Tuesday, August 26, 2014

8 - 25 / Day 170 We LOVE Africa!

Forgot my journal today, so I'm going to have to rely on my head. Be afraid. It's been a great week though, so I will try my very hardest to recap!

Tuesday, Aug 19th, we had Zone Training Meeting. It was super inspired. Sister Marsh & I have been talking a lot lately about how we want to improve our teachings skills and study habits. Our Zone Leaders had some Recent Converts and Investigators come so we could just practice teaching with them & then get feed back on how we can do can better & improve. We taught a girl named Sophia who just moved here from Colorado. She's going to the U for her masters program and is Greek Orthodox. She grew up with a kid who's a member and likes the church but just doesn't totally have an interest in being a member. We taught her the Restoration & then answered all the questions she had about the church. It was really neat to just be able to teach her as the spirit directed us and then to get feedback right then from her about how we could have done better. We're hoping we will be able to continue teaching her. I was also on exchanges with Sister Marambio from Chile. She fed me a bunch of Chilan candy! That was fun :) haha. & tried to teach me Spanish. I'm kind of a lost cause, though. Hopefully I'll be able to learn once I'm home. 

Wednesday, the 20th, we had Zone Conference. It was really good too. I LOVE getting training from President! He's the best, has so much spiritual knowledge. He gave Sister Marsh & I a shout out for making his Power Point presentation. He thinks we're artists :) haha. Then we talked with Jackie (the less active that's come back to the church that I talked about last week) for a while outside by the Temple. The weather was just perfect. I could have sat there for hours and just talked. Sister Marsh & I love talking to her sooo much cause her testimony is so strong and powerful. We talked a lot about the Atonement and how we can apply it better in our lives and not just with the huge things we do wrong but for the small things. The enabling power of the Atonement I think is the coolest part. I've been able to experience how it's changed me as I've been serving my Savior and trying to become more like him each day.

I will just write about all the days in one now since I can't remember specifics.
The Elders here in the Salt Lake Swahili ward have been bringing a lot of their investigators here for us to teach and we LOVE it since our hearts are just so full for the African culture. Yesterday we taught Jimmy and Jeremiah with them. They just moved here from Uganda and their cousin is a member. Their Dad died two years ago. We taught them the Restoration and the spirit was sooo strong. The Elders asked how they felt about everything that they had been taught and they said in their cute little African accents, "So good, very good." We all bore our testimonies about the Spirit and how the good feelings they were having were coming from God. Sister Marsh asked them what they thought the importance of baptism was, and Jimmy said, "So we can enter into the family of God." SOOO CUTE. 

We put them on date for baptism September 6th. We shall see what happens there. We also taught another family with them that's on date for that day too. Yiiippiiie. Speaking of baptisms... Jamah wasn't able to get baptized on Saturday because the member of the mission presidency who was suppose to interview him wasn't in town. He had is interview yesterday and said it went very well. "Exactly successful," in his words! So the baptism will be THIS SATURDAY. We're stoked to be on skype to be able to watch it. At 4am! haha :)

Emmanuel wasn't able to make it to church this Sunday cause his brother was super sick. But the Elders found him this week and came and gave his brother a blessing. He is sooo sweet. We just LOVE him. He promised his hardest to make it to church this Sunday.

There is so much more to share and lots of other amazing people that we have been privileged to teach. Moral of the story is.. Sister Hansen LOVES being a missionary and helping God's children to know the truth. It brings such a joy to me life to share this with every one that I can. This week I've just been filled with gratitude for my Savior and his Atonement. I've realized how much it's allowed me to change as I've served him and put him first. I want nothing more than to just become like Him the best that I can. I'm learning more and more everyday about how I can do that and how important it is. No, I'm not perfect, but I know I'm on a safe and happy path, and I wouldn't leave it for anything in the world.

I love you all,
Sister Hansen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8 - 18 / Day 177 ONE Year. Wow!

