Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7-29 / Day 197 Always Learning

I've learned about a million different lessons this week!
We had Pioneer Day this past week, that was fun. The parade was cool, pretty interesting. We just cooked in the sun! Rockin' the missionary tan lines now, for sure, hahaah. I should send pictures. :)
Mustache Cop.

Hahaha!! Pushing like a T-Rex!!

Sister Richardson is back to full health, thank goodness. I was about to go a little crazy there. I just wanted to work, but poor Sis Richardson felt terrible. But we made it through that trial to the other side. Through it, I learned.

I've realized that my intentions to work and be a good missionary are in the right place. I do all that I should, I'm obedient... but there are levels above where I am at. What I realized, is that I need to LOVE the work more. I need to align myself more with the Lord. There's progress to be made with my heart. I realized, after reading one of Kayleigh's emails, that I need to look for Hidden Treasures in the Mission. I was talking to one of the assistants this week and I shared all this with her and she reminded me of Luke 12:34,

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

It's taken on all new meaning. It just totally goes hand in hand. We've gotta look for the good and change our hearts while doing it. Sister Briggs said my example of how the Atonement works is a light to others. She said that she has watched it change me as a missionary and that it is beginning to allow me to sparkle in his light and not just shine. It was so sweet of her to tell me all that. I've realized that I can't just align my will with the Lord's will. I've got to align my vision with His VISION.

We took some pretty interesting people on tours of the Beehive house this week. From Anti's to Transvestites. hahahah. I don't think you all believe me when I tell you that EVERY walk of life comes to Temple Square. I love serving in the prophet Brigham Young's home though. It's strengthened my testimony on prophets a ton!!! He was such an amazing man. He gathered all his family every night at 6:30 to have Family Home Evening. Goodness, we can hardly do it once a week these days. But he did it every night despite all the important things he had going on as the Prophet, Governor and everything else he did!

Ann is still wanting to attend church and get baptized, but her life is just going hay wire. Her husband is still in the hospital. He's got pretty bad pneumonia. The Elders were able to visit and give him a blessing though. Pray that everything will get better soon so that they can attend church.

Adrien is such an intersting kid! We taught him the rest of the Restoration this week. We asked him what he thought about the Joseph Smith story after sharing it with him and his reply, "It's an incredible story, what a miracle. I'm so glad to hear it." After talking a little more, our conversation eventually led to talking about baptism. Before we could finish inviting him to be baptized he bursted out with "yeah yeah yeah" hahah. I hope he went to church. We haven't been able to get a hold of him.

We started teaching a man named Marc this week! He found the church when his car broke down. He was going through a really rough time and starting walking to find a gas station or something after his car broke and he found the church on his way. He talked with the missionaries or something and just knew it wasn't an accident that he found it. He's been trying to get into church and wants to change his life around a lot. Looking forward to sharing more with him soon.

I've been calling Bill like once a week since I've been here. He's doing really really well. Gone to a ton of church activities and sacrament once or twice. His wife is still a bit of a roller coaster, she is either super accepting or super not. He talked about how every time he goes to church, he can't help but just cry! Love that man sooo much.

Paul Decker (recent convert way back when) is going really great too. I've actually met 2 families from his home ward this past week or so. They talk soo highly of him and it's really cool :) His wife actually just got called to help with the cub scouts!

Ben's doing good too. He visits the square pretty regularly. He's thinking about serving a mission next summer! WOOOHOOOOOO. What a solid kid he is!

OH OH OH, and Craig & Theressa are still interested in the church. Remember the guy who fell through his roof? He's been in a rehab center for the past month and just now coming out. The Sisters have been over a few times and taught his wife! So great!

That's about it for this week I suppose.

I love you all so dearly.

Sister Hansen

Oh PS!! (God loves me and Sister Richarson sooo much. He saved our lives this week. We were crossing the street and it was super rainy outside. Some lady was too distracted staring up at the Temple or something that she legit almost killed us. We were both looking the opposite direction and then I looked to the right and saw this car flying 40mph straight towards us. The lady finally saw us and slammed on her breaks, but since it was sooo rainy she slid on the water and the car stopped like literally 2 ft from us!!!!! Scariest thing EVER. She rolled down her window and yelled, "OMGOSH I'm sooo sorry! Are you okay are you okay are you okay!??! We were so freaked out that we just started cracking up.

Crazy lady. She probably felt really dumb for almost hitting the sister missionaries.

Another lady walked up to us after it all happened and said, "Someone's watching out for you!" Yeah, that's for sure cause we almost died! )


Monday, July 28, 2014

7 - 22 / Day 205 Another Week Has Gone By

Since I've had such concerns about my email skills, I've come up with a solution!! I'm bringing everyone into the inner world of .... of ..... of ......  my journal!  Here goes! Woohooo!

