Monday, January 27, 2014


Sorry I didn’t get to send last week’s letter but I’m sending it today with this past week’s. 

This week was AMAZING!   So, to start off we got a referral from a member and her name is Ingrid. She looks very promising and I have a lot of faith in her. We are having a lesson with her on Tuesday and she accepted a Book of Mormon.  She is going through a very humbling situation. she didn’t have any money, she had no gas or electricity and hadn’t eaten the day before and she talked about how she was the lowest she has ever been and she talked about how she asked God why this is happening to her and we showed up the next day. It must have been something.  We also taught Tracie, a less active and we have been able to teach her and just really talk to her and understand just why she doesn’t want to go to church.  At the end, we invited her to come to church and she said,  "Well I knew you would say that."  She also talked about how she was actually thinking of coming to church just the other day. Well she was at church yesterday and it looked like she really got along and a lot of members welcomed her and her children with open arms which was amazing.  The work is starting to really pick up and things are going well. Elder Edwards and I are getting along really well and we can always make each other laugh, so I can already tell I’m going to miss him.  This week we only got one dinner appointment and it’s been going downhill so I’m guessing we have to do something to change that because there is nothing that I love more than being with a member and bringing the spirit into their homes.

[Jim sent Rick a copy of the April 1974 Conference Address by President Kimball which encouraged Jim (a non-member at the time) to join the Church and commit to go on a mission] 

Rick said of it:  Wow, this is one of the most powerful talks I have read in a while. It pumps me up just knowing that the Lord and this work are so combined that they can't be separated..

Utley, Me, Davis
On Burns night, they address their haggis before they eat it, they read a poem to it and then cut into it like they are killing it - again.

Utley, Davis, Edwards, Me

Letter home written each day, arrived in Shoreline Feb 5

Dear Family                                                          Airdrie Scotland

Jan 20
Since it's moves week, we didn't have P0day but we do email and shop.  So that was pretty much our day still.  After e-mailing, I got some P-day shoes for only 5 pounds which is pretty good because it was 70% off and then we had FHE at the end of the day.

Jan 21
Today we went to see Davie Johnston in the care home and it was pretty interesting.  Elder Edwards sat next to Davie in an automatic chair with a controller and it had a button that just lifted the chair up.  Elder Edwards was trying to max it out and it was so funny because he was like three feet higher in the air.  He just said "Davie, you have got to try this!"  It made Davie laugh pretty hard and I haven't see him smile before, so that was good.

Jan 22
For P-day today we went to Glasgow and it was nice to just get out of our same old area and see the city.  it reminds me a lot of downtown Seattle but it's weird because there will be tons of people on the street but it will be dead quiet just because UK people aren't as loud or they don't do the same things we do when it comes to street communication, maybe it's just Glasgow.

Jan 23
We got to help Sister Nelson shop today.  She's a really energetic old lady that is in a wheel chair.  She got us a couple of things which was pretty nice.  it was just a really good day.  We went by a couple people and had a lot of fun.  Elder Edwards and I are getting along pretty well,, especially for being together for three moves, the average is 1-2, but since it is his last, I will be with him until the end.

Jan 24
Today was AMAZING!  Shawn took us out for lunch and had us meet with his friend, Ingrid.  She is GOLDEN!  There is a lot she needs to learn but I believe she can make it.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and she promised to read and to go to Church!

Jan 25
Today we had a lesson with Tracie which was kind of crazy with just how fine and adjusted to insanity in their lives people have gotten.  We haven't gotten to weekly plan just because of how busy we have been and that in a way is a pretty good thing.  We had Burns night at the Blacks and it was pretty fun.  We had Tartan ties and we had haggis and we said poems in Scottish.

Jan 26
Today was a pretty good Sunday.  We got Tracie to go back to Church and her Wee-ins (children).  Ingrid unfortunately didn't come but we will keep working.  We also had lunch at the Bleyl's and it was pretty amazing.  They have a huge house and are an amazing family.  Br. Bleyl was nominated the smartest man in Europe.  Their house is literally across the street from us.  Br. Bleyl designed his house and named his street Ammonville and the next one Almavillle.  We had one of the most spiritual lessons with them.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pretty good week

