Loving the Work

Well as we get away from the Christmas season, I am starting to get a taste of rough, put your back in, missionary work. And I love it.

 

Elder Ostlund is my new companion, he is a tall guy from South Jordan Utah who went to BYU for a bit and now is here after 8ish months on his mission. I am excited to work with him, he and I will bring this area back to life!

 

Elder Barnette had taught me a lot, helped me grow and improve, left me letters with conference talks in them, but the letters are labeled for different situations, getting a leadership position, having a hard time, etc. it was really thoughtful of him to do that and I am grateful for the chance I got to learn from him.

 

Grandma… That is sad, sad but peaceful because of where she is now and I am glad to have known her for a good impact on my life, she was always loving, kind, and a person whom I look up to and am glad to have fond memories of her and being able to say goodbye. She left us with so much knowledge, so much hope, and for her to be reunited with her children, with her spouse who she was sealed to is a wonderful and glorious thing. We will see her again, I will always remember her and love who she is.

 

 The message of the gospel is so important to all, to have that knowledge why we are here, that this is the truth and we need to know that and make of it what we should. Many times we meet about ten or fifteen new people a week, and even if they do not want to talk with us, we talk about how our goal is to help people, help them be close to our savior Jesus Christ. The biggest question we ask is why, why do we do things, when we invite someone to be baptized and they say yes or no, we ask why. Not for us usually, well partly so we know what to do and where to go, but for them to really understand the importance of this great and marvelous work.

 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to stand as a living modern witness of this great and marvelous latter-day work.
I am also grateful for the letters that I recieve from you, this week I got letters from dad, grandma hagen, spencer, and Jacob. I will write all of you back.

 

 

I love you,
Love, your son,
Elder Grant Hagen
Last Day with Elder Barnette

Last Day with Elder Barnette

 

 

New Comp. Elder Boy he's tall (Grant's almost 6 feet)

New Comp. Elder Ostlund
Boy he’s tall (Grant’s almost 6 feet)

 

 

 Cat friend who we speedily biked away from

Cat friend who we speedily biked away from

Cat friend

Cat friend

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Week of ups and down

I am very healthy, biking every day, doing a morning workout, trying to eat fruit or vegetables every day, and my acne is really down, and I plan to keep it that way.

 

Food, food is always good, I need cereal, maybe some canned tuna, I am not sure, whatever would sound good to you, Elder Barnette has really helped me try to stay eating healthy and exercising. But we have agreed that eating really healthy is sadly out of a missionaries budget for the most part, but I have whole grain bread, eggs, I bought a mixing cup, the kind with the spring ball inside, if you could send some protein stuff that would be awesome, something that tastes good, haha. I got the white shirts pretty much right after e-mailing you guys last week, I am keeping two in the packaging so I have two white shirts now, and two at my year mark. I am good on sweaters, if you could send some shoe trees? I want to get the most out of them I can, I have been good on polishing them usually, but sometimes they get a big scratch and there isnt much I can do, the rubber on bottom is holding well though.

 

Well now for my week, ups and downs, lots of them. Ups, lots of lessons, had some investigators go to church, really liking the area, got to go on two exchanges with the district leader, one in his area and one in mine, he has a car. did more service at the trailer home. The mother of the kids who were going to be baptized promised to go to church Sunday after being inactive for 9 years. Oh and I get a new companion from Waco.

 

Downs, Elder Barnette is leaving and it is only halfway through training, and he is going to Waco, so I probably will not see him again during the mission as he goes home in 2 transfers. the baptisms we were going to have fell through, the parents wanted the kids to understand more or so they say, and we respect that.

 

Oh and I had a pet cat, that wasn’t a pet but sat outside our door for two nights meowing… no we did not feed it, I opened the door once to turn on the outside light, by screwing the lighbulb tight, and the cat ran in, so I put it back out…

 

I love you, don’t get sick from all the ash and dust, and be safe, I love you all so much
Elder Hagen

 

cache, the mexican candy

cache, the mexican candy

the "pet" cat. It's fine!

the “pet” cat. It’s fine!

Service project, moving a piano

Service project, moving a piano

Lots of Study Time

Well I wish there was a lot I could talk about this week, we are having a baptism this Saturday for two sisters Jaquelin and Joselin, who are 9 and 14, and excited to be baptized!  We have an investigator named Gloria who we are teaching as well, she is practically a member, we found her two saturdays ago at an intersection when she had the car that she was riding in pull over and she shouted Elders! gave us her address. Her daughter is eight and when we went to their home on monday, first thing she said when we opened the door was, when am I getting baptized? I can soon right? They have really become friends with a family in the ward who has taken them to church every sunday and they involve themselves in all three hours, when we texted Sunday to ask if she wanted a ride to church she had already asked a member for a ride!
 
