Texas: if you don’t like the weather stick around 5 minutes and it will change

Wow, well first of all, I didn’t think I was going to be able to e-mail today since it is a holiday, but here I am, in the local library getting to type out a work of art in the form of communication. So first things are first, today the temperature dropped from 60 to 70 degrees yesterday to 30 right now…. Texas, if you don’t like the weather stick around 5 minutes and it will change.

Bundled up

Bundled up

On Tuesday we held my first zone council as a Zone Leader, we were able to set goals and develop the skills of each of the missionaries, it was a good experience, we are also starting an initiative as a mission, to read the entire Book of Mormon, in 65 days! As well as placing at least 2 copies each day! If we can do that, we will hand out 10,000 copies as a mission within 65 days. We also talked about how we should set expectations with the people we meet, we call it “planting the flag” where we help them understand our purpose there as representatives of Jesus Christ and helping them receive the ordinance of Baptism.

On Wednesday we had to turn in our beloved and much needed Chevy. It was having mechanical problems, and we are to get it back soon. For now, we are on bike, we dropped off the truck at the dealership which was conveniently placed by the stake center that we have church at on Sundays. We then walked to the church, got our bikes and then to get from our apartment to the church it took about an hour and a half to two hours since our area doesn’t touch the church building or any nearby area. We were able to visit an investigator at about 4, we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which covers the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel being faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end! She committed to be baptized and we were able to plan what would need to happen before her baptism!

On Thursday we made another long pilgrimage and actually past our turn buy a bit. We live in the city of Euless, but there is a city called Grapevine a bit north, we had to bike from our apartment to a street called mustang, we took side roads for almost all of the trip and arrived after two hours, due to not making a right turn where we should have, thankfully, we brought the GPS and figured out where to go from there! That was an awesome night though! We taught the family a great lesson! We covered the importance of following the Prophet, then explained and gave them a Liahona magazine! Which is the equivalent of an Ensign, New Era, and Friend all in one, it is the church’s magazine for any non-English languages. They thought it was super cool! Especially we brought the one of the first General Conference they ever watched! We had dinner of these things called tortillas de papas, which consists of egg, cheese, and potato. We ate them over a bowl of beans with salsa! It was so good! I probably should have taken a picture, and we have dinner again with them this week, I need to learn how to make these. They then drove us up to an investigator who lives a bit further north, we taught a fantastic lesson, which was only so due to their powerful testimonies and their ability to relate with the investigator, she committed to be baptized as well! We are so excited and happy for her!

Friday we had an exchange where I went to an English area for the day. That was different! We knocked one door and the man answered telling us we “have to leave our cult” I wasn’t too happy about that, but I smiled, we explained that we were representatives of Jesus Christ, he told us we weren’t… The English Elder showed him his badge, the man said it didnt mean anything. By that time I was a bit fed up with his attitude. I really wanted him to know how important this message was, so I cut him off mid sentence and said “sir, thank you so much for your time and the moment that you have given us to talk to you” He seemed a little taken back by that, said that it was alright, and just warned us again of what we were doing. I stopped, said, “I just want you to know that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ and the only way to salvation” we turned and left. I just hope that our testimonies got to his core, he rejected the Book of Mormon and all we had to offer, I pray that he will have another opportunity and may be open. There are more than just him who are like that, people who have been told by their pastors not to accept us at all. Kind of sad really, but we carry on!

Also on Friday, before that whole incident, we had some really cool service at the city animal clinic! We fed and walked some of the dogs that were there! It made me realize that I love animals, and that I may need to distance myself from any situations where I may end up buying one after the mission…

Dog Walking

Dog Walking

So this morning as we were walking to the apartment laundromat to pick up our laundry from the dryers, the assistant at the apartment office told us we had a package! I hoped and prayed, we got the laundry, came back, and sure enough! It was the wonderful package ya’ll sent! I love the pictures! The Hershey chocolate is huge! I am glad I opened it before I went shopping as well!

