Week 14. ‘Tis the Season

With Thanksgiving rolling around, spirits are higher, hearts are warmer, and weather is chillier, even in St. George. Sister West (from Arizona) keeps claiming that she was lied to, because she was told repeatedly before her mission that it doesn’t get cold in St. George, even in the winter. We are suffering. It sometimes gets as cold as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I am not sure how we will survive… ūüėõ So, yes, just kidding. I lived in Rexburg, Idaho, for two years and we got as cold as -13 degrees. I am not complaining when it gets in the 30s and 40s.

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But anyway, the more important aspect of this season is the warmth in heart, hearth, and home. I had a beautiful experience witnessing a charitable, loving, Christlike-Christmas Season-Happy act. A sweet mother and her two daughters came into the Visitors’ Center a few days ago needing to contact a temple worker from their ward in Panaca, NV. The mother has fibromyalgia and it was particularly bad that night. She didn’t feel safe driving home in that kind of pain and was hoping that the temple worker would be willing to drive them home. By the time someone was able to call the temple, it appeared that he had already left and his car was no longer in the parking lot. They were all but stranded.
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With anxiety and worry in her eyes and a very unconvincing smile on her face, she told her daughters that they would figure something out; that they would find a place to stay for the night and find a way home in the morning; that maybe she’d be better by then and could drive them home. My heart broke at their plight. I would have gladly jumped in the car and driven them to Panaca immediately! But I couldn’t.

Sister West and Sister Hansen

Sister West and Sister Hansen

Sister West, my spectacular companion, thought fast. She grabbed our phone and called a family in our area. She came out andreported that she had found this woman and her children a ride home. The family was willing to come, drive her truck back, follow behind in another car, get her home safely, and then drive back to St. George. The relief that washed over her showed plainly on her face and the kind willingness of that amazing family brought tears to my eyes. That, and the ingenuity and quick-thinking of my companion. I was just filled with a love and appreciation for the kind of people that surround me who don’t think twice about reaching out to help others when they are in need. And you know what? We can all be those people!

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To end the story about this woman and her daughters… Sister West and I ran home and got some hot chocolate mix, rushed back and made them each a cup, and shared a few moments just getting to know them while they warmed up with the hot chocolate. It’s in the small moments when I really, truly, and completely don’t think of myself that I am happiest.
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Everyone loves cookies!

Everyone loves cookies!

In the next few weeks we have Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, and a lot of opportunities to do good. ‘Tis the Season to do service. ‘Tis the Season to love others. ‘Tis the Season to be jolly, and being jolly is a result of being selfless. Take time to think of others and do something nice for someone else. Even a plate of cookies is good! People love cookies! Or a parfait! Everybody loves parfaits! (Name that movie!)
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Anyway, in all seriousness, I just want to express my gratitude for every single one of you. I am blessed beyond belief, and with Thanksgiving coming up so soon (THIS WEEK! WAHOO!) I am even more keenly aware of it. I miss so many things about home, but I don’t know that I would have recognized those small things as such enormous blessings if I weren’t here doing this great work.
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Before I sign off, I wanted to leave you with a message I heard from a Cambodian missionary about member missionary work. I think it can apply to Holiday Selflessness, Service, and Cheer, as well. He said, in broken English:
“Member work is work and study! If a member read the scriptures they will get the Spirit, if they get the spirit, they will help other people by the spirit, and if they help other people by the spirit, they will touch the hearts of other people and they will be happy.”
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‘Tis the season to be happy. Member missionary work, holiday cheer, selfless service, and reaching out to those who need a friend, a bit of warmth, a plate of cookies, or just a smile in the grocery store all come down to the same principles… strive to get the Spirit. Look for ways to let Christ into your life even more than you already do and let the love that God has and that our Savior has for us spill out in your interactions with others every single day. Study the scriptures, speak with your Heavenly Father (pray), look for answers, encouragement, and counsel as you attend church meetings, and seek for opportunities to be a light in the darkness for others. Be Tiny Tim, if you would, and pray that “God [will] bless us, every one.”
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Also, speaking of Tiny Tim, if you have some time this holiday season, pop in The Muppet Christmas Carol¬†¬†sometime and watch it for me. I can’t watch it out here on a mission and it’s my favorite. If you tear up and that isn’t normal for you, you’re just channeling me, so don’t worry. That and you’re feeling the holiday Spirit! Embrace it!
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Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol for me!

Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol for me!

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I love you and you are all definitely on my list of reasons to be thankful! I wish you Happy Holidays and safety and warmth and cheer and every good thing. You’re in my prayers and thoughts!

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Love and turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, especially,
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Sister Hansen
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P.S. Eat some pumpkin pie for me, too.
The Visitors' Center is ready for Christmas: Sister Hansen and Sister Dupre, from Kentucky

The Visitors’ Center is ready for Christmas: Sister Hansen and Sister Dupre, from Kentucky

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Week 13. Twenty-one now…it was a really good day!

This will be a short post this week. I know I said that last week and then basically wrote a novel but… for real this time.
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Yesterday was my birthday!! I’m 21 now and that’s… yup.
Birthday Balloons Decorate my Cubby

Birthday Balloons Decorate my Cubby

My 21st Birthday Celebration!

My 21st Birthday Celebration!

But anyway, it was a really good day! I had a lot of people wish me a good day and it made me feel so loved!
I had FOUR cakes, count ’em FOUR.
Birthday Cakes Galore!

CAKES GALORE!

Ridiculous. One from my Bishop in one of our wards, Bishop Wilkinson, the Wysons (one of our ward mission leaders), Sister Watkins (the VC director), and one from my District Leader, Elder Lopez. So, yes, four cakes. And thank goodness I got to share them with the rest of the sisters at the VC. There was no way I was eating four cakes. No, sir. .
Zone Leader Elder Lopez, with Sister Hansen, Sister West, and Elder Sanderson

Zone Leader Elder Lopez, with Sister Hansen, Sister West, and Elder Sanderson

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Well, I wanted to share something I’ve been studying lately.

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This last week I studied the Christ-like attribute of Hope, from Preach My Gospel, chapter 6.

In studying hope, I learned a lot. Here are some highlights:
  • ¬†Hope is the opposite of despair. (Moroni¬†10:22) ¬†This made me think of the character Marilla, from Anne of Green Gables. She told a very distraught Anne Shirley that “to despair is to turn your back on God.” Therefore, to have hope is turn towards God, and rely on Him. ūüôā I love Anne of Green Gables, just to let you know.
  • Hope leads to eternal life (2 Nephi 31:20).
  • Hope is “an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you.” (PMG)
  • I made a cycle: Hope > Faith > Obedience (in a circle, though). When you are faithful, you take action and are obedient. When you are obedient, you can have hope that God will fulfill His promises.
    • That made me think of: Doctrine and Covenants 82:10, which reads: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
    • Also, Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21, “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated- and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”
    • When we are obedient, we can have hope that God will fulfill His promises, and we know that we will receive the blessings that are obtained, based on the laws upon which they are predicated. And when that is all working for you, you have faith. And faith is a principle of action, so you are acting on your hope and that is obedience. It’s a big circle! And it’s awesome! I hope that makes sense.
  • Also, Hebrews¬†6:10-20
    • v. 15¬†And so, after he had patiently¬†endured, he obtained the promise.
    • v. 19¬†Which¬†hope¬†we have as an¬†anchor¬†of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the¬†veil;
  • And, Romans¬†8:24-25 I LOVE THIS!
Well, anyway, those are some highlights from my study on hope. It was pretty epic.
I promised this would be a short post, and it is. So, to conclude, I have quoted a good friend of mine serving a mission in the Japan Nagoya Mission:
Elder Matthew Naylor:
“I love it here, and couldn`t be happier. Serving a mission is the best thing that has ever happened to me so far. I love all of you as well. Stand tall and proud with the knowledge that you are a child of an incomprehensibly loving and caring Eternal Father who reigns above the cosmos and watches over His children individually and tenderly. What an amazing blessing!”
He said it better than I could have, so I just quoted him.

