I must be an old missionary…

Okay. I’m going to take a selfish moment here and just say that I must have been out long enough on my mission for everyone to forget about me because pretty much the only mail I’ve gotten in weeks is a letter from Dad, a wedding announcement, and a letter from my friend that’s in this mission with me…. So. I guess three months is where it caps? I’m tempted to start a competition. Actually. I’m starting it. Whoever can send me the funniest letter before the end of this transfer gets a Penn State shirt! I’ve got limited options here so.. There’s my attempt at getting more mail. I think I underestimated how awesome it is to get mail when you’re a missionary… And I always thought it would be pretty stellar! Anyway, Dad, your letter was awesome. I’m pretty sure it would be awesome if I could listen to U2 on my mission. I definitely have felt the Spirit on more than one occasion listening to their music. But I guess that’s probably a little iffy. 🙂 Haha.

Sounds like things are pretty busy at home! I wish I could say the same for here. Of course, missionary life is always busy, and I always feel like I am running from place to place with never enough time to get everything done that I need to. But, as far as the work goes, it is just lagging. Sometimes that is pretty frustrating to me because I feel like my whole mission has just been riding buses and going to single’s branch activities, but the growth that I’ve made as a person is really awesome and I feel blessed for that. Although, I am pretty sure (like 99.5% positive) that I’m getting transferred after this transfer, so I’ll leave RIGHT as the students all get back… I’ve got great luck. 🙂 Haha. 

We went on an exchange with Sister Ferrin and Sister White this week though! Sister Ferrin is a Sister Training Leader so she goes on exchanges with all the sisters she is over. She came to State College and I went about 45 minutes north-east to Lock Haven with Sister White. IT WAS A BLAST. Seriously, I was having the time of my life. Sister White and I get along so well and I’m pretty sure we’re gonna be like best friends after our missions because we have a HOOT together. We made a music video in the car, and we laughed our heads off while calling bingo for some old ladies at a senior center. Man, they mean business. They were totally particular and insisted that we say “five zero” in stead of “fifty” and “six zero” instead of “sixty.” But “seventy” or “forty” was okay…. They also fed us some delicacies like club crackers and room temperature cheese. 

In the Lock Haven apartment, they have a basement that is TOTALLY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CREEPY. We went down there and it was seriously one of those moments where you just get chills up and down your spine. There were cobwebs everywhere, an old pool table and trash and abandoned chairs in random rooms and stuff…. Yeah. So creepy. And it totally smelled like the cellar in Betty and Jim’s basement in Maine. I was having crazy childhood flashbacks. Good times.

We also went to teach this lady in Renovo, which is about 45 minutes away from Lock Haven. And, lest you be confused, Renovo is actually pronounced “ren-oh-vuh.” … Oh Pennsylvania. It is a glorious place. Anyway, we went to teach this lady named Rose and she’s like “sure, let’s go outside,” and then proceeded to sit in the only chair on her porch with her cigarettes and lighter. There were like millions of little kiddlets running around and the wind was blowing their 87 wind chimes super loudly, and I was certain that the Spirit could not be there. But then the Spirit so kindly rebuked me and made me realize that it wasn’t up to me to decide where the Spirit could be, it was just up to me to decide if I was going to do all I could to invite it to be there. THIS LESSON WAS UNREAL. Sister White and I taught with so much unity, and the Spirit was so strong. She agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and wants us (meaning them) to come back again. Her husband came out for part of the lesson and was saying he has nightmares about dying every night. We asked if he would have nightmares if he wasn’t afraid of dying and he said he probably wouldn’t, and then agreed to read a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and review it when we came back again. 

That was one of the best moments of my mission so far. And sadly, it wasn’t even in my own area. I was kind of bummed about that, actually. I had such a good experience there. But then I was reading in Preach My Gospel or something else (everything blends together for me) and it said something about leaving your area better than you found it. So I’ve decided that I can definitely do that. And in some ways, I think I already have done that with the help of the Lord. I’m excited to really put my pedal to the medal and work hard this last six weeks in State College.

Here’s a side note.

WHY DO MORMONS HAVE TO NAME ALL THEIR KIDS NAMES FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON?!?! 

End of side note.

Whitey is still doing great. And just to clear this up for Nana (and anyone else who may be confused)–Whitey isn’t an investigator. He’s already baptized, so no need to be praying for him to get baptized. 🙂 But he’s making such progress. He has been super responsive in our lessons lately and has been asking all sorts of great questions. And in his prayer this past week during one of the lessons, he said “help me to continue to learn about thy Gospel and help me to share it.” I don’t know if you realize the magnitude of this, but it’s a BIG DEAL. He’s seeking out opportunities to share the Gospel. I just can’t get enough of this kid. He’s doing so well. SWELL. 