This week wasn't too bad.  It went by pretty fast we are teaching Bill again and now Tom, his brother. We left Bill with Alma 32 and we think it will help him a lot. It's actually pretty crazy how I can tell we are working hard when good things happen and if we work then there will never be a bad night. Elder Davis explained it that we get promises for doing the work and they will always come true. we just need to look into the good things of every day because every day if you look closely, something good will always happen, like seeing a couple of drunk guys getting into a fight. That cheers me up because it was pretty funny.
 Some fun things that happened this week was that we got invited to a Born Again church because a person we are teaching said "you keep inviting me to your church, why don't you come to mine?" so we said, "Sure."  and we went.... It was the weirdest thing ever and guess what, the pastor guy was an ex-Mormon so we just listened respectfully and then after walked on our way and the pastor pulled us over and started talking to us and just went on for like a half an hour just pretty much trying to break us down and we kind of just smiled and looked and the entire time he was talking I was just thinking in my head "wow you must be kinda stupid. " Anyways, but we got his number and you never know, maybe we'll see him again.
It's slowly getting harder to know what to email about because nothing too big or interesting happened. OH we got moves call last night and all the missionaries in Airdrie are all staying and that's never happened where things have stayed the same. It's good because I am going to miss this place when I go.  If you can, can you send a picture of Dad and Adam and Devin on their missions and email them and just send family pictures from facebook and stuff. This last week I went to the dentist and it was free because we went to a dental school, and they could fix my filling and it freaked me out because within an hour I was walking out with a new filling. I still like dental in America way more. That's that for this week. 
Love you Mom 
Elder Hanson

Thank you Dad.  It really gives me strength to know that you believe in me so much. Things here are really hard, harder than I ever would have thought, but I know I can do it and bring many people happiness. Right now we don't have any investigators that are too solid at the moment, so we are just finding those that will be humble enough to listen to us. and it just makes things hard but I know I can pull through. I feel alone a lot, but I always remember that you and Adam and Devin and thousands of others have gone through the same things I'm going through and made it, so I'm alright.  You are one of my best role models. 
I love you Dad

Bill and I
Letter home written daily  Jan 13-19, arrived in Shoreline Feb 5, 2014

Dear Family                                                                                                     Airdrie Scotland

Jan 13
Today's P-day was pretty lame.  We didnt' know what to do because there's not much in Airdrie.  We just need to plan for next week to have more fun.

Jan 14
Today was pretty interesting.  When we were walking to District meeting, a man in a car stopped on the side of the road and got and ran to us and asked us to pray for his mother, as he was bursting into tears.  He explained that he and his Mom were members and after I said the prayer, I just wanted to give him a hug.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any information before he left. All I know is his mother's name is Patricia and she's at the Victoria hospital.

Jan 15
In the morning we talked to a man that was just recovering from a heart attack and had more medical problems than I can think of.  The thing is, he was really happy and just had a really good attitude.  He just showed me that worrying and feeling sad about myself just wastes time and we already have so little time on this earth to begin with.  Later tonight, I also learned it doesn't really matter what I do but how i do it.  The Lord will bless me every night and day if I serve him with love.  We also went to Jamie's birthday party at some Chinese place and it was okay.  man, I miss American Chinese food.  It was fun and we got to talk to Tracie, a less active that is now a 'born again' so yeah, we could tell that she doesn't like our Church because there are no drums or guitars.  She invited us to go to her church if she goes to ours and I never like to turn down an invite.

Jan 16
Today was pretty good.  We went to Bill's and game him Alma 32 to read.  I can tell he really cares about us and we are trying to teach his brother that is a super nice Roman catholic.  his Brother gave us some Cola in some nasty mugs that were pretty dirty but I didn't want to say anything so I just forced it down.  Afterwards Elder Edwards said he didn't drink any and I didn't even think that I could have just not drank it.  It was super funny.

Jan 17
Today was another adventure with Jamie, a really nice member in our ward that goes with us to see the widows in the ward.  We went to KFC and Jamie loves his salt so we got him extra to put on his fries and chicken.  We saw sister Nelson that talked about this three year old boy that went missing in Edinburgh that practically half of Scotland is looking for, it's crazy.  Then we went to Invet's, an interesting old woman that's having trouble with family and I just want to try my best to help her.  We went to a less-active named Tracie who is a pretty interesting one...but she is a good person that needs a little help.

Jan 18
Today we worked at the charity shop and just had a bunch of old ladies that were just amazed at us because we were just American and told us all that they know about America.

