Sunday, March 24, 2013

MTC Letters and Pictures

Well it is Saturday March 23, 2013.  Elder Riley Hansen will be departing for the Philippines in two days!  I guess it is about time I updated my Blog with the MTC photos and excerpts from letters!  The MTC experience has been an amazing one for both Riley and our family!  We have marveled over the changes in him, the joy and the growth and his never ending positive attitude and spirit!  We have felt mostly peace and comfort and have had several mini miracles in our persoanl lives.  We miss him so much, but would never want to take away the happiness and assurance he expresses weekly to us, Riley is where he wants and needs to be, this is a blessing for all of us!  I will miss spoiling him with weekly homebaked treats or other surprises as those packages take eight weeks to reach the Philippines, if they even make it.  This week he received a large box full of everything for he and his district to celebrate his birthday!  I even shipped cupcakes!  He has strict instructions to not open his birthday present until his actual birthday in the Philippines!  But I am excited because we replaced the CTR ring he lost, he will love it.  We also shipped a large Easter bag full of candy and of course wind up hopping bunnies!  We added some CD's to his growing collection of Spiritual music.  He has an Easter card that he can't open until Easter that contains a book mark depicting the LIVING CHRIST.  I sent one last batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies to finish off the  MTC/mother experience!  We get to have a quick phone call from him on Monday Night when he is at the airport waiting to fly out. I cannot wait to hear his voice!  It is strange to think of him passing the Riverton exit for the last time in two years where he spent all of his 18 years growing up, little league, grade and junior high school, good friends, family experiences, 3 dogs, a few snakes, frogs, injuries, two homes, etc...  He will then pass South Jordan where he spent treasured memories at Bingham High, with the best team mates, friends, best looking girls (according to Riley), and tons of fun!  He will then fly away from the beautiful Utah mountains and into the sun and tropics of The Philippines!  Good luck Elder Hansen!  Mahal Kita! ( I love you! )

 Riley and his companion Elder Asea from Portland, Or.  He reminds him of his good friend Ben!
 Riley's district.
 Elders in his district.  Ute tie to be passed to other missionary friends as they go out.  I believe it went to Elder Bloxham next.  The tie was chosen at the last minute of packing.  We will see how far it gets.  It may end up being burned when it reaches soon to be Elder Parker Green who is a die hard BYU fan!  Each missionary is supposed to have their picture in it and then send it to the next one.  Riley started it at the MTC, should be Nate in Indianapolis and then Unker in Oregon or to Max in California!  We'll see!
 Elder Riley Hansen with Brother and Sister missionary friends, Sister Jessie Bloxham, NY Spanish speaking mission and Elder Nate Bloxham Indianapolis Indiana mission.  All at MTC together, awesome!
 OK!  These were vertical until I moved them!  Above in front of Provo Temple.  Riley had a 5:00am Temple time and loved it!  Below Tagalog class.  Look at the words behind him!  sheesh!


#1 Feb 13 and 14

"First off I hope your nights after dropping me off weren't  too sad!  But if they were have comfort in the fact that I'm doing GREAT!  As weird as it may sound I am loving it here.  Everyone is very nice and helpful.  My companion's name is Elder Asea. He is Tongan and is from Portalnd.  He is extremely nice and alot like Ben.  My first language class was Wednesday the 13th (that was the day he entered the MTC) and I didn't hear a word of English!  It was scary but it is a very cool way to learn.  ... The spirit here is amazing and can't wait to learn more...I love all of you guys, I'm doing great, loving Tagalog and all of my other classes, even though the days are very long.  Give Betty a kiss!  Be safe and be happy! Love, Elder Hansen"

"I had my first investigator experience today so that was nerve racking!  And all in Tagalog!  I can't wait to learn more!...I have seen Max, Austin Tack and Connor Townsend, it's been nice to see familiar faces!  I can't wait for more things to learn I have been so eager!  I love all of you guys and this Gospel!  Love, Elder Hansen"