HAHAHA THE FUNNIEST THING HAPPENED THIS WEEK. On Thursday morning, we were getting ready as usual and we get a text from some elders in Philipsburg that says “Happy birthday Sister Hanseen!! 🙂 🙂 :)”

…. Confused, I responded telling them that I appreciated it but that was not, in fact, my birthday. I asked who told them it was, and Elder Gassman (I’m assuming) told me that his companion, Elder Giffin, had told him that… So. I’m pretty sure Elder Giffin was just totally pranking Elder Gassman to see if he would text me happy birthday. Either way, it made my morning. Elders are so ridiculous sometimes.

So… Dirty details of transfers. Basically, this is how it goes down in State College. There are two districts within State College. My district contains my companionship, the other University sisters, and the Elders in Huntingdon. The other district is both sets of State College Elders, and the Elders in Philipsburg. At least one missionary from each of these companionships are getting transferred tomorrow. Sister Robinson, Elder Howell, Elder Olsen, Elder Bowels, Elder Giffin&Elder Gassman… They’re all getting transferred. I’m sure this has no value to any of you whatsoever, but I’m just freaking out about it! I’m excited to get new missionaries, but State College as I know it is totally doing a 180! Last transfer, Sister Ferrin was the ONLY one to change, so it wasn’t even that weird. But this transfer it’s like musical chairs in the mission because there are like 32 new missionaries coming in. This will make us reach our cap of missionaries pretty much, so from here on out we won’t be having any ridiculous changes. It’s been so nuts though. President said that pretty much anyone who is training will probably be a senior companion the rest of their mission. So that means that I was only a junior companion for one transfer. Haha what the heck?! Anyway, nothing is for sure, but that’s what it’s looking like.

Missions are weird. They’re hard and fun and awesome and tiring and every emotion. But I’m learning more and more about this Gospel, and that’s what I love the most. This Gospel is true. I’m so grateful that I have made covenants that will bind me in Heaven. I am so excited to be able to be with God again! I know He lives and loves all of us. And I know it now more than I ever have in my life. One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is the baptismal covenant that many of us have made. Do EVERYTHING you can to uphold your covenants. There are so many blessings that are available if you do. I’m doing my best to do the same. 

I love you all. I pray for you. And if you ever want to send me a package again, my request is that it has the things I’ve asked for in previous emails (AKA three copies of Lamb of God by Rob Gardner from my iTunes, and anything else to keep me sane. Oh and if anyone wants to send me some Mary Kay mascara I’d totally be happy because I only wear mascara and mine is pretty much out…. So I’m looking pretty rough these days). Anyway, long tangent. Seriously though. You’re all the best and I love you!

P.S. no pictures this week because I sent my memory card off with the moving Elders because Elder Palmer is making the mission video and I want to get mine and Sister White’s hilarious music video on it. Next week. 🙂

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
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I must be an old missionary…

Humidity is the WORST

Okay… editorial comment from McKann’s Dad.  Somehow I failed to add McKann’s letter of last week to her blog, so you can read TWO WEEKS worth if you read this one and the one simply titled “July 15th”…  So… THERE. 🙂

Okay I just gotta get this out there… I hate humidity. It does make nature beautiful, but it makes humans disgusting. And I think that it’s really just not worth it. This week it was at around 98 or 97 or something repulsive like that and with the added humidity, you may as well have just put us in a sauna with a bunch of grumpy people and told us to tell them about the Gospel. OH wait. That’s what we did. But we did it with a smile on our faces as best as possible. 🙂 I promise.

This week has been alright. We had Zone Training on Tuesday and that was a blast. I seriously just love whenever I get to go to anything with other missionaries. I feel like I’m actually getting to know people in the mission now and not just feeling like the total greenie that I kind of still am. The sad part is that half of the missionaries serving with me don’t actually live in Provo and aren’t going to school there so… Awesome friendship for a few months? Hahaha whatever. Life seems to be crazy like that. Anyway, we had a pot luck lunch with everyone afterward and it was just a blast. We laughed and ate and laughed more. I love missionaries.

