Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas II

Wow sometimes its hard to believe that it has been four months since I first went into the MTC. I have seen myself grow so much over that time and I have a long way to go still. My first Christmas here on the mission was great, we woke up early and we opened our presents that we had gotten from our families and friends it was great. I don't think I will run out of snacks for a while, and I love the new ties whoever picked them did a really good job. I have decided that the anticipation of Christmas and Christmas day are so exciting that the day after its always a little weird. Time just keeps marching on.
At the beginning of this last week we taught our friends Chris and Katherine again they are doing great and they are still planning on the baptismal date in February. Chris and his mom came to church on Sunday, so we are excited to help this family come closer to Christ and I can already see the blessings coming into their lives. On Tuesday I went on an exchange with the zone leader Elder Bostrom he is from Orem and he remembers me from high school we have a few mutual friends, so it was great to hear about some them who went on mission. He went to Timp. and he remembers going to the basketball games and thinking "there's nothing we can do, he is so tall" and now we are here and we were companions for the day. It was Christmas eve so we went caroling with some of the other missionaries in the zone. We also got some packages from the mission office and delivered them to the missionaries, so they could have them before Christmas, so basically I got to be santa. We had a great time and I got a taste of what is like to be a zone leader. It been great living with the zone leaders and my companion being the district leader, I learn a lot from them and I they keep me out of trouble. I figure that president Castro just wants to keep an eye on me.
Then on Saturday I went on an exchange with Elder Gerber a missionary in our district it went well for half the day. We taught a new investigator, Lisa Brinton, who has been coming to church for months, but her husband only just barely let the missionaries come over and teach their whole family. It went well and Sister Brinton wants to get baptized next month. It was a great lesson with the whole family, they; have two kids, they are all supportive of her and they want to learn more about it themselves. After that awesome lesson Elder Gerber got really sick and we were back at the apartment the rest of the day. He is feeling better now and back to work, so that's good. I love all of you thank you for everything and especially to the lindon 14th ward for their package and notes.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! It is such a wonderful time of year where we can remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a little different as a missionary, in some ways its even better. It's a white Christmas in our district. We don't get any snow here in southern California, but we did have three new convert baptisms last Saturday. We got to go, because Elder Atkin is the district leader. It was a wonderful experience to see the other missionaries in our district having success. Also we are seeing a lot of things happen in our area. This last week we taught Chris and Katherine and they are learning a lot. We taught them the Plan of Salvation in our last lesson and they are now set with a baptizmal date for February 8th. We teach them today and I am excited to see them learn and gain a testimony. 

Also Lisa Brinton a non-member who has been coming to church for 6 months or so wants to take the missionary lessons and get baptized. Her husband was the only thing holding her back. He only wants the missionaries to come teach, but hopefully members will come along soon. We are really excited though she already understands a lot about the gospel and is changing her life. This is probably one of the best referrals I have ever gotten. We don't have a date yet, but she did say she wants to be baptized as soon as possible. We teach her on friday so we will set a date then.

I love this Christmas season and it is important to remember why we celebrate. We have been sharing a Christmas message with families and it includes the nativity story from the book of mormon. It is a much more intense story in 3 NE 1, but basically everyone who believed in the prophets were going to be killed if the sign didn't come. It took a lot of trust in the Lord, they new the sign would come and if it didn't they would die. They had to remained faithful and were blessed for it. We know the church is true, so we need to trust the Lord that he will bless us. I love you guys and have a merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

More Pictures!

 With his district and relaxing/studying in the apartment.

(A better camera is in his Christmas box.)

