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

Friday, August 12, 2016

August 9, 2016 - I AM TRAINING A NEW MISSIONARY!!! (Or as we say in the mission, I'm having a baby!)

Hello everyone!

This was a pretty crazy week and by virtue of it being a transfer week things are just going to get crazier! So here are the highlights... Twice this week I got caught in huge rainstorms and got drenched from head to toe, inside and out. So that was pretty cool. The good thing about Florida is that even though it is raining it is still warm outside so you don't freeze to death. This week I went on exchange with Elder Cutler in Hialeah for 2 days in the middle of little Havana! Everyone there is from Cuba and that really helped my Spanish out. I was able to say a bunch of prayers while there. The funny thing about Cubans is that when they speak Spanish it sounds like this, "Mo momo momomo mo mo." So yeah, super cool. Anyway, last night we got our transfer call and I found out that Elder Augustin will be transferring to Immokalee and I will stay and train a new missionary! I'm gonna be a Dad!!! Anyway that is about all from Miami! I don't even know my new companion's name yet, I'll meet him tomorrow fresh from the MTC!

My last thought for the day is that the Gospel is True! But don't take my word for it just pray about it! Basically what Moroni said in Moroni 10: 4-5, " Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

Love you guys!!!

-- M' se yon Papa!!! (I am a Dad!)

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

Ready to go for the day, nice and dry and smiling!

Back home after a huge downpour, completely drenched and not smiling. :(

Oh good, they are still smiling :)

Saying "goodbye" to Elder Augustin, he's off to Immolakee.

Mmm, breakfast on the Miami shoreline! 

Most of the District, Elders Peterson, ?, Elder Hansen, Elder Augustin, ?, and Elder Deklerk

At Adline's home :)
Elder Augustin, Lili, Alicia, Adline, Jeffrey, Lance and Elder Hansen

August 1, 2016 - Pouchon Got Baptized!

Hey Y'all, again I apologize, I don't have Anpil tan Jodi a (much time today).

So anyway this week was Anfom (fit)!

So to start off I went on exchange with Elder Petersen which was super awesome because he is awesome! He bought me Buffalo Wild Wings which was supa delicioso. Then during the week we taught Adline and her family and I asked Lance, the youngest, if he wanted to come home with me and be my son, to which he responded, "but I'm not even White!" Again my European heritage is holding me back, haha!

Anywho, we are running low on miles so we had to bike 15 miles to Niviane's house and once we got there we realized that she sent us a text saying she wasn't going to be there...so we cried. :( But in happier news... POUCHON GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! We are super pumped! Then on Sunday I confirmed him and gave him the Aaronic Priesthood, that was the first time I had ever done that. Anyway, that was the week in a nutshell.

I gave both Elder Deklerk and Petersen haircuts this week and you can see who liked their's and who did not in the pictures below. I have been cutting my own hair as well.

My last thought, "Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent." (Mosiah16:12)

The arms of Mercy are always outstretched toward us! The only way that we cannot take claim of the mercy of Christ is if we "would not" and 'not depart from our iniquities" Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ the odds are stacked in our favor in order for us to claim Exaltation. The Atonement enables us to overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam, namely Spiritual and Physical death. The Atonement also strengthens us to overcome the trials we have in this life. Everything has been given us! The Arms of mercy are extended to us, but God will force no man to heaven, we must reach out and clasp the hand of the Savior so he can lift us higher.

That we will all reach out to the Savior is my prayer.

I love you all and hope you guys are all well.

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

Pouchon's baptism!

His buddies Faith and Ciara :)

With Lance and Lili at Lance's 5th birthday party!

Elder Hansen has become quite the barber!
He says you can tell which one likes his haircut and which one doesn't ;)
We also noticed in this picture how thin Matthew has gotten lately, 
he told us he's lost about 30 - 35 lbs! 

He seems to be eating well :)
His secret for weight loss... he says he shrunk his stomach!

July 25, 2016 - Niviane and her Family got Baptized!

Hello Friends and Family,

This week was a super busy and somewhat stressful week but it all turned out well in the end!

So to start out I would like to tell you guys a quote from Izaac Georges who is the 7 year-old son of the recent converts the Georges, he said "So since we are all made of dirt, does that mean that you (Elder Hansen) were made out of white dirt?" Interesting question to ponder! We all got a good laugh out of that one.

