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

Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015 - I Skyped Home for Christmas!

Jwaye Nwel Fanmim! (Merry Christmas my family!)

Hey Everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this past week! I know that I did!
Quick couple stories, Jacques calls me his Godfather and Elder Murat his son because we Baptized and Confirmed him.  Also Elder Murat made me dance for our investigator family, so of course I busted out the Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! The only white person in the room and I was dancing! Anyway, good times... Then I started teaching Jacques how to read Creole, because he was already in the U.S. when Haiti came up with their writing system in 1993 or 94. So that has been fun!

On Wednesday we had our Christmas Conference for the Entire Mission! It was huge! We received some training and then after lunch we had a White Elephant Gift exchange where I gave away some sweet Santa Boxers that Elder Nebeker promptly wore for the remainder of the Conference. After that all the Zones put together a Zone skit and we performed those for the rest of the Mission! It was awesome and pretty hilarious. :)

Then on Christmas I got to open all the presents I got from home and then had the opportunity to Skype home to the Fam! It was awesome to be able to see their faces and hear their voices again! I still can't belive how big Parker is! After Skyping we went and knocked some doors and then had dinner with the Duan family in our ward. Then we visited Jacques.

This Sunday was pretty exciting because we had 2 baby blessings, a confirmation, and a farewell! It was a very busy sacrament meeting. Also we have 11 Languages spoken in our ward, we have English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Creole, Swahili, Russian, Tongan, Samoan, ASL, and Ghetto. It's a miracle that anyone understands anyone else! We definitely have a very mixed ward. 

After Church we ate with the Tongan family who has a son going on a mission to Tonga! We had soooooo much food! It was good. :)

My last thought this week:

In the spirit of Christmas I would like to talk about Christ's birth real briefly. In Helaman 14:3, Samuel the Lamanite prophesies, "And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day." And then the Savior said during his Earthly ministry, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."(John 8:12)

The sign of Christ Birth, was light and he is the Light of the world! As we follow him we will not be in darkness, but will be able to navigate through the vicissitudes of life and will not be lost in the world but shall find eternal life! 

I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

-- Orevwa (Goodbye)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Merry Christmas from Elder Murat and Elder Hansen!

Christmas morning in Hollywood Florida!

There's been an awakening ~ May the force be with you!

Looks like Santa found Elder Hansen all the way in Florida!

A couple of Jolly Elves!

Elder Murat loved his gifs from us! He wants to come and visit 
'Mama and Papa Hansen' in Idaho for some homemade breakfast and potatoes!  
He also wants to play some one-on-one with Parker!

Check these guys out!  We think they should form a barbershop quartet!

This is sooo Matthew! Elder Murat seems to be entertained by him, so that's good!

December 21, 2105 - It Ended up Being a White Christmas After All

This week was another AMAZING week in the FFLM. Even though it doesn't feel like Christmas, people are more open to talk about Christ and His impact in their lives. This was a very difficult week for finding. We didn't find anyone during knocking but followed up with a referral from last transfer that we dropped and they are still open to the gospel so we are working with them.

This week our miracle was Jacques Leon who was Baptized! It's awesome to see how happy and Converted he is now! After a life time of being Catholic and 2 years of Lessons from the Jehovah's Witness's, he finally found the True and Restored Gospel! He loves learning of the truth and is excited to share his knowledge with others so we hope that he will continue and share the gospel with those around him and that we will be able to teach them. The real miracle is that the Saturday before last he checked himself into the hospital and collapsed on the floor as soon as he entered the Emergency Room. All of his doctors said that he should have died but he told them, "I can't die, I have a very important thing I have to do next weekend". God Preserved his life so that he could complete the ordinance of baptism!

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to baptize him in Haitian Creole! The next day after his confirmation he sat down and said to me, "I'm in". He's is the most elect man I have ever met!
He can't wait to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! In 2 weeks Elder Murat and I get to take him!

This week we were able to take him on a temple tour and he loved it! A ward missionary, Brother Biamonte took us and he is probably the worst driver in the world. Jacques and Elder Murat and I were talking about him in the car in Creole, worrying for our lives.

One Biamonte story is, well two actually. First of all he is the most awkward man alive and he's a part time substitute teacher at elementary schools. Anyway apparently, Pres. Packer sat in on one of his Sunday School lessons and ask Brother Biamonte for pointers on how to improve his teaching. So he's a pretty big deal. Also this week he pulls us aside and tells us he has "big news" he is now in a relationship for the first time in 20 years, with probably the most awkward women alive! And here's the kicker, they are both in our ward! Anyway, it's called Holly-Weird for a reason.  That's about it for my week, I'll save the rest of my stories for when I'm back. ;)

My last thought:

This week I heard a quote from President Ezra Taft Benson, he says, "Apart from Christ we can't succeed, as a partner with him, we cannot fail!"

With Christ all things are possible so don't try to do it yourself!

I also hope that you all can show love for you families and get together with them this holiday season! Our families are Eternal so we should probably get along. ;)

I hope that you all have a very enjoyable Christmas and amidst the wrappings and packages and boxes and bags you will find time to think about and ponder the true spirit of Christmas!