Double Dinners

This last week was really great there are a lot of good things happening in this area. On tuesday we taught an older man, Ed, who had a lot of great questions about the gospel and life after death. It was an interesting lesson, really a question and answer session, but that was great we didn't have to worry about what we were going to teach next, because he would just ask us about it. We taught him the whole plan of salvation that way and gave a book of mormon to read. By the end of the lesson he was asking questions like "how does one get baptized in the mormon church?". He plays the organ and said that he has one of our hymnals and really likes the songs inside. Hopefully this ward will have a new organist in the future.
Later in the week we met Nicole, she was in our area book and there was no information about her. When we knocked on her door she was a little confused on why we knew her name, but we explained it to her and taught about the book of mormon. In the middle of the lesson she smiled and said she feels a "warm stirring" in her chest when she talks with us. We were so excited to hear that! We shared a verse in Alma 32 with her and she was really excited to have a book of mormon. She also told us that it wasn't a coincidence that we had come tonight. She wouldn't tell us why, but it feels good to know that we are being led by the Lord. She was leaving out of town for christmas the next day, so we only just barely caught her so unfortunately we won't teach her until January. That was one lesson that I won't forget, the spirit was there and I hopefully made a difference in her life.
Then yesterday we had two investigators at church. Chris and Katherine are 15 and 16 and their mom is a less active member. They came to church and really liked it, the ward did a really good job of making them feel welcome and it turns out that some of the youth knew them already which is great. They both plan on going to the skating activity and later that day we taught them a quick lesson then they fed us dinner which was great. We then proceeded to go to our planned dinner appointment, so I was full that night.
So everything is going great here I love my companion he is great. Thank you for the letters and packages. I love you all

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jousting and Jesters

Hello everybody I am still doing great here in California. It is getting a little colder and it actually rained a little bit. This last week was really good our ward had their Christmas party and it was a lot of fun and really interesting. It had a medieval theme so there was jousting and jesters and it was definitely one of a kind, but it was a lot of fun. We had and investigator there, Sandy Dawson and she had a good time. before the party we taught a lesson in the chapel and it went really well. She has a really hard time coming to church, so to have a lesson in the chapel even though it wasn't Sunday was a really big step for her. Also last week we tracted into a less active member of 15 years named Carolina who just moved into the area and we didn't know about. Yesterday we got to teach her two kids Chris and Katherine they are 14 and 15. They are great we taught them about the restoration and read with them from the Book of Mormon. They are both really excited to read from it. The dad isn't very interested but the mom said she would come to an activity to meet some sisters in the ward, which is great. I am really excited about this family. I am doing really good here still it is hard, but I am growing and learning a lot. The work here is just spiritually exhausting and sometimes I wonder if I will ever get a break, I won't, but it has definitely taught me to rely on the Lord. The work here definitely has its challenges, but it is worth it. I love you guys and have a merry Christmas.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Don't Pop the Bounce House!

Wow I can't believe that it's already December Christmas is just around the corner and I get to spend it here in Thousand Oaks. I got the news this morning and I am staying here and I will still be companions with Elder Atkin which is great, because we are pretty much best friends now. I completed my 12 week training, so things will be a little different, we will be getting out earlier in the morning instead of an hour of training. I am actually really excited about that, because I am the happiest when I am out of the apartment working.
This last week was really great we had thanksgiving with the Snyder family which was really good and there was a lot of family there, so we didn't run out of things to eat. It was really good and there were a ton of little kids running around everywhere. They even had a bounce house in their backyard which according to one little girl would pop if I were to go inside. It was also the largest audience we have shared a dinner message with. As for the rest of the day we went about our work as usually. The holidays are great because people are home and with their families.
As for who we are teaching we taught some new investigators we found last week, William and Bernadette they are a young couple we just started teaching. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it went really well they have been reading from the Book of Mormon and we committed them to come to church yesterday, but they didn't make it. Another investigator Sandy Dawson made some good progress she has been taught for a really long time and only recently she has been willing to change some things in her life to prepare for baptism. This last week she committed to give up alcohol which is good step in the right direction. This last transfer has been really great me and Elder Atkin have made some really good progress in this area. At the beginning of the transfer we didn't have any progressing investigators, but as of right now we have 5. The Lord has really blessed me as I have been obedient and as I serve with all my heart might mind and strength. I am doing really great here I love it, I'm still wearing short sleeves every day and I am excited to serve another transfer here with Elder Atkin.
I love you guys
Elder Hamson

