Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24th 2008


Autumn in Spain

(Letter to Shelly)


Hey!


Well that’s good that everything went well there in Arizona! And Beth is coming to town, that good, how long is she going to stay?


Yes, thanksgiving is this week, but we’re just going to celebrate it when we go to Coruña and have district meeting, it should be a fun time!


The ankle is good, we can’t play soccer or anything, but otherwise I’d say it’s completely healed, I’m really grateful.


The work here has lit up quite a bit actually. Obviously it died when we were out for 2 weeks, and other reasons, but now it’s right back on its way up. We have a golden investigator, who asks questions and says things that are written in Preach My Gospel, and just is friends with all the members, and is a young guy who’s in the navy, and wants to find what church is true. But he’s moving to Madrid in December, so we’ll teach him everything and then he’ll get baptized there. Whatever, it’s all the same work! 


We got transfer calls this week, and I’m staying here through Christmas, but probably moving (in my opinion) in January, so feel free to send anything!


I get a decent amount of mail, so don’t worry about putting in anything in the high neighbor, it’s all good.


Well that’s all; hope you have a good thanksgiving!


Elder Hanson



(Letter to Mike)


Well hey, 


Ya the month is about to end, we’re just going to go to Coruña and have our district meeting and then after celebrate Thanksgiving together, since there

aren’t any Americans in the rama who would have us over for dinner. But again, no mail from Hulka, I’ll have to send him something.


The leaves! Yes the pic looked good, like a typical year of leaves! The nice thing is that here they still change color and fall off in the same season, so it does feel like late November, but it just bites because we’re out here alone, when all the Christmas stuff is going on, but I think we’ll have a good Christmas, we’ve already been invited to a few houses. We got transfer calls yesterday, and we’re good to stay until early January.


Wow the bathroom sounds good, you’ll have to send me some pics of everything, and speaking of pics, ill send you the card this week. I couldn’t send it before because I had to print some pics off for everyone in our district that was leaving.


Thanks for the letter about Michael Sanders, wow that’s just got to be tough.


As far as the ward letter, well I wouldn’t know what to say really, just that I was really blessed to have such great people that lived in my ward and taught me the gospel, and were examples to me of what I would like to be in my life. I am very grateful to have the chance to share what we have to others. I don’t know, i'll write some things down this week, and get back to you next week...(if that’s ok?)


Alright, things are going pretty good here! I wrote Shelly about the work a little bit, we’re really getting blessed out here!


Well tell everyone hello for me! Take care,

I hope all is well,


Elder Hanson

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 17, 2008

Hey,


Nobody told me about Hulka! That’s awesome! I’ll have to send him something for the congrats! Was he pretty excited? Tell him to send me some mail, and

I’ll get his address or something.


I’ll be honest I won’t miss the thanksgiving tradition of cleaning the leaves, but I miss the holiday like crazy! They obviously don’t celebrate it here, so they already have all the Christmas stuff up, and it is sad!


But in general, things here are pretty good, we are getting cold, and I mean cold, the humidity just chills it to the bone and wow makes things a lot colder. Yep it rains here almost once a day, if you ever look on the weather channel or something; you’ll see clouds over the northern western part of Spain guaranteed, every time we walk by a TV that has weather on, that’s all it ever shows. I like it though, at first it was a big adjustment, but now I think I sort of like it, I have a big umbrella that I use, not those little cheap ones, we have the big ones that are like canes with fabric on them, and that helps fight the weather a little. 


As far as work, yep well it’s coming along. We had a long week of ¨finding¨ even though we didn’t find too many people, we were on the street. What we do when we tract we go to big buildings that have like 12 floors with 4 doors on each floor, and knock. We get a ton done in a short amount of time because of how many pisos there are. Then if we can’t take knocking any longer we just go and do contacts and stop people on the street and try and talk to them. It is an amazingly hard thing to do. I have learned a ton about people, how they work, and all that from doing contacts. That is the thing that is most hated in the mission. A lot of missionaries like to just walk and pass everyone, because the people probably won’t stop to talk to you, ya, sure, but there are some that will talk, and some that might be interested, so until I find them, I am going to stop every person I can and find them. I don’t have a power, maybe I’m not as sensitive to the spirit as others to find people, and I can’t just look at one person and see that they are ready to receive the gospel, but the way I see it, I’ll just stop them all and find the prepared people out of the masses.


Referrals...ya they really don´t exist. Some people will give them, and they will be really good. I think I’ve only seen about 2 from members my whole mission, and they were to different elders, and they are teaching them right now. As far as advertisement, headquarter referrals, they are for other missions I guess, I’ve never seen one.


The language, another interesting point. My companion and I are both very young in the mission, and we need to learn this language, so we have some things we do. We don’t speak any English from 9:30 (the start of companion study) to 2:00. Then we eat lunch, and at 3 we have Spanish study. At 4 we leave, and do contacts, usually we'll have lessons at night, so we'll be speaking Spanish most of the night. With all that combined, my Spanish has really become much better. It’s not like I learned a ton of new words, but my ability to think in the language is improving a lot. That and being a missionary, having the gift of tongues, it’s pretty nice.


Tell Shelly hello and congrats to Stacy!


Keep me updated on the car business, that’s got to be tough. I pray for it

All the time.


Thanks for the mail,


Love, your son,


Elder Hanson

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 10th 2008

Hey,

 

Thanks for the info! It sure is interesting! But being here in Europe, it is almost a joke hearing about all of this!

 

Obama...well that was just nice to hear about let me tell you that! Everyone that sees us, and that sees that we are Americans brings it up, it is really getting annoying.

 

We’ve been out on the street though, a nice change from all of the past. We had greenie feet all over again, but hey we’re getting some things done!

