Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013 ~ Goiania Brazil Mission, Rio Verde ~ Week 27

Dear Family,

This week was FREEZING!!!!!! Holy Cow, I had to use my giant Mr. Mac Missionary coat haha, which I thought I'd never use in Brazil. What the heck! It got down to 3 degrees Celsius, which is like 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Cray!! It could have snowed if there was any rain this week (which I don't know how Brazil is so Tropical, it seriously never rains here anymore). But now, it's super hot so things are back to normal lol.

This week was interesting. The people were basically dying because it was so cold lol so we didn't get around to teaching as much as usual. A lot of people's excuse this week was that it was too cold so they didn't want to let us in haha. And unfortunately we had to drop Alaupana (name change) and Ikiak (name change) as investigators because they didn't go to church 2 weeks in a row. Also, they don't have the desire to be baptized anymore which is super sad Alaupana said something happened to her dad this week and it made her lose the desire. I don't know why, but it was super sad.

Also, we tried to baptized Rayanne again but she was still super afraid of the water  :/ so she wasn't able to be baptized. She'll be baptized soon, she just needs to get over her fear of the water. It's alright though, everything will go good for her lol.

Anyway,  we found a guy this week that is Super Elect, Raimundo. He almost didn't go to church as well, but it was such a blessing that he went because this is what happened. He said that as soon as he entered the door of the church, all his doubts about religion went away. He said it was so weird and said that he has talked to many pastors and they've all asked him to be baptized but he's denied them all because he didn't feel right at their churches. But as soon as we asked him to be baptized, he said yes right away hahahahaha. It was so Awesome. Raimundo is like 20 years old.

Also, we found another man/woman this week haha. We were knocking on doors and feeling kind of depressed because we weren't having much success that day. And he/she answered the door and we were like, are you kidding me? Haha But he/she said that we could share a message with him and so we did. He said that he would go to church and he's actually super cool!!!! It made me think of Mormon, in the Book of Mormon when he felt sorrow for his people that were sinning, and he didn't judge them. That's how I felt as we were teaching him. At first, I judged, which is super wrong of me,  but as we were teaching, it completely changed. We really think that he has the desire to change his life. But we're not exactly sure if he's a boy or a girl (he's a transvestite? I think that's the word). But he's amazing and really awesome! His name is Ordnassela (name change), but his friends call him MaKayla (name change ~his alter ego haha). And he went to church and liked it a lot, so we're hoping and praying things work out for him.

Anyway! Tomorrow I'm headed to Goiania because we're doing splits........kind of haha. One of the Elders in my district has a bad internal infection, so he left to Goiania to get some medicine. His companion is our District leader and the other Elders in the area are the Zone Leaders and they're headed to Goiania as well because they have meetings there every week. I'll be with one of the Zone Leaders until Saturday and my companion will stay with the District Leader. I'm kind of nervous haha because on Thursday I'll be going to another city called Jatai, that's pretty close to Rio Verde. It'll be interesting!

I hope you guys have a great week in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone! Love you guys!!!!!!!!!! Tchau!

Elder Hanson

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013 ~ Goiania Brazil Mission, Rio Verde ~ Week 26

Dear Family,

WHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Six months into the mission tomorrow!! So crazy! I can't freaking believe it. It is honestly the weirdest feeling ever because it seems like I left for the MTC yesterday, but it seems like I haven't seen you guys in years haha. It's totes cray lolz.

Anyways! This week was super good!! WE HAD 3 BAPTISMS!!!! That's right shawty lol. We baptized Maria do Socorro, Lais, and Laiza this week and it was awesome. There's kind of a sad story about it - So the three girls, Lais, Laiza, and Rayanne chose me to baptize them and so I baptized Lais and Laiza. But when it was Rayanne's turn, she entered the water and got super afraid. I tried to baptize her three times but she just wouldn't go down under all the way :( She started crying and the Branch President's wife tried to calm her down but she still wouldn't do it. It was so sad! I felt so bad for her but we're going to try encourage her to be baptized this week because she still really wants to be baptized. The water was freezing and was a little high for her so she was super afraid. But she'll be baptized this week!

