Pretty Good Spanish for 5 Months in!

Pues esta semana era bien! recibe sus cajas, y muchisimos gracias por los dos, y tambien recibe una caja de abuelitos morrill!
Y para sus preguntas, escribimos nuestros cartas en la oficina de nuestro complejo de apartamentos, hay dos computadoras que todos los residentes pueden usar para cual quiere reason.
Hay mas securidad con nuestros cajas postal aqui que haltom, aqui hay un grande caja de correo para cartas y cajas pequenos, pero en el mismo vez, si hay un caja grande ellos ponen en la oficina y cuando visitamos para correo o por nuestro hora que tenemos permision a usar computadoras verificamos si hay cajas para nosotros. Y con tristeza si tengo un companero que habla espanol, pero no estamos hablando solamente en espanol. Estoy tratando entonces usualmente hablo en espanol y el en ingles.

Well this week I got sick, had president interviews, and helped people move stuff in one way or another.

Tuesday we had a district meeting, there are a total of 5 missionaries in our district, a trio companionship and us. The other district in our zone is 5 companionships, I think it is divided up like that for spanish.

Wednesday we did service at a members home/ ranch? Hermano Saldana, he lives on the outskirts of the city and we were helping him move bricks from a pile he has into his living room. I will explain, apparently he remodels a room of his house at a time and takes about a year doing so, he seals off the room from the rest of the house, this time with plywood. Then he removes the floor and builds a foundation. His house was origionally pretty much a trailer home on a couple cinder blocks. So now he is building concrete pillars underneath about ten per room, then filling in the rest of the space with rocks or in this case brick he found. He told us he plans on covering it all in cement then builds the floor. He is a character, and is always willing to go on exchanges with us which is really nice.

Thursday is our weekly planning day so for most of the day we were planning in our apartment making goals and such. We went to another member’s home and moved some furniture out of their house and a new set of drawers in. The packages came on Thursday as well

Friday was interviews, it is nice that we can talk to president one on one, one elder in our district walked out of his interview saying “that man knows everything” and then proceeded to search through his scriptures trying to recapture what he had discussed. All I can say is that the authority that he holds as a mission president is powerful and wonderful. President Ames also says hello to Grandpa Morrill

Saturday I woke up feeling terrible, I think I caught a cold or a bug, I had to keep telling myself to just go a little more, and I made it through the day, we helped another member move some stuff from one storage container to another then later that day he took us to Golden Corral. By then I was feeling a bit better, still a little stuffed up up to today. There was also a baptism on Saturday for a little girl who is eight, her parents and family was baptized about two years ago, then went inactive due to marriage problems. They are doing their best to come back though! We are doing what we can to help them as well. I gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost, I was asked to do so about 15 minutes before the baptism… Good thing I am a missionary who studies everyday on topics as such…. At the end of the baptism the little girl bore her testimony in spanish. I wish I could describe the spirit that was felt in the room, her innocent and pure testimony was amazing.

Then Sunday was church with meetings at nine we had a lunch/dinner at a members home of steak and chicken. Speaking of chicken, there are at least 5 different chains of chicken oriented restaurants and several mom and pop places as well.

Well that was my week, maybe I should read my journal p-day morning more often… I love you so much! Thank you for all you do, and for everything that yall do as a family, receiving those packages was meaningful to me, anytime I get to hear from yall is wonderful.

With love,
Your son,
Elder Grant Hagen

a photo of the landscape we could see when we did service with hermano saldana

a photo of the landscape we could see when we did service with hermano saldana

There is a truck with the furniture we moved from a trailer home

There is a truck with the furniture we moved from a trailer home

where I sleep, with my Texas flag with past missionary signatures from the areas that I have been in, and some ancient bath robe covering the window to keep the cold air from blowing in and replace the broken shades.

where I sleep, with my Texas flag with past missionary signatures from the areas that I have been in, and some ancient bath robe covering the window to keep the cold air from blowing in and replace the broken shades.


First New Food Experience (he handled it like a champ!)

Well that sounds like an awesome week! Definitely different with Tayler being a priest…

Anyways this week was awesome, since last P-day we had a Zone Training on Tuesday, we have them monthly and as a zone, we have a goal of 12 baptisms for the month of April! I am excited for this goal and as a companionship we have a baptism planned for one of our investigators for next Saturday! Her name is Cristina, she is a grandmother who studies the bible a great deal. She is super cool and excited to be baptized!

Wednesday we had an exchange where my companion elder Guiterrez went to the other side of Denton and our district leader came here and was my companion for a day. He is Elder Munoz, really cool guy who doesn’t have much time left in the mission, we had a ton on success and taught about seven lessons!

I have also discovered that Texas can not decide on one weather for the week, Friday was super sunny, in the 90’s all day, but Saturday it poured rain, as if the ocean was being dumped on us, then Sunday was super windy and though only in the 40’s the wind chill made it freezing.

Yesterday (Sunday) I had the food that most white elders fear, dread, and cant stomach. Menudo… not bad, it is cow stomach, made into a broth cut into chunks with pieces of corn in the soup as well. It is really chewy, and reminded me a lot of calamari, except you know, being the inside of a cow stomach, that if not prepared properly still has whatever was in the stomach at the time. My companion was telling me how he would clean out the stomach and intestines when he lived in Honduras for his grandfather and uncles after they killed the cow. Apparently it is usually a holiday dish in Mexico, they charge more for it in butcher shops and such. Not my favorite dish, but edible and I would and probably will eat it again. Many Elders cant handle the texture, one side is slick and chewey, the other is, well, how do I describe it? Chewy as well, like pasta or hair? except the inside of the the stomach.

Well, I love you so much! Thank you for your letters and e-mails! I love you Mom and hope that you are having fun!