Monday, November 25, 2013

The End of the Beginning

Well this next week will be the last week of my 12 week training program, which is exciting and scary at the same time because by next week I could be training a new missionary. I won't actually find out until next Monday, but this last week I am really focusing on preparing myself to train just in case.
This last week was really good we found two new investigators. They are a young couple and one of them is from Alaska. We met William as we were just walking down the street he was really mad about something and he was grumbling to himself, so we asked him if we could help him out with anything. He looked at us and exclaimed "life is great!" and we had a very pleasant conversation about The Gospel. That really surprised me, because as missionaries we talk to everyone but people don't always want to talk with us and he did not seem like he wanted to talk at all. We set up an appointment with him the next day and now him and his girlfriend are new investigators. I am glad that the Lord trusts me enough that I will talk with everyone to put him in my path, and I am so glad that I did talk with him. Anyways I am doing great and I can't believe that it's already been 3 months since I went to the MTC. I love you guys and am grateful for all of your prayers and sacrifices in my behalf. Also I love the letters i have gotten, but especially I love Heather.

Elder Hamson

This is a picture, taken at an unknown time and place, of Alan and a high school basketball friend Ben Lee.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Best of Both Worlds

This week has been a pretty good week. Me and my companion are becoming really good friends which makes every part of the work more enjoyable. We got moved to a new apartment which doesn't usually happen, but this new one we are in is a lot better than the last one. So now I am in a for man apartment with the zone leaders which is awesome, because Elder Eastman and Elder Bate are the best. I'm still working in the same area with Elder Atkin we just moved apartments. As far as the work goes everything is going great. This week it seems we have been giving other missionaries a bunch of referrals, which is great for us because we get the best of both worlds if they get baptized they wouldn't have found that person without our referral, and if they don't we don't feel that "is there something more I could have done?" feeling. Ya my companion know just enough spanish to say who we are and ask if the spanish sisters can come by and share our message. We also got a promising new investigator for ourselves. David is his name and he has a good friend who is a member and is helping him investigate the church, which is pretty much our favorite kind of investigator. We taught him at the church and he said he wouldn't have a problem getting baptized if he knew what we are teaching is true. Anyways everything is going great I love my mission more and more every day. It is really hard some days, but it is also the most rewarding. I love you guys.

Elder Hamson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Jump Started

Okay so this last week was an interesting week. I got a haircut last monday from one of the members in our ward, so I look that much more like a missionary. California is a really great place you won't be hearing me complain about the weather. There is a wide variety of people here as well which is great. We run into a few crazy people here and there.One of our investigators, sister Dawson, who the missionaries have been teaching for like a year kept her commitment and read 3 chapters from the book of mormon on her own, which is big step for her. It took us going over and reading with her every other day for her to do it but we are excited for her. Reading from the scriptures and applying it to your life is a skill, so we have been helping her develop that skill. She still has a few more big steps to go, but they get easier once you get started. We also got in contact with a previous investigator who had a baptismal date, but had a big trail in her life come up and she didn't want to meet with us, so its been a month since we have contacted her. But this last week we set up an appointment with her which is great. The work here in Thousand Oaks has really been accelerating in the last month. The ward has been focusing on missionary work and the Lord has really blessed us. Yesterday after church because of our church schedule we were done at 4 we had the option of going to the apartment for an hour before dinner, but we decided that we shoule just work until dinner and the Lord will bless us for our efforts. The first place we stopped a man walked up to us and asked if we could help him jump his car battery, so of course we helped him and as we were talking we found out that his friend is a recent convert and he was interested in what the mormons believed he didn't live in our area and he was in a hurry, but he will be a great referral for other missionaries. The Lord has really blessed us in our area. I'm doing great I'm getting fed almost every night by a member and by beds are long enough, so life as a missionary is great. I love you guys.

