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

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016 - Spring Break, Easter, and Missionary Work

Happy Easter to my Family and Friends, 

Well, this is probably the hardest I have ever worked over a spring break, that is for a surety! Anyway, this week we taught 8 lessons which is 8 more than 0, which is what we had been teaching before! So on Tuesday after District Training Elder Wride came on Exchange and we had a good time with him, we stayed up late telling stories which was fun. That night we made Kit-Kat brownies and they didn't turn out in fact, they were actually gross... Then on Wednesday we started by teaching Odinel and I totally fell asleep during the lesson and Elder Prince had Odinel sing to me to have me wake up, so that was interesting, they thought it was funny though. :) That night we taught Oscar and he is super cool, we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he asked very deep questions about the Celestialized Earth and the Millennium! He is a very smart guy and knows the Bible very well. On Friday, we taught Oscar again right after lunch and had a very good lesson about the Spirit World and Resurrection and he has such great understanding.  He is a very elect investigator and we love teaching him! The rest of the day we knocked and then that night we got 4 packages of Oreos and some chocolate milk and had a party! On Saturday, we taught Odinel again and he told us that God had to be white because white people are smarter than black people.... we didn't know what to say so we just moved on, but Elder Prince and I had a good laugh about that. After that we taught a Haitian girl named Miruelle and we taught a great Restoration lesson! Unfortunately, she didn't come to church on Sunday. While we were knocking afterward that we got bombarded by our Cuban Abuelita! She invited us in for food and Flan and I was the designated translator because Elder Prince only knows about 4 memorized phrases in Spanish. Anyway, long story short she fed us and kissed us on the cheek... twice! On Sunday, we had a guy we OYM'd but had never taught come to Church, which was cool! We had dinner with the Ponce's and they made pot roast and strawberry shortcake, it was delicious! That night we found out about the missionaries in Belgium, Elder Prince knew Elder Wells in the MTC. It was very sad and scary to hear about that.

Okay my last thought, from Alma 22:14, "And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king."

We cannot redeem ourselves, no matter how hard we try in this life the only way to Eternal Life is through Jesus Christ! Because of his Atonement, Death and Resurrection all men will live again! Every person that has ever lived will be reunited with their bodies, what an amazing Gift! And, if we follow the example of the Savior and use the Atonement in our lives we will be joint heirs with Christ in the Celestial Kingdom!

I hope you all had a great Easter and took some time to reflect on the Atonement of the Savior.

-- Sonje L'Ekspyasyon de Jezikri toujou 
(Always remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

I love that I can still get him to wear the bunny ears on Easter!

The surprise picture that sweet Sister Ponce sent to us on Easter!
Elders Hansen, Prince, Shreckengaust, and Scutt.

The Mater teeth were a nice addition this year! 
I knew Elder Prince would be a good sport about it. :)

The local wildlife

The too chocolately, hard wafer, Kit-Kat brownies.
Apparently, Kit-Kats don't bake well. They look good though. :)

At the homestead in South Bay.

Striking some manly missionary poses on the lawn. 
I wonder who took the picture?

March 21, 2016 - Finding the Fruits of Our Labors

Hello Everyone,

This week we had a great week here in South Bay, we were able to find and teach 3 new investigators and one of them came to Church! Finally! But I will get to that later. This week began with us going to a Spring Training Baseball game between the Twins and the Cardinals! It was a great time! It was good to take a break from missionary work and watch a sporting event! I enjoyed myself very much.
Then on Tuesday we had Zone Conference in West Palm Beach. It was good and I got to see some of my other friends around the Mission. We were able to watch the new Easter video that the Church put out and that is our push for this week to share that everyone.

This week we also visited Renald who is the Haitian member that we found last week. He is super cool and we hope that he will become a solid Haitian member, because we seem to be lacking in those. Then later on, Elder Shreckengaust and I biked forever away out by the airport to go knock in his area and that was pretty fun. Then one Thursday Elder Prince and I were out knocking and these two little black girls around 6 years old, came up to us and told us how much they hated us because we were white and then they flipped us off. So that was pretty fun and confusing.

We had our Miracle this week on Friday! We have been diligently searching for the last 4 weeks and haven't been able to find anyone really solid, but this week we were able to teach Oscar. He OYM'd us 2 weeks ago and asked why we hadn't come by to teach him. We had never met him before but we got his number and set an appointment with him but weren't able to meet with him. We didn't have his address so we couldn't find his house, but on Friday we were able to find him while he guided us to his house over the phone. We taught him and he is a super intelligent guy and knows his Bible very well. We were able to teach him again Saturday and Sunday with a member and he came to Church! He is definitely a miracle investigator.  We were able to stay diligent and finally were able to teach someone!  We are super pumped about Oscar, he actually understands what we are teaching him and is open to change. He has had questions and concerns in every lesson but instead of saying that he will never change he just says that he needs to pray to ask God to open his heart to the new things that we are teaching him! It is awesome! We are always excited to teach him. :)

On Sunday morning we were driving to Branch council and we saw these 2 cops chasing this guy in a white shirt across MLK drive and the cops were running into each other and it was kind of comical! Anyway, during sacrament meeting we got 6 calls from this number that we didn't recognize so we called it back after church and it was a Haitian lady calling to get a ride to church. So we went by here house and taught her! Her name is Monique and she is super cool. We have an appointment to go see her again tonight so hopefully she is still cool.

