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

Friday, January 29, 2016

January 25, 2016 - "Don't forget your booties, cause it's cold out there!"

Alo tout nou (Hello to all of you)

This week was a pretty awesome week. It got down to 55 and everyone here in Florida started busting out the jackets and coats and sweaters! On Wednesday we had a Worldwide Missionary Conference that was broadcast to all of the missionaries in the world. The main focus was to "teach repentance and baptize converts." It was really good and many of the General Authorities spoke. We also had interviews with President Richardson and he is an amazing man. We had a nice talk and apparently I need to work on my Haitian accent, who knew? Also this week we miraculously found Heather who wants to meet with us to learn more about our church but is a die-hard Pentecostal so who knows how that will go? Yesterday was a momentous day because Jacques was able to receive his limited use recommend and we will get to go with him to do baptisms for the dead on Friday and we are super excited about that! Also Carl Johnson, the guy that I reactivated with Elder Becker, got the Melchizedek Priesthood on Sunday! It was a pretty awesome day in that respect. So this week we continued to work with James and Pedro. James is married and has 2 little kids. He is reading in the Book of Mormon and at the beginning of every lesson he goes through all the things that he read with us and explains what the scriptures mean. He's awesome! Pedro also has 2 little kids and we are working with him. He is also reading in the Book of Mormon and he is progressing. Unfortunately neither of them could come to church yesterday because of work, but they still have baptismal dates set for the 13th of February.

Okay, for a last thought today it comes from Alma 5:26 which says, "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

If we have had a change of heart, and have come into the fold of our Savior, are we staying with him or have we strayed from the flock? I testify that if we have felt the pure love of Christ and had a change of heart we should always feel to sing the song of redeeming love and always be able to turn to the savior for comfort and guidance.

I wish you all the best
M espere nou tout pi gran an 

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

At the Worldwide Missionary Conference

Glad to see that his white shirts are still white! Funny kid!
Not everyone thinks to take a selfie from inside the dryer!

These two!  It looks like they need to clean the mirror.

I guess this is what you do when you realize you haven't taken any photos this week.

Here's a nice shot of the furnace...  

Apparently they have a laundry idol to help to keep whites, white and reds from bleeding? 

Hanging out with the Christmas Tree in January ;)

Taking a snooze! Thanks for the very interesting tour of the apartment :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

January 19, 2016 - Tornado Warnings in the Weather and With Our Investigators

Se toujou limye nan Florid.... oswa Filadelfia.... m paka sonje 
(It is always sunny in Florida... or Philadelphia... I can't remember) Okay?

Hello Everyone, it's time for me to give you the quick rundown and highlights from the week:

So, this week Sandra (our golden investigator) got Anti-ed (I hate Anti-Mormons, and by hate I mean moderately dislike). Woohoo, yeah sooo not excited about that... :( She texted us and told us that we didn't need to come by anymore and that she "didn't want to be a member of the Mormon", soooo that was basically the worst.  On the bright side, I went on exchanges with Elder Charlton and rode my bike for the very first time since arriving in the mission! While we were out, I challenged a couple of black kids to a 2 on 2 game of ProsBall (Proselyting Basketball). We told them that if we won they had to come to church on Sunday. We totally destroyed them 5 - 2! I guess I still have my skills from my old Church ball days. Anyway, on Friday we had a Tornado watch in our county here in Florida, so Elder Murat and I went and knocked doors on Hood Street! On Saturday we had all-you-can-eat pancakes at I-HOP which were delicious.  On Sunday we had a Regional Stake Conference for the South Eastern United States. Elder Rasband, Clayton, and Hales all spoke on a broadcast to 105 stakes! It was super awesome.  They taught us a lot about temple attendance and how to improve our families through the gospel.

So our new investigators that we are teaching are James and Pedro. They are both reading in the Book of Mormon and Pedro has a baptismal date for the 13th of February! They are both super cool and we are helping them change their lives!

Yesterday was MLK Jr Day or as I like to call it, all-the-black-people-stand-outside-day! We were driving through Hallandale Beach and everyone was outside and were looking at me, because I was the only white person... but yeah, it was a party day for everyone. We also found Enoch and Eevee who were super high and covered in 100's of piercings (He mentioned that Eevee had about 50 on her tongue). After the prayer Eevee gave Elder Murat a huge hug which I enjoyed way more than he did. :-)

That is the Readers Digest version of the week, Mom you have the whole thing in my voice recordings, but those were the highlights!

