Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9 / 25 Day 43 How in the World do the Weeks Fly So Fast?

My mind is trippin' that it's already! What in the WORLD?
View from the top of the Church office building.
It's always so hard for me to figure out a way to organize my emails!  So, I'll just start with the miracles from my week like I always do.
We met the sweetest couple from Palm Springs.  Of course they wanted to know EVERYTHING they could about our church. Her name is Silvana and she is Catholic, but super interested in the church.  So we started at the Temple Model and taught her all about the temple and that fun stuff. Then we took them to Scripture and Revelations.  It starts out showing all the prophets in the Bible and then leads into Joseph Smith.  We taught all about the First Vision and then explained The Book of Mormon... She looked at me and said, "That makes so much sense that there would be something else other than the Bible... I need to get my hands on that book as soon as possible."  OMG I about dropped to the ground and screamed, "THE CHURCH IS TRUE HERE'S YOUR BOOK!"  hahaah, but I composed myself and said, "Don't worry, we can grab you one on your way out."  So we continued to take them around and teach them.  She was so knowledgeable about so many things.  LOVED HER.  We got her a Book of Mormon and The Living Christ.  I don't know why, but the ones who are super interested always want me to write down my testimony.  But I love doing it every time! I'm going to call her on Friday and see how things are going! She's GOLDEN :)
The actual size of Moroni on the temples.
I saw Bailey Gleason and this was literally an answer to my prayers!  I had been super homesick this day and just getting caught up in distracting thoughts. I said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to give me comfort so I could just move on and be productive. A few hours later Bailey comes walking in the door and I just started bawling!!! It felt soooo much better after talking and getting like a million hugs from her!  Heavenly Father cares about the little things too! He loves us and is always there to help us! 

What happens when Sister Deleu is teaching the
French & Spanish & I have no idea what's
going on!

Chats this week have been a roller coaster... One day it's members, and people about to be baptized that need encouragement and those chats are the best, they pump me up soo much. And then the next day it's Antis trying to prove your testimony wrong and telling you you're going to hell... But I just testify and tell them that I know the church is true and that there is nothing that will shake my testimony of God, and tell them to have a nice day! 

This mission does so much to care for the Sisters! There's always something fun in the week to look forward too! On Sunday we got to go to a family ward and speak, I was literally dying at the pulpit looking at all the darling children staring at me, I wanted to run down, grab them all and snuggle with them! hahaha.  But it was so nice to feel the love of members!

Yummy dinner we got to go to for passing off Giving Tours!
Love my mission bestie, Sister Tiritilli.
PJ Party for Enrichment Night!
President let us all walk home
in our PJs!
So funny!

OMyGosh BEST NEWS EVER.... ready for this.... WE GET TO GO TO THE RELIEF SOCIETY BROADCAST ON SATURDAY!  We are sooooooo excited!!
yay yay yayyy.

The Temple is sooo pretty.

We're all trying to get ourselves ready and pumped up for Conference, but I'll be honest... I'm soooo nervous.  21,000 people vs. our 200 missionaries! AH! 

Alright here's my update on my investigators! 
CHLOE: She went to church on Sunday and LOVED it.  She got a Book of Mormon and started reading and loving it before I even asked! I told her to read 2 Nephi 31 and to pray about... SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!  Unfortunately, we're still working on her Mom letting her and opening her heart to this whole thing. But it will happen, The Lord will prepare a way! She's so cute, and gets soooo excited to learn and I just can't believe she wants to be baptized! AH! 

LUIS: Our calls to him NEVER work and so we've just been emailing... stinks!! He's going through a super hard time right now. So we're just doing our best! 

There's so many other people and miracles happening, but Chloe is just the highlight! I can't say much more cause that's just soo exciting. 

My scripture study has been helping me soooo much to stay focused, motivated, & happy! I just want to share my favoritest quote I've come by so far on the mission,  that motivates me everyday! 
"Opposition turns up almost any place something good has happened... beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing.  If it was right when you prayed about it & trusted it, & lived for it, IT IS RIGHT NOW. Don't give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don't give into that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness.  Face your doubts, master your fears. Cast not away therefore your confidence. STAY ON THE COURSE & SEE THE BEAUTY OF LIFE UNFOLD FOR YOU." 
-Jeffery R. Holland! 

Prepare for Conference! 

We have the biggest gift in the world and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! 
It's a good thing I wasn't called to get the Golden Plates 'cause
I can't even pick the weight of them up! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9/18 Day 36 Familiar Faces on Every Corner!