Anyway, this week we had an exchange with Elder Christensen the AP, he came to our area because it was one of his old areas and he wanted to reminisce a little, haha! But it was good. We went to a Honduran Restaurant and got some Baleadas, they are sooooooo delicious! Elder Christensen interviewed Ciara, Malik and Pouchon for baptism. Pouchon drank alcohol the morning of his baptism, FOR NO REASON, so he will get baptized next week. :) Ciara and Mailk's mom didn't sign the papers so they couldn't get baptized but they came to the baptism on Sunday and really wanted to get baptized, so we will see what happens. Also this week, on Saturday we went to a reception for Duckencia and Vladmir Chauvet and it was a pretty bumpin' party, even the Bishop was dancing to the Haitian music! On Sunday night we got a call to pick up the English Elders because they had a problem with their bikes (See figures 4 and 35 to understand the problem). The biggest thing that happened this week was that Niviane and Josiah and Jovanna got Baptized!!! My first family to be able to teach and baptize! It was super stressful but it happened so that is super awesome! It's been such a fun new experience to teach little kids the gospel. I love their amazing spirits and their great questions. It's been great to use the visual aids for the Plan of Salvation that Mom and Kaylee made for me to use.

Okay for my last thought, 2 Nephi 31:10 "And he [Jesus] said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren,can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?"

I reiterate the words of Nephi, "Can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?" The answer is no, absolutely not. No matter what our circumstances in life the Savior's answer is always 'come follow me' but we cannot follow Him if we want to take our own path. The Savior set the example for us and the way to Eternal Life is straight and narrow. There is only one name under heaven by which we can be saved and that name is Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, who condescended and became the Savior of the world by atoning for the sins of all so that all could be made alive in Him! The only way that he can save us is through consecration to the will of the Father through obedience to the laws and ordinances that He has given us and if we are obedient, we will have peace in this life and Eternal life in the life to come.

I hope you have a great week!

-- M'renmen nou chak (He loves each of us?)

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

Niviane, Josiah and Jovanna's baptism!
My first family to be able to teach and to baptize!

I think that's the Bishop in the blue shirt!

Lili and Lance, Adline's kids, another family he is teaching.
They love him, especially Lance.  Matthew asked Lance if he could take him home with him and adopt him and Lance said, "but I'm not even white!"

Yes, those are what's left of their bikes, everything stolen but the frames.

Yeah, they're smiling now... They found out later that their bikes wouldn't be replaced 
because they didn't lock them properly.

On splits with Elder Spots... Split-Spots :)

July 23, 2016 - A letter from Elder Hansen for Grandpa Shields' funeral

Good Morning Friends and Family

I am sorry that I cannot be there with you in person today. For this reason I have asked Jared to read this for me, we look so similar that some of you in the back wont even be able to tell the difference!

My dear friends, we have all been saddened by the loss of our dear husband, father, brother, Grandpa, and friend, Grandpa Val Shields. We love him very dearly and that is why we have come here today. Nevertheless, we have not come to mourn the loss of our beloved friend, but rather, to celebrate the life of our beloved Mentor, Example and Patriarch of the family.

We all loved our Grandpa Shields very much, and we loved him for his strong character, example of hard work and for the love that he had for those around him.

Grandpa was a very strong person that always worked hard. He started working at a young age and continued working from that point on to provide for his family. Grandpa loves his family more than anything else, and his actions were driven by this profound love he has for his Family and friends. He was always thinking about others! He showed his love for us through his patience with all of his grandkids, whether it was one of us standing in front of the T.V. or one of us accidentally stepping on his toes! He was a great example to me of selfless service. He showed me how to respect women in the way that he treated Grandma. He is an amazing man and I hope to be able to follow his footsteps in raising my own family.

Grandpa developed a strong testimony of the gospel in his youth and was able to strengthen it throughout his life and his testimony has had an incomparable influence on his children and grandchildren. I remember going on camping trips with Grandpa and on Sunday mornings studying in the Book of Mormon and hearing Grandpa's testimony. He is a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and has impacted the lives of many through his example.

