Opening a New Area

 

SO transfers are this week, I bet you already know that though from the Texas Fortworth Missionary Moms. SO here is the lowdown. I am going to open an area! I will be going to a car area in Weatherford where there isnt a spanish branch and we will work! It has been a good amount of time since spanish missionaries have been in this part of our mission but from what I know, the members want us there! So I bid farewell to the metroplex, to large cities, expensive stores, and spanish wards (which I have been in my whole mission up until now) and I am off, off into the new frontier of Spanish work! 

So I got to go to Denton this last week! That was super cool and I got to see some members and investigators that I had taught up there! The travel itself was interesting since it took about an hour, and mid travel to Denton it started to rain on us and our luggage was in the bed, so we pulled off on a road by the lakeside, put everything on our laps, and set out again. The assistants were driving, it is really convenient that we can ask them for travel help on long distance exchanges. 
april 15 ominous skies
 
I also realized that I took a ton of photos this week, I hadn’t realized it until I was scrolling through seeing what I should send to yall and what I plan to keep until I get home. (muhahaaha) So I probabily will send dad a few more, I try not to send duplicates so you get some and he gets others, I figured you would like the ones that I am in, and send dad some of the more interesting sights I see. 
april 15 cool elder hagenapril 15 lasso practice
 
I am so grateful to have been taught by loving parents with firm testimonies in the gospel. I heard a video of one of the apostles and he said “how do we get families to be multigenerationally active in the church?” and I thought “be taught by my parents”. Even if people like this new Sunday School President get under your skin for things like that, just know that I think you are one of the best teachers I have ever known. Now for this brother I would have happily quoted some verses about teaching by example, which maybe wouldn’t be to nice if I pointed out he had never taught, nor in a family situation, maybe D&C 121: 34-44 but that wouldn’t have solved much. (We refer to that section a lot in the mission in pretty much every leadership training meeting).
 
As for the Mothers day call, BTW this will be my last phone call home unless something traumatic happens (it is tornado season), but all will be well, I know the Lord watches over yall and I have seen his hand in my life and in the lives of other missionaries. I would like to call in the evening which really means that any time after 5 (Texas time, 7 California time) to 8 (Texas time, 10 California time) would be good for me, but what works for yall? 
 
So for the pictures, one is of a few paintings, what happened was that the mission apartment coordinator is trying to slim down the surplus storage, so he offered that we could take our pick! We chose some beautiful paintings that I have enjoyed for a week before leaving, but now our apartment feels a bit like a chapel hallway… Each room has at least 1 painting. 
april 15 pictures galore
I hope you have a great week! I love you! Nos vemos pronto!
 
Con Amor,
 Elder Grant Hagen

Hey Dad,

So this week was pretty normal, I got to go to Denton though so that was really cool! I havent been there since October of last year so to have an exchange and bike those streets again was quite a cool experience. Plus we went on an exchange with the Elders Quorum president who I hadn’t seen since I left, and he remembered me!
Also, our area covers the Texas Motor Speedway, we hadn’t been by until we drove to Denton since there doesnt seem to be a high amount of hispanic people over there, but it was really cool to go by, it is pretty big! Going by on the highway I dont think I really got a whole perspective, but the setup is huge! Also, I was really glad that you said I will be your “plus one” to SEMA, it is a bit weird to think that time is coming up soon and those things are too far away.
april 15 speedway
april 15 freeway april 15 legoland texas
Also! I am going to open an area in Weatherford! We will be the first spanish missionaries in the area in awhile. I know the mission experience isn’t measured by baptisms, and I want you to know that I invite, and if they say no I ask why, until it gets to the point where they understand why they are being invited. However normally getting a second lesson is pretty hard. I know in South American and really all of Latin America missionaries sometimes baptize in the hundreds (Elder Beckert who is with us as a trio, was just in a southern Mexico mission was baptizing weekly) Here people are different, normally not as humble. I am glad that Uncle Doug was able to share that. I do desire and fight to baptize every day, it just hasnt really been working so far. So with a new area I hope to turn things around, get some great member involvement, hound on those who are being taught (as in frequent visits) to get them to church and with a baptismal date, here people have to understand why they go to church, technically they have to go three times, but it is really a measure that they are ready when they steadily go.
The goats are really interesting, so for sure there arent any coyotes or bob cats up there snacking on the goats? (Referring to the very large herd of goats that was set free on the hill behind our house to eat weeds and brush so there are no big fires.) Here I have seen some huge herds of cows, but each has had so much land, once when we road through central california we saw some farms where it was small compact areas filled with cows, here they have rolling acres and it is more how we picture farms look like as kids.
april 15 cows everywhere
I hope you have a great week! I love you! When I get my new address I will send it to yall, also with the phone call I could do it after 5pm Texas time which is about 7 California time, but it all depends, and I probabily wont have a firm guarentee until next week.
Take Care!
Elder Grant Hagen
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This week I got the chance to go back into my last Zone! We had an exchange with the Zone Leaders in Fort Worth and I got to teach in their area! It was really awesome! We visited one part-member family and they were so humble and want to be baptized but just have a few things to sort out. We watched a great video called in english (Because of Him) and the mom was on the verge of crying. It was such a powerful and spiritual moment.