Well, I love you all! Have a happy week and Happy Holidays!
Love,
Sister Hansen
The District - November 2013 - Green Valley

The District – November 2013 – Green Valley

Week 12. The rock is red, the skies are blue, the temple is white…

HELLO EVERYBODY!
This last week flew by. I feel like I keep saying that, but man, it went by really fast. But at the same time, there were moments that it just felt so slow. It’s a really strange feeling. It’s confusing and jarring and all-together odd. Time moves slowly and quickly all at once. My only antidote is to just give my all, all the time, and not take a minute for granted. About every single returned missionary that I talked to before my mission gave me that advice, so I guess I should probably take it. ūüôā
STOCK.autumn.St-George-Utah-Temple2
Well, all is well here in sunny (but still chilly) St. George. The red rock is red, the blue skies are blue, the temple is white, and… well, now is not the time for poetry.
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This week’s message might be kind of boring and kind of short. But it is what it is. Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about trusting myself. It’s been a real struggle from time-to-time,¬†to be totally honest;¬†to feel like I’m doing a good job, being a good missionary/companion/person/etc. and I’ve been having to learn that I can’t do everything on my own. And that’s all about humility, isn’t it? So I guess really what I’ve learned (and will probably never stop learning) is that when you are humble enough to realize you can’t do it on your own, God will strengthen you and show you how much you actually CAN do, and He’ll help you with the things you can’t. I’ve had to face some pretty interesting challenges as a missionary, and a lot, if not most, of them have been very personal and very internal. But I’m actually very grateful for that. That’s the only way I’ll change my nature, not just my behavior, and come out on the other side a better person.
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I had a beautiful experience yesterday in the Visitors’ Center. I’d like to share it with you. One of our sweet Spanish speaking sisters, Sister Moyano, was taking a tour in the Center with four Hispanic women. At least two of them were from Columbia. She took them all around, showing them the Christus Statue, the Savior of the World Room, the pictures of the temple interior, and so on. She taught them all about the restoration of the church, including Joseph Smith, and it was just fabulous. She was on a roll, the Spirit was there, and they were so receptive and interested. Then she had to leave the Visitors’ Center to go to another meeting and was broken-hearted to have¬© Antonio Neyra 2009¬†to leave that incredible tour with those incredible ladies. She had just put them in one of our theaters to show them the film, The Restoration. She had planned to give them all copies of the Book of Mormon, continue to teach them, and get their contact information so they could keep in touch after they left. She was crushed to have to leave them, and my heart was breaking for her. I offered to take over the tour for her. I promised that I would make sure they got the books and that I got their information. There were no other Spanish speaking missionaries at the Visitors’ Center (we were actually short-handed all around that day), so there were really no options. She was reluctant to leave, but put her trust in me (for which I am grateful and flattered) and left with her companion to make it to their meeting.
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STOCK.Libro.Mormon.I gathered my wits and the copies of the Book of Mormon in Spanish, El Libro de Morm√≥n, and went to meet them in the theater. I paused outside the door to the theater, waiting for the film to end, and took a moment to say a quick prayer. I prayed that I would be able to do justice to Sister Moyano’s efforts and love for these women. That I would be able to do¬†justice to¬†God’s¬†love for them, and do my very best to work past the language barrier that was waiting for me on the other side of the door and help these sweet women in whatever way the Lord needed me to. I heard the film end, closed my prayer, squared my shoulders, and walked into the room. I had no idea what a beautiful experience was waiting for me there.

