Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LAST EMAIL - December 15, 2015 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 98

Hey guys!!!!

My last email!!! That honestly makes me so sad. I have the weirdest emotions going on right now haha. 

This has been, by far, the best experience of my life. I could not be happier with my mission. I have worked hard the entire time, and I don´t have any regrets. Of course, there were things that I could have done better. I know better now with the experience that I have,  but everything was a preparational (is this a word?) process I know that there were times that were hard, but I know that that was just the Lord preparing me for something more, something better. In Every single area, I have learned something different. I have loved every area, even the hard ones because I think I learned more from the challenges that I've had. I have learned So much from every single companion, Elder Perkes (MTC), Elder V.Santos, Elder Lima, Elder Di Giordano, Elder Thomas, Elder Loureiro, Elder Neeley, Elder Webb, Elder Bezerra, Elder Cunnington, Elder Santos, and Elder Pinheiro. Every single one had a different style, personality, and way of sharing the gospel. And I´ve learned, that every single companion had a significant impact on the way I think about everything. The mission has been perfect. A perfect experience. I feel like I´ve helped these people know The true Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Colin saying goodbye to some other members and missionaries

I honestly don´t have a favorite area! I had more success in Rio Verde and Uberaba, but I have loved and learned from every single area. 

Heavenly Father has blessed me in ways that I never imagined possible. I know that He knows me personally, inside and out. He knows my weaknesses, my flaws, but I know that I can be perfected through Him and only Him. I understand now much better about His plan for me and for eternal families. I am so grateful for my family.

Mom, I don´t know where I would be without you. You have helped me out through all my struggles, and you kept me on the right path. I´m so grateful for your faith. I don´t think I´ve ever seen somebody with more faith than you. You have a TRUE testimony of this gospel, and the atonement, and that really helped me throughout my mission. I´ll be eternally grateful to you and for your help in my life.

Dad, you are the best example to me. You are how I need to be as a father for my future children. Thank you so much for your example. Your example in going on a mission helped me a lot with my personal decision to go. Thank you so much for the principles you´ve taught me and for your patience with me. If I can be 5/16 (Michael Scott joke) of what you are, I think I´ll be set for life haha.

Noah, you have been my best friend throughout my life. I have loved everything that has happened to us haha and for your friendship. I´m so grateful for that and I can´t wait for the experiences to come as well.

Erik, there´s a lot that I want to say to you, but I think it would be better in person. It´s pretty personal, and it has a lot to do with your decision to go on a mission. For now, all I´ll say is that this was a huge factor in me going. I´ll explain later.

I´m really grateful for my friends as well (if they´re reading). They´ve all helped me stay true to what I am and I´m really excited to see them as well.

I have huge mixed feelings on going home. It´ll honestly be harder than when I left for my mission. I have learned so many things and met so many amazing people, that I´m practically Brazilian now haha. The only thing that doesn´t make me Brazilian is my whiteness :'(. 
I´ll miss the culture so much.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet today. I know that God´s plan of happiness is for everyone. I have grown to LOVE the Book of Mormon. It has helped me through a lot of trials on my mission, and I know that God has answered my prayers while reading. God wants us to progress. He doesn´t want us to just endure to the end, he wants us to PROGRESS to the end. We need to become better people every day, and through God´s plan and through the Atonement of Christ and repentance, we can do just that.

I love you all so much. Thank you so much for the support and for your love for me. I can´t wait to see you all on Friday, that´ll be the best part of coming home. Até sexta-feira!

Elder Hanson

P.S. amazing news, Tania is going to the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead and she gets her patriarchal blessing as well :))))))))))))))

P.S.S. Colin will be flying home December 19. His welcome home is December 28th.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 97

Dear Family,

So first off, this week was kind of crazy. We were super excited and preparing Jeronima, Leonardo, and Eremildo for baptism. All three were interviewed, and then the baptism came, and Jeronima and Leonardo didn´t show up! We passed by their house and they weren´t there, then after we called them and they had turned off their phone. It was strange. But! Eremildo was baptized on Saturday! It was super awesome. He´s a sweet old guy haha and the members were really happy about it. The members of the ward seem to like us now haha after the lack of baptisms in the past, they seem to have really appreciated our work here. It´s been great here! 