Saturday we had a great conference with Elder Robbins of the 70! I wish all of the missionaries in the mission could have gone! He taught so many great principles, like how there are a great many doctrinal pair, The fall and the Atonement, Being and Doing, and the one he focused on was Agency and Responsibility. It is interesting to think we live in a world where everyone wants to be “free” i.e. do whatever they want to do, but few accept the consequences and the load of being responsible for what is done. How Agency is one of the greatest points of Doctrine fought over in the war in Heaven between Satan’s plot and God’s plan. We discussed what excuses or things do people use to not have responsibily, he testified that if we eliminate those things from our life, we will find greatness. It will help us see that 50% responsibility on ones behalf and 50% on the other does not = 100%, but both putting 100% is what truly works both in missionary companionships and in relationships in all.
On Sunday a “new” missionary came to Texas Fort Worth! His name is Elder Beckert and he is awesome! For now since he is a spanish missionary he is staying with us and he is awesome and full of energy!
I love you and hope you have a great week! le quiero mucho y no trato a molestarle, estoy agradecido por todo lo que hace para me!
Elder Grant Hagen
Pictures
1. Me, I do have less acne (still some, but small).
april 15 happy hagen
2. Beautiful Colleyville.
april 15 scenery
3. A llama and several horses in a really blurry picture.
april 15 cows
4. Momentary Trio!
april 15 trio

184!!!!!!

 

Dear Mom,

Wow 184 Days……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… … .. . That is scary and disturbing a bit. I am excited at knowing I will get to see ya’ll again but that means the mission would end. the mission would end.
So this week we did a few cool things:
We went on an exchange with one of the english companionships in our zone! I went to their area and got to be a bike elder! Except that we had a member come and teach with us which was even better! It is definitely weird to speak majority english for a day, I struggle praying in English sometimes… All in all it was a fun experience, we got stopped by a guy near a college, he came running up to us with a bible in his hand. So first thought “here we go… someone wanting to bible bash” sure enough, he asked us “So what are ya’ll preachin?” us “a message that Jesus Christ is our Savior, through him we can return to heaven and live with God” That conversation went to how we know baptism is a saving ordinance, the only book we read from was his bible and proved our doctrine to him (which really is easy but not worth doing since the spirit must teach them) He ended by going on a preaching spree about how we are preaching the wrong gospel, that Joseph Smith just lied to gain, (that bothered me a lot) and ended telling us if we could teach all of our doctrine from the bible, then the Book of Mormon wasnt necessary. Since he wasnt willing to listen we just walked off, he gave us some cards from his church, and I just wish he would have taken the time to be more understanding.
We went to Waco and had an exchange! That included a long drive down, and a long drive back up twice for me! So in two days I was in 8 hours of travel. Waco is a fun place though! small, but full of culture and traveling to it was pretty flat but full of ranches! I like the country, but realized how isolated everyone is who goes out there…
Elders out driving

Elders out driving

We had the mission president’s fireside last night, Elder Hansen translated for a guy at the pulpit into English as he told his conversion story, I translated another into spanish from my translation equiptment into headphones for those in the audience. Our mission president has this monthly where a few recent converts a musical number, and a discourse are given. They are really spiritual and great for anyone returning, investigating or recently joining the church.
I hope you have a great week, and to be honest I havent been using any of the acne stuff except the medication I got from the doctor back home only when it gets pretty bad. I dont want my face to chemically rely on this stuff, pioneers didnt have it, do I really need it?
I also love the package that ya’ll sent! Elder Hansen is getting a monthly countdown package from his family and it is driving him nuts!
Easter Package

Easter Package

I hope you have a great week! I love you!
Elder Grant hagen
Good food!!!

Good food!!!


 

Hi dad! So I saw some cool sights, I think this time I will tell story by picture!