Hello out there! Come on in, and live a few of my days this past week with me!

Thursday, August 14th:
Well today is my one year anniversary in mission, and I think that Heavenly Father is trying to bring joy and laughter into this day and teach me that I haven’t seen it “all” yet. Sister Marsh and I had just about the funniest/craziest shift in West Gate I think I’ve ever had. Haha.

We’re sitting here with the phones ringing off the hook trying to find Sisters to take tours and help all the people that are coming up to the window. And then here comes this lady with her little baby, yelling & screaming in our window about how she wants to be excommunicated, that she’s been paying her tithing for 28 years straight and she doesn’t receive the blessings, and that her bishop is rude and mocks her and hates her. That she hates the church and wants to be out NOW and NEVER come back. We had no idea what to tell her after her 15 minute rampage! So then she just asked that we call Security and have them come talk to her! Good thing they handled that well. What a blessing it is to have men that hold the priesthood as security here. They handled the situation quite well, and it didn’t end too bad. She was actually pretty calm and asked to see the Joseph Smith movie. Hopefully that will change her mind about wanting to be excommunicated.

Then this crazy Asian lady who speaks literally NO English comes up asking for the hospital. Her little daughter is trying to translate and just doesn’t even know what to do. So we asked to see the problem or why they needed a hospital and then the mom sticks the little son's finger in the window and he literally has the tiniest little splinter with a little puss inside! Haha. All the family is like surrounding him freaking out. So we call security AGAIN, laughing and telling them to come help. Of course they couldn’t really do anything so they sent them to the pharmacy. The Mom said, “So he’s not going to die?” hahaha, no way.

Then this angry Mandarin man calls in demanding a Mandarin motor coach for 39 people. Oh my heck. What ridiculousness! There were literally 10 unscheduled motor coaches demanding tours.

And then some flustered lady came up asking for taxi information because she needed to get to the hospital for her friend's bladder infection. She asked me if I would call them and get them here and I said “sorry mam’ we are not able to do that,” then she just stormed off. One thing after another, I’m thinking this must be a dream.

Then west gate texted out a 999 flagpole tour, we decided to take it even though we had a million things to get done in our office. On it there was this kind of almost anti guy. Just super political and had kind of anti questions. The whole tour was filled with his questions and building history. Then we were ending it at Temple view and this guy just walks up, introduces himself as Gibson and says, “Can I please just interrupt really quick. I just have to say something. I just came to Temple Square today, and I have found out today that the church is TRUE. God has answered my prayers here today. You all need to please listen to these Sisters. I just know now, and I want to share it with everyone,” then walks away! Sister Marsh and I just looked at each other like uhhh, well okay... thank you Gibson, that was neat! Haha.

And I don’t know why but this day just keeps getting even more interesting. So we’re sitting in our office taking care of business when all the sudden this man walks down in a suit that acts like he knows what he’s doing and he looks familiar, but no one can figure out who he is. Sister Marsh being the funny person that she is says, “Hi you look familiar what’s your name” “I’m Elder Watson. I’ve come here before,” HA! That’s great my companion just asked the Area Seventy of China what his name is. No way about that.

Also Sister Talaktoka had to go to the hospital because she got dehydrated, her temperature also got up to 105 before they called anyone to help. The assistants asked why she wasn’t drinking water and her sweet little Mexican companion says, “Well I tried to tell her that she needed to drink water, but she told me that all she likes is milk.” And I ask myself, where did this day come from? And I cannot believe that I’ve been here a whole entire year. Always crazy things to look forward to here in the square. 

Class Picture!

Friday, August 15th:

I have been so behind and bad about my journal this transfer. I must repent. Today was a special day. We talked with Jackie Sweeny for 2 hours straight. She is such a joy. You can literally just see the light she holds radiating from Him in all she does. 