OKAY HAVE I BEEN BELIEVING A LIE MY WHOLE LIFE?! I SWEAR that when I was a kid, Nana and Papa told me that Hyrum Smith is my great great great great (great?) grandpa. Well.. I checked on familysearch.org to get familiar with it and see if there were any cool stories, and HE’S NOT ON MY FAMILY TREE!!! Am I just delusional? Someone has got to clear this up for me. I need to know my heritage!!! [editorial comment McKann’s grandma Carol Walker will do her best to shoot McKann her heritage.  Supposedly through McKann’s Grandpa Terry, she is a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith through one of his wives.  Perhaps with multiple wives it doesn’t so easily render on familysearch.org – just sayin’…]

Okay. Panic over. Anyway…

This week “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (is that the actual title?) by U2 was playing on the bus. That kind of tugged at my heart strings a little bit. I’ve had U2 stuck in my head ever since. And Dad, I kept thinking about how you totally quoted that song in a church talk once. Then I told all the missionaries how cool you are. They agree. Actually, they all say that my family sounds awesome and super funny and I’m pretty sure Elder Vassallo and Elder Howell like want to be best buds with you, Dad. [editorial note: this is True.  “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” contains poetic verse from Bono where he witnesses of his belief in Christ, and I used the verse in a talk, when speaking of Christ “who broke the bonds, and loosed the chains, carried the cross and all my shame.”]  Here’s something… Whenever you come back out to State College (isn’t it in August?), Elder Vassallo wants you to get in touch with them and come be a team up for a lesson. I know that’s kind of wacky, and totally out there, but if you’re up for it we can definitely get you in contact and it would be way cool for you to get to meet some of the people I talk about a lot. So.. Yeah. Let me know if you want to do that. (I’m 100% okay with it, by the way. They don’t even have to tell me it happened until after the fact. Promise. 🙂 ) Oh! And this week, Sister Yates and I went to a restaurant downtown called “Fiddlehead” and it was super good. Kind of pricey, but I loved it. It’s a restaurant for salads…. Anyway, if you’re downtown when you come again you should try it out. Pretty healthy too, so no worries there.

There’s this guy I keep seeing on the bus that is wearing total manpri’s and it’s sick. I can handle a lot of weird stuff but… MANPRI’S?! Rough.

Oh! Here’s a kicker. There are new dress standards for elders on lds.org, and one of the things they’re allowed to wear now are MANDALS. Hahaha. MAN SANDALS. PEOPLE. That is so rich. I can’t even handle it.

This week a few awesome things happened. The elders have this lady next door to them named Alice. She’s been there just short of how long the elders have been there. She feeds us all the time, and she’s the best. But SHE GOT BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!! I’m super excited I got to be there, because Elder DeRoest and Elder Boyd were the people (I think) that started teaching her, and it will be cool to talk to Elder DeRoest about it later. 

We taught a new investigator named Jason this week. He’s really awesome and believes a lot of similar things to us, and is very receptive. Sadly, he’s moving to Michigan in about a week. But, he’s moving into Stuart McGraw’s mission, and wants to keep meeting with missionaries. I’m gonna shoot him an email today and see if I can pass his info along. It’s kind of perfect because he’s gonna move to this place and not know anybody and then he can totally get fellowshipped by church members. Peace and blessings.

We also taught Whitey again this week. It was awesome. I love Whitey. I think I’ve said that before???? Haha but seriously he’s a stellar kid. We talked about the Priesthood and he said he wants to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood by his birthday at the end of August. It was awesome. We also had another lesson where we read in the Book of Mormon about Alma the Younger, and he would say stuff like “this is cool because I’ve felt that before,” or he would not take his turn to read and we’d think he was just zoning out, and then he’d say “oh sorry, I was just thinking about that verse!” THAT KID IS GOING PLACES. 

There’s a trio of elders in Pittsburgh called the moving elders. They move in apartments and kind of run errands throughout the mission. My old District Leader, Elder Davidson, is one of them. This week they had to bring us a vacuum. So they brought it to the church because we were there for Alice’s baptism, and it was the best!! I love Elder Davidson so much. We talked for a while and may or may not have had a Jell-O eating contest that we filmed and is going to be on the mission video… Good times.

It sounds like things are going great at home. Dad, way to go with the marathon! I’ll love to hear how that goes. I didn’t get the picture of Brenner’s mustache!! What the heck. So lame. It didn’t send. But you should definitely try again. I wanna see that puppy. I’ve been kind of missing the summer concerts in Provo this week. We drive past the Bryce Jordan Center on campus all the time and here’s some concerts that are happening in a few months: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Keith Urban, and Bassnectar. So basically lynch me since I can’t go. Oh well. All that silliness aside…

I LOVE THIS WORK. Things are getting better with Sister Yates and I. We had a heart to heart of sorts this week and realized that we are really lacking in unity. But since we discussed it, things have been going a lot better. The work hasn’t necessarily been picking up, but my attitude has changed a bit. It wasn’t bad before, but there were definitely times throughout the day that I could’ve been more positive. So I’m working on it and repenting so I can become better. 🙂 

If I get a minute I’ll try and send pictures. I got some solid emails from dear friends this week though. 