Anyway it was good this week to finally see some success and progression in our area because we have been trying our hardest and finally now we are able to see some of the Fruits of our Labors.

My last thought this week comes from 1 Nephi Chapter 10:17-20 which says,"I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.  For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.  For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

When we have a question, or a concern, or a problem, we should always, every time,  go to the Lord! Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that we can't even comprehend it in our mortal state! When we ask in faith and when we diligently seek for whatever we may need at that time, we will receive it through the power of the Holy Ghost, which is a gift from God! Through the holy Ghost we are able to understand all things, this is why this is the gift given to us after baptism. The Holy Ghost helps guide and direct us through this life, it is what helps us reach those next steps after baptism and helps us to be able to actually Endure to the End! But, in order to use this Gift, we must diligently seek to have the companionship of the Spirit, we have to live in such a way that we can have it's companionship, and we have to listen carefully and seek it's guidance with diligence because all too often we miss the promptings and guidance that it brings and miss the opportunities that would have been made available for us to learn and grow. I know that our Father in Heaven knows us perfectly and has a plan for each of us but He will not force us to do anything because we all have the right to choose, but I do know that only through the promptings of the Spirit, will we know what is the right thing to choose.

I love you all and hope that you all have a great Spring Break, I am definitely going to enjoy mine here in sunny Florida ;)

-- Toujou sonje kimoun ou ye ak objektif ou 
(Always remember who you are and what you stand for)

Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

On exchange with Elder Shreckengaust

Knocking in the rain makes them sad. :(

The baseball game between the Twins and the Cardinals

Elder Prince's favorite baseball player of all time

A huge gator head sticking out of the mud, yikes!

One of the nicer parts of town...

March 14, 2016 - Can Anybody, Find me, Somebody to Bring to Church?

Happy Pi Day Folks!

So, last P-day, we had a Zone Activity with the Palm Beach Zone. I got to see Elder Becker (Trainer) and Rackham (MTC) and we all got together and played Ultimate Frisbee and Kickball. We all had an enjoyable time. The next day we had a Zone Training where we discussed all of the things that we learned at the training we received form Elder Dube. Later that day we taught a lady named Everose, she talked a lot and didn't want to listen to anything that we had to say and wouldn't leave the Catholic church soooo that was less than enjoyable. Later in the week I went on an exchange with Elder Rubio and we found a guy named Renald who was super interested in the Church, so naturally, I got pretty pumped up! But when we taught him the next day and it turns out that he was baptized in 1999 and was unable to find the church here in Belle Glade. So that was awesome, but disappointing because we still didn't have anyone to teach. So we continue to search for people to teach. On Friday, we knocked into a Jamaican guy that said he "wanted to know the correct way to salvation". Of course we were like, you are asking the right guys! But he tricked us and we just ended up bashing for about 30 minutes with this Pentecostal guy... Later that night we OYM'd two gay Haitians, I was unaware that there were gay Haitians because in Haiti they kill you if you are gay because you have a "devil" inside of you, haha.  While we were knocking on Saturday, I lost odds against Elder Prince and had to eat straight Aloe... again. It was just as bitter as last time but then we stopped at an Ice Cream truck and got sno-cones so that made it all better :) 

This week was all focused on finding and we OYM'd 100 people and invited them to church and exactly none of them came... we were pretty discouraged last night. This is the hardest that I have worked my entire mission and it is the least that I have taught, but we know that we will be blessed if we stay diligent.  

Okay, so this week I finished and restarted the Book of Mormon again so naturally my last thought comes from 1 Nephi, " Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him."

Nephi is exhorting his brethren who are rebelling against him. He asks them "How have you forgotten that the Lord is able to do ALL things?" There is no limit to the power of God, but he only does that which is according to his will and his timing. The Lord knows all things and has a wise purpose in all he does. God only does that which is good for the children of men. Also, in order for miracles to be wrought in our lives, we must have faith! Miracles only cease when faith ceases!

I love you all and hope you all remember to wear green this Thursday!

-- Pran Swen (take care)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

The District with President Richardson

Eating straight Aloe, again - "It was just as bitter as last time." ;)

Eatin' sno-cones and soaking up the sun!

On exchange with Elder Rubio

Striking a pose with Elder Prince

The Palm Beach Zone Warriors

Elder Hansen with the other Elder Hansen

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016 - Wo-o-oah Listen to the Music, Wo-o-oah Listen to the Music, All the Time!?

