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