As for a last thought this week I was reviewing some conference talks and learned a little more about yielding to Christ and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Often I have found that when I look at myself and all of the things I have to do and overcome and the trials that lay ahead of me, I want to shrink and give up.  Looking ahead I don't think that I am strong enough to endure, because it's true that there are many things required of us and there are also many trials, but as we put our faith in God and turn our hearts to Him, nothing is impossible. In this last General Conference Neill F. Marriott said, "If we earnestly appeal to God, He takes us as we are—and makes us more than we ever imagined.... but yielding to the Lord’s way is the only way to lasting happiness." As we kneel before God and yield our hearts to him, we no longer have to go through our trials alone. We will be guided and yoked together with Christ who has already, "descended below all things" and whose " burden is easy and yoke is light."

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God. …The Lord will not forsake us.” If we continue to press forward and do all that we can, we need not fear for the Lord will not forsake us.  He has given us a priceless gift and that gift is the Holy Ghost, as we "yield to the enticings of the Holy spirit" we are then able to "put off the natural man" which keeps us from progressing.

President Eyring taught, "The most valuable inspiration will be for you to know what God would have you do.... Whatever it is, do it.  When you demonstrate your willingness to obey, the Spirit will send you more impressions of what God would have you do for Him."  As we listen to the prompting of the Spirit we are given the knowledge to know what our next step is and what God would have us do!  The Lord promises us this in Doctrine and Covenants 11:12-13 which states, "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."  As we follow the Spirit and put our trust in him and our Savior, we will have joy and we will be able to endure and overcome any trial that we encounter because all things are possible with Christ!

-- M renmen ou plis pase jako pam, ki pa gen anpil sinifikans paske m pa gen yon jako...
men mwen toujou renmen ou! 
--(I love you more than parrot pam, without much significance because I do not have a parrot... but I still love you!)  Who's Parrot Pam?  Google Translate is not helping much today.

We got the real translation from Matthew today, its: "I love you more than my parrot, which doesn't mean much because I don't have a parrot."

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

The maiden voyage of the mission bike.  He's been in the mission for 3 months now.

He forgot to mention the gun that he and Elder Murat found while our knocking on doors.  This was just laying on the side of the road, near an elementary school.  They didn't do anything with it except take a picture of it because they didn't want to "get arrested". 
They truly are in "Holly-hood".

He's such a rebel! I bet they parked there too! 

They played "Smash Face" on P-day for 4 hours and had a blast!

This is Elder Butterfield the new Zone Leader.

"My new pomade... hehe, for people with "black person" hair." 
That's our boy and his crazy hair!
I wonder if Elder Murat introduced him to this new hair product? 

More palm trees for Mom! Love them!

Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016 - No longer Green (At least for me, Florida is still Green)

Sak tap pase zanmim yo?  (Bag passers friends?)

Hey y'all!

We had a crazy week this week in Hollywood Florida! Nothing crazy happened to Hollywood or to the people.... but the work of the Lord was progressing! After really not having anyone to teach other than Jacques and a few unelect people we finally have cool people to teach that are progressing! But lets start back at the beginning.

So on Wednesday Elder Nwa (it's creole for black) and I went to Firestone and got new tires for the Fusion. That only took about an eternity but we were able to do it in 4 short wasted hours.  But the day got much better because we went and taught a referral from a Haitian family in the ward named Lenni. She is 15 and is Cuban and is dating Ryan Chicoye who is a Haitian member in the ward. She is super awesome and is progressing well and reading in the Book of Mormon

Anyway, that was Wednesday in a nutshell. Then on Thursday we taught a referral from the ZL's and she was pretty cool but her Haitian Baptist pastor just happened to be there while we were teaching her and he came over while he was mowing the lawn and wanted to bible bash a little bit. So we did a little but then we diffused the situation. After that we went out and knocked a little and knocked on this door and this young man answered and said, are you here to see George? and we were like..... Sure! So he got George and we said a prayer with him and we invited him to church and he was pretty receptive. Then we taught Lenni the Plan of Salvation.  Then on Friday we had lunch with Sister Keen at an amazing Mexican restaurant. Then did a little service and taught Lenni again.

