Saturday, November 30, 2013

11/30/13 Thoughts on Typhoon Haiyan


Typhoon Yolanda as known in the States or Typhoon Haiyan as known in The Philippines hit land fall on November 8 2013 early in the morning.  This was the largest ever recorded storm to hit landfall.  When a satellite image of the storm was superimposed over the United States it covered about 1/3 of the country, this may give you some idea of the magnitude of this storm.

Needless to say we watched as the Typhoon approached, at first without much thought.  Elder Hansen has all ready been through several Typhoons since being in the Philippines.  They just stay indoors and no big deal, so I wasn't very worried.  However, as news was released we realized that this was not an ordinary storm.  A typhoon is just another name for a Hurricane.  The force of this storm was in line with Hurricane Katrina only much, much larger.  We prayed and watched the news footage anxiously as the carnage became clear to the world.  We were told via Church news reports that the missionaries had all been moved to safety a few days in advance, however, several of the missionaries from the Tacloban mission were unaccounted for.  The death toll was enormous there and we watched and cried and prayed while waiting to hear of their fate.  We knew our son Riley was accounted for again through church broadcast, but we had not heard from him and did not know what kind of condition he or his surroundings were left in.  The wait was excruciating.  Luckily and really Miraculously all of the over 200 missionaries were found and returned to Manila for reassignment.  Our son Riley was not one of them, he was safe in Urdaneta and it turned out that they just had rain and some wind.  They had heard about the missing missionaries and the devastation, and were very concerned for all of the people and very sad.  But, I don't think they quite grasped the horrendous condition and death etc... as they are not able to see tv or hear radio or read the news.  All of their information came from their Mission Presidents or talk around the towns.  I was thankful that Elder Hansen and his area was spared, I am extremely grateful for that blessing.  At the same time I am so torn up and saddened by the plight of the Philippine people in the affected areas.  There was a massive loss of life and injury.  Whole cities were destroyed.  I am also very grateful for the missionaries all being saved.  After hearing several of their stories, it is nothing short of a miracle that they all survived.  I am also sad for the horrific images they will carry with them and for the fear and physical and emotional toll it took on them.  Riley has one personal friend that was one of the rescued Missionaries who was injured and will need to come home and have surgery.  Elder Hansen is quite concerned for him.  Our prayers and well wishes are with him and his family.

After all of that, the broad concern of the missionaries in the hard hit areas was having to leave the people they love behind.  Realizing that many people they knew were killed or had loved ones missing.  That said, I want to follow up with what is being done to help.  Many missionaries were on sight helping with supplies and comfort from the beginning.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were there almost immediately trying to set up communications, shelter, supplies and love.  There are several other wonderful countries and organizations who are helping in the effort.  This is a time when we see how Christ uses his people as his hands.  People come together in love from all walks of life.  This is when we see goodness in the face of tragedy.  This is when we realize that we are all brothers and sisters in this world, and it is so important to "Love One Another" as the commandment states.  "Out of trials our strengths are shown to us" (Unknown) My love and prayers go out to the Philippine people.

Sharon Hansen

***If you would like to help with the Philippine Relief there are several ways.  There are many well known and reputable organizations that would love your help.  The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints has a humanitarian aid fund that anyone can donate to.  Prayers are continuously needed!

