Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm glad Devin had fun at the Turkey Bowl.  I really miss flag football.  Have a good Thanksgiving, we don't have that here.  I'm really sad to hear about your boss's Grand-baby.  I'll be praying for him.  Yes, Monica and Bryan told me that they are having a boy and that they will be living in idaho so that will be cool because I'll see them all the time when I go to BYUI. This week was a pretty good week.  Nothing too interesting happened, just been working.  That's all you can do sometimes. Sorry my weekly letter may be a little late this week and might also just be a little later in this area because of how the mail system works down here. I have noticed that I have gotten the hang of things here and everything is starting to feel normal with the whole being in another country thing. However, I still see that I have a lot to improve on and work on.

Letter home, arrived Dec 3, 2013                                         
Dear Family,                                                      Airdrie Scotland

Nov 18, 2013
P-day is always a good day.  We visited shops and went by the Rangers stadium and just looked around it and Elder Parsons wanted a football scarf.  We also went to see some little parts of town and had dinner with the Poories (They had all four of the Airdrie missionaries over).  Elder Parsons gave a really good spiritual thought about how we over complicate things and forget the basics, read and pray, and we will be successful always if we just follow those steps.

Nov 19, 2013
Today was just fast.  We stopped by the Cummings and just wanted to see if they needed service or anything and in turn they invited us in and had hot cocoa and one thing I noticed is that in Airdrie they are huge on making yourself at home and if you don’t, they’ll tell you to.  Sister Cummings told us about how she grew up in the Catholic church and just explained some things and it just really opened my eyes.

Nov 20, 2013
Today just showed me how much I hate staying in the flat.  We had to wait for my bed and they gave us no specific time so we just had to wait and I was bored out of my mind.  Thankfully it arrived around 1:00 today so we didn’t have to wait too long.  Other than that we got out and just did some good work.  We also talked with Mohson and just learned a ton about Muslims and I learned a lot but we still have a little work to do.

Nov 21, 2013
Today we met with Shane and his girlfriend and had a pretty good lesson with them.  But part way through our lesson his mom called and found out we were there and she said they can’t see us anymore or she will kick them out of her house.  So it just sucks getting kicked out but it’s okay because they still want to see us, we just can’t teach them at that house.

Nov 22, 2013
Today was one of those at the end of the day just sit down and just know I did my best and tomorrow is another day.  Today involved a lot of walking.  I’m still using my first pair of shoes.  I’m trying to make them last at least six months.  I always wonder to myself what my mission would be like without tracting all the time.  It probably means I’ve been doing a little too much chapping when my knuckles are sore.  We didn’t have any success but we had a good view on the way.

 Nov 23, 2013
Today we went to see Mohson and it was good.  He’s pretty stuck in his ways so I know we have a lot of work on our hands.  He isn’t against anything we say but Muslims are very hard to teach in that way.  I have noticed people are very set in their ways.  They are brought up with a religion that some are active in and know about but so many of the people we talk to were just brought up with it by their parents and they know nothing about it but they are still very stubborn.  The difference with me is I had the freedom to choose and I could see it was correct first hand and I know what I’m actually talking about.  It would be nice to just get into a discussion with someone that actually read the bible and knew what it says.  I know people’s faith more than they do and it’s frustrating when they just close the door on us because they don’t like being told, “Oh, you really aren’t supposed to smoke and drink yourself to death.”  All I know is they don’t know what they are missing and the one to let us in will be very lucky.

Nov 24, 2013
Today church was really good.  The other missionaries brought an investigator to church that’s just golden and is a really nice lady.  I have noticed my studies are amazing compared to before my mission and I can tell it will really help me with college.  My thoughts also are just more deep and meaningful because I’m constantly thinking and learning all the time.
Train on P-Day

Got to take time to laugh, I'm sure I said something funny.

My tag's on my backpack, I forgot to put it on.  King at the BK

Because it's so humid cold here, it gets frosty, this car has a cool frosty design on it.

On P-day we walked and looked around the stadium.


We drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of chicken

(Mom says, "Where are the veggies?")

We use Nando's Sauce on chicken, it's so good!