July16 Wed: The Beehive house has been insane. No matter what, I always have to repeat myself & I'm literally talking all day LONG non stop.  After a while, reason seems to check out and I just start sounding like an idiot. I kept saying Brigham Young was 200ft instead of pounds haha. 

We finally got a hold of Isaac our investigator from Liberia. He is the sweetest thing. Super solid. Wants to go to church so bad but is just waiting for his wife's total support. In the town he's from the Eboli virus is going around. He is super worried for his kids & wife.  I can not even imagine that. Pray for him and his family. He needs all the help he can get. He can't even afford their education.

July 17 Thurs: Miracle day like no other. We got to teach Ann again! She is literally prepared. The Elders came over and taught her and her husband sat in the lesson, too. We taught about the Sabbath day and what to expect at church. All her answers are like beautiful and perfect. She loves that the sacrament is like a fresh new start each week. She totally understands the importance of the Sabbath day. "It's a quiet day to remember God. We can go on walks and enjoy nature, spend time with our loved ones, and come closer to God". Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! We committed her to be baptized on August 2nd. She said she would tell the Elders that she's preparing for that day. Her sweet little 82yr old husband is planning to go to church with her too. 

After teaching Ann, we got a chat from a kid named Adrien. A 17 year old that just wants to repent of all the wrong things he's done in his life. We called him right then and got to know him a little bit better. He is a little bit socially awkward, but just wants to accept Christ so much in his life. 

I finally got to call and talk to Sandra again on the phone after like 4 months! She is the sweetest thing ever. She is loving being a Laurel adviser and her husband Bradley got called to be a ward missionary. We talked a lot about when she went to the Temple. She said that she couldn't stop crying the whole time she was there because she had never felt that way in her whole entire life. They are just one of the few mission miracles I've been able to witness. She even put a picture of me up on their fridge with the Salt Lake Temple next to it & anytime the missionaries or members come to her house she shares her conversion story to them! :) She is such a great example of faith to me!

July 18 Fri: Sister Davis' whole entire stake came to Temple Square for Youth Conference. 250 youth!! Sister Richardson and I got to play investigators! We got all dressed down in normal clothes and it was super neat. I pretended to be someone the Sisters met on the square that agreed to have some young kids ask me questions. So a group of about 15 kids came down and asked questions and taught me what they felt prompted to. I dont know how we pulled it off, but everyone thought we were legit investigators. Even the Stake President! Say WHAT!?! We got invited to come to lunch with them. Leaders were coming up and thanking us for being so courageous and willling to come. One grabbed our hands and just cried telling us that "We were daughters of God"! It brought tears to my eyes it was so sweet. Others would say things like, "You're never going to forget this day and neither are we." It was just really cool to place myself in my investigators shoes. I hope all of my investigators feel that amount of love!

July19 Sat: There was the sickest 1,000 ft slip and slide all the way down mainstreet! I wanted to go on it soooo bad. Good thing I love Jesus Christ more than rad slip & slides. They were playing apostate music though. It was awkward to be walking around the square and hear KESHA blasting into your ears. Awkward! haha. 

We taught Adrien again and he's so shy. It was really hard to get him to completely open up. I hope he loved going to church though and made a new friend. Ann didn't get to make it to church cause her husband ended up in the hospital. We haven't been able to get a hold of her!! Sad. Hope everything's okay.

July 20 Sun: Poor Sister Richardson got soo sooo sick. She was in her bed all day long just dying. So I had lots of study time and ponder time. I learned a lot :) haha. I got to go to the square for like 3 hours though & when I did we found a miracle! We were sitting talking to a newly reactivated member, Jackie, and this lady came up a little frazzled asking where the Joseph Smith movie was. We told her how to get there and then she left. After we were done talking with Jackie, Sis Bailey looked up at me and said, "We have to go find that lady."  I said,  "YES let's go!" So we went to where the movie gets out and stopped her before she could leave. We asked her how she liked it and she said, "it's always so sad to see what he went through." We asked if we could sit down with her and she said, "Yes, please, actually will you pray with me? I've been trying to feel the spirit since I got here." So of course, we just ran over to the nearest couch! We got to know her a little bit better and heard her whole story about how she found the church, but ended up going inactive and just starting coming back to church and stopped smoking like a week ago! As we were talking she just started bawling and said, "It's the spirit, I'm finally feeling it. It's such a comforting thing." Music to my little ears! We talked for a little while longer and she said, "I think the spirit is telling me that I need to keep in contact with you so that you can help me get to the temple" hahah, WHAT?!? Yes duh, of course we want to keep in contact with you. I am so excited to continue helping sweet Jaime get the spirit more fully back into her life.

