Thursday, January 30, 2014

1 - 29 - 14 / Day 169 A Week of Laughter

A Sunny Day -- WHAT A MIRACLE!

Okay seriously... I LOVE MY COMPANION. I've never laughed sooo hard during my mission than I do with her. Everything that happens to us is just ridiculously hilarious. To the point, during companionship study yesterday, I fell to the floor crying & laughing sooo hard 'cause she thought we were having an earthquake when the lamp fell! HAHA. Or when I almost got hit by a car 'cause I was too busy talking to her that I didn't look at the car flying down the street, and she tried to warn me, but couldn't think of words fast enough and then I walked out in front of the car & just SCREAMED "ahahhah!!!!!" the driver must have died laughing seeing my face.  Okay this probably isn't funny at all to read.. guess you just had to be there! :) Moral of the story is I LOVE how much fun we have together & how much work we always get done. When my brothers told me... have fun, but work hard and your mission will be the best EVER. It's true. The best times on the mission are when you're having fun and working your booty off. 
What we do when no one answers.

What we do when everyone answers their phones!!
(And no making fun of us.  We matched on accident.)

We've gotten a ton of new investigators in the past 2 weeks & they're all just great! I'll share a few.

SANDRA: She came on Chat asking about what happens to us when we go to Heaven. She found out about our church because she was internet researching whether we could have kids in heaven since she isn't able to here in this life. We shared with her a little bit about the plan of salvation, and she said it brought tears to her eyes knowing that she lived with God before she came here & knowing how much He loves her brought her so much peace. I shared that awesome quote by Elder Holland..." some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." She said it's her new life motto & we're calling her for the first time tomorrow! SO EXCITED. And she's actually in Corinne Woomer's mission, so I'm praying it's in her area & we can teach her together! YAY!

STEPHEN: He came on chat asking for where to read conference talks, so I told him to look on hahah, but I wanted to get to know him and see if there was anything else we could do to help him. So I asked him a couple questions and came to find out that he had taken all the discussions before, but stopped because he didn't think the church was for him. But he is now realizing how important the teachings of the gospel are. He sees how corrupt the world is getting, and then he always ponders about the lessons that the missionaries taught him. He has Cerebral Palsy, and has a deep love and belief in God because of it. He knows Gods the only one who has comforted him and helped him through all his life trials and physical trials. We invited him to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon before we called him next and he said, "no thanks, I'll read all of Nephi instead," ahahah OKAY SIR Not gonna complain with that! hahah We're calling him on Friday! :)

PAUL is back: He finally answered his phone & went to church this past Sunday. And didn't just go to church by himself, but brought his whole family with him! YAY. He's wife was soo closed off to the church before, but she said to him this week " I really love how family centered that Mormon church is. I guess I'll come along with you. And we should bring Andrew (their son) with us 'cause he needs a good strong youth group to be apart of." Paul is already wanting to be baptized of course, we're just trying to get him on date.... & maybe his family now too! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN :)

And, I've been able to get a hold of some people I've been dying to talk to who never answered their phones in the past! YESS:)

Pretty Reflection Pool
The Recent Converts are doing GREAT:
Myriam got her Temple Recommend two days ago... and was complaining to us on the phone the other day about how she can never get her school work done 'cause she's too busy & happy reading the scriptures... hahah! If only all of us could have problems like that :)

Ben has been called to be his ward mission leader & is STOKED about it. He got his patriarchal blessing on Sunday and shared some stuff with us. AMAZING. He's already got 3 lessons to help out with this week :)
This quote by Thomas S Monson just keeps popping back into my head this week every time I start to feel tired or annoyed.. "Shall I Falter... or Shall I Finish" I just think of how much I've learned & grown since being here & I'm soooo grateful. This gospel brings so much eternal happiness into my life & into soo many other peoples lives as well.


-Sister Hansen

Ishmael: Miracle Baptism in Brasil.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

1-22-14 / Day 162 This Week FLEW By!!!

This day next year I won't be a missionary anymore... that really scares me because I know how fast time flies by! ahhh.
I miss the sun and flowers soo much!