Jan 19
Today was a really good Sacrament meeting.  Elder Davis gave a talk about testimonies.  Later that night we were invited to a 'born again' church and that was an interesting experienced.  It was pretty funny because the Pastor was an ex-Mormon and we could tell.  It also just strengthened my testimony that this is the true church that I belong to.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Missionary work is WORK

I'm doing alright. This week was a pretty hard one. we worked pretty hard! I have blisters coming in all over my feet, some of my confidence is shot, and we literally had no results, no lessons on some days and a lot of appointments fell through.  But it's okay because I know that there was nothing else we could do. We also got a lot more set up for this week. We are going to go by a lot more less actives and former investigators. Hopefully we still see a lot from that. I see doing this work in a weird way.  It's almost like finding, and getting people that are prepared are separate. When we find and do this labor that is really hard, then its showing God that we can handle what He gives us. If we find, then He will give us people to teach, we almost won't find them because it's pretty much all God's work. We had to either drop or go by less to almost all of our investigators because they just weren't progressing. This email sounds sadder than it really is.  The work is going, it might be slow, but it's going, I can always feel the love of the ward, and I love all the experiences, even from the most boring of times, whether it was when we knocked on a door and we heard people screaming and we started bolting, while hearing someone say, "Who is that!!!" or when it is when my companion and I just talk for hours walking in the middle of nowhere.
Love, Elder H.

Letter home that arrived in Shoreline on January 20, 2014
Hey there family,                                                                                       Airdrie Scotland
Jan 6
For P-day it was kind of lame, we didn’t have anything planned so we didn’t know what to do.  We pretty much did the basics, e-mail, shop,, we went to KFC and pretty much just ate and talked about stuff.  Elder Edwards bought a new suit and me and Elder Utley went to the pet store and looked animals.

Jan 7
Today was a really hard, slow day.  It’s the worst.  It feels like the harder I work, the less success we have and the slower time moves.  It scares me because I just don’t enjoy the work as much as I should.  I’m sore, my feet hurt, and not a single person talked to us.

Jan 8
Today wasn’t too bad.  I got to do some service and paint and then we went to the Blacks for dinner and tried by some people that weren’t in.  But it was good because I taught a really good lesson at the Blacks.

Jan 9
Today was a quickie.  We did weekly planning, then did some more painting at a less active’s house.  Then we had dinner at the Easton’s and the food was amazing.  After, it was good because we taught a lesson with their less active daughter there.  Afterwards they gave us a ride to Plains to have a lesson with Ann, a woman that we met on the street that has just gone through a lot of death in her family.  Unfortunately she told us to come again next week.  But we still have hope.

Jan 10
Today I needed to get my broken filling fixed because it’s been bugging me so I was going to look around town and try to get estimates so I could email Mom and figure out how to pay for it.  So we know the huge dental building in Coatbridge and we walked in and it was actually a dental school.  Within the hour I had an appointment, didn’t have to pay anything or give any info at all and got it all fixed up…the health care is so weird here.  When I was filling out a paper, I was talking to the people that were going to work on my teeth, one of them has a sister that is on a mission for her church and we also talked about how cold it was in America and they told me about the polar vortex, it’s crazy.

Jan 11
Today we worked and did volunteer work for the Salvation Army.  We pretty much have gotten the hang of things there.  Just at the register helping people out, a man that was a photographer all over Scotland gave us some pictures he had taken.  Another hippie kind of guy invited us to a religious yoga thing but all the events are down in London, so darn, so close.

Jan 12

Today was an amazing Sunday.  A less active man and his girlfriend (soon to be wife), walked into Church and pretty much wanted us to teach his girlfriend the Gospel and she had already been reading the Book of Mormon and I said to myself, “Finally!  Someone that will actually care about what I have to say, someone that will actually progress and show me hope that I could actually maybe baptize someone.”  But, unfortunately, Elder Davis stepped in and made an appointment and took them from us.  I’m tired of being the ‘other missionaries’, the ‘back up’, that’s all I’ve been my mission is just the worker bee that gets all his reward taken away.  At least it does prove my member missionary work theory:  Those two wouldn’t have been there if Br. Goldie didn’t invite them back.  What we are doing is like cutting grass with scissors, we will cut it but it will take forever and right when you’re done with a section, the other has already grown back.  Members are like your dad lending you his lawn mower, it just does the trick and there really isn’t any other way to cut the lawn.  Yeah sure, you’ll be ‘cutting’ the lawn the other way, but it’s kind of worthless in comparison.  We can chap until our knuckles bleed but it just takes a member to soften the hearts of a loved one.  Scottish people have a personality that is just the opposite of what we need as missionaries.  I’ve heard converts themselves say they have slammed the door on hundreds of missionaries until some miracle person came, like a friend or a loved one.

Good Morning Airdrie!

This should help with the Scotland flooding problem.