Keep putting these on my blog if you can! Rachel said one didn’t go up last week? Maybe you were just busy. But I’m glad you’ve been in contact with Elder V’s mom. He says nothing but great things about her, and her card to me was one of the sweetest things ever. Anyway, I’m rambling now so I’m gonna wrap this up.

OH…

I forgot the craziest thing….

So this week, we had a family sign up to feed us. We went to their house and they were introducing themselves and asking us to introduce ourselves.. You know, the norm. Anyway, Sister Covington was like “Oh, Sister Hanseen. I have something for you.” And then she just WHIPS OUT MY FIRST GRADE YEARBOOK. Ummm.. Mrs. Covington from Edgemont Elementary is in State College! THAT WAS A RIOT. I was having a blast looking at that. Shout out to Jill McCloud for telling her that I was here. That was such a fun night. Those people are really incredible. They’ve got a remarkable story and it was a choice experience to get to spend an evening with them.

LOVE YOU ALL!!  Read 3 Nephi 17. 🙂

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
Humidity is the WORST

July 15th…

So… This week has been interesting and I’ve been writing down a lot of things to write about. So I’m gonna do this “list style” because I love making lists and I have lots to say.

–Last P Day we went to Denny’s because everyone wanted to and I kept telling them how disgusting Denny’s is. I was legitimately confused why anyone voluntarily wanted to go to Denny’s before 2:00 am, but we went. And it was terrible. And I just remembered that one Saturday before Easter when we went there when I was really little and some girl barfed in the bathroom. That was sick.

 

–Dad, have you gotten any pictures or correspondences at all from Sister Leavitt here? We go to their house for dinner sometimes and she always takes a picture and sends it to our parents. They lived in the 1st ward in our stake! Cool, huh? Anyway, have you been getting that? If you have, you should post it on my blog if I don’t look too much like a hag.

 

–I got another letter from Grandma this week. I love reading about how their family met with the missionaries when she was growing up! She’s also been sending me some “tree money” as she calls it every time. I think that I have decided that I would love to use that money either to save for school when I get home, or to help people I meet on my mission. I’ve committed to not using a penny of it for myself on my mission! So hopefully that seems like a good idea to every one else. Otherwise, I would love to know what it is intended for.

 

–So, there’s this HUGE thing in State College every summer called “Arts Festival” that like 100,000 people come to. Contacting downtown was completely unproductive, but they did have some cool stuff. Like these huge portable landscapes that they had to shut down all of Allen Street for. It was a nightmare for missionary work though. We only went down there like once or twice because we needed to come use the computers in the library. It seriously looked like NYC when people crossed the road because there were just hundreds of people every where!

 

–I’ve made an observation: shorts that are longer than three inches past the hips don’t exist in State College. Seriously. Everyone’s wearing these teensy weensy shorts all the time and it’s kind of nasty because when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. Like… EVERY person. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got the bod to pull it off or not. So. That’s sweet.

–The other sisters had a baptism on Saturday! It was this sweet Chinese girl named Candice. She is darling. She asked if she could bear her testimony at the end and she was like “I just feel… warm. Warm all over. I wanted to be in the water for an hour.” It was so cute. The missionaries sang for the musical number and let me just tell you.. IT WAS ROUGH. The elders are so sweet and wanted to participate but… Bless their hearts. 🙂 

 

–A few weeks ago we went tracting with the elders and we ran into this Australian lady named Rebecca. She invited us in and was super awesome and listened to a lot of the first lesson. She’s interested in what we believe but her husband is a minister of a non-denominational Christian group or something like that. She invited us over for a BBQ and we had an awesome time. She made delicious food and we cleared up the idea that we are not, in fact, aliens. 

 

–We were doing some contacting on campus the other day and I asked a man if I could share a card with me. We had a great conversation but he told me he was not spiritual in the slightest and he had already read our card when he found it in the trash the other day (not an uncommon thing). He is a professor of communications so we were talking about that and I told him that I intend to do Public Relations. I was just saying how I wanted to be an ethical PR person and really be honest in all my dealings with that and he like couldn’t accept the fact that it’s possible to be honest in everything. Like he kept telling me “well you’ll be working for some company and you’ll end up doing some things you never wanted to do.” And it just ticked me off! I refuse to believe that it’s impossible for me to be honest! AHHHH! But, he was a nice man and I prayed for him that night. Anyway….

 

–Dad I was just thinking about the phrase this week “never suppress a generous thought” and I thought of you. I just remember little things you’ve always done for people that really touched me. Like when Sister McGraw was sick and you just thought it would be nice to buy her some flowers to take over. (I sent her a letter this week because she sent me a card a while back! Hopefully it arrives safely.)