This has been the funniest week of my mission so far!!! So many activities, ran into SO many friends, & I'm finally feeling the LOVE of everyone here!
I'm just gonna start right off with some of the crazy miracles we had this week! 


Garcia Family: A huge family from Mexico came into the South Visitor's Center for a tour so we took them because Sis. Deleu can speak Spanish! They were all so sweet & SO accepting of everything we were teaching. We took them to the Prophets and Book of Mormon display and I could already start to see the tears building in their eyes. Then, we took the to the Christus and the spirit was INTENSE, for our grand finale we took them into see God's Plan for his Family (it's like a little movie that talks all about how God created us & how we can be together forever).  All 12 of us in the end were crying and they were thanking us so much for the spirit we brought to them and for the amazing lessons they learned.  They all left begging for Books of Mormon and asked for us to write our testimonies on the back of The Living Christ & put it in the Books! IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! Unfortunately,  we didn't get their information but they said they were going to find the missionaries as soon as they got home.   I TOTALLY know they will !   Oh and this whole entire tour was in Spanish, but I knew what was going on almost the whole time... 

Chloe: I've been teaching her over email for about 2 weeks now because her phone isn't working. She's 14 and from the UK.  She's the sweetest girl ever.  I LOVE HER! She came on chat basically asking how she could believe in God since her whole family is atheist and she doesn't like it. She said she knows He's there but doesn't know how to fully have faith in Him. So I've been emailing her back and forth & she's learning so much & LOVES her relationship with God now.  She says when she reads the emails she feels the spirit.  I'm hoping to call her Mom sometime this week so I can get permission to start teaching her over the phone.  She is going to church on Sunday with a friend who's a member. I'm hoping so set a baptismal date with her this next week :) Woohooo!!!

Luis: He's progressing but for some reason our phone calls haven't been going through at all this week to the Dominican Republic... SO SAD. He left an email yesterday and wrote, "Emily (since we teach by our first names here) I'm so sad the phones aren't working.  Please call back soon.  I miss talking and I'm ready to learn.  You can call anytime." I was sooo happy he didn't forget about us since we haven't been able to call! 
We've been teaching so many other people, but I don't even have time to get into details! It's the coolest thing to be able to teach people from all over the world!!!

First to pass off Tours!!
Like I said, this has seriously been the funnest week of my mission! 
I was the first sister in my group to pass off giving tours!! WOOOHOOO, everyone said it took so long to learn all the info, but I just love it all so much & passed it off!! 

I saw Elder Nelson just strolling down the square to City Creek, I was standing at the door itching my head wondering, whooo is THAT, & then some Sisters walked in and said, "Did you seeee Elder Nelson?" & I realized,  THATS WHO IT WAS!  Yayyy!  I wonder how many apostles I'll see while I'm here. Unfortunately, we're not even allowed to wave at them.  They have to talk to us first.

View from my apartment. : )

Music and the Spoken Word, MoTab w/Alex Boye
We went to Music in the Spoken Word on Sunday, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast that's every Sunday morning! It was soooo awesome & Alex Boye was there (the super cool African singer from the piano guys) I wanted to meet him sooo bad, but instead, when we walked out Sister Delue's family was alll standing there!!!
They surprised her all the way from FRANCE! 
It was the cutest thing everrrr. She DIED, & now we have bags & bags of French goodies... uhhohh... I can't gain weight or my skirts won't fit! 
My Favs Visiting Meee!!
But that's just where all the fun surprises began.  Then I turned around and saw Sister Ferguson... Then like 2 hours later Jordan Ferguson & Maddie show up and say Hi to me haha... The day before I saw all Kendl's girl friends from BYU... & then 3 hours after that KATE HANSEN comes walking up to me! WHATTT I FREAKED OUT, and was like are you kidding!!! It was the strangest most fun thing ever:) She's a cool girl. Then yesterday BLAKE, TAYLOR, & KRISTI found me on the square, I cried my eyes out! Happy tears, sad tears, scared tears, more happy tears! It was THE BEST!!!! We talked for a good little while & then they left me... my little heart broke. JK! But I loved seeing them!!! 

