51. In tune and willing to be His hands

October 21, 2014

Dear Friends and Family and everyone in between,

I believe that Heavenly Father sometimes places people and things in our paths simply because He wants to remind us that we are loved. But this is only possible if we, and those around us, are in tune and willing to be His hands.

This has been happening to me repeatedly over the past few weeks and I want to recount a few of these experiences which I have decided can appropriately be referred to as miracles:

Miracle #1:

Lately in the Visitors’ Center a notable number of people have asked me about my “Hansen” heritage. They want to know where the Hansens are from. And I’m sad to say, but I have not had great answers for them! I know more about Mom’s Haymond and Bills sides than I do about Dad’s Hansen and Hendricks people. Well, I was tired of not having a good answer for people, so I did a little research on familysearch.org. (Check it out.  It’s very cool!)  I discovered that my ancestor Hans Christain Rasmussen was born in Copenhagen, and must have immigrated to the US because he passed away in Utah.

Screenshot 2014-10-26 17.55.57

This is much more information than I ever had! Hooray! And here is the culmination of the miracle:

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Just a day or so after I had obtained this knowledge for myself about my ancestor, I greeted a couple in the Visitors’ Center from . . . Denmark! They remarked on my last name being Hansen and asked where my Hansens were from. I was so excited!! I was able to tell them that the last of my ancestors to be in Denmark was in Copenhagen. They then proceeded to teach me how to pronounce Copenhagen in Danish and taught me how to say “Have a good day” in Danish, which I promptly forgot. It didn’t stick as well as German does in my brain. But I’ll work on it. But you say Copenhagen, “Coopenhauven…” or something like that. Ok, that probably won’t translate well, but in any case, I am excited to speak with another Danish family and pronounce it that way. It will shock them. 🙂 The man that taught me told me that I should make a point of surprising the next Danish tourists I see with my stellar pronunciation. 🙂

I was so grateful that I had been prompted to research my Hansen line so that I could be ready for this very encounter. And I told them so. 🙂 What a blessing.

Miracle #2:

This last week has been a hard one. I’ve been hard on myself, and there have a lot of little factors that have made me feel a little like I have been treading water. (Don’t worry, all is well, this is just part of life! :D) But at the end of this week, I was speaking with a couple in the Visitors’ Center about their granddaughter who is on a mission in Europe. I felt prompted to ask them what has impacted them about having her on a mission. The sister answered that she had been impressed with the charity she had seen displayed in her granddaughter’s ability and capacity to love all of her companions, no matter what. We continued to speak and over the course of our conversation, this sweet Sister said to me, as close as I can remember, “You have a very sweet spirit about you.” As her words washed over me, I was surprised (and embarrassed) to find that tears sprang up and flowed freely from my eyes.

I can’t really explain why, but I needed those words right then. And I know that this sweet woman had no idea. But she had been in the right place, at the right time, and was in tune with the Spirit and willing to reach out with a compliment, a kind word, and healing conversation.

But it didn’t start in that moment at the VC. This couple had been doing what was right for days, weeks, etc. so that they could have the Spirit with them right then so that they could say what I needed to hear that day. I know that this is true. And I know that as we continually do what is right, we will qualify for the Spirit, and we will be ready when the Lord needs to call upon us to be an angel and an instrument in His hands for someone else.

Start now, everyone. Please. Daily prayer, studying the scriptures daily, random acts of kindness, choosing to fill your life and your mind with good things that draw you closer to God. Good music, good media, good humor, good conversation. Invite light and invite the Spirit always. Be the best you can – not perfect, but progressing, and open your life to be a conduit for goodness so that you can be there for others, as they will be there for you. It will be eternally worth it.

I love you tremendously. You all have, at one time or another, or possibly several times, been this for me. And I am eternally grateful.

You will be so blessed for being in the right place at the right time, and for being inspired and in tune with the Spirit. Start now.

Ready?  Set —  Go. 🙂

Much love and rice and beans and as many blessings as you can handle and more,

Sister Hansen

P.S.

Challenges for the week:

1 -Alongside being that person who delivers the joy, look for how Heavenly Father is showing his love for you throughout your days!! It’s there, I promise, if you’ll look!

2-Keep a daily miracle journal/gratitude journal. Write down one thing daily that made you smile. You’ll be surprised by the change. 🙂

Hymn of the week:

There is Sunshine in my Soul Today

50. Heaps of fun here down unda!

October 14, 2014

G’day Mate! 🙂 STOCK.Sydney.australia

We’re having heaps of fun here down unda.

