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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

December 13, 2016 - Transferred Again

Hello All,

We had a pretty crazy day and don't have a ton of time to email today so I will be very brief.

This week we had Zone Training and to hear about it please listen to the voice recording below. We challenged our Zone to get a certain amount of baptisms this week and if they met their goals we would let them throw whip cream pies in our faces. Well, we are men of our word and our Zone got those baptisms, so we had a pie throwing intermission during our Zone meeting. It turned into more of a full contact event than we had planned, ending with Elder Ariotti getting a 3rd degree concussion. :( He said it was still worth it though. After that excitement I went on exchange with one of the Assistants, Elder Adams. The rest of the week was fairly unproductive as far as missionary work goes, we spent mostly doing Zone Leader stuff.

Last night we had transfer calls and I will be transferred to the Linton Branch, a Haitian Branch in the Palm Beach Stake and my companion will be Elder Christensen. We will be whitewashing in (both new to the area) and we will be the Zone Leaders!

As for my last thought, the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and if you study it with real intent, with a question or a problem in mind, it will help you to overcome your difficulties. So read it!

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

The Fort Myers Zone

Elder Hansen (standing on the chair) impersonating Elder Ariotti who is very tall, 
and Elder Ariotti (seated) impersonating Elder Hansen, who is known for 
his Ramen noodle-like wavy hair, with a package of Ramen noodles on his head!

The first pie for Elder Hansen, with Elder Ariotti in the background

This is a good look!
I can't believe he didn't take off his tie :(

This may have been the pie that caused the "concussion".  
This Elder is airborne coming in to deliver this pie to Elder Ariotti's face. Yikes!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 5, 2016 - Glad Christmas Tidings

Hello family and friends,

Well, it's now officially December, and I guess that means it's time to bundle up and get nice and close to the fireplace and tell Christmas stories of yesteryear. But I am a Hipster I guess and did exactly zero of those things. ;)

On Monday, this week we played soccer in the church cultural hall and it got pretty intense, haha! But in accordance with white handbook policy we didn't keep score, but somehow we still lost... But then at the close of P-day we fulfilled some of our Zone Leader Duties and that was "Loads of Fun"...?

On Tuesday, we went to 2 District Trainings and they were both pretty Boss! Elder Pineda took us through "The Plan of Your Mission" which is like the Plan of Salvation, but about our missions. It was awesome! Then I went on Exchange with Elder Pineda and we had a grand ol' time knocking the streets of Lehigh Acres. We knocked into this white lady and she kindly let us know that she was saved but she referred us to 2 Haitians, so we went and saw them and got return appointments with them!

On Wednesday, we went and taught a bible referral named France Pierre and her 2 kids and they are the most adorable family ever! Then we had dinner with the Lowman Family and went on Splits with the High Priests.

On Thursday, we had a pretty terrible day, haha. We helped the English and Spanish Elders move apartments and they had a lot of stuff! Then we had an apartment inspection to make sure that the place was spotless and of course it was! After that we drove to Naples and slept on the floor in the Elder's apartment there so we wouldn't have to go so far to get to Ft. Laud for Mission Leadership Council. 

On Friday, we spent the majority of the day at MLC which was good but long, we spent way too long in the car...

Then on Saturday, we were flying around trying to do a week's worth of missionary work in one day and it didn't work... but we did solidfy the Lawson's for church, I don't remember if I told you all but the Lawson's aren't married...  so we had them talk to the Obispo (Bishop) on Sunday and they are planning on getting married in January, which is good, but a looooooong way away, that's like a whole transfer... Anyway that was my week, and it just flew by! 

For my spiritual thought this week, I invite each of you to go to this website https://www.mormon.org/ and watch the "Light the World" video and commit to do the 25 day challenge, or at least the last 20 days of it!

I hope that your halls are all getting decked and there is plenty of holly and mistletoe to go around! And let's all remember the purpose of Christmas!

--Dios bendiga 
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

A going home funeral for Sister Jones
I love that they're all wearing black ties!

Some comic style folders from the the AP's
The first one is of Elder "Narc" Smith dreaming of hunting for 100 baptisms.
The second is of Elder Ariotti with a gangster "23 baptisms" gold chain on
and Matthew in his bee suit! Too funny!