 

We’ve been traveling non-stop! I wrote you from Coruña last week, and then we spent p day there, went to the aquarium that is on the coast, and had a really good time! It is really cool to just look out there along the coast, I wish that I could serve there sort of, but I still like Ferrol. Anyway, then we came back to Ferrol, worked until Thursday night, then we went to Coruña again, spent the night there to have District Meeting with President the next day, and interviews and all that good stuff. They checked our ankles and stuff out, and we’re pretty good! So then we came back to Ferrol that night, but had to leave early the next morning to go to Santiago (a famous tourist city) for a mini Zone Conference with a general Authority there, his name was Elder Weidmen, he’s from Switzerland. So that was great, I was able to talk with him for a little bit. He shook my hand and asked me if I was from Sweden, as I am, and we talked pretty normally for a bit, and about the accident, but it was just a great experience to talk with a member of the 70 like it was nothing.

 

Then we came back to Ferrol, worked that night, and then yesterday morning, we took a bus back to Santiago with our branch to have a meeting for the district as a whole including the members. That was also really great. Then we had to come back and work last night, and now here I am! I am a little mixed up, but we should have a normal week this week I hope so we’ll see!

 

All the Christmas activities are starting up (because they don’t have thanksgiving, but I can tell it is going to be strange to be out here with just my companion for the holiday season, but I’m still way excited for the days to come!

 

Oh ya and my month mark was yesterday, big number 7.

 

Well it sounds like the car business is nuts. I am very curious to see what will happen. Feel free to let me in on that information. But Easter is working at the cu? Detailing or what? Is he going to school?

 

Thanks for everything!

 

Take Care!

 

-Elder Hanson

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 6, 2008

Hello,
 
Thanks for the email, but yes things are much better, I’m actually walking without my crutch, so that is good. I have a good brace on, and I’ve been pretty good. Obviously I haven’t been walking a whole lot, but it’s getting better.
 
That letter I sent to you; wow! It was just something that I had to get out, because sitting up there in the 2 man apartment, I was about to go nuts, plus I thought you could relate a little bit because you’d been on a mission.
 
Well that is good that the week was good. We had a Halloween celebration; we ate all the candy from the package Shelly sent, and played chess for a little. I liked it.
 
Things seem pretty good with the ward, with Chris Patch in there as EQP, that’s pretty good.
 
Well this week we should be off to do some actual work!
 
How is work and all that going with the gas prices down? Tell me the update on the election...
 
And Hulka? Mission call sometime or what?
 
 
Thanks for everything! Have a good week!
 
-Elder Brett Hanson
 

October 27, 2008

Thank you thank you thank you for the package!

It could not have been any better timed!!! Wow it came at a very boring time in the week when it really helped me! Thanks for all the decorations, and the pictures and everything! And the candy, sadly most of it is gone by now!

But actually I have a question. This is a request for something; it’s the white baptismal pants, and a white tie. I didn’t bring them; because I thought it would be easier to just ask for them, but it is looking like that might not be the best course of action out here. I might need them sooner than I thought too. I haven’t seen a baptismal service, but I’m hoping to have one sometime soon. So I don’t know how much of a stretch it would be to send some size 33 pants out and a white tie along with it soon? I feel dumb for taking so long to ask for it, but I hope to use them soon.

Nice story with the blog though! It sounds awesome! Send some pics of all of it in the daytime if you want. By the way I’m working on sending my pics home soon. Thanks for getting the other ones so fast to me!

Thanks for everything! I hope that all is going well!

Take care

-Elder Hanson

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008 Letter from Hermana (sister) DuVall (Wife of the mission president)

Dear Brother Hanson,
 
Elder Hanson told me that he finally had the chance to e-mail you yesterday, so I am sure you are relieved and glad to hear that he is doing better.  What an amazing miracle that took place in the lives of he and Elder Fowers.  As they explained to us exactly what happened to them, we are more and more convinced that they truly did have angels watching over and protecting them from serious harm.  We love these young men and women like our own children and we were so shocked and scared when we received that frightening phone call.  We also felt so blessed that we just “happened” to be on their side of the country so we could go there and see for ourselves that they were going to be okay.  We are also so grateful for the wonderful sacrifice of the Ferrol Branch President who spent the entire night in the hospital with them despite having put in a full day of work and for his help in finding crutches, arranging meals, rides and other things to make sure they are completely taken care of.  They living angels that Elder Holland talked about in his conference talk have certainly continued that loving care.
 
Elder Hanson said that his ankle is doing a little better each day and he feels like he will be fine.  We continue to talk to them every day to ensure that they are improving and following the doctor’s advice.  They are getting a little stir crazy in the apartment, but we have asked them to make sure they take it slowly so that they don’t cause any further damage to their injuries.  I am so amazed at how positive and upbeat both he and Elder Fowers are, despite the circumstances. 
 
We have sure enjoyed getting to know your wonderful son.  He has such a humble personality and is a pleasure to work with.  He is a hard worker and is focused on doing what he should.  Spanish has not come particularly easy to him, but he continues to work hard as he studies and practices every single day.  The quality that stands out more than anything else to me is his desire to be obedient.  He knows what is right and he has chosen to do that even when others around him may not chose that way.  He even had the courage to advise President DuVall of a situation that he didn’t feel was right so that a change could be made.  We are very proud of him for his honesty, his love of the Lord and his strong testimony.  Thanks for teaching him these important principles and for raising him to be such a good young man.
 
If at any time you have questions or concerns about his health, you are welcome to e-mail us.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Hermana DuVall

October 22, 2008 Letter of explaination after the accident

Sorry family, you already know most of the story, but I don’t have any time!
Ask any questions you have and I’ll try to answer them!