Christmas already?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Airdrie is great!

This week was really good, we are getting things moving along.  We have gotten at least a couple new investigators a week since we have been out here.  I'm having so much fun and just figuring out that I need to be myself, but my BEST self.  We chapped on the door of a young man and his girlfriend and his younger brother.  They like having us over and say to stop by whenever we are around. They are very promising and we get along with them really well.  They are also just funny to be around. His girlfriend is religious but he is not, but his girlfriend is actually really interested and agrees with everything we have said. I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me but I just need to keep pulling along. 
Yeah! I got the package on Tuesday and its amazing.  It made me so happy.  I almost forgot that I could get packages.  I looked at the socks and thought they were cool, then I noticed the logo and freaked out that they are Shaycarl socks and they are amazing and the beef jerky was super good! 
I only have the two sweaters that I went out with, the brown one and the black one, and I can't wear the one with the design unless I have a jacket over it.

Love, Elder Hanson 

It's getting really cold here.  A member gave me this coat.
It is really thick.
They have a lot of graveyards here and some are really spooky.

I love my socks, I call them my flat socks because I put them
on as soon as I get back to the flat at night.

I think we will be okay with sweeties (candy) for a while.

Letter home, received November 27, 2013

Dear Family                                                                                                                                 Airdree Scotland

November 11, 2013
Today was an awesome p-day.  We went to Glasgow Queen Street with the Airdrie elders.  Our actual name is Drumgoloch...I think.  Then we went to Glasgow stake building and played chair football and dodge ball and got to meet a lot more missionaries.  It was so much fun!
  The name Drumgelloch actually refers to the train station east of Airdree.

November 12, 2013
Today was a long day of walking all over, going by people and on our way to a place we saw a cool looking grave site so we looked at a bunch of the decorations and flowers and things for people's graves.  Then we had dinner at Bishop Purie and his wife made some of the best curry I've every had and some Indian food.  It's funny, Bishop is Indian but born in Scotland so he has a full Scottish accent and same thing with his wife but she is from Spain.

November 13, 2013
Today was really good.  We had zone meeting and got to learn a lot of things and I also got a package from Mom today! Thank you Mom.  It took me a while to notice that they were Shay Carl Socks, then I freaked out!  They are so awesome and I'm wearing them right now and eating beef jerky while writing this.  They made my date and week!

November 14, 2013
The work has been going amazing.  We were chapping and after the second door we met Shane, an 18 year old kid and his brother and he's really into video games and was real interesting in what we had to say.  He said that "You are actually pretty normal."  Considering he believes that if you believe in vampires then you can go to either vampire heaven or hell...that's another long story but they said come by anytime.

November 15, 2013
Today was really boring.  We had to wait in the flat all day waiting forr the delivery of our beds said it would be in anywhere from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.  So we just waited because they told us we need to be there but the night ended strong with a dinner with the Cummings and a lesson with Bill.  We said two prayers and gave him a Book of Mormon!

November 16, 2013
Today we went over to Stephan's.  He is a father of three children and plays the accordion on the bridge of Asda.  We had dinner with him and it was amazing.  if you ever stopped eating for a second he would yell at you, "Eat!"  No matter how much you eat, Ha, and it was just a ton of fun.  Every time our glass was empty he would fill it and say, "Drink!" So yeah, I'm pretty full.  Also, every time he said a joke he would wink and it was super funny.  We are also finding while looking for exercise equipment because the mission home told us we need to get some for our flat.  I am in the best shape ever!  I want to get really good with morning workouts even when I get home.

November 17, 2013
Today's sacrament meeting went really well.  It was the primary presentation and a lot of less actives showed up and it's always super cute to watch.  Tonight we went by Shane and his brother's again and had just a really good discussion that turned into an even better lesson.  Then we also went by Bill's again and I just got to know him and he's just a really nice guy.  he relapsed again and it's just so sad to see his life fall apart because of alcohol.  He honestly wants to stop but doesn't believe he can truly do it.  That's why the Lord has lead us to him.