Friday, December 9, 2016

November 28, 2016 - A Thanksgiving Baptism!

Season-ings Greetings! (funny kid)

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and that you didn't slave too hard over those delicious Thanksgiving meals. So, what happened with me this week you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked because we had a grand time here in Ft. Meezy!

To start off, on Tuesday we went on exchange with the Spanish Elders and I got to cruise around town with Elder Perez, the cute little Guatemalan. (BTW his mom speaks Kekchi and lives in Sandy! Small world) Anywho, we had a fun day cruisin around town teaching Haitians so I'm sure he had a great time.

On Wednesday an investigator in the Spanish ward took us all to McDonalds for lunch so that was pretty fun! Then we tried to talk to all the Less Active Haitians in the ward. After that we went to a meal appt. in a trailer and that about sums that up.

On Thursday we contacted a referral in the morning named France Pierre and she was super nice! Then we went and ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Cole's and it was super delicioso. Then we went to the Richardson's and had Thanksgiving dinner with them too..... so needless to say I was full haha, no post- thanksgiving nap though, haha.

On Friday we did something but I can't remember at the present time.... I'll have to get back with you on that one.

On Saturday though, and this is the real good stuff, we had the most southern meal you've ever seen (pictures below). After that we went and taught Figarro Baptiste and she was all like "oh, I have to work tomorrow, why can't I get baptized today" And we were like "Dude, we moved it to Sunday because you didn't have to work that day" and she was like, "but I didn't go to work today so I could get baptized today" and we were like,"bro.... it's not that easy, coordinating a baptism in a LDS ward is nigh unto Rocket Science in level of difficulty" and then she was like, "okay, I won't go to work" and then we breathed a sigh of relief and said "Merci Beaucoup" (This conversation was in Creole of course and this is but a rough translation due to lack of time) Anyway, she was down to get 'tized on Sunday. Then after that we had some "Confidential Zone Leader Business" that you don't even want to know about, Big headache... Then we ate Thanksgiving Part 2 with the St. Louis Family and they are hilarious!

Sunday Morning FIGARRO GOT BAPTIZED!!!! WOOOOOHHHHOOOOOOO!!!! And funny story, she only showed up 10 minutes late (which is early for Haitians) and then we found out that her name is Matene Baptiste Figarro, while we were in the font, so that was funny, haha!

Anyway, that was my week, I'm sure I missed something funny/important but I'll remember once I pass through the veil again, so we will regroup at that point.

Okay My last thought, "And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances... Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man... And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. (D&C 59:15-21) 

God wants to bless us at every opportunity that He has, but He cannot bless us with everything He has unless we are obedient. He blesses us as much as he can without our obedience, "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." But the fulness of his blessings are waiting for those who do these 2 things in the scripture above, to "confess his hand in all things" through Gratitude and to keep his Commandments. How quick we are to forget to do these 2 things.

I love you all and hope you have had time to bust out the Christmas Music!

-- Adieu
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Figarro's Baptism!

The turkey hat we sent to him.
He said he wore it to their District Training meeting!

His favorite, chocolate cream pie!

I sent them some money and the directions to this restaurant 
to get some great Southern cooking and delicious pie! 

His comp, Elder Ariotti getting in on the fun with the turkey hat!

Matthew's thankful turkey for 2016

November 21, 2016 - "I Am Thankful For_________"

Hello my dearest fans!

Thank you for all of your fan mail! I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving this week and go out and have a great time with your families!

So, this week I am thankful for motorized transportation because I drove all over the state this week! 

This tuesday we had Zone Conference in Boynton Beach, which of course is a 3 hour drive for us in Ft. myers. We got to drive through Belle Glade to get there so that was exciting! Zone Conference was amazing and I got to see my old amigos!

Then on Wednesday we did lots of stuff but to end the night we re-found Figarro Baptiste. I don't know if you remember her, but we taught her back at the beginning of October and she now has a baptismal date for the 26th!

Thursday we prepared and went to a meeting with the Stake President to report on the missionary work in the stake, and then our battery died so we had to get that replaced...