Elder Hamson

Monday, November 4, 2013

Triple the Fun

This last week was really great. I really love Elder Atkin he is the best. We were able to teach a lot this week and got a few new investigators. Now we just have to get them progressing towards baptism. We had a really good lesson with one of our investigators, Sister Dawson. She is really old and has been taught by the missionaries for a long time. She doesn't really have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet though, so we told that the only way to know is if you read the the Book of Mormon on her own and pray specifically to know if he was really a prophet and if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. We have been reading with her every couple of days and this last time after we finished reading she said the prayer and said that she is leaning towards it being true. I am excited to see her taking steps in the right direction. 
Also this week we set a goal to get three new investigators which is triple what we got last week. The first one we found was when we were tracting and Stephanie answered the door she was baptized mormon when she was 8, but is now a born again Christian. She doesn't remember very much about what we believe and has a few questions. The second one we ran into while we were headed to an appointment his name is Gus (26)and he just went sober and said he really wants to turn his life around we taught him about our beliefs and how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can really help him in his life. The last one few found at the last house went went to sunday night. His name is Mike and he had a room mate who was mormon and really wanted to learn about what we believe. We really worked hard to reach our goal and the Lord blessed us with our last investigator at the very last possible moment. I am so happy to be a missionary and I feel really blessed. I love all of you and its been great hearing from everyone.

Elder Hamson

A picture of the new companion and the new car:

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Little Engine that Wouldn't

Hello everybody this last week has been one of the best weeks I have had so far. On Tuesday we had transfers and I got to meet my new companion Elder Atkin. He is great my other companion was good, but Elder Atkin is great. He is from St. George and he was a ballet dancer before he came out here on his mission. He has been on his mission for five months and he will be training me for the last 6 weeks of the 12 week training program.We got a brand new Chevy cruze at the transfer meeting, I guess they really trust us missionaries, and I don't have to ride my bike for at least six weeks. So we found our way back to thousand oaks and got back to work and we taught a lesson that night to katelyn she's 11. It was our first lesson together and it went really well. She was really excited to learn more and read from the book of mormon which is great. Overall I think we had 11 lessons total this last week which is the most I have had so far. I am feeling a lot better about my teaching ability and Elder Atkin is really helping me become a better missionary. This last I learned a lot about finding those people who have been prepared to receive the gospel. We had just knocked on a door of an inactive member and they weren't home so as we were walking back to our car we felt like we should knock on the door across the street. Christina answered the door, we talked for a little bit and she mentioned that her brother William was looking for a church to go to and needed direction in his life. We asked if we could stop by another time and meet him she told us that they are both in and out all the time and don't know if they will be around, but we could try by anytime. Then later that week we stopped by and they were both there working on a car in the front yard. We asked if we could help and he told us ya I need to pull the engine out. So we all pulled and yanked at it, but it didn't come off. We prayed and it still didn't budge, so we taught them both the restoration as William worked on the car. We left them both with a copy of the book of mormon and they were surprised that we were able to catch them both home at the same time. I am just glad that we were able find them, because we were paying attention. I think sometime we miss opportunities, because we aren't looking for them. I know that there are people like Christina and William out there who are prepared to hear the gospel we just have to be looking for them. I love all of you and I you are feeling better Uncle Karl and Tim.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Well this last week has been a pretty good week. I went on two blitzes this week and they both went really well. A blitz is where we trade companions for an hour or so. The first one was with Elder Hofhiens, he is the other zone leader and he is an awesome missionary. He met us in our area and we only had 30 mins before he had to get back to an appointment. He asked me if I had a goal for the 30 minutes we would be together, I told him that I hadn't taught very much, so he said ok lets teach someone on this street. so we set off down the street and he was talking with me about some of my concerns and we knocked on a couple doors here and there. Then someone actually answered the door she told us that she was a catholic and she didn't need anything else, but we were able to get a conversation going about her beliefs and that gave us the opportunity to teach her the restoration on the doorstep. We said a prayer with her and gave her our number on the back of a restoration pamphlet. She probably isn't going to join our church or anything, but she was willing to listen to us and we were able to teach a lesson in 30 minutes I was with Elder Hofhiens when me and Elder Harlow hadn't taught anyone new for weeks. It really testified to me that the Lord has prepared people for me to teach and bring back to the fold. I just have to keep working hard to go find them. Then on the other blitz with Elder Robinson the next day, we were tracting on this street and a young man named Alex (probably 17 or so) answered the door and he said he had heard about the mormons, but he didn't know very much. We taught him the restoration and he was curious to learn more, but he had to go. So we gave him a book of mormon and set up an appointment with him the next day. So on that blitz we got to teach a lesson and we got a new investigator. I think I like blitzes. Unfortunately the next day when we went back to see Alex his parents were out front and they told us that they weren't interested and that we couldn't teach their son anymore of our "crap". Hopefully he will get taught in the future sometime. Anyway I'm doing really good and I am having a great time. Transfers are tommorow and I am getting a new companion Elder Atkins, I am staying here in Thousand Oaks, so thats exciting. Elder Harlow is going to Oxnard and will be training two elders at once for his last transfer. I love you guys and keep dunking it Jen!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