#2 Feb 16 email
"I am not feeling sick at all and havent since the day of the MTC. It definitely had something to do with dads blessing. I have all ready come to realize how important being worthy to give blessings is. tonight me and my kasama (companion) will be giving two of our sisters in our district a blessing! Im so excited today bcause we went to the temple this morning at 5 to get the first session so I will be feeling the spirit when I give the blessing! Last night and previous nights we have been able to teach an investigator in tagalog, and last night our lesson went really well, he talked a lot and commited to pray about the scriptures. he also complemeted on our tagalog and how well its coming along! The mtc life gets better and better everyday! Im really starting to enjoy it here! but dont worry about me! Is everyone feeling better now? How is Jordan Feeling after last night. I hope everyone is doing well I miss you guys but not home sick yet, sometimes it hits me when I see Utah lake and I think that last summer I was out boating on the lake haha I'm gonnna miss boating. How is Alex doing now that im not next to him with our rooms? he is probably depressed ;) i miss betty a ton! She is just a sweet heart and cant wait to talk to her on the phone oh and you guys too... hahaha"

#3 Feb 22

"Dear Dad (Fazer),
I love you too but oh my Mr. low "T"!  I'm sure you have cried like a baby everyday since I've been gone.  Just kidding but ya things are going so good!...  But that's so good to hear you are all happy, I'm starting to realize everything is so much easier if you look at the postivies in your life rather than the negatives and just always smile!  ... Dad that is so awesome about your calling!  Today my teacher taught us to remember that we are part of an elite few, only us (missionaries) and the Apostles can  preach the Gospel with the Authority of God.  It blew my mind to think of it that way!  Tell Rand congrats and to keep on keepin on and that I'm rooting for him from Provo!...I'm going to send you a card I got from the sister I gave a blessing to, it isn't longbut it definitely touched my heart and increased my testimony greatly.  I didn't know what her needs were or what she was struggling with but the spirit told me exactly what to say!  I can testify of that and the feeling you have when you give a Priesthood blessing!  It was like I knew exactly what to say and I also know that it helped her out so much!  Anyways, tell Mom, Jordan Alex and Betty that I love them and to keep doing what they are doing, also let them know I am just fine.  I am happy and doing just great!  I love you Dad, congrats again on your call!  Love Elder Hansen  (Mom, wrong shoes but they are fine, also thanks for the coke and cookies!)"

#4email  In response to me talking about Nate and Jessie Bloxham's farewell, I'm going to stop fixing Riley's grammar in his emails, just know he has 1/2 hour to write back to everyone and read his emails so they are not perfect!
" im glad they did so good! was there quite a few people there? and i bet koa ben and syd did so good tell them congrats if you see them for me! I thought about their talks all day yesterday cause i knew they were going, so i would look at the time and be like well looks like they are starting! so thats way cool!  right now we have the most amount of missionaries ever to be in the Mtc at once and i was apart of the biggest congragation of missionaries in one meeting ever! and i know its just going to keep growing! The spirit here is UNREAL! i love it so much everyone is so nice and Tagalog is awesome I swear I dream about it sometimes. but i cant wait to be able to actually talk fluently in tagalog so that i may actually teach and allow them to feel the spirit! i cant wait for nate to come in to its gonna be awesome! I love you guys
Love Elder Hansen"
#5 Feb 19 email
" will you please send me one of my bingham blankets just for some extra comfort while i am here, and seriously some coke and mt. dew......i want caffeine!! hahaha

#6 March 5 email

" i have been doing so good tho lately! i have been develping the gift of tounges quite well, it is one gift that comes from your own hard work, if you continue to work hard at it all of a sudden it becomes easier! teaching yesterday was amazing! i totally went off the spirit and decided to teach the investigator about the book of mormon and go over the introduction page with him so he knew what it meant and i did it all in tagalog! it was crazy how well i was able to do it and i had never practiced doing that in tagalog at all! i could really feel the spirit while i was teaching yesterday it was awesome! one sad thing last night was that one elder in our district got really sick he has had really bad stomache pain i felt really bad for him so i put his name on the prayer role today at the temple along with all my family and friends! the temple was awesome even tho its pretty hard to stay awake some times because we are at the first session......oh well at least im there right? How is the family? ill give you guys some time to respond! "