Then on Friday we went to 2 District Trainings while President did interviews with all the missionaries and it went well. Then I went on exchange with Elder Lewis and we biked all over the placed and it was super lame...

Then Saturday we went to a Chinese buffet and I tried a lot of sushi including octopus, sooo yeah, that was chewy...

Sunday was great and we had the Lawson family and Figarro at church then after church we had another Just Serve meeting for the stake and at that point I was pretty meeting-ed out but I made it through it! So we had a super busy week.

My last thought is from President Henry B. Eyring "I receive letters and visits from faithful Latter-day Saints who feel burdened with a load of care. Some are close to feeling that, at least for them, all is lost. I hope and pray that what I say about being grateful on the Sabbath will be helpful to make doubts fly and for singing to start in your hearts.

One blessing for which we can be grateful is that we are there in that sacrament meeting at all, gathered with more than one or two of His disciples in His name. There are some at home unable to rise from their beds. There are some who would like to be where we are but are instead serving in hospitals and providing public safety or are defending us at the risk of their own lives in some desert or jungle. The fact that we are able to gather with even one other Saint and partake of the sacrament will help us begin to feel gratitude and love for God’s kindness.

Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, another blessing we can count is that we have the opportunity to take the sacrament each week—prepared, blessed, and passed by authorized servants of God. We can be grateful when the Holy Spirit confirms to us that the words of the sacrament prayers, offered by those authorized priesthood holders, are honored by our Heavenly Father.

Of all the blessings we can count, the greatest by far is the feeling of forgiveness that comes as we partake of the sacrament. We will feel greater love and appreciation for the Savior, whose infinite sacrifice made possible our being cleansed from sin. As we partake of the bread and water, we remember that He suffered for us. And when we feel gratitude for what He has done for us, we will feel His love for us and our love for Him.

The blessing of love we receive will make it easier for us to keep the commandment to “always remember Him.” You may even feel love and gratitude, as I do, for the Holy Ghost, who Heavenly Father has promised will always be with us as we remain faithful to the covenants we have made. We can count all those blessings every Sunday and feel grateful."

As we take time to regain an eternal perspective and see the things we should really be thankful for, and they will all bring us closer to our Father in Heaven!

I love you all!

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

Elder Hansen with Elder Petersen and Elder Roberts

With his favorite trainer, Elder Murat
We love the photo bombers in the background :)

With his good old MTC comp Elder Petry

With his buddy Elder Petersen again

Awkward hands with Elder Deklerk

November 14, 2016 - May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Hello Fam!

So anyway, this week was busy and we did a lot but I can't really remember all of it, so I will try to fill you in. On Monday we taught a member referral family of 5, the Riches' Family and they are pretty cool! Then when I got home I spent 45 minutes making a decal for our Zone flag. Then on Tuesday we had Zone Training and it went really well. In order to pump up the Zone we changed the Zone culture to the Hunger Games. The Zone name is the "Ft. Myers Zone: Catching Fire" so we lit a table on fire (no story here?) and did some other crazy stuff to get people pumped! We played the Hunger Games Anthem and the cannons for how many new investigators each companionship gained this week! It has seemed to work so far. Then after ZT I went on exchange with Elder Spottiswood and we knocked into Marie Elsee! She is a Haitian Mamie that just came from Pot-au-Prens and is excited to learn. We took the Ambroise Family (recent converts) over to teach her and they did an awesome job sharing their testimonies and answering Marie's questions! Tifarel didn't act like a member that was baptized just 12 days before. That was probably the highlight of the week! So anyway, on Sunday Marie came to church! Unfortunately, the Lawson's and the Riches' didn't come to church but we re-solidified them for next week!

So that was the week basically, now for my last thought, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth." (Luke 11:17) 

Among any organization, if the members within are divided, the demise of the organization is inevitable. Focusing on differences never brought reconciliation. Regardless of opinion it is important for us to focus on our similarities! We are all children of God and if we all follow God we would be able to live as the Nephites following the visitation of Christ, "And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land." (4 Nephi 1:15-18)

I love you and hope you enjoy the fall colors!

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

The Fort Myers Zone "Catching Fire!"

