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Archive for August, 2010

Man do I love Zone Conferences, it is like a little slice of the MTC all
over again, just a day filled with the spirit, and learning. We got cut
down from a Conference a month, to one every three months, which was kind
of a bummer, but  that is all right. That will be fun to go camping again.
Our ward is going camping, and we were going to try to go, but it is like
an hour away and the Zone leaders kind of put the kibosh on it. Richins and
I are getting along great. We had the greenie with us for four days while
his trainer was in meetings, and we taught him everything, I kind of felt
bad that we stole a little bit of thunder from his trainer.
Cool story for the week, there was a couple, a less active guy, and a non
member wife, that got offend and stopped coming to church, and out of the
blue, they called me and said their school schedule loosened up a little
and they were comming back to church. Sounded to me like there heart was
softened a little. Well we had not had contact with them for like three
months, and later that day, that they called me, Elder Jones my last comp
called me, and said, Hey I had a prompting that you should call this
couple. I told him that they had already called me and they were coming to
church. Amazing
Another one, we were tracting, and we got to the end of this long country
road, and there were a ton of trees at the end. And when we got back there,
there was like a whole apartment complex at the back, and we had never seen
or heard of it. Twilight Zone, we went to the first door, and just as we
were about to knock a lady comes running out of another apartment, and says
“you have to leave, you can’t be here” We were thinking, what in the world
is going on here. She said this is a confidential woman’s rehab center. So
we left and about five minutes later, a lady about 21 that I haven’t talked
to in a month called me, and told me that she hadn’t been able to call
because she was in a rehab center, the same one that we had just been in.
Hmm, interesting.
Other then that we are still having a great time.

Elder Hansen

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Dear Mama Llama,

Yay, I love Sibiu!  President adjusted the goals we’re working towards.
Before, we were supposed to get 20 lessons a week: 5 lessons with a member
present, 5 Recent Convert/Less Active lessons, and 10 other lessons.  But
now he’s wanting to emphasize getting members involved in the conversion
process, so he changed our goals to 10member presents, still 5 RC/LAs, and
only 5 other lessons.  And we did it!  Saturday night we got our 10th
member present just before we had to go home (and just before that, our 5th
recent convert lesson).  I would love to serve here forever, but it’s
pretty impossible.  No one (in this mission, at least.  I know it’s
different for other missions) serves in the same place for more than 4
transfers (6 months) and I still have a year left.  But I would love to
serve here for the next 6 months! 🙂

Yesterday we went to Brasov to see the temple dedication in Kiev.  Brasov
is the closest city with a chapel (instead of a rented vila), and they only
showed the dedication at the chapels.  It was so much fun!  We got up early
and had to be at the autogara at 8:30 to catch our maxi-taxi (it’s like the
shuttle busses that go to Salt Lake and back).  It wasn’t the whole branch,
but most of it.  (We missionaries were allowed to go if the branches in the
city we’re serving in canceled church to go and see the dedication).  Then
we drove to Brasov and caught a bus to the chapel.  We got there at
12:05–10  minutes after they had locked the doors.  We couldn’t get in the
chapel at all, and it was cold and drisely outside.  So we all went to
Carrefour (like WalMart) to hang out until we could come back.  We came
back a couple of hours later and said hi to everyone.  It was great–lots
of cities from the west half of Romania all came to Brasov and we got to
say hi to all sorts of people.

The temple dedication was gorgeous.  It was interesting seeing it in three
languages–the speaker spoke in English, but would pause for his
interpreter who spoke Russian (or Ukrainian?  I don’t know if it’s
different).  A few seconds after they started speaking, the audio would go
quiet and we could hear a romanian dubbing at the same time.  Very
interesting.

No, I haven’t sent the package for Christmas yet, but I’m working on it.
You would not believe how much of a hassle it is to send a package here in
Romania.  They won’t even take it unless it is–no lie!–wrapped up in
brown paper and tied with string.  And then taped over the string.  And
then a label with your name, the contents, the weight, your weight, your
passport number, your mother’s maiden name, how many children you have, the
circumference of your left pinky toe, and all sorts of other ridiculous
information on it on top of all that.  Then you give it to the post office
people and they will take it–but only if it’s the right post office
(there’s only one in the entire city that will take packages) and the right
time of day (they only accept packages at random times–I haven’t figured
out the schedule yet).  So I’ve pretty much given up on sending them by
box.  I’ll stick them in padded envelopes and send them that way, and hope
that they all get there and that they don’t get hashed on
the way.

Speaking of packages, I got yours with my watch in it!  I had forgotten how
much I loved this watch.  It’s awesome.  I also love the earrings you sent
me–where did you get them?  I wore a set to the dedication and everyone
liked them.  The debit card still has the numb-er on it that you need to
call to activate it.  Did you call them already?  If not, the number
is 1-800-453-5073.  Thank you so much!

