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