In honor of Rue, do the whistle!
It looks like this is the table they set on fire, yikes!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Well, my new comp is 8 inches Taller than me...

So, that about sums up my new companion, haha just kidding! His name is Elder Ariotti and he is from Bountiful (the T is silent) Utah and he is 2 transfers older than I am. He is 6'6" and yeah, I'm not so I guess we are going to look like a father son team.

Anyway, for the week last P-Day we went Golfing with Brother Lowry for Elder Smith's last P-day, we had a good time and golfing is super relaxing! Especially when you are golfing with people that aren't very good, haha. :) The next day we went and dropped Elder Smith off to head on home and then I picked up Elder Ariotti! (not literally, I can't do that...) Then we took the 2 hour car ride back to Ft. Myers on the "everything looks the same" highway through the Everglades. When we got back we had english class and then went on splits with the High Priests. Then we had 2 District Trainings on Thursday and got to know the Zone a little bit and then we had a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG planning session to know how to better help our Zone. After that we saw some peeps and then drove down to Cypress Grove to stay the night before MLC (mission leadership counsel) the next day! So the next morning we had MLC and it was supa dope! And after MLC Elder Toews, who is now the new AP (because Elder VanCott went home), came on a shadow exchange with us and we taught a good lesson, then a bad lesson, then a good lesson so I guess we need to work on consistency!
Then on Saturday we helped out with a "Family Discovery Day", it was kind of a flop but I ate like 10 hotdogs so that was exciting! Then we did some sort of missionary work but I'm not 100% sure of which kind... On Sunday we had church and this crazy lady bore her testimony which was hilarious. The hilarity was increased as I tried to translate this big black lady's "testimony on Wednesday" into Creole. After church we had 2 meal appointments and got super full, then we planned some training for tomorrow!

So, those were the highlights of the week, unfortunately we didn't do a whole lot of regular missionary work but we will turn it around next week!

Time for my last thought, I didn't spend a whole lot of time studying this week but I did give a comp study this week while driving to Ft. Lauderdale so I will share one scripture with you, 

"Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of all things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old." (Jacob 4:13)

When we rely on what we learn from the Spirit we will never go astray and we will be able to keep a proper perspective in making our decisions! 

Well, enjoy the election, I'll find out sometime who lost but I have a feeling it is going to be us. ;)

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Hansen's new comp, Elder Ariotti, only 8 inches taller!

He's from Bountiful, Utah where mom grew up.
It's a small world! 

This is the prettier part of the monotonously flat 2 hour drive through the Everglades.

Matthew attempting to turn himself into a prince?
Or is the frog a Princess?

Monday, November 7, 2016

October 31, 2016 - "You Kill my father, Prepare to die"

To explain the title of my email, when a missionary finishes his mission he "dies" and his companion at the time "kills" him (sends him home). Elder Smith "killed" my "Father", Elder Becker, and now Elder Smith is going home so I am "killing" him and Viola My title :)

So anyway, this week was Boss with a capital B! We did a lot but because of poor time management skills and procrastination on my end you will again receive just the tip of the iceberg of my week. So this week we had a Boss joint zone activity which was cool.  To give you some back story, our mission goal for baptisms is 100 (for this month), we haven't hit 100 baptisms since March of 2014, so the big push this month was the hunt for 100. So with lots of extenuating circumstances including a hurricane at the end of last week we only had 51 baptisms with one week left to baptize. We had 51 potentials to be baptized in the mission so we were running around all over trying to not let anyone drop off. That was nuts! What ended up happening is that this week we baptized 35 people as a mission which is super awesome! But that only puts us at 86 which unfortunately is a touch less than 100, but we have the next few months to come and we are going to do it!

This week we baptized Michelle and Tifarel! (pictures below) And it was super awesome! I baptized my first white person so I guess I am now no longer "racist"! Which is a good improvement I'm told.

This weekend we had some craziness with Trunk-or-treats and Halloween and stuff. If you want the real funny stories you can read my journal when I come home. :)

So that was the week in a nutshell, if you took out the majority of the nut in the actual shell, just leaving a fragmented mess of shell and nut, but that is how you get info from Elder Hansen!