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I started off by apologizing that Sister Moyano had to leave. I mustered up every inch of my Spanish: “lo siento,” “Hermana Moyano” (complete with the Argentinian j sound in place of the y), “gracias”, “de nada,” and that was about all I had. But they were so gracious. It turned out that of these four friends, three were non-members, and one was a member. The member’s name was Estella and she spoke English. Relief! She became my translator. I gave them the books and got their information as I had promised Hermana Moyano. They were all very willing and interested in keeping contact, however all three were adamant that they did not want missionaries sent to them just yet. I held on to that last word: yet. ūüôā
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They asked to see a video presentation called God’s Plan for His Family. Quick explanation: God’s Plan is an exhibit that tells the story of a particular family and how they rely on the teachings of Jesus Christ. ¬†It teaches that families can be together forever. As one women I met once said, “It brings the Family Proclamation to life.” At the end of the video, we stopped to talk for a moment. Everyone was very emotional.
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In God’s Plan for His Family, a member of the family passes away. The very first time I saw this video was my first night in St. George. I was already exhausted, an emotional wreck, and all it made me think of was the loss of my grandfather last January. Every time I watch it, I think of him and how much I miss and love him, and of all of those loved ones that I have lost. I think of how grateful I am for my family, for God’s love for me, and for the knowledge I have of forever families and that I will see those who have passed away again. It’s just a very emotional exhibit, and it touched all of us.
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One of the women in our group, Damaris, had just recently lost her husband and she was crying. It touched me. I stood there in that room with these women and bore my testimony of the importance of families. I told them how much I could feel God’s love for me because of my family and how much I could feel God’s love for them as I stood there with them. Estella translated as I spoke and it was incredible to experience the way the Spirit filled the room and the language barrier stopped mattering.
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As we left the exhibit, one of the women¬†gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and I felt the warmth of a love that crosses cultural boundaries and is so essentially a part of who we are as God’s children. I loved these women and I had only known them for about 20 minutes. And we did not speak the same language!
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They asked to watch another movie, Legacy, and Estella asked me to find another video like God’s Plan¬†to help Damaris with her grief. I started the movie and left them in the theater and began to search. I found the list of movies we have at the Visitors’ Center, took it into the break room, and again I prayed. I prayed that I would find something that would help Damaris and lift her, as well as her friends. I settled on two mormon messages: Lifting Burdens, and Hope Ya Know, We Had ¬†Hard Time. Both are fabulous. After the film ended, I returned and showed them these two videos. Everyone was crying and the Spirit was so strong.
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By this time, Sister Moyano was going to be back very soon. I asked them if they wanted to wait to speak to her. They all said no, that they needed to get going, and that they did not need to speak to her again. I was who they had needed. The same lady who had hugged me–whose name I did not learn, for shame!–said in broken English, “You are who we needed. You have touched our hearts. You will be in mine forever.”
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I was overwhelmed and touched and grateful. She then said, “You do not need to speak Spanish.” She touched her heart, gestured to the sky, and said, “There are no limits.”
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It’s the truth. With God there are no limits. I am so grateful that I was in the right place at the right time to take over that tour for Sister Moyano and meet these wonderful daughters of God. The experience meant the world to me and I will remember them forever, just as they said they would remember me.
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It also made me think of my father, who served a Spanish speaking mission in Spain. I want to learn this beautiful language and hopefully one day meet these beautiful women again and thank them for the way they touched my heart and life.
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I love my mission. I love my Savior. I love my God. I love how I am being used to help others and pray that I will continually be able to do so.
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Well, my time is nearly up. I love you all, thank you for sharing this experience with me and for supporting me. I love you dearly!!
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Love,
Sister Hansen
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Sister West and Sister Hansen
Photographs of Sister West and me taken by Patricia Haynes, a member of one of our Green Valley wards. She wanted to do a photo shoot with us, just for fun! She’s very talented and we are very lucky!
Sister Hansen and Sister Sara Rollins

Friends from BYU Music Camp many moons ago: Sister Hansen and Sister Sara Rollins. So good to see her!

On Halloween we couldn't proselyte (be out tracting or teaching) after 6pm for safety reasons, so we all gathered at the Visitors' Center and watched "Ephraim's Rescue." We also ordered pizza. This is our receipt. It cracked me up that it said "Jesus Church." Fabulous.

On Halloween we couldn’t proselyte (be out tracting or teaching) after 6pm for safety reasons, so we all gathered at the Visitors’ Center and watched “Ephraim’s Rescue.” We also ordered pizza. This is our receipt. It cracked me up that it said “Jesus Church.” Fabulous.

Week 11. Read the Book of Mormon! It’s huge! It’s everything!

Hello everyone! It’s week 2 of my second 6-week transfer assignment here¬†and I’m still alive! It’s all wonderful and I am loving it here.

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Just the other day I got to musing about something that happened a few weeks before I came on my mission. In an interview with President Brent Carr, our stake president back in Boise, he asked me a question about mission preparation. He said, referring to the announcement of the age change for missionaries made over a year ago, that with more and more young men and women going out to serve younger, the great task of preparing to serve needed to happen earlier. He asked me what I thought would be an important part of making that happen. He asked what youth need in order to be more prepared to serve. I told him, after thinking about it for a few moments, that youth needed to gain a love for the scriptures earlier.

The Standards Works of Scripture for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price

The Standards Works of Scripture for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price

I don’t think I realized, in that moment, how inspired President Carr’s question had really been and how my answer had been the truth, and something I, myself, had really needed to hear. I think I needed to hear it more than he did. Maybe he knew that. Because it really is so, so true.

