Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013 ~ Arrived To Brazil ~ Week 9

Hello Brother & Sister Hanson

Elder Hanson arrived safely on the mission and is doing very well.  We are very excited to have him here and have him working with us in this great work.  I received him here in the mission office along with the other secretaries and Assistants on March 20 and have noticed that he is speaking Portuguese very well and is learning the missionary lessons wonderfully.  He is currently in the area of Jardim Curitiba with his excellent trainer, Elder V. Santos. We know they will do a great work together.
Everything is OK with him, he arrived safely and is very excited to serve as a missionary.  Any other questions, feel free to contact me.


Elder Eastwood

Dear Family,

That's awesome that Felix and Brice are going on a mission! When do they leave? Congrats to Jacob and Calvin on getting their calls! They seem so young haha.

Well!  This week has been super stressful to say the least haha.  The rules are super super strict here in this mission.  We're not allowed to even open emails from other missionaries or friends :(  But whatever.  Dumbest rule ever but I'll get over it.  They did say today that they might change that rule because the First Presidency is making a new missionary manual saying that it's okay to email friends and stuff like that.  But it all depends on my mission President.  I hope that he changes his mind, otherwise there will be no way to communicate with Cooper or any other Missionary.

Anyways, this week has been super stressful.  I thought I knew Portuguese but I guess I don't haha. The people here are super rude about me not knowing Portuguese very well.  I guess it's just in the Brazilian nature to be super blunt haha. They'll tell me that my Portuguese is awful and with a total straight face.

My companion is Elder V. Santos and he is from Fortaleza, Brazil. Yeah, can't understand like anything he says haha.  Also, he doesn't speak English AT ALL! It honestly is the most frustrating thing in the entire world and it's been super hard.  I can't understand the natives either.  There's only been one or two lessons where I've been able to understand them because they actually say their words.  The other people skip words or pronounce words super differently. I'll say something and I know that it's what I learned in the MTC and they don't understand me!  I am grateful that my other roommates speak English.  Elder Moreno is from California and he hasn't been out for very long, but his Portuguese is super good. He's helped me out a lot and has sort of comforted me with everything lol. Elder Lopes is from Sao Paulo, he speaks a little English so we can communicate. But again, he's super blunt as well and has told me my Portuguese sucks lol. It really doesn't affect me though haha. I hope everything gets easier! This week is the first week that I've been super homesick. Honestly it has been the hardest week of my life. I know everything will get better but I have to complain a little bit because I can't complain to anybody here or I'm breaking another rule :/

IT IS SO HOT HERE! It's not as humid as I thought it would be but it's super hot for most of the day. It rains everyday at least once. The rain doesn't feel good either because it's hot rain haha. I miss the cold :-(

I don't know my address because it's some weird Brazilian address and nobody has sent me anything from the mission office. I can't ask my companion because he doesn't know it either and the other two elders are gone right now. But I know I am in Tremadao, Jardim Curitiba which is on the outskirts of Goiania - Goias, Brazil. I'm pretty sure it's the poorest area of Goiania. But for some reason, the water is fine to drink. Not sure why but even Elder Moreno told me he has always been drinking the water and he's been totally fine. Don't worry though, I've been using my water bottle filter just is case. I've only had diarrhea once, but it wasn't from the water.
Botanical Gardens, Jardim Curitiba, Goias

I think the lessons are going well, not quite sure. I HATE THAT I CAN"T UNDERSTAND ANYBODY! I know that it's so frustrating for the other Elders as well. Please tell people to send me letters, it helps keep me sane and tell them to send them to the Mission Home for now.  I miss you guys so much!!!

Anyways!  Love you guys so much and please don't worry about me right now! I'll be fine, I just needed to vent a little bit.  I will try to put up pictures next week.  I also won't be able to send a letter today.  We had to go to the mission office and that took forever so I didn't have any time. I don't know the address anyway haha!  Please try to send a lot of emails too now that I can't even open other peoples emails.  It gives me comfort :) Love you guys! Eu amo voces muito muito muito!!!!!! Miss you more than I can bear!!!!!!

Elder Colin Hanson

Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 16, 2013 ~ Visa News!!! Week 8

Dear Family,

I GOT MY VISA YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know if President or Sister Mecham let you guys know that so I thought I would email you to let you know.  The APs will pick me up on Monday to take me to Billings and I'll stay the night there. Then Tuesday is when I leave for Brazil.  Which is on your birthday mom! Cray!  I'm not sure of the flight plans yet and I probably won't know until Monday.  Hopefully they'll let me email you guys that day so I can let you know when I'll be calling you.  I'm so excited!  I'm mad at the same time though because I won't be there for Jacob's and Makya's baptisms. :(  My Portuguese still isn't amazing haha so I'm also nervous for that.

Anyways!  Love you guys so much!  I wouldn't be here without you and I can't wait to teach the people of Brazil!  Eu os amo muito! Tchau!

                                                          Elder Hanson
                                         I can't wait to teach the people of Brazil!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 11, 2013 ~ Butte, Montana ~ Week 7

Hey guys!