My ultimate thought, from President Uchtdorf, "Each time a hope is fulfilled, it creates confidence and leads to greater hope. I can think of many instances in my life where I learned firsthand the power of hope. I well remember the days in my childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a world war, the lack of educational opportunities, life-threatening health issues during youth, and the challenging and discouraging economic experiences as a refugee. The example of our mother, even in the worst of times, to move forward and put faith and hope into action, not just worrying or wishful thinking, sustained our family and me and gave confidence that present circumstances would give way to future blessings.

I know from these experiences that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ and our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that strengthen faith, offer a bright hope, and lead us to charity.

Hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us.

With Jeremiah I proclaim, “Blessed is the man … whose hope the Lord is.”

With Joel I testify, “The Lord [is] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”

With Nephi I declare: “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.”

This is the quality of hope we must cherish and develop. Such a mature hope comes in and through our Savior Jesus Christ, for “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as [the Savior] is pure.”

The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock.” God will wait with “open arms to receive” those who give away their sins and continue in faith, hope, and charity.

And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.

Never surrender.

Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.

Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.

Of this I testify and leave you my blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

May we always find hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can overcome any and all situations we find ourselves in, because He descended below them all that he may lift us"

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Michelle's Baptism. 
Michelle just got married last week and baptized this week!

Tifarel's Baptism, with his wife Nellie who was baptized a few weeks ago.
They are planning on going to the temple in a year to be sealed!

In their Halloween costumes... they all went as Elder Hansen,
at least all of their name tags say Elder Hansen! Clever ;)

Who are these guys?

At the ward Halloween party. I wonder if she's turning him into a frog?

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016 - After 14 months... I taught a white family!

Hello Friends and Family!

Sorry, I don't have loads of time because I wasted it talking to mi padres, Desoule. Anywho, I will give you the best of the best highlights that happened this week! So this week we had 2 people come to church! Tifarel (Nellie's husband) and Michelle! Michelle got married on Saturday to her member fiance, now husband, and it was great! We weren't there for it but we heard that it went spectacularly! After Sunday school, Tifarel stood up and announced to everyone that he was "on schedule" to be baptized! He loves the church! On Friday Elder Smith had an opportunity to attend the temple with my old companion Elder Oldroyd since they are dying missionaries (going home), so I stayed in Bonita Springs with Elder Steed. It was a pretty crappy day cuz they were all white people and everyone knows "white people are the worst" (not very humble or teachable). Speaking of white people, we taught a white family! All white completely and totally Blan, Blanco, Blanche what ever you want to call it they are Americans! They are a super dope family and we are excited to teach them some more! Also we taught a guy with one leg (I guess he had a leg-ectomy in Haiti). While were teaching the one-legged guy a little girl gave me this note pictured below. We also taught a guy Tyron (a Former Florida Gator), he was soooooo hungover and depressed that we just tried to keep him from killing himself or someone else, so we showed him the video on the Mormon Channel "The Hope of God's Light" and that will be my last thought for the day. I invite all of you to watch this video and share it with someone else that you think could benefit from the message that it shares!

I love you all and I wish you all a happy Halloween! (or Fet Zombi as the Haitians say)

-- Ciao 
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Smith's surprise funeral!
I don't know why there is a sword involved, maybe he's not dead yet ;)

When a missionary has reached their finish date and are ready to go home, 
they call it "dying" and then have a mock funeral for them to say goodbye.

Matthew received this letter from a little girl.
I'm glad those are "like a friend" hearts that she's drawn for him!