Monday, November 11, 2013

We're working on it

All of that is really true about the boundary changes. It’s crazy that we are going to be divided from so many families. It’s almost like I’m not even going home to the same ward any more.
I know that things could be way worse here and a lot harder and Aberdeen was amazing to me. I know that what I am doing is true. It’s still hard but things are looking up. We have a couple of people to teach, it’s just really hard to start everything from kind of nothing. I can’t believe I’m already almost a 4th of the way done with my mission, That’s crazy it has flown by, but I know it’s because I’ve been busy and been working hard and I have loved every minute of it.  Next Friday we should be getting our beds but until then it looks like some more nights on the couch. We also only have one pan that we are going to be using like crazy this week. But I love it.  I love all the dodgy stories and all the things I’m doing because I know in the end everything will be ok. 

If you buy sweaters make sure they are plain and don’t have a design. Also dad has sent me some emails but they don’t go all the way through and I just get like bar codes and stuff.

Airdrie at twilight
Our NICE new flat!


Elder Parsons fixed lunch

Elder Utley is ACE

Sweet letters from the Condies:

October 27, 2013

Dear Elder Hanson,

Oh what a great joy it has been to serve here in Aberdeen with you. You are a special young man and it’s been good to see you sharing your testimony and the gospel. You’ve been an example of Christ like attributes as you have served with your companions. I am glad to know this will not be the last we see of you as I expect a visit from you to Springville when you return home!

I want you to know I have a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. I’m thankful to Heavenly Father for His plan and the opportunity of being a mother and grandma of 34 grandchildren. I catch a better glimpse of His purposes and reasons for families and the gospel plan as I serve this mission and study the scriptures and associate with you special young missionaries.

I have read The Book of Mormon many times now and continue to learn life lessons and the experiences of these people have helped me in my personal life situations and raising my family. I know it is true. It truly is another witness of Jesus Christ and reading it daily on my mission has helped me be closer to Heavenly Father.

Please keep in touch with us. You hold a special place in our hearts as one of our most special “mission kids”.

Till the work is done….
Love ya,
Sister Condie

Dear Elder Hanson,

I say “ditto” to everything Sister Condie has said. You are a great missionary. I feel you have a special spirit that can touch the hearts of many people as you talk to them and share your testimony.

There is a special spirit in serving with you in this mission. You’re one of the Arabian Horses that responds to the call of the Master’s tent. Keep up the good work.

Keep in touch with us as Sister Condie said.
I know the Lord is mindful of you and will strengthen you each day. Pray to Him often and don’t stress. All you have to do is your best!

Elder Condie

Another sweet letter from Elder Howie:
November 11, 2013
Brother and Sister Hanson,
   Your son is so very proud of you two, he talked often of your deeply rooted testimonies and rejoiced and treasured your conversion story Brother Hanson, He loves you so deeply. The mission brings different struggles to each of us, but your son will be a favored servant and is a favored servant in the Lord's hand, as he lets the molding happen he will be made strong! It was indeed a blessing to serve alongside your son, I love and appreciate him and certainly do miss him and think about him often. Your letters to him are so precious to his heart and soul. You must be proud :)
   Have a great week Hanson family!
       -Elder Howie

Aberdeen with the Condies

Letter home, received November 19, 2013

Dear Family                                                                                                          Airdrie
Nov 4, 2013
Today was an awesome p-day.  We went to Glasgow with the other Airdrie Elders (Parsons & Utley) and just went around looking at the city.  It's crazy that they already have Christmas things up.  Today the four of us just pretty much hung out and had fun and went shopping for random stuff.

Nov 5, 2013
Today we had district meeting in Glasgow.  We got to take the train so that was pretty cool.  We take the train a lot here and I went on exchanges with Elder Parsons and that was a lot of fun.  He has taught me a lot with just how to act.  We also all had dinner at the Bishop's house and he is amazing.  Then we did a lot of chapping to end off the night.  We were walking at night and saw a bunch of fireworks and Bon fires in backyards.

Nov 6, 2013
Today was just a really hard sore day.  We are doing a lot more walking here and a lot of tracting but it's good.  It builds character.  It never has been easy work.  My legs feel like they are going to fall off, ha ha. We had lunch with a member in the ward, Shawn, he's a little off, but I love him.  Over all, just a simple day today.