 

–I found a scripture that will help me cope when I start to gain weight on my mission. 2 Nephi 9:51. At the end it says to “delight in fatness.” So far I’m doing well though. I’ve been keeping track, just for curiosity’s sake, and I have lost a few pounds since being here. Not too shabby, I gotta say. 

 
–Nana, I’m not in the Philadelphia mission… So hopefully that clears up your confusion there. Whoever that girl is, I will probably never meet her. Also, I DID meet the real Elder Rasmussen from the 6th ward, but only briefly. I just confused him with the new AP when I was talking to the AP at Zone Conference.
 
–I LOVED GETTING THE WORD OF THE WARD DAD! Seriously. Send that to me every month. It was the best thing ever. Also, if you can tell them that my address is not that one, and give them my correct address, I would appreciate it. Then maybe I’ll get more mail. 😉 Haha just kidding. But seriously. Sounds like everyone’s doing so well. I’m just so proud of us! There’s so many of us Edgemont 6th warders preaching the good word. 
 

That’s all for my list so I’ll just blab a little bit more about my boring missionary life. 🙂

Things are going well with my companion now. We definitely have been getting along a lot better and things are running more smoothly in our companionship. It’s a direct answer to prayers, and practicing the Christlike attributes. So that’s awesome.

Whitey is still doing stellar. 🙂 We’re starting to teach him twice a week and he’s just starting to really GET it. 

We have a new investigator, Glenn, that we taught this week. He knows a member of our branch, so that’s really helpful as far as fellowshipping goes.

Transfers are coming up. I’m pretty sure I’m staying here for another transfer, but there’s a few missionaries here that are probably toast. I love them a lot and will miss them, but I’m definitely excited for a switch up. 

I talked to Sister Ferrin last night and it was the best thing ever! We’re going on exchanges next week. That will be awesome. 🙂

Well.. I am laughing so hard at the idea of Brenner and his “Guido Stache” and deep voice. AHH. So weird. But so funny. You gotta send me a picture of his stache pretty please!!

Love you all. Have a great week. Read Mosiah 4. 🙂

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803

 

 
July 15th…

Happy late 4th of July!!

STADIUM OF FIRE! Dun duh dun, Stadium of FIRE dun duh dun. We’re gonna celebrate tonight, fill the sky with LIGHT, THAT IS OUR DESIIIIIIIIIRRREEEEEEEEEE, STADIUM OF FIRE!

MAN ALIVE I am seriously so bummed that I missed the 4th of July. I’m realizing that holidays are gonna be a tough one on the mission. Like.. I knew that, but it was a little hard. State College definitely ain’t got NOTHIN’ on Provo for 4th of July festivities, so that was a little sad. But it did give me a chance to reflect on all the awesome times I had in Provo for the 4th. But of course, it would not be the 4th of July if McKann Hanseen wasn’t in the parade, right? RIGHT. So we got to be in the parade! It was nothing like Provo where the missionaries get more applause than any other entry of the parade, but we got to be i the parade nonetheless. A member of our branch has been volunteering on the 4th here for what they call “4th Fest” and needed some volunteers to carry a balloon in the parade. And since we’re missionaries and service is an awesome thing to be doing always, we opted to help out. Sadly, I’m not immune to the sun like I think I am every year, and I am totally scorched. Like.. Members of the branch yesterday were almost in tears for me when they were looking at my sweltering flesh. I’ll have to send a picture of it because it’s pretty nuts. I can’t wear normal shirts right now. And when you’re a missionary, you don’t have that many options of different outfits you can wear in the first place. So that’s been quite the challenge. But ibuprofen and aloe have been my BFF’s this week. I keep telling myself that it’s not as bad as it could be—no sunburn will EVER compare to the ones that Nyia and I got on that first trip to California. Redheads+no sunscreen+beach for six hours=blisters and a painful day at Disneyland the next day. Fortunately, my parade sunburn isn’t nearly that bad. 

This week has been pretty interesting. The students seem to be coming in more and more as the summer term starts, but we still haven’t been teaching too much. I really don’t have too much of a problem with it most the time, but it can get a teensy bit discouraging to be serving in an area with three other sets of missionaries that all seem to be having a lot of success. Our weekly coordination meetings are always a little rough because the other sisters fill up like an entire front and backside of their progress record and we come in with maybe four names. This Saturday there are three baptisms for the other missionaries. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so so excited for all of them. But I’m trying my best to remember that I’m totally being obedient and diligent and there are miracles happening right before my eyes every day. And that’s what matters! So no bad days, just bad attitudes, right? Right. It’s up to me if I’m having a good time or not.

