Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Scotland Conference

We can pretty much use our judgment about music but we usually stick with hymn covers and stuff like that or songs about missionaries.
I’m dropping weight like crazy.  
I've lost 15 pounds since the MTC

I’m pretty much sore every night but it’s getting better day after day.
Drinking water is
alright here but it kind-a has a lot of pipe water that doesn’t taste all that good.
You said my bed looks awful lumpy.  At the end of the day anything is comfy, but it’s actually pretty nice.
So this week my entire mind set changed. We had an all Scotland conference 

and it really showed me that chapping (tracting) isn’t efficient but it still is somewhat effective, otherwise we wouldn't still be doing it. I’ve also tried to be a lot more on time and leave my flat at the exact time we are meant to and I just need a better attitude because the work is actually going really well and I know we still need to do more but I know we are going in the right direction.  Also I need to help the ward more and just do what I can and bring everyone together because they don’t have many activities and a lot of people just go to church and just go straight home.  I want to be friends with all of them and do what I can for them.  This Sunday since it was pouring rain I thought we should help people from their cars to the building with umbrellas and I could tell I need to do more things like that.  Time is starting to fly by, I try my hardest to not look at my watch when we are tracting and it really helps.  Earlier this week we went to a potential’s house and searched for hours because the streets are completely random and then we found out that it wasn't a real address... so that's how that went.  Other than that, it wasn’t much out of the usual.  I’m starting to like missionary work a lot more and I need to because it would be a long two years otherwise.  This week we had a dinner appointment in a castle! 
Opening the Castle Gates

Visiting Royalty

With the Carston family from Belleview or Bothell... somewhere in Washington, and they are super nice and really into missionary work like crazy.  I just want the entire ward to think like they do.  Anyways I love you all and I know that I am doing this for a reason and it is really changing me into the person I NEED to be and I love you Mom and Dad!

Elder Hanson            

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

The new flat:
65 Whitehall place
second floor left
Aberdeen AB 25 2PD 
Scotland UK
You can send mail to my new flat because now the street isn't as dodgy but I'm not sure how long it will take because I sent that one letter on Monday that you haven't gotten yet.
This week flew by and I love it. I know I'm going to regret saying this but for now I love how the time is moving faster and faster. This week we did a lot of moving into our new flat and it's way nicer but only a little bigger. At least now I can't say that I can almost touch every wall of the apartment all at once. On Tuesday we did exchanges and I was leading the area and I had nooo idea what to do so we ended up contacting people on the street for 6 hours and because it was so hot we only saw two people the entire time haha and they weren't the nicest of people. At least I had Elder Anderson and he was nice to talk to and he has only been out three more moves then me and its crazy how I only have 23 more months yet. 
My companion has been out for an entire year so he has just a ton of other missionary's music so I'm just going to get it all from him because I just need music even if it's Christmas songs and Alex Boye is super good. We taught a couple lessons this week but we didn't make as much progress as we would like. The work is getting better but it still has some bad days. I also have just started talking to people and just gotten to know them and there is this one kid at the college that is exactly like me... but Islamic.
We helped a woman move and it was really warm and super humid so I stunk.  I don't think I have smelled this bad an been this sweaty since football.  On the way home we ran into a man and his girlfriend that we talked to the day before and we broke down a lot of barriers and we just talked.  I thought we should talk about doctrine but the spirit said I shouldn't and that lead to them asking questions about what we believe and it was great.  I pray that we see them again so we can teach them.
Yesterday was really nice, church had a lot of good lessons and someone didn’t show up that was giving a talk so they asked me right before Sacrament if I could give a talk so I thought of a bunch of things to say.  I don’t remember what I said, I just remember talking about how happy I am to be a missionary and the rest is a blur and I cried a little.  But all I remember was when I sat down, my companion saying that I gave a super powerful talk and I saw quite a few people in the crowd also crying, so I guess I must have done not that bad of a job –ha-ha.
One of the children in the ward turned eight and had a baptism so we gave a little presentation of the Plan of Salvation while they were changing.
Today we are just going to the park because we are running out of time but next week I think we are going to the cliffs.
I just sent another letter in the post so hopefully you will get this one also.  I love you!



Through Aberdeen
I am so tired from moving all day into our new flat.  It’s way nicer and only a little bigger.  We couldn’t have done it without the senior couple missionaries, the Condies, moving us back and forth.  They remind me of mom and dad a lot ha-ha.  We just moved all day and only got to teach an English class and at least we got a dinner appointment which was nice. 
The work is really picking up.  I read and learn every day and I know that this mission will bless me for all eternity.
Today was a normal day.  It was full of a lot of cleaning our old flat.  We went to a charity fair and we made a booth for Mormon Helping Hands and we talked to other organizations on how helping hands could help or give them service.  This new flat is a lot nicer and the neighborhood is a lot better.

