Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 4 - August 29, 2016 - Gallipolis, Ohio

Okay, so let me just start off by saying how much I love it here!! It's beautiful! They weren't kidding when they said that my mission is like 80% trees! It's seriously so green haha! I can see why it's going to be so pretty in the fall! My mission president calls it "Fruit Loop" season because everything literally looks like fruit loops with all the different colors and all! I'm so pumped for fall! Haha! Anyway, WOW a lot has happened these past couple days. Sooooo I'll start from the beginning.

So the first two nights we stayed at the Assistants to the Presidents home. We toured Charleston on Wednesday and I think they will send you a picture of me with them in front of the capitol. I'm pretty sure. Don't quote me on that. Then on Thursday we went to the church and met our trainers! My new companion/trainer's name is Elder Hallewell. He's from Hurricane, Utah! HE'S SO SICK! He's obedient, nice, funny, really really spiritual, and he loves Harry Potter AND The Office! So WIN-WIN! We quote the office quite a bit. Too much probably but it's fine. Then we drove to my new area Gallipolis, OHIO! Was not expecting to go to Ohio already but it's awesome here! And then we get to the apartment and he says, "Alright let's drop your suitcases in the room and then we'll go contact some referrals!" I was like "whoa." We literally just jumped right into it, which is good! I kinda wanted to do that actually but still, I was like "whoa." 

Okay, so now I'll let you know a little bit about the area! So the Gallipolis Ward is awesome! They are all so nice! It was funny, yesterday we get to the church and we walk into the ward council meeting and I whisper to my companion "Are they going to have me talk in front of everyone during sacrament meeting about myself? Cuz I'll have no idea what to say." He says, "Maybe, but I highly doubt they'll have you do it the first week." Then we sit down and the bishop was like "Alright, so thank you missionaries for coming. And welcome Elder Hanson! Elder Hanson would you mind saying a little something about yourself during sacrament meeting today?" I said "Yeah sure!" but in my mind I was like "whoa. ok." But it all worked out haha! I wasn't totally awkward when I talked in front of the ward for the most part. ANYWAY, I also LOVE THE PEOPLE IN THIS AREA! Did I say that already? It was a little bit of a culture shock because most of the people here don't have a whole lot. Most live in little shacks. It was extremely humbling to see how even though people don't have a whole lot, they're still so loving and giving! Count your many blessings!!

Okay, so now I'll talk about our investigators and less actives that we talked to this week! First, Donna. She was already a progressing investigator before I got here and she's seriously the sweetest lady you'll ever meet! (Other than you mom of course). Anyway, she is SO CLOSE to baptism and all she has to do is get married. But her and her husband, Billy, don't have the money for a marriage license. So please keep them in your prayers that they'll find a way to pay for it! Because she has so much faith in God and she's just so close. Thank you! OH AND SHE GAVE ME A QUILT! We went by yesterday and she said "This is for the new Elder". It was seriously the nicest thing ever! First thing I said was "No way! You're actually kidding!" Which probably didn't translate well to her at first but she just went along with it haha!

We also have a very recent convert named Gus! He just got baptized two weeks ago and he received the priesthood yesterday! And I was able to be in the circle for that! It was super cool! Now we're just trying to get his wife, who is a less active, to stop smoking. She's been clean the past 3 days so hopefully she keeps it up! Also keep them in your prayers! 

So something pretty cool happened to me. At least I think it's cool. We were walking out of this guy named John Chick's house and we saw a guy sitting on his porch across the street. I had a pretty big prompting to go and talk to him but we kept walking because we were running late. But the prompting kept coming back so I finally told my companion that we need to go back really quick and talk to him. So we went back and talked to him. His name was Nathan.  He didn't seem too interested but he accepted a Book of Mormon and we set up a return time. And even though nothing huge happened, I still felt really good about it. Whenever you have a prompting from the spirit to do something, DO IT! Because you never know what effect it had on someone or something! You won't regret it!

Anyway, yeah it's been a crazy past couple of days. I'm still trying to get used to the culture and everything but I'm getting there! I'm honestly just happy to be here! I know that this church is true. I wouldn't be out here if I didn't know that. God restored his gospel back to the earth because he knows that it can change lives for the better! He loves us and wants us to return to him! I love you guys so much and thanks for everything! 

So I was singing Try Everything by Shakira when I was getting ready for bed one night in my room. And then my companion from the other room yelled "What the crap are you singing?" I was like "Oh. Try Everything by Shakira." Then he yelled, "I LOVE SHAKIRA!!" Then he started fangirling about Shakira for like 20 minutes and I literally just stood there and laughed the whole time haha!

D&C 6: 36
D&C 84: 88

- Elder Hanson
Apartment in Gallipolis, Ohio

Apartment in Gallipolis, Ohio

Amazing Foot Long!

"Downtown" Gallipolis, Ohio

Make your bed Noah!

Silver Bridge - Across the Ohio River

Last night at the MTC

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