Pictures!

I decided that I would just do a post of pictures. I don’t know about anyone else but I need the visuals and I’ve had a hard time not getting pictures every week. That said, I was over the moon when one day we opened the mailbox and there were two envelopes full of his handsome face, and the next week another envelope. A missionary mom could get used to that.

This is Gran't zone from his last transfer. Notice he is one of the tallest, rather than the short guy he used to be. No wonder he needs new pants.

This is Gran’t zone from his last transfer. Notice he is one of the tallest, rather than the short guy he used to be. No wonder he needs new pants.

His district of Spanish elders from his last zone conference.

His district of Spanish elders from his last zone conference.

For a service project Grant and his companion moved bricks at a members house. You'll laugh when you see where!

For a service project Grant and his companion moved bricks at a members house. You’ll laugh when you see where!

Grant and his companion moved bricks to help create a "foundation" in the members house. First the member removed the floor, put in some columns, filled the empty space with brick rubble, then poured cement over that. I don't know if this would pass code in California?

Grant and his companion moved bricks to help create a “foundation” in the members house. First the member removed the floor, put in some columns, filled the empty space with brick rubble, then poured cement over that. I don’t know if this would pass code in California?

Grant  showing the contents of the Easter package we sent him

Grant showing the contents of the Easter package we sent him

Grant 8

Beautiful place... but not a mountain or even baby hill around. No wonder they have tornados!

Beautiful place… but not a mountain or even baby hill around. No wonder they have tornados!

The "Square" as it's called. It's the old courthouse. Beautiful building, beautiful sky, again... not a hill in site.

The “Square” as it’s called. It’s the old courthouse. Beautiful building, beautiful sky, again… not a hill in site.

There was a big celebration of Cinco de Mayo on May 3rd. The missionaries set up a booth for it too.

There was a big celebration of Cinco de Mayo on May 3rd. The missionaries set up a booth for it too.

His calendar book with a big square around Mother's Day. That was a good day. Notice almost everything is in Spanish. I don't think he uses English much.

His calendar book with a big square around Mother’s Day. That was a good day. Notice almost everything is in Spanish. I don’t think he uses English much.

A typical spring outfit. Rains on and off constantly so a rain jacket is a must.

A typical spring outfit. Rains on and off constantly so a rain jacket is a must.

Trying to build up muscle, which has never been easy with his fast metabolism. He says he's put on a ton of weight... I can't seem to find it though!

Trying to build up muscle by drinking protein powder after every workout, which has never been easy with his fast metabolism. He says he’s put on a “ton of weight”… I can’t seem to find it though!

He is sewing the strap on his companions bag, which broke. Thank goodness he has a grandma who taught him how!

He is sewing the strap on his companions bag, which broke. Thank goodness he has a grandma who taught him how!

He’s a “DAD”!

Instead of being transferred Grant has been told he will now be a trainer. He explains that they call a trainer a “Dad” and the trainee is his “Son”. He goes through the training genealogy of his current companion. I guess they have a lot of time to talk as they walk/ride around the city. Just read it… You’ll see what I mean!

“It is getting more humid here in texas, or hotter, cant tell sometimes, thankfully not to the point where I am drenched by the end of the day but I can feel the difference while on my bike.

As far as transfers, I will not be being transferred, in fact, I will be training a new missionary! Last week on tuesday I got a phone call saying my companion will be going to Waco, which is the other side of the mission, and I will be staying to train a new missionary. I am absolutely excited! I am so grateful to be able to have this opportunity, in the mission there exists a bit as a joke, a family tree. Trainers are referred to as dads, there are grandfathers, great grandfathers and so on sometimes uncles. That is just a little piece of common mission lingo there. For example, my companion until tomorrow was trained by the missionary who trained the missionary who trained the missionary who trained me, thus to shorten that, he is my “great uncle”.

This week found so many more people as well, it really makes a difference to talk to everyone that you see, and a bit interesting. We had an atheist try to fight us about kolob, that was interesting, but didn’t make a difference to me.

Sadly this week we didnt have anyone at church who is investigating, we were close, but they got really sick, and we visited them yesterday we could tell. It is interesting to see how sad some people get for my companion going to Waco, it will be hard for the member we baptized, she joking said she would stop going to church if he left, then we told her he is leaving… she will stay active though, she has a really strong testimony!

Gracias por todo lo que tu haces, te amo mucho

Elder Grant Hagen”

Itty Bitty

I am late in posting last week’s email, so I’ll be doing 2 today. It’s very short… too short I think. No one missed much by having it posted late. We aren’t receiving digital pictures any more either. Just so there’s a bit more to read I’ll attach Grant’s email to Gary from last week. He talks about printing pictures. The computers at the public library where he writes his emails won’t accept his camera’s sd card. We did get some great print pictures. I will attach some of those in the next post.

“Well this week was a bit different, it was a bit strange coming off of having a baptism, maybe I didnt get fully back into the rhythm of things, but I am still going, doing all I can and loving my mission!

I did get Zach’s e-mail! That is quite excited that he will be serving in Japan, I am going to say that it isnt a coincidence, I dont really believe in coincidence anymore, miracles yes, blessings yes, we can see the hand of the lord in all things, and the more we do, the more blessings he pours out.

Okay maybe I just feel that heavier than before my mission… but still…

I got the protein powder and am using it right after exercise every day!
I could use another set of suit pants too, but this week is the last of the transfer, so next week there will be complications e-mailing. and maybe receiving mail.

Take care, I love you!

Elder Grant Hagen”

Gary’s email:
“Dear Dad,

Well this week has been alright, not as much success as I would have liked as a missionary, but I am not discouraged at all! I feel at times like the brother of Nephi, Jacob, who preached to the people, and at the end described how he is free of their blood, as in he had done all he could and it was up to them to make the ultimate decisions.