1st, I got the awesome package! I really appreciate it but now I may get fat… ahahahaha!
april 15 easter package 2
2nd, There area  ton of pawnshops everywhere! I thought the advertising on their black sign was kind of cool just an interesting combination. It was on our journey to a city called Waco, the town itself is a little off its rocker.
april 15 pawn shop
3rd , Name that car!
april 15 old car
1st a bacon and 4 cheese pizza a member dropped off for us on an exchange! It was so good!
 april 15 big pizza 1
2nd, there are so many cows out here! herds and herds, I was able to grab a picture of this guy as the traffic was slow.
april  15 cow
3rd, These are planes that they use for skydiving, it looked like a few old fields they built a couple hangars on top of and opened a skydiving area!
april 15 planes
4th, Waco
 april  15 waco
1st, the Waco funeral home, a really strange looking building.
april 15 funeral home
2nd, The “Captain America” lone star, on all of the bridges over the highways they have little decorations, most of the time it is an outline of Texas or a flag, but this was unique and pretty cool! It is a steel shield pretty much about 4-6 feet in diameter.
april 15 star
3rd, Old Hillsboro town hall, each of the old cities has a “square” which is four streets making a square with the court house/ town hall in middle and quite a few shops around the edges.
april 15 town hall
4th, A cool fire truck we saw in Hillsboro.
april 15 old fire engine
I hope you have a great week and enjoy the pictures! Most are from my travels to Waco, there were quite a few cool sights to see!
Love you!
Elder Grant Hagen

Pascua

Howdy!

Pascua sounded like a great event with yall! I personally had a wonderful weekend and it was amazing to listen to God’s chosen “Prophets, seers, and revelators”
My heart is overjoyed that in your e-mail you quoted those wonderful stories that were shared. One that stuck out to me was of President Monson and how he talked about the temple, how the one boy had had a bad experience in the mission, went home for a sickness, and in the temple a man named Landon was prompted to talk with him, to comfort him. He told of the great joys he had on his mission, yet not until the end did they realize they were focused on the same mission! I understood that life is taken how we look at it, anyone can learn great and wonderful things, where as another, if they don’t have an open heart. will be left with what appear to be struggles and trails. Yet, at the temple, we can be free of our worldly struggles and fears. It is a place of true peace, it is clean, pure, and holy.
Elder Pino in the last session gave a really good talk, him and the other member of the seventy spoke in spanish, and I was able to understand it all! I loved how they began with their conversion stories, which was really helpful since we watched that session with an investigator in his home!
This week I also got to go out into the Texas country to a city called Stephenville! We had an exchange and I got to see the wonderful sights of being it what stereotypical Texas looks like to anyone not from the state. Literally none of it is desert, it is all wetland, just nearly flat hills and fields with patches of trees and forest.
Fort Worth in the distance.

Fort Worth in the distance.

On Friday we had the mission choirs Easter service! We sang a total of 8 songs, I gave my recorder to my companion (since I was up on the stand singing) and he recorded the whole thing!
Sunday morning before General Conference, we had another Easter service in Colleyville, there were quite a few different singers, the mission choir, and Glen Beck was the keynote speaker. That was interesting, Colleyville is a part of our mission that is very successful financially so it was a bit different that other areas I have been in.
I hope you have a wonderful week! Te Amo mucho!
Elder Grant Hagen
Elders Hansen and Hagen

Elders Hansen and Hagen

Gracias a que el vive

Hello Mom!

This week was pretty busy! Exchanges, meetings, teaching, finding, singing, and overall being a missionary!

 

I remember hearing that Matt got his mission call to Columbia! That is wonderful, I have met some Columbianos here in Texas, well we really get a wide variety of people! But they are super amazing people and I am grateful to know them, some are members, others are people we meet on the street. There is a family with the last name of Perez, he is from Columbia and they are members that let us come over and have dinner once and awhile, and even better, they want to/ are sharing the Gospel!
 

I got to go on an exchange this week with our district leader Elder Brown! To make it even better, I got to go back to my first area! That was fun! I got to spend the night in the very room that I had slept in while I was being trained. They are teaching some of the same people I had known, and there is one kid that I had found and began to teach that is now coming to church with his family!

 

We also went on another exchange with the assistants. That was super cool as well, it isn’t common to go on an exchange with an english missionary and to see the way that they teach as well is super different and a great way to learn. In spanish we sometimes get caught up in learning the language, and we may sadly lose some of the skills we need to be powerful teachers, I was called to recollect  these things and gratefully it helped me learn some important truths.

One of which was made more clearly to me today, since normally I write at about 11, but today at 2:30 since we had a lesson! A member had invited over two friends who were interested in the gospel, we were able to share the lesson and I got a strong feeling that told me. “teach as you would want missionaries to teach the people you know and care about” That struck me hard and helped me pull out of being a “robot” missionary of teaching the lesson to check it off of the list. If I am to teach the people, I must become a master teacher. That was a great piece of revelation/ reminder for me just today!

 

I hope you have a great week! I am super excited for General Conference and I hope you let me know what things stuck out to you from the sessions!

 

I love you, have a happy easter!

#BecauseHeLives

Love,

Elder Grant Hagen

P.S. have you seen the church’s new video called Because he lives? Or in spanish, Gracias a que el vive?

(The last week of Jesus Christ’s life changed the world forever. See how: http://mormon.org/easter)

 

march 15 car ride peace march 15 missionaries