Baptisms for December 21! 11/24/13




> wow my family had a very busy week this week!! Two farewells!! Haha that is so sweet! ( His friends Josh and Koa both had their farewells the same day.)  But man this week was so awesome! We had 10 investigators at church, one full family!! They are scheduled to be baptized on the 21st of December! They are so willing to follow anything commandment wise!!  They are seriously so golden. Back in 1999 they were taught by missionaries but a Baguio (storm) came in like that week they were supposed to be baptized so their house was they lost contact with the missionaries until as soon as we started teaching them they were so receptive.  It has been so awesome and we have now got Tatay or the dad to join in the lessons and the whole family was willing to extend their baptismal date just so that they could all do it together. So even though sometimes the work is hard we do have blessings like these. We do have other families that we are teaching.  They are really nice as well.  Hopefully they will be be able to start going to church pretty soon. As for me I have been doing great.  We wake up at 5 in the morning two days a week to play basketball and I work out all the other days....trying to get my six pack back again!! In the mission there is a thing called the six month to sexy plan....yeah I'm just starting on the 1 yr and stay sexy plan hahahahaha but I'm having a blast here in Aguilar.  I'm hoping that my companion does not get transferred.....that would suck it would be like six transfers in a row where I have had a new comp.....and that is not fun because you have to adjust to new comps all the time. but I will try and send you some pictures from the past couple of weeks so you can see my beautiful faces here!!!!!!! haha but I'm glad you are doing great.  Have a great Thanksgiving! I will have a great one here working hahah love you guys love
> Elder Hansen

Through God we receive all Blessings 11/17/13


(He was writing this email at the same time I was writing him one and neither of us realized it.  So, yes, I NEVER miss emailing Elder Hansen)

So my family doesn't want to email to me huh?????? haha well its okay I understand you don't really love me!! But as for me I'm doing great. We had another really good week we now have 8 IBDS  so hopefully those will continue to progress and what not. One thing that happened was that some of our investigators were not able to go to church yesterday so that was a bummer.....I was really frustrated at first.... but me and Elder Flores were asked to give talks 10 min before sacrament so its like okay prepare a talk in ten Tagalog ready go>> haha!  I shared two example of people in the scriptures. One person Ammon boasts of his God because he knows that because of him he receives all the blessings. And the other is a group of Nephite dissenters that would boast in their own strength. What happened was  that when danger and problems came God left them in their own strength so they all basically died or got messed up and the spirit left them. But Ammon continued to receive many blessings. So that is what I talked about yesterday. But I don't know if you heard but my friend that was one of the missing missionaries in Typhoon Haiyan,  is going home because he messed up his hand way bad on a knife in the middle of the he will get it operated on in the states and then head back out. He also saw a lot of death so he is very sad as all of us are......but as for me I'm doing just fine here in Urdandeta mission. I really am doing great here we have a FHE at families house later on tonight.  They are some of our investigators so hopefully this should be way fun!!! I'm buying ice cream too so it should be great!!!! But hopefully you can email me before I have to get off...anyways love you guys love
Elder Hansen
2nd email
alright thanks for that amazing email! I got it late for some reason....I don't know why but I'm doing great! I sent an email all ready but I just want to say thank you for everything and I hope you have a great week.

Tender Mercies 11/03/13

Wow so that is some great news!!! Its awesome to hear how you are doing and the changes that are happening in your lives. I hope the blessings will continue for you all!! that is way awesome!!! Please tell them that I'm very proud of them and to just keep up the great work and to know that all blessings come from obedience! (This was in reference to some close relatives who were able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, not mentioning names for privacy!)   Congrats to Alex for passing the first test.  I know he can pass the second one too. They might not give him his license though because he has a receding hair line. haha just kidding. (That is in reference to his brother who passed his Real Estate test and is now licensed!) I will be sending you letters later on today! So about me! So my third area! Holy crap time flies by its crazy I'm on my third area now. I was kind of bummed that I got transferred but its okay. But my new comp is awesome! Elder Flores. We get along really well. The area itself is kind of hard we don't have any progressing investigators or IBDS so we have some work to do here....but I'm ready for the challenge. The members have been really nice though and for the most part they are willing to work with us. Its just the fact that our area is pretty wide so we have been working on finding people but its kind of difficult. As for teaching though it goes good. We have some good potential investigators. I have been doing really good here and I'm very grateful I have a Filipino companion so that my Tagalog will get even better.  (He is also learning a new dialect called Pangasinan or something like that, most of the people speak that but also Tagalog in his new area) Hearing such great news about (close relative)  as I just read dads email makes me very grateful for the tender mercies we receive each day. I don't think we could count how many we receive each day like ever but those little blessings like getting a text from someone you love just as it seems that things are at an all time low can completely change your attitude and maybe your life. I know that XXXX sending that text at that time to dad was not a coincidence, our Father in Heaven knew that you needed to hear that amazing news about XXXXX dad. All I know from what I have experienced is that you cannot give up on people. If we put it in terms of our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, they have never given up and will never give up on any of us, the gospel of Jesus Christ is there for us.  All we need to do is put forth a little bit of effort and test our faith a little bit and grab on to the hand of mercy that is extended endlessly out to us. I just want you to know that I love you so much no matter what happens.  Whatever happens I will be here to lift up the hands that hang helplessly down. If you are ever sad or depressed send me an email because I'm here for all of you.  Please if you need help ask your Heavenly Father.
I love all of you please take care of yourselves this week have a great week. I will as well.

