Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 4, 2017

Well this week was good. I got my flight plans so things are cool. We had a few people in church yesterday so things are going well. Have a good week I love you all!

August 24, 2017

Elder Hansgen wishes Mama Hench a Happy 50th Birthday! The lack of enthusiasm is crystal clear!

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 14, 2017

​Well I would love to get some pictures of the wedding, my family, my friends, literally anyone! hahaha!

Monday- We went and played soccer on an open field and that was a good time. We had a good lesson with the recent convert who was baptized a few weeks ago​ and it was a good lesson.

Tuesday- We had District Meeting and then we had a few good lessons with a really great Family Home Evening. We went to a certain district Meeting because the missionaries there were having a few obedience problems so we had to go and CORTAR JUPAS: It was nice and now we have 2 new missionaries there so PROBLEM SOLVED! (we didn't do anything they just had changes)

Wednesday- A normal day. We had a few really good lessons and we went with a few teenagers to play soccer. They told us if we wake them up for church they will go. So that's what we did:)

Thursday- We went to San Jose at 3 in the morning! I WAS SO MAD BECAUSE I COULDN'T SLEEP! We went so we could go on divisions with the Assistants. It was a good time but we didn't leave the office until 5 so that was kind of 100% terrible, and tiring!

Friday- We had a lot of fun in the leadership meeting and I learned a lot of new things. Elder Lauaki Sablan is always a great person to see, he was my companion in the MTC, so its always great seeing him! haha!

Saturday- Another great day because we had English classes and then a Mothers day activity!

Sunday- Sundays are always stressful for me, you never know if there will be leadership there. This Sunday we had 7 investigators in church and 4 less actives and there were only 23 people there. Or in other words.. If the mission force was not present in the church there would have been 11 people there! It stresses me out so much down here because if we don't visit all of the members then they don't come to church but if we don't push ourselves to find new investigators and baptize our leaders get upset, its rough. But at the end of I am very happy with my efforts!

That was my week. I know this is the true church and I love every second of this hard mission. I am learning a ton!

I love you all and if Ely's countdown calculation is correct I will see you in 79 days.. LOL! Bye!

August 7, 2017

Well, today for P-day we went to Canoas and I bought a missionary a pair of shoes because I will be seeing him on Friday in San Jose for the leadership meeting so that was fun. Then an Investigator invited us to Chfrijo so that was an awesome lunch. Its my favorite Costa Rican meal. Its so freaking good! I would love to learn how to make it after the mission, it is pretty rare because the ingredients are expensive. Right now after we write our emails, we are going to play soccer in a place called La 22 de Octubre, it should be fun.

I might be having changes and might be going to my last area but honestly, who knows??

Here is a funny story, Monday night after a FHE we were walking back to the house when a car pulled up next to us and was driving along side of us. I turned to see who it was and it was an older women in her 30's or 40's. She looked at my comp and I and said kissing her fingers "RICOS" ask Ely what that means and how sexually appealing dos gringos are.

I am loving life and I really don't have much to say!I love you all and have a good week! BYEEEE!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

This week was incredible! We have been working so hard to help the members understand at least the basics of what this church requires of us. It has been a long, tough road but it was all worth it this last week. We had a bunch of people in church and its been a true blessing. So the Mission Leader in the Branch was inactive before we arrived and now he has been coming for like 3 months straight!! There was a baptism we had last week and we just put him 100% in charge. He had to call people to ask them to give talks and he had to be the one to set it all up. All we did was fill the font up with water. It was truly a blessing because we could see the light that he was feeling. It was awesome! We also have been working really hard with the Presidency so it has been nice to go on visits with the District President. The Branch President has not helped us yet but we plan to go out with him on Thursday. Honestly, being a missionary has mostly shown me how I want to be as a member after the mission. I don't know how it will be in Utah but it truly has been impossible to do any of the work with out the members here. They deserve so many of the blessings that have come from their hard work and dedication to the gospel.

We had a super, great P-day today.We went to some place called La Torre de Golfito today and it was awesome, it was a beautiful view and it was so fun being together as a Zone.

