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

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 91

Dear Family,

That´s crazy what happened with Sam! I hope he´s doing okay. I´ll send an email to him this week to help him out. I run into drunk crazy people all the time and they´ve never done anything to me, which is a huge blessing. There are a million bars EVERYWHERE. Like literally, anywhere you go in any city in Brazil, there will be a bar on every corner and it´ll be packed the entire day with crazy drunk people. Every day haha it´s so awful. People yell at us all the time, and I´m really grateful that nothing has happened to us? I´ll pray for Sam this week.

This week was crazy! We baptized Francisca!!! Oh my heck it was so crazy! Like it really was a huge deal to baptize her. It was so weird, at the beginning of the week she was super excited for her baptism, and then we started passing by during the week, and she started avoiding us a little bit and we didn´t know why. On Wednesday night we passed by unexpectedly and she told us everything. She had been looking for a job for a long time, and finally found one. The Assembly of God (A huge evangelical church in Brazil) offered her a job to be a cook at an Evangelical School. They also told her that she couldn´t go to any other church if she was hired and that she would have to attend their meetings like every single day. It pays well I guess, and she was really wanting to accept it. We talked with her for a bit, and she decided not to take the job. We fasted and prayed like cray and it all worked out in the end. We were really worried haha. But she was super happy the day of her baptism and went to a church activity after and she said it was the best day ever. Everyone was happy.

A member from the area - Going on a mission

Francicsa and her daughter and boyfriend with Colin

Elder Pinheiro, Francisca and Colin

This week, I went on a division with an Elder who works in Jardim Curitiba! My first area! It was so wierd being back there because 
it´s been a year and a half since I´ve been there. It has changed a ton and it looks like it´s even poorer haha. It was fun. I saw a few of the members there and they were like "Oh my gosh! You were fat when you were here and you´re Portuguese sucked!" haha it was awesome. 

We´re teaching a few good people right now. Alex, Reciery, and Aparecida. They all have dates for the 8th of November and we´re hoping that it all works out. I don´t really have any special things to say about them yet because we´ve only taught them all one time. But I´ll give details on them next week.

Love you guys! Sorry my emails are getting suckier and suckier every week! You´ll just have to have me tell you guys all of the experiences when I get home! Tchau!

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 20, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 90

Dear Family,

Hey guys!

This week was pretty good. A few disappointments, but still it was another pretty solid week.

Francisca is progressing demais! Holy crap she is so awesome. She accepts pretty much everything we tell her and she is excited as crap for her baptism. We´ve been passing by her house with members almost every single time and she loves the members here. She went to a Relief Society Activity as well and is super integrated with the members.The baptism was announced in Sacrament Meeting and everyone is super excited. I think the members now are warming up to us and are more excited to help us now because of it. It seems like they have gotten mad with some of the missionaries that have served here in the past and so we´re trying to gain their confidence back. But honestly, it really isn´t even that bad. My companion thinks that it´s really bad, but I have seen a lot worse haha. It´s hard for the new missionaries in the ward when you have retarded missionaries who have served in a ward and do basically nothing to help the ward out at all. But it´ll be fine! Everyone is stoked out of their minds for Francisca´s baptism. She´s like the nicest lady ever. I feel like I'm always sent to areas to clean up and I love it!

We found a few really good people this week, but for some reason, we weren´t able to get them to go to church. But we´re hoping for the best and we´re trying to work a lot more with the members and get references from them. we were able to get 4 member references this week, but we´re trying to think of ways to get more. It´ll be awesome.

Other than that, there´s not a whole lot to talk about. It´s so nuts to me that Cooper is home now! Don´t worry, all of those pictures are not making me trunky haha. Not at all......

Anyways! About the whole BYU thing. I actually have thought about it, and I´m wanting to go into the Psychology field. I´ve changed my mind about everything haha. I want to be a Psychiatrist (Don´t know if that´s how you spell that). I´ll explain why when I come home. But that´s what I´ve decided to do. I hope that it works out with the whole housing situation because I have no friends at BYU other than Travis and Matt haha and I don´t really want to live with somebody I don´t know again. 

Love you guys! 

Elder Hanson

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 89

Dear Family,

So this week was pretty sweet. A few sad things happened, but all in all, it was a solid week.

