Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 61

Dear Family,
     Well I´m going to try and be as positive as possible this week haha. This week was a little bit rough. Actually, really rough. It was honestly the most trying week of my mission so far. I think it´s just because I´m so hard on myself too. I try my best to do everything I can to help everyone out, and it just seems to go to waste. We had so many people who wanted to go to church this week! We had 14 people to confirm with on Saturday, and literally, EVERYBODY fell through. For any reason that you can think of haha. Some people went to the hospital, some people traveled, and some just lost interest. 
     I´m trying so hard to keep my head up, but the Lord is testing me more than ever right now. I kept thinking after all this happened, did I do something wrong? Am I not teaching right? Why is this happening? Am I not good enough? Haha because you guys know me, if something bad happens, I put 100% of the blame on myself. It´s alright though. I know the Lord is just testing me in some way, and someday I´ll see what it is. I just need to have patience. I just want success! I remember how easy it was in Rio Verde. We were baptizing almost weekly. It was so awesome! And then, I felt like I didn´t have to do all that much. Here, I feel like I have to give my everything even to get the minimal amount of results. Hopefully everything will start changing soon. It really needs to happen. Especially in the Uberlândia zone. The zone ended the month with 6 baptisms. The zone leaders are so good here too! I honestly think that they know what they´re doing and that they want the best for the zone. I am just not understanding why these things are happening right now. 
     With all the negative things, you guys are probably thinking that I´m miserable right now haha. I´m not, I´m honestly super happy. Just a little bit frustrated and confused on everything. Everyone´s a little bit disappointed with the results of the month here in Uberlândia. But I just need to stay positive. I know the success will come. I just need to put in more effort maybe. Maybe they need to do a zone santification haha. After I email, I´m going to go to our house and make some goals for the district, so that they can meet their weekly goals every week. This week, the district wasn´t even close to their goals, and so I need to do something to help them with that. 
     I think I´m going to interview a few of the Elders as well. There is a lot of drama going on in their house and it needs to be fixed. It is just unnecessay drama that drives away the Spirit and it´ll hurt our district. Throughout my mission, I have never ever caused drama haha. I´ve always just tried to avoid it, but now that I´m the district leader, something needs to be done haha.
Love you guys! I hope the shower went well and that everything´s going good with ya´ll. I´m fine! Don´t worry about me. Just pray for me always.

Elder Hanson

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 60

Dear Family,

Hey guys! This week was mais ou menos. We´re trying our best to apply everything that President Kuceki has given us. He gave the whole mission this great guide that is like a guide to study Preach My Gospel. It also explains a lot about how to use it, and what to study. He also put in "Os Oito Passos De Poder Para Converter" (Eight Steps of Power to Convert) which is really good! Explains a lot about how we should start off every lesson, what we should do during the lesson, how we should teach, and how to invite the investigators to be baptized. We´ve been applying this in our lessons and we´re seeing a huge difference in the spiritualness (is this a word?) of the lessons. It´s crazy! President Kuceki is so inspired and I feel so much that what Elder Cruz said is true, that we should always listen to the advice of President Kuceki. I told my district in our district meeting on Tuesday (my first district meeting :/) to apply it in their work and they´ll see a huge difference. I haven´t been following up on it as much as I should have with them haha but I will try better this week. Still learning how to do everything as a leader and so it´ll work out. This week wasn´t as stressfull as my first week as the leader. 

We also did a huge division with the zone this week on Tuesday. It was sweet! I went on a division with the zone leader and the purpose of the whole division thing was to mark a lot of dates. It actually worked out really well. Another purpose was to unite the zone. The zone hasn´t been doing to well this past month. There have only been four baptisms in the entire zone in March. No one really knows why haha. The number one zone in the mission usually has around 22 baptisms. So that goes to show that Uberlândia didn´t do too well this month. But it´ll be different next month! Hopefully I´ll get the hang of being the district leader and I´ll be able to help out the district better. There´s a couple of companionships in my district that are struggling right now (in my old area especially) and so I´m trying my best to help them all out. 