-- Jwaye Nwel pou Nou tout ak pou nou tout bon sware 
-- (Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

At Jacques' baptism on December 19th! Their "white Christmas"!

"Jacques calls me his Godfather and Elder Murat his son 
because we Baptized and Confirmed him."

With Brother Tinney at the baptism.

They got to take Jacques to tour the temple grounds before his baptism.

Merry Christmas from Elders Hansen and Murat!

At their ward Christmas party.

The District

Being silly with Elders Nielsen and Murat :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 14, 2015 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... Springtime?

M kontan pou voye nou yon mesaj! (I feel happy to send us a message!) ?

I hope everyone is doing well and is enjoying the Christmas season!

This week was crazy as usual, which I guess would make it normal... I don't know. Anyway, to start out I went on exchanges 3 out of the seven days this week, so I was bouncing all over the place! I got to give a Dominican sister from the Spanish ward a blessing in Creole which was odd but cool! Maybe she understood some of it. I also got to use my Spanish a lot with the Spanish elder but it came out of more Cre-spanol, I kept throwing in random Creole words and they would just look at me confused.

I also got to take Luis to the temple with one of the Zone Leaders! Luis is 16 and is being taught by the Zone Leaders and want's to go on a mission after he is Baptized! He is so solid!

Then on one of the days this week we got to do a 'just serve' activity where we sorted food and got to listen to 'Apostate' music the whole time! I knew like all the songs and it took me back to the pre-Motab times. Needless to say we had fun.

Also on Saturday, I think the Methodist Church right next to ours brought in 30 tons of snow for the poor Floridian souls that don't know what snow is like. It was awesome to see snow again! This week it was 85 degrees and I sweated a little and thought to myself, "it can't be December, I must have traveled back through the fabric of time to the beginning of summer" then I realized I was crazy and got over it.

So enough of the random tangents, let's talk about Jacques. So we taught Jacques this week and he is so ready for his baptism, he has been telling everyone he knows that there is something missing in there lives and it's the Mormon Church! He definitely has the missionary fire. He has been inviting everyone to his baptism! This week we took away his coffee and the next day we visited him with the Bishop and he was like, " These guys, they took away my coffee, man!"  We had a good laugh, but he will be baptized on the 19th!

Quick quote from Brother Tinny the Ward Mission Leader and then my last thought,

"If you know what the answer is, you'll get the job. If you know why the answer is what it is, then you will be the boss." - Brother Tinny

(I should also probably mention he is a multi-millionaire and knows what he's talking about)

Okay my last thought, this week I studied about mercy and justice and how they work together, in Alma 42:15, 22-25 it states:
15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth‍ for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful‍ God also
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment‍ affixed, and a repentance‍ granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
 23 But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy‍ claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection‍ of the dead; and the resurrection‍ of the dead bringeth back‍ men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged‍ according to their works, according to the law and justice.
 24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy‍ claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.
 25 What, do ye suppose that mercy‍ can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

Justice will receive all that it demands but through the atonement, Christ can take upon himself the punishment and grant unto us Mercy if we humble ourselves and are "truly penitent". The only way to receive mercy is through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End! We cannot simply be saved by accepting Christ as our Savior! That is only the first step toward Baptism, which is the gate to the path which leads us to Eternal Life! We are only saved through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is a wonderful gift that we have been given and it is important for us to share it with others!

-- M' Renmen Nou tout ak mespere ke ou ap gen yon Nwel kontan (I love you all and I expect that you will have a Christmas joy) or probably a Merry Christmas!
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

He finally got the Christmas package we sent and they put up their tree!
The tags tell the story of Jesus' birth, the ornaments have the other names of Jesus from the scriptures (The Prince of Peace, etc.) and then pictures of Christ all around the tree.  
The star says, "Unto us a Son is given".

Their paper Nativity

Elder Hansen and Elder Murat striking a pose!
Matthew bought this sweater and some shoes with money from Grandma & Grandpa Shields!

Elder Nielsen, Luis and Elder Hansen

They keep dressing the same and we're not sure which one is which ;)
Love the Christmas ties!

Elder Murat (Muir - ah) loves the Christmas pillowcase we sent for him!

These crazy guys need to clean out underneath their couch!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December 7, 2015 - Rain, rain go away - or at least be snow!

Poukisa ou pap ouri?  (Why are you smiling?)

Hello everyone,

So to sum up the week in a nutshell it rained everyday... so that was awesome. We probably got more rain this week than Idaho gets in a year, so this week was fairly soggy.

This week was frustrating because we had to drop 14 investigators/potential investigators, but that just means that we will find more next week!  Right now we are teaching Jacques who is part of a Part Member family and has a baptism date set for the 19th, so that is good! He loves it when we teach him. This week when we taught him the difference between Jehovah and Heavenly Father he hopped up and did a fist pump and said, "I knew that Old man was lying to me!" (Referring to the old Haitian JW that teaches him). It was pretty funny, he has great desires and loves to learn truth.