I love my Grandpa very much which makes it hard for me to be here in Florida so far way from home, but I need to be here so I can share the knowledge that I have of God's plan for each of us, his children. Though we are saddened that our Grandpa is no longer with us we have hope in the resurrection of Christ that we will be able to see him again. President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has stated, "The aging process is... a gift from God, as is death. The eventual death of your mortal body is essential to God’s great plan of happiness. Why? Because death will allow your spirit to return home to [Our Heavenly Father]. From an eternal perspective, death is only premature for those who are not prepared to meet God."

And Grandpa was prepared.

Even though we know that Grandpa is at peace now, released from the bonds and pains of his mortal body and is now reunited with his beloved Parents, we still miss him. President Gordon B. Hinckley when speaking at a funeral said, "...it is a devastating, consuming thing to lose someone you love. It gnaws at your soul." I am sure that we have all had these feelings because we love Grandpa so much.

These are the same feelings that those dedicated Disciples of Christ had on the Hill of Calvary as the most wicked men on Earth crucified the Savior of the World. Oh the despair that they felt to lose the Lord and Master that they Loved so much. On that terrible Friday the world was full of darkness.... They must have felt that the world would surely end, but it didn't. Oh how great was there joy that following Sunday, when they saw their Resurrected Savior again! Perfected never to die again. In this we can all have hope, through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Elder Wirthlin has said, "Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."

I add my testimony to Elder Wirthlin's that Sunday will come, that we will be able to see our Grandpa Shields again with a perfected body, just like the Savior's. An incorruptible body no longer racked by the pains of cancer. How great will be our Joy at that day when we are reunited with the Friend that we love so much.

I testify that Grandpa has done his part in following the example of Christ and has remained firm in the faith despite all his afflictions and that he now at rest. Now it is our responsibility to follow his example so we too can qualify for the same blessing and be reunited as an Eternal Family exalted in the kingdom of God forever.

This is my testimony which I bear in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

We love you Grandpa! 
We never realized that Matthew looked like Grandpa!
Matthew and Jared - the look-a-like brothers

"I am so proud of and impressed with Matthew!"

This is so them! Just having fun and being silly :)

July 18, 2016 - Families Can Be Together Forever

Hello Friends and Family

This week was a very interesting week, to say the least. I went on exchange with Elder Deklerk and we had a pretty good time except we knocked into a Born Again Christian Jew (It was a long story) but basically he wanted to know more about our religion and how it started. So, we started teaching him about the Restoration and he then proceed to lecture us on every point of the Restoration for an hour and half and about how Joseph Smith misinterpreted the First Vision and a bunch of other shenanigans. Anyway, that was pretty exciting. This week we taught 18 lessons which is super awesome! Time goes much faster when you are teaching people! This week we had 9 investigators come to Sacrament Meeting and we will be having 6 baptisms next Sunday! Pouchon, Sierra, Malik and also Vivian and her 2 kids Josiah and Jovana, will be getting baptized after church next Sunday! there baptismal interviews are this week and that should be awesome! Adline and her family are still waiting for the divorce papers to come back from St. Martin, but they should be getting baptized on July 30th which is Bruline's (Adline's Daughter) 8th birthday! On Friday, this week we had to bike because of all the miles we have been using and we ended having to bike 25 miles in the humidity so by the end of the day we were pretty wet.

This week I got my leather scripture covers in the mail, they are awesome! Thanks, Mom and Grandma!

My last thought this week, with the passing of my Grandpa Shields, is on the resurrection, "And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." (Mosiah 16:7-9)

Because of the resurrection of Christ all men will be resurrected, regardless of their works and desires here on earth. As a result of the Atonement all men will be redeemed from the effects of the Fall, so all men will be raised in immortality and all men will return to the presence of God to be Judged. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) In this life we will have struggles and heartaches but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can overcome all things because he has already overcome them!

Part of this life is death, which is a hard thing to deal with but Christ taught us, "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die... And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them;" (D&C 42:45-46)

Because we love our families it is hard to see them pass on to the next life, but we should also rejoice in the resurrection of Christ! It is important to understand that death is a merciful gift from God! It is so merciful of God to release us from the corrupt bonds of an imperfect body in this life! How awful would it be to live forever in this world! How grateful we should be for the promise of Celestial blessings from a being that cannot lie. Because of the restored powers of Sealing we can be sealed as families for eternity, not to be separated by the grave. Therefore we should not despair over those that have 'died in Christ' for if we continue to the end, we shall see them again. Elder Neal A. Maxwell has said, "Furthermore, since this life is such a brief experience, there must be regular exit routes. Some easy. Some hard. Some sudden. Others lingering. Therefore, we cannot presume, even by faith, to block all these exits, all the time, and for all people. Nor, if possessed of full, eternal perspective, would we desire so to do." (Conference Report, 1984)

I know that my family and I are sealed together for all Eternity and that, as we keep our covenants, we will be exalted together in the Celestial Kingdom with our Father in Heaven. I know I'll see my Grandpa Shields and Grandma Hansen again!