This week has been a pretty good week. I did a lot of learning this week. On Tuesday I went on exchanges with the District Leader Elder Watts. He is a really cool Elder and he has an announcer's voice. He pretty much sounds exactly like the guy who does music and the spoken word at conference. But he came into my area and I only mostly know my way around. So throughout the day we only got mostly lost a couple times. We didn't get to teach that day our one appointment fell through, but we did get to talk to a few different people. Towards the end of the day we stopped and said hi to these two ladies standing by their car. Turns out that they don't speak English, so my companion (Elder Watts at the time) starts talking to them in Spanish, very slowly mind you, but there was definitely some communication going on. He gave them a card, so I said the one thing I know how to say in Spanish. "yo mido siete con tres pulgatas" the hermanas (sisters) taught me how to say that and I had been waiting for and opportunity to say it ever since they taught me. It just means that I'm 7 foot 3, so ya I am pretty much fluent in that language. Anyways they laughed and then Elder Watts asked if we could have the Spanish missionaries come over and share our message. They said sure and wrote down their address, so that was good. Later on that same street we ran into another Hispanic who didn't speak English and Elder Watts talked a little with him then gave him a card. The seemed happy to see us but had to go, so I told Elder Watts "He seemed interested." Then he told me that he was already a member, but we gave him a card anyway. We also had interviews with the president last week and training all that day. That was really good and I learned a lot. Other than that everything is going great and there hasn't been anything too exciting. Actually there was a spider hanging from the ceiling in the bathroom when I woke up this morning. Needless to say the spider is quite dead and I was quite awake this morning. I love you guys and I am having a great time here.

Elder Hamson

Monday, October 7, 2013

Calisthenics - Physical and Spiritual

Hello everybody this week has been great I am getting used to the schedule and it was conference weekend so of course it was great. The schedule is the same everyday 6:30 wake up, exercise for 30 minutes 7:00 eat and get ready 8:00 personal study 9:00 companion study 10:00 training 11:00 go out and work. then we are back at the apartment by 9:30 to plan for the next day and get ready for bed at 10:30 As for the work, we didn't have very many lessons this week everyone we were going to teach cancelled on us last minute, but that's ok we were able to set up appointments with them for this week and we have a couple more appointments this week. We did teach one lady this week, Jami, she can be hard to teach sometimes, because we have this whole lesson planned about one thing we feel like she needs to know, but she always wants to talk about something else. She is learning though and we committed her to watch some of conference this last weekend, so we will definitely follow up with her on that. Then the last two day we got to watch conference, which is pretty much the best thing ever, especially when you are a missionary. I really enjoyed all of conference it was really great, but if I had to choose one of my favorite parts it would be Richard J. Maynes talk. He talked about basketball so of course it's my favorite, because I can definitely relate when he felt like he was going to die. He talked about how in order to get in basketball shape he needed dedication, perseverance and self-discipline. It is the same way getting into spiritual shape. So I will leave you with a question to ask yourself. What can I do to get myself in better physical and spiritual shape?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Elder and Elder meet Bob and Bob

