Actually, it is not for 1000 days. It is just that 3 years times 365 days plus June 27 through June 30, 2008 equals 1098 days, and that is way too cumbersome to convert into a blog headline. Futhermore, our release date will not be determined until May or June of 2011. Therefore, 1000 Days sounded just about right, more or less. Having noted all that, we are humbled and thrilled (Pres. Uchtdorf would refer to the feeling as "joyfully overwhelmed") about having this marvelous opportunity to serve in La Mision Mexico Veracruz.

Con amor,
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen

Sunday, August 1, 2010

On April 8th the Veracruz 5 went home. They are the young men whom we met in the MTC when we were there "on vacation" studying and preparing before formally entering the New Mission Presidents Seminar. We have had many wonderful experiences with them, even countless. They have all served very well, been successful and obedient, and there has always been a special bond. All have been trainers, which is the most important assignment a missionary can receive. They have also served as district leaders, zone leaders, secretary to the president, and assistant to the president. Their leaving shakes our bones. Our clock is running way too fast. We love Mexico and this calling and don't have any desire to do anything else. Nevertheless, the clock runs.

These are four of the five, Elders Solesbee, Judd, Brown, and Collins. The fifth, Elder Brooks, had to go home because of illness and was later reassigned to the California Anaheim, Spanish-speaking. This is the picture of us together in the MTC two years earlier.

I just want to add this story which Elder Collins shared in his closing testimony at his last zone conference. It typifies the faith, desire, and testimony of these five missionaries who endured to the end and never doubted.

Several months ago, he and his companion, Elder Castro Correa, who went home in the last transfer, were praying for direction one morning. They both felt that they should go out and find a family to baptize, very specifically a family of five. So, full of that faith, they went to work.

They knocked doors and contacted in the street all morning and found no one to teach. No one. They had lunch and went back to it. Their teaching appointments feel through. They continued to contact. No one. This was not a typical day for them. They are highly successful and motivated missionaries. Still, they found no one, much less the family of five they both knew they were to find. Frustrated, they returned home at 9:30 that night concluding what Elder Collins called one of the worst and least productive days of his mission. He complained a little to Elder Castro wondering aloud what went wrong, why they had felt so strongly and now late at night, they had not been directed by the Lord even though they worked so hard.

Elder Castro turned to Elder Collins and said, "Élder, aunque sea tarde, nunca dude el poder del Señor." "Even though it might be late, never doubt the power of the Lord." They planned for the next day, ate some bread, prayed, and went to bed.

First thing the next morning, one of the elders in their zone called. He said that he and his companion were out working late in the afternoon the day before. A lady called to them. She asked if they were of a church. She said that she and her family were in dire straits, that they needed religion desperately, and asked for help. Then, she handed them a bank deposit slip with her name and address on it and left. The address was in the area of Elder Collins and Castro. They went to her house that morning.

There, they found a man and his three children. The woman was not home. That adds up to a family of five. They taught the man and his children the first lesson. It was very well received. They returned to teach the woman.

In a matter of three weeks, I was invited to interview the man for his baptism. He was so humble and repentant. It was a wonderful experience. He and his children were baptized together. The woman came to the service, but her heart was hardened. It took several more weeks, but finally, she allowed the Spirit of the Lord to soften her to the point that she let her husband back in the house. She was baptized. He is now an elder in the Church. They are working toward a temple sealing.

Aunque sea tarde, nunca dude el poder del Señor.

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