It was nice talking to you! What were you doing all together? Anyway here’s the story:

Ok, well sorry for not getting back to you on time; I had an interesting experience last week. My companion (he had only been here 2 days) and I were walking across the street at a crosswalk, and it was a 4 lane street; 2 lanes one direction, and 2 lanes the other. Well, we safely crossed the first 2 lanes but as we were crossing the last 2, the first car in the first lane stopped, but the second one I guess didn’t. My companion started shouting, and since he was closer to the car, it hit him first, and then HE hit me until I rolled up onto the hood, and then it threw us both pretty far. I didn’t see the car coming at all, so when I found myself on the ground, I didn’t know what to think really, just that my ankle was twisted up under my back, and I was bleeding. I started to get up, and shouted "you’ve got to be kidding me" as I looked at my companion a ways off and then back at the car. I could see that his head had cracked the windshield, but my companion was walking over to me! Then a ton of people started coming over to us, and shouting things in Spanish that I couldn’t understand.

They took us off to the side and talked to us and the police and the ambulance came, then the woman that was driving came up to us, she was crying and all that, she looked worse off than we did. We called the mission President, and some members to meet us at the hospital. We rode to the hospital, and there we met everyone, and waited in wheel chairs for a few hours until they could check us out. We got x-rayed, and bandaged, and it turns out that nothing was broken! We were just really beat up. My companion; who is 6'2 and a lot bigger than I am, took a lot of the beating and has a lot more injuries to his knees and ankle, and shoulders and arms and stuff, where as I was just mainly concerned with my ankle. 

Well the fact is that we spent 9 hours in that blasted hospital, it was ridiculous! But we missed zone conference that a general authority was at, but the President and his wife came over to our apartment, and checked everything out, let us call home,(which was way cool) and we’ve just been sitting around the apartment talking and keeping our feet in the air. 

We keep finding new bruises every day, and getting a litter sorer every day, but we’re overall ok. We couldn’t walk until today, so we just came to do a quick email, and then we have to go back. I’ll write up a bigger and better email next time, when we have more time, instead of paying to use these computers that cost way too much, we’ll be at the library where I can write a good one.

Just know that we are very watched over, and very blessed as missionaries, and that I know that it isn’t just luck that we are pretty much alright, without any broken bones after a car accident like that. 

Thank you for the emails, I promise to write more next week!

Until then I probably will be in my apartment not doing a whole lot until at least Saturday!

Take care!

Elder Brett Hanson

October 13, 2008


Wow, that´s unreal!


I don´t even know where to start, that whole story is so crazy. But i only

have questions. What about the attic now? How do you think it started?

Didn´t you just do some work on the attic not too long ago? That is all very

wild.


All the failing car businesses and such, that is also really crazy. Things

all around the world are all bad. That´s all that we hear of all day, is how

rough everything is. But how is the cu? alright?


Here, not too much is new, except that i am staying here for a while, and I

am getting another companion on Wednesday. It should be good. 


The work here should pick up some more with the arrival of the new comp.

I´ll explain more as the time goes by.


I´m glad to see that you got my package! The thing cost me enough I tell

you! But did you like the pics in it? The video of the hot dog water is

pretty good!


Thanks for giving all that to marcus and such. It is much appriciated. I

sent a letter home to the Bennets the other day, it should get there pretty

soon, if you would, pass that along too.


Thanks for the mail, and everything! 


I hope that all continues to be ok, keep me updated on all that is going on!


Thanks!

Monday, October 6, 2008

General Conference was great! Normally it looks like we’d have to go to another city to watch it by a satellite connection. But this year, we figured that here in Ferrol we have a nice enough chapel, and enough members that we could just try and watch it here. So we had 2 laptops, and some projectors all hooked up, to speakers and all that, so we could do it. We had one play it in Spanish, and the other in English, because there are enough people who can speak English, and there is now an American family in the ward, they are here because he’s working for a boat repair company that got hired out here. So that was really nice to watch. We were able to watch Saturday morning live, at 6 at night, and then we watched Saturday afternoon on Sunday morning. We tried to get priesthood, because there is some connection to it somewhere if you have the right passwords and such, but we couldn’t find it. So we watched Sunday morning live at 6, and then we’ll just have to read Sunday afternoon in the ensign, because it would come on live at 8 and go till 10, and we have to be home before that so it doesn’t really work out.
 
Definitely strange not going to dinner after priesthood, and all the traditions. I miss that like crazy.
 
The week beyond that was pretty normal. Not too much to report other than it’s transfer calls this week, so we’ll know who’s going where, and so on. But I’m 99 percent positive that I’m not going anywhere. I’m thinking my companion is, but we’ll know on Thursday or Friday.
 
I sent a big package home full of Logroño things, and pics from the CCM with President Hill, and my planners from the MTC (which are a big waste, and have almost no use, that’s why I sent them home) And a CD that has pictures from first transfer, and my memory card with recent pics. Also there’s a postcard for Marcus Flinton, I didn’t have his address. Plus there’s a bunch of stuff I wanted to keep, but just not have with me on the mission because it’s pointless, and gets annoying to pack up every time I have to move. So like the stickers and books, just put them in a box or somewhere where they can just sit until I get home! That blasted package cost me 18 Euro, so know that everything in there is special.
 
Otherwise I’m glad to hear that things are good, have a good week!
 
Thanks for the mail,
 
-Elder Hanson

Friday, October 3, 2008

September 29th, 2008

Hey, glad to hear that some people came into the CU, I’ll admit I was pretty worried.
 
This week has been one of the longest weeks in the mission. As you know I was in Coruña last week from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. We worked, (or really got lost in a big city,) but it was by a really cool beach, boardwalk place too, so as we were doing contacts, I got some really awesome pics! We were pretty lost, but whenever you are lost in Spain, all you have to do is just go ask an old guy, and they’ll explain where everything in the city is 5 times over, so we just did that, and we found our way around!
 