October 17, 2016 - I am now a True Floridian

Hello Friends,

This was a crazy week, let me tell ya! So to start off, last P-day we went to Steak and Shake and some kind citizen paid for us! I thought that only happened in Utah! So that was awesome. Then on Tuesday we did some service for the Schmidt's in our ward and we painted their Curbs, which was an oddly relaxing activity. Then that night we did an activity with the youth where they were supposed to hold on the the "Iron Rod" while Blindfolded and we (the missionaries) in a paradoxical reversal of roles, were supposed to get them to let go of the rod. It was pretty fun! On Wednesday, we gave Zone Training which was super awesome, then I went on exchange out to Lehigh Acres which was fun.
And I became an official Floridian because I have now been in Florida for a full year and the weird thing is, it's only been one summer... odd. But anyway, then we taught the Haitian boyfriend of a Less-Active member from Peru, if that makes sense... it was a cool lesson. :) On Friday, we did some more service at the Local food bank and bagged zucchini into bags that said Florida tangerines on them. I don't know about you, but if I went to eat a tangerine and got a zucchini I would be a little disappointed. Then while we were out knocking on Friday, we walked away from a door too fast and knocked the next one and then both people came out at the same time, so Elder Smith and I got split up and I started talking to a Haitian girl named Madeline. I offered to say a prayer with her and asked her what she wanted me to put in the prayer and she said that she wanted kids. So I asked if she was married and then she told me that she was looking for a husband too.... (BTW this is all in Creole) so I begin to feel a little awkward at this point because of A) the Conversation and B) the way she was looking at me and C) my back up is at the next door talking to somebody else! But I am pleased to report that I made it out safe and sound and Madeline is still single and childless (at least as of Friday). On Saturday we ate at an amazing Peruvian restaurant and had "Lomo Saltado" (you can Googles it if'n you's want's to) But super delicioso! Then we contacted some Less Active's to round them up for church and we ate some chili with the Norman's in our ward. Then we got an Emergency Referral from President Richardson, he needed us to go to the Hospital to give a man a blessing. He has stage 4 lung cancer and from what I saw he doesn't have very long left. It was pretty sad to see his less-active member parents watch as their non-member son's condition continued to deteriorate. :(
On Sunday Marcel, Michelle and Tifarel (Nellie's husband) all came to church and enjoyed it! I think Tifarel loved church the most. When we had our lesson after church he asked how he could be an "active" member of the church and how he could get a calling! He will be getting baptized on Oct. 29th!!! I think that is all for the week, we had a pretty busy time running around but it is all good when you are in the service of God.

My last thought this week is from President Russell M. Nelson, "If we look to the world and follow its formulas for happiness, we will never know joy. The unrighteous may experience any number of emotions and sensations, but they will never experience joy! Joy is a gift for the faithful. It is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.

He taught us how to have joy. When we choose Heavenly Father to be our God and when we can feel the Savior’s Atonement working in our lives, we will be filled with joy. Every time we nurture our spouse and guide our children, every time we forgive someone or ask for forgiveness, we can feel joy.

Every day that you and I choose to live celestial laws, every day that we keep our covenants and help others to do the same, joy will be ours."

The only way that we can find joy is through the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have seen it in my own life and I see it in the lives of others everyday.

I hope that we can all make the conscious choice each day to choose joy and follow the plan of happiness that God has set before us!

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

I found a new friend!

The "Zone of Promise"

Elder Morgan and Elder Hansen

October 10, 2016 - Sister Richardson's Faith - 1, Hurricane Matthew - 0

Well, I know that you were all worried sick about me but I am pleased to report that I have survived the storm, fortunately it was about 200 miles away. So quick hurricane update (y'all probably know more than me) but on the mission side of things we were tracking the hurricane and saw that it was headed straight for the east side of the mission so on Wednesday everyone got the command to initiate Phase One of the Hurricane Preparedness list, which was pack up in case you are evacuated. I was not too excited to pack because I did not want to pack up just to unpack a few days later because THE STORM WASN'T COMING TO FT. MYERS! Anyway, we packed up and then that night all the companionships on the east coast of the mission were evacuated to the chapels, but the "west is best" coast kept doing missionary work. The hurricane, however, did do quite a number to the "L'sid" of Haiti, but it turns out that the places that were hit the hardest were the places that Voodoo is most prevalent... food for thought. So before the hurricane was about to hit the mission it hit Freeport Bahamas and instead of continuing north west towards the mission, the storm went due north for 3 hours before heading back northwest and because of that, the Hurricane hit just outside of the mission boundaries and wrecked the Orlando mission instead. And thus we see as taught by Nephi, "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." That 'bout sums it up for me.