Here is the Monday report:

This week has been a roller coaster, but that's ok because roller coasters are fun. I have had a lot of good learning experiences along the way as well. I have been talking with a member of the ward (Brother Eyre) about looking into bikes he said he had some people he could talk to about it and that he would get back to me. I was thinking that I would see what my options were and decide if I should get a bike after I talk with president Castro next week. Then brother Eyre shows up with a bike like 3 days later, so I have a bike. The frame is the biggest one they had with the seat and handle bars extended to be taller. It works good and I'll try and get you a picture of it, because it looks pretty whacky. We went on exchanges on Saturday with the zone leaders, so basically one of the zone leaders became my companion for 24 hours. We do all the same missionary stuff except Elder Eastman trains me on everything as we go along. It was interesting because I stayed in my area and Elder Harlow went to the zone leaders area. I got put with Elder Eastman, who has never been to the area before, It was like any other day of missionary work except I didn't have anyone to follow around that knew where they were going. So through trial and error we found our way to different investigators houses, but it was good because it was Saturday and lots of people are out and about so we had plenty of people to talk to and Elder Eastman is really good at talking to people. We saw these two guys sitting in there garage and I just waved and kept riding (we were on bikes that day) Elder Eastman however stopped and and talk to them. Their names were Bob and Bob, so we joked that we were both named Elder too! After we realized that they took us seriously we explained to them that it's just a title that means teacher. I learned a lot from Elder Eastman that day and I hope I can become as great of a missionary as him. Later that night all four of us got together and talked about how our day went and what we learned then we read from Alma 56-58 and related that to how we can become better missionaries. Anyways I'm doing great here in Thousand Oaks and I love hearing from everyone. I love you all

Elder Hamson

Monday, September 23, 2013

Over Hill...

The Monday email arrived right on schedule.  It sounds like his legs are getting an every-other-day workout!

This last week has been really good I am getting to know the people in the ward better and I have a better feel for the area and I'm not completely lost the whole time. I have had a dinner appointment every night and that has been awesome. They always have good food and it is fun to get to know everyone. This week we taught a couple investigators the restoration and I think that went well. The first one we taught was a girl named Riley she is 18 and she loves to learn about everything which is great. When we first got there she said she had looked up Joseph Smith on the internet and she asked us "did he really have multiple wives?" My first thoughts were like oh great we're done for, but luckily my companion was ready and told her that early on in the church they were persecuted and a lot of women needed help and the men stepped in where they were needed etc. Then he went on with the lesson like it was nothing. I told him afterward that he did an awesome job handling it, and he told me" yup, you just need to rely on the spirit". I guess that was one of my big learning experiences this week, because he was in tune with the spirit and he knew what he needed to say to resolve her concern. The other investigator was a little harder to teach. She is an older woman and she has a hard time remembering things. Our records say that the missionaries have been teaching her off and on for almost a year and we go over there and ask her what she knows about Joseph Smith and she tells us she has heard the name before but she doesn't remember anything about him. So I guess we have to go through nice and slow and keep reminding her of what we taught her each week. Other than that we taught sister cook who is inactive because of her allergies to perfumes. so we practiced our lessons on her. We are in a car share so I'm on a bike every other day. My companion decided that we needed to check up on a bunch of previous investigators that stopped seeing the missionaries for some reason. They were all over the area and it was a bike day, Our area has a lot of hills, so it definitely has its ups and downs. But basically we biked all over everywhere all day and I was really excited to see my bed that night, but we made some appointments with people so that was good. Anyways I enjoyed the art that Heather sent me and the note from Sara as well. I think I am adjusting pretty well to the missionary life and it is a lot of fun too. I love you guys and I'm doing great