Well we got to move into a new redone apartment & it is way nice! Sooo happy about not having a bathroom with lifted mold-growing floors!  But we aren't allowed to put pics up on the wall, so I'm going to have to get creative here & figure something out! haha. 

Okay, we were freezing.

Love my li'l baby!!

There have been so many anti's on the square this week & it's just the funniest thing in the world to me. I feel like they think they tear our spirits down & make us question our testimonies when really it just does the total opposite. I walk away and laugh in my head when they say things like, "Did you know those stars on your mormon temple symbolize the Devil?" or "I hope you just stop deceiving people. I really do fear for you and your salvation," or "Here take this pamphlet that teaches the truth... it will help you so much (called Security on that one) hahaha.

All the languages!

Investigators are doing great!! 
Myriam: Was baptized on Saturday & is just soooo happy. She couldn't even hardly describe what she was feeling to us! Told us she couldn't wipe the smile off her face. We sent her a card with pics and a cute Temple Square necklace in there too... figured that was the best we could do since we couldn't be there. 

Myriam is baptized!!

Myriam with friend and sister missionaries.

Ben: Has been called to be a ward missionary in his local ward, and is sooo stoked about it! He's a great kid & has made some hard changes in his life since being baptized.

Carlos: Gave his first talk in Sacrament on Sunday & talked about how he wants to serve a mission right after high school... after church someone gave him $100 to start his mission fund! AMAZING. He's going to be a powerful & effective missionary someday. YAY!

We had some super sweet inbound call miracles this week. 
Jessica: She called in trying to find a local church building and I totally thought she was a member!! Come to find out her 9yr old son is investigating the church because he's been with his grandma a few times and her husband is a member, but travels all the time so can hardly ever get to church. She called in looking for a church because she was out of town for a funeral and just wanted to go somewhere she could feel comfort and peace! She said she just really wanted someone to pray with, so I asked her If I could pray with her, and she was like really you would want to pray with me! So sweet! So we said a prayer and then I got to know her a lil better. She had a kid at 16 (her 9 yr old) and has just felt like no church would ever accept her because of the bad decisions she made as a teenager.  But has recently come to know that that is so not true. She loves the things she's learned from the church so far & was sooo happy when I told her I wanted to keep in contact with her! Can't wait to call her this week.

We had a few other cool stories, but like always I don't have enough time to type it all out. 
We got our new mission president & wife this week! The Poulsens. I love them. They are soo down to earth and just great! I can't wait to see the amazing things they bring to this mission. 
I've been sleeping like a baby FINALLY! I'm already losing weight from actually getting good sleep.  That's a miracle in and of itself!

Last Explore Day, w/ Sis Vasconcelos at Humanitarian Center.

Exploring the State Capital! 

We have had early morning meetings every single day this past week and so I didnt get one work out in.... so stinky! We're hitting the workouts hard this week!
Sister Vasconcelos is probably one of the best tender mercies the Lord has given me so far in the mission. She truly is so sweet & we have a GREAT time together. Always laughing and having fun. She said to me this week "I have no idea what I'm going to do when you're not my companion anymore I love you so much... no one is ever going to be the same as you," okay soooo sweet! LOVE HER! 
Hope all is well back in the real world!! 
-Sister Hansen


Sister Peters & I.   LOVE HER

So Fun!!

Gorgeous Sunsets 

P.S. (Oh & I got to announce on Sunday after Music & the Spoken Word! SO FUN!)

Monday, January 20, 2014

1-15 / Day 155 Faith = Miracles

Well this week has been just as amazing as usual.
Some cool person made this in the snow!