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The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. A keystone is the central wedge-shaped stone of an arch. “An arch is a strong architectural structure made from wedge shaped pieces that lean against each other. The middle piece, or keystone, is usually larger than the other wedges and locks the other stones in place (Preach My Gospel).” As the “keystone” of our religion, the Book of Mormon is what holds everything together.
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“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. ¬†It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.”
(Introduction to the Book of Mormon)
It was written by many ancient prophets, just as the Bible was and, together with the Bible, testifies of the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is, literally another Testament of Jesus Christ.   In fact,
“The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.”

(Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

As the paragraphs from the introduction state, The Book of Mormon contains ‘the fullness of the everlasting gospel.’ All that really means is this:
  • God is literally our Father and we are literally His children.
  • He loves us.
  • He has a plan for us to be here on earth to live, learn, love, and grow.
  • Ideally, that plan concludes in our returning to live with Him. Or, in other words, with our going to “Heaven.”
  • He gave us the perfect way to do just that. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to set an example for us, to teach, to suffer for our sins, and to ultimately die for us.
  • Christ was then resurrected and He lives. He lives that we might live. And the way to follow Christ and return to live with God is, at its core, pretty simple:

There are 5 steps:

First, faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement,
then repentance (or asking for forgiveness from wrong decisions and sins),
then baptism,
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and
enduring to the end —¬†in other words, to keep having faith, repenting, and trying to do what is right.
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The Book of Mormon teaches these things. It teaches us these steps we have to take in order to return to live with God. And that holds everything together.
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As the keystone, the Book of Mormon also engenders a promise. At the very end of the Introduction to the Book of Mormon, an invitation is extended. It reads,
“We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. “See¬†Moroni 10:3‚Äď5
.¬†Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord‚Äôs kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.”

(Introduction to the Book of Mormon).

When and if a person reads the Book of Mormon, ponders (or thinks about) the message it contains, and asks God, sincerely, if it is true, they will be able to come to know for themselves that it is the word fo God and that, together with the Holy Bible, it testifies and teaches of Christ. And what follows is, that because the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God and he did restore Christ’s church to the earth.
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It’s huge! It’s everything! If a missionary wants to serve with all their “heart, might, mind, and strength,” (Doctrine & Covenants 4:2) they have to love this book. And they have to read it and read the Bible and learn to love what is taught within those holy pages.
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If any member of the church wants a rock solid testimony of their Savior and Redeemer and of the restoration of the gospel, they just have to read the Book of Mormon.
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If anyone not of this faith wants to understand what we believe, or see if what we live (try to, anyway, nobody is perfect!) and teach is true, they just have to read the book and accept the invitation to ponder and pray about it.
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It’s marvelous! It’s simple! It’s way non-invasive! It’s a book! It changes lives!
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In the past little while, that has struck me like a ton of bricks. So friends, if you are preparing for a full-time Bible and Book of Mormonmission, a part-time mission, marriage, college, a new job, a new baby, grand children, great grand-children, or just life in general, learn to love the scriptures. The stories told in the Bible and Book of Mormon are all at once classic and wondrous. There are battles, love stories, visions and dreams, kings and queens, daring escapes, sibling rivalries, blood, sweat, and tears, drama, intrigue, spies, quotes you can put up in vinyl on your kitchen walls, and most importantly, Jesus Christ. They’re really just about the coolest books ever. Let’s be honest.
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So, if you haven’t ever read the Book of Mormon, or it’s just been a while, or it’s just been a few days or hours, I invite you to read it. Read it and talk to God about it. Don’t take my word for it. Take His. I love it, if you haven’t figured that out already, and I know that you could love it, too. It has changed my life and it has made me happier than any other book. I invite you to read what could become your favorite book of all time. It’s definitely my favorite.
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STOCK.St.George.From.black.hill.Well, friends, my time is short. My heart has been full of my love of the scriptures recently, so I chose to focus on that in my message home this week. But all is well here in St. George. The weather is temperate and I’m trying to be the same. Just kidding. I’m fine. haha
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I can feel your love and support for me and I am so grateful for it. I can feel the strength that comes from your prayers and good thoughts and it means the world. A missionary from the area I’m serving in is on a mission is Spain. She got very sick the last few weeks and is possibly going to have to return home. Just yesterday on Fast Sunday, the ward that she is from fasted for her and for the decision that has to be made about the remainder of her mission. The love and strength that came from that action was overwhelming. You could feel it in the room as they bolstered together to support this young women who is serving the Lord in Spain. I know I’m not sick and I don’t have an entire congregation fasting for me, but I feel that strength that comes from my family and friends caring about what I’m doing and supporting me as I spend this time of my life dedicated to sharing the gospel. It’s really the best thing and the best feeling in the world. I hope I never say this too much: Thank you.
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I want you all to know how much I love you. I am who I am because of every single one of you. I am here on a mission and I am who I am because of your friendship, your kindness, your example, your sense of humor, your support, and your love. I can’t tell you how much you all mean to me, because there aren’t words good enough. But I love you so much and I am forever grateful for you. I hope I can one day be the kind of friend to you that you all have been to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Remember that you are loved and have a fabulous week! I love and miss you!
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Much love and rice and beans,
Sister Hansen