Also Jacques wife rotates between calling me Jansen and Johnson and asks me about 20 times a lesson if I understand what Jacques is saying, so I'm like, "Not really lady, stop laughing at me"
it's all good though.  It's good to have someone laugh at you so you don't get too prideful.

On Sunday, Jacques came to church and Brother Pablo bore his testimony and shared a scripture that I had shared in a lesson that we taught with him. During his testimony he used the term 'out of the mouths of babes' and called me a 'babe' about 4 times... So that was awkward!  Then another member got up and said, "it looks like some of you need to have a little more love in your lives, you aren't evening smiling! I looks like all you do is eat lemons and pickles!"

So yeah, that's the Hollywood ward!

This week I have been thinking a lot about the Gospel (weird right?) but specifically about the simplicity of the gospel.  The more you study the Gospel the more you discover how simple it is. In President Uchtdorf's last conference address he said:

"This beautiful gospel is so simple a child can grasp it, yet so profound and complex that it will take a lifetime—even an eternity—of study and discovery to fully understand it.
Brothers and sisters, living the gospel doesn’t need to be complicated.
It is really straightforward. It could be described like this:

Hearing the word of God with earnest intent leads us to believe in God and to trust His promises.
The more we trust God, the more our hearts are filled with love for Him and for each other.

Because of our love for God, we desire to follow Him and bring our actions in alignment with His word. Because we love God, we want to serve Him; we want to bless the lives of others and help the poor and the needy. The more we walk in this path of discipleship, the more we desire to learn the word of God.

And so it goes, each step leading to the next and filling us with ever-increasing faith, hope, and charity. It is beautifully simple, and it works beautifully."

I can testify that what this Apostle said is true, that as we focus on the basics of the gospel, we find how simple it really is to be a disciple of Christ!

Nephi said:

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:20)

I hope that you are all enjoying the Holiday season and are being good so you can be on the Nice List!

--Avek lanmou soti Florid (With love from Florida)

Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Elders Charlton, Hansen, Lolani and Murat

Matthew and his comp with the Spanish Elders

Friday, December 4, 2015

November 30, 2015 - Haitian-ing the Work with my Haitian Companion

Sak ap fet neg? (What's made those guys? Umm... Google Translate isn't helping much here. Maybe it's "What's happening guys?"

So this was about the oddest week of my mission. It started out with us going to transfer meeting, everyone is always super excited to see where they are going and who their companion is going to be. So Elder Becker became a Zone Leader in Palm Beach! That's cool for him. :)  My new companion is Elder Murat! (Pronounced Mira) and he's a Haitian! He is awesome and we are going to do great things here in Hollywood!

But that is not the odd part, Thanksgiving morning we dropped Elder Murat off at the airport so that he could go home! So nuts! He got to go home for Thanksgiving so that he could renew his Visa. Since he was gone for a day and a half doing who knows what in Boston, I became a Zone Leader for 36 hours! I had to be one of the youngest Zone Leaders ever! Just Kidding, I was in a trio with the Zone Leaders until Elder Murat got back.

On Thanksgiving we Dropped off my Comp at the airport and then went and played in the ward Turkey Bowl in which I threw 4 touchdowns to the other team and 4 other interceptions. Pretty dang awesome. After that we went to the ward Thanksgiving party and ate a very odd combination of food... Then we went out to go proselyte and knocked into a giant Haitian party with 40+ people. Story time, so this family, we ask if we can say a prayer with them and they accept. I ask them if they are from Haiti and they say, "wi" so I look for my fluent companion and *Gasp* he's in Boston! So it falls on me to speak to them.... So I do the normal conversation stuff, then say the prayer and get a hug from a Haitian Mamie. Then, this is the kicker, they ask if we have eaten, and I say that we just did and then they ask if we would like more, and I said (in creole) "What do you have? Rice and Chicken?", the next thing I know the house explodes in laughter and the Zone Leaders and I are sitting at the table with Giant Plates of Food! It was a fun experience but I was sooo full!

So the next day I get my Companion back and we got out and finally started working our area. Right now we are teaching Jacques Leon who is a Haitian, in a part member family, and he is definitely getting baptized! The only problem is that he is taking lessons from the Jehovah Witnesses as well, but that's not a big deal because they got nothing on us. He came to church on Sunday and enjoyed it. He recognizes the spirit which is awesome. Yesterday I was the only white person in Creole class... so that's pretty awesome.

That's basically it for the week, so just a quick last thought.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:10).
Thus, we sing:
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, …
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

We can find strength in Jesus Christ through his atonement for us. Because he suffered all the pains and afflictions we will ever experience, he can succor us if we humble ourselves and come unto him.

I hope that you all have an enjoyable start to your December and whenever you think that it is too cold, just be glad that I'm warm ;)

-- m renmen nou tout, pa bliye li (I love you all, do not forget it!)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Elders Nielsen, Hansen, Murat, and Vancott

Elder Murat from Haiti and Boston

Chillin' in the car (literally)

The Elders in their apartment. We love that the Halloween banner is still on the wall at the end of  November, and that two of the Elders aren't wearing socks!  Matthew hates bare feet and was the sock police here at home.  That makes us smile :)