So about Thaynara and Jonaton. They liked church and everything, but they really weren´t progressing after a few visits with them. They weren´t reading, and not praying with real intent. We then took them to the church to teach them, and they told us there that they didn´t want to meet with us anymore. I´m pretty sure that their family had said a few things to them to get them to stop visiting with us because Thaynara´s mom is Evangelical and her dad hates religion. Thaynara seemed really interested in the beginning, but then I think her family got to her. She was bawling her eyes out when she told us that she didn´t want to meet with us anymore. Jonaton, on the other hand, had never been interested and told us that he wanted to be baptized in the 7th Day Adventist Church haha. Whatevs. I feel like we planted the seed with Thaynara and in the future, she´ll be more prepared.

But with trials and hard work come the blessings haha. We found this SUPER CHOSEN lady named Francisca this week. We had just left our house after P Day last week, and we saw her and her daughter walking down the street. I had this huge strong impression that I should talk to her, but my companion was feeling the same thing haha and he beat me to her. We talked to her and then we passed by her house the next day and she told us "I have only lived here for two weeks, and I prayed to God every day for Him to help me find the right church to join. And then I met you guys!" Haha she was super happy and accepted a baptismal date for the 25th. She went to church and loved it as well. 

My companion is awesome. He is one of the calmest missionaries I´ve met haha. He kind of has a awkwardness about him. He repeats a lot of things that he says as well haha. It´s pretty much everything he says. It´s strange, he´ll say something, and then right after he´ll repeat it under his breath. The sisters tease him in fun a lot because of it haha.

Other than that, there´s not a whole lot to talk about. I can´t freaking believe that Cooper is home now! Elder Cunnington also went home last week. Don´t worry, I´ve always pushed myself to be exactly obedient throughout my entire mission. I´ve seen a lot of miracles because of it. I know it´ll keep happening as well if I keep doing what the Lord wants me to do. 

Oh, Travis sent me an email and he said that he wants to room with me. Mom, is there any way that you could get in contact with him and arrange the rooming situation? I can´t go onto those kinds of sites here :/. Haha Thanks! Love you guys!

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 6, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 88

Dear Family,

Hey guys! So this week was a week full of surprises and a lot of unexpected things haha. I was transferred! I honestly don´t know why, but I know President Kuceki was inspired so I´ll go with it. I was transferred to another area in Goiania that´s called Balneário. It´s right next to my very first area in Brazil, Jardim Curitiba. The companionships in my area are two companionships of sisters haha and the two other Elders. I´ve never had sisters in my area before so that should be interesting haha. There´s another companionship of sisters in the ward, and one is from Africa! Crazy huh? She´s from an island called Cape Verde, if you´ve ever heard of it and so she speaks Portuguese and Creole. It´s an area that hasn´t had too many baptisms this past year. President loves putting me in challenging areas haha but it´ll be great. Elder Webb is in my zone! He´s in Jardim Curitiba now.

My companion is Elder Pinheiro, who´s been on his mission for about 8 months. He´s kind of a goof haha but I like him so far. He´s from Belém Brazil (which means Bethlehem in Portuguese haha) which is a really really hot city like right on the equator. 

Conference was awesome. I really did love it. I thought it was really interesting that a lot of the talks had the same topic basically. They talked a lot on how we need to support the leaders and especially the prophet, that we need to gain our own testimony of them and that they are called of God. I thought that it was really interesting haha and I thought that the prophet was going to change some huge commandment or something, i was just waiting for it but it didn´t happen. The great thing about conference, was that I watched it in English! Holy crap it´s been a long time since I´ve heard someone speak English haha. There´s an Elder in the zone here that was so mad that they were going to watch it in POrtuguese (because he´s new in the mission and doesn´t speak Portuguese yet) and was so happy when he found out that the Americans could watch it in English. He was like "the church is only true in English" haha

I loved all of the talks, but my favorite talk I think was from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, when he talked about how we can´t be offended so easily and that we need to be spiritually prepared with our own testimony and not blame other people for our faults and for the bad things that happen in our life. I feel like that happens a lot, especially here. a lot of the less active members fell away when bad things happened in their lives and they blamed it on other people. We need to have our own testimony of the gospel so that when horrible things happen, we can be prepared and overcome them more easily. I liked Elder Bednar´s, of course Elder Holland´s, and Elder Godoy´s talk as well! (Because it was in Portuguese haha) Elder Christofferson´s talk was really good as well.

