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

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016 - Back to town! Teachin' and Preachin' in Miami Shores!

Hey Fam!

This week has been crazy! I am now in the Miami Shores Creole area and it is awesome! We have tons of awesome people that we are working with and that is so awesome! We have lots of investigators and we are teaching lots of lessons. A lot happened so I will give you the highlights. This week we ate at a member named Rehuel's house and he read my palm and told me that I am going to be an actor and that I will live to be old and that I lost the key to my heart but that someone found it..... so if anyone has found it, let me know! We taught a bunch of people this week. On Sunday, Romain and Brigette were baptized! They are awesome and both have really strong testimonies. We are also teaching a couple and the husband is a body builder, he is huge!
Sorry to be so brief but we are super busy here!

My last thought is Helaman 4:13 "And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper, but were afflicted and smitten, and driven before the Lamanites, until they had lost possession of almost all their lands."

When we rely on our own strength we do not prosper because we don't have the assistance of the Lord. It is so important to rely on the Lord and to "confess his hand in all things." When we submit to our Father and follow His will, our burdens are lightened and we are able to do all things which the Lord had commanded us to do.

I love you all and hope you are doing well!

-- M renmen Travay sa!  (I like this job!)

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

The new Miami Shores crew... Elders Hansen, Deklerk, Peterson and Celestin.

At the baptism of Brigette and Romain, with Elder Celestin.

On Miami's shores... :)

At the Homestead, Deklerk, Celestin, Peterson, and Hansen.
Love the pick in Elder Celestin's fine fro!

Representing for Haitian Flag Day!

Go Aggies!

Aww, our cute Elder on the pier.

New Tag Pics!

May 17, 2016 - O Babylon, O Babylon I bid Thee Farewell! I'm going to the Shores of Miami to Dwell!

Alo fanmi mwen! Sak pase la? (Hello my family! What's happening?)

This week went fairly quickly so I will give you some of the highlights. Firstly, I am transferring to Miami Shores and my new companion will be Elder Celestin! He is Haitian (awesome) and we are going to have a blast! Anyway this week we were able to get 2 new investigators Si-Plaix and Jeneor (See-play and Jenn-yore) they are both super cool! We met Si-Plaix a couple weeks ago when we were biking home and he called out to us and flagged us down. He told us that he used to go to the Mormon church in Haiti! So of course we assumed he was a member but this week we knocked into him again and we started talking and it turns out he is not a member, so we were able to teach him this week. A problem that we are facing this week however is that all of the Haitians are headed to Georgia to follow the crops which means that all our Haitian members are leaving and all of our investigators and potential investigators too. They have been busing them north all week and Belle Glade is beginning to become empty. This week I also had a few accidents. On Thursday, I accidentally hit my face while working out and got some pretty new lips, but hey, I fit in a lot better in Belle Glade haha..... Also a little bit of trivia about Belle Glade, there is broken glass EVERYWHERE! On the Wednesday I got 2 flat tires in the same day from broken glass, but 2 hours and 3 patches later my bike is as good as.... well not quite as good as when I got it. Other than that everything else this week was pretty routine.

My Last Thought for the Day is Titled "Heirs to the Kingdom" (They have titles now I guess). In the interest of time I will attempt to be brief, but I will only attempt.