Love Elder Hansen

Forgiveness, Conversion and Exerise! 10/20 and 10/27/13


Mom and Dad
 Well freak let me first start out with I got transferred!!!!!! yeah last Friday so I missed the baptism of (The Brother who had a stroke)....he was awesome and I didn't even get to say goodbye to him....I feel bad but its just how it happened.  (This has happened several times during Riley's mission.  He gets investigators ready for baptism and they transfer him before they can be baptized.  I told him that his job is obviously to prepare and then move on and not to worry) But my new area is in Lingayen zone.  Its called Aguilar. I'm assigned to the first branch...its a way cool area but we have no ibds right now and no progressing investigators so I'm here to do some work!!! My new companion's name is Elder Flores.  He is from Bacolod area!! He is a great guy.
So far I have only been here for three days so I don't really know the area and stuff but it seems way fun. We taught a great lesson last night about repentance. It seemed to really help this Less active out. Hopefully it did.  (In speaking about working hard and homesickness or troubles on your mind Riley says the following) I find that when you are working hard you don't really think about your problems or home.  No offense but when I'm out working I don't really think about you guys.....hahahaha but I do love you guys of course. I'm glad that you guys had a good time at Uncle Bears Memorial tribute...I can't believe its almost been a year now that he passed away from us for a short period of time. I say a short period of time because to him it is a very short period of time and if we look at things in the eternities we realize how short our time really is. Dad the bands I want you have to order from the store. The bands down stairs are old now so they would just break anyway.   I'm having a great time here I'm in a new house and turns out that another Elder from my batch and district in the mtc is in my house.  He is from Kearns,  Utah his name is Elder Uhi.  He is a great guy. Anyway I will be writing you a letter and sending it next week so I won't put too much more in here. I love you guys so much
Love Elder Hansen


In this email he is referring to someone that he knows personally who was struggling to overcome some sins and problems in their life.
Hey guys I'm glad you are doing great!! I know that because of the savior we can over come
anything in our lives. I have some talks that I will be sending to you guys that are
about repentance and the Saviors' mercy. The talks are absolutely amazing. This coming Saturday I have a baptism of a Brother. He is
awesome.   He is the one who had a stroke a couple years ago!! That was
the thing that opened the door for him for the gospel. His wife has
said that he has changed so much because of our teaching to him. Alot
of the other religions have gone to him but nothing ever changed
except for when we went to him. His wife I believe will follow him in
membership!! This was a great experience for me to see. Yes mom I did
get the Halloween package. DAD will you please send me some jaeger arm
bands. They are baseball bands. I want to work out my arm and stuff. Pres.
Monahan wants to play catch!@! haha But this has been a great week one
of our zone leaders goes home tomorrow Elder Beckstrom he lives in
Spanish Fork, try and find him! We got really close these past two
transfers!! I don't know if I will be transferred or not this transfer
I doubt it but it is possible. I love
you guys keep in touch like always!! haha Love ya Elder Hansen