Love you all and I hope you're doing well! Have a good week!
Elder Sam Hansgen

July 24, 2017

Mom..... Life was crazy this last week! Mostly because everyone was really "butthurt" that the US kicked Costa Rica out from the Gold Cup in the states. No one wanted to talk to me, a lot of them know I play/love soccer. I had no idea that we had won, but on the other hand, "WOOOOO HOOOO UNITED STATES!!!!" "USHHHH LOS ESTADOS!!!!!!!"

(Elder Hansgen's answer to Mama Hench's concern for oral hygiene on the mish)
Honestly, Mother I brush my teeth a ton and I too am scared to go to the dentist, but it should be good. My teeth don't hurt or anything and I drink a ton of water, like literally a TON! I floss, well ok, I floss about 2 times a week! I will try to do better, I probably do have cavities but then again, I'm no dentist!

Well, what we have been doing is going to the Branch Presidents house and teaching him from the Manual about how to be a President. My companion was meeting with him while I was teaching the Primary about Prophets. The Branch President got mad at my companion and was asking him why we have we stopped visiting so many people. He said it was our fault that less people are coming to church. My companion looked at him and said, "what is it that you think we do?" The BP said that the missionaries have to find new investigators and keep the members coming. My comp read to him from the manual where it says that the Branch President has to do visits and set the example in every aspect. So, yes that is a good question, "why is there such small amount of people here?" It was the head chopping of the century, so we will see how that goes!

We have a very big blessing to have our agency but honestly I am tired. Being in such a weak branch is really challenging. I believe this been the hardest thing I have done in my mission, not going to lie about that!

I love you all and ! will see you in 3 months! Crazy huh? Have a good week!

This is a little section I like to call...What I eat!

July 17, 2017

Well, I guess I'm old now. ha ha. I told myself before the mission that when Walker got home "that's when I become old" and with the picture I received today it looks like I am old now. Walker looks good! I hope he is still loving life.
Well, I am so so so so so so so so jealous of you guys for being able to go to the temple! I miss the temple and I want to go to the Timpanogas temple first thing!

Something Happy: Well I am a missionary of the only truth so that's pretty freaking great! Honestly, I am just loving life. I have a great mission and a strong testimony. I know why I am here and I know that we are all here just to be happy. We have people treat us like crap but we just keep going! We are most likely going to have a baptism next week so that will be awesome! We had a Zone Conference last week and we just talked about the Book of Mormon the whole time so that was pretty freaking awesome, I love that book so much! While President Hayes was teaching us he would just yell a random name and have us teach a chapter of the Book of Mormon and then teach ONE principle of the gospel. He picked all the old people and I was picked to share so I read a few verses from Mormon 9 and shared that we need to first have faith that God can still perform miracles and then ask for them. It's just a simple principle that I like. It was a fun and uplifting conference!

Something Sad: Well last week a member who has been pushing himself to help us more was asked to give a talk and asked us to help him prepare it. So we went to the church and helped him write it all and he has a hard time reading so we had to help a lot more than what we had expected so we were with him for about 6 hours during the week helping him with his talk and he honestly had a really good talk ready to teach and share. We were excited to hear it. He was excited and told us he wanted to give more talks in the future so we were really excited! Then Sunday comes around and he didn't go to church and sent us a message and said. I don't want to give a talk, sorry. Now he is just ignoring our calls and everything. Not going to lie I just got so frustrated with him and I really couldn't believe that he would do something like that. I felt bad because in my mind we had wasted so much time helping him that we couldn't complete our other goals. I was just angry with him and I was angry at myself for putting so much time in a "lost cause" but now that I think about it he is just a little more prepared for when he does give a talk and he got to study the scriptures for about 6 hours during the week so that's always good!

Something you don't know about me: I love chubby people. I truly believe that they are happier, ha ha ha! I love them so much and I have a funny story and picture that goes with it! Chubby people are just more open. I think that's why I love Costa Rica women so much (the Christ like love) but they are sometimes a little overweight and they are like so fun to tease! Anyway there is a member that lives up in the cold mountains and her family is a little chubbier and they all look the same. Anyways she lived in New York and Canada for a long time but she only learned French. She's really cool! But one day, last week she was telling us all the places they have been and I said... "well you guys are just showing off how many places you have been!" Then she said, what I think is one of the funniest things I have heard in the longest time! She said... " oh yeah! We are like the Kardashians just the fat Latin version..." hahhhaahahahahah I laughed so hard because they just say things how they are and they don't really care.! I loved the joke so much I made them take a picture with me. They all said that I can go to Costa Rica and stay with them when ever I want to come back and visit! ha ha ha its going to be great!