Elder Hamson

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dinner with the Garretts

We received the following email with pictures from a family in Thousand Oaks who had Alan and his companion over for dinner tonight:

I thought I'd send you a quick picture of your son and his companion.  We had them over to dinner tonight.  He also bore his testimony in our ward last week.  I happened to pay special attention as I was speaking last week as well and was on the stand as opposed to dealing with my kids!  He has a nice sense of humor and a good heart.  He'll be a great missionary!  We were happy to have him in our home.  Our kids were looking forward to having him over all week.  They were excited to get a picture with him! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Actual, Physical Letters!

In today's mail was an envelope from the Mission Office.  It contained two (2!) letters from Alan, one from his mission president and a picture.

He reports that the members, whose home he stayed at the first night, had "really good oranges from their orange tree."  In the letter written the last day in the MTC he reports "having mixed feelings about going into the field so soon."  He was excited and nervous.  A kind flight attendant helped him get a seat with leg room on his Denver to Santa Barbara flight and that was "100% better" than the SLC to Denver flight.

President Castro reports that Alan arrived "with a smile on his face."

Settling in as a Greenie (new missionary).

Well it has been an awesome first week here in the field. I flew in on monday and I stayed at a member's house then tuesday afternoon we had the transfer meeting. My companion's name is Elder Harlow and he is from brigham city and he is really cool. We are assigned to the Thousand Oaks 1st ward and he has been here for a while so he knows his way around. I am still adjusting to the missionary life, but its been great and I'm learning a lot. Also I have learned some missionary terms for example Elder Harlow is a Grandpa because his first companion that he trained is training now. Also Elder Harlow has been out for 21 months so you could say hes pretty old, but he is a great teacher. This first week we have going around meeting a lot of the members and investigators. When we aren't doing that we are knocking on doors, which is always an adventure. We are in a car share so every other day I have to ride a bike, so I have been borrowing a members bike and I'm working with another member to try and get a bike formyself. We went over to the church building and it is a lot bigger than the ones back home. I will be going over there later today to make sure their hoops work though. It has been interesting getting to know all these different people and trying to figure out how we can help them. A couple of days ago we were on our bikes and we had locked our bikes next to a members house who I had never met before he wasn't there so we decided to walk down another street and tract for a while. When we came back to the bikes I saw some guy fiddling with our bikes, in my head I'm freaking out like its my first week and someone is already trying to take my bike. Turns out he was the member we wanted to see earlier joking around with us. He turned out to be a nice guy. Later we talked an investigator on sunday and she told us that she went to church today and that it was great and she felt comfortable and it really moved her. I was like that's great then my companion looked at me like I was crazy and proceeded to tell her to read the book of mormon and pray to know the truth. It was then that I realized that she didn't come to our church. I guess I still have a lot to learn, but she said she is still searching for the truth and I really hope she finds it. Anyways I am having a really great time and we have a lot of teaching appointments this week, so I am excited. I love you guys and I love hearing from you guys, sorry if I can't reply to everyone I don't have that much time on the computer

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Alan going into the MTC

Lunch before he goes. 

Provo Temple

Timothy making faces

My good boy.

And he is off.

Had an opportunity to talk to Alan before he got on the plane to California Ventura Mission. His only complaint was that he was in the new facility, Y view apartments.  It was fine, but I guess there wasn't a good variety of food.  He only had 2 choices and the other facility has a full cafeteria with a lot more choices. The best thing about the MTC is how much they are learning about teaching by the spirit.  He is learning a lot and Happy.  We had a good chat and he is trying to be a good boy.  He used the term good boy and in stake conference our new stake pres talked about being a good boy.  Very interesting to me.  Alan is going to be a great missionary and I think a good speaker as well.  He loves to tell stories.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

En Route to California.