Baptism! Elder Di Giordano, Lais, Maria, Rayanne, Laiza, Elder Colin Hanson
Brazil Goiania Mission
It's hard to get people to come to church because they live so far away and Church starts at 9 in the morning, which is too early for a lot of people haha. People say that they'll come, but then end up not going. It's so frustrating. The goal for the mission is for each companionship to bring 10 investigators to church every week! I can't imagine having church at 7:30 in the morning like Cooper! That's insane! Haha

Anyways, we're teaching this guy named Joao Paulo who is super cool. He's a cousin of one of the members in the branch, so we teach Joao with that member. He is really cool and he's super interested in the Church. He has a problem with smoking, so we taught him about the Word of Wisdom this week. We also took his cigarettes away from him and destroyed them haha but he didn't care because he really wants to stop smoking. We also took coffee away from Maria do Socorro. Lol we went to her house one morning and we asked Lais if we could take their coffee and replace it with cevada (which is like coffee but doesn't have the bad substances in it) so it's okay to drink but it's awful haha! They didn't keep it a secret from the other people in their family though, like we were hoping :/

We're also teaching this lady and her son. They had missionaries teach them before but she was living with a guy at the time and she wasn't married, so the missionaries stopped teaching them. She has since separated from him and so we are teaching them now haha. They are super cool and they have a baptismal date for this Saturday. We're hoping that everything will go right and that they'll be baptized this week!.

By the way, I am playing the piano in Sacrament Meeting every week because no one in the branch knows how to play haha. You guys ask that every week and I keep forgetting to answer haha so.....yeah.

This week, we sort of like did these split type things with other missionaries in our zone. We went to the other side of the city (which is a long, long walk) and there's another huge Jesus Statue like the one in Rio De Janeiro. It's pretty sweet but I forgot my camera that day so I didn't get a picture :/ But I'll be sure to get a picture next time I go there, which should be this Wednesday.

Elder Colin Hanson
Nothing else happened. I'm loving the mission even though it's dang hard sometimes. Hope you guys have a great time in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone! Take some fudging pictures! Love you! Tchau!

Elder Hanson

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013 ~ Goiania Brazil Mission, Rio Verde ~ Week 25

Dear Family!

Oi! Como voces freaking estao??????? Hahahahaha

So everything fell through with Kcyrtap (name change) this week and unfortunately he was not baptized :'(. He lived pretty close to the church before but then he moved because his brother was annoying him. He moved  in with some of his friends a couple weeks ago and I think that really hurt him. His friends are always drinking and crap like that whenever we go to visit him. It seems like his friends don't like us much lol. When we first started teaching him, he was super receptive, excited, and understood everything we taught him. But ever since he moved in with those friends of his, he's been really unreceptive. We had difficulty finding him this week so he wasn't baptized :'(

But on the BRIGHT SIDE, we are really getting through to Maria, Laissa, Lais, and Rayanne. They will be baptized this week for sure. They changed the rule with the Goiania Mission in that we can baptize any day of the week now! So that's pretty cool but now we don't know for sure when they will be baptized. We had originally set their baptism date for Saturday, July 20th. Pray that all goes well :)

Anyways!!! When I read that Kate blurted out that "Colin's missing Chris's Wedding" right in the middle of the ceremony, I started laughing so hard!!! Haha I miss little Kate like crazy! I hope that the Wedding was amazing and that Chris and Chelsea are happy. I'm sad that I missed it, but I couldn't be doing anything better with my life right now. I'm really happy sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to such beautiful people. I hope everything goes well for Chris & Chelsea. Tell them that I'm that I'm thinking of them!