I would love some printed pictures from yall, I probably wont send so many this week, they cost about 25 cents each, I spent about 14 dollars on only pictures last week. We go to walmart each week for groceries and about anything else, there is a store called Aldi, a bit like Trader Joes, that is cheaper, but doesnt have as much stuff. My point is in the wal-mart technology section there is a machine to print pictures so that is where we go, it takes about 5 minutes to wait for the prints, so it isnt too bad.

Wow, so the school auctioned off all that wood shop equipment bummer, we still used it as a club for the solar boat, but I guess it is for the benefit of the school? I wonder if my AutoCad teacher Mr. Ruiz ever bought the 3D printers he was going to, the library here has opened up something called the Forge in the north branch where people can use 3D printing for about 50 cents every 10 grams of material. I am so fascinated to see the world revolve around and continue as myself and the other missionaries are separated it feels at times that we are looking through a window at the world due to the dedication we put in to being missionaries and being in the world but not of it.

That picture of the chicken coop is crazy! I didn’t think that it would be that big, I am very impressed and amazed, so it will only house two chickens?

As far as experiences this week I found the future spencer in spanish, we met a man during an exchange who has about 30 chickens, a few rabbits, a dog, and lots of birds. Really cool guy but we havent gotten to go back and really teach him.

This week I slipped in some gravel trying to make a turn at 15mph, ate it on the bike again, not to badly though I really caught myself this time. The best was the old lady’s face as she glared at my companion when I fell trying to express that he should help me. hahaha.

I will probably need new brakes soon, mine are about dead now, maybe another two weeks then that will be it.

This week is the last week of transfers so I may not move or maybe I will, still in the air until monday, then things happen that wednesday. So this is the last week for mail until I know.

I wont be able to e-mail next monday due to memorial day so I will probably e-mail on tuesday.

This week we had another family drop us, we visited, the wife said the husband didnt want us to come by, sadly she is open to listen, but he doesnt seem so. There was another family we have never taught, my companion did a few months back then we couldnt find them, the son asked us about joseph smith, I said he was a prophet of God that through him, God restored his true church. The boy (about 16) pondered it, looked at us, and told us to leave and never come back. My companion stated how when they had met before, the kid knows a good deal of the bible, maybe what we told him made sense, bringing fear that our message interferes with his current church and beliefs. His choice.

Well I love you and am glad to hear from both of yall, and tayler this week! and Zach about his call! Still cant send pictures, so I guess it will be only prints.

Take care, I love you and am always proud to call you my father,

Elder Grant Hagen”

So little time

Yesterday, which was Mother’s Day, I was able to talk to Grant by phone. One of 2 phone calls we get every year (the other is on Christmas day) Everyone else I know with a missionary out (about 8 other families) all Skyped with their sister/elder. It made me a bit sad and jealous of all those who posted screen shots on Facebook. Being unable to see his face and his expressions to go with the voice was hard when I knew everyone else could.

He also told me he is allowed only an hour every P-day to write emails and snail mail letters. If he has down time during the week it is to be spent in study. Because of that his letters are very short, since he is trying to write many different people. He has also been having trouble sending pictures from the public library computers he has to use. So seeing and hearing from him has been hard lately.

All in all I was so grateful to hear his voice, but had a pang in my heart that it was so short and I know I won’t get much from him again until next Christmas possibly.

Here is the very short email he sent today. It’s going to be a tough year if this is all we get once a week, and again there are no pictures. If we get any I’ll be sure to update.

“Dear Mom,

Well it was wonderful to hear from yall yesterday, I will admit it made me a bit homesick for a little while, however that night I still went out and had a really good lesson with a family who is on the edge of accepting a baptism date.

Besides what we talked about on the phone, this week we had zone conference, and that was quite a treat! We had trainings by missionaries and by the mission president on becoming Master Teachers which is the focus of our mission. At the end of the conference, he opened it up to a Q and A session for anyone and everyone to ask any kind of question. One missionary asked him about the Revelation for blacks to have the priesthood, (yes the missionary is black) and the insight to the answer was quite profound. How everyone has opinions, it is what we have, but how doctrine that is established by the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve is permanent, in movable and firm in the church for all time.

I wish I had more time to type, I plan on sending a BUNCH of pictures to yall today so ya know, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

I love you so much.

Have a wonderful week!
Love
Elder Grant Hagen

His letter’s are too short for this mom!

Dear Mother!

Well happy Cinco De Mayo! The American holiday celebrating mexicans being attacked by the French so that the Americans/ British could beat them? I have heard so many stories by so many different people that I just don’t know anymore

First I want to talk about mothers day! I do get to call yall! I have an hour for phone calls, I was planning to call sometime after four o’clock, which would be six my time, our president sent us an e-mail stating not to keep the phone numbers, and if yall do need to reach me to call the mission office. I look forward to hearing your voices again!

This week we had a spanish conference! It was on thursday back at my old area, a member drove me, my companion, and three other elders down there to the conference where we stayed for about four hours. We got to see every spanish missionary in the mission, my first companion is going home in three weeks! President Ames taught us how to focus to the people’s needs, it is interesting to compare the mission work to years past, now we truly focus on the people, after the lessons, they need to understand what we are teaching them, the importance of baptism. As a result, we are getting some people who accept that the next step is baptism, that this is the truth, and others who close their door and never open to us again when they realize we are not bringing a soft, pleasing message, but one of truth, firm and strong.

We have an investigator getting baptized this saturday! She had her interview, and is excited to be baptized, she choose my companion to baptize her and me to confirm her! I have faith and know that she will be baptized this saturday and be an example to the rest of her family!

I cant wait to hear yall otra vez! I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!
Love
Elder Grant Hagen