This week I had to spend two days studying, reading and pondering the scriptures, Jesus the Christ, and Preach My Gospel, my companion got really sick, well he is always sick just sometimes it acts up, but for two days he couldnt really get out of bed for much, and was coughing so much. It happens, President Ames knew about it, and called just to see if he was doing ok which kind of scared my companion because that never happens.
 
We had a service project this saturday, we went to an investigators home named Nolan, Noel? Noah? in the sister missionaries area with a bunch of Elders quorum members, and the other two companionships in the ward. He had recently bought a trailer home like Aunt Jen’s was but smaller and was previously owned by six guys who did not take care of it at all, so we removed the floor, most of the cabinets, and repainted the walls and ceiling. That was fun.
 
Well I hope everything is going well, oh and the shirts never came but thankfully it is warming up a little, but they would still be nice to have since it is winter still…
 
Te amo mas que yo puedo decir,
Elder Grant Hagen
 
 
Service Project Home

Service Project Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside project. Lots of people in a small space.

Inside project. Lots of people in a small space.

Riding in 30 degrees freezes the face.

Riding in 30 degrees freezes the face.

 

 

It’s cold in Texas!

Just a couple of notes so that parts of the letter are understood. Most of it will make sense as written, even though a good portion of it is in response to questions I had asked him. Towards the end it mentions Grandma Steimle, who is his Great Grandmother, who will be 95 in a few weeks. This was his response to my telling him that she was struggling mentally and physically and that the doctors  have said her body is beginning to shut down. I wanted him to be prepared for when it happens. I was surprised by his response. I had not known what Grandma said to him before he left. Also, the reason he is down to one long sleeve white shirt (if anyone remembers from a previous post) is because he had two at the MTC and after putting a pen back in his shirt pocket without the cap it had bled blue all the way down to his belly button. We have sent 3 new long sleeve white shirts that will arrive any day. After the email to me I have added the email to his dad. I like the story in it. It’s not earth shaking, but encouraging.

(Email to Mom)

“Well it was 15 degrees today, may get up to 20, and such a lovely wind chill hahaha.  9 am church sounds kind of early, we enjoy a 1:30 time this year in the Spanish ward and meetings are about at noon. This week I am starting a study journal, when tayler prepares or even reads the scriptures, I advise keeping one near by to write down verses that cover particular topics, or write his feelings and impressions on specific chapters.  Maybe I should start bringing my journal with me to the library when I e-mail, I struggle to remember what I have done when, time meshes together, my companion forgot it was New years, and it didnt dawn on me until I reminded him.

 

So the story that I do remember, was one that happened friday and still had consequenses saturday. So friday we did a ton of biking, up and down streets, on dirt sidewalk paths, to and fro all around our south western side of our area, borders of haltom, we ended the night by having a lesson with a less active guy and his sister and brother-in-law, people, missionaries and others were saying that he used to go on splits with the missionaries, then had to deal with a divorce, and fell away. So we talked with them, wasnt our best lesson but it happened anyway. When we went out to our bikes, we took off and began looking for more people while slowly working our way home, I noticed my bike felt different; the front tire was completely flat. After ten minutes of riding, and not wanting to destroy my bike entirely we walked home, got home late, and I changed the tire, the tube that was in it was cracked down the middle due to age and old rubber, so I replaced it with one that I found in the apartment, had patches on it. Saturday we got ready, finished studies, and were about to go out when I checked my tire, It was flat, the tube was no good, so we called someone in the ward to help us out, because we had an appointment to be at. A really awesome appointment with an investigator we met the day before when she stopped her truck at the intersection and shouted “Elders! I have been looking for you! here is my address…” Just one of those awesome contacting ways the Lord works. So the member picked us up, drove us over there, stayed with us for the lesson and shared as well (the guy is a RM of less than a year) and we were able to teach her in her home because he was there, else we would have to stay outside in about 30 degree weather. Then we went to a bike shop, I bought a new tube and tire because my front tire was showing the wires through the rubber due to age. So yeah, that happened, but I should try to remember more of the stories that I have to share.