I've decided that I'm going to SAVE AFRICA & here's why: haha
Lethu: I don't know if I've already talked about her. I probably have.
But she is a referral I got from Kendl before he left & I just LOVE HER.  She has such an intense and deep love for Christ! But she has this ridiculous fear of reading the Book of Mormon because she's afraid it's going to take away from the knowledge she already has. Oh man... if she only knew! We talked about how it will only add to the knowledge she has and bring her even closer to Christ, but she's just too freaked out. I asked her to just have enough faith to read one chapter and pray about it, but she wouldn't. I didn't want to take no for an answer because I know how awesome & special she is, but she will only get better by reading it. So I asked if I could read it with her on the phone next time we call her and she agreed! So, I need to do some intense praying about what we should share with her next. But I know she feels the spirit when we talk and after everytime she sends the sweetest texts telling us how much she LOVES us and it's just so cute!
Ibrahim: He's from Ghana! I acutally got him from another Sister who was going outbound and she wasn't able to ever get ahold of him but I DID! YAY! He's AMAZING. He has a friend from the UK who's a member and she has just been a crazy great influence on him and caused him to want to learn more about Jesus Christ and how he can have a personal relationship with him. I've been teaching him through email cause the phone connection just stinks! But his first question to me was... If I was a member of the church here in Ghana how could I be a powerful and great influence on all those around me? OKAY PURE JOY CAME ACROSS MY FACE READING THAT! We've shared some stuff with him over email & I'm just anxiously awaiting his response! SO GREAT : )
Back to America now:
Myriam: Oh man, bless her sweet little soul! I just love her!! She is getting baptized on Saturday and is just sooo happy about it. She got back to school the first week of January and talked to the Elders about the baptismal date we talked about... they of course were sooo excited. She told us the prayer that they said at the end of the lesson touched her heart and gave her so much peace and happiness about being baptized. She got home that night and was just getting things ready for the next day & to go to bed when she thought "hmmm I should open up my Book of Mormon" And so she did... just decided to open it up and read the first thing her eyes saw which was Mosiah 10:18 "Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"
She started crying & texted us RIGHT away telling us what happened and then we started crying!! haha. Oh man, the Lord works in mysterious ways that's for sure! This church is SOOOO TRUE, things like that just don't happen by chance!
I have had some pretty amazing experiences this week. Too many to type! haha.

My new district.  YaY!! Together again with Sister Asay!!!

There are 10 things I've really learned from serving this mission so far that I KNOW will bless my life here and after the mission forever...
1. Knowledge and love of Jesus Christ: If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here and I truly couldn't get along day by day without his love and without his amazing gospel! He is the reason for ALL of this.
2. Knowledge and love of the scriptures: like I've said before, I truly thought I loved the scriptures before I got here but that has changed times a million.
3. Increase of love for my parents: HOLY COW! I am eternally indebted to them for allowing me to be here and encouraging me, praying for me, and loving me every single day while I'm gone!
4. A love for the mission and those you meet: Oh man I could go on for days about this so I won't even get started.
5. Appreciation for Hard Work: I've never worked this hard in my whole entire life. I feel like a HUGE boulder when I hit the pillow each night!
6. Assurance that the Holy Spirit is available to all: if it wasn't for the spirit no one would be baptized and I know that for sure. It is not because of me that people are changed and know the church is true it is because of the spirit.
7. Understanding of the importance of team work: Temple Square is all about helping each other out and being there for each other! I know exactly why I was called to this mission and it's such an amazing place to be.
8. Value of personal virtue: I know that one of the biggest converts from this mission is ME! I've grown so much and I have really seen how much the Lord truly does love me!
9. The Faith to Act: This week I've had so many thoughts in my head like, "Okay just say Hi as you pass by those people over there... & then instantly I think NO go and share something with them," & we've been able to experience some amazing miracles just because we had a lil faith!
10. Ability to Pray: I used to laugh when I saw my mom praying for like literally an hour long & now I've turned into her & its just hilarious to me! Now when I get back home no one in the family is going to let mom or I say the night prayers! hahah I LOVE PRAYING!

I hope you all are just doing amazzzingg!!!!
-Sister Hansen

Okay, somebody didn't sleep well last night.

We had a Hawaiian goodbye for Pres Seppi (going to be Mission Pres in Thailand),
and our sweet Gillettes.  Their last day is tomorrow.

Monday, January 13, 2014

1 - 8 / Day 148 Gahh! Thought I was caught up when ...

