55. Twenty-two.

November 18, 2014

Hello everyone!

This past week has been full. White-washing (when both missionary companions are new to an area at the same time) is proving to be an incredible experience. We have had many miracles and many signs that this area is just where we need to be.
I knew it would be a good transfer when, in the first few moments of being companions, we received a message with the name of someone that we needed to visit. And then the next day another. It seemed that this week was full of situations that you only hear stories about but never think would happen to you.
We contacted both of those referrals and one became a new investigator. That one was a media referral (a person who requested information about the church through some kind of media – like a mormon.org chatroom).  I have not seen many media referrals actually yield positive results, so I count that as a miracle. And then a few days later we had a lesson with a potential investigator, someone the previous missionaries met before we came, and he became a new investigator. It was one of those situations where we arrived and in the course of our visit, he shared with us that he had been praying for something and then the missionaries showed up. An incredible experience that testifies that we are truly instruments in the hands of God:  His son cries out to Him and so He sends us. What an honor! In our first 4 days we had found 2 new investigators, and they were both miracle situations. Well, every single one is, is it not?
We also have the opportunity to work with a stay-at-home senior missionary couple. They are incredible, on fire, and wonderful to be around. And they help us more than we could ever express. The work is hastening in the Washington East Stake and it is exciting.
Screenshot 2014-11-26 00.35.44Screenshot 2014-11-25 22.56.00
Our area is enormous. We cover 10 congregations and it is way spread out. We reach all the way from the eastern edge of Washington City almost to Hurricane (pronounced Her-a-kun). Click here for > Google maps, if that means nothing to you. 🙂 It’s a challenge to use our time effectively and not let it be wasted in travel time, but that is a familiar challenge that I faced in my time in Kanab. Oh, Kanab…
I am so grateful for this transfer. I am grateful for my companion, my district leader, my zone leaders, my STLs, my investigators, the members, the incredible senior couple we serve with, the Visitors’ Center, our car, the holiday spirit that softens hearts and opens doors just a little more easily, and the blessings that would never have otherwise been a part of my life had I not chosen to serve.
I’ve been in a grateful attitude because at the Visitors’ Center, we are embracing the Thanksgiving season in a cool way. In one of the hallways in the VC, we have a “Gratitude Tree.” Visitors can write what they are grateful for on a leaf and then tape it to the tree in the hall. The tree is already full of leaves — yellow, orange, green, purple, brown… and they are now “falling” to the ground, too. I’ll send a picture next week!
And . . . yes, yesterday was my birthday. And oh my goodness, it was a beautiful day. It was so much better than I deserved. First my companion made me breakfast, then we had a great lesson that morning and met some wonderful people. We had a delicious lunch, I received a package from home, and way too many wonderful people were too kind to me. Thank you, everyone, for making my birthday special. I have no idea how I will be able to repay and show enough thanks. But I am starting this way:
For the next year of my life, I am going on an adventure. Every 22 days, I will do a 22 day-long project. This first 22 days, I am going to write a note of gratitude to someone every day and accompany that by having an exclusively-give-thanks prayer every single day. Having only done this one day, I can already feel a difference in my attitude. I recognize my blessings more quickly. I respond to challenges, set backs, and frustrations more calmly. I feel loved and feel more easily able to love.
Can I challenge you to do the same? And maybe just for a week instead of 22 days: every day have an exclusively gratitude prayer. Ask for absolutely nothing. Just thank the Lord for what you have. (Don’t worry about the thank-you notes… just pray :D). I can promise you that you will see a great change in your week as you do this. And it can be simple!
A great video I would like to share:  (Click on the image to watch it.)
Screenshot 2014-11-25 23.06.45
FYI: The first leaf I placed on the Gratitude Tree read: “Macaroni and cheese.” I’m grateful for that. 🙂 With extra cheese . . . yes.
I love you all. I wish you all the best and even more. Happy November!
Much love and rice and beans,
Sister Hansen

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