Sorry I haven't written a letter yet! When we came to Butte on Monday, it was their P-day, so I had to wait a whole week to write again.  I didn't know what the address was until like Thursday!  Don't get mad at me lol.

Crazy week!  My first week out in the mission field. Montana is not like Utah at all lol other than the mountains and the cold.  There's not very many Mormons in Montana and there's only one stake in Butte.  Butte is an old old town! It's pretty big, but I guess it's the most dangerous city in Montana haha. Although where our house is, it is really safe but downtown Butte isn't safe. EVERYBODY HAS DOGS HERE, we are always getting barked at ~ Dad, you would absolutely hate that lol! Drinking, smoking, and gambling are huge problems in Butte. It seems like everybody smokes & drinks here and there are casinos everywhere!  It's hard to get baptisms here and the Mission President wants at least one baptism a month.  But lucky for us, we set 2 baptismal dates this week!  They had me invite them to be baptized after we taught them about the Restoration and they said yes!  So I'll have at least 2 baptisms under my belt by the time I leave for Brazil!  Crazy!!  They are kids though haha one is 11, Makya Olsen and the other is 9, Jacob Olsen.  Not sure what the whole family situation is but the parents are both Mormon.  I think they were just inactive and hadn't had their kids baptized yet.  But still!

Teeth are not a priority for the people of Butte lol.  Seems like everyone is missing teeth here haha.  We'll come across people who have a full set of teeth but then we find out they are members or they're originally from Utah lol.  Most of the members we talk to are really nice and we get fed pretty much every day.  We live in the basement of the bishop's house.  It's not too bad, I guess I can't complain at all. My companions are great. Elder Carter is from Beaver, Utah and Elder Hopkins is from Florida. They both know what they're doing but that's because they've been out forever. It's been nice to be free from drama.

We help out and do service a lot because during the day is horrible proselyting hours because people are at work.  What's weird is people go to bed really early here.  My companions said that people have gotten mad at them when they proselyted after 8 at night because they were about to go to bed.  Weird!  We help out at the Food Bank in Butte, which is run by the guy who set up the whole Mary on the Mountain so he's a big and positive influence in Butte.  He's Catholic. We usually package food or wax their vans and stuff. We helped out at the Soup Kitchen too on Thursday.  There are a lot of Catholics in Butte. St. Patrick's Day is a huge deal here, everybody is freaking out over it.  It's like Carnaval in Brazil & I don't think we'll be allowed out on St. Patrick's Day.  Everybody just wants to get plastered here haha.

I talked about this in the letter I'm going to send you but we went tracting like 4 days in the past week with no success lol.  I didn't have my first rejection until yesterday because nobody would answer the door when I knocked haha.  But the first door that answered was an old lady, she was such a trick and she slammed the door before I could get two words in lol. I guess I'll actually have to use words instead of just my looks to convert :/  It's usually the Catholics who are mean!  They're always like "I have my Church and I don't need anything else so you're wasting your time guys.  I'm not going to talk to you."  Haha we always just laugh when we leave.  Although, yesterday we were trying to find a less active member who was on the ward list and we went to his house, but the lady there said that he had moved a few years ago.  We talked to her for awhile and she said she was Catholic but was willing to let us come back and talk to her about what our Church was about.  So we are going today sometime and we're going to teach her!  I'm nervous about it because she will be the first Catholic that I'll teach.

Anyways!  that's about it!  I think most everything else is going to be said in the letter I'll send you.  BTW Where in Peru is Ben Haacke going?  That little wiener, he didn't even write me to tell me haha. That's cool though.

Here is my Address:

Elder Colin Ronald Hanson
122 Renz Drive
Butte, MT 59701

Please put that on Facebook or something!  I really am loving it here and I hope everything is going well back home!  Love you guys so much!  Eu os amo muito!!!!

Elder Colin Ronald Hanson

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 5, 2013 ~ Butte, Montana ~ Week 6

Hey Guys!

I was allowed to email today but you guys should be getting a letter in the next few days. I'm sorry our phone call was so short!  I really do feel so bad.  I promise that when I get my visa for Brazil, I'll talk to you for a long time when I'm at the airport.

I'm in Butte, Montana right now and that's probably where I will serve the entire time I'm in Montana unless my visa doesn't come around the time of my transfer in 6 weeks.  They told me that there was an Elder awhile ago who didn't get his Visa until he was in Montana for seven months!  I would hate it if that was me lol.

We haven't done any proselyting yet because my companions are zone leaders of the area and they're super busy all the time.  I think though that we're going to this afternoon, I don't know lol they haven't really taught me anything yet even though they're my trainers :/ haha  They're great though! Most of the people they teach are from referrals given to them by members.  I don't know why, I guess they just don't have much success proselyting here.  A lot of people they teach are inactive members too. The people here are super redneck, like the biggest rednecks I've ever seen in my life lol but I'm excited.