We´re teaching right now a young couple (who don´t live together! Milagre!) who went to conference and they liked it a lot, Thaynara and Jonathon. We haven´t taught them a whole lot until now, but they both have a date for the 18th. Pray for them so that they can progress and be baptized that day! We just have to teach the Law of Chastity to them and it should work out haha.

Love you guys! This week was a super humbling week, and I was really grateful for it. Can´t believe how straight Noah´s teeth are now! He looks like a normal child now hahaha jk lol

Elder Hanson

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014 - Brazil Goania Mission - Goiania - Week 87

Dear Family,

Hey guys! So this week was super interesting. We baptized Flavia! It was so awesome. She was super excited and was teary eyed basically the whole time haha. Our Ward Mission Leader is awesome! He planned the baptism, like who would give some messages and he organized everything. It was probably the best baptismal service I´ve had so far my entire mission. We sang at the baptism! haha The American Sister (Sister Cutler)and I sang Be Still My Soul in English haha and my companion sang with us in Portuguese. They had me play the piano and sing it as well. It was really good! Flavia cried. Of course my companion hated it! But it´s all good! I´ll send some pics of the baptism.

Flavia's Baptism with ward members

Colin, Elder Santos, Flavia and Bishop

Making some soup on P-Day

Basquete lol para toda a vida

Unfortunately, Ana Clara was not baptized. We literally have no idea what in the world happened. It was honestly so weird. She passed in the interview and everything and the mom was totally supportive, but then the day of the baptism we kept calling them and they didn´t answer the phone. Then we went over to their house to give them a ride to the baptism, and they weren´t there! We still have no idea what happened. We´ll pass by there later to see. Haha this has never happened my whole mission so it was cray! 

So..... we were at President Kuceki´s house this week eating lunch and Pres. told Elder Santos that he was going to be transferred this week to the farthest city in the mission, and that he would be the group leader there! (There´s not even a branch yet in the city). He didn´t say anything to me, so I thought that I would be staying in the Goiânia ward, but nope! Surprise! I´ve been transferred again! I have no idea where, and I´ll find out on Wednesday. I was honestly so surprised. I don´t have any idea what will happen to me.

Cooper freaking ends his mission this week! That´s so crazy to me. I really did like his testimony that he sent. It really does seem like he´s changed haha.

Love you guys! Hope you get better mom! sorry about that.

Elder Hanson

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 86

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week passed by super fast. It seems like the weeks keep passing by faster and faster. I feel like it was yesterday that I was writing you guys haha I can´t believe it´s already been a week.

So Ana Clara was not baptized this week. Her mom (Luciana) wants her mom to see the baptism, and her mom lives in Brasilia, and so she´ll come this weekend to see it. Not a huge deal. But anyway! Flavia and Ana Clara will be baptized on Saturday!!! We´re really excited because the sisters that work in our ward (Sister Cutler from Virginia and Sister Amaral from Minas Gerais Brazil) will also have a baptism. They´ve been working really hard this transfer and have not seen any success so we´re happy for them. 

Good news! So you guys know that Leandro was a reference from a member from São Paulo right? Turns out that the guy who gave the reference used to be a mission president in Brasilia like 20 years ago and I believe is a stake president in São Paulo now. He found out that Leandro got baptized and sent a letter to the secretaries here congratulating us on the baptism. He said something like "Congrats to Elder Santos and Elder Hanson for the excellent work in baptizing Leandro". Haha he also said that he sent the Ensign to them and so they´ll have the Ensign coming to their house for at least a year. Cool huh? I forgot the guy´s name but I took a copy of the letter that he sent and when I come home you guys can see a copy of the letter lol. But it was really cool. 

Also! You guys remember Arlei right from Parque do Sabiá in Uberlândia? He´s preparing to go on a mission! I guess he´s getting all of his papers ready so that he can go next year. I´m super stoked for him and Elder Neeley is really excited about it too. Remember his sister Cristiana? When we were teaching them, only Arlei wanted to be baptized, but Cristiana was baptized last Saturday!!! That´s so awesome. Now Arlei will have support from his family in the church and that will help him stay even stronger. Also Alisson is preparing to go on his mission as well!! He just has to finish High School and he´ll already start his mission papers to be able to go next year! So awesome.