 

Hey... I got a package

Hey… I got a package

 

Thank you so much! I hope yall have a great week!
Con todo mi corazon!
Elder Grant Hagen

 

Un resturante tongano donde comemos, es de miembros de barrio de los tonganos

Un resturante tongano donde comemos, es de miembros de barrio de los tonganos

 

Un carro que vi en el camino, si halla

Un carro que vi en el camino, si halla

 

 

La estrella de Texas

La estrella de Texas

 

El suelo en la caratera de Texas

El suelo en la caratera de Texas

 

 

 

Zone Leaders and a Truck

Howdy,

Well we are in a local University library in their computer section, apparently this is where I will be e-mailing from for now on. Life for me has changed so much! It has also been quite busy! I am excited that President Lemmon was called to be the Stake President, I know he will fulfill his calling and is chosen by God to serve as our Stake President.

Things that happened this week:

I packed everything I own into two suitcases, and a laundry basket.

I said goodbye to Elder Shepherd, (I have seen him already this week)

I got in a black Honda Acura with a member from the spanish ward, and he drove me to transfers at the Hurst Stake Center. When I got there I helped weigh and load suitcases for the departing missionaries with my new companion (see first picture) he is Elder Hepworth! I may have mentioned in past e-mails but he was my District Leader in Denton right before I became District Leader! He is super awesome, pretty funny, and goes home in about 5 weeks now. He is from Sunnyside Utah!
We were then in charge of cleanup and we had to give the transfer coordinator companionship (also the Spanish Training Leaders) a ride home, so we were there for a large chunk of time.

However! I do have a car, actually it is a chevy truck! One of the older ones in the mission (from 2013) and since we are Zone leaders, we are both the designated drivers so we switch off driving each day.

Some of my duties:
Uplift and inspire the other missionaries by our example.
Organize Zone Councils(Tomorrow), Interviews, and Zone Conferences.
Attend the Missionary Leadership Council on the first Friday of each month, that was last Friday.
Report Key Indicators,
and more!

This is a large amount of material, and today is the first day that I haven’t worn my suit the whole time!

Our area is pretty big, we are still in a spanish ward, Elder Hepworth is fluent in Spanish. We cover Three stakes! they all fit into our spanish ward boundries, so lots of travel sometimes to get to an area. The people here are amazing! We have to search for the hispanics, but the ones we find are definitely ready and open for the Gospel!

I have also been good at recording my journals at night if we get home too late to write. I have been making the recording device worth its weight.

The box can go upstairs until October.

The other two pictures are of missionaries I have known who went home on Wednesday, transfers the day of a missionaries beginning, and for others, the death. Elder Cook was my first District Leader, a kind and bold missionary, Elder Profit I didnt know too well, but he was an Assistant a few transfers back, he has been someone I have respected my whole mission.

I know I could go into more detail, but I have to wrap up…
I love you so much! I hope you have a great week enjoy your “sisters trip”
Take amor!
Elder Grant Hagen

New companion Elder Hepworth

New companion Elder Hepworth

February 2014 elder cook

February 2014 elder profit

Transferred

This week was amazing! We taught more lessons this week than ever before! But!! I think I should start with transfers.

I will be getting transferred.

Elder Shepherd will be staying here..

He will be getting two new companions….

It will be Elder Melvile, and Elder Kremer!

I will pack everything that I have here, (did you get the two boxes? well I know you got the one with the boots, but did the other arrive?)

I will be getting in a van on Wednesday morning, for a trip that will probabily last about twenty minutes to arrive at the Hurst Stake center for transfers, there, there will be a lot of traffic as people are arriving and going from their old areas to the new areas they have been trusted with. There will be happy greetings, sad goodbyes, and fresh starts and new beginnings. There will be new missionaries that will have arrived earlier that day and will be in a meeting with President until about noon, so we normally don’t see them. They will meet their trainers and be off to start the best time up until now in their lives!

Oh right, where was I?

I will unpack, taking my bags from the van that I left with, say goodbye to the driver, and go find my new companion instead of the ride to my new area.

I will be in a vehicle area, more specifically a truck.

I have been asked to serve as a zone leader in the Hurst area, my companion will be elder Hepworth! He was one of my first district leaders in Denton, and this will be his last transfer in the mission. Makes me feel a little old.

I am excited and eager to serve, and I will deeply miss Elder Shepherd, and all the people that I have met, taught, and helped progress in this area. I am almost sure that someone will be baptized here next transfer, we almost set a baptismal date with a past investigator on Saturday, that was really cool!
P.S. found the large font, (so that’s how you do it…)

My new address is 131 Manchester Dr #127
Euless, TX 76039

I love yall so much, thank you for your wonderful support
love
Elder Grant Hagen
P.S. I also bought a recorder, easier for journals, meetings etc..