My companions are Elder Carter from Beaver, Utah and Elder Hopkins and he's from Florida.  They're great, but it was awkward because I met them right during a conference call they were having with the president haha and so I didn't really know what to do for 40 minutes and I sort of just sat there :/  It's okay though, I think they're just sick of having to train these Elders that get reassigned here and then they leave like right after.  I'm the third Elder that they've had to train that was reassigned lol.

It's really pretty up here!  There's a huge Mary statue on the mountain overlooking the city of Butte, so that's kind of cool.  It's like the Cristo O Redentor Statue in Rio De Janeiro Brazil.  I guess it's supposedly bigger than the Statue of Liberty. Weird that I've never heard of it!

                                    Lady of The Rockies Statue in Butte, Montana

The Elders that traveled with me to Billings all went to different places.  Elder Wallace stayed in Billings in the mission home, Elder Moffitt went to Bozeman, and then they dropped me off in Butte, and Elder Dahl went to Great Falls. It was so weird saying goodbye to all of them.

My Mission President, President Mecham and his wife are really nice!  We had lunch at the mission home after they picked us up from the airport and then they gave us our mission stuff and then we left around 3 for our areas.  It took like 3 hours to get to Butte but it was seriously the fastest car ride ever for some reason.  My Companions were meeting with members and so they dropped me off with these other two Elders for awhile haha.  I didn't meet my companions til like 8:30 pm.

I'm so nervous for everything!  Street contacting seems like it would be the scariest thing in the world and I'm so worried for it.  But I'm excited at the same time! But you know how I am, I want to be perfect with everything right from the start. I just need stop being like that haha. My companions have been out for so long, they know what they're doing. BTW Every companionship gets cars here!  It's crazy.

I'll let you know everything that happens this week in my next Email or letter!  I'm so excited and I hope I'm ready!  Love you guys so much!  Thank you for all you do!  Tchau!  Eu Amo Voce!

Elder Colin Hanson

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 1, 2013~Temporary Reassignment~Week 5

Hey Guys!!

How are you?  I'm doing great here.  I got my reassignment yesterday.  I got reassigned to the Billings, Montana mission haha.  Honestly, I was so disappointed yesterday and I was really angry for a couple of hours because the other people in my district got reassigned to New York, Alabama, and Tennessee.  But then I realized I was being super gay about it and got over it pretty quickly.  It doesn't matter where I go as long as the Lord needs me there you know?  I guess I just had my heart set on the East coast somewhere and that's why I was disappointed.  But oh well!  Hopefully my Brazil Visa comes quickly because it will be freezing in Montana haha.

My companion left for Brazil on Tuesday.  It was so weird saying goodbye to him.  But I really do like my new companion even though we'll be companions for only a week lol.

Oh by the way, I leave on Monday for Montana, but I'm not sure when because they haven't given me my travel plans yet. Also, they won't let me call you guys today because it's p-day :(  I know it's so gay but I will email you tonight and let you know when I am leaving on Monday.  It'll probably be pretty early in the morning because everyone that has left on reassignments has had to leave early in the morning.

Anyways!  I will email you guys tonight and talk more on what happened this week.  So please get on at 5 so we can talk for an hour!  Love you all so much Eu amo Voces!

Love, Elder Colin Hanson


Hi Again!!
My flight leaves at 9:48 in the morning. We get to Montana at 11:15, so crazy!  If you're on we can talk for awhile.  I guess they're going to allow us to call you guys tonight at like 9:45 so just expect a call.  I'm not sure if it will happen for sure but they will for sure let me call tomorrow if not tonight.  Also, it will only be for about 5 minutes,  I know it's so gay but that's all they allow here.  Love you guys so much!

Elder Colin Hanson

Hi Colin!!
Congrats on your Reassignment.  It'll be good!  Darrin Staples went to Billings, Montana on his mission!  It is beautiful...  Are any other Elders going with you?

Love you infinity... Mom & Dad & Noah

The Other Elders going with me to Montana are the same ones that are going to Goiania Brazil as well.  Elder Moffit, Elder Dahl, and Elder Wallace.  Elder Moffit and Wallace are my roommates at the MTC but I'm sitting next to Elder Dahl on the plane.  He is like the nicest kid and he is an funny kid haha. Love, Colin.

                              The Elders all Going to Montana & Then Goiania Brazil
                                Elder Hanson, Elder Dahl, Elder Wallace, Elder Moffit

In what way is Elder Dahl funny?  Tell us about your week & thoughts about Billings?  At least it's not Boise, ID.  I love you so much... I can't even wait until we talk tonight.

Love, Mom

He just is a funny kid haha.  I've never met anyone like him.  He's super sheltered and doesn't know what anything or anyone is haha.  He didn't even know who Michael Jackson was! Poor guy he gets a ton of migraines and such.  Like really really bad migraines. I'm excited for Billings now.  I just barely looked at it on and it's not very big at all lol and it will be so cold. They actually want me to call you right now!! So expect a call within the next 20 minutes.

Love you!! Elder Colin Hanson

We got to talk to Colin for about 15 minutes & he sounded AWESOME!! He loves being a Missionary. He was his hilarious self and he shared his beautiful testimony of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints in Portuguese. We recorded it and it is PRICELESS.