On Tuesday, we got up, had district meeting, and then came back up to Ferrol. The thing about being in someone else’s piso, is that you don’t have any food, and you end up forgetting something, so we were pretty happy  to be home again. We went out and found a few people and taught some lessons, like normal. We did the same on Wednesday, just normal days. But Thursday, the first thing we did was get up at 5 so we could catch the first bus back to Coruña to do more residency stuff. We were there the whole morning waiting in line with everyone that was looking to get residency papers...you can imagine the crowd, (Spain is worse than the states when it comes to illegal immigration) but then we got back to Ferrol before 12 in the morning. Then a good day of walking, and wow we were a little tired. But Friday, after making food, and planning all morning, having a lesson, correlation with the branch, we went to a funeral. A member had passed away, so we were there setting up everything, passing out the programs, directing the choir, and helping out. We also went to the grave site, and I am just kind of surprised at the way they do things here. They just slid the casket into the side of these walls, and the workers started putting the face of the wall on with the insulation foam stuff, their hammers and everything right there all of us watching. It was a little strange for me.
 
Saturday we still managed to get a few things done, and have a family home evening with a less active family.
 
Then yesterday, President Duvall was here, so we had interviews, and all that. We also set a baptismal date with a child of a less active family.
 
So besides all that, we are working pretty hard here, I really am happy to be getting some stuff done.
 
I’ve heard about the financial mess from some members, and they’ve said that it is a little scary. Wow the political scene looks equally as bad. It would appear that it isn’t too bad of a time to be out of the country...sorry but it’s true.
 
Also, yes Ferrol is a city that is surrounded by big ship repair things. I’ll have to send you some pictures of them, but I can see some cranes right outside my window in my study room. There really isn’t the prettiest beach here, but the ocean is still cool to be around. Also my companion and I were talking about how Ferrol is really the typical city that people think of when they think of Spain. The streets are narrow, and of cobblestone, it’s really busy, with cars and buses, and people walking in the same place. Not to mention that it is on the coast, and sort of on a hill, so you get the whole sloped buildings, and cool streets. It really is a beautiful city.
 
Well I’m off to the day, thanks for the info, and thanks for writing!
 
Take care!
 
Elder Hanson

Friday, September 26, 2008

September 24, 2008

Thanks for the mail!

Here’s the thing. I’ll send the card home from last transfer, and then ill send the one with the movies on it home a little later on once you send me mine back.

The other thing is I need that journal paper that is from the distribution center...you know the ones with the lines and the dates? I keep forgetting to tell you, but I’m running out! I don’t know when you could send it, but I sure could use it!

Glad to hear about Morgan, (Morgan turned 12 and went for her Bishops interview, and to get a temple recommend to do Baptisms for the dead next week!) but everything else...sorry. Things are tough everywhere. Here in Spain things are on the downside, and everyone’s complaining. I don’t know what to say sometimes other than the message that we share is much more than our money; that things like family and our real happiness don’t depend on money.

But in other news:

Things are going pretty well. I am actually writing you today from A Coruña, a bigger city about 45 minutes away from Ferrol. We came down last night, and we are here for a few days doing some of my companion’s residency things, so I feel kind of strange walking around, lost in a big city, but it’s kind of fun too. 

This week in Ferrol has been pretty good. We found some new investigators, and we set a baptismal date with a guy who has been investigating the church for years. He needs to stop smoking, that is always a tough one, but he’s pretty motivated, and there seems to be a lot of hope. We’re pretty blessed.

The other thing that we are so blessed in is our eating appointments here. We are fed almost everyday! It’s something that is extremely rare out here in Spain, but in Ferrol, there are a lot of members, and only 2 Elders, so we are spoiled. The only downside is that I still can’t cook, and I don’t really have to learn anything right now, maybe in the future...

Thanks for everything! Take care!

Elder Hanson

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well, it's good to hear that Michael is doing well, I have been thinking of him this week. I love newt's article! (For those of you who don't know, Newt is Nate, his brother)  I'm glad to hear his article got in the Salt Lake Tribune. But tell that kid to write...


Glad to hear that Morgan had a happy birthday! And that my letter to her took 11 days to get to the states...wow that's a little more than it was back in Logroño. I think this new city is too far away from the rest of the world, but it is an awesome city.


Have you seen it on a map? (And that's why I added the map above)It's on the west northern part of Spain, and it's a pretty good looking city. I am happy to be here taking all these pictures and all that. 


(Personal message to Mom and Dad) Quick question, did you see, or take off those videos of the MTC, and the CCM on my first memory card that I sent to you a while back? I don't want to delete them if you haven't...but if you just left them on to let me look at them, that is cool too.


I have a card that I am going to send home pretty soon, but I want to know the answer to this question before I do it. I also will be sending home a little package pretty soon; it is just a bunch of papers and my first planners, and some pictures from the CCM. I also will put in the CD of pictures from first transfer in it. So I don't know how much that will cost, or how long it's going to take to get to the states, but I am just trying to cut down on all the things that I have here with me, I am finding that this is the secret to packing, so I am going to send home this soon. I have some cool little tourist things from Logroño, and some stickers that I want to save. So I don't know if you want to just put it in my room or somewhere for the next year and 7 months.


But thank you for sending the pictures, they will be used almost everyday, so thank you, thank you.


Guess what, we are teaching this girl that just got baptized in a less active family all the follow up lessons, and she has a cat whose name is Lucifer. (Our cat's name is Lucy-Fur. Brett came up with it and it stuck!) It's awesome, so I am showing her pictures of the cat, we all thought it was funny.


But the work here has picked up a little. We had 4 people in church, and 2 less active families, so we saw some of the fruits of our labor here; I just hope it keeps going.


Zone Conference was pretty good, I saw a ton of people from my MTC group, and that was really great. It was in a city called Santiago, it is a little more south of us, and is probably the biggest tourist city in the mission. It has this big catholic cathedral, so we went and checked it out yesterday, it was pretty cool, but I didn't get any pics... next time.

Sorry to hear about the work. More banks are going under? I thought things might be getting better? The exchange rate turned around, so I thought things were headed in a little better direction, but they'll get there sometime.


Get Quang there in the CU! And tell everyone hello for me!


Take care, thanks for everything!


Elder Hanson


Sunday, September 14, 2008

September 7th 2008

Ya wow that is a bunch of stuff! 