Sis Marsh, Jackie, and me

 Ever since she went through the temple she’s been obsessed with it. Rightfully so, it’s a beautiful place. I love the insight she has on everything. When we talk, I just can’t even contain my joy and the spirit that I feel. It could literally just burst out of me, no joke. At the end of our conversation she was expressing her gratitude for the service we are giving and for all that we’ve done to help her, ya right… I haven’t done anything. She’s the one that has changed me. She told us about how she’s super bad with names, but that there are 10 missionaries she prays for each day and that both our names were on that list. That hit a soft spot in my heart. 

Then later on when we were in guest services some lady called in because she lost her wedding ring. Haha what! Who does that? She set it on a bench during her daughters wedding. So we went on a mission to find her ring. On the way, I found the Gleason’s. OH MY GOODNESS… Bailey is engaged. She also graduated today and like right afterwards is when Jeremy proposed. Her ring is literally gorgeous. I felt so special that they came to find me like right afterwards! Aw. I cried haha. Heidi said to Sister Marsh, “Yeah, your companion is her maid-of-honor. We love her to pieces,” yeah then I cried even more. After that whole ordeal we found this lady's ring. God definitely answered that prayer. Can’t even imagine how stressful that would have been.

Saturday, August 16th:

I literally cannot contain my joy. I need like a humongous jar or something to take all this happiness and joy out cause I can’t hold it all in my tiny little body. My heart is so full. Today we taught Emmanuel from Ghana with Seth as a member present. 

He’s a member that Sister Marsh knows because she baptized his best friend when she was outbound. He was in the High Council there, but now is the First Counselor in the bishopric. He is also the Management Society president in all of Africa for BYU. So, cool. When we were introducing Emmanuel to Seth it was super neat. Seth just started talking to him about where he’s from and getting to know him. They actually live like 15 minutes away from each other and Emmanuel is in Seth’s stake! Then he asked if he had a job and Emmanuel said, “No, I’m jobless.” Then, Seth just went off about how the church could help him find a job because we have an employment specialist. 

 I don’t know why, but the spirit hit me so strong. I started to tear up. I could literally just feel how much Seth wanted to help him and get to know him. I love the African people so much. They are so full of love and charity for all those around them. The call actually ended up cutting out, so we couldn’t finish our lesson on the Restoration, but the time we had was super powerful. 

Afterwards, Seth asked, “What else do you want me to do to help him?” We just said, “Well, you could try and help him get to church...” Oh my, he just took off with our suggestion. He said, “I will call the mission president right after we hang up and the stake president and the zone leaders and get him in touch with the local missionaries. They can also go visit with him in the hospital and give his brother a blessing.” WOW! How’s that for a member missionary. Don’t know if anyone else can compare. That’s the kind of member missionary I will strive to be when I am done with my mission. We ended up talking with him after for like 30 minutes about service projects and things in Ghana! Sister Marsh and I are just FIRED up! He talked about the Ghana MTC and we asked if there was anyway that we could work there afterwards, and he just said, “I’ll see what I can do. Either way there is so much service that needs your help here in Ghana. We need people like you to help our people. To show them that there is hope and goodness that can come to them in their lives.” 

Yes please… sign me up on anything and everything. 

We got to talk to the Branch President in Liberia today also. Jamah’s baptism is all ready for August 23rd! So excited. I can’t even imagine how Sister Marsh must feel right now. She’s been teaching him for like 2 months and who would have thought he would still be getting baptized with all the missionaries being transferred out. We are praying and hoping that we will be able to skype his baptism. It’s going to be at like 4am here though. Booo. We’ll just go beg President to help us figure something out. We also took the cutest little African family from Tanzania, Africa around too. The parents are members, but the kids aren't... they're getting baptized in the beginning of September. We're so excited to go! 