Everything is messy because  we moved in and it looks a lot better now.  It's a lot nicer than our old flat....

I feel like I'm in Hogwarts

From hand written letter written home, excerpt dated July 15, 2013:
Today was a nice and easy p-day.  I’m super hot and super tan, it was like 22 degrees C here and after email and shopping we found huge tires and started playing in them and we see a big Scottish guy walk over and he was going to tell us to get out of them but he is actually a personal trainer and has a workout program where you use random stuff like lifting tires and climbing trees and stuff.  It was cool that he gave us a little demo and it was the craziest three minutes of my life

Squeezin' in

Sometimes I'm tired

Another Elder -?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting into the routine

July 15, 2013
We are moving to a new flat next week so I will get you the address then, and I found out that we literally do have the worst flat in the Scotland Ireland mission but I'm glad I started there because that only means things will get better.  The week went by super fast but I'd always like it to go faster haha but I just have to make it through these first two transfers and then it will fly by. We are slowly getting more work, we have a lot of people that are promising but they don't go anywhere. I can see that the more I learn, the more work we will have. 
Everyone knows Torry as here haha, it is across the river from town.  Dodgy means iffy or scary, ghetto?  haha, Yes.
I'm getting used to the ward and there are a lot of old people that were all baptized later on in their life and I guess they don't really know the importance of sharing the Gospel or they just didn't understand the missionary broadcast or didn't watch it. My testimony in the last month has grown more than my entire life combined.  I can feel my heart being softened.  Elder Holbrook was sick so we studied and only went to a couple of meetings.  So, it was a waste of a day.  Missionaries hate sick days because they are boring, that's true, but you just don't feel the joy of the spirit when you do nothing and I really miss that.  We watched the broadcast and it's funny how the people that watch it here said their favorite part was the singing not the entire part about how the ward needs to be united with the missionaries.  Well no matter what I just need to do my part.  I listened to the talk from Elder Holland and it was about Peter the apostle and that when Jesus said, "Do you love me?"  three times it made tears go down my face because He was talking about how after your mission is over you can't just go to your old life (like being a fisherman), that we need to feed his sheep.  I promised to the Lord today that from now on, no matter what calling I get, I will always feed his sheep and always do missionary work for the rest of my life because I love Him.
I was KABABTIZED (the act of having your first kabab

This week went by pretty fast, its crazy that I've been gone for a month! Well I guess I can do this 23 more times haha. We have been just doing a lot more service which helps because I think the ward just doesn't trust us and that's not their fault. This week Elder Holbrook was sick for a couple days and I could see how missionaries hate those days because they move so slow.  I catch myself all the time saying wee or nay bad (not bad) or nay bother (no problem).
I'm really just getting into the work and it's hard because we just have to put on a smile when someone is angry with us or something when I just want to say that "I'm here for a reason and it's not for me, it's for you, so listen up!"  But I can't because that wouldn't work haha.  I truly know what its like to be your happiest of all time and your saddest of all time. It happens to me like five times a day haha but the happy is soooo worth it. Today for pday we are getting tartan for my scriptures and it's from a guy in the ward that made all the kilts for Brave Heart. I was going to get a kilt until I found out it was 900 pounds for the entire set so I'll just stick with the tourist one when I'm on my way home.
You should be getting a letter from me in the mail this week about my week.
Random facts:
In our flat right now we have a washer and no dryer 
"keeping the heed?" - are you keeping your cool? and also the 11th commandment is to keep the heed 
"What's the crack?" - What's up? 
"fit" - what?
We bought 2 kilograms of bacon for 3 pounds 
I  listen to Disney music everyday and I love it haha 
We went to the ASDA (the UK version of Walmart) and felt like we were in a very expensive store... because we have only spent 15 pounds on food a week. I haven't seen any castles yet but I know we will soon.

I have been learning so much it's crazy how little I knew and it's also crazy how much I have to learn!

My testimony in the last month has grown more than my entire life combined. 
From hand-written letter sent home, excerpt dated July 10, 2013:

July 10, 2013

I didn’t know how unhappy I was until I see how happy I am now.  I am really growing a love for the people of this ward.  We got lunch from Sister May, a lovely lady with a disease that she can’t control the shaking of her body and it breaks my heart what people say to her and that people in the ward are actually embarrassed by her.  Then we had dinner with the Gilmour’s and I talked to her son who served in France a year and a half ago and got married to Elizabeth Smart, the girl that got kidnapped in Utah, and he is way awesome.   Then we talked to Brother Davis, the coolest guy and we talked about movies and life and he is a single dad and you wouldn’t believe what he has gone through seeing how happy he is all the time.


They have a lot of different foods like back home and this is just a lot of Chinesefood

Look what I found in the closet that the last Elder left for me.  They are so soft, the missionaries buy them because they are cheap and fun.

