Friday, March 20, 2015

Here's to Life Without A Name Tag

Hello Friends,
        I'm sure you're all wondering what it's been like to be home. Well I'm not gonna sugar coat anything… honestly it's been hard. It didn't take long to find a job but just the adjustments of everything can be hard. And then somedays I'm so grateful to be home. I can go to the gym whenever I want, blast music in my car all by myself, and kind of just walk to my own beat. Which has been relaxing. But I miss the mission, I miss the constant spirit, I miss having purpose in EVERYTHING. I'm sure the more time goes by and I get back in school I'll be feeling a lot better.
Here's some horrible poor quality pictures of some events from the past 2 months… you read that right 2 MONTHS. Where does the time go?

Reunited with my Best Friends 

Nanny Life is the GREATEST. Quinn is my new best friend
Did I mention that Caterine(Sister Asay) & I hang out on a weekly basis 

Homecoming Talk
My Sweet Family welcoming me at the airport

Thanks to all those who have followed my blog & cared about my silly little life. If you want to see what the mission has done for me forever more PLEASE follow my instagram… here emiilyhansen , & I'm contemplating starting a new blog. We shall see.

xoxox to everyone.

Emily Hansen

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Farewell Email January 2015

Get comfortable.  I have some things to tell you about!

It’s been a powerful week. I’ve learned some important lessons. Literally I’m not exaggerating the whole entire week till Saturday not a single person answered the phone and the Square has been dead. You know, it’s the time of the year where there’s more Sisters than visitors! So it was getting us down pretty hard. I mean really, it’s the hardest thing ever when you’re trying to teach and help people but no one will accept or even pick up the phone. I think God was just testing my patience, trying to see how much I was willing to give & how much I truly wanted to work hard. Because miracles started happening towards the end of the week. On Saturday, every single one of our appointments came through. And then Sunday was a miracle day. Let me just share my journal with you all…

January 11, 2015

Today we have witnessed a miracle! It really is true what they say… when things get rough just know that God is preparing you for a miracle. We called Carlos today to see how he was doing, ya know, the usual checkup.  I Love him so much. He’s always doing amazing things that help him. In the middle of our conversation out of nowhere he goes “Oh wait, Sisters. I referred you to a friend of mine who’s been learning about the church for a while now. I told her to text you. I was going to wait for it to be a surprise, but I just feel like I should tell you now.”  After our phone call he gave us Michelle Porter's number. She’s a senior in High School and really loves the church but her dad is super anti and made her cut off all connections to the church. When we got her number we thought “Well, why not text her and introduce ourselves.” So we did and this is what happened....

“Hey Michelle, this is Sister Hansen & Sister Vasi the missionaries Carlos was telling you about. He told us you’re super awesome!”

“Hi! Oh my goodness I am so glad you guys texted!!! :D I have been struggling a lot with my parents and my involvement in the church esp. my Dad… But he literally just sat me down and told me he has been thinking about it for a long time now, and he said, “You are 18 now and even though I don’t necessarily approve of you getting baptized & getting involved with the Mormon Church, and I don’t think it’s right for you, you are an adult and need to start making decisions for yourself now. If you want to become Mormon, then that is your decision. I will still love you whatever path you take.” Holy cow…a huge weight was just lifted off my chest! J It was crazy that you Sisters texted me at this time!!!!:)”

“We literally have the chills everywhere! That is amazing. Carlos told us how much you love the church and how hard it’s been that your Dad wasn’t supportive. Heavenly Father is so mindful of you & loves you so much. We’re excited to teach you & help you.”

“I love Heavenly Father so much! I do need help!!! A LOT! Haha! I started reading the Book of Mormon last Jan and finished it right before school started in August. I have not been to church for like 6 months because my Dad forbade me. I have been trying to re-read the Book of Mormon, but it’s been hard since I don’t have that guidance like I did when I was going to church. I need so much help Sisters! What do I do? Where do I start? What do I do next? I need guidance! O Gosh I am so happy right now I am crying tears of joy!”

After an awesome conversation we set up an appointment to call her. Seriously is so amazing. When we called we just wanted to get to know her better & hear about how she first learned about the church. Her two best friends are members & they just started talking about church one day then gave her a Book of Mormon with their testimonies in the back of it. But once her parents made her cut all connections to the church she just did anything she could to do small things here and there. From last Jan till school started this year she read the whole entire Book of Mormon! Her parents told her she could pick one church dance to go to and she said she would wait to go to the New Year’s Dance (where she made the connection with Carlos and he gave her our info). She also had the opportunity to go to the Gilbert Temple Open House & the Phoenix Temple Open House. When she was meeting with the missionaries last year she was taught all the lessons & even gave a talk at a baptism about the Holy Ghost. I mean she is just amazing and so prepared & ready to now RECEIVE the gospel. She is so relieved that she is now able to go back to church and get involved again. She told us how crazy it was that today her Dad decided to sit her down & tell her that she can choose for herself. Literally right after her Dad walked away from talking to her she looked at her phone and there our text message was. BOOM, God is in the details of our lives everyone. We really really love her! It was so fun to teach her & get to know her better. We are now calling her Miracle Michelle.