This past week I had a unique learning experience with my companion. We were doing our training and she kind of broke down a little bit. And by a little bit I mean was like really really super mad at me and was kind of yelling at me and saying some pretty hurtful things. Initially, my reaction was to get a bit defensive and “correct” her. But as I sat there, shaking, I realized that it wasn’t going to do either of us any good if I just fought back. So instead, I just let her tell me everything about me that was bothering her. Some of the things were definitely out of line, but others were certainly things that I have heard before and have continually been working on. Instead of reacting and turning a risky situation into a crisis, I sat back, and saw how I could be better at loving her, and turned the other cheek. I have thought about this a lot this week. And I’m not sharing it to bash on my companion at all. But rather, to illustrate growth in myself. As you all know, I’ve NEVER been good at just letting things go. I can get pretty defensive and I hate being wrong. And I often snap and talk a bit rudely. But in that moment, I could really feel myself overcome with charity and love and just seeking how I could make the situation better. And things have changed dramatically in our companionship. There are still things that frustrate the both of us, and Sister Yates and I are still very VERY different people, but the Spirit has been with us more consistently and strongly than ever before. I have begun to realize that when things bother me, it literally DOES NOT MATTER what I think. Sister Yates is allowed to be whoever she wants to be, and it is up to me to see her through Christ’s eyes. I really do love Sister Yates.

Oh my heck everyone! I have had the highlight of my mission this week! I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about Whitey before. Well, Whitey is one of the members of the branch that we’ve been working with since last transfer and things have just been going SO WELL. I seriously feel so much love for this kid. If the ONLY reason I am on a mission is to have helped Whitey progress in the Gospel, it is ALL worth it. Whitey has been coming to church for about a month now, and he’s been staying for all three hours most weeks; this is something that he had never done in his life up until this point. He’s been at all the activities like FHE and Institute, and he has a calling now. He’s working on getting his Patriarchal Blessing and a limited use temple recommend in the next few months and I just can’t even express how impressed I am with him. But here’s the coolest part. Last transfer Sister Ferrin and I prayed for Whitey constantly, and one day we were talking about our vision for Whitey and it just clicked for us so strongly that he needs to go on a mission. Right after we had that revelation, Whitey started bringing up missions to us. He was kind of joking about it and saying “well once I’m 25 and I’ve made like 250 million dollars with my company, I’ll go on a mission.” But he brought it up a lot and we definitely noticed. So, last week we set up a lesson with us and the elders and talked about missionary work. At first, he was just asking like “what’s the schedule like on a mission?” and other random questions… It wasn’t too serious. But then Elder Howell asked him what he thinks of a mission for himself. He said, “Well, I’ve definitely been thinking about it and I’ve prayed about it and unfortunately I’ve received the answer that I should go.” OH MY HECK! I SERIOUSLY HAD TO PICK MY JAW UP OFF THE GROUND. After the lesson, Elder Vassallo was like “Sister Hanseen, when he said that I could totally feel you smiling.” I was. I was beaming from ear to ear. Whitey is so special. At the end I bore testimony to him of how much God loves him and how much he sees for him in this Gospel and I like started crying. The Spirit was so strong. I know exactly why I am here on a mission. And I know exactly why I am in State College right now. And it is the best feeling I can even describe. I may not have any investigators, and I may not even have a list of potentials to contact, but I have helped someone because I’ve been a vehicle for the Spirit to touch their heart. This work is SO WORTH IT.

I’ve got some funny stories too. So, we met this guy named Carlos the other day on the street and he is from York. He didn’t have any front teeth. He told us he would call us once his phone was activated so that we could have his number to give to the elders there. About two hours later, we get a text that says: “Hi. This is carloa. I meet ykur earlier. I promised to text you. Are you busy. Its my bday. I’m alone n very depressed and i literally have no body. Could you and the other sister come see me. I just really need someone. Plz. Sorry uf i happen to be asking to much. 😥 Carlos”

…..Yeah he was totally drunk texting us. And I was laughing so hard because of the space in the word “nobody.” HE HAS NO BODY GUYS!!!! Oh man. The texts we get in State College are golden.

Also, a guy got on the bus the other day and he had huge, round hipster glasses, a mustache that was long on the ends and gelled up in curly circles, pastel shorts, and Sperry’s. It was totally hipster status. I felt like I was right back at BYU. 🙂

And, when we were on the bus I was looking out the window, pondering life as I often do when nobody is on the bus, and I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said “Make memories, not excuses.” Umm…. What does that even mean? That is so lame. 

Sister Ferrin came on exchanges and had to stay the night at our apartment the other night and IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER. We tried really hard to go to bed at 10:30……… Needless to say, it was really good to catch up. She was totally crying when I told her about Whitey, too. He’s like our pride and joy. 🙂 I miss her a lot. But she’s doing great in Lock Haven.
 

