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.