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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

For us, one of the most heartwarming moments in the early days of the transition took place on July 16, fifteen days into the new mission. Elders Menet, Minetto, Watts, Moyar, Carter, Brandt, Larsen, Moeller, and Ricks (not pictured), were all invited to extend help teach our new missionaries and members how Veracruz does missionary work. These missionaries were all zone leaders except Elder Ricks who was serving as an assistant at the time. The worry was how these model missionaries would be received. Would the others think that they were hotshots who were going to push them around? I really think it was a little bit of a challenge for a couple of them for the first day or two, but instant increased success rates and the genuine love of these elders won the day.

I think they all slept on the cement floor, on a blanket, for 3 weeks. We did not buy extra beds for the short term. We are not budgeted to do that. They shared together all that they had. They ran when they worked. They really don't stroll. They really do hustle. They have to. They had a lot of investigators and no cars. We don't give them enough money to always take taxis and sometimes the buses aren't reliable. It was July. Our missionary houses have no air conditioning and no water heaters for hot showers. There are no microwave ovens or couches or easy chairs. Our missionaries do not live "above" the local people. But, they have testimonies, and a love for the work, and an appetite for high adventure and a fierce drive to preach the gospel.

We held a large multi-zone conference in the north where they were all working 3 days before the first of this group went home and 6 days before the rest of them returned home. At the end of the zone conference, we gathered for food. I was helping Elder Ricks and Mom load the minivan with materials. I came back into the stake center and noticed that the missionaries from Tampcico had gathered together the group for a photo op. Then, there was a standing ovation. They, these eight and the other remaining missionaries, would never all be together again, and everyone sensed that. I borrowed this foto from Elder Larsen who called it "Elder Brandt and the Heartbreakers." I might call it "Elder Brandt and the Heartmakers."

Click on the photo to get a good feel for their true to the faith smiles.

1 comment:

McCallisters said...

I met a lot of these Elders. They are all really good people.