So, in case anyone hadn't noticed, during the holidays, I got very behind on updating Emily's blog.  And I wasn't going to say a word about it.  Until ... I realized ...  that I left out a lil' piece she came across and wanted to share in her Jan 8 letter, which post I just published, without the piece she wanted included.  Oopsie. Here it is: 

Feast Like a Flamingo

By Whitney Hinckley

These funny birds taught me a lesson about being a recognizable member of the Church.

The first time I saw flamingos in real life, I loved their beautiful, rich pink color—it was very different from the bubblegum pink of the plastic lawn ornaments I’d seen.

I was at an aquarium and learned that flamingos’ bright pink color comes from the food they eat, which contains high amounts of beta carotene—a pigment that causes an orange, pink, or yellow color. That means that if flamingos don’t feast on the algae and brine shrimp they usually eat, their feathers will eventually become white—and we might not even recognize the white birds as flamingos!

After that day, I started to think about those flamingos in a way I never would have expected.

I thought about what I feast on and if it changes how others identify me. In 2 Nephi 31:20, we are encouraged to “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ.” I thought about the stories of how people not of our faith describe the members they know as having a “glow” around them or a light in their eyes. Could it be that by our feasting, instead of turning pink like a flamingo, we receive that light from Christ? We receive the Lord’s image in our countenances when we are born of the Spirit (see Alma 5:14). We are recognized as disciples of Christ because of that identifying factor.

If pink flamingos are any indication of good feasting, the opposite is also true. When a flamingo stops eating the nutrient-rich food he needs, he becomes ill and pale. When we stop feasting on the word of Christ, we also slowly become spiritually ill and lose our bright, godly countenances. Eventually, we would no longer be recognized as a faithful follower of Christ.

The more I thought about this, the more applicable the flamingos in the aquarium became to me. They were pink because they were doing everything right. They were not ashamed to be pink—they are supposed to be pink, and because they feasted they were pink. They were beautiful. They were identifiable.

As children of our Heavenly Father, we can all be beautiful too! It’s a beauty that comes from inside, by feasting on the right things. We should want to have Christ’s image in our countenances. We can be just as identifiable as members of the Church as a flamingo is for being a flamingo.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1 - 8 / Day 148 Spiritual Highs

Sister Vasconcelos and I at the Christus.

These past few days have just been FILLED with the spirit! I don't know what's in the water, or what I did to get all this, but I've just been SOOO happy this week & just so filled with the spirit!!!! Everywhere I turn it's just amazing experiences & great lessons! The square actually isn't that dead yet & I hope it's like this for at least a little bit longer because we've been seeing some awesome miracles and soo much opportunity to teach!


I can't believe it's the start of another transfer & that I've almost been here for 6 months... I feel like I just got here! I feel like I was just in Sister Vasconcelos' shoes being trained and trying to get used to how everything works (she's a complete tender mercy from the Lord, I love every little piece of her haha). Before I know it this whole mission is going to be over, and I'm going to be crying on my bed at home wanting to sign into chat and answer people's questions about the gospel and wanting to take people around the square and bridge everything to gospel principles! hahah. I love being a missionary, I've never felt such a feeling of peace and joy ever in my life!

Our Zone this past transfer. 

We've taught sooo much this week & it feels sooo good! Finally no more crazy holiday schedules! yahoo.
Paul: Wow I haven't talked about him in ages. Because he's been so dang busy and hard to get ahold of! We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week and he loved every bit of it and practically taught half the lesson himself! We asked him what 2014 looks like for him & in his exact words, "Well getting baptized is #1 on the list." YAY! We committed him to a baptismal date of Jan 25th!! He's such a cool dude and it's just amazing to see a total business man that is crazy busy actually take time to love reading the scriptures and just crave spiritual experiences! He's gonna be a strong member... hopefully one day his wife will be too.