We found this lady named Karina this past week. She´s super interested in the church. She had heard a bunch of crap about the church from her mom, "Mormonism is..." Haha and so for some reason, she wanted to find out more about the Mormons. We gave her a book of Mormon and everything. We haven´t been able to teach her since then, but it looks promising!

Love you guys! I´m just gonna stick through this last week of the transfer with my companion because I´ve realized that it´s just the way he is! It´ll be great!

Elder Hanson

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 85

Dear Family,

     So this week went better. Actually, at the beginning of the week, it was going horrible haha. But then, it has gotten better and better every day.

     Anyways, this week was a rough week for our zone. The zone did not baptize a single person even though there were a few dates marked for this past week. Sunday came, and a lot of people with baptismal dates didn´t go to church so a lot of dates fell. But it´s okay! I´m not gonna get myself down because of that. It´ll all work out. My comp seems to be okay as well so that makes me happy. 

We have a date for this week! We have this lady named Luciana and her husband Weslei (not married) but they´ll get married next month! We´ll baptize Anna Clara, their daughter this Saturday! She´s super inteligent and loves church so it´ll be great. Next month will be Luciana´s baptism. She is super awesome! She invites all of her friends to come to church with her, and she doesn´t get down when they reject her. Weslei will have to wait a little longer because of some stuff he needs to take care of.  

Flavia will be baptized next Saturday! We´re super stoked for her to get married this week. She´s super awesome and basically has a calling already in the Primary haha. Só milagres!

Love you guys! Please don´t worry about me! Throughout my mission I have learned to be self animating? Haha don´t know if that´s a word or if that makes sense but I´ve learned that I´ve gotta keep myself motivated always or everything will go up in flames haha. I´m great! I´m loving my mission so much and I´ll be super sad when it´s done. Sorry my letters are a struggle!! haha you´ll see how bad my English is when I come home! Love you all!

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 84

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week went by a lot better. Not perfect yet, but went better. We baptized Leandro! It was really awesome. Now we´re trying to work with his mom Daura. She hasn´t been to church these past couple of weeks, and she´s super catholic, so it´s kind of rough. She´s really nice though, and she cooks really well haha. We´re just gonna have to fast and pray so that she´ll be able to be baptized. Leandro was the first church headquarters reference that I´ve baptized on my mission, which is pretty cool. They used to live in São Paulo, and they knew some members there. They moved to Goiânia and the member got in contact with the mission office here and gave us the reference. Cool huh? He´s going to institute and everything which will be really good for him.

Colin and Elder Santos

Leandro's Baptism with Ward Members

Leandro's baptism

Elder Lee and Colin. Colin trained Elder Lee

As with the companionship, it hasn´t gotten much better haha.I thought that if we baptized one person, that he would be happy, but no. I seriously have no idea what it is. I´m just gonna let it go because I think it´s just the way he is. It´s super depressing haha because it´s just us two that live in the house and so there´s not much talking that goes on. I was thinking about it too, even though his last companion didn´t want to do anything, that doesn´t mean that he was helpless! I don´t know why he didn´t at least try to work with him, that doesn´t make any sense to me. They didn´t have any success at all and he put all the blame on his last companion. But it´s alright. I´ll try doing the things that you guys told me and that Dave told me as well and see what happens. I´ll hope for the best. It´s not that we´re not united, we have the same goals and everything and we want to do the same things, it´s really just the way he treats me and the whole situation with his last companion is really strange. I don´t know. We´ll see what happens.

We didn´t really find very many new people to teach this week. All the people that we found didn´t go to church. It was one of those weeks where we found a lot of people, but no one went to church. We are still teaching Cícera, but she´s not super excited about the baptism, so we´ll see with her. 

The Goiânia stake is going to be divided in the next couple of weeks! Elder Adukatis is coming to Goiania to announce it and everything. It´ll be sweet! Now there´ll be 3 stakes in Goiânia. (It is crazy to think about Farmington has like 5 stakes and 14,000 people. Goiania has 2 stakes and has a million people haha) Vai ser bom demais!

Other than that, nothing much has happened. We had a zone meeting this last week and I was sicker than a freaking dog doing it haha. But that´s not too exciting...

Love you guys! By the way, I´ve gotten all of the packages haha I always forget to tell you guys. I love the shoes! Thank you so much! You don´t know how bad I was needing them haha.

