Week 19. Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!

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Sister Hansen at Hansen Stadium, Dixie State University

Sister Hansen at Hansen Stadium, Dixie State University

A friend of mine, serving a mission in Japan, wrote in his New Year’s letter that a sister missionary in his district greeted the holiday and the New Year by saying, *sarcastic voice* “Yay, Happy New Year, NOBODY’S HOME.”
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The holidays are the busiest time of year in most parts of the world and most cultures, and it’s no different in Utah. In fact, I suppose it may even be more so. People leave to visit family, family comes to visit them, and everyone is just busy, and next to no one is home. It makes it pretty hard to visit and teach people. But somehow, we found a way! We had lots of opportunities to serve, to spend time with members of the wards we work in, and to spread holiday cheer in every way we could!
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To celebrate New Years Day, we worked in the Visitors’ Center, played volleyball and racquetball with a group of missionaries, watched Despicable Me 2, and played ping pong, where I failed hopelessly. It was still a blast.
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But anyway, I have some stuff to report!
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Sister Hansen with Sister Michelle Wyson, and Kelsey in Green Valley area

Sister Hansen with Sister Michelle Wyson, and Kelsey in Green Valley area

Sister Hansen and Sister West with Wyson and Bowers children in Green Valley

Sister Hansen and Sister West with Wyson and Bowers children in Green Valley

This past week and a half has been pretty…exciting. We had an unexpected transfer the day after Christmas. Some changes had to be made within some of the companionships in the mission and Sister West and I ended up involved in the changes. So, I have been transferred! I am no longer serving with Sister West in Green Valley. I am now serving in the Bloomington Stake with Sister Dupre’ from Kentucky!

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There has been a lot of heartache and adjustment associated with the change. Transfers aren’t easy to begin with and transfers that come unexpectedly and change everything in an instant with no warning are even more difficult. But I have learned a lot from it.
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In the midst of this change, I was pretty upset. I knew that I needed to let go of the disappointment and hurt that arose from the situation, and so I turned to the January 2014 Ensign.
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January 2014 Ensign Magazine…Choosing to Forgive

January 2014 Ensign Magazine

There is a talk in it called, Choosing to Forgive. On my way to finding that talk, I stopped on a page to read these words that caught my eye: “Grief is painful, but Do Not Avoid It.” I started to read more and discovered that the article was all about grief, sorrow, the Atonement, and healing. The article is called, The Healing Power of Grief, by Steven Eastmond. (I highly recommend it, by the way.) With this initially heart-wrenching change has come a deep and sorrowful remembrance of the grief I felt just about a year ago at this time when my Grandpa Haymond died. Every other sad memory throughout my life seemed to bubble up as well. It was getting really ridiculous and overwhelming. But then I read this article and it was what I needed. And it’s almost like it was printed for me because it was published right at the time that these feelings would be most fresh. That is one of the tenderest mercies I have ever experienced. (The whole Ensign is so perfect.  It’s the greatest New Year Ensign ever. I love it.)
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Much of the article spoke of the healing power of the Atonement. I have received a lot of advice from leaders and friends and from this article about the Atonement, particularly about when Christ suffered and died for us. It wasn’t just so that we could repent of our sins. It was also so that He could know exactly how to help us and understand us in every situation of life. Leaning on the Atonement not only allows us to heal from our sins and mistakes, but also from our grief, our sorrows, our disappointments, our lack of patience and charity, and our difficulty with changes. A scripture in Alma (in the Book of Mormon) speaks about this exact thing. It’s Alma 7:12:
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12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
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Christ took upon Himself our everything. That is why he knows how to succor, or help, us so perfectly. That word succor, when you break it down, actually means to “run to someone’s aid.” It’s so beautiful.
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One of the quotes from this article especially stood out to me. I’ve written it on a sticky note and pasted it in my scriptures next to Psalms 30:5. It reads:
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“Some nights are much longer than others, but the morning always follows. Death (and I add, change) brings deep sorrow, but our joy will exceed our ability to comprehend when our reunion with deceased loved ones finally comes. Yet peace is not reserved for the next life only; we can feel peace now, even in the very moment we are feeling pain. How thankful we can be for the sacrifice of our Savior and the healing power His Atonement can bring us in spite of our grief.
‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5).”
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There is so much work to do! And so much loving to do! This change was hard. It changed everything and it was sudden and just…really hard. But all of us are already better because of it. And we will continue to be better and better. So, here we go – I am giving it my all. I’m here to work and to love and, by George, that is what I’m going to do. Especially since I know I have my Savior on my side. He knows exactly how to help me. I’m trusting Him.
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My new companion, Sister Dupre’, is awesome. She’s a blast and we laugh all the time. And after all, transfers are never the end of the world. Just a chance for new experiences, new faces, new growth, and a whole lot more love. It’s amazing. I love missionary work!
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Well, I have to sign off, friends. I love you all and I am so grateful for you.
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Have the happiest of Happy New Years!
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Much love and rice and beans,
Sister Hansen
Sister Hansen with Sister Davila, from Peru

Sister Hansen with Sister Davila, from Peru

Sister Hansen with Emily Rust, friend of BYU-I roommate (small world)

Sister Hansen with Emily Rust, friend of BYU-I roommate (small world)

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