Sister Richardson is still really sick, I've been pushing her around in a wheel chair for like 2 days now. Yeah, it's a work out going up the hills! Hahhaah. None of the doctors know what's wrong so we're just playing it by ear. I'm kind of dying inside a little. I just want to go and TALK to everyone but I'm stuck inside! That's okay though. My companion's health comes first.  I'm just hoping that we will find answers soon.  It's hard to see her in so much pain.

Anyways... Love you all!

Hope this wasn't tooo much info. You're all in the inner journal world now.  hahaha

Sister Hansen

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7-15 / Day 211 Oh Happy Day!

Just another amazing week in the Temple Square Mission.

Let's just start off with our amazing miracle : )
I was in the Teaching Center this week just going through the contacts and trying to see who I could call and who I needed to drop because a lot of the people aren't very interested and some I hadn't talked to since before I went to California. So I was just scrolling through and then this name just jumped out and I was like "Okay I've gotta call her!" Of course I did. Oh my prepared Ann came on chat a few months before I went outbound, and was just interested in getting a Book of Mormon since she works with some members and loves to read. She is a Communications Professor at Pen State! So I sent her the Book of Mormon, she got it. Started to read it and then I left. When I called her she told me that she was half way done with the Book of Mormon and that it has just intrigued her! We talked for a few more minutes about prayer and about her religious background and then I set up an appointment for the next day. We taught her the whole restoration the next day and invited her to pray about the Book of Mormon to really know if it's true! She responded with, "Your right... I should probably just stop questioning God about it cause I already know it's the word of God. It's helped me so much with my relationship with Him already and I just want to come closer to Him. And I want my husband & I to be more connected, the church will help with that." After that there was no denying the spirit telling us to invite her to be baptized! So we did & she said YES! We're teaching her again tomorrow and we're planning to put her on date for August 2nd. And the local missionaries have already gotten in contact with her and will be visiting soon. WOOHOOO. After much fasting and praying to find someone to teach this transfer who the Lord has prepared we've found our one. Sweeet little 57 yr old Ann:)

We've also gotten to do some FUN stuff this week. We went to Brighton and had like a big girls camp thing on Saturday. It was a blast! Breathing that mountain air was just refreshing. We did like a bunch of cool unity activities and then got to do the "Iron Rod" thing where they blind fold you and put you on a rope and you have to find your way to the end. Well ever since, I've been praying about what to do about school after the mission since I'm going to have to register soon for classes. God has answered my prayers in about a million different ways this week.

I realized so many things from doing that simple little activity that I had done as a youth. It's amazing how timely the Lord is. All week long the focus has basically been on staying on the straight and narrow. And making sure we make the right choices. We did that activity and then the next day I opened up my Book of Mormon for personal study and the next ch to read was Lehi's Dream!

I'm realizing how lucky and blessed I am to have chosen this path to come on a mission. My life has been richly blessed and changed because of it. I can now see how different of a person I am. I know because of this mission my life will be changed forever. This service has just been a little part of my journey to make it back to my Savior. I've still got lots to accomplish for Him during this life. I know the Holy Ghost is leading me in the right direction for my life here in the mission and for my life after it as well.

I love 1 Nephi 9:6, "The Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all His works among the children of men; for behold, He hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words!" I know this is true. I know that The Lord doesn't ask us to do things we can not accomplish. That if it helps us to come closer to Him, He will help us along the way.

I also read my favorite conference talks again this week by Russell M Nelson. One of my favorite quotes from it always rings home, " The wise use of your freedom to make your own decision is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity. You are never too young to learn, never too old to change. Your yearnings to learn and change come from a divinely instilled striving for eternal progression. Each day brings opportunity for decisions for eternity."

I am so grateful to know that as long as we stay on the Lord's path He will continually guide us and bless us. I've seen this so much throughout this mission, especially this week!


We also got to go to the Bountiful Temple this morning because the Salt Lake Temple is closed for construction for like a month. Oh my heavens... literally! What a beautiful Temple! I love going to the Temple and feeling the love of God so strongly!!!

I love you all!
Sister Hansen

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

7 - 8 / Day 218 Only in Salt Lake City

It's never ever ever a dull week as a missionary!

Some fun things have happened this week that's for sure.

Lets just start off with meeting President and Sister Utchdorf while shopping at Costco after emailing last week! hahaha. Yup. We had a 5 minute conversation with them and it was so cool. He asked us where we were from and then Sister Utchdorf told us we were so pretty and thin! : )

The next day we wake up to go running and lets just say the complete unexpected happened. We're just strolling along and all the sudden some competely naked man comes out of nowhere running next to us and I about had a heart attack. I thought to myself, "NAKED... AHHHHH!!" Then, I just turned my head as fast as I could the other direction. All the other Sisters only saw him from behind but Sister Richardson & I had to see from the front! Worst morning EVER! hahahahaha.