I can't believe that thing about Michael, so what's the deal? How dangerous is everything else? This is pretty crazy...(Our friends Michael Sanders was diagnosed with Lymphoma a few weeks ago.)


I don't really know the Jenny lady, but that is still sad. Especially because she´s probably related to that missionary that is related to Virginia, and grandma knew. He had a bunch of death in the family right before he went on the mission, so he had some hard times, I felt really  bad. (Mike's cousin Jenny passed away a little over a week ago.)


But I wrote Morgan a letter the other day, tell me when she gets it!


The political scene...that is very interesting, I'm really curious to see how it turns out.


Otherwise this new city is pretty crazy, it's the furthest spot away from anyone, and it's just me and my companion, who is from Logan and has been out here for almost a year. His name is Elder Olds


But the thing is he's been sick all this week, so it's been a little slow. I've been doing a lot of study time in the piso. It's a really nice piso, it's less than 8 years old, but is really cheap because it's so far out here in the middle of nowhere. But it was terrible, more trash, old food, old papers, "piso finds" were waiting here for me when I got here than I could ever imagine. So I've spent a lot of time just cleaning this place, and trying to make it the nicest piso I can, because everyone says it is the nicest in the mission.


but beyond that I've had a pretty hard week. Not many teaching appointments, and a lot of sitting. I just don't feel that good. So I hope in the coming days things will pick up a little and we can get to work.


the branch here is really strong, everything is very nice, so I'm glad that this is here, we just need to work!


but send everyone my hello, 


I hope all stays well.


Elder Hanson

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 24th Letter from Brett to Mike

Thank you!!!


Yes I got the box this week, and it was fantastic! Thank you! The pictures, and the planes, and the cool-aid, and all, thank you! I liked being able to see the pictures on the blog, and all that! 


But do you think you could print off some of the pictures that were on the ipod? I really liked the ones of the family and such. And the dog too. I need just some ones that I can share with like investigators and such, like other missionaries have some that are laminated, and they can put them in their scriptures. Like one of the house, just all done now, maybe one of the CU, so I can tell about my old work, and one of the truck, old on one side, and new on the other, I just know that I could put these into lessons. 


Glad to hear that you sold some things, is the gas coming down at all?


Ya I heard all about the Basketball game, everyone was pretty upset. they blamed it all on the refs...(dumb chinos is what they all said)


other news:


Along the lines of the work here, it really has been a good learning experience. You do have to be that sensitive to the spirit in order to plan what you are going to do everyday, and when you are contacting too. I find it very interesting when we plan, because we plan very specifically what we are going to do hour by hour, what we will plan to say in our contacts for that hour (inviting people to church, or answering questions on the back of a pass along card, and so on) and really when we carry it out, I see why we planned for that, and it is truly amazing. Along the lines of contacting people in the street, or knocking doors, we don't pray and look at a street and go there, we just stop everyone that we see, or knock every door that we can. Sometimes I think that the spirit works like that, if we are doing our job, being obedient, and trying to find we are rewarded.



We had a really good week this past week. We broke all our records for teaching numbers of lessons in 1 day, and the most I've ever taught in 1 week. We were really blessed. But why? I think that it is like it says in the scriptures, after our trial of our faith. After some hard weeks of walking, and walking, and not having success, we are blessed when we still get up and go, and do what we should everyday. I learn so much everyday, I am so grateful to serve here, in this mission. It might be one of the smallest,(80 elders in total) but there are people here, wanting to hear the gospel, and that's why I'm here.


But that's all for now, I´m getting the call that tells me where I'm off to this Friday, so I'll know next week, then I will leave on Wednesday! I'm a little nervous, but excited too. New city, new transfer, new companion, 4 months in the mission....total, 2 months in the field.


Thanks for everything! Again the package was so great!


Take care,


Elder Hanson

You may all find this hard to believe about me but a few weeks back I asked Brett if Spaniards did anything for Halloween. This was his reply...Read August 18th first.


August 25th 2008:


I found out that Spain celebrates it (Halloween)sort of, it is a day for the dead, kind of like the memorial day in the USA! Work is off, but no candy or anything...sorry


As far as picking me up after my mission thing goes, the reason is that a General Authority has asked us not to do it. Repeatedly. It causes visa problems for incoming missionaries, and if we visit cities that I served in, it makes other missionaries want to leave.


Plus it takes away from the mission. You have to still live the rules of the mission, but you're not a missionary. 


They asked us to send it to the families, and it's in the white handbook. It says "when your mission is over, return to your country"


Sorry...we'll just come later, no worries!


Thanks for everything!


Elder Hanson


August 18th 2008:


Thanks for the news, I will be sure to get a letter off to Morgan soon enough, but only after I move! Yes that is right, I am moving again. President told me in my last interview that I'll be changing cities in the next 3 weeks...hope the package gets here in time! Side note: (It did) Did you send it to the address that says Gonzalo De Berceo? just curious, because if it's not...it could be a little while. You could send any mail, packages, pictures, anything to the office anytime. They can receive anything and just give it too me at zone conference, just as a side note. Because with all this moving around it might be good to know that there is at least one address that is stationary!


But the Halloween thing, I don't really know! I know that they will celebrate it to a degree, at least that is what I have heard my companion who is a native say, but I will ask him what exactly the deal is!


Glad to hear that you have been going to the temple, because living in Utah we don't realize how lucky we are to have a bunch of different temples right by our house! It's so different from everyone else! Everyone is pretty jealous!


Same with the hiking thing, we are so lucky to have the mountains right there! it's pretty awesome!


Otherwise ya, things go on here just the same as usual, new companion who was an a.p. so he's a really good example to me, and I'm glad I could have some time with him, it's great! The people are still the same, and the language...ya it's still a different language! it's just a ton to work on, I can't quite explain it, I just try and do my best everyday and pray for the rest!