Elder Holbrook is a monkey


A picture from our flat window.

A park we go to and contact people a lot


The Church's Cultural Hall we play b-ball in

I love you Mom, with all my heart, tell everyone I love them too! 

Love, Elder Hanson


Monday, July 8, 2013

Because we're not doing a lot of teaching, time moves slow

I’m doing amazing! I am finally starting to get the hang of things.  But in the morning it gets a little hard because I’m just a little overwhelmed with that thought that I have two entire years left but I can see that from the two weeks I have been here that it will go by super fast. Pretty much since I have been here we have done street contacting and chapping everyday all day, but it’s gotten a lot easier and the time goes by a little faster. The work is starting to pick up a little and it’s really nice.
I am going to do what Bro. Blackham said and send letters in the mail in the middle of the week, and President Brown lets us email friends, so tell everyone I know that they can email me and tell them that they need to email me first so they don't think I’m just not talking to them haha.
The people are interesting and are the nicest but when it comes to missionaries they can be a little interesting. Pretty much every single person we talk to on the street is either Catholic, atheist, or Christian.  But a majority of the people we talk to are atheists or black people because they are very nice and very open.  A LOT of people say that they need "evidence" or they need it like "numbers" but I just say that the reason that Heavenly Father doesn't just show us is because I think He trusts us that we can be willing to do what it takes to know what is true. It’s funny because Aberdeen always changes at night around 8:00-9:00, that’s when the drunk people come out and they can be a treat. It’s also nice to talk to other Christians because we have such a common belief and they can be really nice. 
One time this week we went to Tori..... that is one of the most dodgy places I have ever been haha. We went to a house and it was like the sandlot where you hear the dog clawing at the door and it sounds like it’s going to break it down. Sometimes i see these people that are really unhappy and its pretty noticeable and I feel bad for them because they just don't know. When I was fist out here I was really scared and my companion had a talk by Holland and Eyring and I think that you can find it on youtube named "Missionaries and the Atonement" and it just really spoke to me and that talk really just changed my life.      
Some interesting things: 
they don’t refrigerate eggs 
the plumbing is weird... I’ll explain more when I get home
everything here is crazy expensive
If you do send anything, send it to the mission office (mom you don’t need to send candy or anything unless ill ask for it because I can get a lot of stuff here)
fit= what 
they use diluted juice A LOT and don’t really have any good drinks here 

I’ll send pictures next week but i left my backpack in the flat. 
 I love you all. -Elder Hanson   


Monday, July 1, 2013

I've only just begun!
"Aberdeen is a prosperous and cosmopolitan city (partly due to North Sea oil) and is characterized by its grand and ornate architecture. Most buildings are constructed out of granite quarried in and around the city, and as a result, Aberdeen is often referred to as The Granite City. It is also known for its many outstanding parks, gardens and floral displays throughout the city, as well as its long, sandy beach. Aberdeen also boasts the title of Oil Capital of Europe and has been voted in several polls as the happiest place in Britain."

                                                       First flat - Aberdeen Scotland
                                                                 King of the hill
                  These pictures are from Friday, June 28 when we helped a man in a wheelchair get to the top.

                                                            On top o' the world

                                                                What is this thing?

In the MTC I told everyone the weather is just like home.  Everyone was always cold so they had the rooms way hot and I was always sweating non-stop while I was there.  Near the mission home when we climbed Arthur’s Seat, Pratt’s Hill, it was amazing.  It felt like you could see all of Scotland from one spot and I was speechless.  I forgot my camera, but it was something like I’ve never seen before.  The climb wasn’t too bad but in my dress pants and tie, it was pretty hard.  It was also pretty hot when we were there. 

My area is just mainly bus and walking... a lot of walking, but the zone leaders have a car and my companion and I got to drive to our area from the mission home and that was super nice. By the way, it was an automatic.  I wish we had a car, it doesn’t look that hard to drive, they say that when you drive you need to stay on the white line or you will veer off.  It still freaks me out a little driving on the wrong side of the road when I see cars turning and every one drives fast but they are really good drivers.  I haven’t driven and it sounds like a slim chance that I will.  The roads are all very curvy and they are all brick and bumpy.  We are about a 3-4 hour drive from the mission home.  We go walking every day and street contacting a LOOOOOTTTT, but it’s starting to not be all that bad.

