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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 26, 2015 - Week 2 in Hollywood

Hello Friends and Family

This week has flown by! It seems like P-day was a couple of days ago! So last P-day we went to the Sawgrass Mall which is the 2nd biggest mall in America! It's over a mile long! We had delicious Philly Cheesesteak there and walked around for a little. Then we had a Zone activity at the Stake Center and played Dodgeball, Volleyball, and Soccer with all the Missionaries in the Zone and that was a lot of fun!

Okay, so this is a typical day for me here in Hollywood. We get up at 6:30 and exercise and then we study until 11, have lunch and continue studying and planning until 2ish. Then we go out and knock doors in our English area, sometimes outside of it looking for Haitians but they are too spread out to have any success. Then we try and go to any appointments that we have set up during the day but they usually fall through. Then dinner at 5 and continue knocking afterwards until 9 but most days we try and see a Haitian member at 8:00 or so and try and get some referrals. Then we plan again at night and go to bed at 10:30.

One thing about the people in Hollywood is that the have lower income housing but they all have super nice cars! It's unbelievable! They sacrifice a nicer home for a really expensive car. There are some cars that aren't as nice, older Pontiacs mostly, but they get super nice paint jobs and throw on comically large wheels! It's super funny!

So last Tuesday we had Ward Council and Missionary Coordination. It was super cool because the Hollywood ward has about 12 ward missionaries that are all super ready and willing to go out and teach with us!

This week we were still trying to find investigators but weren't having a lot of luck so we stopped at McDonalds for some ice cream and I ordered an Oreo Milkshake, but got an Oreo Frappe..... basically the worst day ever. :(

Thursday was "Do or Die" Thursday and we had to keep knocking all day till we found a family to teach. So Elder Becker and I chose Madison Street to knock and we knocked the whole street for about 5 hours and weren't finding anybody. Finally the last door we knocked we found Jenece and Deon and they are super cool! They came to stake conference on Sunday and are committed to be baptized on the 14th of November. Last Night we were able to teach a super awesome lesson to them and they are soo prepared to be baptized (once they get married of course).

Anyway, that was this week, we knocked a lot and 27 appointments fell through so we did some more knocking.

A couple of Floridian stories. We knocked into this chunky redheaded guy with a ponytail who answers the door, holding back his pitbull, wearing nothing but his turquois briefs, turquois gem necklace and a turquois neckbrace.  Then the next day we saw a guy at the bus stop just taking a pee right on the side of Hollywood Boulevard while he's waiting for his bus.... That's Florida for you.

Last thought, Alma 9:17, "And at some period of time they will be brought to believe in his word, and to know of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers; and many of them will be saved, for the Lord will be merciful unto all who call on his name."

The Lord will accept all who come unto him and humble themselves by submitting to his will, for God is no respecter of persons. It doesn't matter if your black or white, rich or poor, bond or free, he will be merciful unto ALL who call on his name.

Love you all and I think of you always,

-- Mwen Renmen nou tout (I love you all)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

We finally got a letter and picture from the Mission President this week letting us know that Matthew got there safely!  Love the picture of my missionary and the one of Christ in the background!

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015 - He's in Florida!

Alo Zanmim yo (Hello friends),

This week has definitely been a crazy one! We flew to Ft. Lauderdale and got in about 4-ish (p.m.). We were greeted by the AP's and President Richardson! He is super cool. Then after we dropped our luggage off at the Hotel we went and had dinner at the President's house and received some training.

The next day was transfer meeting and we all bore our testimonies and then afterwards everyone received their areas and companions! We are opening up the Area of Hollywood Creole and cover the entire zone for Creole! We also have a smaller English area just east of our apartment. My Companion is Elder Becker from Kaysville UT, and he is super cool! He's been out 15 months and just finished training another elder. He's also the district leader. After transfer meeting we went to the house and put our stuff away. It's a fairly small apartment and we live with the Zone Leaders.

The first day we went out and just knocked door to door. Since we are opening up the area and there haven't been Creole missionaries in this area for 3 years, we have nothing. No investigators, referrals, nothing. So we just go knock. We've knocked 3 hours everyday but sometimes more.

On Friday, I think we were knocking on FUNston street (because it sounded fun) and we knocked on the door of a man named Carl. Carl is a member that has been inactive for years because he's been in the hospital for medical complications. Anyway, he had been praying that we would find him and we did! He came to church on Sunday and it was awesome. We are continuing teaching him to make sure he's solid in the gospel.

The rain here is astounding, we probably got more rain in a day than Boise does in a year. Most of the streets were flooded.

There are quite a few Haitian members in the ward and we are trying to visit them. Believe it or not we Skyped with a guy named Rommel on Monday while I was still in the MTC and he's the Young Mens leader in our ward! I went to his house on Thursday and it was awesome! Another Haitian we visited was Mamie and she has 2 kids MadyCindy and Jeff (who looks like Parker). She was baptized a year ago and has an amazing testimony.