Well take care, I'm looking forward to the package!!!!!Thank you!!!!!!!!so much for sending it!!!!!!! Take care,


Elder Hanson 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sorry friends! I was a few letters behind! Now we're all caught up
Here’s just some basic news:

Ya, our zone conference was in Vitoria, a city about 2 and a half hours away by bus; it would be shorter but we go through a bunch of little cities, and wow is
it strange to watch the driver shift all the time. I don’t know how all those
big clutches in bus work, but they seem interesting.

I got my new companion there at conference, he’s an old AP, he’s way awesome. He’s from Park City, and has 20 months in the mission field. I don’t know how much time I’ll be with him, but I think at least another transfer.

We use cell phones here, all of us. We just share each of the
companionships. It’s really nice to have, because we can make all of our calls
when we are waiting for investigators and so on. Plus it’s really nice for
safety reasons, if there is a problem, it’s just nice to have.

Everyone is always surprised to see that this little city has such a big strong
branch. Church here is really good. They are just really focused on making themselves Stakes and Wards, which is so strange to me, but the members are really cool like that.

Anyway the heat here has been killing me; I can’t wait for the fall! It’s been
crazy here as far as transfers in the mission, every companionship will change
in one way or another this transfer, it is pretty rare to have that. This is my
4th companion and I’m only mid way through my 2nd transfer! But the work still
goes on, I love it.

Don’t worry about the package, I just hope for it week after week...but you
know no rush! Thanks for keeping up the blog and all that for me.

I remember you in my prayers every night, thank you for all that you have done
in my life, before the mission, and now.

Take care,
Elder Hanson

Monday, July 28th

Alright, sounds like things are very good with all of you! I’ve been having to
adjust to some things here, I’ve had to say goodbye to my father (that’s what
you call your 1st companion) and move on to my new trio. It’s with Elder Bamy,
who is from France, and has a Spanish mother, so he’s fluent, and Elder Sayaz,
who is from Barcelona. Yep, there isn’t much English at all. But it’s good...I
guess.

Moving was a pain and a half, I really didn’t want to do it at all. Plus I just
kept getting more and more stuff from my dad, because he was trying to make
weight for the plane ride, so I have a ton of Spanish books, clothes, cigar
boxes, and other things I don’t really plan on taking back to the states. We
had to clean the whole piso, that took a day on it’s own, and then move into
our new, smaller, much smaller piso.

There are some ups and downs to this place. We have 3 of us in 1 small room to
sleep in, because you have to stay in the rooms with all of your companions. My
desk is a door that we took off and put books under. The place is just small as heck. But there are many ups. We have a dishwasher, a new iron, and it’s on the 1st floor, which is nice not to have to climb a thousand steps just to get up there!

But things continue to move on as usual. Our areas are now combined to make just a huge area, which is sort of a pain, but whatever. We did teach a lot more
lessons with our investigators combined. That’s about it.

Life’s pretty simple, not a ton of worries about money, or gas prices or things
like that. It’s kind of nice in a sense. But my worries are just in different
places. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve among these great
missionaries, and among the great people of Spain.

I hope all is well, thank you for your love and support.

Elder Hanson

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 21st 2008 Letter

Hello,


Glad to here the good news of the week, things have been pretty good here too.


I´m getting put into a trio, the other elders that are from Spain and France and I are going to be together...not a whole lot of English. My compainion takes off in 2 days, he's been great, I´ve learned a ton, I am kind of nervous about this whole change. But we are also moving pisos today and when he leaves, it's a way nicer piso, the only reason the church can afford it is that it is owned by the president of the district, and he gives us a deal. But I'm excited to get that going, and get to work with the new guys!


here's the new address:


c/ Gonzalo Berceo 6, 1(degrees sign) F

26005 Logroño


All is well here, I am still getting used to talking with everyone in church and stuff, spanish is still an everyday challenge.


Great to see all the letters, I am so grateful for them.


take care,


-Elder Hanson

Monday, July 14, 2008

Well Hello Everyone


First things first, DONT MAIL ME ANYTHING!!!! I am moving to a different apartment, and won’t be able to get anything! So keep the packages, and love letters to yourself, and hold on for just one more week (I know it’s tough, but you can do it), and I’ll mail you my address!...but kind of an interesting thing about the reason I am moving, they sold our piso, for 350 grand! And that’s Euro, with the exchange rate at what is...wow that’s a lot of cash for a 1 floor, 1 bath piso, without air conditioning. So we are kicked out, and they found us a new one, it’s pretty nice, it’s a lot closer to the middle of the city, so that should be nice.

This week was great as usual, but we had Zone Conference, so it was even better. It was in a town 2 and a half hours away by bus...at 10 in the morning. So we were supposed to wake up at 5 to get ready, our bus was scheduled to leave at 6:50...we sort of slept through all 3 of our alarms, and I was the one to wake up at 6:20 by chance, and that was just great, we all were running, and shouting in different languages, but we did make it to the station on time, just without food. But the conference was great, an interesting fact, over half of our zone will be going home in the next 2 months...they said the average age for our mission as a whole will be 5 and a half months by that time, my trainer (who is going home next week) said that he was training me pretty well because there are pretty good chances that I could be training before the end of the year. It’s nuts. 
Zone conference was great though, Pres. DuVall is great, he gave some great talks, and then I got my package with all those letters in it from the mission home, and all the old letters from the Spain MTC, and such, it was awesome, thank you thank you thank you to everyone that wrote, I’ll be sending my reply letters off once I get my new address.

Besides that, we’ve still had some relatively good times here with our investigators and such, we are finding a lot of new people, and trying to keep those that are truly interested and want to know more. The ward here is still great, I love the fact that I am starting to really understand things when I go to church. Like I can understand jokes, and stuff, ok not all the time, but it’s amazing, little by little, this whole Spanish thing is actually going somewhere!

