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

Sunday, December 18, 2016

December 13, 2016 - Transferred Again

Hello All,

We had a pretty crazy day and don't have a ton of time to email today so I will be very brief.

This week we had Zone Training and to hear about it please listen to the voice recording below. We challenged our Zone to get a certain amount of baptisms this week and if they met their goals we would let them throw whip cream pies in our faces. Well, we are men of our word and our Zone got those baptisms, so we had a pie throwing intermission during our Zone meeting. It turned into more of a full contact event than we had planned, ending with Elder Ariotti getting a 3rd degree concussion. :( He said it was still worth it though. After that excitement I went on exchange with one of the Assistants, Elder Adams. The rest of the week was fairly unproductive as far as missionary work goes, we spent mostly doing Zone Leader stuff.

Last night we had transfer calls and I will be transferred to the Linton Branch, a Haitian Branch in the Palm Beach Stake and my companion will be Elder Christensen. We will be whitewashing in (both new to the area) and we will be the Zone Leaders!

As for my last thought, the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God and if you study it with real intent, with a question or a problem in mind, it will help you to overcome your difficulties. So read it!

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

The Fort Myers Zone

Elder Hansen (standing on the chair) impersonating Elder Ariotti who is very tall, 
and Elder Ariotti (seated) impersonating Elder Hansen, who is known for 
his Ramen noodle-like wavy hair, with a package of Ramen noodles on his head!

The first pie for Elder Hansen, with Elder Ariotti in the background

This is a good look!
I can't believe he didn't take off his tie :(

This may have been the pie that caused the "concussion".  
This Elder is airborne coming in to deliver this pie to Elder Ariotti's face. Yikes!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 5, 2016 - Glad Christmas Tidings

Hello family and friends,

Well, it's now officially December, and I guess that means it's time to bundle up and get nice and close to the fireplace and tell Christmas stories of yesteryear. But I am a Hipster I guess and did exactly zero of those things. ;)

On Monday, this week we played soccer in the church cultural hall and it got pretty intense, haha! But in accordance with white handbook policy we didn't keep score, but somehow we still lost... But then at the close of P-day we fulfilled some of our Zone Leader Duties and that was "Loads of Fun"...?

On Tuesday, we went to 2 District Trainings and they were both pretty Boss! Elder Pineda took us through "The Plan of Your Mission" which is like the Plan of Salvation, but about our missions. It was awesome! Then I went on Exchange with Elder Pineda and we had a grand ol' time knocking the streets of Lehigh Acres. We knocked into this white lady and she kindly let us know that she was saved but she referred us to 2 Haitians, so we went and saw them and got return appointments with them!

On Wednesday, we went and taught a bible referral named France Pierre and her 2 kids and they are the most adorable family ever! Then we had dinner with the Lowman Family and went on Splits with the High Priests.

On Thursday, we had a pretty terrible day, haha. We helped the English and Spanish Elders move apartments and they had a lot of stuff! Then we had an apartment inspection to make sure that the place was spotless and of course it was! After that we drove to Naples and slept on the floor in the Elder's apartment there so we wouldn't have to go so far to get to Ft. Laud for Mission Leadership Council. 

On Friday, we spent the majority of the day at MLC which was good but long, we spent way too long in the car...

Then on Saturday, we were flying around trying to do a week's worth of missionary work in one day and it didn't work... but we did solidfy the Lawson's for church, I don't remember if I told you all but the Lawson's aren't married...  so we had them talk to the Obispo (Bishop) on Sunday and they are planning on getting married in January, which is good, but a looooooong way away, that's like a whole transfer... Anyway that was my week, and it just flew by! 

For my spiritual thought this week, I invite each of you to go to this website https://www.mormon.org/ and watch the "Light the World" video and commit to do the 25 day challenge, or at least the last 20 days of it!

I hope that your halls are all getting decked and there is plenty of holly and mistletoe to go around! And let's all remember the purpose of Christmas!

--Dios bendiga 
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

A going home funeral for Sister Jones
I love that they're all wearing black ties!

Some comic style folders from the the AP's
The first one is of Elder "Narc" Smith dreaming of hunting for 100 baptisms.
The second is of Elder Ariotti with a gangster "23 baptisms" gold chain on
and Matthew in his bee suit! Too funny!