Myriam: She is the sweetest girl ever! She goes to school in Saint George and has just loved being friends with members of the church. She has such a strong testimony of the gospel already and wants to be baptized really bad.. But I think she's just scared to take that final leap of faith. We have enjoyed becoming her friends, her spirit is so strong! We committed her to baptism on Jan 18th! I WISH WE COULD GO!
I think the hardest thing about teaching over the phone is not being able to be there in person when the people you've been teaching are having all these amazing experiences or actually being able to see them get baptized! But getting pics is sooo fun:) haha.
This is what I do to Sis Hales when I miss her ...  find her
in the lounge & jump in her lap when she's trying
to study,  hahaha!!!

Loved seeing these lil beauties in one of my
fav places to be!!!

I love being a missionary sooo much... I love seeing the way that I am able to progress in the gospel too and how much my faith and testimony has been strengthened through all the trials and struggles I've been through. At times when I feel like I'm not helping anyone or hardly have any progressing investigators, I'm so happy to know that I'm the Lord's progressing investigator too! I have so much to learn & so much to get done, so much change I want to have happen because I am WAY to far from perfect!

My heart is crushed that half my mission buddies are outbound now, and some of my favs just went home, and we have to say goodbye to President and Sister Gillette this week! That's going to be really hard, they have brought sooo much joy to this mission! & everything is probably going to change a ton this transfer.. But I'm definitely ready for it and ready to just WORK HARD!
I love you all!!!!!!
-Sister Hansen

Thanks for the cleaning gloves Mom!  Transfer clean checks
were a breeze with those things!!  I conquered the whole world
with them on : ) haha!  Love you!!

Love the Skidmores to pieces and miss having time
with those kiddos!  So glad they made it to the
square -- and bearing gifts, too!!!!

1-3 / Day 143 What A Whirlwind!

Explore Day for Sister Vasconcelos!!

Our Fun 1/2 day at BYU Museum of Art!

This week has been crazy... but that's nothing new! We got to go to the BYU Art Museum and it was AMAZING!!!!! I was so grateful to be able to go & see all those amazing paintings of the Savior! Such a spiritual experience.

I don't know what has happened this week but chat has been FULL of trollers and pranks! One night there was literally hundreds of immature teenagers on chat just saying the nastiest things & trying to waste our time! But some awesome miracles came from it. Some guys came on telling us about all these punks that would be on. They found our chat link on some stupid website and after every conversation they would post the results back on the website. Anyways the ppl who came on to inform us had read over some of the conversations and saw the way we had handled everyone and were sooo impressed and then they were actually curious and wanting to learn about the church! AWESOME:) haha.

Our investigators are doing okay! It's just a hard time of the year to have people sit still long enough to have a lesson over the phone with you. But luckily everything will slow down here soon and people will be back to a normal schedule. 
David H from England: WOW, he is so difficult! haha. He has made so many amazing changes since he's started his journey in learning about the church, but just doesn't really want to keep going. It's breaking my heart that he's so close to giving up instead of just taking this last little leap of faith! We had a pretty straight up lesson with him and told him, "Look what it all comes down to right now for you is, if the BOM is true.  Will you pray about it?  We will call you on Monday and see if you still want to talk to us."  I am so scared he's just going to give up and say forget it all thanks for everything bye! I don't know what it is, but you learn to love these people so so much and just thinking about not teaching him anymore makes me so sad! We're gonna need a mighty miracle and a mighty change of heart here! 

I don't know who else to share about but the work is going forward and we have lots of people to bring this gospel to that's for sure! haha. To be honest I've been struggling lately, but I just keep trying to press forward. There are days when I just feel like giving up and coming home, but I know that God is only preparing amazing things to come & I just gotta keep pushing harder on the bad days! I have gained such a strong testimony of the Lord while I've been here. I know that this work is bigger than me and bigger than I can handle and that it the perfect setting for me to learn to rely and trust in the Lord! I'm grateful for all the things I've been able to learn & I know it's only going to continue. 
I can't believe it's the NEW YEAR & I'm in my only full year as a missionary! Years go by so so fast & I'm scared this time next year is going to roll around faster than I realize & then I'll be coming home wishing I could have done more and worked harder! SO I've set lots of new years resolutions and have LOTS I want to accomplish this next year!