On Saturday we taught another referral from the ZL's named Sandra and she is super cool! She is 32 and has 5 girls and she has a baptisimal date for the 23rd of this month.  On Sunday we had Sandra and Omidah (her daughter) come to church and also Reina who we helped move back in November. That was pretty awesome, Sandra and Omidah loved church!  And then on top of everything else, Elder Murat ordained Jacques to the office of Priest. :)

My last thought this week comes from Moroni Chapter 10 verse 22 which says, "And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity."  If we have no hope we are in despair, like Moroni teaches us and despair comes form our iniquity and our sins. When we sin we feel like there is no way out, "no unclean thing can dwell in the kingdom of God" and when we sins we are unclean. But we can have restored hope through the Atonement of Christ!

"And what is it that ye shall hope‍ for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope‍ through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." (Moroni 7:41)

When we exercise faith unto repentance we are able to reciev a remission of our sins and can again hope for eternal life. "though [our] sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18) If we follow the gospel of Jesus Christ we can again have hope for a better world and be able to become clean and live with our Heavenly Father again.

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope‍ for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God" (Ether 12:4)

I hope you all had a fantastic week!

-- M pa ka goumen kont santiman sa okenn plis!
--(I cannot fight this feeling any more!)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Elder Hansen and Elder Murat

Elder Nielsen, Elder Hansen, Elder Murat, Elder VanCott

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 5, 2016 - A New Year, Same Area

Hello all,

This week was exciting but not a whole lot of things happened, which to the intelligent person seems contradictory, but to the tired missionary that is losing his ability to formulate thoughts clearly outside of gospel topics, it makes perfect sense. :) 

So this week Elder Murat 'stole' a sick suit form the mall, (for 78 dollars, stealing it turns out, is against mission rules) and I got some cool gray socks.... After that we went out a knocked tons of doors this week.

This Tuesday I had the opportunity to give my first ever district training.  I did it on 'desire' and was assigned to do it because Elder Murat felt lazy :)

Speaking of lazy, the whole zone was pretty trunky for transfers which happened last night. I stayed with Elder Murat but our area tripled in size! So that is pretty crazy.  They were trunky for a good reason though because 3 of the 9 districts were whitewashed, one area closed, and 3 missionaries went home! It was a crazy transfer call.  Also from now on we don't have a transfer meeting we just have transfer calls from the AP's. This is a worldwide thing from Elder Oakes.

On New Year's Eve we had to be in by 7:00 so I made pies and then ate sunflower seeds with Elder VanCott while our companions worked out.  Then we went to bed at 10:30 which is way better than watching a ball drop. ;)

On Sunday we had a typical fast and testimony meeting where in Elder Murat translated for this lady's 10 minute testimony and made his "Joseph Smith Translation" so it was doctrinally correct and then another lady told a 15 minute story about how she saw the back of Jesus in the hospital and loved "Joseph's Smith's Plan of Salvation". Nothing like a little false doctrine to start off your Sunday.

Then yesterday we did some service at Feeding South Florida and our group of Missionaries won Volunteer of the Month! So that's exciting. Also we went to visit the Mabou family in our ward and we were expecting a short visit but all of the sudden Sister Mabou brings out Griot (a fried pork dish) and Banann Peze (twice fired plantains) and Pikliz (a spicy pickled cabbage), it was so delicious and it burns your face off!

Last thought from D&C 14:7 "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."

If we keep the commandments and are obedient and do all of the things that our Heavenly Father has asked us to do we will have happiness not only in this life but also the life to come. We shall receive the greatest of all the gifts of god if we are obedient.

I exhort you to in addition to your New Year's resolutions to lose weight, stop drinking soda, and be more kind to everyone.  Also consider make a resolution to change something in your life so that you can be more obedient and ask the Lord, "What lack I yet?"

I hope you are all doing well and are having a fantastic 2016 so far and are looking forward to the Olympics and Presidential Election for this up coming year!

Mwen Renmen nou tout! (I love you all!)

Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

The Elder Hansen & Elder Murat in paradise

The 'sick' suit :)

The happy family - Elder Murat is Matthew's mission step-dad and somehow 
Hermana Gailey is his aunt/step-mom and Hermana Jess is his sister?

Right after getting haircuts with Elder Lolani

He finally got to make the pies we sent him to make for Thanksgiving :)

Sporting his new mission apron!

He did it!  He made two delicious chocolate cream pies 
on New Year's Eve!