Nov 7, 2013  (Adam's birthday)
Today we went shopping to get stuff for our flat like pots and pans and other stuff we need.  Then we had dinner at the McGowan's.  They are an amazing couple and really funny.  It's super fun to have four missionaries instead of just us two because it's always exciting.  I'm also starting to get the hang of things and I really like it.  My mind isn't racing 100 miles an hour because this is starting to be all I know.

Nov 8, 2013 
So today we went on exchanges again and I was with Elder Utley from Colorado, Elder Parson's trainee. He's a really cool guy and is really nice to be with, a little green, but good.  We went with Jamie, a man in the ward to just share a message with the widows in the ward and he got us lunch at McDonald's.  It's a lot of fun.  We also went to see Bill tonight and he's actually trying to stop drinking because he has seen how it has destroyed his life and it is just making him really tired because his body isn't used to being without it.  Even though he was a lot more alert and with it tonight.

Nov 9, 2013
Today went by super fast!  We went to charity shops to see if we could volunteer on Saturday and then we did service at Br. Smith's who is actually losing his house so we helped him move and throw away stufff and it was really hard to see because he's just a really nice guy.  You can still hear the fireworks that people have for Bobby Burns Day.  I've also been wearing a poppy flower, the last couple of days because everyone wears them here to help support the troops.  It's like 4th of July or Memorial Day.

"A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day (or Robbie Burns Day) or Burns Night, although they may in principle be held at any time of the year."  -Wikipedia

Nov 10, 2013
We went to church today and had some really good talks.  I also got to just stay and talk with and get to know some more  about the ward.  We had dinner at Sister Dougherty's and it was really good.  We learned that a couple of years ago she was one of the last senior Sister missionaries that went proselyting just like young missionaries do.  She served in Australia and a couple of her companions were 21 and she was like 40, but she had companions that were even older than her and she just has a strong passion for the Gospel.
Love, Elder Hanson

Monday, November 4, 2013

I LOVE Airdrie

Airdrie is pronounced Air-dree.  Me and Elder Davis (one of the zone leaders) took a train to Glasgow, then I took a train with Elder Edwards to Airdrie, it was really fun.  We hopped two different trains but we pretty much went straight there.  Elder Howie is staying in Aberdeen and is the district leader.  I gave him a hug goodbye and I was off.  Elder Edwards is actually normal, he likes to have fun, and he's down to earth. Back home he was really into playing the drums.  He’s been out exactly the same as Elder Howie. So I might be his last companion.  He’s from West Virginia.  He was actually trained in Aberdeen too and he’s been all over.  Airdrie is amazing!!!  The people are nice and the area is fun and I just love it so much and not everything is gray.  It’s like a suburb, that’s why I love it so much. but it has a little bit of a city vibe to it.  There are also a couple castles that I’ve seen so far.  There are rolling green hills on the outside of town. 
We are just really getting everything started so that we can teach people.Church is like a 25-30 minute walk. It’s a ward of about 50 people in just a small nice building.  We walk almost everywhere here 
Pretty much as far as I can tell, most of the UK live in humble circumstances. 
I would love some thick or thin v neck sweaters. The new dress code says we can have pretty much any color, just not too bright, also if you can get me just a couple of ties, that would be nice, also sun flower seeds and Johnny's seasoning salt, that stuff we use on steaks all the time. Also you know how bad I am at thinking of things to ask for, so surprise me :)
This week has been amazing.  I still need to figure out mail so my weekly letter might be a little late and I forgot my cord to my camera so next week I will post pictures. 
Elder Holbrook told me when I was moving that Aberdeen is just a really hard place and it really molds you and that’s the truth. I know that I’m glad to have learned so much from Aberdeen but this is so much better.
I love my new area! It’s so amazing, I didn’t know you could have fun on your mission!  We are in the nicest flat in the mission and its meant to be a 4 man flat but it’s just us two for now until the lease on the other Elder’s flat is up, but that’s not for 6 months.  It’s a lot closer to Glasgow so things are a little more modern and have kind of more of a London vibe. On p-day today we went to Glasgow and it feels kind of like being in a new area but more like downtown Seattle. Where we are (Airdrie) is a lot more rural and it’s also like four times bigger than Aberdeen and there are a lot more houses and things are more colorful and the people are just a lot nicer.  I'm fired up!
Love, Elder Hanson