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

"I love you Grandpa!"

Yay, he got his scripture covers!

Working hard in his "office"

The Hialeah Heartbeat Zone

A picture Elder Hansen found for Elder Augustin :)

July 11, 2016 - I am Tired... Like Really Tired!

Hello everyone,

To sum up this week in three words I would have to choose...Tired, for sure... then Work... and also HOT!!! In case anyone was wondering, Florida is the most southern state in the united states. It is in the Gulf of Mexico, it is a popular tourist destination, AND IT IS VERY HOT! So the next time you are on Jeopardy you guys can know a little more about Florida from someone that has seen the Secret Combinations that go on here.

Anyway, How are you? Here I am doing all of the talking. Why am I tired you ask? Because I am a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are all tired! I am beginning to more fully understand why people are so astounded when we tell them what we do. But the Work is amazing right now! This week we were able to continue to teach our investigators, I will do the individual update thing again because it's easier for me. First of all, Adline and her family need to get baptized already! They are basically members and go to all the activities and everything. Adline met with the lawyer on Saturday and sent the divorce papers to St. Martin so they should be getting divorced soon and subsequently baptized! Then Pierre and Tanya, they came to church! Anything past that I don't even know soooo yeah. Then Vivian and her kids! We have continued to teach them and they loved church! Vivian said this will be the church she goes to for the rest of her life! She loved the family atmosphere and especially the fact that it IS NOT A BUSINESS! Anyway, they have a baptismal date for the 24th of July after Church! Then Marjorie and her family, unfortunately we haven't been able to contact Marjorie but we are still talking to the kids. It's a pretty weird/stressful situation there. Finally we have Pouchon who is Romaine and brigette's nephew! We taught him and he came to church this week! He has an amazing understanding of what we are teaching him which is kind of shocking but it's all good. He also has a baptismal date for the 24th. All in all we had 10 investigators at church and taught a bunch of lessons this week! It was awesome but is definitely contributing to my level of tiredness. Anyway, we did some other cool stuff this week but it is not pertinent information.

My last thought, I would like to start with a quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith -
"The fundamental principles of our religion, are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”

I add my testimony to Joseph's that everything in the Gospel comes back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without the Atonement there would be no hope, no joy, no existence! in the words of Jacob "if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost." (Jacob7:12) I am grateful for the Savior's willingness to descend below all things that he may know from experience how to succor us. Even if we kept all of the commandments we could not be saved without the Atonement of Jesus Christ! As a result of the Atonement of Christ all mankind can be saved, All men will be resurrected and brought back into the presence of the Father to be judged according to our works and the desires of our hearts. Through the Atonement we can overcome the second death, spiritual death, caused by our own sins and we are able to have our garments washed clean by the blood of the Lamb of God. Not only are we cleansed from sin but through Christ's Atonement we can be strengthened in order to bear with ease the afflictions and trials that we are going through. There is only one name under heaven by which we can be saved and that name is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God! We owe everything we have and everything we are to Jesus Christ and through his gospel we are enabled to attain all that the Father hath and to be joint heirs with Christ! Preach my Gospel states, "As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

I testify that this is true.
I hope you all have an enjoyable week!

I forgot to mention that I went to MLC last week at President's house where all the leaders of the mission received training.  From President and Sister Richardson, "We are so lucky to have you all here, serving in this Wonderful Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, and "Leading" the way...!"

-- Kwe nan Bondye, ekè li vivan!
-- (Believers, notably alive? or Those who believe shall live)
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission
Haitian-ing the Work

"I am tired, like really tired!"

Mission Leadership Conference at the Mission Home. 

Elder Hansen is the 5th from the right. He's a new District Leader.

The new responsibilities are wearing on him.

July 5, 2016 - The Birth of a Boy and a Nation

Hello everybody! How are y'all doing?

