Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberaba - Week 65

Dear Family,

So this week was so freaking crazy. So many new things to explain about it´s not even funny. Transferências!!!!!! Biggest shock of my entire life. I´ll explain why later.

First of all, I got transferred to a city called Uberaba!!!! It´s south of Uberlandia and it´s not as big, but it´s still pretty big. It is also known as the capital of Espiritismo. This is like the biggest falsest religion ever hahahaha. They believe in reincarnation. 

Next, my companion is named Elder Bezerra. He is so sweet! He works so hard and his old companion changed the entire zone of Uberaba. Know why? Because they were zone leaders. Do you know what that means? It means I just became zone leader!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha so nuts! I was not expecting it at all. The assistants called me and they told me that my companion would be Elder Bezerra, and I was like "wait, he´s the zone leader right?" and it took me awhile to realize what that meant haha. Seriously, I have never been so shocked in my life. Not expecting it at all! I was like, seriously? Are you sure that you didn´t make a mistake? But it´s all good! I´m super stressed but I know that I´ll get used to it. Elder Bezerra is so awesome. He´s from Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil and he´s a convert of about two years. His testimony is so strong, and he´s super good with the people. It honestly wouldn´t surprise me if he became the assistant within a few months. He´s going to make me work so much harder and it´ll be good for me. So excited and grateful for the opportunity. I know the Lord knows what´s best for me and I´ll make sure that I work my hardest to be able to help the zone out as best I can. I´ve got huge shoes to fill! The old zone leader that was here was here for 8 months and completely changed the zone. He seriously is one of the best missionaries in the mission and everyone loves him, so I hope that I can fulfill everything that he did. It´ll be all good!

Other good news, Elder Neeley is in my zone! He´s the district leader now and he´s training!!! I was so happy, and I was able to go on a division with him this week. He´s doing so good and I was stoked to go on splits with him. He´s training an Elder from Argentina! 

Elder Thomas is still in Goiania and is senior companion now. Elder Webb also is training now! So crazy. My old zone leader in Uberlandia became the assistant and so everyone was freaking out about that haha. 

So this week has been crazy to say the least. I´ve said it a bunch of times, but I have never had to walk so much in my entire life as this past week hahaa. The zone had about 9 baptisms this week, and so we were all the place all over Uberaba doing the interviews. Stoked out of my mind for the zone! We had an activity today because of it. We got to play basketball (first time since I´ve left for my mission haha) and we ate ice cream. Totes awesome lolz.

I´m so happy right now. Stressed, but happy, and tired haha. I know God has a plan for me in all of this and it´ll be great. 

Love you guys!! Dia das mães is all set, except for the time haha and it won´t be until the day of that I will know the time. Don´t worry about it! Tchau!

Elder Hanson
Colin and Elder Webb with a member in Uberlandia

Colin and Fabricio in Uberlandia

Zona Uberaba

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 64

Dear Family,

     So this week was a little bit cray lolz. I went on two divisions, one with my zone leader, and one with another Elder in my district. the one with my zone leader was really well because we found a lot of new people to teach that day. Then the one with an Elder in my district was good as well, we found a woman in his area that went to church! So that was good. 
     Honestly, it makes me so sad when people get baptized and then go inactive. I was looking through my area book this past week and I realized that about 20 people were baptized last year and only like 3 are active now. I was so sad! One time, the mission told us that in Manaus Brazil last year, 500 new people were baptized into the church (the highest baptizing mission in Brazil) and only 2 percent of those people stayed firm. That´s 10 people! 10! That is HORRIBLE. I honestly would feel like a giant failure if all of my recent converts went inactive. Holy crap I was so sad when I heard that. Missão Brasil Goiânia a 10 percent retention rate. The United States has like an 80 percent rate. Something needs to change to improve that!  Fabricio is an inactive member and Elder Webb and I have been helping him out a lot. He literally didn´t remember anything about the church. He´s been going to church every week now since we started reactivating him, which is really good. We took some sic pics with him this week but this computer that I´m using is incapable of sending pictures so.... you´re gonna have to wait another week lol.
     I´m feeling a lot better this week. I took a crapload of medicine and so I´m fine now haha. I will take better care of myself now so that I don´t ever have to go to a Brazilian hospital again lol. But still, I love this country!!! 
     People are FREAKING out about the world cup already. Brazilian elders are getting trunky (this is slang in Portuguese, it means they want to go home) because they want to get prepared for the cup. That´s all anyone talks about. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen with the missionaries, but every member says that it just gets WILD here and it´s super dangerous. 
     I don´t know what´s going to happen for Mother´s day, because.... guess what? SURPRISE! I got transferred again! And I have a feeling on what´s going to happen to me... but I won´t say anything até a semana que vem kkkkkk.

Love you guys!!! Thanks for all the support! Muito obrigado! Tenha uma ótima semana!

Elder hanson

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 63

Dear Family,

Hey!!!!! So this week was full of ups and downs again. I got by far the worst cold I´ve ever had in my life haha which was super awesome, and then I went and called Sister Kuceki about it and she told me to go to the hospital. Turns out that Brazilian hospitals are sketchy haha but they told me that I got a super bad cold and that it got infected in my nose and in my left ear as well. They gave me a bunch of medicine that Sister Kuceki approved of and so it´ll be fine. Don´t worry about me! I ´ll be fine. But yeah I´m getting better, but I have never seen so much snot in my entire life haha I seriously used an entire roll of toilet paper in like an hour haha. It was great.

