Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 52

Dear Family,

Hey guys!!! So this week was totally whack! Haha I´ll tell you why later.

This week is transfers! But they already told me that me and Elder Neeley are staying in Parque do Sabiá. Legal, ne? (saying legal in Portuguese is like saying cool in English haha) I´m happy because I feel like I can do a whole lot more in this area. I keep finding out more and more stuff about this ward that happened in the past and it´s crazy! I guess a lot of people in the ward fell away because they didn´t support the past leaders. The bishop now is always wanting to help out the ward and he´s the nicest guy ever haha. I'm still way awkward... By the way, the word "awkward" doesn´t exist in Portuguese, so that´s not a part of their culture. :/ But they are starting to understand what it means now because I´m living in Brazil now.

So this week, the leaders of our zone and district told us to teach a lot of less active lessons to find people through that. It was so much more difficult than I thought it would be haha. We literally passed by like 40 different less actives and they all either didn´t live there anymore, or they didn´t want anything to do with the church anymore (one person told us that they didn´t get baptized haha and another said that they got baptized, but they didn´t get confirmed :/) so we didn´t have a ton of success doing that. The leaders want us to do it still, so I guess we´ll have to do it. The elders that have been in this area in the past have not done ANYTHING to update the member list, and so we´re going to have to do that. The list is going to be a whole lot smaller after.

This week, we found a lady on Saturday who came to church yesterday.  She has had a ROUGH life. She´s about 50 years old and has just had it rough. She has two sons. One son is married and is doing fine, but the other son is like 26 years old and is a drug addict. She divorced with her first husband and her second husband was killed by her son (In defense) because her second husband attacked the mom, and the son got angry at him and then the husband tried to hurt the son and the son killed him in defense. Crazy! Her first husband is always trying to get back together with her, but she just won´t let him back into her life because he is always drinking. But she is really nice and she loved church yesterday. We didn´t get a chance to teach her after, but we´ll see what happens.

We´re struggling with Flora because she didn´t come to church, and she is not reading the Book of Mormon. It´s frustrating because everytime we go over, she tells us she didn´t read or pray, and then she goes off about her problems in her life. We´re going to give her one more chance this week, but if she doesnt progress, we´re going to have to drop her. What do you think that I should do with her?

So this week, this guy lost control of his car and drove his car into the wall of our house hahahahahahahha. Luckily, nobody was home and so nobody got hurt, but he drove away after he did it! We still have no idea who did it. These other guys came over and said that they were his friends, but they wouldn´t give us the guy's name. it made me so mad haha. They ended up fixing the wall pretty fast and so everything is good now. But still, i´m mad that we still have no idea who did it. they told us though that the guy didn´t have a license and he didn´t have any registration on his car. (We also believe that he was drunk). So we´re just a little bit peeved. But whatevs. I´ll send some sic pics of the wall.

Love you guys! I´m loving this area so much and I´m feeling so much better about everything! Only one more year to go! Tchau!

Elder Hanson
Butthurt, because some drug addict lost control of his car and hit our yard wall :-/

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 51

Dear Family,
This week was mais ou menos. It wasn´t bad, but I got super disappointed this week. We found this very good family on Monday, (parents legally married and everything!) and they were super interested. And we kept following up with them during the week, but then out of nowhere, on Saturday, the dad answered the door and was just like "here take your pamphlet and everything, we´re not interested anymore. We´re gonna stay in our church. Thanks! Good night." and I was like What?!?!? I refused to leave until I knew why he wasn´t interested anymore. So he just told me that he doesn´t believe in the Book Of Mormon and that he had searched some things on the internet and that he didn´t agree with a bunch of things that he saw. I just told him that you can´t believe everything you see on the internet, but he wouldn´t tell me what he saw. I just did everything I could and told him how these teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of the church would bless and help them in their lives more than they can imagine, but he just kept saying that he was happy in his church. By the way, his church is called the Quadrangular church, which I´m pretty sure doesn´t exist in the United States haha. I was so sad, because they were such a good family and really wanted to go to church. :(

We´re still teaching that girl I told you about, but we´re having a hard time with her accepting a baptismal date. She doesn´t really have a reason for not accepting, because she said that she wants to, but she just won´t say why. It´s frustrating. She also has a hard time with her commitments. She´s only read the Book of Mormon one time since we began teaching her. We tell her how important it is every time we teach her, but she just won´t do it haha. We´ll just keep trying our best and hopefully everything works out with her. 

We´re also teaching this family now, but I can´t remember if I told you guys about them last week. The mom has a lot more interest than the dad, but the Mom works a lot on Sunday. The kids love church though! They go to all the activities and all the things that the church does, but it´s hard because we can´t baptize them because they´re not 16 years old :(. The mission rule is if they are less than 16 years old, they can´t be baptized until they go to church for 3 months. We´re not really sure what we should do with this family because they can´t really progress and we have to wait three months until Vitoria and Eliseu can be baptized. 

We´re still searching for new people to teach. We are teaching another lady named Elisangela, but we´re also having a hard time with her accepting a baptismal date. The number one excuse for people in Brazil in not accepting a date is that they are afraid that they won´t be able to keep the commandments after their baptism. Even when we explain about the Holy Ghost and everything, they still are afraid. we´re really trying our best to find new people.

Love you guys! Thank you all so much for all you do for me! Don´t worry mom, I´m flossing haha. Tchau!!