Alan flew to his field of labor today.  Frontier Airlines took him and 20!?! other missionaries via Denver to the Santa Barbara airport and the California Ventura Mission.  As is customary, he was allowed to call home while in transit, so Tresa, Jennifer, Heather and I all got  a chance to talk to him.  He was in good spirits and excited to get to the mission field.  He was anxious to learn where in the mission he would be serving.

He enjoyed the MTC but reported that the adjustment from his pace of life at home before and the pace in the MTC was exhausting (I warned him!...)  But he was happy with the experience and spiritual growth and training about teaching the gospel.

It was good to hear his voice and be able to tell him one more time how proud we are and how much we love him.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A spy gets pictures!

We have heard that Alan is flying to California on Monday the 9th.  Meanwhile, someone sent us some pictures of Alan in the MTC.  This is their report:

I just met your wonderful son in the MTC today.

We snapped some fun pictures so I thought I would send them to you.

He's doing great here! And so popular. Lots of friends. Great smile. (What fun to be 7'6" !!)

A first report.

We dropped Alan off on Wednesday the 28th and then waited, day after day, for word from him.  We worried that he might have gotten sick.  Finally, on the following Wednesday, we got our first email from Alan:

Hey everybody!
I got your package today and I appreciate the bright red bag with the flowers on it, at least the sister missionaries think it's cute. Sorry I couldn't email you sooner but I my p-day ended up on Wednesday I am doing good here at the MTC it hasn't been easy but it has definitely been an adventure. On the first day I lost my MTC ID card within the first hour of me being there. So basically I had to talk my way into the cafeteria until I could get a new ID card. I am over at the west campus so if you want to wave to me you have to go over by wyview. They just made half of the apartments into classrooms, but they did give me one of the long beds after I jokingly said I sleep curled up in a ball. Nothing has really changed though everyone wants to take pictures with me and I have seen some people I know too. My companion is good he is 18 and went to woods cross high school. He also just talks all the time, and apparently I am a really good listener. My companion got a cold yesterday, but I haven't been sick yet (knock on wood). Also I got called to be the zone leader on my second day at the MTC, so thats cool. Our zone consists of like 12 Elders and 4 sisters and we are all good friends now, but its kinda sad that we all go our separate ways on monday. So ya the next time I e-mail you I'll be in California. Anyways I'm learning a lot and my favorite part of the MTC so far was when we watched a video of Elder Bednar giving a christmas devotional to the missionaries on the Character of Christ There were technical problem so we couldn't watch the whole thing but the part we did watch was life changing. So if you could do me a favor and find like a written version or something that would be awesome, I don't know if its available to you guys or not just let me know. I love you guys and I miss you all.
Elder Hamson

He left us!

On Tuesday evening, August 27th, President Trent, our stake president, came to our home to set Alan apart as a missionary.  He gave Alan a very nice blessing and we enjoyed the Spirit in our home.  That night, really early the next morning, Tresa, Heather and I all got sick.  As we got up the next morning, we were tired and worried about Alan, but he seemed fine.  We finished packing him up and then loaded the family into the van to go to lunch and then to drop him off at the MTC.  We went to Zupas for lunch, since that was all some of were able to stomach, and enjoyed a lunch with all seven of us.  We saw four other missionaries with their families there also.  We had a few extra minutes before we were to drop Alan off, so we walked on the Provo Temple grounds across the street from the MTC.

1pm came and we headed to the MTC.  We arrived at the gate and they gave us a blue sticker (for an Elder) and sent us to the left.  Along the curb were numbered spots and we were directed to 12.  As we emerged from the van, an Elder with Host tag greeted Alan. He told him to hug his family and follow him.  As the Elder and I unloaded luggage, Alan said his goodbyes and then off they went.  It happened really quickly and then we drove off.

An Introduction.

Our son, Alan Hamson, is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He is assigned to the California Ventura Mission and entered the MTC on August 28, 2013.  This blog will track emails reports he sends as well as pictures and reports from other sources.