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

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016 - "Elder Hansen... I think there is a lizard on your head!"

Hello Y'all
I hope everyone is chipper and in good spirits!

This week went by fairly well. On Monday we were knocking doors and we were followed by some little girls (7-9 years old) and they call me Cheese Machine... (Elder Prince told them that was my name and of course they remember it). They also tried to steal our bikes, so that was an adventure! Then on Tuesday we taught Ludger, Kimberly and Jean about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they were very receptive. It was a great lesson! When we taught Oscar on Tuesday and it turned out to be a miracle MPL (Member Present Lesson). He had invited a bunch of his Haitian friends that live in the same complex as him to listen to our message and he introduced us to Raymond who just moved from Haiti and was baptized a little under a year ago. We were able to meet with Raymond again during the week and establish a pretty good relationship with him. He will be a good addition to the Belle Glade Branch. On Thursday we had a shadow exchange with the AP's (where the AP's follow us around) which was good because Elder Christensen (an AP) started his mission in Belle Glade so he got to see a lot of his old friends here. We found a lady he baptized and we didn't even know about her, so hopefully we can help bring her back to church.  On Friday we did Service for the Light House Cafe, they served fried chicken and that place went nuts. The people of Belle Glade love their Fried Chicken! Then later in the evening we were knocking an apartment complex and a storm rolled through, it started pouring rain and there was lightning and thunder right above us! Luckily a nice Haitian dude named Manuel from Jakmel let us chill in his house for half an hour or so until it subsided a little. Then that night we taught Ludger, Kimberly and Jean the Word of Wisdom. There was some confusion about what kind of tea they could drink, if they could drink coffee if it had milk in it and if they could drink beer if it was only 4% alcohol, but we got that all cleared up. As we were riding back Elder Oldroyd noticed that I had a lizard on my helmet so that was exciting!  On Sunday Ludger, Kimberly and Jean couldn't come to church because they had to work, so that was a big bummer... It's sugar cane harvest time in the fields right now. They burn the fields to burn off the plant and just leave the sugar cane stalks, then they harvest them and haul them off to the sugar factories.

Okay, my last thought is from, 2 Nephi 2:27-29,"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh... And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life...  And now, my sons, I would that ye should...  choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh (or Natural Man) and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate..."

Men have been given their agency and have the ability to choose Eternal Life. Exaltation is not a whimsical thing that just happens, it is a choice. Who we are is the summation of our past choices. We can choose to attain Eternal Life by following the promptings of the Holy Spirit or choose Eternal Death by submitting to the will of the flesh which is evil and gives the devil power to captivate us. We all have the opportunity to gain "All that the Father Hath" if we choose to properly exercise our agency.

I pray that we will all search for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we may "put off the natural man and come off Conqueror."

I hope you are all having a wonderful April and that you are doing well.

Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

The Cheese Machine! With the kids who tried to steal their bikes.

The sunset of Belle Glade after a good day of sugarcane field fires
(with some Palm trees for Mom!) 

"A train that I yielded for."

The tree from Tarzan

"The rainstorm we got caught in" 

The chickens and trash of Belle Glade

Hmm, they're going to have to build more prisons ;)

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016 - Lots of Doors and Lots of Lessons

M Pa Ka Jwenn Yon Bon Tit Pou Mesaj Sa, donk.... Sa La
(I cannot find a good title for this message, so... this is it?)

This was a long week where a lot happened but it seemed to just fly by. I can't believe that it is P-day again already! This week I overcame my illness which was good and we went out and worked hard. We knocked lots of doors and taught lots of lessons! We were able to give service at a soup kitchen in Belle Glade called the Light house Cafe, which put us in contact with a lot of amazing people. It was a very cool experience. I had never been in a soup kitchen before, it's a happening place! We had a great time serving there and it is good to know that there are still good people out there in the world trying to do the right thing. This week we had a miracle referral, again from Hendel. He came back to Belle Glade and told us about one of his friends named Ludger and we started teaching him and his friends. We taught the three of them; Ludger, Kimberly, and Jean, the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and they are set with the 30th of April as a baptismal date! They have some of the best real intent I have seen in Haitians and they ask great doctrinal questions, it is quite fun to teach them. I invited them to be baptized on the 30th of April but instead of saying "Trant Avril" I said "Tran Avril" which doesn't actually mean anything, so there was some obvious confusion but it all worked out and they are committed to be baptized on that day! On Saturday we did a service project with the Branch where we cleaned the Light House Cafe from top to bottom! Later we had a fish fry at the Church and had Catfish and Hushpuppies! On Sunday, Ludger came to church which was awesome and Hendel got the Melchizedek Priesthood on his last Sunday in this branch. That was the readers digest version but that was about all that happened this week! 

My last thought comes from a quote I came across from George Albert Smith. George Albert Smith often repeated the counsel his grandfather used to give to his family: “There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s territory. If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil’s side of that line one inch you are in the tempter’s power and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord. When I have been tempted sometimes to do a certain thing, I have asked myself, ‘Which side of the line am I on?’ If I determined to be on the safe side, the Lord’s side, I would do the right thing every time. So when temptation comes think prayerfully about your problem and the influence of the Lord will aid you to decide wisely. There is safety for us only on the Lord’s side of the line.”

Let us always make sure that we are safely on the Lord's side of the line.

I love you all and hope you are all enjoying Spring!

-- Pa Bliye'm (Do not forget me)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

A surprise Happy Birthday text and photo from Sister Ponce
for Steve's birthday!  Love it!

The Stuart Zone with the AP's at Zone Training

It looks like he got the honey we sent them! You don't chug honey!