Colin and Emerildo and Marlor (Brother)

I kind of had a cool experience after the baptism. I was really bummed out on everything that had happened with Jeronima and Leonardo, and Augusta as well. I was thinking, I´m working my butt off on my last transfer, I´m fasting, I´m praying, I´m trying to do everything right, and out of nowhere the Adversary comes in and takes these people away. Then you have fubecas (missionaries that don´t work) who, on their last transfer, do everything wrong and they have baptisms all over the place. It didn´t make any sense to me. This was when I was really grateful for my companion. He made me realize that I was completely wrong, and that I needed to realize what I´ve learned from experiences like this. Me working hard, and having these trials has made me stronger and I have grown as a person, where as the missionaries don´t learn anything from having baptisms coming out of nowhere and they don´t need to do anything to get them. It made me realize that God really does know me and what I need to do to be a better person. That´s why I think the mission is perfect, that even someone who has less than a year on his mission teaches an oldie haha to be a better person. It´s great.

Sunday was testimony meeting, and next week is Stake Conference here, so it really was my last sacrament meeting in the ward. I decided to bear my testimony. Holy crap haha I don´t think I´ve ever cried so much in my entire life. I sat on the stand, and I just was remembering all of the memories, and of the experiences I´ve had throughout my mission, and I´m going to miss them all so much. I´ll talk more about this next week haha. But I had never cried so much ever. It was so weird haha.

We should have one more baptism on Saturday with Nilva. We´ll try our best so that everything works out with her on Saturday. It´ll be awesome.

Love you guys so much! Thank you for all you do and I´ll be forever grateful for all of you.

Elder Hanson

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 96

Dear Family,

So this week was kind of rough..... We were all super excited about Augusta´s baptism and everything, and then out of nowhere, everything that could have went wrong, went wrong haha. So we had told her about the baptismal interview for last Friday and she said that we could pass by like at 3. So we went on divisions (One Elder is from from Logan, and Elder Bezerra). I went to another area. When they got to her house, Augusta´s son wouldn´t let them in and said Augusta didn´t want anything to do with us anymore. We were super confused, because Augusta was super excited about her baptism! Then the next day, they called Augusta and she said that she was going through a really hard time with her family and was going crazy, so she said she would call us when she wants to come back to church :(. It was really sad and super frustrating, but it´ll be fine.

But! This week we should have 3 baptisms on Saturday! Eremildo, who is a brother of a recent convert (56 years old) and he is really progressing. They´re both super humble and willing to accept commitments, so it´s going great with him. Also, Augusta´s sister, Geronima, and her grandson Leonardo have dates for Saturday as well. The family all has problems and they´re not entirely there if you know what I mean haha. But they accept everything we say and are keeping the commandments so on Saturday, we will have dunked 3 people na água!

We also had a super miracle on Saturday, but it´s kind of a crazy story haha. So in our Area Book, we saw that there was this lady named Nilva and her daughter Gleyvielle, and they had been baptized about 5 years ago. But, after they got baptized, Nilva got arrested for something that she didn´t do and Gleyvielle as well. So that Sunday, they weren´t confirmed. We asked President if they needed to be baptized again and he said that they needed to. After that, they weren´t able to be bpatized again for awhile because Nilva had been arrested. But, now their records are clean and can be baptized again. We were walking down the street Saturday night, and I felt like we should pass by her house for some reason, and so we passed by. We got there, (by the way, she is like never home because she´s always traveling) and she let us in. We walked in and right away she said "I was talking with Gleyvielle the other day, and I said that I wanted to be baptized because I know that that´s what God wants me to do and this is the only church that feels right to me" haha it was awesome. We marked a date for the 13th (my last Saturday!) and she is super excited.