It’s pretty crazy that JOE LAMBSON IS HOME FROM HIS MISSION!!! Someone should give me his non-missionary email because I want to hear from him and I only have his myldsmail one. And Rory comes home in like a week or something crazy! KIDS. I am so bummed I missed them. But I hope someone tells them how much I love them! I will probably email Rory today.

I appreciate the prayers and thoughts and letters and emails sent my way. Mail really always comes at the most inspired times. I always seem to really need it when it comes. I still haven’t figured out who sent me that anonymous scripture letter but I still really appreciate that. I miss everyone a lot. I’m loving it out here, but I’m definitely still battling with figuring out how to really “leave all other personal affairs” and dig in deeper with the work. But it’s coming slowly but surely. I’m growing a lot. It’s nice though because I asked the missionaries here what they thought I was like before my mission and they all said “Well…. I think you were probably about the same.” 🙂 Yes!! I’m still McKann Hanseen. I’m just Sister McKann Hanseen. Don’t you worry everybody. I’ll just come home new and improved. 🙂

Keep being awesome everyone. I hope to keep hearing from you all!

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
Happy late 4th of July!!

Brief editorial from McKann’s Dad

Hi McKann’s blog followers, however many there may still be… 🙂

I wanted to share with you a few pictures from State College where McKann is serving.

It just so happened that 3 or 4 weeks ago I had business travel that took me to the heart of exactly where McKann is living on her mission.  Crazy, I know!  The hotel where I stayed was literally one half mile from her apartment (as the crow flies – or anything else that flies for that matter).

McKann’s mission president asked that I not make arrangements to meet up with her.  I had certainly asked, in the hope of getting the okay to do so – as the odds of her being in State College still at the time that I may travel back there for business is probably slim.  And McKann being a trailblazer and not the homesick type of person, I thought for sure she’d be fine with it and that we’d get a green light.

But her mission president indicated that these types of visits, while perhaps not having negative consequences on *my* missionary, can sometimes have unintended affect on other missionaries.  That was something I hadn’t considered.  So I did not make arrangements to see her and have dinner with her.

BUT – I did take a few pictures of the area where she’s indicated she has spent time, including the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on Penn State campus (the only place on campus they can proselyte); the Public Library, where she indicates she sends her email letters from; and I even got a picture of her apartment.  I thought it would be fun to insert these into her blog as well.  I’m not sure which apartment is ‘D’ – I didn’t dare get that close – but this is definitely #32 Vario Blvd.

A family named the Leavitts sent a photo this afternoon of a group of missionaries they had over for dinner, for the 4th of July and McKann was included in that group.  I’ve included that below as well.

Now… back to the regular programming!

Peter Hanseen

McKann4thofJulyDinner

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Brief editorial from McKann’s Dad

4th of July- Wow!

Hey everybody!

I am having a little bit of sadness in my heart when I think about missing the 4th of July in Provo. I truly think that nowhere celebrates that holiday quite as well as Provo. 🙂 But we’ll see what State College brings! Missionary holidays are a little different. We have to be in by 6:00. But some member of the branch asked if the missionaries would be willing to do service.. Meaning carry balloons in the 4th of July Parade here. So hopefully we’re allowed to do that. I have to call President today and get it approved but cross your fingers everybody. Because we all know I’m really good at being in parades on the 4th and it would be a blast! 

This week seems like it has flown by but also seems like it’s been super slow. We had Zone Conference which was the best. Mostly because I got to see Sister Ferrin! Ahhh. I was so excited. We sat next to each other in every meeting and at lunch and I seriously miss her so much. How did we only get one transfer together? That was a cruel trick. Anyway, it was fun to meet a bunch of other missionaries. At Zone Training last month, I didn’t really talk to a ton of people because I was kind of feeling way new and awkward… Yeah, uncharacteristic of me, I know. But this time I wasn’t the new kid on the block so I talked to people. I was talking to some elders in my zone and they were telling me how a few P Days ago they went into the forest and swung on some vines like Tarzan. Sounds legit. So they wanted to show my pictures. And in the process of going through their camera to show me pictures my eyes beheld a few shocking things:

–They found a dead beaver and a cigarette butt on the side of the road. So they stuck the cig in the beaver’s mouth and took pictures. It was pretty funny. And weird.

–They found a dead raccoon and SKINNED IT ONE NIGHT. Not kidding. It was so filthy. So so disgusting I can’t even describe.
And then, when they were continuing to scroll through the pictures, they seemed to have forgotten 

–Pictures of them with their shirts off shaving “CTR” into their chests! 