We also met with the Pierre family who gave us a warm Haitian banana and wheat smoothie thing that we dipped bread in, it was good but different. They are also an awesome family!

Our only investigator is a boy named Leslie who has gone to church over 20 times and wants to be baptized, we just have to get the signature from his mom. So hopefully he gets baptized this week! Other than that we have no investigators, so we have to go find some!

At church we have 17 Haitian members so we have Creole Sunday School, which is basically a large argument in a mix of French, Creole, and English. It's super cool though except they made me say the prayer... And BTW Haitians are super hard to understand!

Okay, one last thing...

In Mosiah 24: 14-15 the Lord says, "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage...
And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

As we are patient in our trials the Lord will ease our burdens, and I know that this is true.

I am doing well and hope that all of you are as well, I hope you have a great week and I will talk to you next Monday :)

-- Avek Lanmou (with Love)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

No pictures from Florida this week :(

We took this before he left, he's wearing his Dad's name tag :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14, 2015 - An unexpected photo from a stranger on Facebook = A wonderful gift to the parents of a missionary!

I just saw this shared on the Missionary Momma's Facebook page from a group from Meridian Magazine! My missionary, Elder Hansen, is on the left near the center in the back row! He was on his way to Florida yesterday. I love it when members take pictures of our missionaries and give us a little unexpected gift of joy! It's so great to see his face and all of his traveling companions. What a huge group of missionaries, they all look so great! Elder Hansen is sooo excited to get out into the field! He called us from the airport and it was so great to hear his voice again after 6 weeks. smile emoticon Look out Florida, here he comes!

 Elder Hansen is on the left, near the middle, on the back row!  He looks so happy!  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 12, 2015 - Last Day in the MTC

Kijan nou ye? (How are you?)

Well, this week has been kind of crazy, it has really flown by! First off, Thank You to Grandma Shields and Eileen and Russ for the awesome packages this week! They were awesome! And Happy birthday to Natalie and Natalie :) You're both a year older than you were 3 days ago!

Last Tuesday night we had a devotional by Linda K Barton, the General Relief Society President and she taught about modern day prophets and how we as missionaries have the same call and responsibilities as the Apostles do, to preach to the world the truths of the gospel and invite them to be converted unto Christ! It was pretty awesome!

Wednesday was literally one of my favorite days at the MTC! We had the opportunity to teach 2 native Ayisian in Ayiti (Haitians in Haiti) via Skype! It took like an hour for us to get connected with them because the power over there is spotty and so is the Internet but once we got connected it was literally the coolest!!! Their names were FanFan (Fawnfawn) and Tousen (Twosehn) and they were seriously so cool! We were supposed to teach them but they ended up teaching us! They would get so excited when we understood them or we when talked back to them. They would be grinning from ear to ear. They also had super cool accents! Also on Wednesday Elder Petry and I had a lot of Zone leader things we had to take care of but other than that it was a totally normal day.

On Thursday we had 8 hours of "infield training" which was a lot of review but helped prepare us for working with members. The food these last few days has progressively become worse. I think they know that I am leaving so they are choosing my "Favorite" dishes... Anyway, we had class on Thursday and had the opportunity to Skype with Nephtalie, who is a Haitian from Ft. Lauderdale. Honestly talking with Haitians is the coolest thing ever, I'm so pumped to leave!

Oh I forgot, we had to teach Elder Batezzatto, the Italian, some English. He didn't know the pronunciation difference between the word 'Sheet' and 'S***' so we had to help him with that. We all had a good laugh about it. He's a super awesome kid and has had to learn English and then learn french from English! He's amazing!

In class we are learning a lot about Haitian Culture and about different places around the mission. It's pretty cool. Again we are super excited to go!

On Sunday, we took a bunch of pictures and had a departure devotional for all the missionaries leaving this week. It was good I think, I fell asleep for most of it but everyone said it was pretty good.

Today all of the missionaries heading to France shipped out so it's just the Creoles and one missionary going to Halifax left. It was sad saying good by but we are ready to go as well.

Okay my final thought, in Moroni chapter 7:45-47 it says " And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things,believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Becoming Christlike is what we all should be striving for in our lives. If we have charity we become like Christ. Charity, however is a lot more than imparting of our physical substance to the poor. Charity and selflessness go along one with another. The natural man is selfish and is therefore not very charitable, but if we follow the council that Moroni gives us in Chapter 7 and work on the characteristics given in verse 45, we can have charity and like Moroni says, "...whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."

I testify that this is true. Christ came to Earth to set the example for us to follow, and if we follow it, we will receive many blessings in the life to come.

(M' rann temwayaj ke sa se vre. Kris te vini Tè pou montre nou egzanp la ke nou dwe swiv, epi si nou swiv li, n'ap resevwa anpil benediksyon nan pwochen lavi a.)