Well, this week has been super stressful now that I am a district leader... but everything is good. :) We had a super awesome week and it was super busy too. So as you know Elder Augustin is my new companion and we have been teaching a lot this week. We had Malik and Sierra at church this Sunday plus Adline and her family and Pierre and Tanya, who by the way are not getting divorced or deported but are in fact getting baptized on July 22nd! Super exciting! So anyway, we have been teaching lots of people and I have been busy with new responsibilities and stuff so I am trying to figure everything out, but it is good. On Friday, we had District Training and afterwards I went on exchange with Elder Cutler who is our new Zone Leader and it was his birthday (July First) then the next day we exchanged back and it was my birthday! So we had a birthday exchange. :) Then for my birthday I got a surprise from a sister in the ward and it was pretty awesome! She brought me balloons, brownies and cupcakes and a huge birthday card from my family! We had a little celebration at the house with all of the birthday decorations I got in my birthday package from home and then went out and worked the rest of the night. It was weird because I kept forgetting that it was my birthday. Haha, so weird! Anyway, on the 4th we helped this Latin lady paint her house and got super messy after that we knocked some doors, then we had to come in early because people like to celebrate by shooting in the air or something, Anyway, we came home and relaxed and had a surprise pizza show up (Thanks Mom & Dad)! After a little miscommunication we got the pizza and it was delicious!

All in all a good week.

Okay my last thought, "[God] doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation." (2 Nephi 26:24)

God always has a plan even when we don't always understand!

I love you all and hope you had a great Fourth of July!

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

Happy 19th Birthday Elder Hansen! 
It's also his 10 months in the mission day :)

 A sweet sister in his ward delivered a homemade card from home, 
balloons and homemade cupcakes and brownies!

Yay, he got his birthday package!

It looks like a party!

Elder Cutler joining in the fun :)

The big 19, make a wish!
I love the maps and bikes in the background, such a missionary pic!

Elder Hansen with his new companion Elder Augustin.

June 28, 2016 - My Sixth Companion in Seven Transfers

Hello Family and friends!

This week was pretty nuts! Last P-day Elder Deklerk got in a fender bender in our car, which isn't too bad because I hate the Chevy Cruze and now we will be getting a new car tomorrow! (Lets pray it's not another Cruze!) Anyway, we have continued teaching our investigators and they are all progressing well! Barbara got a job which she was praying for and she came to church on Sunday! Pierre and Tanya... well, I will get to them later.

Adline and her kids are more active than most of the Ward so we are still just waiting for her divorce papers... and then they will be BAPTIZED! Marjorie and her kids accepted a date for July 9th but they didn't come to church on Sunday... but we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom this week and they accepted everything and they are all reading in the Book of Mormon! AWESOME!!! Vivian and her kids couldn't come to church but while we were reading the Book of Mormon with them she cut us off and asked when the soonest was that she could be baptized! Missionaries love questions like that!. I think that is everyone we are teaching.... oh! Pierre and Tanya! So, If you were unaware, they have had some Marital problems that came to a T after church on Sunday. Pierre and his son Christopher came to church on Sunday and Pierre had grabbed the wrong phone, he grabbed Tanya's. Long story short, she didn't want to give back his phone because she found that he was still communicating with his Baby Momma in Haiti... Blah blah blah.... he kicks down the door... blah blah blah... police come... blah blah blah... they are getting a divorce and he is probably getting deported which means... they probably won't be getting baptized on the 22nd unfortunately, but I digress. Other than that, it was a super good week!

In case anyone is wondering, yes it is hot and yes it is humid and yes at the same time...
Thanks Florida...

Last night we got our transfer call and found out that Elder Celstin will be transferring and my new companion will be Elder Augustin who is also Haitian! Woot Woot!! Also, I will be serving as a District Leader.

My last thought for the day, a quote by Elder Hansen:
"If you assume the worst, you're usually wrong. The happier way is to always assume the best and not be easily provoked." The happiest way to live is the charitable way which is the way that Christ lived. "...Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." (Moroni 7:47)

If we love as Jesus loved, we will be truly happy.
I hope you all have an awesome week!

-- M'espere ou sonje anniverse mwen! Paske m pap bliye!
-- (I hope you will remember my birthday, for I will remember!)

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

The District

Lookin' sharp in their suits

The Gansta Squad all ready for the 4th of July