Ok, all jokes aside. For those of you who don’t know, my new companion is Sister Harper. She is from…can you guess? Australia! The last two or so weeks have been full of tears, miracles, and a lot of laughter.

Since Halloween is not that big in Australia, Sister Harper has been super thrilled to see all the crazy decorations going up. We drive past a house with one jack-o-lantern and she gets excited. She’s teaching me a lot about enjoying the little things. 🙂

This last week I received a letter from my mom. On the outside of the envelope, she had written:

Doctrine & Covenants 25:12-13   Lift up your voice and sing!

 12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

13 Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.

This was such an appropriate message! Lately I have been doing a lot of singing. Sister Harper has a lovely voice and we sing together often. We sing in the majority of our lessons, in the car, in the breakroom at the Visitors’ Center, in our apartment while we get ready for the day, while we’re doing laundry! We sing hymns of peace, praise, joy, worship, love, and life. I feel so lifted by all the singing we are doing. In the not too distant past, our mission president’s wife wrote a message in our weekly newsletter about music. Sister Center quoted Ephesians 5:17-20:

 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

She then said, “I particularly like verse 19: A song in the heart – a spiritual song; a hymn of praise and thanksgiving -can do much to lift the spirits and brighten the day. The hymns of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ are inspired. Singing or humming them or even just thinking of the words will invite the Spirit into your life. Sacred music is so important to the Lord that he commissioned Emma Smith, at the hands of the Prophet Joseph, “to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:10-11).

One of the greatest blessings that the song of the heart brings is peace. Perhaps it is not measurable, perhaps this blessing will not buy kingdoms or new cars. But peace is the greatest gift and the greatest possession we could ever receive or have. And no one can rob you of your peace when it is anchored in Christ.

There are too many fantastic stories from the past 2 weeks than I can fit into this week’s email. More to come later. But just know that laughter is the best medicine, you have to be able to laugh at yourself, forgive freely and often (especially yourself and those closest to you), and never give up. Raise your expectations and your efforts and the results will follow.

Much love and rice and beans,

Sister Hansen

49. Whether by the Lord’s own voice or that of his servants…

Dear friends and family,STOCK.Christ.resurrected.Clawson

I approached this last General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a few questions.

I needed direction from God and I knew that if I expressed faith in Him by listening to His prophet’s voice, I could find that needed direction. After all, we are taught in Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 that “…whether by [the Lord’s] own voice or by the voice of [His] servants, it is the same.” Listening to the living prophets and apostles is the same as listening to God.
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I was right. I found direction and answers. But it came in a humbling and unexpected way.
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My specific question is irrelevant, but the answer is everything. The answer was… Christ.
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I was humbled to realize that the answer to what has been plaguing me has been in front of me, printed on a tag and clipped to every article of clothing I wear, in the scriptures I read daily, a part of nearly every conversation I have, and the very reason I have air to breathe, a beating heart, and any scrap of hope for living again with the God and Heavenly Father that I love so dearly.  I speak of Him so much, I teach of Him so often, that I have forgotten to trust Him, without realizing it.
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I was seeking confidence in this, that, and the other thing, and was looking for specific steps that I  needed to take – a sort of self-help checklist that I could go through and check off and somehow magically have a solution. But what I didn’t realize is that what I really needed was more faith in Christ.
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One of my favorite scriptures is in Philippians 4:13. It reads,
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“I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”
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This verse has followed me my whole mission and has become my motto in moments of struggle, moments of determination, and moments of needed peace. I know this to be true. But not just for me. I know that the answer to all questions and all problems is… Jesus Christ. He is our Savior, Redeemer, Brother, Friend, Advocate, and so much more. We can do ALL THINGS through Him. Let that STRENGTHEN you.
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Seek Him. I implore you. If you have included Him in your life already, include Him more. Seek to more earnestly pray for that which you need, and that which you are grateful for. Regardless of your faith, religious association, status in life, whatever – SEEK HIM. I can promise you that life is more full, more joyful, more steady… with Christ.
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I would love to invite you to begin with the simple things: Prayer. Pray daily. Start right now. And make it a habit.
I love you. But that’s not nearly as important as the fact that HE loves you.
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Much love and all good things,
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Sister Hansen
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Conference talk of the week:  Click on the image below to watch the video:
Screenshot 2014-10-13 14.35.15
Hymn of the week:
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Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?     <- Click on the title for words & music.
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