17. Miracles. Hardships. Snow. Ice. And cranking the AC in our car.

Hi, hi, hello, everyone!!

I hope people are actually reading this, otherwise I would feel really silly. I guess, either way, I’ll have the posts to read back over after my mission. So, if nothing else, I’m writing this for me! Hooray!
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Well, I’ve learned on my mission, if I didn’t know it already, that I get emotional (teary) relatively easily. Often. My emotions reside just below the surface, I guess, and I am so easily moved and touched by so many things. I think my companion thinks I am crazy, but I think I’m just lucky. My mom has told me countless times that this is a genetic thing. It’s a “Johnson family” thing. We apparently are all very emotional-wear-it-on-your-sleeve-type people. I’ve heard it said that some of my ancestors would “cry at the opening of a pack of cigarettes.” I am not going to try that one to find out, but I know I cry at parades, concerts, in movies, when listening to music, when a touching commercial plays (well played, Hallmark), when I watch a Mormon Message, talk about my family, think of home or a memory, talk about the gospel, or feel the spirit. And I am usually doing one or more of those things… just about all the time, so, I just cry all the time. But I truly do feel lucky. I am constantly reminded of all the good in my life and in this world, and I am consistently and easily affected by it. The last few weeks, with Christmas approaching and the holiday spirit warming everything and everyone, everything seems to make me extra sentimental, teary, and grateful.
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This past week has been really good. We have had miracles and hardships and snow and ice and thawing and boot-buying and scarf-wearing and cranking the AC in our car, all in the same week. We are excited for another transfer together, Sister West and I, and are already seeing amazing things happening in Green Valley. We found a new investigator! Her name is Pat, and she’s marvelous! Her story is the kind of story that we, as missionaries, hear about, but never actually experience. Well, we experienced it! We knocked on her door and our first indication that something was different was that she grinned and said, “Come on in!” instead of getting apprehensive and half closing the door on us as soon as soon as our name tags were spotted (that happens a lot, actually). She welcomed us warmly and we started to talk. We soon learned that they have just recently moved from California and were meeting with missionaries there before they moved. As soon as that was brought up, we said, “Well, would you like to do it again?” And she said yes without any hesitation!
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When we came back we talked about what she was expecting from us and what we were expecting for her, and she told us (without our mentioning any of it yet) that she needed a new copy of the Book of Mormon so she could read it, she wants to meet with us every week at a regular time, and she’s very interested in getting involved with the Mormon faith. She and her husband actually moved to St. George because of the people, she said, and she was excited about learning more about everything and getting involved and being a part of everything. She’s the sweetest woman and she blew us away with her warm heart, her eagerness to learn about the gospel, and her comfortable, friendly manner. We felt at home immediately with her, and I just know that we are going to be blessed from having the chance to know her. She’s so special. And that’s the thing, actually. Every single person we meet, whether or not they are interested in learning more about the church, is so incredible. I’ve talked about this before, but seriously! EVERYONE IS SO COOL!!! And so special, and worthwhile, and beautiful, and interesting, and I am just so lucky to spend all my time getting to know and love the children of God who are living in St. George, UT. It’s the coolest thing in the world.
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Well, anyway, I’ll keep you posted on what happens with Pat. She’s awesome. We’re seeing her this week, so I’ll have an update the next time I write!
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On another note, Christmas is just around the corner!
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I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas videos/messages with you.  Click on the picture to link to the video:
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  Good Tidings of Great Joy
Good Tidings of Great Joy
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

What Shall We Give?

What Shall We Give? #2

And, as I said earlier with all the crying and whatnot, these made me cry for sure. Ha.
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I love this season. It is a time of giving, a time of loving, a time of hearts changing, and a time of remembering our Savior. He is the reason for the season, as we’ve heard many times before. But do we remember why? I testify to you that He was born that He might live and show us how we must live in order to have “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” He came humbly, He lived humbly, and He pleads with us to be humble. When we are humble, we are teachable, and when are teachable, we learn and grow and become the marvelous individuals that we are capable of becoming, as children of God.
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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” One of the most famous pieces from that marvelous and inspired work is quoted from this scripture in Isaiah 9:6:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
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He truly is The Prince of Peace. Through Him we can find true and everlasting peace. He promised, as He left this world, to leave peace, saying,
“Peace I leave wtih you, my peace I give utno you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
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I leave with you a promise that if you
“Come unto [Him], all ye that labour and are heavy laden, [He] will give you rest.
“Take [His] yoke upon you, and learn of [Him]; for [He] is meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For [His] yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
And what better time to do this than now, today, especially during the Christmas season. Remember Him as He remembers you and I can promise you greater peace and joy.
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I wish you all the merriest of Christmases. You all deserve it. Thank you for all your love, support, friendship, humor, and awesomeness. I am grateful for each and every one of you!
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Wishing you all the best in all things, always,
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Love,
Sister Hansen
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