I'm convinced this is the most spoiled mission in the World!! We had Zone Conference which was amaaaaaazzing, so spiritually uplifting, and then they brought us Zupas for lunch. We also had Mission Family Home evening on Monday and got to go to members homes and they were soo sweet. It felt like heaven to be in a home! Then after, we all met up at the Stake Center and had the yummiest dinner and dessert catored by cold-stone, and heard from Brother Hartman, the man who made the color personality test. You know like if you're a BLUE or RED! It was sooooo fun, he and his wife just got home from serving their mission in South Africa. He loved talking with all of us and giving us marriage and mission advice. It was such a fun night. I can't believe how much our mission presidency loves us! They do everything they can to make sure we still have fun and can have little breaks since the square gets stressful, and you have to be a happy peppy ready missionary 120% of the day. 

I could go on & on about the week I've had & all the amazing experiences. But what it really comes down to is that when you put 150% into this work you love it no matter what happens in your week. I know that being on a mission is going to affect the rest of my life. I've never felt more whole and more happy in my whole entire life, and I know it's because I am guided by the Lord's hand every single day! This gospel is amazing. Don't miss taking advantage of it!  Dig into the scriptures! They weren't given to us to just sit on our night stand tables. Take advantage of living this gospel to  the best of your ability. I know that God has an amazing plan for each and every one of us! 
Beehive Clothing.  We did a service project & got to see where everything is made!
-Sister Hansen <3

Santiago, Chile . . .  Yayyy Elder Dirkmaat!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 Day 29 Oh Happy Tears!

  I honestly don't know where to begin with this email!

I say this every week but I literally don't think I have the ability yet to say in words everything I am experiencing, learning, teaching, and doing as a missionary!

The first few days here in the field we honestly the hardest, most annoying, horriblest, days of the mission so far! I bet you were expecting me to say the complete opposite, BUT this mission is a hard mission. I was not comfortable anywhere I went, I felt like a zoo animal to all the new sisters, I felt like just a tour guide to every visitor, I felt useless because I can’t speak French or Spanish like my companion.  I was so distracted by my thoughts of everyone back home & Nate leaving for his mission. I was annoyed with the dirty apartment that the sisters before didn't clean.  I was just being so negative, and we know that the spirit doesn't dwell in those who aren’t inviting of it, and faith can not be present in those who have fear & doubt. I knew I needed to KNOCK IT OFF, but it just kept getting worse and worse from Wednesday till Sunday.
Emily and Companion, Sister Deleu

           Then Sister Tiritilli and I sat down with one of the Sisters in the Relief Society presidency (Sister Takahashi). We just poured out everything we were feeling and she was so understanding and the same exact way in the beginning of her mission. After we talked for a while. I felt sooo much better. As soon as I gave up my own little petty thoughts and focused on how I can be like Christ, since this is His work after all, everything changed. I realized that it didn't matter if I wasn't meeting every single one of my "number goals" or if not a single person wanted anything to do with what I was saying that day.  What really matters is where my heart is.
            If I am honestly sharing Christ’s message with every single person, and I am fully dedicated to being a missionary, nothing else matters. Everyone has their agency! 

The miracles started pouring out like CRAZY! 

So I’m just gonna start sharing them because IT'S AMAZING.