I also met my new Mission President Kuceki and his wife this week! They're so awesome!!! They're younger than President Prieto and his wife, so they have a little baby with them haha it's really funny. They have six kids and I think four of them are staying with them while they are serving which is really cool. They also came to our branch this week to give talks and they were awesome. President Kuceki is really bearing down on teaching our investigators with the members. So with all our investigators this week, we taught with members and I've noticed that it's so much more helpful than teaching by ourselves. They now have friends that they can be with at Church and hopefully that will keep members active and also help us convert our investigators. Sister Kuceki is ALWAYS smiling haha it's awesome and it seems like she would never be rude to anyone lol.

I hope you guys loved my hand written letter that I sent! Haha I don't remember what I wrote but I hope it was good!! I wrote another one that I should be able to send this week, not sure yet, but I'll try!

Lucky you guys get to go to Jackson Hole & Yellowstone! Never been there haha. Hope you guys have fun and send me pictures. So crazy that I'm almost six months into my mission! It seems like forever but at the same time, it seems like yesterday that you guys dropped me off at the MTC. I hope my Awesome Family is still doing okay? Love you guys more than anything in the world and I don't know what I'd do without you all! Tchau! Ate a semana que vem!

Elder Hanson

Oh! Before I forget! I almost received your package this week but you guys will need to resend it because you spent more that $50 or I have to pay a fee of $275 for it haha. They sent it back to the United States and when you resend it, maybe send two separate packages so it's under $50. Love you!!!! I hope this made sense? Also, let me know if Superman is good or not!

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013 ~ Goiania Brazil Mission, Rio Verde ~ letter sent June 3 - received July 12

Dear Family,

Hey guys!! This is actually the first letter that I've written in Brazil haha. I sort of know how the whole Brazil Mission system works now. Where to fudging start... Brazil is CRAZY! Like literally crazy. There are interesting people everywhere here in Rio Verde. I see cray people and things that I didn't see in Goiania lol. THE FOOD...I freaking love the food here! I hated beans before my mission but now beans are like my favorite part of lunch haha. Guarani is amazing!!!!!! Like my favorite drink ever. It stinks that this drink basically doesn't exist in the United States. The only drinks that exist in Brazil are Sprite, Guarana, Fanta, & Coke. We're not allowed to drink Coke in the mission which is fine by me because I hate Coke..

My area in Rio Verde is ginormous!!! We literally walk everywhere. Our Chapel is considered close to where we live but it is still far away lol. Every house has a huge locked gate outside of their front door, so we either have to clap at the gate or knock on the gate really loud. It's weird but it's probably because people are always stealing stuff. There are churches EVERYWHERE!!! There are at least 5 different churches on my street. People from other churches are always screaming and casting out demons when we pass by hahahahaha it's so funny. The MUSIC I hear in the street is awful. Elder Lima says that the songs have awful lyrics, like stuff Lil Wayne has on his songs lol. There is this super popular music called Funk and I absolutely hate it with all of my heart. All of the songs have the same beat and the lyrics are awful too. It's sort of like retarded rap like Pitbull or 2 chainz...mix them together and you get Funk. The worst type of music of all time. I'm so grateful for American Music :/  Brazilians like most American music so we hear it on the street sometimes but they never play the stuff I like haha like Coldplay.

THE PEOPLE OF BRAZIL ARE AWESOME!!! I love the members and all our investigators that we teach sooooo much... The people are humble, kind, yet blunt at the same time haha. There's this lady named Macilene Desculpe that Elder Lima baptized before I came here and she seriously is the nicest person ever! She makes food for us every time we visit her because she absolutely loves us! It's crazy how much happiness the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings into the lives of  the Brazilian people. Macilene lost her daughter a year ago and was so happy when she learned from Elder Lima that she could be with her daughter again for all Eternity in the Celestial Kingdom with Heavenly Father. She is so Awesome!! I love Elder Lima, he seriously has helped me so much and I'm super bummed that his mission ends June 24 :( So I'll have some other annoying companion lol.

It hadn't rained once since I've been in Rio Verde until this week. Now it rains everyday!! June - August are the "cold" months in Brazil. I've been freezing my butt off this week but not really because I think it's only a few degrees cooler than it was :/  It's so funny, everybody here has been wearing hoodies because they think it's so cold but in reality it's 85 degrees instead of 90 degrees.

