Monday, December 28, 2009

Wow. It sounds like the weather in Wisconsin is pretty rough right now. The other day we left the apartment at 7:30 in the morning, and it was mildly pleasant outside. I think that's the coldest it will get all year.
I got Clint's package on Sunday. It made my day. I'm loving the Celine Dion Christmas cd. And in case you were wondering missionaries can have a lot of fun with dollar store toys. I didn't get the packages from Mom, but I'm sure I'll get everything in the zone conference on the 22nd. Three zones are meeting together in Acapulco. It should be fun, but it will be 8 hours in a bus and 400 pesos to go and come back in the same day.
Yesterday we had stake conference. We had to travel an hour and a half to Lazaro. It was the first conference since being made a stake. The building wasn't designed to be a stake center. We couldn't all fit inside, so we met behind the church on the soccer/basketball court under a giant circus tent. It was a pretty cool conference. It had the theme of missionary work. Presidente Spannaus came and gave a great talk. I hope it motivated our two investigators that were there.
This week went pretty well. We found a lot of new investigators. We found a family that is way cool. The mom already accepted to be baptized.
I'm sorry I don't have much news to tell. I'll try to start writing things down during the week to make my letters more interesting.
I'll find out the number you can call on Christmas and what time you should call.
Take care,
Elder Hansen
ps I included some pictures of a cool sunset, a kid in a bucket, and me doing some contacting

12 07 09 I Hate Gringos

Dad might have thought that his birthday was pretty boring, but I had to check my planner to remember what we did that day. One family in the morning let me blow out a candle. When we ate, the mamita's family gave me some candy. And at night another family sang me the mañanitas. It was pretty exciting.

I got a new companion this week. His name is Elder Mendez. He is from Merida, Yucatan. I'm pretty excited to be with him. He is a good worker and obedient. I think we can have a lot of success together.

This week was kind of messed up and we didn't get much done because we had to move out of our apartment. But our new apartment is located in Pantla close to the church and the mamita. And the best part is the new house has air conditioning. It's amazing. It's just a little box air conditioner in the window, but I don't know if anyone else in the mission has air conditioning.

I talked with Elder Wiggins the other day. He goes home in a week. That's pretty crazy. Time goes by fast. His English isn't that great, but it should come back in a week or two.

Christmas is coming up, and yes Mexico does celebrate Christmas. Well, everyone except for the Jehova's Witnesses. The traditions are pretty much the same. But the people don't get as into it as they do in the US. I think it's hard to get into it when it's 90 degrees outside.

There's a lot of white people that have come here for the holiday season. I don't like them. The other day some lady yelled at me for hitch-hiking. And getting yelled at always hurts more in your native language. Then after yelling at us she didn't give us a ride and left us to continue hitch-hiking. I hate gringos. I'm so glad I'm a missionary here and not in the US because Americans are jerks and think they know everything. The people here are so much more receptive.

Today I found out that my old companion, Elder Macias, got his two suitcases with all of his stuff stolen on the day of changes. He went to help some sisters put their stuff in the bus, and left his bags unattended. He apparantly forgot about his bags for about an hour and we he went back they were gone.

Well, that's all the news I have for this week. I should get the stuff you sent me in the zone conference on the 22.
Elder Hansen

11 30 09 Tomorrow is my birthday

Thanks for all the letters. Other than the car accident it sounds like things went well over Thanksgiving. That's cool that you all got to meet together. I am glad to hear that the cougars won. I heard the game was pretty exciting and that the fans rushed the field afterwards.

I liked the pictures. Everyone looks the same except Zachary is bigger and Brooke is bigger too. I'm excited to see the new house. It looks pretty fresa (fresa if translated literally means strawberry, but it also means fancy or preppy).
Today we had changes. My companion got changed. I was kind of happy about that. I thought I was going to be made senior companion, but it looks like I'm going to be junior comp for a while longer. I just hope my new companion isn't as frito as my other companions have been. Our baptism for this week fell through because we found out she's not married. And one we had scheduled for 2 weeks from now is falling too. I hope my new comp can help me make some things happen in this area.

No, I did not sell my Mr. Mac shoes. I sold my $25 running shoes that I had had for over a year. The man that I sold them to is named Tamakuk. He has one eye, long hair, and walks around holding a crocodile. All the locals know him. I thought he looked homeless, but apparently he has a lot of money. I'll send some pictures next week. I finally bought a cable to upload pictures, but I forgot to bring it.
No, teaching in Spanish is not difficult. Some times I mix up my words or make stupid mistakes, but I can talk about whatever I want pretty easily.

It is weird that tomorrow is my birthday. I've never had a birthday in summer weather before. I'm no longer a teenager. We should have a zone conference this week or the next. I guess I will be getting several packages. I'm kind of glad I didn't get changed to another area because that means I can spend my birthday and Christmas in an area where I actually know people.