As children of God and posterity of a Heavenly Father we are much like Princes and Princesses, heirs to a kingdom. What is different however is that we are heirs to the Kingdom of God. This makes us Kings-in-training as we go about gaining experiences in this life. If we all always remember 'who we are and what we can become' there would be very little sin in the world. Neal A Maxwell says, "How much sin occurs because people momentarily forget who they really are?" This is applicable to all of us. In the words of Mufasa, to his son Simba, "You have forgotten who you are, therefore you have forgotten me." When we forget who we truly are, we forget our Father in Heaven. But there is a way to find our 'True Nature'.  In this last General conference President Uchtdorf gave us this wise counsel, "Sometimes I think we misunderstand obedience. We may see obedience as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. Or we may pound the metaphorical hammer of obedience against the iron anvil of the commandments in an effort to shape those we love,through constant heating and repeated battering, into holier, heavenly matter... But perhaps there is a different metaphor that can explain why we obey the commandments of God. Maybe obedience is not so much the process of bending, twisting, and pounding our souls into something we are not. Instead, it is the process by which we discover what we truly are made of.  We are created by the Almighty God. He is our Heavenly Father. We are literally His spirit children. We are made of supernal material most precious and highly refined, and thus we carry within ourselves the substance of divinity.  Here on earth, however, our thoughts and actions become encumbered with that which is corrupt, unholy, and impure. The dust and filth of the world stain our souls, making it difficult to recognize and remember our birthright and purpose.  But all this cannot change who we truly are. The fundamental divinity of our nature remains. And the moment we choose to incline our hearts to our beloved Savior and set foot upon the path of discipleship, something miraculous happens. The love of God fills our hearts, the light of truth fills our minds, we start to lose the desire to sin, and we do not want to walk any longer in darkness.  We come to see obedience not as a punishment but as a liberating path to our divine destiny. And gradually, the corruption, dust, and limitations of this earth begin to fall away. Eventually, the priceless, eternal spirit of the heavenly being within us is revealed, and a radiance of goodness becomes our nature."

I testify that through obedience we are able to discover our true nature as Heirs to the Kingdom of God and we are able to shine with a "radiance of goodness" which is our divine nature as children of an Almighty God.

Sorry that got a little long again, but I know that this is true.  I hope that we may all be able to be better today that we were yesterday in remembering who we really are.

I love you all and wish you all the best!

-- M'ap pale ave'w pita (speak with you later)

Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

My beautiful Lips (Bel pobouch mwen yo)
The ultimate duck face! We can't stop laughing at this one! 

Elders Oldroyd, Scutt, Hansen, Wride, Brown and Sorenson in Belle Glade

His little buddy Saria.  She told him that they can be friends because they have the same color of skin! She also said told him that his eyes are the color of the ocean.  It's a good thing she's only 5!

New tag pictures! This one is in a newly burned and harvested sugar cane field.  
That is some black soil.

And here at the entrance to Belle Glade.  The soil is the their fortune.

"No-Pulp, Non-Fiction"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 9, 2016 - Happy Mother's Day!

Hello everyone! 

I hope that you all enjoyed Mother's Day and that you all did something nice for your Mums. This week was fairly exciting and by exciting I mean moderately diverting. So this week we had an array of exchanges that occurred, which were of no consequence but nevertheless did affect me. On Tuesday I went on exchange with Elder Butterfield and it was fairly uneventful but we did get some delicious food from the Knisely's and we found out how sugar cane turns into sugar. Then on Wednesday we got very wet... Then later in the week I wrecked on my bike and in a spectacular series of flips I landed on my feet!

This week was really slow as far as missionary work is concerned but it was a definite turn around from last week. Last week I was frustrated with the work and didn't know what else to do. Things were not working out, but I learned something this week that changed my attitude towards it. We cannot force people to accept the gospel and we have no control over their agency, but what we can do is do all within our power to give them the best opportunity to accept the gospel. Spencer W. Kimball said, "Sometimes the solution is not to change our circumstance but to change our attitude about that circumstance" (Kimball, Sept. 1974) When we change our attitude we change our disposition to the trial that we are facing. Our attitude directly affects our happiness. This week I changed our finding approach and I feel a lot better about the work that I am doing as a missionary and I feel more fulfilled in my work even though the Key Indicators don't always reflect it.
This week we miraculously found our investigator Ludger that moved (got kicked out) and we had lost contact with. We found him while we were doing service at the soup kitchen, so that was pretty cool. On Sunday I was able to Skype my family and I really enjoyed that. Emailing only goes so far, talking face to face is so much better! It was so great to talk to you guys and Grandma & Grandpa too. :)

For my last thought today I would like to talk about our Eternal Destiny.
We are Immortal beings, living in a mortal experience of Eternal significance.