Anyway, during the days that the other side of the mission was on lock down we kept working here on the west side! What a blessing, we didn't see any effects from the storm, not even a bad thunderstorm which was great. On Thursday, we prepared our report for the stake missionary report with the stake president so that was a pretty unproductive day. Then on Friday we finally got to work in our area, which was great! Friday and Saturday have sort of run together on me so I will give you the highlights of both days. First off we contacted a referral and it was an Indian family (like actually from india) and they were pretty cool! The referred us to another Indian family down the street and we prayed with both families! The next day we taught the first family and they were pretty open to the gospel. On Friday we also taught twins, Whitney and Britney and they also accepted the gospel and after that we taught a referral from the YSA sisters, he's a15 y/o kid named Marcel and he was super cool! He is turning his life around and wants to be more positive and he observed that people that were involved with religion tended to be more positive, who knew?!? On Saturday we taught 2 more people, we taught Tiara and she came to church! She is from Atlanta GA and is looking for  a church here and Elder Smith and I were like, "Well we have a church", so that was that!  To end off the night we taught Tifarel Ambroise who is Nellie's Husband. We had never taught him before, we always went in the other room when we were teaching Nellie and Neifa, but Nellie wants to go to the temple as a family so one thing lead to another and we are now teaching Frè Ambroise! All in all we got 9 new investigators in 2 days... not too shabby. Also this week as a zone we were on the countdown to 40 new investigators and we ended up getting 44 New Investigators this week! Yeah wooh!!! So awesome! Anyway that was the week in a nutshell. Now to the part that is actually cool:

My last thought, so this week as I re-listened to conference there was a talk that caught my attention. It was the last one so maybe that is why but nonetheless, here it goes...

"Joy is one of the inherent results of repentance. The word repent connotes “to perceive afterwards” and implies “change.” In Swedish, the word is omvänd, which simply means “to turn around.” The Christian writer C. S. Lewis wrote about the need and the method for change. He noted that repentance involves 'being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right,' he said, 'but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.' Changing our behavior and returning to the “right road” are part of repentance, but only part. Real repentance also includes a turning of our heart and will to God and a renunciation of sin....Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes. This kind of faith makes His Atonement effective in our lives. When we “perceive afterwards” and “turn around” with the Savior’s help, we can feel hope in His promises and the joy of forgiveness. Without the Redeemer, the inherent hope and joy evaporate, and repentance becomes simply miserable behavior modification. But by exercising faith in Him, we become converted to His ability and willingness to forgive sin... President Packer said: 'The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed. The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, [the Savior] has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that… The Atonement … can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.' "

I testify that this is true.

I hope that you all have a fantastic week and you enjoy the fall weather.

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

A picture is worth a 1,000 words... 
This pretty much says it all!

A quick training for the "greenies" :)

Waiting for Elder Smith to finish "the plan"

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016 - "Here I am!... (dun-dun...dun-dun)... Rocking like a Hurricane!"

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen it is the famous, Category 4, Hurricane [Elder] Matthew [Hansen] and I am finna (fixin' to) baptize the entire East Coast of Florida and Haiti and Cuba as well, but for safety reasons and to comply with OSHA regulations I will be staying on the West coast.

Well, Friends and Family, it is good to hear from you again. This week was super awesome! We started out with a super cool Zone Activity wherein we played Smash Face and basketball. Then after the activity we taught Nellie and Elder 'Narc' (Elder Smith has Narcolepsy) passed out right after the opening prayer so I soldiered ahead and taught Nellie and Neïfa about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. The good news is that they were already following those commandments. I woke him up later in the lesson though so that was good. :)

On Tuesday after the Lehigh District Training, I went on Exchange to Immokalee (My Home in Seminole) with Elder Augustin! We had a good time catching up and stuff. On Friday we woke up early to drive 2 1/2 hours through the Everglades to Ft. Laud where we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and it was Super Bien! It was good to see my friends from around the mission again! Afterwards I stayed with Elder Johns (AP) on exchange in his area. The next day we drove back to Ft. Myers to get home before Conference! General Conference this week was soooooooo good! I loved it! We had 5 investigators come to watch the different sessions of General Conference and they all seemed to enjoy it!