By the way, my voice is horrible now. If they let somebody do a musical number at my homecoming, have Noah do it. I think that would be cool. For the lunch, I would like rice and beans and stroganoff! (Ask Flavia what that is, she´ll know haha) But if that doesn´t work out, I guess you guys can make salad and soup :/

Love you guys! Hope you guys have a great week. I can´t believe Erik got a car tão legal :(

Elder Hanson

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 24, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 95

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week was a ton better than the last few weeks. First off, Ruciery recieved the Priesthood! So awesome. He´s been going to Institute and everything and he´s loving everything that´s happened to him since we´ve met him. He should be blessing the sacrament within these coming weeks. It was crazy, because we were already planning on telling the Ward Council that he needed to recieve the Priesthood, but the Bishop just did it himself! It´s crazy haha because usually we have to tell the ward to do EVERYTHING but it was nice to see that this ward already knew!

So we found some really good people this week. We had been working really far away from the chapel in a poorer area and it wasn´t really working out. So we decided to work really close to the chapel this week. We saw this lady sitting in front of her house super close to the chapel, and we talked to her. Turned out she was handicapped, but she went and talker with her mom and we taught her and her sister. They´re like 50 years old. They loved our message and they both went to church! Augusta is her name and she had already gone to church once awhile back, and so we marked a date with her for this Saturday! She is super excited. She lives with her son, but her son hates religion and doesn´t want anything to do with it, so we´re just teaching her. She lives like 3 doors away from the church! So crazy. Her sister´s name is Geronima, and she has a date as well for the 6th of December. We also marked a date with her grandson who lives with her, Leonardo for the 6th as well. It´ll be great! 
Unfortuneately, Viviane is leaving for France this Saturday, so we won´t be able to baptize her here. But it´s okay! We´ll explain to her how she can find the church there in the city she´ll live in. 

I´m happy with the way things are turning out here. I´m happy with the success we´re having and I know that they are the Lord´s blessings and I need to be super grateful for them. I´m working hard still and I´m trying to do everything in my power to not get trunky haha. 

I hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving and I hope you´re all doing well. I love you guys so much and I´m super excited to see you all in 4 weeks. But, I´ll keep working hard until the last hour of my last day here in Brazil. I love this country so much and I´ll be super sad to leave. Love you guys!

Elder Hanson


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 17, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 94

Dear Family,

Hey guys!

This week was pretty stressful haha but it was alright, I guess. We have been working in a different area this past week and it didn´t go too well. It was a really poor area and there were a lot of things that I didn´t need to see haha but it really didn´t give us any results. Which is so weird, because in Rio Verde, it was in those areas that we thrived and we had a ton of success. I don´t know, here it was different. We were really blessed because on Saturday, everything was falling through and out of nowhere this lady stopped us in front of her house and told us that she was a member that had been baptized more than 20 years ago, but soon after she got baptized she fell away. She lived in Brasilia at the time but then moved to Goiânia and didn´t know where the church was. She told us that she wanted to go back to church but didn´t really remember anything about the church. We told her we would take her to church the next day and she invited one of her friends to go to come with her. They both came yesterday to church and they loved it! It was pretty cool. The member´s name is Iony and the friend (non Member) is Viviane. Viviane is going to move to France at the end of this year, and told us that she was nervous because she knows that most of the people there are not super religious. She wants to be super religious so that she wouldn´t fall into that. We´ll pass by there on Tuesday to teach them more about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and it´ll be great. We´ll try and mark a date with her for the 29th!

This week was also stressful because of the sisters in my district. A new American sister got here last week and isn´t speaking a lick of Portuguese haha (like every other American) and is being trained by another Brazilian sister. The Brazilian Sister always gets mad at her and she gets mad at me because I try and help out the American sister. It´s so annoying and I´m not exactly sure what to do. It´ll work out though. Hopefully haha. She always tells me that I´m wrong even when I do what she asks. I don´t understand this sister at all! 

But other than that, there really isn´t a whole lot to talk about. As for my pant size, I´m pretty sure I´m a 32 now. I had lost 40 pounds, but it looks like I´ve gained 10 back haha. Uberaba made me fatter because the food was so good there and I haven´t lost the weight since haha. 