We've taken some pretty amazing tours this week. We met a lady named Tammie in the Assembly Hall. The spirit pretty much directed us to her. She was super chill and really open to everything we talked about. We pretty much taught her the whole restoration and at the Christus the spirit was so strong. I shared Enos 1:27 with her. And talked about how our ultimate goal in life is to make it back to our Savior and, because of this Gospel, it is all possible. She had the sweetest smile on her face! Well, her free spirit got to her after the tour. We found out later that she jumped into one of the fountains with her dog and was like playing in it. So, of course, security had to escort her out and she was NOT happy about that. She kept yelling, "Where's your golden plates anyways!" When Sis Richardson & I found out, we just had to laugh! hahaha. Not what we would even have thought to happen. And now she won't answer her phone cause she's probably mad about getting kicked out! haha. At least the seed was planted and she, for sure, felt the spirit when we took her around.

We also met the Light family! Just a sweet family from Georgia. They were so prepared and the Dad had so many amazing questions. At the end we committed them to reading the Book of Mormon as a family and praying to know if it was true. They accepted! We are going to call them as soon as they get home from vacation!

Today we took the sweetest little family from Slovenia around! They aren't really any kind of religion cause they haven't found one they totally agree with yet. But as we shared the Restoration with them and Church History they were just shaking their heads and smiling the whole time. In God's Plan, both Mom & Dad had tears in their eyes! We gave them a Book of Mormon, as well, and they're going to read it.

Can't wait to call all these great families once they're home!!!

The Beehive House has been insanely busy! Back to back to back tours the whole entire time we are there. But we are starting to love it a lot! Learning more about the early history of the church has just built my testimony a ton. I've realized that God has not just built beautiful temples and churches and homes and conference centers and tabernacles here in Temple Square, but He is truly building me here!

Every week there is some kind of struggle or challenge I go through. Every time I turn to God, He just helps & gives me the answers I'm seeking!

I am truly grateful for that!

Sister Hansen

PS (OH... & Mitt Romney came to Music & The Spoken Word this week! He walked like RIGHT past us! We were like wooooahhh hahaha)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

7 - 1 / Day 225 Back to the Lovely Temple Square aka The Happiest Place on EARTH!

Oh how blessed I feel to be back in Temple Square!

The weather has been perfect, the flowers are gorgeous everywhere, and I have dearly missed staring straight up at that beautiful Temple everyday and preachin' about Jesus Christ in front of it : ). I have a great companion. We're serving in the Beehive House this transfer which is actually WAY more fun than I expected it to be. I never wanted to be assigned there & now I am there, but loving it. Summer is insannnne here. SOOO MANY PEOPLE! It's non-stop tours and lessons allllll day long! Wooooohooo. It's been so weird to come back and have NO investigators haha. But Sister Richardson & I are working super hard trying to find new prepared people! Our work is beginning to pay off. But really it just all comes down to having the faith and knowing that God will place people in our path if we're doing everything that we should. I do miss Clovis and Bill and the people there, but I KNOW God has called me to Temple Square for a specific reason. I am seeing now more than ever, how much this placed has healed me spiritually! The second I walked back into the gates I was just flooded with the spirit and felt so much joy! :)
Some things about the mission have changed over the last 3 months, but all for the better. We actually get uninterupted study time now where you don't have to leave studies to take a tour or anything. So we have Personal study in the morning and then comp study at night. In order for all this to work we go to bed at 10:15 and wake up at 6:15. Kinda confusing to explain it all over email, but it's the bessttt to be able to get real good study time.
Sister Richardson is my new companion from North Carolina! I just love her. She is soooo fun and so hard working. What more could I ask for! We've been running up to the Capitol building and then running the stairs too in the morning for workouts! It's the bessst. Such pretty views. But the altitude is killing me. haha. Makes me feel like such a fatty.

As I'm sure you can imagine, there are thousands of people from all over the world coming each day. I have learned to LOVE the Asian people soooooo much. hahah. Funniest people EVER. We went on a huge tour of like 50 Asians this week with some other Sisters and I just laughed the whole time at them taking pictures of everthing and saying, "wooooow" in their cute little accents! I'm learning Mandarin too. It's hard, haha.
Sister Hale went home on Sunday :( That was the saddest thing EVER. She had to leave for surgery & I'm going to miss the heck out of her. So sad my most favorite companion left. I bawled my little eyes out on my bed with her saying bye!
I don't know what else to say other than that I'm great, happy to be back, and trying to work hard. Hopefully I'll be all adjusted and back to complete normal next week.
Sister Hansen