We also had a zone conference with President Kuceki this week and the assistants. The assistants are super awesome! Do you guys remember how in Goiânia I lived with Elder Moreno (American) and Elder Lopes (Brazilian)? Yeah they were companions in Jardim Curitiba and now they are the assistants. They came down with President and the assistants stayed in our house. We had a really good meeting on Friday with them and we learned a ton. President talked a lot about Peter, and how he denied Christ even though he knew that it was wrong. He talked about how some missionaries deny Christ on their missions by the little things. Singing innapropriate music, flirting with moças, things like that that take away the Spirit from you that the people really need from you. It made me think a whole lot and made me want to be perfect haha. But I´ve seen that the lessons are improving because of it and I am more in tune with the Spirit. But they also came up with a plan to baptize 45 people in April and have at least 3 baptisms per companionship. It would be awesome! I know it´s possible, that we just gotta tune out all the things of the world and focus in on our missions and the people we are teaching. 

I got to do two baptismal interviews this week! One was with this girl, who actually didn´t want to get baptized in the first place haha and so I kind of got frustrated with that, and the other was this 19 year old girl who was super prepared to be baptized. It was cool! I love seeing the progress of the investigators that the elders in my district teach. It´s great to see someone who is actually prepared and that you know that they´ll stay firm in the church. The missionaries just need to work harder! Everyone needs to just do their part lol.

This week, we´re teaching this guy named Juando and his family. They are so humble! It´s so awesome. And they´re LEGALLY MARRIED!!!!! WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha  He said that he had had other missionaries in the past who taught him, but that he wasn´t really looking for religion at that time, and that nothing happened. He reminds me a lot of Zito, and I´m hoping that he will become my Zito of Uberlândia haha. It would be so awesome! We marked a date with him yesterday for May 3rd, and I´m hoping that it all goes through! His wife wasn´t there when we marked a date with him, which is a bummer, but it´ll work out.

Love you guys! Thank you for all the support and for everything you guys do for me. Love you so much! Tchau!

Elder Hanson

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014 - Brazil Goiania Mission - Uberlandia - Week 62

Dear Family,

Hey guys!!!!

So this week was filled with a lot of ups and downs lolz. We had (as usual)a bunch of people confirmed to go to church and we were so stoked because we were sure that they were going to go, and as usual, they gave an excuse at the LAST minute and didn´t go. It´s all good though! God knows which people are ready and we just have to find them. We also have a member in the ward (who is a recent convert of about 4 months) and he brought a friend to conference who is super legal (this means cool in Portuguese). He
loved conference and he said he wants to continue going to church! It will be awesome to teach him because he lives alone and we don´t have to worry if he´s married or not!

I loved conference so much and they didn´t have that dumb rule where if you don´t have an investigator you couldn´t watch it! I was so happy haha. There were a couple of talks where it was hard to concentrate because I was stressing out of my freaking mind about bringing investigators to church haha but I loved it so much. I thought that it was so weird though that they broadcasted the priesthood session to everybody? Maybe that´s just me but I thought that was weird that they´re doing that now haha. Do they
broadcast the women´s session? Haha I have no idea.

My favorite session by far was the priesthood session. But my favorite talks out of all the sessions was the talk from Elder Neil A. Anderson about the whirlwinds in our lives and President Monson´s talk in the Priesthood session about courage. It seemed like that was a huge theme of the conference, was courage, but especially in President Monson´s talk. Holy crap he is my fudging hero! I seriously love him so much. He talked a lot about courage and how we need to stand up for what we believe in.

But Neil A. Anderson´s talk was my favorite. I think just because it applied so much to me right now.His saying that we need to strengthen ourselves spiritually so that when life´s difficulties come, then we can be ready to be withstand them. That applies so much to me right now. With the difficulties that I´ve been having here in Uberlândia, I think it´s because of my strong testimony of the Atonement and the Restoration that I´ve stayed strong. I know that these things are true. I think that if my testimony wasn´t as strong, I might have lost it. But I know that the Lord
knows what´s best for me and will help me find these people that are ready. So that´s why his talk was my favorite.

We also brought a less active to conference. HE IS AWESOME. His name is Fabricio, (33 years old) and he got baptized a couple of years ago. He is so humble and now he realizes that he needs to get his life together. He told us that he wants to stay firm in the church, and wants our help to do that. We set some goals with him so
that he can strengthen himself spiritually every day. He´s so cool. Why can´t we find investigators like him every day???? hahaha

I made a goal with myself that every person, from now on, that gets baptized, will stay firm in the church. It´s so sad to see elders baptizing a whole lot of people and then those people go inactive like a month later. I´m so happy that Arlei has stayed firm. I saw a few people from Parque do Sabiá yesterday and they told me that he
hasn´t missed church once since I left and that he blessed the sacrament last Sunday :). One day, I want to be able to return to Rio Verde, and Uberlandia and visit the people that I taught and see that they have stayed firm the whole time. I know it´s possible.

Guys, please, pray for me and Elder Webb this week. Elder Webb found out just now that his grandpa passed away. Pray for me, and especially him, that he may be able to stay strong and keep his mind focused on the work. I know that that will be really hard, but it would help a lot if you guys could pray for us. I feel so terrible and I´m not quite sure what to do.

Love you guys!!!! Thank you for the support and the love lol. Happy