Let me explain, we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and have all been given the opportunity to come to Earth to live in this life with the chance to receive “all that [the] Father hath." (D&C 84:38) In this mortal life we are given the opportunity to receive a physical body and to prove ourselves worthy to be "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16–17) In this life we endure an assortment of afflictions and trials wherein "if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high;" (D&C 121:8) What we choose to do in this life directly affects our reward in heaven because, "it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works... and the desires of their hearts" (Alma 41:3)

Many people have made the erroneous assertion that "Life isn't Fair." They desire to have everything be easy and without difficulty, which, as we know, would "destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes... "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." (2 Nephi 2:11-12) Opposition gives us the chance to experience and grow. Life is not supposed to be fair! Neal A. Maxwell teaches that, "Tests by their very nature are unfair" We are tested that we may grow  and growth doesn't come in a comfort zone and more often than not comfort doesn't come in a growth zone either! We were sent here to grow and progress that one day we may become "perfect, even as [our] Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) This is our potential, to be like the Father and this life is the only time we have to do so. What we do in this life will be of Eternal importance in the Life to come. So as Joshua directs, "choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15) For "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24) Finally we should all be very thankful that Life really isn't fair in the respect that we are all given a second chance. Elder Renlund taught us just last April, "If life were truly fair, you and I would never be resurrected; you and I would never be able to stand clean before God. In this respect, I am grateful that life is not fair." (Ensign May 2016) 
I add my testimony to Elder Renlund's that I am thankful that life truly isn't fair and that we are all given the opportunity to repent and come unto Christ that one day we may receive, "All that [the] Father hath" and be exalted unto Eternal Life!

I love you all and hope that this thought of mine made sense to you. 
Have a great week and stay safe!

-- Kontinye nan l'chemen d'lajistis 
(Continue in His paths of righteousness)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

He found this kitten while out knocking doors :)

Elders Brown, Butterfield, Oldroyd and Hansen

The BEST Mother's Day gift ever for a missionary mom!
The rest of the family enjoyed visiting with Elder Hansen, too!

Skyping with Elder Hansen! We love that smile!
He said Elder Scutt cut his hair, he did a great job!

He is definitely NOT singing in the rain. :(

His super fantastic biking wipe out, but he stuck the landing!

He has crashed his bike twice while wearing this pair of pants, 
but instead of calling them unlucky, he calls them his lucky pants 
because he didn't get a hole in them either time! 

A South Bay/Belle Glade sunset

BEES! He loves it when he finds bees. :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016 - Living in Belle Glade is Like Watching a Never ending Episode of Maury

Hello All,

This week wasn't great but you know, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." You can't always have good weeks. This week we had interviews with President Richardson and those are always good. He is a very inspired man. So we had a pretty rough week this week and were unable to teach very many lessons. We went 2 and a half days of knocking without meeting someone that even accepted a prayer. It is quite difficult to go out everyday and have everyone you talk to in this tiny town, know who you are and what you are there to do and not care. EVERYONE IN THIS TOWN AND IN THIS WORLD NEEDS THIS GOSPEL! But no one is here to listen! To add insult to injury, a bird pooped on my shoulder this week so that was a pretty "crappy" experience. 

A quick update on our investigators, we taught Oscar once this week and read Alma 32 with him about seeds and fruits and the fruits of this Church. That was on Tuesday and we were unable to teach him again this week. On the flip side, Ludger, Kimberly, Jean and Patricia got kicked out of their house and now we don't know where they live. So, as you can guess, no one came to church. So this week was pretty rough but still good. (I love how he is trying to stay positive here. )

Sorry about the short email but that is all that happened. 

For my last thought I would like to reference 2 Nephi 4:27 "Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul?"

Satan's objective is to take away our peace and to afflict us "for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." He cannot take part in the blessings or the peace that the gospel brings so he seeks to take those blessings away from us. In Galatians 5:22 & 23 we read that "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." If we seek to have the Spirit to be with us we will be able to feel the peace that can only be found in it's company. So, as Nephi asks,"...why should [we] give way to temptations?"

I hope that you are all doing well and that you do something nice for your mothers (moms) this week!

-- Pa Bliye pou di Manman'w yo ke ou renemen'l 
--(Do not forget to tell your mother that you love her!)

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

Elder Hansen, Dolorex Blanc (a member of the Branch), 
Elder Scutt and Elder Oldroyd

Elders Hansen, Scutt, Nelson (visiting after his mission release), Oldroyd and Brown

Ugh, there's garbage everywhere! 
It should be called Garbage (Fatra or Poubelle in French) Glade, instead of Belle Glade.

South Bay of Lake Okeechobee

South Bay again 

This looks comfy, a nice tile floor to sleep on!