So I got some comments on my food habits, I just need to clarify this; I don’t eat like I did last week every day ok! Here’s a normal day, at 8 in the morning I eat a bowl of cereal, usually cornflakes with some coco pebbles on top, SOME, very few, they are expensive. Then I will eat a banana. Lunch is at 2, we eat something pretty healthy, rice with tuna has been this week’s favorite, ya, it get’s a little old. Then we eat again at 10 once we are done planning, and I usually have a peach, or apple, and then a sandwich. That’s about it! Sometimes we eat other stuff between 2 and 10, and that’s just to keep ourselves awake if we are knocking doors. So last week’s food was a big deal!

Well anyway I am glad to hear everyone is doing well, I have only gotten 1 letter to my apartment, and yes, it was from a girl. Alright well until next week, take care, I hope you know that you are all in my prayers, Thank you, for writing, it does make the days better, it really does!

Thanks again for everything,

-Elder Hanson

Monday, July 7, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!


This has been the best week by far in the mission! We kicked it off, as you know, by winning the euro. cup! My companion and I ate at a member’s house, and we ate ice cream that night. Then on p-day we ate ice cream again, then on Wednesday it was Elder Sayaz´s birthday so we went out to eat for lunch at the good old "Drunken Duck" a great place for missionaries, we know. But it was extremely delicious, and they had a TV there that I did watch, I’m sorry but I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It was about the Olympics, and had a large part about the 2002 Olympics that were in Salt Lake, it was cool to see home. And we got ice cream after that too. (Note from the evil Step Mom: Does everyone get the point that I didn't feed this kid enough ICE CREAM while he was growing up?!) But then of course, Thursday was our country’s birthday, so we went to the German store; it’s really cheap, and bought hot dogs and buns, and marshmallows and a ton of chocolate, (that’s way cheaper, and better than ours in America...its awesome) and we made s’mores! It was genius, we cooked them in the oven, but here is the problem with that, they don’t really turn gold. The way that you know they are done is when they slip off the end of the hanger and fall on the bottom of the oven and smoke goes everywhere, so we just had to watch them and be fast, but it was so nice to eat all that stuff. 

Then the next day a less active member had us over for breakfast, where we ate pancakes; I must have eaten 10, plus all the fruit...man. Then of course we finish off the week with a fast, that was much needed, and now I’m here!

Well besides the food, it’s also been one of the best weeks as far as the missionary work too. The thing is, we’ve had some good investigators, but then they hmmm hawww their way out of the visits once we ask them to be baptized, and they just had a hard time being truly interested. Well this week we have had some success with those I would never expect. Last Sunday a man came to church that we invited one day just on the street. We do this about 25-30 times a day, it’s nothing new, and most of the time people don’t just come to church from a short contact. However, Eduardo did. He smelled like smoke and beer, and had a sweet nose piercing. Anyway, he was a little hung over in church, so we sent him home with a return visit set for Tuesday, I really didn’t think he’d show, but that was my lack of faith. Well Tuesday rolls around and he shows up with a friend, still smells like smoke and all that, but is there. We taught him the first lesson, and said we’d teach more in a few days with a member. The next lesson we had the 1st counselor in the bishopric come, and he flat out told him to stop drinking and smoking so he could feel the spirit, to which Eduardo said ok, it makes perfect sense, I understand. He wants to truly change. I was impressed with Eduardo, because all through our lessons he is alert and attentive, asks good questions, and reads when we ask him too, and truly wants to know more. I just haven’t seen this type of an investigator yet in my mission, so this just gets me excited.

There is another story this week, we ate with a member, like I mentioned already, named is Alexis. He’s a younger guy, late 20´s, he’s a Spaniard, served a mission, but when he came back he had school, work, a stake calling and 3 ward callings, so he got all busy and couldn’t handle it all, so he stopped coming to church. But we ran into him on the streets, so he had us over for breakfast. We mentioned that we play Futbol every Saturday morning and invited him to that. He came, and had a good time. We didn’t invite him to church, we thought we’d just take it one step at a time, but he came yesterday, it was really awesome to see him there!
 That’s just a good example of why we go to church, it isn’t so the perfect people can become more perfect, it is so that we can all be uplifted, and whether it’s been a while since we came to church, or we smell like smoke and have some things in our lives we need to change, the church is still there for our benefit. That kind of stuff is what makes me want to keep doing this every day, knowing that with money, gas, and happiness in general getting harder and to come by, the gospel stands out in such a unique and incredible way. It is such a uniting force, I don’t like how religion has to always be so polarizing, it really is only there for good.

Anyway, just about out of time!!

Hope all is well, thank you so much for all the mail, I do love it!

Take care,

-Elder Hanson

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We get picture's this time!!!! Yea me! let the scrappin' begin!


Brett has finally graced us with some pictures! I'll put a few on this post and then you can go to the left side bar, (soon) and I'll have some slide shows that are more chronological. 

Plaza Mayor
Brett's dinner at the CCM (aka MTC Madrid)
Brett enjoying? afore mentioned meal.
Brett hasn't giving us any names really, and with the pictures coming to us digitally there isn't an easy way to attach names with faces. I can tell you that that's Brett...2nd to the left, in front of the Madrid Temple...that's about it.
Here in America we have Spanish markets, Italian markets, Chinese markets... So, I guess this makes sense huh? 



And now on to the letter for June 23rd, 2008


Hello from Hot Logroño!!


This week has been hot! My companion told me that before I came, he had not seen a day without rain in Logroño his entire time, and now since I've been here it´s been a killer! Nothing at all! I will never complain about Disneyland again, (the heat, and my feet hurting part) I mean at least you aren't wearing a church shirt, and shoes, and dark pants with a tie on! I just sweat all day, I guess you just get used to it...they don't have air conditioning in hardly any apartments here, especially not ours, and being on the top level of our building isn't exactly the coldest place in the world. Sometimes I don't know why I even shower in the morning...