Emily and the Million Dollar Smile!!
           I got on chat the other day and a man came on with a referral, he asked for Spanish-speaking missionaries to contact his friend, and I said we can help you, my companion speaks Spanish. Come to find out this member that was sharing this referral with me is Corinne Woomer's (my best friend) UNCLE who lives in McKinney, Texas!
            Then, after this whole thing I'm walking back out on the square and I ran into my friend from BYU-Idaho, McCall.  It brightened my whole day up to see someone I knew.  After THAT we had square time and somehow ran into these two Spanish-speaking ladies. They were the sweetest ladies ever. One has 2 sons who were just baptized and they're in their early teens. They were begging her to visit the temple.             
            Long story short, it was the most spiritual tour I've given so far! She said she could not even thank us enough for the peace we brought to her, and she is now ready to meet with the missionaries and have us start teaching her.
            Mom, I could understand so much of their Spanish it was SO COOL, the spirit is so strong and powerful. I could feel it the whole time even though they were all talking in Spanish. We're going to start teaching her friend that was there with her as well, and she gave us another one of their friends to call too! CRAZINESS.
             I'm also teaching another lady from Puerto Rico, she's awesome and is so sincere! Her husband doesn't know she’s learning about the church or reading the Book of Mormon yet, because she doesn't want him to get mad at her, 'cause hes crazy into their Christian church. But she's starting to have faith in everything! She is recognizing the spirit in her life because of her learning.
            After all these insane things happened, I got 4 new investigators yesterday! 4 in ONE DAY! I'm just going to talk about one of them though because I don't even have the time to go into detail about everything. His name is Luis he's from the Dominican Republic. He came on chat with so many questions and was just skeptical about everything. He asked us to call him so we could just meet each other and what not, then we just started teaching him, and one thing after another, booom bang booom, and he was feeling the spirit like crazy. He said he was also meeting with the Jehovah Witnesses, but expressed that everything we had taught him made sense. I gave him some scriptures and a chapter of the Book of Mormon to read. He thanked us so sincerely for the spirit that he felt during our talk. I ended the lesson/phone call with a prayer and he was speechless by the end... as was I... because I was definitely not the teacher... THE SPIRIT WAS! We are calling him back tomorrow to see how his reading went and to see how his prayers are going. I’M SO EXCITED!
            I know that the Lord’s hand is here every single day in my missionary work. I know that my love for Jesus Christ is what makes this mission worth it every day! I want to stand before him at my judgment and know He is not a stranger to me.  I want to look Him in the eyes and He look into mine and tell me that I worked hard and that He is proud of all my life on Earth. I will not be ashamed when I am in His presence again.
            I love being in Temple Square every single day... I walk on holy ground, I teach where Brigham Young taught and the spirit is amazing. Teaching of the pioneers everyday reminds me that I CAN DO HARD THINGS! The work is so hard and demanding some days, but miracles only happen when you go out on the ledge where they can happen! Faith precedes miracles!

I love the LORD & the LORD loves me!
-Sister Hansen

Saturday, September 7, 2013

9-4 / Day 22 Temple Square watch out ... Sister Hansen is there!!

  Welllll .... I'm here in Temple Square & I haven't even been to my apartment yet cause I'm one of the lucky sisters to have on my first day here! 

I'm exhausted we had to wake up at 4am this morning to be ready and leaving the MTC by 5:30! Sooo lets just say it's gonna be a long day today!
But I'm so extremely excited to actually be here! President Gillet and his wife are adorable, I love them already! It's gonna be one crazy mission here with all these CRAZY sisters. I'm serious they're insane, sooo much personality! My new companion is from FRANCE! So someone is going to have to update Kayleigh that we can have some nice FRENCH convos when she gets home :) Crazzzzyy, I'm so excited! Shes so so sweet her name is Sister Deleu she lives very close to Paris! 
Ummm lets see, what else to tell you?
Well I feel like I've been set FREE from jail cause I'm not in the MTC anymore. I loved it and learned soo much but I'm way excited to be in the real world now! When I get to the grocery store tonight I'm gonna be like a little girl in the candy store but in the healthy food section, cause I am sick and tired of CRAP cafeteria food! 
I have so much to learn!! I can't hardly take it! 
Family... I am allowed one visit from you. So I have a total of 2 hours, one for tour, and one to go out to eat! SOOO this is gonna have to happen when Kendl gets home from his mission  : ) So when he comes back up to school everyones gonna have to be there!!! And then I'm sure Kendl and Blake can come and "run into me" haha. But I never told you to do that ; ) 
I can't even explain to you how much I've learned these past 3 weeks! I know that being on a mission is exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing right now! I know that I need to open my mouth and be brave so that I can share the gospel with every person that walks onto this square! The spirit is SO POWERFUL! I can feel the power of this gospel literally down to the marrow of my bones! I LOVE IT! I know if i do not work my very hardest on this mission it won't be worth it and I will come home with regrets, and that IS NOT going to happen! I know the power of the Book of Mormon, I know that people desperately need its teachings in their lives! I read it again in the MTC and just finished like the day before yesterday! It is truly an amazing book. I know with all my heart this gospel is true, my pure happiness comes from teaching it to others and I want all of God's sons & daughters to feel this happiness too! I will have more faith than fear during my mission! I am fully converted to this gospel and I can't wait to work beside the Lord in his work as a missionary for the next 18 months! 
Temple Square watch out.... Sister Hansen is HERE! 
I love you all!!!!! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

8-30 Fri / Day 17 Best Week Ever !!

I honestly don't even know where to begin! 

This week has been amazing amazing amazing. And I probably said that last week but I really mean it this time.  This week started my Visitors Center training.
I have had the opportunity to hear from so many leaders in the church!  Such as:
Sister Carol McConkie -- First Counselor of the YW
Steven B. Allen -- In charge of the whole missionary department
And last but not least, Elder Neil L. Anderson -- He gave the most powerful talk on love and sacrifice! It was amazing to be in the presence of an apostle.