Last week I saw a monkey and it got hit by a car! My comp tried to save it from the road and whipped it by its tail to get it off the road and then we watched a little baby monkey take his last breath, so sad!

Love you all and I will see you soon! But for now I need to keep working!! Have a good week!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 10, 2017

Apparently very excited about a recent shoe purchase, Sam's letter started like this:

"I GOT TWO FOR ONE AND NOW I HAVE SOME GREAT SHOES FOR AFTER THE MISSION, #BLESSED!"
Honestly, I am loving life. I have had a lot of trials and things I never thought I would go through during my entire mission but.. whats new.?! We are working really hard and it has been awesome to see the blessings.
I think the biggest blessing has been witnessing how endurance has been rewarding. The people I taught and got to see enter the waters of baptism are great. Some of them have a hard time with trials but they have always found their way back to the truth. Same with many of my family, we have all messed up and then somehow we feel the gentle light of truth and it over overpowers all the darkness we thought we were in. It has also been incredible to see how the truth will always prevail.

"Ely, your engagment/proposal es tuanis!.

Well yesterday we went to do "shut-ins." I have been begging one of the youth in our ward to go with us when we do it because I have always had that really, really, strong feeling to do so. He told us no for like 3 months because he was nervous to say the prayer. He finally came and it was awesome. We went to a sister in the ward, who everyone calls Abuela. She loves to be called Abuela, ha ha ha, she is awesome! She has a super strong testimony but cant go to church because no one takes care of her brother and her brother doesn't want to go. We don't want to give her the sacrament every week for two reasons. #1 We don't want her to depend on the church to get her the sacrament and #2 we want her to always feel the need to go to church. She tends to make excuses like she is too tired etc. We are super busy with all the other stuff we are doing so it is hard. So anyways, we went yesterday because she said that it has been too long since she has had the Sacrament. So that young man said okay I'll go, and his little brother tagged along. it was awesome! She gave us something to eat and it was an awesome experience as it usually is with the Abuela. The youth Jerson, got to say the prayer for the first time and his little brother gave her the bread and water, it was the BEST! We stayed there and talked to her for a sec and when we left both of them (the boys) said to us, "I LOVED THAT it was so great I felt the Spirit so strong!" I loved the way she looked when we showed up and the happiness that was on her face. It was so neat seeing how happy they were when they were doing their priesthood duty! I loved bringing the Sacrament to the "shut ins" back home. I really did like visiting the people and telling them like 900 times what my name was! I love the priesthood and I am really happy that God once again has restored it to the earth.

I love you all and have a good week!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 3, 2017

This week!
Well my companion left me. I have a new companion and his name is Elder Porter from Dallas, Texas. He has 9 months in the mission so he is pretty new for me, hahaha! He was in La Loma, the area I was in before coming down south. He was in the other companionship. So when I came down here I didn't have anytime to say goodbye to anyone because its a very special case. Anyway I had to stay with him and his comp in La Loma so I got to say goodbye to a bunch of people! It was great! I am loving life and it truly has been great being here. With my last companion we focused on preparing the members to receive new investigators and teach them how to do stuff. So with my new companion and I we have been able to take advantage of that preparation and now we are ready to baptize like LOCOS: honestly we have some pretty cool investigators and it makes it fun to teach them. Its possible to have 5 or 6 confirmations in the next 2 months so I am really happy for that to happen.

So anyways, in this lovely little mission I am in we have permission to talk to converts on Monday! Almost all of them are doing great, a few of them have callings and a few of them have been inactive for a while and its been awesome to see how through my efforts of loving them even though I am not close to them that they still have a relationship with the truth. Words don't describe the power or love that I feel for the people that I have taught. It has truly been a gift being able to know them.
I love you all and hope you are all doing well!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

June 19, 2017

Life has been really hard here, leadership in the branch is tough, everyone is learning the gospel and learning to lead. Its so hard to be here, we pretty much have to do it all. Yesterday, I gave a talk and led the hymns in Sacrament Meeting. Then I taught 2 classes, it was fun but hard. I love it because it is making me push myself. Its awesome!
Love you all!