OH MY HECK.
Elders are so dumb.

Haha. But it was so funny, and I was laughing so hard that I was crying because they were like “OH crap! You shouldn’t have seen that!” Hahahahahaha. Okay. That was random.

Another random story from Zone Conference. So, Nana has been telling me I need to meet Elder Rasmussen from her ward. I met him at the Elder Bednar meeting in Harrisburg, but only for a second. We got a new AP that replaced Elder Bartlett this transfer, and his name is Elder Rasmussen. And he has brown hair. That’s about all I had remembered from Harrisburg. So at Zone Conference, he came up and said “Hi, I’m Elder Rasmussen!” and I said “Yeah, we met in Harrisburg! Remember? You’re in my grandparents’ ward?” and he said “Oh yeah, cool. Well nice to meet you again!”
…..
Then we were talking afterward and I said something like “My Nana will be proud to hear that you’re an AP! She’ll think that’s cool”
“Yeah, they’re great people!”
***Insert a few minutes where I was talking about how great my Nana and Papa were***
Then I asked “So where do you live in relation to their house? Do you live on Palisade?”
….

“I actually don’t know your grandparents. I’m from Fillmore, UT. I think that you’ve been thinking I’m Elder JOE Rasmussen. I’m not.”

OKAY WHAT THE HECK HE JUST LET ME KEEP BLABBING AND DIDN’T EVEN TELL ME I’M SO EMBARRASSED. THAT IS SO WEIRD.
Oh well. I’m sure he’s a good missionary.

I also met a missionary named Elder Clegg and.. fun fact. He lived in my ward last fall. But he went to a different ward most the time so we never met. I get freaked out by stuff like that. But that’s cool.

Anyway.

I don’t think I’ve ever told you guys this but… I love the missionaries here. Okay I’m kidding. I tell you that every week. But I seriously do. This week was a little rough at the beginning. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as a trainer and get the chance to learn so much, but after last Monday I was just not feeling too hot about it all. My companion is seriously so sweet and I love her but… Well, I’ll put it this way. We would probably not be friends in real life. Mostly just because she’s so so nice and sweet that I would most likely offend her a lot because I’m loud and obnoxious and a dominant personality. Anyway, I asked Elder Howell and Elder Vassallo if they would come give me a blessing. That was a big deal for me. I don’t really ask for blessings that often, just because I don’t want to be needy and whiney. (Not to say that if you ask for blessings that is the case). And I remember all of my RM friends being so annoyed by the sisters that would just cry all the time and ask for a blessing every week, and I just didn’t want to do that because I thought it was silly. Regardless, Tuesday night, after we had been trudging in a HUGE rainstorm, the elders came over and gave me a blessing. I asked Elder Vassallo to do it, and it was really so neat. One of the things it said was that Heavenly Father has sent angels to bear up my brother and sisters. 🙂 So family, you are being watched over. I always know that, but that was just added comfort. And it was really sweet because Elder Vassallo was crying a lot as he gave the blessing and afterward, and he expressed super sincere gratitude for me allowing him to have that opportunity. He said that he hasn’t had much experience in giving blessings, so it was neat for him to experience that. And my whole perception of getting blessings changed a bit. Sometimes, we need to allow others to use the Priesthood power that they hold. It’s not always just for us. In fact, it’s often not just for us. Anyway, that was just a tender experience. (I hate the word tender but it seemed to fit here).

I got that awesome package from Nana and Nyia two days ago. It was the best thing ever. Seriously. I’m wearing those earrings right now! And I ate all the beef jerky that night in one sitting. How embarrassing. Those little dutch strobe waffles are TO DIE FOR. Where did you guys get them? I am OBSESSED. I’m trying to ration them but it’s been way hard. I also am not allowed to light fireworks but we’ll take them to a members’ home on the 4th and they can light them and we’ll watch. 🙂 

We have a lot of things brewing as far as the work goes. We’ve had a lot of referrals and have taught a few of them, but they haven’t set return appointments. We’ve been in contact, though, and I’m praying for some miracles. 🙂

I miss everyone a lot. And I’ll admit that before I got to bed at night I often get excited for when I’ll see everyone again and get to be doing all the fun stuff at home. But I had a dream last night that I came home for like three days, thinking that I’d just be able to go back out, and was SOBBING AND WAILING when I realized that, even if I did, that I would never be in State College with these people ever again. So… I’m not coming home anytime soon. 🙂 Being a missionary is the best. And sometimes I still don’t quite believe that I actually am out here already! 

I think of you and pray for you often. You guys are the best family I could ever ask for. 

Keep being incredible. And recognize those angels around you.

LOVE YOU!

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
4th of July- Wow!