As I said, we´re seeing a huge difference in our lessons because of the Eight Steps of Power to Convert. I was talking to Elder Webb, and we both said that throughout our mission, we haven´t been feeling the Spirit as much as we thought we would. When we applied this in our lessons, we both agreed that we felt the Spirit in the lessons this week. é bom demais! We marked a few dates this week, but then it seemed like everything fell through on Saturday haha it was so weird. There was this girl who read the chapter that we marked for her in the Book of Mormon, and she recieved a powerful answer after she prayed that the Book of Mormon was true and she said that she would go to church as well. We also marked a date for her but then she ended up having to travel for three months haha. Whatever. I know that there are other people like her in our area that are ready for the gospel. But I know that If we keep trusting in the Lord and if we keep using these eight steps, everything will work out.

The lady that got annoyed when we said that only people who are baptized can enter in the kingdom of God hasn´t really lightened up at all. She listened to one of our messages this week, but she didn´t say a word during it. She also didn´t go to church. I´m pretty sure we´re going to drop her, the only problem is is that her daughter really likes us coming over and leaving messages with her, and she always goes to church. We´ll see what happens.

Thank you guys so much for the support. I´m really looking forward to seeing what will happen in this area. I know that everything will work out as long as we always put our trust in the Lord. Love you guys! Pray for me!

Elder Hanson

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 59

Dear Family,


Translation: Mom, Happy Birthday! Thank you for all you have done for me. Sincerely, I would not be here if not for the great love you have shown me. I am very grateful for your love, strength and everything. Love you and hope you have a great day on the 19th. Hope it's MARVELOUS!!!!!!

So this week was NUTS, to say the least. The whole mission went to Goiânia for a conference with Elder Cruz from the Seventy. It was really cool! He talked a lot about obedience and how we need to always obey the counsel from President Kuceki. He talked about how that he is inspired by God and that we HAVE to listen to him, and as missionaries, that really is a part of our purpose. Foi muito bom! Gostei demais. We talked for a while with missionaries as well. I got to see Elder Moffit, Elder Thomas, Elder Lee, Elder Wallace, and Marques, and all the other Elders that I´ve become friends with. Then after was the transfer meeting..... Elder Thomas is in Goiania, Elder Wallace got sent to Rio Verde and got made zone leader, Elder Lee is in Uberlandia and is district leader, and Elder Moffitt is in a city called Itumbiara and is district leader as well. Elder Neeley got transferred to a city called Uberaba.

I got Uberlândia! Again! haha I´m now in the Uberlândia ward, which is in the center of the city. Also, I was made district leader!!! So crazy and so unexpected haha. A little bit stressful so far haha but I know I´ll get used to it. I have to follow up with 4 other companionships at least 3 times a day and talk with the Zone Leaders every day as well. Also, I have to plan the district meetings every Tuesday now, and help with any problems that there are in the district haha. Also, I have to do the baptismal interviews of the investigators of my district and of the zone leaders as well. I had my first interview the other day haha with a nine year old girl. Easiest interview ever haha. 

The attendance every week in the ward is about 80, 90 people, so a decent amount. The members, from what I´ve seen so far, are really good! They seem like they´re always wanting to help and are always so happy. Seems like they have liked the elders that have passed by here so I hope to keep that going. Hopefully I´ll be able to do that. 

My companion´s name is Elder Dallin Webb. My fourth American companion here in Brazil!!! Haha that seriously never happens. There are more Brazilian missionaries than American in this mission so it´s really different that they´ve had me be with four different Americans. He´s been on his mission since about September, and he´s great. I really do like him. He´s from Denver Colorado and he´s actually speaking Portuguese really well. He´s sweet! He´s really tall as well (6 " 3' !!!). He knows the area really well (the area is ginormous) and is really helping me out getting to know the area. What´s different about this area than my other areas is that the church isn´t in our area, and it´s in the center of the city. So we have to get rides for our investigators or they have to take the bus. In my other areas, the church was five minutes aways from our house haha. But it´s not that bad. 

We had a decent amount of people at church this week. We had 6 people! It was sweet. Also, a member brought her boyfriend (they aren´t living together hahaha) and he really liked church. We´ll pass by him on wednesday to start giving him the lessons. the elders had an investigator that really liked the missionaries up until about a few days ago. we were talking about the plan of salvation, and she asked "wait, are you saying that only the members of your church can enter into the kingdom of God? What about my family?" and we were just straight up and said "yes". But that they will hopefully have the chance to her the gospel and accept it in this life or they will hear it in the next. She struggled with that but we'll work it out. She had been going to church, but after that,she´s been kind of avoiding us and she´s kind of been rude. But her daughter told us that she still wants to hear our messages. It´ll work out.