#7 letter March 1

"Dad, I seriously am so happy for you about your calling!  It is really such a blessing for all of us.  Serving others is the onetrue way to make yourself truely happy.  I am all ready starting to realize that for myself, whenever I'm feeling upset or annoyed I try and go help someone else...Right now I'm listening to the cd's on that little speaker thing that mom gave me and its definitely nice to listen to music even if it is church music!...I saw Nate yesterday when he came in so that was awesome!  It was one of the highlights of my day...You know what was awesome that I found out about my companion's dad?  He served in the Salt Lake mission, but get this, for four months of his mission he was in Riverton!  That is insane huh?!  So obviously we are called to our companions through spiritual revelation!...One thing I was excited about today is that when we were teaching our progressing investigator I taught the lesson and had like a full blown conversation without any notes!  Inside I was really pumped because it was such a confidence booster!....It's crazy how fast you can learn with the spirit helping you!  I've learned more in the past 21/2 weeks than I learned in 3 years of Spanish!...Read this scripture and think to yourself that through God anything is possible!  Alma 26:12...But of course the Spazz (Jazz) are doing horrible!  They are doomed to never be good again! HaHa! (That was to Alex who has become a die hard Jazz fan!) Love Elder Hansen"

#8 email March 12

hey good morning mama dont worry ill send some pics later today, but the temple was great we just did initiatories today so it was nice. it isnt even hard for me to wake up early because everyday i know what i am doing is serving the lord and if he were in my shoes he would never complain about anything. I listened to a talk yesterday  titled the tounge of angels it was a great talk by Elder Holland. . but it had just touched my heart yesterday.  before i continue i need you to find Stefan and
Mason's email addresses for me.
but this week has been such a good week, and by week i mean from last p day til now. class is going really well and the language is still coming, i know for a fact that im not where i will need to be to be able to teach very well in the philippines but no one is, the fluency comes from being in the country. hopefully jordan liked my letter i just havent really had too many spiritual experiences to share quite yet. i know those will come in the field tho. how has work been and what not though i need to make sure my mom is doing good! . but yeah it has been awesome being with nate he is such a good kid and i said goodbye to him yesterday night because he left at like 4 this morning.. i have no idea when im supposed to fly out but our departure date is the 25th of march i know that for sure, we get our travel plans this week prob thursday or friday so ill let you know exactly. i have seen nates sister jessi she is doing good and will adjust very quickly!
how is the family doing? everyone working hard still? whats crazy is that tomorrow will be the mark of my first month of my mission down. that just blows my mind that i have all ready been gone for a month! it seriously feels like 2 weeks i hope the time doesn't go by too fast because i want to be able to cherish my mission very much. im so excited to fly out to the philippines though, i said goodbye yesterday to one of the districts that has been here for the 4 weeks i have been here, i came to cherish all of them they were all so nice and all so very excited to head out on there missions! well technically the field cause im all ready on my mission ahah. but yeah mom if you could please send me those two emails that would be awesome!! i want to let them know im about to head out to the field. thanks so much! mahal kita
i love all of you Mom Dad Jordan Alex Betty
love Elder Hansen"
#9 March 18 Letter
"Dear Family,
Sorry I havn;t written all week I have just been focused on being a missionary and it slipped my mind.  I've been doing very good.  I'm not sick, unhealthy, or stressed, I am very excited!  I leave on Monday the 25th.  I leave from SLC to LAX and then to Hong Kong and then to Manila.  I get there on the 27th in the morning!  It is so crazy that I am on my last week in the MTC!  But, I am pumped to leave this place!  I havn't seen the outside world in over a month!  I can't wait to go to the airport just to get some good fast food HAHA! or maybe some Cafe Rio!...Yes I did recievie the package of goodies and gave all the roomates some stickers to wear on their name tags. (I sent shamrock stickers for St. Patrick's Day) Hey just a warning, you are running out of time to send me my birthday present while I am still in the states!  HaHa! Just kidding!  How crazy is it that Kyle is going to the Philippines.  Both of the new districts that came in this past week are going to Naga, Kyle's mission!  So it's pretty sweet that he is going there!  there is definitely a reason why me and Kyle are Best Friends and definitely a reason why I went to the Philippines with him last Christmas!  It blows my mind how awesome the Lord works.  I mean we are both sent to the Philippines and stuff like that is just crazy!...This spring weather kind of makes me sad because just a year ago I was practicing every day and with the boys all day getting ready for the season.  