Week 10. I can be a little dramatic sometimes…

Rainbow over St. George

Rainbow over St. George

For those of you who know me really well, you can attest to the fact that I can be a little dramatic sometimes. Ok, I admit it. And I was really dramatic about transfers.

For the last 6 weeks I had felt very secure in the knowledge that because I was being trained for my first 12 weeks, I didn’t have to worry about transfers. I was going to stay exactly where I was and nothing would change. And then the last week of my first transfer (week 6) the rumors started flying that they were changing things up. They were going to start switching trainers and trainees so that missionaries could have a more well-rounded training period. Makes sense. But I was not prepared for it! All of a sudden nothing was certain and I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. In retrospect, I feel quite silly, but in the moment it was real and important and awful. My journal entry the night before we got our assignments went like this:

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“If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far as a missionary (and there’s actually quite a lot), it’s that the only constant is change. Nothing is stable; nothing is consistent; nothing is for sure. The only rock solid anything is the Savior and His gospel and the name that I snap on every morning. It’s nuts.
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“Transfers are this week. We find out our fates tomorrow morning. And since I’m in training I’ll probably stay where I am. But you truly never know. There have been rumors floating around that they are going to try switching trainers after 6 weeks to give a new missionary a more well-rounded training. Part of me feels like that won’t happen, but another part of me is sure it will. And that’s why I say there is no such thing as stability on a mission. Ridiculous. But it just goes back to faith. All I know and all I can count on is that God is in charge and He is going to put me where I need to be. That reminds me of the words to a famous missionary hymn, #270:
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I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I’ll be what you want me to be.
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“Faith.
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“I’m going to go, do, say, be what the Lord wants and ‘trust my all to His tender call.’ I know He loves me and will put me exactly where I need to be. I’m a little anxious, but I’m not worried.
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“The unknown makes my stomach church a little. Or maybe that’s the taco soup I had for dinner. But, in any case, all will be known by this time tomorrow. And it’s not any of it about me. It’s the Lord’s errand and His work and THAT’S what it’s all about.”
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So, yes. I am very dramatic. But in the moment it felt like the end of the world.
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The good new is… I wasn’t transferred. Ta da! I’m staying in Green Valley (the name of our area) with Sister West and we’re still working in the Visitors’ Center and everything is the same. Happy!
The Green Valley Missionaries Elders Dass and Niumatalolo with Sisters Hansen and West

The Green Valley Missionaries
Elders Dass and Niumatalolo with Sisters Hansen and West

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The bad news is… my weaknesses are ridiculously abundant and made more and more obvious every day, it seems. It’s so frustrating. But it’s also so good. A few weeks ago we had a spiritual thought at one of our meetings that has helped me have a much better perspective about my weaknesses. The sister that shared the message spoke about verse 27 in chapter 12, in the Book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon:
 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
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God shows us our weaknesses to strengthen us. Our weaknesses make us humble and humility enables learning. When we are humble we are more willing to learn from our mistakes, our weaknesses, and our shortcomings and that is when we can be strengthened and made better. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: 
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 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in  weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am  weak, then am I  strong.