I'm mining for souls

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

I’ve had a couple of those experiences where I know through the spirit that the Lord is protecting us and is mindful of us.
We haven’t gotten to see Bill too much this week but I can tell he is slowly pushing and he is getting a lot closer to his family again.  This week is pretty much a week of just seeing where we are going to go with all of our investigators.     
This week we didn’t really get to do much since we had New Years off and a lot of meetings otherwise so not too much has happened.  Things are getting pretty slow because it’s getting colder, rainier, and darker so we have been getting a lot of rejection and been doing a lot of walking.  It’s not all that bad.   This next week should be good, we have a lot of service to do and time is going by pretty fast. 
The other elders were at our flat this week because their flat is pretty much unlivable because literally every person in the complex smokes and it seeps in through the walls, ceiling, and floor, so they are trying to get it fixed... so they made us food.  Then when we went on exchanges we needed to take milk for breakfast today so we left them some in the only thing we could find, a tea pot.

I’m not sure what else to email about because I just emailed on Thursday.  I love you Mom!
A kilt

We got locked out and had to have our locks changed.

Traditional Scottish breakfast
Looks burnt to Mom

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year

On New Years Eve we got in at 6 PM and ordered pizza and went to sleep at 10:30 but we could hear a bunch of fireworks around us. They pretty much celebrate the same way as we do in the states but it was super weird when we got out on New Years Day.  It was like a zombie apocalypse.  Everything was shut down and there were a couple of people wondering drunk that limped like zombies so the other elder and I walked around town making soldier noises and going around corners and jumping over stuff like we were in a zombie apocalypse. New Years was pretty good.  We got to have a Scottish breakfast and it's a breakfast with a bunch of small things on it. I got to try blood pudding and it wasn't half bad.  We went over to the Cummings and had a steak pie and potatoes for dinner so we had a very traditional Scottish food day. 
This week has flown by.  The work is a wee bit slow but that's just because of the time of year. This week a pretty bad storm has come so it's crazy windy and rainy so it's making work a little hard but I'm loving every second of it even if I don't know it at first.

Just tucked Elder Davis into bed
Letter home, arrived January 13, 2014

Hello Family                                                                          Airdrie Scotland

Dec 30, 2013
So today was very interesting.  We got locked out of our flat because our lock broke and we spent an hour trying to open it and we had all our groceries and we needed to be at an appointment so we needed to store some things in a fridge so we went to our nice old lady neighbor's and asked if they could store them until we figured out how to fix the lock problem.  They just said, "Hold up, let us help you out."  They grabbed all our things and called a lock smith that would show up in an hour and they would stay here and help until we got back.  So we got back after the old women had even given us a ride to our appointment and we got back and they had paid for the locksmith and it was 178 pounds!  We were amazed!  They needed to get a new lock and all the things for it. They are some amazing people.

Dec 31, 2013
So today we needed to be in by 6:00 because we aren't allowed outside at new Year's so we were pretty limited for time.  Most of the day was doing errands and we stopped by Bill and he's a completely different person when he's sober and I love it.  He likes it too, but he just needs to stay strong.  After we got to the flat the four of us Elders ordered pizza.  Happy New Year!

January 1, 2014
Today we got the day off so we went over to the Blacks for a Scottish breakfast.  We then visited the Cummings and finished the night off at the Warks.

January 2, 2014
Today I was super full because we got lunch at the Puries and they had a lot of the ward members over so we got to meet and talk with all of them.  We had dinner at the McGowan's.  Our day was so packed that we didn't get time to email so I just sent a quick email home.

January 3, 2014
Today we went with Jamie to see some of the widows in the ward.  We went to Duvet's and it was kind of weird. We gave her a blessing of comfort because she is having family problems and then she wanted just to put on a Northern Ireland Country Gospel DVD for her because she likes the music and it started skipping a little.  Her mom called and they got in an argument about the CD skipping.  She started crying and I felt super awkward and her mom wanted us to run the CD down to her so she could see it because she only lives a block away but it has been stormy and rainy all day so that was fun and all this stuff was going on but in the end, it was okay because we shared a spiritual thought with Duvet and we got everything handled.

January 4, 2014
Today was literally just one big meeting.  It was our training meeting and we all got to meet with President.  It was nice seeing him.  He said I am improving a lot and that I need to just keep up the work.  I told him pretty much the only problem I have is just waking up on time because it's so dark all the time it's hard to get up but when I do, it's no problem.

January 5, 2014
Today, Sunday, was really good.  When all the missionaries got to our flat for dinner, I noticed Elder Utley staring off a little just thinking and I knew something was wrong.  When the other Elders left, I spoke to him and he kind of told me how hard of a time he is having and so we went on exchanges to mix things up a little.  I went with Elder Davis and we had a pretty fun night.  No one wanted to talk to us, then it started pouring to make things worse, but oh well, all you can do is laugh.