Truly the Lord blesses us when we’re willing to put him first. That’s something I’ve greatly learned throughout the course of my mission. It’s so weird to be here emailing for my last time and sending my last email as a missionary. Tears fill my eyes as I reflect upon all the amazing things I’ve learned and been able to experience. It’s been quit the journey but I don’t regret a minute of it. From being with crazy unstable companions to having truly my BESTEST friends as companions I’ve grown and been able to become just a few steps closer to the daughter of God He wants me to be. I haven’t just learned a ton more about the scriptures and learned why and how we have the gospel but what it means to me to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. It means that no matter the sacrifice, not matter the pain we go through in life, we CHOOSE to follow God and never falter. We see trails as blessings! We look forward with faith knowing God ALWAYS has a plan for us.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Tim 4:7). Yea, I know that I am nothing: as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God. For in his strength I can do all things; yea behold, many miracles we have wrought in this land(Temple Square), for which I will praise his name forever(Alma 26:12). I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me. (Phil 4:13) So that I may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. ( Heb 13:6) He will never leave me nor forsake me. (Heb 13:5) When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be my light. (Micah 7:8) Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord: yea we will rejoice, for my joy is full: yea I will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long suffering towards the children of men? Behold , I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. (Alma 26:16) Having much to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink; But I trust to come unto you and speak face to face that our joy may be full. (2 John 1:12)

Friends & Family I am so excited to return home and apply all that I’ve learned and become over the past 18 months. I think I better stop this email here or I'm just going to start bawling my eyes out.

So let me end with the words above… Mom and Dad when we meet face to face our joy shall be made full!

I love you all so dearly.

Thanks for all the support & love you're given to me throughout this journey.

Sister Vasi & I have LOVED serving in the Beehive together

President & Sister Poulsen

Forever Friends. I love you Sister Asay

The Departing Missionaries

Did I mention how excited I am that she only lives 20 min away!

Sister Tiritilli aka My BEST FRIEND

With Sister Moore-The mission secretary 

Love you all, 

Sister Emily Hansen

Dec/January 2014-2015 The Wrapping Up Scenes of Mission Well Served ...

Hi out there!!

Yvette here, again. So did you think I was just going to up and leave you hanging and not share Sister Hansen's last few of emails from her mission including her mission wrap up? WAIT .... Can we just pretend I didn't ask that? Yes, we'll just take that as a rhetorical question (the kind there is really no need to answer), and hopefully it will suffice to share that welcoming home a daughter that you're profoundly grateful to have the stewardship of parenting, is a very consuming event. To add to that, the week that we went to Salt Lake to pick Emily up was actually the first week of the Spring semester for me so when we got back home with her, there was much to do for this lady of limited capacity, to catch up with school classes. I had to push back the privilege of this final wrap up task.

So, please read on and enjoy Emily's reflections during the last few weeks before departing her honorably served 18-month full-time service in the Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square mission.

From December 30, 2014

Hello family & friends!!

This week has just FLOWN by. It's been a really fun and busy week with Christmas.

Sister Vasi & I are just working hard. Being a district leader has taken me away from her a lot which makes me sad, but I know exchanges are important so it's okay. We've been on exchanges the past 2 days and when we got together again last night we were like, "AH I MISSED YOU!"

I really don't know what I'm going to do when I have to leave her in 3 weeks. She has been such a blessing to me especially at the end of the mission. She pushes me to be better and to work harder everyday. I love that every time we teach or just talk to someone we're always evaluating afterward to know what we can do better for the next time. I've been praying so hard lately that I will be able to finish all the things that the Lord has asked of me. Pleading with him to have the spirit to know what to do next.

Christmas was so good. I have loved Christmas as a missionary because you're able to be outside of the world and just fully 100% focus on the Savior and glorify Him. We had so much fun in our apartment and the mission had a big Christmas program that was seriously beautiful and so full of the Spirit.

I hope you all had a spiritual and uplifting Christmas and that you set goals for the new year that will all help you to become better :) That's what I'm doing!! Yay for 2015 in the RM life. 

haha ya right... I'm so scared. You don't even know.

I love you all! 

Sister Hansen

The gift of love box is a little box where we write on a little piece of paper something nice we did for someone in our apartment that day. you do it everyday of December and on Christmas you read them! It was so sweet.

From January 6, 2015

Welp... this week's been really great. 
Heather got baptized :) Yayyy. She even got a calling her first Sunday as an official member. She's going to be helping out with the Relief Society Enrichment Nights. We're super happy for her. She's the sweetest! 

We had some awesome miracles happen this week. We did a zone fast for the people we're teaching and sooo many people were baptized this week and were able to make it one step closer to come closer to Christ. 

I love this work! I will surely miss it. I can't believe how fast the time is going now. I'm just taking each day as it comes and doing my very best to work my very hardest that day. 

I can't even tell you how much I love Sister Vasi. She is honestly an angel. Couldn't be any more sweet or more loving. Don't think I've EVER heard one negative thing slip out of her mouth. Ya, I'm not even exaggerating I'm surrounded by an angel 24/7. She's a POWERFUL missionary. 

We've had some interesting experiences in the Beehive House this week. One tour was full of just SUPER angry members. The spirit was just not there, so we kind of just went through as fast as we could since it was super awkward the tension that was there. Then afterwards the angry ladies followed me back into the house and just RIPPED me one after the other.  Ya, that hit me pretty hard for some reason. I went into the back room and just bawled. Usually I let that stuff just slip right off my shoulders, but they totally got to me. But I realized I did the best I could with the situation we were put it. That's just the story in short. 

Also... I can't even tell you how happy I am that the Christmas Lights are off! I love them, but after a month and a half straight of them it's nice to say, "See ya next year."

I love you all!! 

Sister Hansen