Doing service at the Lighthouse Cafe soup kitchen.

Their room, his bed looks really long and narrow.

The mountains of Florida...? 

There latest investi"gator"... :)

The swamp mobile

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 11, 2016 - These Aren't the Ol' Droyds You're Looking For

Hello Everyone,

This week was full of changes! To start off, I got my new companion Elder Oldroyd, he is from Provo Utah (go figure) and has been on his mission for 17 months. Anyway, it was great to see my friends at transfer meeting and when we came back we knocked lots of doors. Then on Thursday we taught Oscar who revealed to us the he was a pastor in Haiti before he came here to the US which explains his knowledge of the Bible. It is hard to see any progression with him because he is still waiting for his answer to know if he should be baptized but I don't know if he is looking for the right answer... it's tough. Anyway, the next day I woke up and I was sick so that was less than pleasant. We still went out and worked and we had to bike from South bay, where we live, to Belle Glade where all the Haitians live. It's only a 4 mile bike ride but still not fun when you are sick. When we got to Belle Glade we saw our miracle for the week. Our best missionary member, Hendel, moved to Coconut Creek last week but he came back here on Friday to visit and gave us 2 referrals that moved into his old apartment! Their names are Jeanette and Mackendy. They seemed open to the gospel message as we shared the Restoration with them. Unfortunately they didn't come to church but we will continue to work with them. On Saturday, I was still sick and ended up sleeping through most of our studies, lunch and planning time, but we went out to work. I thought that missionary work was difficult when I was healthy, but it is way more difficult when you are sick! On Sunday, we had Branch Conference and had a potluck afterwards which was delicious. After Church we went out to the Duke's with the Ponce's. The Duke's are an awesome elderly couple but they can't come to church because of health so we took the sacrament out to them.

Last thought for the week,"Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions."  1 Nephi 18:16
Nephi is a great example to us in how we should look to and worship our God. Previous to this scripture Nephi had been tied up by his brothers for 4 days! Nevertheless he didn't murmur, he didn't complain, he didn't blame God or ask "why did you let this happen". He praised God! We should do the same. Life was not meant to be easy or even enjoyable, and we knew that coming here to this earth life. We should not complain when we go through trials and afflictions but rather pray to understand what you are supposed to learn from this trial. We go through afflictions in order to grow and gain experience!

I hope you all have a great week and are enjoying the warmer weather back home!

-- Love you all
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

It's P-day! Emailing home at the church 
with Elders Oldroyd, Scutt, and Brown.

His good mission buddies, Elder Murat and Elder Lolani.

With Elder Oldroyd, too.

His desk area looks very organized, but that chair looks way too comfortable!
It's just like our glider chair that I rocked my babies in. Aww...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 5th, 2016 - Rain, Conference, and Goodbyes

Hello Family and Friends,

This was a very eventful week! On Tuesday, we had a major storm and the church building we were at in Wellington got struck by Lightning so that was cool. Nobody died so it wasn't too exciting. While we were knocking the storm picked up and dumped on us so we stood on some guy's porch for a half hour or so and waited for it to blow over but we were still very wet. On Wednesday we taught the guy that came to church last week and it turns out that he is pretty lame, which is unfortunate. Later that day we were knocking and it just so happened that we and the other elders chose the exact same street to knock so while they weren't looking, Elder Prince and I took the wheels off Elder Scutt's bike. That was pretty funny. :) This week we continued to teach Oscar, he has yet to receive his answer to whether or not he should be baptized but he said that he is going to work toward April 16th for a baptismal date. He came to the Sunday morning session of General Conference and he said that he enjoyed the talks. On Thursday we OYM'd a guy named Kendall who we talked to for around an hour. He was pretty high when we were talking to him and he thought that he was talking about very deep things but he was really just high and wasn't bringing any profound ideas to the table like he thought he was. Later that day we were knocking and knocked into an old white guy (weird for Belle Glade) and he was very condescending to us and called the Prophet a chicken and a coward.... So that didn't incite good feelings in our hearts, so we promptly bid him farewell and then 2 minutes later he chased us down the road to ask us more questions... He was a pretty misinformed individual. This weekend was General Conference which I enjoyed very much. We watched it on a projector at the church in our suits which was a new experience for me. Also, yesterday we found out that Elder Prince is transferring to Miami Shores Creole and the my new companion will be Elder Oldroyd, thus begins a new chapter of my mission.

Finally my last thought, one major theme I saw this conference was that of selfless service. From President Joseph Fielding Smith, "Service is the one thing required of every soul. He who will not serve his fellows is not fit to have place among them. Serving others is it's own reward." (The Way to Perfection pg. 218) Every person is required to serve others. This church is a church of service! In order for us to fully follow the example of Jesus Christ we must serve others! In Doctrine and Covenatns 107: 99-100 we read  "Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligenceHe that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen." If we do not serve with all diligence we are not worthy for the blessing of Exaltation. President Joseph Fielding Smith continues by saying, "Here we prove ourselves through service as well as through obedience to the law of the Gospel. It is not sufficient that we be good, that is, that we do not violate the law, and only observe the regulations required of layman in the church. he that does nothing is good for nothing, and there should be no layman in the Church." (pg. 221-222)

It is our responsibility as members of the church to serve our fellowmen and as President Smith says, "Serving others is it's own reward."

I hope you all enjoyed conference and stay safe this week!

-- Love 
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Our cute bee wrangler!

Can you teach the gospel to bees? This looks like a nice one ;)

Bikin' in Belle Glade

Knockin' in the rain with Elder Prince

Their friend Hendel, their best missionary helper in the ward. :)