Friday, December 9, 2016

November 28, 2016 - A Thanksgiving Baptism!

Season-ings Greetings! (funny kid)

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and that you didn't slave too hard over those delicious Thanksgiving meals. So, what happened with me this week you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked because we had a grand time here in Ft. Meezy!

To start off, on Tuesday we went on exchange with the Spanish Elders and I got to cruise around town with Elder Perez, the cute little Guatemalan. (BTW his mom speaks Kekchi and lives in Sandy! Small world) Anywho, we had a fun day cruisin around town teaching Haitians so I'm sure he had a great time.

On Wednesday an investigator in the Spanish ward took us all to McDonalds for lunch so that was pretty fun! Then we tried to talk to all the Less Active Haitians in the ward. After that we went to a meal appt. in a trailer and that about sums that up.

On Thursday we contacted a referral in the morning named France Pierre and she was super nice! Then we went and ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Cole's and it was super delicioso. Then we went to the Richardson's and had Thanksgiving dinner with them too..... so needless to say I was full haha, no post- thanksgiving nap though, haha.

On Friday we did something but I can't remember at the present time.... I'll have to get back with you on that one.

On Saturday though, and this is the real good stuff, we had the most southern meal you've ever seen (pictures below). After that we went and taught Figarro Baptiste and she was all like "oh, I have to work tomorrow, why can't I get baptized today" And we were like "Dude, we moved it to Sunday because you didn't have to work that day" and she was like, "but I didn't go to work today so I could get baptized today" and we were like,"bro.... it's not that easy, coordinating a baptism in a LDS ward is nigh unto Rocket Science in level of difficulty" and then she was like, "okay, I won't go to work" and then we breathed a sigh of relief and said "Merci Beaucoup" (This conversation was in Creole of course and this is but a rough translation due to lack of time) Anyway, she was down to get 'tized on Sunday. Then after that we had some "Confidential Zone Leader Business" that you don't even want to know about, Big headache... Then we ate Thanksgiving Part 2 with the St. Louis Family and they are hilarious!

Sunday Morning FIGARRO GOT BAPTIZED!!!! WOOOOOHHHHOOOOOOO!!!! And funny story, she only showed up 10 minutes late (which is early for Haitians) and then we found out that her name is Matene Baptiste Figarro, while we were in the font, so that was funny, haha!

Anyway, that was my week, I'm sure I missed something funny/important but I'll remember once I pass through the veil again, so we will regroup at that point.

Okay My last thought, "And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances... Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man... And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. (D&C 59:15-21) 

God wants to bless us at every opportunity that He has, but He cannot bless us with everything He has unless we are obedient. He blesses us as much as he can without our obedience, "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." But the fulness of his blessings are waiting for those who do these 2 things in the scripture above, to "confess his hand in all things" through Gratitude and to keep his Commandments. How quick we are to forget to do these 2 things.

I love you all and hope you have had time to bust out the Christmas Music!

-- Adieu
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

Figarro's Baptism!

The turkey hat we sent to him.
He said he wore it to their District Training meeting!

His favorite, chocolate cream pie!

I sent them some money and the directions to this restaurant 
to get some great Southern cooking and delicious pie! 

His comp, Elder Ariotti getting in on the fun with the turkey hat!

Matthew's thankful turkey for 2016

November 21, 2016 - "I Am Thankful For_________"

Hello my dearest fans!

Thank you for all of your fan mail! I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving this week and go out and have a great time with your families!

So, this week I am thankful for motorized transportation because I drove all over the state this week! 

This tuesday we had Zone Conference in Boynton Beach, which of course is a 3 hour drive for us in Ft. myers. We got to drive through Belle Glade to get there so that was exciting! Zone Conference was amazing and I got to see my old amigos!

Then on Wednesday we did lots of stuff but to end the night we re-found Figarro Baptiste. I don't know if you remember her, but we taught her back at the beginning of October and she now has a baptismal date for the 26th!

Thursday we prepared and went to a meeting with the Stake President to report on the missionary work in the stake, and then our battery died so we had to get that replaced...

Then on Friday we went to 2 District Trainings while President did interviews with all the missionaries and it went well. Then I went on exchange with Elder Lewis and we biked all over the placed and it was super lame...