June 12, 2017

That is crazy what Jared said in his talk (Jared Walton just returned from serving a mission in Sweden. I wrote down a couple of his comments and sent them to Sam) I couldn´t be more supportive of what he said when he said that "he was prideful in the Gospel" and that being on his mission taught him what he did not know. I felt the same way, like I truly didn't know anything. I guess it's just something that us Utahn's are born with, just kidding. We just got really used to giving the primary answers for everything!

That's cool that Zoey is going to be having a child in November. Hopefully I get home before she is born, because I have missed way too many things and that would just be icing on the cake, hahaha!

My area is cool. We are not even looking for members and we are just focusing on strengthening the members that are active because they don't know much. If members teach the lesson its not going to be taught well because they don't know the doctrine as well as they should to be teaching. I lead the hymns and teach the Sunday school class, I love it. I love looking at the members faces and watching them truly learn something more and put it together correctly.

Congrats Mom you are the clumsiest person with the most coordinated children! Well boys! You fell off your bike on the Parkway and that is embarrassing!

I actually want to share a scripture with you. From the same chapter, Mosiah 2:41 we are promised a state of happiness when we keep the commandments. Its the biggest blessing there is.
I love you all and I hope you're all doing well..!

Do you like how I put more spaces and lines in between the sentences to make it look like a longer email? Love you all!!

June 5, 2017

Wow, Mom I am so sorry to hear about Uncle Randy! I remember how happy and loving he was, he seemed to always look for that "someone" in the group that wasn't talking and include them or help them to help them join in. I'm sorry that happened. I know you are stressed about speaking at the funeral but something I have learned is this...As humans we tend to complicate things for ourselves, we sometimes want to say the the words to make things sound better. We want to add new paint to an already famous painting. It is something all of us do about even with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We sometimes try and take the words in the scriptures and twist them so that they come across more ¨beautiful¨ but the thing is if we are 100 percent honest with what happened and how things went down we really just let the truth be whats beautiful. So Mom don't worry about more things to say about Uncle Randy. Just tell things how they were, tell everyone about his life, what he was to you. He was a great person and you don't need to add to that!

But honestly Mom, I am loving it here. It's super challenging, with such a little amount of members it is really hard to make sure that there is an environment of love. Its super difficult and that's why I love it. Sometimes we fall in a routine as people and this lovely little RAMA has thrown a mix into the things. I love it here. Sorry I don't have much to write but I love my family and that's going to be great to come back to!

May 29, 2017

I'm 20....

Well, I literally had one of the best birthdays of my entire life. It's super weird to think that I came out here when I was 18 and now I am 20. It's so weird to think about all of the things I have learned out here and the way these past 18 months have made me feel. I truly can not deny the power of a strong family. I look at picture of you guys and I can truly feel a sense of strength, I really do.

It has been a really powerful feeling knowing that for the past year and a half is when I have been the most obedient and loyal I have been to the commandants of God. I have truly learned a million life lessons in this mission. I really don't want to talk or tell you all about how much I have learned I want you guys to SEE the changes that I have made in my life. I have had the opportunity to teach this restored Gospel to hundreds of hundreds of people. But honestly I think I am the one who is learning more than the people I teach. It truly is an amazing gospel. I'm happy you guys sent me all of those videos and pictures. I love them so much, hahaha!

Let me explain to all of you about what I did on my birthday!!

The night before my birthday (Saturday) I opened my package because we don't have much time Sunday in the evening. So I stayed up until like 12 reading all of those letters! I loved them all! I think my companion wanted to kill me because a lot of the people who wrote me shared a funny story or memory so I was keeping him awake telling him stories. Hahahaha, it was great. So then we woke up and went to church. I lead the music so that is always fun! I also was offered an opportunity, by my lovely companion to give a talk and so I had to whip out a 10 minute talk out of nowhere, it worked out ok! I like talking because its always a challenge. Then I had to give the Sunday school lesson in the class to the youth, 3 showed up and one of them is an investigator so that was cool. I started talking and teaching about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and the similarities of the writings. It was cool I really, really, really, love teaching about the Book of Mormon. I have definitely studied it more than the bible!