When he walked into the Marriott Center the spirit smacked you in the face it was so strong! Then on our way home walking back to the MTC it literally started POURING rain, so that was great. haha Luckily my shoes didn't get ruined... blessings!!

Then on Wednesday we got to visit Temple Square!! We went on a tour and the spirit there is soooo peaceful. I know it will be a healing ground for me! I learned sooo much about Visitors Center Sisters this week! Only 2% of Sister missionaries are called to a Visitors Center mission. This blew my mind. I had no idea. I just think it's the biggest compliment in the whole world that Heavenly Father called me to one of his Visitors Centers! I am so blessed for my mission call! I LOVE IT!!! I wouldn't rather be stuck in any other 15- acre place EVER! It's like a spirtiual cage of goodness : )  I get to go back tomorrow & give tours myself with a training sister! SO nervous but SOOO excited! It's fun to get outta the MTC : ) and be in my mission! 

Nappy time for Sister Asay!
I met some amazing Sisters this week, literally, from all over the world serving in temple square with us! They're incredible girls from Fiji, Taiwan, Australia, Hong-Kong, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Honduras, Phillipines, islands you've never even heard of, and other crazy places!  There are about 30 of us reporting next Wednesday.  They are all soo cute, too, and their English is AMAZING!  I always ask them to pray in their native language when they're called on.  I love hearing their languages and I admire them so much.  I'm literally going to make best friends from ALLLLLL over the world!  I'm going on some crazy vacays after the mission, lemme tell ya!

Sister Hansen and Sister Asay:
Growing closer to the good Word! (Even unconsciously)
I also learned this week how to chat with people online! And then we started doing it these past few days! It's soo fun and addicting.   I just wanna talk to people alll day long about the gospel!  Our teacher Sister Billin(who reminds me SO much of Aunt Rachel) challenged us to get a real investigator before we leave the MTC on Wednesday! Sister Asay & I were like yeah right were not gonna get a real investigator and send his info to the missionaries for baptism. To our amazment we sign on and the first conversation is from a man named John. His first words to us are "Where can I go to church so I can get baptized" Long story short... He is from Ireland and has been living like a Mormon for a year now basically. He's been learning about stuff on and ordered his own BOM that he reads... He says its "his manual to life now".... anywho we talked to him about a bunch of stuff and committed him to Baptism on Sept. 21! AMAZING! We have a real investigator from IRELAND! I could go on and on about him, but I dont even have the time!  But this increased my testimony times a million! It really shows that the Lord literally prepares people for us!
The MTC has been amazing!!!!   It amazes me, the spirit I feel literally 24/7!!! I am soooooooo eternally grateful for my mission and all that I'm learning. The power of this gospel is real, & I feel it everytime I open my mouth and teach someone. 

I cannot thank everyone enough times for all the love I've gotten here in the MTC!  I've received literally over 35 letters and like 7 packages! 
Thank you Skidmores for your letters 
Thank you Sister Brown for your sweet notes and snacks 
& Uncle JS for the chips & quesso... saved me at night when I was STARVING from eating dinner at 4:30pm! hahah... & I can't believe you guys saw Kayden Walters... I just saw him at lunch today! AWESOME! 

Besides all this goodness happening there's always something bad bound to happen.... & yeah the BAD definitely came!
So I'm like 100% sure I have a sinus infection but I'm too stubborn to go to the Health Clinic, so I'm just taking Mucinex ... which is fine, I guess, haha.
And yesterday, I literally almost cracked my head open!   I was drinking at the water fountain... I was soooo thirsty that after my drink I had my eyes closed and was just doing that whole, "ahhhh so refreshing,"  when, to my astonishment I SMAACKEDDD the corner of my head into the cement corner of the brick wall with like metal all along the corner.  Sister Peters literally grabbed my head as it projectiled off the wall and Sister Asay grabbbed my arm so I didn't fall over!  I was seeing some major stars! Then I started bawling and cracking up all at the same time because I couldn't even imagine how dumb and funny I looked!  Wish I got a pic of my head!  hahaha yeah, it still hurts. But I definitely don't have a concussion though ... more blessings! 
Because I literally hit hard enough to get one! The whole thing was HILARIOUS though, we laughed for a good 30 minutes!

Can't wait to get out there next week and get to work.
Love you all!