I hope that you are all doing well and I am keeping you in my prayers.

-- Bondye avek ou jistan n'a wè (God with you until I see you)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

With their teacher Fre (Brother) Anderson

The three districts leaving the MTC

With Elder Bentley, their British friend

Goodbye hugs for Elder Jackson

Even on the bench Elder Nelson still isn't as tall as his comp

An MVHS reunion with Elder Ursenbach and Elder Parker Hansen

With their Italian friend Elder Batezzatto (means 'baptized' in Italian)

This is a pretty good (bad?) picture of the 'haircut'.  
Super short on the sides and longer on top, oh dear!

With Brother Maher from the Branch Presidency

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 6, 2015 - On the Home Stretch Now

Sa k ap fet Zanmi mwen yo? (What is happening my friends?)

Today was another... week at the MTC.  First off, my heart is saddened by the news of the shooting at Umpqua Community College this past week.  I look to those victims as an example to me of being steadfast and firm in their faith in Jesus Christ.  My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

At the MTC this week we started off with a devotional on Tuesday night by Claudio R.M. Costa where he talked about the fruits of Missionary work.  I will share one quick quote from him. "If you cut open an apple, you can count the seeds inside, but you cannot count the apples inside of a seed." You will never know how many people you affect through the conversion of one person. They can go on to share the gospel with many more people because we were willing to open our mouths. In short, success in missionary work isn't measured by baptisms.

On Wednesday my comp and I got to welcome the new district into the Zone since we're now ZLs, so that was pretty fun.  I think that they (the new District) think I am weird but that's okay since I am. :) Also on Wednesday, we had a TRC (Teaching Resource Center) skype session with AJ from Riverton, UT who had just returned from Boston (also a Haitian speaking mission) 5 days before! It was super cool that we got to talk with him.

This week our "Investigator" Manfred got baptized and my comp and I were pretty pumped about that. Bellott would have been baptized but we didn't tell him where church was so he didn't go, soooooooo that's awkward. We are shooting for this weekend now. (Their "Investigators" are their teachers and this is a role-play activity they do to help teach them how to teach.)

On Friday, we got our flight plans which was awesome, and I was right, we have a layover in Georgia. We were all pretty pumped to get those. We're leaving at 3:30 a.m.

Thank you for the awesome package! Our district loves the goodies and pillowcases and we definitely played conference bingo. Conference was super awesome! It was a cool experience to watch it at the MTC but I still prefer watching it in my PJ's. My summary of conference was : Be Worthy. If you aren't, get worthy. There is a storm coming. You need the spirit and are going to need to follow it to stay safe. You need to have faith and having faith is a choice. With the spirit and faith in Jesus Christ you will be able to successfully stay with in the guidelines of the Lord's Commandments.

Last few things that happened. Yesterday I was drinking Tahitian Juice (15% Powerade, 15% Sprite, 70% Lemonade, it's delicious) and my cup slipped out of my hand and fell on Elder Eberhard who was sitting next to me. It was pretty funny/embarrassing. Afterwards we had a devotional by BYU's Vocal Point and that was actually super cool! Then that night we had to use our McGyver skills to break into the new district's residence because they locked themselves out, so that was exciting. Then we had a Zone tie trade and I got a bunch of dope new ties.

Okay, here is what I learned this week outside of conference. In reading 3rd Nephi I discovered a scripture chain that might not be that interesting to you but intrigued me. In 3 Nephi 27:27 Jesus is speaking to his disciples and states, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." He also instructs the people in 3 Nehpi 12:48 that, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." Now these 2 statements of Christ's are a lot to take in. I have never been perfect in anything! Often I feel a lot like the people described in Helaman 12:4-5, "O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world! Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths!" In these scriptures Helaman is describing us, the natural man, and in Mosiah 3:19 King Benjamin teaches us more concerning such, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." King Benjamin teaches us that through the spirit of he Lord we can put off the natural man and become more Christlike! Finally in Doctrine and Covenants 11:12-13 It tells us how the spirit helps us, "And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy."

I testify to you of the truthfulness of these scriptures. Christ asks us to follow his example and be perfect like he is and the only way that we can 'put off the natural man' is by following the Spirit. I know that the only way that we can become perfect is through the atonement of Christ.

Thank you all for your kind messages and emails, it is always great to hear from you! I hope that you all have a good week.

-- Kenbe Djanm (Keep robust!) hee-hee
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Conference Pillowcases made by Kaylee!

Power Scriptures - love it!

Class time...?

Selfie - I asked for a picture of his haircut, hmmm

Big Cloud - (I was hoping for more photos of my missionary)
It is a very nice Big Cloud

 The Canyon

 The leaves are starting to change color

 His 'dope' new ties from the Zone Tie Trade