When church finished we went to a members house and she made us a really, really, really, really, good cake from Panama. It's called ¨volteado de piƱa¨ and it was really yummy, so that was fun! We then went and visited a few investigators and a few less actives and we finished the night with a cake and a few eggs to the head. It was a good day, I loved this birthday!

So, basically I love everyone who wrote letters that were put in my birthday package. It was the best thing I have ever read in my life. I loved hearing from so many people that have affected my life and hearing them say that I affected theirs. It goes to show that we are truly here on this earth to love and help. Its been an amazing trip this whole mission thing and I am very grateful for all of those who helped me get out here. The best 18 months of my life and I'm going to finish this mission weaker in my body but stronger in my desire. I love you all have a good week!!

May 22, 2017

Well I am about to kill my first companion here in Neily!! He is awesome and he is going home in 6 weeks!! It's weird because the hermanas from my group are going home now...WEIRD! I guess I'm a sister missionary now, NOT! Anyway once again I had no time to write today! We had to do a bunch of things for the missionaries who came into the zona sur today!! But I am happy and I am loving life! Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

May 8, 2017

Sunday-
"old lady (does all this crying) stands up to bear her testimony" 1-2 minutes
"talks about all of the terrible things that happened during the week" 3-4 minutes
"finishes with her testimony about something she learned through those experiences" 35 seconds

Monday- Puerto Jimenez. Such a beautiful place. We went in Lancha and it was so cool!! We played soccer on the beach and it was a good time! Until someone fell on my companions leg and he got injured! So I was all relax just waiting for him to rub some dirt on it and we were going to keep playing! But here he is still with his knee up. Honestly it was pretty bad and honestly he is really hurt but its just hard because we both want to work but we couldn´t 100%.

Tuesday- We went to Golfito and it was cool. We went to a member that rubbed out my comps knee. It was cool. I don´t know what she gave us to eat but we ate it all and it was decent.

Wednesday- We were both in and out of the bathroom and it was literally terrible. So yeah we couldn´t really work that day because we were pretty sick.

Thursday- We were super sick still and it was terrible because what fell from the sky was not only rain, it was a torrential down pour! It's super crazy and honestly it was hard to go out and work. Its also the day where we normally have the most contacts because everyone shows up to the MEJENGA.

Friday- We had divisions with the Elders from San Vito and it was the only day that we could really work but still I felt sick and I wasn't able to work 100% percent.

Saturday- I was at like 90% percent and my companion and I had gotten like a little cold. I just had a headache but my companion almost couldn´t get out of bed. So I studied a ton and cleaned the house real well. We live in a nice house and its been nice because there is air conditioning.

Sunday was a good testimony meeting and it was great to be in the church again. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL....to top of the stellar week with one heck of a bang, a dog bit my companion, hahaha! Nothing serious and lets hope the dog wasn´t infected with something crazy but we will see!

That was my week and I encourage all of you to try and top it! Love you all and have a good week!

May 1, 2017

April 24, 2017

WOWW! Ely, cut his hair! I want to see pictures and even though he made a promised he wasn't going to cut it. It makes sense if he is owning his own business, I am sure he looks very handsome!!
Life is different in the Zona Sur, it is hot, my back has a ton of diseases I think from the sweat and we haven't been having much success. I know that I have been here for very little time but I still would like things to be moving a little more. We are in San Jose right now to go and renew my cedula. It expires in 2 days so this was the last day I could go or else I would be illegal! It's a struggle, hahaha!

That's incredible that John Boy is getting baptized soon, that will be so awesome!! Also Dayana is getting sealed soon, I am so happy for them. I need Porter's email! Also I want to see pictures so just start taking pictures like a crazy women!!

My very good friend Shumway who is now home, emailed me and it's just super weird to think that when I met him he only had about 7 months in the mission. He is doing pretty well and it's just weird to think that I already have 6 months left. Its crazy! Things are just going way too fast and it amazes me how time keeps going and the world keeps spinning!

Nothing else has really happened in our little branch of 35 member attendance! We are working really hard with the members! It has been fairly difficult because many many members have never worked with missionaries so they don't ever really want too! But life really is good. We are working a ton to raise this zone up again because its had very little success in the past few months/years. So we are working pretty hard!

I love you all and I hope you're all doing really well! I will see you guys next week!!