Elder Hanson

By the way, why is Konnor doing his homecoming in St. George? does sherry live in St. George now?

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 83

Dear Family,

Hey! This week was pretty good but was kind of a trying week for me. My companion is really stressing me out! I´m not quite sure what to do about it. I know that when all is said and done that I will have learned a ton of patience haha. He makes some really rude comments to me sometimes, and criticizes pretty much everything I do haha. I don´t really think he has a whole lot of trust in me. Don´t know why. Since I´ve gotten here, we´ve had more success that this area has had than it has in 5 transfers haha. I don´t know really what to do. I´m not really sure what his problem is. But I´m praying and I´m hoping that everything will work out in the end. But it´ll be fine, I´m not too worried.

We´re still teaching the same people, except we found this lady named Cicera this past week. She´s this funny old lady who´s been to church a few times already in Rio Verde actually. Her daughter is a member, who lives in São Paulo, and so she already knows a few things about the church. She seems like she´ll be a challenge, but I have the faith that it´ll all work out. She really likes going to our church, she´s just scared of baptism. (Another thing, I am literally the only one who is inviting people to be baptized now).

The ward is really awesome! I am loving the people of the ward. There´s a few members that seem to just look for stupid things to be mad at the missionaries for haha, but it´s fine! Our Ward Mission Leader is really good, gets a little frustrated at times haha, but he´s by far the best Mission Leader I´ve had so far on my mission. 

We will have a baptism this Saturday! Leandro is going to be baptized and we´re really excited about it. 

Other than that, nothing too exciting has happened. Don´t worry about me! I´m sure everything will work out between me and Elder Santos. Love you guys!

Elder Hanson

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Goiania - Week 82

Dear Family,

     Transferências!!!!!!!! Haha I got transferred this past week. Dad, you asked me if I ever thought that I would ever work in Goiânia a few weeks ago. The truth is, no,  but that´s exactly where I got transferred haha. Actually now I´m working in the dead center of Goiânia and the ward is called Ala Goiânia (Goiania Ward) haha. It´s a pretty cool area! It´s where the mission office is and where we meet for huge mission meetings. There´s millions of buildings and it´s really crowded and overwhelming. Our chapel is really nice, but it´s super far away from where we live so it´s kind of complicated to bring investigators to church. Our members have to give everyone a ride. But it´s fine! I´m really excited to work here. 

     My companion´s name is Elder Santos. He´s from Curitiba Brazil. I had actually met him before way back in Rio Verde. He was my district leader there for awhile, and I thought that he was kind of arrogant back then haha. But he´s changed (a little bit haha) and I really like him. I´m zone leaders with him here in the Goiânia zone, so that´s pretty cool. Elder Bezerra is in my zone here and he´s one of the district leaders. Elder Santos seemed really sad for the first couple of days this week, and I wasn´t really sure why. But then he told me that his last companion was super trunky (this means that he wanted to go home) and didn´t really want to work. They haven´t baptized anybody in this ward since February! That´s so crazy. I was super surprised when I heard that. But I´m looking to change that completely. This area is great! I honestly have no idea how they haven´t baptized anyone in so long. Especially in an zone leader area, you have to set the example for everyone else! It´s crazy to me. But I talked with him and said that I´m here to work and so you can forget about everything that´s happened. After that, he became more focused and started working together with me. We got some pretty good work done here already! We have 3 baptismal dates marked and we brought 6 people to church! I think that made Elder Santos really happy. He wants to work so bad and his last companion just brought him down, so I´m sure things will change here. He´s an MMA fighter and he´s kind of intimidating :/. But he´s cool.

     We´re teaching a family right now, but the parents aren´t married but they love church so much. They´re a real humble family as well, they don´t have a ton of money, so we´re trying to see how we can help them get married. Their names are Luciana, Weslei, and Ana (their daughter). They´re awesome.

     We´re also teaching this really rich lady named Daura and her son Leandro. They´re really nice and they went to church BY THEMSELVES. haha that never happens! They live in a really nice apartment building really close to the church so it´s easy for them, but still haha. They have dates marked for the 6th of September. 

     There´s another lady that will get married on the 20th of September, named Flavia that wants us to start teaching her next week. She´s been going to church forever, but hasn´t been able to get baptized because of her boyfriend (she lives with him) and so it´s complicated. But they have a marriage date for the 20th! 
She´ll be baptized on the 27th. Só milagres!!