Just got news that we get to skype Jamahs baptism this week! So excited about that. President is letting us take his laptop home and skype it at 4am! wooohoo. hahah.
Sister Hansen

Thursday, August 14, 2014

8-11 / Day 184 Learning Learning Learning

What a fun and insane week it has been.
I am trying to get used to this new assignment. We spent so much time in the office fixing Sisters' schedules, and doing reports on the tours that have been taken, and things like that. I don't even know how to explain what we do. Basically the way things run is that the Assistants to the president are over missionary work and the Temple Square Coordinators are like Assistants to the president over everything else that happens on the square. So basically like mini Visitor's Center Directors. That's the easiest way to explain it. And to make things even crazier, President put all new sisters in West Gate and Guest Services. Most of them are ESL and so it's hard to understand them and hard to train them on how things work. 

To explain... West Gate is on the square and it's like a little information booth about Temple Square and the things people can do while visiting. The West Gate is also are responsible for sending out tours to Sisters for them to take. And reporting how many guests and members are parts of those tours. Guest Services is in the South Visitor's Center basement, and they are responsible for scheduling tours, so the 100s and 100s of visitors and tour buses that come, they schedule all of that and everything else that happens here. So, right now, none of the Sisters serving in either of these two places, have ever done it before. So, Sister Marsh & I have been over our eye balls with training them and making sure that things are reported and done right so that heck doesn't break loose here! haha. 

Luckily we found some time away from our office and training Sisters to actually be missionaries though.  Sister Marsh is like an African queen I'm convinced. Somehow they all just come to her and it's the best. I just love Africans and their culture. We're teaching like 6 people from Liberia! Oh my, they say the cutest things and are just so loving and humble. All of them have the deepest desire to come closer to God and Christ.  Jamah one of our favorites is getting baptized August 23rd. Crazy thing is that all the missionaries in Liberia and Sierra Leon have been emergency transferred out because of the Ebola virus. But we called the branch president and he said they can all get baptized with or with out the missionaries if we teach them all 5 lessons! That's great news. 

But it has been so sad to hear the people we're teaching talk about how bad it is down there. A lot of their friends and family are dying. Keep Liberia in your prayers please!!
We've taught some others this week, but I honestly can't even remember everything. My heads just spinning and spinning as usual of course. haha. 

Oh Miracle! Who remembers Ric, a less active I was teaching with Sister Bondare? Well, Sister Bondare is outbound so she hasn't talked to him in a while, and I hadn't either cause I didn't have his information when I got back here. But I found it all from another Sister and I called him! OMG! 
He actually ended up going back to jail for 45 days! He got out a few months ago and has changed his life 360 since then. He's completely back to activity, going to church every week (actually gave a talk on Repentance), goes to institute, has his Temple Recommend and is receiving the Melchizedek priesthood soon!  I am sooo happy for him. Hopefully he will come to the Salt Lake Temple to do baptisms soon and I'll be able to go :)

I just LOVE being Sister Marsh's companion. There are SO many perks to being companions with someone who has already been a good friend. We just push each other to be better in every single way. Even physically. We've started a Fitness Plan! hahah. We've both gotta loose 25 pounds... like literally. This is not even a joke. I am too fat! We've set goals and are totally going to keep each other accountable. I've got 5 months to get skinny & she's got 3. So it's on! hahha. We even posted our goals all over our house. :) I am learning a lot from her though. She is so patient and loving, in every way and in everything we do. A spiritual giant as well.

Anyways, I'm doing great. Happy as ever of course.  I love you all.
Can you believe I've been a missionary for a year on Thursday. No way is that real. How does the time just zip by? 

Oh & Sister Tiritilli is back from outbound. Ahh. That was the BEST reunion ever. 4 months was wayyy too long to be away from her. hahaha. We've decided that we can literally never live without each other after this! :)

Have a wonderful week everyone!
Sister Hansen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

8 - 5 / Day 190 TRANSFER NEWS

Oh my goodness. Can I just tell you all how EXCITED I am for this next transfer. I will miss Sister Richardson a ton though. She is going outbound to the Nampa Idaho Mission. 