Oh, one story. We found a family this week who had been baptized a few years ago but had fallen away because they wereconfused about some of the doctrine. They didn´t believe that families could be sealed for all eternity. They then told us how they had lost one of their sons this year (who had also been baptized) who was about 20 years old. We talked to them about the importance of families in God´s plan, but the mom told us that the dad was super furious about religion and didn´t want anything to do with it anymore. We talked with the mom and she started crying in the lesson and told us that she wanted to return to church, but it all depended on the dad. It made me really sad, but made me really grateful for God´s plan for families here on Earth. I don´t know what I would do without my family, and the knowledge that I will be with them for all eternity. It only strengthened my testimony, having this experience with them.

Love you guys!!! I hope that everything is alright with you and that you´re all happy. Thank you so much for hooking all that stuff up at BYU with Cooper. 

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 10, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 93

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week was pretty good. We baptized Ruciery on Saturday! It was awesome. He kind of acts and talks still like an Evangelical haha but he really loved his baptism. It was great! He was baptized by one of the Bishopric counselors (is this how you spell counselor?). We had done a family night at his house this past week. 
Service Day in Goiania

Terrible picture of our district (no one was ready)

Ruciery's Baptism

Besides the baptism, it wasn´t the best week of our lives. We didn´t really find anybody new to teach this week, and the people we found were kind of trashy haha. We´re just going to be looking for new people this week. We´ve been working close to the church this past transfer, which gave us 2 baptisms, but now we´re going to start working a little bit further away from the chapel to find people who have never heard of the church. We were really blessed with Francisca and Ruciery, because they have only been living in Goiânia for a short time. I´m tired of being rejected haha and it seems like everyone that lives close to the church is extra rude to us haha. But it´s okay. We´ll find some sick (really good) people to teach in a different area.

So this week was transfer week and they didn´t call us so I´m pretty sure that I wasn´t transferred and that I´ll "die" here in Balneário haha (this is slang here saying that you´re ending your mission). Elder Pinheiro, I´m pretty sure wasn´t transferred either. I have really gotten along well with Elder Pinheiro, but I think he was sad that he wasn´t transferred haha because he´s been in Balneário for a long time. He sometimes gets on my nerves because he´s kind of immature, but I really do like him.

So today I took my first bucket shower!!! Haha it was awesome! Our house ran out of water (the water system is way different in Brazil) and so we had to take a bucket shower this morning with water from the chapel. Don´t worry though! We should have water in our house by tomorrow and for now we´ll just take bucket showers haha it´s so great....

Thank you guys so much for looking for an apartment for us! I really do appreciate it, and to thank you guys, I promise that I´ll keep working hard up until my last lesson of my last day. Don´t worry about me! Everything will be great this last transfer of my mission. Love you guys!

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 92

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week was kind of frustrating haha but it´s all good......

We found a lot of good people to teach this week, but it was one of those weeks where we confirmed with a ton of people to go to church with us and only 1 person came with us haha. It´s so frustrating when it happens. 

We will have another baptism on Saturday! Ruciery is super awesome and is progressing well. He is super evangelical and so it´s hard for him sometimes to understand some of our beliefs. But he knows that his baptism wasn´t valid, and so he´s excited for his baptism on Saturday. It´ll be awesome. He´s kind of awkward so we have passed by with some awkward members this week to be friends with him haha. The lessons have been kind of awkardly spiritual :/. 

Not a whole lot happened this week that was cool haha. We had a huge multi zone meeting with President this last week which was pretty cool. He set up this new program for the mission that´s a program for the missionaries to progress. It´s pretty cool and I liked it a lot. It´s a long complicated program that would take forever to write about haha but it´s basically a program for the missionaries to improve their work. 

This Saturday, there´s a program from the church that´s called Mãos que Ajudam in Portuguese haha (I don´t remember what it´s called in English, is it helping hands?) I´m not really sure what we´re going to do there yet, but it´ll be cool I guess. All of the missionaries from Goiânia will be there so I should send some sic pics next week.

Thank you guys so much for all that you´re doing for me back home. I feel your prayers every single day and it gives me a lot of strength to continue on. I really do appreciate it. 

Love you guys! Sorry this email was so stupid this week. I will try to improve lol. Tchau!

Elder Hanson
Goiania Mission