Did you like all the pics? They show vividly the fact I gained 12 good pounds!!! Ya, wow they are starting to come off I can tell you that much...But also they show that I really was on a 9 week vacation, because I was spoon fed every meal, was in an air conditioned building all day, was next to the temple, I could feel the spirit really strong all day, it was so nice! I will admit, I miss it like crazy.


But things are improving as far as the language, but on Sunday we ate at a member´s house (which was sooo nice not to make our own food) and I just had to sit there quietly, not saying too much, because I just didn't understand what they were saying...the accents are tough, and change a lot from person to person! But little by little it´s moving along.


I love the investigators we have, they are good, they are all fairly new because so many dropped us, so we have been trying to seek out families, because that is what everyone tells us to do, especially this branch, there are a lot of Spaniard families who have a lot of kids here. Sacrament is kind of like home, there are kids running around, and crying babies, and enough teachers and deacons to do everything, this will be a ward pretty soon I guess, that´s what I hear...but it's in Spanish so if  I´m wrong don´t hold me too it OK!?


We had an awesome p-day, we played Frisbee and ate ice cream! I loved it, wow it was so nice to relax a little!


Anyway thank you for everything, and all the news updates!


Take care,


-Elder Hanson

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hello America!!!

I am here in a little old town called Logrono...I think it is spelled that way??? But I got here yesterday after flying into Bilbao, driving up to the President’s house, and then eating, talking, getting my credit card, and all that good stuff, I got on a bus and took off or 2 glorious hours and drove south east to this little town. I got my first companion, his name is Elder Anderson, he’s a good guy, he went to Olympus high, and grew up around me!! He’s on his last transfer, just about outta here, so he knows his stuff, and is fluent in Spanish. Anyway our apartment is pretty nice, I like it, we live with 2 other elders, one is a native that I served with during the CCM experience in Madrid, his name is elder Sayaz, he’s so funny, he doesn’t know much English, but enough to make  me laugh. I also live with another elder who is from France, he is a native of there, but his mom is fluent in Spanish, and spoke to him only in Spanish his whole life, so he’s fluent too...Let me tell you, I don’t talk a whole lot. but otherwise everything is really good here, I am excited to see what things are really like, we did talk with some natives, they were pretty nice, and we have some appointments tonight, but we have a bunch of our day that will be knocking doors, I’m ready to see how that goes...


But anyway how are things there?? My p-day is on Monday, but I can email you now to tell you how i am...Plus a cool thing about the mission is that we can email whoever we want! Family, friends, anyone really!!  So tell everyone that!! I would love to get email!!

Ok, for the package though, I don’t know how soon you can send it, but I’d love to get something sometime!! And if you could maybe throw in a jump rope?? I can’t find one around here...and everyone just has the free ones you get at gold’s gym, so I didn’t think you could maybe just swing by and pick one up?? I also figure it’s light enough too....

Any way tell Nancy that I here her songs all the time being played by my companions here and in the MTC, everyone loves the EFY music, it’s good stuff!!!


I’d love to hear from you!!! Hope all is well take care!!

Oh and by the way, this is the address of the apartment...

Apparently we can send pics now, so ill figure out how to do it next week...


Calle Somosierra 25, 4ºD
26002 Logroño (La Rioja)
Spain

Love you all-

-Elder Hanson

Thursday, June 5, 2008

E mail letter from Brett!

Well good morning to the Land of the Free!!!


I just realized that I really don’t have much time here to email, and I am going to be in the field on Tuesday I thought I might have to just write one letter, and just have you forward it to everyone, I’ll be able to write others when I have the time, but wow how I really don’t have any time!!!!

So here’s what’s going on over here:

I leave on Tuesday to Bilbao, and get on with my mission!!! Monday is the 2 month mark since I’ve been in the MTC...doesn’t feel like it at all. As the saying goes "the days go by like weeks, and the weeks go by like days" I cannot express to you how true this statement truly is!! I mean we get up at 6:30 every morning, and start going, going, and going! And all I do is sit inside all day, and when it is time for me to go to bed I’m all tired, and fall right asleep at 10:30, I cant imagine when I actually get out there, and walk and walk...and walk some more. (Did I mention our mission has no cars, bikes, and apart from the city mission, no trains or other public transportation. the average weight gain on our mission is minus 30lbs. Well some Elder told me that, I believe it too, because the first 10 pounds will just be coming off what I put on here in the MTC. (Actually I think I’ve gained 12 lbs...But who’s counting right?) Brett could use a few extra pounds! :)

I just have to mention Elder Rob Swenson. I love this Elder, I think you’ve mentioned him to me, but he is one of my favorite people here. He is in my district, and we just talk a lot. For sure after the mission we will be friends, but I could honestly see us rooming together. He didn’t go to BYU, but he’s gonna go to UVSC and we’ll just hang out. He and I talk about Cardin sometimes, he always mentions how much he loves the Cullimore family, and how cool Cardin is too.

Well today was the last time I’ll go to the temple for 2 years (ok 22 months...but again who’s counting?) But I just loved being in there with everyone, especially my companion. Elder Moore, who has been with me all these 9 weeks, is the man. I am so blessed to have such a great first companion. I hope we can be later in the mission, and throughout our lives.

I got my hair cut again today. It’s the 3rd time since I’ve been in the MTC. It grows so dang fast. Well I guess I should mention my wonderful 89 euro razor I bought. Yes I did spend just short of my life savings on it, but it’s ok because every morning when I wake up I have something wonderful to look forward to. That’s what I spend my money on. That and McDonalds...5 euro for a Big Mac meal. (Don’t do the conversion it just hurts more and more every time)

Well I’m loving the food here, fish is getting better to choke down, and all sea food really tastes the same when you use half the bottle of Tabasco on it, so that’s my little trick I can pass on to you!!

I will have to stick up for Spain and say we get the best chocolate here, it’s straight out from Germany!! And it’s way cheap!!

Anyway I’m almost out of time; I’ll email you later if I get the chance!! Otherwise the next time will be in Bilbao!!!

-Elder Hanson