It seriously is so crazy how much my testimony of the Gospel has grown on my mission. Seeing the change that Jesus Christ Church brings to the lives of the great people of Brazil is amazing. I'm so happy that I received my call to a place where tons of people are willing to accept this Gospel. I feel so freaking blessed. Sometimes I'll get a little homesick but God helps comfort me and keeps me in line with the things that I need to accomplish during my time here. This work and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are so true. I love watching the Restoration of the Gospel with the Investigators because I know that they are feeling the Spirit so strongly while watching it. Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. There is no doubt in my mind that this Church is true and it's exciting to share this truth to all who are willing to hear it. Eu Sou muito greto por esta oportunidade que Eu tenho para servir Meu Senhor. Ele me-deu muitos bencaos em minha vida. Mas, o Melhor bencao em minha vida, e minha familia :) Eu amo voces com tudo o meu coracao. Eu oro para voces cada dia e estou sentindo Seus oracocs por mim tambem. Esta Igreja e verdadeira! Eu espero que voces estao Ben. amo voces de novo KKKKK English Translation ~ I am very grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve my Savior because he gave me everything I have in my life and my family. I love you guys with all my heart and I pray for you guys every day and I hope you are doing well. I love you and miss you kkkkkk

Love Elder Hanson

BTW- FELIZ ANNIVERSARIO NOE! You're the best! I love you!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013 ~ Goiania Brazil Mission, Rio Verde ~ Week 24

Dear Family,

Oi!!!!!!!!!!!! What's up??? Haha so this week was not as crazy as last week, but it was still kind of doido. Anyways! We have two new roommates that arrived in Rio Verde the other day. Elder Lobos (he's from Chile) and Elder Lee (he's from Texas). They don't bug me at all haha so that's good. Elder Lee is new and just arrived in Brazil on Wednesday. I know exactly what he is feeling haha. He was in New York in a Portuguese speaking mission while he was waiting for his Visa for 11 weeks! So he had 11 weeks longer than I did to improve his Portuguese before coming to Brazil. He actually speaks pretty well and he has a super good trainer that's actually helping him (unlike me with my first trainer :/) haha

So this week, Elder Di Giordano and I were focusing on this guy named Kcyrtap (name change) (not sure if I have already talked about him, I don't remember lol). He was supposed to be baptized on Saturday, but we got to his house before the baptism and he wasn't there! So we waited for a little bit and he still didn't come home. We talked to some of his friends and they said that he went to the gym ://////. Weird!! Anyways, later, like 8:30  at night, we passed by his house again and he was there. We talked to him and he said that he had to work but he said that he still wanted to be baptized Sunday Morning. He wasn't there again!!!! It was so frustrating. I think that he feels like he's not quite ready to be baptized yet?!?!?!?!?! Also, we are going to teach our investigators lessons with members present. I think that Kcyrtap not being ready was our fault, because we haven't been teaching him with members and he needs somebody at church that he can sit with during sacrament meeting. But we'll try harder this week with him.

There is another Awesome family we found to teach. They have a mom, whose name is Maria and she has three daughters, whose names are Larissa, Laus, and Laissa and they are all teenagers. We have been teaching them and they have a baptismal date set for for July 20th. So that's pretty sweet!!! My Testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has grown so much during my time here in Brazil. I am truly blessed with all that I have. So many people here in Brazil have basically nothing and it's difficult to see. The beautiful people here are so humble as well. I'm really thankful to have this opportunity to serve my Savior and bring Brazil the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not much else happened this week. For the Fourth of July we sang the National Anthem with our District Leader (who is also an American) in the morning and then we sang it again at night haha. It was pretty sweet! That's all we did, nobody in Brazil knew that the Fourth of July was a holiday for us! Their Independence Day is September 7th.

Anyways! I hope you guys have a great week! I hope your Independence Day was amazing and that you're all doing okay. Good Luck to Chris on his Wedding this week! I can't believe I'm missing it. I'll try to send another letter this week, but if not I'll definitely send one next week. Let me know when you get that letter that I sent! Love you guys! Tchau!