Salutations Friends, Coworkers, Associates, Neighbors, Acquaintances, Past Enemies, and Family!

Here are the highlights from the Week,

This week started out rather grand with a mission tour by Elder Dube! He came to the mission and we had a conference with all the Zones in the North and he taught us about TTIPF (pronounced ttipf) which stands for Teach, Testify, Promise Blessings, Invite and Follow up! He is a super cool guy and looks a lot taller on TV. :)

We taught Odinel (Elder Prince's Recent Convert) the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a good lesson but at the end Odinel took us out in to left-field when he started telling us about how he saw Americans on Mars and how they were speaking "Pachie" and doing business with the little guys that go "ti ti ti ti" and a man that had a thing on his chest that he wanted off. Needless to say, we were very confused. Finally after some digging he let us know that it was a show, so we asked him to bring it to us and he handed us Star Wars - A New Hope!  Elder Prince and I died laughing! It all made sense! Then Odinel told us about the 'Fire-knife' (light saber) that cuts people... Elder Prince and I couldn't keep it together!

While I was knocking doors with Elder Scutt on Thursday we saw a good sized alligator about 8 - 10 feet long in the canal so he decided it would be a good idea to mess with him. We were 5 feet away from this gator and Elder Scutt started throwing rocks at it... very dumb... it hissed at us and then swam away after Elder Scutt hit it in the head.

Later that night we OYM'd (Open Your Mouth) this guy Max and we sat down right there in the streets of Belle Glade and taught him the Restoration! He is a super smart guy and had good understanding.  On Friday, we saw the SpaceX rocket launch from Cape Canaveral! It was so cool! We even saw it staging and saw the first stage come back down to land.  Later that night I crashed my bike into a guardrail when my wheel went sideways as I was transitioning from the grass to the sidewalk... it felt real good... now I have a nice big bruise on my knee. :(  On Saturday I ate some Sugarcane! It tastes like watermelon, oddly enough.

Okay, time for my last thought:

"Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden." (2 Nephi 26:27-28)

God hath given all men the chance to partake in salvation! None of us are forbidden from earning Exaltation!  He has given it with out price, we do not have to pay for our salvation, all men can be saved regardless of race, wealth or position, however we must all follow the commandments of God. In order to receive salvation we must perform all of the necessary ordinances and continue in righteousness until the end. Then will we be exalted on high as joint-heirs with Christ.

Love you all, stay safe, don't do drugs, and tell someone you love them!

-- Pase bon semen (have a good week)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

Elder Hansen tries sugarcane for the first time.  
He says it tastes like watermelon!

Chatting with Frank (Elder Prince)

The poor gator that Elder Scutt threw rocks at.
I'm glad it chose to retreat into the water instead of chasing them!

Elder Hansen with his MTC comp Elder Petry

Yum, chicken!

On the plate is poul fwi, bannann peze and pikliz 
Chicken, fried plantains, and pickled cabbage

Elder Prince enjoying his Haitian dinner :) 

Working out at the house.
Of course, you wear your shades while working out ;)

February 29, 2016 - I want to ride my Bicycle, I want to ride my Bike...

Happy Leap Day everyone!

Well, I have been out for 6 months now so that is exciting.  I am just starting my sister Mission ;)

So lets get down to the nitty gritty. Belle Glade is a farm town where they grow sugar cane and that's it. Oh, and there are Alligators in the canals :)

Anyway, so this week we did a lot of finding, trying to find people to teach and prepare for baptism. We did a lot of OYM's (Open your mouth aka street contacting) and knocking! This week on Wednesday I popped my back tire... sad... and I have spent all week trying to patch it but to no avail. On Thursday we were fed by Sister Dixon and she made a delicious homemade meal of green beans, chicken, rice and cornbread. It was soooo delicious! On Saturday we went and did service for this Palestinian guy named Manny who is starting a tuxedo store and he gave us all free stuff! Then I went on an exchange with Elder Mota the Zone leader and I taught their Haitian investigator the Word of Wisdom, haha. On sunday Evela our dropped investigator randomly came to church and I had to translate Sacrament meeting into Creole, so that was pretty terrifying and exciting! 

Okay Last Thought, 2 Nephi 10:23-25 "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen."

We should all be grateful for the wonderful gift of agency! We have the choice, to follow God, or not. So let us choose wisely and do as Jacob directs and be reconciled unto God because it is only through his Grace and the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we are saved! Therefore choose this day whom you shall serve! 

I love you guys! I hope you all have a great week :)

-- M'renmen figi ou (Love your face)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work
The new crew... Elder Scutt, Elder Prince, Elder Shreckengaust and Elder Hansen

They grow sugarcane here

Elders Shreck and Prince on their bikes

Elder Hansen and Elder Prince

These guys are goofy!

The new ride, they share it to get to town and then they bike.

He found the Blue Bus right there in his neighborhood!
It makes it feel more like home :)