Letter home dated Oct 28 - Nov 3  received in Seattle Nov 14, 2013                               Airdrie
                                                                                                                                                                      Elder Edwards
Dear Family,

October 28
Today was just a day of saying good-bye to some of the ward members.  We had lunch at the Condies and it was really good.  The Condies said they cried when they looked at what I wrote in their testimony book, it's like a year book. I will really miss them and I promised I will see them in Utah when they are done with their mission.  We ended the night also at the Brewster's.  The food was amazing and they showed us pictures of when they lived in Alaska.  Br. Brewster told me to remember to ask after my mission for his son's address that lives in Washington.

October 29
I packed all early in the morning.  It's weird that I can pack all that I own in two suit cases, very heavy but two.  Today we did some little things here and there, got some stuff we needed and finished emailing because we only emailed for a half an hour yesterday and needed to send important information to Elder Howie's parents.  So I just went on the Church website and looked at best ways to help a ward.  Then we went to Jimmy Chung's and it's an all you can eat Chinese place.  Note to self:  Don't eat all you can eat when you have a dinner appointment.  Since it's moves week, everything is crazy but it was good because I got to say good bye to a lot of good people.

October 30
Today we moved to the new flat and the mission office said it's the nicest flat in the mission!  We got here and it is HUGE.  It's weird, I didn't know missionaries could have nice flats and this is really nice.  I met Elder Edwards and he's awesome and actually normal.  The people are really nice here and I was weirded out when people actually said hello to us and we have two neighbors, Mrs. Robinson and Mrs.  Campbell, and they were super sweet and just said, "If you need anything, tell us."  I can already tell I will love this place and the people!

October 31
Today was pretty interesting.  We don''t have food in our flat yet and we were up starving so we went to get cereal because we were thinking what can we live off of.  We also were told to just wait in the flat until people came to give us supplies.  So we had no phone and if we got lost or hurt, we wouldn't know where to go or what to do.  So we just unpacked and got settled in and made a list of what we need.  Like two beds, because last night we only had one and I slept on the floor with a sheet I packed and a pillow. We spent most of the time with the other Elders showing us everything we need to know.  We met the Bishop and I already like him.  He loves missionaries and we helped him put up Halloween decorations for the ward Halloween party tomorrow.  Then we came in at 6:00 because tonight we aren't allowed out later than that unless we can get a ride to places.  Then we just ended the night with games at the flat.

Nov 1
Today was really good, still sleeping on couches until we get our beds.  Today wee started really seriously getting to work and just getting to know the area.  We live only like a 25 minute walk from the other Airdrie Elders and I love them.  Wee hang out with them a lot and tomorrow we all are having a dinner appointment at the Blacks.  Our area is very rural but has kind of a city vibe.  I love it.  Tonight we went to the ward Halloween Party and it was amazing and it was actually really good.  I got to know the ward and they are amazing.

Nov 2
Today was awesome.  The other day we were walking and a woman said, "Jehovah Witnesses?"  And we said, "No, Mormons."  And she said, "Oh right, well I'm in a hurry.  Just visit me around the corner at 9B."  So we went on our way and today we didn't know which 9Bit was so we went to Linglang Crescent Street and both 9Bs had people interesting and invited us in to share a message with them.  Tomorrow we will be going to the last 9B on Linglang to find her.  Today we also had dinner at the Blacks, an awesome family that we got to play uno with to end off a really good night.

Nov 3
Today was really good!  I went to my first ward correlation meeting and it was amazing.  They kept calling us the missionary force and they were so happy to have four missionaries in the ward.  They had us bear our testimonies and introduce ourselves to the ward and we are full of dinner appointments this week.  It's almost like a dream!  They say it's a hard area and they haven't had any baptisms in an entire year.  But that doesn't scare me one bit!  We even raised the baptism goal for next year.  We still need a stronger pool, but the Lord is helping us every second.