Elder Grant Hagen

 Elder Guiterrez and I Deep in thought

Elder Guiterrez and I Deep in thought

The Menudo

The Menudo

Me eating menudo taken in a frame where it doesn't look enjoyable

Me eating menudo taken in a frame where it doesn’t look enjoyable

Crazy Texas weather can't make up it's mind

Crazy Texas weather can’t make up it’s mind

Down here in Denton

Well actually Denton is right up against the edge of Oklahoma but the title just seemed catchy.. My day has been awesome! It is kind of funny, as a preperation day I thought there would be down time, but every day is so busy, it is quite enjoyable actually!

So I am here in Denton now, and how do I describe it? the area is about the third of the size of my last area, but still on a bicycle, and the missionary work here is super fun! There is an area in the city that the ward and missionaries have dubbed little mexico! People are more open here, I am still speaking spanish, and in general the area covers about half of the city’s heart. It is pretty flat here, so the biking is pretty easy. In our ward, it is half english and half spanish, there are two companionships of spanish elders, us and the district leader trio. By the ward being half english meaning that there are times that the talks are in english, but the classes are spanish, everyone seems to know spanish, i think it is supposed to be spanish, but this area is still growing, just two years ago it was a branch.

Due to the english they have translator headsets, which are helpful for our investigators who dont speak english. Sadly this sunday the headsets were on the wrong frequency and they didnt fix it in time for sacrament meeting. So the two talks that were give, one by a youth about to leave on her mission and the other was a member of the bishopric were both in english. However, the investigator that Elder Guiterrez and I brought only speaks spanish, so while we were sitting by here I translated both the talks, man was that a new experience for me! It was difficult, helped me listen more, and she was grateful for the translations while my companion looked up all the scriptures that they cited in english to have her read in spanish.

It is cool though, she is basically a member of the ward and has only been taught for the past three weeks so I am super excited to help her progress.

So my companion is named Elder Guiterrez, he is from Houston Texas and grew up in Honduras and Mexico, he is really cool, I am trying to speak Spanish almost all the time and he is helping me do that!

I hope Tayler starts driving, there is nothing to be afraid of, I had a dream I got to drive an old car last night, it was really cool, fun, and made me miss the truck back home a bit when I woke up….

Well I am doing good on food, if you ever sent the protein mix, i never got it. Could you send a map of mexico? My last companion’s parents sent him one from natgeo that was super cool, missionaries use maps of mexico and south america for writing notes and such about people that we meet. Well I have to go 😦 I need to write dad still sadly the letter will probabily be cut short, our ride for p-day just got here, I am writing in the office of our apartment complex.

I love you so much,
Love you,

Your son,

Elder Grant Hagen

Stuff packed and ready to go

Stuff packed and ready to go

New companion Elder Guiterrez

New companion Elder Guiterrez

He’s moving this week!

We found out today he’s being transferred. The address in included in his email. Other than that his emails today are very short. I hope this isn’t a trend.

“I don’t have much time to write sadly because the internet went down and used up our computer time… 😦 I am moving so anything sent as of Sunday wont get to me in time… but my new address is in Denton, the next time I am writing you I will be there! There was hail and ice yesterday! The Spanish ward didn’t meet due to the ice so we went to an English sacrament meeting. There was a wedding set up in the cultural hall, I didn’t go but took pictures of the setup, I will have to write a bigger e-mail next week.

Love you!

Elder Hagen!

“Any mail sent as of yesterday will not get to me, and the Elders here will have to resend it to Denton! it is

1610 E Mckinney #1704
Denton, Texas 76209

Mar 2014 Spanish District

Missionaries are cool!

Missionaries are cool!

First orange since getting to Texas

First orange since getting to Texas

Another great week!

This post is a week late. I just didn’t have time to post last week. Better late then never though.

“Well I got to e-mail the Bishop and I had Zone Conference this week! It was wonderful! That was Wednesday and we really began to understand the importance of planning, we planned the next day in what we call weekly planning, we do it every Thursday and plan for our goals for the upcoming week and revise how to reach that weeks goals using the following days, the planning can take from four to five hours of straight planning, chapter 8 in PMG we follow the steps 1-13 and this week we applied how to focus more on people and to take it day by day, it was the most productive planning I have every had! I am excited to get some huge progress in my area, speaking of which, next Monday is transfers so I could be getting moved to a different area!

just a heads up for letters and such.

If I get moved, it will be where the lord wants me to go, but it means I may not be able to go to the temple this next transfer. Here in Haltom, we are less than an hour from Dallas and the Dallas temple. That is the only time we can go to the temple, when it is less that I think an hour and a half away, we do not have any temples in our mission, kind of sad… So we need to get a ride with a member to go to the temple.

Also our mission president wants us to show all of the members in our areas the Hastening the Work of Salvation video on, I want you to see it as a family home evening, it is the one with the family, you have seen it before, but I want you to count how many time you see something related to missionary work Either preparing or doing it. The record is held by an elder in our zone conference in the mission at 47 things he found, from the little kid changing seats on the bus, to the girl comforting her co-worker. It is a wonderful video on how this work is not just missionaries, they come in about halfway or more in the video. I testify that this work is not possible with members, it is the members work and we are here to help them. The missionaries with the most baptisms that I have met (baptisms do not measure success of an Elder) for example, one has almost 30 baptisms I think it was like 28, but 24 were friends of members referred to the missionaries, taught with the members there being their friends and fellowshipping them as normal people. Missionaries are not normal people, and we cant fellowship and become friends with people the way members can. I love you so much

The pictures are of me and my companion, and a large platano that we wrote some of our message on!

Feb. 2014 teaching plantano

Feb. 2014 With elder Ostlund

Love, Elder Grant Hagen!