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