 

Soo right now, my throat has been all clogged, my companion had some mucinex that has helped, but for the past two days i could barely talk, I have been struggling on a bike, he is fit to the point where he doesnt really tire from fatigue, just illness. Speaking of my companion, he is better he isnt coughing up blood, he was in May but hasnt gotten to that point now and with the medicine he has he wont be, back will still hurt, but the chairopractor really helps. When he is too sick to go out, we study, he has taught me how to study better, advised me to use a study journal and flashcards, which I will be doing from now on, he helps me learn what I ask him to understand. For a missionary he is rather old and will die soon (go home) the plus side is that he has seen it, seen the mission life and teaches me on what will make the most of my experience.

 

Oh and I got grandmas letter with the Laban Morrill Story, and I guess in all the MTC confusion I did get her cookies and had read Alma5, but just didnt get the chance to say that I did! Thank you grandma!

 

Grandma Steimle said something along those lines when I saw her last. I hope she recovers, she has been and will always be an inspiration and a loving figure to me, Grandma Steimle I love you so much.

 

Well I asked dad for some white long sleeve button up shirts, because I cant wear thermal long sleeve without one on, doest really work… and I only have one long sleeve right now that I save for Sundays and meetings with suits.

 

I am still so grateful to serve and for your support, I love you mom, tell everyone how much I love yall. It may be cold here, but the lords work must be done, also thankyou for the foot warmers and hot packs, they were a blessing on a cold day, eh everyday is cold.

 

With love that continues to increase, Elder Grant Hagen, Son!

 

We had an elders quorum activity Saturday that we got a total of 12 investigators, between the four companionships to attend. The band at the activity was one of the counselors in the quorum and his band.

We had an elders quorum activity Saturday that we got a total of 12 investigators, between the four companionships to attend. The band at the activity was one of the counselors in the quorum and his band.

                           
Bike troubles

Bike troubles

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Email to Dad)

Thanks for the Happy New Year, kinda funny though, we were biking and my companion was like, man why is no one home tonight? And being the blond kid I am I said, wonder if it has something to do with it being New Years Eve… We spent the new year like a work day, buckled down and began working, tracting looking for people, stuff like that. we had set a goal to talk to three people, and it turned out to be a blessing and a testimony builder. Little bit of background, every night we try to be in our apartment at 9, not much really happens with investigators after that point. Our goal of three people was looking impossible at 8 thirty at night, we had been lucky to talk to one man at his home earlier that day. so at 8:30 we were pretty far from the apartment, and it was about 28 degrees according to my bike digital thermometer.  so we began to bike home, we were at a gas station and decided to head home from there, but in my heart I was still thinking about our goal, hoping we could reach it. I shouted to Elder Barnette who was riding in front, remember we have a goal, he replied saying he knew. About under a minute later, we turned onto a street and there was a hispanic family of about 10-15 people sitting around a fire in front of their house, we passed them and continued riding… No more than forty feet later we both stopped, looked at each other and agreed we had to go back, we talked to the family, the father of the home was named pancho, they welcomed us, had us stand with them by the fire and we shared a message about hope and faith. This was a personal testimony builder to me dad, it helped me realize that when I have a goal, and I work towards it, and ask the lord for help, he will help, he will help in the most amazing and wonderful ways.
 
my companion is doing better, had a migrane on sunday but hes good, we do studies while he is sick, and he his helping me know how to better study and is a great trainer, I wonder sometimes how a kid of 21 can have wisdom. So as far as investigators and inactives, we have two with a baptismal date that they can only have if they attend church, and we met a mom and her kids the other day who have met with missionaries before, but she is the perfect investigator and truly has a testimony, and wants better for her kids. We had a less active family of six attend church for the first time since we have been here, they have powerful testimonies but were not loved or fellowshipped by the ward so that was progress too. Our teachings are going well, it was a struggle for me to speak in spanish, especially at first to random people we meet on the street, but the more I do, the better I become.
 
Well I thought i was keeping warm, then it was 15 degrees today, and still is, soo I am freezing up a bit, wearing a pair of thermal leggins bout every day, but since I only have 1 button up longsleeve shirt, I am having to layer up on jackets, if you could, please sent more white button-up long sleeves, 2 would be awesome.
 
I love you dad, and I am always so grateful to know that I have your love, that I can say and feel inside that you care about me, I appreciate it tremendously, more than I can say or express
 
Your son, who loves you, and who strives to serve the lord,
Elder Grant Hagen”