Elder Hanson
Colin is now a tree hugger - HAHA

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 50

Dear Family,
Esta semana passou mais ou menos kkkkk. Na verdade passou bem, más poderia ter sido melhor, eu acho. Estou feliz porque ainda a gente está tendo pessoas na Igreja todas as semanas! É bom demais. Estou um pouco triste porque Maria Rita, Charles, e Fernando estão nós evitando. Eu não faço nenhuma idéia por que!!! é muito estranho, más ainda a gente vai continuar de passar eles e ver o que vai acontecer.

Nós convidamos Cristiane para batizar no Domingo passado, más ela não aceitou :(. Ela só não quer nada com a igreja eu acho. Más algo interessante é que Arlei está mudando demais! Isto sempre acontece depois do batismo. Ele quer fazer muitas coisas e ele vai receber o sacerdócio no Domingo que vem. Estou muito animado por ele! Ele está muito animado também. 

Eu AMO nosso bispo demais. Nossa senhora! (this part is slang lol and I think it´s so stupid) más realmente, ele é bom demais. Ele deu um discurso na igreja e ele demorou muito falando sobre milhares de coisas que ele quer que aconteça esse ano. Os membros na ala ficaram bem chateados durante a reunião quando era depois do tempo que a igreja termina. Más eu adorei! Foi tão engraçado e foi muito bom. Ele quer fazer um serão (fireside) com a ala e com Presidente Kuceki mesmo sobre a obrá missionária! Ele realmente tem um desejo de aumentar a frequencia na ala que os outros bispos e presidentes dos ramos que eu tive na missão não tinham. ele é muito bom!

Algo que eu quero compartilhar com vocês. Por favor, se um missionário em nossa estaca quiser a ajuda de vocês no futuro por qualquer razão, por favor AJUDEM ELES!!!! Eu fico muito grato quando os membros nos ajudam. Então por favor, meus queridos, ajudem os missionários. 

Translation below

This week went good more or less haha. Actually it went well, but could have been better, I think. I'm still happy because we're having people in church every week! It's good. I'm a little sad because Maria Rita, Charles and Fernando are avoiding us. I have no idea why! It is very strange, but still we will continue to pass by them and see what will happen.

We invited Cristiane to be baptized last Sunday, but she did not accept. She just does not want anything to do with the church but something I find interesting is the church and gospel is changing Arlei.  This always happens after baptism. He wants to do many things and he will receive the priesthood on Sunday. I'm very excited for him. He is very excited too.

I LOVE our bishop. He is very good. He gave a speech in church and he took forever talking about thousands of things he wants to happen this year. Members in the ward were pretty upset during the meeting when it was after the time that the church ends. But I loved it! It was so funny and it was very good. He wants to do a fireside with the ward and even President Kuceki about missionary work! He really has a desire to increase the success of branches that I had not had in the mission. He's very good!

Sorry, this letter isn´t very long, but I don´t have too much to write about this week haha.  

Love you guys! Thank you for all you guys do for me and I´m so grateful for you. Só isto. Obrigado!

Elder Hanson

P.S. there is no store that sells suits in my area so it´s impossible to buy a suit :(

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 49

Dear Family,

ESTA SEMANA PASSADA FOI BOM DEMAIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NÓS BATIZAMOS O ARLEI!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOO!!!!!! It was so awesome haha. I´m so happy about it and I was stressing out about it the entire week lolz. But I couldn´t be happier right now because it was Elder Neeley´s first baptism in Brazil. So cool!!! The bishop baptized Arlei on Saturday and he was confirmed yesterday.

Right now though, we´re working with Arlei´s family. He lives with two of his sisters. We´re working with one of his sisters, who actually is his twin. She´s been to church a few times. We´re working on teaching her and we´re hoping that we will continue to baptize in this area.

The members were so happy as well when he got baptized! Like I said, last year there were only three baptisms in the ward, and so they actually haven´t had a baptism in the ward since at least September. They were so happy! The bishop in the ward is AWESOME. He seriously is my favorite bishop that I´ve had on the mission. Although all the bishops have been good. But he wants to change this ward, because pretty much some of the members have lost their faith in missionary work in the ward. We met with him this week to talk about the Ward Mission Plan for the year. We set a lot of really good goals for the ward and he was super excited. But then we had Ward Council Meeting yesterday and the ward just shot down all of our ideas. We want to have a frequency of 90 at the end of the year in the ward, because right now it´s 41, and the bishop actually wanted to have a higher goal than that, but EVERYBODY in the Ward Council shot it down. They were like ´that´s not possible, we should bring it down to 70, because even 70 is pushing it...´ I was like WHAT?! Are you kidding me? Where is your faith? We established the goal of 4 baptisms at least per month, but they shot that down too. They want 2 baptisms a month. I honestly was so upset about it after. I have to respect it because we have to have the ward council´s approval before we can do anything. We´re teaching so many people right now! We could have a lot of baptisms in the upcoming weeks. I just want to be able to excite the members with missionary work here. What do you guys think I could do?

Besides that, nothing really happened this week haha. I´m still trying as hard as I can in this area and I´m hoping that everything will work out. I know it will with all of the people we´re teaching. Pray that we´ll be able to baptize Cristiane this week! 

Oh! Haha after my birthday, Irma Paula from the other ward had a surprise birthday thing for me haha and she made a cake for me. It made up for the horrible birthday hahahaha. New Years was like Christmas, nobody wanted to talk to us and everyone was drunk out of their minds in the streets. we didn´t stay up till midnight (Mission Obedience lolz) 

Love you guys! I pray for you guys all the time and I hope everything is going well. Tchau!

Elder Hanson