     I´m really excited to work in this area. I really like challenging areas, because they make me have to work really hard. This area shouldn´t be as challenging as much as everyone says it is. Everyone said that the area in Boa Vista is hard, and we had a ton of success there. I´m really excited! 

     Love you guys!! Thanks for all the support! I´ll send some more pictures next week. Tchauzinho!

Elder Hanson

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberaba (Transferred out) - Week 81

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week was awesome. A lot of good things happened. But first things first, I have been transferred. :((((((

I have no idea where I am going or what will happen, but I´ll be happy with whatever. Elder Cunnington and I were talking about potential companions for us both haha and there are a lot of possibilities,.... but then I was like, I´ll be happy with whatever and whoever I´m with. I´ve really liked Elder Cunnington. He´s become like one of my best friends on the mission and we had a lot of fun together. It sucks! I swear, with all my favorite companions, I don´t stay with them for very long haha. But he´ll end his mission next transfer. He´ll go home the same day as Cooper! I literally could be going anywhere now. I´ve never been so nervous for a transfer!!!! No one will tell me anything and so I´m in the dark now.... I have loved all of my areas, but Rio Verde, Parque do Sabiá, and Boa Vista (Uberaba) were by far my favorite areas. 

Ricardo got baptized this week!! It was so awesome and everybody loved it. He was so happy and it was great to see the change in him. I´m so happy that that was my last baptism in this area. It was a good way to end it off here in Uberaba. I´ll send all of the pictures and everything, there´s a couple of funny ones lol.

Elder Zanuttini (from Argentina) my "Grandson".

A Toucan Bird

Me not knowing what to do (awkward as ever)

Zone calls

Geni and our Bishop

Me getting to clean the font

My favorite picture of Ricardo (and me)

Geni and her grandkids

Elder Cunnington, Colin and Ricardo

Genival (in the white shirt and mohawk)

It was really sad saying goodbye to everyone. Tania started bawling when I told her and so did Thalita haha. These past couple of weeks have been kind of rough with a recent convert. We passed by there yesterday, and we gave her a spiritual lesson. I actually told that story of how a lady in our old Bountiful ward offended the crap out of mom one time haha and she realized that was way worse than what happened with her. I talked about how my mom was sad about it and everything, but that didn´t prevent her from continuing to go to church. She realized that she needed to let it go after that. This lady was actually feeling really sad about not going to church. She told us that before we came over yesterday, she was reading the Book of Mormon. She knew that the church was true and everything, but she wanted a confirmation that she should continue going. So she prayed, and asked God if the church was true, and that if it was, that she could have help at that very moment. Before she even ended the prayer, we came and knocked on her door. She said it was crazy and she was crying all over the place haha. Super cool.

Other than that, nothing much else happened this week. Saying goodbye to everyone was hard and tomorrow morning I´ll be going to Goiânia to find out where I´ll be going. I´m so freaking nervous! 

Love you guys! Thanks for all that you do.

Elder Hanson

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberaba - Week 80

Dear Family,

This week was crazy!!! We had two baptisms!!! We baptized Geni and Genival!!!!!!! It was so awesome.

Geni was struggling a little so we brought Tania over to Geni"s house to teach with us. I think Tania helped her a lot because Tania was just baptized a month ago. She shared her testimony to Geni. After that lesson, Geni was able to completely commit!!!! It was awesome. Genival was easy haha because he´s only like 10 years old. He´s super ADD though haha, but in the end, it worked out. 

Okay, vocês teriam ficado com tanto vergonha se vocês tivessem visto nosso batismo esta semana kkkk. Literally the baptismal service was a MESS. Seriously, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. The baptismal clothes weren´t washed (not our job), the baptismal font overflowed (we had to take out the water with buckets) the members got to the baptism an hour late, we had planned on having the members on giving the investigators rides to the baptism and that didn´t work out. Holy cow, it was a mess. It was so bad. But all in all, it worked out in the end and they were baptized and happy.

I completely forgot to bring my camera to the internet cafe this week, which is a bummer because I have a million pictures to send. We saw like 4 tucans flying togther this week! I got a picture of one of them. I´ve never seen a tucan before in real life so it was cool. I´ve also seen a lot of monkeys in this area but I´ve never gotten a picture of one yet.... I´ll send all of the pictures next week.