It feels like just yesterday that I was playing ball with m,y best friends, but this spring weather also makes me so happy.  I was so sick of the cold weather!  Could you please send me Coach Sato and Rand's email addresses so I can write them.Let me know how they are all doing this season, let me know how Lund and them are doing so I can keep up with them!  And Dad go to the games because I know you will be going through withdrawls of me not playing anymore!  Tagalog is starting to make more sense, but a lot of it will be learning vocab and memorizing structure.  But that will come from being in the Philippines.  It's seriously such a cool language and can't wait to be able to speak fluently.  I hope your all doing okay I love all of you so much it;s ridiculous! :)  Keep safe you are all in my prayers,  Love, Elder Hansen"
# 10 March 19 email
good morning family sorry i have been so bad at writing lately dont worry mom im not forgetting about you! hahaha im so itching to get out of the mtc now! haha im six days away and it could be an eternity! but the good thing is i get to host tomorrow so ill be the person bringing in missionaries from the curb! so that will be sweet! oh and that is really sad about jacob hopefuly he gets feeling better soon. I have had such a blast while being in the mtc my district has become very close and we all get along so well. i think thats the reason we have had such a good time in the mtc. i wrote mason last p day and he said that i am lucky i only have to be in the MTC for six weeks. i definitely thought that it was an amazing experience but i can see why being here in the summer for nine weeks would just absouluteyl suck especially since there is no ac in our building....last temple session was today for two years. that was really weird to think about when i was sitting in the celestial room! but it was a great last session that i got to be in so im happy, we all fasted as a district on sunday so that for this week we would not get sick and that we would have safe travels to the philippines! so that was cool, i look back on the first day i got dropped off at the mtc and i can remember exactly what we did, i remember i couldnt even eat because obvioulsy i was nervous and then we just went our way, i look back on how much i have all ready grown and matured and i cant wait to see what kind of person i will be in two years. i have some big goals for my mission to change me as a person so the person you knew before i left will be the same but   i will just have a better out look and focus on life and how to be as a person. being in the mtc really teaches you how to serve others and to just help them out so hopefully i can be like that the rest of my life. to be honest i am kind of nervous to go to the philippines but not because of the food or the weather, just the language...i will just feel bad when i wont be able to say everything that is in my heart and on my mind with people..but elder marshall says that it will come eventually! something crazy is that the next time i communicate with you guys will be on the phone!!!!! and then ill be in the philippines! that is crazy huh?
so i love you guys i cant wait to talk with you for a while on the phone it will be awesome to hear your voices again but no crying!!!!! hahaha but my whole district and a bunch of other people going to the philippines are on my flight so thats sweet!
love elder hansen"
#11 Letter March 22
"  This is the last letter you will receive from me from the MTC, it is honestly so crazy how fast time has gone by,  what will be weird is to see the outside world in a couple days!  ...Another thing that will be weird is driving past my entire life for the past 18 years and reflect upon the things that I have learned in my life!  I truely could not have had better parents or brothers truely!  I wouldn't replace you for all the riches in the world.  I think back on all of the city leagues days and then super league days and then high school.  And I think to myself that I am so truley blessed its unreal!  Sometimes we need to just stop what we are doing and look back at all the blessings.  We also need to remember that literally everything we have is because of Dyios (God) or Ama sa Langit (Father in Heaven)  And we need to always remember to thank our Father because he is the one who granted unto us these blessings.  Even life....I cannot even begin to say how excited I am to finally leave for the Philippines, also nervous but way excited!  I think of the people I will meet and the experiences I will have.  I am so pumped! :) I've had an amazing time at the MTC my last week has been good.  It's seemed very long too!...That's exciting to hear about Unk's farewell!  Tell him good luck for me and tell all my friends I say Hi!  I'm glad Ben got his wisdom teeth out that means he is just one step closer to getting his call!  Once I'm more fluent in Tagalog I'll send you my testimony all in Tagalog, that will be sweet! :)!  I am very excited to hear your voices in a few days and make sure you let me talk to Betty!  I can't wait to share my first day in the Philippines with You!
Riley closed by telling us some very sweet things and we are so happy for him!
Mahal Kita Elder Hansen!



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