Elder Colin Hancao

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013 ~ Goiania Brazil Mission, Rio Verde ~ Week 23

Dear Family,

Hey Guys! Entao, esta semana passada foi doida demais kkkkkk :) Anyways! We had an unexpected baptism this week! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' Haha it was totes cray. My new companion is Elder Di Giordano, he is the one I already told you guys about haha but whatevs. He is the Elder that has been staying in the same house as Elder Lima and me. He's from California and he is Italian but he does not speak Italian. He's sick and we work really good together.

This is what happened this week. So we went to Goiania on Monday with our zone and Elder Di G. and I stayed with the Assistants there.. Their house is soooooooooo nice haha, it's huge! But anyways, we haven't met the new Mission President yet because I'm pretty sure he arrives today! President Prieto left the mission yesterday :(. But the Conference was great! I got to see some of the friends that I've made on my mission as well as a certain past companion :/......haha (you know what I mean by this). But I learned a ton and what was totes cray was I almost understood everything that was said there lol. It was crazy good to see the Elders that were in my MTC district because they've all changed so much even during this little time that we've been in Brazil. They've improved so much with Portuguese. But it was WAY FUN because the whole Goiania Brazil Mission was there and the Spirit was so strong.

Elder Hanson and President Prieto (Mission President)

The Brazil Goiania Mission (Colin is 6th from the right on the back row)

Elder Moffit and Elder Hanson

Elder Hanson and Elder Wallace

Elder Dahl and Elder Hanson

Anyway! After we got back, we sort of struggled. I think I told you guys last week about Nosidan (name change), Elder Di G's investigator. So we went by his house pretty much every day and he was never there! It sucked because he was supposed to be baptized this week. We called him on Saturday, the day of his baptism and he said he was working all day. He also didn't go to church on Sunday and so we had to drop him as an investigator :(. It bites because he understands the doctrine so well! Way better than any person that I've taught so far. It was really weird and it makes me really sad for him. But!!!! We had a miracle happen this week! On Friday, we were thinking that Nosidan probably wasn't going to be baptized this week so we kept stopping by this guy named Andre's house and he also was NEVER there. However, we fasted (for a lot of reasons) all day Friday, but the main reason was to find Andre. So we were walking down this street by the Church trying to find people to teach, when a thought came to us that we should stop by his house one more time. We did and Andre was finally there!! We hadn't taught him all of the lessons yet but we did teach him about the commandments that prepare our investigators for baptism, so he was practically ready. We asked him if he wanted to talk with our District Leader, who is the person who performs the baptismal interviews, and he said YES!! Our District Leader talked with him and he accepted to be Baptized on Sunday! It was AWESOME!!! He was baptized and Confirmed yesterday! Just goes to show what fasting can do :).

Elder Di Giordano, Andre, Colin

Also, we had a crazy experience that has never happened to my companion or me in our lives. On Saturday night at about 8:45 pm, we filled the baptismal font in preparation for Andre's baptism on Sunday. When we were finished I started to feel super strange and as we were leaving the church, this bad feeling kept growing stronger and stronger. We were walking down the street that we usually walk on when we go back to our house and Elder Di G. said do you feel strange and I told him yes, like something bad was going to happen to us strange. We were both feeling the same thing so we went back to the church and went a different way, a more dangerous way back home haha. This street is always filled with druggies and drunks and its super dangerous so we always avoid it. But what is weird, is we felt so much more safe walking this way. And we made it home safely. It was like the type of feeling you get when you watch a scary movie, but WAY worse lol. But we're safe! And nothing happened but you never know what would've happened if we hadn't listened to the Spirit. So always listen to the Spirit! Haha

Anyways! That's about it this week! My hair is really blonde now and I've officially lost 20 pounds haha I weighed myself for the first time the other day. It's totes Awesome. Have a good week! BTW, I still haven't received your packages other than the CTR ring one... It's totes slow lol, Tchau! Love you guys more than you know!

Elder Hanson