Miracle of the week lol. So do you guys remember Ricardo? He´ll be baptized on Saturday!!!! WHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so awesome. It´s been a couple weeks since we past by his house, and the Elders that live with me saw him in the street one day and he told them that we needed to pass by. It was great!! He´s super excited and we´re stoked out of our fudging minds.

So about my recent converts in this area:

Carmem hasn´t come to church in awhile because she lives super far away and needs a ride every week. We´re trying our best to have someone pass by there every week to get her. 

Pedro comes every once in awhile because he lives on the farm most of the time. But he´s fine and still loving The Gospel!

Thalita and Vanessa are coming as well! They didn´t come to church yesterday, and we´re not sure why, but they always come to church.

Raynara comes every week as well! Super strong. This last week though, her pregnant sister lost her baby, and so they were super sad about it. But she´s doing great! She actually is going to move to a state called Maranhão at the beginning of September, so hopefully she´ll be able to find the church there. We´ll talk with her more about that as well.

Alisson is super firm in the church as well! He´s going to institute and everything with this other girl in the ward. He received the Priesthood on Sunday! So the bishop asked him to pass the sacrament next week. Vai ser muito bom!

Tania. Of course Tania is super firm! She actually gave us lunch this past week which was SOOOO GOODD. She made this Danish cake for us, which was amazing. I´m getting fat again :(. We took some pictures, and I´ll send those next week as well.

Girleide and Girlane are fine as well. They go to church every week. We want them to go to seminary but they don´t have too much interest in it. But it´ll work out.

Other than that, nothing much has happened. Our goal for this month is 35 for the zone and we´re at 10 until now. Vai ser bom demais!!

Love you guys! Transfers are this week and we´ll find out what will happen on Saturday I think. I don´t want to get transferred!! I´m loving this area!

Elder Hanson

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberaba - Week 79

Dear Family,

Hey guys!!! So not a ton of stuff happened this week. Not too exciting. But there were a few things that happened.

Our numbers this week were not that great because we spent two days this week in Goiania. It takes so freaking long to get there from Uberaba haha (like an eight hour bus ride). The meeting that we had with the assistants and President was really good! President Kuceki is so inspired and I freaking loved the meeting that we had with him. We were kind of lost with what we needed to do to help our zone. 

Our mission lately has been all about marking baptismal dates on the first visit with everybody! And so there has been a few companionships who haven´t agreed with this, that we should only invite people to be baptized when the time is right. Freaking no!!!! I´ve made it my personal goal to invite every single person to be baptized, but a few don't agree with that (Some missionaries in our zone were thinking that we were being too harsh with them on not marking baptismal dates.) I was like what??? How can a person be baptized and enter into the Kingdom of God if you never invite them to be baptized??? A lot of missionaries in the zone are afraid that the person will say no, but that´s the freaking mission! You´re going to have a million people who say no to you! I´ve gotten so used to people saying no to me, that I try my freaking hardest to get the person to say yes now haha. But anyway, President explained on how we should invite people to be baptized. A lot of people in Brazil are afraid of commitment and so they don't like committing themselves to anything. He explained that we need to explain about the PREPARATION. As missionaries, we are there to help them prepare to be baptized so that they can understand the importance of the plan that God has for us. I´ve seen, throughout the course of my mission, that almost everyone who has been baptized understood better the plan that God has for us as we´ve prepared them for baptism. And they felt more committed to the church because of that. President Kuceki said that when we invite people to be baptized, we should explain first about this preparation. It was something so simple and so easy, that I felt retarded after he said it haha. 

Then we had a zone meeting this week. In front of President haha. Oh my gosh this is my second meeting in front of him and I get a little nervous every single time. But anyway, we explained about this preparation and the zone really loved it! We noticed after that our zone started marking more dates and had more success this week. It was really cool! It goes to show that we need to follow the councils of President Kuceki. 

Colin at church in Uberaba

Colin and Elder McLane

Anyway! We have two dates for this Saturday! Geni and Genival and it´s going to be awesome. We also marked a date with Hanna!! (who is Tania's daughter) for the 16th!!! She hasn´t been able to go to church these past few weeks because she is always working, but Tania told us the other day that Hanna wants to get baptized before I get transferred (which could be really soon :/) Pray for her that she may be able to go to church as well!!!!!

That´s about it. Love you guys!!

ELder Hanson