Well, I don't have much news. I can't think of any cool stories or anything interesting that happened this week. Oh, I learned how to use a machete. We helped clear out a field with some machetes. We also helped gather cement blocks to help build a tomb for the wife of some inactive member that died.
Ok well, take care.

Elder Hansen

11 23 09 In Pantla

Thanks for the letter Grandma, and thanks for keeping me in your prayers.
Clint, yes I did sell my shoes for $300 pesos, but I only had to walk barefoot until we got to the taxi. I found some other shoes in the zone leaders' apartment, so I ended up gaining $300.

That should be fun having almost the whole family together for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving will be pretty lame here. Maybe we'll go out for tacos or something.
That was interesting about the Rough Stone Rolling guy. I'll have to read that book when I get back.

This week went by pretty fast. I left Tuesday morning for Guacamayas for divisions with the zone leaders. Elder Querry went to Pantla with my companion and I went to Guacamayas with Elder Arevalo. I was there until Thursday morning. It was an awesome experience. I learned a lot. We worked way hard, and we got so much done during the day. We didn't waste a minute of our time. I've always asked myself, "how is it possible that the zone leaders consistantly baptize 5 or more every change, and we seem to always be struggling to find one?" I learned that the zone leaders aren't any smarter than me, and they really don't do anything that I couldn't do. But they are obedient, work hard, study hard, and plan well every day and week. Maybe I will never be able to control what my companion does or force him to be obedient. But that should never be an excuse for me to slack off.

Things in Pantla are going good. We have someone scheduled for baptism this Saturday. Her name is Blanca and she is way excited. Her husband is an inactive member and her father in law and his family are good members of the ward. She is excited and already has a strong testimony.

We have two baptisms scheduled for the next Saturday. They are Jaqueline and her husband Albert. Jaqueline has come to church two times with the kids and Albert only once. They are also very excited. This week we helped them clear out the lot behind their house with machetes. That was pretty awesome. They have four little kids and one more on the way, and Jaqueline is just barely turning 22 this week.
We are teaching another man named Luis who is also way cool. He has come to church twice, but he needs to get married before he can be baptized. They are getting married in two weeks. He is way cool. His wife and mother in law are members. This week we helped them knock down a palm tree in their yard. All we had was an axe, but we got it down. My companion got pretty into it, but now his hands are blistered.

There are changes again next week. Time is flying. It will be sad if I get changed and won't be able to see our investigators get baptized, but we'll see what happens.

Ok well take care and have a great Thanksgiving.

Con cariño,
Elder Hansen

11 15 09 Sold My Shoes

I don't think this letter will be too long because I am kind of in a rush, but I will try to write as much as I can. Thank you for all of the letters. I really do appreciate them. I usually don't have much time to comment on everything, but I do enjoy reading them.
We are finally starting to see results here in Pantla. This Sunday three families that we've been teaching came to church. We have a lot of people that we are teaching right now.
Today was a fun day. We started out playing soccer at the church. I was stuck as goalie because I still can't run very well. Then we walked to the beach. Then we decided to go to the nicer beach by climbing on the rocks. We climbed for a while, but eventually they stopped and it was just the ocean hitting against the cliff. There was a nice hotel above where we were stuck. We decided to climb in the back entrance, and I think we bugged the rich white people laying out. We eventually got to the other beach where we played volleyball for a little while. There was a guy that was walking on the beach with a baby crocodile. We walked up to see it, and he asked me how much I wanted for my shoes. He offered 300 pesos which is about 30 dolars. I only paid $25 for the shoes when I ought them over a year ago, so I thought it was a pretty good deal. He also let us take pictures holding the crocodile for free. Now, we just finished eating with a member and she gave us heart, kidney, and stomach soup. yummy.
Brooke, thanks for the letter and the pictures. Zach is growing up fast. It will be exciting to see how much he's changed when I get back.
Mom, I don't have a picture with president. We really only see him when we have zone conference every six weeks. But he's awesome. I like what he's done with the mission.
I don't remember which pictures I sent.
Jose and his family moved to Monterrey. We haven't heard from them, but we hope all is well.
Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Mexico, and yes I have seen a couple Christmas things. But it's still pretty early.
I think the swine flu left Mexico and went for the US, because I haven't heard anything for months.
Dad, of course we played with the crocodiles.
Last year I saw BYU women's soccer play agaisnt New Mexico, and there were some pretty crazy Mexican girls.
I like reading your letters about what's going on the world. All week I study church stuff. Sometimes it's nice to have a break. I especially liked hearing about the guy from Weezer. I always new he was smart. You should listen to the song where he talks about falling in love with the half japenese cello player.
Ok well I ran out of time. I love you all.
Elder Hansen