I'm gonna miss this Sister Richardson!
My new companion is from Arizona, Sister Marsh. We've been super good friends since I got in the mission. So I don't know what President is thinking ;) hahaha. All I know is that it's going to be tons and tons of fun. But also super hard work cause we're working in the mission office. We're Temple Square Coordinators which means we basically run everything that happens on the square. We're in charge of reporting all the tours to the missionary department and a million more things that wouldn't even make sense if I told you cause this mission just has so many unseen things going on in it that no one understands or knows about. Lots of responsibility and office work, but I'm stoked, ... I have tons to learn though.

I can't believe I'm not going to be in the Beehive House anymore. I enjoyed serving there so so much and it strengthened my testimony ten fold in the prophet Brigham Young and our prophet today! I loved every opportunity to share that with all the visitors that came. There were about 13,000 visitors just in the Beehive House in July. Yeah... crazy, I know! Lets just say we taught LOTS & LOTS & LOTS. Sister Richardson & I made some hilarous memories there. From me telling people that Brigham was 200ft to her totally blanking on what Joseph Smith's name was while pointing to his picture. hahahah. You can only imagine what the people must have been thinking. Just goes to show what happens when you're teaching so many tours.

This transfer has been so great, I have learned so many different things, but I think one of the greatest lessons I've learned over the past 6 weeks is to accept and understand the Lord's will. I realized more than ever how much happiness comes when I follow the things He wants for me! The times I feel the greatest joy are when I'm doing things that help me or others come closer to Him and understand Him more. The gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to build us up, make us stronger, make us happier and better people each and everyday. I've seen in the mission the way the Atonement helps me change every single day. I wake up each morning and just pray that I will be able to become better that day and learn something that will help me. That I can just be filled with joy and happiness to be a missionary! Not a day goes by that I don't see my Savior building me stronger and helping me become better.

Now an update on some of the people we're teaching....

Ann: Poor thing has just been so stressed out with her husband being sick and her parents as well, that she kind of dropped us :(. It was actually funny timing to be honest. I was fasting on Sunday that I would be able to help all the people we're teaching accept Christ and His gospel in their life. That they would all continue to progress. But that's okay. I remembered that It's all about the Lord's timing and not mine. She literally doesn't have time to go to church or meet with the missionaries cause she's in the hospital or busy doing something else. So for right now we're just going to give her time to figure everything out that's going on in her life. She did tell us that she knew our prayers were lifting her and helping her. So it's not all sad. What needed to happen, did. :)

Brandon: We met him on chat a few weeks ago. He came on as he was sitting in his car too nervous to go into church. haha. What!? We've been teaching him and it's been a little difficult to tell if he's sincere. Over the phone is just totally different from teaching in person. He was able to make it to church this past Sunday and he said he enjoyed it a lot! He actually went to dinner with the missionaries at a members house that night. All of this is like too good to be true almost. haha. He's going to school at Snow College here in Utah at the end of the month. He's from North Carolina and is 19! His parents aren't too fond of the church, but we'll see where this all leads. Hopefully it's with him knowing for himself that this church is true.

Adrien: Haven't been able to talk to him much lately. He didn't go to church on Sunday, but that's okay. Maybe next. He did go the week before last though. He said he isn't ready for the missionaries to visit his home yet either.

Jose: We met Jose on chat as well. He's so stinkin golden it's cool. He came on asking how he could know if God was real. He talked about how he's felt His love for him when he prays and he sees how much He's helped him in his life, but he isn't quit sure that that is all enough to know if he's real. We taught him for the first time yesterday and it was really great. We talked all about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and talked about all the ways we can feel His Love in our lives and that the more we can recognize these things in our lives the more our understand grows of him and his reality in our lives. He's super interested and his heart is soooo open. Hopefully he'll go to the YSA ward. He's 19 too.
Yay for all the young single adults we're teaching!

I just LOVE being a missionary! Can't believe I've almost been out for a year. That just BLOWS my mind. What in the world.

Love you all!
Always remember the things that matter most :)

Sister Hansen