-Sister Hansen

Dead asleep on the train ride home
from the museum.  Sister Asay and I,
buddies from the MTC and always will be.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


By the Christmas Tree in the Joseph Smith Memorial Center, where we go to church.

With the exception of the last picture (which is our Christmas Card), the rest of the pictures are from when we visited Jordan School for special needs.

Friday, January 3, 2014

12 - 20 / Day 129 SNOWED IN !!

                              Oh my goodness! Where to even start with this ridiculous week I just had!
Friday 13th: Well the AP's pulled us into their office to find out I was getting a new companion and she was coming from the MTC & I was training her!!! WOAAHHH! I was soooo excitedddddd. But sooo scared.

awww bye bye Sister Nakamatsu... :(
Saturday 14th: We got to go to Ben's Baptism! It was sooooo great! Seeing someone you taught actually be baptized was so special. Actually getting to see it and feel of the spirit there & not just get pictures! YAY:) Then after we got to go to the Mormon Tabernacle Choirs Christmas Concert! It was raddddd. (Mom & Dad you should buy the DVD when it comes out.)

Christmas Set up in the Conference Center

Monday 16th:  
I got my lil babyyy! haha jk she's not a baby! But I love her! Sister Vasconcelos is from Brazil and is soo sassy & funnn. We're always chatting and getting lots done. Her new sister fire is GREAT!!!! Sisters from the MTC bring such a strong spirit about them and are sooo motivated to do everything, I LOVE IT! It's not slow passed at all anymore, I'm happy about that. Training is a really big challenge though, it's lots of fun but also lots of pressure. I feel like I've gotta be on 24/7 no time for messing up or doing things wrong cause I'm the example. I want her to learn from me and I want to learn from her too. She really is the sweetest thing though. I came into my room yesterday morning before leaving and she had left a little note next to my bed with a cute lil braclet that said, "Love you so much & thanks for training me!" OMG I died. Soo sweeeeeeeettt
                                          My trainie & The Gillettes (I'm gonna miss them when they leave next month)

Inside the Conference Center organ!!!
Wednesday 18th: 

We had a fun filled day too. We got to go on an Organ Recital Tour to see the behind the scenes of the Conference Center and the Tabernacle. SOOO neat! I didn't know how ridiculous organs were.. mind blown! & then that night we got to go eat at a members home! It was sooooooo nice!!! & their RM son was actually AP in one of my friend's missions. So funny. The food was great, their dogs were adorable, and It felt soooo strange to be in a real home. Outbound should be a blast!

Playing the Tabernacle Organ.  I'm sooo good!  . . . . Notttt! JkJk

                                        Just directing the Choir in the Conference Center nbd hahah jk

Our District eating at the Lash's home !

(yesterday) 19th: 
We got to hear from Sister Burton(RS General President) in the Relief Society Building! She gave such a great inspiring lesson on woman who have made a difference in our lives. It gave me such great motivation to continue to keep growing & learning so that I can become that woman to someone else some day. Then we got SNOWED IN! The square had to shut down because so many people were falling on the ice and getting hurt and the snow plows couldn't keep up cause the storm was so crazy! IDLE TIME STINKS. I HATE IT!!!!!! I could hardly even take a nap cause my body isn't used to it. We just all hung out and it was weird but nice! haha.

Putting up Christmas Lights in the House with Sister Peterssss

I found this stupid lil Christmas tree in Sister Peters apartment.
She died laughing and put it on my head.
#Lovely headwear  # Hideous Headwear

The Star on top of the Christmas Tree (THANKS MOMMM)
I can't believe it's almost Christmas! So crazy. Time goes by soooo fast. This time next month I'll only have a year left! Woahhh. haha jk that's a really long time. But I'm glad cause I've still got lots to learn and lots to accomplish. I'm so happy to be training... I feel like it's more for me than Sister Vasconcelos cause it's really humbling. All your weaknesses come out & it's ridiculous.

Hope everyones doing good! I LOVE YOU ALL! 



Sister Hansen