My ward is the stake building, small than ours, and there are only like 70 members.  Of course it’s the smallest branch I remember being in.  The Branch President is pretty young but a super nice guy.  I’m not actually sure how far we are from the Church because I don’t really know where anything is here haha but it’s like a 10 or 15 minute bus ride.  A majority of the members are pretty old but they are really nice and funny.  We might have dinner appointments with members maybe once or twice a week.  My ward kind of separates itself from the missionaries, which makes it pretty hard.  We watched the missionary general broadcast.  I  thought it was amazing!!   It was just the thing that my ward needed to hear and it really made me understand and know that when my bishop said "missionaries aren’t meant to find, they are meant to teach" and it was so true, but it didn’t really help that only one person in my ward went to see it.  Church today was good and a little off but I could tell it was the same because our church is the same all around the world 

Meal times are a lot like America, it’s surprising.  I’m not sure about odd foods yet, since me and my companion just make our food it’s all been American or pretty normal food.  They have milk and Nesquick but I haven’t seen it combined into chocolate milk.  It’s weird, it feels like they have an off-brand of everything we have in America, I’ll make a list sometime.
The first couple of days I couldn’t understand a thing anyone said but now it’s like they all speak English.  It’s almost like everyone here has a different accent because they have so many in Scotland.  WE DO A LOT OF STREET CONTACTING! The work here is super slow and we only have like two or three investigators which is really bad and most of them are out of town this week. There’s a man named George from Spain and he will be gone visiting his family this week.   We haven’t gotten any new ones since I have been here because the people are very hard hearted and it makes me kind of sad that they are missing so much.  From the time I’ve been chapping, they all say, “Not today.” Or, “I’m feeling ill.”  We cover about half of Aberdeen.

Elder Holbrook doesn’t have an accent.  He’s a really nice guy and I really like him and he has already taught me a lot.  He’s been out about a year.  This is the first time he’s trained someone.  It’s funny because his last companion just left to go home and I’m just starting. None of the missionaries have accents but they all use the same words that everyone in the UK uses.
Other than people driving on the other side of the road, everyone has a super small house and everything is super expensive here.  It’s crazy, but we can get most of our food for less than a dollar haha but there are so many things that are strange but I don’t remember because it’s all just becoming natural to me haha.  When we were driving, you would see sheep at least every five minutes.  It’s strangely very normal, I was expecting big rolling hills like Braveheart, but it’s nothing like that. Where I’m at, it’s pretty much like an old downtown Seattle. 

New words and phrases:
chapping - going door to door 
nay bother- no problem
Ciao,- they use a lot 
fit ye deeing- what are you doing 
fit- i dont know 
and they sometimes just add "poul" on the end of a sentence... I’m not sure why but a lot of it is just Aberdeen lingo. 

The work is slow and we are doing a lot of finding but I know it is the correct work and that it will get easier with more time and I am starting to love it here.  My flat is one of the smallest in all the Scotland/ Ireland mission and I love it!  Everyone here has super nice cars and the people are really nice but every once in a while you get a scary one.  Make sure that you tell everyone on facebook and all my friends that they can write me through this email:  and that I want to hear from them!  Also it’s just best to send mail or boxes to the mission home. I knew I had a lot to say but by the end of the week I always forget.

Can you think of some recipes for some really cheap filling food that I could make because they should have about everything here.  The view from one corner of my flat where you can see the entire flat and we figure it’s about 150 sq ft, maybe.

I love you!  Elder Hanson


                                                                                         Scotland Mission Home
On June 26, 2013, we welcomed Elder Hanson to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.  He arrived safely from the Missionary Training Center and we are excited to have him in our mission.  I interviewed him and felt his spirit and desire to serve our Heavenly Father. One of our very best missionaries, Elder Holbrook has been assigned to be his trainer.

Sister Brown and I will have the opportunity to meet with your son for a personal interview every two to three months.  In addition, we will see him periodically at Zone Conferences and other training meetings. Each week your missionary will be writing me a letter of his activities as well as a personal note.   He will also meet regularly with his district and zone leaders where he will be trained with other missionaries.  Therefore, with interviews, zone conferences and our weekly letters I should be able to help him meet any challenges he may have, and answer any questions you may have.

We are grateful for the part you have played in preparing your son to serve in this important work. We would encourage you to write him weekly letters of encouragement. Letters from home provide a powerful sustaining effect on the confidence and morale of our missionaries.

If you at anytime have a concern about your missionary, please feel free to contact us here at the Mission Home in Edinburgh.  We testify of the truthfulness of this work and are grateful to be a part of it.


Alan H. Brown

Alan H. Brown, President
Scotland/Ireland Mission

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Brother & Sister Hanson ,
Just a brief e-mail to let you know that your missionary, Elder Hanson,  arrived safely in Scotland from the Preston, England Missionary Training Center.  Upon arriving he had the opportunity to climb Arthur's Seat where he committed to serve the Lord, similar to what Orson Pratt, an Apostle of the Lord did in 1840.
His trainer is Elder Holbrook , and they are laboring in  Aberdeen.
On Monday you can expect an e-mail which will provide you with more information about his companion and area.
Thank you for all that you have done to prepare Elder Hanson to serve the Lord for the next two years.
Alan H. Brown, President Scotland/Ireland Mission