The highlight of the week by far was in between the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions, Nellie and Neïfa got BAPTIZED!!!!!! WOOOOO-HOOOOO! It was sooo Bèl (beautiful)! I conducted which was interesting because first I spoke in Creole and then in English so I spoke everything twice, I got tongue tied a few times, but it's nothing I'm not used to.

That was about it for the highlights of the week, but now for the highlights of Conference!

Pres. Uchtdorf: "What shall we give in return for so much?"
Sister McConkie: "Why do I have to suffer so much? God needs brave sons."
Elder Holland: "What matters is that you love your people."
Elder Meurs: " 'That they were willing' the Sacrament provides us so much potential power."
Bishop Davies: "They were worshipping, they were experiencing Heaven."
Elder Robbins: "Kindness is what is used to unlock hard hearts."
Pres. Eyring: "Simple service, to the Lord, matters."
Elder Carl B. Cook: "All who serve will receive God's grace."
Elder Schmutz: "Our suffering will bring about greater Celestial glory."
Elder Nattress: "Patience with Brett [or Matthew]" :)

I also believe that one of the major themes of Conference can be summed up in this hymn,

"Take time to be Holy, speak oft with thy Lord.
Abide with Him always and feed on His word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be Holy, the world rushes on.
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be Holy, let Him be thy guide
And run not before Him whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow still follow they Lord,
And looking to Jesus trust in,
Trust in the Lord.

Take time to be Holy, be calm in thy soul.
Each thought and each motive beneath His control;
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.
Thou soon shall be fitted for service above."

(Take Time to be Holy,  Text:  William D. Longstaff; Arranged By:  Annette W. Dickman, 2007)

I hope that you will take the time to be Holy and review the messages that we have heard this past weekend! I promise that you will receive innumerable blessings by heeding the counsel of our inspired leaders. I know that their messages are truly the will of God for us in this day!

I love you all and my prayers go out to you in faith.

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

Nellie and Neifa's Baptism!

The Bosses, the Zone Leaders.

Elder Hansen and Elder Smith emailing home today!

A fun Zone Activity playing Smash Face and Basketball

Cruisin' in the sweet Minivan!

Enjoying Grandma Smith's bread and jam!

September 26, 2016 - Hello from Fort Meezy!

Hello friends and Family!

Well, I am no longer in the Zika hot spot so no need to lose any sleep over that :) This week was pretty crazy so I will try to get all of the details in. As Zone Leaders we have to go to all the DT's District Training?) and we set a vision for the Zone of "Fearing No Man and Talking to Everyone!"
Anyway, after transfers and the 2 hour car ride to Ft. Myers we taught our investigators Nellie and Neifa and they are super solid! After that we ran to a meal appointment, the security guard asked me "How's Joseph Smith doing?" and I said "I don't know he's dead" so all the missionaries in the van had a good laugh about that. Later that night we contacted a media referral who was hitting on Elder Smith and I and didn't have any teeth, soooooo that was Awkwardo! On Thursday, I went on exchange with our new District Leader Elder Roberts and he is pretty sick! We had some fun including hearing some country music at a Burger King. On Friday, we taught a lot of lessons, we are teaching a Haitian lady named Figaro Baptiste and she is super cool, she has a great smile and is just a happy Haitian mommy. We are also teaching a lady named Michelle who is engaged to a member of the ward and it's fun to teach her. On Saturday, we taught a guy named Steve Christian and his Peruvian Fiance made Ceviche (fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices and spiced with chili peppers) for us which was super good. Steve is an army vet and is pretty straight forward so we are straightforward back, so that is fun!

Well that is about it for the week, Ft. Myers is super cool and I am excited to be a Zone Leader!
I hope that you all have a great week! Always remember to look through the lens of the Gospel! It makes things clearer!

-- Love!
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Hansen sent this pocket from his "hump day" shirt to me for my birthday!

He made the planner into a card and wrote and drew all kinds of things in it.

I love you too, Buddy :)

His drawing of Idaho, camping, hiking, fishing, skiing, a beehive, etc.

His drawing of Miami, palm trees, traffic, rainstorms, mosquitos, gators and the police!