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Having our weaknesses “shown unto us” is hard. But it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It can be an opportunity to be strengthened and grow closer to Christ. When our strength is made perfect in weakness, we are humble enough to learn from our “infirmities… persecutions… distresses…” and all other things that we perceive as falling short. God knows our potential and He knows we can reach it if we can learn from and strengthen the things that are weak to us. That’s an incredible lesson to learn and a powerful tool.
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That’s what transfers (and being a missionary) has taught me.
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First Transfer District Elders Lopez, Sanderson, Rawlins, and Gregg with Sisters Hansen and West

First Transfer District Elders Lopez, Sanderson, Rawlins, and Gregg with Sisters Hansen and West

Well, the new transfer has started off with a bang. And it’s been a blast. Sister West and I laugh all the time. And laughter really is the best medicine.
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First of all, when we drove up to the house of one of our investigators a few nights ago, we saw that his girlfriend and her kids were there and were running around the yard like something was the matter. It was very awkward and apparent that we shouldn’t interrupt. But we had already parked and we felt strongly that we were supposed to visit him that day. So we did the only thing we could think to do. We hid. We put the seats down in the car and laid flat so no one could see us and look in the side-view mirror to watch and see what was happening. Eventually it became clear that we weren’t going to get to talk to him because whatever was happening wasn’t going to end soon. So we had to drive away. But for those 5 or so minutes that we were hiding in the truck we (felt ridiculous) had an absolute blast. We laughed so hard. And it was so good. And we were able to see him a few days later and everything was fine.
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But that same day, we went over to see another investigator in the home of one of the ward members that he’s been staying with. They live in a mansion. Have I mentioned the mansion yet? Well, it’s something like 30,000 square feet and enormous. They have several laundry rooms, kitchens, staircases, etc. They have what Sister West likes to call a “Beauty and the Beast” library. With a ladder and everything. If that makes sense. And their fronts stair case splits at the top like the one in the ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast. STOCK.beauty-and-the-beast-libraryAnd they have a tree house that was designed by Disney. They have a swimming pool that is a good 13 feet deep, many balconies, a beach volleyball court, a pond (with fish and everything), a tennis court (I’m willing to bet, but I can’t remember for sure), a rock climbing wall INSIDE the house, a trampoline, and a slide that takes you from the first floor to the basement. I’ve been down that. That was an experience. And a full out movie theater in their basement. It’s… ridiculous. But anyway, we went over there and the member who lived there gave us boar and old cheese on crackers (delicious) and we made plans to help our investigator move into his new house. We had Sister Wyson (Michelle, Mike’s friend) with us and we are always laughing when we are with her. She is an absolute nut and such a blast. We love her and are so grateful for her.
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Anyway, my mom asked me last week to give a run down of my schedule and things like that. So, here goes:
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We have the normal missionary schedule, basically. We wake up every morning at 6:30am, exercise, study, and then work, work, work until we crash at 10:30am and then do it all over again the next day. But to give little more detail:
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STOCK.autumn.St-George-Utah-Temple2As a Visitors’ Center sister, I work in the Visitors’ Center. Shocker. But we work half days. Unlike the sisters who work on Temple Square in Salt Lake City and work their entire missions exclusively at the square except for a few transfers in a completely different mission, we work half days. We have 6 hour shift in the Visitors’ Center, and then we have 6 hours in our area. Every day is like that with a few exceptions.
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Once a week we have a Full Area day where we never go to the VC. We only proselyte. And once a week we have a P-Day (Preparation Day) until¬†6:00 pm. ¬†On that day we shop, email (YAY!), write family, chill, and rejuvenate for the week, and… prepare for everything that we will do in the coming week. Those days we don’t go into the VC either. Except, actually, now we do. Let me confuse you. Because Sister West was just called to be the Visitors’ Center Trainer (VCT), we now have to go into the VC on our P-Days in the evening after P-Day is over and be “on shift.”
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Notes from a District Meeting

Notes from a District Meeting

Once a week we have DTM (District Training Meeting) where we meet with other missionaries in our area and discuss any problems we have, share the things that are going well, and are trained on how to improve. That’s marvelous. Then we have ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) where we basically do the same thing but with a large group of people.
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I’m going to have to end this now, but if anyone has specific questions about what I’m up to, shoot me an email! I’ll make sure to answer the question either in a direct response or in next week’s post.
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Much love and rice and beans,
Sister Hansen
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P.S. My P-Days are moving to Mondays next week, so I will be writing again sooner than later! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
P.P.S. Hymn of the week: 221 Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
P.P.S. I saw Sister Loski!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY DAY!!!
Sister Loski & Sister Hansen

Sister Loski & Sister Hansen