Wow, I love morning studies!  I could have personal study for three hours
every morning and not get tired of it.  This transfer we’ve been having a
hard time getting a full hour of language study in every morning because
we’ve been so busy, but I’m definitely a study advocate so we’re working on
it.

Pictures!  I don’t know if you can tell, but the first one is of a big rat
trying to hide between a gas pipeline and a raingutter drainpipe.  Then the
Sibiu branch at the Brasov chapel–the older lady in the black dress and
the tan jacket is Lanuta, and she’s a hoot.  Then our elders today–we
decided that Elder Jensen needed to be sacrificed on this stone altar we
found and that Elder Harvey should do the honors.  They’re both the best
kind of missionaries to work with–good hard workers, and funny as all
get-out.  Just like Jake. 🙂  Lastly is us at the top of the mountain we
climbed today.  Apparently the view is gorgeous–when it’s not covered in
fog.  The wind was blowing and it was freezing.  We all huddled together
under the rock to get out of the wind and ate our sandwiches that we had
brought up and shivered.  We headed back down, and as soon as we reached
the bottom of the mountain the sun came out and burned off the fog and it
was beautiful.  Ah, well.  It was fun anyway.

Remember that I think you’re amazing!

Bri

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Brielle Pictures

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Hey,
This has been quite the week. So I think I told you guys that we were
getting into a new apartment, well, the one wasn’t going to work because it
didn’t have a washer and dryer, so we kept looking around, and we found an
awesome “town house” that we got into, and it turned out to be a tiny bit
more, but in the long run the church saved a ton of money by setting us up
there. We got into our new place, and it has just been built, so it is
brand spanking new. We moved our desks and couches up stairs which was a
beast, and got all settled in. We got our bunk beds, but they took up a
bunch of space, We we first got into our new place, it had cathedral
celings about twenty feet high, so I thought it would be cool to stack all
four on each other, I suggested it at first as a joke, but the idea stuck,
and we stacked them up. We took pictures and every one we showed thought it
was awesome. The only down side to moving, is it took us about four days to
get every thing moved in, and both of the old apartments cleaned to where
they needed to be.
We got our transfer call today, and good news, I am staying, bad news,
Elder Jones is out of here… See you later, best comp ever. Ah well, they
tell me my new comp Elder Richins is a hard worker, so I am excited for
that.
Jones and I committed our family, Chris, Veronica, Macanna, Brooklin, and
Owen to baptism yesterday, and they said that they did want to be, but they
were just not ready yet, so that is a good sign, we just need to set a date
with them now.
Well that is pretty much all the new stuff for this week.
Love you guys,

Elder Hansen

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Dear Mama Lama (and the rest of you
hooligans)
We got information on transfers today!
I’m going to Sibiu, which from the
outside appears like the land of milk
and honey, but is probably hard work
just like everywhere else.  My
companion is Sora Ausen, who was a
boboaca this transfer.  I’m going
senior–gaah!  I’m super nervous.  Her
last companion (Sora Olson) is pretty
much the most awesome sister in the
entire mission, so I hope she’s not
unpleasantly surprised to get me as a
companion.  I’m a good missionary, but
I’m not as amazing as Sora Olson–we’re
all pretty sure that she’s a superhero
in disguise.

So Camille is like my little twin, eh?
Good for her. 🙂 haha, just kidding.

It’s so crazy that the girls are
starting school already–it feels like
summer just started!  Time flies,
right?  It’s also super crazy that
Jordan Fielding is getting married.
When they send out wedding
announcements, you should definitely
take a picture of it and email it to
me.

I don’t have time to write tons, but I
love you all!

Bri

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Pictures of Brielle!

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Jill–

I love your story about how the cats broke your mirror!  I can just
imagine how much that startled them as they were gallivanting around
in the middle of the night.  We visited a lady this week with an
enormous long-haired cat, and it made me think of the Rug.  She served
us ice cream and blueberries in goblets, and put a little ice cream on
a plate for the cat.  No wonder it was huge. 🙂

I’m excited to hear how Cody deals with getting his wisdom teeth
pulled.  Be sure to send me pictures of his chipmunk-face!  I think
everybody deals with it differently–Jake and I had ours taken out at
the same time.  He was in a lot more pain than I was, but he recovered
quicker.  My pain was never unbearable, but it lasted forever.

I’m glad your ward was discussing ways they can help retain converts.
The branches out here have a hard time functioning normally just by
themselves, so a lot of the new-convert support (and training in
mormon culture) comes from us missionaries.  I like the idea of
getting converts a visiting teaching/home teaching assignment
immediately–they’re so excited to serve and it’s something that’s not
too intimidating, I think.

I’m out of time, but thanks for sending me such long detailed letters!
I love hearing what’s going on in everybody’s lives.  I love you all!

Bri

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