernmost Missionaries
in the entire Continental United States! 
He said they went to a restaurant out on a pier and they looked into the water and saw a shark swim by.
That never happens in Idaho! Love the hat and the shirt!

They're closer to Cuba than the rest of Florida.

This is the map of their Branch Boundaries.
We love that it includes a bunch of uninhabited islands to the west :)

Pretty views of the ocean from just about anywhere!

The storms of Florida - these clouds are looking threatening!

July 17, 2017 -"...they began to cover... from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east."

Greetings from the land southward!

Island life is great down here in Key west! It is REALLY hot and humid here on the island and we have had a couple big storms come through, so just normal Florida Weather. 

Elder Te Hira and I are working with a couple of Eternal Investigators so hopefully we can help them progress. We have been able to meet all the members here in the Key West branch. The Branch is very glad that they have missionaries here and they give us a lot of opportunities to serve. One miracle we saw this week was an investigator named Marada who came to church. He is Cambodian and it a commander in the Marines. He has no Christian background so it has been interesting teaching him. After sacrament meeting we spent a whole hour on "What is the Godhead." It went well, he is full of faith and recognizes the spirit, but is "Just here to learn and not planning on joining." Sure Marada, we will see what happens! ;) He is really cool and we are lucky to be able to work with him. 

Finding has been going slow, but we are still moving forward!

For my last thought, one scripture that I came across this week was in Alma 15:16, "And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred..." 

The thought that came to mind was, what do we really hold dear? What is most important to us? Do we hold to the things of the world more than to the iron rod or are we like Amulek who was willing and did give up everything to serve God. Amulek not only gave up all of his earthly possessions but was rejected by his own family. Do we have the conviction to do the same if called upon to do so? I hope that we would.

Love you all! 

Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Te Hira from New Zealand, Australia and Utah
and Elder and Sister Roe who serve in the Marathon Branch

"...they began to cover... from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east."

Their luxury tool shed apartment!

The kitchen area

Bedroom and bathroom

July 11, 2017 - "...even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward."

Hello Everyone!

I had a pretty crazy week here in Florida. On the fourth of July we were having a great day we were getting ready to have our fourth of July party and birthday celebration and then I got a call for the assistants to the president and they told me that I was being emergency transferred to Key West the next day! So I packed up all my things so that I would be ready to drive all the way down to Key West the next day. Key west will be my last area and I will have my 16th companion. My current companion Elder Hasara will be transferring and I will be getting a new companion tomorrow! It has been a crazy week here but it looks like I will be going out with a bang on my last transfer here in Florida! The branch here is great! We live in a tiny house (a converted tool shed) right behind the Branch President's house, President Rengiil. It is really hot here and there are tourists everywhere.

Sorry I don't have a lot of time, but it is exciting to be here!

My last thought, "And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received. And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works."

Sometimes we need to be awakened to a sense of our duty, and evaluate ourselves to make sure that we are "humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God."

These awakenings help us remember who we really are and what this work is really about and keeps us from being lulled away into carnal security. 

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Hansen with his new comp, Elder Hasara, 
and Elder and Sister Roe from Stone, Idaho

At transfers with Elders Christensen and Burns

All ready for the 4th of July!

Rocking their patriotic ties

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017 - "And the brother of Jared began to be old..."

Well ladies and gentlemen, 

It has been a week for sure! Hopefully I can give you a concise update on what transpired. On Tuesday we were out of miles so we biked all over Ft. Lauderdale and it was hot.... All of our appointments fell through but we ended up teaching a guy that we knocked into named Ductan (Dictahn) and he was the first Haitian I have ever met that understood the importance of a lay ministry! It was a miracle! Then on Wednesday... We had District Training which is always fun for me :) Then after some standard missionary stuff we had something out of the ordinary happen. An investigator brought his son to mutual! Renald Pierre-Louis brought his son Jeremiah to young mens! They have only been taught the Restoration... and that was 3 weeks ago! So that was awesome! Then on Thursday we visited Jacques and then ate with Sister Chestnut and all of here crazy Grandkids! Then all of our appointments fell through again so we were knocking at 8:47 at night and we found the Etienne family! They are an older couple and Madanm Etienne's sister is living with them as well. They are the coolest family ever. We taught them on Saturday and they came to church on Sunday and we set them with a baptismal date for July 22nd (Good day right mom?) They call us angels and Madanm Etienne already chose me to baptize her. We took Jacques with us to teach them and he was talking me up I guess! Haha :)

Good times here in Ft. Laud! Sunday was a good day since we got the Etienne Family to church and that was the best birthday present I could have asked for! In other news, we got a new Branch President in the Sunrise Branch and to commemorate that (and subsequently my birthday) we had a huge Branch potluck after church and we all ate soooo much! All in all a pretty good week!

My last thought, "I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things." Alma 38:10

In all that we have to do as members of the church, our families and society, it is important that we have inspired priorities chosen through the lens of the gospel in order to know how and where to utilize our time. Once this is done it is of paramount importance that we are diligent but also temperate in what we do. As King Benjamin said " it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." but this doesn't mean that we can jog or walk, we still have to run! And just like with running, the farther and faster you run, the easier it is to do so. It is the same with our own lives. It is very easy to say that we are tired and then sit down, fall down or even lay down on the job! On my mission I have met many people that have no job, sleep all day and yet say that they are tired. If we decide to do what has to be done we will be able to do it!

I hope you all enjoy your 4th of July and try not to blow up your hands with illegal fireworks!

-- Love 
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

Happy 20th Birthday, Elder Hansen!
Yay! He got all of his birthday packages! Even his honey bee tie :)

The birthday celebration before he was unexpectedly transferred to Key West!

The District

Saying "goodbye" to Elder Royal

The Krew- Elders Belnap, Royal and Pippert

He's told us about these crazy cars with the comically large wheels.
These are 34" wheels on this one. :)

June 26, 2017 - "the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me"

Hello Family,

I am going to be really quick today because we are super busy! But I have pictures so that makes up for it!
On p-day we went to the beach and played some ball! That was pretty fun but it was kinda stormy.

This week we did missionary work and found people to teach! Wooohooo! We had President Richardson's last Zone conference and it was great! Sister Richardson cried of course. In other news, my recent convert Jacques Leon from back in Hollywood is now the Ward Mission Leader in Ft. Laud 2nd ward!  And update on Jacky, he came to church and has a date for July 8th! So we will continue to work with him this week.

A few weeks ago I talked about how we found a lady named Patricia Lane for the English Sisters, well last Saturday she got Baptized and is the newest member of the Ft. Lauderdale 2nd ward!

Also to explain the title of the email, we sang a musical number in sacrament meeting, just the 4 missionaries. We sang "All Creatures of our God and King", it was interesting, haha!

Those are the highlights and here is my last thought from President Packer: 

"The flow of revelation depends on your faith. You exercise faith by causing, or by making, your mind accept or believe as truth that which you cannot, by reason alone, prove for certainty. 

The first exercising of your faith should be your acceptance of Christ and His atonement.

As you test gospel principles by believing without knowing, the Spirit will begin to teach you. Gradually your faith will be replaced with knowledge.

You will be able to discern, or to see, with spiritual eyes.

Be believing and your faith will be constantly replenished, your knowledge of the truth increased, and your testimony of the Redeemer, of the Resurrection, of the Restoration will be as “a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.” You may then receive guidance on practical decisions in everyday life."

As we exercise faith in the Savior and in our Heavenly Father, we will qualify for direction in our daily lives!

Love you Guys!

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

At Fort Lauderdale Beach with Elders Royal, Pippert and Belnap

Playin' ball at the beach!