Then Saturday we went to a Chinese buffet and I tried a lot of sushi including octopus, sooo yeah, that was chewy...

Sunday was great and we had the Lawson family and Figarro at church then after church we had another Just Serve meeting for the stake and at that point I was pretty meeting-ed out but I made it through it! So we had a super busy week.

My last thought is from President Henry B. Eyring "I receive letters and visits from faithful Latter-day Saints who feel burdened with a load of care. Some are close to feeling that, at least for them, all is lost. I hope and pray that what I say about being grateful on the Sabbath will be helpful to make doubts fly and for singing to start in your hearts.

One blessing for which we can be grateful is that we are there in that sacrament meeting at all, gathered with more than one or two of His disciples in His name. There are some at home unable to rise from their beds. There are some who would like to be where we are but are instead serving in hospitals and providing public safety or are defending us at the risk of their own lives in some desert or jungle. The fact that we are able to gather with even one other Saint and partake of the sacrament will help us begin to feel gratitude and love for God’s kindness.

Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, another blessing we can count is that we have the opportunity to take the sacrament each week—prepared, blessed, and passed by authorized servants of God. We can be grateful when the Holy Spirit confirms to us that the words of the sacrament prayers, offered by those authorized priesthood holders, are honored by our Heavenly Father.

Of all the blessings we can count, the greatest by far is the feeling of forgiveness that comes as we partake of the sacrament. We will feel greater love and appreciation for the Savior, whose infinite sacrifice made possible our being cleansed from sin. As we partake of the bread and water, we remember that He suffered for us. And when we feel gratitude for what He has done for us, we will feel His love for us and our love for Him.

The blessing of love we receive will make it easier for us to keep the commandment to “always remember Him.” You may even feel love and gratitude, as I do, for the Holy Ghost, who Heavenly Father has promised will always be with us as we remain faithful to the covenants we have made. We can count all those blessings every Sunday and feel grateful."

As we take time to regain an eternal perspective and see the things we should really be thankful for, and they will all bring us closer to our Father in Heaven!

I love you all!

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

Elder Hansen with Elder Petersen and Elder Roberts

With his favorite trainer, Elder Murat
We love the photo bombers in the background :)

With his good old MTC comp Elder Petry

With his buddy Elder Petersen again

Awkward hands with Elder Deklerk

November 14, 2016 - May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Hello Fam!

So anyway, this week was busy and we did a lot but I can't really remember all of it, so I will try to fill you in. On Monday we taught a member referral family of 5, the Riches' Family and they are pretty cool! Then when I got home I spent 45 minutes making a decal for our Zone flag. Then on Tuesday we had Zone Training and it went really well. In order to pump up the Zone we changed the Zone culture to the Hunger Games. The Zone name is the "Ft. Myers Zone: Catching Fire" so we lit a table on fire (no story here?) and did some other crazy stuff to get people pumped! We played the Hunger Games Anthem and the cannons for how many new investigators each companionship gained this week! It has seemed to work so far. Then after ZT I went on exchange with Elder Spottiswood and we knocked into Marie Elsee! She is a Haitian Mamie that just came from Pot-au-Prens and is excited to learn. We took the Ambroise Family (recent converts) over to teach her and they did an awesome job sharing their testimonies and answering Marie's questions! Tifarel didn't act like a member that was baptized just 12 days before. That was probably the highlight of the week! So anyway, on Sunday Marie came to church! Unfortunately, the Lawson's and the Riches' didn't come to church but we re-solidified them for next week!

So that was the week basically, now for my last thought, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth." (Luke 11:17) 

Among any organization, if the members within are divided, the demise of the organization is inevitable. Focusing on differences never brought reconciliation. Regardless of opinion it is important for us to focus on our similarities! We are all children of God and if we all follow God we would be able to live as the Nephites following the visitation of Christ, "And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land." (4 Nephi 1:15-18)

I love you and hope you enjoy the fall colors!

-- Love
Elder Hansen
Florida, Fort Lauderdale Mission

Haitian-ing the Work

The Fort Myers Zone "Catching Fire!"

In honor of Rue, do the whistle!
It looks like this is the table they set on fire, yikes!