Love you guys! thank you for all the support and hope you have a great birthday mom!!!! Love you all so much and pray for me with all these new changes!

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 58

Dear Family,

So this was my final week in Parque Do Sabiá because I was transferred!!!!! Haha so crazy! I was totally not expecting to be transferred at all, but me and Elder Neeley were both transferred. It´s so weird because they doubled us out..... not really sure why? But President Kuceki, I guess does it all the time. Makes it a little more challenging I guess haha. I´m really sad to leave this area because we have grown to love the people here! I know we didn´t have a ton of success here, and back in Rio Verde I´ve heard that Popular is just baptizing like CRAZY. I still haven´t heard anything about Zito at all but I´m hoping that he was one of their baptisms! I´m so happy that they just have so much success there. 

I´m a tiny bit sad though. Last night, at the ward council meeting, the members were talking about one Elder that served in Parque Do Sabia and had passed by in the ward before we came, that the members just did not like. They got super unexcited about missionary work because of him. Makes me mad because you really don´t realize how much influence the missionaries have on the ward until one missionary almost ruins the ward. I feel like because of Elder Neeley and me, the members have a lot more trust in the missionaries now, even though we didn´t have a ton of success. We tried our best to gain the members trust and I think the members are liking the missionaries again :).I really am loving the mission so much. I honestly couldn't be happier.

We taught Carmem again this week and she really is super interested in the church. It was sad though because they were going to go to church, but then like their uncle passed away and so they had to travel to another city. They totally would have gone. But whatevs, I know that the Elders that come in will be able to work it out.

We´ll all go to Goiania on Tuesday to have a conference with Elder Cruz of the seventy and then they´ll do transfers immediately after. I am so nervous to see where I´m going to go! I hope Elder Neeley goes to a good area because he really deserves it. He works so hard and I just hope he can get a good companion as well. 

Love you guys! Tell congrats to Sam and that I am really proud of him! Tchau!

Elder Hanson

Arle, Looking sick in his new church clothes!

Sweetest lady in the World! Irma Irades

Colin and Elder Tenorio

Elder Hiago, going on a mission!

Awesome members in Uberlandia

Minha Zona

The district looking sharp at Burger King

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 57

Dear Family,

     This week was like last week. We started out doing really well, and then at the end of the week, it just went downhill. But whatever. I´m sort of just getting used to that now haha. There was this reference that a member from Aurora gave us, and the guy never even let us in his house, but he said that he would go to church. So, on Sunday, we passed by his house in the morning, and got mad. He was like "One day, I will go. But you guys are yanking my chain all the time and I´m about to call the police. Get off my property! Tchau!" haha  I just said to him "You said you were going to go to church today!". And he just got mad and went back inside. The member felt so bad after and said that he would go talk to him this week haha. We literally only passed by him twice that week but he would never let us inside. Whatevs.
     Elder Neeley had to go to Goiânia to update his visa stuff so I was on a division with another Elder in a different area for a day. That also made it hard because we couldn´t find new people to teach. But I´ll just do whatever I can so that we can get some people at church. It´s so rough not having people at church. We had 3 people, but they can´t even be baptized until the end of this month so they can´t really progress for now. 
     I do have a cool experience to share with you guys. This week, we passed by this lady that I had contacted in the street. Her name is Carmem. She let us in and then started talking on and on about how mad she is at God because her husband left her and that bad things happen to good people. She was also going through problems, and sometimes, she just is ready to give up. She also said that she had stopped going to church because of all the bad things that were happening and didn´t really have interest in religion anymore. I don´t know why, but I felt prompted to tell the story of what happened to Erik with his getting sick and then being better. As I was telling the story, she started BAWLING. I know she felt the Spirit and that she was touched by the story of how Erik overcame it, and how through God and Jesus Christ, he became stronger than he was before. She listened to our message, and then she said that she would go to church this Sunday with us with her daughters. I´m hoping that everything will work out with them because it was one of the most powerful lessons I´ve had on my mission so far. Her attitude towards us completely changed by the end of the lesson. She said that she felt relieved by the end of the lesson :).
     Other than that, I´m trying to figure out ways to teach better. My teaching has gotten a little bit sloppy haha and I need to improve it drastically. I´m fine with the language, I just need to be able to teach by the Spirit in EVERY lesson. I was thinking that this is probably why we haven´t had as much success lately, and so I´m going to change some things.
Love you guys! Sorry about your girly Erik :(. It will work out. 
Elder Hanson